Lege Artis Medicinae

[Risk to the fetus in the light of new data]

BODA Domokos

SEPTEMBER 10, 2001

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2001;11(08-09)

[Extensive research efforts based on principles of evidence-based medicine have helped lately to accumulate large amount of information on the risks to the fetus during pregnancy. As a result, the standpoints concerning risks to the fetus have become more precise in many respects. A number of earlier assumptions have been proven to be exaggerated or unfounded and the range of cases at risk has been narrowed down. This paper presents the most important data on potential risks to the fetus originating from hereditary factors, infections, maternal diseases, drugs, irradiation and special gestational anomalies. The data presented highlight the necessity of identifying the fetal damage during the pregnancy unequivocally, based exclusively on evidence of probative force and with realistic appraisal of the danger of any existent fetal damage.]



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[Based on in vitro and animal research, it has been found that calcium antagonist drugs are capable of inhibiting directly the atherosclerotic process. In spite of their advantegous antiatherosclerotic effect, the fast-release, first-generation dihydropyridines had an unfortunate effect on the number of newly developed myocardial infarctions and on cardiovascular mortality. New, controlled clinical studies have found long acting calcium antagonists to decrease significantly the progression of the atherosclerosis in the carotid artery - verified with B-mode ultrasound scans - and the appearance of cardiovascular clinical events, when either proven coronary sclerosis (PREVENT, CAPARES studies) or hypertension (INSIGHT, ELSA, VHAS) was present. If further clinical trials (CAMELOT, NORMALISE - now under way) justify these promising clinical data, then long-acting calcium channel blockers may become new and significant tools in the prevention of the progression and clinical complications of atherosclerotic disease.]

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[Endothel dysfunction and hypertension]


[In the past two decade numerous data has been collected about the role of endothelium in the development of several cardiovascular disorders i.e. hypertension, congestive heart failure and atherosclerosis. Endothelial cells had been thought to be passive barriers only, but it turned out that through paracrine and autocrine hormone secretion they take part in modulating and regulating the vasodilator and vasoconstrictor effects being directed to vascular smooth muscle cells. The intact endothelium prevents the adhesion of platelets and monocytes, the platelet aggregation, as well as the migration and proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells. It has been shown that both in experimental and human hypertension the endothelial function i.e. the so-called endothel-dependent vasodilatation is damaged, being the main feature of endothelial dysfunction. In spite of extensive research it is not clear whether endothelial dysfunction is a cause or a consequence of hypertension, with exact pathomechanism being also unclear. Methods, by which this important parameter could be precisely measured are under development. Researchers also examine whether recently used antihypertensive agents could improve or eliminate endothelial dysfunction and whether this effect may offer benefit to patients in terms of morbidity and mortality. This article attempts to summarize the most up-to-date information about the endothelial dysfunction research.]

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[In this review we summarise the current results of the genomic investigation of allergic diseases. From the genetic point of view allergy is multifactorial, which means that the susceptibility to the disease is determined by the effect of one or more genes or the interactions between multiple genes and involves important nongenetic factors such as the environment for their expression. Among allergic diseases the genomic background of asthma was studied most thoroughly. Until now, using hundreds of DNA markers, located across all of the human chromosomes, 16 genome-wide screens for susceptibility genes for asthma or asthma related intermediate phenotypes in 12 different populations have been published and 20 chromosomal regions have been highlighted for further analysis. In genetic association studies more than 500 genes were identified as candidate genes for asthma. In this review, we selected those results which were consistently reported by several independent studies or appeared particularly important or interesting. According to the results of the human genome programs and association studies we discuss the possible roles of candidate genes found in these loci in the pathomechanism of allergy and atopy.]

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

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

[Zonisamide: one of the first-line antiepileptic drugs in focal epilepsy ]


[Chronic administration of antiepileptic drugs without history of unprovoked epileptic seizures are not recommended for epilepsy prophylaxis. Conversely, if the patient suffered the first unprovoked seizure, then the presence of epileptiform discharges on the EEG, focal neurological signs, and the presence of epileptogenic lesion on the MRI are risk factors for a second seizure (such as for the development of epilepsy). Without these risk factors, the chance of a second seizure is about 25-30%, while the presence of these risk factors (for example signs of previous stroke, neurotrauma, or encephalitis on the MRI) can predict >70% seizure recurrence. Thus the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) re-defined the term ’epilepsy’ which can be diagnosed even after the first seizure, if the risk of seizure recurrence is high. According to this definition, we can start antiepileptic drug therapy after a single unprovoked seizure. There are four antiepileptic drugs which has the highest evidence (level „A”) as first-line initial monotherapy for treating newly diagnosed epilepsy. These are: carbamazepine, phenytoin, levetiracetam, and zonisamide (ZNS). The present review focuses on the ZNS. Beacuse ZNS can be administrated once a day, it is an optimal drug for maintaining patient’s compliance and for those patients who have a high risk for developing a non-compliance (for example teenagers and young adults). Due to the low interaction potential, ZNS treatment is safe and effective in treating epilepsy of elderly people. ZNS is an ideal drug in epilepsy accompanied by obesity, because ZNS has a weight loss effect, especially in obese patients.]