Lege Artis Medicinae

[This virus was not tinkered or manipulated – Interview with virologist Ernő Duda]

VARGA János

JULY 13, 2021

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2021;31(07)

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Lege Artis Medicinae

[Neurological complications of COVID-19]

KOVÁCS Tibor, BERECZKI Dániel, LAMBERTUS Iván, DOBRONYI Levente

[The SARS-CoV-2 virus of COVID-19 is present in all countries of the world by 2021 causing primarily respiratory symptoms by penumonia with severe respiratory failure. Since the early stages of the pandemic, there were published case reports and comprehensive clinical studies about the neurological symptoms and complications of the infection (e.g. myalgia, anosmia, ageusia, encephalitis, encephalopathy, cerebrovascular conditions, Guillain-Barré syndrome and specific neuropathies). As it is well known, drugs used in therapeutic research may also have neurological adverse effects. Our summary aims to provide a practical overview of domestic and international literature about the already known neurological complications of SARS-CoV-2 infection.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Neuropsychiatric complications of COVID-19 infection]

FRECSKA Ede, BALLA Petra

[Initially, the studies of COVID-19 infection focused primarily on the acute and subacute somatic symptoms of limited duration, but later on with the spread of the pandemic the scope was extended to prolonged symptoms recognized as complications. Data are mounting about after-effects in circulation, respiration, coagulation, problematic outcomes in rheumatology, dermatology, ophthalmology, as well as about the acute and prolonged symptoms of the dysfunctional central nervous system. Initially, sporadic case reports, later results of population based studies and animal models were available, and the first systematic review articles were emerging during preparation of our survey. Lesions of the central nervous system may manifest themselves both in neurological symptoms and diseases or psychiatric complaints and syndromes. The scale of symptoms is broad, the pathomechanisms are not perfectly mapped thus all therapeutic approaches are in their infancy yet. Epidemiological data of neuropsychiatric complications are incomplete for the time being though they have been rapidly becoming more accurate. Conservative estimates assume tens of millions of people affected worldwide. More time is necessary to assess the persistence or improvement of the prolonged symptoms. Besides every efforts to block the spread of the virus, the utmost importance is to analyze the effects of the virus on the central nervous system and to develop effective treatment strategies. According to our current knowledge, the pathomechanism of neuropsychiatric complications is multifactorial. Beyond the direct deleterious effect of the virus on neuronal and glial functions, more important is that the serious consequences of cerebrovascular dysfunction and poor oxygenation have to be taken into consideration together with extended and prolonged systemic immunological processes, which markedly harm the brain tissue, notably neurons, axons, synapses and glia cells. Based on a non-systematic lite­ra­ture review our work details these me­chanisms and addresses therapeutic options as well. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Potential benefits of using GLP1-receptor agonists during COVID-19 epidemic]

KIS János Tibor, SCHANDL László, GRÓSZ Andrea

[The risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection is higher among diabetic patients. The severity of progressing infection also increases in diabetes mellitus. Obesity associated with diabetes and cardiovascular disease are worsening the prognosis. Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP1-RA) administered in type 2 diabetes are lowering significantly the blood sugar level without increasing the risk of hypoglycaemia, support patients to lose weight, and reduce the likelihood of developing and worsening car­diovascular diseases. Through their many effects, they prepare diabetic patients to a certain extent to survive SARS-CoV-2 infection with fewer complications and have a beneficial immunological effect against the development of cytokine storm respectively. The authors summarize the potential beneficial effects of GLP1-RAs in SARS-CoV-2 infection.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Treatment options for localized and widespread post-COVID pain]

VERECKEI Edit

[Data on the new coronavirus caused di­s­ease and its treatment have been accumulating for more than a year. There are four main disease courses: no or mild symp­toms, unavoidable hospitalisation, severe or lethal outcome, and permanent or post-hoc manifestations. The last course is usually referred to as post-COVID syndrome. As a part of the acute and post-COVID symptomatology there were published pain perceptions with frequent but heterogeneous localisation. It is practical to classify them by the origin of pain: nociceptive/inflammatory, peripheral neuropathic or central. Additionally, we have to clear which phase is the post-COVID patient in i.e. the patient has the prolonged COVID- or persistent post-COVID syndrome. However, in addition to an acute general inflammatory reaction, a true inflammation of joints and muscles is very rare in the musculoskeletal system. The diffuse musculoskeletal pain, chronic fatigue, generalised anxiety and depressive disposition manifest themselves in both acute and persistent forms. Their explanation is essentially of neurological nature: there are para-infectious “neuro-inflammation”, i.e. neuropathic and central mechanisms in the background. Accor­ding­ly, therapeutic options must be chosen while concerning the neuropharmacological action mechanisms of analgesics. El­derly patients at high iatrogenic risk and with multiple co-morbidities may be treated transdermal instead of oral drug administration.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Mechanism of mucosal defence and options to reduce virus invasion during the COVID pandemic]

HODINKA László

[The portal of entry for coronavirus is the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract. Severity, organ manifestations and out­come of COVID-19 are determined by the viral load, burdening the attacked organism. Condition of the respiratory tract and gastrointestinal mucosa and the capacity of their defence system are crucial for virus penetration, fusion with epithelial cells and replication. Direct neural spread, penet­ra­tion into the deeper airways and spread through the lymph nodes depend on these functions. Virus binding and engulfment is an active process. The virus penetrates the endosomes of the epithelial cell, by enzymatic transfer where it is recognised by natural defence agents and triggers the first defence responses. These alarm the entire immune system and trigger a whole chain of inflammatory and enzymatic defence processes (cytokine and bradykinin storm) proportional to the viral load. The severity endpoint of COVID-19 pathology is alveolitis, cerebral vasculitis and intestinal da­mage, often with fatal outcome. The airway mucosa defends itself by secreting surface factors and recruiting and activating cells of the adaptive immune system. An important element of the latter is the early ap­pearance of secretory IgA in the mucosa. The viral invasion can be prevented by application of a nasal spray containing carrageenan, which engages the virus and prevents its attachment by the gel-forming property of carrageenan. This effect has worked in previous virus epidemics and the first COVID-19 experiences confirm its pro­tec­tive role. ]

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Cases of inborn errors of metabolism diagnosed in children with autism

CAKAR Emel Nafiye, YILMAZBAS Pınar

Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder with a heterogeneous presentation, the etiology of which is not clearly elucidated. In recent years, comorbidity has become more evident with the increase in the frequency of autism and diagnostic possibilities of inborn errors of metabolism. One hundred and seventy-nine patients with diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder who presented to the Pediatric Metabolism outpatient clinic between 01/September/2018-29/February/2020 constituted the study population. The personal information, routine and specific metabolic tests of the patients were analyzed retrospectively. Out of the 3261 patients who presented to our outpatient clinic, 179 (5.48%) were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and were included in the study. As a result of specific metabolic examinations performed, 6 (3.3%) patients were diagnosed with inborn errors of metabolism. Two of our patients were diagnosed with classical phenylketonuria, two with classical homocystinuria, one with mucopolysaccharidosis type 3D (Sanfilippo syndrome) and one with 3-methylchrotonyl Co-A carboxylase deficiency. Inborn errors of metabolism may rarely present with autism spectrum disorder symptoms. Careful evaluation of the history, physical examination and additional findings in patients diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder will guide the clinician in the decision-making process and chose the appropriate specific metabolic investigation. An underlying inborn errors of metabolism may be a treatable cause of autism.

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Evaluation of the effectiveness of transforaminal epidural steroid injection in far lateral lumbar disc herniations

EVRAN Sevket, KATAR Salim

Far lateral lumbar disc herniations (FLDH) consist approximately 0.7-12% of all lumbar disc herniations. Compared to the more common central and paramedian lumbar disc herniations, they cause more severe and persistent radicular pain due to direct compression of the nerve root and dorsal root ganglion. In patients who do not respond to conservative treatments such as medical treatment and physical therapy, and have not developed neurological deficits, it is difficult to decide on surgical treatment because of the nerve root damage and spinal instability risk due to disruption of facet joint integrity. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effect of transforaminal epidural steroid injection (TFESI) on the improvement of both pain control and functional capacity in patients with FLDH. A total of 37 patients who had radicular pain caused by far lateral disc herniation which is visible in their lumbar magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, had no neurological deficit and did not respond to conservative treatment, were included the study. TFESI was applied to patients by preganglionic approach. Pre-treatment Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) scores of the patients were compared with the 3rd week, 3rd month and 6th month scores after the procedure. The mean initial VAS score was 8.63 ± 0.55, while it was 3.84 ± 1.66, 5.09 ± 0.85, 4.56 ± 1.66 at the 3rd week, 3rd month and 6th month controls, respectively. This decrease in the VAS score was found statistically significant (p = 0.001). ODI score with baseline mean value of 52.38 ± 6.84 was found to be 18.56 ± 4.95 at the 3rd week, 37.41 ± 14.1 at the 3rd month and 34.88 ± 14.33 at the 6th month. This downtrend of pa­tient’s ODI scores was found statistically significant (p = 0.001). This study has demonstrated that TFESI is an effective method for gaining increased functional capacity and pain control in the treatment of patients who are not suitable for surgical treatment with radicular complaints due to far lateral lumbar disc hernia.

Clinical Neuroscience

Electrophysiological investigation for autonomic dysfunction in patients with myasthenia gravis: A prospective study

NALBANTOGLU Mecbure, AKALIN Ali Mehmet, GUNDUZ Aysegul, KIZILTAN Meral

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disorder of neuromuscular transmission. Autonomic dysfunction is not a commonly known association with MG. We conducted this study to evaluate autonomic functions in MG & subgroups and to investigate the effects of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. This study comprised 30 autoimmune MG patients and 30 healthy volunteers. Autonomic tests including sympathetic skin response (SSR) and R-R interval variation analysis (RRIV) was carried out. The tests were performed two times for patients who were under acetylcholinesterase inhibitors during the current assessment. The RRIV rise during hyperventilation was better (p=0.006) and Valsalva ratio (p=0.039) was lower in control group. The SSR amplitudes were lower thereafter drug intake (p=0.030). As much as time went by after drug administration prolonged SSR latencies were obtained (p=0.043).Valsalva ratio was lower in the AchR antibody negative group (p=0.033). The findings showed that both ocular/generalized MG patients have a subclinical parasympathetic abnormality prominent in the AchR antibody negative group and pyridostigmine has a peripheral sympathetic cholinergic noncumulative effect.

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Vaccines against COVID-19 pandemic]

FALUS András, SZEKANECZ Zoltán

[The rapidly spreading SARS-CoV2 respiratory virus has evoked an epidemic with serious aftermath around the world. In addition to the health effects, the global economic damage is actually unpredictable. At the same time, the pandemic has launched a series of unprecedented collaborative scientific research, including the development of vaccines. This study summarizes up-to-date information on vaccines, immune memory, and some emerging clinical effects.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Risk of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs. Focus on aceclofenac]

FARSANG Csaba

[Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are among the most frequently used pharmaceuticals. Nevertheless, a number of studies emphasized that NSAIDs were damaging not only the gastrointestinal (GI), but also the cardiovascular (CV) system, could increase the blood pressure, the frequency of coronary events (angina, myocardial infarction) and stroke incidence, as well as they might deterio­rate renal functions. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) did not find evidence that administering NSAIDs could increase the risk of developing COVID-19 or worsened the condition of COVID-19 patients. However, unwanted effects of specific drugs differ substantially in their occurrence and seriousness as well. It seemed to be for a long time that the NSAIDs provoked higher GI-risk was closely related to the COX1/COX2 selectivity, like the cardiovascular (CV) risk to the COX2/COX1 selectivity, however, the recent data did not prove it clearly. Based on the available literature while pondering the gastrointestinal and cardiovascular adverse events, among all NSAIDs the aceclofenac profile seemed to be the most favourable.]