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

[Fingolimod therapy in multiple sclerosis - the issue of the pathomechanism]

TAR Lilla, VÉCSEI László

[Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune inflammatory disease of the central nervous system with neurodegenerative chararacteristics. The newly discovered per os administrable drug fingolimod (FTY720) has a different mechanism of action than the current disease-modifying therapies. In vivo the drug binds to four out of the five sphingosine-1-phosphate receptors after phosphorylation. Fingolimod-phosphate (FTY720-P) causes internalization and degradation of the sphingosine-1-phosphate receptors in the membrane of lymphocytes thus in contrast to sphingosine-1-phosphate it acts like a functional antagonist. In experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis - an animal model of multiple sclerosis - fingolimod blocks the sphingosine-1-phosphate gradient controlled lymphocyte egress from the lymph nodes and therefore reduces the peripheral lymphocyte count especially the encephalitogenic Th17 subset is reduced. Modulation of the sinus lining and blood-brainbarrier constructing endothelial cells also contributes to the complex mechanism of action. Additionally due to its liphohilic nature fingolimod is able to penetrate the blood brain barrier thus, beside its peripheral effects the drug can probably modulate the cells of the central nervous system directly. Presumably it can reduce neurodegeneration caused by astrogliosis through modification of astrocyte and oligodendrocyte activity. The results of current clinical studies are holding out with bright prospective in the aspect of either the favourable effects or the well tolerated side effects.]

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.]

All articles in the issue

Related contents

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

Marchiafava-Bignami disease: Report of three cases

GUNAY Gul, MESUDE Özerden, ZEYNEP Ozdemir, CAHIT Keskinkiliç, HAKAN Selçuk, BATUHAN Kara, AYSUN Soysal

Marchiafava-Bignami disease (MBD) is a rare alcohol-associated disorder characterized by demyelination and necrosis of the corpus callosum. We report three patients who had history of chronic alcoholism, different clinical presentation and MRI findings consistent with the diagnosis of Marchiafava-Bignami disease.

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.