Lege Artis Medicinae

[In the focus: traveller’s diseases]

JELENIK Zsuzsanna, LUDWIG Endre

JULY 20, 2005

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2005;15(07)

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Lege Artis Medicinae

[Thoughts on the current situation of oncology in Hungary]

ECKHARDT Sándor

Lege Artis Medicinae

[SUBCLINICAL THYROID DISEASES]

FÖLDES János, WINKLER Gábor

[More and more data are indicating that subclinical thyroid diseases can not be regarded as innocuous states. It seems very likely that slight changes in the serum thyroid hormone levels, still within the normal reference range, are sensed beside the pituitary also by other tissues and organs and their function may become abnormal. Considering these problems, it would be advisable to elucidate the proper time to start treatment, whether it is beneficial or not and to determine what the risks are for the applied therapy. Though the recommended guidelines for the management of subclinical thyroid diseases are becoming more and more evident, many questions remain still unanswered. It is not advisable to start an overzelous therapy, however, a too long waiting time for the installation of treatment could also be harmful. Large prospective and randomized trials are needed to clear these questions. This seems to be an urgent task, since due to their high prevalence, subclinical thyroid dysfunction might be regarded as a public health problem.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[SOME ETHICAL DILEMMAS OF PLACEBO-CONTROLLED STUDIES]

KOVÁCS József

[The article deals with the question where and when is it ethically acceptable in a randomized controlled clinical trial to give the investigational drug to one of the groups, while placebo to the other. First, it gives a short overview on the origin of the problem and the history of its reemergence before and after the revision of the Declaration of Helsinki 2000. It examines the various forms of placebo use, the pros and cons of its implementation, the international debate before the revision of the Declaration of Helsinki 2000 and the corrections after its acceptance. Finally it declares some principles in connection with placebo controlled clinical trials and examines when such a trial is acceptable in various psychiatric disorders.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[THE USE OF GENERIC DRUGS IN THE MEDICAL THERAPY OF EPILEPSY]

RAJNA Péter

[The author demonstrates the relationship between the innovative and generic antiepileptic drugs regarding the clinical aspects. Among the requirements for the registration of generics one can find small differences in the prescribed and the practical levels of bioequivalence. An important but not widely known fact is that these differences can lead to clinically important alterations if the effects of different generics or the effects on high risk patients are compared. While the increasing market of generics is due to economical factors (and rarely due to medical decisions), the safety of the drugs becomes extremely important. From this aspect, special patient populations eg. children, elderly people or patients with multiple illnesses under multidrug treatment are necessarily of greater medical importance. The characteristics of the antiepileptic drugs on the elderly patients, their increased sensitivity to particular adverse events and the possible somatic side effects are discussed in details. The type of epilepsy also has its special characteristics and is important in the choice of the most successful medicine. The development of the antiepileptic drugs shows a positive direction for their efficacy. In the discussion the author points out three main ways for using generic drugs: prescription of generic drug in monotherapy or as an additive in newly diagnosed patients, the exchange of the innovative agent to a generic and the exchange of one generic to another. The author also mentions the legal points and criticizies the regulations available in some countries allowing a free exchange of the bioequivalent drugs without the agreement of the physician or the patient. The final part of the paper reviews the results of the comparative studies on the effects of the generic antiepileptic drugs and the experiences of the physicians of their application based on surveys performed with questionnaires. The data of the literature is compared to the Hungarian methods of application and to his own experience. Recommendations for the application of generic antiepileptic drugs are summarized in „twelve points“.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[FEMALE SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION]

ROMICS Imre

[Based on the literature data reflecting test results of a high number of patients, the author highlights the frequency of female sexual dysfunction. The aetiology of the disease is partially known. Although diagnostical tests and therapeutical options are limited, it is essential to consider the existence and the high prevalence of female sexual dysfunction and to integrate this into our medical thinking.]

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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.

Hypertension and nephrology

[Association between cyclothymic affective temperament and hypertension]

NEMCSIK János, BATTA Dóra, KŐRÖSI Beáta, RIHMER Zoltán

[Affective temperaments (cyclothymic, hypertymic, depressive, anxious, irritable) are stable parts of personality and after adolescent only their minor changes are detectable. Their connections with psychopathology is well-described; depressive temperament plays role in major depression, cyclothymic temperament in bipolar II disorder, while hyperthymic temperament in bipolar I disorder. Moreover, scientific data of the last decade suggest, that affective temperaments are also associated with somatic diseases. Cyclothymic temperament is supposed to have the closest connection with hypertension. The prevalence of hypertension is higher parallel with the presence of dominant cyclothymic affective temperament and in this condition the frequency of cardiovascular complications in hypertensive patients was also described to be higher. In chronic hypertensive patients cyclothymic temperament score is positively associated with systolic blood pressure and in women with the earlier development of hypertension. The background of these associations is probably based on the more prevalent presence of common risk factors (smoking, obesity, alcoholism) with more pronounced cyclothymic temperament. The scientific importance of the research of the associations of personality traits including affective temperaments with somatic disorders can help in the identification of higher risk patient subgroups.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[LADA type diabetes, celiac diasease, cerebellar ataxia and stiff person syndrome. A rare association of autoimmune disorders]

SOÓS Zsuzsanna, SALAMON Mónika, ERDEI Katalin, KASZÁS Nóra, FOLYOVICH András, SZŰCS Anna, BARCS Gábor, ARÁNYI Zsuzsanna, SKALICZKI József, VADASDI Károly, WINKLER Gábor

[Celiac disease - in its typical form - is a chronic immunemediated enteropathy with typical clinical symptoms that develops against gliadin content of cereal grains, and is often associated with other autoimmune diseases. In cases of atypical manifestation classic symptoms may be absent or mild, and extra-intestinal symptoms or associated syndromes dominate clinical picture. The authors present a longitudinal follow-up of such a case. A 63-years old woman was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 19, and with progressive limb ataxia at the age of 36, which was initially thought to be caused by cerebellar atrophy, later probably by stiff person syndrome. At the age 59, her diabetes mellitus manifested with type 2 diabetic phenotype, but based on GAD positivity later was reclassified as type 1 diabetes. Only the last check-up discovered the celiac disease, retrospectively explaining the entire disease course and neurological symptoms. By presenting this case, the authors would like to draw attention to the fact that one should think of the possibility of celiac disease when cerebellar ataxia, progressive neurological symptoms and diabetes are present at the same time. An early diagnosis may help to delay the progression of disease and help better treatment.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Vinpocetin in neurological diseases]

SZAPÁRY László, KÉSMÁRKY Gábor, TÓTH Kálmán, MISNYOVSZKY Melinda, TÓTH Tímea, BALOGH Ágnes, NAGY Krisztián, NÉMETH György, FEHÉR Gergely

[Introduction - Stroke is the third leading cause of death worldwide (following cardiovascular and cancer mortality) and associated with serious disability for the vast majority of patients. There is no salvage therapy for irreversibly damaged brain areas, improving the circulation of the surrounding hypoperfused territories may be associated with benefitial clinical states. Cerebral hypoperfusion may play a role in the pathogenesis of other kind of neurological diseases, improvement of global circulation may have a preventive effect on these conditions. Aims - The aim of our study was to review the experimental and clinical articles focusing on the role of vinpocetin in different neurological conditions. Results - Vinpocetin appears to have several different mechanisms of action that allow for its antiinflammatory, antioxidant, vasodilating, antiepileptic and neuroprotective activities in experimental conditions. On the other hand, several meta-analysis of the existing studies in acute stroke examining short and long term fatality rates with vinpocetin was unable to assess efficacy. In chronic cerebrovascular patients, vinpocetin improves impaired hemorheological variables, has significant vasodilating properties, improves endothelial dysfunction, neuroimaging studies showed selective increase in cerebral blood flow and cerebral metabolic rate, all of which are potentially beneficial in cerebrovascular disease and may improve cognitive functions. Summary - Based on the above mentioned results vinpocetin plays an important role both in basic research and in clinical management of different neurological diseases.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[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. ]