Lege Artis Medicinae

[Basics of the medical use of ayahuasca: physiology of dimethyltryptamine]


OCTOBER 20, 2016

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2016;26(09-10)

[Ayahuasca is a brew made of two admixture plants containing dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and b-carbolines (harmine and tetrahydroharmine). The indigenous groups of the Amazonas basin have been using it for centuries as an ethnomedical substance in healing and spiritual-religious rituals. During the last two decades the brew has raised increased scientific and public interest worldwide about its healing effects. Present paper addresses the therapeutic potentials of ayahuasca use and outlines the cellular mechanisms behind - in focus of the s-1 receptor mediated action of DMT. The scientific investigation of ayahuasca is complicated by methodical problems, legal issues, and sociocultural preconceptions.]



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Lege Artis Medicinae

[“Yesterday no longer exists either…” - End-of-life ethical issues in the care of dementia patients]


[The number of dementia patiens is rising. Most of them die in various institutions, often after many years of care. The long process of nursing and care entails particular ethical requirements that are built primarily on vulnerability, dignity, and dia-logue. The dialogue, however, is often absent from the care of dementia patients. Do we find - as physicians, patients, relatives - that specific time when the patients can still make decisions about end-of-life treatments in a good mental state? Most patients would like to participate in these decisions. Talking about these issues in the early stage of dementia may help in the great emotional burden of family members and caregivers. Therefore the ethical aim is the ad­vance care planning (ACP) of the end-of-life treatments. The study reviews the latest scientific results, with special regard to resources that may be helpful in the course of conversations between doctor and patient on end-of-life preferences, and in the preparation for decision making. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Processing the Past after a Stroke ]


Lege Artis Medicinae

[Physician attitudes concerning complementary and alternative medicine]

ZÖRGŐ Szilvia, GYŐRFFY Zsuzsa

[INTRODUCTION - A crucial challenge for XXI. century health care is the presence of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). A marked question of professional discourse has been characterizing patient CAM use, yet the attitudes, knowledge, and opinions of physicians have received far less attention. METHODS - This qualitative study involves semi-structured interviews conducted with 45 physicians. The narratives were scrutinized by employing Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) via At­las.ti software. RESULTS - The narratives were coded ac­cording to attitudes and opinions concerning CAM, and subsequently participants were placed into 3 main groups. The first group is distinguished by a total rejection of CAM (n=11), while at the other end of the continuum, participants integrated biomedicine with CAM therapies (n=8). Those participants in between the two poles (rejection and integration) were characterized as „acceptance with reservations” and signify a heterogeneous category regarding composition and attitudes. COMMENTS - Most participants in our sample belonged to the „acceptance with reservations” category, that is, physicians who do not employ CAM in their praxis, albeit support their patients should they decide to utilize a CAM modality. Our inquiry aims to serve as a precursor to a quantitative study concerning CAM use.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Vinpocetin in neurological diseases]

SZAPÁRY László, KÉSMÁRKY Gábor, TÓTH Kálmán, MISNYOVSZKY Melinda, TÓTH Tímea, BALOGH Ágnes, NAGY Krisztián, NÉMETH György, FEHÉR Gergely

[Introduction - Stroke is the third leading cause of death worldwide (following cardiovascular and cancer mortality) and associated with serious disability for the vast majority of patients. There is no salvage therapy for irreversibly damaged brain areas, improving the circulation of the surrounding hypoperfused territories may be associated with benefitial clinical states. Cerebral hypoperfusion may play a role in the pathogenesis of other kind of neurological diseases, improvement of global circulation may have a preventive effect on these conditions. Aims - The aim of our study was to review the experimental and clinical articles focusing on the role of vinpocetin in different neurological conditions. Results - Vinpocetin appears to have several different mechanisms of action that allow for its antiinflammatory, antioxidant, vasodilating, antiepileptic and neuroprotective activities in experimental conditions. On the other hand, several meta-analysis of the existing studies in acute stroke examining short and long term fatality rates with vinpocetin was unable to assess efficacy. In chronic cerebrovascular patients, vinpocetin improves impaired hemorheological variables, has significant vasodilating properties, improves endothelial dysfunction, neuroimaging studies showed selective increase in cerebral blood flow and cerebral metabolic rate, all of which are potentially beneficial in cerebrovascular disease and may improve cognitive functions. Summary - Based on the above mentioned results vinpocetin plays an important role both in basic research and in clinical management of different neurological diseases.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Relationship between adipokinome and lipid parameters in Hungarian obese patients]

LŐRINCZ Hajnalka

[Since the prevalence of obesity has been dramatically increasing worldwide, a better understanding of obesity-related comorbidities leading to carbohydrate and lipid metabolism disorders has become essential. As an active endocrine organ, white adipose tissue secretes adipokines with diverse biological functions. We have found strong correlations between serum chemerin level and atherogenic lipoprotein sub-fractions in obese non-diabetic patients. To better characterize obese patients with and without manifest insulin resistance, we plan to determine serum levels of novel adipokines (omentin-1, vaspin, visfatin, lipocalin-2 and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1) and various oxidative stress markers including paraoxonase-1 activity, tumor necrosis factor-alfa and interleukin-6 levels, as well as low- and high-density lipoprotein subfractions in them and compare their data with lean individuals. We plan to determine correlations between the levels of novel adipokines and oxidative stress markers and lipoprotein subfractions. Furthermore, based upon our previous observations, we plan to study the potential alterations in the adipokine profile and the ratios of lipoprotein subfractions during a 5-year follow-up in obese patients. Our expected results may help to characterize the involvement of the adipokine profile in the regulation of lipoprotein metabolism. Early screening and treatment of lipid abnormalities may help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in obesity. ]

Clinical Neuroscience



[Despite the levodopa is used for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease for a long time, recently many questions raised about its clinical use. New issues emerged based on the clinical trials, on latest neuroimaging data and on better understanding the pathomechanism of motor complications. These observations have changed the routine clinical use of levodopa. In this review we summarize the evidences and practical implications of levodopa therapy.]

Hypertension and nephrology

[Plasma ortho-tyrosine/para-tyrosine ratio predicts hyporesponsiveness to erythropoiesis-stimulating agents in dialyzed patients]

KUN Szilárd, MIKOLÁS Esztella, MOLNÁR Gergő Attila, SÉLLEY Eszter, LACZY Boglárka, CSIKY Botond, KOVÁCS Tibor, WITTMANN István

[Objectives: Patients suffering from end-stage renal failure (ESRF) are mostly treated with erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs). They often show hyporesponsiveness to ESA, which condition is associated with elevated production of free radicals. Phenylalnine (Phe) is converted into para- and ortho-tyrosine (p- and o- Tyr) by hydroxyl free radical. o-Tyr is produced exclusively in this way. However, physiological isomer p-Tyr is formed in significantly higher amounts by phenylalaninehydroxylase, mainly in the kidney. It has been shown that p-Tyr production is decreased in ESRF. As a result, p-Tyr can be replaced by o-Tyr in proteins, e.g. in proteins playing part in signal transduction of erythropoietin. We aimed to study the association of different Tyr isoforms with ESA-responsiveness. Methods: Four groups of volunteers were involved in our cross-sectional study: healthy volunteers (CONTR; n=16), patients on hemodialysis without ESA-treatment (non-ESA-HD; n=8), hemodialyzed patients with ESA-treatment (ESA-HD; n=40) and patients on continuous peritoneal dialysis (CAPD; n=21). Plasma p-, o-Tyr and Phe levels were detected using a high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)-method, with fluorescence detection. ESA-demand was expressed as ESA-dose, ESAdose/ body weight and erythropoietin resistance index1 (ERI1, weekly ESA-dose/body weight/hemoglobin). Multivariate regression models were used to examine predictors of ESA-demand. In these models, most of the known predictors of ESA-hyporesponsiveness were included. Results: Lower p-Tyr levels were found in dialyzed patients compared with control subjects. In contrast, o-Tyr levels and o-Tyr/p-Tyr ratios were higher in dialyzed patients. Regarding dialyzed patients, o-Tyr level and o-Tyr/p-Tyr ratio were higher in ESA-HD than in non-ESA-HD and CAPD groups. Weekly ESA-dose/body weight and ERI1 correlated with o-Tyr/p-Tyr ratio (r=0.441, p=0.001; r=0.434, p=0.001, respectively). Finally, o-Tyr/p-Tyr ratio proved to be an independent predictor of ERI1 (β=0.330, p=0.016). Discussion: Our results suggest that elevation of o-Tyr/p-Tyr ratio could be responsible for ESA-hyporesponsiveness in dialyzed patients.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Systemic diseases in pseudoexfoliation syndrome]


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