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

[Help! Accumulation of manuscripts!]

TAJTI János, RAJNA Péter

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

[Proconvulsive effect of antiepileptic drugs]


[Antiepileptic drugs can provoke and worsen seizures, what is called paradoxical effect. Paradoxical seizure worsening can occur as a nonspecific manifestation of drug intoxication in number of antiepileptic drugs. The other type is a specific type, when antiepileptic drugs with pure GABAergic and sodium channel blocker mechanism of action provoke myoclonic, absence and atonic seizures in specific epilepsy syndromes, mainly in idiopathic generalized epilepsies. Antiepileptic drug-induced exacerbation of seizures is a common, often unrecognized clinical problem, which can be avoided by a careful syndromic diagnosis and by using broad spectrum antiepileptic drugs.]

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

[Do previous offences predict violent acts in psychiatric patients? A retrospective study in Hungary]

BARAN Brigitta, SZABÓ Ádám Ferenc, KARA Borbála, KOVÁCS Magdolna, UZONYI Adél, ANTAL Albert, UNGVARI S Gabor, GAZDAG Gábor

[Aim - To investigate the presence of offences in the previous past history of perpetrators of violent acts who have undergone forced medical treatment. Methods - The documentation of all patients released over a 10-year period from the National Institute of Forensic Psychiatry (IMEI) was reviewed. A comparison was drawn between patients who were convicted of any type of offense before the violent act (patients with previous offences-PPO) and those who were not (patients with no previous offences-PNO). Results - Eighty-six (29%) and 208 (71%) patients formed the PPO and PNO groups, respectively. Prior contact with psychiatric services was significantly higher in the PPO group (p=0.038) and this group was also more likely to offend under the influence of a psychoactive substance (p<0.001). Exceptional brutality and other qualifying factors were more frequent in the PNO group (p=0.019). Conclusion - As IMEI is the only forensic institution in Hungary, the picture presented here reflects the situation in the entire country. A recidivism rate of 29% is within the internationally published range. ]

All articles in the issue

Related contents

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.

Clinical Neuroscience

[The application of RBANS (Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status) in neurocognitive testing of patients suffering from schizophrenia and dementia]

JUHÁSZ Levente Zsolt, KEMÉNY Katalin, LINKA Emese, SÁNTHA Judit, BARTKÓ György

[Introduction - The purpose of our study was to find out whether the Hungarian adaptation of the RBANS (Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status), a brief neurocognitive screening test, is appropriate for the differentation of healthy and non-healthy subject groups, or for the detection of differences between the cognitive performance of patient groups. Patients and method - The test battery was administrated to 38 healthy subjects, 69 schizophrenic patients, and 18 patients suffering from dementia (10 probable Alzheimer-type and eight vascular dementia). Results - There was a significant decrease of performance in all patient groups compared to the healthy group. In the schizophrenic group, the test indicated a deterioration of functioning in all cognitive areas. The patient group with Alzheimer-type dementia performed only slightly better than the schizophrenic group, because the fall of performance was not significant only one of the cognitive areas (in the visuo-spatial tasks) when compared to the healthy group. There was no difference between the performance of patients with vascular dementia and that of healthy subjects in direct memory, verbal and visuo-spatial tasks. The test results indicated an even deterioration of cognitive areas in patients with Alzheimer-type dementia. As for the vascular dementia group, the most vulnerable area proved to be that of attention, while their verbal functions were relatively spared. The deterioration in other cognitive functions shown by schizophrenic subjects was more moderate, but still significant. A comparison of the RBANS scores of the schizophrenic patients in our study and the result of an American study was also carried out. The global indeces showed no difference; only the pattern of the sub-scales was a little different. Conclusion - The Hungarian version of the RBANS seems appropriate for the differentiation of healthy and deteriorated cognitive performance in a Hungarian patient population.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Clozapine - the last resort antipsychotic for treatment resistant schizophrenia ]


[More than 60 years old is the first antipschychotic drug that is operating atypically as well. With its multifarious history it gained the golden standard title of all therapy resistent schisophrenic cases for the last three decades. In this article we place clozapine on the map of psychopharmacology and review its history’s most important chapters. In the third part we discuss some of the most relevant effects and side effects of clozapine in the light of latest research and practical considerations touching the problem of the optimal start timing. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Relationship between the efficacy of atypical antipsychotics and polymorphism of dopamine D3 receptor in schizophrenia]

SZEKERES György, JUHÁSZ Anna, KÉRI Szabolcs, RIMANÓCZY Ágnes, SZENDI István, SZABÓ Zoltán, JANKA Zoltán

[Object - Numerous relevant variants of dopamine receptors have been identified in schizophrenia. The Ser9Gly gene polymorphism of dopamine D3 receptor is known as a susceptibility factor for the disease. In addition, it has a role in the modification of therapeutic effect of antipsychotics. In this naturalistic study the authors investigated the relationship between this polymorphism and the therapeutic response to atypical antipsychotics. Method - 75 patients with schizophrenia according to DSM-IV and 45 healthy controlls were recruited. The patients were divided to responder and nonresponder subgroups, cut-off: >20 point improvement in Global Assessment of Functioning. By polymerase chain reaction the genotype of dopamine D3 receptor of every participant was determined. Results - The Ser9Ser genotype of dopamine D3 receptor was more frequent in the nonresponder subgroup (64%, p=0.0018). The Ser9 allele was overrepresented among nonresponder patients (82%, p=0.0172). Conclusion - Based on our results, the worse therapeutic response to atypical antipsychotics is associated with Ser9 variant of dopamine D3 receptor.]