Clinical Neuroscience

[Paradigm shift in management of patients with vertigo and imbalance]

MIKE Andrea1, TAMÁS T. László2

JULY 30, 2018

Clinical Neuroscience - 2018;71(07-08)


[Dizziness is one of the most common causes of medical visits. Management of the dizzy patient may be challenging both for the general practitioner, in emergency departments, and special clinics, as behind a seemingly homogeneous clinical presentation several very different etiologies may occur. Research of the last two century enriched our knowledge about physiology and pathophysiology of the vestibular system. Much knowledge is now available about the labyrinth being able to sense head motions and gravity, processing of afferent vestibular stimuli, reflectory oculomotor and postural control, or recovery of the vestibular system. Based on scientific results new beside tests have been introduced including provocation maneuvers for detecting ectopic otoliths in different semicircular canals, head impulse test to examine function of the vestibulo-ocular reflex, and the HINTS+ battery for differentiation of peripheral or central origin of an acute vestibular syndrome. Technical innovations like videooculography and vestibular evoked myogenic potentials enable us to selectively and side-specifically examine the function of all six semicircular canals and two otolith organs. Pathomechanism of disorders with vertigo and dizziness became more clear resulting in the development or amendment of diagnostic criteria of several vestibular disorders including vestibular migraine, Menière’s disease, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, persistent postural-perceptual dizziness, bilateral vestibulopathy. Broader knowledge about the pathomechanism promoted the development of new therapeutic methods like different repositioning maneuvers in benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, pharmaceutical therapies, vestibular rehabilitation, and psychotherapy. We aimed to summarize the novelties in the field of oto-neurology.]


  1. Petz Aladár Megyei Oktató Kórház, Neurológiai Osztály, Gyôr
  2. Petz Aladár Megyei Oktató Kórház, Fül-Orr-Gégészeti és Fej-, Nyaksebészeti Osztály, Gyôr



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[Online supplementay figure to the article titled Novel structured MRI reporting system in neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy - issues of development and first use experiences]


[Online supplementay figure to the article titled Novel structured MRI reporting system in neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy - issues of development and first use experiences]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Strategies of using the new antiepileptic drugs for epilepsy in adults]

NIKL János

[The new antiepileptic drugs have not changed the basic pharmacological treatment principles of epilepsy, but they have given greater choice in focal and in generalized epilepsies as well. The new drugs are not necessarily more effective than traditional drugs, but they have favourable pharmacokinetic characteristics, fewer interactions and better adverse effect profile in the acute and chronic phase of the treatment. They generally show a lower teratogenicity risk than the standard antiepileptics, although carbamazepine, one of the standard drugs can be used and zonisamide, a new one must be avoid in pregnancy. Due to characteristics mentioned above they are not only effective as add-on therapy, but in monotherapy as well. On the basis of the international and national recommendation lamotrigine and levetiracetam belong to the first line antiepileptics. The favourable tolerability of the new antiepileptics may improve the patient’s compliance and adherence to the given treatment. The low teratogenicity makes them especially suitable for the treatment of women of childbearing age. The new antiepileptic drugs can succesfully used for the treatment of special patients’ groups as for the post stroke, poszttraumatic epilepsies, for the epilepsies accompanied with brain tumours as well as for epilepsies in the elderly. The new drugs are advantageous for the treatment of such patients who have psychiatric symptoms or signs of cognitive decline and high risk of these symptoms respectively.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Novel structured MRI reporting system in neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy - issues of development and first use experiences


Purpose - To develop an evidence-based, standardized structured reporting (SR) method for brain MRI examinations in neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) suitable both for clinical and research use. Materials and methods - SR template development was based on comprehensive review of the pertinent literature with the basic sections and subdivisions of the template defined according to MRI sequences (both conventional and diffusion-weighted, MR-spectroscopy (MRS), and T2*-weighted imaging), and the items targeted on age-related imaging patterns of HIE. In order to evaluate the usability of the proposed SR template we compared data obtained from the brain MR image analysis of 87 term and 19 preterm neonates with the literature. The enrolled 106 infants were born between 2013 and 2015, went through therapeutic hypothermia according to the TOBY criteria due to moderate to severe asphyxia and had at least one brain MRI examination within the first two weeks of life. Ethical approval was obtained for this retrospective study. Descriptive statistical analysis was also performed on data exported from the structured reporting system as feasibility test. Results - The mean gestational age of the study population was 38.3±2.2 weeks; brain MRI was performed on 5.8±2.9 day of life, hence in 78% of our patients after the conclusion of therapeutic hypothermia. Our main imaging findings were concordant to the pertinent literature. Moreover, we identified a characteristic temporal evolution of diffusion changes. Interestingly 18% (n=19/106) of the clinically asphyxiated infants had isolated axial-extraaxial haemorrhage without any imaging sign of HIE. Conclusion - In this article our approach of reporting HIE cases with our novel SR template is described. The SR template was found suitable for reporting HIE cases, moreover it uncovered time and location dependent evolution of diffusion abnormalities (and pseudonormalization, as well), suggesting its usefulness in clinical research applications. The high number of isolated intracranial haemorrhages, and the changing diffusion pattern emphasizes the importance of early imaging in HIE.

Clinical Neuroscience

Atypical type of Hirayama disease: Onset of proximal upper extremity

AYAS Özözen Zeynep, ASIL Kıyasettin

Hirayama disease is a rare, benign motor neuron disease. It has been proposed that the dura mater’s posterior wall lacks sufficient elasticity in the lower cervical region and this causes the tense dura part to displace anteriorly upon flexion. The disease is described as involving unilateral upper extremity with a distal-onset. We reported weakness and atrophy of the proximal part of an extremity in a 45-year-old man who is diagnosed with Hirayama disease. Proximal onset is a rare type of Hirayama Disease. Clinicians must be alert of proximal involvement and the diagnosis should be confirmed with electrophysiological and flexion MRI studies.

Clinical Neuroscience

Isocitrate dehydrogenase mutations in defining the biology of and supporting clinical decision making in glioblastoma


Background and purpose - Oncogenesis is related to a sequential accumulation of somatic mutations. Comprehensive characterizations of the genomic landscapes have been completed recently for several tumors, glioblastoma being among the first ones. Our own translational research studies have been focused on defining molecular subtypes of glioblastoma in the clinical setting because of an expected prognostic and therapeutic utility of the information. Somatic mutations in genes of the isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) enzyme family appear to be among the best-defined biomarkers that also influence tumor behavior and confer clinical utility. Methods - We have reviewed the literature including our own results to summarize basic science and clinical correlates of IDH mutations. Results - The surveyed data reveal genomic, transcriptomic, epigenomic and biochemical consequences of IDH mutations in the context of glioblastoma biology and phenotype. In addition, a few studies highlight the therapeutic potential of targeting IDH, although thus far all tests have only been conducted in the preclinical setting. Conclusions - Somatic mutations in isoforms of IDH genes represent important biomarkers that correlate with biochemical, biological and phenotypic features of glioblastoma, and may also facilitate the development of new therapeutic strategies complementing the currently available approved protocols.

All articles in the issue

Related contents

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.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Interdisciplinary approach of vestibular system impairment]


[In the first part of this review the definition of vertigo/dizziness was discussed. The major difference between the two signs is the exsistence of the direction, which is specific for vertigo. Dizziness is a frequent complaint in the clinical practice. Its frequency is increasing with advance of age, to intimate the play of declining cognitive process in the pathogenesis of its. The popular health significance of vertigo is in the rowing number of the patients. The onset of the most cases with acute vertigo appears between secundums and minutes so the patients will be provided in circumstances of emergency department. First of all three form schould be take into account: neuronitis vestibularis, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and Meniere syndrome. Without tipical periferal signs of vertigo, central cause should be searched, principally stroke (lysis possibility). The differential diagnose of the different dizzeness/vertigo forms according to the elapsed time of the onset or congenital and acquired nystagmus was created in tables. The recommendations of the therapy of acute and chronic dizziness/ vertigo syndroms are, lack of results of evidence based trials doubtful. The more often used drugs based on clinical trials are discussed as vinpocetine, betahistine and piracetam. The in vitro and in vivo data suggest that the last molecule is eligible to use both in periferal and central type of vertigo syndroms.]

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.

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Secondary prevention following ischemic stroke - A documentational process audit]

TÖRÖK Miklós, MIHÁLKA László, RÁCZ Sándor, FEKETE István, CSIBA László, BERECZKI Dániel

[INTRODUCTION - A previous stroke or a transient ischemic attack is an important risk factor for stroke, therefore measures for secondary prevention have great importance. Based on the results of multicenter randomized controlled trials guidelines for medical and surgical methods for secondary stroke prevention have been established in the last years. In our study - that can be considered a documentational process audit - we analyzed whether there was a change in the past 5 years in the documented recommendations for secondary stroke prevention in the discharge reports of patients with ischemic stroke. PATIENTS AND METHODS - The periods of examination were the first 3 months of 1995 and 2000. We reviewed the discharge reports of all patients discharged from the stroke unit with the diagnosis of ischemic stroke. We tabulated the history, the results of examinations, the condition of the patients at discharge, the stroke subtype, the indications and contraindications for antiplatelet and anticoagulant treatment and of carotid endarterectomy, and the recommended measure for secondary stroke prevention as documented in the discharge report. Data of 205 patients were analyzed. RESULTS - For the majority of patients medical treatment was recommended for secondary prevention. Only 5 patients were candidates for carotid endarterectomy. CONCLUSIONS - The documented practice of secondary stroke prevention significantly improved between 1995 and 2000: the recommendation of internationally accepted guidelines based on the results of randomized controlled trials are reflected better in the discharge reports of patients treated in 2000 (p = 0,0013).]

Clinical Neuroscience

Is isolated hand weakness associated with subtypes of stroke?

YILDIRIM Ahmet, GÜNGEN Dogan Belma

Background and aim - Isolated hand weakness is an uncommon condition in stroke patients. It is frequently confused with peripheral nerve system (PNS) pathologies; misdiagnosis may delay identification of the etiology and treatment of stroke. Herein, we aimed to underline the necessity of keeping the diagnosis of stroke in mind in case of patients with isolated hand weakness and to assess the etiology of stroke. Materials and methods - A total of eight patients (four females and four males), who are presented with isolated hand weakness and had acute cortical infarction documented via cranial MRI, were enrolled in the study. Demographic characteristics, physical and radiological findings of the patients, as well as the lateralization and etiology of infarction were evaluated. Results - The mean age of the patients was 61.8 ± 12 years. Isolated hand weakness was in the dominant hand in four patients. According to the etiology and clinical signs, the stroke was cardioembolic in three patients and they had predominant radial-side (thumb and index) finger weakness. Large vessel atherosclerosis was present in three patients; two patients with predominant ulnar-side (little and ring) finger weakness and one patient with uniform finger weakness; there were two patients with stroke of undetermined etiology and they had uniform finger weakness. Conclusion - Keeping stroke in mind together with PNS pathologies in case of isolated hand weakness is critical for early diagnosis and treatment of the patients. In addition, cardioembolic focus should be considered in case of predominant radial-side finger weakness, whereas particular attention should be paid to carotid artery diseases in case of predominant ulnar-side finger weakness.