Clinical Neuroscience

[Theoretical and practical considerations of rational polytherapy in epilepsy]

RAJNA Péter

NOVEMBER 30, 2011

Clinical Neuroscience - 2011;64(11-12)

[Author analyses the consideration of rational polytherapy for epilepsy. Among the theoretical aspects he points the different effect of seizure inhibitory drugs on the epilepsy models but didn’t find data enough for the basis of any successful combination. Combinations of compounds having different way of action are more promising. Rational polytherapy can serve also the epileptic patients’ tailored therapy in the daily routine. There have already been some proved synergisms concerning drug interactions. Based on detailed analysis of side effects a possibility occurs for neutralization of side effects when anticonvulsants with side effects of opposite nature are combined. Considering both the side effect profiles and the different (somatic and psychic) habits of the patients we can create a special list of favourable combinations. Co-morbid states and their treatments play a significant role in the application of rational polytherapy. Combination of anticonvulsants of lower potential but without drug-interactions can be the choice in these cases. The non-epileptic indications of the anticonvulsants can also be utilized in polymorbid patients. Based on the theoretical and practical considerations the author defines the ten-step-cognitive-preparation-process in planning the optimal (poly)therapy. On speculative basis he suggests eight beneficial versions of seizure inhibitory rational polytherapy.]

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[Based on our previous survey on the capacities of neurological services and on the predictable changes in the neurologist workforce in Hungary, we present a proposal for the organization of the structure of neurological services in the future. We discuss the diagnostic groups treated by neurologists, the neurological services and their progressive organization. Using the current capacities as baseline, we propose patient groups to be treated by neurologists in the future, and the levels of services. Based on the tendencies seen in the last years we suggest to consider to allocate acute stroke services exclusively to stroke units in neurological departments, and we identify a few other diagnostic groups where neurology should have a larger share in patient care. We define three levels for inpatient care: university departments, regional/county hospitals, city hospitals. Instead of minimum criteria we assign outpatient and inpatient standards that are functional from the economic point of view as well. University departments cover all areas of neurological services, have a function in graduate and postgraduate training, and on a regional basis they participate in professional quality assurance activities at the county and city hospital levels, and would have a more independent role in residency training. As far as patient care is concerned, the task of the regional/county hospitals would be similar to that of university departments - without the exclusively university functions. A general neurological service would be offered at the city hospital level - the representation of all subspecialties of neurology is not required. Neurorehabilitation would be organized at special units of neurological wards at the city hospital level, at independent neurorehabilitation wards in regional/county hospitals, and also as an outpatient service offered at the patients’ home. The most significant organizational change would affect the outpatient neurological services. In addition to the special outpatient units associated with university departments and regional/county hospitals, the general neurological outpatient services would be organized as private practices, similarly to the current system of general practitioners, where the individual practices contract independently with the health insurance fund. Their task would be a general neurological service offered 30 hours per week, and also basic, screening neurophysiological and neurosonological examinations, with proper equipment and trained assistance. A transformation in residency training and a change in financing is needed for this plan to fulfill.]

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