Clinical Neuroscience

[Positron emission tomography in presurgical localization of epileptic foci]


AUGUST 20, 2003

Clinical Neuroscience - 2003;56(07-08)

[The success of cortical resection for intractable epilepsy of neocortical origin is highly dependent on the accurate presurgical delineation of the regions responsible for generating seizures. In addition to EEG and structural imaging studies, functional neuroimaging such as positron emission tomography (PET) can assist lateralization and localization of epileptogenic cortical areas. In the presented studies, objectively delineated focal PET abnormalities have been analyzed in patients (mostly children) with intractable epilepsy, using two different tracers: 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-D-glucose (FDG), that measures regional brain glucose metabolism, and [11C]flumazenil (FMZ), that binds to GABAA receptors. The PET abnormalities were correlated with scalp and intracranial EEG findings, structural brain abnormalities, as well as surgical outcome data. In patients with extratemporal foci and no lesion on MRI, FMZ PET was more sensitive than FDG PET for identification of the seizure onset zone defined by intracranial EEG monitoring. In contrast, seizures commonly originated from the border of hypometabolic cortex detected by FDG PET suggesting that such areas are most likely epileptogenic, and should be addressed if subdural EEG is applied to delineate epileptic cortex. In patients with cortical lesions, perilesional cortex with decreased FMZ binding was significantly smaller than corresponding areas of glucose hypometabolism, and correlated well with spiking cortex. Extent of perilesional hypometabolism, on the other hand, showed a correlation with the life-time number of seizures suggesting a seizurerelated progression of brain dysfunction. FMZ PET proved to be also very sensitive for detection of dual pathology (coexistence of an epileptogenic cortical lesion and hippocampal sclerosis). This has a major clinical importance since resection of both the cortical lesion and the atrophic hippocampus is required to achieve optimal surgical results. Finally, the author demonstrated that in patients with neocortical epilepsy, FDG PET abnormalities correctly regionalize the epileptogenic area, but their size is not related to the extent of epileptogenic tissue to be removed. In contrast, complete resection of cortex with decreased FMZ binding predicts good surgical outcome suggesting that application of FMZ PET can improve surgical results in selected patients with intractable epilepsy of neocortical origin.]



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[Two cases of frontotemporal dementia]

SZABÓ Erzsébet, SZABÓ Mihály

[Frontotemporal dementias represent the third most common cause of primer degenerative dementias next to Alzheimer’s disease and Lewy body disease. Frontotemporal dementia constitutes 10-20% of all praesenilis dementias. The authors present the results of the 10 years' clinical, neuropsychological, neuropathological examinations and brain imaging with the examples of two cases. At the early stage of frontotemporal dementia changes of personality and social conduct are prominent, whereas cognitive functions are relativelly well preserved. The usual dementia tests are not sufficiently sensitive to disclose noncognitive symptoms. Clinical diagnosis as well as differentiation from functional psychiatric disorders can be difficult. Brain imaging present the frontal and the anterior temporal lobe atrophy and selective hypometabolism in these areas. The typical onset is between at the age 50 and 65 years. It is very rare under the age of 30. The symptoms of two patients started at the age of 42-44. The first diagnosis was post traumatic stress disorder. Later stereotyped behaviour, mental rigidity, hyperorality, irritability, progressive reduction of speech and vegetative dysfunctions appeared. Besides the affecting of the irresistibly worsening symptoms and the medical care requiring strength and inventiveness, the authentic informing of the relatives is also a challenge. The caregivers have special relationship with the patients and their relatives.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Apoptosis in focal brain ischaemia]


[Ischaemic stroke is one of the major causes of death and disability in the developed world. It is caused by focal impairment of cerebral blood flow. The subsequent ischaemic cell death is predominantly necrotic in nature. However, a therapeutically important characteristic is the delayed apoptotic cell demise in the border zone of the primary lesion core. Apoptosis is one of the most intensively studied field of current medical and biological research. The better understanding of its mechanism may provide novel and more effective ways of therapy in a wide range of diseases including ischemic stroke. The salient neurological features of focal brain ischaemia and the morphological signs of apoptotic and necrotic cell death are summarized. The mechanism of apoptosis is discussed. It is divided into an early genetic phase of decisionmaking followed by a cellular execution phase. The characteristics of the early shift in the finely tuned balance of proand antiapoptotic genes and their protein products, which is preceded by an inbalance in intracellular ionized calcium homeostasis, energy depletion and mitochondrial dysfunction is discussed. The crucial role of caspases in apoptosis is emphasized. The three possible pathways during the execution phase is described: the intrinsic- and extrinsic caspase activation cascade and the caspase-independent intracellular signal transduction route. The molecular mechanism of neural cell membrane damage in the execution phase is discussed and some examples of altered protein synthesis also known as message-selection are given. The important role of late reperfusion in the execution phase is emphasized. The possible targets of antiapoptotic therapeutic approaches and the results of experimental studies are presented as well as the perspectives of their use in human clinical care.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Report on a research project from abroad (EFNS)]


Clinical Neuroscience


Clinical Neuroscience

[Hungarian Branch of the International League Against Epilepsy]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Zonisamide: one of the first-line antiepileptic drugs in focal epilepsy ]


[Chronic administration of antiepileptic drugs without history of unprovoked epileptic seizures are not recommended for epilepsy prophylaxis. Conversely, if the patient suffered the first unprovoked seizure, then the presence of epileptiform discharges on the EEG, focal neurological signs, and the presence of epileptogenic lesion on the MRI are risk factors for a second seizure (such as for the development of epilepsy). Without these risk factors, the chance of a second seizure is about 25-30%, while the presence of these risk factors (for example signs of previous stroke, neurotrauma, or encephalitis on the MRI) can predict >70% seizure recurrence. Thus the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) re-defined the term ’epilepsy’ which can be diagnosed even after the first seizure, if the risk of seizure recurrence is high. According to this definition, we can start antiepileptic drug therapy after a single unprovoked seizure. There are four antiepileptic drugs which has the highest evidence (level „A”) as first-line initial monotherapy for treating newly diagnosed epilepsy. These are: carbamazepine, phenytoin, levetiracetam, and zonisamide (ZNS). The present review focuses on the ZNS. Beacuse ZNS can be administrated once a day, it is an optimal drug for maintaining patient’s compliance and for those patients who have a high risk for developing a non-compliance (for example teenagers and young adults). Due to the low interaction potential, ZNS treatment is safe and effective in treating epilepsy of elderly people. ZNS is an ideal drug in epilepsy accompanied by obesity, because ZNS has a weight loss effect, especially in obese patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Effects of valproate, carbamazepine and levetiracetam on Tp-e interval, Tp-e/QT and Tp-e/QTc ratio


Aim - To evaluate P-wave dispersion before and after antiepileptic drug (AED) treatment as well as to investigate the risk of ventricular repolarization using the Tpeak-Tend (Tp-e) interval and Tp-e/QT ratio in patients with epileptic disorder. Methods - A total of 63 patients receiving AED therapy and 35 healthy adults were included. ECG recordings were obtained before and 3 months after anti-epileptic treatment among patients with epilepsy. For both groups, Tp-e and Tp-e/QT ratio were measured using a 12-lead ECG device. Results - Tp-e interval, Tpe/QT and Tp-e/QTc ratios were found to be higher in the patient group than in the control group (p<0.05, for all), while QTmax ratio was significantly lower in the patient group. After 3 months of AED therapy, significant increases in QT max, QTc max, QTcd, Tp-e, Tp-e/QT, and Tp-e/QTc were found among the patients (p<0.05). When the arrhythmic effects of the drugs before and after treatment were compared, especially in the valproic acid group, there were significant increases in Tp-e interval, Tp-e/QT and Tp-e/QTc values after three months of treatment (p<0.05). Carbamazepine and levetiracetam groups were not statistically significant in terms of pre- and post-treatment values. Conclusions - It was concluded that an arrhythmogenic environment may be associated with the disease, and patients who received AED monotherapy may need to be followed up more closely for arrhythmia.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Decisional collisions between evidence and experience based medicine in care of people with epilepsy]


[Background – Based on the literature and his long-term clinical practice the author stresses the main collisions of evidence and experience based medicine in the care of people with epilepsy. Purpose – To see, what are the professional decisions of high responsibility in the epilepsy-care, in whose the relevant clinical research is still lacking or does not give a satisfactory basis. Methods – Following the structure of the Hungarian Guideline the author points the critical situations and decisions. He explains also the causes of the dilemmas: the lack or uncertainty of evidences or the difficulty of scientific investigation of the situation. Results – There are some priorities of experience based medicine in the following areas: definition of epilepsy, classification of seizures, etiology – including genetic background –, role of precipitating and provoking factors. These are able to influence the complex diagnosis. In the pharmacotherapy the choice of the first drug and the optimal algorithm as well as the tasks during the care are also depends on personal experiences sometimes contradictory to the official recommendations. Same can occur in the choice of the non-pharmacological treatments and rehabilitation. Discussion and conclusion – Personal professional experiences (and interests of patients) must be obligatory accessories of evidence based attitude, but for achieving the optimal results, in some situations they replace the official recommendations. Therefore it is very important that the problematic patients do meet experts having necessary experiences and also professional responsibility to help in these decisions. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[LADA type diabetes, celiac diasease, cerebellar ataxia and stiff person syndrome. A rare association of autoimmune disorders]

SOÓS Zsuzsanna, SALAMON Mónika, ERDEI Katalin, KASZÁS Nóra, FOLYOVICH András, SZŰCS Anna, BARCS Gábor, ARÁNYI Zsuzsanna, SKALICZKI József, VADASDI Károly, WINKLER Gábor

[Celiac disease - in its typical form - is a chronic immunemediated enteropathy with typical clinical symptoms that develops against gliadin content of cereal grains, and is often associated with other autoimmune diseases. In cases of atypical manifestation classic symptoms may be absent or mild, and extra-intestinal symptoms or associated syndromes dominate clinical picture. The authors present a longitudinal follow-up of such a case. A 63-years old woman was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 19, and with progressive limb ataxia at the age of 36, which was initially thought to be caused by cerebellar atrophy, later probably by stiff person syndrome. At the age 59, her diabetes mellitus manifested with type 2 diabetic phenotype, but based on GAD positivity later was reclassified as type 1 diabetes. Only the last check-up discovered the celiac disease, retrospectively explaining the entire disease course and neurological symptoms. By presenting this case, the authors would like to draw attention to the fact that one should think of the possibility of celiac disease when cerebellar ataxia, progressive neurological symptoms and diabetes are present at the same time. An early diagnosis may help to delay the progression of disease and help better treatment.]

Clinical Neuroscience

EEG-based connectivity in patients with partial seizures with and without generalization

DÖMÖTÖR Johanna, CLEMENS Béla, EMRI Miklós, PUSKÁS Szilvia, FEKETE István

Objective - to investigate the neurophysiological basis of secondary generalization of partial epileptic seizures. Patients and methods - inter-ictal, resting-state EEG functional connectivity (EEGfC) was evaluated and compared: patients with exclusively simple partial seizures (sp group) were compared to patients with simple partial and secondary generalized seizures (spsg group); patients with exclusively complex partial seizures (cp group) were compared to patients with cp and secondary generalized seizures (cpsg group); the collapsed sp+cp group (spcp) was compared to those who had exclusively secondary generalized seizures (sg group). EEGfC was computed from 21-channel waking EEG. 3 minutes of waking EEG background activity was analyzed by the LORETA Source Correlation (LSC) software. Current source density time series were computed for 23 pre-defined cortical regions (ROI) in each hemisphere, for the 1-25 Hz very narrow bands (1 Hz bandwidth). Thereafter Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated between all pairs of ROI time series in the same hemisphere. Z-scored correlation coefficients were compared at the group level (t-tests and correction for multiple comparisons by local false discovery rate, FDR). Results - Statistically significant (corrected p<0.05) EEGfC differences emerged at specific frequencies (spsg > sg; cpsg > cp), and at many frequencies (sg > spcp). The findings indicated increased coupling between motor cortices and several non-motor areas in patients with partial and sg seizures as compared to patients with partial seizures and no sg seizures. Further findings suggested increased coupling between medial parietal-occipital areas (structural core of the cortex) and lateral hemispheric areas. Conclusion - increased inter-ictal EEGfC is associated with habitual occurrence of secondary generalized seizures.