Clinical Neuroscience

[Neuropsychological applications of the Rey Complex Figure and Recognition Test]

F. FÖLDI Rita1, TOMASOVSZKI László2

APRIL 20, 2003

Clinical Neuroscience - 2003;56(03-04)

[The authors describe the clinical applications of the Rey Complex Figure and Recognition Test and explain how the individual abilities and information-processing characteristics are reflected. Sequential and quantitative evaluation methods are presented. Summarizing the relation between IQ and RCFT they evaluate the differencies in task completion strategies of healthy subjects and subjects with brain damage, suggesting that these differences originate in changes of the information-processing capacity. Application of the RCFT in clinical child psychology is also suggested, primarily in differential diagnostics of children with attention disorder and disruptive disorder. The authors illustrate the protocols of the neuropsychological examination and the role of the RCFT with a case study.]

AFFILIATIONS

  1. Károli Gáspár Református Egyetem, Bölcsész Tudományi Kar Pszichológia Tanszék, Budapest
  2. MÁV Kórház-Rendelôintézet, Budapest

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[Occipital spectral EEG-parameters in newly diagnosed, untreated epilepsy patients]

CLEMENS Béla, BESSENYEI Mónika

[Introduction - Minor spectral EEG alterations hidden to the naked eye may be of interest in the field of epileptology, cognitive performances, and drug effects. In order to introduce new scientific results of brain wave research into the clinical field of epilepsy- and drug-related cognitive problems, a normative quantitative EEG database for epilepsy was constructed. Patients and methods - 171 newly referred, five to 50 years old patients with untreated ”new” epilepsy (that is, clinical, EEG, MRI investigations had been done in 24 months after the first unprovoked seizure) were collected. EEG was recorded with closed eyes, in the waking-relaxed state. Effects that are known to influence EEG spectra (nearby seizures, drugs, etc.) were excluded as far as possible. A total of two minutes of waking-resting EEG activity was chosen for spectral analysis. Fast Fourier transformation of the selected samples were calculated resulting in absolute power, percent power and mean alpha frequency (AA, RA, and AMF respectively) for the right and left occipital derivations. For each patient (and also for 37 healthy controls), the deviation of the individual values from the age-adjusted normative mean was expressed in Z-score. Main diagnostic epilepsy categories were compared to the control group as well as to each other. In addition, effects of MRI-defined cerebral lesions and interictal spiking on spectral EEG parameters were investigated. Results - All group averages were within the 95 per cent confidence interval. Overwhelming majority of the individual data fell within a 3Z range. Statistically significant differences were found for AA and RA, but seldom for AMF. Right and left alpha-parameters were surprisingly symmetrical in all groups. The main difference between epilepsy groups and controls was less AA and RA power in the epilepsy groups. MRI-defined lesions and interictal epileptiform activity did not significantly influence EEG spectral variables. Conclusion - These results might serve as reference data and might help planning of further quantitative EEG studies in the triangle of epilepsy, cognitive problems, and drug effects.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Surgery of ventral intradural midline cervical spinal pathologies via anterior cervical approach: our experience]

BANCZEROWSKI Péter, LIPÓTH László, VAJDA János, VERES Róbert

[Introduction - The surgical removal of the cervical intradural pathologies located ventrally carries a high risk. According to the anatomical situation and the increasing experience with anterior cervical approach and corpectomy revealed the reality to remove the ventral midline pathologies this way. The anterior approach which require corpectomy preferable to cervical intradural lesions located ventrally at the midline. In the literature have described anterior approach for intradural cervical lesions in very limited cases. Case - The authors present five cases of intradural ventral cervical spinal pathologies, where removal was done via anterior cervical approach with corpectomy. Two of the cases were intradural meningeomas, one intramedullary cavernoma, one ventral arachnoid cyst and one malignant neurogenic tumour. The approach was described elsewhere. The corpectomy gave a relatively wide window to explore the pathologies and under operative microscope the local control of removal was fairly well. After the total removal of tumours and cavernoma, and fenestration of arachnoid cyst to the subarachnoid space watertight dural closure was made and the cervical spine was stabilized with autolog iliac bone graft, plate and screws. The recovery of the patients was well and there were no postoperative complications. Conclusions - The anterior cervical approach with corpectomy seems to be a real and safe way to explore and remove the cervical ventral midline pathologies. Postoperative MRI has a great value in early control after the surgery and for follow up the patients.]

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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.

Clinical Neuroscience

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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.

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Clinical Neuroscience

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

MAIHOUB Stefani, MOLNÁR András, CSIKÓS András, KANIZSAI Péter, TAMÁS László, SZIRMAI Ágnes

[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.]

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[A growing body of evidence suggests that sleep plays an essential role in the consolidation of different memory systems, but less is known about the beneficial effect of sleep on relational memory processes and the recognition of emotional facial expressions, however, it is a fundamental cognitive skill in human everyday life. Thus, the study aims to investigate the effect of timing of learning and the role of sleep in relational memory processes. 84 young adults (average age: 22.36 (SD: 3.22), 21 male/63 female) participated in our study, divided into two groups: evening group and morning group indicating the time of learning. We used the face-name task to measure relational memory and facial expression recognition. There were two sessions for both groups: the immediate testing phase and the delayed retesting phase, separated by 24 hours. 84 young adults (average age: 22.36 (SD: 3.22), 21 male/63 female) participated in our study, divided into two groups: evening group and morning group indicating the time of learning. We used the face-name task to measure relational memory and facial expression recognition. There were two sessions for both groups: the immediate testing phase and the delayed retesting phase, separated by 24 hours. Our results suggest that the timing of learning and sleep plays an important role in the stabilizing process of memory representation to resist against forgetting.]