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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Hypertension and nephrology

[Monitoring of the blood pressure lowering effectiveness of ramipril-amlodipine fix combination – a non-interventional trial (RAMONA study)]

TOMCSÁNYI János

[Purpose: Monitoring the effectiveness and safety of the fix combination formulation Egiramlon® therapy containing ramipril and amlodipin in patients, suffering from mild or moderate hypertension despite antihypertensive treatment. Patients and methods: Open, prospective, phase IV clinical observational study, which involved 9169 patients (age >18) with mild or moderate hypertension [TUKEB No: 16927- 1/2012/EKU (294/PI/12.)]. Ramipril/Amlodipin 5/5, 5/10, 10/5, 10/10 mg combinations were administered/ titrated in three visits, during the four months period according to the physician’s decision Blood pressure was measured by validated blood pressure sphygmomanometry and ABPM (Meditech, Hungary). The dosis of the fix combination formulation was determined individually during the visits by the 923 doctors involved in the study. The target blood pressure value was 140/90 mmHg, but in case of high risk patients population (diagnosed cardiovascular disease, diabetes), 130/90 mmHg target value was determined. Results: In 70.1% of the patients had no protocoll deviation. Patients data and examination results were processed according to this 6423 patient population. The average age of the patients were 60.2 year, in 50-50% sex distribution. The average duration of the treated hypertension was 9.8 years and the average blood pressure value was 157/91 mmHg. Till the end of the study, systolic blood pressure has decreased with 26.4 mmHg and diastolic pressure with 11.8 mmHg. An average 5.5 bpm heart rate frequency decreasing was observed at the end of the study. As a result of the treatment 52.4% of the patient population has reached the target blood pressure value.]

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.

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Epilepsy in coronavirus pandemic]

SZŰCS Anna, HALÁSZ Péter, NARULA Lalit

[We aim to review the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on epilepsy and epilepsy-care. While the virus has no specific link with epilepsy, it may affect the nervous system both directly and indirectly, leading to seizures in several ways. The hyper-coagulable state occurring with the infection may cause strokes leading to seizures. The infection may first manifest in the form of disturbances of consciousness and behaviour, seizures, and even status epilepticus. The interactions of antiviral/antiepileptic drugs need to be taken into account during treatment. The hypercoagulable state induced by COVID-2 infection may cause stroke, which leads to seizures. The infection can occur also as an impaired consciousness of non-epileptic origin. Interactions of antiviral/antiepileptic drugs have also to be taken into account. The pandemic itself as well as quarantines and social distancing may cause anxiety and insomnia, challenge continuous antiepileptic supply; each one carrying the risk of seizing. Young epilepsy patients with learning disabilities and mental health issues are most vulnerable, justifying their hyper-protection. The danger of infection has highlighted the role of telemedicine. Internet-based video communication may ensure full care for chro­nic patients. Those methods favour bes­­ted patients with higher education. Epilepsy does not increase directly the risk of infection, but its comorbidities may worsen the course of the disease. Brain lesions and hypoxia, stress, insomnia and fever joining the infection increase seizure susceptibility. Because the danger of infection ma­de telemedicine an essential tool of pa­tient care, education and better computer supply for those in need is crucial. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

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

RAJNA Péter

[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

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

JANSZKY József, HORVÁTH Réka, KOMOLY Sámuel

[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.]