Clinical Neuroscience



JULY 30, 2008

Clinical Neuroscience - 2008;61(07-08)

[Statin’s treatment clearly is authorized in prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD). According to the results of many studies and meta-analyses statins can inhibit the first cerebrovascular infarct (stroke). The greater the decrease of LDL-cholesterol level the more prominent the efficacy. The effect is not so robustic compared to coronaria vessels moreover clear pleiotropic (cholesterol independent) action takes also part. It has been nowadays revealed that high dose (80 mg) atorvastatin can confine first time the development of recurrence stroke (SPARCL study), which is an important fact in the field of secondary prevention.]



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience


HORVÁTH A. Réka, KALMÁR Zsuzsanna, FEHÉR Nóra, FOGARASI András, GYIMESI Csilla, JANSZKY József

[Clinical lateralizing signs are the phenomena which can unequivocally refer to the hemispheric onset of epileptic seizures. They can improve the localization of epileptogenic zone during presurgical evaluation, moreover, their presence can predict a success of surgical treatment. Primary sensory phenomena such as visual aura in one half of the field of vision or unilateral ictal somatosensory sensation always appear on the contralateral to the focus. Periictal unilateral headache, although it is an infrequent symptom, is usually an ipsilateral sign. Primary motor phenomena like epileptic clonic, tonic movements, the version of head ubiquitously appear contralateral to the epileptogenic zone. Very useful lateralization sign is the ictal hand-dystonia which lateralizes to the contralateral hemisphere in nearly 100%. The last clonus of the secondarily generalized tonic-clonic seizure lateralizes to the ipsilateral hemisphere in 85%. The fast component of ictal nystagmus appears in nearly 100% on the contralateral side of the epileptic focus. Vegetative symptoms during seizures arising from temporal lobe such as spitting, nausea, vomiting, urinary urge are typical for seizures originating from non-dominant (right) hemisphere. Ictal pallor and cold shivers are dominant hemispheric lateralization signs. Postictal unilateral nose wiping refers to the ipsilateral hemispheric focus compared to the wiping hand. Ictal or postictal aphasia refers to seizure arising from dominant hemisphere. Intelligable speech during complex partial seizures appears in non-dominant seizures. Automatism with preserved consciousness refers to the seizures of non-dominant temporal lobe.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[In memoriam professor Klára Majerszky]


Clinical Neuroscience

[Genomical and metabolomical abnormalities in Alzheimer disease and in experimental models]


Clinical Neuroscience

[Cortico-striatal circuitry in visual perception]

KINCSES Tamás Zsigmond

Clinical Neuroscience

[Evolution of human brain and intelligence]

LAKATOS László, JANKA Zoltán

[The biological evolution, including human evolution is mainly driven by environmental changes. Accidental genetic modifications and their innovative results make the successful adaptation possible. As we know the human evolution started 7-8 million years ago in the African savannah, where upright position and bipedalism were significantly advantageous. The main drive of improving manual actions and tool making could be to obtain more food. Our ancestor got more meat due to more successful hunting, resulting in more calory intake, more protein and essential fatty acid in the meal. The nervous system uses disproportionally high level of energy, so better quality of food was a basic condition for the evolution of huge human brain. The size of human brain was tripled during 3.5 million years, it increased from the average of 450 cm3 of Australopithecinae to the average of 1350 cm3 of Homo sapiens. A genetic change in the system controlling gene expression could happen about 200 000 years ago, which influenced the development of nervous system, the sensorimotor function and learning ability for motor processes. The appearence and stabilisation of FOXP2 gene structure as feature of modern man coincided with the first presence and quick spread of Homo sapiens on the whole Earth. This genetic modification made opportunity for human language, as the basis of abrupt evolution of human intelligence. The brain region being responsible for human language is the left planum temporale, which is much larger in left hemisphere. This shows the most typical human brain asymmetry. In this case the anatomical asymmetry means a clearly defined functional asymmetry as well, where the brain hemispheres act differently. The preference in using hands, the lateralised using of tools resulted in the brain asymmetry, which is the precondition of human language and intelligence. However, it cannot be held anymore, that only humans make tools, because our closest relatives, the chimpanzees are able not only to use, but also to make tools, and they can be tought how to produce quite difficult ones. Some brain characteristics connected to human consciousness and intelligence, like brain asymmetry, the “consciousness” or “theory of mind” based on mirror neurons are surprisingly present in monkeys. Nevertheless, the human intelligence is extremly flexible and different, while the animal intelligence is specialised, producing one thing at high level. Based on recent knowledge the level of intelligence is related anatomically to the number of cortical neurons and physiologically to the speed of conductivity of neural pathways, the latter being dependent on the degree of myelinisation. The improvement of cognitive functions including language is driver by the need of more effective communication requiring less energy, the need of social dominance, the competitive advantages within smaller groups and species or against other species, which improves the opportunity for obtaining food. Better mental skills give also sexual dominance, which is beneficial for stabilising “cleverness” genes. The evolutionary history of human consciousness emphasises its adaptive survival helping nature. The evolution of language was the basic condition of conscious thinking as a qualitative change, which fundamentally differentiate us from all other creatures.]

All articles in the issue

Related contents

Clinical Neuroscience

[The Comprehensive Aphasia Test in Hungarian]


[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 applications of transcranial Doppler in ischemic stroke


Background: This overview provides a summary of the applications of transcranial Doppler (TCD) in ischemic stroke. Results: A fast-track neurovascular ultrasound protocol has been developed for detecting occlusion or stenosis. The technique is more reliable in the carotid area than in the posterior circulation. By monitoring the pulsatility index the in­crea­sed intracranial pressure can be diagnosed. TIBI score was developed for grading residual flow. TCD has been shown to accurately predict complete or any recanalization. Regarding recanalization, TCD has a sensitivity of 92%, a specificity of 88%, a positive predictive value of 96%, a negative predictive value of 78% and an overall accuracy of 91%, respectively. Sonothrombolysis seemed to be a promising application but randomized controlled trials have shown that it does not improve clinical outcome. TCD examination can detect microembolic signals (MES) which are associated with an increased risk of stroke. Micro­em­boli were detected in symptomatic and asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis and during carotid endarterectomy. The number of microemboli can be decreased by antithrombotic therapy. Contrast en­chan­ced examination and Valsalva maneuver with continuous TCD monitoring can accurately screen for right-to-left shunt.

Clinical Neuroscience

Hyperhomocysteinemia in female migraineurs of childbearing ages


Background and purpose - Migraine is a risk factor for ischemic stroke in women of childbearing ages. Previous researches revealed a higher prevalence of hyperhomocysteinemia in migraineurs. Possible differences on the frequencies of hyperhomocysteinemia between migraine with aura and migraine without aura could contribute the established variances in stroke risk between these migraine types. Therefore, we aimed to search if the frequency of hyperhomocysteinemia was different between these subtypes of migraine or not. Methods - We analyzed the findings of serum homocysteine levels in female migraineurs of 16-49 years old who admitted to our outpatient clinic. Results - Homocysteine level was elevated in 13.3% of study population. There were not any significant differences on median serum homocysteine levels between migraine with aura (8.0 mikromol/L) and without aura (8.5 mikromol/L). (p=0.426) The frequencies of hyperhomocysteinemia were also similar (9.1% versus 16.7%, respectively; p=0.373). Correlation analyses did not reveal any linear correlation between ages and homocysteine levels either in group of migraine with aura or in group of migraine without aura (p=0.417 and p=0.647, respectively). Similarly, any linear correlation between disease ages and homocysteine levels either in group of migraine with aura or in group of migraine without aura was not detected (p=0.359 and p=0.849, respectively). Conclusion - The median serum homocysteine levels and the frequencies of hyperhomocysteinemia are similar between migraine with aura and without aura in women of childbearing ages. Therefore, the variances on stroke risk ratios between these types of migraine are probably not originated from the differences of serum homocysteine status.

LAM Extra for General Practicioners

[Similarities and differences in the renal effects of statins]


[By efficiently reducing serum cholesterol level, statins significantly decrease both cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Decreasing LDL-cholesterol level by 1% reduces coronary mortality risk by 1%, whereas increasing HDL-cholesterol level by 1% reduces the risk by 3%. At the same time, renal failure significantly increases cardiovascular events and/or mortality compared with the population mean. It is an exciting question whether statins are able to prevent and decelerate the deterioration of kidney function deterioration, preserve GFR and decrease albuminuria. Depending on the strength of their effect, statins have different cholesterol-lowering capacity (rosuvastatin and atorvastatin are especially effective). An important question is whether these differences can be detected in the renal function as well. The results of experimental data and major clinical trials (e.g. AURORA, PLANET I-II, SHARP) are often controversial. Nevertheless, statin therapy has advantages for patients with kidney diseases, although to a lesser extent than it has in the normal population.]

Hypertension and nephrology

[Cholesterol-lowering is not the Holy Grail, but neither is the work of the devil]


[Cholesterol-lowering statins are the most tested medications in respect of the effects and side-effects. Based on these, we can safely claim that most of the negative opinions about cholesterol-lowering are not realistic. It is not a panacea, but it is proven that around a 30% of cardio- and cerebrovascular risk reducation can be achieved by their regular taking, while the incidence of side effects and risks are at least one order of magnitude lower in each patient groups. For cholesterol, there is no “normal” lab threshold or low level, only “target values”, since the mean value in the general population is high in regard of atherosclerosis (the values measured at birth and among natural people can be considered normal). Let us appreciate the cholesterol- lowering medications because we do not have a large armamentarium!]