Clinical Neuroscience

[Neuropsychological methods and trends in epilepsy management]

BORBÉLY Csaba

SEPTEMBER 23, 2011

Clinical Neuroscience - 2011;64(09-10)

[Neuropsychological assessment makes its own valuable contribution to diagnosis in epilepsy, and the integration of those findings with the data from multiple sources provides the most comprehensive picture for a given epilepsy patient. The objective of this paper is to define and summarize the role and methods of neuropsychological assessment, and to present recommendations on themes for future clinical research in the neuropsychology of epilepsy.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Functional magnetic resonance imaging for cortical mapping in epilepsy]

KOZÁK Lajos Rudolf, TÓTH Vivien, BARSI Péter, RUDAS Gábor

[It is not only the total curative resection of pathological tissue or the minimization of symptoms to be considered in epilepsy surgery or other neurosurgical procedures, it is equally desirable to maintain the best possible quality of life. Cortical mapping methods can help achieve this goal by delineating eloquent areas, i.e. brain regions that are vital for providing an acceptable quality of life, albeit not prone to compensatory reorganization. These areas include among others the Broca and Wernicke regions for speech, the primary motor, sensory and visual cortices. Functional MRI gained importance in the last decade as a non-invasive clinical cortical mapping technique. This method is capable of localizing cortical areas selectively activated by a given task condition. Thus, selecting appropriate tasks can help mapping eloquent brain regions. Using functional MRI provides information that is complementary to other mapping methods. Moreover, it can replace invasive methods such as the Wada test. Here, we explain the background of functional MRI, compare it to other clinical mapping methods, explain the intricacies of paradigm selection, and show the limitations of the technique while also pointing out alternative uses.]

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[Magnetic resonance measuring and analitic methods in epilepsy]

BARSI Péter

[Neuroradiology and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as its leading tool play a basic role in the diagnostics of epilepsy. The result of the MRI examination is of utmost importance in patients with therapy resistent focal epilepsy possibly requiring neurosurgical intervention. Based on the continuously developing MRI techniques, we can use an optimal imaging protocol. Cerebral structures can be evaluated on a microanatomical level on high-resolution images with thin slices. The three-dimensional (3D) sequence has high spatial resolution, properly distinguishes cerebral grey and white matter, provides the possibility of surface rendering and volumetry, as well as an anatomical basis for other methods like tractography, functional MRI and neuronavigation. Diffusion weighted and diffusion tensor imaging (DWI, DTI) and tractography has an important role in differential diagnostics and tractography visualizes the main white matter tracts and their relation with brain pathologies. MR perfusion (MRP) provides help in differential diagnostics and may have a future role in the determination of the epileptogenic focus in multifocal pathologies. MR spectroscopy (MRS) is important in differential diagnostics, lateralization of focal epilepsy and in the confirmation of hippocampal sclerosis. Several of these methods need special hardware, software and expertise, but the basic MRI protocol for epilepsy can be implemented in all modern MR scanners of middle or high field strength.]

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[LORETA (Low Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography): A three-dimensional EEG source localization method]

CLEMENS Béla

[The author presents a brief overview of the EEG source localization method LORETA (Low Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography) with special reference to the not widely discussed data.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The methodology and objectives of registrating high frequency oscillation in epilepsy]

CLEMENS Zsófia

[Technological advances in digital EEG allowed the recording the full frequency band of the EEG. Activity beyond the traditional 0.3-70 Hz band reflects both physiological and pathological processes. High frequency activity recorded from the epileptic brain has been related to both epileptogenicity and epileptogenesis. The article reviews research avenues, clinical applications, and the methodology of detecting and quantifying high frequency activity.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Prolonged EEG-monitoring]

HALÁSZ Péter

[Prolonged EEG monitoring and video-EEG monitoring are basic methods on the level of epilepsy centers. These methods are able to make differences between epilepsy and non epileptic paroxysmal manifestations like psychogenic non epileptic seizures, parasomniac phenomena, narcolepsy. The application of the method, at least the video-EEG variant, needs team work, high level organisation, highly educated staff and high tech electrographic devices. Running the method even with these requirements is beneficial from the cost-benefit aspect as well.]

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Effects of valproate, carbamazepine and levetiracetam on Tp-e interval, Tp-e/QT and Tp-e/QTc ratio

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Aim - To evaluate P-wave dispersion before and after antiepileptic drug (AED) treatment as well as to investigate the risk of ventricular repolarization using the Tpeak-Tend (Tp-e) interval and Tp-e/QT ratio in patients with epileptic disorder. Methods - A total of 63 patients receiving AED therapy and 35 healthy adults were included. ECG recordings were obtained before and 3 months after anti-epileptic treatment among patients with epilepsy. For both groups, Tp-e and Tp-e/QT ratio were measured using a 12-lead ECG device. Results - Tp-e interval, Tpe/QT and Tp-e/QTc ratios were found to be higher in the patient group than in the control group (p<0.05, for all), while QTmax ratio was significantly lower in the patient group. After 3 months of AED therapy, significant increases in QT max, QTc max, QTcd, Tp-e, Tp-e/QT, and Tp-e/QTc were found among the patients (p<0.05). When the arrhythmic effects of the drugs before and after treatment were compared, especially in the valproic acid group, there were significant increases in Tp-e interval, Tp-e/QT and Tp-e/QTc values after three months of treatment (p<0.05). Carbamazepine and levetiracetam groups were not statistically significant in terms of pre- and post-treatment values. Conclusions - It was concluded that an arrhythmogenic environment may be associated with the disease, and patients who received AED monotherapy may need to be followed up more closely for arrhythmia.

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Management of bone metabolism in epilepsy

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Many systemic problems arise due to the side effects of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) used in epilepsy patients. Among these adverse effects are low bone mineral density and increased fracture risk due to long-term AED use. Although various studies have supported this association with increased risk in recent years, the length of this process has not been precisely defined and there is no clear consensus on bone density scanning, intervals of screening, and the subject of calcium and vitamin D supplementation. In this study, in accordance with the most current recommendations, our applications and data, including the detection of possible bone mineralization disorders, treatment methods, and recommendations to prevent bone mineralization disorders, were evaluated in epilepsy patients who were followed up at our outpatient clinic. It was aimed to draw attention to the significance of management of bone metabolism carried out with appropriate protocols. Epilepsy patients were followed up at the Antalya Training and Research Hospital Department of Neurology, Epilepsy Outpatient Clinic who were at high risk for osteoporosis (use of valproic acid [VPA] and enzyme-inducing drugs, using any AED for over 5 years, and postmenopausal women) and were evaluated using a screening protocol. According to this protocol, a total of 190 patients suspected of osteoporosis risk were retrospectively evaluated. Four patients were excluded from the study due to secondary osteoporosis. Of the 186 patients who were included in the study, 97 (52.2%) were women and 89 (47.8%) were men. Prevalence of low bone mineral density (BMD) was 42%, in which osteoporosis was detected in 11.8% and osteopenia in 30.6% of the patients. Osteoporosis rate was higher at the young age group (18-45) and this difference was statistically significant (p=0.018). There was no significant difference between male and female sexes according to osteoporosis and osteopenia rates. Patients receiving polytherapy had higher osteoporosis rate and lower BMD compared to patients receiving monotherapy. Comparison of separate drug groups according to osteoporosis rate revealed that osteoporosis rate was highest in patient groups using VPA+ carbamazepine (CBZ) (29.4%) and VPA polytherapy (19.4%). Total of osteopenia and osteoporosis, or low BMD, was highest in VPA polytherapy (VPA+ non-enzyme-inducing AED [NEID]) and CBZ polytherapy (CBZ+NEID) groups, with rates of 58.3% and 55.1%, respectively. In addition, there was no significant difference between drug groups according to bone metabolism markers, vitamin D levels, and osteopenia-osteoporosis rates. Assuming bone health will be affected at an early age in epilepsy patients, providing lifestyle and diet recommendations, avoiding polytherapy including VPA and CBZ when possible, and evaluating bone metabolism at regular intervals are actions that should be applied in routine practice.

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[The antiepileptic drugs can effect fertility, development of gynecological diseases and occurence of sexual problems. They can cause a number of “cosmetic” problem and also influence the selection of safe contraceptive method. Many antiepileptic drugs can cause congenital malformations or affect the new-born child’s psychomotor and cognitive development, therefore during pregnancy should be treated with extreme caution in women with epilepsy. Most types of epilepsies accompany the patient through their whole life. Women spend almost the third of their lives after menopause and - due to the formation of associated diseases as well - this period is also special. According to the 2013 recommendation of International League Epilepsy (ILAE), zonisamide is one of the first-line antiepileptic drugs in focal epilepsy. In my review I discuss women’s epilepsy in the viewpoint of the application of zonisamid. ]