Clinical Neuroscience

[Myelination disturbance in a patient with hyperuricemia and hyperserotoninemia combined with 18q deletion syndrome]

LÁSZLÓ Aranka1, VÖRÖS Erika2, BUGA Klára3, HORVÁTH Katalin4, MAYER Péter5, OSZTOVICS Magda†6, PÁVICS László7, SVEKUS András8, PATTERSON C. Marc9

NOVEMBER 30, 2009

Clinical Neuroscience - 2009;62(11-12)

[We previously reported a male patient with an 18q21.3 deletion, hyperuricemia and typical symptoms of the Lesch- Nyhan syndrome who lacked hypoxanthine-guanine-phosphoribosyl- transferase (HGPRT) deficiency. The patient developed progressive peripheral neuropathy in additon to his profound mental retardation and self-injurious behavior. At the age of 23 years MR imaging revealed globally delayed myelination with relative sparing of the corpus callosum and frontal lobes. They were focal hyperintensities suggestive of gliosis. Multimodality evoked potentials found evidence of impaired central and peripheral conduction. Single photon emission computed tomographic (SPECT) imaging demonstrated left frontal hyperperfusion and under it a temporoparietal hypoperfusion.]


  1. Department of Pediatrics and Children's Health Center, Albert Szent-Györgyi Medical Centre, University of Szeged, Szeged
  2. Department of Radiology, Albert Szent-Györgyi Medical Centre, University of Szeged, Szeged
  3. Clinic of Nuclear Medicine, Imre Haynal Health Science University, Budapest
  4. Department of Radiology, Imre Haynal Health Science University, Budapest
  5. Department of Neurology Erzsébet Hospital, Hódmezôvásárhely
  6. Department of Genetics, Ágost-Schöpf-Merei Hospital, Budapest
  7. Department of Nuclear Medicine, Albert Szent-Györgyi Medical Centre, University of Szeged, Szeged
  8. Kálmán Pándy Hospital, Department of Paediatrics, Gyula
  9. Division of Pediatric Neurology, Departments of Neurology and Pediatrics, Columbia University, New York



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[New vistas and views in the concept of generalized epilepsies]


[The aim of this work is to show explicitly why the “idiopathic generalized epilepsy” concept becomes outfashioned and untenable. As the concept of “generalized epilepsies” is from long ago closely related to the thalamo-cortical system, we briefly summarize the functional anatomy, the double working mode of the thalamo-cortical system in different vigilance states and it’s role in development of the spike - wave pattern. The next part shows weaknesses of this concept from the EEG, seizure semiology, and neuroimaging point of view. Further experimental and clinical arguments are accumulated from the reflex epileptic features in IGE, indicating local/regional cortical hyperexcitability. A separate part is devoted to genetic aspects of the question. Lastly implications to epilepsy classification are shown and an outlook toward a unified epilepsy concept is provided. The epileptic disorder of the thalamo-cortical system is responsible for the development of “generalized", synchronous spike-wave paroxysms as the common neurophysiological background in “primary” - idiopathic and in “secondary” generalized epilepsies. This disorder is specifically related to the burstfiring working mode of the thalamo-cortical system during NREM sleep (is an epileptic exageration of it). The “generalized” epilepsy category should be abandoned, being misleading. Epilepsies are proposed to be classified according to their network properties and relations to different physiological systems of the brain. The different phenotypes, named earlier idiopathic (primary) generalized, or symptomatic (secondary) generalized (with encephalopathic features), should be delineated depending on the following factors: 1. speed and extent of syncronization within the thalamo-cortical system, 2. the way how the thalamo-cortical system is involved, 3. which kind of cortical triggers play role, 4. the degree and level of the disorder (restricted to the molecular level or extended to the level of structural alterations - in the cortex or more diffusely, 5. genetic targets and features.]

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[Role of zonisamid in treating epilepsy, Parkinson disorders and other neurological diseases]


[On the basis of six randomized controlled trials, zonisamide (ZNS) can be prescribed as add-on treatment in focal adulthood epilepsy in USA and Europe. In Japan, it can be prescribed as first-line monotherapy drug - independent of age. ZNS may also be effective in idiopathic generalized epilepsy and some difficult-to-treat epilepsies including West, Lennox-Gastaut, or Dravet syndromes. The most frequent side effects of ZNS are related to central nervous system occurring in 19%. Kidney stones and oligohidrosis are ZNS-specific side effects. Loss of appetite and weight are usually “beneficial” effects. ZNS is not recommended in pregnancy. ZNS can be taken once daily, which may be beneficial in non-compliance. The pathomechanism of ZNS is different from other antiepileptic drugs. ZNS has an effect on the voltage-gated Na+- and T-type Ca2+ channels as well as on the dopaminerg, glutamaterg, cholinerg, and GABAerg systems. The multiple way of action may be the reason why ZNS seems to be a broad-spectrum drug and beneficial in various neurological disorders. ZNS reduces production of free radicals according to in vitro and in vivo studies. Animal experiments suggest that ZNS may be a neuroprotective agent. Based on an adequate randomized controlled trial, ZNS is effective in adjuctive treatment of Parkinson disorder. A peculiar benefit of the ZNS is that parallel to its positive effect on motor impairment it also reduces severity of dyskinesias. ZNS may be effective in bipolar disorder, obesity, eating disorders, and migraine prophylaxis.]

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[Quantitative analysis of the genes determining spinal muscular atrophy]


[Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is one of the most common autosomal recessive diseases, affecting approximately one in 10.000 live births and with a carrier frequency of approximately one in 35. The disease is caused by a deficiency of the ubiquitous protein survival of motor neuron (SMN), which is encoded by the SMN1 and SMN2 genes. Due to a single nucleotide polymorphism in exon 7, SMN2 produces less full-length transcript than SMN1 and cannot prevent neuronal cell death at physiologic gene dosages. On the other hand, the copy number of SMN2 affects the amount of SMN protein produced and the severity of the SMA phenotype. SMN gene dosage analysis can determine the copy number of SMN1 to detect carriers and patients heterozygous for the absence of SMN1 exon 7. This study provides copy number estimation of SMN1 gene by real-time PCR technique in 56 SMA type I., II., III. patients, 159 parents and healthy relatives and in 152 undefined SMA patients. Among the family members, 91 carriers have been detected and in 56 patients homozygous deletion of SMN1 exon 7 has been confirmed. Moreover, in 12 patients compound heterozygosity of SMN1 exon 7 mutation has been detected, thus providing the possible diagnosis of SMA. In 94 patients, copy number of SMN2 has also been evaluated and a good correlation has been found with the phenotype of the disease. Due to the genetic complexity and the high carrier frequency, accurate risk assessment and genetic counselling are particularly important for the families. These new results provide improvement of the diagnostic service in SMA in Hungary with focus on proper genetic counselling and possible enrolment of the patients in future therapeutic interventions.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Guillain–Barré syndrome in childhood]

KOLLÁR Katalin, LIPTAI Zoltán, ROSDY Beáta, MÓSER Judit

[Background - Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is clinically well known since 1916. It can occur at any age. Its main characteristic is acute rapidly ascending flaccid paresis. It is a neuro-immunologic disorder with heterogeneous background. In Hungary we could not find reports about big paediatric population with GBS. Patient and method - We analysed retrospectively the data of 38 children diagnosed and treated with GBS at the Neurological Department of Paul Heim Children’s Hospital or at the Paediatric Department of St. László Hospital from January 2000 till April 2008. We analysed the clinical characteristics, seriousness of clinical signs, laboratory results, and electrophysiological features of them as well documented the preceding illness. We observed the effectiveness of our treatment; we measured the speed and time of the healing process and documented the residual clinical signs. Results - 35 children could be classified as having acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (AIDP), 2 as having acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN) and 1 as Miller-Fisher syndrome. By those patients who at the very beginning did not show the characteristic clinical signs, electrophysiology helped in establishing the diagnosis. By one child spinal MRI with gadolinium supported our diagnosis. Those children, who lost their ambulation, got immunotherapy: intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) or plasmapheresis (PEX). Both method seemed to be effective. None of our patients died. All were cured. By five patients residual clinical symptoms could be found. Conclusion - The disease process, the relative incidence of each subtype of GBS is nearly similar to that in Western Europe and North America according to the literature. By the currently used immune therapy most of the pediatric patients recover fully within a short time.]

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[The aim of our study was to determine regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) abnormalities in different types of enzymopathies. Patients and methods - Among the patients with genetically determined enzymopathies 3 patients had aminoacidopathies, and 11 had different types of encephalopathies, from which 10 had mitochondrial encephalomyopathy (MEMP), and 1 patient had hyperuricaemic encephalopathy. Besides the mentioned 14 patients, 1 had ceroid lipofuscinosis and another patient had tuberous sclerosis. The further distribution of the MEMP patients’ group was the following - 5 patients had MEMP with lactic acidosis, 5 had Leigh’s disease (subacute necrotizing encephalopathy), from which 1 had cytochrome-c-oxidase deficiency (COX). Additionally in all patients were performed cerebral MRI and SPECT examination 10 min. after intravenous administration of 20 Mbq/kg 99 mTc-HMPAO. Results - Fourteen out of 16 SPECT findings were pathologic, showing decreased focal frontal/temporal/temporoparietal cerebral blood perfusion. Aminoacidopathic group - all the 3 patients revealed pathologic signs from the aminoacidopathic patients’ group. Among them the ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC) heterozygous female patient with left-sided hemiparesis caused by hyperammonemic stroke at 10 month-age, showed right sided temporoparietal, occipital and left frontal hypoperfusion, nearly 6 years after the cerebral vascular attack. This finding might be resulted because of diaschisis. Mitochondrial encephalo-myopathic (MEMP) group - all the four patients with MEMP and lactic acidosis showed focal hypoperfusion in the temporal region, while the perfusion was normal in the COX deficient patient and in 2 Leigh’s disease (subacute necrotizing encephalopathy) patients. In the remaining 1 Leigh’s patient frontotemporal hypoperfusion was found. In all patients there were non specific structural abnormalities detected by MRI - cortical and subcortical atrophy, and scattered demyelination foci. In the case of ceroid lipofuscinosis the MRI showed cerebral atrophy and cerebellar hypoplasia, and the SPECT showed right frontal and occipital hypoperfusion, bilateral parietal physiological riping process. The patient with tuberous sclerosis showed bilateral temporo-occipital hypoperfusion. Conclusion - 1. SPECT images demonstrated hypoperfusion rCBF changes in 14 out of all 16 patients. 2. Regional cerebral/cerebellar hypoperfusion was detected by SPECT in mitochondrial encephalomyopathies, with lactate acidosis and aminoacidopathies giving high informative value about the cerebral perfusion.]

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[Here one case report of the posterior ischaemic optic neuropathy, a rare and underdiagnosed form of the non arteritic ischaemic optic neuropathy is presented, to underline the value of the MRI in the diagnosis. The ischaemic optic neuropathy is the infarction of the optic nerve. Depending on the affected segment of optic nerve (optic nerve head or retrobulbar segment) two subclasses exist: the anterior (AION) and the posterior (PION) ischaemic optic neuropathy. Ischaemic optic neuropathy characterized by sudden, painless, mononuclear loss of vision, and/or visual field defect, that is accompanied by a diagnostic picture of the optic disc fundus only in the case of the AION. The diagnosis of the PION is based on a diagnosis of exclusion described by Hayreh in 1981. The macular and retinal laesions, the etiological role of toxic agent, the compression and the inflammation of the optic nerve all have to be excluded. The differential diagnosis between the PION and the retrobulbar neuritis is more difficult. Nowadays, in addition to the case history and the clinical data the diagnosis of the PION could be confirmed with help of VEP (visual evoked potential) and MRI. In the case of an old woman who had a sudden, painless visual loss of left eye we confirmed the diagnosis of PION with MRI which was presumed after had excluding other etiological factors.]