Lege Artis Medicinae

[Chased health]

BÁNFALVI Attila

MARCH 21, 2008

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2008;18(03)

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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

[Interdisciplinary approach of vestibular system impairment]

PONGRÁCZ Endre

[In the first part of this review the definition of vertigo/dizziness was discussed. The major difference between the two signs is the exsistence of the direction, which is specific for vertigo. Dizziness is a frequent complaint in the clinical practice. Its frequency is increasing with advance of age, to intimate the play of declining cognitive process in the pathogenesis of its. The popular health significance of vertigo is in the rowing number of the patients. The onset of the most cases with acute vertigo appears between secundums and minutes so the patients will be provided in circumstances of emergency department. First of all three form schould be take into account: neuronitis vestibularis, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and Meniere syndrome. Without tipical periferal signs of vertigo, central cause should be searched, principally stroke (lysis possibility). The differential diagnose of the different dizzeness/vertigo forms according to the elapsed time of the onset or congenital and acquired nystagmus was created in tables. The recommendations of the therapy of acute and chronic dizziness/ vertigo syndroms are, lack of results of evidence based trials doubtful. The more often used drugs based on clinical trials are discussed as vinpocetine, betahistine and piracetam. The in vitro and in vivo data suggest that the last molecule is eligible to use both in periferal and central type of vertigo syndroms.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Restless leg syndrome frequency in health workers

ÖCAL Ruhsen, ATGÜDEN Gizem, AYCAN Cagri, BALABAN Zeynep, SENAR Seran, YAVUZ Sena

Introduction - Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a disease, primarily composed of sensational symptoms, caused by the urge to move lower extremities especially at night, and characterized by undesired feelings of the legs. Decreasing of the dopaminergic effect at night is thought to be responsible from these symptoms. RLS patients suffer from low quality of sleep affecting their daily life activities even causing socio-economic loss. Although RLS is a common and treatable disease, it can not be diagnosed easily due to the variability of symptoms. Aim - The purpose of this study is to determine the frequency of RLS among health workers and to define the disease causing factors. Method - A questionnaire was applied to 174 randomly selected health workers at Baskent University Medical Faculty (KA17/285). The demographic information, history of illnesses or usage of drugs, socioeconomic status, working hours and daytime sleepiness were questioned. Included in the questionnaire were diagnostic criteria for RLS, frequency assessment scale, and survey of sleep quality. We used “the diagnostic criteria of international RLS working group” for the diagnosis, and “Pittsburgh sleep quality index survey” to determine the quality of sleep. Reliability and validity studies were performed on both tests. Results - A significant relationship between socio-economic status and RLS was found (p<0.05) as an increase of RLS frequency in parallel with decreased socio-economic status. RLS was found to be common among health workers. We suggest that health workers should be checked regularly, and they should be informed about the disease in order to raise an awareness and hence increase their quality of life.

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[Avoiding unlimited energy drink consumption is a matter of our heart]

DOJCSÁKNÉ Kiss-Tóth Éva

[Energy drinks have been gaining unbroken popularity, especially among youngsters and children since they were introduced to the market. Manufacturers promise to improve performance and stamina with consuming the products, classified as non-alcoholic soft drinks. In addition to the vitamins and plant extracts, they contain a significant amount of caffeine and other stimulants (taurine, guarana). Among the active ingredients, caffeine has an outstanding effect and thereby a danger, since its overconsumption – in addition to milder he­mo­dynamic changes – can cause severe cardio­vascular consequences, cardiac arrhythmias, ion channel diseases, increased blood coagulation, myocardial infarction or reduced cerebral blood flow in susceptible consumers. Many case studies have also reported serious cardiovascular attacks among young chronic energy drink consumers. Health impairments of excessive and long-term consumption of energy drinks have been studied increasingly, however there is limited and contradictory evidence on the safety of consumption and the effectiveness of performance enhancement. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

Investigation of risk factors, topographic location and stroke mechanisms of unilateral isolated and posterior cerebral ARTERY thalamic infarcts

GÖKCAL Elif, SENGUL Yildizhan, USLU Ilgen Ferda

Aim - In this study, we aimed to examine the risk factors, topographic features and stroke mechanisms of acute ischemic unilateral infarcts of thalamus. Methods - Patient with isolated thalamic infarct and those with posterior cerebral artery (PCA) infarction who were admitted to our hospital between January 2014 and January 2017 with acute unilateral thalamic infarction (TI) were included in this study (isolated thalamic infarction/ isolated TI; thalamic and posterior cerebral artery infarction/PCA+TI). Demographic characteristics and vascular risk factors of the patients were determined. Thalamic infarct areas were recorded topographically as anterior, posteromedial, ventrolateral, posterolateral, more than one area, and variant areas. Stroke mechanism was determined according to the criteria of „Trial of Org 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment” (TOAST). Patients with isolated TI and PCA TI were compared according to risk factors, stroke mechanism and infarct topography. Results - Forty-three patients with a mean age of 63.3 ± 14.5 years were included in the study. Twenty-eight patients (60.1%) were found to have isolated TI and the remaining 15 patients (34.9%) had PCA+TI. 32.1% of patients with isolated TI had sensory symptoms on presentation, and 60% of patients with PCA-TI had sensorimotor symptoms. The mean age, the mean score on National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) and the mean frequency of atrial fibrillation were higher in PCA+TI patients than in isolated-TI patients (p: 0.04, p: 0.004, p: 0.02 respectively). 32.6% of the patients had ventrolateral, 30.2% had posteromedial involvement. Ventrolateral topography was seen in 46.7% of the PCA+TI patients, while posteromedial topography was seen in 39.3% of the isolated-TI patients. 53.6% of the isolated-TI had small vessel disease etiology, while 40% of the PCA+TI had cardioembolic etiology, and the other 40% had large artery atherosclerosis. Conclusion - Our study showed that the most ommon stroke mechanism in patients with thalamic infarction is the small vessel disease. Isolated TI and PCA+TI patients differ in terms of etiologic mechanism and infarct topography. Variant territorial involvement and multiple area involvements can be quite common in thalamic infarcts.