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

[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

[Prognostic factors of primary spinal tumors]

LAZÁRY Áron, BORS István Béla, SZÖVÉRFI Zsolt, RÓNAI Márton, VARGA Péter Pál

[Aims - Primary spinal tumors are rare diseases and there are less objective data in the international literature. We analyzed the epidemiology and clinical consequences of primary spinal tumors based on the clinical experience of the National Center for Spinal Disorders. Methods - Demographic and clinical data of 300 patients treated in our institute between 1995 and 2007 was collected retrospectively and analysed. Results - Beyond the relatively more frequent pathologies (chordoma, myeloma multiplex) we treated in our hospital some of the very rare types of tumors (spinal leiomyosarcoma, synovial sarcoma). Primary spinal tumors are most often located in the lumbosacral region causing most frequently (73%) local or radiating pain. Modern therapy of these patologies is based on the surgical intervention. Mean operation time was 130 minutes, mean blood loss was 650 ml in our pratice during these often technically challenging surgeries. We found a significant association among the operation time, the blood loss and the extension of the tumor (p<0.01). Histology (p<0.0001), severity of symptomes (p<0.05) and blood loss (p<0.05) were significantly related to mortality. Local recurrence was more than 5-fold in case of patients previously operated in another institute (p<0.0001). Conclusions - We successfully determined some significant prognostic factor on clinical behavior of primary spinal tumors performing a large scale retrospective study. Long time follow up of the patients and completion of our database with prospective data are planned for the future.]

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

[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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