Clinical Neuroscience

[Some additional thoughts on sudden/unexpected death (SUDEP) in epilepsy]

RAJNA Péter, BARAN Brigitta, VERES Judit

JANUARY 20, 2007

Clinical Neuroscience - 2007;60(01-02)



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Clinical Neuroscience



[Objective - A retrospective study to evaluate the efficacy of levetiracetam in the treatment of adult pharmacoresistant epilepsy. Method - Retrospective work up of our treatmentexperiences with 55 pharmacoresistant patients treated with levetiracetam (11 of them on monotherapy) for 6-39 months. Three treatment groups were analysed: idiopathic generalised epilepsy (9 patients); partial epilepsy (30 patients); malignant or malignated epileptic syndromes (16 patients). Result - Seven idiopathic generalised patients (77%) and 5 partial epilepsy patients (16%) became seizure free. One idiopathic generalised epileptic patient, 10 partial epilepsy patients (33%) significantly improved. Six patients (37%) from the group of malignant or malignated epileptic syndromes also significantly improved. Five of the improved idiopathic generalised epilepsy patients and 6 of the improved partial epilepsy patients received levetiracetam monotherapy. Altogether seven patients (12% of the whole population) relapsed after a 4-15 months improved period. Fifteen patients (27%) suffered side effects (mainly somnolence, headache, dizziness and irritability) improving after dose reduction of levetiracetam (generally below 2000 mg pro day). Conclusion - Levetiracetam is an effective, well tolerable, broad-spectrum drug as adjunctive treatment or monotherapy in adult patients unsuccessfully treated with other antiepileptic drugs.]

Clinical Neuroscience



[The restless legs syndrome is a disorder belonging to the family of movement disorders during sleep, often remains unrecognized, although it is the second most common cause of chronic sleep deficiency and daytime sleepiness. In accordance with international guidelines, pharmacotherapy of this disorder should begin with a dopamine agonist. Owing to their efficacy and favorable safety profile, newly introduced, selective dopamine agonists have become extensively used for this purpose. This study evaluated the efficacy of one of the products in this group, pramipexole. Fifty-one patients suffering from idiopathic restless legs syndrome underwent monotherapy with pramipexole in daily doses of 0.25 to 1.0 mg. Therapeutic efficacy was evaluated using three tools, i.e. follow-up questionnaires, actigraphy, and Forced Immobilisation Test. An excellent therapeutic effect was seen in more than 80 per cent of the study population. As shown by findings of the follow-up questionnaires, pramipexole resulted in substantial improvements of both daytime and nighttime symptoms of RLS. Actigraphy monitoring demonstrated a statistically significant increase in the ratio of time spent without limb movement to the time spent in bed; furthermore, the result of the Forced Immobilisation Test also improved. It seems fair to conclude from the findings of this study that pramipexole monotherapy is an effective treatment in restless legs syndrome.]

Clinical Neuroscience



[Despite the levodopa is used for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease for a long time, recently many questions raised about its clinical use. New issues emerged based on the clinical trials, on latest neuroimaging data and on better understanding the pathomechanism of motor complications. These observations have changed the routine clinical use of levodopa. In this review we summarize the evidences and practical implications of levodopa therapy.]

Clinical Neuroscience



[A case of extensive bilateral frontotemporal schizencephaly is alleged - more extensively in the left hemisphere - which associated with polymicrogyria. The cortical anomaly was discovered only incidentally by MR examination in a 22 year-old man who suffered from headache due to a mild head trauma. Neurological examination proved to be negative. He had no complaints or symptoms a few weeks later. The developmental anomalies in corticalisation are shortly overviewed in this group together with the possible causing factors. It has been emphasized the importance of the precise intrauterine and/or postpartum differential diagnosis between schizencephaly, porencephaly and other failure in corticalisation.]

Clinical Neuroscience



[Introduction - It is essential to identify the genetic factors of epilepsy in the every day clinical practice for several reasons. The proof of the genetically defined sub-clusters existing inside the epileptic disease group is significant in diagnoses and therapy. The risk of inheriting epilepsy could influence the patient’s family planning which has a great impact on their quality of life. The aim of the study - To analyse clinical data obtained from patients examined after their first provoked or unprovoked seizure and the observation of the recurrence of seizures. To compare the data obtained with the familial occurrence of epilepsy. Population and methods - Data was obtained from a questionnaire developed by the authors. The epileptic patients with positive familial data underwent to an analysis of their family tree. Results - Of 120 persons who were examined the prevalence of epilepsy in their family was 20.4%. This corresponds to the familial prevalence of generalised epilepsy according to the published clinical data. The recurrence of seizures was experienced by 32% of the patients with a family background affected by epilepsy. The risk of reoccurring seizures was the highest if the familial epilepsy manifested itself in the same generation (among brothers or sisters) and if we were able to register epileptiform activity on the interictal EEG. According to our clinical data the genetic set up can play a role also in the provoked first epileptic seizure. The incidence of familial epilepsy was found high (12.72%) in the presence of incidental epileptic seizures when the EEG was free of epileptiform alterations. Conclusion - 1. The genetic basis for the first epileptic seizure in the population of young adults approaches the data known in idiopathic generalised epilepsy irrespective of the fact whether it was related to the seizure provoking factors or not. 2. The risk of seizure reactivation was higher in non-provoked seizures then at the incidental epileptic symptoms. Seizure reactivation had to be taken into consideration when epileptiform patterns appeared on the patient's EEG and/or epileptic symptoms were experienced by the patient's brother or sister. The probability of reoccurring seizures was lower if the epileptic seizures manifested in parents or earlier generations.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

Late simultaneous carcinomatous meningitis, temporal bone infiltrating macro-metastasis and disseminated multi-organ micro-metastases presenting with mono-symptomatic vertigo – a clinico-pathological case reporT

JARABIN András János, KLIVÉNYI Péter, TISZLAVICZ László, MOLNÁR Anna Fiona, GION Katalin, FÖLDESI Imre, KISS Geza Jozsef, ROVÓ László, BELLA Zsolt

Although vertigo is one of the most common complaints, intracranial malignant tumors rarely cause sudden asymmetry between the tone of the vestibular peripheries masquerading as a peripheral-like disorder. Here we report a case of simultaneous temporal bone infiltrating macro-metastasis and disseminated multi-organ micro-metastases presenting as acute unilateral vestibular syndrome, due to the reawakening of a primary gastric signet ring cell carcinoma. Purpose – Our objective was to identify those pathophysiological steps that may explain the complex process of tumor reawakening, dissemination. The possible causes of vestibular asymmetry were also traced. A 56-year-old male patient’s interdisciplinary medical data had been retrospectively analyzed. Original clinical and pathological results have been collected and thoroughly reevaluated, then new histological staining and immunohistochemistry methods have been added to the diagnostic pool. During the autopsy the cerebrum and cerebellum was edematous. The apex of the left petrous bone was infiltrated and destructed by a tumor mass of 2x2 cm in size. Histological reexamination of the original gastric resection specimen slides revealed focal submucosal tumorous infiltration with a vascular invasion. By immunohistochemistry mainly single infiltrating tumor cells were observed with Cytokeratin 7 and Vimentin positivity and partial loss of E-cadherin staining. The subsequent histological examination of necropsy tissue specimens confirmed the disseminated, multi-organ microscopic tumorous invasion. Discussion – It has been recently reported that the expression of Vimentin and the loss of E-cadherin is significantly associated with advanced stage, lymph node metastasis, vascular and neural invasion and undifferentiated type with p<0.05 significance. As our patient was middle aged and had no immune-deficiency, the promoting factor of the reawakening of the primary GC malignant disease after a 9-year-long period of dormancy remained undiscovered. The organ-specific tropism explained by the “seed and soil” theory was unexpected, due to rare occurrence of gastric cancer to metastasize in the meninges given that only a minority of these cells would be capable of crossing the blood brain barrier. Patients with past malignancies and new onset of neurological symptoms should alert the physician to central nervous system involvement, and the appropriate, targeted diagnostic and therapeutic work-up should be established immediately. Targeted staining with specific antibodies is recommended. Recent studies on cell lines indicate that metformin strongly inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition of gastric cancer cells. Therefore, further studies need to be performed on cases positive for epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

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

Autonomic nervous system may be affected after carpal tunnel syndrome surgery: A possible mechanism for persistence of symptoms after surgery

ONDER Burcu, KELES Yavuz Betul

After carpal tunnel surgery, some patients report complaints such as edema, pain, and numbness. Purpose – The aim of this study was to evaluate autonomic nervous system function in patients with a history of carpal tunnel surgery using sympathetic skin response (SSR). Thirty three patients (55 ±10 years old) with a history of unilateral operation for carpal tunnel syndrome were included in the study. The SSR test was performed for both hands. Both upper extremities median and ulnar nerve conduction results were recorded. A reduced amplitude (p=0.006) and delayed latency (p<0.0001) were detected in the SSR test on the operated side compared to contralateral side. There was no correlation between SSR and carpal tunnel syndrome severity. Although complex regional pain syndrome does not develop in patients after carpal tunnel surgery, some of the complaints may be caused by effects on the autonomic nervous system.

Clinical Neuroscience

Simultaneous subdural, subarachnoideal and intracerebral haemorrhage after rupture of a peripheral middle cerebral artery aneurysm


The cause of intracerebral, subarachnoid and subdural haemorrhage is different, and the simultaneous appearance in the same case is extremely rare. We describe the case of a patient with a ruptured aneurysm on the distal segment of the middle cerebral artery, with a concomitant subdural and intracerebral haemorrhage, and a subsequent secondary brainstem (Duret) haemorrhage. The 59-year-old woman had hypertension and diabetes in her medical history. She experienced anomic aphasia and left-sided headache starting one day before admission. She had no trauma. A few minutes after admission she suddenly became comatose, her breathing became superficial. Non-contrast CT revealed left sided fronto-parietal subdural and subarachnoid and intracerebral haemorrhage, and bleeding was also observed in the right pontine region. The patient had leucocytosis and hyperglycemia but normal hemostasis. After the subdural haemorrhage had been evacuated, the patient was transferred to intensive care unit. Sepsis developed. Echocardiography did not detect endocarditis. Neurological status, vigilance gradually improved. The rehabilitation process was interrupted by epileptic status. Control CT and CT angiography proved an aneurysm in the peripheral part of the left middle cerebral artery, which was later clipped. Histolo­gical examination excluded mycotic etiology of the aneu­rysm and “normal aneurysm wall” was described. The brain stem haemorrhage – Duret bleeding – was presumably caused by a sudden increase in intracranial pressure due to the supratentorial space occupying process and consequential trans-tentorial herniation. This case is a rarity, as the patient not only survived, but lives an active life with some residual symptoms.

Clinical Neuroscience

A rare entity of acquired idiopathic generalised anhidrosis which has been successfully treated with pulse steroid therapy: Does the histopathology predict the treatment response?

ÖKTEM Özdemir Ece, ÇANKAYA Şeyda, UYKUR Burak Abdullah, ERDEN Simsek Nazan, YULUG Burak

Acquired idiopathic generalised anhidrosis is an uncommon sweating disorder characterized by loss of sweating in the absence of any neurologic, metabolic or sweat gland abnormalities. Although some possible immunological and structural mechanisms have been proposed for this rare entity, the definitive pathophysiology is still un­clear. Despite some successfully treated cases with systemic corticosteroid application, the dose and route of steroid application are controversial. Here, we present a 41-year-old man with lack of genera­lised sweating who has been successfully treated with high dose pulse intravenous prednisolone. We have discussed his clinical and histopathological findings as well as the treatment options in view of the current literature.