Clinical Neuroscience

[Status epilepticus and its treatment - Update 2013]

GYIMESI Csilla, JUHOS Vera, HORVÁTH Réka, BÓNÉ Beáta, TÓTH Márton, FOGARASI András, KOMOLY Sámuel, JANSZKY József

NOVEMBER 30, 2013

Clinical Neuroscience - 2013;66(11-12)

[Our study provides an overview of the results and guidelines published on the treatment of status epilepticus in the last five years. In recent years, as a result of scientific observations and collected data, the definition of and treatment approach to status epilepticus have been refined and novel therapeutic methods have been developed. The updated guidelines provide guidance in everyday medical practice. However, only a relatively small number of randomized studies are available on status epilepticus, especially in second-line treatment and third-line treatment, thus it is difficult to transfer the newest methods into clinical practice and into updates to treatment protocols. Due to the nature and epidemiology of the disease, the treatment of status epilepticus remains a daily challenge for healthcare providers. The key points of an effective treatment are: expeditiously initiating appropriate therapy, concurrent causal treatment and anticonvulsant therapy, early detection of nonconvulsive status epilepticus, as well as avoiding "overtreatment" and side effects.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Post-operative management of primary glioblastoma multiforme in patients over 60 years of age]

DARÓCZI Borbála, SZÁNTÓ Erika, TÓTH Judit, BARZÓ Pál, BOGNÁR László, BAKÓ Gyula, SZÁNTÓ János, MÓZES Petra, HIDEGHÉTY Katalin

[Background and purpose - Optimal treatment for elderly patients with glioblastoma multiforme is not well defined. We evaluated the efficacy of post-operative radiotherapy with or without concomitant and/or adjuvant temozolomide in patients aged ≥60 years to assess survival and identify prognostic factors of survival. Methods - A retrospective analysis of overall survival and progression-free survival in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme aged ≥60 years treated with postoperative radiotherapy with or without temozolomide chemotherapy was conducted at our institutions. Prognostic factors were determined by univariate and multivariate analyses. Results - Of 75 study participants (54.7% male; median age at first diagnosis, 65.1 years), 29 (38.7%) underwent gross total resection, whereas others underwent partial resection or biopsy only. All but 1 patient received radiotherapy. Twenty patients received concomitant temozolomide only. Adjuvant temozolomide (1-50 cycles) was administered in 42 patients; 16 received ≥6 cycles. Median overall survival was 10.3 months. One- and 2-year overall survival rates were 42.6% and 6.7%, respectively. Median progression-free survival was 4.1 months. Radiochemotherapy was generally well tolerated. Median overall survival was 15.3 and 29.6 months for patients who received 6-12 cycles and >12 cycles of adjuvant temozolomide, respectively. There were no significant differences in overall survival between age groups (60-64, 65-69, and ≥70 years). Adjuvant temozolomide, Karnofsky performance status ≥70, and additional surgery after progression were significant prognostic factors of longer overall survival (p<0.05). Conclusions: Radiochemotherapy, including ≥6 cycles of adjuvant temozolomide, was safe and prolonged survival of glioblastoma patients aged ≥60 years. Aggressive therapy should not be withheld from patients aged ≥60 years with good performance status because of age.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Treatment possibilities in advanced Parkinson’s disease]

TAKÁTS Annamária, NAGY Helga, RADICS Péter, TÓTH Adrián, GERTRÚD Tamás

[In the course of Parkinson’s disease, advanced and late stages can be distinguished. In the advanced stage, levodopa has good effect on motor symptoms, but patient care is often hindered by levodopa-induced complications such as motor fluctuation and dyskinesias. In the late stage levodopa response becomes poor, falls, dementia and psychotic symptoms appear and patients often need hospitalization. In the advanced stage, the quality of life may be improved better by device-aided therapy than by best oral medical treatment. The alternatives are apomorhin pump, levodopa carbidopa intestinal gel with pump and deep brain stimulation. The therapy plan should be based on the principle: “the right treatment, to the right patient, in the right time”.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Psychosis as a process - New implications of staging models of schizophrenia]

HALMAI Tamás, TÉNYI Tamás

[The article discusses contributing factors in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. In the last fifteen years, the emphasis has shifted from curative to prodromal and premorbid characteristics of later schizophrenia patients. Nevertheless, most studies are limited to the area of early detection and intervention of schizophrenia with much fewer focusing on actual prevention. A more general preventive approach not limited to psychotic condition is clearly underestimated. Following a review of current literature on prodromal approaches and identified premorbid markers of schizophrenia, the article outlines a possible trajectory of later psychotic condition with detectable, distinct stages from birth on. Based on this extended staging model involving neurotoxic impact and early prefrontal-limbic dysfunction, it argues for a refined, phase-specific treatment protocol including preventive interventions. Accepting a model of schizophrenia as an illness with detectable, phase-specific signs and symptoms from infancy on leads to the need to implement preventive interventions. Through this approach, we could, in the optimal case, be able to identify early signs of neuromotoric and cognitive dysfunction not specific for psychosis. Furthermore, it would be useful to lay greater emphasis on the detection of these early signs in the training of health care professionals. This approach calls for a close cooperation between psychologists, psychiatrists, neuropsychologists and special education experts and a change in the way we view psychotic illness.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Diffusion MRI measured white matter microstructure as a biomarker of neurodegeneration in preclinical Huntington’s disease]

KINCSES Tamás Zsigmond, SZABÓ Nikoletta, TÓTH Eszter, ZÁDORI Dénes, FARAGÓ Péter, NÉMETH Dezsõ, JANACSEK Karolina, BABOS Magor, KLIVÉNYI Péter, VÉCSEI László

[Background - Huntington’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease, genetically determined by CAG trinucleotide expansions in the IT15 gene. The onset of the symptoms is related to the number of CAG triplets. Because the patients are asymptomatic in the early phase of the disease, in vivo biomarkers are needed to follow up the neurodegeneration and to test putative neuroprotective approaches. One such promising biomarker is the diffusion MRI measured microstructural alteration of the white matter. Methods - Seven presymtomatic, mutation carriers and ten age-matched healthy controls were included in the study. Diffusion parameters were compared between groups and correlated with measures describing neurodegeneration. In order to reduce the possible misregistration bias due to atrophy the analysis was restricted to the core of each fibre bundles as defined by maximal fractional anisotropy (Tract- Based Spatial Statistics). Results - Decreased fractional anisotropy, along with increased mean, parallel and perpendicular diffusivity was found in white matter tracts, mainly in the corpus callosum. An inverse correlation was detected between the fractional anisotropy and neurodegeneration score (derived from the number of CAG triplets and the patient age) from the areas of the left precentral gyrus, frontal lobe, corpus callosum and the capsula extrema. Altered diffusion parameters are promising biomarkers of the neurodegeneration in Huntington’s disease.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[EDITORIAL COMMENT]

KOZÁK Lajos Rudolf

[Editorial comment 2013;66(11-12)]

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Clinical Neuroscience

Cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine for the treatment of Alzheimer and non-Alzheimer dementias

BALÁZS Nóra , BERECZKI Dániel, KOVÁCS Tibor

In aging societies, the morbidity and mortality of dementia is increasing at a significant rate, thereby imposing burden on healthcare, economy and the society as well. Patients’ and caregivers’ quality of life and life expectancy are greatly determined by the early diagnosis and the initiation of available symptomatic treatments. Cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine have been the cornerstones of Alzheimer’s therapy for approximately two decades and over the years, more and more experience has been gained on their use in non-Alzheimer’s dementias too. The aim of our work was to provide a comprehensive summary about the use of cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and non-Alzheimers’s dementias.

Clinical Neuroscience

Management of bone metabolism in epilepsy

UÇAN TOKUÇ Ezgi Firdevs , FATMA Genç, ABIDIN Erdal, YASEMIN Biçer Gömceli

Many systemic problems arise due to the side effects of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) used in epilepsy patients. Among these adverse effects are low bone mineral density and increased fracture risk due to long-term AED use. Although various studies have supported this association with increased risk in recent years, the length of this process has not been precisely defined and there is no clear consensus on bone density scanning, intervals of screening, and the subject of calcium and vitamin D supplementation. In this study, in accordance with the most current recommendations, our applications and data, including the detection of possible bone mineralization disorders, treatment methods, and recommendations to prevent bone mineralization disorders, were evaluated in epilepsy patients who were followed up at our outpatient clinic. It was aimed to draw attention to the significance of management of bone metabolism carried out with appropriate protocols. Epilepsy patients were followed up at the Antalya Training and Research Hospital Department of Neurology, Epilepsy Outpatient Clinic who were at high risk for osteoporosis (use of valproic acid [VPA] and enzyme-inducing drugs, using any AED for over 5 years, and postmenopausal women) and were evaluated using a screening protocol. According to this protocol, a total of 190 patients suspected of osteoporosis risk were retrospectively evaluated. Four patients were excluded from the study due to secondary osteoporosis. Of the 186 patients who were included in the study, 97 (52.2%) were women and 89 (47.8%) were men. Prevalence of low bone mineral density (BMD) was 42%, in which osteoporosis was detected in 11.8% and osteopenia in 30.6% of the patients. Osteoporosis rate was higher at the young age group (18-45) and this difference was statistically significant (p=0.018). There was no significant difference between male and female sexes according to osteoporosis and osteopenia rates. Patients receiving polytherapy had higher osteoporosis rate and lower BMD compared to patients receiving monotherapy. Comparison of separate drug groups according to osteoporosis rate revealed that osteoporosis rate was highest in patient groups using VPA+ carbamazepine (CBZ) (29.4%) and VPA polytherapy (19.4%). Total of osteopenia and osteoporosis, or low BMD, was highest in VPA polytherapy (VPA+ non-enzyme-inducing AED [NEID]) and CBZ polytherapy (CBZ+NEID) groups, with rates of 58.3% and 55.1%, respectively. In addition, there was no significant difference between drug groups according to bone metabolism markers, vitamin D levels, and osteopenia-osteoporosis rates. Assuming bone health will be affected at an early age in epilepsy patients, providing lifestyle and diet recommendations, avoiding polytherapy including VPA and CBZ when possible, and evaluating bone metabolism at regular intervals are actions that should be applied in routine practice.

Clinical Neuroscience

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

YASAR Altun, ERDOGAN Yasar

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

[Personalised epilepsy treatment]

ALTMANN Anna

[Epilepsy is one of the most common chronic neurological disease in childhood. Patients with epilepsy – even with so-called benign epilepsy – need medication for years. During this time, children go through a very big change, not only gaining weight and height, but also changing hormonal and metabolic processes. Maturation processes in different brain areas also take place at different rates depending on age. All of these should be considered when preparing a therapeutic plan. In everyday practice after the diagnosis of epilepsy, the applied drug is most often selected based on the shape and type of seizure. However, a number of other factors need to be considered when designing a therapeutic strategy: 1. efficacy (form of epilepsy, type of seizure), 2. age, gender, 3. pharmacological properties of the drug, 4. adverse drug reaction profile, 5. lifestyle (community), figure (skinny, corpulent, obese), 6. other comorbidities (nutrition, behavioral and learning problems, circulatory disorders, kidney or liver disease), 7. expected interactions with other drugs already used, 8. genetics, 9. other aspects (drug registration and prescription rules). The purpose of this article is to help to decide which antiepileptic drugs are expected to have the least side effects in a particular child with different comorbidities and which medications should be avoided if possible.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Treatment of complex regional pain syndrome with amitriptyline]

KOMOLY Sámuel

[Introduction - Complex regional pain syndrome is a di­stressing neuropathic pain condition without known etiology and evidence based treatment. Case presentation - Here a posttraumatic severe case of complex regional pain syndrome is presented, successfully treated by amitriptyline monotherapy. Amitriptyline is one of the most effective evidence based treatments of peri­pheral diabetic neuropathic pain and other neuropathic pain syndromes. Discussion - Amitriptyline seems to be effective to decrease pain, autonomic and motor symptoms in chronic regional pain syndrome. Conclusion - Controlled trials may be warranted to test the effectiveness of amitriptyline in complex regional pain syndrome.]