Clinical Neuroscience

[Neuropsychological rehabilitation following acquired brain injury]

TAMÁS Viktória, KOVÁCS Noémi, TASNÁDI Emese

NOVEMBER 30, 2018

Clinical Neuroscience - 2018;71(11-12)


[Neuropsychological rehabilitation or rehabilitation neuropsychology is a field within applied neuropsychology. It originally diverges from applied clinical and functional neuropsychology, although it could not be entirely differed from them. The unique nature of this area over the complexity is given by its process-controlled and system-approach aspects. In Hungary the number of neurorehabilitation centres and departments requiring neurocognitive rehabilitation has been continually increasing. Nevertheless, the number is still low; accordingly in our country this field is relatively young and isn’t well known. Authors of this review would like to draw attention to the importance of rehabilitation of patients with acquired brain injury and improvement of their quality of life with the theoretical and practical knowledge, as well as the necessity of future alterations and challenges emphasizing the need of a significant change of this narrow domain. ]



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[The treatment of advanced Parkinson’s disease]


[The treatment of Parkinson’s disease depends on the symptoms of the patients and obviously the stage of the disease. Several different approaches can be found in the literature. Based on the published data, in this review we try to summarize the different approaches to the disease stages and theirs’ clinical relevance. Actually, one of the most important issue is the recognition of advanced stage and therefore we reviewed the device-aided therapies. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

Pulmonary physiotherapy and aerobic exercise programs can improve cognitive functions and functional ability

TEKESIN Aysel, TUNC Abdulkadir, GÜNGEN Dogan Belma, AVCI Nalan, BAKIS Muhammed, PERK Seyma

Objective - The increasing prevalence of dementia over the previous decades has been accompanied by numerous social and economic problems. The importance of exercise in the prevention of dementia coupled with the impact of aspiration pneumonia on the mortality and morbidity of dementia patients cannot be overstated. This study investigates the effects of pulmonary rehabilitation combined with aerobic stretching exercises on the cognitive function, life quality, effort capacity, and level of depression in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in the early stages of dementia. Methods - Sixty-nine patients with MCI diagnosis were routinely monitored, and six were excluded because they did not attend the follow-up appointments. The remaining 63 patients undertook pulmonary physiotherapy (PPT) and extremity exercises for six months. The mini-mental state examination (MMSE), six-minute walk test (6MWT), Nottingham health profile (NHP), and Beck depression inventory (BDI) scores were evaluated before and after exercise. Results - PPT plus extremity exercises appeared to significantly improve the MMSE scores and increase the 6MWT (p < 0.001) by an average of 25 m. No significant improvement was observed in the BDI and NHP scores. Conclusion - PPT and aerobic exercise positively affected the cognitive ability of MCI patients and improved their walking distance. These results underscore the importance of combining medical treatment with physical rehabilitation at the onset of dementia, a disease which exerts a significantly negative impact on the economy.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Effects of neural therapy on quality of live in patients with inoperable lower extremity artery disease ]

MOLNÁR István, DEÁK Botond Zsolt, HEGYI Gabriella, KOVÁCS Zoltán, KAPÓCS Gábor, SZŐKE Henrik

[Objectives - Our aim was to evaluate the effects of percutaneous neurolysis of lumbal sympathetic ganglions on pain and the resulting changes in quality of life with validated objective and subjective methods. To follow the adverse effects and complications of the procedure. Materials and methods - A prospective, non-randomized, interventional, clinical cohort study under real life conditons was conducted. The time of the observation was 6 months. Palliative neural therapy was performed to reduce the ischemic pain of the affected leg of the patients involved in the study. Prior to treatment and after 35 days, Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) was used to measure the intensity of lower limb pain. The related changes in the quality of life were followed by a general 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) questionnaire. We measured the changes of the patients’ skin temperature and ankle/arm index. The post-treatment results were compared to the pre-treatment results. We compared the results of objective and subjective measures. We followed the side effects and complications of the pain therapy. Each of the examined subjects had obliterative (Fontaine II/b stage) arterial disease of the lower limbs, in which no revascularization intervention was feasible and their ischemic pain was of VAS≥7. Results - Data of 124 patients (69 male, 55 female) could be evaluated. The decrease in intensity of limb pain in the post-treatment period was significant (p=0.001). Quality of life also indicated a significant improvement (p=0.004). Changes in skin temperature and ankle/arm index demonstrated significant improvement (p≤0.005): skin temperature increased from 27.6°C to 31.2°C, the ankle/arm index inceased from 0.67 to 0.83 on average. Changes in objective and subjective measures correlated with each other. No worthening of symptoms, serious adverse events or complications were observed. Conclusion - The chemical denervation of the lumbar sympathetic ganglions with percutaneous application is a minimally invasive intervention, useful in outpatient care, which can be well tolerated by the patient without any significant side effect or complication. Its hyperaemic effect and the pain reduction of the leg can improve the quality of life of the patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Inflammatory biomarkers in benign paroxysmal positional vertigo: A Turkey case-control study


Objective - Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common cause of recurrent vertigo. Inflammation is a hypothetic etiological factor in BPPV. The aim of this study was to evaluate inflammatory biomarker levels in BPPV patients and compare these with the healthy subjects. Materials and methods - This prospective case-control study was conducted with 114 newly diagnosed BPPV patients and age- and sex- matched 83 healthy subjects. The laboratory investigations included serum hemogram, full biochemistry profiles, vitamin levels, thyroid hormone profiles, high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR), and monocyte to HDL-cholesterol ratio (MHR) values were calculated and compared between the patients and healthy subjects. Results - The mean age was 39.1 ± 12.4 years for patients, and 37.0 ± 11.9 for controls. Vitamin B12, hematocrit (Hct), creatinine, urea, and fT4 values, lymphocyte, total bilirubin, direct bilirubin and indirect bilirubin levels were significantly lower in BPPV patients (p ˂ 0.05), while HDL, SGOT, and ESR values were significantly higher. In the BPPV patients the mean NLR, PLR, and mean platelet volume (MPV) values were significantly higher than in the control subjects. Neutrophil, platelet, monocyte, MHR, and CRP values were similar in both groups (p ˃ 0.05). Conclusion - Our result suggests that NLR, PLR, MPV, ESR, and bilirubin levels should be taken into account as potential biomarkers of BPPV. As they are inexpensive parameters and widely available, they can be used in clinical practice for prediction of BPPV. However, further large-scale studies are required to confirm this relationship.

Clinical Neuroscience

Evaluation of symptom severity, functional status and anxiety levels in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome with different electrophysiological stages

SEVINC Gürses Eftal, TEKESIN Aysel, TUNC Abdulkadir

Objective - The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between electrophysiological stage, symptom severity, functional status and anxiety levels in patients with idiopathic carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Materials and methods - This study included 130 patients in the 25-79 age group who were classified as clinically and electrophysiologically idiopathic carpal tunnel syndrome in our electromyography (EMG) laboratory. Visual Analog Scale (VAS) was used to assess pain during rest and activity. The Boston Carpal Tunnel Scale (BCTS) was used to evaluate symptom severity and functional status. Symptom Severity Scale (SSS) and Functional Capacity Scale (FCS) were assessed separately as a part of BCTS. Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) was used for anxiety assessment. Results - A total of 130 patients (25 males and 105 females) were enrolled to this prospective study. The mean age of the patients was 46.95 ± 10.57 years. When the electrophysiological stage was increased, it was found that SSS score and FCS score were increased (p <0.001). No significant correlation was detected between electrophysiological stage and VAS or BAI score. There was a positive correlation between VAS scores and SSS, FCS and BAI scores (p <0.001). Symptom severity and functional status were correlated with anxiety scores (p <0.001). SSS and FCS values of stage III and above patients were significantly higher than Stage I and II CTS patients (p <0.01). Conclusion - In conclusion, our study showed a significant correlation between symptom severity, functional status and anxiety in CTS patients. This can be interpreted as the mental deterioration of individuals with more severe symptoms. On the other hand, additional psychiatric support options should be recommended in cases of moderate findings but anxious symptoms. Electrophysiological findings shouldn’t be sufficient to measure the effect of the disease on the person.

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Rehabilitation results after severe traumatic brain injury ]

DÉNES Zoltán, MASÁT Orsolya

[To assess the rehabilitation outcome after severe traumatic brain injury. Retrospective evaluation of the rehabilitation process and prospective follow-up five years after discharge. Patients – Patients treated in 2013 at the Traumatic Brain Injury Unit, National Institute for Medical Rehabilitation were included in the study (n = 232). Ninety-nine of 232 patients were treated with severe traumatic brain injury. Data were available for 66/99 patients (67%). Fifty patients (13 women and 37 men) were successfully contacted for follow-up (51%), three patients deceased. The mean age of the patients was 42 years (range: 22-72). The majority of them (36/50) was injured in traffic accidents. The mean duration of coma and post-traumatic amnesia were 19 (1-90) and 45 days (5-150), respectively. Patients were admitted for rehabilitation on the 44th (11-111) day after the injury and were rehabilitated for 95 days (10-335). Thirty-eight patients became independent at daily living activity during the rehabilitation period, and none during the follow-up. Two patients needed moderate and one a little help for the daily life. After successful rehabilitation 4 patients continued their higher education, 24 patients worked (six in sheltered, six in the original, 12 in other workplaces). Twenty-two patients did not have permanent jobs, two of whom were retired. The majority of the patients were successfully reintegrated into society. More than half of the patients returned to work or continued their studies. These successes were greatly facilitated by the 40 years of experience and the multidisciplinary team working in the National Institute for Medical Rehabilitation. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

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.

Clinical Neuroscience

[The Comprehensive Aphasia Test in Hungarian]


[In this paper we present the Comprehensive Aphasia Test-Hungarian (CAT-H; Zakariás and Lukács, in preparation), an assessment tool newly adapted to Hungarian, currently under standardisation. The test is suitable for the assessment of an acquired language disorder, post-stroke aphasia. The aims of this paper are to present 1) the main characteristics of the test, its areas of application, and the process of the Hungarian adaptation and standardisation, 2) the first results from a sample of Hungarian people with aphasia and healthy controls. Ninety-nine people with aphasia, mostly with unilateral, left hemisphere stroke, and 19 neurologically intact control participants were administered the CAT-H. In addition, we developed a questionnaire assessing demographic and clinical information. The CAT-H consists of two parts, a Cognitive Screening Test and a Language Test. People with aphasia performed significantly worse than the control group in all language and almost all cognitive subtests of the CAT-H. Consistent with our expectations, the control group performed close to ceiling in all subtests, whereas people with aphasia exhibited great individual variability both in the language and the cognitive subtests. In addition, we found that age, time post-onset, and type of stroke were associated with cognitive and linguistic abilities measured by the CAT-H. Our results and our experiences clearly show that the CAT-H provides a comprehensive profile of a person’s impaired and intact language abilities and can be used to monitor language recovery as well as to screen for basic cognitive deficits in aphasia. We hope that the CAT-H will be a unique resource for rehabilitation professionals and aphasia researchers in aphasia assessment and diagnostics in Hungary. ]

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.]