Lege Artis Medicinae

[The Discovery of Insulin]

KÖVES Péter

SEPTEMBER 19, 2008

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2008;18(08-09)

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[Current issues in the peripartum management of diabetic women from the perspective of an internist-diabetologist]

KERÉNYI Zsuzsanna

[In pregnancy complicated with diabetes, treatment of hyperglycaemia is of fundamental importance during delivery in order to improve the outcome parameters of both the mother and the neonate. This is particularly important in the case of mothers with type 1 diabetes and of all mothers who require insulin treatment during their pregnancy. The use of antenatal steroids for women at risk of pre-term birth further complicates the treatment of hyperglycaemia in the period immediately before delivery and requires the appropriate change of insulin therapy. The requirement of nil per os in the delivery period necessitates proper fluid, glucose and insulin treatment in the pre-delivery hours. After surgical delivery the patients may also need infusion treatment until the first meal. As there is no unified guideline for the peripartum management of diabetes, the author re­views the international literature on the internal medicine issues concerning the peripartum treatment of pregnant women with diabetes. This study reviews the characteristics of insulin treatment of women with various types of diabetes before, du­ring and di­rect­ly after delivery. It presents a dosing schedule for women who needed an antenatal steroid treatment in the period before delivery due to premature birth for the purpose of lung maturation. The study also addresses the application and programming of pe­ripartum blood glucose tests, continuous interstitial glucose monitoring (CGM) and insulin pump treatment (CSII).]

Clinical Neuroscience

Neuroscience highlights: The mirror inside our brain

KRABÓTH Zoltán, KÁLMÁN Bernadette

Over the second half of the 19th century, numerous theories arose concerning mechanisms involved in understanding of action, imitative learning, language development and theory of mind. These explorations gained new momentum with the discovery of the so called “mirror neurons”. Rizzolatti’s work inspired large groups of scientists seeking explanation in a new and hitherto unexplored area of how we perceive and understand the actions and intentions of others, how we learn through imitation to help our own survival, and what mechanisms have helped us to develop a unique human trait, language. Numerous studies have addressed these questions over the years, gathering information about mirror neurons themselves, their subtypes, the different brain areas involved in the mirror neuron system, their role in the above mentioned mechanisms, and the varying consequences of their dysfunction in human life. In this short review, we summarize the most important theories and discoveries that argue for the existence of the mirror neuron system, and its essential function in normal human life or some pathological conditions.

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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.

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[100 years of insulin]

WINKLER Gábor

[Insulin is 100 years old. Concerning this anniversary, this study reviews the main events before and after the insulin era, the wider range of insulin products and the chronology of main clinical innovations related to the insulin administration. It also presents the history of related devices as delivery pens, insulin pumps and automated treatment systems. It points out that, al­though insulin dosing is an external replacement for missing or insufficient endogenous hormone production as related to the actual demand, it is to this date the general treatment available for all types and stages of this condition.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Insulin: alfa and omega]

KIS János Tibor, BALOGH Bernadett, KISS Zsófia, SCHANDL László

[Type 1 diabetes (T1DM) is caused by the autoimmune death of insulin-producing β-cells. In the background there is by all probability the primary antigen (if the theory of primary antigen is correct) the insulin itself or the proinsulin. However, treatment of T1DM is virtually equivalent to the insulin treatment. The earlier we recognize T1DM and start treatment, the better gly­caemic results we achieve, the more likely we can maintain all functional β-cell stocks. Insulin also plays a key role in the immunopathogenesis, development and treatment of T1DM, thus insulin is the alpha and omega in this condition.]