Clinical Neuroscience

[Event-related potentials and clinical symptoms in schizophrenia]

DOMJÁN Nóra1, CSIFCSÁK Gábor2, JANKA Zoltán1

JANUARY 30, 2016

Clinical Neuroscience - 2016;69(01-02)


[The investigation of schizophrenia’s aetiology and pathomechanism is of high importance in neurosciences. In the recent decades, analyzing event-related potentials have proven to be useful to reveal the neuropsychological dysfunctions in schizophrenia. Even the very early stages of auditory stimulus processing are impaired in this disorder; this might contribute to the experience of auditory hallucinations. The present review summarizes the recent literature on the relationship between auditory hallucinations and event-related potentials. Due to the dysfunction of early auditory sensory processing, patients with schizophrenia are not able to locate the source of stimuli and to allocate their attention appropriately. These deficits might lead to auditory hallucinations and problems with daily functioning. Studies involving high risk groups may provide tools for screening and early interventions; thus improving the prognosis of schizophrenia. ]


  1. Szegedi Tudományegyetem, Általános Orvostudományi Kar, Pszichiátriai Klinika, Szeged
  2. Szegedi Tudományegyetem, Bölcsészettudományi Kar, Pszichológiai Intézet, Szeged



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[Financing of medicines for treatment of rare diseases of the nervous system. orphan drugs in rare neurological diseases]


[Objectives – Nervous system involvement is expected up to 60-70% in case of rare diseases. This article aims to present the financial methods and expenditures of rare neurological diseases’ orphan medicinal products being financed in the frame of Hungarian social insurance system in 2012. Methods – The subsidized orphan medicines were selected on the Orphanet portal 2012 while orphans financed by compessionate use were provided by the Hungarian National Insurance Fund Administration (OEP) database. Three products exist without orphan designation, however those are intended for the treatment of rare neurological ailments. The medicines were categorized by financial methods and determined by costs. Results – Numerically, out of 36 pieces of subsidized orphan or orphan criteria fulfilled medicines 17 were authorized for the treatments of rare neurological diseases in the year of 2012. Most of the drugs (14 pieces) were to be financed in the frame of compassionate use by the reimbursement system. The cost amount of social insurance for 387 rare neurological disease patients reached more than 4.5 billion HUF (1.4% of the total pharmaceutical budget in outpatient care). Conclusions – In Hungary half of the subsidized orphans are intended for the treatments of rare neurological ailments. 30% of the total amount of social insurance for rare diseases’ medicinal treatments were used to subsidizing rare neurological disease patients in 2012. Most of the orphan medicines were to be financed in the frame of compassionate use by the reimbursement system for outpatient care. Consequently, a great deal of crucial problems occurred in relation with the unconventional subsidizing method. At the end of 2012 new financial methods have been elaborated and introduced in a pilot phase from 1 January 2013. In spite of the high cost commitment, nearly the entire diagnosed rare disease subpopulation have been provided with subsidized treatments in Hungary. In order to facilitate the acces to orphan medicines, collaboration shall be achieved by financing authority and professionals for identificating the descently sustainable, affordable and viable financial method. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

Unanswered questions in the transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment of patients with depression

MORVAI Szabolcs, NAGY Attila, KOVÁCS Attila, MÓRÉ Csaba, BERECZ Roland, FRECSKA Ede

According to the WHO fact sheet depression is a common mental disorder affecting 350 million people of all ages worldwide. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a technique which allows the investigator to stimulate and study cortical functions in healthy subjects and patients suffering from various mental and neurological disorders. In the early 1990s, studies revealed that it is possible to evoke long term mood changes in healthy volunteers by rapid rate repetitive, TMS (rTMS) over the frontal cortex. Subsequent studies involving depressed patients found frontal cortical rTMS administered daily to be clinically effective. In the past two decades, numerous trials examined the therapeutic potential of rTMS application in the treatment of mood disorders with constantly evolving treatment protocols. The aim of this paper is to review the literature of the past two decades, focusing on trials addressing the efficacy and safety of rTMS in depressed patients. Our primary goal is to evaluate the results in order to direct future studies which may help investigators in the development of treatment protocols suitable in hospital settings. The time is not far when TMS devices will be used routinely by practitioners primarily for therapeutic purpose rather than clinical research. To our knowledge, a widely accepted “gold standard" that would offer the highest efficacy, with the best tolerability has not been established yet. In order to approach this goal, the most important factors to be addressed by further studies are: localization, frequency, intensity, concurrent medication, maintenance treatments, number of pulses, trains, unilateral, or bilateral mode of application.

Clinical Neuroscience

Long term follow-up of lesional and non-lesional patients with electrical status epilepticus in slow wave sleep


Objectives – A retrospective study has been done at the Bethesda Children’s Hospital Epilepsy Center with those patients whose EEG records fulfilled in one or more records the criteria of electrical status epilepticus in slow wave sleep (ESES) pattern, occupying at least 75% of NREM sleep with bilateral discharges, and had detailed disease history and long term follow-up data, between 2000 and 2012. Patients and methods – Thirty-three patients (mean 11.1±4.2 years of age) were studied by 171 sleep EEG records. Sleep was recorded after sleep deprivation or during spontaneous sleep at least for one hour length of NREM. From the 492 EEGs, 171 sleep records were performed (average five/patient). Average follow-up time was 7.5 years. Eighty-two ESES records have been analyzed in 15 non-lesional and 18 lesional (11 with dysgenetic and seven with perinatal - asphyxic or vascular origin) patients. Variability of seizure types, seizure frequency and frequency of status epilepticus was higher in the lesional group. Impairment of the cognitive functions was moderate and partial in the non-lesional, while severely damaged in the lesional group. Results – EEG records of 29 patients showed unihemispherial spike fields with a perpendicular axis (in anterior, medial and posterior variants) to the Sylvian fissure, regardless their lesional or non-lesional origin. Only three (1one non-lesional and two lesional) patients had bilateral synchronous spike-wave discharges with bilateral symmetric frontocentral spike fields. The individual discharges of the sleep EEG pattern were very similar to the awake interictal records except their extension in time and field, their increased number, amplitude, and continuity of them and furthermore in the increased trans-hemispheral propagation and their synchronity. Conclusions – Assumed circuits involved in the pathomechanism of discharges during NREM sleep in ESES are discussed based on our findings.

Clinical Neuroscience

Internet and stroke awareness in the young hungarian population

BARI Ferenc, TÓTH Anna, PRIBOJSZKI Magda, NYÁRI Tibor, FORCZEK Erzsébet

Background – Although stroke mortality rate in Hungary has tapered off over the last years, it is still twice the European average. This statistic is alarming and a coordinated response is needed to deal with this situation when considering new ways of communication. There are currently more than 300 websites in Hungarian related to stroke prevention, acute stroke treatment, recovery and rehabilitation. Aims and/or hypothesis – We sought to identify base level of stroke knowledge of the Hungarian students and the efficiency with which the knowledge disseminated by internet is actually utilized. Methods – We surveyed 321 high-school and university students to determine their ability to extract specific information regarding stroke from Hungarian websites. The base level of knowledge was established by asking 15 structured, close-ended questions. After completing the questionnaire, students were asked to search individually on stroke in the internet where all the correct answers were available. After a 25-min search session they answered the same questionnaire. We recorded and analyzed all their internet activity during the search period. Results – The students displayed a fair knowledge on the basics of stroke but their results did not change significantly after the 25-min search (53±13% vs. 63±14%). Only correct information given on demographic facts improved significantly. Most of the students used very simple search strategies and engines and only the first 5-10 web-pages were visited. Conclusion – Analysis of the most often visited web-pages revealed that although stroke-related Hungarian web-based resources contain almost all the important and required information the unsuitable structure, lack of simplicity and verbosity hinder their effective public utilization.

Clinical Neuroscience

Comparison of hospitalized acute stroke patients’ characteristics using two large central-eastern european databases

ORBÁN-KIS Károly, SZŐCS Ildikó, FEKETE Klára, MIHÁLKA László, CSIBA László, BERECZKI Dániel, SZATMÁRI Szabolcs

Objectives – Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the European region. In spite of a decreasing trend, stroke related mortality remains higher in Hungary and Romania when compared to the EU average. This might be due to higher incidence, increased severity or even less effective care. Methods – In this study we used two large, hospital based databases from Targu Mures (Romania) and Debrecen (Hungary) to compare not only the demographic characteristics of stroke patients from these countries but also the risk factors, as well as stroke severity and short term outcome. Results – The gender related distribution of patients was similar to those found in the European Survey, whereas the mean age of patients at stroke onset was similar in the two countries but lower by four years. Although the length of hospital stay was significantly different in the two countries it was still much shorter (about half) than in most reports from western European countries. The overall fatality rate in both databases, regardless of gender was comparable to averages from Europe and other countries. In both countries we found a high number of risk factors, frequently overlapping. The prevalence of risk factors (hypertension, smoking, hyperlipidaemia) was higher than those reported in other countries, which can explain the high ratio of recurring stroke. Discussion – In summary, the comparatively analyzed data from the two large databases showed several similarities, especially regarding the high number of modifiable risk factors, and as such further effort is needed regarding primary prevention.

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Clinical Neuroscience

TLR4 (Toll-like receptor-4) expression and frontal-cingulate volumes in schizophrenia

LI Hua, KÉRI Szabolcs

Evidence suggests that pathogen-associated pattern recognition receptors (Toll-like receptors, TLRs) are implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. TLRs are important in both peripheral immune responses and neuronal plasticity. However, the relationship between peripheral TLR expression and regional brain volumes is unknown in schizophrenia. We therefore assessed 30 drug-naïve, first-episode patients with schizophrenia. TLR4+/TLR1+ monocytes were measured using flow-cytometry. High resolution magnetic resonance images (T1 MRI) were obtained and analyzed with FreeSurfer. Results revealed significant negative correlations between the percentage of TLR4+ monocytes, mean fluorescent intensities, and brain volumes in frontal and anterior cingulate regions. The measures of TLR1+ monocytes did not show significant relationships with regional brain volumes. These results raise the possibility that abnormal TLR-activation is associated with decreased brain volumes in schizophrenia.

Clinical Neuroscience

Symptom profiles and parental bonding in homicidal versus non-violent male schizophrenia patients

HALMAI Tamás, TÉNYI Tamás, GONDA Xénia

Objective - To compare the intensity and the profile of psychotic symptoms and the characteristics of parental bonding of male schizophrenia patients with a history of homicide and those without a history of violent behaviour. Clinical question - We hypothesized more intense psychotic symptoms, especially positive symptoms as signs of a more severe psychopathology in the background of homicidal behaviour. We also hypothesized a more negatively perceived pattern (less Care more Overprotection) of parental bonding in the case of homicidal schizophrenia patients than in non-violent patients and non-violent healthy controls. Method and subjects - Symptom severity and symptom profiles were assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale in a group of male schizophrenia patients (n=22) with the history of committed or attempted homicide, and another group (n=19) of male schizophrenia patients without a history of violent behaviour. Care- and Overprotection were assessed using the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI) in a third group of non-violent healthy controls (n=20), too. Results - Positive, negative and general psychopathology symptoms in the homicidal schizophrenia group were significantly (p<0.005) more severe than in the non-violent schizophrenia group. Non-violent schizophrenia patients scored lower on Care and higher on Overprotection than violent patients and healthy controls. Homicidal schizophrenia patients showed a pattern similar to the one in the healthy control group. Conclusions - It seems imperative to register intense positive psychotic symptoms as predictive markers for later violent behaviour. In the subgroup of male homicidal schizophrenia patients negatively experienced parental bonding does not appear to be major contributing factor to later homicidal behaviour.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Multilocus genetic analysis implicates neurodevelopment and immune system in the etiology of schizophrenia]

PULAY Attila József, KOLLER Júlia, NAGY László, MOLNÁR Mária Judit, RÉTHELYI János

[Background - Schizophrenia is a severe psychiatric disorder of poorly understood etiology, characterized by high heritability, multifactorial inheritance and high heterogeneity. Multilocus associaton methods may reduce the genetic heterogeneity and improve the probability of replication between analyses. Objectives - The aims of our study were twofold: 1. To analyse genetic risk factors of schizophrenia by using multilocus genetic tests. 2. To assess the replication probability attributable to the various multilocus tests. Subjects - Discovery set: case-parent trios of unaffected parents and affected probands with a DSM-IV schizophrenia diagnosis (n=16); replication set: schizophrenia cases and unaffected controls (n=5337). Methods - Associations of single nucleotide and indel markers were transferred to gene- and geneset-based associations, furthermore to geneset-enrichment tests and functional annotation cluster analyses in a two-staged designs. Associations with p<0.1 from the discovery set were tested in the replication sample. Familywise p-value correction for multiple comparisons were performed during the replication step. Results - After correction for multiplicity, no significant association or enrichment were detected for gene-based nor canonical pathway analyses, but significant association of the 14q31 cytoband and enrichments of the 5q31 and Xq13 cytobands were found (p_corr: 0.002, 0.006 and 0.048, respectively). Functional annotation clustering yielded statistically significant enrichment scores for clusters of splicing/alternative splicing, neurodevelopment and embryonic development. Improvements in replication probabilty were found with increased test complexity (P_rep: 0, 0.015, 0.21). Conclusions - Our results corroborate the involvement of neurodevelopment, synaptic plasticity and immune mechanisms in the etiology of schizophrenia. Also, our findings indicated improvement of replication probability by using multilocus genetic analyses. ]

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

[Clozapine - the last resort antipsychotic for treatment resistant schizophrenia ]


[More than 60 years old is the first antipschychotic drug that is operating atypically as well. With its multifarious history it gained the golden standard title of all therapy resistent schisophrenic cases for the last three decades. In this article we place clozapine on the map of psychopharmacology and review its history’s most important chapters. In the third part we discuss some of the most relevant effects and side effects of clozapine in the light of latest research and practical considerations touching the problem of the optimal start timing. ]