Clinical Neuroscience

[Mentalizing deficit in neurological disorders: a review article]

HEROLD Róbert1, VARGA Eszter1, MIKE Andrea2, TÉNYI Tamás1, SIMON Mária1, HAJNAL András1, FEKETE Sándor1, ILLÉS Zsolt2,3,4

NOVEMBER 20, 2015

Clinical Neuroscience - 2015;68(11-12)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.18071/isz.68.364

[Introduction – Mentalization is the ability to attribute mental states (intentions, desires, thoughts, emotions) to others, and hence to predict their behaviour. This ability fundamentally determines our participation in social relationships and adaptation to society. A significant proportion of the disorders of the central nervous system (CNS) affects those brain structures and neurotransmitter systems that play a role in the mentalizing processes. Accordingly, a number of CNS disorders may be associated with mentalizing deficits, which may affect the outcome of these diseases. Here, we review recent research on mentalizing abilities in neurological diseases. Methods – An internet database search was performed to identify publications on the subject. Results – Sixty-two publications in English corresponded to the search criteria. These publications reported impaired mentalization in several neurological disorders (e.g. epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, dementias, traumatic brain injury). Discussion – The results indicate that a number of neurological disorders associate with mentalizing deficit. This deficit is often present in the early stages of the diseases and has a prognostic value, which in turn emphasizes the importance of the early detection and adequate rehabilitation.]

AFFILIATIONS

  1. Pécsi Tudományegyetem, Pszichiátriai és Pszichoterápiás Klinika, Pécs
  2. Pécsi Tudományegyetem, Neurológiai Klinika, Pécs
  3. MTA-PTE Clinical Neuroscience MR Research Group, Pécs
  4. Department of Neurology, Institute of Clinical Research, Odense University Hospital, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Earlier and more efficiently: the role of deep brain stimulation for parkinson’s disease preserving the working capabilities]

DELI Gabriella, BALÁS István, KOMOLY Sámuel, DÓCZI Tamás, JANSZKY József, ASCHERMANN Zsuzsanna, NAGY Ferenc, BOSNYÁK Edit, KOVÁCS Norbert

[Background – The recently published “EarlyStim” study demonstrated that deep brain stimulation (DBS) for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) with early fluctuations is superior to the optimal pharmacological treatment in improving the quality of life and motor symptoms, and preserving sociocultural position. Our retrospective investigation aimed to evaluate if DBS therapy was able to preserve the working capabilities of our patients. Methods – We reviewed the data of 39 young (<60 years-old) PD patients who underwent subthalamic DBS implantation at University of Pécs and had at least two years follow-up. Patients were categorized into two groups based on their working capabilities: Patients with active job (“Job+” group, n=15) and retired patients (without active job, “Job-” group, n=24). Severity of motor symptoms (UPDRS part 3), quality of life (EQ-5D) and presence of active job were evaluated one and two years after the operation. Results – As far as the severity of motor symptoms were concerned, similar (approximately 50%) improvement was achieved in both groups. However, the postoperative quality of life was significantly better in the Job+ group. Majority (12/15, 80%) of Job+ group members were able to preserve their job two years after the operation. However, only a minimal portion (1/24, 4.2%) of the Job- group members was able to return to the world of active employees (p<0.01, McNemar test). Conclusion – Although our retrospective study has several limitations, our results fit well with the conclusions of “EarlyStim” study. Both of them suggest that with optimal timing of DBS implantation we may preserve the working capabilities of our patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[A rare complication of a rare disease; stroke due to relapsing polychondritis]

KILIC COBAN Eda, XANMEMMEDOV Elimir, COLAK Melek, SOYSAL Aysun

[Relapsing polychondritis (RP) is an episodic and progressive inflammatory disease of cartilaginous structures. Its diagnosis is based primarily on clinical features such as laboratory parameters, biopsy. Neurological complications occur in 3% of the cases and are classified as an important cause of death. The cranial nerve disorders are most common but hemiplegia, ataxia, myelitis, polyneuritis, seizures, confusion, hallucination and headache can also happen. The aetiology of central nervous system involvement is still unknown. Moreover stroke has rarely reported in these patients. The diagnosis of stroke is challenging because of its rarity among these patients. Perhaps vasculitis is the common underlying mechanism. Also meningitis and encephalitis can occur during the course of RP. A 44 year-old woman was admitted with uncontemplated left hemiparesis, redness, swelling, and tenderness of the metacarpophalangeal and interphalangeal joints of the right hand and the cartilaginous portion. White blood cell count, C-reactive protein and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate were elevated. Vasculitis biomarkers were normal in our patient. Carotid and vertebral artery doppler ultrasonography, cranial and cervical MR Angiography were normal. Echocardiography showed a mild mitral valve prolapse and regurgitation. Our patient had the history of auricular polychondritis but she had not been diagnosed. Hemiparesis was her first neurological manifestation that led her to doctors for diagnosis. Our patient fulfilled the criteria of RP so no biopsy was needed. She was treated with oral prednisolone (80 mg/day) and aspirin (300 mg/day) and now she is on 10 mg prednisolone and 150 mg azathioprine. Two months later her physical and neurological symptoms returned to normal.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Sleep disordered breathing and epilepsy: relationships and therapeutic considerations]

FALUDI Béla, BÓNÉ Beáta, KOMOLY Sámuel, JANSZKY József

[The importance of the sleep related breathing disorders (obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, central sleep apnea, and Cheyne-Stokes breathing) in the pathophysiology crebro- and cardiovascular disorders is well known. The relationship of sleep related breathing abnormalities and epilepsy is also important but underestimated in the daily practice. The relation is bidirectional. The breathing abnormalities in sleep may play important role in generating epileptic seizure, but the adverse effect of seizure and antiepileptic therapy (generation of apneas and hypopneas) may worsen the seizure control. The effect of new therapies (vagal nerve and deep brain stimulation) on the sleep architecture and sleep disordered breathing must be examined and discussed. Here we present a brief case of epileptic patient with deep brain stimulation therapy on sleep as well. The examination of the sleep related breathing abnormalities in epilepsy patient may help improve the effectiveness of antiepileptic therapy.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Novel strategy in the radiotherapy of metastatic brain tumors: simultaneous whole brain radiotherapy and integrated stereotactic radiosurgery]

KALINCSÁK Judit, LÁSZLÓ Zoltán, SEBESTYÉN Zsolt, KOVÁCS Péter, HORVÁTH Zsolt, DÓCZI Tamás, MAGNEL László

[Background and purpose – Treatment of central nervous system (CNS) tumors has always played an important role in development of radiotherapy techniques. Precise patient immobilisation, non-coplanar field arrangement, conformal treatment, arc therapy, radiosurgery, application of image fusion to radiation planning or re-irradiation were first introduced into clinical routine in the treatment of brain tumors. Methods – A modern multifunctional radiation instrument, Novalis TX has been installed at the University of Pécs two years ago. New methods, such as real time 3D image guided therapy, dynamic arc therapy and ultra-conformity offer further progress in treatment of CNS tumors. Whole brain irradiation and simultaneous fractionated stereotactic radiosurgery or integrated boost seem to be an optimal method in the treatment of not only soliter or oligo, but even a higher number (4-9) and not typically radiosensitive brain metastases. The new treatment strategy is illustrated by presentation of four case histories. Results – Treatment protocol was completed in all cases. Treatment period of 1.5 to 3 weeks, and treatment time of only a few minutes were not stressful for the patients. A quite remarkable clinical improvement as to general condition of the patients was experienced in three cases. Follow-up images confirmed either remission or a stable disease. Conclusions – Simultaneous whole brain radiotherapy and integrated stereotactic radiosurgery is a reproducible, safe method that offers an effective irradiation with delivery of definitive dosage even in cases with radio-insensitive brain metastasis.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Attachment as a predictor of risk for eating disorders on a representative hungarian adult sample]

SZALAI Dömötör Tamás, CZEGLÉDI Edit

[Background and purpose – Many studies confirm the relationship between attachment disturbances and (the severity of) eating disorders, however among them only one Hungarian study can be found. The exact predisposing traits of attachment and the strength of relationship is still uncleared. Our aim was to explore these aspects. Methods – Study was based on a cross-sectional nationally representative survey, called „Hungarostudy 2013” (N=2000, 46.9% males, mean age 46.9 years, SD=18.24 years). Measures: Sociodemographic and self-reported anthropometric data (weight and height), short Hungarian version of Relationship Scale Questionnaire, SCOFF questionnaire and short Hungarian version of Beck Depression Inventory. Results – The frequency of risk for eating disorders (anorexia or bulimia nervosa) was 3.9% (N=76) among the respondents (N=1860). Attachment anxiety was significantly higher in the risk for eating disorders group (t(1888)=-3.939, p<0.001), and significantly predicted the risk for eating disorders after adjusting for the potential background variables (OR=1.09, p=0.040). Detachment was not a significant predictor of risk for eating disorders (OR=0.98, p=0.515). Younger age (OR=0.97, p<0.001), higher level of depression (OR=1.09, p<0.001) and higher body mass index (OR=1.08, p<0.001) were also significant cross-sectional predictors of risk for eating disorders. The explained variance of the model was 10.7%. Conclusion – The study supported, that higher attachment anxiety is associated with the increased risk of eating disorders, with a possible therapeutic relevance. Assessment of attachment’s further aspects and creating multivariable models are required for more thorough understanding and optimising of intervention points.]

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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

Vestibular evoked myogenic potential responses in Parkinson’s disease

CICEKLI Esen, TITIZ Pinar Ayse, TITIZ Ali, OZTEKIN Nese, MUJDECI Banu

Background - Our objectives were to determine the differences in the vestibular evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) responses in patients diagnosed with early staged idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (PD) compared to the normal population and evaluate the vestibular system disorder causing balance-posture disorders. Second aim of this study was to investigate caloric test responses particularly in early staged PD compared to normal popu­lation. Material and methods - Thirty patients (14 females and 16 males; mean age, 60.6 ± 13.1 years) diagnosed with idiopathic PD and 28 healthy subjects (20 males and 8 females; mean age, 59.1 ± 6.4 years) were included. The patient and control groups were subdivided according to their age, gender and the patient group was subdivided according to onset time of the Parkinson symptoms, Hoehn-Yahr staging. The subgroups were compared for VEMP and caloric test responses. Results - There were no significant differences between the study and control groups for right and left VEMP measurements. Patients over 60 years and under 60 years did not show significant differences in terms of right and left mean VEMP measurements. However, P1 amplitude was significantly lower in patients over 60 years old (P = .004). Gender, disease duration, BERG balance scale and Hoehn-Yahr stage had no effect on the VEMP amplitudes. There was no significant correlation with the side of Parkinsonian symptoms to the side of canal paresis (P = .566) and the side on which no VEMP response was obtained in caloric test. Conclusion - VEMP responses were not different between PD and healthy subjects. VEMP P1 amplitude was decreased with age in PD group. Canal paresis and symptoms side were not statistically correlated in caloric test.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Family planning in multiple sclerosis: conception, pregnancy, breastfeeding]

RÓZSA Csilla

[Family planning is an exceptionally important question in multiple sclerosis, as women of childbearing age are the ones most often affected. Although it is proven that pregnancy does not worsen the long-term prognosis of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, many patients are still doubtful about having children. This question is further complicated by the fact that patients – and often even doctors – are not sufficiently informed about how the ever-increasing number of available disease-modifying treatments affect pregnancies. Breastfeeding is an even less clear topic. Patients usually look to their neurologists first for answers concerning these matters. It falls to the neurologist to rationally evaluate the risks and benefits of contraception, pregnancy, assisted reproduction, childbirth, breastfeeding and disease modifying treatments, to inform patients about these, and then together come to a decision about the best possible therapeutic approach, taking the patients’ individual family plans into consideration. Here we present a review of relevant literature adhering to international guidelines on the topics of conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding, with a special focus on the applicability of approved disease modifying treatments during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The goal of this article is to provide clinicians involved in the care of MS patients with up-to-date information that they can utilize in their day-to-day clinical practice. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Earlier and more efficiently: the role of deep brain stimulation for parkinson’s disease preserving the working capabilities]

DELI Gabriella, BALÁS István, KOMOLY Sámuel, DÓCZI Tamás, JANSZKY József, ASCHERMANN Zsuzsanna, NAGY Ferenc, BOSNYÁK Edit, KOVÁCS Norbert

[Background – The recently published “EarlyStim” study demonstrated that deep brain stimulation (DBS) for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) with early fluctuations is superior to the optimal pharmacological treatment in improving the quality of life and motor symptoms, and preserving sociocultural position. Our retrospective investigation aimed to evaluate if DBS therapy was able to preserve the working capabilities of our patients. Methods – We reviewed the data of 39 young (<60 years-old) PD patients who underwent subthalamic DBS implantation at University of Pécs and had at least two years follow-up. Patients were categorized into two groups based on their working capabilities: Patients with active job (“Job+” group, n=15) and retired patients (without active job, “Job-” group, n=24). Severity of motor symptoms (UPDRS part 3), quality of life (EQ-5D) and presence of active job were evaluated one and two years after the operation. Results – As far as the severity of motor symptoms were concerned, similar (approximately 50%) improvement was achieved in both groups. However, the postoperative quality of life was significantly better in the Job+ group. Majority (12/15, 80%) of Job+ group members were able to preserve their job two years after the operation. However, only a minimal portion (1/24, 4.2%) of the Job- group members was able to return to the world of active employees (p<0.01, McNemar test). Conclusion – Although our retrospective study has several limitations, our results fit well with the conclusions of “EarlyStim” study. Both of them suggest that with optimal timing of DBS implantation we may preserve the working capabilities of our patients.]