Clinical Neuroscience

[Screening of hereditary neuromuscular disorders in the roma population living in Hungary]

HERCZEGFALVI Ágnes, PIKÓ Henriett, KARCAGI Veronika

DECEMBER 20, 2008

Clinical Neuroscience - 2008;61(11-12)

[Recent medical genetic research has identified a number of novel, or previously known, but rare conditions, caused by private founder mutations. The Finnish and Ashkenazi Jew populations provide the best examples for identifying genes in unique genetic disorders. In these populations, research efforts and high-level medical services resulted in intense improvements of medical care and in organization of population- based screening programs. Hereditary disorders of the Roma populations are known for a long time. The genetic background of these diseases has been established by extensive molecular genetic studies. The Romas represent 6% of the Hungarian population and live under extremely bad health conditions. Therefore, our aim was to map the incidence of the hereditary neuromuscular disorders among the Hungarian Roma population. Moreover, we intended to provide proper information, genetic counseling and possible prevention strategies for the families at risk, which should represent a primer task in public health. Because of our experience in neuromuscular disorders, we choose six, frequent, autosomal recessive disorders for these clinical and genetic studies: hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy type Lom (HMSNL), hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy type Russe (HMSNR), congenital cataracts facial dysmorphism syndrome (CCFDN), Limb- Girdle muscular dystrophy 2C (LGMD2C), congenital myasthenic syndrome (CMS) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Following identification of the founder mutations, the possibility of prenatal diagnosis and carrier screening for family members will contribute to the decrease of the recurrence risk for these severe, mostly untreatable disorders.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Pneumococcal meningitis in children - 9 1/2-year-experience at Szent László hospital, Budapest, Hungary ]

IVÁDY Balázs, LIPTAI Zoltán, ÚJHELYI Enikő, BALÁZS György

[Background and objective - No recent publications are available about pneumococcal meningitis in Hungarian children. The aim of this study was to collect data of epidemiological, clinical and prognostic features of pneumococcal meningitis in children treated at Szent László Hospital, Budapest, Hungary. Methods - We conducted a retrospective review of medical charts and follow-up records of patients aged 1 to 18 years admitted to our Pediatric and Pediatric Intensive Care Units due to pneumococcal meningitis between 1st Jan 1998 and 30th Jun 2007. Results - 31 children with 34 cases of pneumococcal meningitis were admitted to our hospital in the study period. Two children developed recurrent illness. The mean age was 6 years, 26% were under 1 year of age. The mean duration of hospital stay was 21 days, 97% required intensive care. Frequent clinical symptoms were fever (100%), nuchal rigidity and vomiting (78%), altered mental status (71%), Kernig's and Brudzinski's signs (58%) and seizures (41%). Otitis media, sinusitis, mastoiditis were present in 44%, 58%, 41%, respectively. Subdural effusion, parenchymal cerebral lesion and sinus thrombosis were documented in 5, 3 and 2 cases, respectively. One third of the patients recieved ceftriaxon, two thirds were administered ceftriaxon and vancomycin. Adjunctive therapy with dexamethason was given to 91% of the children. 70% of patients required mechanical ventillation. 9 patients (25%) required endoscopic sinus surgery. In 13 cases (38%) mastoidectomy, in 5 children (15%) neurosurgery was performed. The case fatality rate was 23.5%. 8 (23.5%) patients had mild or moderate, 1 child (3%) developed severe neurological sequelae. Conclusion - Pneumococcal meningitis in children remains a source of substantial morbidity and mortality in childhood. The long hospital stay, the frequent need for intensive care and severe neurologic sequelae emphasize the importance of early diagnosis, early treatment and prevention with pneumococcal conjugate vaccines.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[How do temporal lobe seizures changeby age?]

FOGARASI András

[Seizure semiology describes different - motor, sensory, autonomic, etc. - aspects of epileptic seizures. Several semiological studies showed already that different epilepsies - especially temporal lobe epilepsy - contain age-dependent features. In our researches, we tried to assess these subjective aspects with as objective methods as possible. We gave a comprehensive (preictal, ictal, and postictal) description of seizure semiology in patients fulfilling the gold standard criteria of semiological studies: being seizure free after temporal lobe resections. Our studies based on a large population, assess epileptic features at different levels of brain maturation. They help to understand why certain semiological axes show special characteristics at different ages. In this review, I summarize the most important results of our seizure semiology studies in temporal lobe epilepsy.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Adrenocorticotrop hormon therapy in acquired childhood epileptic aphasia]

SZABÓ Léna, NAGY Judit, KÁLMÁNCHEY Rozália

[Although Landau-Kleffner syndrome, a childhood-acquired epileptic aphasia, is frequently studied either the underlying pathophisiology or the optimal therapy remained unknown. In our study we aimed to investigate the efficacy of ACTH therapy in Landau-Kleffner syndrome. We have analysed retrospectively the documentation of five children treated by ACTH, who suffered from Landau-Kleffner syndrome. We studied the longitudinal changes of the four most characteristic sympthoms and signs of the syndrome: epileptiform EEG, speech and behaviour disorders, seizures together with the ACTH regimes. Besides, we analysed the relation between the starting date of the therapy and its efficacy. Before giving ACTH, epileptiform EEG and speech disorders were observed in all the five children, seizures in four of them, behaviour disorders in three of them. In two patients the speech disorder had been persisting for years before. Due to the starting ACTH stosstherapy (20 E/day for onetwo weeks) all the four examined signs disappeared or showed quick softening in all the five children in maximum two weeks. We adjusted long-term low dose maintenance therapy to avoid relapses in the long-term follow-up. Epileptiform EEGs have normalised in one case and have decreased in four cases. Speech disorders have disappeared in two and have softened in three children. Behaviour disorders have cured in 3/4 cases, softened in one case. Seizures have disappeared in all cases. One child is totally asymptomatic, four of them lives with softened symptoms. Analysing our data we found that the earlier the therapy starts, the more effective it is. On the basis of our data ACTH is an effective treatment for Landau-Kleffner syndrome. After giving it for only a short period, relapses often occur, to avoid relapses adjustment of long term low dose maintenance therapy is advisable.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsy in childhood]

GYÖRGY Ilona, BÍRÓ Anna, MECHLER Ferenc, MOLNÁR Mária Judit

[HNPP is an autosomal-dominant inherited disease clinically characterized by painless, episodic, recurrent peripheral palsy often preceded by minor trauma or toxic damage. It generally develops during adolescence and rarely is reported in childhood. We observed two children with this disease. In one of the cases, also the child’s mother is suffering from HNPP. Clinical and genetic characterics of our three patients are summarized in this article.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Changes of the immune functions in patients with eating disorders]

PÁLI Anikó Andrea, PÁSZTHY Bea

[Aims - In this study we investigated whether calorie restriction or redundant food intake influences the function of regulatory T cells (Tregs), and their main regulators (dendritic cells and macrophages), or the targets of Tregs, CD4+ lymphocytes. Patients and methods - We investigated 11 white adolescents (10 girls and 1 boy) with anorexia nervosa, 12 obes adolescents and 10 healthy controlls. With flow cytometry we determined the prevalence of Tregs, myeloid and plasmacytoid dendritic cells. We applied intracellular staining to investigate TNF-alpha and IL-12 production of macrophages, moreover IL-2, IL-4, and IFN-gamma production of CD4+ cells. We also determined calcium flux kinetics upon activation in CD4+ cells. Results - We did not find any difference between obese, anorectic and control individuals in the prevalence of Tregs, dendritic cells, TNF-alpha and IL-12 positive macrophages, IL-4 and IFN-gamma positive CD4+ lymphocytes. We found that the prevalence of IL-2 positive lymphocytes after activation was lower in anorectic than in control subjects [median (range): 11.50 (7.60-15.30) vs. 13.50 (12.00-22.00), p=0.023], and in obese patients, too [12.50 (8.50-15.50) vs. 13.50 (12.00-22.00), p=0.028]. IFN-gamma/IL-4 ratio in CD4+ cells was higher in obese patients compared with control (p=0.046). The calcium flux characteristics of lymphocytes upon activation differed markedly in anorectic and healthy subjects as maximal calcium levels developed later in anorectic patients [86 (45- 232) vs. 215 (59-235) second, p<0.05]. We also tested the association between lymphocyte activation parameters and patients' clinical status, but did not find any association between the variables. Discussion - Our results suggest that the antigen presenting cell - regulatory T cell - CD4+ lymphocyte axis might be affected by calorie and nutritional disturbances, further studies are needed to elucidate the underlying processes.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Genetically determined neuromuscular disorders of some roma families living in Hungary (in English language)]

LÁSZLÓ Aranka, MAYER Péter, KÓBOR Jenõ, RÁCZ Katalin, TÁLOSI Gyula, ENDREFFY Emőke, HERCZEGFALVI Ágnes, HORTOBÁGYI Tibor, TISZLAVICZ László, BEREG Edit, KATONA Márta, SZABÓ János, KARCAGI Veronika

[The authors discuss the clinical and molecular genetic aspects of genetically determined neuromuscular disorders of some Roma families living in Hungary. Among the autosomal recessively inherited spinal muscular atrophic (SMA) group, 8 Caucasian children had the typical 7-8 exonal deletions of the SMA gene, but only 2 patients belonged to the Roma population. There was no difference in the molecular genetic findings among the Caucasian and the Roma SMA patients. All of them had 7- 8 exonal deletions of the SMA gene. We wanted to call attention to the founder mutation of the Roma population in 7 patients suffering from congenital myasthenia (CMS) from 3 Roma families. The 1267G deletion for CMS was detected by molecular genetic method. Clinical onset was pubertal and relatively slow progression of specific and phenotypic features for this founder mutation of acetyl-cholin receptor epsylon gene. In 2 patients (sister and brother) the sarcoglycanopathy 2C type C283Q mutation was proven in one Roma family suffering from limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD). Two out of the three facioscapular-humeral dystrophy (FSHD) Roma families carried 21.8 kb and 18.5 kb alleles in FSHD A1 gene (D4S139). In one family together with prenatal diagnosis founder mutation in FSHD A1 gene was detected, according to the autosomal dominant (AD) inheritence. In (F2) prenatal diagnosis was carried out, 18.5 kb/18.5 kb homozygosity was proven in the fetus, so the pregnancy was interrupted. In the CMS, LGMD and FSHD Roma patients ancient typical Roma founder mutations were found.]

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

Delirium due to the use of topical cyclopentolate hydrochloride

MAHMUT Atum, ERKAN Çelik, GÜRSOY Alagöz

Introduction - Our aim is to present a rare case where a child had delirium manifestation after instillation of cyclopentolate. Case presentation - A 7-year old patient was seen in our outpatient clinic, and cyclopentolate was dropped three times at 10 minutes intervals in both eyes. The patient suddenly developed behavioral disorders along with gait disturbance, and complained of visual hallucinations 20-25 minutes after the last drop. The patient was transferred to intensive care unit and 0.02 mg/kg IV. physostigmine was administered. The patient improved after minutes of onset of physostigmine, and was discharged with total recovery after 30 minutes. Conclusion - Delirium is a rare systemic side effect of cyclopentolate. The specific antidote is physostigmine, which can be used in severely agitated patients who are not responding to other therapies.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Advanced Parkinson’s disease characteristics in clinical practice: Results from the OBSERVE-PD study and sub-analysis of the Hungarian data]

TAKÁTS Annamária, ASCHERMANN Zsuzsanna, VÉCSEI László, KLIVÉNYI Péter, DÉZSI Lívia, ZÁDORI Dénes, VALIKOVICS Attila, VARANNAI Lajos, ONUK Koray, KINCZEL Beatrix, KOVÁCS Norbert

[The majority of patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease are treated at specialized movement disorder centers. Currently, there is no clear consensus on how to define the stages of Parkinson’s disease; the proportion of Parkinson’s patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease, the referral process, and the clinical features used to characterize advanced Parkinson’s disease are not well delineated. The primary objective of this observational study was to evaluate the proportion of Parkinson’s patients identified as advanced patients according to physician’s judgment in all participating movement disorder centers across the study. Here we evaluate the Hungarian subset of the participating patients. The study was conducted in a cross-sectional, non-interventional, multi-country, multi-center format in 18 countries. Data were collected during a single patient visit. Current Parkinson’s disease status was assessed with Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) parts II, III, IV, and V (modified Hoehn and Yahr staging). Non-motor symptoms were assessed using the PD Non-motor Symptoms Scale (NMSS); quality of life was assessed with the PD 8-item Quality-of-Life Questionnaire (PDQ-8). Parkinson’s disease was classified as advanced versus non-advanced based on physician assessment and on questions developed by the Delphi method. Overall, 2627 patients with Parkinson’s disease from 126 sites were documented. In Hungary, 100 patients with Parkinson’s disease were documented in four movement disorder centers, and, according to the physician assessment, 50% of these patients had advanced Parkinson’s disease. Their mean scores showed significantly higher impairment in those with, versus without advanced Parkinson’s disease: UPDRS II (14.1 vs. 9.2), UPDRS IV Q32 (1.1 vs. 0.0) and Q39 (1.1 vs. 0.5), UPDRS V (2.8 vs. 2.0) and PDQ-8 (29.1 vs. 18.9). Physicians in Hungarian movement disorder centers assessed that half of the Parkinson’s patients had advanced disease, with worse motor and non-motor symptom severity and worse QoL than those without advanced Parkinson’s disease. Despite being classified as eligible for invasive/device-aided treatment, that treatment had not been initiated in 25% of these patients.]