Clinical Neuroscience

[Why to say good-bye? Where are we going? Let us adapt!]


MARCH 20, 2011

Clinical Neuroscience - 2011;64(03-04)



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[Interdisciplinary approach of vestibular system impairment]


[In the first part of this review the definition of vertigo/dizziness was discussed. The major difference between the two signs is the exsistence of the direction, which is specific for vertigo. Dizziness is a frequent complaint in the clinical practice. Its frequency is increasing with advance of age, to intimate the play of declining cognitive process in the pathogenesis of its. The popular health significance of vertigo is in the rowing number of the patients. The onset of the most cases with acute vertigo appears between secundums and minutes so the patients will be provided in circumstances of emergency department. First of all three form schould be take into account: neuronitis vestibularis, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and Meniere syndrome. Without tipical periferal signs of vertigo, central cause should be searched, principally stroke (lysis possibility). The differential diagnose of the different dizzeness/vertigo forms according to the elapsed time of the onset or congenital and acquired nystagmus was created in tables. The recommendations of the therapy of acute and chronic dizziness/ vertigo syndroms are, lack of results of evidence based trials doubtful. The more often used drugs based on clinical trials are discussed as vinpocetine, betahistine and piracetam. The in vitro and in vivo data suggest that the last molecule is eligible to use both in periferal and central type of vertigo syndroms.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Epilepsy in the elderly]

NIKL János

[The incidence of epilepsy is higher among the elderly, the most rapidly growing segment of the population, than in any other age group. New-onset seizures in elderly patients are typically symptomatic or cryptogenic partial seizures that require long-term treatment. Epilepsy in the elderly is a frequently occuring pathology, differing in etiology, clinical presentation and prognosis from those of young people. Establishing the diagnosis of epilepsy in old age can be more difficult than in younger patients due to the extensive range of differential diagnoses and a higher prevalence of concomitant disease. Beyond a certain age physiological and pathophysiological changes can affect the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of antiepileptic drugs(AEDs), increasing the risk of pharmacological interactions due to polypharmacy. Furthermore, the elderly people are sensitive to advers events of AEDs, as for example, to cognitive disturbances, osteoporosis. Several of newer AEDs have good safety and cognitive effect profiles and have no interactions with other drugs. The treatment strategies are demanding: they must take into consideration the co-morbidity, co-medication, alterations in drug metabolism, and the effects on aging body. These factors make the management of epilepsy in the elderly particulary challenging, but with appropiate pharmacological treatment most elderly people with epilepsy will remain seizurefree.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[CADASIL and other hereditary small vessel diseases of the brain - Increasingly diagnosed conditions underlying familial ischaemic stroke and dementia]

GUNDA Bence, HUGUES Chabriat, BERECZKI Dániel

[CADASIL (Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Subcortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy) has recently gained great interest in vascular neurology as the most common heritable cause of stroke and vascular dementia in adults. This autosomal dominant small vessel disease of the brain - unlike the sporadic, hypertensive form - appears already in adult midlife in the absence of vascular risk factors with ischemic episodes and progressive dementia, its first manifestation can be migraine with aura, and is often associated with psychiatric disturbances. The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) changes showing a characteristic pattern may precede symptoms by more than a decade. The identification of the mautation of the NOTCH 3 gene responsible for the disorder encoding a transmembrane receptor of vascular smooth muscle cells - has given great impetus on research to understand the molecular and vascular pathogenesis of the disease. The special importance of this latter lies in the fact that CADASIL provides a pure genetic model for subcortical cerebral ischemia and vascular dementia without the confounding factors of comorbidities and advanced age. Thus insights into CADASIL may help us better understand the more common sporadic forms as well. Moreover CADASIL is one of the best studied examples of secondary migraine. Currently we have far less knowledge on other forms of hereditary small vessel disease of the brain such as CARASIL, HERNS, CRV, HVR, PXE etc. Neurologists are becoming more and more familiar with CADASIL, and with the wider availability of MRI it is increasingly diagnosed. However the disorder is still probably underrecognised. This review aims to summarize our current knowledge on CADASIL with special emphasis on diagnostic and diffrential diagnostic points for the practising neurologist.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[EEG source localization using LORETA (Low Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography)]

PUSKÁS Szilvia

[Electroencephalography (EEG) has excellent temporal resolution, but the spatial resolution is poor. Different source localization methods exist to solve the so-called inverse problem, thus increasing the accuracy of spatial localization. This paper provides an overview of the history of source localization and the main categories of techniques are discussed. LORETA (Low Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography) is introduced in details: technical informations are discussed and localization properties of LORETA method are compared to other inverse solutions. Validation of the method with different imaging techniques is also discussed. This paper reviews several publications using LORETA both in healthy persons and persons with different neurological and psychiatric diseases. Finally future possible applications are discussed.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Anti-NMDA-receptor encephalitis: description of the syndrome in line with presentation of the first Hungarian patient]

HOLLÓDY Katalin, CSÁBI Györgyi, LÁNG Anikó, RÓZSAI Barnabás, KOMÁROMY Hedvig, BORS László, ILLÉS Zsolt

[In the majority of cases, anti-NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor encephalitis is a severe, but treatable disorder, therefore early diagnosis and adequate therapy are very important. It should be suspected in children and young women, who develop acute psychiatric symptoms and seizures. During the course of the disease severe encephalopathy, agitation, hallucinations, orofacial dyskinesias, prolonged cognitive disturbance, autonomic symptoms can be observed and akinetic mutism develops. EEG shows diffuse slowing. Brain MRI is normal or unspecific. Elevated protein, pleiocytosis and oligoclonal bands can be present in the CSF. Detection of NMDA-receptor antibodies in sera or CSF confirms diagnosis. We present the case of a 15-year old girl, who fully recovered within two months after steroid treatment and repeated plasma exchange. Ovarian teratoma has not been detected.]

All articles in the issue

Related contents

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Second game, 37th move and Fourth game 78th move]

VOKÓ Zoltán

[What has Go to do with making clinical decisions? One of the greatest intellectual challenges of bedside medicine is making decisions under uncertainty. Besides the psychological traps of traditionally intuitive and heuristic medical decision making, lack of information, scarce resources and characteristics of doctor-patient relationship contribute equally to this uncertainty. Formal, mathematical model based analysis of decisions used widely in developing clinical guidelines and in health technology assessment provides a good tool in theoretical terms to avoid pitfalls of intuitive decision making. Nevertheless it can be hardly used in individual situations and most physicians dislike it as well. This method, however, has its own limitations, especially while tailoring individual decisions, under inclusion of potential lack of input data used for calculations, or its large imprecision, and the low capability of the current mathematical models to represent the full complexity and variability of processes in complex systems. Nevertheless, clinical decision support systems can be helpful in the individual decision making of physicians if they are well integrated in the health information systems, and do not break down the physicians’ autonomy of making decisions. Classical decision support systems are knowledge based and rely on system of rules and problem specific algorithms. They are utilized widely from health administration to image processing. The current information revolution created the so-called artificial intelligence by machine learning methods, i.e. machines can learn indeed. This new generation of artificial intelligence is not based on particular system of rules but on neuronal networks teaching themselves by huge databases and general learning algorithms. This type of artificial intelligence outperforms humans already in certain fields like chess, Go, or aerial combat. Its development is full of challenges and threats, while it presents a technological breakthrough, which cannot be stopped and will transform our world. Its development and application has already started also in the healthcare. Health professionals must participate in this development to steer it into the right direction. Lee Sedol, 18-times Go world champion retired three years after his historical defeat from AlphaGo artificial intelligence, be­cause “Even if I become the No. 1, there is an entity that cannot be defeated”. It is our great luck that we do not need to compete or defeat it, we must ensure instead that it would be safe and trustworthy, and in collaboration with humans this entity would make healthcare more effective and efficient. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The importance of patient reported outcome measures in Pompe disease]

MOLNÁR Mária Judit, MOLNÁR Viktor, LÁSZLÓ Izabella, SZEGEDI Márta, VÁRHEGYI Vera, GROSZ Zoltán

[In recent decades it has become increasingly important to involve patients in their diagnostic and treatment process to improve treatment outcomes and optimize compliance. By their involvement, patients can become active participants in therapeutic developments and their observations can be utilized in determining the unmet needs and priorities in clinical research. This is especially true in rare diseases such as Pompe disease. Pompe disease is a genetically determined lysosomal storage disease featuring severe limb-girdle and axial muscle weakness accompanied with respiratory insufficiency, in which enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) now has been available for 15 years. In our present study, patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) for individuals affected with Pompe disease were developed which included questionnaires assessing general quality of life (EuroQoL, EQ-5D, SF36), daily activities and motor performance (Fatigue Severity Score, R-PAct-Scale, Rotterdam and Bartel disability scale). Data were collected for three subsequent years. The PROM questionnaires were a good complement to the physician-recorded condition assessment, and on certain aspects only PROMs provided information (e.g. fatigue in excess of patients’ objective muscle weakness; deteriorating social activities despite stagnant physical abilities; significant individual differences in certain domains). The psychological effects of disease burden were also reflected in PROMs. In addition to medical examination and certain endpoints monitored by physicians, patient perspectives need to be taken into account when assessing the effectiveness of new, innovative treatments. With involvement of patients, information can be obtained that might remain uncovered during regular medical visits, although it is essential in determining the directions and priorities of clinical research. For all orphan medicines we emphasize to include patients in a compulsory manner to obtain general and disease-specific multidimensional outcome measures and use them as a quality indicator to monitor treatment effectiveness.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Sleep habits among preschool- and schoolchildren]

FUSZ Katalin, RITECZ Bernadett, BALOGH Brigitta, TAKÁCS Krisztina, SOMLAI Eszter, RAPOSA L. Bence, OLÁH András

[Objective - Our aim is to evaluate sleep habits, sleep quality and influencing factors among preschool- and schoolchildren. Method - Two questionnaires were recorded. Questionnaire 1 dealt with sleeping habits, breastfeeding and health behavior of preschool children and infant, and it contained the abbreviated version of the Children’s Sleep Habits Questionnaire. Questionnaire 2 dealt with health behavior and the application of sleep hygiene rules, as well as it contained the Athens Insomnia Scale. Subjects - We assessed a total of 1063 questionnaires: 516 kindergarten children participated in our online survey across the country; 547 primary and secondary school students participated in the 2nd questionnaire survey in Szolnok. Results - Parents’ observation shows that the average nighttime sleeping time of kindergarten children is 10 hours 20 minutes on weekdays and 10 hours 36 minutes on weekends. The most popular sleeping habits in kindergarten age: teal reading (65.1%) and co-sleeping (42.8%). Parents of infants used breastfeeding (50.4%) and rocking (43.2%) most frequently before sleep. Co-sleeping has a positive influence on the length of lactation. Among the preschool sleeping habits we have proved a number of positive effects of teal reading, while watching television have negative effects. The sleep quality of school-age children according to the Athens Insomnia Scale is 6.11 points (SD: 4.11), 19% of the children are insomniac. Their sleep time is 7 hours 31 minutes on weekdays and 9 hours 30 minutes on weekends. The usage of good health behavior and sleep hygiene rules positively influence sleep quality and sleep duration. Conclusions - With our results, we would like to draw the attention of children and parents to the importance of sleeping and using sleep hygiene rules.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Effective therapy in highly active pediatric multiple sclerosis ]

MERÔ Gabriella, MÓSER Judit, LIPTAI Zoltán, DIÓSZEGHY Péter, BESSENYEI Mónika, CSÉPÁNY Tünde

[Multiple sclerosis (MS) is typically a disease of young adults. Childhood MS can be defined in patients under 18 years of age, although some authors set the limit un­der the age of 16 formerly known as “early-onset multiple sclerosis” or “juvenile multiple sclerosis”, seen in 3-5% of all MS patients. Nowadays, owing to ever-evolving, better diagnostic tools and well-traced, strictly defined diagnostic criteria, childhood MS is showing an increasing incidence worldwide (0.05-2.85/100 000). MS is characterized by recurrent episodes of the central nervous system with demyelination separated in space and time. In childhood almost exclusively the relapsing-remitting (RR) type of MS occurs. Based on experience in adults, the goal in the pediatric population is also the early diagnosis, to initiate adequate DMT as soon as possible and to achieve symptom relief and good quality of life. Based on efficacy and safety studies in the adult population, inter­feron β-1a and glatiramer acetate were first approved by the FDA and EMA for the treatment of childhood MS also. The increased relapse rate and rapid progression of childhood MS and unfavorable therapeutic response to nearly 45% of the first DMT necessitated the testing of more effective and second-line drugs in the population under 18 years of age (PARADIGMS, CONNECT). Although natalizumab was reported to be effective and well-tolerated in highly active RRMS in childhood, evidence based studies were not yet available when our patients’ treatment started. In this article, we report on the successful treatment of three active RRMS patients with individually authorized off-label use of natalizumab.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Validation of the Hungarian PHQ-15. A latent variable approach

STAUDER Adrienne, WITTHÖFT Michael, KÖTELES Ferenc

Somatic symptoms without a clear-cut organic or biomedical background, also called “medically unexplained” or “somatoform” symptoms, are frequent in primary and secondary health care. They are often accompanied by depression and/or anxiety, and cause functional impairment. The Patient Health Question­naire Somatic Symptom Scale (PHQ-15) was developed to measure somatic symptom distress based on the frequency and bothersomeness of non-specific somatic symptoms. The study aimed to (1) evaluate the Hungarian version of the PHQ-15 from a psychometric point of view; (2) replicate the bifactor structure and associations with negative affect described in the literature; and (3) provide the Hungarian clinical and scientific community with reference (normal) values split by sex and age groups. PHQ-15, depression (BDI-R), and subjective well-being (WHO-5) scores obtained from a large (n = 5020) and close to representative community sample (Hun­garostudy 2006) were subjected to correlation analysis and linear structural equation modeling. The PHQ-15 showed good internal consistency (Cronbach’s α = 0.810; McDonald’s ω = 0.819) and moderate to strong correlation with the BDI-R (rs = .49, p < 0.001) and WHO-5 (rs = -.48, p < 0.001). Fit of the bifactor structure was excellent; in independent analyses, the general factor was strongly associated with depression (β = 0.656±0.017, p < 0.001) and well-being (β = -0.575±0.015, p < 0.001), whereas the symptom specific factors were only weakly or not related to these constructs. The PHQ-15 score was higher in females and showed a weak positive association with age. The Hungarian PHQ-15 is a psychometrically sound scale which is positively associated with depression and ne­gatively related to subjective well-being. The bifactor structure indicates the existence and meaningfulness of a gene­ral factor representing the affective-motivational component of somatic symptom distress. The Hungarian version of the PHQ-15 is a brief and usable tool for the pre-screening of somatization disorder (DSM-IV) or somatic symptom disorder (DSM-5). The reported reference values can be used in the future for both clinical and research purposes.