Clinical Neuroscience

[Neuroprotection in Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders: preclinical and clinical findings]

RÁKÓCZI Károly, KLIVÉNYI Péter, VÉCSEI László

JANUARY 20, 2009

Clinical Neuroscience - 2009;62(01-02)

[The authors summarized the evidence supporting neuroprotection based on the data available in the literature. In vivo and in vitro studies have indicated that many compounds can decrease neurodegeneration, excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, protein aggregation, disturbance of Ca2+ homeostasis and compensate the energy impairment. Selegiline, rasagiline, dopamine agonists and other molecules (ubiquinone, kynurenic acid, tocopherol, creatine, glatiramer acetate) exert neuroprotective effects in preclinical studies. Much less clinical data are available regarding neuroprotection in different neurological disorders. In this review, such preclinical and clinical evidences are summarized.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Genetically determined neuromuscular disorders of some roma families living in Hungary (in English language)]

LÁSZLÓ Aranka, MAYER Péter, KÓBOR Jenõ, RÁCZ Katalin, TÁLOSI Gyula, ENDREFFY Emőke, HERCZEGFALVI Ágnes, HORTOBÁGYI Tibor, TISZLAVICZ László, BEREG Edit, KATONA Márta, SZABÓ János, KARCAGI Veronika

[The authors discuss the clinical and molecular genetic aspects of genetically determined neuromuscular disorders of some Roma families living in Hungary. Among the autosomal recessively inherited spinal muscular atrophic (SMA) group, 8 Caucasian children had the typical 7-8 exonal deletions of the SMA gene, but only 2 patients belonged to the Roma population. There was no difference in the molecular genetic findings among the Caucasian and the Roma SMA patients. All of them had 7- 8 exonal deletions of the SMA gene. We wanted to call attention to the founder mutation of the Roma population in 7 patients suffering from congenital myasthenia (CMS) from 3 Roma families. The 1267G deletion for CMS was detected by molecular genetic method. Clinical onset was pubertal and relatively slow progression of specific and phenotypic features for this founder mutation of acetyl-cholin receptor epsylon gene. In 2 patients (sister and brother) the sarcoglycanopathy 2C type C283Q mutation was proven in one Roma family suffering from limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD). Two out of the three facioscapular-humeral dystrophy (FSHD) Roma families carried 21.8 kb and 18.5 kb alleles in FSHD A1 gene (D4S139). In one family together with prenatal diagnosis founder mutation in FSHD A1 gene was detected, according to the autosomal dominant (AD) inheritence. In (F2) prenatal diagnosis was carried out, 18.5 kb/18.5 kb homozygosity was proven in the fetus, so the pregnancy was interrupted. In the CMS, LGMD and FSHD Roma patients ancient typical Roma founder mutations were found.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Account on the scientific meeting of the Környey Society in 2008]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Pain sensitivity changes in schizophrenic patients and animal models. Part I.]

TUBOLY Gábor, HORVÁTH Gyöngyi

[Diminished pain sensitivity in schizophrenic patients has been reported for more than 50 years, however little is known about the substrate and the basic mechanisms underlying altered pain sensitivity in this disease, therefore, relevant animal models are of decisive importance in the study of psychiatric diseases. The authors report a review consisting of two parts focusing on pain sensitivity changes in patients and in different animal models, which proved the eligibility as schizophrenia models and pain sensitivities have also been determined. The first session discusses the pain sensitivity changes in patients and chronic animal models induced by chronic drug treatments, social isolation or cerebral lesions. The results of human studies suggest that hypoalgesia in schizophrenia might be the endophenotype of this disease, however further studies are warranted to determine the clinical and biological correlation and the social and health consequences of hypoalgesia in schizophrenia. The animal data indicate that the pain sensitivity has changed in most models; however, there are significant controversies between the results, therefore, further studies are needed to find the ideal model.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Measurement of mental fatigability by task related spectral EEG. A pilot study (in English language)]

RAJNA Péter, HIDASI Zoltán, PÁL Iván, CSIBRI Éva, VERES Judit, SZUROMI Bálint

[Background - Task related EEG spectra are promising markers of mental activity. But the cooperation of the patients necessary for the registration limits its application in the neuro-psychiatry. Methods - EEG difference spectra on counting (EDSC) - was developed to detect the effect of a short calculation task on the spectral EEG. The originality of the task situation is a continuous mental work in a very short period of time, while the level of task difficulty is adapted to the patient’s actual mental capacity. While the rest pre-task and the post task EEG sections were compared, the results show the mental “EEG fatigability” caused by the short intensive cognitive activity. The first preliminary results have been demonstrated by a comparative study of two healthy and three patient (probable Alzheimer disease, post-stroke state without mental deficit and mixed type of dementia) groups. Results - Similarly to the findings of other authors, in addition to the differences of the alpha band seen on the temporo-parieto-occipital regions, the frontal localization and the beta band seem to be prominent, too. Demented patients had stronger EEG reactions than post-stroke patients without mental deficits and healthy elder persons had more extensive changes than the younger ones. Conclusions - The test can be considered as indirect marker showing the different mental fatigability in diverse pathological conditions and during the aging process. Effect of therapeutic processes can also be followed based on “key-lock principle”. Standardization of the test is essential for the introduction of EDSC to the every-day routine of clinical neuropsychiatry.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Application of robot hand technique in the course of microneurosurgical operations]

CSÓKAY András, VALÁLIK István, JOBBÁGY Ákos

[Introduction - The aim of this study was to determine whether the new robot hand technique can help to avoid the complication in the course of high precise microneurosurgical operations. Methods - The physical efficacy was measured by tremorometry. The comperative study of the incidence of complications measured the clinical efficacy. Results - The tremors of the operating hand and the number of complications have decreased effectively. Conclusion - The precise level of robots could be available by novel robot hand technique. By this technique the microsurgical work has become more effective.]

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[Vinpocetin in neurological diseases]

SZAPÁRY László, KÉSMÁRKY Gábor, TÓTH Kálmán, MISNYOVSZKY Melinda, TÓTH Tímea, BALOGH Ágnes, NAGY Krisztián, NÉMETH György, FEHÉR Gergely

[Introduction - Stroke is the third leading cause of death worldwide (following cardiovascular and cancer mortality) and associated with serious disability for the vast majority of patients. There is no salvage therapy for irreversibly damaged brain areas, improving the circulation of the surrounding hypoperfused territories may be associated with benefitial clinical states. Cerebral hypoperfusion may play a role in the pathogenesis of other kind of neurological diseases, improvement of global circulation may have a preventive effect on these conditions. Aims - The aim of our study was to review the experimental and clinical articles focusing on the role of vinpocetin in different neurological conditions. Results - Vinpocetin appears to have several different mechanisms of action that allow for its antiinflammatory, antioxidant, vasodilating, antiepileptic and neuroprotective activities in experimental conditions. On the other hand, several meta-analysis of the existing studies in acute stroke examining short and long term fatality rates with vinpocetin was unable to assess efficacy. In chronic cerebrovascular patients, vinpocetin improves impaired hemorheological variables, has significant vasodilating properties, improves endothelial dysfunction, neuroimaging studies showed selective increase in cerebral blood flow and cerebral metabolic rate, all of which are potentially beneficial in cerebrovascular disease and may improve cognitive functions. Summary - Based on the above mentioned results vinpocetin plays an important role both in basic research and in clinical management of different neurological diseases.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Dopamine agonists in Parkinson’s disease therapy - 15 years of experience of the Neurological Clinics from Tîrgu Mureș. A cross-sectional study ]

SZÁSZ József Attila, CONSTANTIN Viorelia, MIHÁLY István, BIRÓ István, PÉTER Csongor, ORBÁN-KIS Károly, SZATMÁRI Szabolcs

[Background and purpose - There is relatively few data regarding the usage of dopaminagonists for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease; furthermore, there are no publications regarding Central- and Eastern-European countries. The aim of the study was to evaluate the use of dopamine agonists as a therapeutic option amongst Parkinson’s disease patients admitted to the Neurological Clinics of Tîrgu Mures during the last 15 years. Methods - In our study we investigated the data of all Parkinson’s patients treated at our clinics between the 1st of January 2003 and the 31st of December 2017. We analyzed the particularities of dopamine agonists’ usage based on the therapeutic recommendations from the final report of these patients. Regarding time since the diagnosis, we divided the patients in two groups: less than or equal to 5 years and more than 5 years. Results - During the studied period a total of 2379 patients with Parkinson’s disease were treated at the Clinics. From the 1237 patients with disease duration under 5 years 665 received dopamine agonists: 120 as monotherapy, 83 together with monoamine oxidase inhibitors and in 234 cases associated with levodopa. The remaining 228 patients were treated with a triple combination of levodopa, dopamine agonists and monoamine oxidase inhibitors. In patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease for more than 5 years, in 364 cases out of 653 a dopamine agonist was part of the therapy. Conclusion - The usage of dopamine agonists was similar to the data presented in other studies. We consider that clinicians treating the disease should, with the necessary prudence, use the available and recommended dopamine agonist with the utmost courage to their maximum therapeutic potential.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Neuroprotection in brain ischemia - doubts and hopes]

ZÁDOR Zsolt, BENYÓ Zoltán, LACZA Zsombor, HORTOBÁGYI Tibor, HARKÁNY Tibor

[In ischaemic stroke the two major potential therapeutic strategies are aimed at either improving cerebral blood flow or directly interacting with the cytotoxic cascade - a large body of evidence gained from animal studies is in support of them. In clinical trials direct neuroprotection by blocking the neurotoxic cascade remained ineffective, although there are several clinical trials still in progress. We summarize the experimental data and present the results of clinical trials and also discuss why so many drugs, which were effective in animal studies, failed in human trials. It is emphasized, that 1. in most animal studies the reduction of infarct size, i.e. the amount of saved penumbral tissue, was the outcome measure, whereas neurological function remained unassessed; 2. the recovery of intellectual performance and higher cortical functions are of major importance in the future quality of life in stroke victims; however, it is impossible to examine these parameters appropriately in animal studies; 3. in many clinical trials the patient population was rather heterogenous and low in number, the study protocol was not optimal and the critical analysis of the subacute and chronic phase was lacking or insufficient. We present the major experimental stroke models, discuss their similarities, differencies and limitations as compared to the human pathophysiological processes. The pitfalls of extrapolating data from animal studies to clinical practice are also summarized. The complex network of functional and morphological intercellular connections, the long timescale of neurotoxic and reparative events and the lessons learned from clinical trials suggest, that the use of drug combinations (therapeutic cocktails) targeting multiple steps of the neurotoxic cascade would hopefully result in more effective treatment of ischaemic stroke. Strategies to facilitate brain plasticity and regeneration is an additional promising tool to enhance recovery in brain ischaemia.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Natalizumab therapy, 2013]

KARÁCSONY Mária, BENCSIK Krisztina, VÉCSEI László

[Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common chronic disease of the central nervous system in young adults. No curative therapy is known. Currently, six drugs are available that can reduce the activity of MS. The first-line drugs can completely reduce the activity of the disease in nearly two-thirds of the patients. In the remainder, who suffer from breakthrough disease, the condition of the patient worsens, and secondline therapies must be used. The second-line drug natalizumab exhibits almost double efficacy of the first-line drugs, but also have less favourable adverse effects. As a severe side-effect for instance, natalizumab carries the risk of the development of progressive multifocal leucoencephalopathy (PML), caused by a polyoma virus, the JC virus. There are three major risk factors for PML: an anti-JCV antibody status, a long duration of natalizumab treatment and prior immunosuppressant therapy. The lowest-risk group (1:14 286) comprises of patients who are anti-JCV antibody-negative, in whom the prior immunosuppressant use and duration of natalizumab therapy do not influence the risk of PML. With no prior immunosuppressant treatment, the incidence of PML increases to 1 in 192 patients after 2 years among those who are anti-JCV antibody-positive. These data may lead the physician to decide to discontinue natalizumab treatment. The half-life of natalizumab is three months; during this time other therapies can not be administered and the patients encounter the rebound effect: as the patients receiving natalizumab therapy displayed a high disease activity before treatment, the rebound effect can lead to relapses. After the termination of natalizumab secondline disease-modifying therapy with fingolimod may be introduce; no PML cases occur in response to fingolimod treatment. In the large majority of patients taking natalizumab who do not develop PML, this drug is highly effective and can prevent the progression of MS. The benefit of therapy and the risk of PML must be considered on an individual basis, with regard to the disease activity, the progression and the MRI activity, before natalizumab therapy is implemented.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[OXYGEN-GLUCOSE DEPRIVATION-INDUCED CHANGES IN ORGANOTYPIC CULTURES OF THE RAT HIPPOCAMPUS]

BALI Balázs, NAGY Zoltán, KOVÁCS J. Krisztina

[Introduction - (-)Deprenyl is an irreversible inhibitor of type B monoamine oxidase (MAO-B), which is now used for treatment of Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s diseases. Evidence suggests that the neuroprotective effect of deprenyl may not be related exclusively to the inhibition of the enzyme MAO-B. Methods - To test the impact of deprenyl on ischemiainduced changes in vitro, we followed the time course of propidium iodide (PI) uptake as an indicator of neuronal cell death as well as the expression of apoptotic factors in organotypic hippocampal slice cultures exposed to oxygen- glucose deprivation (OGD) for 45 min. Results - The first signs of neuronal death were detected 2 hours after OGD and were extended to all subfields of the hippocampus by 24 hours post-injury. Presence of deprenyl (10-9 M) significantly delayed the cell death induced by the insult. Exposure of control cultures to deprenyl significantly increased the abundance of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xl mRNAs as revealed by RT-PCR. OGD resulted in an elevation of anti-apoptotic factors, while the expression of pro-apoptotic bax remained unchanged. Conclusion - These data suggest that deprenyl is neuroprotective in an in vitro model of ischemia. Although deprenyl upregulates the expression of Bcl-2 under basal conditions, its effect on anti-apoptotic factors is not significantly manifested during OGD.]