Clinical Neuroscience

[Health status and costs of ambulatory patients with multiple sclerosis in Hungary]

PÉNTEK Márta, GULÁCSI László, RÓZSA Csilla, SIMÓ Magdolna, ILJICSOV Anna, KOMOLY Sámuel, BRODSZKY Valentin

SEPTEMBER 30, 2012

Clinical Neuroscience - 2012;65(09-10)

[Background and purpose - Data on disease burden of multiple sclerosis from Eastern-Central Europe are very limited. Our aim was to explore the quality of life, resource utilisation and costs of ambulating patients with multiple sclerosis in Hungary. Methods - Cross-sectional questionnaire survey was performed in two outpatient neurology centres in 2009. Clinical history, health care utilisation in the past 12 months were surveyed, the Expanded Disability Status Scale and the EQ-5D questionnaires were applied. Cost calculation was conducted from the societal perspective. Results - Sixty-eight patients (female 70.6%) aged 38.0 (SD 9.1) with disease duration of 7.8 (SD 6.7) years were involved. Fifty-five (80.9%) had relapsing-remitting form and 52 (76.5%) were taking immunomodulatory drug. The average scores were: Expanded Disability Status Scale 1.9 (SD 1.7), EQ-5D 0.67 (SD 0.28). Mean total cost amounted to 10 902 Euros/patient/year (direct medical 67%, direct nonmedical 13%, indirect costs 20%). Drugs, disability pension and informal care were the highest cost items. Costs of mild (Expanded Disability Status Scale 0-3.5) and moderate (Expanded Disability Status Scale 4.0-6.5) disease were 9 218 and 17 634 Euros/patient/year respectively (p<0.01), that is lower than results from Western European countries. Conclusion - Our study provides current inputs for policy making and contributes to understanding variation of costof- illness of multiple sclerosis in Europe.]

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[Introduction - Although cluster headache (CH) is one of the most severe human pain syndromes, its symptoms and therapeutic possibilities may be suboptimally recognised in current medical practice in Hungary. Aim - To present the clinical characteristics of CH based on a prospective study of patients attending the Headache Service of the Department of Neurology, Semmelweis University. Methods - We collected information about the symptoms, diagnosis and previous treatment of CH patients by filling in a 108-item questionnaire during outpatient visits. Results - In the 5-year period between 2004 and 2008 we obtained data from 78 CH patients (57 males and 21 females; mean age: 44.6±14.6 years). The male:female ratio did not change in subgroups based on disease onset (calendar years). Ninety-three percent considered CH the most severe pain state of their life. The pain was strictly unilateral, affecting the territory of the 1st trigeminal division in all patients. The attacks were accompanied by signs of ipsilateral cranial parasympathetic activation (lactimation 83%, conjunctival injection 67%, rhinorrhea 56%, nasal congestion 43%); less frequently, signs of sympathetic dysfunction (ptosis 48%, miosis 7%) were also present. Two patients had attacks showing the typical localisation, severity and time course of CH attacks, but not accompanied by autonomic phenomena. A considerable part of the patients also observed symptoms that are usually ascribed to migraine (nausea 41%, vomiting 18%, photophobia 68%, phonophobia 58%). This may have been instrumental in the fact that, regardless of the characteristic clinical symptoms, the diagnosis of CH took 10 years on average. At the time of their examination 63% of patients were not using adequate abortive medications and 59% did not have an adequate prophylactic measure. Discussion - Cluster headache is characterised by attacks of devastating pain that warrant an early diagnosis and adequate treatment. Our study underlines that information about the diagnosis and therapy of CH should be emphasized on occasions of neurology specialty training and continuing medical education.]

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