Clinical Neuroscience

[Epilepsy in the elderly]

NIKL János

MARCH 20, 2011

Clinical Neuroscience - 2011;64(03-04)

[The incidence of epilepsy is higher among the elderly, the most rapidly growing segment of the population, than in any other age group. New-onset seizures in elderly patients are typically symptomatic or cryptogenic partial seizures that require long-term treatment. Epilepsy in the elderly is a frequently occuring pathology, differing in etiology, clinical presentation and prognosis from those of young people. Establishing the diagnosis of epilepsy in old age can be more difficult than in younger patients due to the extensive range of differential diagnoses and a higher prevalence of concomitant disease. Beyond a certain age physiological and pathophysiological changes can affect the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of antiepileptic drugs(AEDs), increasing the risk of pharmacological interactions due to polypharmacy. Furthermore, the elderly people are sensitive to advers events of AEDs, as for example, to cognitive disturbances, osteoporosis. Several of newer AEDs have good safety and cognitive effect profiles and have no interactions with other drugs. The treatment strategies are demanding: they must take into consideration the co-morbidity, co-medication, alterations in drug metabolism, and the effects on aging body. These factors make the management of epilepsy in the elderly particulary challenging, but with appropiate pharmacological treatment most elderly people with epilepsy will remain seizurefree.]



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Clinical Neuroscience

[Interdisciplinary approach of vestibular system impairment]


[In the first part of this review the definition of vertigo/dizziness was discussed. The major difference between the two signs is the exsistence of the direction, which is specific for vertigo. Dizziness is a frequent complaint in the clinical practice. Its frequency is increasing with advance of age, to intimate the play of declining cognitive process in the pathogenesis of its. The popular health significance of vertigo is in the rowing number of the patients. The onset of the most cases with acute vertigo appears between secundums and minutes so the patients will be provided in circumstances of emergency department. First of all three form schould be take into account: neuronitis vestibularis, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and Meniere syndrome. Without tipical periferal signs of vertigo, central cause should be searched, principally stroke (lysis possibility). The differential diagnose of the different dizzeness/vertigo forms according to the elapsed time of the onset or congenital and acquired nystagmus was created in tables. The recommendations of the therapy of acute and chronic dizziness/ vertigo syndroms are, lack of results of evidence based trials doubtful. The more often used drugs based on clinical trials are discussed as vinpocetine, betahistine and piracetam. The in vitro and in vivo data suggest that the last molecule is eligible to use both in periferal and central type of vertigo syndroms.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[EEG source localization using LORETA (Low Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography)]

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[Electroencephalography (EEG) has excellent temporal resolution, but the spatial resolution is poor. Different source localization methods exist to solve the so-called inverse problem, thus increasing the accuracy of spatial localization. This paper provides an overview of the history of source localization and the main categories of techniques are discussed. LORETA (Low Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography) is introduced in details: technical informations are discussed and localization properties of LORETA method are compared to other inverse solutions. Validation of the method with different imaging techniques is also discussed. This paper reviews several publications using LORETA both in healthy persons and persons with different neurological and psychiatric diseases. Finally future possible applications are discussed.]

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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

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Clinical Neuroscience

Relationship between Status Epilepticus Severity Score and etiology in adult NCSE patients

GENC Fatma, ERDAL Abidin, AKCA Gizem, KARACAY Ertan, GÖKSU Özaydın Eylem, KUTLU Gülnihal, GÖMCELI Bicer Yasemin

Purpose - Nonconvulsive status epilepticus (NCSE) is a heterogeneous, severe neurological disorder of different etiologies. In this study, the outcomes of NCSE episodes was assessed in a large series of adult patients. Our objective was to evaluate relationship between Status Epilepticus Severity Score (STESS) and etiology and the role of etiological factors on predicting the outcomes. Method - In this retrospective study, the medical records of 95 patients over 18 years of age who were diagnosed with NCSE between June 2011 and December 2015 were reviewed. Their treatment and follow-up for NCSE was performed at the Epilepsy Unit in Department of Neurology, Antalya Research and Training Hospital. Etiological factors thought to be responsible for NCSE episodes as well as the prognostic data were retrieved. The etiological factors were classified into three groups as those with a known history of epilepsy (Group 1), primary neurological disorder (Group 2), or systemic/unknown etiology (Group 3). STESS was retrospectively applied to patients. Results - There were 95 participants, 59 of whom were female. Group 1, Group 2, and Group 3 consisted of 11 (7 female), 54 (33 female), and 30 (19 female) patients, respectively. Of the 18 total deaths, 12 occurred in Group 2, and 6 in Group 3. The negative predictive value for a STESS score of ≤ 2 was 93.88% (+LR 2.05 95% CI: 1.44-2.9 and -LR 0.3 95% CI 0.10-0.84 ) in the overall study group. While the corresponding values for Group 1 (patients with epilepsy), Group 2 (patients with primary neurological disorder), and group 3 (patients with systemic or unknown etiology) were 100%, 92.59% (+LR 2.06 95%CI: 1.32-3.21 and -LR 0.28 95% CI 0.08-1.02 ) 83.33% (+LR 1.14 95%CI: 0.59-2.9 and -LR 0.80 95% CI 0.23-2.73). Conclusions - This study included the one of the largest patients series ever reported in whom STESS, a clinical scoring system proposed for use in patients with status epilepticus, has been implemented. Although STESS appeared to be quite useful for predicting a favorable outcome in NCSE patients with epilepsy and primary neurological disorders, its predictive value in patients with systemic or unknown etiology was lower. Further prospective studies including larger NCSE samples are warranted.

Clinical Neuroscience

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Clinical Neuroscience

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[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.]