Clinical Neuroscience

[Synopsis of Spine Surgery]

HOWARD S. An, KERN Singh, ET al

JANUARY 30, 2010

Clinical Neuroscience - 2010;63(01-02)



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[Frontotemporal dementia, Pick’s disease]

ANDREW Kertesz

[A significant expansion of knowledge in the last few years, especially in the molecular biology of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is summarized. This condition, formerly known as Pick’s disease and considered rare, is estimated to be 12-15% of all dementias and 30-50% early onset ones. The clinical picture is protean, mainly a behavioural and language impairment, but the extrapyramidal syndromes of CBD and PSP also belong. These seemingly different presentations converge, as one or other areas in the brain are affected. Less than half of the cases are tauopathies, the majority has been discovered to have a TDP-43 and most recently a FUS proteinopathy, shared with ALS, opening potential opportunities for pharmacological approaches to treatment. Tau and progranulin mutations on Ch-17 and some others, point to molecular mechanisms. A glossary is provided to navigate the complex terminology.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[How does the brain create rhythms?]


[Connection was found between rhythmic cortical activity and motor control. The 10 Hz μ-rhythm and the 20-30 Hz bursts represent two functional states of the somatomotor system. A correspondence of the central μ-rhythm of the motor cortex and the physiological hand tremor (8-12 Hz) is presumed. The precise tuning of the motor system can be estimated by the frequency of repetitive finger movements. In complex tapping exercise, the index finger is the most skillful, the 3rd, 4th and 5th fingers keep rhythm with less precision. It was found that the organization of mirror movements depends on the cortical representation of fingers. Mirror finger movements are more regular if the subject begins the motor action with the 5th (small) finger. Concerning cortical regulation of finger movements, it was suggested that there are two time-keeping systems in the brain; one with a sensitivity above and another with a sensitivity below the critical frequency of 3 Hz. The preferred meter which helps to maintain synchronous finger movements is the cadence of 4/4 and 8/8. We observed that the unlearned inward-outward sequential finger movement was equally impaired in nonmusician controls and patients with Parkinson-disease. In movement disorders, the ability of movement and the “clock-mechanism” are equally involved. The polyrhythmic finger movement is not our inborn ability, it has to be learned. The “timer” function, which regulates the rhythmic movement, is presumably localised in the basal ganglia or in the cerebellum. The meter of the music is built on the reciprocal values of 2 raised to the second to fifth power (1/12, 1/22, 1/23, 1/24, 1/25). The EEG frequencies that we consider important in the regulation of cons-cious motor actions are approximately in the same domain (4, 8, 16, 32, 64 Hz). During music performance, an important neural process is the coupling of distant brain areas. Concerning melody, the musical taste of Europeans is octavebased. Musical ornaments also follow the rule of the gothic construction, that is: pursuit of harmony towards the single one rising from the unification of 8-4-2 classes. Leibnitz concerned music as the unconscious mathematics of the soul. Movement-initiating effect of music is used in rehabilitation of patients with movement disorders. The meter and rhythm have superiority over the melody. It is possible that rhythmic movements can be generated also in the absence of sensory input and the central oscillators can produce “fictive motor patterns”.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Anterior cervical fusion on the lower cervical spine: own clinical experiences]


[Both acute and chronic instability of the cervical spine can be succesfully treated by anterior crevical fusion. The main goal is to create a spondylodesis through which the instable motion segments are fixed in the position defined by the surgeon. The spondylodesis is realised by the bone healing of the intervertebral space. The consolidation itself is facilitated by the operative stabilisation of the segments involved, and also by the implantation/transplantation of the osteoproductive/ osteoinductive materials. The sooner consolidation is achieved, the more likely it is to be able to avoid the material dependent complications and/or that of dislocation. So as to support this theory a retrospective clinical/radiological study was performed. During this the length and the safety of the consolidation was measured by applying various anterior cervical plating systems. A total of 485 patients having cervical injuries or degenerative disc disease were treated by anterior cervical plating. For bone transplantation partly pure autolog spongious partly autolog cortico-spongious morsalised bone chips, furthermore autolog tricortical bone block were applied. A standard protocoll was used for data collection, evaluation and also follow-up. The patients treated with plate systems were divided into 3 groups: Group 1: Non-locked H-plate system with autogeneous cancellous bone (155 trauma patients, for a total of 210 cervical motion segments, 1.35 segments/patients). Group 2: Non-locked H-plate system with tricortical autograft (167 patients, for a total of 290 cervical motion segments, 1.73 segments/patients). Group 3: Locked cervical plate system with tricortical autograft (73 patients, for a total of 110 cervical motion segments, 1.5 segments/patients). Patients treated with standalone cage belong to group 4. These cages were filled with autogenous cortico-spongiosus bone chips (90 patients, for a total of 90 cervical motion segments, 1.0 segments/patients). Evaluations included postoperative clinical, X-ray and CT examination, and follow-ups at 6, 16, 52, and 104 weeks. We established three grades, and classified the degree of bony fusion between the graft and vertebra: not-yet-fused, fused or non-union. When evaluating the results the following statements/observations were made: a) There is a fast and safe consolidation in the case of those patients that underwent dinamic disc osteosynthesis (p=0.00001). b) Whereas performing fixation with non-locked or locked screw plate systems and strutgrafted with tricortical autograft created prolonged healing requiring months and developed non-unions more often (non-locked screw-plate system versus locked screwplate system) (p>0.05). c) Using locked screw-plate fixation systems non-union rate in our study was 21%, suggesting that this form of fixation has only a limited use. d) In our study complete consolidation without pseudoarthrosis was achieved by using standalone cages filled with autolog cortico- spongiosus bone chips, but bony healing was delayed due to cage coating and the substitution of pure autogenous spongiosa for cortico-spongiosus bone chips. It is recommended to treat acute/chronic instability of the cervical spine both by using non-fixed plate system with autolog cancellosus bone and by standalone cage filled with cortico-spongiosus bone chips as well. It is worth keeping in mind that by applying this lattest an extra surgery to harvest the graft will be avoided.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Extracellular matrix of intracerebral tumors with different invasion activity]


[Objectives - Ineffective surgical and radiotherapy of glioblastoma is mainly due to its intensive infiltrating behavior. Contrarily, brain metastases of anaplastic carcinomas are well-circumscribed intracerebral lesions that can be easily exstirpated in most cases. The molecules of the extracellular matrix (ECM) play a pivotal role in the peritumoral infiltration. In this study the mRNA expression of the ECM components was investigated in two types of intracerebral malignoma with different invasion activity. Our aim was to identify the ECM molecules that are responsible for the different intensity of peritumoral infiltration of tumors from different origin. Methods - The mRNA expression of twenty-three ECM molecules was determined by quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Four pieces of glioblastoma and four pieces of intracerebral lung adenocarcinoma metastasis from neurosurgical operation were investigated. Immunohistochemical investigations were performed in case of five molecules. Results - The mRNA expression of nine molecules (brevican, neurocan, neuroglycan-C, syndecan-1,2,4, tenascin-C, versican and matrix-metalloproteinase-[MMP]2) differed significantly by comparison of the two tumor types. By immunohistochemistry, neurocan, syndecan, versican and MMP-2 showed alteration in staining intensity according to the mRNA expression, while MMP-9 showed higher staining intensity in the metastatic tumor. Conclusions - The identified molecules can play an important role in the different infiltration activity of tumors from different origin. Thus these ECM-components could serve as targets for anti-invasion therapy in the future.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Posterior cortical atrophy (Benson-syndrome)]

RÓZSA Anikó, SZILVÁSSY Ildikó, KOVÁCS Krisztina, BOÓR Krisztina, GÁCS Gyula

[We present the characteristics of posterior cortical atrophy - a very rare cortical dementia - in a 69 year old woman’s case. Our patient’s symptoms began with a visual problem which was initially explained by ophthalmological disorder. After neurological exam visual agnosia was diagnosed apart from other cognitive disorder (alexia without agraphia, acalculia, prosopagnosia, constructional disorder, clock-time recognition disorder, dressing apraxia, visuospatial disorientation). The brain MRI showed bilateral asymmetric parieto-occipital atrophy which is characteristic of posterior cortical atrophy.]

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Related contents

Clinical Neuroscience

Neuroscience highlights: Main cell types underlying memory and spatial navigation

KRABOTH Zoltán, KÁLMÁN Bernadette

Interest in the hippocampal formation and its role in navigation and memory arose in the second part of the 20th century, at least in part due to the curious case of Henry G. Molaison, who underwent brain surgery for intractable epilepsy. The temporal association observed between the removal of his entorhinal cortex along with a significant part of hippocampus and the developing severe memory deficit inspired scientists to focus on these regions. The subsequent discovery of the so-called place cells in the hippocampus launched the description of many other functional cell types and neuronal networks throughout the Papez-circuit that has a key role in memory processes and spatial information coding (speed, head direction, border, grid, object-vector etc). Each of these cell types has its own unique characteristics, and together they form the so-called “Brain GPS”. The aim of this short survey is to highlight for practicing neurologists the types of cells and neuronal networks that represent the anatomical substrates and physiological correlates of pathological entities affecting the limbic system, especially in the temporal lobe. For that purpose, we survey early discoveries along with the most relevant neuroscience observations from the recent literature. By this brief survey, we highlight main cell types in the hippocampal formation, and describe their roles in spatial navigation and memory processes. In recent decades, an array of new and functionally unique neuron types has been recognized in the hippocampal formation, but likely more remain to be discovered. For a better understanding of the heterogeneous presentations of neurological disorders affecting this anatomical region, insights into the constantly evolving neuroscience behind may be helpful. The public health consequences of diseases that affect memory and spatial navigation are high, and grow as the population ages, prompting scientist to focus on further exploring this brain region.

Clinical Neuroscience

Autonomic nervous system may be affected after carpal tunnel syndrome surgery: A possible mechanism for persistence of symptoms after surgery

ONDER Burcu, KELES Yavuz Betul

After carpal tunnel surgery, some patients report complaints such as edema, pain, and numbness. Purpose – The aim of this study was to evaluate autonomic nervous system function in patients with a history of carpal tunnel surgery using sympathetic skin response (SSR). Thirty three patients (55 ±10 years old) with a history of unilateral operation for carpal tunnel syndrome were included in the study. The SSR test was performed for both hands. Both upper extremities median and ulnar nerve conduction results were recorded. A reduced amplitude (p=0.006) and delayed latency (p<0.0001) were detected in the SSR test on the operated side compared to contralateral side. There was no correlation between SSR and carpal tunnel syndrome severity. Although complex regional pain syndrome does not develop in patients after carpal tunnel surgery, some of the complaints may be caused by effects on the autonomic nervous system.

Clinical Neuroscience

Cyanocobalamin and cholecalciferol synergistically improve functional and histopathological nerve healing in experimental rat model

ALBAY Cem, ADANIR Oktay, AKKALP Kahraman Asli, DOGAN Burcu Vasfiye, GULAEC Akif Mehmet, BEYTEMUR Ozan

Introduction - Peripheral nerve injury (PNI) is a frequent problem among young adults. Hopefully, regeneration can occur in PNI unlike central nervous system. If nerve cut is complete, gold standard treatment is surgery, but incomplete cuts have been tried to be treated by medicines. The aim of the study was to evaluate and compare clinical and histopathological outcomes of independent treatment of each of Vitamin B12 (B12) and Vitamin D3 (D3) and their combination on sciatic nerve injury in an experimental rat model. Materials and methods - Experimental animal study was performed after the approval of BEH Ethics Committee No. 2015/10. 32 rats were grouped into four (n=8) according to treatment procedures, such as Group 1 (controls with no treatment), Group 2 (intraperitoneal 1 mg/kg/day B12), Group 3 (oral 3500 IU/kg/week D3), Group 4 (intraperitoneal 1 mg/kg/day B12+ oral 3500 IU/kg/week D3). Sciatic Functional Index (SFI) and histopathological analysis were performed. Results - SFIs of Group 2, 3, 4 were statistically significantly higher than controls. Group 2 and 3 were statistically not different, however Group 4 was statistically significantly higher than others according to SFI. Axonal degeneration (AD) in all treatment groups were statistically significantly lower than in Group 1. AD in Group 4 was significantly lower than in Group 2 and 3; there was no significant difference between Group 2 and 3. There was no significant difference between Group 1,2 and 3 in Axonolysis (A). But A of Group 4 was significantly very much lower than all others. Oedema- inflammation (OE-I) in all treatment groups were significantly lower than in Group 1; there was no significant difference between Group 2 and group 4. OE-I in Group 2 and 4 were significantly lower than in Group 3. There were no significant differences between Group 1, 2 and 3 in damage level scores; score of Group 4 was significantly lower than of Group 1. Conclusions - B12 and D3 were found effective with no statistically significant difference. But combined use of B12 and D3 improve nerve healing synergistically. We recommend combined use of B12 and D3 after PNI as soon as possible.

Lege Artis Medicinae



[INTRODUCTION - Gestational and non-gestational choriocarcinoma, the two types of choriocarcinoma with distinct aetiologies, cannot be differentiated by conventional histological or immunohistochemical methods. In certain cases the verification of the origin of the tumour by molecular biological techniques is essential for prognostic and therapeutic reasons. CASE REPORT - A 22-year-old woman presenting with acute abdominal pain was examined and operated on. During surgery a tumour was found in the right ovary. “Pure” choriocarcinoma was histologically diagnosed and gestational origin was supposed based on the distinct clinical features and histological picture. This was subsequently confirmed by molecular genetic testing. Parallel VNTR (variable number of tandem repeats) analysis by PCR of DNA from the tumour tissue and the patient's peripheral blood was performed. The pattern showed the presence of an allele presumed to be of paternal origin. (Blood sample from the father was not available.) One regimen of Vepesid, Cisplatina and Bleomycin was applied, and more than three years after the diagnosis the patient is free of disease. CONCLUSION - Multidisciplinary cooperation led to an accurate diagnosis and successful treatment. Non-radical surgery with the preservation of fertility followed by proper early chemotherapy provided excellent results.]


[The role of alfacalcidol in the prevention of osteopenia following renal transplantation]


[AIM - The aim of this prospective study was the long-term evaluation of the effect of calcium and alfacalcidol treatment on calcium metabolism in patients with renal transplantation. METHODS - Patients were divided in two groups. Patients in Group 1 (n=159) received calcium substitution, while patients in Group 2 (n=81) were treated with alfacalcidol. Serum Ca, P, Mg, alkaline phosphatase (AP) and PTH levels were determined before and after transplantation regularly for three years. Femur neck and lumbar vertebral bone mineral densities (BMD) were measured at the same time after transplantation. RESULTS - After transplantation the mean serum calcium level significantly increased, while the mean serum phosphate level significantly decreased in both groups. After the operation the PTH levels decreased in both groups and it was found to be more pronounced in the alfacalcidol group.The majority of patients had osteopenia in the follow-up period. Between the third month and the third year after transplantation, BMD increased by 9.4% in Group1, and decreased by 4% in Group 2 at the lumbar spine. At 3 years the mean BMD value at the femoral neck was increased by 6.5% in Group 1, and by 6.7% in Group 2, compared to the 3-month values.The change in BMD was only significant at the lumbar spine, in Group 1 (p=0.019). During the follow-up period osteonecrosis was diagnosed in 6 patients in Group 1 and in 9 cases in Group 2. CONCLUSION - Alfacalcidol treatment decreased secondary hyperparathyroidism more rapidly and effectively, which was also indicated by the more pronounced decrease of serum PTH levels. During the 3 years follow-up period, BMD increased in both groups except for the lumbar spine in Group 2, however, the majority of the patients still had osteopenia.The study could not demonstrate a superiority of alfacalcidol over calcium supplementation in the prevention of posttransplantational osteopenia.]