Clinical Neuroscience


BÓNÉ Beáta, JANSZKY József

MAY 30, 2006

Clinical Neuroscience - 2006;59(05-06)

[While 10% of healthy men had sexual dysfunctions, male epilepsy patients experience sexual problems in 40-70%. The cause of sexual dysfunction in epilepsy is multifactorial, but there are three main factors: the epilepsy itself, antiepileptic treatment and psychiatrical/psychic problems. Antiepileptics with hepatic enzyme induction potential (carbamazepine, phenytoin) enhance the metabolism of sexual steroids. Valproic acid as an enzyme inhibitor and drug with high protein binding affinity elevates the free serum levels of androgenes. Certain antiepileptic drugs may have negative cognitive side effects, some of them can induce psychiatric disorders. These drugs can facilitate male sexual dysfunctions through these psychic side effects. The metabolic and endocrine alterations caused by carbamazepin may return to normal level after replacement of carbamazepin with oxcarbazepine. After an oxcarbazepin-carbamazepin replacement, carbamazepin-induced impotency can be cured. According some new data lamotrigine can also help in sexual dysfunction. The therapy of sexual dysfunction in epilepsy depends on its cause. In cases of hormonal alterations, the fist step is a change of antiepileptic regimen. Instead of enzymeinductor antiepileptics and valproate, new antiepileptic drugs should be prescribed. At present, the most investigated antiepileptic drug is the oxcarbazepine with positive effect on antiepileptic-induced male sexual dysfunction, however, lamotrigine seems to be also beneficial. If the hormonal and sexual dysfunctions cannot be eliminated by drug changes, androgenic therapy or bromocriptin may be required. Testosteron may not only be beneficial on sexual functions, but can reduce also the seizure frequency. Independent of etiology, erectile dysfunctions can be successfully treated by sildenafil.]



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Clinical Neuroscience



[Objective - To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of levetiracetam in children with drug resistant epilepsy from a retrospective study. Methods - We report the result of a study of 85 pediatric patients (mean 10.5 years, range: 1-24) with refractory generalized and focal epilepsy, who received levetiracetam as add-on treatment. The average duration of epilepsy was eight years, and the patient were treated with mean of 6.0 antiepileptic drugs befor levetiracetam was introduced. Results - Ten patients (12%) became seizuresfree, three (3%) responded with seizure reduction of more than 90%, 32 (38%) responded with seizure reduction of more than 50% following introduction of levetiracetam. No response to levetiracetam was reported in 34% (n: 29). Positive psychotopic effect was observed in 26 patient (30%). Mild to moderate side effects were reported in 11 patients (13%), consisting most frequently general behavioral changes, agression, sleep disturbances, but they ceased after decreasing the dose of levetiracetam. Mental retardation was associated with poor response and associated with more side effects. Conclusion - Levetiracetam is well tolerated new antiepileptic drug that may effectively improve seizures controll as an addon drug in resistant epilepsy in childhood with good tolerability.]

Clinical Neuroscience


Clinical Neuroscience


SERES Erika, VÉCSEI László

[Interferon-α, -β, and -γ have been used for the management of several diseases with varying clinical effects. Like many other proteins, all interferon species are potentially immunogenics especially those produced by recombinant gene technologies. A reliable screening assay for anti-interferon-β antibodies is suggested for patients with multiple sclerosis receiving interferon-β therapy. Natural interferon-β is a glycosylated 166 amino acid 25 kDa protein, recombinant interferon-β is available for therapy as 1a and 1b products. Both preparations induce anti-interferon-β antibodies, detectable in the serum of interferon-β-treated patients with multiple sclerosis. The question of wich assay is optimal for testing for antiinterferon- β antibodies in interferon-β-treated patients is unsettled. Two types of antibody assays are generally used: those measuring binding antibodies and those measuring neutralizing antibodies. The findings suggest that high titers of both binding and neutralizing antibodies reduce the clinical efficacy of interferon-β in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, which is important for the long-term efficacy of these drugs. Treatment with glatiramer acetat has also been shown to induce the development of “reactive antibodies” in patients with multiple sclerosis. This article briefly describes some of the findings concerning anti-interferon binding and neutralizing antibodies.]

Clinical Neuroscience


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Clinical Neuroscience

[Zonisamide: one of the first-line antiepileptic drugs in focal epilepsy ]


[Chronic administration of antiepileptic drugs without history of unprovoked epileptic seizures are not recommended for epilepsy prophylaxis. Conversely, if the patient suffered the first unprovoked seizure, then the presence of epileptiform discharges on the EEG, focal neurological signs, and the presence of epileptogenic lesion on the MRI are risk factors for a second seizure (such as for the development of epilepsy). Without these risk factors, the chance of a second seizure is about 25-30%, while the presence of these risk factors (for example signs of previous stroke, neurotrauma, or encephalitis on the MRI) can predict >70% seizure recurrence. Thus the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) re-defined the term ’epilepsy’ which can be diagnosed even after the first seizure, if the risk of seizure recurrence is high. According to this definition, we can start antiepileptic drug therapy after a single unprovoked seizure. There are four antiepileptic drugs which has the highest evidence (level „A”) as first-line initial monotherapy for treating newly diagnosed epilepsy. These are: carbamazepine, phenytoin, levetiracetam, and zonisamide (ZNS). The present review focuses on the ZNS. Beacuse ZNS can be administrated once a day, it is an optimal drug for maintaining patient’s compliance and for those patients who have a high risk for developing a non-compliance (for example teenagers and young adults). Due to the low interaction potential, ZNS treatment is safe and effective in treating epilepsy of elderly people. ZNS is an ideal drug in epilepsy accompanied by obesity, because ZNS has a weight loss effect, especially in obese patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Effects of valproate, carbamazepine and levetiracetam on Tp-e interval, Tp-e/QT and Tp-e/QTc ratio


Aim - To evaluate P-wave dispersion before and after antiepileptic drug (AED) treatment as well as to investigate the risk of ventricular repolarization using the Tpeak-Tend (Tp-e) interval and Tp-e/QT ratio in patients with epileptic disorder. Methods - A total of 63 patients receiving AED therapy and 35 healthy adults were included. ECG recordings were obtained before and 3 months after anti-epileptic treatment among patients with epilepsy. For both groups, Tp-e and Tp-e/QT ratio were measured using a 12-lead ECG device. Results - Tp-e interval, Tpe/QT and Tp-e/QTc ratios were found to be higher in the patient group than in the control group (p<0.05, for all), while QTmax ratio was significantly lower in the patient group. After 3 months of AED therapy, significant increases in QT max, QTc max, QTcd, Tp-e, Tp-e/QT, and Tp-e/QTc were found among the patients (p<0.05). When the arrhythmic effects of the drugs before and after treatment were compared, especially in the valproic acid group, there were significant increases in Tp-e interval, Tp-e/QT and Tp-e/QTc values after three months of treatment (p<0.05). Carbamazepine and levetiracetam groups were not statistically significant in terms of pre- and post-treatment values. Conclusions - It was concluded that an arrhythmogenic environment may be associated with the disease, and patients who received AED monotherapy may need to be followed up more closely for arrhythmia.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Decisional collisions between evidence and experience based medicine in care of people with epilepsy]


[Background – Based on the literature and his long-term clinical practice the author stresses the main collisions of evidence and experience based medicine in the care of people with epilepsy. Purpose – To see, what are the professional decisions of high responsibility in the epilepsy-care, in whose the relevant clinical research is still lacking or does not give a satisfactory basis. Methods – Following the structure of the Hungarian Guideline the author points the critical situations and decisions. He explains also the causes of the dilemmas: the lack or uncertainty of evidences or the difficulty of scientific investigation of the situation. Results – There are some priorities of experience based medicine in the following areas: definition of epilepsy, classification of seizures, etiology – including genetic background –, role of precipitating and provoking factors. These are able to influence the complex diagnosis. In the pharmacotherapy the choice of the first drug and the optimal algorithm as well as the tasks during the care are also depends on personal experiences sometimes contradictory to the official recommendations. Same can occur in the choice of the non-pharmacological treatments and rehabilitation. Discussion and conclusion – Personal professional experiences (and interests of patients) must be obligatory accessories of evidence based attitude, but for achieving the optimal results, in some situations they replace the official recommendations. Therefore it is very important that the problematic patients do meet experts having necessary experiences and also professional responsibility to help in these decisions. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[LADA type diabetes, celiac diasease, cerebellar ataxia and stiff person syndrome. A rare association of autoimmune disorders]

SOÓS Zsuzsanna, SALAMON Mónika, ERDEI Katalin, KASZÁS Nóra, FOLYOVICH András, SZŰCS Anna, BARCS Gábor, ARÁNYI Zsuzsanna, SKALICZKI József, VADASDI Károly, WINKLER Gábor

[Celiac disease - in its typical form - is a chronic immunemediated enteropathy with typical clinical symptoms that develops against gliadin content of cereal grains, and is often associated with other autoimmune diseases. In cases of atypical manifestation classic symptoms may be absent or mild, and extra-intestinal symptoms or associated syndromes dominate clinical picture. The authors present a longitudinal follow-up of such a case. A 63-years old woman was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 19, and with progressive limb ataxia at the age of 36, which was initially thought to be caused by cerebellar atrophy, later probably by stiff person syndrome. At the age 59, her diabetes mellitus manifested with type 2 diabetic phenotype, but based on GAD positivity later was reclassified as type 1 diabetes. Only the last check-up discovered the celiac disease, retrospectively explaining the entire disease course and neurological symptoms. By presenting this case, the authors would like to draw attention to the fact that one should think of the possibility of celiac disease when cerebellar ataxia, progressive neurological symptoms and diabetes are present at the same time. An early diagnosis may help to delay the progression of disease and help better treatment.]

Clinical Neuroscience

EEG-based connectivity in patients with partial seizures with and without generalization

DÖMÖTÖR Johanna, CLEMENS Béla, EMRI Miklós, PUSKÁS Szilvia, FEKETE István

Objective - to investigate the neurophysiological basis of secondary generalization of partial epileptic seizures. Patients and methods - inter-ictal, resting-state EEG functional connectivity (EEGfC) was evaluated and compared: patients with exclusively simple partial seizures (sp group) were compared to patients with simple partial and secondary generalized seizures (spsg group); patients with exclusively complex partial seizures (cp group) were compared to patients with cp and secondary generalized seizures (cpsg group); the collapsed sp+cp group (spcp) was compared to those who had exclusively secondary generalized seizures (sg group). EEGfC was computed from 21-channel waking EEG. 3 minutes of waking EEG background activity was analyzed by the LORETA Source Correlation (LSC) software. Current source density time series were computed for 23 pre-defined cortical regions (ROI) in each hemisphere, for the 1-25 Hz very narrow bands (1 Hz bandwidth). Thereafter Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated between all pairs of ROI time series in the same hemisphere. Z-scored correlation coefficients were compared at the group level (t-tests and correction for multiple comparisons by local false discovery rate, FDR). Results - Statistically significant (corrected p<0.05) EEGfC differences emerged at specific frequencies (spsg > sg; cpsg > cp), and at many frequencies (sg > spcp). The findings indicated increased coupling between motor cortices and several non-motor areas in patients with partial and sg seizures as compared to patients with partial seizures and no sg seizures. Further findings suggested increased coupling between medial parietal-occipital areas (structural core of the cortex) and lateral hemispheric areas. Conclusion - increased inter-ictal EEGfC is associated with habitual occurrence of secondary generalized seizures.