Clinical Neuroscience

Principal stages in studying the problem of physiological mechanisms of mental activity in man

N. P. Bechtereva1, A. Tchernysheva1

DECEMBER 01, 1968

Clinical Neuroscience - 1968;21(12)

Much of what happens in the brain during mental activity - especially in the most complex living tissue, the human brain - is still unclear. A major merit of the Pavlovian school is the elucidation of the physiological mechanisms that determine the diverse manifestations of the probable brain anatomofunctional schema of conditioned reflex activity, shedding light on the trait-, environment- and organism-dependent specificities of these mechanisms. An attempt has been made to adapt the conditional reflex methodology to humans in order to study higher nervous activity.


  1. Institute for Experimental Medicine Acad. Med. Sci. USSR., Leningrad



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[Seduxen treatment in certain neurological diseases (neurosis, pain, muscle spasm)]


[Seduxen 5 mg tabl., produced by Kőbánya Pharmaceuticals, has been used in clinical therapeutic trials. Out of 100 patients in the ward, 77 were in different groups of neurasthenia, - neurosis, 7 patients were treated for pain caused by organic disease, 16 for muscle spasm and contracture. He discusses the 8 groups of neurasthenia-neurosis listed and finds that the highest improvement rates were in the reactiv and vasovegetative groups, 82.7% in the former and 83.3% in the latter. The overall improvement rate for all groups was 77.8%. The 75% improvement in neurasthenia anxiosa is highlighted, following the anxiolytic effect of diazepam highlighted by both foreign and national researchers. These results suggest that Seduxen is a very good tranquillant drug, which, at the right dose (3 X 14, 3 X 12, 3 X 1 tablets daily), has a sedative effect without side effects. Seduxen also has a direct analgesic and analgesic effect, not only in arthritis and arthrosis of various types, but also in polyneuritis, neuritis and neuralgia. Seduxen is an excellent muscle relaxant, which has been observed in 13 of its 16 organic patients to a marked degree and in three to a moderate degree; by reducing the dose sufficiently, a detrimental degree of muscle weakness can be avoided. Dose: 3x1/2 tablets daily is recommended as the initial dose, but in the vast majority of patients 3x1 tablets daily was adequate; in some cases 3x 14 tablets daily proved beneficial. Experience has shown that the side effects of Seduxen are mild, exceeding those of known tranquillant drugs only in cases of overdose or individual hypersensitivity. A certain degree of drowsiness is relatively common, but this, like muscle hypotension in paretic patients, can be avoided by reducing the dose appropriately. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Serum glutamic acid oxaloacetic acid transaminase activity in muscle diseases]

LIPCSEY Attila, SZABADI Elemér, FEKETE Istvánné

[The authors measured GOT enzyme activity in serum from patients with muscle atrophy of various origins (myogenic and neurogenic atrophy) and in serum from individuals with various neurological diseases. Their experience has shown that in myogenic diseases, if the presence of other diseases associated with parenchymal breakdown can be excluded, the measurement of GOT activation can be used to support the myogenic nature of the process.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Further studies to detect human-brain corticosteroid fractions]


[1. Lobar pneumonia, sudden cardiac death from paralysis, sudden cardiac death from paralysis in alcoholic state, self-harm, lightning strike, apoplexy cerebri, carcinosis peritonei, isonicide poisoning, cyanide poisoning, barbiturate poisoning, CO poisoning, Wofatox poisoning, alcohol poisoning+freezing deaths 26-92 years of age from 5 brain areas of 18 people (11 males and 7 females) were extracted 1 1/2-10 h after death, paper chromatographed in Bush 5 system, followed by chromatography in 2 n NaOH and 0.1% tetrasolium blue 9: 1. Evaluation was based on the tetrasolium blue reaction, NaOH fluorescence, Rf. values, standards and native blue fluorescence. 2 Brain extracts were run with different amounts of tetrahydrocortisol, tetrahydrocortisol, cortisol, cortisone, corticosterone and 11-dehydrocorticosterone as standards. The brain areas tested were : 1. bridge+brain, 2. cerebellum, 3. cerebellar nuclei, 4. cerebral cortex, 5. cerebral white matter. 3. 10 corticosteroid fractions were identified in total, 6 fractions were all identical to the standards, the other 4 unidentified steroids were labelled X1, X2, X3, X4. 4. These steroids were detected in different qualities and quantities in different brain areas depending on the deaths. 5. cortisol (=hydrocortisone) was detected in almost all brain areas tested in all 18 cases. Cortisol was found in most brain areas of those who died of heart failure, self-harm, lightning, apoplexy cerebri and various poisonings, but could not be detected in brain areas of those who died of heart failure in an alcoholic state and of cyanide poisoning. Other fractions were present in varying numbers and quantities in different brain areas. 6. Most fractures and the largest number were found in the brain areas of those who died of carcinosis peritonei and pneumonia. Fewest fractures and least amount were found in brain areas of those who died of cardiac arrest in alcoholic state and various intoxications in alcoholic state, and alcohol poisoning + frostbite. 7. Consistent with our previous animal studies and our studies on human subjects, we observed in the present study that alcohol induced significantly fewer corticosteroid fractions and quantities in all areas of the human brain compared to those in the non-alcoholic state. 8. In the cases studied, the total steroid content of each brain area does not show a consistent quantitative pattern that is characteristic of each death. 9. No lawful correlations between age, sex, adrenal weight, body weight, body height and the quantity and quality of corticosteroid content in the brain were found. 10. No decrease in brain corticosteroid content within 10 hours after death was observed with increasing time.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Tuberous sclerosis and Sturge - Weber disease co-incidence]


[Data from an in vivo 14-year-old female patient with predominant symptoms of tuberous sclerosis and concomitant lesions suggestive of Sturge-Weber disease are presented, along with a family history of multiple neurological lesions and tumour formation. In the context of the co-detection of two very rare conditions, we wished to draw attention to the importance of dealing with neuroectodermal disorders. We also review the literature on the various dysgenetic abnormalities associated with the two disorders. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Book review]


[The author presents Bechtereva, N. P., Bondarchuk, A. N., Smirnov, B. M. and Trohachev, A. 1.: Physiology and pathophysiology of deep structures of the human brain.]

All articles in the issue

Related contents

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.

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Second game, 37th move and Fourth game 78th move]

VOKÓ Zoltán

[What has Go to do with making clinical decisions? One of the greatest intellectual challenges of bedside medicine is making decisions under uncertainty. Besides the psychological traps of traditionally intuitive and heuristic medical decision making, lack of information, scarce resources and characteristics of doctor-patient relationship contribute equally to this uncertainty. Formal, mathematical model based analysis of decisions used widely in developing clinical guidelines and in health technology assessment provides a good tool in theoretical terms to avoid pitfalls of intuitive decision making. Nevertheless it can be hardly used in individual situations and most physicians dislike it as well. This method, however, has its own limitations, especially while tailoring individual decisions, under inclusion of potential lack of input data used for calculations, or its large imprecision, and the low capability of the current mathematical models to represent the full complexity and variability of processes in complex systems. Nevertheless, clinical decision support systems can be helpful in the individual decision making of physicians if they are well integrated in the health information systems, and do not break down the physicians’ autonomy of making decisions. Classical decision support systems are knowledge based and rely on system of rules and problem specific algorithms. They are utilized widely from health administration to image processing. The current information revolution created the so-called artificial intelligence by machine learning methods, i.e. machines can learn indeed. This new generation of artificial intelligence is not based on particular system of rules but on neuronal networks teaching themselves by huge databases and general learning algorithms. This type of artificial intelligence outperforms humans already in certain fields like chess, Go, or aerial combat. Its development is full of challenges and threats, while it presents a technological breakthrough, which cannot be stopped and will transform our world. Its development and application has already started also in the healthcare. Health professionals must participate in this development to steer it into the right direction. Lee Sedol, 18-times Go world champion retired three years after his historical defeat from AlphaGo artificial intelligence, be­cause “Even if I become the No. 1, there is an entity that cannot be defeated”. It is our great luck that we do not need to compete or defeat it, we must ensure instead that it would be safe and trustworthy, and in collaboration with humans this entity would make healthcare more effective and efficient. ]

Journal of Nursing Theory and Practice

[Correlations Between Burnout and Socio-demographic and Workplace Related Factors Among Health-care Workers During The Covid-19 Pandemics]


[The present study aimed to assess the level of burn-out among health-care workers in 2020 and its correlations with socio-demographic and workplace related factors. The cross-sectional study was conducted by the means of a self-constructed online survey in the beginning of 2021. The responses of 1965 people were analysed with the help of SPSS 23.0. Descriptive statistics, chi-square and Kruskal-Wallis probes were run (p<0.05). Severe burnout was present in 46.7% of the responders. Age, marital status, type of health-care provided and years spent in the health-care system didn’t show any correlation with burnout. Unsure vision, opinion about salary raise and uncertainty at the workplace influenced the level of burnout significantly (p<0.000). The mental health of health-care workers is in continuous decline, in which the COVID-19 pandemic might play a big role. People with worse mental health feel more uncertain regarding their future and job; this might make providing health-care more and more difficult.]

Journal of Nursing Theory and Practice

[Hungarian Nurses Day]


[On February 19, 2022 We celebrate the 205th anniversary of the birth of the first national matronage (head nurse), Zsuzsanna Kossuth. Zsuzsanna Kossuth was characterized by a high degree of empathy, self-sacrifice, exemplary behaviour, and professionalism. She laid the foundation for the processes of nursing and patient care and performed outstanding professional work throughout his life. She made no distinction between man and man, she only saw the suffering patient, in every soldier and injured. She sacrificed his life for his profession. The Hungarian Nursing Association founded the Zsuzsanna Kossuth commemorative medal in 1998, the year of the 150th anniversary of the War of Independence, which is donated every year on February 19.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Christmas inventory]

BRYS Zoltán

[Overall, it is clear that humanity is facing perhaps its greatest challenge ever; humanity needs a consciously done reform, in its established economic and social mechanisms. A kind of passionate self-reflection, a dedogmatisation. This requires a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of its history and of itself. The way to a peaceful Christmas 2073, I suggest...]