Clinical Neuroscience

[Neurocognitive impairments of HIV infected individuals - Preliminary results of a national prevalence study in Hungary]

LAKATOS Botond, SZABÓ Zsuzsa, BOZZAI Barbara, BÁNHEGYI Dénes, GAZDAG Gábor

NOVEMBER 28, 2014

Clinical Neuroscience - 2014;67(11-12)

[Background and purpose - The outcome of HIV infection has dramatically improved due to the widespread use of combined antiretroviral therapy (cART). Opportunistic infections faded and internal and hemato-oncological diseases along with neurological conditions came to the forth. Present study is to evaluate neurocognitive performance of the Hungarian HIV infected individuals, at first in this setting. Patients and methods - We performed this cross-sectional pilot study within the frames of a national, single-center; prospective study on group of HIV infected patients, analyzing medical data and neurocognitive performance. Based on international recommendations visual memory, visuomotor coordination, non-verbal learning ability, executive functions and reaction time were tested by six domains of a computerized neuropsychological test battery (Vienna Test System). Results - Data of 59 enrolled HIV individuals were analysed; nine of whom were women (15%), median age 42.6 (IQR: 32.4-48.1) years. In 32.2% (n=19) of patients neurocognitive impairment was detected. Duration of infection and cART treatment time tended to be longer in impaired group (not significant). Lower CD4 cell count at the time of examination (p=0.047), psychiatric diseases other than depression (p=0.005) were found significantly associated with impairment; tertiary education qualification were more common (p=0.033) among non-affected patients. By correlation analysis age, infected time and duration of cART were significantly associated with motor deficit. Conclusion - HAND was detected in almost one third part of examined patients, which largely corresponds that in developed countries were observed. Duration of infection and of cART therapy associated motor deficit was found to be the most common impairment. This finding might be interpreted by direct effect of HIV, neurotoxicity of antiretrovirals and also by accelerated ageing of this population.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Hungarian experiences with levodopa/carbidopa intestinal gel in the treatment of advanced Parkinson’s disease]

NAGY Helga, TAKÁTS Annamária, TÓTH Adrián, BERECZKI Dániel, KLIVÉNYI Péter, DÉZSI Lívia, DIBÓ György, VÉCSEI László, KOVÁCS Norbert, ASCHERMANN Zsuzsa, KOMOLY Sámuel, VARANNAI Lajos, ZEMLÉNYI Gyöngyi

[In the advanced Parkison’s disease (PD) the late complications of levodopa therapy have to be considered: motor and/or non-motor fluctuations with or without disturbing dyskinesias. The non-motor fluctuations often influence the quality of life (QoL) in a much more negative way compared with the motor symptoms. In the treatment of advanced PD there are several device-aided methods - deep brain stimulation, apomorphine pump, levodopa/carbidopa intestinal gel (LCIG ) - to improve the symptoms, the QoL, sometimes even in an individual, tailored custom form. The LCIG therapy was introduced in Hungary in 2011. Here we summarize the data of our patients: we have tested almost 60 patients and in 43 cases we have started this treatment. We analyze the duration of illness, levodopa therapy, motor and non-motor fluctuation of patients and present our experiences with the test phase and the chronic LCIG therapy via PEG/PEJ implantation. We paid attention to the surgery and device - depending side effects. Our experiences are similar to the international data. In patients selection „the right treatment, to the right patient, in the right time” is of importance.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[From life events to symptoms of anxiety and depression: the role of dysfunctional attitudes and coping]

MÉSZÁROS Veronika, AJTAY Gyöngyi, FODOR Kinga, KOMLÓSI Sarolta, BOROSS Viktor, BARNA Csilla, UDVARDY-MÉSZÁROS Ágnes, PERCZEL FORINTOS Dóra

[The aim of the present study was a systematic path-analytical investigation between the effects of life events, dysfunctional attitudes and coping strategies in relation with the exhibited depressive and anxiety symptoms in patients with mental disorders. Methods - Self-report data of 234 patients from our outpatient psychotherapy unit were analyzed. Life events, dysfunctional attitudes, coping strategies as well as symptoms of anxiety and depression were assessed by self-administerd questionnaires. Statistical methods included structural equation modelling, which enables the estimation of the magnitude and strength of individual variables within an overarching casual model, thus yielding a complex view on the possible processes underlying the development of the clinical symptoms of anxiety and depression. Results - Our findings indicate that both the number of negative life events and their subjectively experienced intensity contributed to the increase of dysfunctional attitudes. The presence of dysfunctional attitudes decreased the use of problem-focused coping strategies and increased the use of emotion-focused coping strategies. The use of problem-focused coping decreased symptom occurrence and emotion-focused coping strategies increased the frequency of symptoms of anxiety and depression. Our findings suggest that dysfunctional need for achievement and perfectionism directly increase the probability of depressive symptom manifestation. The attitude of external locus of control showed a significant relationship with anxiety symptoms through emotion-focused coping strategies and directly as well. Conclusion - Restructuring dysfunctional attitudes and developing problem-focused coping strategies are an important part of psychotherapeutic interventions aiming to decrease anxiety and depressive symptoms.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The modifying effect a PMP22 deletion in a family with Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 1 neuropathy due to an EGR2 mutation]

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[Background - Mutations of both the PMP22 and EGR2 genes cause Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease type 1. Deletion of the PMP22 gene, results in hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsies. More publications exist about the interaction of PMP22 duplication and other CMTcausing gene mutations. In these cases the intrafamiliar discordant phenotypes draw the attention to the possible role of modifying genes. The gene-gene interactions between the PMP22 and EGR2 genes are not well understood. Case report - We report two brothers with late onset CMT1 due to a c. 1142 G>A (Arg381His) heterozygous substitution in the EGR2 gene. Additionally, the older brother with the less severe symptoms harbored the PMP22 gene deletion also. Conclusion - The coexistence of the two genetic alterations did not aggravate the clinical symptoms. Moreover, the PMP22 deletion appeared to have a beneficial modifying effect, thus implying potential gene-gene interaction of PMP22 and EGR2. PMP22 deletion may increase Schwann cells proliferation and compensate the dominant-negative effect of the Arg381His substitution in the EGR2 gene.]

Clinical Neuroscience

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SZUPERA Zoltán

Clinical Neuroscience

[The interactive neuroanatomical simulation and practical application of frontotemporal transsylvian exposure in neurosurgery]

BALOGH Attila, CZIGLÉCZKI Gábor, PÁPAI Zsolt, PREUL C. Mark, BANCZEROWSKI Péter

[Background and purpose - There is an increased need for new digital education tools in neurosurgical training. Illustrated textbooks offer anatomic and technical reference but do not substitute hands-on experience provided by surgery or cadaver dissection. Due to limited availability of cadaver dissections the need for development of simulation tools has been augmented. We explored simulation technology for producing virtual reality-like reconstructions of simulated surgical approaches on cadaver. Practical application of the simulation tool has been presented through frontotemporal transsylvian exposure. Methods - The dissections were performed on two cadaveric heads. Arteries and veins were prepared and injected with colorful silicon rubber. The heads were rigidly fixed in Mayfield headholder. A robotic microscope with two digital cameras in inverted cone method of image acquisition was used to capture images around a pivot point in several phases of dissections. Multilayered, high-resolution images have been built into interactive 4D environment by custom developed software. Results - We have developed the simulation module of the frontotemporal transsylvian approach. The virtual specimens can be rotated or tilted to any selected angles and examined from different surgical perspectives at any stage of dissections. Important surgical issues such as appropriate head positioning or surgical maneuvers to expose deep situated neuroanatomic structures can be simulated and studied by using the module. Conclusion - The simulation module of the frontotemporal transsylvian exposure helps to examine effect of head positioning on the visibility of deep situated neuroanatomic structures and study surgical maneuvers required to achieve optimal exposure of deep situated anatomic structures. The simulation program is a powerful tool to study issues of preoperative planning and well suited for neurosurgical training.]

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

SENGUL Yildizhan, KOCAK Müge, CORAKCI Zeynep, SENGUL Serdar Hakan, USTUN Ismet

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.

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Comment to the article titled “Exploratory study of outcomes of blood sample mass examinations by rank correlations”]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[The author’s response to the comment on “Exploratory study of outcomes of blood sample mass examinations by rank correlations”]

Clinical Neuroscience

Late simultaneous carcinomatous meningitis, temporal bone infiltrating macro-metastasis and disseminated multi-organ micro-metastases presenting with mono-symptomatic vertigo – a clinico-pathological case reporT

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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.

Hypertension and nephrology

[About the care of patients with hyperuricaemia and gout]

[This consensus document is intended to provide guidance for the effective and efficient treatment of asymptomatic individuals with high uric acid levels and gout patients.]