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.]



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[Burning sensation in oral cavity - burning mouth syndrome in everyday medical practice]


[Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) refers to chronic orofacial pain, unaccompanied by mucosal lesions or other evident clinical signs. It is observed principally in middle-aged patients and postmenopausal women. BMS is characterized by an intense burning or stinging sensation, preferably on the tongue or in other areas of the oral mucosa. It can be accompanied by other sensory disorders such as dry mouth or taste alterations. Probably of multifactorial origin, and often idiopathic, with a still unknown etiopathogenesis in which local, systemic and psychological factors are implicated. Currently there is no consensus on the diagnosis and classification of BMS. This study reviews the literature on this syndrome, with special reference to the etiological factors that may be involved and the clinical aspects they present. The diagnostic criteria that should be followed and the therapeutic management are discussed with reference to the most recent studies.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Administration of preemptive analgesia by diclofenac to prevent acute postcraniotomy headache]

SIMON Éva, BÁNK Judit, GÁL Judit, SIRÓ Péter, NOVÁK László, FÜLESDI Béla, MOLNÁR Csilla

[Purpose - Postcraniotomy headache (PCH) is a frequent perioperative complication in neuroanesthesia. The aim of the present work was to assess the incidence of PCH and to test the efficacy and safety of preoperatively administered diclofenac. Methods - Patients undergoing craniotomies for intracranial tumor resections were enrolled. In the case group 100 mg diclofenac p.o. one hour prior to surgery was used as a preemptive analgesic along with infiltration of the surgical site with a combination of lidocaine and epinephrine. In controls only surgical site infiltration was used. VAS scores were assessed preoperatively, on the day of surgery (DoS), on the 1st and 5th postoperative days. Results - We have found that PCH of any severity is between 50-90% during the first five days after surgery. The number of cases characterized as “no pain” significantly decreased in the early postoperative period, but remained in both groups still higher on the 5th postoperative day than observed preoperatively. In both groups, the number of headaches characterized as mild pain remained relatively stable and substantial increases in case numbers were observed in moderate and severe headaches, showing a declining tendency over time in the postoperative period. A significant effect of diclofenac pretreatment was observed compared to controls on DoS (χ2: 10.429, p<0.015), on the 1st (χ2: 8.75, p<0.032) and 5th postoperative days (χ2: 14.3, p<0.002). Conclusions - The relatively low incidence of severe PCH on day five in the diclofenac group may indicate that preoperatively administered diclofenac effectively reduces postcraniotomy headache. A randomized study is encouraged to test this hypothesis.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[A prospective study evaluating the clinical characteristics of cluster headache]


[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.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Editorial message]

SZOK Délia

Clinical Neuroscience

[Tissue water content determination based on T1 relaxation time of water and quantitative cerebral 1H MRS at 3T using water as an internal reference]

FILE Györgyi, BAJZIK Gábor, DÓCZI Tamás, ORSI Gergely, PERLAKI Gábor, LELOVICS Zsuzsanna, ARADI Mihály, SCHWARCZ Attila

[Objective - Application of a quantitative MR-spectroscopic method for 3T clinical scanners based on tissue water content as an internal reference. Patients and methods - Six (22±2 yrs) volunteers were involved in the study. We performed T1 relaxation time measurements in a particular slice of the brain at 1T and 3T. Based on the validated water content measurement at 1T, the correlation of relaxation time T1 and water content was determined at 3T. The resulting water content served as internal reference for the quantification of localizated MRspectroscopic measurement. Results - At 3T our method resulted in 37.6±0.5 mol/l and 46.4±1.5 mol/l tissue water content in the white and gray matter, respectively. Calibration based on water content led to following metabolite concentrations: N-acetyl-aspartate 7.79±0.67 mmol/l; creatine 3.76±0.28 mmol/l; choline 3.68±0.47 mmol/l; myo-inositol 10.35±3.70 mmol/l in the white matter; and N-acetyl-aspartate 8.20±0.45 mmol/l; creatine 4.76±0.18 mmol/l; choline 2.64±0.35 mmol/l; myo-inositol 8.32±1.42 mmol/l in the grey matter. Conclusions - Tissue water content based on T1 value at 3T shows good accordance with gravimetric or other MR methods in the literature. Using it as an internal reference resulted in white matter metabolite concentrations that are in the range of previously published data. Comparing metabolite values of grey matter is more difficult because data in the literature substantially differ. The presented method is simple and easily applicable on any MR scanner without complicated correction and calibration steps.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Family planning in multiple sclerosis: conception, pregnancy, breastfeeding]

RÓZSA Csilla

[Family planning is an exceptionally important question in multiple sclerosis, as women of childbearing age are the ones most often affected. Although it is proven that pregnancy does not worsen the long-term prognosis of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, many patients are still doubtful about having children. This question is further complicated by the fact that patients – and often even doctors – are not sufficiently informed about how the ever-increasing number of available disease-modifying treatments affect pregnancies. Breastfeeding is an even less clear topic. Patients usually look to their neurologists first for answers concerning these matters. It falls to the neurologist to rationally evaluate the risks and benefits of contraception, pregnancy, assisted reproduction, childbirth, breastfeeding and disease modifying treatments, to inform patients about these, and then together come to a decision about the best possible therapeutic approach, taking the patients’ individual family plans into consideration. Here we present a review of relevant literature adhering to international guidelines on the topics of conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding, with a special focus on the applicability of approved disease modifying treatments during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The goal of this article is to provide clinicians involved in the care of MS patients with up-to-date information that they can utilize in their day-to-day clinical practice. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[MR imaging of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis and multiple sclerosis in children. A review (in English language)]

PATAY Zoltán

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Symptomatic trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia without headache]

RÓZSA Anikó, KOVÁCS Krisztina, GUBA Katalin, GÁCS Gyula

[We report the case of a 60-year-old man who exhibited trigeminal autonomic symptoms on his right side (numbness of the face, reddening of the eye, nasal congestion) occurring several times a day, for a maximum of 60 se­conds, without any pain. The complaints were similar to trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia, just without any headache. Our 60-year-old male patient underwent a craniocervical MRI as part of his neurological workup, which revealed lesions indicative of demyelination. Further testing was guided (ophthalmological examination, VEP, CSF test) by the presumptive diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. It is likely that in his case the cause of these trigeminal and autonomic paroxysms is MS. Here we present an overview of the few cases we found in the literature, although we did not find any similar case reports. Perhaps the most interesting among these is one in which the author describes a family: a 54-year-old female exhibiting the autonomic characteristics of an episodic cluster headache, only without actual headache, her son, who had typical episodic cluster headaches with autonomic symptoms, and the woman’s father, whose short-term periorbital headaches were present without autonomic symptoms. We had not previously encountered a case of trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia without headache in our practice, nor have we had an MS patient exhibiting similar neurologic symptoms. The significance of our case lies in its uniqueness. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Current questions of multiple sclerosis: the secunder progressive form of the disease]


[Recent data suggest that long-term worsening is common in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients and is largely independent of relapses or new lesion formation on brain MRI. The current definition of secunder progressive multiple sclerosis is worsening of disability independent of relapses over at least 6-month interval. Early focal inflammatory disease activity and spinal cord lesion are predictors of very-long term disease outcomes in relapse - onset multiple sclerosis. The potential of PET imaging to visualize hidden inflammation in MS brain in vivo is an important contribution for better understanding the progression of the disease. Therefore, PET imaging is a promising tool in detecting the conversion from relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis to secunder progressive form of multiple sclerosis. Furthermore, neuro-axonal damage is the pathological substrate of permanent disability in different neurological disorders including multiple sclerosis. The neurofilament proteins have promise in this context because their levels rise upon neuro-axonal damage not only in the cerebrospinal fluid but also in blood. Patients with increased serum levels of neurofilament at baseline, independent of other clinical and MRI variables, experience significantly more brain and spinal cord volume loss over 2 years and 5 years of follow-up. The kynurenine-pathway abnormalities may be associated with the swich from early-mild stage multiple sclerosis to debilitating progressive forms of the disease. Analysis of these metabolites in serum may have application as multiple sclerosis disease biomarkers. Free radical action has been suggested as a causal factor in the illness. Increased free radical production and consumption of the scavenger molecules were found during the active phase of the disease. Based on the clinical findings (EXPAND Study) and pathomechanism of the disease siponimod is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of relapsing remitting forms of multiple sclerosis, to include secunder progressive multiple sclerosis with active disease, relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and clinically isolated syndrome.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Immunomodulatory treatment in multiple sclerosis ]


[During the past decade, several disease-modifying agents have been established and have become available for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. The disease-modifying agents could be grouped into immunomodulatory and immunosuppressive therapies altering the long-term course of multiple sclerosis. Therapy is now available for relapsing-remitting, secondary progressive and progressive-relapsing multiple sclerosis. Different disease-modifying agents became also available for the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in Hungary which makes the therapeutic decision difficult. This overview might help to give an answer for different questions in the management of multiple sclerosis: Which agent to choose? When to initiate the therapy? Which dose to apply? Are the drugs safe? How long to treat the patients with immunomodulatory drugs? We give a review from the literature to assess the efficacy of disease-modifying therapies and to compare the data from phase three trials of interferon β1b, two preparations of interferon β1a or glatiramer acetate for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. We analyzed the efficacy and safety of these agents on physical, inflammatory and cognitive measures of disease activity. Comparison of study results indicated similar effects of immunomodulatory agents on relapse-related and inflammatory measures in relapsing multiple sclerosis. Interferon β1a slowed the progression of disability in relapsing multiple sclerosis. One interferon β1a preparation (intramuscularly injected) demonstrated efficacy in slowing progression of cognitive dysfunction. The interferons reduced relapses at early phase of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, but their efficacy have not yet been proven in the later phase of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis without relapses. Mitoxantrone demonstrated efficacy in slowing the progression of disability in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. All of the disease modifying agents are safe and tolerable, if the indication is correct and the patients are strictly controlled.]