Clinical Neuroscience

[Special concerns in medical care of severely demented patients suffering from Alzheimer disease]


NOVEMBER 30, 2010

Clinical Neuroscience - 2010;63(11-12)

[While the expected life-time increases dementias will show a pandemic nature. Author analyses the special medical and social concerns of severe states of Alzheimer disease. Having introduced the epidemiologic, diagnostic data and forms of palliatíve therapies he concentrates on the hitherto unsolved problems of patients and caregivers. He belongs to the experts identifying the Alzheimer diseases as a forced aging process. Accepted the theory of L. Hayflick he evaluates the aging process in frame of an evolution model. He states that for aged human beings having already performed the task of reproduction further conditions of living circumstances and even that of death are no more programmed. This hypothesis may have a very negative content at the first sense. But the author rather considers the uncertainty of aging a positive message. He establishes that the occurrence of degenerative processes connecting the aging must be limited by preventive interventions far more efficient than the present possibilities. Concerning these steps we are still on the level of recommendations for preserving our general health and data of relevant science are quite contradictory. Although criteria of “healthy", “qualified” or “assumable” aging are getting defined, we still do not know exactly how we should live optimally and what should we do for this in different epochs of our life. Somatic and psychological parameters are lacking which would be able to signalize the actual level of the aging process in a given person. We, physicians, also do not have exact opinion on the level of severity of dementias at which the patient already lost his her features of personality and individuality on an irreversible way. We have no idea on the phase when the ratio of joy and suffer falls below the value of 1.0 because we still have no tool for its measure. The author pointed the necessity of acceptance of a new preventive attitude and application of new methods in the medical care of the forced or pathological aging, instead of the present approaches based on the “wait and treat” attitude. Because of the intensive increase of the patient population the identification and care of patients can be efficient with a much more involvement of the basic medical network. Financial background can be improved by new theoretical bases of criteria of the palliative treatments. But the direct professional programs can be planned after solution of the existing moral and social dilemmas.]



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[Account on the scientific meeting of Környey Society in 2010. Part 2.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The concept of epileptic networks. Part 2.]


[In this paper we investigate evidences supporting the network concept of epilepsies from different approaches. Firstly the functions of cortical networks in which most of the epileptic networks are embedded, are treated. Then the tentative characteristics of an epileptic network are enumerated and the conversion mechanisms from physiological to epileptic networks are analyzed. Later the role of neuronal oscillations in epileptic networks and aspects of epilepsies provoked by sensory and cognitive tasks is studied. Lastly new fMRI data in mapping BOLD networks underlying spike and seizure discharges are used as arguments in favour of the epileptic network hypothesis. In a second part the well-known epilepsies related, or probably related to physiological networks are shown. Finally consequences of the network approach for creating a new unified epilepsy classification are discussed.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Evaluation of general well-being in adults with therapy resistant partial epilepsy taking oxcarbazepine]

BALOGH Attila, SZENTESI Annamária, JÁNOSI István

[Aims - An open label, national, multicenter, observational study had been conducted to evaluate of psychological general well-being in adults with therapy resistant partial epilepsy taking oxcarbazepine in Hungary. The possibility was examined to differentiate the improvement of the psychic well-being caused by the better status of the seizure disorder or caused by the psychopharmacological effect of the oxcarbazepine (in the next: OXC). Methods - 528 patients were asked to fill the Hungarian validated version of Psychological General Well-Being Schedule (PGWB), English version created by Harold J. Dupuy in 1984, at the baseline visit and after 12- week long duration OXC therapy regim. Finally the data of 332 patients could be evaluated per protocol, biostatistical analysis was carried out. Results - Based on data of 332 patients (per protocol population) the OXC treatment significantly (p<0.0001) improved all items of PGWB in clinically well- controlled (responder) epileptic patients and improved affective markers of patients with uncontrolled epilepsy also. In case of patients suffering from uncontrolled epilepsy the increase of psychical wellbeing items score influenced by biological effects were higher than those influenced by external effects. Conclusions - It can be stated that the adopted PGWB test battery is reliable quantitative method to examine the psychological well-being of patients suffering from partial epilepsy. It was observed that OXC has significant psychopharmalogical effect besides the well-known anticonvulsive property among large Hungarian population of partial epileptic patiens. In case of OXC therapy the positive psychic effect of the successful anticonvulsive treatment and the stabilization property on the affectivity of epileptic patients significantly separates. The OXC has no indication for the treatment of psychiatric conditions.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Importance of hydrocephalus following severe brain injury during postacute rehabilitation]

DÉNES Zoltán, LANTOS Ágnes, SZÉL István, THOMKA Magdolna, VASS Mátyás, BARSI Péter

[Objectives - We report our experiences with hydrocephalus in early rehabilitation over a seven-year period. Method - Retrospective study in Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit of the National Institute for Medical Rehabilitation, between 1 January 2002 and 31 December 2008. Results - At our institute in the last seven years, we treated 83 patients with secondary and six patients with primary hydrocephalus. The majority of hydrocephalus was of post traumatic origin (52) and remaining 23 following stroke (SAH, AVM, ICH) or brain operation (tumour - seven, and one cranioplasty), and all these patients had undergone ventricular shunt implantation. Mean age of patients was 36 (14-80) years. Hydrocephalus was diagnosed in our rehabilitation unit in 20 of 83 cases and the other patients were shunted before transfer to our unit. The median time point of shunting was 70 (range: 20-270) days after trauma, brain surgery or stroke. Post-operative complications were seen in 12 of 89 patients: six infections and six shunt failure and revision was necessary in 14%. In PTH cases, the post-operative improvement was seen in 40 of 52 patients being shunted and corresponded to FIM scores. At the other 31 cases, with non-traumatic origin, only two patients remain unchanged. Conclusions - Hydrocephalus is considered to be a frequent and important complication after severe brain damage. The incidence of hydrocephalus treated with shunt implantation in our neuro-rehabilitation unit was 4.4%. The postoperative improvement was 77%. Posttraumatic hydrocephalus concerns 5.2% of patients with severe TBI during last seven years in our institution. Diagnosis of posttraumatic hydrocephalus was established in 24%, and complication after shunt implantation (14%) was also recognized in the post-acute rehabilitation unit. It is strongly recommended for the team working at such type of units to obtain clinical practice. Teamwork, good cooperation between acute and postacutecare is necessary for successful rehabilitation of these patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Classical neurology: Adieu! Or: what is the future of hungarian neurology, fruitful transformation or preprogrammed death?]


[According to our oppinion several ideas, trends and aims of the traditional neurology became outworn. (So together with all the romantic beauty and hierarchic relations: Adieu!). The specialisation within the main body of the profession is unavoidable. A new, high quality, cost-benefit sensitive, institutional system should be built up, non essentially on inpatient, but on outpatient basis, supported by a personal and partnership oriented patient/doctor relationship, with multidiszciplinatory co-operations and team-work. Education should be also rebuilt accordingly. This analysis of the present situation and recommendations for the future plans was given - since our ages - without any personal interest or attraction. We tried to keep before us only the future of our beloved profession, the preservation of worths, and the exploration of the withdrawing dogmatic views. We invite everybody who is interested in the current questions of our profession to share their oppinion with the whole neurological society and take part in open discussion of these important questions.]

All articles in the issue

Related contents

Clinical Neuroscience

[Examining the psychometric properties of a new quality of life questionnaire in migraineurs]


[Background - The deleterious effect of primary headaches on the sufferers’ quality of life (QOL) has been abundantly documented using both generic and headache-specific instruments. The currently used questionnaires focus on a limited number of factors and therefore may not be sensitive enough to detect the effect of headache type and headache characteristics on QOL, despite the obvious clinical differences. We have devised a comprehensive questionnaire that may be more sensitive to the burden of headache. Objective - To assess the psychometric properties of the new questionnaire on a group of migraineurs. Patients and method - We studied 117 migraineurs who completed the validated Hungarian version of the SF-36 generic QOL measure and our new, 25-item questionnaire. Reliability was assessed by internal consistency, measured by Cronbach’s a of all items. Content validity was exam- ined by calculating the correlation of the items with subscales of the SF-36 measure. The correlation of the patients’ migraine characteristics with the questionnaire’s items was used to assess criterion validity. Results - The questionnaire was quick and easy to administer. The questionnaire demonstrated good reliability, with Cronbach’s alpha being 0.893. Content validity was adequate; most “physical” items of the new questionnaire showed significant correlations with the bodily pain and role physical SF-36 subscales and most “psychical” and “social” items were correlated with mental health and social functioning SF-36 subscales. Criterion validity was adequate, with headache severity being correlated with most of the items. Discussion - In this study the new headache-specific quality of life instrument showed adequate psychometric properties.]

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.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[End of the line? Addenda to the health and social care career of psychiatric patients living in Hungary’s asylums]


[The authors are focusing on a special type of long term psychiatric care taking place in Hungary outside of the conventional mental health care system, by introducing some institutional aspects of the not well known world of so called social homes for psychiatric patients (asylums). After reviewing several caracteristics of institutional development of psychiatric care in Hun­gary based on selected Hungarian and in­ternational historical sources, the main struc­tural data of present Hungarian institutional capacities of psychiatric health and social care services are shown. Finally, the authors based on own personal experiences describe several functional ascpects of the largest existing asylum in EU, a so­cial home for long term care of psychiatric pa­tients. By the beginning of the 20th century, Hungarian psychiatric institutions were operating on an infrastructure of three large mental hospitals standing alone and several psychiatric wards incorporated into hospitals. Nevertheless, at the very first session of the Psychiatrists’ Conference held in 1900 many professionals gave warning: mental institutions were overcrowded and the quality of care provided in psychiatric hospital wards, many of which located in the countryside of Hungary, in most cases was far from what would have been professionally acceptable. The solution was seen in the building of new independent mental hospitals and the introduction of a family nursing institution already established in Western Europe; only the latter measure was implemented in the first half of the 20th century but with great success. However, as a result of the socio-political-economic-ideological turn following the Second World War, the institution of family nursing was dismantled while different types of psychiatric care facilities were developed, such as institutionalised hospital and outpatient care. In the meantime, a new type of institution emerged in the 1950s: the social home for psychiatric pa­tients, which provided care for approximately the same number of chronic psychiatric patients nationwide as the number of functioning hospital beds for acute psychiatric patients. This have not changed significantly since, while so­cial homes for psychiatric patients are perhaps less visible to the professional and lay public nowadays, altough their operational conditions are deteriorating of late years. Data show, that for historical reasons the current sys­tem of inpatient psychiatric care is proportionately arranged between health care and social care institutions; each covering one third. Further research is needed to fully explore and understand the current challenges that the system of psychiatric care social- and health care institu­tions are facing. An in-depth analysis would significantly contribute to the comprehensive improvement of the quality of services and the quality of lives of patients, their relatives and the health- and social care professionals who support them. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The quality of life of the cluster headache patients during the active phase of the headache]


[Introduction - Cluster headache (CH), which affects 0.1% of the population, is one of the most painful human conditions: despite adequate treatment, the frequent and severe headaches cause a significant burden to the patients. According to a small number of previous studies, CH has a serious negative effect on the sufferers’ quality of life (QOL). In the current study, we set out to examine the quality of life of the CH patients attending our outpatient service between 2013 and 2016, using generic and headache-specific QOL instruments. Methods - A total of 42 CH patients (16 females and 26 males; mean age: 39.1±13.5 years) completed the SF-36 generic QOL questionnaire and the headache- specific CHQQ questionnaire (Comprehensive Headache- related Quality of life Questionnaire), during the active phase of their headache. Their data were compared to those of patients suffering from chronic tension type headache (CTH) and to data obtained from controls not suffering from significant forms of headache, using Kruskal-Wallis tests. Results - During the active phase of the CH, the patients’ generic QOL was significantly worse than that of normal controls in four of the 8 domains of the SF-36 instrument. Apart from a significantly worse result in the ‘Bodily pain’ SF-36 domain, there were no significant differences between the CH patients’ and the CTH patients’ results. All the dimensions and the total score of the headache-specific CHQQ instrument showed significantly worse QOL in the CH group than in the CTH group or in the control group. Conclusion - Cluster headache has a significant negative effect on the quality of life. The decrease of QOL experienced by the patients was better reflected by the headache-specific CHQQ instrument than by the generic SF-36 instrument. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Treatment of dystonia by deep brain stimulation: a summary of 40 cases]

DELI Gabriella, BALÁS István, KOMOLY Sámuel, DÓCZI Tamás, JANSZKY József, ILLÉS Zsolt, ASCHERMANN Zsuzsanna, TASNÁDI Emese, NAGY Ferenc, PFUND Zoltán, BÓNÉ Beáta, BOSNYÁK Edit, KULIFFAY Zsolt, SZIJJÁRTÓ Gábo

[Background - Bilateral pallidal deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an established treatment option for primary generalized and segmental dystonia. In the present study we evaluated the results of our dystonia patients treated by DBS. Methods - The surgical results of forty consecutive dystonia patients underwent DBS implantation were analyzed (age: 43.7±17.7 years; sex: 22 men; etiology: 24 primary and 16 secondary dystonia; topography: 24 generalized, 12 segmental and four hemidystonia; disease duration: 16.1±9.3 years). Severity of dystonia measured by Burke-Fahn-Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale (BFMDRS) and health-related quality of life measured by EQ-5D scale were obtained preoperatively and compared to the scores obtained at postoperative six months and subsequent yearly follow-ups. The average follow-up lasted 2.5 years (median, 0.5-8 years). In all cases the BFMDRS scores were re-evaluated by a rater blinded to the treatment. Treatment responsiveness was defined as an at least 25% improvement on the BFMDRS scores. Non-parametric Mann-Whitney, McNemar and Kruskal-Wallis tests were applied to test statistical significance. Results - Severity of dystonia improved from 31 to 10 points (median, 68% improvement, p<0.01) in the primary dystonia group, whereas in secondary dystonia these changes were statistically insignificant (improvement from 40 to 31.5 points, 21.2%, p>0.05). However, the health-related quality of life significantly improved in both groups (primary dystonia: 0.378 vs. 0.788 and secondary dystonia: 0.110 vs. 0.388, p<0.01). Significantly more patients in the primary dystonia group responded to DBS treatment than those in the secondary dystonia group (83.3% vs. 37.5%, p<0.01). Conclusion - Our results are in accordance with previously published international findings demonstrating that DBS is a highly effective and long-lasting treatment option for primary dystonia. DBS is considerably less efficient in secondary dystonia; however, it still has a high impact on the quality of life presumably due to its pain-relieving effect.]