Clinical Neuroscience

[Stiff-person syndrome - two Hungarian cases and review of the literature]

LENGYEL András, LAKOS Gabriella, SIPKA Sándor, HEGEDÛS Katalin

JULY 10, 2005

Clinical Neuroscience - 2005;58(07-08)

[The stiff-man syndrome is a rare neurological disorder characterized by progressive stiffness of the axial muscles and co-contraction of agonist and antagonist muscles sometimes accompanied by involuntary sudden muscle spasms. The disease is thought to be caused by immunological changes leading to a GABA transmission disturbance, but the precise pathogenesis is not clear. Two Hungarian cases are presented in this article accompanied by a review of the literature. The aim of the paper is to call the attention on this presumably underdiagnosed disease. The diagnostic laboratory tests of the disease are available in Hungary.]



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[Frontotemporal dementia - Part II Differential diagnosis, genetics, molecular pathomechanism and pathology]

GALARIOTIS Vasilis, BÓDI Nikoletta, JANKA Zoltán, KÁLMÁN János

[This is a comprehensive paper in three parts covering history, prevalence, clinical forms, differential diagnosis, genetics, molecular pathomechanism, pathology, clinical diagnosis and treatment of frontotemporal dementia (FTD). The second part focuses on the differential diagnosis, genetics, molecular pathomechanism and pathology. The clinical diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia is based on the presence of a prominent disturbance of the executive function and of frontal lobe syndrome or a progressive aphasic syndrome without severe global cognitive impairment. Of other dementias, it is primarily Alzheimer’s disease that it should be differentiated from, but other psychiatric disorders must also be ruled out. The disease has familial and sporadic forms. Recent identification of mutations in the gene encoding the microtubule-associated tau protein in the inherited frontotemporal dementia and parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17 (FTDP-17) has demonstrated that various tau dysfunctions can lead to neurodegeneration. Tau gene mutations have varied effects on the biology and function of the protein. This heterogeneous pathomechanism explains the wide range of clinical and neuropathological features observed in the FTDP-17. Tau and ubiquitin antibodies can be detected by sensitive immunohistochemical methods. The diagnosis of FTD should be based on neuropathological examination, and this is also the only method by which it can be definitely differentiated from other types of dementias.]

Clinical Neuroscience



[Introduction - While it is several decades ago that electrophysiological studies in the early stages after an ischaemic stroke revealed spontaneous activity in the affected muscles, today few data are available on the peripheral changes in later stages after a cerebrovascular event. The aim of this study was to detect electrophysiological signs that could indicate changes at the motor unit level occurring within a longer post-stroke period. Patients and methods - Forty-four patients who had developed hemiparesis after an ischaemic stroke in the area of the middle cerebral artery were involved in the study. Motor and sensory nerve conduction studies and electromyography were carried out on each side on six nerves and in five muscles respectively. Values between the affected and unaffected side were compared by statistical methods. Results - In patients with hemiparesis present for less then nine months, low M wave amplitudes, fibrillation potentials and an increased number of complex motor unit potentials were found on the affected side; in patients with symptoms present for more then nine months the mean duration and size index of the motor unit potentials in the paretic abductor digiti minimi muscle were increased. These data suggest a process of neurogenic type. The signs of distal axonal damage observed in the early period after stroke have been replaced later by chronic neurogenic changes. These changes could be the consequence of spinal motor neuron damage and axonal transport disturbance due to the loss of supraspinal trophic inputs. Conclusion - The correlation between the extent of electrophysiological changes and of the central motor deficit of the patient indicates the importance of delaying this process by appropriate rehabilitation procedures.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Increasing cerebral perfusion pressure in serious cranial injury - contradictory effects of dopamine]

BARZÓ Pál, CZIGNER Andrea, ANTHONY Marmarou, ANDREW Beaumont, DEÁK Gábor, PANOS Fatouros, FRANK Corwin

[Background - Management of cerebral perfusion pressure is an important element of the treatment of traumatic brain injury. Vasopressors are accepted as a method of choice to increase mean arterial blood pressure and thus cerebral perfusion pressure in the face of rising intracranial pressure. There are, however, some unresolved issues and potential risks to this therapy. Matherial and methods - This study therefore examines the effects of dopamine on physiological changes as well as on brain edema and water content that can be readily assessed by MRI/MRS in 1. a rodent model of rapidly rising intracranial pressure, caused by diffuse injury with secondary insult and 2. a model of cortical contusion. Results - Dopamine was capable of restoring cerebral perfusion pressure in the model of rapidly rising intracranial pressure. However, this was associated with only a partial restoration of cerebral blood flow. In the brain tissue two profiles of change in the apparent diffusion coefficient of water (ADCw) were seen; one in which ADCw recovered to baseline, and one in which ADCw remained persistently low. Despite that dopamine did not alter these profiles, MRI-assessed tissue water content was increased four hours after injury and dopamine increased cerebral water content in both subgroups of injury, especially in the subgroup with a persistently low ADCw (p<0,01). In the contusion group dopamine significantly worsened the edema both in the injured and in the contralateral area of hippocampus and temporal cortex even though the ADCw values did not change, except for the contralateral hippocampus, where both water content and ADCw values rose with treatment, suggesting extracellular accumulation of water. Conclusion - The results suggest that dopamine has a double effect - while it temporarily and partially restores cerebral blood perfusion, at the same time it induces an increase in brain swelling and thus an increase in intracranial pressure in some cases. It is possible that in a subgroup of patients vasopressor treatment leads to an opposite effect several hours later. Vasopressor therapy in the clinical setting therefore should be cautiously applied.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Investigation of cerebral autoregulation in Parkinson’s disease]


[Background and purpose - The frequent orthostatic intolerance in Parkinson’s disease could be the consequence of cardiovascular autonomic failure and/or a damaged cerebral autoregulation (AR). To clarify this question the regulation of cerebral circulation was investigated by polygraphic method. Methods - On a tilt table simultaneous and continuous registrations were made of MCA velocity (VMCA) by transcranial Doppler, arterial blood pressure by non-invasive method, and end-tidal CO2, in supine and in tilted positions of 10°, 30°, 70° grades. The cerebral autoregulation was characterized by the slope of the curve of the arterial blood pressure at the level of the Willis-circle (BPW, as MCA perfusion pressure) plotted against the MCA velocity, achieved by linear regression (y=ax+b function, a=AR, or index of autoregulation). Patients - The data of 17 parkinsonian patients (PP) and eight age-matched controls (C) were analyzed. Results - The decrease of blood pressure in parkinsonian patients was significantly lower than in the controls when supine position was restored from 70° (ΔABP 70°-0°PP= -3.1±7.5 Hgmm; ΔABP 70°-0C°=-11.1±7.3 Hgmm; p<0.05), which suggests a damage to the sympathetic cardiovascular system. A disturbance of the cerebral autoregulation in patients was suggested by a progressively decreasing MCA average velocity (VMCA) during graded tilt, which was significiant at 70° (ΔVACM=9.8±8.82% cms-1; pCPP <0,05), and by a higher slope of pressure-velocity curve (ARC=0.143±0.125% cms-1/Hgmm; ARPP=0.38±0.25% cms-1/Hgmm; pC-PP<0.05). Conclusions - The results show that the cerebral blood flow of patients is more dependent on perfusion pressure compared to healthy controls. The disturbance of the sympathetic cardiovascular system and of cerebral autoregulation could be the consequence of a damage to the postganglionic structures in Parkinson’s disease. These results could explain the frequent orthostatic intolerance of patients even with normal blood pressure.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[125I brachytherapy of pineal parenchymal tumours]

JULOW Jenő, VIOLA Árpád, MAJOR Tibor, VALÁLIK István, SÁGI Sarolta, MANGEL László, KOVÁCS Rita Beáta, HÁVEL János, KISS Tibor

[Introduction - Pineal parenchymal tumours make up 0,3% of all brain tumours. Stereotactic biopsy has by now become an indispensable method to detect these tumours and it can be safely performed. Patients and method - Two patients with pineoblastoma were treated with 125I brachytherapy. The MRI and CT images taken 15 and 18 months after irradiation showed significant tumour shrinkage. Results - Tumour volume was 0.76 cm3 in the control CT image in Case 1, a shrinkage by 73% compared to 2.87 cm3 measured at the time of planning the interstitial irradiation. In Case 2, tumour volume measured on the control MRI examination was 0.29 cm3 as opposed to 1.27 cm3 of original tumour volume, which represents a 77% shrinkage. Conclusion - The insertion of isotope seeds was performed at the same time as the biopsy, because thus the knowledge of the histological diagnosis could spare the patients from a second stereotactic intervention. The CT- and image fusion guided 125I stereotactical brachytherapy is a procedure that can be dosimetrically precisely planned and surgically accurately and safely performed.]

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Related contents

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

Alexithymia is associated with cognitive impairment in patients with Parkinson’s disease

SENGUL Yildizhan, KOCAK Müge, CORAKCI Zeynep, SENGUL Serdar Hakan, USTUN Ismet

Cognitive dysfunction (CD) is a common non-motor symptom of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Alexithy­mia is a still poorly understood neuropsychiatric feature of PD. Cognitive impairment (especially visuospatial dysfunction and executive dysfunction) and alexithymia share com­mon pathology of neuroanatomical structures. We hypo­thesized that there must be a correlation between CD and alexithymia levels considering this relationship of neuroanatomy. Objective – The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between alexithymia and neurocognitive function in patients with PD. Thirty-five patients with PD were included in this study. The Toronto Alexithymia Scale–20 (TAS-20), Geriatric Depression Inventory (GDI) and a detailed neuropsychological evaluation were performed. Higher TAS-20 scores were negatively correlated with Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) similarities test score (r =-0.71, p value 0.02), clock drawing test (CDT) scores (r=-0.72, p=0.02) and verbal fluency (VF) (r=-0.77, p<0.01). Difficulty identifying feelings subscale score was negatively correlated with CDT scores (r=-0.74, p=0.02), VF scores (r=-0.66, p=0.04), visual memory immediate recall (r=-0.74, p=0.01). VF scores were also correlated with difficulty describing feelings (DDF) scores (r=-0.66, p=0.04). There was a reverse relationship bet­ween WAIS similarities and DDF scores (r=-0.70, p=0.02), and externally oriented-thinking (r=-0.77,p<0.01). Executive function Z score was correlated with the mean TAS-20 score (r=-62, p=0.03) and DDF subscale score (r=-0.70, p=0.01) Alexithymia was found to be associated with poorer performance on visuospatial and executive function test results. We also found that alexithymia was significantly correlated with depressive symptoms. Presence of alexithymia should therefore warn the clinicians for co-existing CD.

Hypertension and nephrology

[About the care of patients with hyperuricaemia and gout]

[This consensus document is intended to provide guidance for the effective and efficient treatment of asymptomatic individuals with high uric acid levels and gout patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[What happens to vertiginous population after emission from the Emergency Department?]

MAIHOUB Stefani, MOLNÁR András, CSIKÓS András, KANIZSAI Péter, TAMÁS László, SZIRMAI Ágnes

[Background – Dizziness is one of the most frequent complaints when a patient is searching for medical care and resolution. This can be a problematic presentation in the emergency department, both from a diagnostic and a management standpoint. Purpose – The aim of our study is to clarify what happens to patients after leaving the emergency department. Methods – 879 patients were examined at the Semmel­weis University Emergency Department with vertigo and dizziness. We sent a questionnaire to these patients and we had 308 completed papers back (110 male, 198 female patients, mean age 61.8 ± 12.31 SD), which we further analyzed. Results – Based on the emergency department diagnosis we had the following results: central vestibular lesion (n = 71), dizziness or giddiness (n = 64) and BPPV (n = 51) were among the most frequent diagnosis. Clarification of the final post-examination diagnosis took several days (28.8%), and weeks (24.2%). It was also noticed that 24.02% of this population never received a proper diagnosis. Among the population only 80 patients (25.8%) got proper diagnosis of their complaints, which was supported by qualitative statistical analysis (Cohen Kappa test) result (κ = 0.560). Discussion – The correlation between our emergency department diagnosis and final diagnosis given to patients is low, a phenomenon that is also observable in other countries. Therefore, patient follow-up is an important issue, including the importance of neurotology and possibly neurological examination. Conclusion – Emergency diagnosis of vertigo is a great challenge, but despite of difficulties the targeted and quick case history and exact examination can evaluate the central or peripheral cause of the balance disorder. Therefore, to prevent declination of the quality of life the importance of further investigation is high.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The role of sleep in the relational memory processes ]

CSÁBI Eszter, ZÁMBÓ Ágnes, PROKECZ Lídia

[A growing body of evidence suggests that sleep plays an essential role in the consolidation of different memory systems, but less is known about the beneficial effect of sleep on relational memory processes and the recognition of emotional facial expressions, however, it is a fundamental cognitive skill in human everyday life. Thus, the study aims to investigate the effect of timing of learning and the role of sleep in relational memory processes. 84 young adults (average age: 22.36 (SD: 3.22), 21 male/63 female) participated in our study, divided into two groups: evening group and morning group indicating the time of learning. We used the face-name task to measure relational memory and facial expression recognition. There were two sessions for both groups: the immediate testing phase and the delayed retesting phase, separated by 24 hours. 84 young adults (average age: 22.36 (SD: 3.22), 21 male/63 female) participated in our study, divided into two groups: evening group and morning group indicating the time of learning. We used the face-name task to measure relational memory and facial expression recognition. There were two sessions for both groups: the immediate testing phase and the delayed retesting phase, separated by 24 hours. Our results suggest that the timing of learning and sleep plays an important role in the stabilizing process of memory representation to resist against forgetting.]