Clinical Neuroscience

[Perinatal stroke - from symptoms to follow-up]

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

MARCH 30, 2018

Clinical Neuroscience - 2018;71(03-04)


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

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

[MRI has a significant role in the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. The newer and newer treatment options of the disease make it necessary to monitor the effectiveness of the therapy. Besides the clinical signs (clinical relapses and progression), the different MRI parameters can also reflect the disease activity. In our current article we summarize those MRI markers, which best predict the long-term disability, based on the international standards.]

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

[Nusinersen in the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy]

SINKÓ Gabriella, KISS Zsuzsanna, BERNADETTE Kalman

[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.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Long-term follow-up results of concomitant chemoradiotherapy followed by adjuvant temozolomide therapy for glioblastoma multiforme patients. The importance of MRI information in survival: Single-center experience

LUKÁCS Gábor, TÓTH Zoltán, SIPOS Dávid, CSIMA Melinda, HADJIEV Janaki, BAJZIK Gábor, CSELIK Zsolt, SEMJÉN Dávid, REPA Imre, KOVÁCS Árpád

Introduction - Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common malignant primary anomaly of central nervous system. The GBM infiltrates the nearly sturctures from the initial tumor and its metastatic attribution is well known. The aim of our single-centered retrospective study was to introduce the importance of postoperative medical imaging confirmation of total tumor resection for patient with GBM combined concomitant and adjuvant chemoradiotherapy on a 10 year long patient follow up. Methods - From January 2006 to April 2015 we registered 59 patients with newly diagnosed GBM at the University of Kaposvár Health Center Institute of Diagnostic Imaging and Radiation Oncology. The histological diagnosis was confirmed by a proficient neuropathologist (World Health Organisation WHO; grade IV astrocytoma). According to histological status if the ECOG performance status of patients allowed it the mutidisciplinary oncoteam recommended adjuvant chemoradiotherapy all features strictly by Stupp protocol. (60 Gy dose on the gross tumor volume and 2-3 cm margin for the clinical target volume with parallel 75 mg/m2 TMZ. Four weeks after monotherapial phase patients had to recieve 6 cycles of TMZ first cycle with 150 mg/m2 up to 200 mg/m2). The irradiation was carried out by a conformal three dimensional planning system. Results - 59 patients with the median age of 63 (range 17-84) year. Our sample counted 34 male patients and 25 woman patients. 14 patients underwent gross total tumor resection while, 39 patients underwent partial resection and the rest from our sample 6 patients passed through biopsy. Statistical analysis showed a lengthier survival among males than females, with a median survival of 13 months for males and females, the OS of 26.209 for males, meanwhile 15.625 for females. However, the difference is not considerable (log-rank p=0.203). Our study found that the estimated survival of patients at least 50 years old is significantly shorter at a median survival of 12 months (log rank p=0.027) than that of patients below 50 years of age at a median survival of 23 months. The longest estimated median survival was calculated with patients of ECOG '0' condition (16 months). However, no significant difference was found in the estimated survival of patients of different ECOG conditions (log-rank p=0.146). Based on the extent of surgery, complete resection resulted in the longest average survival of 36.4 months, followed by 21.5 months among patients with biopsy, and 15.8 months among patients with partial resection. Different surgical procedures, however, did not result in significant differences in survival (log-rank p=0.059). The overal survival of patients who had complete resection confirmed by MRI compared with the overal survival of patients with residual tumor confirmed by MRI as well we can estimate that there is significant difference between these two groups (p=0,004). Conclusion - Despite complex and intense treatment, recurrence is inevitable and causes relatively rapid death. In our analysis complete resection, as defined from the neurosurgeon’s report and postoperative MRI, resulted in an independently significant improvement in OS. Our results are the evidences that the treatment of patients with glioblastoma multiforme in Hungary is at least on the same level as any other developed European countries.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Changes of cognitive functions in healthy aging]


[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.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

Late simultaneous carcinomatous meningitis, temporal bone infiltrating macro-metastasis and disseminated multi-organ micro-metastases presenting with mono-symptomatic vertigo – a clinico-pathological case reporT

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Although vertigo is one of the most common complaints, intracranial malignant tumors rarely cause sudden asymmetry between the tone of the vestibular peripheries masquerading as a peripheral-like disorder. Here we report a case of simultaneous temporal bone infiltrating macro-metastasis and disseminated multi-organ micro-metastases presenting as acute unilateral vestibular syndrome, due to the reawakening of a primary gastric signet ring cell carcinoma. Purpose – Our objective was to identify those pathophysiological steps that may explain the complex process of tumor reawakening, dissemination. The possible causes of vestibular asymmetry were also traced. A 56-year-old male patient’s interdisciplinary medical data had been retrospectively analyzed. Original clinical and pathological results have been collected and thoroughly reevaluated, then new histological staining and immunohistochemistry methods have been added to the diagnostic pool. During the autopsy the cerebrum and cerebellum was edematous. The apex of the left petrous bone was infiltrated and destructed by a tumor mass of 2x2 cm in size. Histological reexamination of the original gastric resection specimen slides revealed focal submucosal tumorous infiltration with a vascular invasion. By immunohistochemistry mainly single infiltrating tumor cells were observed with Cytokeratin 7 and Vimentin positivity and partial loss of E-cadherin staining. The subsequent histological examination of necropsy tissue specimens confirmed the disseminated, multi-organ microscopic tumorous invasion. Discussion – It has been recently reported that the expression of Vimentin and the loss of E-cadherin is significantly associated with advanced stage, lymph node metastasis, vascular and neural invasion and undifferentiated type with p<0.05 significance. As our patient was middle aged and had no immune-deficiency, the promoting factor of the reawakening of the primary GC malignant disease after a 9-year-long period of dormancy remained undiscovered. The organ-specific tropism explained by the “seed and soil” theory was unexpected, due to rare occurrence of gastric cancer to metastasize in the meninges given that only a minority of these cells would be capable of crossing the blood brain barrier. Patients with past malignancies and new onset of neurological symptoms should alert the physician to central nervous system involvement, and the appropriate, targeted diagnostic and therapeutic work-up should be established immediately. Targeted staining with specific antibodies is recommended. Recent studies on cell lines indicate that metformin strongly inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition of gastric cancer cells. Therefore, further studies need to be performed on cases positive for epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

Clinical Neuroscience

Alexithymia is associated with cognitive impairment in patients with Parkinson’s disease

SENGUL Yildizhan, KOCAK Müge, CORAKCI Zeynep, SENGUL Serdar Hakan, USTUN Ismet

Cognitive dysfunction (CD) is a common non-motor symptom of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Alexithy­mia is a still poorly understood neuropsychiatric feature of PD. Cognitive impairment (especially visuospatial dysfunction and executive dysfunction) and alexithymia share com­mon pathology of neuroanatomical structures. We hypo­thesized that there must be a correlation between CD and alexithymia levels considering this relationship of neuroanatomy. Objective – The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between alexithymia and neurocognitive function in patients with PD. Thirty-five patients with PD were included in this study. The Toronto Alexithymia Scale–20 (TAS-20), Geriatric Depression Inventory (GDI) and a detailed neuropsychological evaluation were performed. Higher TAS-20 scores were negatively correlated with Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) similarities test score (r =-0.71, p value 0.02), clock drawing test (CDT) scores (r=-0.72, p=0.02) and verbal fluency (VF) (r=-0.77, p<0.01). Difficulty identifying feelings subscale score was negatively correlated with CDT scores (r=-0.74, p=0.02), VF scores (r=-0.66, p=0.04), visual memory immediate recall (r=-0.74, p=0.01). VF scores were also correlated with difficulty describing feelings (DDF) scores (r=-0.66, p=0.04). There was a reverse relationship bet­ween WAIS similarities and DDF scores (r=-0.70, p=0.02), and externally oriented-thinking (r=-0.77,p<0.01). Executive function Z score was correlated with the mean TAS-20 score (r=-62, p=0.03) and DDF subscale score (r=-0.70, p=0.01) Alexithymia was found to be associated with poorer performance on visuospatial and executive function test results. We also found that alexithymia was significantly correlated with depressive symptoms. Presence of alexithymia should therefore warn the clinicians for co-existing CD.

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

[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. ]