Clinical Neuroscience

[Intact short-term memory and impaired executive functions in obsessive compulsive disorder]

DEMETER Gyula, RACSMÁNY Mihály, CSIGÓ Katalin, HARSÁNYI András, NÉMETH Attila, DÖME László

JANUARY 25, 2013

Clinical Neuroscience - 2013;66(01-02)

[Background and purpose - Previous neuropsychological studies produced inconsistent results with tasks tapping short-term verbal and visual-spatial memory and executive functions in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of deficits in these cognitive domains. A further goal was to describe the distribution of patients in different impairment ranges for all functions, and clarify the relationship between symptom severity and cognitive impairments. Methods - Thirty patients with OCD (DSM-IV) and 30 healthy volunteers were compared using well-known neuropsychological tasks. We assessed short-term verbal memory with the Digit Span Forward and Digit Span Backward Tasks, short-term visual-spatial memory with the Corsi Block Tapping Task, while we measured the level of executive functions with the StroopTask and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). Results - Compared with a matched healthy control group, the performance of OCD patients was in the impaired range only in the two executive tasks. We find a significant positive correlations between the Y-BOCS (Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale) total scores and the number of perseverative responses (r(28)=0.409, p<0.05) and perseverative errors (r(28)=0.385, p<0.05) in the WCST. Conclusion - Our results gave evidence that executive functions are impaired while short-term memory is intact in OCD. This is in line with neuropsychological model of OCD that the deficit of cognitive and behavioral inhibition are responsible for the main cognitive findings of this disorder, most prevalently the deficit in set shifting and prepotent response inhibition.]



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[The presentation of a transient hyperintense lesion with legionnaires disease in a patient, is it a coincidance or an incidental finding?]

KILIC Çoban Eda, AKSOY Selma, SAHIN Riza Ahmet, UZUN Nuray, GÖKYIGIT Münevver

[Up to date the presentation of transient splenial lesions in corpus callosum were reported in diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) only in epileptic patients and patients under antiepileptic therapy. A 41 year old male with no previous medical history was admitted to our clinic with symptoms of pneumonia. The neurological exam revealed stupor, but when awake his speech and orientation were normal. There were no meningeal irritation signs, cranial nerves, piramidal and cerebellar functions were normal. He had moderate respiratory distress and had bilateral rales in lower lobes while oscultating. Laboratory tests revealed high liver function levels and high acute phase reactants. Arterial blood levels showed hypoxemia. A brain MRI showed a hypointensity in the splenium of corpus callosum on T1 weighted images. There was markedly increased signal in this region on diffusion weighted imaging and hypointense on ADC. The lesion was slightly hyperintense on T2 and FLAIR weighted images. A repeat brain MRI was done 30 days after the initial study and showed a complete resolution of the splenial lesion. Transient splenial lesions can be seen due to different mechanisms in different clinical settings. It should be noted that these lesions are mostly reversible. Unnecessary therapies and procedures should be avoided in these lesions.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Editorial message]

KINCSES Zsigmond Tamás

Clinical Neuroscience

[Meeting of the management of Hungarian Epilepsy League]


Clinical Neuroscience

[Blood lipid peroxidation, antioxidant enzyme activities and hemorheological changes in autistic children]

LÁSZLÓ Aranka, NOVÁK Zoltán, SZÕLLÕSI-VARGA Ilona, HAI Quai Du, VETRÓ Ágnes, KOVÁCS Attila

[Objectives - Early infantile autism is a severe form of childhood psychiatric disease with characteristic symptoms. Hyperserotoninaemia in 43.5%, lactic acidosis 43% and hyperpyruvataemia in 30% were biochemically demonstrated in autistic children. Our earlier results led to the postulation that a disequilibrium in the blood redox is involved in infantile autism; the oxidative loading and the antioxidant defending enzyme system were investigated together with the hemorheological parameters in infantile autism. Methods - Malonyl-dialdehyde (MDA) endproduct of lipid peroxidation and activities of the antioxidant enzymes: superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (C-ase), glutathione peroxidase (GP-ase) and reduced glutathione (GSH) were biochemically determined from plasma and red blood cells. Patients - The antioxidant specificities were investigated in plasma and red blood cell haemolysate from 25 infantile autistic children. Results - Significantly increased superoxide dismutase (SOD) (2.89 vs. 1.32 U/mg protein, p<0.01) and decreased glutathione peroxidase (0.620 vs. 0.910 U/mg protein, p<0.01) levels as well as catalase (0.463 vs. 4.948 BU/mg protein, p<0.001) activities were detected; while the plasma and erythrocyte lipid peroxidation and the reduced glutathione (GSH) levels did not change. The results of the investigated prooxidant and the antioxidant status provide evidence that there exists an oxidative stress in children with infantile autism. While investigating the hemorheological parameters of 25 infantile autistic patients, some characteristic pathological parameters were detected: the initial filtration rate (Fi) (0.72 vs. 0.75 p<0,01) and the clogging rate (CR) (1.926 vs. 2.912, p<0.01) values of red blood cells (RBC) decreased while the mean transit time (Tc) (8.93 vs. 7.39, p<0.001) increased suggesting reduced RBC deformability.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Early mental test - developing a screening test for mild cognitive impairment]

KÁLMÁN János, PÁKÁSKI Magdolna, HOFFMANN Ildikó, DRÓTOS Gergely, DARVAS Gyöngyi, BODA Krisztina, BENCSIK Tamás, GYIMESI Alíz, GULYÁS Zsófia, BÁLINT Magdolna, SZATLÓCZKI Gréta, PAPP Edina

[Background and purpose - Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a heterogenous syndrome considered as a prodromal state of dementia with clinical importance in the early detection of Alzheimer’s Disease. We are currently developing an MCI screening instrument, the Early Mental Test (EMT) suitable to the needs of primary care physicians. The present study describes the validation process of the 6.2 version of the test. Methods - Only subjects (n=132, female 95, male 37) over the age of 55 (mean age 69.2 years (SD=6.59)) scoring at least 20 points on Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), mean education 11.17 years (SD=3.86) were included in the study. The psychometric evaluation consisted of Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale Cognitive subscale (ADAS-Cog) and the 6.2 version of EMT. The statistical analyses were carried out using the 17.00 version of SPSS statistical package. Results - The optimalised cut-off point was found to be 3.45 points with corresponding 69% sensitivity, 69% specificity and 69% accuracy measures. The Cronbach-α, that describes the internal consistence of the test was 0.667, which is higher as compared with the same category in the case of the ADASCog (0.446). A weak negative rank correlation was found between the total score of EMT 6.2 and the age of probands (rs=-0.25, p=0.003). Similarly, only a weak correlation was found between the education levels and the total score of EMT 6.2 (rs=0.31, p<0.001). Two of the subtests, the repeated delayed short-time memory and the letter fluency test with a motorical distraction task had significantly better power to separate MCI and control groups than the other subtests of the EMT. Conclusion - The 6.2 version of EMT is a fast and simple detector of MCI with a similar sensitivity-specificity profile to the MMSE, but this version of the test definitely needs further development.]

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[Effect of two month positive airway pressure therapy on the structure of sleep, cognitive function and anxiety]


[Obstructive sleep apnea is a common disorder, characterized by repeated episodes of upper airway obstruction during sleep, resulting intermittent hypoxia and disruption of the normal sleep pattern, which caused cognitive dysfunction in these patients. Nasal continuous positive airway pressure is the treatment of choice for this disorder. The aim of the study is to evaluate the effect of short-term positive airway pressure on sleep pattern (polisomnographic measures), cognitive function and anxiety. Twenty four newly diagnosed and previously untreated patients with obstructive sleep apnea were evaluated a battery of neuropsychological tests before and after 2 and a half months of the treatment. We focused on working memory, short and long-term episodic memory, executive functions, anxiety and subjective sleepiness. Our results showed that the two and half month of treatment improved the respiration during sleep, sleep pattern and the subjective sleepiness. We found improvement in short- and long-term verbal memory, and complex working memory. Despite of treatment we did not find improvement in visuospatial learning. These results reveal that 2 and a half months of positive airway pressure treatment restored not only the normal respiration during sleep and normal sleep pattern, but also the cognitive functions. Our study suggests that cognitive dysfunction is at least partial reversible in obstructive sleep apnea patients after positive airway pressure treatment.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Changes of cognitive functions in healthy aging]


[Introduction - Mental health has crucial role in our life. Cognitive changes or decline can lead to many difficulties in daily routine of older people (e.g. organization of daily activities), which can, consequently, influence their well-being. Therefore it is an important question, which cognitive abilities are affected by age-related decline. Methods - In our study we aimed to investigate the changes of cognitive abilities in healthy older adults between 61 and 85 years of age compared to the performance of younger adults. Digit span, counting span, listening span, letter fluency, semantic fluency and action fluency tests were used to assess cognitive abilities, namely working memory and executive functions. Results - The results showed that younger adults performed significantly better in all tests than older adults. Importantly, the performance of older adults was better on tests requiring less complex mental computations (e.g. digit span test) than on more complex tests where both storing and mani-pulating information was required (e.g., counting span test). We also showed that within the older age group, cognitive functions’ decline was linearly associated with increasing age. Conclusion - The present study used several, well-established neuropsychological tests to map the changes of working memory and executive functions in healthy older adults between 61 and 85 years of age compared to younger adults. Our findings can contribute to the development of prevention programs aimed at improving the quality of life of older adults and preventing age-related cognitive decline.]

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[Paths and mispaths - the current challanges of the treatment of schizophrenia: a cognitive perspective]


[Schizophrenia is a severe chronic mental disorder accompanied by acute psychotic episodes. The prognosis for and the quality of life of the patients is not primarily determined by the psychotic episodes that often require hospitalization, but rather by the disorder-specific cognitive deficits that persist and progress during the illness and precede the manifestation of the disorder. The greatest challenge in treating the disease is the treatment of the cognitive impairments, since our pharmacological therapeutic repertoire is mainly effective in controlling and preventing manifestation of the psychotic symptoms. The study provides a brief report on the anomalies of the current pharmacology- and hospital-centered care that are however a considerable obstacle to a modern neurocognitive developmental rehabilitation of people with schizophrenia with the aim of promoting social integration. This paper also summarizes the importance of the pharmacological treatments from the neurocognitive perspective, and finally presents the possibilities and results of the psychosocial rehabilitation in the treatment of the neurocognitive deficits in the hope of encouraging changing and a therapeutic paradigm shift. ]