Clinical Neuroscience

[EXECUTIVE DYSFUNCTION IN FRONTAL LESIONS AND FRONTAL EPILEPSY]

TÁRNOK Zsanett, BARSI Péter, GÁDOROS Júlia, HALÁSZ Péter

JULY 30, 2006

Clinical Neuroscience - 2006;59(07-08)

[Background - To explore the functions of the frontal lobe that are associated with high order cognitive and behavioral aspects such as the organization and execution of thoughts and behavior by neuropsychological methods is difficult. These so called executive functions are in close connection with the prefrontal thalamocortical circuits, damage of which can cause deficits in cognitive functions and even changes in personality. Methods - The aim of this study is to present a neuropsychological battery for testing frontal lobe functions. 31 patients (with frontal epilepsy and/or frontal lesion) and 38 healthy control subjects participated in the study. The control subjects were matched to the patient group in age, gender and education. Results - Comparing to the controls the patient group showed significant deficits in most of the measured executive functions, except two tests which show that the short time selective attention is preserved. We divided the patient group into three subgroups (frontal epilepsy only FLE, frontal lesion only FL, frontal lesion and epilepsy FLE+FL) and we found that except working memory deficits and problems in inhibition, there were no difference between the FLE patients and the control group. We found most frequently perseveration and errors in a strategy making task among the FL (mainly medial) patients. We didn’t find any difference in these tests according to the lateralization of the lesion. Conclusion - In conclusion we found that working memory deficits and problems in inhibition differentiated the frontal patient group from the controls in all cases. We emphasize that in frontal epilepsy (with no reported MR lesion) there are the same type, however more limited neuropsychological alterations as in lesional frontal dysfunction.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[THE IMPACT OF MOOD ALTERATIONS ON CREATIVITY]

JANKA Zoltán

[Basic elements of artistic (and other) creativity are the technical-professional skill and knowledge, the special talent and ability and the willingness or motivation; one of which being absent results in partially realised creativities like juvenile, frustrated or abandoned types, respectively. Psychometric scales have been developed to measure everyday and eminent creativities, which show that creativity correlates with higher psychoticism, impulsivity and venturesomeness scores and with lower neuroticism and conformity scores of the personality test employed in a general population. Among the psychological components of creativity are the cognitive processes, mood, motivation, and personality traits. Regarding mood, a theory of “inverted U” has been proposed as elevation of mood facilitates creativity to a certain point after what extreme increase has an adverse effect on achievement. Analysing psychopathology and creativity among various professions, higher rates of psychopathology, especially affective symptoms, have been found in art-related professions. Examples of immortal poets, writers, painters, sculptors and composers, having created invaluable cultural treasures for the mankind, illustrate that many of them showed signs of mood alterations (unipolar or bipolar affective disorder spectrum) which were expressed in their artistic products.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[PARALLEL PROCESSING OF VISUAL INFORMATION]

BENEDEK György, JANÁKY Márta, BENEDEK Krisztina, KÉRI Szabolcs

[This is a survey on the function of parallel visual pathway with a special emphasis on its clinical implications. It is based on data in the literature and own results of our group. The paper primarily deals with the X, Y, W pathways and by the magnocellular, parvocellular and koniocellular visual pathways characterized by cells of various size as well as by nerve fibers of various thickness. Electrophysiological, microelectrode recording of single-unit activity makes the distinction between the pathways available in animal modell. Much more difficulties arise if we intend to characterize the pathways in humans or to detect the selective damage of one of these pathways in patients. The non-invasive diagnostic methods that could be used in the diagnosis are detailed here, too. Finally, the neurological, ophtalmological and psychological diseases are discussed in which a selective damage of any visual pathway is suspected. Summing it up, the survey provides evidences for the introduction of the novel concept of parallel pathways into the diagnostic aspects of ophthalmology, neurology and psychiatry.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[THE AUGMENTATION OF CLOZAPINE TREATMENT WITH ELECTROCONVULSIVE THERAPY]

GAZDAG Gábor, KOCSIS-FICZERE Nárcisz, TOLNA Judit

[Objectives - The assessment, in terms of safety and efficacy, of augmenting clozapine monotherapy, as well as combined psychopharmacotherapy involving clozapine, with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Method - Reviewed were the charts of patients who received clozapine-ECT treatment in the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of Semmelweis University between November 1999 and December 2003. Results - During the studied period there were altogether 43 patients treated with the combination of clozapine and electroconvulsive therapy. In the schizoaffective group, the values for post-electroconvulsive therapy CGI were significantly lower than either in the catatonic (Z=-3.72, p<0.01) or in the hebephrenic (Z=-3.17, p<0.01) group. Among the groups created on the basis of the number of augmentation strategies utilized, the clozapine+3 group consisted of patients significantly older than the clozapine+1 group (Z=2.45, p=0.01). In the clozapine monotherapy group, the values for post-electroconvulsive therapy CGI were significantly lower than in any of the groups that had received a combination of augmentations (monotherapy-1 augmentation: Z=-3.01, p<0.01; monotherapy-2 augmentation: Z=-2.89, p<0.01; monotherapy- 3 augmentation: Z=-2.41, p=0.01). Conclusions - According to our examinations, the augmentation of clozapine treatment with electroconvulsive therapy should be tried primarily on schizoaffective patients, in case the clozapine monotherapy is ineffective. The simultaneous use of different augmentation strategies is expected to increase only the side effects not the efficacy of the treatment.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[THE ROLE OF MICRO-AROUSALS IN THE REGULATION OF SLEEP]

HALÁSZ Péter

[This work give a short account about a three decades research of the sleep microstructure. The studies, executed by the Strassbourg, Budapest and Parma schools, paved the way of exploring the participation of micro-arousals in the sleep regulation. It was shown that micro-arousals, not leading to instant arousal but influencing the later course of sleep are weaved into the network of sleep. A certain class of microarousals differs from the traditional desyncronisation-type and in a paradox way result a rebound like mobilisation of sleeplike activity with deltas and K-complexes. The desynchronisation- and synchronisation-type micro-arousals show different distribution along the sleep cyclicity and may play different role in sleep regulation. On the basis of the studies dealing with micro-arousals we can assume that beside the traditional long time constant, brain stem driven tonic chemical regulation, an other phasic regulation, with shorter time constant, underlied by the micro-arousals, also exist. This kind of phasic regulation makes sleep flexible and possible to adapt the actual sleep course to the inner and outer demands. An other important role of micro-arousals in pathological sleeps is to provide a gate for the different pathological events, pinpointing the key-points where these events could be expected in the sleep process.]

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[Mentalizing deficit among patients with traumatic brain injury ]

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[Mentalization or theory of mind as an aspect of our social cognition, is our ability to infer mental states of others (intentions, desires, thoughts, emotions) and to predict their behavior accordingly. This function significantly affects our participation and orientation in the social world and plays an important role in conversational situations, social interactions, social integ­ration and adaptation. The brain regions that serve as the basis for mind-reading function can be damaged as a consequence of traumatic brain injury, which frequently occurs among the younger population. Traumatic brain injury can cause focal or diffuse cerebral injuries, often leading to theory of mind deficit. In this topic such publications were researched that compared theory of mind ability between traumatic brain injury patients and control subjects (comparative case-control studies). We searched for the studies in the following internet based/online databases: PubMed, Web of Science, ScienceDirect, Google Scholar, APA PsycNET (PsycARTICLES) and EBSCO Host. The search was performed using the following key word combinations: theory of mind or mentalizing or social cognition AND traumatic brain injury or head/brain injury or diffuse axonal injury. Based on the results of the included and processed studies (21 pc), traumatic brain injury often leads to mentalization deficit with different severity. With this present review we aim to draw attention to the fact that the appearance and severity of mind reading dysfunction can considerably affect the outcome of the disease, the length of rehabilitation time and the prognosis of traumatic brain injury patients. Besides this, with this review, we aim to take sides in whether theory of mind ability is domain-specific or domian-general based on studies including traumatic brain injury patients.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

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