Clinical Neuroscience

[The efficacy of lacosamide in relation to antiepileptic drug history. Clinical experiences in adult partial epilepsy]


JANUARY 30, 2015

Clinical Neuroscience - 2015;68(01-02)

[Objective - A retrospective study in adult partial epilepsy on the efficacy of lacosamide in relation to previous antiepileptic drug experiences. Method - We analysed 3-65 months’ data on epilepsy-care of 43 pharmacoresistant partial epilepsy patients treated with lacosamide. Further analysis of antiepileptic drug history was carried out in strictly selected subgroups of patients with good and poor therapeutic response to lacosamide (10 and 9 patients, respectively) for 2-10 years long retrospective follow up. Patients - Adult patients with partial-onset seizures had been treated previously with three or more lifetime antiepileptic drugs without permanent success. Results - Six patients (14%) were seizure free, eleven patients (25%) have experienced important improvement (their seizure-frequency decreased by at least 50%) for more than 12 months. Fourteen patients (32%) improved for less than 6 months and then have relapsed; and add-on lacosamide proved ineffective in 12 patients (28%). Those selected 10 patients successfully treated with lacosamide (seizure free for at least six months) favourably responded to carbamazepine or oxcarbazepine earlier and levetiracetam was ineffective or even caused worsening. The selected lacosamide-unresponsive nine patients responded unfavourably to carbamazepine or oxcarbazepine earlier. Fifteen patients (35%) suffered side effects as dizziness or sleepiness, in 11 of them lacosamide was combined with a „traditional” sodium-channal blocker antiepileptic drug. Conclusion - Lacosamide is an effective add-on antiepileptic drug in difficult-to treat adult partial epilepsy patients. Our data suggest that good lacosamide response may be expected in those patients who reacted favourably to „traditional” sodium-channel blocker carabamazepine or oxcarbazepine earlier.]



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Clinical Neuroscience

[Extending therapeutic possibilities in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: dimethyl fumarate]


[Dimethyl fumarate (DMF) is a novel oral therapy that has recently been approved for the treatment of relapsing- remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Dimethyl fumarate shows anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective properties that are thought to be mediated primarily via activation of the nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 - Nrf2 transcriptional pathway, which up-regulates the genes involved in the cellular response to oxidative stress. The drug was evaluated in 2 large, randomized, double-blind, multicentric, multinational, 2-year, phase III clinical trials. The DEFINE and CONFIRM trials, conducted with over 2600 adult patients suffering from RRMS, unequivocally confirmed the efficacy of DMF (2×240 mg daily) in reducing the annualized relapse rate (ARR) and reducing the proportion of patients with MS relapse at 2 years. Significantly reduced sustained disability progression was observed with the drug versus placebo in DEFINE, while the same tendency was seen in CONFIRM. The MRI results of the studies were also convincing: DMF significantly reduced the number of new/enlarging T2-hyperintense lesions and the number of Gd-enhancing lesions compared to placebo. Dimethyl fumarate was generally well tolerated and no safety concern has been raised. Adverse events that occurred most frequently included flushing and gastrointestinal events. The long- term efficacy and tolerability of dimethyl fumarate is currently being investigated in the ENDORSE trial, with interim results demonstrating the same results as the two previous studies. In conclusion, although further, mostly comparative data are needed to fully establish the relative efficacy and tolerability of dimethyl fumarate compared with other therapies, dimethyl-fumarate is a valuable addition to the therapeutic options available for RRMS.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Assessment of severity and time course of critical illness neuropathy in septic patients: a prospective observational study]


[Objective - In this prospective observational study we investigated electrophysiological alterations in the early phase of critical illness and correlated electrophysiological findings with the clinical picture and outcome. Methods - We enrolled 21 critically ill surgical patients having ≥12 Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II scores on admission. Routine non-invasive bilateral electroneurography (ENG) examination of median and ulnar nerves was done on five consecutive days starting in two days after admission. Then weekly follow-up was performed. Motor and sensory nerve conduction indices were calculated and correlated with APACHE II and Simplified Acute Physiology Score II severity scores. Results - On the first examination 18/21 patients had >20% reduction in the motor and sensory nerve conduction indices. Severity score systems showed significant negative correlation with the daily change of CMAP and SNAP amplitudes and calculated nerve conduction indices (Spearman’s correlation, p<0,001). Mortality was higher in the patients with worse admission ENG and/or stagnant electrophysiological status or declining tendency in the first week. Conclusions - Electrophysiological alterations appeared soon after the development of critical illness. Early phase alterations showed a strong correlation with patients’ general condition and more severe electrophysiological alterations predisposed to higher mortality. In several cases early alterations proved to be reversible. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Efficacy of anticoagulation with vitamin K antagonists in acut stroke patients with atrial fibrillation - Hungarian results]

SAS Attila, CSONTOS Krisztina, LOVÁSZ Rita, VALIKOVICS Attila

[Background and objective - An estimated 20% of ischemic strokes are of cardiogenic origin, half of which is associated with atrial fibrillation (AF). Anticoagulation treatment of patients with this arrhythmia reduces their risk of stroke. Effectiveness and safety of oral anticoagulant therapy with vitamin K antagonists (VKA) is limited, however, by their well-known narrow therapeutic window and the substantial inter- and intraindividual variability of INR values depending on genetic and dietary factors as well as drug interactions. Our objective was to evaluate the prevalence of adequate anticoagulation and the level of anticoagulant effect actually achieved among patients with AF hospitalized for acute stroke. Methods - Patients with AF admitted to our hospital ward in 2012 for acute stroke (n=226) were included in the analysis. Using descriptive statistics, relevant clinical and therapeutic characteristics of the patients were assessed, with special reference to the INR values on admission (among patients with known AF), and the clinical outcomes. Results - Of the study cohort, 170 patients had a diagnosis of AF before the admission for stroke, but 47% of them did not take anticoagulants. Patients who suffered stroke while on anticoagulants (83 on VKA, 7 on low-molecular-weight heparins), were in most cases (75%) out of the therapeutic INR range, typically undertreated (INR<2). Overall, inadequate or completely absent anticoagulation was documented in 81% of the stroke cases occurring in patients with known AF. Of the entire study cohort, 41% was discharged home, 34% required continued institutional care, and 25% died. Conclusions - The inadequacy or lack of anticoagulation was observed in the vast majority of acute strokes in patients with known AF. These cases are often related to the well-documented limitations of VKA therapy in terms of its safety, tolerability and/or practical aspects. To prevent them, important changes are warranted in the anticoagulation practice, including the closer control of VKA therapy and the broader use of new oral anticoagulants.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Inclusion body myositis]

BODOKI Levente, VINCZE Melinda, GRIGER Zoltán, CSONKA Tamás, DANKÓ Katalin, HORTOBÁGYI Tibor

[The idiopathic inflammatory myopathies are systemic, chronic autoimmune diseases characterized by proximal symmetrical muscle weakness. One of the main diseases in this group is inclusion body myositis (IBM), an underdiagnosed, progressive muscle disease characteristically affecting the middle-aged and older population. It has a slow, relentlessly progressive course. The precise pathogenesis of the disease remains unknown. In most of the cases it is diagnosed a few years after the appearance of the first symptoms. The muscle biopsy typically shows endomysial inflammation, with invasion of mononuclear cells into the non-necrotic fibers, and also rimmed vacuoles. It appers, that both inflammation and degeneration are present at the onset of the disease. Our aim is to raise awareness about this disease which leads to severe disability, with clinicopathological case presentations and literature overview, emphasizing the importance of collaboration between the clinician and the neuropathologist. No effective therapy is currently available but the rapid diagnosis is essential to slow disease progression. Although this is a relatively rare disease, patients are presenting not only in immunology outpatient clinics; our reports aims to raise awareness and facilitate accurate early diagnosis of IBM. ]

Clinical Neuroscience


RAJNA Péter, TAJTI János

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Clinical Neuroscience

Retrospective comparison of efficacy of levetiracetam and lacosamide add-on treatments in patients with partial onset seizure

ACAR Türkan, ARAS Guzey Yesim

Objective - The study aims to retrospectively compare the efficacy of lacosamide (LCS) and levetiracetam (LEV) in add-on treatment in patients with partial-onset epilepsy. Material and method - Patients who have been followed-up for at least one year due to diagnosis of partial epilepsy between September 2014 and December 2017 and who had no seizure control, despite using at least two antiepileptic monotherapies, and therefore undergone LEV or LCS add-on treatment were retrospectively reviewed. Of the patients, total number of seizures and seizure control rates 6 months before and 3 and 6 months after the add-on treatment were compared. Results - There was no statistically significant difference between the 30 patients in the LEV group (12 females, 18 males, mean age 29.7±6.6) and 28 patients in the LCS group (12 females, 16 males, mean age 28.2±6.4) in terms of age, gender and the duration of illness. When the LEV and LCS groups were evaluated separately, the mean number of seizures within 3 and 6 months after the add- on treatment were significantly lower than the mean number of seizures in the last 6 months before the add-on treatment (p<0.005 and p<0.005 respectively). There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups when compared with each other in terms of the rate of decrease in number of seizures and seizure control before and after the add-on treatment (p=0.445 and p=0.238, respectively). Conclusion - LCS appears to be as effective as the currently well-established LEV in the treatment of partial onset seizures. No comparative study was found in the literature similar to this subject matter. There is a need for prospective studies for the comparison of the efficacies of these two drugs.

Clinical Neuroscience

[New antiepileptic drugs, and therapeutic considerations]


[Epilepsy is not a singular disease, but a variety of disorders. It is affects up to 0.5% of the population. Over the past decade, the researchers have been made great advances in the field of epilepsy. These have been accompanied by the licensing of a great number of antiepileptic drugs. However, despite these efforts, up to 15-20% of patients have refractory epilepsy. The novel antiepileptic drugs must suit several requirements: higher efficacy, especially in resistant cases, better tolerability, and improved pharmacokinetic properties. Recently, three new drugs have been introduced for the medication. The retigabine is a carbamic derivate, and the anticonvulsive properties are largely due to its ability to prolong the opening of neuronal voltage-gated potassium Kv7.2 and Kv7.3 channels. The lacosamide is a functionalized amino acid, and selectively enhances voltage-gated sodium channel slow inactivation. The eslicarbazepine acetate is a new member of the dibenzazepine family, and blocks the fast inactivated voltage-gated sodium channel. All three of them differ from the foregoing agents in several important ways, including new mechanism of action (retigabine, lacosamide), or pharmacokinetics (eslicarbazepine acetate). These novel anticonvulsants appears to be a safe and effective addition to the armamentarium for the treatment of patients with refractory epilepsy. However, it must take some new approaches into consideration, in the therapeutic algorithm.]

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.]