Lege Artis Medicinae

[Understanding Naturopathy]

SARKADI Ádám, VARGA Orsolya

OCTOBER 21, 2007

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2007;17(10)

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Further articles in this publication

Lege Artis Medicinae

[ADVANCE]

MATOS Lajos

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Pain in the knee - and what’s behind it - The dilemmas of management]

BÁLINT Géza

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[Arthrosis - An epidemic of the 21st century]

BÁLINT Géza

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Secondary prevention of patients with ischaemic heart disease - The reduction of LDL cholesterol level and the regression of atherosclerosis]

BÁRCZI György, MERKELY Béla

[The authors review the options of secondary medical prevention in patients with ischaemic heart disease, stressing the need and safety of using statins. The beneficial effect of statin therapy on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality and the clinical benefit of the greatest possible reduction in LDL cholesterol level are presented. The atherosclerotic plaque regression achieved by a high-intensity statin therapy in the ASTEROID trial is also briefly reviewed.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[CARCINOMATOUS MENINGITIS]

CSERNI Gábor, VÁGÓ Tibor, TÖRÖK Norbert, GAÁL Zoltán, VELKEI Tamás, SERÉNYI Péter, GÖCZŐ Katalin, TUSA Magdolna, KOVÁCS Katalin, SZŰCS Miklós

[INTRODUCTION - Carcinomatous meningitis is a serious complication of advanced stage solid tumours, which may become more common with improved survival. CASE REPORTS - A 53-year-old woman with a recent history of breast cancer (pT2pN2M0) had been treated by mastectomy and adjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She presented with weakness, diplopia and vertigo raising the possibility of vertebrobasilar ischaemia or an intracranial mass. In another patient, a 62-year-old man with hypertension, a stenotic common bile duct had been diagnosed when examined for abdominal complaints. When he presented with a high blood pressure value accompanied by intensive headache, vomiting and bilateral hearing loss, he was thought to have a hypertensive crisis. The rapidly progressive neurological symptoms and the history of breast cancer and findings suggesting pancreatic head tumour, respectively, led to the clinical diagnosis of carcinomatous meningitis in both cases, despite any evidence on CT scans or a negative MR scan, though of limited value, in the first case. This diagnosis was confirmed by the laboratory and cytological findings of the cerebrospinal fluid, and also by the post mortem examination, since both patients died within a month after the onset of the symptoms. The primary tumour in the second patient proved to be a widely metastasizing diffuse type gastric cancer. CONCLUSION - Carcinomatous meningitis has a varying but characteristic presentation which generally makes it easy to diagnose, but it can sometimes present differential diagnostic problems. What we can learn from these two cases may help in recognizing this complication.]

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Neuroscience highlights: The mirror inside our brain

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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

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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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[Current questions of multiple sclerosis: the secunder progressive form of the disease]

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