Lege Artis Medicinae

[Similar to Similar – Homeopathy in Hungary]

KÖLNEI Lívia

DECEMBER 19, 2008

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2008;18(12)

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Lege Artis Medicinae

[Created to Bonding – Daniel Goleman: Social Intelligence. Beyond IQ, Beyond Emotional Intelligence]

FERENCZI Andrea

Lege Artis Medicinae

[ROSIGLITAZONE IN THE HEAT OF THE DEBATE]

POGÁTSA Gábor

[The meta-analysis by Nissen and Wolski suggested a potential ischemic cardiac side effect of rosiglitazone. Studies in order to verify this suggestion finished until now had a short duration and a low frequency of harmful cardiac events that made them unable to decide this question. Nevertheless, several running studies will presumably have an adequate follow-up period of ten or more years and the desired frequency of observed cardiac events. Completion of these studies and publication of their results can be expected in the following two years. Until then, the European Medicines Agency’s standpoint of 18th October 2007 will be valid stating the benefits of rosiglitazone surpass its risks.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Ágoston Schöpf-Merei, the Balneologist]

KISS László

Lege Artis Medicinae

[SECONDARY MALIGNANCIES IN RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS]

SZEKANECZ Éva, SZŰCS Gabriella, KISS Emese, SZABÓ Zoltán, SZÁNTÓ Sándor, TARR Tünde, SZÁNTÓ János, SZEKANECZ Zoltán

[INTRODUCTION - Survival data for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have improved during the past years. Due to longer life expectancy, more attention has to be paid to prevention and treatment of long-term sequelae, including secondary malignancies. Incidence of malignant lymphoproliferative diseases and bronchial cancer is higher in a number of rheumatic diseases including RA. Some drugs nowadays very rarely used in RA - primarily cyclophosphamide and azathioprine - may further increase cancer risk. According to several large meta-analyses, biological therapy may also increase the risk of lymphomas, however, as these agents are used for the treatment of active, refractory arthritis, benefit may override such risks. PATIENTS AND METHODS - Altogether 516 RA patients managed at our department were assessed for the incidence and type of secondary malignancies. Although the absolute number of RA patients with a tumor was relatively small, we compared our cohort to the Health for All database and calculated standard incidence ratios (SIR). RESULTS - We identified 13 cases of malignancy (11 females and 2 males) in 516 RA patients (2.5%). In two patients, cancer developed before the onset of RA. RA patients with malignancy had an even higher female predominance (5.5 to 1) than usual. Mean age at onset of RA was 51.4 years, while age at the diagnosis of malignancy was 61.8 years. Mean duration of RA at the time of cancer diagnosis was 11.2 years. Five patients died, 4 due to the underlying malignancy. In the fifth patient, the tumor was considered cured but the patient died of amyloidosis. Among the 8 surviving patients, mean survival is 7.3 years until now, while overall survival of all 13 cancer patients is 4.7 years. Regarding types of malignancies, there were 6 cases of bronchial cancer, 2 cases of follicular thyroid cancer, and one cutaneous B cell lymphoma, one breast cancer, one gall bladder cancer, one colorectal cancer, and one pancreatic cancer. In comparison to the Health for All database, the overall SIR of all malignancies in RA was 1.12 (CI 0,91-1,33), varying between 2.2 and 70.7 among different tumor types. Only one cancer patient received cyclophosphamide therapy and some received methotrexate or anti-TNF agents. CONCLUSION - We identified 13 cases of malignancy among our RA patients. In RA, secondary tumors including bronchial cancer and lymphomas are more common than in the general population. Adequate treatment and monitoring of these patients may help us to lower the risk of malignancies secondary to RA]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[PREDICTORS OF RESPONSE TO TREATMENT IN CHRONIC VIRAL HEPATITIS]

PÁR Alajos

[As the results of antiviral therapy for hepatitis B and C infections are still suboptimal, attention has been given to the strategies to maximize the effectiveness of currently available therapeutic modalities. In this approach, individualized management - based on predictive factors that influence response to treatment - is a key component. The paper summarizes how predictors can assist in optimizing therapy of patients with chronic viral hepatitis. In chronic hepatitis B, a favorable response to interferon or nucleoside/ nucleotide therapy can be expected in young, HBeAg-positive patients with alanine aminotransferase (ALT) values >2-5× upper limit of normal, histological activity >4-10, HBV DNA <105 copies/ml (<20,000 IU/ml), and infection with HBV genotype A or B. Virological response at 12 and 24 weeks (>1 log10 decrease in HBV DNA titer or a titer of <400 IU/ml) may assist in decisions about treatment continuation or switching to another therapeutic option. In chronic hepatitis C, before interferon/ribavirin treatment, non-modifiable predictors are age, sex, race, cirrhosis, HCV genotype and HCV RNA titer. HCV1 genotype is an important negative predictor. Modifiable factors are body mass index, insulin resistance, diabetes, depression and cytopenias, which can be corrected in order to improve the chance of therapeutic success. During treatment, rapid (week 4), early (week 12), or slow (week 24) virological response may determine the duration of treatment (24, 48, or 72 weeks), and predict the likelihood of sustained virological response. Most important positive predictor is rapid response at week 4, similarly complete early response (at week 12) is also of value concerning the duration of therapy and even in the aspect of re-treatment. Body weight-adapted ribavirin dosing and patient adherence are important factors of therapeutic success, as well.]

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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.

Clinical Neuroscience

Hyperhomocysteinemia in female migraineurs of childbearing ages

ALEMDAR Murat, SELEKLER Macit Hamit

Background and purpose - Migraine is a risk factor for ischemic stroke in women of childbearing ages. Previous researches revealed a higher prevalence of hyperhomocysteinemia in migraineurs. Possible differences on the frequencies of hyperhomocysteinemia between migraine with aura and migraine without aura could contribute the established variances in stroke risk between these migraine types. Therefore, we aimed to search if the frequency of hyperhomocysteinemia was different between these subtypes of migraine or not. Methods - We analyzed the findings of serum homocysteine levels in female migraineurs of 16-49 years old who admitted to our outpatient clinic. Results - Homocysteine level was elevated in 13.3% of study population. There were not any significant differences on median serum homocysteine levels between migraine with aura (8.0 mikromol/L) and without aura (8.5 mikromol/L). (p=0.426) The frequencies of hyperhomocysteinemia were also similar (9.1% versus 16.7%, respectively; p=0.373). Correlation analyses did not reveal any linear correlation between ages and homocysteine levels either in group of migraine with aura or in group of migraine without aura (p=0.417 and p=0.647, respectively). Similarly, any linear correlation between disease ages and homocysteine levels either in group of migraine with aura or in group of migraine without aura was not detected (p=0.359 and p=0.849, respectively). Conclusion - The median serum homocysteine levels and the frequencies of hyperhomocysteinemia are similar between migraine with aura and without aura in women of childbearing ages. Therefore, the variances on stroke risk ratios between these types of migraine are probably not originated from the differences of serum homocysteine status.

Clinical Neuroscience

Myasthenia gravis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, or both?

ERDOGAN Cagdas, TEKIN Selma, ÜNLÜTÜRK Zeynep, GEDIK Korkut Derya

Myasthenia gravis (MG) and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) are autoimmune disorders that may cause weakness in the extremities. The coexistence of MG and GBS in the same patient has rarely been reported previously. A 52-year-old male presenting with ptosis of the left eye that worsened with fatigue, especially toward evening, was evaluated in our outpatient department. His acetylcholine receptor antibody results were positive, supporting the diagnosis of MG. His medical history revealed a post-infectious acute onset of weakness in four extremities, difficulty in swallowing and respiratory failure, which was compatible with a myasthenic crisis; however, his nerve conduction studies and albuminocytologic dissociation at the time were compatible with GBS. With this case report, we aimed to mention this rare coincidental state, discuss possible diagnoses and review all other similar cases in the literature with their main features.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Earlier and more efficiently: the role of deep brain stimulation for parkinson’s disease preserving the working capabilities]

DELI Gabriella, BALÁS István, KOMOLY Sámuel, DÓCZI Tamás, JANSZKY József, ASCHERMANN Zsuzsanna, NAGY Ferenc, BOSNYÁK Edit, KOVÁCS Norbert

[Background – The recently published “EarlyStim” study demonstrated that deep brain stimulation (DBS) for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) with early fluctuations is superior to the optimal pharmacological treatment in improving the quality of life and motor symptoms, and preserving sociocultural position. Our retrospective investigation aimed to evaluate if DBS therapy was able to preserve the working capabilities of our patients. Methods – We reviewed the data of 39 young (<60 years-old) PD patients who underwent subthalamic DBS implantation at University of Pécs and had at least two years follow-up. Patients were categorized into two groups based on their working capabilities: Patients with active job (“Job+” group, n=15) and retired patients (without active job, “Job-” group, n=24). Severity of motor symptoms (UPDRS part 3), quality of life (EQ-5D) and presence of active job were evaluated one and two years after the operation. Results – As far as the severity of motor symptoms were concerned, similar (approximately 50%) improvement was achieved in both groups. However, the postoperative quality of life was significantly better in the Job+ group. Majority (12/15, 80%) of Job+ group members were able to preserve their job two years after the operation. However, only a minimal portion (1/24, 4.2%) of the Job- group members was able to return to the world of active employees (p<0.01, McNemar test). Conclusion – Although our retrospective study has several limitations, our results fit well with the conclusions of “EarlyStim” study. Both of them suggest that with optimal timing of DBS implantation we may preserve the working capabilities of our patients.]