Lege Artis Medicinae

[Current public health issues. Focus on gastroenterology]


JULY 01, 2020

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2020;30(06-07)



Further articles in this publication

Lege Artis Medicinae

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


[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. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Treatment of hypercholesterolemia in the elderly]

BARNA István

[The percentage of population aged ≥65 years is mounting worldwide, among them those over 75 years is also growing. Athe­ro­scle­rosis is one of the most important and common disorder in the elderly responsible primarily for premature death and cognitive declining and impaired quality of life. Adequate lipid lowering therapy can decrease the risk of cardiovascular events – the main cause behind mortality – can extend life expectancy and improve the quality of life of patients. Effect of dietary treatment on cardiovascular risk reduction is as beneficial as in the younger populations. Regular physical activity reduces the risk of cardiovascular and overall mortality by 26% in males and 20% in females aged ≥65 years. If the medical history is negative for vascu­lar disorders, statin administration as a primary prevention is indicated for patients 65>years. In the population aged 75≥years individual benefit/risk assessment is needed before statin administration. Larger risk reduction can be achieved between 65-75 years than in subjects over 75 years. Concerning secondary prevention, statin treatment is of pre-eminent significance, and its administration is evidence-based in the elderly. For achieving the lipid goals, combined therapy with statin and ezetimibe is recommended in the primary as well as secondary cardiovascular prevention. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[The significance of the identification of SARS-CoV-2 virus and the possible errors of the sampling method]


[The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus while emerging suddenly and spreading throughout the globe challenged seriously also the modern medicine. Diag­nostic methods recognising viral infections of the upper airways developed essentially in the last 20 years, and it was specifically progressing during the SARS and MERS epidemics thus facilitating the recognition and identifica­tion of infections by influenza, RS- and adenoviruses as well. Nevertheless the present novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) also de­mon­strated that the relatively simple procedures of naso- and oropharyngeal sampling are fallible too. Thus they may have a relatively high risk of false-negative outcomes. However the correct sampling prior the RT-PCR tests provides reliable diagnosis by high sensitivity and specificity. Thus improving the quality of sampling and avoiding failures by correct training and education of the personnel make more reliable the detection of viral infection or indicate recovery after the infection. Finally, this is a key issue while overcoming the present pan­demic.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Sarcopenia – muscle loss – pathomechanism, clinical presentation and metabolic comorbidities]


[Sarcopenia, or the age-related involution of muscle strength and muscle mass, is a serious public health concern, due to the growing number of elderly population caused by nowadays demographic changes i.e. prolonged life expectancy. By ageing, the muscle tissue is shrinking gradually, leading to the loss of muscle strength and masses. This condition is called sarcopenia. Sar­co­penia is the simultaneous decrease of muscle mass, muscle strength and functional independence. In parallel the physical performance deteriorates (weakness, slowness and poor physical balancing). Fatigue, el­derly behaviour and weight loss are the consequences of these accumulating deficits, which associate with cognitive decline and result in increasing social isolation. The primary form of sarcopenia is the decrease of the energy production of muscle cells and then the death of muscle cells. Se­con­dary, endocrine dysfunctions, diseases of the nervous system, decreased physical activity, malnutrition or malabsorption, chronic infection accelerate the process and aggravate the patient’s condition. Complex genetic, biochemical and endocrine mechanisms take part in the development of sarcopenia. This involution is due to the impaired balance of restoring and depleting processes of muscles. A questionnaire and algorithm have been developed to recognize, screen and diagnose the risks of sarcopenic condition; these separate the sarcopenic and non-sarcopenic patients with specific cut-off values. Sar­co­penia can be diagnosed based on walking speed, decreased handgrip strength and measured or calculated muscle mass in persons over 65. Sarcopenia can be considered as a phenomenon of “physiological” aging, however, it becomes a disease when diagnostic cut-offs are exceeded and the patient experiences functional disability and declining quality of life. Prevention and treatment of sarcopenia and reducing the risk of falling are based on regular active resistance and coordination exercises. Options for pharmaceutical treatments are limited since despite of identified molecular targets there are no convincingly effective innovative therapy on the horizon. Nevertheless, there are some weak evidence for efficacy of the application of amino acids stimulating muscle cell differentiation, such as leucine or the analogue of beta-hydoxy-methylbutyrate beside exercise therapy.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Suicide endangering elderly people: risk factors, prevention and care]

BARACZKA Krisztina

[According to the data of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office (HCSO), the Hungarian citizens aged over 65 represented in 2001 11.8%, 2011 13.2% and 2019 19.3% of the total population. Providing services for aging (>60 years), aged (>75 years), very old (>90 years) and Matusalem (>100 years) individuals burdens heavily the health system and the socio-economic sector. Maintaining these people’s physical and mental health and self-perceived well-being is a pre-eminently important task. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) statistics based on data providing countries, the number of suicides committed in the population aged 60-79 has risen approximately by 21% between 1987 and 2006. The suicide rate in Hungary has decreased steadily and significantly since 1980 (4809 in 1980, 1656 in 2018, i.e. a decrease of 66%). Thus since 2018, Hungary is not among the top three countries in Europe and the top 15 in the world. However, the number of completed suicides and suicide attempts remains high and shows rising tendency in the elderly. Preventing suicide, exploring the risk factors and caring patients after attempted suicide we need to analyse thoroughly and disseminate widely the results of the recent researches. In this study, we re­viewed international and domestic literature data to find answers primarily to prevention issues. ]

All articles in the issue

Related contents

Clinical Neuroscience

[The connection between the socioeconomic status and stroke in Budapest]


[The well-known gap bet­ween stroke mortality of Eastern and Western Euro­pean countries may reflect the effect of socioeconomic diffe­rences. Such a gap may be present between neighborhoods of different wealth within one city. We set forth to compare age distribution, incidence, case fatality, mortality, and risk factor profile of stroke patients of the poorest (District 8) and wealthiest (District 12) districts of Budapest. We synthesize the results of our former comparative epidemiological investigations focusing on the association of socioeconomic background and features of stroke in two districts of the capital city of Hungary. The “Budapest District 8–12 project” pointed out the younger age of stroke patients of the poorer district, and established that the prevalence of smoking, alcohol-consumption, and untreated hypertension is also higher in District 8. The “Six Years in Two Districts” project involving 4779 patients with a 10-year follow-up revealed higher incidence, case fatality and mortality of stroke in the less wealthy district. The younger patients of the poorer region show higher risk-factor prevalence, die younger and their fatality grows faster during long-term follow-up. The higher prevalence of risk factors and the higher fatality of the younger age groups in the socioeconomically deprived district reflect the higher vulnerability of the population in District 8. The missing link between poverty and stroke outcome seems to be lifestyle risk-factors and lack of adherence to primary preventive efforts. Public health campaigns on stroke prevention should focus on the young generation of socioeconomi­cally deprived neighborhoods. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Risk of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs. Focus on aceclofenac]


[Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are among the most frequently used pharmaceuticals. Nevertheless, a number of studies emphasized that NSAIDs were damaging not only the gastrointestinal (GI), but also the cardiovascular (CV) system, could increase the blood pressure, the frequency of coronary events (angina, myocardial infarction) and stroke incidence, as well as they might deterio­rate renal functions. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) did not find evidence that administering NSAIDs could increase the risk of developing COVID-19 or worsened the condition of COVID-19 patients. However, unwanted effects of specific drugs differ substantially in their occurrence and seriousness as well. It seemed to be for a long time that the NSAIDs provoked higher GI-risk was closely related to the COX1/COX2 selectivity, like the cardiovascular (CV) risk to the COX2/COX1 selectivity, however, the recent data did not prove it clearly. Based on the available literature while pondering the gastrointestinal and cardiovascular adverse events, among all NSAIDs the aceclofenac profile seemed to be the most favourable.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[LAM 30: 1990–2020. Facing the mirror: Three decades of LAM, the Hungarian medicine and health care system]


Clinical Neuroscience

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.

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Focus on Lege Artis Medicinae (LAM)]

VASAS Lívia, GEGES József

[Three decades ago, LAM was launched with the goal of providing scientific information about medicine and its frontiers. From the very beginning, LAM has also concerned a special subject area while connecting medicine with the world of art. In the palette of medical articles, it remained a special feature to this day. The analysis of the history of LAM to date was performed using internationally accepted publication guidelines and scientific databases as a pledge of objectivity. We examined the practice of LAM if it meets the main criteria, the professional expectations of our days, when publishing contents of the traditional printed edition and its electronic version. We explored the visibility of articles in the largest bibliographic and scientific metric databases, and reviewed the LAM's place among the Hun­ga­rian professional journals. Our results show that in recent years LAM has gained international reputation des­pite publishing in Hungarian spoken by a few people. This is due to articles with foreign co-authors as well as references to LAM in articles written exclusively by foreign researchers. The journal is of course full readable in the Hungarian bibliographic databases, and its popularity is among the leading ones. The great virtue of the journal is the wide spectrum of the authors' affiliation, with which they cover almost completely the Hungarian health care institutional sys­tem. The special feature of its columns is enhanced by the publication of writings on art, which may increase Hungarian and foreign interest like that of medical articles.]