Lege Artis Medicinae

[The 15th conference of the European Hematology Association - Barcelona, June 10-13rd, 2010]

LIPTÁK Judit

AUGUST 20, 2010

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2010;20(08)

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Lege Artis Medicinae

[Tiotropium as a first maintenance drug in COPD: secondary analysis of the UPLIFT trial]

BALIKÓ Zoltán

Lege Artis Medicinae

[On the safety of angiotensin-receptor blockers - A new attack on this drug class]

FARSANG Csaba

[Up until now, angiotensin-receptor blockers have been considered to be the safest cardio-, cerebro-, reno- and vasculoprotective drugs. In a previous metaanalysis, ARBs were accused of increasing the risk of myocardial infarction, but a number of metaanalyses and randomised, controlled trials have disproved this hypothesis. In a recent metaanalysis, ARBs were associated with an increased risk of tumours. The author reviews this issue, discusses the flaws of the above metaanalysis and, on the basis of the most up-to-date data in the literature, expert opinions and official statements (FDA, EMA), concludes that members of this drug class should continue to be used according to their approved indications, which is supported by their cardio-, reno-, cerebro- and vasculoprotective effects demonstrated in a number of appropriate, large-scale clinical studies.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Need-adjusted inequalities in the use of healthcare in Hungary]

VITRAI József, BAKACS Márta, KAPOSVÁRI Csilla, NÉMETH Renáta

[INTRODUCTION - The reduction of need-adjusted inequalities in the use of healthcare results in higher efficiency and fairer allocation of resources. PATIENTS AND METHODS - Data for all patients who received inpatient care (same-day or hospital treatment) in 2007 were used in the analysis. Beyond the diagnostic and diagnosisrelated group’s weight information and the number of inpatient days, the patients’ record contained data on age, sex, and postal code of residency. Besides personal data, socio-economic characteristics and general indicators of healthcare capacity have been included in the applied multilevel statistical analysis. Inequalities were estimated for all patients, and separately for those treated for malignant tumour, cardio-vascular diseases, or other diseases. RESULTS - Significant regional inequalities were observed in one-day care but an order of magnitude less in longer inpatient care. Comparing the two major diagnostic groups, the inequalities were greater among patients with cardiovascular diseases than for those with cancer. Only a small fraction of the observed inequalities was explained by the differences in the composition of population of small regions. The inequalities in the use of healthcare were largely explained by socio-economic characteristics of the regions. CONCLUSIONS - Need-adjusted inequalities in the use of healthcare supported the hypothesis that efficiency of the Hungarian healthcare system can be significantly improved by allocating the available resources according to the patients’ need.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Tracking the Forgotten Profession]

NAGY Zsuzsanna

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Clinical pharmacologic principles and problems related to the clinical use of innovative and similar biological medicines]

KERPEL-FRONIUS Sándor

[The active substances in the biological medicinal products are macromolecules, primarily proteins most of which are currently produced by various biotechnological methods in different biological systems. The spatial structure of the macromolecular active substances cannot be accurately determined by the presently available methods. Therefore, both physico-chemical and biological methods are needed for the control of their quality and production. The active proteins induce immunologic reactions in the organism. The appearance of neutralizing antibodies frequently leads to the inhibition of the effect of the biological medicines. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) registers the medicinal products containing similar macromolecular active substances produced by biotechnological methods as biosimilar agents, since their chemical identity cannot be proven. The similarities and differences of their biological and immunological effects can be evaluated only in comparative non-clinical and clinical trials. The frequent exchange of biological medicines increases the appearance of antibodies in the patients, therefore the substitution of biological drugs should be done only by the treating physicians if clinically necessary.]

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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

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease: A single center experience and systemic analysis of cases in Turkey

USLU Ilgen Ferda, ELIF Gökçal, GÜRSOY Esra Azize, KOLUKISA Mehmet, YILDIZ Babacan Gulsen

We aimed to analyze the clinical, laboratory and neuroimaging findings in patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in a single center as well as to review other published cases in Turkey. Between January 1st, 2014 and June 31st, 2017, all CJD cases were evaluated based on clinical findings, differential diagnosis, the previous misdiagnosis, electroencephalography (EEG), cerebrospinal fluid and cranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in our center. All published cases in Turkey between 2005-2018 were also reviewed. In a total of 13 patients, progressive cognitive decline was the most common presenting symptom. Two patients had a diagnosis of Heidenhain variant, 1 patient had a diagnosis of Oppenheimer-Brownell variant. Seven patients (53.3%) had been misdiagnosed with depression, vascular dementia, normal pressure hydrocephalus or encephalitis. Eleven patients (87%) had typical MRI findings but only 5 of these were present at baseline. Asymmetrical high signal abnormalities on MRI were observed in 4 patients. Five patients (45.4%) had periodic spike wave complexes on EEG, all appeared during the follow-up. There were 74 published cases in Turkey bet­ween 2005 and 2018, with various clinical presentations. CJD has a variety of clinical features in our patient series as well as in cases reported in Turkey. Although progressive cognitive decline is the most common presenting symptom, unusual manifestations in early stages of the disease might cause misdiagnosis. Variant forms should be kept in mind in patients with isolated visual or cerebellar symptoms. MRI and EEG should be repeated during follow-up period if the clinical suspicion still exists.

Clinical Neuroscience

Neuroscience highlights: Main cell types underlying memory and spatial navigation

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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.

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

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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.

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[Association between cyclothymic affective temperament and hypertension]

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[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.]