[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


[Osteoporotic patient’s use of prescription drugs - pilot study]


[BACKGROUND - In Hungary, the number of the highest mortality hip fractures is between 12 000-15 000 per year. The cost of treating hip fractures is several times higher than that of preventive medical therapy. Thus, the compliance of patients with osteoporosis is of great importance. METHODS - Using the informatical database of St. András Rheumatology Hospital at Héviz, we collected one year’s prescription drugs for osteoporosis and compared them with the number of drugs obtained by the patients, determined from National Health Insurance data. RESULTS - In general, the patients obtained 75% of prescription drugs. From the 4354 boxes of prescribed antiporotics, 3637 contained bisphosphonate (not considering vitamin D and calcium). Within this group, 88% of combination preparations were obtained, which is a greater ratio than that of non-combination bisphosphonates (84%). CONCLUSIONS - On the basis of our results, we posit that prescription of a combination preparation somewhat improves the patients’ compliance. The low concordance of vitamin D and calcium preparations is worrying.]


[A successful story of the science of bone metabolism in Hungary - Interview with István Marton, a founder of Hungarian Society of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthrology]



[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 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.]


[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

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

[Indications of palliative radiotherapy]


[Radiotherapy - as a part of complex, multidisciplinary therapy - indicated in 70% of patients with malignant tumors during the natural course of the disease. Unfortunately, around 40-50% of patients can not be cured due to the advanced stage, recurrence or dissemination of the disease. In such cases radiotherapy with palliative intention can be used to resolve symptoms, decrease tumor burden and increase the quality of life for the patient. Urgent radiotherapy can overcome special symptoms causing acute life-threatening conditions. The author reviews the main indications, radiotherapy techniques, dose-fractionation schedules and treatment results of palliative and urgent radiotherapy used in the daily clinical practice.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

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


[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. ]

Clinical Neuroscience


SZABÓ József, LAPIS István, MARIK László, KONDACS András, RUSZNYÁK Csaba

[Objectives - Between 2001 and 2005 86 patients were treated for cervical disc herniations and spondylosis at our department. Stabilization was performed with different cervical cages or spacer after discectomy and decompression. The aim of the study was to examine the changes of the patients’ pain, quality of life and work ability, fusion rate, the intervertebral disc height, changes of under and upper segments and finally curvature of cervical spine. Patients and methods - Patients were followed by the authors, clinical examination, lateral and antero-posterior radiographic examinations were performed. They were asked to fill in a questionnaire, concerning their pre- and postoperative pain, quality of life and work ability. The patients’ pain was graded using a 10-point analog scale (VAS) and with a simplified, McGill-Melzak analog scale. The quality of life was measured with a 10-graduated analog scale as well. Results - More than 77% of our patients appeared at follow up examination. The fusion rate was 89.3%, operated spaces were held in 61%. In the upper segment of operated space 7%, and in the under-segment 14% were found increasingly degenerated. The curvature of cervical spine of the patients’ were 64.51% lordotic, 27.42% straight and 8.07% kyphotic. On average the patients’ pain changed on VAS from 8.179 to 5.015; on McGill-Melzak scale from 3.89 to 2.80; quality of life changed from 8.045 to 5.463. Conclusion - By the advantage of using cages, the operative approach has become smaller than before, consequently the operative pain has become less too. In addition operation time and hospital stay were significantly shorter (p<0.005) than using traditional operation approach. The majority of the patients, pain was decreased, quality of life got better. Despite this fact only 3 patients continue their original work and 5 patients do easier work. The majority of our patients were disabled before the operation, but from that time many of them became disabled, in some cases the grade of disability increased. There can be some reasons for it: the majority of the patients have other diseases for example: lumbar spondylosis and disc herniation, hypertension, diabetes, asthma and depression. There is just a few possibility of work for the disabled people. To conclude, with some of the patients, their disability means “the way out” from unemployment. These facts do not decrease the importance and usefulness of this method. Our results with this type of operation are very similar to the international statistics. This method seems to be applicable and useful.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The effect of Stalevo-dosing on quality of life of parkinsonian patients with wearing-off]

BOKOR Magdolna, SZENTESI Annamária

[In Stalevo tablets, used in the therapy of patients with Parkinson’s disease, levodopa is combined with decarboxylase inhibitors and COMT inhibitors to provide a more steady plasma concentration of levodopa. Previously several study has shown, that the better pharmacokinetic profile decreases the fluctuation of motor and non-motor symptoms. Better control of symptoms improves quality of life. Ideal blood levels of levodopa however can only be achieved by multiple daily dosing. This may be uncomfortable, may decrease compliance, thereby influence quality of life. To evaluate this a observational follow-up study was undertaken in Hungary in 2007, among patients, who were given Stalevo - independently of this study - because of signs of decrease in the duration of drug effect (wearing off). Patients got Stalevo in three, four or five daily divided dosages, the results were assesed after three months. The study included 223 patients (ITT population), of whom 208 (PP population) responded regarding quality of life on both visits. Statistical analysis of the results showed that treatment significantly decreased symptoms of wearing off (wearing off card with 19 items) and improved quality of life (EQ-5D and VAS quality of life scale) regardless of the frequency of dosing.]