Clinical Neuroscience

[Predictors of lethal outcome in subdural haemorrhage]

SÁNDOR János, SZÜCS Mária, KISS István, EMBER István, CSEPREGI Gyula, FUTÓ Judit, VIMLÁTI László, PÁL József, BÜKI András, DÓCZI Tamás

DECEMBER 20, 2003

Clinical Neuroscience - 2003;56(11-12)

[Background - Subdural haemorrhage (SDH) is of high public health importance because of its frequency, high case fatality ratio (CFR) and the young age of affected population. Despite the fact that the effectivity of guideline based treatment has been improved in the last decade, the Hungarian praxis shows variable compliance for recommendations. Objectives - The study aimed to describe the heterogeneity of the treatment effectivity (by geographically identifying the populations provided with appropriate or non-optimal level care), to determine the relationship between the institutional praxis quality and the results of treatment for SDH by linking the praxis properties to the patients' records. Methods - The institutions’ protocols were assessed by a self-completed questionnaire in 1997. The participating hospitals treated 79% of the Hungarian patients with SDH. The Hungarian hospital discharge data in 1997-1999 were the source of patient specific data. The risk factors of lethal outcome were investigated by logistic regression analysis. Results - High proportion of patients had been treated in hospitals with low compliance for guidelines. The non-permanent access to neurosurgical service and CT facility, the lack of intracranial pressure monitoring and the respiration support provided out of intensive care units worsened the survival of subjects. It was quantified that the full compliance could have diminished the case fatality ratio by 15-20%. The ratio of extreme county level CFRs exceeded 2.36 and extrapolating the effectivity observed in the county with lowest lethality, the Hungarian CFR would have been reduced by 21% among patients with SDH main diagnosis. (The interpretation of findings is limited by the lack of differentiation between acute and chronic cases and of direct categorisation of severity for subdural haemorrhage in the official hospital discharge records.) Discussion - The study results urge the increase of compliance for evidence based guidelines, since despite of some validity issues, it was demonstrated that the deviation from recommended practice is reflected in the disadvantageous outcome.]



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

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


[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.]

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.]

All articles in the issue

Related contents

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

[Is the implementation of Vojta therapy associated with faster gross motor development in children with cerebral palsy? ]


[Vojta therapy has been reported as clinically beneficial for strength, movement and gross motor activities in individual cases and is being included within the second of three levels of evidence in interventions for cerebral palsy. The goal of this study is to understand the effect of Vojta therapy on the gross motor function. Our clinical trial followed a one group, pre-post design to quantify rates of changes in GMFM-88 after a two-months period undergoing Vojta therapy. A total of 16 patients were recruited. Post-intervention acceleration rates of GMFM-88-items acquisition (0.005; p<0.001) and Locomotor Stages (1.063; p<0.0001) increased significatively following Vojta the­rapy intervention. In this study, Vojta therapy has shown to accelerate the acquisition of GMFM-88-items and Loco­motor Stages in children with cerebral palsy younger than 18 months. Because functional training was not utilised, and other non-Vojta therapy intervention did not influence the outcome, Vojta therapy seems to activate the postural control required to achieve uncompleted GMFM-88-items. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

The applications of transcranial Doppler in ischemic stroke


Background: This overview provides a summary of the applications of transcranial Doppler (TCD) in ischemic stroke. Results: A fast-track neurovascular ultrasound protocol has been developed for detecting occlusion or stenosis. The technique is more reliable in the carotid area than in the posterior circulation. By monitoring the pulsatility index the in­crea­sed intracranial pressure can be diagnosed. TIBI score was developed for grading residual flow. TCD has been shown to accurately predict complete or any recanalization. Regarding recanalization, TCD has a sensitivity of 92%, a specificity of 88%, a positive predictive value of 96%, a negative predictive value of 78% and an overall accuracy of 91%, respectively. Sonothrombolysis seemed to be a promising application but randomized controlled trials have shown that it does not improve clinical outcome. TCD examination can detect microembolic signals (MES) which are associated with an increased risk of stroke. Micro­em­boli were detected in symptomatic and asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis and during carotid endarterectomy. The number of microemboli can be decreased by antithrombotic therapy. Contrast en­chan­ced examination and Valsalva maneuver with continuous TCD monitoring can accurately screen for right-to-left shunt.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Neurological aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus]


[By the spring of 2020 the COVID-19 outbreak caused by the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has become a pandemic, requiring fast and efficient reaction from societies and health care systems all over the world. Fever, coughing and dyspnea are considered the major signs of COVID-19. In addition to the involvement of the respiratory system, the infection may result in other symptoms and signs as well. Based on reports to date, neurological signs or symptoms appear in 30-50% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, with higher incidence in those with more severe disease. Classical acute neurological syndromes have also been reported to associate with COVID-19. A drop in the volume of services for other acute diseases has been described in countries with healthcare systems focusing on COVID-19. During the COVID-19 epidemic it is also important to provide appropriate continuous care for those with chronic neurological disorders. It will be the task of the future to estimate the collateral damage caused by the COVID-19 epidemic on the outcome of other neurological disorders, and to screen for the possible late neurological complications of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The importance of patient reported outcome measures in Pompe disease]

MOLNÁR Mária Judit, MOLNÁR Viktor, LÁSZLÓ Izabella, SZEGEDI Márta, VÁRHEGYI Vera, GROSZ Zoltán

[In recent decades it has become increasingly important to involve patients in their diagnostic and treatment process to improve treatment outcomes and optimize compliance. By their involvement, patients can become active participants in therapeutic developments and their observations can be utilized in determining the unmet needs and priorities in clinical research. This is especially true in rare diseases such as Pompe disease. Pompe disease is a genetically determined lysosomal storage disease featuring severe limb-girdle and axial muscle weakness accompanied with respiratory insufficiency, in which enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) now has been available for 15 years. In our present study, patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) for individuals affected with Pompe disease were developed which included questionnaires assessing general quality of life (EuroQoL, EQ-5D, SF36), daily activities and motor performance (Fatigue Severity Score, R-PAct-Scale, Rotterdam and Bartel disability scale). Data were collected for three subsequent years. The PROM questionnaires were a good complement to the physician-recorded condition assessment, and on certain aspects only PROMs provided information (e.g. fatigue in excess of patients’ objective muscle weakness; deteriorating social activities despite stagnant physical abilities; significant individual differences in certain domains). The psychological effects of disease burden were also reflected in PROMs. In addition to medical examination and certain endpoints monitored by physicians, patient perspectives need to be taken into account when assessing the effectiveness of new, innovative treatments. With involvement of patients, information can be obtained that might remain uncovered during regular medical visits, although it is essential in determining the directions and priorities of clinical research. For all orphan medicines we emphasize to include patients in a compulsory manner to obtain general and disease-specific multidimensional outcome measures and use them as a quality indicator to monitor treatment effectiveness.]