Clinical Neuroscience

[Treatment of dystonia by deep brain stimulation: a summary of 40 cases]

DELI Gabriella, BALÁS István, KOMOLY Sámuel, DÓCZI Tamás, JANSZKY József, ILLÉS Zsolt, ASCHERMANN Zsuzsanna, TASNÁDI Emese, NAGY Ferenc, PFUND Zoltán, BÓNÉ Beáta, BOSNYÁK Edit, KULIFFAY Zsolt, SZIJJÁRTÓ Gábo

JULY 30, 2012

Clinical Neuroscience - 2012;65(07-08)

[Background - Bilateral pallidal deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an established treatment option for primary generalized and segmental dystonia. In the present study we evaluated the results of our dystonia patients treated by DBS. Methods - The surgical results of forty consecutive dystonia patients underwent DBS implantation were analyzed (age: 43.7±17.7 years; sex: 22 men; etiology: 24 primary and 16 secondary dystonia; topography: 24 generalized, 12 segmental and four hemidystonia; disease duration: 16.1±9.3 years). Severity of dystonia measured by Burke-Fahn-Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale (BFMDRS) and health-related quality of life measured by EQ-5D scale were obtained preoperatively and compared to the scores obtained at postoperative six months and subsequent yearly follow-ups. The average follow-up lasted 2.5 years (median, 0.5-8 years). In all cases the BFMDRS scores were re-evaluated by a rater blinded to the treatment. Treatment responsiveness was defined as an at least 25% improvement on the BFMDRS scores. Non-parametric Mann-Whitney, McNemar and Kruskal-Wallis tests were applied to test statistical significance. Results - Severity of dystonia improved from 31 to 10 points (median, 68% improvement, p<0.01) in the primary dystonia group, whereas in secondary dystonia these changes were statistically insignificant (improvement from 40 to 31.5 points, 21.2%, p>0.05). However, the health-related quality of life significantly improved in both groups (primary dystonia: 0.378 vs. 0.788 and secondary dystonia: 0.110 vs. 0.388, p<0.01). Significantly more patients in the primary dystonia group responded to DBS treatment than those in the secondary dystonia group (83.3% vs. 37.5%, p<0.01). Conclusion - Our results are in accordance with previously published international findings demonstrating that DBS is a highly effective and long-lasting treatment option for primary dystonia. DBS is considerably less efficient in secondary dystonia; however, it still has a high impact on the quality of life presumably due to its pain-relieving effect.]



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Clinical Neuroscience

[Editorial message]

TAJTI János, RAJNA Péter

Clinical Neuroscience



[Neurophobia is the fear of neurological diseases. Its main symptom is that medical students and young doctors are not able to utilize their basic neurological knowledge at the bedside. According to statistics, every second student suffers from neurophobia. This attitude could explain why in the last two decades less and less young doctors wanted to become neurologist. Medical students complain that they receive no instructions, and are afraid of loosing their interest and of facing the failure of their competency. The hardship of neurology was explained by the insufficient knowledge of anatomy and the infrequent encounter with patients. Even general practitioners have anxiety about neurological patients. The loss of interest in neurosciences seems to associate with insensitivity of human-centered culture and corruption of empathic thinking. The burnout syndrome of medical doctors and students can be explained by stress, loss of respect, permanent competition, independency that interferes with responsibility, stiff hierarchy of medical society, fear of diagnostic failures and of economical difficulties. The scores of depression in female students were higher than in male. The idea of the “good neurologist” has been changed. The business oriented care, the shortage of time, and the financial restrictions corroded the conventional practice and ceased the vocational idealism. At present, personal teaching is going to transform into impersonal multimedia learning. Because of the drastic change of values, the age of inner-oriented professionals has terminated also in the medicine. Medical doctors follow even less the traditional troll of professional behavior, but according the social demands, they choose their specialization for subsistence. The highly esteemed social status of neurologists and psychiatrists is going to sink in Europe. To reduce neurophobia it would be desirable 1. to introduce neurology training in the early years of medical school; 2. to teach neurology in all semesters, 3. to assure the effective teaching of neuro-anatomy and physiology, 4. to organize more one-to-one teacher-student communication. In the United States, residents participate in teaching during their residency training. To master neurology dedicated teachers are necessary whom neurology residents ought to meet personally with optimal frequency. However, these requirements seem to fail because of the chiefly technical characters of the actual reforms.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Diagnosis and therapy of mitochondrial diseases]

PÁL Endre

[Mitochondrial diseases are a significant part of neuromuscular diseases. Majority of them is multisystemic disorder. The diagnosis can be established in more and more cases. Beyond the routine neurological examination imaging methods (MRI and MR-spectroscopy) and electrophysiology (EMG, ENG, EEG, evoked potential tests) might be helpful in setting the diagnosis. Raised blood lactate level supports the diagnosis. Muscle biopsy demonstrates mitochondrial abnormalities in the majority of cases. The positivity of genetic tests is low, because the amount of mitochondrial DNA alterations is different in tissues. Therefore other tissue than blood (mainly muscle) is necessary for genetic tests. The other reason is that the respiratory chain is under double -mitochondrial and nuclear - genetic control, and testing the nuclear genes are available only in selected laboratories. The treatment is limited, mainly symptomatic.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The absence of the common LRRK2 G2019S mutation in 120 young onset Hungarian Parkinon’s disease patients]

BALICZA Péter, BEREZNAI Benjámin, TAKÁTS Annamária, KLIVÉNYI Péter, DIBÓ György, HIDASI Eszter, BALOGH István, MOLNÁR Mária Judit

[Parkinson’s disease is a promising target of applying personalized medicine. For this purpose it is crucial to reveal the genetic and environmental factors, which contribute to the disease, also to collect epidemiologic data and to preserve the patients samples and data in a proper biobank. In our investigation we examined the prevalence of the most frequent Parkinson’s disease causing LRRK2 G2019S mutation in a Hungarian Parkinson-patient group. From 120 patients, we haven’t detected this substitution in anyone. Our investigation suggest that the mutation LRRK2 G2019S may be a rare cause of Parkinson disease in the Hungarian population.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Results of intrathecal baclofen therapy on spasticity in patients with brain injury]

DÉNES Zoltán, KLAUBER András, BOTH Béla, ERÕSS Loránd

[Objectives - To evaluate the results of intrathecal baclofen (ITB) therapy on the spasticity in patients with brain injury. Method - Retrospective study in Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit between January 2001 and December 2010. Results - During the last ten years, in our unit 13 patients were involved into ITB therapy on severe spasticity, after brain injury, while more than 100 Baclofen pumps were implantated in Hungary with Hungary with coordination of the Multidisciplinary Team. ITB therapy was indicated in severe spasticity developed after seven cases of traumatic brain injuries, five cases of strokes and one case of anoxic brain injury. The mean age of patients was 26 years (18- 52). At the time of pump implantation three patients were in vegetative state. The shortest period elapsed between the brain injury and pump implantation was three months and the longest period was nine years, mean 15 months. Baclofen pump had to be changed in six cases after six years, and was removed in three cases due to decreasing spasticity. Catheter revision was performed in two cases due to flow problem. We had no complication in association with ITB therapy. Conclusions - Intrathecal baclofen therapy seems to be an effective and safe treatment in patients with severe spasticity of cerebral origin. We suggest team (neurosurgeon and rehabilitation professionals) decision in a spasticity center before involving the patient into ITB therapy, and follow up in the rehabilitation unit. The severity of spasticity as a consequence of brain injury can change during years and it is necessery to follow it with dosage and dynamics of baclofen therapy. Baclofen pump removal is suggested if the ITB therapy is further not reasonable.]

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Related contents

Clinical Neuroscience

Effects of valproate, carbamazepine and levetiracetam on Tp-e interval, Tp-e/QT and Tp-e/QTc ratio


Aim - To evaluate P-wave dispersion before and after antiepileptic drug (AED) treatment as well as to investigate the risk of ventricular repolarization using the Tpeak-Tend (Tp-e) interval and Tp-e/QT ratio in patients with epileptic disorder. Methods - A total of 63 patients receiving AED therapy and 35 healthy adults were included. ECG recordings were obtained before and 3 months after anti-epileptic treatment among patients with epilepsy. For both groups, Tp-e and Tp-e/QT ratio were measured using a 12-lead ECG device. Results - Tp-e interval, Tpe/QT and Tp-e/QTc ratios were found to be higher in the patient group than in the control group (p<0.05, for all), while QTmax ratio was significantly lower in the patient group. After 3 months of AED therapy, significant increases in QT max, QTc max, QTcd, Tp-e, Tp-e/QT, and Tp-e/QTc were found among the patients (p<0.05). When the arrhythmic effects of the drugs before and after treatment were compared, especially in the valproic acid group, there were significant increases in Tp-e interval, Tp-e/QT and Tp-e/QTc values after three months of treatment (p<0.05). Carbamazepine and levetiracetam groups were not statistically significant in terms of pre- and post-treatment values. Conclusions - It was concluded that an arrhythmogenic environment may be associated with the disease, and patients who received AED monotherapy may need to be followed up more closely for arrhythmia.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Zonisamide: one of the first-line antiepileptic drugs in focal epilepsy ]


[Chronic administration of antiepileptic drugs without history of unprovoked epileptic seizures are not recommended for epilepsy prophylaxis. Conversely, if the patient suffered the first unprovoked seizure, then the presence of epileptiform discharges on the EEG, focal neurological signs, and the presence of epileptogenic lesion on the MRI are risk factors for a second seizure (such as for the development of epilepsy). Without these risk factors, the chance of a second seizure is about 25-30%, while the presence of these risk factors (for example signs of previous stroke, neurotrauma, or encephalitis on the MRI) can predict >70% seizure recurrence. Thus the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) re-defined the term ’epilepsy’ which can be diagnosed even after the first seizure, if the risk of seizure recurrence is high. According to this definition, we can start antiepileptic drug therapy after a single unprovoked seizure. There are four antiepileptic drugs which has the highest evidence (level „A”) as first-line initial monotherapy for treating newly diagnosed epilepsy. These are: carbamazepine, phenytoin, levetiracetam, and zonisamide (ZNS). The present review focuses on the ZNS. Beacuse ZNS can be administrated once a day, it is an optimal drug for maintaining patient’s compliance and for those patients who have a high risk for developing a non-compliance (for example teenagers and young adults). Due to the low interaction potential, ZNS treatment is safe and effective in treating epilepsy of elderly people. ZNS is an ideal drug in epilepsy accompanied by obesity, because ZNS has a weight loss effect, especially in obese patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Decisional collisions between evidence and experience based medicine in care of people with epilepsy]


[Background – Based on the literature and his long-term clinical practice the author stresses the main collisions of evidence and experience based medicine in the care of people with epilepsy. Purpose – To see, what are the professional decisions of high responsibility in the epilepsy-care, in whose the relevant clinical research is still lacking or does not give a satisfactory basis. Methods – Following the structure of the Hungarian Guideline the author points the critical situations and decisions. He explains also the causes of the dilemmas: the lack or uncertainty of evidences or the difficulty of scientific investigation of the situation. Results – There are some priorities of experience based medicine in the following areas: definition of epilepsy, classification of seizures, etiology – including genetic background –, role of precipitating and provoking factors. These are able to influence the complex diagnosis. In the pharmacotherapy the choice of the first drug and the optimal algorithm as well as the tasks during the care are also depends on personal experiences sometimes contradictory to the official recommendations. Same can occur in the choice of the non-pharmacological treatments and rehabilitation. Discussion and conclusion – Personal professional experiences (and interests of patients) must be obligatory accessories of evidence based attitude, but for achieving the optimal results, in some situations they replace the official recommendations. Therefore it is very important that the problematic patients do meet experts having necessary experiences and also professional responsibility to help in these decisions. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Examining the psychometric properties of a new quality of life questionnaire in migraineurs]


[Background - The deleterious effect of primary headaches on the sufferers’ quality of life (QOL) has been abundantly documented using both generic and headache-specific instruments. The currently used questionnaires focus on a limited number of factors and therefore may not be sensitive enough to detect the effect of headache type and headache characteristics on QOL, despite the obvious clinical differences. We have devised a comprehensive questionnaire that may be more sensitive to the burden of headache. Objective - To assess the psychometric properties of the new questionnaire on a group of migraineurs. Patients and method - We studied 117 migraineurs who completed the validated Hungarian version of the SF-36 generic QOL measure and our new, 25-item questionnaire. Reliability was assessed by internal consistency, measured by Cronbach’s a of all items. Content validity was exam- ined by calculating the correlation of the items with subscales of the SF-36 measure. The correlation of the patients’ migraine characteristics with the questionnaire’s items was used to assess criterion validity. Results - The questionnaire was quick and easy to administer. The questionnaire demonstrated good reliability, with Cronbach’s alpha being 0.893. Content validity was adequate; most “physical” items of the new questionnaire showed significant correlations with the bodily pain and role physical SF-36 subscales and most “psychical” and “social” items were correlated with mental health and social functioning SF-36 subscales. Criterion validity was adequate, with headache severity being correlated with most of the items. Discussion - In this study the new headache-specific quality of life instrument showed adequate psychometric properties.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Earlier and more efficiently: the role of deep brain stimulation for parkinson’s disease preserving the working capabilities]

DELI Gabriella, BALÁS István, KOMOLY Sámuel, DÓCZI Tamás, JANSZKY József, ASCHERMANN Zsuzsanna, NAGY Ferenc, BOSNYÁK Edit, KOVÁCS Norbert

[Background – The recently published “EarlyStim” study demonstrated that deep brain stimulation (DBS) for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) with early fluctuations is superior to the optimal pharmacological treatment in improving the quality of life and motor symptoms, and preserving sociocultural position. Our retrospective investigation aimed to evaluate if DBS therapy was able to preserve the working capabilities of our patients. Methods – We reviewed the data of 39 young (<60 years-old) PD patients who underwent subthalamic DBS implantation at University of Pécs and had at least two years follow-up. Patients were categorized into two groups based on their working capabilities: Patients with active job (“Job+” group, n=15) and retired patients (without active job, “Job-” group, n=24). Severity of motor symptoms (UPDRS part 3), quality of life (EQ-5D) and presence of active job were evaluated one and two years after the operation. Results – As far as the severity of motor symptoms were concerned, similar (approximately 50%) improvement was achieved in both groups. However, the postoperative quality of life was significantly better in the Job+ group. Majority (12/15, 80%) of Job+ group members were able to preserve their job two years after the operation. However, only a minimal portion (1/24, 4.2%) of the Job- group members was able to return to the world of active employees (p<0.01, McNemar test). Conclusion – Although our retrospective study has several limitations, our results fit well with the conclusions of “EarlyStim” study. Both of them suggest that with optimal timing of DBS implantation we may preserve the working capabilities of our patients.]