Clinical Neuroscience

[Mechanism of the “dark” axonal degeneration in the central nervous system]

PÁL József, GALLYAS Ferenc

SEPTEMBER 30, 2014

Clinical Neuroscience - 2014;67(09-10)

[Background and purpose - In the central nervous tissue, two types of transsection-resulted axonal degeneration are generally accepted: “watery” and “dark”. The present paper deals with the assumption that the mechanism of this kind of “dark” axonal degeneration has a relationship with that of the “dark” neuronal degeneration. Methods - A minute stab wound is inflicted in the parietal cortex of the rat brain. From 1 h to 3 months postinjury, the resulted ultrastructural events in two distant regions of the corticospinal tract (internal capsule and C3 region of the corticospinal tract) are studied. Results - As a novel finding, the first morphological process of “dark” axonal degeneration was found to consists in a striking reduction of the distances between neighboring neurofilaments, which were readily distinguishable and apparently undamaged. This pattern (compacted ultrastructure) persisted for hours. By day 1 postinjury, the compacted axoplasmic elements aggregated into a homogenous and dense (“dark”) mass in which hardly any ultrastructural elements could be distinguished. Surrounded by apparently normal or mildly abnormal myelin sheat, this mass underwent a non-isotropic shrinkage during the next three months. Morphological signs of phagocytosis were insignificant. Conclusion - The ultrastructural events during the first day post-injury suggest a non-enzymatic mechanism as an alternative to the prevailing molecular-biological mechanism.]

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[Grey matter atrophy in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis]

KINCSES Tamás Zsigmond, TÓTH Eszter, BANKÓ Nóra, VERÉB Dániel, SZABÓ Nikoletta, CSETE Gergő, FARAGÓ Péter, KIRÁLY András, BENCSIK Krisztina, VÉCSEI László

[White matter lesions are defining characteristics of multiple sclerosis (MS), whereas grey matter involvement is a less recognised attribute. Recent investigations using dedicated imaging approaches have made it possible to depict cortical lesions. Additionally, grey matter atrophy may be estimated using various methods. Several studies have suggested that grey matter atrophy closely correlates to clinical disability. In this review we have collected information on grey matter atrophy in MS and the effect of disease modifying therapies upon brain atrophy.]

Clinical Neuroscience

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Complex approaches to study complex trait genetics in multiple sclerosis]

BERNADETTE Kalman

[Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex trait disorder defined by several genes and their interactions with environmental factors. A comprehensive exploration of the susceptibility variants had not been feasible until recently when new developments in biotechnology and bioinformatics made possible sequencing of the whole human genome, cataloguing of nucleotide variants and alignments of these variants in haplotypes. Earlier observations from epidemiological, candidate gene and linkage studies provided ample evidence to support a complex genetic determination of MS. New biotechnology and bioinformatics resources have been recently applied to further successful explorations of the disease. These efforts were paralleled by more careful and reliable ascertainments of disease phenotypes, collaborations among specialized centers to generate sufficient sample size and involvement of clinician-scientists capable of working both on the clinical and scientific study sides. Data obtained from the whole genome association studies (GWAS) elevated our understanding of MS genetics to a new level by identifying an extensive list of genetic determinants. Pathway analyses of MS-associated variants provided evidence to support the immune etiology of the disease. Future research will likely explore how environmental factors interact with the genome, and contribute to the abnormal immune activation and inflammation. This review summarizes the outcomes of MS genetic explorations including those of recent GWAS, and highlights practical consequences of genetic and genomic studies by pointing out as to how the derived data facilitate further elucidation of MS pathogenesis. A better understanding of disease processes is necessary for future advancements in therapeutics and the development of disease prevention strategies.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Retinal ganglion cell layer and visual function in patients with progressive external ophthalmoplegia caused by common mtDNA deletion]

FARZANEH Naghizadeh, VARGA Edina Tímea, MOLNÁR Mária Judit, HOLLÓ Gábor

[Aim - Mitochondrial (mt) disorders are metabolic conditions with multiorgan involvement, which often cause neuroophtalmological symptoms. The aim of the study was to investigate the relation between progressive external ophthalmoplegia (PEO), visual pathway and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations in patients younger than 55 years of age. Methods - Five female patients (35 to 53 years of age) with mithochondrial disease were investigated. Automated threshold perimetry (Octopus G2 test), scanning laser polarimetry (GDx-VCC and GDx-ECC) and Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography (RTVue-100 OCT) were used in addition to detailed ophthalmological examination and evaluation of visually evoked potentials (VEP). Frequent mutations of the mtDNA were investigated in the patients’ blood and muscle samples. Results - PEO of various severity levels was found in all patients, using clinical tests. Genetic testing showed “common deletion” of mtDNA in all cases. For both eyes of 4 patients functional and structural ophthalmic tests had normal results. In one patient decreased visual acuity, reduced retinal nerve fiber layer thickness and prolonged L3 VEP latency time were found without optic disc damage and visual field deterioration. Conclusion - In 4 of our 5 patients with PEO due to common deletion of mtDNA retinal ganglion cells and visual function remained normal for a long period of life.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

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Interest in the hippocampal formation and its role in navigation and memory arose in the second part of the 20th century, at least in part due to the curious case of Henry G. Molaison, who underwent brain surgery for intractable epilepsy. The temporal association observed between the removal of his entorhinal cortex along with a significant part of hippocampus and the developing severe memory deficit inspired scientists to focus on these regions. The subsequent discovery of the so-called place cells in the hippocampus launched the description of many other functional cell types and neuronal networks throughout the Papez-circuit that has a key role in memory processes and spatial information coding (speed, head direction, border, grid, object-vector etc). Each of these cell types has its own unique characteristics, and together they form the so-called “Brain GPS”. The aim of this short survey is to highlight for practicing neurologists the types of cells and neuronal networks that represent the anatomical substrates and physiological correlates of pathological entities affecting the limbic system, especially in the temporal lobe. For that purpose, we survey early discoveries along with the most relevant neuroscience observations from the recent literature. By this brief survey, we highlight main cell types in the hippocampal formation, and describe their roles in spatial navigation and memory processes. In recent decades, an array of new and functionally unique neuron types has been recognized in the hippocampal formation, but likely more remain to be discovered. For a better understanding of the heterogeneous presentations of neurological disorders affecting this anatomical region, insights into the constantly evolving neuroscience behind may be helpful. The public health consequences of diseases that affect memory and spatial navigation are high, and grow as the population ages, prompting scientist to focus on further exploring this brain region.

Clinical Neuroscience

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