[Pain relief in the neurologist’s view]


OCTOBER 20, 2011

LAM KID - 2011;1(02)

[Pain, on the basis of its anatomical origin, can be nociceptive (somatic, visceral) or neuropathic, that is, occuring as a direct consequence of a lesion or disease affecting the somatosensory system. The past few years’ epidemiological studies showed that chronic neuropathic pain affects 7-8% of the general population. Diagnosis of neuropathic pain can be established without instrumental examinations, with the help of validated tests that can be used by any physician. Neuropathic pain greatly deteriorates the patients’ quality of life, and the effect of traditional analgesics is insufficient for its treatment. Thus, it is important to know those treatment procedures and drugs that have been proved to be efficient for relieving neuropathic pain.]



Further articles in this publication


[Inhibition of receptor activator of nuclear kappa-B ligand: pathophysiology and preclinical data]


[Bone remodeling is a lifelong process, in which the balanced functions of osteoclasts and osteoblasts have a key role. In certain conditions, for example during the dramatical hormonal changes in the postmenopausal period, the upset of this balance leads to a pathologically increased bone loss. Such conditions lead to an increased bone loss, which results in an increased risk of fractures. Bone resorption is primarily regulated by a member of the tumor necrosis factor family, receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand, which plays a central role in the development, function and survival of osteoclasts. Catabolic effects of this ligand is inhibited by another member of the tumor necrosis factor family, osteoprotegerin, which binds to the ligand and prevents its interaction with its receptor, the receptor activator of nuclear factor κB. Osteoclast activity is at least partly dependent on the relative balance of the ligand and osteoprotegerin. It has been shown in a number of animal models that inhibition of the ligand markedly decreases bone resorption and increases cortical and cancellous bone volume, density and strength, without having any significant effect on other organs. On the basis of these findings, inhibition of receptor activator of nuclear κB ligand is a promising therapy of conditions characterised by increased bone loss. In phase 3 clinical trials, denosumab therapy significantly increased bone mineral density at various regions of the skeleton and significantly decreased the levels of bone turnover markers compared with placebo and alendronate therapy, and significantly decreased the incidence of new vertebral, total hip and nonvertebral fractures compared with placebo. On the basis of these findings, denosumab therapy offers a novel, revolutionary solution for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis.]


[Pain relief in metastatic bone disease]

BOÉR Katalin

[Metastatic bone disease is a hallmark of distant relapse of a number of solid tumours. The treatment of bone metastases is palliative, the main goal is to relieve pain, whereas it’s also important to reduce the risk of bone fractures, prolong survival and maintain the physical activity of patients. Pain is one of the most common symptoms of bone metastases, and state-of-the-art pain relief has an important role in maintaining the patients’ quality of life. Therapies to control pain include drug therapy, radiotherapy, surgery, systemic oncotherapy, such as chemotherapy and/or hormone therapy, multibone radioisotope therapy and administration of bisphosphonates. Regarding the relief of pain caused by malignant tumours, the guidelines developed by the World Health Organization should be followed. The algorithm of pain relief starts with assessment of the pain’s intensity and includes both pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions. Analgesics used for pain relief include nonopioids, opioids and adjuvant agents. The pain can be efficiently relieved with the combined use of modern analgesics in the great majority of patients.]


[Pain management in rheumatology]

NAGY Katalin

[Pain is the most common symptom in rheumatology, which can be of mechanical or inflammatory origin, acute and chronic, nociceptive, neuropathic and psychogenic. Pain can be relieved by analgesics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, opioids, adjuvants and special drugs depending on the etiology, for example a gout attack can be stopped by colchicine. For pain relief, we use therapeutic guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO), which recommends the use of analgesics, NSAIDs and adjuvants as the first step, weaker opioids as the second, and strong opioids as the third step. In rheumatology, the first step's drugs are generally used. If possible, NSAIDs should be administered briefly, potentially combined with analgesics and muscle relaxants. If pain management is insufficient, tramadol should be given. Pain relief in rheumatology also include the use of local and intraarticular injections, physiotherapy, TENS and balneotherapy. Complex therapies that combine the above mentioned methods is often more effective than the use of medications only.]


[Osteoid osteoma]



[Connections of bone turnover and energy homeostasis in women]


[BACKGROUND - A new discovery of the past decade has been the previously unknown relationship between the bone metabolic unit and energy homeostasis. On the basis of data from previous animal and clinical studies, osteocalcin has been considered the major mediator of this relationship. Cathepsin K is a cysteine protease type osteolytic enzyme, which has a role in bone resorption, and which is a pharmaceutical target in the treatment of osteoporosis and bone metastasis. According to data from animal studies, its deficiency or selective inhibition decreases the differentiation of preadipocytes, body weight and serum levels of insulin and glucose in obese mice. The aim of our study was to elucidate the role of cathepsin K in the human bone - metabolic axis in women (n=66). PATIENTS AND METHODS - 21 healthy and 45 glucose intolerant women were examined. OGTT, IVGTT and hyperinsulinaemic euglycaemic clamp were performed to assess carbohydrate homeostasis, insulin secretion, whole-body and muscle glucose utilization (M-1 and M-3). Circulating levels of bone markers and adipokines were measured, and DEXA was used to measure BMD, fat and muscle mass. RESULTS - Cathepsin K levels showed a significant (p<0.05), negative correlation with BMI, body fat percent and OGTT glucose and insulin area under the curve (AUC), and a positive correlation with M values. No correlation was found between cathepsin K levels and IVGTT measurements. CONCLUSION - Cathepsin K - in women - is not only a participant of the bone metabolism - energy homeostasis axis. Its role in human glucose homeostasis differs from what could be expected on the basis of animal experiments, because increasing cathepsin K levels indicate, paradoxically, improving metabolic state in women. Our data suggest that insulin regulation of cathepsin K is mediated by the incretin system.]

All articles in the issue

Related contents


[Quality of life of patients with osteoporosis in Hungary]

VOKÓ Zoltán, INOTAI András, HORVÁTH CSABA, BORS Katalin, SPEER Gábor, KALÓ Zoltán

[AIM - The aim of our study was to estimate the loss of quality of life due to osteoporotic fractures. We performed a cross-sectional study including 840 patients in 21 centers that specialise in the care of patients with osteoporosis and in acute care of fractures. METHODS - Patients were selected randomly and stratified for the location of and time elapsed since the fracture. Quality of life (QoL) was assessed by the Qualeffo-41 and the EuroQol-5D questionnaires. RESULTS - Patients with morphometric fractures of more than one vertebra had the lowest median EQ-5D index value (0.59). Symptomatic vertebral, hip and arm fractures also considerably decreased QoL. Patients with morphometric fractures of more than one vertebra had the lowest total Qualeffo-41 score. When controlled for age and gender, patients with hip fracture or morphometric vertebral fracture had at least 0.2 less mean utility values than had osteoporotic patients without history of fracture. Patients with more than a oneyear history of hip fracture had QoL scores as low as had patients with an acute fracture. In case of wrist and arm fractures, the acute loss of QoL somewhat decreased with time. CONCLUSION - In conclusion, osteoporotic fractures, especially hip and vertebral fractures result in a significant loss of patients’ quality of life. Our results show that physicians need to pay a close attention to morphometric vertebral fractures, which contribute to a great loss of human capital.]

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.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Disease burden of Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients and their caregivers]


[Background and purpose - Data on the disease burden of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy are scarce in Hungary. The aim of this study was to assess patients’ and their caregivers’ health related quality of life and healthcare utilisations. Methods - A cross sectional survey was performed as part of the European BURQOL-RD project. The EQ-5D-5L and Barthel Index questionnaires were applied, health care utilisations and patients’ informal carers were surveyed. Results - One symptomatic female carer, 50 children (boys 94%) and six adult patients (five males) participated in the study, the latter two subgroups were included in the analysis. The average age was 9.7 (SD=4.6) and 24.3 (SD=9.8) years, respectively. Median age at time of diagnosis was three years. The average EQ-5D score among children and adults was 0.198 (SD=0.417) and 0.244 (SD=0.322), respectively, the Barthel Index was 57.6 (SD=29.9) and 53.0 (SD=36.5). Score of satisfaction with healthcare (10-point Likert-scale) was mean 5.3 (SD=2.1) and 5.3 (SD=2.9). 15 children were hospitalised in the past 12 months for mean 12.9 (SD=24.5) days. Two patients received help from professional carer. 25 children (mean age 11.1, SD=4.4 years) were helped/supervisied by principal informal carer (parent) for mean 90.1 (SD=44.4) hours/week and further family members helped in 21 cases. Correlation between EQ-5D and Barthel Index was strong and significant (0.731; p<0.01) as well as with informal care time (-0.770; p<0.01), but correlation with satisfaction with health care was not significant (EQ-5D: 0.241; Barthel Index: 0.219; informal care: -0.142). Conclusion - Duchenne muscular dystrophy leads to a significant deterioration in the quality of life of patients. Parents play outstanding role in the care of affected children. This study is the first in the Central and Eastern European region that provides quality of life data in this rare disease for further health economic studies.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies in pain research]

ÉDES Andrea Edit, JUHÁSZ Gabriella

[Functional imaging studies opened a new way to understand the neural activity underlying pain perception and the pathomechanism of chronic pain syndromes. In the last twenty years several results of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have been published about examining the different aspects of complex pain experience. The aim of these studies is to understand the functioning of the pain control system, the so-called pain matrix, activated by acute nociceptive stimulus. Another important field of pain research is the investigation of neuronal processes underlying chronic pain, since the pathomechanism of this is still unclear. Our review aims to provide insight into the methods of pain research using fMRI and the achievements of the last few years.]