Clinical Neuroscience

[The future in danger: a survey of the changes in the number of neurologists and a prognosis for 2010 in Hungary]

BERECZKI Dániel, CSIBA László, KOMOLY Sámuel, VÉCSEI László

JULY 20, 2010

Clinical Neuroscience - 2010;63(07-08)

[Lack of neurologists has become an obvious problem recently in Hungary, not only in small hospitals, but in major health care centers and also in university hospitals. With the current survey we set forth to estimate the number of board certified neurologists, and to evaluate the foreseeable changes in the next decade. In the beginning of 2010 there were 1310 physicians in Hungary with an official license to practice neurology. During 2009 neurological performance at least once during the year was claimed to the National Health Insurance Fund by 948 board certified neurologists. The number of those neurologists who are routinely involved in neurological patient care was estimated to be around 750. The lack of the young generation is characteristic for the age distribution of neurologists. In nine out of the 19 counties of Hungary the number of neurologists below the age of 35 is one or nil. In the ten-year period of 2000-2009 the annual mean number of new board certifications in neurology was 22. This number is much lower than that needed to replace those who get employed abroad and who leave the system for other reasons. The number of neurologists in the age range of 40-60 years will drop to 2/3 of the current number by 2020 even if emigration of neurologists will completely halt. If emigration will continue at the current rate and the number of those in neurological training will not increase considerably, then by 2020 only about 300 neurologists will have to cover neurological services throughout Hungary. As this number is insufficient for the task, and the tendency is clearly foreseeable, the health care government should urgently react to this situation to ensure an acceptable level of neurological services in the near future for the population of Hungary.]

COMMENTS

0 comments

Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[Congress calendar]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Birthday memories]

MAJTÉNYI Katalin

Clinical Neuroscience

[Statement of SMBOE OTT - About chronic cerebrospinal insufficiency in multiple sclerosis]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Prophylactic migraine treatment with topiramate]

NAGY Ferenc

[Migraine is a very common disorder characterized by the combination of typical headache with associated autonomic symptoms and ranked by the WHO as number 19 among all diseases worldwide causing disability. Considerable progresses have been made in recent years to understand the pathophysiology of migraine, which has led to improved treatment options for the acute migraine attack as well as migraine prophylaxis. When headaches are frequent or particularly severe, prophylactic therapy should be considered, however preventive treatment is often insufficient to decrease migraine frequency substantially or is not well tolerated. The present paper summaries the possible drug treatment options which have the A level of evidence for effective preventive therapy of migraine. Summarises the evidences for the prophylactic migraine treatment, specially the role of the newly approved topiramate in the prophylaxis.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Account of Hungarian Epilepsy League]

SZUPERA Zoltán

All articles in the issue

Related contents

Clinical Neuroscience

[Reversible hepatocerebral degeneration-like syndrome due to portovenous shunts]

SIBEL Güler, UFUK Utku, AHMET Tezel, ERCÜMENT Ünlü

[Ataxia and tremor are rare manifestations of hepatocerebral degeneration due to portovenous shunts. Ammonia is a neurotoxin that plays a significant role in the pathogenesis of hepatic encephalopathy. A 58-year old male patient was assessed with the complaints of gait disturbance, hand tremor, and impairment of speech. His neurological examination revealed dysarthric speech and ataxic gait. Bilateral kinetic tremor was noted, and deep tendon reflexes of the patient were hyperactive. Serum ammonia level was found to be 156.9 μg/dL. Cranial magnetic resonance (MR) imaging revealed increased signal intensity in bilateral globus pallidus on T1-weighted axial sections, and bilateral prominent hyperintense lesions in the middle cerebellar peduncles on T2-weighted axial sections. On his abdominal MR portography, multiple portohepatic venous collaterals were noted in the right and left lobes of liver parenchyma in 2D FIESTA axial MR sections. To our knowledge, we reported the first case of acquired hepatocerebral degeneration presenting with cerebral symptoms without any hepatic findings in which clinical improvement was noted, and hyperammonemia disappeared following medical treatment.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Prognosis and classification of hypertensive striatocapsular haemorrhages]

HORNYÁK Csilla, KOVÁCS Tibor, PAJOR Péter, SZIRMAI Imre

[Introduction - Nontraumatic intracerebral haemorrhage accounts for 10 to 15% of all cases of stroke. Patients and method - In our study hypertensive striatocapsular haemorrhages were divided into six types on the basis of arterial territories: posterolateral, lateral, posteromedial, middle, anterior and massive (where the origin of the hemorrhage can not be defined due to the extensive damage of the striatocapsular region) type. We analysed laboratory data, clinical presentations and risk factors as alcoholism, smoking and hypertension of 111 cases. The size of the hematoma, midline shift and severity of ventricular propagation were measured on the acute CT-scan. The effect on the 30-day clinical outcome of these parameters were examined Results and conclusion - According to our results, the most important risk factor of hypertensive intracerebral haemorrhage was chronic alcoholism. Blood cholesterol, triglyceride levels and coagulation status had no effect on the prognosis, but high blood glucose levels Significantly worsen the clinical outcome. In our study, lateral striatocapsular haemorrhage was the most common while middle one was the least common type. The overall mortality is 42%, but differs by the type. The 30-day outcome significantly depends on the type of the haemorrhage, the initial level of consiousness, the size of the haematoma, the severity of ventricular propagation, the midline shift and the blood glucose levels. The clinical outcome proved to be the best in the anterior type, good in the posteromedial and lateral types. The prognosis of the massive type is poor. In our study, the classes and the mortality of the striatocapsular haemorrhages was different from the literature data. The higher mortality in our cohort could be due to the longer follow-up and the severe accompanying diseases of our patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Neurology 2009: a survey of the neurological capacities, their utilization and neurologists based on the 2009 reports of the institutions in Hungary]

BERECZKI Dániel, AJTAY András

[A detailed information on the quantitative and qualitative features and the regional distribution of the current neurological services at the national level is necessary for the planning of health care provision for the future. We present the characteristics of the current neurological services analyzing the database of the National Health Insurance Fund for 2009. This database is exceptionally large and detailed compared to similar data sources in Europe. We examine the number of patients and cases treated both in hospitals and at outpatient units, and also present the distribution of major diagnoses based on ICD-10. We discuss the major problems in three groups: the decrease of capacities; the fragmentation of capacities; and the uneven distribution of workload on neurologists. Number of neurological hospital beds, weekly hours of neurological outpatient capacity, and the number of neurologists are presented. In the analysis of the utilization of capacities we give the number of patients, the number of cases and the financing of the professional performance. We characterize the workload of neurologists by the mean daily number of patients seen by a neurologist, by the number of outpatient units served by one neurologist during the year, and by the proportion of the total workload on each neurologist. Neurological capacities significantly decreased in the period of 2004-2009: 12 hospital neurological wards were closed, and with further decreases in bed numbers the original 3733 neurological beds decreased to 2812. In four counties - Bács, Heves, Tolna and Vas - only a single neurological ward survived. The capacity withdrawn from inpatient care was not transferred into outpatient services. In 2009 there were 179 hospitals and 419 independent outpatient centers in Hungary. Of the 179 hospitals 55 had neurological beds and a further 42 hospitals offered only outpatient neurological service. Neurological outpatient service is offered in Hungary altogether by 185 institutions: 97 hospitals and 88 independent outpatient centers. Suboptimal outpatient services (less than 30 hours per week) cover 57% of the outpatient capacities. There is an over fivefold difference among counties in capacities: the number of inhabitants per hospital bed ranges between 2167-13 017, and the number of inhabitants per one neurologist outpatient hour between 495-2663. In 2009 there were 1310 board certified neurologists in Hungary, of these only 834 participated at least once during the year in exclusively neurological service, and there was a large difference in workload among individual neurologists. The gross mean income of a 30-hour-per-week average neurological outpatient practice based on performance reports was 871 thousand HUF (about 4350 USD or 3160 EUR) per month. In recent years the neurological capacities significantly decreased and fragmented, do not correspond regionally to the number of population to be served, and their profitability does not cover the conditions of self sufficient operation. This analysis will help health care providers and decision makers to recognize and address the current problems and design the neurological health care system for the coming years.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Neurology! Adieau? (Part 1)]

SZIRMAI Imre

[The neurological practice suffered considerable changes during the last twenty years. The recent therapeutic methods and the acceptance of the ideology of evidence based medicine, which is based on confidence in statistics, changed the reasoning of the neurologists. Therapy protocols intrude into the field of individual medicine, and doctors accept treatment schemes to alleviate responsibility of their decisions. In contrast with this, recent achievements in pharmacogenetics emphasize the importance of individual drug therapies. The protocol of intravenous cerebral thrombolysis does not require defining the origin of cerebral ischaemia in the acute stage, therefore, this procedure can be regarded as human experiment. According to the strict protocol thrombolysis might be indicated only in 1-8% of patients with cerebral ischaemia. According to the Cohrane database more trials are needed to clarify which patients are most likely to benefit from treatment. Because of the change in therapeutic principles transient ischaemic attack has been newly defined as “acute neurovascular syndrome”. Multiplication of neurological subspecialties has been facilitated by the development of diagnostic tools and the discovery of effective new drugs. The specialization led to narrowing of interest and competency of clinicians. Several new neurological scientific societies were founded for the representation of specific disorders. In Hungary, between 1993 and 2000 nine scientific societies were grounded within the field of clinical neurology. These societies should be thankful to the pharmaceutical industries for their existence. In some European countries in 2007 only three neurological subspecialties were accepted, which are neurophysiology, neuro-rehabilitation and childneurology. Neuro-radiology is in the hands of general radiologists, the specialization is not granted for neurologists. Because of the subspecialization the general professionalism of neurologists has diminished. Among young neurologists the propedeutic skills suffered most seriously. Subspecialisation of teachers also interferes with the practice oriented teaching of medical students and residents.]

Clinical Neuroscience

The evaluation of the relationship between risk factors and prognosis in intracerebral hemorrhage patients

SONGUL Senadim, MURAT Cabalar, VILDAN Yayla, ANIL Bulut

Objective - Patients were assessed in terms of risk factors, hematoma size and localization, the effects of spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) on mortality and morbidity, and post-stroke depression. Materials and methods - The present study evaluated the demographic data, risk factors, and neurological examinations of 216 ICH patients. The diagnosis, volume, localization, and ventricular extension of the hematomas were determined using computed tomography scans. The mortality rate through the first 30 days was evaluated using ICH score and ICH grading scale. The Modified Rankin Scale (mRS) was used to determine the dependency status and functional recovery of each patient, and the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale was administered to assess the psychosocial status of each patient. Results - The mean age of the patients was 65.3±14.5 years. The most common locations of the ICH lesions were as follows: lobar (28.3%), thalamus (26.4%), basal ganglia (24.0%), cerebellum (13.9%), and brainstem (7.4%). The average hematoma volume was 15.8±23.8 cm3; a ventricular extension of the hemorrhage developed in 34.4% of the patients, a midline shift in 28.7%, and perihematomal edema, as the most frequently occurring complication, in 27.8%. Over the 6-month follow-up period, 57.9% of patients showed a poor prognosis (mRS: ≥3), while 42.1% showed a good prognosis (mRS: <3). The mortality rate over the first 30 days was significantly higher in patients with a low Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score at admission, a large hematoma volume, and ventricular extension of the hemorrhage (p=0.0001). In the poor prognosis group, the presence of moderate depression (39.13%) was significantly higher than in the good prognosis group (p=0.0001). Conclusion - Determination and evaluation of the factors that could influence the prognosis and mortality of patients with ICH is crucial for the achievement of more effective patient management and improved quality of life.