Clinical Neuroscience

[Emotion-related brain regions (in English language)]

SZILY Erika, KÉRI Szabolcs

MARCH 30, 2008

Clinical Neuroscience - 2008;61(03-04)

[Converging data from human functional imaging in healthy subjects, neuropsychological studies of brain-damaged patients, and non-human neurophysiology indicate that emotional processing is linked to anatomically distinct and well-defined brain regions. A main characteristic of emotion-related brain regions (orbitofrontal cortex, anterior cingulated cortex, amygdala, insula) is their reciprocal anatomical connectivity with each other as well as with neuromodulatory systems (e.g., serotonergic dorsal raphe, cholinergic nucleus basalis of Meynert, and dopaminergic ventral tegmentum) and with other brain areas involved in sensory, motor, and cognitive functions. These structures mediate the representation of stimulus values, the affectleaden enhancement of sensory processing, and the predictions of values associated with actions in order to bias decision-making in uncertain situations. In this review, we discuss new results from the functional neuroanatomy of these brain circuits and outline their significance in the emergence of various psychopathological phenomena.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Evidence for the expression of parathyroid hormone 2 receptor in the human brainstem (in English language)]

BAGÓ G. Attila, PALKOVITS Miklós, USDIN B. Ted, SERESS László, DOBOLYI Árpád

[Background and purpose - The parathyroid hormone 2 receptor (PTH2R) is a G protein coupled receptor. Pharmacological and anatomical evidence suggests that the recently identified tuberoinfundibular peptide of 39 residues is, and parathyroid hormone and parathyroid hormone-related peptide are not, its endogenous ligand. Initial functional studies suggest that the PTH2R is involved in the regulation of viscerosensory information processing. As a first step towards clinical applications, herein we describe the presence of the PTH2R in the human brainstem. Material and methods - Total RNA was isolated from postmortem human cortical and brainstem samples for RT-PCR. Good quality RNA, as assessed on formaldehyde gel, was reverse transcribed. The combined cDNA products were used as template in PCR reactions with primer pairs specific for the human PTH2R. In addition, PTH2R immunolabelling was performed on free floating sections of the human medulla oblongata using fluorescent amplification immunochemistry. Results - Specific bands in the RT-PCR experiments and sequencing of PCR products demonstrated the expression of PTH2R mRNA in the human brainstem. A high density of PTH2R-immunoreactive fibers was found in brain regions of the medulla oblongata including the nucleus of the solitary tract, the spinal trigeminal nucleus, and the dorsal reticular nucleus of the medulla. Conclusion - Independent demonstration of the presence of PTH2R mRNA and immunoreactivity supports the specific expression of the PTH2R in the human brainstem. The distribution of PTH2R-immunoreactive fibers in viscerosensory brain regions is similar to that reported in mouse and rat suggesting a similar role of the PTH2R in human as in rodents. This finding will have important implications when experimental data obtained on the function of the TIP39-PTH2R neuromodulator system in rodents are to be utilized in human.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[REMOVAL OF INTRASPINAL SPACE-OCCUPYING LESIONS THROUGH UNILATERAL PARTIAL APPROACH, THE “HEMI-SEMI LAMINECTOMY”]

BANCZEROWSKI Péter, VAJDA János, VERES Róbert

[Objective - The conventional dorsal surgical approaches used in removal of intraspinal space-occupying lesions by unroofing the spinal canal, often result the destruction of dorsal bony structures, sacrifice the interspinosus/supraspinosus ligament complexes and stripping of the paraspinal muscles causing a pathologic biomechanical milieu may lead to spinal deformities, instability. Various less invasive techniques exist to save the integrity and to prevent the instability of the spinal column and allow removal of intraspinally located space-occupying lesions at the same time. The authors discuss the experiences with unilateral partial laminectomy approach in removal of intraspinally, mainly lateral, intra- or extradurally located pathologic lesions. Methods - The unilateral partial laminectomy, in which the laminas were preserved (hemi-semi laminectomy) was performed in 86 symptomatic patients to remove space-occupying intra- or extradurally located lesions of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spinal canal. Symptoms were local or radicular pain, motor, sensory and vegetative disturbances. Results - Adequate surgery of the lesions located within the spinal canal was achieved in all patients using this approach. The hemi-semi laminectomy was performed at one spinal level in 68 patients, two levels in 15 and three levels in 3. The affected spine was the cervical in 16, the cervico-thoracic in 6, the thoracic in 35, the thoraco-lumbar in 10 and lumbar region in 19 cases. Histological results were as follows: 32 intradural meningeomas, 27 neurinomas, 10 ependymomas, 3 arachnoid cysts, 2 cavernomas and extradurally 4 epidural haemorrhage, 5 epidural abscesses and 3 dural vascular malformations. Conclusion - The unilateral partial laminectomy (named hemi-semi laminectomy) approach for the mainly laterally located intra- or extradural lesions, confined to one side, allow to minimize resection of and injury to tissues not directly involved in the pathologic process, while affording a safe and thorough removal of space-occupying pathologies and decompression of neural structures located in a spinal canal. Two additional advantages come from this technique in cases of misjudged level or at re-operation.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Prevalence of stroke/cardiovascular risk factors in rural Hungary - A cross-sectional descriptive study (in English language)]

BODO Michael, THURÓCZY György, PÁNCZÉL Gyula, SIPOS Kornél, ILIÁS Lajos, SZÕNYI Péter, BADÓ Mike Jr, NEBELLA Tamás, BÁNYÁSZ Attila, NAGY Zoltán

[A multi-faceted survey was conducted in 1992-94 to ascertain the somatic, mental and socio-economic conditions of the residents of a village in eastern Hungary. Here we report data on prevalence of somatic disorders from the survey. Objectives - a) To collect and compare prevalence of known cardiovascular disease, including stroke risk factors, in a specific population (a Hungarian village); b) to test a computer-based mass screening device ("Cerberus") designed to identify individuals in the test population at high risk for stroke; c) to compare results obtained with Cerberus with known stroke risk/cardiovascular disease factors and traditional medical records. Methods - A cross-sectional survey (546 subjects) was conducted in Csengersima in the early 1990s, using the Cerberus screening system, which includes: 1. a questionnaire addressing the risk factors for stroke/cardiovascular disease; 2. amplifiers to record the pulse waves of cerebral (rheoencephalography) and peripheral arteries, electrocardiogram and electroencephalogram. Additionally, subjects were measured for carotid stenosis by Doppler ultrasound and 12-lead electrocardiogram; they were also screened for blood cholesterol, glucose, and triglyceride levels. Findings - Prevalence of the following stroke risk factors was identified: overweight, 63.25%; sclerotic brain arteries by rheoencephalogram, 54.29%; heart disease, 37.92%; pathologic carotid flow, 34.24%; smoking, 30.55%; high blood cholesterol, 28.70%; hypertension, 27.83%; high triglyceride, 24.35%; abnormality of electrocardiogram, 20%; high glucose, 15.95%; symptoms of transient ischemic attack, 16.07%; alcohol abuse, 6.74%; and diabetes, 4.53%. Conclusion - The study demonstrates a possible model for primary cardiovascular disease/stroke prevention. The simple, noninvasive test uses the bioimpedance method of measurement. This method offers a standardizable, costeffective, practical technique for mass screenings by identifying the population at high risk for cardiovascular disturbances, especially cerebrovascular disease. In this model, the rheoencephalogram can detect cerebrovascular arteriosclerosis in the susceptibility/presymptomatic phase, earlier than the Doppler ultrasound technique. The method also provides a model for storing analog physiological signals in a computer-based medical record and the first steps of turning it into an expert system also tested.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[DYNAMICS OF THE TRIPLE RING, VOLUMETRICAL ANALYSIS, PREDICTIONS FOR TREATMENT PLANNING]

KOLUMBÁN Zsuzsa, VIOLA Árpád, MAJOR Tibor, BAJZIK Gábor, JULOW Jenő

[Objective - The aim of this study is to reveal the volumetrical changes in tumor necrosis, reactive zone and edema following low-dose rate I-125 interstitial irradiation of 20 inoperable (partially irresecable, partially inoperable) lowgrade gliomas. Methods - The volumes of the three regions on imagefused control CT/MRI images were measured for a 24- month period with 36 occasions. The delivered dose on the tumor surface (GTV) was 50-60 Gy. Dose planning and image fusion were performed with the BrainLab Target 1.19 software, mathematical and statistical computations were carried out with the Matlab Numeric Computation and Visualization software. The control images with the „triple ring” were fused with the planning images, and the isodose curves were adjusted to them. Results - Relative volumes normalized to volume of the reference dose were calculated and plotted in the time domain. The mean values of volumes were determined from the patients' measured data then a polynom was fitted to the mean values using the polynomial curve fitting method. The accuracy of our results were verified by statistical tools. Conclusions - The new polynomial prediction approach using image fusion analysis of the volume of tumor necrosis, reactive ring and edema caused by interstitial irradiation as a function of time provides valuable information for 1. selecting the best patient’s treatment option, 2. following up patient’s condition and 3. planning reirradiation or reoperation if necessary.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Risk of mental disorders, their changes and somatic consideration in rural Hungary (in English language)]

SIPOS Kornél, BODO Michael, MAY Zsolt, LENDVAI Balázs, PIROS Andrea, SPITZER Nóra, PATAKY Ilona, NAGY Zoltán, BÁNYÁSZ Attila

[Objective - Although the primary purpose of the study reported here was to identify stroke risk factors among the residents of a village in eastern Hungary, the study also included a multi-faceted survey conducted in 1992-94 to ascertain the somatic, mental and socio-economic conditions of the residents. Here we report data from the survey on prevalence of mental disorders (a cross-sectional descriptive study). Method - The screenings included the following tests administered to 535 subjects: anxiety, depression, dementia, neurosis were measured; recent medical records were compared to survey data for 330 of the same subjects. Findings - The summary of prevalence of mental disorders measured in this study was as follows: anxiety 34.7% (severe), dementia 44.68% (mild), depression 66% (mild), 15.94% (medium), 7.88% (severe), neurosis 66.73% (mild, medium, and severe). Medical records maintained by village physicians since 1960 differed from the results obtained in the present study. A treatment gap was observed between mental health treatment for neurosis, as indicated by medical records, and the diagnostic prevalence of neurosis as measured by the survey instruments: there were three times as many people diagnosed as neurotic in the survey as had been noted in village medical records. Additionally, the unique position of cerebrovascular alteration was established between the mental and somatic factors. Conclusion - The study demonstrates the successful simultaneous collection of a wide spectrum of data on somatic conditions, mental disorders, and socio-economic status of the subjects. The study showed that 1. patientcentered medical care can simultaneously address both somatic and mental factors; 2. it is possible to decrease the treatment gap in mental health; 3. there is value in systematic collection of data in order to optimize the planning of prevention, health care costs and decision making.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

Comparison of pramipexole versus ropinirole in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease

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Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by motor and non-motor symptoms. Levodopa is the most effective drug in the symptomatic treatment of the disease. Dopamine receptor agonists provide sustained dopamin-ergic stimulation and have been found to delay the initiation of levodopa treatment and reduce the frequency of various motor complications due to the long-term use of levodopa. The primary aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of potent nonergoline dopamine agonists pramipexole and ropinirole in both “dopamine agonist monotherapy group” and “levodopa add-on therapy group” in Parkinson’s disease. The secondary aims were to evaluate the effects of these agents on depression and the safety of pramipexole and ropinirole. A total of 44 patients aged between 36 and 80 years who were presented to the neurology clinic at Ministry of Health Diskapi Yildirim Beyazit Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey and were diagnosed with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease, were included into this randomized parallel-group clinical study. Dopamine agonist monotherapy and levodopa add-on therapy patients were randomized into two groups to receive either pramipexole or ropinirole. The maximum daily dosages of pramipexole and ropinirole were 4.5 mg and 24 mg respectively. Patients were followed for 6 months and changes on Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale, Clinical Global Impression-severity of illness, Clinical Global Impression-improvement, Beck Depression Inven­tory scores, and additionally in advanced stages, changes in levodopa dosages were evaluated. Drug associated side effects were noted and compared. In dopamine agonist monotherapy group all of the subsections and total scores of Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale and Clinical Global Impression-severity of illness of the pramipexole subgroup showed significant improvement particularly at the end of the sixth month. In the pramipexole subgroup of levodopa add-on therapy group, there were significant improvements on Clinical Global Impression-severity of illness and Beck Depression Inventory scores, but we found significant improvement on Clinical Global Impression-severity of illness score at the end of the sixth month in ropinirole subgroup too. The efficacy of pramipexole and ropinirole as antiparkinsonian drugs for monotherapy and levodopa add-on therapy in Parkinson’s disease and their effects on motor complications when used with levodopa treatment for add-on therapy have been demonstrated in several previous studies. This study supports the effectiveness and safety of pramipexole and ropinirole in the monotherapy and levodopa add-on therapy in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

Clinical Neuroscience

Validation of the Hungarian PHQ-15. A latent variable approach

STAUDER Adrienne, WITTHÖFT Michael, KÖTELES Ferenc

Somatic symptoms without a clear-cut organic or biomedical background, also called “medically unexplained” or “somatoform” symptoms, are frequent in primary and secondary health care. They are often accompanied by depression and/or anxiety, and cause functional impairment. The Patient Health Question­naire Somatic Symptom Scale (PHQ-15) was developed to measure somatic symptom distress based on the frequency and bothersomeness of non-specific somatic symptoms. The study aimed to (1) evaluate the Hungarian version of the PHQ-15 from a psychometric point of view; (2) replicate the bifactor structure and associations with negative affect described in the literature; and (3) provide the Hungarian clinical and scientific community with reference (normal) values split by sex and age groups. PHQ-15, depression (BDI-R), and subjective well-being (WHO-5) scores obtained from a large (n = 5020) and close to representative community sample (Hun­garostudy 2006) were subjected to correlation analysis and linear structural equation modeling. The PHQ-15 showed good internal consistency (Cronbach’s α = 0.810; McDonald’s ω = 0.819) and moderate to strong correlation with the BDI-R (rs = .49, p < 0.001) and WHO-5 (rs = -.48, p < 0.001). Fit of the bifactor structure was excellent; in independent analyses, the general factor was strongly associated with depression (β = 0.656±0.017, p < 0.001) and well-being (β = -0.575±0.015, p < 0.001), whereas the symptom specific factors were only weakly or not related to these constructs. The PHQ-15 score was higher in females and showed a weak positive association with age. The Hungarian PHQ-15 is a psychometrically sound scale which is positively associated with depression and ne­gatively related to subjective well-being. The bifactor structure indicates the existence and meaningfulness of a gene­ral factor representing the affective-motivational component of somatic symptom distress. The Hungarian version of the PHQ-15 is a brief and usable tool for the pre-screening of somatization disorder (DSM-IV) or somatic symptom disorder (DSM-5). The reported reference values can be used in the future for both clinical and research purposes.

Clinical Neuroscience

[The examination of burnout among healthcare workers]

FEJES Éva, MÁK Kornél, POHL Marietta, BANK Gyula, FEHÉR Gergely, TIBOLD Antal

[Health reforms in recent decades have been largely based on economic considerations and have led to a significant problem in the sector today, with the issue of human resources being pushed back, which is exacerbated by burnout syndrome. The aim of this questionnaire-based study was to examine the complex background of burnout among health care workers in the cities of Komló, Pécs and Kecskemét. Baseline demographic data were recorded. Burnout was assessed by the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), and the intensity of dysfunctional attitudes were also studied. Depression was detected by the Beck Scale and social supports, and effort-reward dysbalance were also examined. Overall 411 employees participated in our study. Age group distribution was middle aged access, vast majority of the workers was between 36 and 55 years. Mean burnout scale was 58.6 (SD = 16.3), 63 workers had mild (14.2%), 356 had moderate (80.7%) and 22 had severe (5.1%) burnout. In a multivariate analysis the type of work (OR = 1.018), age (OR = 2.514), marital status (OR = 1.148), job type (OR = 1.246) the lack of social support (OR = 1.189) and allowance (OR = 9.719) were independently associated with burnout (p < 0.05 in all cases). There was a significant association among burnout, depression and dysfunctional attitudes. The vast majority of our social workers suffered from moderate and a small, but significant proportion suffered from severe burnout. Our work draws attention to the modifiable and unmodifiable risk factors of burnout in this population, which may help in the development of preventive strategies.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Psychometric properties of the Hungarian Adult Attachment Scale]

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[The revised Adult Attachment Scale (AAS) developed by N. L. Collins is a widely used questionnaire to measure adult attachment. However, its psychometric properties have not been investigated in Hungary. We aimed to confirm the key psychometric properties of the Hungarian version of the AAS focusing on reliability indices on a population that consis­ted of depressed and non-depressed young adults. The AAS is a self-report questionnaire, in which two different dimensional evaluating systems are possible: the original (close, depend, and anxiety) and the alternative scoring system (anxiety, avoidance). Our study population consisted of young adults with a history of major depression (n = 264, median age = 25.7 years) and their never-depressed biological siblings (n = 244, median age = 24.0). The internal consistency of close, anxiety, and avoidance scales were satisfactory (Cronbach-α >0.7). The consistency of the depend scale was slightly lower than expected (Cronbach-α = 0.62). Test-retest reliability was good for all of the scales, it ranged from 0.73 to 0.78 after 14 months of follow-up period. The scale showed good discrimination as tested by the differences of close and anxiety attachment dimensions between the groups (p<0.01). More­over, we were able to differentiate the currently dep­res­sed subjects based on these attachment dimensions. Explo­ra­tory and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted, and a bifactor solution proved optimal model fit. The three dimensions of the AAS has not been confirmed. However, the close and anxiety scales of AAS were found to be adequate. Our results also indicate that attachment features correlate with major depressive episodes in adulthood.]