Clinical Neuroscience

[Nusinersen in the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy]

SINKÓ Gabriella, KISS Zsuzsanna, BERNADETTE Kalman

MARCH 30, 2018

Clinical Neuroscience - 2018;71(03-04)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.18071/isz.71.0090

[Until recently, the diagnosis of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) has been associated with severe life-long motor disability in adults and with early death in infants. The new experimental therapeutic approaches of the last few years have become more and more promising, while nusinersen was approved for the treatment of SMA in December 2016 in the USA, and in May 2017 in Hungary. Our paper presents mechanisms and clinical benefits of this new medication, and highlights some of the other therapeutic strategies still in experimental stages.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Schizotypal traits and verbal creativity]

FEJES Nikolett Éva, RÓZSA Sándor, MUST Anita

[Introduction - The relationship of schizophrenia and its milder, subclinical forms, with creativity has been in the centre of theoretical interest for decades, however, the systematic research of the topic only prevailed more recently. Purpose - Here we aimed to examine the connection between different schizotypal and non-schizotypal personality traits and verbal creativity in a nonclinical sample. We also investigated the correspondence of two schizotypy inventories, the Oxford-Liverpool Inventory of Feelings and Experiences and a special character configuration of the Temperament and Character Inventory associated with schizotypy. Method - 57 healthy adults (14/43 m/f, mean age 21.51±1.43 years) - took part in the experiment. All participants received a detailed information sheet and gave informed consent prior to participation. Participants completed the Oxford-Liverpool Inventory and the Temperament and Character Inventory to measure both schizotypal and non-schizotypal personality traits. Torrance Test of Creative Thinking was used to measure verbal creativity. Associations between reported measures were examined with correlational and regression analyses. Results and conclusion - Out of the specific Temperament and Character configuration associated with schizotypy (low self-directedness, cooperativeness and high self- transcendence), we only found low self-directedness to be correlated significantly with Oxford-Liverpool schizotypy rates (Self-directedness-schizotypy: r=-.730, p<.01). There was no significant connection between schizotypal traits and verbal creativity. In our sample, the Self-directedness and Reward-dependence character and temperament subscales predicted significantly the verbal creativity level (Self-directedness: b=.330, p=.015; Reward - dependence: b=-.260; p=.049). Based on our results, besides schizotypal traits, other personality measures might be considered in relation to verbal creativity, providing further details to the empirical investigation of creativity. We found low self-directedness to be correlated with Oxford-Liverpool schizotypy rates, however, the sample size was not large enough to test the concurrent validity of the two inventories. Future studies might consider to extend the study sample, preferably to both clinical and non-clinical populations.]

Clinical Neuroscience

A case with angiographic demonstration of isolated anterior spinal artery occlusion

DOGAN Burcu Vasfiye, KARA Batuhan, SELCUK Hatem Hakan, DIRICAN Ceyhan Ayten, KOKSAL Ayhan

Anterior spinal artery syndrome (ASAS) is a rare syndrome which occurs due to thrombosis of anterior spinal artery (ASA) which supplies anterior two thirds of the spinal cord. A 27-year-old female patient was admitted to emergency clinic with sudden onset neck pain, sensory loss and weakness in proximal upper extremities which occurred at rest. Thrombophilia assessment tests were negative. Echocardiography was normal. Serum viral markers were negative. In cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) examination, cell count and biochemistry was normal, oligoclonal band was negative, viral markers for herpes simplex virus (HSV) type-1 and type-2, Brucella, Borrellia, Treponema pallidum, Tuberculosis were negative. Diffusion restriction which reveals acute ischemia was detected in Diffusion weighted MRI. Digital subtraction angiography (DSA) was performed. Medical treatment was 300mg/day acetilsalycilic acid. Patient was discharged from neurology clinics to receive rehabilitation against spasticity.

Clinical Neuroscience

[The role of MRI in measuring the effectivity of disease modifying treatments II]

KINCSES Zsigmond Tamás, TÓTH Eszter, FRICSKA-NAGY Zsanett, FÜVESI Judit, RAJDA Cecília, BENCSIK Krisztina, VÖRÖS Erika, CSOMOR Angéla, PALKÓ András, VÉCSEI László

[The paraclinical examinations, principally the MRI have an increasing significance in the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. However, MRI markers also have a prominent role in monitoring of the disease-course and activity, and also in the planning of possible therapeutic changes. In accordance with previously published international guidelines, in this article we propose a protocol for the monitoring the treatment efficacy in multiple sclerosis. This could be the basis of a consensus based guideline to be implemented in Hungary.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Changes of cognitive functions in healthy aging]

JUHÁSZ Dóra, NÉMETH Dezsõ

[Introduction - Mental health has crucial role in our life. Cognitive changes or decline can lead to many difficulties in daily routine of older people (e.g. organization of daily activities), which can, consequently, influence their well-being. Therefore it is an important question, which cognitive abilities are affected by age-related decline. Methods - In our study we aimed to investigate the changes of cognitive abilities in healthy older adults between 61 and 85 years of age compared to the performance of younger adults. Digit span, counting span, listening span, letter fluency, semantic fluency and action fluency tests were used to assess cognitive abilities, namely working memory and executive functions. Results - The results showed that younger adults performed significantly better in all tests than older adults. Importantly, the performance of older adults was better on tests requiring less complex mental computations (e.g. digit span test) than on more complex tests where both storing and mani-pulating information was required (e.g., counting span test). We also showed that within the older age group, cognitive functions’ decline was linearly associated with increasing age. Conclusion - The present study used several, well-established neuropsychological tests to map the changes of working memory and executive functions in healthy older adults between 61 and 85 years of age compared to younger adults. Our findings can contribute to the development of prevention programs aimed at improving the quality of life of older adults and preventing age-related cognitive decline.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Perinatal stroke - from symptoms to follow-up]

VOJCEK Eszter, CSÉCSEI Márta, FLACH Edina, RUDAS Gábor, GRÁF Rózsa, PRINCZKEL Erzsébet

[Background and purpose - We aimed to analyze patient characteristics of term neonates with the diagnosis of stroke between 2006 and 2017 at the 3rd level Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the Szent János Hospital. Method - We conducted a retrospective and prospective analysis including 18 newborns with stroke. Presentation, imaging methods, etiology and clinical context were discussed. All patients had a follow-up at 2 years of age or later. Subject of the study - In the past 10 years 17 term born and one premature neonate born at 36 weeks of age were diagnosed with stroke in our unit. All patients were born at good condition generally with high Apgar scores (9±1). Cesarean section was performed in 4 cases. Results - With an estimated incidence of one in 1600-4000 births, the incidence of perinatal stroke in our unit was found to be the same as mentioned in the international databeses. Regarding imaging method, cranial ultrasound scan do not visualise arterial ischaemic stroke therefore head MRI is recommended. Neurological symptoms of the patients presented in the first two days of life. Etiology included thrombophilia (4/18), infection (4/18), vascular malformation (2/18), moderate asphyxia (2/18) and pre-eclampsia (2/18). Middle cerebral artery was involved in 50% while the anterior cerebral artery was affected in 33%. The stroke occured in the left hemisphaerium in 44%, in the right side in 39% and was bilateral in 17%. In two cases the stroke was diagnosed in utero. Early childhood developmental support resulted in average or above average gross and fine motor development and cognitive outcome. Conclusion - Presenting neurological symptoms tipically occur in the first few days after birth when perinatal stroke need to be considered among the broad spectrum of neonatal illnesses. Normal developmental outcome can be achieved even in cases of extensive brain damage with early childhood developmental support. Severely impaired development was observed in the cases of in utero stroke. Inherited prothrombotic disorders may have implications for subsequent pregnancies of the mother. ]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Quantitative analysis of the genes determining spinal muscular atrophy]

NAGYMIHÁLY Mariann, HERCZEGFALVI Ágnes, TÍMÁR László, KARCAGI Veronika

[Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is one of the most common autosomal recessive diseases, affecting approximately one in 10.000 live births and with a carrier frequency of approximately one in 35. The disease is caused by a deficiency of the ubiquitous protein survival of motor neuron (SMN), which is encoded by the SMN1 and SMN2 genes. Due to a single nucleotide polymorphism in exon 7, SMN2 produces less full-length transcript than SMN1 and cannot prevent neuronal cell death at physiologic gene dosages. On the other hand, the copy number of SMN2 affects the amount of SMN protein produced and the severity of the SMA phenotype. SMN gene dosage analysis can determine the copy number of SMN1 to detect carriers and patients heterozygous for the absence of SMN1 exon 7. This study provides copy number estimation of SMN1 gene by real-time PCR technique in 56 SMA type I., II., III. patients, 159 parents and healthy relatives and in 152 undefined SMA patients. Among the family members, 91 carriers have been detected and in 56 patients homozygous deletion of SMN1 exon 7 has been confirmed. Moreover, in 12 patients compound heterozygosity of SMN1 exon 7 mutation has been detected, thus providing the possible diagnosis of SMA. In 94 patients, copy number of SMN2 has also been evaluated and a good correlation has been found with the phenotype of the disease. Due to the genetic complexity and the high carrier frequency, accurate risk assessment and genetic counselling are particularly important for the families. These new results provide improvement of the diagnostic service in SMA in Hungary with focus on proper genetic counselling and possible enrolment of the patients in future therapeutic interventions.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Life threatening rare lymphomas presenting as longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis: a diagnostic challenge

TOLVAJ Balázs, HAHN Katalin, NAGY Zsuzsanna, VADVÁRI Árpád, CSOMOR Judit, GELPI Ellen, ILLÉS Zsolt, GARZULY Ferenc

Background and aims – Description of two cases of rare intravascular large B-cell lymphoma and secondary T-cell lymphoma diagnosed postmortem, that manifested clinically as longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (LETM). We discuss causes of diagnostic difficulties, deceptive radiological and histological investigations, and outline diagnostic procedures based on our and previously reported cases. Case reports – Our first case, a 48-year-old female was admitted to the neurological department due to paraparesis. MRI suggested LETM, but the treatments were ineffective. She died after four weeks because of pneumonia and untreatable polyserositis. Pathological examination revealed intravascular large B-cell lymphoma (IVL). Our second case, a 61-year-old man presented with headache and paraparesis. MRI showed small bitemporal lesions and lesions suggesting LETM. Diagnostic investigations were unsuccessful, including tests for possible lymphoma (CSF flow cytometry and muscle biopsy for suspected IVL). Chest CT showed focal inflammation in a small area of the lung, and adrenal adenoma. Brain biopsy sample from the affected temporal area suggested T-cell mediated lymphocytic (paraneoplastic or viral) meningoencephalitis and excluded diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. The symptoms worsened, and the patient died in the sixth week of disease. The pathological examination of the presumed adenoma in the adrenal gland, the pancreatic tail and the lung lesions revealed peripheral T-cell lymphoma, as did the brain and spinal cord lesions. Even at histological examination, the T-cell lymphoma had the misleading appearance of inflammatory condition as did the MRI. Conclusion – Lymphoma can manifest as LETM. In cases of etiologically unclear atypical LETM in patients older than 40 years, a random skin biopsy (with subcutaneous adipose tissue) from the thigh and from the abdomen is strongly recommended as soon as possible. This may detect IVL and provide the possibility of prompt chemotherapy. In case of suspicion of lymphoma, parallel examination of the CSF by flow cytometry is also recommended. If skin biopsy is negative but lymphoma suspicion remains high, biopsy from other sites (bone marrow, lymph nodes or adrenal gland lesion) or from a simultaneously existing cerebral lesion is suggested, to exclude or prove diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, IVL, or a rare T-cell lymphoma.

Clinical Neuroscience

A rare entity of acquired idiopathic generalised anhidrosis which has been successfully treated with pulse steroid therapy: Does the histopathology predict the treatment response?

ÖKTEM Özdemir Ece, ÇANKAYA Şeyda, UYKUR Burak Abdullah, ERDEN Simsek Nazan, YULUG Burak

Acquired idiopathic generalised anhidrosis is an uncommon sweating disorder characterized by loss of sweating in the absence of any neurologic, metabolic or sweat gland abnormalities. Although some possible immunological and structural mechanisms have been proposed for this rare entity, the definitive pathophysiology is still un­clear. Despite some successfully treated cases with systemic corticosteroid application, the dose and route of steroid application are controversial. Here, we present a 41-year-old man with lack of genera­lised sweating who has been successfully treated with high dose pulse intravenous prednisolone. We have discussed his clinical and histopathological findings as well as the treatment options in view of the current literature.

Clinical Neuroscience

Cyanocobalamin and cholecalciferol synergistically improve functional and histopathological nerve healing in experimental rat model

ALBAY Cem, ADANIR Oktay, AKKALP Kahraman Asli, DOGAN Burcu Vasfiye, GULAEC Akif Mehmet, BEYTEMUR Ozan

Introduction - Peripheral nerve injury (PNI) is a frequent problem among young adults. Hopefully, regeneration can occur in PNI unlike central nervous system. If nerve cut is complete, gold standard treatment is surgery, but incomplete cuts have been tried to be treated by medicines. The aim of the study was to evaluate and compare clinical and histopathological outcomes of independent treatment of each of Vitamin B12 (B12) and Vitamin D3 (D3) and their combination on sciatic nerve injury in an experimental rat model. Materials and methods - Experimental animal study was performed after the approval of BEH Ethics Committee No. 2015/10. 32 rats were grouped into four (n=8) according to treatment procedures, such as Group 1 (controls with no treatment), Group 2 (intraperitoneal 1 mg/kg/day B12), Group 3 (oral 3500 IU/kg/week D3), Group 4 (intraperitoneal 1 mg/kg/day B12+ oral 3500 IU/kg/week D3). Sciatic Functional Index (SFI) and histopathological analysis were performed. Results - SFIs of Group 2, 3, 4 were statistically significantly higher than controls. Group 2 and 3 were statistically not different, however Group 4 was statistically significantly higher than others according to SFI. Axonal degeneration (AD) in all treatment groups were statistically significantly lower than in Group 1. AD in Group 4 was significantly lower than in Group 2 and 3; there was no significant difference between Group 2 and 3. There was no significant difference between Group 1,2 and 3 in Axonolysis (A). But A of Group 4 was significantly very much lower than all others. Oedema- inflammation (OE-I) in all treatment groups were significantly lower than in Group 1; there was no significant difference between Group 2 and group 4. OE-I in Group 2 and 4 were significantly lower than in Group 3. There were no significant differences between Group 1, 2 and 3 in damage level scores; score of Group 4 was significantly lower than of Group 1. Conclusions - B12 and D3 were found effective with no statistically significant difference. But combined use of B12 and D3 improve nerve healing synergistically. We recommend combined use of B12 and D3 after PNI as soon as possible.