Lege Artis Medicinae

[The key to satisfaction]

AJKAY Zoltán

MARCH 21, 2006

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2006;16(03)

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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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[Mentalizing deficit among patients with traumatic brain injury ]

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[Mentalization or theory of mind as an aspect of our social cognition, is our ability to infer mental states of others (intentions, desires, thoughts, emotions) and to predict their behavior accordingly. This function significantly affects our participation and orientation in the social world and plays an important role in conversational situations, social interactions, social integ­ration and adaptation. The brain regions that serve as the basis for mind-reading function can be damaged as a consequence of traumatic brain injury, which frequently occurs among the younger population. Traumatic brain injury can cause focal or diffuse cerebral injuries, often leading to theory of mind deficit. In this topic such publications were researched that compared theory of mind ability between traumatic brain injury patients and control subjects (comparative case-control studies). We searched for the studies in the following internet based/online databases: PubMed, Web of Science, ScienceDirect, Google Scholar, APA PsycNET (PsycARTICLES) and EBSCO Host. The search was performed using the following key word combinations: theory of mind or mentalizing or social cognition AND traumatic brain injury or head/brain injury or diffuse axonal injury. Based on the results of the included and processed studies (21 pc), traumatic brain injury often leads to mentalization deficit with different severity. With this present review we aim to draw attention to the fact that the appearance and severity of mind reading dysfunction can considerably affect the outcome of the disease, the length of rehabilitation time and the prognosis of traumatic brain injury patients. Besides this, with this review, we aim to take sides in whether theory of mind ability is domain-specific or domian-general based on studies including traumatic brain injury patients.]

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[Interrelations of social phobia, trait anxiety, perfectionism and psychological protective factors in a young female population: Cluster analysis]

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[Deterioration of social functions and quality of life and lower level of satisfaction with life are often joining to axiety disorders. Considering the higher prevalence rates across anxiety disorders for women, the aim of this study was to examine the relationship of social phobia with trait anxiety, perfectionism, use of pharmaceuticals, self-efficacy and life satisfaction in a group of young female participants. Online, self-administered questionnaire was used as a method of data collection at different social network sites. The sample consisted of young women aged between 14–35 years (N = 435, M = 27.3 years; SD = 5.9). The questionnaire con­tained items of socio-demographic variables, use of pharmaceuticals as well as mental background variables (Social Pho­bia In­ventory, State-Trait Anxiety In­ven­tory, Mul­ti­dimensional Perfectionism Scale, Ge­neral Perceived Self-Efficacy Scale, Sa­tis­faction with Life Scale). Besides correlation analysis, cluster analysis was conducted. rait anxiety shows strong correlation with social phobia, perfectionism and use of pharmaceuticals. After examining all variables three clusters were emerging: 1) high level of trait anxiety with social phobia, moderate perfectionism, low levels of self-effcacy and satisfaction with life; 2) trait anxiety below the average without social phobia, high self-efficacy and satisfaction with life; 3) trait anxiety above the average with moderate phobia, high perfectionism with high self-efficacy and moderate life satisfaction. Results of our study show that social phobia strongly interrelates not only with trait anxiety as a stable part of personality but with self-estimated lower well-being and lack of mental protective factors. ]

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[Background and purpose - Data on the disease burden of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy are scarce in Hungary. The aim of this study was to assess patients’ and their caregivers’ health related quality of life and healthcare utilisations. Methods - A cross sectional survey was performed as part of the European BURQOL-RD project. The EQ-5D-5L and Barthel Index questionnaires were applied, health care utilisations and patients’ informal carers were surveyed. Results - One symptomatic female carer, 50 children (boys 94%) and six adult patients (five males) participated in the study, the latter two subgroups were included in the analysis. The average age was 9.7 (SD=4.6) and 24.3 (SD=9.8) years, respectively. Median age at time of diagnosis was three years. The average EQ-5D score among children and adults was 0.198 (SD=0.417) and 0.244 (SD=0.322), respectively, the Barthel Index was 57.6 (SD=29.9) and 53.0 (SD=36.5). Score of satisfaction with healthcare (10-point Likert-scale) was mean 5.3 (SD=2.1) and 5.3 (SD=2.9). 15 children were hospitalised in the past 12 months for mean 12.9 (SD=24.5) days. Two patients received help from professional carer. 25 children (mean age 11.1, SD=4.4 years) were helped/supervisied by principal informal carer (parent) for mean 90.1 (SD=44.4) hours/week and further family members helped in 21 cases. Correlation between EQ-5D and Barthel Index was strong and significant (0.731; p<0.01) as well as with informal care time (-0.770; p<0.01), but correlation with satisfaction with health care was not significant (EQ-5D: 0.241; Barthel Index: 0.219; informal care: -0.142). Conclusion - Duchenne muscular dystrophy leads to a significant deterioration in the quality of life of patients. Parents play outstanding role in the care of affected children. This study is the first in the Central and Eastern European region that provides quality of life data in this rare disease for further health economic studies.]

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[The new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which causes the COVID-19 disease can lead to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). It poses a serious challenge to the health care system, especially intensive care. Neurological patients, usually of advanced age and with a myriad of comorbidities, are at particular risk through the impact of the new coronavirus on their condition and nutritional capacity. Stroke is a leader in morbidity and mortality data, with a focus on dysphagia and its complications due to COVID-19 disease and acute cerebrovascular accident. In the acute phase of stroke, 30-50% of patients suffer from dysphagia, which still shows a prevalence of 10% six months later. Dysphagia results in decreased or insufficient fluid and nutrient uptake, supp­lemented by inactivity, leading to malnutrition and sarcopenia, which worsens overall condition, outcome, and rehabilitation efficiency. Screening and early detection of swallowing disorders is a fundamental issue in order to develop a personalized and timely-initiated nutritional therapy strategy. Nutritional therapy plays a key role in frequent intensive care due to COVID-19 disease, where it increases the chances of recovery and reduces the length of stay in the intensive care unit and mortality. This is especially true in critically ill patients requiring prolonged ventilation. In COVID-19 diagnosed patients, screening for dysphagia, bedside assessment, and instrumental examination, followed by swallowing rehabilitation, are of paramount importance. Stroke can also be a complication of the COVID-19 infection. Care for cerebrovascular patients has also adapted to the pandemic, “triazination” has become systemic, and dysphagia screening for stroke patients and nutritional therapy adapted to it have also shed new light. ]