LAM Extra for General Practicioners



DECEMBER 17, 2013

LAM Extra for General Practicioners - 2013;5(04)

[Statins have become crucial components of the therapy of cardiovascular diseases. Beyond their cholesterol-lowering effect, statins turned out to have further beneficial effects on various vascular mechanisms. One of the best known effects is antithrombotic capacity, which is related partly to platelet function and partly to the coagulation cascade. Besides experimental observations, interventional clinical trials have also demonstrated that statins have an antithrombotic effect both in arterial and venous thrombosis. Regarding the effects of statins on dementia, previous studies with relatively small sample sizes had controversial results. Recently, two observational studies of tens of thousands of elderly patients reported that statins reduce the incidence of nonvascular dementia. Evaluation of the data revealed that statins have pleiotropic effects in this case, too. The results discussed here shed light on new benefits of statin therapy used for reducing cardiovascular mortality, namely the prevention of thrombotic events and dementia. These benefits are related to the antithrombotic and anti-inflammatoric capacity of statins.]



Further articles in this publication

LAM Extra for General Practicioners



[Various medical associations issue different recommendations for the prevention and treatment of vitamin D deficiency. These significant differences are partly explained by the different definition of normal vitamin D level and the use of completely different mathematical models to predict the increase in vitamin D level as a response to therapy. According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the target vitamin D level is 20 ng/ml, whereas the Endocrine Society (ES) recommends 30 ng/m as the miminum target value. According to the ES, a 1 ng/ml increase of vitamin D level can be reached by a daily intake of 100 NE, while the IOM recommends 3.6 ng/ml. Moreover, the IOM states that the effect of therapy on serum level is nonlinear. These differences show that the ES and IOM have different views on the risk of adverse effects. The IOM recommends 400 IU vitamin D daily for children younger than 1 year, 800 IU for those above 70 years and 600 IU/per day for everyone else. The ES recommend 400-1000 IU daily for all infants and 1500- 2000 IU for adults. Screening, however, is not recommended by either society. To decrease uncertainty concerning the side effects of higher-dose vitamin D treatment, it is important to understand, use and support the function of the pharmacovigilance system of the pharmaceutical industry that manufactures and markets various (prescription, over-the-counter) preparations. This is what the author aims to highlight in the second part of this article. Using this system, both the doctor and the patient can help support and accept the justification of higher-dose vitamin D therapy.]

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Lege Artis Medicinae

[The effects of angiotensin receptor blockers on the nervous system in hypertension and dementia]


[The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is one of the most important mechanisms regarding the pathomechanism and treatment of hyprtension. The most of the elements of the RAS are found in the nervous system too. The effect of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) is based on the inhibition of the RAS. ARBs might have a special role in the central nervous system because they do not decrease the production of angiotensin but inhibit its harmful effects mediated through the AT1 receptor while allowing the stimulation of AT2 receptors with resulting pleiotrophic actions. Hypertension is the most important risk factor for stroke and has a negative effect on cognitive functions. Antihypertensive treatment has an effect on the nervous system; in addition to the consequences of the reduced blood pressure, ARBs might provide additional advantages in stroke and dementia prevention.]

Clinical Neuroscience



[In this paper the authors review the relationship and the possible interaction between the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) and the CoQ10 (ubiquinone) based on the current literature. The statins are widely used in the clinical practice. Inhibiting the synthesis of mevalonic acid they decrease the plasma cholesterol level. Since mevalonic acid is also required for ubiquinone synthesis statins could influence ubiquinone metabolism. Many studies confirmed the relationship between statin therapy and lower plasma ubiquinone level. Much less data are available about the tissue concentration changes of ubiquinone during statin therapy. The authors try to summarise the consequences of the interaction between statin therapy and ubiquinone metabolism.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Dementia and pseudodementia - depression as a risk factor of dementia]


[Dementia and depression have the highest annual costs for brain disorders (mental and neurologic disorders) in Europe. The prevalence of these disorders is very high in the old age. The depression is common and an underrecognized part of the dementia syndrome because of similar symptomatology and the comorbidity. The correct differential diagnosis is important in the therapeutic approach. The pseudodementia of depression can be improved by antidepressants. The author reviewed the symptomatologic and neurobiological connection of these two disorders.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The first identified Central-Eastern European patient with genetically confirmed dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy]


[Aims - Dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy (DRPLA) is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a trinucleotide repeat expansion. The disease mainly occurs amongst the Japanese and is extremely rare in the European population. The characteristic clinical symptoms are cerebellar ataxia, dementia, choreoathetoid movements, epileptic seizures and myoclonus. The aim of this study is to present the first genetically confirmed Hungarian case of DRPLA. Case report - The middle-aged female patient developed the characteristic clinical symptoms except myoclonus over her late thirties with positive family history. The major finding in the skull magnetic resonance imaging was the atrophy of infratentorial brain structures with the consequential dilation of related cerebrospinal fluid spaces. A detailed neuropsychological examination was also performed and it revealed moderate cognitive dysfunctions, mild depression and anxiety. As underlying conditions, Huntington’s disease and common spinocerebellar ataxia forms all came into consideration, but all the result of the respective genetic tests were negative. However, the test for mutation in the ATN1 gene revealed pathological heterozygous CAG repeat expansion. Conclusion - This case study serves as the first description of genetically confirmed DRPLA in the Central-Eastern region of Europe, the clinical features of which seems to be very similar to the previously reported cases.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Parkinson's syndrome and cognitive disorders]


[The cognitive (executive) ability of patients with Parkinson’s-disease (PD) deteriorates gradually during the progression of the disease. Fluency of speech, word finding, working memory, ability to plan the future and flexibility decline. Cognitive disturbance was found to be proportional with the speech, posture, gait and balance problems and can not be influenced by L-dopa substitution. Apart the dorsal and ventral mesolimbic dopaminergic systems the coerulo-cortical noradrenergic, serotoninergic and cholinergic systems are also impaired in PD. Subcortical dementia in PD can also be explained by the functional dysability of dorsolateral and anterior cingular circuits. Attention deficit can be explained by the dopamine depletion of cingular cortex. Cortical Lewy bodies, neurofibrillary tangles, neurit plaques and additional vascular pathology should also play a role in cognitive impairment of PD. In several systemic degenerative diseases associating with Parkinson’s syndrome (PS) ie. progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), corticobasal degeneration (CBD), multiple system atrophy (MSA) dementia can be detected with various severity, therefore the question arises concerning the correlation between cognitive disability and PS. Parkinson syndrome can also develop in frontotemporal dementias (FTD), Alzheimer’s disease and cortical Lewy body disease (CLBD) but no correlation exists between motor disability and severity of dementia. In CLBD dementia can be the initial symptom in 18% of cases but PS can also preceedes the dementia. In PSP profound depletion of other monoaminergic neurotransmitter system was also reported. In FTDs associated with PS degeneration of substantia nigra, locus coeruleus and basal nucleus of Meynert has been reported with increased number of neurofibrillary tangles. In patients with vascular PS (VP) there is generally no tremor and rigidity, but pseudobulbar palsy, dementia, gate disturbance, incontinency appeares; L-dopa treatment is generally ineffective. In VP no cellular loss can be found within the substantia nigra, but leukoaraiosis, lacunae in the white matter and basal ganglia are commonly demonstrated.]