Clinical Neuroscience

[One year follow-up after stroke. A preliminary feasibility study in Josephtown of Budapest]

SZŐCS Ildikó, SZATMÁRI Szabolcs, FEKETE Klára, ORBÁN-KIS Károly, VASTAGH Ildikó, FOLYOVICH András, AJTAY András, BERECZKI Dániel

MARCH 30, 2012

Clinical Neuroscience - 2012;65(03-04)

[Stroke is a major public health issue in Hungary with considerable regional differences in mortality. We have limited information to explain such regional differences. To assess these differences, we would need comparative followup studies optimally carried out by personal contact with the patient or the carer. According to several epidemiological studies, follow-up can be carried out with significantly lower cost and similar efficiency by telephone contact or regular mail. In this pilot study we intend to assess: 1. the efficacy of telephone follow-up one year after stroke in this geographical region 2. whether the efficacy of follow-up can be further increased with questionnaires sent out by regular mail 3. whether telephone and mail-based assessment is sufficient to perform a larger population based study. We included 135 patients hospitalized consecutively for acute cerebrovascular disease (stroke or TIA) by the Department of Neurology, Semmelweis University in January and February of 2008. Based on residence, patients were divided into three groups: those living in the least wealthy district of Budapest (i.e. District-8); those living in other districts of the city; and those living in suburban areas. One year after the hospital treatment follow-up was possible by telephone in 76%. Further 12 patients could be contacted by questionnaire sent out by regular mail. Efficacy of follow-up was altogether 84%. Even in this small group of patients, we have found a tendency for more severe strokes (p=0.06) and higher acute case fatality (32% vs. 5%, p=0.029) in residents of District-8 of Budapest compared to those residing in more wealthy districts of the city and in suburban areas. Survival rate one year after stroke or TIA was only 39% in those living in District-8, 66% in those living in other districts and 75% in suburban dwellers (p=0.006). Telephone and mail-based questionnaires are insufficient for follow-up in these regions even when applied in combination. These preliminary data raise the possibility that the socio-economical conditions might influence stroke severity and outcome in the population. A larger study to address this issue would require more accurate definition of patient-groups and more efficient follow-up methods.]



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[Botulinum neurotoxin-A therapy in migraine]

TAJTI János, SZOK Délia, TUKA Bernadett, CSÁTI Anett, KURIS Anikó, MAJLÁTH Zsófia, LUKÁCS Melinda, VÉCSEI László

[Although migraine is a common, paroxysmal, highly disabling disorder, the primary cause and the pathomechanism of migraine attacks are enigmatic. Experimental results suggest that activation of the trigeminovascular system is crucial in its pathogenesis. This activation leads to the release of vasoactive neuropeptides (calcitonin gene-related peptide - CGRP, and substance P - SP) and to neurogenic inflammation, and peripheral and central sensitisation are expressed. Botulinum neurotoxin-A (BoNT-A), a potent toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum, affects the nervous system through specific cleavage of the soluble NSF-attachment protein receptor complex (SNARE), like synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa (SNAP-25). The result of this multistage process is blockade of the presynaptic release of pain neurotransmitters such as CGRP, SP and glutamate. A pooled analysis of the data from two programmes of Phase 3 Research Evaluating Migraine Prophylaxis Therapy (PREEMPT 1 and 2) with BoNT-A in chronic migraine demonstrated significant benefit of BoNT-A over placebo with regard to the numbers of headache days and migraine episodes. BoNT-A diminished the frequency of acute headache pain medication intake, and resulted in reductions in headache impact and improvements in scores on the Migraine-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire. The treatments with BoNT-A proved safe and were well tolerated.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Neurology Editors: Imre Szirmai]


Clinical Neuroscience

[Stroke prevention - A population screening day in district XII of Budapest]


[Along with advances in the treatment of acute stroke, new efforts have been made to enhance efficiency of the prevention of cerebrovascular diseases. Population screening is a way to contact high-risk patients, and there is an increasing international and national experience with the procedure. However, efforts are associated with high costs, so an efficient method, complying with local features, should be selected from the various methods. A stroke prevention day was organized in Szent János Hospital, localized in district XII, and data were analyzed. Taking advantage of the potentials of a large hospital, a comprehensive risk assessment - within the capacity of health care workers - was performed. Program and contact information of the screening day was published in the local newspaper of the district. Data of 48 residents of the district were analyzed. In addition to neurologists, a radiologist, a cardiologist and an ophtalmologist, as well as health care workers were involved in the project. A data sheet was filled in for all participants, including known risk factors, BMI, blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels. All participants had duplex sonography of the cervical vessels, cardiac evaluation and ophtalmic examination. Data were analyzed anonymously, and - if participants approved - postcode and educational level were also recorded. Among the 48 individuals screened, 35 were female and 13 were male. Average age was 62.86 (±8.57) years, and participants were typically of higher educational level. 5 individuals had no known risk factors, most of them had 2-3 risk factors, and multiple risk factors were not uncommon. Individuals with six and seven risk factors were also found. 20 of 27 patients with known hypertension had target blood pressure levels. By duplex sonography, 36 individuals had mild, 4 had significant atherosclerosis. There was no significant carotid stenosis or occlusion. Based on ophtalmic evaluation, 26 patients had signs of vascular disease (mainly hypertensive fundus changes). Cardiac evaluation detected 14 patients with cardiovascular risk. The high standard of primary care in the district was reflected by the fact that all the 6 highrisk individuals were already taken care of by general practitioners (GP-s). One of the leading conclusions from the evaluation of the data is that local press, family ties and local communities play a major role in recruiting people for a screening day. In order to increase efficiency and cost-efficacy of the program, GP-s should also be involved in the planning process, because efficiency may be increased by pre-selecting high-risk individuals.]

Clinical Neuroscience


Clinical Neuroscience

[Study of the effects of vinpocetin on cognitive functions]


[Introduction - Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion is a risk factor for the development of certain types of dementia. Mild cognitive impairment is a stage of predementia condition, because the symptoms are similar but not as severe as the symptoms in patients with dementia. Vinpocetine, due to its complex mechanism of action, has an important role in the improvement of chronic cerebral hypoperfusion. Objectives - The aim of our study was to determine the severity of the cognitive decline and to investigate the efficacy and safety of per os 18 months vinpocetine treatment in patients with mild cognitive impairment. Methods - We used psychometrical tests (MMSE, ADASCog) to assess the cognitive functions. CGIC-PGIC was used to evaluate the overall change in the disease status. ADL was used to assess the patient’s daily activity and the Hamilton Depression Scale to evaluate the patient’s mood. The assessments were performed at six visits during the 18 months treatment period. Results - At the beginning of the treatment, the stage of our patients’ mild cognitive impairment was moderately severe. Significant improvement was detected in the psychometrical tests after the 18 months treatment period. The overall status of the disease improved significantly according both to the patient and the investigator. Also significant improvement was detected in daily activity. The complex improvement of the clinical symptoms affected the patients’ mood positively. Moreover, vinpocetine was safe and had a good tolerability during the whole study period. Conclusions - Vinpocetine, due its complex mechanism of action, improved significantly the cognitive functions, overall disease status and quality of life in patients with chronic cerebral hypoperfusion. As a result, vinpocetine treatment can be recommended for patients with mild cognitive impairment.]

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Lege Artis Medicinae

[The safety of rosiglitazone - Lessons from the RECORD study]


[The international RECORD study team evaluated the safety of the oral antidiabetic drug rosiglitazone, after contradictory reports of its unfavourable cardiovascular adverse effects, in combination with sulfonyureas and metformin. The drug didn’t increase cardiovascular morbidity and overall mortality compared with standard blood sugar lowering drugs. However, it increased the risk of heart failure, and, in women, the risk of limb fractures. Keeping in mind the strict contraindications, the drug can still be prescribed, as glitazones have effective blood sugar lowering and insulin-sensitizing effects.]

Journal of Nursing Theory and Practice

[The Importance of Teamwork and Patient Education in the Rehabilitation of Stroke Patients]

HORVÁTH Orsolya, STERLIK Krisztina

[The aim of the study: Stroke is an increasing problem in public health. Every year in Hungary tens of thousands of people survive stroke and continue their life bearing all the negative consequences of this disease. Well organized and early rehabilitation treatment, based on the patients’ clinical condition, improves not only their life expectancy, but also quality of life and helps to restore the self- sufficient living as well. The majority of the stroke patients live with numerous of cerebrovascular risk factors, highlighting the special importance of personalized education to prevent the recurrent stroke. Material and Methods: The aim of our investigation was to examine the efficiency of the neuro-rehabilitation teamwork and personalized patient-education among stroke patients took part inpatient rehabilitation of the Teaching Hospital and Rehabilitation Center of Sopron (2016-2017). We measured the change in ability of self- sufficient living with the FIM scale and the Bartel index, while we analyzed the presence of the modifiable cerebrovascular risk-factors with the assistance of a questionnaire was completed by the patient or the relatives (2016-2017). Results: During our research we also evaluated the knowledge of patients about their condition. According to our results the modifiable risk-factors occured cumulatively among our patients and despite the education that stroke patients received during the acute period in the hospital, there still occured a general lack of knowledge regarding their disease. Conclusions: Based on our results the complex rehabilitation therapy started at its earliest possible following the acute period was the most successful method of treatment. During the acute period, the dissemination of written educational materials and information sheets help the recovery phase until the start of the complex rehabilitation therapy. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae


VOKÓ Zoltán, SZÉLES György, KARDOS László, NÉMETH Renáta, ÁDÁNY Róza

[INTRODUCTION - Here we present the descriptive epidemiology of stroke in Hungary including mortality, morbidity, functional limitation and inpatient care based on the most recent health statistical data. METHODS - Mortality data were analysed by direct and indirect standardisation, and geographical mapping based on empirical Bayesian smoothing. Morbidity data were obtained from the General Practitioners’ Morbidity Sentinel Station Program and the National Health Surveys. The latter also provided data on functional limitation. Data on inpatient service were taken from the European Hospital Morbidity Database of WHO. RESULTS - Hungarian stroke mortality continued to decrease in recent years, and the slope of the decrease was larger than in Western Europe. Stroke mortality was highest in the Northern- Hungarian Region, and in Somogy and Zala counties. The incidence of stroke was 1.5-2 times higher than in the developed countries in most age groups. Over 64 years of age, a decline of stroke incidence was observed, especially in men. In this age group approximately 10% of men and 7% of women had already had a stroke. Of these patients more than 10% needed assistance to get out of the bed, dress up, or eat. Hospitals reported more than 60 000 stroke cases in 2005. CONCLUSION - Despite the promising trends in stroke mortality and now also in morbidity, both indices are still rather high in Hungary compared to those in Western-Europe. The relatively favourable epidemiological changes, however, may be overridden by the increased stroke burden resulting from the aging of the population.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Hypertension and it’s therapy in acut phase of stroke]

KÁPOSZTA Zoltán és munkatársa

[The elevation of blood pressure above normal and premorbid values within the first 24 hours of symptom onset in patients with stroke is relatively common. This acute hypertensive response is usually managed by different group of physicians, including general practitioners, emergency physicians, neurologists, internists, intensivisists. Management strategies of this phenomenon vary considerably. The first consideration in blood pressure management in this clinical setting is to determine whether the patient might be a candidate for thrombolytic therapy. For those patients are not entitled to that therapy premorbide blood pressure values and the type of stroke are the key data for sufficient control of hypertension. In patients with chronic hypertension, the lower end of the autoregulation curve is shifted toward high pressure and an impaired autoregulation due to acute stroke may increase the risk for further brain tissue damage if the blood pressure is inadequately controlled. The current guidelines recommend lowering blood pressure in patients with an intracranial haemorrhage below 160- 180/100-105 mmHg, if the patient is normotensive, while the target level is 180/105 mmHg in hipertensive patients. However, in ischaemic stroke no treatment is recommended if systolic blood pressure <220 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure <120 mmHg in the acute stage. Clinical studies are rare which assess the effectiveness of different antihipertensive drugs in acute stroke. The first strong evidence came from the ACCESS (The Acute Candesartan Cilexetil Therapy in Stroke Survivors) trial which suggested that a 7-day course of candesartan after an acute ischaemic stroke significantly improves cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.]

Clinical Neuroscience

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

FAZEKAS Gábor, TAVASZI Ibolya, TÓTH András

[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.]