Clinical Neuroscience

[EFFECT OF EPILEPTIC SEIZURES ON THE HEART RATE]

TÓTH Vanda, HEJJEL László, KALMÁR Zsuzsanna, FOGARASI András, AUER Tibor, GYIMESI Csilla, SZŰCS Anna, JANSZKY József

MAY 30, 2008

Clinical Neuroscience - 2008;61(05-06)

[Background - Sudden death appears in 8-17% of epilepsy patients non-responding to antiepileptic therapy. Some studies suggest that the most common cause of death is seizure-related cardiac arrhythmia. Aim of study - To analyze the alteration of the heart rate six hours before and after the seizures. Methods - Eighteen patients suffering from focal epilepsy were examined before epilepsy surgery. Video-EEG-ECG was carried out for 2-10 days, and 32 seizures were registered. Analysis of the heart rate was based on the 5- minute-long epochs of the ECGs taken at the 5-10-15- 30th minutes and at the 1-3-6th hours before and after seizures. Results - The heart rate increases (from average 69 beats/min to 92 beats/min, p<0.001) immediately after seizures, tough significantly higher heart rate was observed 3 hours after seizures. There were no patients with severe periictal bradycardia. In one of our patients, ectopic cardiac rhythm occurred after a generalized tonicclonic seizure. Conclusions - We can conclude that the sympathic activity increases while the parasympathic activity decreases after seizures. The observed alterations lasted for a long time and predict to fatal arrhythmias. These suggest that sudden death in epilepsy can be induced by cardiac arrhythmias connected with epileptic seizures.]

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[Background and purpose - Large multicenter trials have already evaluated the relative benefit of various types of antithrombotic medication in ischemic stroke. However, the application of the trial results still remains uncertain in some clinical situations. We set out to evaluate the various aspects of antithrombotic treatment use among clinical practitioners. Methods - A virtually nationwide survey was performed among Hungarian neurologists involved in stroke care, who responded to a questionnaire concerning the use of antiplatelet agents and anticoagulation in acute ischemic stroke and for secondary prevention. Results - The response rate was 65%. Most (69%) practitioners always wait for brain imaging before initiating antithrombotic treatment in acute stroke. Aspirin (100 mg/ day) is the most frequently prescribed antiplatelet agent after a first ischemic episode. Common reasons for the prescription of alternative agents instead of aspirin after a first attack include high-risk cases and intolerance or allergy to aspirin. The results of in vitro platelet aggregation studies frequently influence drug selection. If an event recurs during a given antiplatelet treatment, most neurologists change the medication. Some participants reported the administration of anticoagulation, or of the combination of aspirin plus clopidogrel in certain situations that are not cardiological indications. Conclusions - This study provides information on the use of antithrombotic treatment in general neurological practice, including everyday clinical situations where no help is available from guidelines.]

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