Clinical Neuroscience

[Hungarian Spine Association]

JANUARY 20, 1993

Clinical Neuroscience - 1993;46(01-02)

[The 1993 scientific programme of the Hungarian Spine Society.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Acute neurosurgical management of severe thoraco-lumbar spinal injuries]

ZSOLCZAI Sándor, PENTELÉNYI Tamás, TÚRÓCZY László, VERES Róbert

[Authors show their experiences with up-to-date segmental stabilization methods in the acute neurosurgical management of severe thoraco-lumbar spinal injuries. Among the 134 acute operations during 5 years with at least 1 year follow-up 81 were performed by Fixateur Interne (AO-ASIF, W. Dick), and 53 by angle-stable posterior plate-fixation (Steffee or Eger plates). Reduction, decompression and stabilization were achieved by these instrumentations. Results are evaluated from the points of view of neurological recovery, bony union, restoration of patients comfort and complications. Also the principles of modern management of spine-injured patients, developed through a long evolution in the last decade, are reviewed. It is stated that both segmental stabilization methods were used as routine, and they were suitable for the treatment of the most of severe thoraco-lumbar spinal injuries. Results of these methods are much better than those of the long-rod systems, but on condition that emergency neurosurgical treatment should be done in the first 6-8 hours together with early skilled and competent rehabilitation in a well trained center.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Relation of acute and long-therm care of the spinal-cord-injured patients in up-to-date management]

KLAUBER András, ZSOLCZAI Sándor, PENTELÉNYI Tamás, MOLNÁR Ferenc

[The acute emergency management of the spinal-cord-injured patients is one of the most important steps in the long-lasting complex treatment which has great significance for the final results. The method of primary neurosurgical operation must be chosen with regard to the special aspects of subsequent rehabilitation. All conditions of emergency surgery have to be assured during the first 6-8 hours. According to the experiences of the last two decades the problems of the management of spinal-cord-injured patients originated in the shortage of financial sources, theoretical concepts and organization, lack of interest and scientific information. Even now there is no spinal-cord-injured center in Hungary which would provide for the complex management including primary neurosurgical treatment and all details up till the end of paraplegic rehabilitation. Primary treatment (either operative or conservative) and rehabilitation are performed in separate departments. Though there is a significant development in emergency spinal surgery during the last years (and it is a pity this can not be seen in rehabilitation in Hungary), it is still an important demand that emergency surgery should be performed with rehabilitation aspects. Until we have no proper financial conditions to organize spinal centers for both emergency and rehabilitation treatment, our most important task is to develop a unified rehabilitational view of all specialists involved in the complex treatment of spine-injured patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Tethered cord syndrome in adults]

VÁRADY Péter, BENOIST György, PÁSZTOR Emil

[The tethered cord syndrome is resulted from the abnormally low position and traction of the conus medullaris in the lumbosacral region, that leads to progressive dysfunction of the caudal spinal segments. It originates from various ectodermal abnormalities, all due to errors of embryonic development in the 3rd-4th weeks. The disorder is manifested by progressive motor, sensory and trophic deficits in the legs and by incontinence. The adult onset is rare. The MRI is the most important procedure for pathoanatomic evaluation. The surgical aim is to stop progressivity and to cure the reversible deficits. We report our six cases and present the data of the literature concluding the caracteristics, the surgical indications and outcome of the tethered cord syndrome in adults.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Operative treatment of craniocervical instabilities caused by rheumatoid arthritis]

TURÓCZY László, KENÉZ József, VERES Róbert, NAGY Aladár, PÁSZTOR Emil

[We have investigated and operatively treated 30 patients with craniocervical instabilities caused by rheumatoid arthritis. The evaluation of this patient-material seems to be important, because the indications of operations in the different stages of the disease are not completely clear, according to our knowledge. The atlanto-axial instabilities at the beginning stage, when the serious neurologic signs are absent, can be treated with low risk dorsal stabilization, while we believe the advanced instabilities need combined neurosurgical approach for successful treatment. We must emphasize the importance of detailed early diagnostics, and the prevention in neurosurgical approaches, in accordance of the opinions, expressed in different contributions in the literature, dealing with the subject. In 20 cases we had to perform combined surgical interventions, and only in 10 cases, the simple dorsal fixation proved to be satisfactory, which fact shows, that we got patients mainly in more serious stages. We detected a new sign ("ghost tumor") in the natural course of the disease.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Our experiences in the conservative treatment of the compression fractures of the thoracolumbar spine]

URBÁN Ferenc, TAKÁCS Ferenc

[The authors at the DOTE Department of Traumatology made follow-up examinations of 136 patients treated for compression fractures of the thoracolumbar spine. 63 patients (46,3%) were treated with plaster corset, 73 patients (53,7%) with modified Magnus method. They compared the two methods of treatment for their possibilities and effectiveness. They used plaster corset after reposition in females under 55 years of age and in males under 60 years of age, if the patients' physical and general condition were suitable and the compression was more than 10 degrees. 47,9% of the patients treated functionally recovered well and 31,5% were in a satisfactory state. And 47,6% of the patients treated with plaster corset recovered well and 46,0% recovered satisfactorily. While in the first group i.e.those treated functionally, 17,8% of the patients had severe pain, only 6,4% of the patients treated with corset had similar pain. The authors ascertain that as the anatomical reposition of the fractures is not possible indefinitely, the insertion of the plaster corset when the compression exceeds 10–15 degrees is more suitable. When the deformity decreases, the subjective complaints of the patients decrease too. In the case of small compression, functional treatment is recommended and the patient must lie in bed to alleviate the pain. Both the methods used under appropriate conditions are useful and complement each other. ]

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Clinical Neuroscience

Alexithymia is associated with cognitive impairment in patients with Parkinson’s disease

SENGUL Yildizhan, KOCAK Müge, CORAKCI Zeynep, SENGUL Serdar Hakan, USTUN Ismet

Cognitive dysfunction (CD) is a common non-motor symptom of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Alexithy­mia is a still poorly understood neuropsychiatric feature of PD. Cognitive impairment (especially visuospatial dysfunction and executive dysfunction) and alexithymia share com­mon pathology of neuroanatomical structures. We hypo­thesized that there must be a correlation between CD and alexithymia levels considering this relationship of neuroanatomy. Objective – The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between alexithymia and neurocognitive function in patients with PD. Thirty-five patients with PD were included in this study. The Toronto Alexithymia Scale–20 (TAS-20), Geriatric Depression Inventory (GDI) and a detailed neuropsychological evaluation were performed. Higher TAS-20 scores were negatively correlated with Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) similarities test score (r =-0.71, p value 0.02), clock drawing test (CDT) scores (r=-0.72, p=0.02) and verbal fluency (VF) (r=-0.77, p<0.01). Difficulty identifying feelings subscale score was negatively correlated with CDT scores (r=-0.74, p=0.02), VF scores (r=-0.66, p=0.04), visual memory immediate recall (r=-0.74, p=0.01). VF scores were also correlated with difficulty describing feelings (DDF) scores (r=-0.66, p=0.04). There was a reverse relationship bet­ween WAIS similarities and DDF scores (r=-0.70, p=0.02), and externally oriented-thinking (r=-0.77,p<0.01). Executive function Z score was correlated with the mean TAS-20 score (r=-62, p=0.03) and DDF subscale score (r=-0.70, p=0.01) Alexithymia was found to be associated with poorer performance on visuospatial and executive function test results. We also found that alexithymia was significantly correlated with depressive symptoms. Presence of alexithymia should therefore warn the clinicians for co-existing CD.

Clinical Neuroscience

Electrophysiological investigation for autonomic dysfunction in patients with myasthenia gravis: A prospective study

NALBANTOGLU Mecbure, AKALIN Ali Mehmet, GUNDUZ Aysegul, KIZILTAN Meral

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disorder of neuromuscular transmission. Autonomic dysfunction is not a commonly known association with MG. We conducted this study to evaluate autonomic functions in MG & subgroups and to investigate the effects of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. This study comprised 30 autoimmune MG patients and 30 healthy volunteers. Autonomic tests including sympathetic skin response (SSR) and R-R interval variation analysis (RRIV) was carried out. The tests were performed two times for patients who were under acetylcholinesterase inhibitors during the current assessment. The RRIV rise during hyperventilation was better (p=0.006) and Valsalva ratio (p=0.039) was lower in control group. The SSR amplitudes were lower thereafter drug intake (p=0.030). As much as time went by after drug administration prolonged SSR latencies were obtained (p=0.043).Valsalva ratio was lower in the AchR antibody negative group (p=0.033). The findings showed that both ocular/generalized MG patients have a subclinical parasympathetic abnormality prominent in the AchR antibody negative group and pyridostigmine has a peripheral sympathetic cholinergic noncumulative effect.

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Clinical Neuroscience

[The Comprehensive Aphasia Test in Hungarian]

ZAKARIÁS Lilla, RÓZSA Sándor, LUKÁCS Ágnes

[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 connection between the socioeconomic status and stroke in Budapest]

VASTAGH Ildikó, SZŐCS Ildikó, OBERFRANK Ferenc, AJTAY András, BERECZKI Dániel

[The well-known gap bet­ween stroke mortality of Eastern and Western Euro­pean countries may reflect the effect of socioeconomic diffe­rences. Such a gap may be present between neighborhoods of different wealth within one city. We set forth to compare age distribution, incidence, case fatality, mortality, and risk factor profile of stroke patients of the poorest (District 8) and wealthiest (District 12) districts of Budapest. We synthesize the results of our former comparative epidemiological investigations focusing on the association of socioeconomic background and features of stroke in two districts of the capital city of Hungary. The “Budapest District 8–12 project” pointed out the younger age of stroke patients of the poorer district, and established that the prevalence of smoking, alcohol-consumption, and untreated hypertension is also higher in District 8. The “Six Years in Two Districts” project involving 4779 patients with a 10-year follow-up revealed higher incidence, case fatality and mortality of stroke in the less wealthy district. The younger patients of the poorer region show higher risk-factor prevalence, die younger and their fatality grows faster during long-term follow-up. The higher prevalence of risk factors and the higher fatality of the younger age groups in the socioeconomically deprived district reflect the higher vulnerability of the population in District 8. The missing link between poverty and stroke outcome seems to be lifestyle risk-factors and lack of adherence to primary preventive efforts. Public health campaigns on stroke prevention should focus on the young generation of socioeconomi­cally deprived neighborhoods. ]