Clinical Neuroscience

[Shifting function of working memory in psychotic disorders]


MARCH 25, 2015

Clinical Neuroscience - 2015;68(03-04)

[Background and aims - Mental disorders with psychotic features are overlapping in many ways and there are a growing number of comparative studies in the last decades regarding this. Cognitive deficit is well underpinned in schizophrenia, but fewer studies are conducted in this area including patients with bipolar affective disorder. Therefore the aim of the present study was to investigate the cognitive performance of these two patient groups and healthy controls. The Wisconsin Card Sorting Task is a very sensitive measure of the shifting function. Schizophrenic patients perform consistently poorer on this task than healthy controls, while there are not much data about individuals with bipolar affective disorder. Methods - The Wisconsin Card Sorting Task and clinical symptom rating scales were administered to 26 patients with schizophrenia, 24 with bipolar affective disorder and 21 healthy controls. Results - Significant differences were found among the performance of the three groups using four different dimensions of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task. The schizophrenic group made more perseverative errors and achieved less conceptual level responses and completed fewer categories compared to healthy controls. Patients with schizophrenia were able to complete fewer categories and had fewer conceptual level responses than the bipolar group. No significant differences were observed between patients with bipolar disorder and healthy controls. Conclusions - According to these results, patients with schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder showed no similarities on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task. Bipolar patients performed the task on the same level as healthy individuals did. The two mental disorders influence cognitive performance differently.]



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[Teriflunomide: new oral immunmodulant drug in therapy of multiple sclerosis]

BENCSIK Krisztina, RÓZSA Csilla, VÉCSEI László

[Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the autoimmune, demyelinating, neurodegenerative disorder of the central nervous system (CNS). There are nine drugs available in Hungary reimbursed by the National Health Insurance Fund of Hungary (OEP) to reduce the activity of the disease, from which seven can be used as first line therapies. We have approximately 20 years of experience with the interferon b-1a/1b and glatiramer-acetate products. Though in case of approximately 30% of the patients using one of the first line drugs, the disease remains active, that we call break-through disease. The reasons for break-through disease could be the insufficient adherence and compliance, the appearance of neutralizing antibodies or the high activity of the disease. One of the oral immunomodulating drugs for MS, teriflunomide, was registered in Europe in 2013. Because of the anti-proliferative and anti-inflammatory effect of teriflunomide, it can be used for the reduction of the disease activity in the relapsing-remitting course of MS. The effect of teriflunomide was proved in one Phase II. and four Phase III. (TEMSO, TOWER, TENERE, TOPIC) studies. Teriflunomide 14 mg once daily was able to demonstrate in two consecutive placebo-controlled phase 3 clinical trials that significantly reduces the relapse rate (31.5% and 36.3%) and in both studies significantly reduces the sustained disability progression (29.8% and 31.5%) moreover delays the appearance of the clinically definitive MS in patients with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS). According to the TENERE study there were no significant differences observed between teriflunomide 14 mg and IFNb-1a s.c. in time to failure and annualized relapse rate but the treatment satisfaction domains of global satisfaction, side-effects and convenience were significantly improved with teriflunomide compared with s.c. IFNb-1a. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Drug therapy of neuropathic pain in mirror of latest reccommandations]

KISS Gábor

[Neuropathic pain is considered as a special type of different pain conditions. It’s pathophysiological basis and treatment is completely different from the nociceptive pain. The first comprehensive therapeutic guidelines published approximately a decade ago recommended tricyclic antidepressants, anticonvulsants and opioids. The recent summary presents and evaluates national and international guidelines issued in the last five years. The most frequently suggested drugs by all guidelines are amitriptyline, duloxetine, gabapentin and pregabalin. Pregabalin is the only drug that is recommended first line in all guidelines referred. Opioids are in the second or third line. There seems to be no major development in the pharmacological treatment of the neuropathic pain compared to the earlier recommendations. High quality studies of head to head comparisons and effectiveness of combination therapy are still lacking.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Effects of maternal epilepsy and antiepileptic therapy in women during pregnancy]

VANYA Melinda, ÁRVA-NAGY Nóra, SZILI Károly, SZOK Délia, BÁRTFAI György

[Objective - The aim of this study was to analyse the effects of epilepsy and antiepileptic drug (AED) treatment on pregnancy and the perinatal outcome, retrospectively. Methods - We examined the obstetric and fetal outcomes among women with epilepsy (WWE), who were followed-up at the Department of Neurology, and who delivered at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (n=91) between 31th December 2000 and 31th March 2014. Statistical comparisons of different obstetric and fetal parameters on a sample of 91 WWE and 182 non-WWE were assessed by the chi-square-test, the independent sample t-test. Results - The rate of major congenital malformations (MCMS) among the newborns of all AEDs exposed mothers was 7.69%. There were three peaks of seizures: during the third trimester, during delivery and in the puerperium. The prevalence of miscarriages, post-term birth and the rate of caesarean section were significantly higher among the WWE than among the non-WWE (p=0.001; p<0.001; p=0.02). Parameters of neonates (birth weight, birth length, head-, and chest circumference) were significantly different between the WWE group and the non-WWE group (p=0.003, p<0.001, p<0.001, p<0.001) Conclusions - In contrast with recent publications, there were significant differences in the parameters of neonates between the two groups. Our results are in accordance with those of previous studies from the aspect of AED-related MCM, the elevated risk of miscarriages and pre-existing hypertension. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Genetic polymorphisms of human beta-defensins in patients with multiple sclerosis]


[Aims - Recent studies have started to elucidate the contribution of microbiome to the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). It is also supposed, that neuropathological alterations might be associated with abnormal expression and regulatory function of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), including defensins. It is in our interest to investigate the relevance of the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the DEFB1 gene and the copy number polymorphism of the DEFB4 genes in MS. Methods - DEFB1 polymorphisms: c.-20G > A (rs11362), DEFB1 c.-44C > G (rs1800972), DEFB1 c.-52G>A (rs1799946), and the DEFB4 gene copy number were investigated in 250 MS patients The control patients comprised 232 age- and gender-matched healthy blood donors. The occurrence of the human b-defensin 2 peptide (hBD2) in the plasma of controls and patients was determined by ELISA. Results - The DEFB1 c.-44C>G polymorphism the GG protective genotype was much less frequent among patients than among the controls. A higher frequency of a lower (<4) copy number of the DEFB4 gene was observed in the patients with MS as compared with the controls (43% vs. 28%, respectively). The median levels of the circulating hBD2 in the patients were 150.6±12.71 pg/ml vs. 262.1±23.82 pg/ml in the control group (p<0.0001). Our results suggest that b-defensins play role in the development of MS.]

Clinical Neuroscience

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TAJTI János, RAJNA Péter

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Clinical Neuroscience

TLR4 (Toll-like receptor-4) expression and frontal-cingulate volumes in schizophrenia

LI Hua, KÉRI Szabolcs

Evidence suggests that pathogen-associated pattern recognition receptors (Toll-like receptors, TLRs) are implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. TLRs are important in both peripheral immune responses and neuronal plasticity. However, the relationship between peripheral TLR expression and regional brain volumes is unknown in schizophrenia. We therefore assessed 30 drug-naïve, first-episode patients with schizophrenia. TLR4+/TLR1+ monocytes were measured using flow-cytometry. High resolution magnetic resonance images (T1 MRI) were obtained and analyzed with FreeSurfer. Results revealed significant negative correlations between the percentage of TLR4+ monocytes, mean fluorescent intensities, and brain volumes in frontal and anterior cingulate regions. The measures of TLR1+ monocytes did not show significant relationships with regional brain volumes. These results raise the possibility that abnormal TLR-activation is associated with decreased brain volumes in schizophrenia.

Clinical Neuroscience

Symptom profiles and parental bonding in homicidal versus non-violent male schizophrenia patients

HALMAI Tamás, TÉNYI Tamás, GONDA Xénia

Objective - To compare the intensity and the profile of psychotic symptoms and the characteristics of parental bonding of male schizophrenia patients with a history of homicide and those without a history of violent behaviour. Clinical question - We hypothesized more intense psychotic symptoms, especially positive symptoms as signs of a more severe psychopathology in the background of homicidal behaviour. We also hypothesized a more negatively perceived pattern (less Care more Overprotection) of parental bonding in the case of homicidal schizophrenia patients than in non-violent patients and non-violent healthy controls. Method and subjects - Symptom severity and symptom profiles were assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale in a group of male schizophrenia patients (n=22) with the history of committed or attempted homicide, and another group (n=19) of male schizophrenia patients without a history of violent behaviour. Care- and Overprotection were assessed using the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI) in a third group of non-violent healthy controls (n=20), too. Results - Positive, negative and general psychopathology symptoms in the homicidal schizophrenia group were significantly (p<0.005) more severe than in the non-violent schizophrenia group. Non-violent schizophrenia patients scored lower on Care and higher on Overprotection than violent patients and healthy controls. Homicidal schizophrenia patients showed a pattern similar to the one in the healthy control group. Conclusions - It seems imperative to register intense positive psychotic symptoms as predictive markers for later violent behaviour. In the subgroup of male homicidal schizophrenia patients negatively experienced parental bonding does not appear to be major contributing factor to later homicidal behaviour.

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Classical methods in modern approach. Training for the recognition of emotions using bibliotherapy-techniques]

SZABÓ József, SIPOS Mária

[BACKGROUND - Nowadays it is an understood fact, that theory of mind has a great psychological significance. Deficits of theory of mind skills are observed in schizophrenia such as depression, dementia, autism and some personality disorders as well. Conceptions of theory of mind and emotion recognition ability have been coming in front at the expanse of the older empathy also in the present-day research in connection with helper connections and their effects. It is probably due to popular approach of cognitive neuroscience exact methods. METHODS - We intended to demonstrate, that the ability of emotion recognition can be developed, or partially restored, even in case of patients suffering from schizophrenia. We compiled an 8-seat training. Our method was a bibliotherapy training, each of chosen novels expressed one of basic emotions (by Ekman). After a common reading we projected validated portraits expressing also those emotions. Participants had to choose reflecting the emotional state of the characters photos. Then they shared stories from their own lives experiencing similar emotions. We measured the effectiveness of our method by the Reading the Mind in the Eyes measured (RMET) test. RESULTS - Comparing data before and after the training in t-test we detected significant difference (p=0.000608 <0.05). Verifying that the observed changes are not only the common effects of the other types of treatment, the same tests were performed on a similar in-patient treated control group. There was no significant difference between the RMET first time and two weeks later values of the control group (p=0.467). The rate of changes in the test and control group (RMET) was compared in a paired-sample t-test, and we also found a significant difference: p=0.000786 <0.005. CONCLUSIONS - The deficit of theory of mind in schizophrenia can be reduced, which indirectly can improve our patients' communication and adaptation skills, or worse, their deterioration can be reduced.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Investigation of the dopamine dysregulation hypothesis of schizophrenia with neuroimaging techniques]

SZEKERES György, PÁVICS László, JANKA Zoltán

[The most elaborated biochemical concept of schizophrenia is the dopamine hypothesis. However, this classical theory is based on indirect observations. It has recently become possible to study this theory directly by means of advanced functional neuroimaging techniques, the development of specific radioligands and study protocols that are eligible to monitor dynamic changes in the neurotransmitter systems. According to the early concept, the essence of schizophrenia is the hyperactivity of the dopamine system. Nevertheless, this idea has gone through many modifications. In accordance with the modified dopamine hypothesis, the cognitive deficit and negative symptoms are related to the hypoactivity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex while the acute phasis of the disease associates with hyperactivity of the ventral striatal elements of the dopaminergic system. Between these dysfunctions there is causality via their exuberant connections. Beyond that, the interactions between the prefrontal and striatal anomalies implicate the involvement of other neurotransmitters than dopamine. Observations from model psychosis induced by N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonists and in vivo neuroimaging investigations in humans support primarily the role of glutamatergic system. Our developing knowledge about the neurochemical mechanism of schizophrenia can significantly affect therapeutic strategies as well.]

Lege Artis Medicinae


BÁNKI M. Csaba

[Schizophrenia is a severe and chronic disorder affecting almost 1% of the population worldwide. Antipsychotic drugs, currently in their secondgeneration (atypical) antipsychotics, represent its first-line treatment. Compliance during long-term maintenance pharmacotherapy is one of the key factors in successful patient management; longacting, injectable antipsychotics may significantly contribute to the improvement of the patients The new form of this drug is the first long-acting, injectable second-generation antipsychotic; administered biweekly it produces stable, reliable clinical efficacy. Low peak plasma concentrations and smaller plasma level fluctuations result in excellent tolerance, less side effects than with per os risperidone and minimal local pain due to its specific technology. There is strong evidence from controlled clinical trials for its prolonged efficacy during long-term administration and for patient satisfaction being usually better than with most other antipsychotics. Switching over to long-acting injectable risperidone often results in further improvement even in previously stable patients. No safety concerns have emerged from published evidence. The long-acting injectable risperidone appears to reduce the rehospitalisation rate, a major factor towards its cost-effectiveness.]