Clinical Neuroscience

[Physical and electrophysiological aspects of electroconvulsive therapy (review)]


DECEMBER 20, 2003

Clinical Neuroscience - 2003;56(11-12)

[Personnel and technical conditions for ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) is legally determined. In this article the author reviews studies focused on the technical questions of ECT. After the comparison of the unilateral and bilateral electrode placement an analysis is given on the physical properties of the stimulus used to elicit seizures. After discussing the questions of dose, vaweform frequency and polarity, the anatomical and physiological factors of impedance are evaluated. The author then discuss gender, age and encephalopathy as factors influencing seizure threshold. The connection between symmetry, regularity, and postictal suppression registered on the EEG and efficacy is observed. The EEG and EMG concordance is supposed to be connected also with the efficacy. In the discussion the author gives recommendations based on the literature.]



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[The role of studies of Janos Szentagothai in developmental neurology]

KATONA Ferenc, BERÉNYI Marianne

[The vestibulospinal system plays determining role in the activation processes of elementary sensorymotor patterns characterised by the verticalisation of the trunk and elevation of the head. In the thirties of the last century János Szentágothai proved that axons of the vestibulospinal tract reach the cervical and thoracic spinal cord and innervate the muscles of the neck. Later he verified existence of various connections among the labyrinth, the vestibular system, and the motor nuclei of the III., IV. and the VI. cranial nerves. His studies explain the functional neuroanatomic background of sitting up, sitting and balancing in the air, head-elevation and head control during the execution of a special elementary sensorymotor pattern: ”sitting in air”. All these functions can be activated by labyrinthine stimulation long before the maturation of the corticospinal tract.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Assessment of motor impairment with electromyography - the kinesiological EMG]


[Kinesiological electromyography means the application of the surface EMG measurement technique during movement and locomotion. The authors investigated the motor impairments of the upper limb of patients with spastic hemiparesis. Surface EMG activity in musculus biceps brachii and musculus triceps brachii were recorded during voluntary elbow flexion and extension movements. In some cases even the raw EMG signals contain the accurate information but more often the recorded signals should further be processed to achieve more valuable data concerning muscle performance. The limitations of the technique underlines the importance of the several steps of the processing. The purpose of this study is to present a systematic description of the methods and the precise application of surface EMG. The authors give a comprehensive view of different processing methods and demonstrate the application areas of the kinesiological EMG.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Serotonin dysfunctions and the „Seven Deadly Sins”]

JANKA Zoltán

[The symbolic characters of the Seven Deadly Sins can be traced from time to time in the cultural history of human mankind, being directly specified in certain artistic products. Such are, among others, the painting entitled „The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things” by Hieronymus Bosch and the poems Divina Commedia and The Faerie Queene by Dante Alighieri and Edmund Spenser, respectively. However, there are several paragraphs referring to these behaviours of the Seven Deadly Sins in the Bible and in the dramas of William Shakespeare. The objective of the present review is to propose that dysfunctions in the central serotonergic system might be involved in the the neurobiology of these ’sinful’ behaviour patterns. Evidences indicate that behaviour traits such as Accidia (Sloth), Luxuria (Lust, Lechery), Superbia (Pride), Ira (Wrath, Anger), Invidia (Envy), Avaritia (Greed, Avarice), and Gula (Gluttony) can relate to the functional alterations of serotonin in the brain. Results of biochemical and molecular genetic (polymorphism) studies on the human serotonergic system (receptor, transporter, enzyme), findings of functional imaging techniques, effects of depletion (or supplementation) of the serotonin precursor tryptophan, data of challenge probe investigations directed to testing central serotonergic functions, alterations in the peripheral serotonin measures (platelet), and the changes in the CSF 5-hydroxy-indoleacetic acid content indicate such serotonergic involvement. Furthermore, results of animal experiments on behaviour change (aggressive, dominant or submissive, appetite, alcohol preference) attributed to serotonin status modification and the clinically evidenced therapeutic efficacy of pharmacological interventions, based on the modulation and perturbation of the serotonergic system (e.g. selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), in treating the ’sinful’ behaviour forms and analogous pathological states reaching the severity of psychiatric disorders (depression, sexual disturbances, social phobia, impulsivity-aggression, obsessive-compulsive and related spectrum disorders, paranoid jealousy, eating disorders) all strongly suggest the possibility that brain serotonin dysfunctions might underlie the neurophysiology of the Seven Deadly Sins.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[HIV infection and neurology - long term follow-up of HIV infected children]


[Objectives - Before the widespread introduction of combined antiretroviral therapy (1995) complications from HIV and AIDS in the central nervous system had been reported in larger proportion in infants and children than in adults: 80-90% versus 60-70%. Particular clinical manifestations tend to occur at different stages during the evolution of HIV infection. The authors review the neurological aspects of HIV infection. Method - First, a summary of the protocol of the neurological examinations and related experience is given. Then authors present the evaluation of neuro-psychological development, prevalence of neurological impairment and neuro-imaging of nine HIV infected children (seven boys, two girls) for the period of ten years (1991-2001). Three/ten children had vertically transmitted HIV, six/nine were infected by a nosocomial route in their early childhood. Children were regularly followed up from the diagnosis of HIV. The median follow up time has been 79 month (range: 18-144 month). Four patients died during the study period. The neurological status, the motor and mental development were examined at three month intervals or monthly under one year of age. EEG was performed every six month and CT/MRI once a year. All patients received combined antiretroviral treatment and immunglobulin therapy continuously. Results - Three/nine children have normal development, one/nine has hyperactive and attention deficit disorder with normal IQ range, two/nine have slight, one/nine moderate and two/nine serious mental retardation. Mild neurological signs were found in two children, various moderate and serious neuro/psychological symptoms were found in four patients, one of them was treated with benign epilepsy too. There was also close correlation between the clinical symptoms and the results of EEG examination (diffuse background slowing) and results of neuroimaging studies (cortical atrophy, calcification of the basal ganglia, toxoplasma abscesses). According to the results of different examinations three/nine children were found to be symptom-free, one/nine case showed the static form, two/nine patients showed the plateau form, two/nine the rapid progressive form and one/nine the progressive infantile form of AIDS encephalopathy. The majority of the patients suffered from adapting problems and difficulties of socialisation since their families lives were damaged by isolation and rejection from the community. Conclusion - The regular neurological and psychological examinations completed with EEG, CT/MRI were very informative to follow the course of neuro-psychological problems of HIV infected children. Symptom-free patients have to face psychosocial problems too, which cause much more damage in their mental progress than HIV itself.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Thallium poisoning induced polyneuropathy - clinical and electrophysiological data]


[Introduction - The aim of the study was the electrophysiological investigation of thallium induced polyneuropathy. Beyond the rarity of the illness, the motivation of this work was the possibility of following up the pattern of neuronal damage. Thallium is one of the most toxic heavy metal and its wide use increases the chance of chronic or accidental acute poisoning. The entero-hepatic circulation makes the accumulation of this toxic agent in tissues possible, mostly in neurons, in the epithelial cells of the digestive tract, in the germinative cells of the skin and testicles. In addition to alopecia and digestive complaints, the clinical picture of thallium poisoning is dominated by neurological signs. Severe axonal polyneuropathy develops in almost all cases, with further damage to the retina and impairment of cognitive functions being not unusual. The diagnosis is confirmed by finding high levels of thallium in body fluids, especially in saliva and urine. Case report - Electrophysiological examination of our accidentally poisoned patient revealed severe, sensory-motor, predominant motor axonal polyneuropathy and pointed out some aspects of the pattern of neurotoxic process: the initially distal lesion, the dying-back course and the capacity for regeneration. Conclusion - Because thallium has the same molecular targets as potassium ion thus impairing the energetical supply of the nerve cell, the most effective treatment is carefully loading with potassium. If recognized and treated early, thallium poisoning has a favourable prognosis.]

All articles in the issue

Related contents

Clinical Neuroscience

The yield of electroencephalography in syncope

NALBANTOGLU Mecbure, TAN Ozturk Ozlem

Introduction - Syncope is defined as a brief transient loss of consciousness due to cerebral hypoperfusion. Although the diagnosis of syncope is based on a thorough history and examination, electroencaphalography (EEG) is also an important investigational tool in the differential diagnosis in this group of patients. In this study we aimed to identify the diagnostic value of EEG in patients with syncope. Methods - We retrospectively examined EEG recordings of 288 patients with the diagnosis of syncope referred to the Cankiri State Hospital EEG laboratory, from January 2014 to January 2016. The EEG findings were classified into 6 groups as normal, epileptiform discharges (spike and sharp waves), generalized background slowing, focal slowing, hemispherical asymmetries, and low amplitude EEG tracing. The EEGs were separated according to gender and age. Results - Total of 288 patients were included in this study, 148 were females (51.4%) and 140 (48.6%) were males. Among all the EEG reports, 203 (70.5%) were normal, 8 of them (2.8%) showed generalized background slowing and 7 (2.4%) demonstrated focal slow waves. Epileptiform discharges occured among 13 patients (4.5%). Hemispherical asymmetries were detected in 10 patients (3.5%) and low amplitude EEG tracing in 47 patients (16.3%). There was no significant difference between age groups in EEG findings (p=0.3). Also no significant difference was detected in EEG results by gender (p=0.2). Discussion - Although the diagnosis of syncope, epilepsy and non-epileptic seizures is clinical diagnosis, EEG still remains additional method

Clinical Neuroscience

[Kennedy’s syndrome - bulbo-spinal muscular atrophy]


[Kennedy syndrome is a late-onset, bulbar-spinal type of muscular atrophy, with X-linked recessive inheritance. The characteristic features of the disease become prominent in the 4-5th decades: proximal muscle wasting and weakness, bulbar signs, fasciculations in skeletal muscles, subtle signs of endocrine dysfunction, such as gynaecomastia or testicular atrophy. The electrophysiological examinations are the keypoint to the diagnosis. Electroneurography shows normal conduction velocity in peripheral nerves, but the sensory nerves usually show axonal degeneration, which causes only very mild or subclinical neurological deficits. Electromyography shows chronic anterior horn cell degeneration in skeletal muscles. Molecular genetic diagnosis was introduced in 1991, when an abnormal expansion of CAG repeat was found in the first exon of the androgen receptor gene on chromosome X with a frequency of 100% in the affected population. Since the progression is very slow and these patients can expect a normal life span, it is essential to distinguish this syndrome from other, often more severe diseases, such as ALS. There is no proven therapy for Kennedy's disease yet. This is the first case of Kennedy's disease published in Hungary.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The use of ECT for epileptic patient]

FARKAS Márta, BARAN Brigitta, KÁRPÁTI Róbert, RAJNA Péter

[Psychiatric disorders which indicate the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) also occur in epileptic patients, but there is a lack of medical authority concerning the use of ECT in epileptic patients. This is surprising because in recent years it has been proved that ECT has an anti-convulsive effect to some degree. A case study of an epileptic patient is presented whose progress has been monitored for several years. Antiepileptic drugs were seemingly able to control his epilepsy but at the same time progressive behavioural disturbance (schizophreniform psychosis) accompanied by agitation and violent behaviour developed. Considering the recurrent psychotic decompensations and the relative ineffectiveness of antipsychotics, the authors decided to administer ECT. As a result they were able to bring about the longest symptom free balanced period in the patient. According to the data based on previous medical studies and the experience they can suppose that ECT is not immediately contraindicated by the presence of epilepsy with active interictal focus if the psychopathological condition makes it necessary. In view of the epileptogenic risk factors of classical neuroleptics, the epileptogenic effects of accompanying psychosis and the probable anticonvulsive potential of ECT in cases of severe psychiatric complications accompanying epilepsy ECT could be used more frequently.]

Journal of Nursing Theory and Practice

[The effect of an alternative training method on the pelvic floor muscle]

ARANYNÉ Molnár Tímea, SZABÓ Kinga, RÁZSÓ Katalin, DOMJÁN Andrea, SZŰCS Mónika, SURÁNYI Andrea, BÓDIS József

[Aim: In our study we analysed an alternative training method alone or in combination with pelvic floor muscle (PFM) with deep abdominal muscle strengthen the PFM better. Material and Methods: The study was conducted on women (n=5, mean age ±SD: 51,8 years, ±9,23 years). The Callanetics® gymnastics consisted of training sessions of 2x1 hours (10 weeks only Callanetics® exercises, 10 weeks in combined with PFM contractions). The subjects completed a questionnaire (risk factors, symptoms) and to measure the body parts’ circumference at 0. and 20. weeks. The measurement of the conditional capacitance of the PFM was performed by EMG before the gymnastics, then at weeks 10 and 20. We used R Statistics Software. Results: Significant decreseing were observed in the circumference of extremities and on isometric contraction improves (p=0.036). The dynamic strength showed an increasing tendency. Conclusion: The alternative training method significantly increased the maximum contractions of the PFM.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Diagnosis of epilepsy]


[0.5-1% of the population suffers from epilepsy, while another 5% undergoes diagnostic evaluations due to the possibility of epilepsy. In the case of suspected epileptic seizures we face the following questions: Is it an epileptic seizure? The main and most frequent differential- diagnostic problems are the psychogenic non-epileptic seizures ("pseudo-seizures") and the convulsive syncope, which is often caused by heart disorders. Is it epilepsy? After an unprovoked seizure, the information on recurrence risk is an important question. The reoccurrence is more possible if a known etiological factor is present or the EEG shows epileptiform discharges. After an isolated epileptic seizure, the EEG is specific to epilepsy in 30-50% of cases. The EEG should take place within 24 hours postictally. If the EEG shows no epileptiform potentials, a sleep-EEG is required. What is the cause of seizures? Hippocampal sclerosis, benign tumors, and malformations of the cortical development are the most frequent causes of the focal epilepsy. Three potentially life-threatening conditions may cause chronic epilepsy: vascular malformations, tumors, and neuroinfections. The diagnosis in theses cases can usually be achieved by MRI, therefore, MRI is obligatory in all epilepsies starting in adulthood. The presence of epileptogenic lesion has a prognostic significance in treatment. If the MRI shows a circumscribed lesion then the pharmacological treatment will likely to be unsuccessful, while surgery may result in seizure freedom. The new and quantitative MRI techniques, such as volumetry, T2-relaxometry, MR-spectroscopy, and functional MRI play a growing role in the epilepsy diagnosis.]