Clinical Neuroscience

[Meeting of the management of Hungarian Epilepsy League]

SZUPERA Zoltán

JANUARY 25, 2013

Clinical Neuroscience - 2013;66(01-02)

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Clinical Neuroscience

[ASCO classification in clinical practice]

DEGIRMENCI Eylem, ERDOGAN Cagdas, OGUZHANOGLU Attila, BIR Sinan Levent

[ASCO (Atherosclerosis, Small vessel disease, Cardiac source, Other cause) is a new of classification of ischemic cerebrovascular diseases. This classification categorizes the data of the patients according to all underlying diseases and allows the clinician to grade the severity of cause (Each of the four phenotypes can be graded 1, 2, or 3). It is suggested to use ASCO classification in large epidemiologic studies but this classification may be used in daily practice. In this study we aimed to analyze the clinical features of patients with ischemic stroke and to investigate results of ASCO classification of these patients and data of 35 patients with ischemic stroke is analyzed. Use of ASCO classification is discussed with the special example cases. Patients' etiology of stroke was classified according to ASCO as known, unknown, completely unknown and unclassifiable group. Percentile of the patients classified as “known” was 71.4% (n=25), “unknown” was 17.1% (n=6), “completely unknown” was 5.7% (n=2) and “unclassifiable group” was 5.7% (n=2). We think that the ASCO classification which is thought to be more useful in large epidemiologic studies may be used in clinical follow-up period of the stroke patients. Further studies, from different neurology centers and stroke units, are needed to expand our experiences about use of ASCO classification in clinical practice.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Editorial message]

KINCSES Zsigmond Tamás

Clinical Neuroscience

[Mild encephalitis/encephalopathy with a reversible splenial lesion in children]

LIPTAI Zoltán, IVÁDY Balázs, BARSI Péter, VÁRALLYAY György, RUDAS Gábor, FOGARASI András

[Authors, most of them Japanese, have recently published an increasing number of articles on mild encephalitis/encephalopathy with a reversible splenial lesion. We report on two new white European patients and compare published data with our own observations. A 15- year-old girl developed headache, fever, dizziness, vomiting and nuchal rigidity over four days. CSF showed elevated protein and cell count, with the lowest serum Na being 131 mmol/L. MRI on day seven was normal, but she remained febrile, had cerebral edema and episodes of confusion. MRI on day 11 showed a small T2-hyperintense lesion with restricted diffusion in the callosal splenium. Adenoviral infection was proved, and the girl underwent a protracted course of recovery. MRI signal changes improved in six days and disappeared after four months. A 12.5-year-old girl developed headache, lethargy, drowsiness and vomiting. On day five she experienced right-sided numbness, weakness and inability to speak which lasted 12 hours. She was confused and disoriented. MRI disclosed a tiny area of increased T2- signal and restricted diffusion in the splenium. Serum Na was 133 mmol/L, CSF cell count and protein was markedly elevated, and enteroviral infection was detected. Echocardiography showed no changes predisposing to clot formation and no thrombophilia was found. Her symptoms resolved in a week and MRI was normal two months later. These two non-epileptic children increase the small number of white European patients with MERS reported so far. Both had hyponatremia and encephalitis and patient 2 had transient ischemic attack, possibly due to the cerebral edema also resulting in the splenial lesion.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Blood lipid peroxidation, antioxidant enzyme activities and hemorheological changes in autistic children]

LÁSZLÓ Aranka, NOVÁK Zoltán, SZÕLLÕSI-VARGA Ilona, HAI Quai Du, VETRÓ Ágnes, KOVÁCS Attila

[Objectives - Early infantile autism is a severe form of childhood psychiatric disease with characteristic symptoms. Hyperserotoninaemia in 43.5%, lactic acidosis 43% and hyperpyruvataemia in 30% were biochemically demonstrated in autistic children. Our earlier results led to the postulation that a disequilibrium in the blood redox is involved in infantile autism; the oxidative loading and the antioxidant defending enzyme system were investigated together with the hemorheological parameters in infantile autism. Methods - Malonyl-dialdehyde (MDA) endproduct of lipid peroxidation and activities of the antioxidant enzymes: superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (C-ase), glutathione peroxidase (GP-ase) and reduced glutathione (GSH) were biochemically determined from plasma and red blood cells. Patients - The antioxidant specificities were investigated in plasma and red blood cell haemolysate from 25 infantile autistic children. Results - Significantly increased superoxide dismutase (SOD) (2.89 vs. 1.32 U/mg protein, p<0.01) and decreased glutathione peroxidase (0.620 vs. 0.910 U/mg protein, p<0.01) levels as well as catalase (0.463 vs. 4.948 BU/mg protein, p<0.001) activities were detected; while the plasma and erythrocyte lipid peroxidation and the reduced glutathione (GSH) levels did not change. The results of the investigated prooxidant and the antioxidant status provide evidence that there exists an oxidative stress in children with infantile autism. While investigating the hemorheological parameters of 25 infantile autistic patients, some characteristic pathological parameters were detected: the initial filtration rate (Fi) (0.72 vs. 0.75 p<0,01) and the clogging rate (CR) (1.926 vs. 2.912, p<0.01) values of red blood cells (RBC) decreased while the mean transit time (Tc) (8.93 vs. 7.39, p<0.001) increased suggesting reduced RBC deformability.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Intact short-term memory and impaired executive functions in obsessive compulsive disorder]

DEMETER Gyula, RACSMÁNY Mihály, CSIGÓ Katalin, HARSÁNYI András, NÉMETH Attila, DÖME László

[Background and purpose - Previous neuropsychological studies produced inconsistent results with tasks tapping short-term verbal and visual-spatial memory and executive functions in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of deficits in these cognitive domains. A further goal was to describe the distribution of patients in different impairment ranges for all functions, and clarify the relationship between symptom severity and cognitive impairments. Methods - Thirty patients with OCD (DSM-IV) and 30 healthy volunteers were compared using well-known neuropsychological tasks. We assessed short-term verbal memory with the Digit Span Forward and Digit Span Backward Tasks, short-term visual-spatial memory with the Corsi Block Tapping Task, while we measured the level of executive functions with the StroopTask and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). Results - Compared with a matched healthy control group, the performance of OCD patients was in the impaired range only in the two executive tasks. We find a significant positive correlations between the Y-BOCS (Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale) total scores and the number of perseverative responses (r(28)=0.409, p<0.05) and perseverative errors (r(28)=0.385, p<0.05) in the WCST. Conclusion - Our results gave evidence that executive functions are impaired while short-term memory is intact in OCD. This is in line with neuropsychological model of OCD that the deficit of cognitive and behavioral inhibition are responsible for the main cognitive findings of this disorder, most prevalently the deficit in set shifting and prepotent response inhibition.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[What happens to vertiginous population after emission from the Emergency Department?]

MAIHOUB Stefani, MOLNÁR András, CSIKÓS András, KANIZSAI Péter, TAMÁS László, SZIRMAI Ágnes

[Background – Dizziness is one of the most frequent complaints when a patient is searching for medical care and resolution. This can be a problematic presentation in the emergency department, both from a diagnostic and a management standpoint. Purpose – The aim of our study is to clarify what happens to patients after leaving the emergency department. Methods – 879 patients were examined at the Semmel­weis University Emergency Department with vertigo and dizziness. We sent a questionnaire to these patients and we had 308 completed papers back (110 male, 198 female patients, mean age 61.8 ± 12.31 SD), which we further analyzed. Results – Based on the emergency department diagnosis we had the following results: central vestibular lesion (n = 71), dizziness or giddiness (n = 64) and BPPV (n = 51) were among the most frequent diagnosis. Clarification of the final post-examination diagnosis took several days (28.8%), and weeks (24.2%). It was also noticed that 24.02% of this population never received a proper diagnosis. Among the population only 80 patients (25.8%) got proper diagnosis of their complaints, which was supported by qualitative statistical analysis (Cohen Kappa test) result (κ = 0.560). Discussion – The correlation between our emergency department diagnosis and final diagnosis given to patients is low, a phenomenon that is also observable in other countries. Therefore, patient follow-up is an important issue, including the importance of neurotology and possibly neurological examination. Conclusion – Emergency diagnosis of vertigo is a great challenge, but despite of difficulties the targeted and quick case history and exact examination can evaluate the central or peripheral cause of the balance disorder. Therefore, to prevent declination of the quality of life the importance of further investigation is high.]

Clinical Neuroscience

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

[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

[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

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.