Lege Artis Medicinae

[To Reward Performance... An Interview with Gyula Szegedi, Member of the Academy, by Elemér Nemesánszky, LAM’s Editor-in-Chief]

NEMESÁNSZKY Elemér, GYIMESI Andrea

APRIL 21, 2006

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2006;16(04)

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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.

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[Three decades ago, LAM was launched with the goal of providing scientific information about medicine and its frontiers. From the very beginning, LAM has also concerned a special subject area while connecting medicine with the world of art. In the palette of medical articles, it remained a special feature to this day. The analysis of the history of LAM to date was performed using internationally accepted publication guidelines and scientific databases as a pledge of objectivity. We examined the practice of LAM if it meets the main criteria, the professional expectations of our days, when publishing contents of the traditional printed edition and its electronic version. We explored the visibility of articles in the largest bibliographic and scientific metric databases, and reviewed the LAM's place among the Hun­ga­rian professional journals. Our results show that in recent years LAM has gained international reputation des­pite publishing in Hungarian spoken by a few people. This is due to articles with foreign co-authors as well as references to LAM in articles written exclusively by foreign researchers. The journal is of course full readable in the Hungarian bibliographic databases, and its popularity is among the leading ones. The great virtue of the journal is the wide spectrum of the authors' affiliation, with which they cover almost completely the Hungarian health care institutional sys­tem. The special feature of its columns is enhanced by the publication of writings on art, which may increase Hungarian and foreign interest like that of medical articles.]

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