Clinical Neuroscience

[World of agression]

RAJNA Péter, HÁRDI István

JANUARY 30, 2011

Clinical Neuroscience - 2011;64(01-02)

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Ulcerative carpal tunnel syndrome]

KAMONDI Anita, TEIXEIRA Jose Maria, SZIRMAI Imre

[The carpal tunnel syndrome is the most frequent compression-induced neuropathy. A severe but rare clinical manifestation of this disorder associates with ulceration, acral osteo-lysis and mutilation of the terminal phalanges of the second and third fingers. Recognition of this disorder is difficult, because various dermatological and internal diseases might lead to acral ulcerative lesions, and these patients are seldom referred to neurological and/or electrodiagnostic examination. In this article, we present three cases of this rare clinical form of carpal tunnel syndrome and discuss the electrodiagnostic findings. The early diagnosis is important since decompression of the median nerve in due time might prevent mutilation and could significantly improve the patients’ quality of life.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Vascular compression syndromes of the cranial nerves]

KUNCZ Ádám, VÖRÖS Erika, BARZÓ Pál

[The blood vessels which are running nearby the cranial nerves and the brainstem can be elongated; curves and loops of the vessels may develop mostly due to the degenerative alterations of ageing and these vessels can compress the surrounding neural elements. The authors report a review of vascular compression syndromes based on the literature and their own experience. The typical clinical symptoms of the syndromes subserving the proper diagnosis, the pathomechanism, the significance of imaging especially the magnetic resonance angiography, the experience with the surgical technique of microvascular decompression which is the only causal treatment of the syndromes are discussed. In cases of non-responsible medical treatment the microvascular decompression should be the eligible treatment in certain syndromes (trigeminal and glossopharyngeal neuralgia, hemifacial spasm) for it is a highly effective and low risk method.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[EEG investigations in cognitive impairments]

SZIRMAI Imre, KAMONDI Anita

[The EEG is an indicator of all physiological and neuropsychological activity. The α rhythm was considered as a key phenomenon in research of human mentation from the discovery of EEG. Two methods are known for the estimation of cognitive deficit by the use of quantitative EEG (QEEG). The first is based on the hypothesis, that the mean values of the normal EEG from healthy volunters can be used as reference, and deviation from the normal values of EEG parameters may suggest disease. This kind of “neurometry” was elaborated by R. E. John. The second method asseses event related (ER) transients evoked by somatosensory and mental stimuli. Quantity and localization of signals may refer to the functional state of the cortex. These reactions depend strongly on the test-paradigms. Recognition of the attention-intention cycle disclosed the psysiological mechanism of ERD (event related desynchronisation) and ERS (event related synchronisation). In contrast with the classical “stimulus-reaction” model, both perception and voluntary movement are iniciated by the brain itself, and not by the environment. Human behavior and conscious actions depend on the intention. QEEG analysis proved that the attention and intention localize in segregate areas of the brain. Both “static” and “dinamic” neurometric methods are able to differenciate the EEG records of demented patients from healthy controls, furthermore some dementias from each other. We conclude that with the help of sofisticated methods of QEEG analysis minimal functional deficit of the electrogenesis can be recognized, which could be helpful in the differential diagnosis Notwithstanding the EEG can not explain the evolution neither the normal or the diseased mental processes. The only “instrument” which is able to approach the human mind is the human cogitation itself with the aids of appropriate tests. The QEEG can be conclusive in the analysis of particular processes of mental activity, such as timing, state of activation, hierarchical organisation of cortical territories and mechanism of electrogenesis.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Neurological complications of Fabry-disease]

VASTAGH Ildikó, CONSTANTIN Tamás, KÉRI Anna, RUDAS Gábor, FEKETE György, BERECZKI Dániel

[Background - Fabry-disease (FD) is a rare X-linked lysosomal storage disease. Deficiency of alpha-galactosidase A activity leads to the accumulation of neutral glycosphingolipids, primarily globotriaosylceramide (GL-3) in various tissues, particularly blood vessels, kidneys, myocardium and in ganglions of the peripheral and autonomic nervous system and causes diverse symptoms. The classical phenotype is seen in most males and rarely in females. In women, symptomes start later and the severity is milder. Both peripheral and central nervous system can be both affected. Objectives - Fabry-patiens and gene-carriers in the central region of Hungary are treated in the 2nd Pediatric Department, Semmelweis University. These patients are consulted by an interdisciplinary team. At present, four hemizygous male, four heterozygous female Fabry-patients and three asymptomatic heterozygous gene carriers are followed. Results - After reviewing the neurological complications of FD, we present clinical and neuroimaging data of our patients. Conclusion - We emphasize that neurologists should suspect the rare monogenic FD in the case of acroparaesthesia and heat-cold intolerance in childhood or adolescence; clinical signs of TIA/stroke or unexplained MRI alterations suggesting small vessel disease in young adults. Early diagnosis and introduction of enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) can halt or reverse progression.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Tolosa-Hunt syndrome]

PÉTERFI Anna, ZÁDORI Péter, SÜTŐ Gábor, HORVÁTH Gyula, KOPA János

[Both men and women are affected by the rare disease called Tolosa-Hunt syndrome. We don’t know exactly what causes it to evolve. It is usually put into the categories of either idiopathic inflammation or pseudotumor. Its patological feature is a non-specific inflammatory process with fibroblastic, lymphocytic, plasmocytic infiltration, which can be found, for the most part, in the wall of the sinus cavernosus. Granulocytic and giant-cell infiltrations have been described too. The possibility of autoimmune disease has also come up. In our current study we describe the case of a female patient who recovered with the help of a steroid therapy. Through examining her, we also found immunological alterations, which should urge us to thoroughly examine the further observations of this kind.]

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Lege Artis Medicinae

[Focus on Lege Artis Medicinae (LAM)]

VASAS Lívia, GEGES József

[Three decades ago, LAM was launched with the goal of providing scientific information about medicine and its frontiers. From the very beginning, LAM has also concerned a special subject area while connecting medicine with the world of art. In the palette of medical articles, it remained a special feature to this day. The analysis of the history of LAM to date was performed using internationally accepted publication guidelines and scientific databases as a pledge of objectivity. We examined the practice of LAM if it meets the main criteria, the professional expectations of our days, when publishing contents of the traditional printed edition and its electronic version. We explored the visibility of articles in the largest bibliographic and scientific metric databases, and reviewed the LAM's place among the Hun­ga­rian professional journals. Our results show that in recent years LAM has gained international reputation des­pite publishing in Hungarian spoken by a few people. This is due to articles with foreign co-authors as well as references to LAM in articles written exclusively by foreign researchers. The journal is of course full readable in the Hungarian bibliographic databases, and its popularity is among the leading ones. The great virtue of the journal is the wide spectrum of the authors' affiliation, with which they cover almost completely the Hungarian health care institutional sys­tem. The special feature of its columns is enhanced by the publication of writings on art, which may increase Hungarian and foreign interest like that of medical articles.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[A short chronicle of three decades ]

KAPRONCZAY Katalin

[Hungarian professional periodicals started quite late in European context. Their publish­ing, editing and editorial philosophy were equally influenced by specific historical and political situations. Certain breaking points of history resulted in termina­tion of professional journals (War of In­de­pendence 1848-1849, First and Se­cond World Wars), however there were pe­riods, which instigated the progress of sciences and founding of new scientific journals. Both trends were apparent in years after the fall of former Hungarian regime in 1990. The structure of book and journal publishing has changed substantially, some publishers fell “victim” others started successfully as well. The latters include the then-established publishing house Literatura Medica and its own scientific journal, Lege Artis Me­di­cinae (according to its subtitle: New Hun­garian Medical Herald) issued first in 1990. Its appearance enhanced significantly the medical press market. Its scientific publications compete with articles of the well-established domestic medical journals however its philosophy set brand-new trends on the market. Concerning the medical community, it takes on its problems and provides a forum for them. These problems are emerging questions in health care, economy and prevention, in close interrelation with system of public health institutions, infrastructure and situation of those providing individual health services. In all of them, Lege Artis Medicinae follows consequently the ideas of traditional social medicine.]

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

[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.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[End of the line? Addenda to the health and social care career of psychiatric patients living in Hungary’s asylums]

KAPÓCS Gábor, BACSÁK Dániel

[The authors are focusing on a special type of long term psychiatric care taking place in Hungary outside of the conventional mental health care system, by introducing some institutional aspects of the not well known world of so called social homes for psychiatric patients (asylums). After reviewing several caracteristics of institutional development of psychiatric care in Hun­gary based on selected Hungarian and in­ternational historical sources, the main struc­tural data of present Hungarian institutional capacities of psychiatric health and social care services are shown. Finally, the authors based on own personal experiences describe several functional ascpects of the largest existing asylum in EU, a so­cial home for long term care of psychiatric pa­tients. By the beginning of the 20th century, Hungarian psychiatric institutions were operating on an infrastructure of three large mental hospitals standing alone and several psychiatric wards incorporated into hospitals. Nevertheless, at the very first session of the Psychiatrists’ Conference held in 1900 many professionals gave warning: mental institutions were overcrowded and the quality of care provided in psychiatric hospital wards, many of which located in the countryside of Hungary, in most cases was far from what would have been professionally acceptable. The solution was seen in the building of new independent mental hospitals and the introduction of a family nursing institution already established in Western Europe; only the latter measure was implemented in the first half of the 20th century but with great success. However, as a result of the socio-political-economic-ideological turn following the Second World War, the institution of family nursing was dismantled while different types of psychiatric care facilities were developed, such as institutionalised hospital and outpatient care. In the meantime, a new type of institution emerged in the 1950s: the social home for psychiatric pa­tients, which provided care for approximately the same number of chronic psychiatric patients nationwide as the number of functioning hospital beds for acute psychiatric patients. This have not changed significantly since, while so­cial homes for psychiatric patients are perhaps less visible to the professional and lay public nowadays, altough their operational conditions are deteriorating of late years. Data show, that for historical reasons the current sys­tem of inpatient psychiatric care is proportionately arranged between health care and social care institutions; each covering one third. Further research is needed to fully explore and understand the current challenges that the system of psychiatric care social- and health care institu­tions are facing. An in-depth analysis would significantly contribute to the comprehensive improvement of the quality of services and the quality of lives of patients, their relatives and the health- and social care professionals who support them. ]