Clinical Neuroscience

[New opportunities in neuro-rehabilitation: Robot mediated therapy in conditons post central nervous system impairments]

FAZEKAS Gábor, TAVASZI Ibolya, TÓTH András

MAY 30, 2016

Clinical Neuroscience - 2016;69(05-06)


[Decreasing the often-seen multiple disabilities as a consequence of central nervous system impairments requires broadening of the tools of rehabilitation. A promising opportunity for this purpose is the application of physiotherapy robots. The development of such devices goes back a quarter of century. Nowadays several robots are commercially available both for supporting upper and lower limb therapy. The aim is never to replace the therapists, but rather to support and supplement their work. It is worthwhile applying these devices for goal-oriented exercises in high repetition, which one physically fatiguing for the therapist or for the correction of functional movement by various strategies. Robot mediated therapy is also useful for motivation of the patient and making the rehabilitation programme more versatile. Robots can be used for assessment of the neuromotor status as well. Several clinical studies have been executed in this field, all over the world. Meta-analyses based on randomized, controlled trials show that supplementing the traditional physiotherapy with a robot-mediated component presents advantage for the patients. Further studies are necessary to clarify which modality and intensity of the exercises, in which group of patients, in which stage lead to the expected outcome.]



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[Selective dorsal rhizotomy in the treatment of spasticity - Hungarian experiences ]

FEKETE Gábor, NOVÁK László, VEKERDY-NAGY Zsuzsanna, BOGNÁR László

[Objective - We summarize our initial experiences with selective dorsal rhizotomy that we introduced in Hungary to manage the spasticity of patients with cerebral palsy. Patients and methods - Thirty spastic patients were enrolled in our study. All of the patients were operated between July 2014 and June 2015. We performed selective dorsal rhizotomy from a single-level approach at the level of conus medullaris in all cases, with electrophysiological control. Results - We could perform the surgery in all cases safely. Adverse events related either to damage of neurological structures, or to surgery did not occur. The planned rehabilitation courses before and after the operations are in progress in all cases. Conclusion - Selective dorsal rhizotomy is an irreversible surgical intervention to treat spasticity. With sufficient experience and electrophysiological control it can be performed safely, and the early results are promising. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Experiences of hypothalamic hamartoma surgeries]

NOVÁK László, KISS Máté Tamás, KLEKNER Álmos, NAGY Andrea, FEDORCSÁK Imre, BOGNÁR László

[Background and purpose - Hypothalamic hamartomas are focal, benign congenital malformations that frequently associated with gelastic seizures. Behavioural disturbances, cognitive decline and the appearance of precocious puberty can also be observed. The most effective way to relieve the symptoms is the surgical disconnection between the hamartoma and the hypothalamus. In our study, we retrospectively analyzed the surgical indications and effectiveness of each approach. Methods - Between 1996 and 2014 we operated on 10 hypothalamic hamartomas. Endoscopic assisted resection was performed in three patients. Six patients underwent direct microsurgical resection in various approaches and one patient was treated with Gamma Knife. Results - We achieved significant decrease in the number of seizures in every patient presenting with various seizure types. The surgical resection was effective in the arresting of the puberty praecox as well. However the surgery of these lesions at their special location holds the danger of the appearance of new endocrinological symptoms. According to our observations the operation on hamartoma less effectively ameliorates the psychiatric symptoms than the others. Conclusion - The surgical treatment is effective in the reduction of the initial symptoms and we had no mortality. According to our analysis therapeutic success is anticipated but we couldn’t archive total symptomatic relief in every case. The first approach to these lesions should be the surgery which type must be tailored to each patient.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Paraoxonáz-1-aktivitás és fenotípusos megjelenése sclerosis multiplexben

KURTULUS Fatma, YAMAN Aylin, ELLIDAG Yasar Hamit, EREN Esin, GÖMCELI Bicer Yasemin, YILMAZ Necat

Introduction - Human serum paraoxonase (PON1) and arylesterase (ARE) are lipophilic antioxidant enzymes. PON-1 serum activity diverges in individuals and populations, which might be due to polymorphisms in the PON-1 gene. The PON1 activity phenotyping method, based on the ratio of the stimulated PON activity and the ARE activity, could determine the low-activity homozygotes (QQ), intermediate activity heterozygotes (QR), and high-activity homozygotes (RR) regardless of the genotype. The aim of the present study was to determine the PON1 phenotype distribution and enzymatic activity of PON1 and ARE in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Materials and methods - Thirty-four relapsing remitting MS (RRMS) patients (22 females and 12 males; median age 42 (range 20-55) years) in the remission phase and thirty-four age-sex matched healthy controls (19 females and 15 males; median age 37 (21-60) years) were included in this study. All patients had clinically definite MS according to McDonald’s criteria. Results - Serum PON1 and ARE enzyme activities, as well as salt-stimulated PON1, were not significantly different between the patient and control groups. Phenotype distributions were as follows: QQ 58.8%, QR 38.2%, and RR 3% in MS patients (n=34); QQ 44.1%, QR 50%, and RR 5.9% in the control group (n=34). QQ (low activity) phenotypic distribution was more common in MS patients than controls, but this difference was not significant (p=0.14). Conclusions - Our results did not reveal meaningful relationships between PON1 activity or PON1 phenotypes and MS. More studies in larger samples and in all phases of the disease are needed in the future.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Genetically determined diseases associated with pathological brain iron accumulation and neurodegeneration]

ÁCS Péter, MOLNÁR Mária Judit, KLIVÉNYI Péter, KÁLMÁN Bernadette

[The rare, genetically determined group of diseases characterized by pathological accumulation of iron in the central nervous system and progressive, typically movement disorder’s symptoms are called NBIA (neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation). By the rapid development of molecular genetics, it has become apparent that different mutations in numerous genes can lead to pathological cerebral iron accumulation. Simultaneously, it has also been recognized that the age of onset, the symptoms and the prognosis of NBIA disorders are much more diverse than it was previously perceived. To our knowledge, a review article on the most recent clinical data of NBIA has not been published in Hungarian. In the first part of this publication, we survey the general clinical characteristics and the diagnostic algorithm of NBIA diseases and address some considerations for differential diagnostics. In the second part of this review, the particular NBIA disorders are presented in details. The purpose of this article is to provide a clinical overview that may be useful for neurologists, pediatricians and any other medical practitioners interested in this field.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Analysis of mental arithmetic task by the “minimum spanning tree” method]

BOHA Roland, TÓTH Brigitta, KARDOS Zsófia, FILE Bálint, GAÁL Zsófia Anna, MOLNÁR Márk

[Goals - In the present study basic arithmetic induced rearrangements in functional connections of the brain were investigated by using graph theoretical analysis what becomes increasingly important both in theoretical neuroscience and also in clinical investigations. Research questions - During mental arithmetic operations (working) memory plays an important role, but there are only a few studies in which an attempt was made to separate this effect from the process of arithmetic operations themselves. The goal of our study was to separate the neural networks involved in cognitive functions. Methods - As an attempt to clarify this issue the graph-theoretical “minimal spanning tree” method was used for the analysis of EEG recorded during task performance. The effects of passive viewing, number recognition and mental arithmetic on PLI based minimal spanning trees (MST) were investigated on the EEG in young adults (adding task: 17 subjects; passive viewing and number recognition: 16 subjects) in the θ (4-8 Hz) frequency band. Results - Occipital task relevant synchronization was found by using the different methods, probably related to the effect of visual stimulation. With respect to diameter, eccentricity and fraction of leafs different task-related changes were found. Discussion - It was shown that the task related changes of various graph indices are capable to identify networks behind the various relevant dominant functions. Thus the “minimal spanning tree” method is suitable for the analysis of the reorganization of the brain with respect to cognitive functions.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[The connection between the socioeconomic status and stroke in Budapest]


[The well-known gap bet­ween stroke mortality of Eastern and Western Euro­pean countries may reflect the effect of socioeconomic diffe­rences. Such a gap may be present between neighborhoods of different wealth within one city. We set forth to compare age distribution, incidence, case fatality, mortality, and risk factor profile of stroke patients of the poorest (District 8) and wealthiest (District 12) districts of Budapest. We synthesize the results of our former comparative epidemiological investigations focusing on the association of socioeconomic background and features of stroke in two districts of the capital city of Hungary. The “Budapest District 8–12 project” pointed out the younger age of stroke patients of the poorer district, and established that the prevalence of smoking, alcohol-consumption, and untreated hypertension is also higher in District 8. The “Six Years in Two Districts” project involving 4779 patients with a 10-year follow-up revealed higher incidence, case fatality and mortality of stroke in the less wealthy district. The younger patients of the poorer region show higher risk-factor prevalence, die younger and their fatality grows faster during long-term follow-up. The higher prevalence of risk factors and the higher fatality of the younger age groups in the socioeconomically deprived district reflect the higher vulnerability of the population in District 8. The missing link between poverty and stroke outcome seems to be lifestyle risk-factors and lack of adherence to primary preventive efforts. Public health campaigns on stroke prevention should focus on the young generation of socioeconomi­cally deprived neighborhoods. ]

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

The applications of transcranial Doppler in ischemic stroke


Background: This overview provides a summary of the applications of transcranial Doppler (TCD) in ischemic stroke. Results: A fast-track neurovascular ultrasound protocol has been developed for detecting occlusion or stenosis. The technique is more reliable in the carotid area than in the posterior circulation. By monitoring the pulsatility index the in­crea­sed intracranial pressure can be diagnosed. TIBI score was developed for grading residual flow. TCD has been shown to accurately predict complete or any recanalization. Regarding recanalization, TCD has a sensitivity of 92%, a specificity of 88%, a positive predictive value of 96%, a negative predictive value of 78% and an overall accuracy of 91%, respectively. Sonothrombolysis seemed to be a promising application but randomized controlled trials have shown that it does not improve clinical outcome. TCD examination can detect microembolic signals (MES) which are associated with an increased risk of stroke. Micro­em­boli were detected in symptomatic and asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis and during carotid endarterectomy. The number of microemboli can be decreased by antithrombotic therapy. Contrast en­chan­ced examination and Valsalva maneuver with continuous TCD monitoring can accurately screen for right-to-left shunt.

Clinical Neuroscience

Hyperhomocysteinemia in female migraineurs of childbearing ages


Background and purpose - Migraine is a risk factor for ischemic stroke in women of childbearing ages. Previous researches revealed a higher prevalence of hyperhomocysteinemia in migraineurs. Possible differences on the frequencies of hyperhomocysteinemia between migraine with aura and migraine without aura could contribute the established variances in stroke risk between these migraine types. Therefore, we aimed to search if the frequency of hyperhomocysteinemia was different between these subtypes of migraine or not. Methods - We analyzed the findings of serum homocysteine levels in female migraineurs of 16-49 years old who admitted to our outpatient clinic. Results - Homocysteine level was elevated in 13.3% of study population. There were not any significant differences on median serum homocysteine levels between migraine with aura (8.0 mikromol/L) and without aura (8.5 mikromol/L). (p=0.426) The frequencies of hyperhomocysteinemia were also similar (9.1% versus 16.7%, respectively; p=0.373). Correlation analyses did not reveal any linear correlation between ages and homocysteine levels either in group of migraine with aura or in group of migraine without aura (p=0.417 and p=0.647, respectively). Similarly, any linear correlation between disease ages and homocysteine levels either in group of migraine with aura or in group of migraine without aura was not detected (p=0.359 and p=0.849, respectively). Conclusion - The median serum homocysteine levels and the frequencies of hyperhomocysteinemia are similar between migraine with aura and without aura in women of childbearing ages. Therefore, the variances on stroke risk ratios between these types of migraine are probably not originated from the differences of serum homocysteine status.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Results of intrathecal baclofen therapy on spasticity in patients with brain injury]

DÉNES Zoltán, KLAUBER András, BOTH Béla, ERÕSS Loránd

[Objectives - To evaluate the results of intrathecal baclofen (ITB) therapy on the spasticity in patients with brain injury. Method - Retrospective study in Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit between January 2001 and December 2010. Results - During the last ten years, in our unit 13 patients were involved into ITB therapy on severe spasticity, after brain injury, while more than 100 Baclofen pumps were implantated in Hungary with Hungary with coordination of the Multidisciplinary Team. ITB therapy was indicated in severe spasticity developed after seven cases of traumatic brain injuries, five cases of strokes and one case of anoxic brain injury. The mean age of patients was 26 years (18- 52). At the time of pump implantation three patients were in vegetative state. The shortest period elapsed between the brain injury and pump implantation was three months and the longest period was nine years, mean 15 months. Baclofen pump had to be changed in six cases after six years, and was removed in three cases due to decreasing spasticity. Catheter revision was performed in two cases due to flow problem. We had no complication in association with ITB therapy. Conclusions - Intrathecal baclofen therapy seems to be an effective and safe treatment in patients with severe spasticity of cerebral origin. We suggest team (neurosurgeon and rehabilitation professionals) decision in a spasticity center before involving the patient into ITB therapy, and follow up in the rehabilitation unit. The severity of spasticity as a consequence of brain injury can change during years and it is necessery to follow it with dosage and dynamics of baclofen therapy. Baclofen pump removal is suggested if the ITB therapy is further not reasonable.]