Lege Artis Medicinae

[Relationship Networks]


MAY 20, 2011

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2011;21(05)



Further articles in this publication

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Man is not Made for Defeat – Hemingway’s Pathography]

KISS László

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Psychological Approaches to the Psychedelic Experience: James Maslow and Transpersonal Psychology Part I ]


Lege Artis Medicinae

[To fight for our self-esteem as well]

PAPP Magor

Lege Artis Medicinae

[The modern disciplines of diagnosing and treating back pain]


[The author presents the recommendations of international guidelines in the modern diagnosis and treatment of low back pain. Regarding diagnosis, it is very important to differentiate between “specific” and “aspecific” or “nonspecific” low back pain. The term “specific low back pain” includes all diseases and pathologies with well-defined aetiology and pathological process, including bacterial spondylitis, rheumatic spondylarthropathies, primary or secondary tumours, malignancies, myelon- or cauda equine compression, paresis, metabolic base diseases, pathological or nonpathological fractures are suspected. The presence of so called “red flags” indicate“specific” low back pain. This type of low back pain requires quick and precise diagnosis and specific treatment. All other kinds of low back pain, even those with very painful radiculopathy, and without paresis, cauda- or myelon compression can be considered as aspecific, even if caused by a herniated disc, because there is no absolute indication of discectomy. In case of aspecific low back pain, there is no need of any diagnostic imaging methods, because they would not influence treatment. The main points of treatment are to keep the patient active, quick mobilisation with appropriate analgesia and antiinflammatory treatment following no more than 2-3 days of bed rest, and return to work as soon as possible, with easier work conditions if needed. The longer the patient is on sick leave, the higher the risk he or she will never return to work. If initial active treatment is not is effective enough, the patient's case should be reassessed in 3-6 weeks. If a herniated disc is suspected, the necessary imaging methods should be performed, and the patient should be operated if necessary. With this method, chronic, disabling low back pain can be avoided in many cases. The danger of developing chronic low back pain are indicated by the so called “yellow flags”: dissatisfaction with work, allowance claim, insufficient and even false ideas about the causes and consequences of low back pain, fear, anxiety, depression. These problems can be alleviated by the positive athmosphere of the workplace, appropriate patient education, activity, anxiolytic and antidepressant drugs, activity and regular exercise.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Development of anticoagulation in the past two decades]

SAS Géza

[In the past two decades we have witnessed a gradually increasing significance of both prophylactic and therapeutic anticoagulation. The importance of thromboprophylaxis has become widely accepted in the course of surgical interventions and in various other fields of medicine, too. The introduction of low molecular weight heparins was a milestone in this respect. The need for long-term anticoagulation has become a common problem. The various recent aspects and topics of anticoagulation have been described in the current Hungarian medical literature, therefore, I focus on two general problems of medicine of our days from the aspects of our subject. The evaluation of information on the new, direct-acting inhibitors (anti-IIa and anti- Xa),and their high price present great difficulies, especially in the case of long-term anticoagulation therapy. Clinical data and experiences have been collected from patients who are greatly different from the majority of patients in the real world. The lack of antidote may also be a serious problem in case of these new drugs, as urgent neutralization might be necessary, for example in case of serious bleeding, accidents etc. Today, cost-effectiveness of medical interventions and drugs has become a major aspect, therefore, the high price of new anticoagulants might prevent their use in the clinical practice. Despite the optimistic expectations regarding new anticoagulants, at present we have to strive to treat our patients with the currently available, effective but affordable drugs, widening and improving their use.]

All articles in the issue

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

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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.

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Second game, 37th move and Fourth game 78th move]

VOKÓ Zoltán

[What has Go to do with making clinical decisions? One of the greatest intellectual challenges of bedside medicine is making decisions under uncertainty. Besides the psychological traps of traditionally intuitive and heuristic medical decision making, lack of information, scarce resources and characteristics of doctor-patient relationship contribute equally to this uncertainty. Formal, mathematical model based analysis of decisions used widely in developing clinical guidelines and in health technology assessment provides a good tool in theoretical terms to avoid pitfalls of intuitive decision making. Nevertheless it can be hardly used in individual situations and most physicians dislike it as well. This method, however, has its own limitations, especially while tailoring individual decisions, under inclusion of potential lack of input data used for calculations, or its large imprecision, and the low capability of the current mathematical models to represent the full complexity and variability of processes in complex systems. Nevertheless, clinical decision support systems can be helpful in the individual decision making of physicians if they are well integrated in the health information systems, and do not break down the physicians’ autonomy of making decisions. Classical decision support systems are knowledge based and rely on system of rules and problem specific algorithms. They are utilized widely from health administration to image processing. The current information revolution created the so-called artificial intelligence by machine learning methods, i.e. machines can learn indeed. This new generation of artificial intelligence is not based on particular system of rules but on neuronal networks teaching themselves by huge databases and general learning algorithms. This type of artificial intelligence outperforms humans already in certain fields like chess, Go, or aerial combat. Its development is full of challenges and threats, while it presents a technological breakthrough, which cannot be stopped and will transform our world. Its development and application has already started also in the healthcare. Health professionals must participate in this development to steer it into the right direction. Lee Sedol, 18-times Go world champion retired three years after his historical defeat from AlphaGo artificial intelligence, be­cause “Even if I become the No. 1, there is an entity that cannot be defeated”. It is our great luck that we do not need to compete or defeat it, we must ensure instead that it would be safe and trustworthy, and in collaboration with humans this entity would make healthcare more effective and efficient. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

The etiology and age-related properties of patients with delirium in coronary intensive care unit and its effects on inhospital and follow up prognosis

ALTAY Servet, GÜRDOGAN Muhammet, KAYA Caglar, KARDAS Fatih, ZEYBEY Utku, CAKIR Burcu, EBIK Mustafa, DEMIR Melik

Delirium is a syndrome frequently encountered in intensive care and associated with a poor prognosis. Intensive care delirium is mostly based on general and palliative intensive care data in the literature. In this study, we aimed to investigate the incidence of delirium in coronary intensive care unit (CICU), related factors, its relationship with inhospital and follow up prognosis, incidence of age-related delirium and its effect on outcomes. This study was conducted with patients hospitalized in CICU of a tertiary university hospital between 01 August 2017 and 01 August 2018. Files of all patients were examined in details, and demographic, clinic and laboratory parameters were recorded. Patients confirmed with psychiatry consultation were included in the groups of patients who developed delirium. Patients were divided into groups with and without delirium developed, and baseline features, inhospital and follow up prognoses were investigated. In addition, patients were divided into four groups as <65 years old, 65-75 yo, 75-84 yo and> 85 yo, and the incidence of delirium, related factors and prognoses were compared among these groups. A total of 1108 patients (mean age: 64.4 ± 13.9 years; 66% men) who were followed in the intensive care unit with variable indications were included in the study. Of all patients 11.1% developed delirium in the CICU. Patients who developed delirium were older, comorbidities were more frequent, and these patients showed increased inflammation findings, and significant increase in inhospital mortality compared to those who did not develop delirium (p<0.05). At median 9-month follow up period, rehospitalization, reinfarction, cognitive dysfunction, initiation of psychiatric therapy and mortality were significantly higher in the delirium group (p<0.05). When patients who developed delirium were divided into four groups by age and analyzed, incidence of delirium and mortality rate in delirium group were significantly increased by age (p<0.05). Development of delirium in coronary intensive care unit is associated with increased inhospital and follow up morbidity and mortality. Delirium is more commonly seen in geriatric patients and those with comorbidity, and is associated with a poorer prognosis. High-risk patients should be more carefully monitored for the risk of delirium.

Clinical Neuroscience

Retinal morphological changes during the two years of follow-up in Parkinson’s disease

ATUM Mahmut, DEMIRYÜREK Enes Bekir

The study aims to investigate the relationship between the progression of idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (IPD) and retinal morphology. The study was carried out with 23 patients diagnosed with early-stage IPD (phases 1 and 2 of the Hoehn and Yahr scale) and 30 age-matched healthy controls. All patients were followed up at least two years, with 6-month intervals (initial, 6th month, 12th month, 18th month, and 24th month), and detailed neurological and ophthalmic examinations were performed at each follow-up. Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale part III (UPDRS Part III) scores, Hoehn and Yahr (H&Y) scores, best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), intraocular pressure (IOP) measurement, central macular thickness (CMT) and retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness were analyzed at each visit. The average age of the IPD and control groups was 43.96 ± 4.88 years, 44.53 ± 0.83 years, respectively. The mean duration of the disease in the IPD group was 7.48 ± 5.10 months at the start of the study (range 0-16). There was no statistically significant difference in BCVA and IOP values between the two groups during the two-year follow-up period (p> 0.05, p> 0.05, respectively). Average and superior quadrant RNFL thicknesses were statistically different between the two groups at 24 months and there was no significant difference between other visits (p=0.025, p=0.034, p> 0.05, respectively). There was no statistically significant difference in CMT between the two groups during the follow-up period (p> 0.05). Average and superior quadrant RNFL thicknesses were significantly thinning with the progression of IPD.