Clinical Neuroscience

[Excerpts of achievements of pharmaceutical cerebro-vascular protection, with especial regard to the statins]


MAY 20, 2011

Clinical Neuroscience - 2011;64(05-06)

[Despite that hypercholesterinemia is not a risk factor of stroke, treatment with statins is able to reduce these events in a clinically relevant degree. Intervention trials suggest that while for primary prevention, statins are effective in conventional dose, after stroke or TIA this is true only if LDL-cholesterol is reduced below 1,8 mmol/L. To reach this goal, usually intensive antilipid treatment is necessary. There are studies showing beneficial impacts of other lipid drugs, beyond statins, i.e. fibrates and fish oil (among the settings of primary, and secondary preventions, respectively). Against cerebro-vascular events, pleitropic effects of some antihypertensive and antidiabetic medications can also be established.]



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[The role of sleep dynamics and delta homeostasis in cognitive functions]


[The paper is aimed to introduce the neuronal network basis of dynamic sleep processes, including the micro-structure of sleep and the relationship of sleep dynamics with homeostatic regulation and plastic changes during sleep. Newer studies tend to show that beyond the wellknown long-term homeostatic and circadian regulation of NREM sleep, sleep is regulated by a stimulus and arousal dependent flexible defense system, the elements of which participate in sleep delta homeostasis. Within the EEG elements of sleep a more larger amount represents reactible type as it was thought previously.. Both the events of wake state and sensory input during sleep are shaping the sleep EEG in a function- and localisation specific way and the next day cognitive functios are determined by these changes.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Antinociception by endogenous ligands at peripheral level]

HORVÁTH Gyöngyi, MÉCS László

[It is well known that a multitude of ligands and receptors are involved in the nociceptive system, and some of them increase, while others inhibit the pain sensation both peripherally and centrally. These substances, including neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, hormones, cytokines etc., may modify the activity of nerves involved in the pain pathways. It is also well known that the organism can express very effective antinociception in different circumstances, and during such situations the levels of various endogenous ligands change. Accordingly, a very exciting field of pain research relates to the roles of endogenous ligands. The peripheral action may possibly be extremely important, because low doses of the endogenous ligands may reduce pain without disphoric side-effects, and without the abused potential typical of centrally acting ligands. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the endogenous ligands that can induce antinociception, discusses their effects on different receptors and focuses on their action at peripheral level. We found 17 different endogenous ligands which produced antinociception after their topical administration. The results suggest an important direction for the development of pain strategies that focus on the local administrations of different endogenous ligands.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Neurology 2009: a survey of the neurological capacities, their utilization and neurologists based on the 2009 reports of the institutions in Hungary]


[A detailed information on the quantitative and qualitative features and the regional distribution of the current neurological services at the national level is necessary for the planning of health care provision for the future. We present the characteristics of the current neurological services analyzing the database of the National Health Insurance Fund for 2009. This database is exceptionally large and detailed compared to similar data sources in Europe. We examine the number of patients and cases treated both in hospitals and at outpatient units, and also present the distribution of major diagnoses based on ICD-10. We discuss the major problems in three groups: the decrease of capacities; the fragmentation of capacities; and the uneven distribution of workload on neurologists. Number of neurological hospital beds, weekly hours of neurological outpatient capacity, and the number of neurologists are presented. In the analysis of the utilization of capacities we give the number of patients, the number of cases and the financing of the professional performance. We characterize the workload of neurologists by the mean daily number of patients seen by a neurologist, by the number of outpatient units served by one neurologist during the year, and by the proportion of the total workload on each neurologist. Neurological capacities significantly decreased in the period of 2004-2009: 12 hospital neurological wards were closed, and with further decreases in bed numbers the original 3733 neurological beds decreased to 2812. In four counties - Bács, Heves, Tolna and Vas - only a single neurological ward survived. The capacity withdrawn from inpatient care was not transferred into outpatient services. In 2009 there were 179 hospitals and 419 independent outpatient centers in Hungary. Of the 179 hospitals 55 had neurological beds and a further 42 hospitals offered only outpatient neurological service. Neurological outpatient service is offered in Hungary altogether by 185 institutions: 97 hospitals and 88 independent outpatient centers. Suboptimal outpatient services (less than 30 hours per week) cover 57% of the outpatient capacities. There is an over fivefold difference among counties in capacities: the number of inhabitants per hospital bed ranges between 2167-13 017, and the number of inhabitants per one neurologist outpatient hour between 495-2663. In 2009 there were 1310 board certified neurologists in Hungary, of these only 834 participated at least once during the year in exclusively neurological service, and there was a large difference in workload among individual neurologists. The gross mean income of a 30-hour-per-week average neurological outpatient practice based on performance reports was 871 thousand HUF (about 4350 USD or 3160 EUR) per month. In recent years the neurological capacities significantly decreased and fragmented, do not correspond regionally to the number of population to be served, and their profitability does not cover the conditions of self sufficient operation. This analysis will help health care providers and decision makers to recognize and address the current problems and design the neurological health care system for the coming years.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Our clinical experience with zonisamide in resistant generalized epilepsy syndromes]

KELEMEN Anna, RÁSONYI György, NEUWIRTH Magdolna, BARCS Gábor, SZŰCS Anna, JAKUS Rita, FABÓ Dániel, JUHOS Vera, PÁLFY Beatrix, HALÁSZ Péter

[Purpose - Zonisamide is licensed in the European Union for adjunctive therapy for partial epilepsy, but its efficacy in generalized epilepsy was less explored. Methods - This prospective observational study included 47 patients (mean age 29 years, range 3-50) with different resistant generalized epilepsy syndromes: idiopathic generalized syndromes (IGE) 15 patients, (juvenile myoclonic epilepsy four, absence epilepsy four, myoclonic absence two, unclassified IGE five), progressive myoclonic epilepsy type 1 (PME1) four, severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy (SMEI) three, borderline SMEI three, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome/secondary generalized epileptic encephalopties 23 patients. All patients were followed up for at least six months. The mean dose given was 367 mg/day (range 100-600 mg/day), the patients received at least one and no more than two concomitant AE. Response was defined as more than 50% seizure reduction or seizure freedom. Results - The best effect was achieved in PME one, all the patients were responders. Myoclonic seizures were reduced 80%, none of the patients had generalized tonic clonic (GTC) seizures. In two of the four patients all other antiepileptics were tapered of (including piracetam), so they were GTC seizure and almost myoclonia free on zonisamide only. Responder rates were in GEFS ± SME 62.5%, in resistant IGE 62.5%, and in epileptic encephalopathies 33.3% patients. Tolerance after initial efficacy developed in six patients. Adverse effects were mild: weight loss, somnolence and confusion were repeatedly reported. Three patients reported cognitive improvement. Conclusion - Clinical benefit of a broad spectrum antiepileptic zonisamide extends across seizure types, ages and epilepsy syndromes. The efficacy in PME proved to be excellent.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Neuropsychiatry - in Hungary and other countries]


All articles in the issue

Related contents

Clinical Neuroscience

[The Comprehensive Aphasia Test in Hungarian]


[In this paper we present the Comprehensive Aphasia Test-Hungarian (CAT-H; Zakariás and Lukács, in preparation), an assessment tool newly adapted to Hungarian, currently under standardisation. The test is suitable for the assessment of an acquired language disorder, post-stroke aphasia. The aims of this paper are to present 1) the main characteristics of the test, its areas of application, and the process of the Hungarian adaptation and standardisation, 2) the first results from a sample of Hungarian people with aphasia and healthy controls. Ninety-nine people with aphasia, mostly with unilateral, left hemisphere stroke, and 19 neurologically intact control participants were administered the CAT-H. In addition, we developed a questionnaire assessing demographic and clinical information. The CAT-H consists of two parts, a Cognitive Screening Test and a Language Test. People with aphasia performed significantly worse than the control group in all language and almost all cognitive subtests of the CAT-H. Consistent with our expectations, the control group performed close to ceiling in all subtests, whereas people with aphasia exhibited great individual variability both in the language and the cognitive subtests. In addition, we found that age, time post-onset, and type of stroke were associated with cognitive and linguistic abilities measured by the CAT-H. Our results and our experiences clearly show that the CAT-H provides a comprehensive profile of a person’s impaired and intact language abilities and can be used to monitor language recovery as well as to screen for basic cognitive deficits in aphasia. We hope that the CAT-H will be a unique resource for rehabilitation professionals and aphasia researchers in aphasia assessment and diagnostics in Hungary. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

The applications of transcranial Doppler in ischemic stroke


Background: This overview provides a summary of the applications of transcranial Doppler (TCD) in ischemic stroke. Results: A fast-track neurovascular ultrasound protocol has been developed for detecting occlusion or stenosis. The technique is more reliable in the carotid area than in the posterior circulation. By monitoring the pulsatility index the in­crea­sed intracranial pressure can be diagnosed. TIBI score was developed for grading residual flow. TCD has been shown to accurately predict complete or any recanalization. Regarding recanalization, TCD has a sensitivity of 92%, a specificity of 88%, a positive predictive value of 96%, a negative predictive value of 78% and an overall accuracy of 91%, respectively. Sonothrombolysis seemed to be a promising application but randomized controlled trials have shown that it does not improve clinical outcome. TCD examination can detect microembolic signals (MES) which are associated with an increased risk of stroke. Micro­em­boli were detected in symptomatic and asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis and during carotid endarterectomy. The number of microemboli can be decreased by antithrombotic therapy. Contrast en­chan­ced examination and Valsalva maneuver with continuous TCD monitoring can accurately screen for right-to-left shunt.

Clinical Neuroscience

Hyperhomocysteinemia in female migraineurs of childbearing ages


Background and purpose - Migraine is a risk factor for ischemic stroke in women of childbearing ages. Previous researches revealed a higher prevalence of hyperhomocysteinemia in migraineurs. Possible differences on the frequencies of hyperhomocysteinemia between migraine with aura and migraine without aura could contribute the established variances in stroke risk between these migraine types. Therefore, we aimed to search if the frequency of hyperhomocysteinemia was different between these subtypes of migraine or not. Methods - We analyzed the findings of serum homocysteine levels in female migraineurs of 16-49 years old who admitted to our outpatient clinic. Results - Homocysteine level was elevated in 13.3% of study population. There were not any significant differences on median serum homocysteine levels between migraine with aura (8.0 mikromol/L) and without aura (8.5 mikromol/L). (p=0.426) The frequencies of hyperhomocysteinemia were also similar (9.1% versus 16.7%, respectively; p=0.373). Correlation analyses did not reveal any linear correlation between ages and homocysteine levels either in group of migraine with aura or in group of migraine without aura (p=0.417 and p=0.647, respectively). Similarly, any linear correlation between disease ages and homocysteine levels either in group of migraine with aura or in group of migraine without aura was not detected (p=0.359 and p=0.849, respectively). Conclusion - The median serum homocysteine levels and the frequencies of hyperhomocysteinemia are similar between migraine with aura and without aura in women of childbearing ages. Therefore, the variances on stroke risk ratios between these types of migraine are probably not originated from the differences of serum homocysteine status.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Hypertension and it’s therapy in acut phase of stroke]


[The elevation of blood pressure above normal and premorbid values within the first 24 hours of symptom onset in patients with stroke is relatively common. This acute hypertensive response is usually managed by different group of physicians, including general practitioners, emergency physicians, neurologists, internists, intensivisists. Management strategies of this phenomenon vary considerably. The first consideration in blood pressure management in this clinical setting is to determine whether the patient might be a candidate for thrombolytic therapy. For those patients are not entitled to that therapy premorbide blood pressure values and the type of stroke are the key data for sufficient control of hypertension. In patients with chronic hypertension, the lower end of the autoregulation curve is shifted toward high pressure and an impaired autoregulation due to acute stroke may increase the risk for further brain tissue damage if the blood pressure is inadequately controlled. The current guidelines recommend lowering blood pressure in patients with an intracranial haemorrhage below 160- 180/100-105 mmHg, if the patient is normotensive, while the target level is 180/105 mmHg in hipertensive patients. However, in ischaemic stroke no treatment is recommended if systolic blood pressure <220 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure <120 mmHg in the acute stage. Clinical studies are rare which assess the effectiveness of different antihipertensive drugs in acute stroke. The first strong evidence came from the ACCESS (The Acute Candesartan Cilexetil Therapy in Stroke Survivors) trial which suggested that a 7-day course of candesartan after an acute ischaemic stroke significantly improves cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Immune responses and neuroimmune modulation in the pathogenesis of acute ischemic stroke and poststroke infections]

PAPP Viktória, MOLNÁR Tihamér, BÁNÁTI Miklós, ILLÉS Zsolt

[Acute-onset cerebrovascular diseases are connected to a number of immunological changes. Here, we summarize immune responses participating in the evolution of atherosclerotic plaques and poststroke local immune responses in the injured CNS as well as in the systemic circulation. Ischemic injury of the CNS alters the balanced neuroimmune modulation resulting in CIDS, the central nervous system injury-induced immune deficiency syndrome. Due to the immunodepression and reduced pro-inflammatory immune responses, the susceptibility for infection is increased; indeed, poststroke infection plays a major role in stroke-related mortality. On the other hand, CIDS may protect against damaging autoimmune responses elicited by exposed CNS antigens. Investigation of immune responses related to ischemic stroke may result in novel therapies indicated by an increasing number of experimental and clinical trials altering poststroke immune responses and preventing infections.]