Lege Artis Medicinae

[Nasal Congestion as an Endemic]

NEMESI Zsuzsa

AUGUST 20, 2010

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2010;20(08)

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[Obstructive sleep apnea is a common disorder, characterized by repeated episodes of upper airway obstruction during sleep, resulting intermittent hypoxia and disruption of the normal sleep pattern, which caused cognitive dysfunction in these patients. Nasal continuous positive airway pressure is the treatment of choice for this disorder. The aim of the study is to evaluate the effect of short-term positive airway pressure on sleep pattern (polisomnographic measures), cognitive function and anxiety. Twenty four newly diagnosed and previously untreated patients with obstructive sleep apnea were evaluated a battery of neuropsychological tests before and after 2 and a half months of the treatment. We focused on working memory, short and long-term episodic memory, executive functions, anxiety and subjective sleepiness. Our results showed that the two and half month of treatment improved the respiration during sleep, sleep pattern and the subjective sleepiness. We found improvement in short- and long-term verbal memory, and complex working memory. Despite of treatment we did not find improvement in visuospatial learning. These results reveal that 2 and a half months of positive airway pressure treatment restored not only the normal respiration during sleep and normal sleep pattern, but also the cognitive functions. Our study suggests that cognitive dysfunction is at least partial reversible in obstructive sleep apnea patients after positive airway pressure treatment.]

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RÓZSA Anikó, KOVÁCS Krisztina, GUBA Katalin, GÁCS Gyula

[We report the case of a 60-year-old man who exhibited trigeminal autonomic symptoms on his right side (numbness of the face, reddening of the eye, nasal congestion) occurring several times a day, for a maximum of 60 se­conds, without any pain. The complaints were similar to trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia, just without any headache. Our 60-year-old male patient underwent a craniocervical MRI as part of his neurological workup, which revealed lesions indicative of demyelination. Further testing was guided (ophthalmological examination, VEP, CSF test) by the presumptive diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. It is likely that in his case the cause of these trigeminal and autonomic paroxysms is MS. Here we present an overview of the few cases we found in the literature, although we did not find any similar case reports. Perhaps the most interesting among these is one in which the author describes a family: a 54-year-old female exhibiting the autonomic characteristics of an episodic cluster headache, only without actual headache, her son, who had typical episodic cluster headaches with autonomic symptoms, and the woman’s father, whose short-term periorbital headaches were present without autonomic symptoms. We had not previously encountered a case of trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia without headache in our practice, nor have we had an MS patient exhibiting similar neurologic symptoms. The significance of our case lies in its uniqueness. ]

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[INTRODUCTION - MERLIN (Management of Osteoporosis in Elderly with Calcitonin) is an open-label, multicenter, prospective, follow-up study conducted in Hungary, part of which is to assess the impact of treatment with Miacalcic, - an intranasal salmon calcitonin, on the quality of life (QoL) among patients with osteoporosis. In this paper we report the preliminary results of the MERLIN study. PATIENTS - The study initially involved 1949 senior patients (aged >65 years) to whom calcitonin was prescribed for osteoporosis according to the application instructions. Patients presented at outpatient clinics and consisted of two groups; they were either newly diagnosed or they had been receiving a therapy for osteoporosis other than calcitonin. METHODS - This latter group discontinued their previous treatment and all patients received 200 IU intranasal salmon calcitonin (SCT) once daily for three months. Patient and physician questionnaires were used to collect information on the patients' QoL (EQ-5D VAS) and their general well-being at baseline and at follow-up visits at week 4 and week 12. RESULTS - Calcitonin use was associated with improvements in all EQ-5D domains and component scores as well as in VAS. Patients with previously known osteoporosis who, switched to calcitonin therapy achieved better results (0,046 QALY), than the newly diagnosed patients (0,0405 QALY). CONCLUSIONS - We conclude that intranasal SCT 200 IU daily is safe and effective in improving QoL of both, male and female patients with low bone mineral density.The conclusions that can be drawn from this study are limited due to the lack of a control group and to the unblinded design. Further placebo-controlled studies are needed to confirm these results. Nevertheless, our study was the first in Hungary to evaluate the quality of life impact of an osteoporosis treatment, and hopefully it will be followed by more such studies directed to other osteoporosis treatments.]

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[Introduction - Although cluster headache (CH) is one of the most severe human pain syndromes, its symptoms and therapeutic possibilities may be suboptimally recognised in current medical practice in Hungary. Aim - To present the clinical characteristics of CH based on a prospective study of patients attending the Headache Service of the Department of Neurology, Semmelweis University. Methods - We collected information about the symptoms, diagnosis and previous treatment of CH patients by filling in a 108-item questionnaire during outpatient visits. Results - In the 5-year period between 2004 and 2008 we obtained data from 78 CH patients (57 males and 21 females; mean age: 44.6±14.6 years). The male:female ratio did not change in subgroups based on disease onset (calendar years). Ninety-three percent considered CH the most severe pain state of their life. The pain was strictly unilateral, affecting the territory of the 1st trigeminal division in all patients. The attacks were accompanied by signs of ipsilateral cranial parasympathetic activation (lactimation 83%, conjunctival injection 67%, rhinorrhea 56%, nasal congestion 43%); less frequently, signs of sympathetic dysfunction (ptosis 48%, miosis 7%) were also present. Two patients had attacks showing the typical localisation, severity and time course of CH attacks, but not accompanied by autonomic phenomena. A considerable part of the patients also observed symptoms that are usually ascribed to migraine (nausea 41%, vomiting 18%, photophobia 68%, phonophobia 58%). This may have been instrumental in the fact that, regardless of the characteristic clinical symptoms, the diagnosis of CH took 10 years on average. At the time of their examination 63% of patients were not using adequate abortive medications and 59% did not have an adequate prophylactic measure. Discussion - Cluster headache is characterised by attacks of devastating pain that warrant an early diagnosis and adequate treatment. Our study underlines that information about the diagnosis and therapy of CH should be emphasized on occasions of neurology specialty training and continuing medical education.]

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