Lege Artis Medicinae

[Hospitals in Ancient Rome ]


SEPTEMBER 20, 2017

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2017;27(08-09)



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[Changes in infectology over the past two decades]


[Infectious diseases and various infections are the major causes of morbidity and mortality in developing as well as in industrialised countries. Despite the advances in the past decades in our understanding of microbes, efficient treatment of diseases and preventive approaches, more than 13 million people die every year due to infectious diseases. In the past two decades, more and more new pathogens and infections diseases have been emerging and old diseases that were almost forgotten have re-emerged. There are many new diseases for which we do not have or have hardly any efficient antimicrobial drugs and no efficient vaccines. Despite an increasing frequency of multi- and panresistant microbes, the development of new antibiotics to be used against these infections is unlikely to occur in the near future. The big pharmaceutical companies have stopped the research of antibiotics. In this situation, the only option we have is to use antibiotics rationally and to take prevention and control of infections seriously, both in the outpatient system and in hospitals. Preserving the effectiveness of currently used antibiotics is in everyone’s interest and is everyone’s responsibility]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[End of the line? Addenda to the health and social care career of psychiatric patients living in Hungary’s asylums]


[The authors are focusing on a special type of long term psychiatric care taking place in Hungary outside of the conventional mental health care system, by introducing some institutional aspects of the not well known world of so called social homes for psychiatric patients (asylums). After reviewing several caracteristics of institutional development of psychiatric care in Hun­gary based on selected Hungarian and in­ternational historical sources, the main struc­tural data of present Hungarian institutional capacities of psychiatric health and social care services are shown. Finally, the authors based on own personal experiences describe several functional ascpects of the largest existing asylum in EU, a so­cial home for long term care of psychiatric pa­tients. By the beginning of the 20th century, Hungarian psychiatric institutions were operating on an infrastructure of three large mental hospitals standing alone and several psychiatric wards incorporated into hospitals. Nevertheless, at the very first session of the Psychiatrists’ Conference held in 1900 many professionals gave warning: mental institutions were overcrowded and the quality of care provided in psychiatric hospital wards, many of which located in the countryside of Hungary, in most cases was far from what would have been professionally acceptable. The solution was seen in the building of new independent mental hospitals and the introduction of a family nursing institution already established in Western Europe; only the latter measure was implemented in the first half of the 20th century but with great success. However, as a result of the socio-political-economic-ideological turn following the Second World War, the institution of family nursing was dismantled while different types of psychiatric care facilities were developed, such as institutionalised hospital and outpatient care. In the meantime, a new type of institution emerged in the 1950s: the social home for psychiatric pa­tients, which provided care for approximately the same number of chronic psychiatric patients nationwide as the number of functioning hospital beds for acute psychiatric patients. This have not changed significantly since, while so­cial homes for psychiatric patients are perhaps less visible to the professional and lay public nowadays, altough their operational conditions are deteriorating of late years. Data show, that for historical reasons the current sys­tem of inpatient psychiatric care is proportionately arranged between health care and social care institutions; each covering one third. Further research is needed to fully explore and understand the current challenges that the system of psychiatric care social- and health care institu­tions are facing. An in-depth analysis would significantly contribute to the comprehensive improvement of the quality of services and the quality of lives of patients, their relatives and the health- and social care professionals who support them. ]

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SAJTI Anikó, CSERNUS Mariann

[Good hand hygiene is the most effective means of preventing healthcare-associated infections, as contaminated hands are the greatest risk of spreading infections. It is critical that the infection control professionals emphasise the importance of good hand hygiene practices and help the health care professionals on the five steps of hand hygiene. The author presents in the case study that the numbers of positive urinary microbiological samples were decreased with systematic hand hygiene examination with direct methods and continuous feedback of experiences among the staff of the intensive care unit. For further development four sensory, alcoholic hand scrubbers with spraying automats were fitted by the management of the unit. Data obtained directly from observation further analysis is our goal a comprehensive study for the profession, which can serve as a positive example later to launch compliance development programs in other hospitals. ]

Clinical Oncology

[Signaling pathways in cancer stem cells (Notch, Hedgehog, Wnt)]


[OThe key regulators in the embryonic life, and later in the differentiation of tissues and organs are the evolutionary reserved signalling pathways, as Notch, Hedgehog and Wnt. Mutations of these pathways have been identifi ed in many tumor types, increasing the risk to the appearance of cancer stem cells (CSC), with very similar geno- and phenotype as normal stem cells have. Such CSCs with stemness functions can be developed not only from normal stem cells, but also from progenitor and differentiated cells. The main characteristics of CSC are the self maintenance, slow growth rate, very effective DNA-repair system, etc. All of these can contribute to the resistance. Further problems are the low number of CSC in the whole tumor mass, which makes rather diffi cult to achieve the effective drug concentration in CSC. The mentioned ancient pathways interact with many other pathways to form a network, which can infl uence the strategy of therapy. No doubt, that these pathways are promising targets, however, till now the clinical effectiveness is very low due to some reasons mentioned above. Nevertheless, some drugs are already in clinical use, either as monotherapy or part of the combinations. Little is known about the relationship between the pathways and the microenvironment, which has an outstanding role in the cellular activities, sometimes resulting opposite output. It is a great challenge to design effective drugs against CSC, similarly to fi nd reliable predictive biomarkers, which unfortunately still missing, since a reasonable drug-marker interactions would speed up the personalized treatment.]

Clinical Oncology

[Paleo-oncology - messages from the past]

MOLNÁR Erika, MARCSIK Antónia, PÁLFI György, ZÁDORI Péter, BUCZKÓ Krisztina, TAKÁCS Vellainé Krisztina, HAJDU Tamás

[Nowadays, cancer is one of the greatest challenges facing mankind. However, there is still no consensus among researchers regarding the antiquity of cancer. Written sources and paleo-oncological studies may help to answer this question. The aim of this study is to present data on the history of cancer based on historical sources, literature data and own research fi ndings. Early historical sources indicate that cancer was already known in antiquity. Paleopathological studies of animal and human fossils show that malignant bone tumors were present in ancient times, although the frequency of the disease was seemingly very low. The increasing number of unearthed fossils and the use of modern diagnostic tools have led to a rise of the number of diagnosed cancer cases. Our comprehensive paleo-oncological study, focusing on the occurrence and frequency change of malignant tumors in historic populations of Hungary was based on the analysis of skeletal remains belonging to 11,000 individuals dated from the Early Neolithic to the late medieval period. During the analysis macromorphological, modern imaging and histological methods were applied. As a result of the extensive investigations osteological evidences of malignant bone tumors were identifi ed in 39 cases. Neoplastic bone diseases were present in all studied historical periods and there were no differences in their occurrence and frequency between the different archaeological periods.]