Clinical Neuroscience

[Sleep disordered breathing and epilepsy: relationships and therapeutic considerations]

FALUDI Béla1, BÓNÉ Beáta1, KOMOLY Sámuel1, JANSZKY József1

NOVEMBER 20, 2015

Clinical Neuroscience - 2015;68(11-12)


[The importance of the sleep related breathing disorders (obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, central sleep apnea, and Cheyne-Stokes breathing) in the pathophysiology crebro- and cardiovascular disorders is well known. The relationship of sleep related breathing abnormalities and epilepsy is also important but underestimated in the daily practice. The relation is bidirectional. The breathing abnormalities in sleep may play important role in generating epileptic seizure, but the adverse effect of seizure and antiepileptic therapy (generation of apneas and hypopneas) may worsen the seizure control. The effect of new therapies (vagal nerve and deep brain stimulation) on the sleep architecture and sleep disordered breathing must be examined and discussed. Here we present a brief case of epileptic patient with deep brain stimulation therapy on sleep as well. The examination of the sleep related breathing abnormalities in epilepsy patient may help improve the effectiveness of antiepileptic therapy.]


  1. Pécsi Tudományegyetem, Neurológiai Klinika, Pécs



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[Earlier and more efficiently: the role of deep brain stimulation for parkinson’s disease preserving the working capabilities]

DELI Gabriella, BALÁS István, KOMOLY Sámuel, DÓCZI Tamás, JANSZKY József, ASCHERMANN Zsuzsanna, NAGY Ferenc, BOSNYÁK Edit, KOVÁCS Norbert

[Background – The recently published “EarlyStim” study demonstrated that deep brain stimulation (DBS) for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) with early fluctuations is superior to the optimal pharmacological treatment in improving the quality of life and motor symptoms, and preserving sociocultural position. Our retrospective investigation aimed to evaluate if DBS therapy was able to preserve the working capabilities of our patients. Methods – We reviewed the data of 39 young (<60 years-old) PD patients who underwent subthalamic DBS implantation at University of Pécs and had at least two years follow-up. Patients were categorized into two groups based on their working capabilities: Patients with active job (“Job+” group, n=15) and retired patients (without active job, “Job-” group, n=24). Severity of motor symptoms (UPDRS part 3), quality of life (EQ-5D) and presence of active job were evaluated one and two years after the operation. Results – As far as the severity of motor symptoms were concerned, similar (approximately 50%) improvement was achieved in both groups. However, the postoperative quality of life was significantly better in the Job+ group. Majority (12/15, 80%) of Job+ group members were able to preserve their job two years after the operation. However, only a minimal portion (1/24, 4.2%) of the Job- group members was able to return to the world of active employees (p<0.01, McNemar test). Conclusion – Although our retrospective study has several limitations, our results fit well with the conclusions of “EarlyStim” study. Both of them suggest that with optimal timing of DBS implantation we may preserve the working capabilities of our patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Hyperglycaemic hemiballismus: implications from connectivity analysis for cognitive impairments]

KINCSES Tamás Zsigmond, VADÁSZ Dávid, NÉMETH Dezsõ, JANACSEK Karolina, SZABÓ Nikoletta, DÉZSI Lívia, BABOS Magor, VÖRÖS Erika, VÉCSEI László

[Hyperglycaemia induced movement disorders, such as hemiballism are rare disorders. The syndrome is characterised by the triad of hemiballism, contralateral T1-hyperintense striatal lesion and non-ketotic hyperglycaemia. Here we report a patient with untreated diabetes presenting with acute onset of hemiballism. MRI revealed T1 hyperintensity of the head of the caudate nucleus and the anterior putamen. The patient also had acantocytosis. Based on the detailed examination of the neuroradiological results and earlier findings we will imply on the pathomechanism. Based on previous findings microhemorrhages, extensive mineralisation, gemistocytic astrocytosis might play role in the development of the imaging signs. The connectivity pattern of the striatal lesion showed extensive connections to the frontal cortex. In coexistence with that the most severe impairment was found on the phonemic verbal fluency task measuring frontal executive functions. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[A rare complication of a rare disease; stroke due to relapsing polychondritis]


[Relapsing polychondritis (RP) is an episodic and progressive inflammatory disease of cartilaginous structures. Its diagnosis is based primarily on clinical features such as laboratory parameters, biopsy. Neurological complications occur in 3% of the cases and are classified as an important cause of death. The cranial nerve disorders are most common but hemiplegia, ataxia, myelitis, polyneuritis, seizures, confusion, hallucination and headache can also happen. The aetiology of central nervous system involvement is still unknown. Moreover stroke has rarely reported in these patients. The diagnosis of stroke is challenging because of its rarity among these patients. Perhaps vasculitis is the common underlying mechanism. Also meningitis and encephalitis can occur during the course of RP. A 44 year-old woman was admitted with uncontemplated left hemiparesis, redness, swelling, and tenderness of the metacarpophalangeal and interphalangeal joints of the right hand and the cartilaginous portion. White blood cell count, C-reactive protein and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate were elevated. Vasculitis biomarkers were normal in our patient. Carotid and vertebral artery doppler ultrasonography, cranial and cervical MR Angiography were normal. Echocardiography showed a mild mitral valve prolapse and regurgitation. Our patient had the history of auricular polychondritis but she had not been diagnosed. Hemiparesis was her first neurological manifestation that led her to doctors for diagnosis. Our patient fulfilled the criteria of RP so no biopsy was needed. She was treated with oral prednisolone (80 mg/day) and aspirin (300 mg/day) and now she is on 10 mg prednisolone and 150 mg azathioprine. Two months later her physical and neurological symptoms returned to normal.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Mentalizing deficit in neurological disorders: a review article]

HEROLD Róbert, VARGA Eszter, MIKE Andrea, TÉNYI Tamás, SIMON Mária, HAJNAL András, FEKETE Sándor, ILLÉS Zsolt

[Introduction – Mentalization is the ability to attribute mental states (intentions, desires, thoughts, emotions) to others, and hence to predict their behaviour. This ability fundamentally determines our participation in social relationships and adaptation to society. A significant proportion of the disorders of the central nervous system (CNS) affects those brain structures and neurotransmitter systems that play a role in the mentalizing processes. Accordingly, a number of CNS disorders may be associated with mentalizing deficits, which may affect the outcome of these diseases. Here, we review recent research on mentalizing abilities in neurological diseases. Methods – An internet database search was performed to identify publications on the subject. Results – Sixty-two publications in English corresponded to the search criteria. These publications reported impaired mentalization in several neurological disorders (e.g. epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, dementias, traumatic brain injury). Discussion – The results indicate that a number of neurological disorders associate with mentalizing deficit. This deficit is often present in the early stages of the diseases and has a prognostic value, which in turn emphasizes the importance of the early detection and adequate rehabilitation.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Novel strategy in the radiotherapy of metastatic brain tumors: simultaneous whole brain radiotherapy and integrated stereotactic radiosurgery]


[Background and purpose – Treatment of central nervous system (CNS) tumors has always played an important role in development of radiotherapy techniques. Precise patient immobilisation, non-coplanar field arrangement, conformal treatment, arc therapy, radiosurgery, application of image fusion to radiation planning or re-irradiation were first introduced into clinical routine in the treatment of brain tumors. Methods – A modern multifunctional radiation instrument, Novalis TX has been installed at the University of Pécs two years ago. New methods, such as real time 3D image guided therapy, dynamic arc therapy and ultra-conformity offer further progress in treatment of CNS tumors. Whole brain irradiation and simultaneous fractionated stereotactic radiosurgery or integrated boost seem to be an optimal method in the treatment of not only soliter or oligo, but even a higher number (4-9) and not typically radiosensitive brain metastases. The new treatment strategy is illustrated by presentation of four case histories. Results – Treatment protocol was completed in all cases. Treatment period of 1.5 to 3 weeks, and treatment time of only a few minutes were not stressful for the patients. A quite remarkable clinical improvement as to general condition of the patients was experienced in three cases. Follow-up images confirmed either remission or a stable disease. Conclusions – Simultaneous whole brain radiotherapy and integrated stereotactic radiosurgery is a reproducible, safe method that offers an effective irradiation with delivery of definitive dosage even in cases with radio-insensitive brain metastasis.]

All articles in the issue

Related contents

Clinical Neuroscience

[Zonisamide: one of the first-line antiepileptic drugs in focal epilepsy ]


[Chronic administration of antiepileptic drugs without history of unprovoked epileptic seizures are not recommended for epilepsy prophylaxis. Conversely, if the patient suffered the first unprovoked seizure, then the presence of epileptiform discharges on the EEG, focal neurological signs, and the presence of epileptogenic lesion on the MRI are risk factors for a second seizure (such as for the development of epilepsy). Without these risk factors, the chance of a second seizure is about 25-30%, while the presence of these risk factors (for example signs of previous stroke, neurotrauma, or encephalitis on the MRI) can predict >70% seizure recurrence. Thus the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) re-defined the term ’epilepsy’ which can be diagnosed even after the first seizure, if the risk of seizure recurrence is high. According to this definition, we can start antiepileptic drug therapy after a single unprovoked seizure. There are four antiepileptic drugs which has the highest evidence (level „A”) as first-line initial monotherapy for treating newly diagnosed epilepsy. These are: carbamazepine, phenytoin, levetiracetam, and zonisamide (ZNS). The present review focuses on the ZNS. Beacuse ZNS can be administrated once a day, it is an optimal drug for maintaining patient’s compliance and for those patients who have a high risk for developing a non-compliance (for example teenagers and young adults). Due to the low interaction potential, ZNS treatment is safe and effective in treating epilepsy of elderly people. ZNS is an ideal drug in epilepsy accompanied by obesity, because ZNS has a weight loss effect, especially in obese patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Effects of valproate, carbamazepine and levetiracetam on Tp-e interval, Tp-e/QT and Tp-e/QTc ratio


Aim - To evaluate P-wave dispersion before and after antiepileptic drug (AED) treatment as well as to investigate the risk of ventricular repolarization using the Tpeak-Tend (Tp-e) interval and Tp-e/QT ratio in patients with epileptic disorder. Methods - A total of 63 patients receiving AED therapy and 35 healthy adults were included. ECG recordings were obtained before and 3 months after anti-epileptic treatment among patients with epilepsy. For both groups, Tp-e and Tp-e/QT ratio were measured using a 12-lead ECG device. Results - Tp-e interval, Tpe/QT and Tp-e/QTc ratios were found to be higher in the patient group than in the control group (p<0.05, for all), while QTmax ratio was significantly lower in the patient group. After 3 months of AED therapy, significant increases in QT max, QTc max, QTcd, Tp-e, Tp-e/QT, and Tp-e/QTc were found among the patients (p<0.05). When the arrhythmic effects of the drugs before and after treatment were compared, especially in the valproic acid group, there were significant increases in Tp-e interval, Tp-e/QT and Tp-e/QTc values after three months of treatment (p<0.05). Carbamazepine and levetiracetam groups were not statistically significant in terms of pre- and post-treatment values. Conclusions - It was concluded that an arrhythmogenic environment may be associated with the disease, and patients who received AED monotherapy may need to be followed up more closely for arrhythmia.

Clinical Neuroscience

Relationship between Status Epilepticus Severity Score and etiology in adult NCSE patients

GENC Fatma, ERDAL Abidin, AKCA Gizem, KARACAY Ertan, GÖKSU Özaydın Eylem, KUTLU Gülnihal, GÖMCELI Bicer Yasemin

Purpose - Nonconvulsive status epilepticus (NCSE) is a heterogeneous, severe neurological disorder of different etiologies. In this study, the outcomes of NCSE episodes was assessed in a large series of adult patients. Our objective was to evaluate relationship between Status Epilepticus Severity Score (STESS) and etiology and the role of etiological factors on predicting the outcomes. Method - In this retrospective study, the medical records of 95 patients over 18 years of age who were diagnosed with NCSE between June 2011 and December 2015 were reviewed. Their treatment and follow-up for NCSE was performed at the Epilepsy Unit in Department of Neurology, Antalya Research and Training Hospital. Etiological factors thought to be responsible for NCSE episodes as well as the prognostic data were retrieved. The etiological factors were classified into three groups as those with a known history of epilepsy (Group 1), primary neurological disorder (Group 2), or systemic/unknown etiology (Group 3). STESS was retrospectively applied to patients. Results - There were 95 participants, 59 of whom were female. Group 1, Group 2, and Group 3 consisted of 11 (7 female), 54 (33 female), and 30 (19 female) patients, respectively. Of the 18 total deaths, 12 occurred in Group 2, and 6 in Group 3. The negative predictive value for a STESS score of ≤ 2 was 93.88% (+LR 2.05 95% CI: 1.44-2.9 and -LR 0.3 95% CI 0.10-0.84 ) in the overall study group. While the corresponding values for Group 1 (patients with epilepsy), Group 2 (patients with primary neurological disorder), and group 3 (patients with systemic or unknown etiology) were 100%, 92.59% (+LR 2.06 95%CI: 1.32-3.21 and -LR 0.28 95% CI 0.08-1.02 ) 83.33% (+LR 1.14 95%CI: 0.59-2.9 and -LR 0.80 95% CI 0.23-2.73). Conclusions - This study included the one of the largest patients series ever reported in whom STESS, a clinical scoring system proposed for use in patients with status epilepticus, has been implemented. Although STESS appeared to be quite useful for predicting a favorable outcome in NCSE patients with epilepsy and primary neurological disorders, its predictive value in patients with systemic or unknown etiology was lower. Further prospective studies including larger NCSE samples are warranted.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Decisional collisions between evidence and experience based medicine in care of people with epilepsy]


[Background – Based on the literature and his long-term clinical practice the author stresses the main collisions of evidence and experience based medicine in the care of people with epilepsy. Purpose – To see, what are the professional decisions of high responsibility in the epilepsy-care, in whose the relevant clinical research is still lacking or does not give a satisfactory basis. Methods – Following the structure of the Hungarian Guideline the author points the critical situations and decisions. He explains also the causes of the dilemmas: the lack or uncertainty of evidences or the difficulty of scientific investigation of the situation. Results – There are some priorities of experience based medicine in the following areas: definition of epilepsy, classification of seizures, etiology – including genetic background –, role of precipitating and provoking factors. These are able to influence the complex diagnosis. In the pharmacotherapy the choice of the first drug and the optimal algorithm as well as the tasks during the care are also depends on personal experiences sometimes contradictory to the official recommendations. Same can occur in the choice of the non-pharmacological treatments and rehabilitation. Discussion and conclusion – Personal professional experiences (and interests of patients) must be obligatory accessories of evidence based attitude, but for achieving the optimal results, in some situations they replace the official recommendations. Therefore it is very important that the problematic patients do meet experts having necessary experiences and also professional responsibility to help in these decisions. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[LADA type diabetes, celiac diasease, cerebellar ataxia and stiff person syndrome. A rare association of autoimmune disorders]

SOÓS Zsuzsanna, SALAMON Mónika, ERDEI Katalin, KASZÁS Nóra, FOLYOVICH András, SZŰCS Anna, BARCS Gábor, ARÁNYI Zsuzsanna, SKALICZKI József, VADASDI Károly, WINKLER Gábor

[Celiac disease - in its typical form - is a chronic immunemediated enteropathy with typical clinical symptoms that develops against gliadin content of cereal grains, and is often associated with other autoimmune diseases. In cases of atypical manifestation classic symptoms may be absent or mild, and extra-intestinal symptoms or associated syndromes dominate clinical picture. The authors present a longitudinal follow-up of such a case. A 63-years old woman was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 19, and with progressive limb ataxia at the age of 36, which was initially thought to be caused by cerebellar atrophy, later probably by stiff person syndrome. At the age 59, her diabetes mellitus manifested with type 2 diabetic phenotype, but based on GAD positivity later was reclassified as type 1 diabetes. Only the last check-up discovered the celiac disease, retrospectively explaining the entire disease course and neurological symptoms. By presenting this case, the authors would like to draw attention to the fact that one should think of the possibility of celiac disease when cerebellar ataxia, progressive neurological symptoms and diabetes are present at the same time. An early diagnosis may help to delay the progression of disease and help better treatment.]