Clinical Neuroscience


GIULIO Gabbiani

MARCH 30, 2014

Clinical Neuroscience - 2014;67(03-04)

[The souvenirs of Hans Selye as a teacher of graduate and post graduate students are presented and discussed. The main aim of his teaching was to orient the student toward importance and originality of findings.]



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Clinical Neuroscience



[Selye recognized the importance of activation of hypothalamic- pituitary-adrenal axis during stress and the connection between central nervous system and neuroendocrine regulation. This concept basically contributed to initiation of the studies, which revealed the importance of brain gut axis in regulation of gastric mucosal integrity. Several neuropeptides, such as thyreotrop releasing hormones, adrenomedullin, peptide YY, amylin, opioid peptides, nociceptin, nocisatin, substance P, ghrelin, leptin, orexin-A, angiotensin II were shown to induce gastroprotective effect injected centrally. Though the involvement of dorsal vagal complex and vagal nerves in conveying the central action to the periphery has been well documented, additional mechanisms have also been raised. The interaction between neuropeptides further component that may modify the gastric mucosal resistance to noxious stimulus.]

Clinical Neuroscience


SZABÓ Sándor

[Although Hans Selye is mostly known for his discovery & development of the stress concept, he also introduced the first physiologically sound, structure-activity classification of steroids that was also based on the chemical structure of steroids in 1943. He not only introduced the names of glucocorticoids & mineralocorticoids but discovered the anti- & pro-inflammatory properties, respectively, of these steroids in animal models. Furthermore, he not only described the first stress-induced gastric ulcers in rats (1936) & characterized the first human ‘stress ulcers’ during the air-raids in London during World War II (1943). Thus, Selye was a much more productive & creative scientist than it is generally considered.]

Clinical Neuroscience


DUNAI Magdolna

[The relationship between stress and mental illness has been extensively studied and there is a growing consensus that the occurrence of mental illness rather depends on a combination of factors than is caused by stressful external events. Significant hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis abnormalities were observed among others in major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. In both disorders, the extent of change in cortisol level was related to the severity of illness and to cognitive changes. Exogenous use of synthetic steroids also frequently resulted in severe psychiatric symptoms. In conclusion changes in the level of steroid hormones may cause impairments in the brain.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Validation of the Hungarian MDS-UPDRS: Why do we need a new Parkinson scale?]

HORVÁTH Krisztina, ASCHERMANN Zsuzsanna, ÁCS Péter, BOSNYÁK Edit, DELI Gabriella, PÁL Endre, KÉSMÁRKI Ildikó, HORVÁTH A. Réka, TAKÁCS Katalin, KOMOLY Sámuel, BOKOR Magdolna, RIGÓ Eszter, LAJTOS Júlia, KLIVÉNYI Péter, DIBÓ György, VÉCSEI László, TAKÁTS Annamária, TÓTH Adrián, IMRE Piroska, NAGY Ferenc, HERCEG Mihály, HIDASI Eszter, KOVÁCS Norbert

[Background - The Movement Disorder Society-sponsored revision of the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS) has been published in 2008 as the successor of the original UPDRS. The MDS-UPDRS organizing team developed guidelines for the development of official non- English translations consisting of four steps: translation/back-translation, cognitive pretesting, large field testing, and clinimetric analysis. The aim of this paper was to introduce the new MDS-UPDRS and its validation process into Hungarian. Methods - Two independent groups of neurologists translated the text of the MDS-UPDRS into Hungarian and subsequently back-translated into English. After the review of the back-translated English version by the MDS-UPDRS translation administration team, cognitive pretesting was conducted with ten patients. Based on the results of the initial cognitive pretesting, another round was conducted. For the large field testing phase, the Hungarian official working draft version of MDS-UPDRS was tested with 357 patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) determined whether the factor structure for the English-language MDS-UPDRS could be confirmed in data collected using the Hungarian Official Draft Version. To become an official translation, the Comparative Fit Index (CFI) had to be ≥0.90 compared to the English-language version. Results - For all four parts of the Hungarian MDS-UPDRS, the CFI was ≥0.94. Conclusion - The overall factor structure of the Hungarian version was consistent with that of the English version based on the high CFIs for all the four parts of the MDSUPDRS in the CFA; therefore, this version was designated as the ‘OFFICIAL HUNGARIAN VERSION OF THE MDSUPDRS.’]

Clinical Neuroscience


TACHÉ Yvette

[Selye pioneered the stress concept that is ingrained in the vocabulary of daily life. This was originally build on experimental observations that divers noxious agents can trigger a similar triad of endocrine (adrenal enlargement), immune (involution of thymus) and gut (gastric erosion formation) responses as reported in a letter to Nature in 1936. Subsequently, he articulated the underlying mechanisms and hypothesized the existence of a “first mediator” in the hypothalamus able to orchestrate this bodily changes. However he took two generations to identify this mediator. The Nobel Laureate, Roger Guillemin, a former Selye’s PhD student, demonstrated in 1955 the existence of a hypothalamic factor that elicited adrenocorticotropic hormone release from the rat pituitary and named it corticotropin releasing factor (CRF). In 1981, Wylie Vale, a former Guillemin’s Ph Student, characterized CRF as 41 amino acid and cloned the CRF1 and CRF2 receptors. This paves the way to experimental studies establishing that the activation of the CRF signaling pathways in the brain plays a key role in mediating the stress-related endocrine, behavioral, autonomic and visceral responses. The unraveling of the biochemical coding of stress is rooted in Selye legacy continues to have increasing impact on the scientific community.]

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Hypertension and nephrology

[Molecular mechanisms leading to renal fibrosis: the origin of myofibroblasts]

HIMER Leonóra, SZIKSZ Erna, KOVÁCS S. Krisztián, ÓNODY Anna, Reusz Anna, REUSZ György, FEKETE Andrea, TULASSAY Tivadar, VANNAY Ádám

[There are about a quarter of million patients who need chronic renal replacement therapy in Europe, and the estimated number of patients with chronic kidney disease is about tenfold higher. Interestingly, regardless of the initiating cause the mechanism of fibrosis is similar to each other in the different chronic kidney diseases. In general, the damaged glomerular or tubular cells release danger signals and produce chemotactic stimuli, which trigger the rapid recruitment of leukocytes. The infiltrating immune cells and the damaged renal cells then produce high levels of proinflammatory cytokines, growth factors, chemokines and adhesion molecules which contribute to glomerular/tubular injury, accumulation of further leukocytes and myofibroblasts, which are the effector cells of renal fibrosis. However the origin of myofibroblasts is still controversial. Recent hypotheses suggest that they are originated from different renal cells, such as epithelial and endothelial cells, pericytes or bone marrow derived fibrocytes. The myofibroblasts thus generated serve as key cellular mediators of renal fibrosis. Myofibroblasts have migratory capacity, are resistant to apoptosis, produce several growth factors and cytokines and according to our present knowledge these cells are the main source of collagen-I and -III rich extracellular matrix in the fibrous tissue. Organ fibrosis is characterized with excessive deposition of extracellular matrix leading to glomerular sclerosis and renal tubulointerstitial fibrosis. The excessive deposition of fibrous tissue replaces healthy kidney tissue; nephrons disappear and kidney function declines gradually. In this article the knowledge is summarized on the molecular changes leading to the generation of renal myofibroblasts.]

Clinical Neuroscience



[Neurophobia is the fear of neurological diseases. Its main symptom is that medical students and young doctors are not able to utilize their basic neurological knowledge at the bedside. According to statistics, every second student suffers from neurophobia. This attitude could explain why in the last two decades less and less young doctors wanted to become neurologist. Medical students complain that they receive no instructions, and are afraid of loosing their interest and of facing the failure of their competency. The hardship of neurology was explained by the insufficient knowledge of anatomy and the infrequent encounter with patients. Even general practitioners have anxiety about neurological patients. The loss of interest in neurosciences seems to associate with insensitivity of human-centered culture and corruption of empathic thinking. The burnout syndrome of medical doctors and students can be explained by stress, loss of respect, permanent competition, independency that interferes with responsibility, stiff hierarchy of medical society, fear of diagnostic failures and of economical difficulties. The scores of depression in female students were higher than in male. The idea of the “good neurologist” has been changed. The business oriented care, the shortage of time, and the financial restrictions corroded the conventional practice and ceased the vocational idealism. At present, personal teaching is going to transform into impersonal multimedia learning. Because of the drastic change of values, the age of inner-oriented professionals has terminated also in the medicine. Medical doctors follow even less the traditional troll of professional behavior, but according the social demands, they choose their specialization for subsistence. The highly esteemed social status of neurologists and psychiatrists is going to sink in Europe. To reduce neurophobia it would be desirable 1. to introduce neurology training in the early years of medical school; 2. to teach neurology in all semesters, 3. to assure the effective teaching of neuro-anatomy and physiology, 4. to organize more one-to-one teacher-student communication. In the United States, residents participate in teaching during their residency training. To master neurology dedicated teachers are necessary whom neurology residents ought to meet personally with optimal frequency. However, these requirements seem to fail because of the chiefly technical characters of the actual reforms.]

Hypertension and nephrology

[Signaling pathways in renal fibrosis]


[Myofibroblasts are the main effector cells of tissue fibrosis in chronic kidney disease. These cells are the main source of collagen rich extracellular matrix in the fibrous tissue. Recent hypotheses suggest that pericytes are the major progenitors of myofibroblasts. Platelet derived growth factor, transforming growth factor β and Wingless/Int signaling pathways play important role in pericyte activation. There are experimental evidences that blocking this pathways inhibits tissue fibrosis, therefore they might be targets for the development of antifibrotic drugs in the future.]

Hypertension and nephrology

[The importance of epithelial-mesenchymal transition in kidney fibrosis]


[Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) plays a central role in physiological and pathological processes of embryogenesis, carcinogenesis and tissue fibrosis. During EMT epithelial cells may transform to myofibroblasts, which are the effector cells of fibrosis. In our summary the process of EMT and its medical importance will be reviewed in relation to renal fibrosis. Regardless of the initiating cause the final common mechanism of organ fibrosis is similar in the different chronic renal diseases. It always involves major inflammatory responses, however the molecular mechanisms involved are still elusive. The EMT now takes centre stage as the point of convergence between inflammation and the progression of degenerative fibrotic diseases. Understanding the pathomechanism of EMT and the significance of signalling pathways involved in this process may lead to a new therapeutic approach in the treatment of chronic renal diseases.]