Clinical Neuroscience

[Péter Rajna : Aging brain - aging mind - ageless (?) soul]

KOPP Mária

JANUARY 22, 2008

Clinical Neuroscience - 2008;61(01-02)



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[Functional magnetic resonance imaging in neurology (in English language)]


[The present contribution discusses the clinical use of functional MRI (fMRI) and its role in the most common neurological diseases. FMRI was found a reliable and reproducible examination tool resulting in a wide distribution of fMRI methods in presurgical evaluation of epilepsy in determining the relationship of eloquent areas and the epileptic focus. Preliminary data suggest that fMRI using memory paradigms can predict the postoperative memory decline in epilepsy surgery by determining whether a reorganization of memory functions took place. Speech-activated fMRI became the most used tool in determining hemispheric dominance. Visual and senso-motor cortex can also be routinely investigated by fMRI which helps in decision on epilepsy surgery. FMRI combined with EEG is a new diagnostic tool in epilepsy and sleep disorders. FMRI can identify the penumbra after stroke and can provide an additional information on metabolic state of the threatened brain tissue. FMRI has a predictive role in poststroke recovery. In relapsing-remitting MS an adaptive reorganization can be demonstrated by fMRI affecting the visual, motor, and memory systems, despite preserved functional performance. Much more extensive reorganization can be demonstrated in secondary progressive MS. These findings suggest that the different stages of MS are related to different stages of the reorganization and MS becomes progressive when there is no more reserve capacity in the brain for reorganization. FMRI offers the capability of detecting early functional hemodynamic alterations in Alzheimer’s disease before morphological changes. FMRI can be a valuable tool to test and monitor treatment efficacy in AD. FMRI can also provide information about the mechanisms of different therapeutic approaches in Parkinson disorder including drug treatment and deep brain stimulation.]

Clinical Neuroscience


BENEDEK Krisztina, PÁLFFY Andrea, BENCSIK Krisztina, FEJES Imre, RAJDA Cecília, TUBOLY Gábor, LISZLI Péter

[Objective - To survey the role of pattern electroretinography (PERG) and pattern visual evoked potentials (VEPs) in the process of clinical evaluation of neuro-ophthalmological cases. The study is illustrated with the electrophysiological findings of 231 patients sent to our laboratory in 2005 because of the suspicion of damage in the optic pathway. Methods - The RETIport program of the ROLAND equipment (Wiesbaden - Germany) was used to record PERGs and VEPs. The recordings were done according to the recommendations of the International Society for Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision. Results - The combined application of PERG and VEP provided useful data on the retino-cortical conduction time and hence demyelinisation. The comparison of the N35/P50 and P50/N90 amplitudes of the PERG recordings greatly promoted the diagnostic procedure. Conclusions - The combined application of PERG and VEP methods is recommended in the assessment of optic nerve function of neuro-ophthalmological patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Complex regional pain syndrome]


[Complex regional pain syndrome is one of the frequently topics to be discussed during International Congresses. Three books have been published recently by the IASP Press (1994., 2001., 2005.) The aim of my publications is to draw the attention to this syndrome frequently unrecognized, and to summarize an interesting case report.]

Clinical Neuroscience



[The triple combination of levodopa, DDCI and entacapone (Stalevo) is used to treat motor complication in Parkinsonian patients with fluctuation. An observational investigation has been conducted in Hungary to study the effects of Stalevo on the “wearing off” phenomenon and on the quality of life in patients, who are to be treated with. The introduction of Stalevo to the treatment resulted in no changes in the number of patients taking selegiline, amantadine and dopamin agonists, while the number of patients taking anticholinergic drugs were slightly increased. This treatment significantly decreased the average Hoehn-Yahr stadium, as well as the non-motor symptoms, without any remarkable side effect. Stalevo also improved the quality of life, detected by the EQ-5D questionare and the visual analoge scale.]

Clinical Neuroscience


KOVÁCS Gábor Géza, KŐVÁRI Viktor, NAGY Zoltán

[Background - Dementia is an increasing problem of the society. The underlying cause of dementia may be difficult to diagnose during life. Only neuropathological examination gives definite diagnosis. Differences in the reported frequency may be related to factors such as the age or gender of subjects with dementia. Materials and methods - In our neuropathology-based study we examined 156 consecutive subjects clinically diagnosed with dementia during a 3-year period. Using histopathological criteria we calculated the frequencies of various disorders causing dementia. We studied the effect of age and gender on these frequencies. Results - Alzheimer’s disease was the most frequent pathologic finding (57.7%) followed by vascular dementia (43%); diffuse Lewy body disease (15.4%); argyrophilic grain dementia (12.1%), various forms of frontotemporal dementia (5.7%); and other (4.5%). The latter comprise prion disease, alcoholic encephalopathy, and hippocampal sclerosis. Mixed pathology was common: concomitant Alzheimer’s disease was present in 41.6% of diffuse Lewy body disease cases and in 49.2% of vascular dementia patients. Pure disease forms are rare: Alzheimer’s disease: 26.3%, vascular dementia: 17.3%, diffuse Lewy body disease: 5.1%, argyrophilic grain dementia: 2.5%. Females were overrepresented among those with Alzheimer’s disease with age at death above 75 years (p <0.02), while males were overrepresented in patients below 75 years with vascular dementia (p <0.05). Conclusions - Our study indicates that the frequency of neurodegenerative dementias is high in the examined patients, but vascular pathology frequently influences the clinical course.]

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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

JARABIN András János, KLIVÉNYI Péter, TISZLAVICZ László, MOLNÁR Anna Fiona, GION Katalin, FÖLDESI Imre, KISS Geza Jozsef, ROVÓ László, BELLA Zsolt

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

Cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine for the treatment of Alzheimer and non-Alzheimer dementias


In aging societies, the morbidity and mortality of dementia is increasing at a significant rate, thereby imposing burden on healthcare, economy and the society as well. Patients’ and caregivers’ quality of life and life expectancy are greatly determined by the early diagnosis and the initiation of available symptomatic treatments. Cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine have been the cornerstones of Alzheimer’s therapy for approximately two decades and over the years, more and more experience has been gained on their use in non-Alzheimer’s dementias too. The aim of our work was to provide a comprehensive summary about the use of cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and non-Alzheimers’s dementias.

Clinical Neuroscience

Atypical presentation of late-onset Sandhoff disease: a case report

SALAMON András , SZPISJAK László , ZÁDORI Dénes, LÉNÁRT István, MARÓTI Zoltán, KALMÁR Tibor , BRIERLEY M. H. Charlotte, DEEGAN B. Patrick , KLIVÉNYI Péter

Sandhoff disease is a rare type of hereditary (autosomal recessive) GM2-gangliosidosis, which is caused by mutation of the HEXB gene. Disruption of the β subunit of the hexosaminidase (Hex) enzyme affects the function of both the Hex-A and Hex-B isoforms. The severity and the age of onset of the disease (infantile or classic; juvenile; adult) depends on the residual activity of the enzyme. The late-onset form is characterized by diverse symptomatology, comprising motor neuron disease, ataxia, tremor, dystonia, psychiatric symptoms and neuropathy. A 36-year-old female patient has been presenting progressive, symmetrical lower limb weakness for 9 years. Detailed neurological examination revealed mild symmetrical weakness in the hip flexors without the involvement of other muscle groups. The patellar reflex was decreased on both sides. Laboratory tests showed no relevant alteration and routine electroencephalography and brain MRI were normal. Nerve conduction studies and electromyography revealed alterations corresponding to sensory neuropathy. Muscle biopsy demonstrated signs of mild neurogenic lesion. Her younger brother (32-year-old) was observed with similar symptoms. Detailed genetic study detected a known pathogenic missense mutation and a 15,088 base pair long known pathogenic deletion in the HEXB gene (NM_000521.4:c.1417G>A; NM_000521:c.-376-5836_669+1473del; double heterozygous state). Segregation analysis and hexosaminidase enzyme assay of the family further confirmed the diagnosis of late-onset Sandhoff disease. The purpose of this case report is to draw attention to the significance of late-onset Sandhoff disease amongst disorders presenting with proximal predominant symmetric lower limb muscle weakness in adulthood.

Clinical Neuroscience

Neuroscience highlights: The mirror inside our brain

KRABÓTH Zoltán, KÁLMÁN Bernadette

Over the second half of the 19th century, numerous theories arose concerning mechanisms involved in understanding of action, imitative learning, language development and theory of mind. These explorations gained new momentum with the discovery of the so called “mirror neurons”. Rizzolatti’s work inspired large groups of scientists seeking explanation in a new and hitherto unexplored area of how we perceive and understand the actions and intentions of others, how we learn through imitation to help our own survival, and what mechanisms have helped us to develop a unique human trait, language. Numerous studies have addressed these questions over the years, gathering information about mirror neurons themselves, their subtypes, the different brain areas involved in the mirror neuron system, their role in the above mentioned mechanisms, and the varying consequences of their dysfunction in human life. In this short review, we summarize the most important theories and discoveries that argue for the existence of the mirror neuron system, and its essential function in normal human life or some pathological conditions.

Clinical Neuroscience

Neuroscience highlights: Main cell types underlying memory and spatial navigation

KRABOTH Zoltán, KÁLMÁN Bernadette

Interest in the hippocampal formation and its role in navigation and memory arose in the second part of the 20th century, at least in part due to the curious case of Henry G. Molaison, who underwent brain surgery for intractable epilepsy. The temporal association observed between the removal of his entorhinal cortex along with a significant part of hippocampus and the developing severe memory deficit inspired scientists to focus on these regions. The subsequent discovery of the so-called place cells in the hippocampus launched the description of many other functional cell types and neuronal networks throughout the Papez-circuit that has a key role in memory processes and spatial information coding (speed, head direction, border, grid, object-vector etc). Each of these cell types has its own unique characteristics, and together they form the so-called “Brain GPS”. The aim of this short survey is to highlight for practicing neurologists the types of cells and neuronal networks that represent the anatomical substrates and physiological correlates of pathological entities affecting the limbic system, especially in the temporal lobe. For that purpose, we survey early discoveries along with the most relevant neuroscience observations from the recent literature. By this brief survey, we highlight main cell types in the hippocampal formation, and describe their roles in spatial navigation and memory processes. In recent decades, an array of new and functionally unique neuron types has been recognized in the hippocampal formation, but likely more remain to be discovered. For a better understanding of the heterogeneous presentations of neurological disorders affecting this anatomical region, insights into the constantly evolving neuroscience behind may be helpful. The public health consequences of diseases that affect memory and spatial navigation are high, and grow as the population ages, prompting scientist to focus on further exploring this brain region.