Clinical Neuroscience

The electrophysiological changes after 1 hz RTMS in ALS patients. A pilot study

MAJOR Zsigmond Zoltán1,2, VACARAS Vitalie1,3, MARIS Emilia1,2, CRISAN Ioana4, FLOREA Bogdan1,5, MAJOR Andrea Kinga6, MURESANU Fior Dafin1,3

MARCH 30, 2016

Clinical Neuroscience - 2016;69(03-04)


Motor neuron diseases are disabling poor prognostic conditions, with no successful treatment. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation might offer a temporary functional improvement. Objective - We intended to evaluate the extent of the functional improvement using electrophysiological and clinical tests. Methods - Patients with motor neuron disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) were included. Muscle strength and respiratory function assessment represents the clinical approach, and central motor conduction time, motor unit number estimation, blink reflex and H-reflex stands for electrophysiology. Two tests were performed using the whole battery prior and after low frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, using 1 Hz stimulation frequency for five consecutive days, 20 minutes daily, at 80% of the individual resting motor threshold. Results - Central motor conduction time, muscle strength and pulmonary function showed no statistically significant differences, but a tendency towards improvement. Motor unit number estimation, blink reflex and H-reflex showed a significantly better outcome after the five day repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment. Conclusion - Low frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation influences beneficially electrophysiological parameters in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but with little clinical impact; further studies are needed to validate the extent of the effect.


  1. University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Iuliu Haţieganu”, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  2. Municipal Clinical Hospital Cluj-Napoca, Neurology Department, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  3. Cluj County Emergency Hospital, Neurology Department, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  4. Municipal Clinical Hospital Cluj-Napoca, Outpatient Unit, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  5. Cluj County Emergency Hospital, Imogen Research Center, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  6. Cluj County Emergency Hospital, ICU, Cluj-Napoca, Romania



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Clinical Neuroscience

Hungarian experiences with the Beliefs About Attractiveness Scale


Background and purpose - Sociocultural influences regarding bodily appearance and their psychological consequences play a considerable role in the development and maintenance of body image disturbance and eating disorders. The purpose of the study was to explore the psychometric properties of the Beliefs About Attractiveness Scale-Revised and its correlates among young adults in Hungary. Methods - In our cross-sectional online study, participants were 18-35 years old (N=820, 40% male). Measures: self-reported anthropometric data, Beliefs About Attractiveness Scale-Revised, Eating Disorder Inventory, SCOFF questionnaire, Sociocultural Attitudes Towards Appearance Questionnaire-3, and Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale. Results - The exploratory factor analysis showed that the fit indices of the three-factor solution are acceptable (c2(171)=5124.8, p<0.001, CFI=0.944, TLI=0.918, RMSEA=0.054, SRMR=0.030). Along the original ‘Importance of being thin’ and the ‘Importance of being fit’ factors, a third factor emerged, namely the ’Life fulfilment aspect of attractiveness’ factor. Internal consistency and construct validity of the scales were confirmed. Among those who were at risk of developing an eating disorder, all of the measured beliefs were significantly greater than among those who were not at risk (thin: Z=6.501, p<0.001, Cohen’s d=0.63, fit: t(818)=-4.749, p<0.001, Cohen’s d=0.41, and life fulfilment: t(239)=-5.702, p<0.001, Cohen’s d=0.53). Conclusion - The Hungarian version of the Beliefs About Attractiveness Scale-Revised is a reliable, valid measure and we suggest its introduction into Hungarian research. Relationships between beliefs about attractiveness and self-esteem, body image and eating disorders suggest intervention opportunities in with regards to prevention and treatment of eating disorders.

Clinical Neuroscience

[The importance of anticoagulant therapy in patients with artial fibrillation in stroke prevention – summary of international data and novel therapeutic modalities]


[The most common cardiogenic cause of ischaemic stroke is atrial fibrillation which increases the probability of stroke five-fold and doubles case fatality. Based on international data the incidence of atrial fibrillation is approx. 2% however this rapidly increases with age. The necessity of using oral anticoagulants in the prevention of non-valvular atrial fibrillation related stroke is decided based on estimated stroke risk. The CHADS2 and the more predictive CHA2DS2-VASc scales are used for this purpose while the bleeding risk of patients treated with anticoagulant may be estimated by the HAS-BLED scoring scale. For decades oral anticoagulation meant using vitamin-K antagonists. Based on international data we can see that rate of anticoagulation is unacceptably low, furthermore most of the anticoagulated patients aren’t within the therapeutic range of INR (INR: 2-3). A lot of disadvantages of vitamin-K antagonists are known (e.g. food-drug interaction, need for regular coagulation monitoring, increased risk of bleeding), therefore compounds with new therapeutic target have been developed. The novel oral anticoagulants (NOAC) can be divided in two major subgroups: direct thrombin inhibitors (dabigatran etexilate) and Xa-factor inhibitors (rivaroxaban, apixaban, edoxaban). These products are administered in fix doses, they less frequently interact with other medications or food, and regular coagulation monitoring is not needed when using these drugs. Moreover several studies have shown that they are at least as effective in the prevention of ischaemic stroke than the vitamin-K antagonists, with no more haemorrhagic complications.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The therapeutic use of transcranial magnetic stimulation in major depression]

NÉMETH Viola Luca, CSIFCSÁK Gábor, KINCSES Zsigmond Tamás, JANKA Zoltán, MUST Anita

[The antidepressive effect of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been investigated for almost 20 years now. Several studies have been published aiming to identify the exact and reliable parameters leading to the desired therapeutic effect. However, the related literature shows great variability. The current overview aims to provide a comprehensive overview of factors associated with the therapeutic effect of rTMS in major depression. High frequency stimulation of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) for 3-6 weeks leads to mood improvement comparable to the effect of antidepressive medications in 35-40% of patients. Pharmacotherapy resistant patients treated with rTMS reach remission for 3 months on average. Low frequency stimulation of the right DLPFC appears to be similarly effective, though much less investigated so far. In addition to the exact delineation of the stimulation area, treatment outcome is also related to stimulation intensity as well as the number of sessions and impulses. Considering the safety and tolerability aspects of rTMS, it might be a significant therapeutic support for therapy resistant patients. Above this, patients diagnosed with major depression might benefit from the additional positive influence of rTMS improving the effect of antidepressive medication. Based on converging research evidence, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agency approved the use of rTMS as a treatment option for therapy resistant major depression in 2008. So far, in Hungary rTMS is primarily considered as a promising tool in research settings only. Hopefully, patients suffering from major depression will increasingly benefit from the positive therapeutic effect of this intervention.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Individual evaluation of loreta abnormalities in idiopathic generalized epilepsy]

CLEMENS Béla, PUSKÁS Szilvia, BESENYEI Mónika, KONKÁDOR István, HOLLÓDY Katalin, FOGARASI András, BENSE Katalin, EMRI Miklós, OPPOSITS Gábor, KOVÁCS Noémi Zsuzsanna, FEKETE István

[Background – Contemporary neuroimaging methods disclosed structural and functional cerebral abnormalities in idiopathic generalized epilepsies (IGEs). However, individual electrical (EEG) abnormalities have not been evaluated yet in IGE patients. IGE patients were investigated in the drug-free condition and after 3-6 month of antiepileptic treatment. To estimate the reproducibility of qEEG variables a retrospective recruited cohort of IGE patients was investigated. 19- channel resting state EEG activity was recorded. For each patient a total of 2 minutes EEG activity was analyzed by LORETA (Low Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography). Raw LORETA values were Z-transformed and projected to a MRI template. Z-values outside within the [+] 1. In drug-free condition, 41-50% of IGE patients showed abnormal LORETA values. 2. Abnormal LORETA findings showed great inter-individual variability. 3. Most abnormal LORETA-findings were symmetrical. 4. Most maximum Z-values were localized to frontal or temporal cortex. 5. Succesfull treatment was mostly coupled with disappearence of LORETA-abnormality, persistent seizures were accompanied by persistent LORETA abnormality. 1. LORETA abnormalities detected in the untreated condition reflect seizure-generating property of the cortex in IGE patients. 2. Maximum LORETA-Z abnormalities were topographically congruent with structural abnormalities reported by other research groups. 3. LORETA might help to investigate drug effects at the whole-brain level.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Computed tomographic examination of cranial lesions, a paleoradiological approach]

ZÁDORI Péter, BAJZIK Gábor, BÍRÓ Gergely, LELOVICS Zsuzsanna, BALASSA Tímea, BERNERT Zsolt, ÉVINGER Sándor, HAJDU Tamás, MARCSIK Antónia, MOLNÁR Erika, ŐSZ Brigitta, PÁLFI György, WOLFF Katalin, REPA Imre

[Background and purpose - Introducing the multidisciplinary paleoradiology research at the Institute of Diagnostic Imaging and Radiation Oncology of the Kaposvár University, highlighting the cases with potential central nervous system involvement - from the scanning methods to the 3D printing - in order to draw attention to the historical background and clinical aspects of certain pathological conditions. Methods - The authors developed the examination protocols for three different CT scanners. Among the examined archaeological remains cranial lesions were identified in 26 cases, from which 4 cases with potential central nervous system involvement are demonstrated. The scanning parameters and the advantages of secondary image reconstructions (multiplanar reconstruction, maximum intensity projection, three-dimensional volume rendering technique) are presented with the cases. Results - The authors demonstrate a case with destructive skull lesions due to syphilis from the 15th century AD, a condition rarely seen or even unknown nowadays in the modern world. With the CT images of the skull base fracture from the Iron Age, signs of healing could be verified. Using the CT images a non-invasive approach is presented in the case of the craniofacial osteosarcoma in order to visualize the local status and the direct intracranial propagation. Advantages of the 3D VRT reconstructions are shown in the case of unilateral coronal suture synostosis. Conclusion - Paleoradiological CT examinations serve as a non-invasive, non-destructive tool for studying archaeological remains and artifacts. The special applications provided by the imaging modality contribute to the conventional paleopathological investigations. Keywords: paleoradiology, computed tomography, 3D reconstruction, skull lesions, paleopathology]

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[Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the most frequent motor neuron disease is characterized by progressive muscle weakness caused by the degeneration of the motor neurons in the spinal cord and motor cortex. However, according to the recent observations, ALS is a rather complex syndrome which frequently involves symptoms of cognitive impairment. Therefore, ALS cases can be interpreted in a clinico-pathological spectrum spanning from the classical ALS involving only the motor system to the fronto-temporal dementia. The progression of the disease, however, manifested in the degeneration of the upper and lower motor neurons, is based on the same complex pathobiology. The main elements of the pathomechanism, such as oxidative stress, excitotoxicity, immune/inflammatory processes and mitochondrial dysfunction are well described already, which operate in orchestrated way and amplify the deleterious effect of each other. It is assumed that calcium ions act as a catalyst in this interaction, hence each of the individual mechanisms has strong, positive and reciprocal calcium dependence thus may combine the individual pathological processes into a unified escalating mechanism of neuronal destruction. This review provides an overview of the role of calcium in connecting and amplifying the major mechanisms which lead to degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

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

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Lege Artis Medicinae

[The author’s response to the comment on “Exploratory study of outcomes of blood sample mass examinations by rank correlations”]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Comment to the article titled “Exploratory study of outcomes of blood sample mass examinations by rank correlations”]