Clinical Neuroscience

[Meeting of Hungarian Epilepsy League]

SZUPERA Zoltán

NOVEMBER 30, 2010

Clinical Neuroscience - 2010;63(11-12)

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Importance of hydrocephalus following severe brain injury during postacute rehabilitation]

DÉNES Zoltán, LANTOS Ágnes, SZÉL István, THOMKA Magdolna, VASS Mátyás, BARSI Péter

[Objectives - We report our experiences with hydrocephalus in early rehabilitation over a seven-year period. Method - Retrospective study in Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit of the National Institute for Medical Rehabilitation, between 1 January 2002 and 31 December 2008. Results - At our institute in the last seven years, we treated 83 patients with secondary and six patients with primary hydrocephalus. The majority of hydrocephalus was of post traumatic origin (52) and remaining 23 following stroke (SAH, AVM, ICH) or brain operation (tumour - seven, and one cranioplasty), and all these patients had undergone ventricular shunt implantation. Mean age of patients was 36 (14-80) years. Hydrocephalus was diagnosed in our rehabilitation unit in 20 of 83 cases and the other patients were shunted before transfer to our unit. The median time point of shunting was 70 (range: 20-270) days after trauma, brain surgery or stroke. Post-operative complications were seen in 12 of 89 patients: six infections and six shunt failure and revision was necessary in 14%. In PTH cases, the post-operative improvement was seen in 40 of 52 patients being shunted and corresponded to FIM scores. At the other 31 cases, with non-traumatic origin, only two patients remain unchanged. Conclusions - Hydrocephalus is considered to be a frequent and important complication after severe brain damage. The incidence of hydrocephalus treated with shunt implantation in our neuro-rehabilitation unit was 4.4%. The postoperative improvement was 77%. Posttraumatic hydrocephalus concerns 5.2% of patients with severe TBI during last seven years in our institution. Diagnosis of posttraumatic hydrocephalus was established in 24%, and complication after shunt implantation (14%) was also recognized in the post-acute rehabilitation unit. It is strongly recommended for the team working at such type of units to obtain clinical practice. Teamwork, good cooperation between acute and postacutecare is necessary for successful rehabilitation of these patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Classical neurology: Adieu! Or: what is the future of hungarian neurology, fruitful transformation or preprogrammed death?]

HALÁSZ Péter, RAJNA Péter

[According to our oppinion several ideas, trends and aims of the traditional neurology became outworn. (So together with all the romantic beauty and hierarchic relations: Adieu!). The specialisation within the main body of the profession is unavoidable. A new, high quality, cost-benefit sensitive, institutional system should be built up, non essentially on inpatient, but on outpatient basis, supported by a personal and partnership oriented patient/doctor relationship, with multidiszciplinatory co-operations and team-work. Education should be also rebuilt accordingly. This analysis of the present situation and recommendations for the future plans was given - since our ages - without any personal interest or attraction. We tried to keep before us only the future of our beloved profession, the preservation of worths, and the exploration of the withdrawing dogmatic views. We invite everybody who is interested in the current questions of our profession to share their oppinion with the whole neurological society and take part in open discussion of these important questions.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[European Association of Young Neurologists and Trainees]

VARGA Edina Tímea, SZTRIHA László, RÓNA-VÖRÖS Krisztina

Clinical Neuroscience

[Special concerns in medical care of severely demented patients suffering from Alzheimer disease]

RAJNA Péter

[While the expected life-time increases dementias will show a pandemic nature. Author analyses the special medical and social concerns of severe states of Alzheimer disease. Having introduced the epidemiologic, diagnostic data and forms of palliatíve therapies he concentrates on the hitherto unsolved problems of patients and caregivers. He belongs to the experts identifying the Alzheimer diseases as a forced aging process. Accepted the theory of L. Hayflick he evaluates the aging process in frame of an evolution model. He states that for aged human beings having already performed the task of reproduction further conditions of living circumstances and even that of death are no more programmed. This hypothesis may have a very negative content at the first sense. But the author rather considers the uncertainty of aging a positive message. He establishes that the occurrence of degenerative processes connecting the aging must be limited by preventive interventions far more efficient than the present possibilities. Concerning these steps we are still on the level of recommendations for preserving our general health and data of relevant science are quite contradictory. Although criteria of “healthy", “qualified” or “assumable” aging are getting defined, we still do not know exactly how we should live optimally and what should we do for this in different epochs of our life. Somatic and psychological parameters are lacking which would be able to signalize the actual level of the aging process in a given person. We, physicians, also do not have exact opinion on the level of severity of dementias at which the patient already lost his her features of personality and individuality on an irreversible way. We have no idea on the phase when the ratio of joy and suffer falls below the value of 1.0 because we still have no tool for its measure. The author pointed the necessity of acceptance of a new preventive attitude and application of new methods in the medical care of the forced or pathological aging, instead of the present approaches based on the “wait and treat” attitude. Because of the intensive increase of the patient population the identification and care of patients can be efficient with a much more involvement of the basic medical network. Financial background can be improved by new theoretical bases of criteria of the palliative treatments. But the direct professional programs can be planned after solution of the existing moral and social dilemmas.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Evaluation of general well-being in adults with therapy resistant partial epilepsy taking oxcarbazepine]

BALOGH Attila, SZENTESI Annamária, JÁNOSI István

[Aims - An open label, national, multicenter, observational study had been conducted to evaluate of psychological general well-being in adults with therapy resistant partial epilepsy taking oxcarbazepine in Hungary. The possibility was examined to differentiate the improvement of the psychic well-being caused by the better status of the seizure disorder or caused by the psychopharmacological effect of the oxcarbazepine (in the next: OXC). Methods - 528 patients were asked to fill the Hungarian validated version of Psychological General Well-Being Schedule (PGWB), English version created by Harold J. Dupuy in 1984, at the baseline visit and after 12- week long duration OXC therapy regim. Finally the data of 332 patients could be evaluated per protocol, biostatistical analysis was carried out. Results - Based on data of 332 patients (per protocol population) the OXC treatment significantly (p<0.0001) improved all items of PGWB in clinically well- controlled (responder) epileptic patients and improved affective markers of patients with uncontrolled epilepsy also. In case of patients suffering from uncontrolled epilepsy the increase of psychical wellbeing items score influenced by biological effects were higher than those influenced by external effects. Conclusions - It can be stated that the adopted PGWB test battery is reliable quantitative method to examine the psychological well-being of patients suffering from partial epilepsy. It was observed that OXC has significant psychopharmalogical effect besides the well-known anticonvulsive property among large Hungarian population of partial epileptic patiens. In case of OXC therapy the positive psychic effect of the successful anticonvulsive treatment and the stabilization property on the affectivity of epileptic patients significantly separates. The OXC has no indication for the treatment of psychiatric conditions.]

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Neuroscience highlights: Main cell types underlying memory and spatial navigation

KRABOTH Zoltán, KÁLMÁN Bernadette

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

[Advanced Parkinson’s disease characteristics in clinical practice: Results from the OBSERVE-PD study and sub-analysis of the Hungarian data]

TAKÁTS Annamária, ASCHERMANN Zsuzsanna, VÉCSEI László, KLIVÉNYI Péter, DÉZSI Lívia, ZÁDORI Dénes, VALIKOVICS Attila, VARANNAI Lajos, ONUK Koray, KINCZEL Beatrix, KOVÁCS Norbert

[The majority of patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease are treated at specialized movement disorder centers. Currently, there is no clear consensus on how to define the stages of Parkinson’s disease; the proportion of Parkinson’s patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease, the referral process, and the clinical features used to characterize advanced Parkinson’s disease are not well delineated. The primary objective of this observational study was to evaluate the proportion of Parkinson’s patients identified as advanced patients according to physician’s judgment in all participating movement disorder centers across the study. Here we evaluate the Hungarian subset of the participating patients. The study was conducted in a cross-sectional, non-interventional, multi-country, multi-center format in 18 countries. Data were collected during a single patient visit. Current Parkinson’s disease status was assessed with Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) parts II, III, IV, and V (modified Hoehn and Yahr staging). Non-motor symptoms were assessed using the PD Non-motor Symptoms Scale (NMSS); quality of life was assessed with the PD 8-item Quality-of-Life Questionnaire (PDQ-8). Parkinson’s disease was classified as advanced versus non-advanced based on physician assessment and on questions developed by the Delphi method. Overall, 2627 patients with Parkinson’s disease from 126 sites were documented. In Hungary, 100 patients with Parkinson’s disease were documented in four movement disorder centers, and, according to the physician assessment, 50% of these patients had advanced Parkinson’s disease. Their mean scores showed significantly higher impairment in those with, versus without advanced Parkinson’s disease: UPDRS II (14.1 vs. 9.2), UPDRS IV Q32 (1.1 vs. 0.0) and Q39 (1.1 vs. 0.5), UPDRS V (2.8 vs. 2.0) and PDQ-8 (29.1 vs. 18.9). Physicians in Hungarian movement disorder centers assessed that half of the Parkinson’s patients had advanced disease, with worse motor and non-motor symptom severity and worse QoL than those without advanced Parkinson’s disease. Despite being classified as eligible for invasive/device-aided treatment, that treatment had not been initiated in 25% of these patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Zonisamide: one of the first-line antiepileptic drugs in focal epilepsy ]

JANSZKY József, HORVÁTH Réka, KOMOLY Sámuel

[Chronic administration of antiepileptic drugs without history of unprovoked epileptic seizures are not recommended for epilepsy prophylaxis. Conversely, if the patient suffered the first unprovoked seizure, then the presence of epileptiform discharges on the EEG, focal neurological signs, and the presence of epileptogenic lesion on the MRI are risk factors for a second seizure (such as for the development of epilepsy). Without these risk factors, the chance of a second seizure is about 25-30%, while the presence of these risk factors (for example signs of previous stroke, neurotrauma, or encephalitis on the MRI) can predict >70% seizure recurrence. Thus the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) re-defined the term ’epilepsy’ which can be diagnosed even after the first seizure, if the risk of seizure recurrence is high. According to this definition, we can start antiepileptic drug therapy after a single unprovoked seizure. There are four antiepileptic drugs which has the highest evidence (level „A”) as first-line initial monotherapy for treating newly diagnosed epilepsy. These are: carbamazepine, phenytoin, levetiracetam, and zonisamide (ZNS). The present review focuses on the ZNS. Beacuse ZNS can be administrated once a day, it is an optimal drug for maintaining patient’s compliance and for those patients who have a high risk for developing a non-compliance (for example teenagers and young adults). Due to the low interaction potential, ZNS treatment is safe and effective in treating epilepsy of elderly people. ZNS is an ideal drug in epilepsy accompanied by obesity, because ZNS has a weight loss effect, especially in obese patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Effects of valproate, carbamazepine and levetiracetam on Tp-e interval, Tp-e/QT and Tp-e/QTc ratio

YASAR Altun, ERDOGAN Yasar

Aim - To evaluate P-wave dispersion before and after antiepileptic drug (AED) treatment as well as to investigate the risk of ventricular repolarization using the Tpeak-Tend (Tp-e) interval and Tp-e/QT ratio in patients with epileptic disorder. Methods - A total of 63 patients receiving AED therapy and 35 healthy adults were included. ECG recordings were obtained before and 3 months after anti-epileptic treatment among patients with epilepsy. For both groups, Tp-e and Tp-e/QT ratio were measured using a 12-lead ECG device. Results - Tp-e interval, Tpe/QT and Tp-e/QTc ratios were found to be higher in the patient group than in the control group (p<0.05, for all), while QTmax ratio was significantly lower in the patient group. After 3 months of AED therapy, significant increases in QT max, QTc max, QTcd, Tp-e, Tp-e/QT, and Tp-e/QTc were found among the patients (p<0.05). When the arrhythmic effects of the drugs before and after treatment were compared, especially in the valproic acid group, there were significant increases in Tp-e interval, Tp-e/QT and Tp-e/QTc values after three months of treatment (p<0.05). Carbamazepine and levetiracetam groups were not statistically significant in terms of pre- and post-treatment values. Conclusions - It was concluded that an arrhythmogenic environment may be associated with the disease, and patients who received AED monotherapy may need to be followed up more closely for arrhythmia.

Clinical Neuroscience

The yield of electroencephalography in syncope

NALBANTOGLU Mecbure, TAN Ozturk Ozlem

Introduction - Syncope is defined as a brief transient loss of consciousness due to cerebral hypoperfusion. Although the diagnosis of syncope is based on a thorough history and examination, electroencaphalography (EEG) is also an important investigational tool in the differential diagnosis in this group of patients. In this study we aimed to identify the diagnostic value of EEG in patients with syncope. Methods - We retrospectively examined EEG recordings of 288 patients with the diagnosis of syncope referred to the Cankiri State Hospital EEG laboratory, from January 2014 to January 2016. The EEG findings were classified into 6 groups as normal, epileptiform discharges (spike and sharp waves), generalized background slowing, focal slowing, hemispherical asymmetries, and low amplitude EEG tracing. The EEGs were separated according to gender and age. Results - Total of 288 patients were included in this study, 148 were females (51.4%) and 140 (48.6%) were males. Among all the EEG reports, 203 (70.5%) were normal, 8 of them (2.8%) showed generalized background slowing and 7 (2.4%) demonstrated focal slow waves. Epileptiform discharges occured among 13 patients (4.5%). Hemispherical asymmetries were detected in 10 patients (3.5%) and low amplitude EEG tracing in 47 patients (16.3%). There was no significant difference between age groups in EEG findings (p=0.3). Also no significant difference was detected in EEG results by gender (p=0.2). Discussion - Although the diagnosis of syncope, epilepsy and non-epileptic seizures is clinical diagnosis, EEG still remains additional method