Lege Artis Medicinae

[Jubilee Meeting of the Hungarian Rheumatologists’ Association]


JANUARY 27, 2009

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2009;19(01)



Further articles in this publication

Lege Artis Medicinae

[“Lump in one’s throat” - Diagnostic and therapeutic failures]


Lege Artis Medicinae

[Cardiological data in amyloidosis]


Lege Artis Medicinae

[Relationships in recovery, recovery in relationships]


[INTRODUCTION - Some of the recent researches based on analyses of autobiographies pointed out, that the quality and the quantity of our social relations are in connection with our life longevity, and the frequency of words referring social roles and integration gives a respective measurement possibility of it. Conception of the term “social words” had been introduced. The influence of the degree of social support to the recovery from alcohol addiction is also a well-known phenomenon. Based on the above we supposed that examining their autobiography vocabularies we find special differences which can show the distinction between the social support of the relapsed and recovering addicted persons. We planned to prove the being of these special differences via revealing bias of the frequency and pattern of social word usage. PATIENTS AND METHODS - Two separate groups were created for purpose of the examination. The first consisted of relapsed alcohol dependent persons, who were treated in hospital (department of addiction psychiatry) diagnosed alcohol-dependent (F 10.2) (and nothing else) at least twice within a year (N=30). We chose earlier treated (because of alcohol-dependency, and nothing else mental disease) persons who had been being abstinent for at least 2 years into the second group (N=20). Beside the earlier diagnosis we used the parts of the ASI test to sreen any other mental diseases. We created similar groups with regards to gender, age and qualification. We collected autobiographies from the persons, and made two common documents of them. Afterwards we compared these documents by the Atlas.ti 5.0 (trial free version) content analysing software. We defined the frequency of the found social words in the rate of these words and the sum of the words in the whole text. We found the most prominent difference between the frequency of social words referring to the family and relatives, opposite the words dealing with friendship. RESULTS - In the latter case we could not detect any difference between the two groups. We got results confirming our hypothesis in the frequency of such words as “help”, “love”, “give” and “get”. We experienced in connection with the pattern that the words referring to social organisations, for example “team”, “community”, “company”, “club”, “meeting”, “collective” and the word “guest” practically did not appear (R<0.001) in the texts of relapsed persons, while they could be detected in the case of the recovering group (R=0.023). We did khisquare test to compare the frequency in the mentioned categories and we experienced significant differences between the social word usage of the two groups. CONCLUSION - Our results confirmed that the recovery from alcohol addiction was related to the quality and quantity of person's social relations, what we can get relevant information from the frequency of social words in the autobiographies about, so the high frequency of the social words can be considered as a good predictor of recovery.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[The Truths of August the Dumb – Clown Doctors]


Lege Artis Medicinae

[Efficacy of peginterferon alfa-2a and -2b plus ribavirin in the routine treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis C]


[INTRODUCTION - Combination of peginterferon plus ribavirin is the standard treatment for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Two types of peginterferon are available. The aim of this retrospective study was to find out whether the choice of peginterferon influenced the patient’s chance of recovery. PATIENTS AND METHODS - Between 2004 and 2007, 142 patients with HCV genotype 1 hepatitis with or without cirrhosis (107 treatmentnaive, 35 previously treated) were treated with 180 ug/week peginterferon alfa-2a (Group A) or 1.5 ug/kg/week peginterferon alfa-2b (Group B) plus ribavirin. Examination and treatment of patients followed the rules of the national guideline. Patients were not randomized in any way. Group A consisted of 78 patients and Group B included 64 patients. Eight patients dropped out for various reasons (5 from Group A, 3 from Group B). There was no statistically significant difference in the baseline characteristics and the cumulative doses of the drugs between Group A and B, so the treatment results were comparable. RESULTS - Sustained virological response (undetectable HCV ribonucleic acid serum levels 24 weeks after the end of treatment) occurred in 42.5% of patients from Group A and 37.7% from Group B. When focusing on treatment-naive patients only, sustained virological response was found in 48.2% of patients in Group A and 46.7% in Group B. Result of the treatment was better if the patient was treatment-naive, if there was no cirrhosis, and if early virological response at 12 weeks was achieved. CONCLUSION - Patients treated with peginterferon alfa-2a plus ribavirin achieved sustained virological response at a higher rate than those with peginterferon alfa-2b plus ribavirin, however, the difference was not statistically significant.]

All articles in the issue

Related contents

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

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.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Advanced Parkinson’s disease characteristics in clinical practice: Results from the OBSERVE-PD study and sub-analysis of the Hungarian data]

TAKÁTS Annamária, ASCHERMANN Zsuzsanna, VÉCSEI László, KLIVÉNYI Péter, DÉZSI Lívia, ZÁDORI Dénes, VALIKOVICS Attila, VARANNAI Lajos, ONUK Koray, KINCZEL Beatrix, KOVÁCS Norbert

[The majority of patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease are treated at specialized movement disorder centers. Currently, there is no clear consensus on how to define the stages of Parkinson’s disease; the proportion of Parkinson’s patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease, the referral process, and the clinical features used to characterize advanced Parkinson’s disease are not well delineated. The primary objective of this observational study was to evaluate the proportion of Parkinson’s patients identified as advanced patients according to physician’s judgment in all participating movement disorder centers across the study. Here we evaluate the Hungarian subset of the participating patients. The study was conducted in a cross-sectional, non-interventional, multi-country, multi-center format in 18 countries. Data were collected during a single patient visit. Current Parkinson’s disease status was assessed with Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) parts II, III, IV, and V (modified Hoehn and Yahr staging). Non-motor symptoms were assessed using the PD Non-motor Symptoms Scale (NMSS); quality of life was assessed with the PD 8-item Quality-of-Life Questionnaire (PDQ-8). Parkinson’s disease was classified as advanced versus non-advanced based on physician assessment and on questions developed by the Delphi method. Overall, 2627 patients with Parkinson’s disease from 126 sites were documented. In Hungary, 100 patients with Parkinson’s disease were documented in four movement disorder centers, and, according to the physician assessment, 50% of these patients had advanced Parkinson’s disease. Their mean scores showed significantly higher impairment in those with, versus without advanced Parkinson’s disease: UPDRS II (14.1 vs. 9.2), UPDRS IV Q32 (1.1 vs. 0.0) and Q39 (1.1 vs. 0.5), UPDRS V (2.8 vs. 2.0) and PDQ-8 (29.1 vs. 18.9). Physicians in Hungarian movement disorder centers assessed that half of the Parkinson’s patients had advanced disease, with worse motor and non-motor symptom severity and worse QoL than those without advanced Parkinson’s disease. Despite being classified as eligible for invasive/device-aided treatment, that treatment had not been initiated in 25% of these patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

The effects of the level of spinal cord injury on life satisfaction and disability

GULSAH Karatas, NESLIHAN Metli, ELIF Yalcin, RAMAZAN Gündüz, FATIH Karatas, MÜFIT Akyuz

Introduction - Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) may often lead to significant disability in affected individuals and reduce life satisfaction. Herein we aimed to investigate the effects of the level of injury on disability and life satisfaction as well as the relation between life satisfaction and disability. Methods - Patients with at least one-year history of SCI were included. Demographic-clinical data of patients were recorded. The Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique-Short Form (CHART-SF) was used for quantifying the degree of patients’ disability. Life satisfaction was assessed by the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS). Results - Of the 76 patients, 21 (27.6%) were tetraplegic and 55 (72.4%) were paraplegic. SWLS was found to be similar in tetraplegic vs. paraplegic patients (P=0.59), whereas CHART parameters such as physical independence, mobility, occupation, and total CHART value were significantly higher in paraplegic patients (P=0.04, P=0.04, P=0.001 and P=0.01, respectively). Social integration was found similarly high in both groups. There was a positive correlation between elapsed time after the injury and CHART physical independence, occupation and the level of economic sufficiency (P<0.01, P<0.01, P=0.01). Excluding the economic sufficiency (P=0.02), there was not any other association between the rest of CHART parameters and SWLS. Conclusions - According to our findings, although the level of injury seems to be influential on disability, it seems to have no significant effect on life satisfaction. Since the only thing that positively affects life satisfaction is economic sufficiency, more emphasis should be placed on regulations that increase the return to work in patients.

Hypertension and nephrology

[Association between cyclothymic affective temperament and hypertension]


[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.]