Lege Artis Medicinae

[COVID-19 vaccines are safe in patients with epilepsy]

PETŐ Nóra1, FABÓ Dániel1

JUNE 07, 2021

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2021;31(05-06)


  1. Országos Mentális Ideggyógyászati és Idegsebészeti Intézet, Neurológiai Osztály



Further articles in this publication

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Hypertension, COPD and COVID-19. Focus on antihypertensive therapy]


[Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a very common comorbidity of hypertension and it is often unrecognised by physicians. The factors involved in the pathomechanism of both diseases should be realised when choosing treatment. Among factors, hypoxia, increased tone of sympathetic nervous system and activation of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system should primarily be considered. Vascular wall damage and endothelial dysfunction has an important role in both conditions. The goals of treatment are elimination of risk factors, optimizing the blood pressure, the consequential prevention of cardio-cerebrovascular, renal and pulmonary damage; finally prolonging the patients’ life and improving their quality of life as well. Both hypertension and COPD significantly worsen the condition of COVID-19 patients since they increase the severity of the disease and the rate of in-patients’ and their mortality. In the treatment of hypertension among COPD and COVID-19 patients there must be emphasized the medication inhibiting of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, such as angiotensin-converting en­zyme inhibitors or angiotensin-II AT1 re­cep­tor antagonists. Special attention concerned the beneficial effect of mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist spironolactone. Other antihypertensive drugs (calcium channel blockers, thiazide-like diu­retics, high selectivity β1 receptor antagonists) may supplement the treatment if necessary. Long-acting β2 receptor agonists, muscarinic receptor antagonists and inhalation corticosteroids may be administered in double or triple combination also in hypertension and COPD as well. It is important to note, that statin therapy and also vitamin D3 improve the condition of COVID-19 patients.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Inflammation and autoimmunity in COVID-19]

SZEKANECZ Zoltán, SZAMOSI Szilvia, SZŰCS Gabriella

[The course of COVID-19 has several stages according to the elapsed time and severity. Cytokine storm-induced multisystemic inflammatory syndrome (MIS) and consequent multiorgan failure occur in severe and critical phases. From a pathological point of view, there is important the co-presenting of inflammation (endothelitis) and microthrombotic events. Beyond respiratory failure, they may harm the cardiovascular and nervous system, the liver and the kidneys. COVID-19 may be associated also with production of autoantibodies and development of autoimmune diseases. Multisystemic inflammatory syndrome can be attenuated by corticosteroids, anti-cytokine antibodies and JAK inhibitors (“repurposing”). Most IL-6 inhibitors, and barici­tinib proved to be effective in several stu­dies, when applied in appropriate stage by MIS identification.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Practical aspects of anticoagulant treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic]


[Coronavirus infection has a multiple im­pact on the coagulation system and anti­coagulant therapies. Patients admitted with COVID-19 have un­usually high incidence of coagulation ab­normalities. The incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF) seems also to be more frequent among COVID-19 out- and especially in-patients. Among COVID-19 patients receiving oral anticoagulant therapy, for minimizing the risk of bleeding or thromboembolic complications there should also be considered the renal and hepatic functions and drug-drug interactions of oral anticoagulant and COVID-19 therapy. In case of direct anticoagulants, in addition to the benefits of better safety, more favorable treatment ad­he­rence, and fixed dosing, the use of this class of drugs does not require laboratory mo­nitoring of efficacy, which may be of exp­licit benefit in terms of social distancing and health network burdens. This study reviews the possible interactions of drugs used for viral infection and anticoagulation, and in addition to the issues of coagulopathy associated with COVID-19, we discuss also the concerning difficulties of continued anticoagulant therapy related to the social distancing measures.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Epilepsy in coronavirus pandemic]


[We aim to review the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on epilepsy and epilepsy-care. While the virus has no specific link with epilepsy, it may affect the nervous system both directly and indirectly, leading to seizures in several ways. The hyper-coagulable state occurring with the infection may cause strokes leading to seizures. The infection may first manifest in the form of disturbances of consciousness and behaviour, seizures, and even status epilepticus. The interactions of antiviral/antiepileptic drugs need to be taken into account during treatment. The hypercoagulable state induced by COVID-2 infection may cause stroke, which leads to seizures. The infection can occur also as an impaired consciousness of non-epileptic origin. Interactions of antiviral/antiepileptic drugs have also to be taken into account. The pandemic itself as well as quarantines and social distancing may cause anxiety and insomnia, challenge continuous antiepileptic supply; each one carrying the risk of seizing. Young epilepsy patients with learning disabilities and mental health issues are most vulnerable, justifying their hyper-protection. The danger of infection has highlighted the role of telemedicine. Internet-based video communication may ensure full care for chro­nic patients. Those methods favour bes­­ted patients with higher education. Epilepsy does not increase directly the risk of infection, but its comorbidities may worsen the course of the disease. Brain lesions and hypoxia, stress, insomnia and fever joining the infection increase seizure susceptibility. Because the danger of infection ma­de telemedicine an essential tool of pa­tient care, education and better computer supply for those in need is crucial. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Lipid lowering therapy during COVID-19 pandemic]

MÁRK László

[The COVID-19 pandemic posed significant challenges to all healthcare systems of the world as created a new situations above the large number of people infected, solutions of which were lacking any previous patterns. Former experiences were specifically needed among physicians who practised usually with therapies supported by evidence based clinical experiences thus they were working along the principles of Evidence-Based Medicine. The new observations and recommendations for treating infected patients increased gradually, however they were not always well-founded by the general urgency. In this situation, physicians faced often problems of the patient’s former medications since they had to focus on the therapy of the prevalent life-threatening condition. In such cases, therapy as lipid lowering, which is inherently inimically and lightly taken, may be omitted even more often. Basic drugs of lipid lowering are statins. They are used to reduce cholesterol levels and the risk of cardiovascular events, but they have also been described as having beneficial effect on the new viral infection. In this effect, the statins beyond the well-known anti-inflammatory impact and increasing the expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 further mechanisms can take part as well. These may include among others the promoted breakdown of lipid rafts, which directly inhibits the entry of coronavirus into the cell through the S protein by decreasing the level of cholesterol required for this proceeding. In a group of more than 1200 statin treated and SARS-COV-2 infected patients the overall mortality rate by the 28th day was 48% lower than among the non-statin-users. According to a meta-analysis of nearly nine thousand COVID-19-infected statin users, they had 30% lower mortality rate or serious complications. Up to date observational studies suggest that statin therapy and the administration of other lipid lowering drugs should be continued or initiated according to the guidelines also during the COVID-19 infection.]

All articles in the issue

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Late simultaneous carcinomatous meningitis, temporal bone infiltrating macro-metastasis and disseminated multi-organ micro-metastases presenting with mono-symptomatic vertigo – a clinico-pathological case reporT

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Alexithymia is associated with cognitive impairment in patients with Parkinson’s disease

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Cognitive dysfunction (CD) is a common non-motor symptom of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Alexithy­mia is a still poorly understood neuropsychiatric feature of PD. Cognitive impairment (especially visuospatial dysfunction and executive dysfunction) and alexithymia share com­mon pathology of neuroanatomical structures. We hypo­thesized that there must be a correlation between CD and alexithymia levels considering this relationship of neuroanatomy. Objective – The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between alexithymia and neurocognitive function in patients with PD. Thirty-five patients with PD were included in this study. The Toronto Alexithymia Scale–20 (TAS-20), Geriatric Depression Inventory (GDI) and a detailed neuropsychological evaluation were performed. Higher TAS-20 scores were negatively correlated with Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) similarities test score (r =-0.71, p value 0.02), clock drawing test (CDT) scores (r=-0.72, p=0.02) and verbal fluency (VF) (r=-0.77, p<0.01). Difficulty identifying feelings subscale score was negatively correlated with CDT scores (r=-0.74, p=0.02), VF scores (r=-0.66, p=0.04), visual memory immediate recall (r=-0.74, p=0.01). VF scores were also correlated with difficulty describing feelings (DDF) scores (r=-0.66, p=0.04). There was a reverse relationship bet­ween WAIS similarities and DDF scores (r=-0.70, p=0.02), and externally oriented-thinking (r=-0.77,p<0.01). Executive function Z score was correlated with the mean TAS-20 score (r=-62, p=0.03) and DDF subscale score (r=-0.70, p=0.01) Alexithymia was found to be associated with poorer performance on visuospatial and executive function test results. We also found that alexithymia was significantly correlated with depressive symptoms. Presence of alexithymia should therefore warn the clinicians for co-existing CD.

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Evaluation of the effectiveness of transforaminal epidural steroid injection in far lateral lumbar disc herniations

EVRAN Sevket, KATAR Salim

Far lateral lumbar disc herniations (FLDH) consist approximately 0.7-12% of all lumbar disc herniations. Compared to the more common central and paramedian lumbar disc herniations, they cause more severe and persistent radicular pain due to direct compression of the nerve root and dorsal root ganglion. In patients who do not respond to conservative treatments such as medical treatment and physical therapy, and have not developed neurological deficits, it is difficult to decide on surgical treatment because of the nerve root damage and spinal instability risk due to disruption of facet joint integrity. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effect of transforaminal epidural steroid injection (TFESI) on the improvement of both pain control and functional capacity in patients with FLDH. A total of 37 patients who had radicular pain caused by far lateral disc herniation which is visible in their lumbar magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, had no neurological deficit and did not respond to conservative treatment, were included the study. TFESI was applied to patients by preganglionic approach. Pre-treatment Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) scores of the patients were compared with the 3rd week, 3rd month and 6th month scores after the procedure. The mean initial VAS score was 8.63 ± 0.55, while it was 3.84 ± 1.66, 5.09 ± 0.85, 4.56 ± 1.66 at the 3rd week, 3rd month and 6th month controls, respectively. This decrease in the VAS score was found statistically significant (p = 0.001). ODI score with baseline mean value of 52.38 ± 6.84 was found to be 18.56 ± 4.95 at the 3rd week, 37.41 ± 14.1 at the 3rd month and 34.88 ± 14.33 at the 6th month. This downtrend of pa­tient’s ODI scores was found statistically significant (p = 0.001). This study has demonstrated that TFESI is an effective method for gaining increased functional capacity and pain control in the treatment of patients who are not suitable for surgical treatment with radicular complaints due to far lateral lumbar disc hernia.

Clinical Neuroscience

Electrophysiological investigation for autonomic dysfunction in patients with myasthenia gravis: A prospective study


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