Clinical Neuroscience

[Epidemiology of dementia in Hungary]

ÉRSEK Katalin1, KÁRPÁTI Krisztián1, KOVÁCS Tibor2, CSILLIK Gabriella3, GULÁCSI L. Ádám1, GULÁCSI László1

MAY 30, 2010

Clinical Neuroscience - 2010;63(05-06)

[Objective - To estimate the epidemiology and the distribution of disease severity of dementia in Hungary, using published data. To estimate the demented population of 2008 and to make a projection for 2050. Methodology - With an outlook for the international professional literature and the available Hungarian information we examine the epidemiology of dementia in Hungary by age-groups and disease severity (according to MMSE categories), then make our estimation for the entire population. Results - Based on the estimation of the number of demented people in Hungary there is a noticeable difference between the domestic and the internationally published data. According to previous Hungarian studies, the number of the demented subjects vary between 530 and 917 thousand patients. Multiplying the elderly age-group’s populations by the global prevalence data it results in 101 thousand of demented patients. Estimation by the domestic published data we remarkably overestimate the presumed value, whereas by using the global prevalence figures we underestimate. Conclusions - There is a strong need for a representative study to obtain exact figures on the prevalence of dementia in Hungary. Getting exact figures of the Hungarian prevalence of dementia it is a strong need an overall representative study. With the lack of it the health and social care systems are not able to prepare for providing the increasing number of patients.]


  1. Budapesti Corvinus Egyetem, Egészség-gazdaságtani és Egészségügyi Technológiaelemzési Kutatóközpont, HunHTA, Budapest
  2. Semmelweis Egyetem, Neurológiai Klinika, Budapest
  3. Szociális és Munkaügyi Minisztérium, Budapest



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[Neurology! Adieau? (Part 1)]


[The neurological practice suffered considerable changes during the last twenty years. The recent therapeutic methods and the acceptance of the ideology of evidence based medicine, which is based on confidence in statistics, changed the reasoning of the neurologists. Therapy protocols intrude into the field of individual medicine, and doctors accept treatment schemes to alleviate responsibility of their decisions. In contrast with this, recent achievements in pharmacogenetics emphasize the importance of individual drug therapies. The protocol of intravenous cerebral thrombolysis does not require defining the origin of cerebral ischaemia in the acute stage, therefore, this procedure can be regarded as human experiment. According to the strict protocol thrombolysis might be indicated only in 1-8% of patients with cerebral ischaemia. According to the Cohrane database more trials are needed to clarify which patients are most likely to benefit from treatment. Because of the change in therapeutic principles transient ischaemic attack has been newly defined as “acute neurovascular syndrome”. Multiplication of neurological subspecialties has been facilitated by the development of diagnostic tools and the discovery of effective new drugs. The specialization led to narrowing of interest and competency of clinicians. Several new neurological scientific societies were founded for the representation of specific disorders. In Hungary, between 1993 and 2000 nine scientific societies were grounded within the field of clinical neurology. These societies should be thankful to the pharmaceutical industries for their existence. In some European countries in 2007 only three neurological subspecialties were accepted, which are neurophysiology, neuro-rehabilitation and childneurology. Neuro-radiology is in the hands of general radiologists, the specialization is not granted for neurologists. Because of the subspecialization the general professionalism of neurologists has diminished. Among young neurologists the propedeutic skills suffered most seriously. Subspecialisation of teachers also interferes with the practice oriented teaching of medical students and residents.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Neurology! Adieau? (Part 2)]


[Teaching of neurologists is indisposed worldwide. University tutors are engaged in teaching, research and patient-care. This triple challenge is very demanding, and results in permanent insecurity of University employees. To compensate for the insufficient clinical training, some institutes in the USA employ academic staff members exclusively for teaching. The formation of new subspecialties hinders the education and training of general neurologists. At the present four generations of medical doctors are working together in the hospitals. The two older generations educate the younger neurologists who have been brought up in the world of limitless network of sterile information. Therefore their manual skills at the bedside and knowledge regarding emergency treatment are deficient. Demographics of medical doctors changed drastically. Twice as many women are working in neurology and psychiatry than men. Integrity of neurology is threatened by: 1. Separation of the cerebrovascular diseases from general neurology. Development of "stroke units" was facilitated by the better reimbursement for treatment and the interest of the pharmaceutical companies. The healthcare politics assisted to split the neurology into two parts. The independent status of “stroke departments” will reduce the rest of clinical neurology to outpatient service. 2. The main argumentation to segregate the rare neurological diseases was that their research will provide benefit for the diseases with high prevalence. This argumentation can rather be considered territorial imperative. The separation of rare diseases interferes with the teaching of differential diagnostics during neurological training. The traditional pragmatic neurology can not be retrieved. The faculty of neurology could retain its integrity because of the improvement of diagnostic methods and the more and more effective drugs. Nevertheless, even the progression of neurological sciences induces dissociation of clinical neurology. Neurology shall suffer fragmentation if the professional authorities fail to control the separation of subspecialties, if teaching of future neurologists, including practical knowledge and skills of diagnostic decision making, is not supported.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Image fusion guided brachytherapy of brain tumors]


[The paper is the summary of mostly published works of the clinical results of intracavitary Yttrium-90 colloid irradiation of recurrent cystic craniopharyngiomas, and Iodine-125 interstitial irradiation of gliomas, pinealomas, brainstem tumors, recurrent meningeomas, solid craniopharyngiomas and metastases. It concisely demonstrates the usefulness of image fusion in the verification of isotope seeds and catheters, the comparison of 125 Iodine stereotactic brachytherapy and LINAC radiosurgery modalities on physical dose distribution and radiobiological efficacy, and the analysis of volumetric changes after interstitial irradiation of gliomas. Results of the immunohistochemical study deal with the role of microglia/macrophage system in the tissue response to I- 125 interstitial brachytherapy of cerebral gliomas. Due to financial reasons, gamma knife and Linac are not available to many countries and neurosurgical institutes. In the absence of the above mentioned radiosurgical methods, we have shown brachytherapy as an alternative solution in the treatment of different types of inoperable or recurrent brain tumors. The observed results may be noticable at LINAC and gamma knife irradiation too.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Clinical studies on pramipexol retard]


[Pramipexol retard is the newest drug for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. The prolonged release of the agent in this preparation allows a more continuous dopaminergic stimulation than previous preparations, without reducing the agent’s already known and proven clinical efficiency. In addition, it has a more favourable adverse effect profile than previous preparations, and patient compliance can also be better as it needs to be taken only once daily. These benefits have been proven in recent clinical studies, of which the most important ones are reviewed here.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Antinociceptive effect of vinpocetine - a comprehensive survey]


[Blockade of retrograde transport of nerve growth factor (NGF) in a peripheral sensory nerve is known to induce transganglionic degenerative atrophy (TDA) of central sensory terminals in the upper dorsal horn of the related, ipsilateral segments(s) of the spinal cord. The ensuing temporary blockade of transmission of nociceptive impulses has been utilized in the therapy of intractable pain, using transcutaneous iontophoresis of the microtubule inhibitors vincristin and vinblastin, drugs which inhibit retrograde transport of NGF. Since microtubule inhibition might inhibit (at least theoretically) mitotic processes in general, we sought to find a drug which inhibits retrograde transport of NGF without microtubule inhibition. Vinpocetine, a derivate of vincamine, which does not interfere with microtubular function, was found to inhibit retrograde axoplasmic transport of NGF in peripheral sensory nerves, similarly to vincristin and vinblastin. Blockade of NGF transport is followed by transganglionic degenerative atrophy in the segmentally related, ipsilateral superficial spinal dorsal horn, characterized by depletion of the marker enzymes of nociception, fluoride resistant acid phosphatase (FRAP) and thiamine monophosphatase (TMP) from the Rolando substance and by decrease of the pain-related neuropeptides substance P (SP) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) from lamina I-II-III. Based upon these findings, it has been suggested that vinpocetine may result in a locally restricted decrease of nociception. Herewith, the structural and behavioral effects of perineurally administered vinpocetine are discussed. Nociception, induced by intraplantar injection of formalin, was mitigated by perineural application of vinpocetine; also formalin-induced expression of c-fos in the ipsilateral, segmentally related superficial dorsal horn, was prevented by this treatment. Since vinpocetine is not a microtubule inhibitor, its mode of action is enigmatic. It is assumed that the effect of vinpocetine might be related to interaction with membrane-trafficking proteins, such as signalling endosomes and the endocytosis-mediating „pincher” protein, involved in retrograde axoplasmic transport of NGF, or to interaction with glial elements, recently reported to be involved in the modulation of pain in the spinal cord. Based on animal experiments it is assumed that the temporary, locally restricted decrease of nociception, induced by vinpocetine applied via transcutaneous iontophoresis, might open up new avenues in the clinical treatment of intractable pain.]

All articles in the issue

Related contents

Clinical Neuroscience

[Health status and costs of ambulatory patients with multiple sclerosis in Hungary]

PÉNTEK Márta, GULÁCSI László, RÓZSA Csilla, SIMÓ Magdolna, ILJICSOV Anna, KOMOLY Sámuel, BRODSZKY Valentin

[Background and purpose - Data on disease burden of multiple sclerosis from Eastern-Central Europe are very limited. Our aim was to explore the quality of life, resource utilisation and costs of ambulating patients with multiple sclerosis in Hungary. Methods - Cross-sectional questionnaire survey was performed in two outpatient neurology centres in 2009. Clinical history, health care utilisation in the past 12 months were surveyed, the Expanded Disability Status Scale and the EQ-5D questionnaires were applied. Cost calculation was conducted from the societal perspective. Results - Sixty-eight patients (female 70.6%) aged 38.0 (SD 9.1) with disease duration of 7.8 (SD 6.7) years were involved. Fifty-five (80.9%) had relapsing-remitting form and 52 (76.5%) were taking immunomodulatory drug. The average scores were: Expanded Disability Status Scale 1.9 (SD 1.7), EQ-5D 0.67 (SD 0.28). Mean total cost amounted to 10 902 Euros/patient/year (direct medical 67%, direct nonmedical 13%, indirect costs 20%). Drugs, disability pension and informal care were the highest cost items. Costs of mild (Expanded Disability Status Scale 0-3.5) and moderate (Expanded Disability Status Scale 4.0-6.5) disease were 9 218 and 17 634 Euros/patient/year respectively (p<0.01), that is lower than results from Western European countries. Conclusion - Our study provides current inputs for policy making and contributes to understanding variation of costof- illness of multiple sclerosis in Europe.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The application of RBANS (Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status) in neurocognitive testing of patients suffering from schizophrenia and dementia]

JUHÁSZ Levente Zsolt, KEMÉNY Katalin, LINKA Emese, SÁNTHA Judit, BARTKÓ György

[Introduction - The purpose of our study was to find out whether the Hungarian adaptation of the RBANS (Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status), a brief neurocognitive screening test, is appropriate for the differentation of healthy and non-healthy subject groups, or for the detection of differences between the cognitive performance of patient groups. Patients and method - The test battery was administrated to 38 healthy subjects, 69 schizophrenic patients, and 18 patients suffering from dementia (10 probable Alzheimer-type and eight vascular dementia). Results - There was a significant decrease of performance in all patient groups compared to the healthy group. In the schizophrenic group, the test indicated a deterioration of functioning in all cognitive areas. The patient group with Alzheimer-type dementia performed only slightly better than the schizophrenic group, because the fall of performance was not significant only one of the cognitive areas (in the visuo-spatial tasks) when compared to the healthy group. There was no difference between the performance of patients with vascular dementia and that of healthy subjects in direct memory, verbal and visuo-spatial tasks. The test results indicated an even deterioration of cognitive areas in patients with Alzheimer-type dementia. As for the vascular dementia group, the most vulnerable area proved to be that of attention, while their verbal functions were relatively spared. The deterioration in other cognitive functions shown by schizophrenic subjects was more moderate, but still significant. A comparison of the RBANS scores of the schizophrenic patients in our study and the result of an American study was also carried out. The global indeces showed no difference; only the pattern of the sub-scales was a little different. Conclusion - The Hungarian version of the RBANS seems appropriate for the differentiation of healthy and deteriorated cognitive performance in a Hungarian patient population.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[The effects of angiotensin receptor blockers on the nervous system in hypertension and dementia]


[The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is one of the most important mechanisms regarding the pathomechanism and treatment of hyprtension. The most of the elements of the RAS are found in the nervous system too. The effect of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) is based on the inhibition of the RAS. ARBs might have a special role in the central nervous system because they do not decrease the production of angiotensin but inhibit its harmful effects mediated through the AT1 receptor while allowing the stimulation of AT2 receptors with resulting pleiotrophic actions. Hypertension is the most important risk factor for stroke and has a negative effect on cognitive functions. Antihypertensive treatment has an effect on the nervous system; in addition to the consequences of the reduced blood pressure, ARBs might provide additional advantages in stroke and dementia prevention.]

LAM Extra for General Practicioners



[Statins have become crucial components of the therapy of cardiovascular diseases. Beyond their cholesterol-lowering effect, statins turned out to have further beneficial effects on various vascular mechanisms. One of the best known effects is antithrombotic capacity, which is related partly to platelet function and partly to the coagulation cascade. Besides experimental observations, interventional clinical trials have also demonstrated that statins have an antithrombotic effect both in arterial and venous thrombosis. Regarding the effects of statins on dementia, previous studies with relatively small sample sizes had controversial results. Recently, two observational studies of tens of thousands of elderly patients reported that statins reduce the incidence of nonvascular dementia. Evaluation of the data revealed that statins have pleiotropic effects in this case, too. The results discussed here shed light on new benefits of statin therapy used for reducing cardiovascular mortality, namely the prevention of thrombotic events and dementia. These benefits are related to the antithrombotic and anti-inflammatoric capacity of statins.]

Journal of Nursing Theory and Practice

[Associated factors of independency in older adults with cognitive impairment living in a long term care institute]


[Aim of the research: Functional independence determines the elderly’s health and quality of life. In them cross-sectional study the authors analysed the associations between functional abilities (balance, gait, functional mobility, cognitive abilities), age, BMI and comorbidities and independency in older adults with cognitive impairment. Research and sampling methods: 110 elderly people were measured. Self-sufficiency was measured by the Katz-index, balance, and gait by the Tinetti Test and functional mobility by the Timed Up and Go Test. Correlations between variables were analysed with the Spearman’s rank-order correlation. Results: There was strong association between balance (r=0,557), gait (r=0,515), functional mobility (r=-0,647), and independency. It means the better the balance, gait, and functional mobility is, the higher the independency is. There was weak association between age, BMI, cognitive abilities, comorbidities and independency. Conclusion: Results show that preserving of the functional independence in older adults with cognitive impairment is a multidisciplinary task: physiotherapists and nurses should work together to complete doctors’ curative work of chronic diseases.]