Clinical Neuroscience

[PhD thesis New non-invasive transcranial stimulation techniques in neuroplasticity research]


MARCH 30, 2012

Clinical Neuroscience - 2012;65(03-04)



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Clinical Neuroscience



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

[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.]

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.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Neurological and psychiatrial aspects of urine incontinence]


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.]

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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

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

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.

Clinical Neuroscience

Simultaneous subdural, subarachnoideal and intracerebral haemorrhage after rupture of a peripheral middle cerebral artery aneurysm


The cause of intracerebral, subarachnoid and subdural haemorrhage is different, and the simultaneous appearance in the same case is extremely rare. We describe the case of a patient with a ruptured aneurysm on the distal segment of the middle cerebral artery, with a concomitant subdural and intracerebral haemorrhage, and a subsequent secondary brainstem (Duret) haemorrhage. The 59-year-old woman had hypertension and diabetes in her medical history. She experienced anomic aphasia and left-sided headache starting one day before admission. She had no trauma. A few minutes after admission she suddenly became comatose, her breathing became superficial. Non-contrast CT revealed left sided fronto-parietal subdural and subarachnoid and intracerebral haemorrhage, and bleeding was also observed in the right pontine region. The patient had leucocytosis and hyperglycemia but normal hemostasis. After the subdural haemorrhage had been evacuated, the patient was transferred to intensive care unit. Sepsis developed. Echocardiography did not detect endocarditis. Neurological status, vigilance gradually improved. The rehabilitation process was interrupted by epileptic status. Control CT and CT angiography proved an aneurysm in the peripheral part of the left middle cerebral artery, which was later clipped. Histolo­gical examination excluded mycotic etiology of the aneu­rysm and “normal aneurysm wall” was described. The brain stem haemorrhage – Duret bleeding – was presumably caused by a sudden increase in intracranial pressure due to the supratentorial space occupying process and consequential trans-tentorial herniation. This case is a rarity, as the patient not only survived, but lives an active life with some residual symptoms.

Clinical Neuroscience

Extraskeletal, intradural, non-metastatic Ewing’s sarcoma. Case report


Intracranial localization of Ewing’s sarcoma is considerably very rare. Herein, we present clinical and neuroimaging findings regarding a 4-year-old boy with intracranial Ewing’s sarcoma. He was born prematurely, suffered intraventricular haemorrhage, posthaemorrhagic hydrocephalus developed, and a ventriculoperitoneal shunt was inserted in the newborn period. The patient endured re­gular follow ups, no signs of shunt malfunction nor increased intracranial pressure were observed. The last neuroima­ging examination was performed at 8 months of age. Upon reaching the age of 4 years, repeated vomiting and focal seizures began, and symptoms of increased intracranial pressure were detected. A brain MRI depicted a left frontoparietal space-occupying lesion infiltrating the superior sagittal sinus. The patient underwent a craniotomy resulting in the total excision of the tumour. The histological examination of the tissue revealed a small round blue cell tumour. The diagnosis was confirmed by the detection of EWSR1 gene translocation with FISH (fluorescent in situ hybridization). No additional metastases were detected during the staging examinations. The patient was treated in accordance to the EuroEwing 99 protocol. Today, ten years onward, the patient is tumour and seizure free and has a reasonably high quality of life.