Clinical Neuroscience

[Is second-line immunomodulatory treatment effective in multiple sclerosis?]


JULY 30, 2017

Clinical Neuroscience - 2017;70(07-08)


[Purpose - Natalizumab is the first evidence based monoclonal antibody, which was launched for treatment in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis in Hungary in 2010. Standardized follow-up is required to use it. Our aim was to evaluate the efficacy and to monitor the safety of natalizumab treatment by using an electronic database established for MS registry. Clinical activity was measured by annual relapse rates, functional status of patients measured by EDSS and MFSC. Radiological activity was evaluated by standard MRI protocol. Data, results of MS patients and side effects of natalizumab treatment were recorded in iMed software. Results - 31 patients started the natalizumab treatment after 6.5±5.8 years from the onset of MS. The efficacy of treatment was evaluated after a mean of 67 (min: 14 max: 128) infusions in December 2016. The drop-out rate was low, due to the presence of neutralising antibodies in one case, pregnancy in two cases and development of malignant disease in one case which was not related to the natalizumab treatment. The treatment was well tolerated with excellent compliance without serious side effects. The annual relapse rate reduced from a mean of 1.7 to 0.03 (p<0.000001) in the first 12 months of treatment compared to the pretreatment 12 month activity, and it stayed at low level during the whole follow up. EDSS was stable or improved with an exception of two cases. In 23 subjects (77%) lack of new/enlarging T2 lesions and lack of gadolineum-enhancing lesions on MRI were observed. 18 patients (60%) had no evidence of disease activity (NEDA-3). PASAT test improved in most of the cases. Conclusion - The natalizumab therapy was very effective in all cases including those patients who had active disease under the previous immunomodulatory treatment.]



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[Guidelines for the treatment of traumatic brain injury - 2017]

BÜKI András, BARZÓ Pál, DEMETER Béla, KANIZSAI Péter, EZER Erzsébet, TÓTH Péter, HORVÁTH Péter, VARGA Csaba

[Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is recognized to be the main cause of death and disability in the first four decades representing a major socio-economical problem worldwide. Recent communications revealed a particularly worrying image about the quality of care for TBI in Hungary. For any improvement a systematic approach characterized by utilization of scientific evidence based guidelines forming the basis for close monitoring of the actual care are considered a prerequisite. In Hungary the first evidence based guidelines in the field of TBI have been issued by the National Society for Anesthesiology and Intensive Care more than two decades ago followed by joint guidelines of the Hungarian Neurosurgical Society and the Hungarian College of Neurosurgeons. These publications were primarily based on the work of the European Brain Injury Consortium as well as guidelines issued by the Brain Trauma Foundation. Recent renewal of the latter and a need to refresh the outdated national guidelines was met by a call from regulatory authorities to issue the updated version of the Hungarian TBI-guidelines. The present review is aimed to briefly summarize the most fundamental elements of the national head injury guidelines that would hopefully be officially issued in a far more detailed format soon.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Calcium ion is a common denominator in the pathophysiological processes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis]

PATAI Roland, NÓGRÁDI Bernát, MESZLÉNYI Valéria, OBÁL Izabella, ENGELHARDT József István, SIKLÓS László

[Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the most frequent motor neuron disease is characterized by progressive muscle weakness caused by the degeneration of the motor neurons in the spinal cord and motor cortex. However, according to the recent observations, ALS is a rather complex syndrome which frequently involves symptoms of cognitive impairment. Therefore, ALS cases can be interpreted in a clinico-pathological spectrum spanning from the classical ALS involving only the motor system to the fronto-temporal dementia. The progression of the disease, however, manifested in the degeneration of the upper and lower motor neurons, is based on the same complex pathobiology. The main elements of the pathomechanism, such as oxidative stress, excitotoxicity, immune/inflammatory processes and mitochondrial dysfunction are well described already, which operate in orchestrated way and amplify the deleterious effect of each other. It is assumed that calcium ions act as a catalyst in this interaction, hence each of the individual mechanisms has strong, positive and reciprocal calcium dependence thus may combine the individual pathological processes into a unified escalating mechanism of neuronal destruction. This review provides an overview of the role of calcium in connecting and amplifying the major mechanisms which lead to degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Valproate in the treatment of epilepsy and status epilepticus]

JANSZKY József, TÉNYI Dalma, BÓNÉ Beáta

[According to Hungarian guidelines, valproate - with the exception of infants and small children as well as fertile women - is the first drug of choice in generalized and unclassified epilepsies because it is effective in most seizure types and epilepsy syndromes. It is highly effective in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. Even though it is not the first-line drug in focal epilepsies, if the first-line therapy is ineffective, it is a plausible alternative as second choice therapy, owing to its different mechanism of action. If the type of epilepsy can’t be surely established, valproate is the drug of choice, as it possesses the broadest-spectrum among antiepileptic drugs. After administration of benzodiazepines, intravenously applied valproate can be a first choice therapy in all types of status epilepticus, owing to its broad-spectrum and efficacy. Valproate is the first-choice therapy in patients with glioblastoma - independently of the seizure type -, as it is likely to improve the survival rate with 2-10 months and the effectivity of chemo- and radiotherapy. Valproate is generally not suggested for fertile women, but - as it is the most effective therapy in some epilepsy syndromes -, the patient has the right to choose valproate therapy, thus undertaking the elevated risk of developmental abnormalities, for higher safety regarding seizures. If only valproate therapy owns the ability to obtain seizure freedom, then stopping its administration is not suggested, but a low dosage has to be aimed (500-600 mg/day, but not more than 1000 mg/day): according to some studies, most idiopathic generalized epilepsies can be controlled by low valproate dosage. Stopping valproate therapy in case of an ongoing pregnancy is not suggested. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

Validation of the Hungarian version of the Test Your Memory

KOLOZSVÁRI Róbert László, KOVÁCS György Zoltán, SZŐLLŐSI József Gergő, HARSÁNYI Szilvia, FRECSKA Ede, ÉGERHÁZI Anikó

Concerns regarding the projected prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) over the next several decades have stimulated a need for the detection of AD in its earliest stages. A self-administered cognitive test (Test Your Memory, TYM) is designed as a short, cognitive screening tool for the detection of AD. Our aim was to validate the Hungarian version of the Test Your Memory (TYM-HUN) test for the detection of AD. The TYM-HUN was applied in case of individuals aged 60 years or more, 50 patients with AD and 50 healthy controls were recruited into the study. We compared the diagnostic utility of the Hungarian version of the TYM in AD with that of the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). The sensitivity and specificity of the TYM-HUN in the detection of Alzheimer’s disease were determined. The patients with AD scored an average of 15.5/30 on the MMSE and 20.3/50 on the TYM-HUN. The average score achieved by the members of the healthy control group was 27.3/30 on the MMSE and 42.7/50 on the TYM. The total TYM-HUN scores significantly correlated with the MMSE scores (Spearman’s rho, r=0.8830; p<0.001). Multivariate logistic regression model demonstrated that a one-point increase in the TYM score reduced the probability of having AD by 36%. The optimal cut-off score on the TYM-HUN was 35/36 along with 94% sensitivity and 94% specificity for the detection of AD. The TYM has a much wider scoring range than the MMSE and is also a suitable screening tool for memory problems, furthermore, it fulfils the requirements of being a short cognitive test for the non-specialists. The TYM-HUN is useful for the detection of Alzheimer’s disease and can be applied as a screening test in Hungarian memory clinics as well as in primary care settings.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Systemic thrombolysis after the administration of idarucizumab in acute ischemic stroke]


[Introduction - Expanding indications have resulted in an increasing number of patients taking novel oral anticoagulants, posing a major treatment dilemma in acute ischemic stroke. Case presentation - We present a successful intravenous thrombolysis in a dabigatran-treated patient with acute ischemic stroke after the administration of idarucizumab. Discussion - According to current guidelines, systemic thrombolysis is contraindicated under treatment with novel oral anticoagulants (taken within 48 hours). In this scenario, idarucizumab offers a solution by reversing the anticoagulant effect of dabigatran. Conclusion - Although there have only been case reports published so far, the dabigatran-antidote idarucizumab seems to give new therapeutic opportunities in the treatment of acute ischemic stroke.]

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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

[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.]

Clinical Neuroscience

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

PATAY Zoltán

[Inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) are relatively rare in children, but their relevance to public health is considerable due to frequent and significant long term morbidity and even mortality. As in adults, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) and multiple sclerosis (MS) and their variants are the most common entities in this group of pathologies in the pediatric patient population. Recent efforts have focused on establishing standardized diagnostic criteria schemes to facilitate the diagnosis and differential diagnosis of these diseases, however especially with multiple sclerosis those have not been fully validated yet for disease occurring in children. In recent decades the role of MRI has been constantly increasing in the diagnostic work-up of suspected inflammatory diseases of the CNS as well as in the follow-up of patients with confirmed disease. Currently, MRI is the first-line diagnostic imaging modality in ADEM and MS and is fully integrated in the most widely used diagnostic criteria schemes, but it has a key role in clinical therapeutic research trials as well. This paper provides an update on the current concepts and strategies of MRI in inflammatory diseases of the CNS, as well as a review of the imaging semiology of the various disease entities and variants with emphasis on clinical and imaging particularities relevant to the pediatric patient population.]

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

[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.]