Lege Artis Medicinae

[Arthrosis - An epidemic of the 21st century]

BÁLINT Géza

OCTOBER 21, 2007

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2007;17(10)

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Lege Artis Medicinae

[ADVANCE]

MATOS Lajos

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Pain in the knee - and what’s behind it - The dilemmas of management]

BÁLINT Géza

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Secondary prevention of patients with ischaemic heart disease - The reduction of LDL cholesterol level and the regression of atherosclerosis]

BÁRCZI György, MERKELY Béla

[The authors review the options of secondary medical prevention in patients with ischaemic heart disease, stressing the need and safety of using statins. The beneficial effect of statin therapy on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality and the clinical benefit of the greatest possible reduction in LDL cholesterol level are presented. The atherosclerotic plaque regression achieved by a high-intensity statin therapy in the ASTEROID trial is also briefly reviewed.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[CARCINOMATOUS MENINGITIS]

CSERNI Gábor, VÁGÓ Tibor, TÖRÖK Norbert, GAÁL Zoltán, VELKEI Tamás, SERÉNYI Péter, GÖCZŐ Katalin, TUSA Magdolna, KOVÁCS Katalin, SZŰCS Miklós

[INTRODUCTION - Carcinomatous meningitis is a serious complication of advanced stage solid tumours, which may become more common with improved survival. CASE REPORTS - A 53-year-old woman with a recent history of breast cancer (pT2pN2M0) had been treated by mastectomy and adjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She presented with weakness, diplopia and vertigo raising the possibility of vertebrobasilar ischaemia or an intracranial mass. In another patient, a 62-year-old man with hypertension, a stenotic common bile duct had been diagnosed when examined for abdominal complaints. When he presented with a high blood pressure value accompanied by intensive headache, vomiting and bilateral hearing loss, he was thought to have a hypertensive crisis. The rapidly progressive neurological symptoms and the history of breast cancer and findings suggesting pancreatic head tumour, respectively, led to the clinical diagnosis of carcinomatous meningitis in both cases, despite any evidence on CT scans or a negative MR scan, though of limited value, in the first case. This diagnosis was confirmed by the laboratory and cytological findings of the cerebrospinal fluid, and also by the post mortem examination, since both patients died within a month after the onset of the symptoms. The primary tumour in the second patient proved to be a widely metastasizing diffuse type gastric cancer. CONCLUSION - Carcinomatous meningitis has a varying but characteristic presentation which generally makes it easy to diagnose, but it can sometimes present differential diagnostic problems. What we can learn from these two cases may help in recognizing this complication.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[NEW WAYS IN THE MANAGEMENT OF RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS IN HUNGARY]

GERGELY Péter, POÓR Gyula

[Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune rheumatic condition of unknown origin. Due to its high prevalence, incompletely solved therapy, significant impact on mortality and morbidity, and the psychological and economic burden it puts on the patient, family and society, rheumatoid arthritis has a major public health significance. Although its importance is still underestimated both by the public and the medical community, today an improving tendency can be observed. The past decade has seen important breakthroughs in terms of increased recognition of the significance of the disease, as well as in its pathogenesis, diagnosis and therapy. The introduction of new diagnostic and prognostic markers and early aggressive treatment, the establishment of early arthritis clinics, and, most importantly, the successful use of biological therapy have revolutionized the management of rheumatoid arthritis. The paper reviews the modern therapy of the disease, touching on the options available in Hungary.]

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Neuroscience highlights: Main cell types underlying memory and spatial navigation

KRABOTH Zoltán, KÁLMÁN Bernadette

Interest in the hippocampal formation and its role in navigation and memory arose in the second part of the 20th century, at least in part due to the curious case of Henry G. Molaison, who underwent brain surgery for intractable epilepsy. The temporal association observed between the removal of his entorhinal cortex along with a significant part of hippocampus and the developing severe memory deficit inspired scientists to focus on these regions. The subsequent discovery of the so-called place cells in the hippocampus launched the description of many other functional cell types and neuronal networks throughout the Papez-circuit that has a key role in memory processes and spatial information coding (speed, head direction, border, grid, object-vector etc). Each of these cell types has its own unique characteristics, and together they form the so-called “Brain GPS”. The aim of this short survey is to highlight for practicing neurologists the types of cells and neuronal networks that represent the anatomical substrates and physiological correlates of pathological entities affecting the limbic system, especially in the temporal lobe. For that purpose, we survey early discoveries along with the most relevant neuroscience observations from the recent literature. By this brief survey, we highlight main cell types in the hippocampal formation, and describe their roles in spatial navigation and memory processes. In recent decades, an array of new and functionally unique neuron types has been recognized in the hippocampal formation, but likely more remain to be discovered. For a better understanding of the heterogeneous presentations of neurological disorders affecting this anatomical region, insights into the constantly evolving neuroscience behind may be helpful. The public health consequences of diseases that affect memory and spatial navigation are high, and grow as the population ages, prompting scientist to focus on further exploring this brain region.

Clinical Neuroscience

Neuroscience highlights: The mirror inside our brain

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Over the second half of the 19th century, numerous theories arose concerning mechanisms involved in understanding of action, imitative learning, language development and theory of mind. These explorations gained new momentum with the discovery of the so called “mirror neurons”. Rizzolatti’s work inspired large groups of scientists seeking explanation in a new and hitherto unexplored area of how we perceive and understand the actions and intentions of others, how we learn through imitation to help our own survival, and what mechanisms have helped us to develop a unique human trait, language. Numerous studies have addressed these questions over the years, gathering information about mirror neurons themselves, their subtypes, the different brain areas involved in the mirror neuron system, their role in the above mentioned mechanisms, and the varying consequences of their dysfunction in human life. In this short review, we summarize the most important theories and discoveries that argue for the existence of the mirror neuron system, and its essential function in normal human life or some pathological conditions.

Clinical Oncology

[Therapy of endometrial cancer - an update]

SIPOS Norbert

[Endometrial cancer is the most frequent gynecologic malignancy in developed countries. Recently, there is a signifi cant increase of incidence caused by epidemic obesity. While the etiology of endometrial cancer can be heterogeneous, the effective therapy should be rather personalized. The primary therapy of endometrial cancer is operative. The recommended surgery is total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. Management of pelvic and paraaortic lymphadenectomy is supported by the latest international recommendations, except cases of low-risk tumors (stage I/A, grade 1 or 2, endometrioid type, diameter of tumor <2 cm). Method of adjuvant therapy, especially in developed stages, is still controversial. Efficacy of postoperative irradiation, chemotherapy and chemoirradiation is under investigation by several ongoing studies. Recurrent endometrial cancer has bad prognosis, the best solution in this case is chemotherapy. In recent years targeted therapy (especially antiangiogenetic drugs, mTORinhibitors and hormontherapy) gave us some promising results. Around 80% of endometrial cancers can be diagnosed at early stages and cured with efficacy. Unfortunately, there is a group of tumors with bad prognosis, low differentiation, or recurrency, which can be a real challenge for clinicians. In this review we discuss the latest and most promising studies and scientifi c results in connection with treatment of high-risk endometrial cancers.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

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

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[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. ]

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[Sevelamer: an old-new phosphate binder in chronic kidney disease]

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[Sevelamer HCl is a non-metal and non-calcium based phosphate binder, ion exchange resin, which not selectively binds the phosphate ions in the gastrointestinal tract. In Hungary since 2005, on the basis of strict professional guidelines, sevelamer is available therapy for chronic kidney disease patients with severe hyperphosphatemia on dialysis. On the basis of 17 prospective and retrospective studies, sevelamer HCl is an at least as effective phosphate binder as other calcium based binders, in reducing the serum phosphate level. The advantage of sevelamer compared to the other widely used calcium based phosphate binders is the significantly lower serum calcium level and less hypercalcemic episodes. Sevelamer therapy in chronic kidney disease patients reduces the progression of cardiovascular calcification and it has also a positive effect on cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels. The side effects of sevelamer therapy may be acidosis, and gastrointestinal complaints. This year the improved form, sevelamer carbonate, becomes available in Hungary. Sevelamer carbonate has similar phosphate and cholesterol binding capacity as that of sevelamer HCl, but it has several advantages: it has a positive effect on acid-base parameters, and may be administered in powder form, which is beneficial for children and for patients with swallowing disorders. The primary analysis of the DCOR study has not revealed any significant difference in the survival and cardiovascular mortality between patient groups treated with calcium based binder or sevelamer. The RIND trial data showed improved survival of new dialysis patients, who were initially treated with sevelamer. Further clinical studies are needed to kaverify the benefits of sevelamer therapy (mortality, cardiovascular calcification) in chronic kidney disease patients. The management of hyperphosphatemia in chronic renal failure is a major challenge even in the first decade of the 21th century. This is the fact, despite that recently three different groups of phosphate binders are available in the clinical practice: the calcium based binders (calcium carbonate, calcium acetate), sevelamer and lanthanum. Which is the best binder? A calcium based or a non-calcium based one? Over the past decade, these issues are in the mainstream of clinical research of nephrology.]