Clinical Neuroscience

Symptom profiles and parental bonding in homicidal versus non-violent male schizophrenia patients

HALMAI Tamás, TÉNYI Tamás, GONDA Xénia

JANUARY 20, 2017

Clinical Neuroscience - 2017;70(01-02)


Objective - To compare the intensity and the profile of psychotic symptoms and the characteristics of parental bonding of male schizophrenia patients with a history of homicide and those without a history of violent behaviour. Clinical question - We hypothesized more intense psychotic symptoms, especially positive symptoms as signs of a more severe psychopathology in the background of homicidal behaviour. We also hypothesized a more negatively perceived pattern (less Care more Overprotection) of parental bonding in the case of homicidal schizophrenia patients than in non-violent patients and non-violent healthy controls. Method and subjects - Symptom severity and symptom profiles were assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale in a group of male schizophrenia patients (n=22) with the history of committed or attempted homicide, and another group (n=19) of male schizophrenia patients without a history of violent behaviour. Care- and Overprotection were assessed using the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI) in a third group of non-violent healthy controls (n=20), too. Results - Positive, negative and general psychopathology symptoms in the homicidal schizophrenia group were significantly (p<0.005) more severe than in the non-violent schizophrenia group. Non-violent schizophrenia patients scored lower on Care and higher on Overprotection than violent patients and healthy controls. Homicidal schizophrenia patients showed a pattern similar to the one in the healthy control group. Conclusions - It seems imperative to register intense positive psychotic symptoms as predictive markers for later violent behaviour. In the subgroup of male homicidal schizophrenia patients negatively experienced parental bonding does not appear to be major contributing factor to later homicidal behaviour.



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Clinical Neuroscience

Patient with a spontaneously evolving carotid cavernous fistula in the emergency department

SZABÓ István, ZAG Levente, CSONTOS Amarilla, TAKÁCS F. Irma, SZIKORA István

Background - Approximately 2% of patients admitted to the emergency department present with headache, which is often associated with vomiting, ocular pain, and earache. In rare cases, the presence of an abnormal communication between a cavernous sinus and the carotid arterial system that creates a carotid cavernous fistula is the main cause of these symptoms. Case presentation - A 32-year-old woman presented at the emergency department with unilateral headache associated with earache on the same side, and pulsating tinnitus. On examination, we observed unusual appearance of our patient (small stature, unusually visible skin, lobeless ears). In the first 5 hours of our observation no neurological symptoms had been present, but after a severe vomiting, exophthalmos, subconjunctival suffusion and moderate ptosis developed. First, regarding the initial general symptoms, otorhinolaryngologist assessed the patient, and did not find any abnormality. Further, we ordered computed tomography and consulted a neurologist. Despite of the negative results we continued the observation because her symptoms did not improve. After appearance of neurological symp-toms, carotid cavernous fistula was suspected. Magnetic resonance imaging and ophthalmologist consultation verified the diagnosis. For therapy, she was transferred to interventional neuroradiology. Because of the unusual appearance and carotic cavernous fistula, we ordered genetic examination. This indicated the presence of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome type IV in the background. The first major manifestation of the syndrome was observed at our department. Conclusions - Carotid cavernous fistula is an uncommon diagnosis in the emergency department; however, the early recognition of symptoms and early treatment can prevent further consequences of this potentially severe condition.

Clinical Neuroscience

Combination of severe facial and cervical vascular malformation with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome: diagnostic and therapeutic approaches

FALUDI Béla, IMRE Marianna, BÜKI András, KOMOLY Sámuel, LUJBER László

The combination of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and vascular malformation within the head and neck region is a rare condition, and interestingly, only a few cases have recently been published. Propagation of the vascular mass to the larynx and pharynx can cause breathing and swallowing difficulties. Due to these sypmtoms, examination and initiation of appropriate therapy for such patients are indeed challenging. We reviewed the literature available and present our case of a 64 year old woman emphasizing the complaints of sleep apnea syndrome and vascular malformation of the face and neck region. Polygraphic examination detected severe obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. The MR examination of the neck revealed extensive vascular mass narrowing the pharyngo-laryngeal region, thereby causing temporal bone destruction on the right side with intracranial propagation. ENT examination demonstrated significant narrowing of the pharyngeal lumen and the laryngeal aditus caused by multiple hemangiomas. CPAP titration showed the minimalization of the apnea-hypopnea index on the effective pressure level. Regular CPAP usage resulted in diminishing a majority of the patient’s complaints. Our examination clearly demonstrates, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome coupled with significantly obstructing vascular malformation in the head and neck region can be effectively treated safely with a CPAP device, if surgical therapy is not possible. We summarized our findings and the data available in the literature to set up recommendations for the appropriate examination and therapy (including mask fit, etc.) of vascular malformations and hemangiomas causing pharyngo-laryngeal obstruction.

Clinical Neuroscience

The timing of weaning alters the vulnerability to stress-induced gastric erosion in adult rats

LUDMILA Filaretova, LUDMILA Vataeva, ZELENA Dóra

Background - Weaning is an important period of life and its timing may influence the resilence for later stress. One of the most important stress-related disorder is gastric ulceration. Purpose and methods - Therefore we aimed to investigate the sensitivity of gastric mucosa to cold (at 16°C) water immersion stress (WIS for 3h) in adult (75-day-old) female and male rats after weaning them at different timepoints (at 17, 21, 30, 36 or 42 postnatal days). The connection with stress was studied by comparing control groups to those underwent WIS at the time of weaning and measuring corticosterone levels at the time of collecting the stomach samples. Results - The timing of weaning has strong impact on all studied parameters. Stress-induced erosion development was the smallest in rats weaned at 36-day independently from preconditioning with WIS at weaning, or sex, despite a clear sex-effect on blood corticosterone levels and body weight. WIS at weaning influenced only the body weight in adult rats weaned at 30-day, being higher in stressed than in control groups. There was no clear overall correlation between erosion area and blood corticosterone measures. Conclusions - Taken together our results confirm that the timing of weaning has long-lasting impact on the resiliance of gastric mucosa to ulcerogenic stressful events. In rats the postnatal day 30-36 seems to be optimal for weaning in both sexes as both earlier and later weaning increased vulnerability. Females seems to be more vulnerable to the effect of weaning than males.

Clinical Neuroscience

Eating behaviors among the participants of an inpatient weight loss treatment


Background and purpose - Eating behaviors play a crucial role in the development and maintenance of excess weight. The aim of the study was to explore the predictors and changes in eating behaviors among overweight and obese patients. Methods - The sample of the 6-month prospective survey consisted of patients who participated in the inpatient weight loss treatment program in the Lipidological Department of the Szent Imre Hospital (baseline: N=339, 19% men; follow-up: N=175, 16% men). The mean age was 50.2 years (SD=13.47), the mean BMI was 38.6 (SD=7.58) at baseline. Measures: self-reported anthropometric data, Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire Revised 21-Items, CES-D Depression Scale. Results - According to the results of Multiple Indicators and Multiple Causes analysis, older age predicted greater cognitive restraint (b=0.12, p=0.047). Women were more prone to emotional eating than men (b=0.21, p<0.001). Higher levels of education predicted greater uncontrolled eating (b=0.16, p=0.007) and emotional eating (b=0.12, p=0.039). Depression showed a positive relationship with emotional eating (b=0.19, p=0.001), and mediated the relationship between gender and emotional eating (b=0.04, p=0.009), and BMI and emotional eating (b=0.03, p=0.015). Those whose weight loss was at least 5% showed a greater improvement in the eating behaviors than those whose weight loss was below 5% (cognitive restraint: t(168)=-4.765, p<0.001, uncontrolled eating: t(168)=-2.442, p=0.016, and emotional eating: Z=-2.011, p=0.044). Conclusions - Results reveal certain determinants of eating behaviors that enhance or obstruct successful long term weight loss and highlight the role of eating behavior changes in weight loss. These mark intervention points for the optimization of results achievable by weight loss treatments.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Thrombolysis in case of ischemic stroke caused by aortic dissection]

LANTOS Judit, NAGY Albert, HEGEDŰS Zoltán, BIHARI Katalin

[Seldom, an acute aortic dissection can be the etiology of an acute ischemic stroke. The aortic dissection typically presents with severe chest pain, but in pain-free dissection, which ranges between 5-15% of the case, the neurological symptoms can obscure the sypmtos of the dissection. By the statistical data, there are 15-20 similar cases in Hungary in a year. In this study we present the case history of an acute ischemic stroke caused by aortic dissection, which is the first hungarian publication in this topic. A 59-year-old man was addmitted with right-gaze-deviation, acute left-sided weakness, left central facial palsy and dysarthric speech. An acute right side ischemic stroke was diagnosed by physical examination without syptoms of acute aortic dissection. Because, according to the protocol it was not contraindicated, a systemic intravenous thrombolysis was performed. The neurological sypmtoms disappeared and there were no complication or hypodensity on the brain computed tomography (CT). 36 hours after the thrombolysis, the patient become restlessness and hypoxic with back pain, without neurological abnormality. A chest CT was performed because of the suspition of the aortic dissection, and a Stanford-A type dissection was verified. After the acute aortic arch reconstruction the patient died, but there was no bleeding complication at the dissection site caused by the thrombolysis. This case report draws attention to the fact that aortic dissection can cause acute ischemic stroke. Although it is difficult to prove it retrospectively, we think the aortic dissection, without causing any symptoms or complain, had already been present before the stroke. In our opinion both the history of our patient and literature reviews confirms that in acute stroke the thrombolysis had no complication effect on the aortic dissection but ceased the neurological symptoms. If the dissection had been diagnosed before the thrombolysis, the aortic arch reconstruction would have been the first step of the treatment, without thrombolysis. ]

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Clinical Neuroscience

TLR4 (Toll-like receptor-4) expression and frontal-cingulate volumes in schizophrenia

LI Hua, KÉRI Szabolcs

Evidence suggests that pathogen-associated pattern recognition receptors (Toll-like receptors, TLRs) are implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. TLRs are important in both peripheral immune responses and neuronal plasticity. However, the relationship between peripheral TLR expression and regional brain volumes is unknown in schizophrenia. We therefore assessed 30 drug-naïve, first-episode patients with schizophrenia. TLR4+/TLR1+ monocytes were measured using flow-cytometry. High resolution magnetic resonance images (T1 MRI) were obtained and analyzed with FreeSurfer. Results revealed significant negative correlations between the percentage of TLR4+ monocytes, mean fluorescent intensities, and brain volumes in frontal and anterior cingulate regions. The measures of TLR1+ monocytes did not show significant relationships with regional brain volumes. These results raise the possibility that abnormal TLR-activation is associated with decreased brain volumes in schizophrenia.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Relationship between the efficacy of atypical antipsychotics and polymorphism of dopamine D3 receptor in schizophrenia]

SZEKERES György, JUHÁSZ Anna, KÉRI Szabolcs, RIMANÓCZY Ágnes, SZENDI István, SZABÓ Zoltán, JANKA Zoltán

[Object - Numerous relevant variants of dopamine receptors have been identified in schizophrenia. The Ser9Gly gene polymorphism of dopamine D3 receptor is known as a susceptibility factor for the disease. In addition, it has a role in the modification of therapeutic effect of antipsychotics. In this naturalistic study the authors investigated the relationship between this polymorphism and the therapeutic response to atypical antipsychotics. Method - 75 patients with schizophrenia according to DSM-IV and 45 healthy controlls were recruited. The patients were divided to responder and nonresponder subgroups, cut-off: >20 point improvement in Global Assessment of Functioning. By polymerase chain reaction the genotype of dopamine D3 receptor of every participant was determined. Results - The Ser9Ser genotype of dopamine D3 receptor was more frequent in the nonresponder subgroup (64%, p=0.0018). The Ser9 allele was overrepresented among nonresponder patients (82%, p=0.0172). Conclusion - Based on our results, the worse therapeutic response to atypical antipsychotics is associated with Ser9 variant of dopamine D3 receptor.]

Lege Artis Medicinae



[As many as 80% of patients with schizophrenia have serious problems with the compliance at some point during their course of their treatment. In most cases, patients are partially compliant, taking only a portion of their prescribed medication. Early warning signs of such partial compliance may confuse some clinicians with non-response to treatment and may result in switching these patients to alternative oral antipsychotic drugs. This review focuses on factors that can contribute to partial compliance such as poor insight, negative attitude or subjective response toward medication, cognitive dysfunction, treatment-related side effects, substance abuse and complicated treatment regimen. Partial compliance is among the most common causes of psychotic relapse and the need for rehospitalisation. The reduced incidence of adverse side effects such as extrapyramidal symptoms with atypical antipsychotic agents has the potential to improve compliance in the maintenance treatment of schizophrenia. Administration of a long-acting injectable antipsychotic provides confirmation of whether patients have taken their medication. Furthermore, it allows physicians to distinguish non-response and non-compliance. Strategies for managing partial compliance include the use of a long-acting injectable atypical antipsychotic, psychoeducation and cognitive-behavioural interventions.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Evaluation of symptom severity, functional status and anxiety levels in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome with different electrophysiological stages

SEVINC Gürses Eftal, TEKESIN Aysel, TUNC Abdulkadir

Objective - The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between electrophysiological stage, symptom severity, functional status and anxiety levels in patients with idiopathic carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Materials and methods - This study included 130 patients in the 25-79 age group who were classified as clinically and electrophysiologically idiopathic carpal tunnel syndrome in our electromyography (EMG) laboratory. Visual Analog Scale (VAS) was used to assess pain during rest and activity. The Boston Carpal Tunnel Scale (BCTS) was used to evaluate symptom severity and functional status. Symptom Severity Scale (SSS) and Functional Capacity Scale (FCS) were assessed separately as a part of BCTS. Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) was used for anxiety assessment. Results - A total of 130 patients (25 males and 105 females) were enrolled to this prospective study. The mean age of the patients was 46.95 ± 10.57 years. When the electrophysiological stage was increased, it was found that SSS score and FCS score were increased (p <0.001). No significant correlation was detected between electrophysiological stage and VAS or BAI score. There was a positive correlation between VAS scores and SSS, FCS and BAI scores (p <0.001). Symptom severity and functional status were correlated with anxiety scores (p <0.001). SSS and FCS values of stage III and above patients were significantly higher than Stage I and II CTS patients (p <0.01). Conclusion - In conclusion, our study showed a significant correlation between symptom severity, functional status and anxiety in CTS patients. This can be interpreted as the mental deterioration of individuals with more severe symptoms. On the other hand, additional psychiatric support options should be recommended in cases of moderate findings but anxious symptoms. Electrophysiological findings shouldn’t be sufficient to measure the effect of the disease on the person.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Multilocus genetic analysis implicates neurodevelopment and immune system in the etiology of schizophrenia]

PULAY Attila József, KOLLER Júlia, NAGY László, MOLNÁR Mária Judit, RÉTHELYI János

[Background - Schizophrenia is a severe psychiatric disorder of poorly understood etiology, characterized by high heritability, multifactorial inheritance and high heterogeneity. Multilocus associaton methods may reduce the genetic heterogeneity and improve the probability of replication between analyses. Objectives - The aims of our study were twofold: 1. To analyse genetic risk factors of schizophrenia by using multilocus genetic tests. 2. To assess the replication probability attributable to the various multilocus tests. Subjects - Discovery set: case-parent trios of unaffected parents and affected probands with a DSM-IV schizophrenia diagnosis (n=16); replication set: schizophrenia cases and unaffected controls (n=5337). Methods - Associations of single nucleotide and indel markers were transferred to gene- and geneset-based associations, furthermore to geneset-enrichment tests and functional annotation cluster analyses in a two-staged designs. Associations with p<0.1 from the discovery set were tested in the replication sample. Familywise p-value correction for multiple comparisons were performed during the replication step. Results - After correction for multiplicity, no significant association or enrichment were detected for gene-based nor canonical pathway analyses, but significant association of the 14q31 cytoband and enrichments of the 5q31 and Xq13 cytobands were found (p_corr: 0.002, 0.006 and 0.048, respectively). Functional annotation clustering yielded statistically significant enrichment scores for clusters of splicing/alternative splicing, neurodevelopment and embryonic development. Improvements in replication probabilty were found with increased test complexity (P_rep: 0, 0.015, 0.21). Conclusions - Our results corroborate the involvement of neurodevelopment, synaptic plasticity and immune mechanisms in the etiology of schizophrenia. Also, our findings indicated improvement of replication probability by using multilocus genetic analyses. ]