Clinical Neuroscience

[Movement analyzing devices for analyzing the actual state of patients with movement disorders]

JOBBÁGY Ákos, HARCOS Péter, FAZEKAS Gábor, VALÁLIK István

MARCH 24, 2010

Clinical Neuroscience - 2010;63(03-04)

[Movement analysis gives valuable information on the actual state of patients. Based on it, the early diagnosis and objective assessment of the progress of several diseases can be helped. Our research work has been focused on developing clinically applicable movement analyzing devices.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Role of diagnosis of dyslipidemia in primary and secondary vascular prevention in a neurology department]

HORVÁTH Eszter, VADASDI Károly, VASTAGH Ildikó, FOLYOVICH András

[Lipids have important functions in the human body, but high serum cholesterol level is an important risk factor for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. Prevention of stroke includes modifying risk factors, like dyslipidemias. Based on this theory, we examined in practice the possible role of a public care neurology and stroke department with a large patient turnover in vascular risk screening with regard to the diagnosis of hyperlipidemia. We reviewed all the medical records (irrespective of disease groups) of patients hospitalized in 2007 at Department of Neurology and Stroke Center of Szent János Hospital of the Municipality of the City of Budapest. Patients included in the study were classified into three groups: 1. those admitted with acute stroke; 2. those with a history of acute stroke, but without evidence of a novel cerebrovascular event; 3. no history and evidence of cerebrovascular disease during hospitalization. Our data show that 17.6% of patients was diagnosed with hyperlipidemia during hospital care, and another 18.5% was known to have elevated cholesterol levels. Altogether, 36.1% of the 1438 patients evaluated had hyperlipidemia. Known hypercholesterolemia was 18.4% in patients admitted for acute stroke, 26.9% in patients formerly (but not currently) treated for cerebrovascular disease, and 13.6% in the third group. Newly diagnosed elevated cholesterol levels had highest rate (22.6%) in former stroke patients (currently treated for other diseases); 20.4% in patients with acute stroke, and 13.2% in the third group. In the first two groups, the number of patients newly diagnosed with elevated serum cholesterol almost equaled to those with already known hypercholesterolemia. Based on our data, neurology departments have an important role in diagnosing hyperlipidemia and vascular prevention.]

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[Deep brain stimulation for treatment refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder - a case report]

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

[In the last 30 years it has been a great development in the understanding and therapy of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Adequate pharmaco- and cognitive-behavior therapies reduce the symptoms in 40-60% of patients, so a remarkable portion of patients still remains refractory to conventional treatment. Neurosurgery - with it’s reversible and irreversible techniques - brought a breakthrough in the therapy of treatment refractory patients. In the present case, we represent a 3 months follow-up of an obsessive-compulsive patient treated by deep brain stimulation. In our case, the stimulation target was the anterior limb of internal capsule. The clinical symptoms were measured by Y-BOCS. In addition various neuropsychological tests were used to monitor patient’s executive functions before and 3 months after the deep brain stimulation. We found that obsessive-compulsive symptoms improved after three months of the stimulation. The neuropsychological tests showed improvement in some executive functions (e.g. fluency, set-shifting, decision making). On the other hand our results revealed severe neurocognitive - mainly attention skill - deficits in a treatment refractory obsessive-compulsive patient.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Differential diagnosis of atypical Parkinsonian syndromes]

CSÓTI Ilona, FORNÁDI Ferenc

[Atypical Parkinson syndromes are distinguished from idiopathic Parkinson disease by insufficient or missing response to dopaminergic replacement therapy and therefore they have significantly unfavorable prognoses. Early differential diagnosis is very important for the patient. It enables the therapist to give suitable consults, to avoid unnecessary or inappropriate therapy, which are not free of medication side effects and furthermore facilitates the selection of adapted symptomatically medical and physical measures of treatment. In case of future development of neuroprotective or causally therapy strategies correct diagnosis will allow an early start of therapy. The differential diagnosis separation of the three clinical pictures from the idiopathic Parkinson disease with clinical criteria might be difficult in the early stage of disease. Additional neuroimaging and nuclear medical investigations may support the clinical probable diagnosis.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Numbers, counting and calculating problems in view of cognitive neurology]

MÁRKUS Attila

[The ability to count and calculate is a human-specific skill comprised of understanding numeric values and categories and performing numerical operations; it is an acoustic-verbal symbolic activity that may be expressed in writing and understood by reading. The neuronal bases and precursors of cognitive systems have been supplied to mankind by the process of evolution. Abilities to create symbols (speech, visual letter and number symbols) must have played a decisive role in the emergence of man from the world of primates. Although counting and calculating problems are classified into numerous types, two main forms of dyscalculia have practical importance: the acquired one (the loss of learned knowledge) and the developmental one (the disturbance of the acquisition of arythmetical knowledge).]

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Alexithymia is associated with cognitive impairment in patients with Parkinson’s disease

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Cognitive dysfunction (CD) is a common non-motor symptom of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Alexithy­mia is a still poorly understood neuropsychiatric feature of PD. Cognitive impairment (especially visuospatial dysfunction and executive dysfunction) and alexithymia share com­mon pathology of neuroanatomical structures. We hypo­thesized that there must be a correlation between CD and alexithymia levels considering this relationship of neuroanatomy. Objective – The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between alexithymia and neurocognitive function in patients with PD. Thirty-five patients with PD were included in this study. The Toronto Alexithymia Scale–20 (TAS-20), Geriatric Depression Inventory (GDI) and a detailed neuropsychological evaluation were performed. Higher TAS-20 scores were negatively correlated with Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) similarities test score (r =-0.71, p value 0.02), clock drawing test (CDT) scores (r=-0.72, p=0.02) and verbal fluency (VF) (r=-0.77, p<0.01). Difficulty identifying feelings subscale score was negatively correlated with CDT scores (r=-0.74, p=0.02), VF scores (r=-0.66, p=0.04), visual memory immediate recall (r=-0.74, p=0.01). VF scores were also correlated with difficulty describing feelings (DDF) scores (r=-0.66, p=0.04). There was a reverse relationship bet­ween WAIS similarities and DDF scores (r=-0.70, p=0.02), and externally oriented-thinking (r=-0.77,p<0.01). Executive function Z score was correlated with the mean TAS-20 score (r=-62, p=0.03) and DDF subscale score (r=-0.70, p=0.01) Alexithymia was found to be associated with poorer performance on visuospatial and executive function test results. We also found that alexithymia was significantly correlated with depressive symptoms. Presence of alexithymia should therefore warn the clinicians for co-existing CD.

Clinical Neuroscience

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Although vertigo is one of the most common complaints, intracranial malignant tumors rarely cause sudden asymmetry between the tone of the vestibular peripheries masquerading as a peripheral-like disorder. Here we report a case of simultaneous temporal bone infiltrating macro-metastasis and disseminated multi-organ micro-metastases presenting as acute unilateral vestibular syndrome, due to the reawakening of a primary gastric signet ring cell carcinoma. Purpose – Our objective was to identify those pathophysiological steps that may explain the complex process of tumor reawakening, dissemination. The possible causes of vestibular asymmetry were also traced. A 56-year-old male patient’s interdisciplinary medical data had been retrospectively analyzed. Original clinical and pathological results have been collected and thoroughly reevaluated, then new histological staining and immunohistochemistry methods have been added to the diagnostic pool. During the autopsy the cerebrum and cerebellum was edematous. The apex of the left petrous bone was infiltrated and destructed by a tumor mass of 2x2 cm in size. Histological reexamination of the original gastric resection specimen slides revealed focal submucosal tumorous infiltration with a vascular invasion. By immunohistochemistry mainly single infiltrating tumor cells were observed with Cytokeratin 7 and Vimentin positivity and partial loss of E-cadherin staining. The subsequent histological examination of necropsy tissue specimens confirmed the disseminated, multi-organ microscopic tumorous invasion. Discussion – It has been recently reported that the expression of Vimentin and the loss of E-cadherin is significantly associated with advanced stage, lymph node metastasis, vascular and neural invasion and undifferentiated type with p<0.05 significance. As our patient was middle aged and had no immune-deficiency, the promoting factor of the reawakening of the primary GC malignant disease after a 9-year-long period of dormancy remained undiscovered. The organ-specific tropism explained by the “seed and soil” theory was unexpected, due to rare occurrence of gastric cancer to metastasize in the meninges given that only a minority of these cells would be capable of crossing the blood brain barrier. Patients with past malignancies and new onset of neurological symptoms should alert the physician to central nervous system involvement, and the appropriate, targeted diagnostic and therapeutic work-up should be established immediately. Targeted staining with specific antibodies is recommended. Recent studies on cell lines indicate that metformin strongly inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition of gastric cancer cells. Therefore, further studies need to be performed on cases positive for epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

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Clinical Neuroscience

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

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[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

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease: A single center experience and systemic analysis of cases in Turkey

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We aimed to analyze the clinical, laboratory and neuroimaging findings in patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in a single center as well as to review other published cases in Turkey. Between January 1st, 2014 and June 31st, 2017, all CJD cases were evaluated based on clinical findings, differential diagnosis, the previous misdiagnosis, electroencephalography (EEG), cerebrospinal fluid and cranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in our center. All published cases in Turkey between 2005-2018 were also reviewed. In a total of 13 patients, progressive cognitive decline was the most common presenting symptom. Two patients had a diagnosis of Heidenhain variant, 1 patient had a diagnosis of Oppenheimer-Brownell variant. Seven patients (53.3%) had been misdiagnosed with depression, vascular dementia, normal pressure hydrocephalus or encephalitis. Eleven patients (87%) had typical MRI findings but only 5 of these were present at baseline. Asymmetrical high signal abnormalities on MRI were observed in 4 patients. Five patients (45.4%) had periodic spike wave complexes on EEG, all appeared during the follow-up. There were 74 published cases in Turkey bet­ween 2005 and 2018, with various clinical presentations. CJD has a variety of clinical features in our patient series as well as in cases reported in Turkey. Although progressive cognitive decline is the most common presenting symptom, unusual manifestations in early stages of the disease might cause misdiagnosis. Variant forms should be kept in mind in patients with isolated visual or cerebellar symptoms. MRI and EEG should be repeated during follow-up period if the clinical suspicion still exists.