Clinical Neuroscience

[Vinpocetin in neurological diseases]

SZAPÁRY László, KÉSMÁRKY Gábor, TÓTH Kálmán, MISNYOVSZKY Melinda, TÓTH Tímea, BALOGH Ágnes, NAGY Krisztián, NÉMETH György, FEHÉR Gergely

NOVEMBER 20, 2012

Clinical Neuroscience - 2012;65(11-12)

[Introduction - Stroke is the third leading cause of death worldwide (following cardiovascular and cancer mortality) and associated with serious disability for the vast majority of patients. There is no salvage therapy for irreversibly damaged brain areas, improving the circulation of the surrounding hypoperfused territories may be associated with benefitial clinical states. Cerebral hypoperfusion may play a role in the pathogenesis of other kind of neurological diseases, improvement of global circulation may have a preventive effect on these conditions. Aims - The aim of our study was to review the experimental and clinical articles focusing on the role of vinpocetin in different neurological conditions. Results - Vinpocetin appears to have several different mechanisms of action that allow for its antiinflammatory, antioxidant, vasodilating, antiepileptic and neuroprotective activities in experimental conditions. On the other hand, several meta-analysis of the existing studies in acute stroke examining short and long term fatality rates with vinpocetin was unable to assess efficacy. In chronic cerebrovascular patients, vinpocetin improves impaired hemorheological variables, has significant vasodilating properties, improves endothelial dysfunction, neuroimaging studies showed selective increase in cerebral blood flow and cerebral metabolic rate, all of which are potentially beneficial in cerebrovascular disease and may improve cognitive functions. Summary - Based on the above mentioned results vinpocetin plays an important role both in basic research and in clinical management of different neurological diseases.]



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[Rivaroxaban in prevention of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation]


[Atrial fibrillation (AF) is well established risk factor for cardioembolic stroke. With thromboprophylatic treatment we can reduce the risk of stroke in patients with AF. Oral vitamin K antagonists (VKA) such as warfarin and acenocoumarol are effective for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation. VKAs are associated with several limitations including very narrow therapeutic range, several factors (diet, drugs, alcohol consumption) affecting the effect of VKA and excessive bleeding may occur if INR value not controlled successfully. New oral anticoagulant direct Xa factor inhibitor rivaroxaban has a good therapeutic efficacy in prevention (primary and secondary) of stroke in AF patients. Its advantages are including no need for monitoring, fixed oral dose, not affected by meal, age and body weight, all of them can improve patient adherence. In ROCKET AF trial in patients with AF, rivaroxaban was noninferior to warfarin for the prevention of stroke or systemic embolism. There was no significant between-group difference in the risk of major bleeding, although intracranial and fatal bleeding occurred less frequently in the rivaroxaban group.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Clinical significance of the cardiovascular effects of fingolimod treatment in multiple sclerosis]


[Fingolimod is a sphingosine-1 phosphate receptor modulator, which is effective in the treatment of severe relapsingremitting form of multiple sclerosis. Once daily oral use of fingolimod decreased the annualized relapse rate, inflammatory brain lesion activity and the rate of brain atrophy compared both to placebo and intramuscular administered interferon beta-1a. The drug targets the cardiovascular system as well via sphingosine- 1 phosphate receptors. After initiation of fingolimod therapy transient sinus bradycardia and slowing of the atrioventricular conduction develops. The onset of the effect is as early as 1 hour post administration, while heart rate and conduction normalized in 24 hours in most of the cases. According to the clinical trials symptomatic bradycardia developed in 0.5% of the cases, responding to the appropriate therapy. The incidence of Mobitz I type II atrioventricular blocks and blocks with 2:1 atrioventricular conduction was 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively. All of these cardiovascular events showed regression during observation and no higher degree atrioventricular blocks were detected at the approved therapeutic dose. Following the first dose effect, fingolimod had a moderate hypertensive effect on long-term. For the safety of fingolimod treatment detailed cardiovascular risk stratification of all patients, adequate patient monitoring after the first dose and competency in treating the possible side effects is necessary. In patients with increased cardiovascular risks, treatment should be considered only if anticipated benefits outweigh potential risks and extended monitoring is required.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Aspirin and clopidogrel resistance: possible mechanisms and clinical relevance. Part I: Concept of resistance]

VADÁSZ Dávid, SZTRIHA K László, SAS Katalin, VÉCSEI László

[Aspirin and clopidogrel are well established as antiplatelet medication in the treatment of atherothrombotic vascular disease. However, despite treatment, a substantial number of patients experience recurrent ischemic episodes, referred to as aspirin or clopidogrel treatment failure. Various laboratory techniques are available with which to evaluate the effectiveness of antiplatelet drugs. Interestingly, the agreement between the results of the different tests may be poor. The term aspirin or clopidogrel resistance denotes those conditions in which an inadequate inhibitory efficacy of the given antiplatelet agent is detected by an in vitro assay of platelet function. It has been estimated that on average some 30% of patients treated with aspirin, and 20% on clopidogrel, do not achieve an appropriate level of efficacy as concerns platelet activity.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The role of immobilization stress and sertindole on the expression of APP, MAPK-1 and β-actin genes in rat brain]

KÁLMÁN János, PÁKÁSKI Magdolna, SZŰCS Szabina, KÁLMÁN Sára, FAZEKAS Örsike, SÁNTHA Petra, SZABÓ Gyula, JANKA Zoltán

[Stress, depending on its level and quality, may cause adaptive and maladaptive alterations in brain functioning. As one of its multiple effects, elevated blood cortisol levels decrease the synthesis of the neuroprotective BDNF, thus leading to hippocampal atrophy and synapse loss, and rendering it a possible cause for the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) related neuropathological and cognitive changes. As a result of the stress response, intraneuronal alterations - also affecting the metabolism of β-actin - can develop. These have a role in the regulation of memory formation (LTP), but in pathological conditions (AD) they could lead to the accumulation of Hirano bodies (actin-cofilin rods). According to the dementia treatment guidelines, the behavioural and psychological symptoms of AD can be treated with certain antipsychotics. Therefore, the aim of our study was to examine the effects of sertindole (currently not used in the standard management of AD) on the transcription of some AD associated genes (amyloid precursor protein [APP], mitogen activated protein kinase-1 [MAPK-1], β-actin) in the brain of rats exposed to chronic immobilization stress (CIS). Male Wistar rats were exposed to CIS for three weeks. The four groups were: control (n=16), CIS (n=10), 10 mg/kg sertindole (n=5) and 10 mg/kg sertindole + CIS (n=4). Following transcardial perfusion, the relative levels of hippocampal and cortical mRNA of the previously mentioned genes were measured with real-time PCR. CIS induced hippocampal β-actin (p<0.01), MAPK-1 and APP (p<0.05) mRNA overexpression. The simultaneous administration of sertindole suppressed this increase in β-actin, MAPK-1 and APP expression (p<0.05). Ours is the first report about CIS induced β-actin gene overexpression. This finding, in accordance with the similar results in APP and MAPK-1 expression, underlines the significance of cytoskeletal alterations in AD pathogenesis. The gene expression reducing effect of sertindole suggests that antipsychotic drugs may have a neuroprotective effect.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Clinical experiences with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: three case studies]

SZŰCS Anna, VÁRALLYAY Péter, OSZTIE Éva, PAPP Erzsébet, SÓLYOM András, FINTA Lehel, VARGA Dániel, BARCS Gábor, HOLLÓ András, KAMONDI Anita

[The clinical picture, electroencephalographic, imaging and cerebrospinal fluid parameters as well as the molecular background of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease have been well explored. The diagnostic criteria, offering clinicians a fair chance to identify these patients in vivo, have recently been updated. However, the diagnosis is still a challenge in everyday neurological routine. We report on three of our Creutzfeldt-Jakob patients for calling attention to the classical and the recently defined features of the disease. We conclude that based on the rapidly progressing neuropsychiatric syndrome Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease may be suspected; follow-up EEG may reveal the typical (pseudo)-periodic pattern with progressive deterioration of the background activity. In addition, diffusion-weighted brain MRI imaging (DWI) has high diagnostic value. Detection of 14-3-3 protein in the cerebrospinal fluid supports the in vivo diagnosis.]

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[Clinical neurophysiological methods in diagnosis and treatment of cerebrovascular diseases]

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[Neurophysiological methods are gaining ground in the diagnosis and therapy of cerebrovascular disease. While the role of the EEG (electroencephalography) in the diagnosis of post-stroke epilepsy is constant, quantitative EEG para-meters, as new indicators of early efficiency after thrombolysis or in prognosis of patient’s condition have proved their effectiveness in several clinical studies. In intensive care units, continuous EEG monitoring of critically ill patients became part of neurointenzive care protocols. SSEP (somatosesnsory evoked potencial) and EEG performed during carotid endarterectomy, are early indicative intraoperativ neuromonitoring methods of poor outcome. Neurorehabilitation is a newly discovered area of neurophysiology. Clinical studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in the rehabilitation of stroke patients. Brain computer interface mark the onset of modern rehabi-litation, where the function deficit is replaced by robotic tehnology. ]

Clinical Neuroscience



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[Experience with coenzyme Q10 in heart failure]

KOHUT László

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Neuroprotection in brain ischemia - doubts and hopes]


[In ischaemic stroke the two major potential therapeutic strategies are aimed at either improving cerebral blood flow or directly interacting with the cytotoxic cascade - a large body of evidence gained from animal studies is in support of them. In clinical trials direct neuroprotection by blocking the neurotoxic cascade remained ineffective, although there are several clinical trials still in progress. We summarize the experimental data and present the results of clinical trials and also discuss why so many drugs, which were effective in animal studies, failed in human trials. It is emphasized, that 1. in most animal studies the reduction of infarct size, i.e. the amount of saved penumbral tissue, was the outcome measure, whereas neurological function remained unassessed; 2. the recovery of intellectual performance and higher cortical functions are of major importance in the future quality of life in stroke victims; however, it is impossible to examine these parameters appropriately in animal studies; 3. in many clinical trials the patient population was rather heterogenous and low in number, the study protocol was not optimal and the critical analysis of the subacute and chronic phase was lacking or insufficient. We present the major experimental stroke models, discuss their similarities, differencies and limitations as compared to the human pathophysiological processes. The pitfalls of extrapolating data from animal studies to clinical practice are also summarized. The complex network of functional and morphological intercellular connections, the long timescale of neurotoxic and reparative events and the lessons learned from clinical trials suggest, that the use of drug combinations (therapeutic cocktails) targeting multiple steps of the neurotoxic cascade would hopefully result in more effective treatment of ischaemic stroke. Strategies to facilitate brain plasticity and regeneration is an additional promising tool to enhance recovery in brain ischaemia.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The diagnostic and management challenges for posterior reversible leucoencephalopathy syndrome]

KILIC COBAN Eda, GEZ Sedat, KARA Batuhan, SOYSAL Aysun

[Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) is a clinicoradiological entity characterized by epileptic seizures, headaches, altered mental status and focal neurological signs. Hypertension is the second most common condition associated with PRES. The 50-year-old-male patient with right-sided hemiparesis and speech disturbances admitted to our clinic. His blood pressure at the emergency service was 220/140 mmHg. A left putaminal hematoma was seen in his CT and MRI. In his brain MRI, FLAIR and T2 –weighted sequences showed bilateral symmetric diffuse hyperintensities in the brain stem, basal ganglia, and occipital, parietal, frontal, and temporal lobes. After the intense antihypertensive drug treatment, his blood pressure came to normal limits within a week. During his hospitalisation he had a recurrent speech disturbance lasting an hour. His electroencephalography was normal. In his repeated diffusion weighted MRI, an acute lacunary infarct was seen on right centrum semiovale. Two months later, the control MRI showed only the previous lacuner infarcts and the chronic putaminal hematoma. We presented a case developping either a cerebral hemorrhage or a lacunar infarction due to PRES. The main reason of the following complications of the disease was delayed diagnosis. Uncontrolled hypertension was guilted for the events. ]