Clinical Neuroscience



MAY 30, 2012

Clinical Neuroscience - 2012;65(05-06)



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[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

[European treatment recommendation of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders: critical remarks and case discussion]


[Neuromyelitis optica is a demyelinating disease of the central nervous system mediated by antibodies against the waterchannel aquaporin4 (AQP4). In a number of cases the clinical manifestation is spatially limited. Such events of separate longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (LETM) or relapsing/bilateral optic neuritis (RION/BON) are defined as NMO spectrum diseases. The diagnosis is further challenged by anti-AQP4 seronegative cases. While chronic immunosuppressive therapy should be introduced in definitive NMO, treatment strategy of the NMO spectrum is less defined. Recent EFNS guidelines recommend chronic immunosuppressive treatment of NMO spectrum diseases depending on the clinical course even in AQP4-seropositive cases. Presenting a case with relapsing optic neuritis, here we emphasize the importance of early immunosuppressive therapy in all seropositive NMO spectrum diseases regardless of relapse severity, in order to prevent an upcoming devastating relapse, i.e. NMO conversion.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[About the neuropathic component of back pain]


Clinical Neuroscience

[Non-invasive brain stimulation for relieving acute and chronic pain]


[Controlling pain has always been one of the biggest challenges of medical science. Despite pharmacological developments, still many patients suffer from long-lasting pain. During the last 40 years several surgical interventions have been used to modulate the activity of the central nervous system in order to control chronic, pharmacoresistant pain. Because such interventions may involve very serious adverse events, safer and at least equally efficient methods are still required. In the 90’s new techniques of non-invasive brain stimulation have been introduced that enable the facilitation or inhibition of distinct cortical areas. These methods are based on the electrical stimulation of brain structures and to date they have been successfully used to modulate perceptual, cognitive and motor functions in healthy subjects and various diseases as well. In this review we describe such techniques of non-invasive brain stimulation, namely repeated transcranial magnetic stimulation and transcranial direct current stimulation and review the current literature about their efficacy in controlling acute and chronic pain.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[New minimal invasive surgical techniques in spine surgery]


[The last decade has brought significant development in spine surgery. As in all field of surgery, introduction of the minimal invasive, atraumatic procedures characterized our activities. The number of short and long-time complications were significantly reduced and the effectiveness of operations were markedly improved by the new technical conditions, for example by the use of neuronavigation, surgical microscope, intraoperative fluoroscopy, high speed drill and the widespread of keyhole concept. The applied multislice CT imaging and the high resolution MRI enabled to improve the accuracy of the planned surgical procedures and to reduce the mortality and morbidity of operations. In our studies technical methods were investigated and new developments were established in the field of minimal invasive spine surgery. The National Institute of Neurosurgery's spinal surgical team pioneers further development and application of novel minimal invasive procedures. Applied methods of vanguard surgical procedures include split laminotomy, the “archbone” technique, the “over the top” decompression, the multilevel hemi-semi laminectomy, the supraforaminal “burr hole”, the facet joint sparing “open tunnel” techniques or parasplit minimal invasive approaches. The new innovative surgical techniques are applied in our daily routine and meet international trends by utilizing benefits of minimal invasive spinal surgery. Using our newly developed innovative techniques allow to decompress neural elements in case of spinal canal stenosis and to remove the intramedullary and extramedullary space-occupying lesions located in the spinal canal and spreading extraspinally through the neuroforamen. These techniques are specially tailored to preserve structural integrity and stability of the spinal column, and allow at the same time to minimize resection of and injury to tissues not directly involved in the pathologic processes. In our studies a classification system of spatial localization of pathological lesions and processes in spinal canal was developed by us. Using this classification system enables the surgeon to select and apply the appropriate minimal invasive technique from dorsal direction and to remove the space-occupying lesions located in the spinal canal. The minimal invasive techniques were characterized and summarized. This overview of the minimal invasive techniques can be applied and recommended in the daily routine of spine surgery. We proudly employ novel surgical techniques having been developed in our institution. These techniques are internationally recognized and applied in our practice on daily basis as well.]

All articles in the issue

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Clinical Neuroscience


TACHÉ Yvette

[Selye pioneered the stress concept that is ingrained in the vocabulary of daily life. This was originally build on experimental observations that divers noxious agents can trigger a similar triad of endocrine (adrenal enlargement), immune (involution of thymus) and gut (gastric erosion formation) responses as reported in a letter to Nature in 1936. Subsequently, he articulated the underlying mechanisms and hypothesized the existence of a “first mediator” in the hypothalamus able to orchestrate this bodily changes. However he took two generations to identify this mediator. The Nobel Laureate, Roger Guillemin, a former Selye’s PhD student, demonstrated in 1955 the existence of a hypothalamic factor that elicited adrenocorticotropic hormone release from the rat pituitary and named it corticotropin releasing factor (CRF). In 1981, Wylie Vale, a former Guillemin’s Ph Student, characterized CRF as 41 amino acid and cloned the CRF1 and CRF2 receptors. This paves the way to experimental studies establishing that the activation of the CRF signaling pathways in the brain plays a key role in mediating the stress-related endocrine, behavioral, autonomic and visceral responses. The unraveling of the biochemical coding of stress is rooted in Selye legacy continues to have increasing impact on the scientific community.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Farewell to rosiglitazone: where to go?]


[The European Medicines Agency concluded that the marketing authorisation for all rosiglitazonecontaining medicines (Avandia, Avandamet, Avaglim) should be suspended across the European Union. The National Health Insurance Fund Administration in Hungary in a circular letter called the attention of GP’s to the necessity in getting the medical proposal (of an internist, endocrinologist or diabetologist) for substituting rosiglitazone to arrange a smooth modification of their treatment regimen. The review taking into account updated recommendations of the ADA-EASD and the Hungarian Diabetes Association summarises the potential drugs. The first line therapy of choice has to be starting with insulin. Pioglitazone might also be administered, with all known side effects of the glitazone family, e.g. congestive heart failure and bone fractures. Further alternatives are choosing the newer drugs of the incretin principle: the incretin mimetics (exenatid, liraglutid) and the incretin enhancers (sitagliptin, vildagliptin, saxagliptin). Beside their favourable profile of effect they do not have longterm follow up outcome studies and evidences for cardiovascular safety.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Effect of mental arithmetic and verbal fluency on the flow velocity in the middle cerebral arteries]


[Introduction - Using transcranial Doppler sonography (TCD), changes in blood flow velocity (BFV) can be measured in the Medial Cerebral Artery (MCA) during cognitive effort. Our goal was to define the time-course and laterality of BFV in healthy vo-lunters during arithmetic and verbal fluency tasks according to handedness. Methods - Twelve subjects (8 right-handed, 4 left-handed) were assessed. The TCD registered BFV in both MCA simultaneously. Heart rate was also recorded using TCD. Finally we included a 16-channel EEG. BFV laterality index (LI) was calculated. Participants were asked to count silently and generate words beginning with a specified letter. To estimate hemispheric differences in BFV, two-tailed Wilcoxon tests were utilized along with correlational analyses. Results - During cognitive effort the BFV changed in a triphasic manner in all participants. A 6-8% elevation of BFV was observed in MCAs without latency at the time of the evoking signal. Laterality of BFV developed after 5-13 seconds during cognitive effort in right-, and several seconds later in left-handed subjects. During tasks the BFV increased in the dominant hemis-phere up to 2.6-4.7% compared to the subdominant one. We also calculated the LI. During the verbal task the LI agreed with the handedness in 9 out of 12 subjects. During the mental arithmetic task, agreement was found in 6 out of 12 subjects. According to LI results we found a discrepancy between verbal and arithmetic tests in 3 out of 12 subjects. Conclusion - Cognitive effort elicites significant bilateral BFV increases in the MCAs, which suggests fast neurogenic regulation. The course of BFV during mental arithmetic proved to be different from course BFV assessed during the word fluency task. Based on the laterality of the BFV, the word-generation task was more sensitive in determining the dominant hemisphere when compared to the mental arithmetic task. The use of LI may help to estimate hemispheric functions even in pathologic circumstances.]