Lege Artis Medicinae

[Five things worth to know about GLP1-RAs]


JULY 13, 2021

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2021;31(07)



Further articles in this publication

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Neurological complications of COVID-19]


[The SARS-CoV-2 virus of COVID-19 is present in all countries of the world by 2021 causing primarily respiratory symptoms by penumonia with severe respiratory failure. Since the early stages of the pandemic, there were published case reports and comprehensive clinical studies about the neurological symptoms and complications of the infection (e.g. myalgia, anosmia, ageusia, encephalitis, encephalopathy, cerebrovascular conditions, Guillain-Barré syndrome and specific neuropathies). As it is well known, drugs used in therapeutic research may also have neurological adverse effects. Our summary aims to provide a practical overview of domestic and international literature about the already known neurological complications of SARS-CoV-2 infection.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Neuropsychiatric complications of COVID-19 infection]


[Initially, the studies of COVID-19 infection focused primarily on the acute and subacute somatic symptoms of limited duration, but later on with the spread of the pandemic the scope was extended to prolonged symptoms recognized as complications. Data are mounting about after-effects in circulation, respiration, coagulation, problematic outcomes in rheumatology, dermatology, ophthalmology, as well as about the acute and prolonged symptoms of the dysfunctional central nervous system. Initially, sporadic case reports, later results of population based studies and animal models were available, and the first systematic review articles were emerging during preparation of our survey. Lesions of the central nervous system may manifest themselves both in neurological symptoms and diseases or psychiatric complaints and syndromes. The scale of symptoms is broad, the pathomechanisms are not perfectly mapped thus all therapeutic approaches are in their infancy yet. Epidemiological data of neuropsychiatric complications are incomplete for the time being though they have been rapidly becoming more accurate. Conservative estimates assume tens of millions of people affected worldwide. More time is necessary to assess the persistence or improvement of the prolonged symptoms. Besides every efforts to block the spread of the virus, the utmost importance is to analyze the effects of the virus on the central nervous system and to develop effective treatment strategies. According to our current knowledge, the pathomechanism of neuropsychiatric complications is multifactorial. Beyond the direct deleterious effect of the virus on neuronal and glial functions, more important is that the serious consequences of cerebrovascular dysfunction and poor oxygenation have to be taken into consideration together with extended and prolonged systemic immunological processes, which markedly harm the brain tissue, notably neurons, axons, synapses and glia cells. Based on a non-systematic lite­ra­ture review our work details these me­chanisms and addresses therapeutic options as well. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Face mask associated dry eye syndrome during the COVID-19 pandemic]

SOHÁR Nicolette

[During the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of face mask was mandated to slow down also this way the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Dry eye syndrome is a multifactorial, common disease of the tear film and ocular surface, which has a significant negative effect on quality of life. The face mask and prolonged use of digital devices in home office and on-line school education raised the prevalence of dry eye syndrome among the patients. Eye irritation caused by the use of masks increased the risk of infection through the eye surface. This study concerns the effect of mask use on the eye surface during the COVID-19 pandemic, the prevention of this condition and its therapy options respectively.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Treatment options for localized and widespread post-COVID pain]


[Data on the new coronavirus caused di­s­ease and its treatment have been accumulating for more than a year. There are four main disease courses: no or mild symp­toms, unavoidable hospitalisation, severe or lethal outcome, and permanent or post-hoc manifestations. The last course is usually referred to as post-COVID syndrome. As a part of the acute and post-COVID symptomatology there were published pain perceptions with frequent but heterogeneous localisation. It is practical to classify them by the origin of pain: nociceptive/inflammatory, peripheral neuropathic or central. Additionally, we have to clear which phase is the post-COVID patient in i.e. the patient has the prolonged COVID- or persistent post-COVID syndrome. However, in addition to an acute general inflammatory reaction, a true inflammation of joints and muscles is very rare in the musculoskeletal system. The diffuse musculoskeletal pain, chronic fatigue, generalised anxiety and depressive disposition manifest themselves in both acute and persistent forms. Their explanation is essentially of neurological nature: there are para-infectious “neuro-inflammation”, i.e. neuropathic and central mechanisms in the background. Accor­ding­ly, therapeutic options must be chosen while concerning the neuropharmacological action mechanisms of analgesics. El­derly patients at high iatrogenic risk and with multiple co-morbidities may be treated transdermal instead of oral drug administration.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Potential benefits of using GLP1-receptor agonists during COVID-19 epidemic]

KIS János Tibor, SCHANDL László, GRÓSZ Andrea

[The risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection is higher among diabetic patients. The severity of progressing infection also increases in diabetes mellitus. Obesity associated with diabetes and cardiovascular disease are worsening the prognosis. Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP1-RA) administered in type 2 diabetes are lowering significantly the blood sugar level without increasing the risk of hypoglycaemia, support patients to lose weight, and reduce the likelihood of developing and worsening car­diovascular diseases. Through their many effects, they prepare diabetic patients to a certain extent to survive SARS-CoV-2 infection with fewer complications and have a beneficial immunological effect against the development of cytokine storm respectively. The authors summarize the potential beneficial effects of GLP1-RAs in SARS-CoV-2 infection.]

All articles in the issue

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Clinical Neuroscience

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

SENGUL Yildizhan, KOCAK Müge, CORAKCI Zeynep, SENGUL Serdar Hakan, USTUN Ismet

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.

Clinical Neuroscience

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease: A single center experience and systemic analysis of cases in Turkey

USLU Ilgen Ferda, ELIF Gökçal, GÜRSOY Esra Azize, KOLUKISA Mehmet, YILDIZ Babacan Gulsen

We aimed to analyze the clinical, laboratory and neuroimaging findings in patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in a single center as well as to review other published cases in Turkey. Between January 1st, 2014 and June 31st, 2017, all CJD cases were evaluated based on clinical findings, differential diagnosis, the previous misdiagnosis, electroencephalography (EEG), cerebrospinal fluid and cranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in our center. All published cases in Turkey between 2005-2018 were also reviewed. In a total of 13 patients, progressive cognitive decline was the most common presenting symptom. Two patients had a diagnosis of Heidenhain variant, 1 patient had a diagnosis of Oppenheimer-Brownell variant. Seven patients (53.3%) had been misdiagnosed with depression, vascular dementia, normal pressure hydrocephalus or encephalitis. Eleven patients (87%) had typical MRI findings but only 5 of these were present at baseline. Asymmetrical high signal abnormalities on MRI were observed in 4 patients. Five patients (45.4%) had periodic spike wave complexes on EEG, all appeared during the follow-up. There were 74 published cases in Turkey bet­ween 2005 and 2018, with various clinical presentations. CJD has a variety of clinical features in our patient series as well as in cases reported in Turkey. Although progressive cognitive decline is the most common presenting symptom, unusual manifestations in early stages of the disease might cause misdiagnosis. Variant forms should be kept in mind in patients with isolated visual or cerebellar symptoms. MRI and EEG should be repeated during follow-up period if the clinical suspicion still exists.

Clinical Neuroscience

Chronic form of Pisa syndrome after prolonged exposure to low-dose amisulpride treatment

ERDEM Şimşek Nazan, ÖZKAYNAK Sibel Sehur

Pisa syndrome is a movement problem defined by tonic, sustained lateral flexion with a slight posterior rotation of the trunk. It seems to be a side effect of antipsychotic medicine in most cases. The clinical duration of Pisa syndrome can be acute, chronic, or recurrent. As far as we know, no reports are available in the literature on the chronic form of Pisa syndrome caused by low-dose amisulpride. A case of refractory tardive dystonia form of Pisa syndrome during treatment with stable low-dose amisulpride is presented in this report. Long-term, low-dosage amisulpride therapy may induce tardive dystonia even in patients with no other risk factors for dystonia.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Disease burden of Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients and their caregivers]


[Background and purpose - Data on the disease burden of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy are scarce in Hungary. The aim of this study was to assess patients’ and their caregivers’ health related quality of life and healthcare utilisations. Methods - A cross sectional survey was performed as part of the European BURQOL-RD project. The EQ-5D-5L and Barthel Index questionnaires were applied, health care utilisations and patients’ informal carers were surveyed. Results - One symptomatic female carer, 50 children (boys 94%) and six adult patients (five males) participated in the study, the latter two subgroups were included in the analysis. The average age was 9.7 (SD=4.6) and 24.3 (SD=9.8) years, respectively. Median age at time of diagnosis was three years. The average EQ-5D score among children and adults was 0.198 (SD=0.417) and 0.244 (SD=0.322), respectively, the Barthel Index was 57.6 (SD=29.9) and 53.0 (SD=36.5). Score of satisfaction with healthcare (10-point Likert-scale) was mean 5.3 (SD=2.1) and 5.3 (SD=2.9). 15 children were hospitalised in the past 12 months for mean 12.9 (SD=24.5) days. Two patients received help from professional carer. 25 children (mean age 11.1, SD=4.4 years) were helped/supervisied by principal informal carer (parent) for mean 90.1 (SD=44.4) hours/week and further family members helped in 21 cases. Correlation between EQ-5D and Barthel Index was strong and significant (0.731; p<0.01) as well as with informal care time (-0.770; p<0.01), but correlation with satisfaction with health care was not significant (EQ-5D: 0.241; Barthel Index: 0.219; informal care: -0.142). Conclusion - Duchenne muscular dystrophy leads to a significant deterioration in the quality of life of patients. Parents play outstanding role in the care of affected children. This study is the first in the Central and Eastern European region that provides quality of life data in this rare disease for further health economic studies.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Medication overuse headache: The effectivity of iv lidocaine – magnesium

TEPE Nermin, TERTEMIZ Faysal Oktay

The detoxification process in medication overuse headache is the most difficult process for the patient. We aimed to investigate the effectiveness of the combination of low dose IV lidocaine and magnesium (100 mg lidocaine and 1.25 mg magnesium) in patients with medication overuse headache during the detoxification process. A total of 30 patients were included in the study; 15 received 24 hours of IV hydration, 15 received 1-hour lidocaine-magnesium infusion at the onset of pain in addition to the 24 hours of IV hydration. Headache severity (numeric rating scale, NRS), attack durations, onset of headache, monthly analgesic/triptan intakes, numbers of monthly headache days data were documented. We evaluated the severity of headache before and after daily treatment of two groups for one week. When both groups were compared, there was no significant difference in the pre-treatment NRS values, whe­reas, in the group receiving IV lidocaine-magnesium combination, there was a statistically significant decrease in the post-treatment NRS values in the first five days (p <0.05). An 1-hour combined infusion of lidocaine-magnesium may be considered as an alternative option for the patient to have a more quality detoxification process during the hospital stay, so that in parallel to the reduction in the use of multiple treatments (such as neuroleptics, benzodiazepines, antiemetics and opioids) and duration length of stay, the economic costs can also be reduced. The administration of combination will bring fewer side effects compared to their administration separately.