Lege Artis Medicinae

[“Yesterday no longer exists either…” - End-of-life ethical issues in the care of dementia patients]


OCTOBER 20, 2016

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2016;26(09-10)

[The number of dementia patiens is rising. Most of them die in various institutions, often after many years of care. The long process of nursing and care entails particular ethical requirements that are built primarily on vulnerability, dignity, and dia-logue. The dialogue, however, is often absent from the care of dementia patients. Do we find - as physicians, patients, relatives - that specific time when the patients can still make decisions about end-of-life treatments in a good mental state? Most patients would like to participate in these decisions. Talking about these issues in the early stage of dementia may help in the great emotional burden of family members and caregivers. Therefore the ethical aim is the ad­vance care planning (ACP) of the end-of-life treatments. The study reviews the latest scientific results, with special regard to resources that may be helpful in the course of conversations between doctor and patient on end-of-life preferences, and in the preparation for decision making. ]



Further articles in this publication

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Love Lured Back, or the Violent Hope ]


Lege Artis Medicinae

[Life Practices – On the Practice of Antique Philosophy ]


Lege Artis Medicinae

[Processing the Past after a Stroke ]


Lege Artis Medicinae

[Many faces of thyroid hormone deficiency]


[The timely detection of thyroid hormone deficiency is crucial to inhibit the dangerous consequences of related diseases, such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes mellitus, breast cancer, bone wasting, menstruation disturbance, and goitrogenesis. Subclinical hypothyroidism (<10 mU/l TSH) can initiate the above mentioned symptoms and diseases, therefore its early detection and treatment is necessary. The manuscript details from a practical point of view the causes leading to thyroid hormone deficiency, their consequences and gives recommendation for starting the treatment. The increased occurrence of breast and colorectal cancers associated with thyroid hormone deficiency is explained, and the attention to concomitantly elevated prolactin levels is called. Finally, the paper gives proposals for the clinical practice, when we should think of thyroid hormone deficiency and reports on the algorithm of the treatment of subclinical hypo­thyroidism recommended by the European Thyroid Association (ETA) in 2013.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Basics of the medical use of ayahuasca: physiology of dimethyltryptamine]


[Ayahuasca is a brew made of two admixture plants containing dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and b-carbolines (harmine and tetrahydroharmine). The indigenous groups of the Amazonas basin have been using it for centuries as an ethnomedical substance in healing and spiritual-religious rituals. During the last two decades the brew has raised increased scientific and public interest worldwide about its healing effects. Present paper addresses the therapeutic potentials of ayahuasca use and outlines the cellular mechanisms behind - in focus of the s-1 receptor mediated action of DMT. The scientific investigation of ayahuasca is complicated by methodical problems, legal issues, and sociocultural preconceptions.]

All articles in the issue

Related contents

Clinical Neuroscience

[The application of RBANS (Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status) in neurocognitive testing of patients suffering from schizophrenia and dementia]

JUHÁSZ Levente Zsolt, KEMÉNY Katalin, LINKA Emese, SÁNTHA Judit, BARTKÓ György

[Introduction - The purpose of our study was to find out whether the Hungarian adaptation of the RBANS (Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status), a brief neurocognitive screening test, is appropriate for the differentation of healthy and non-healthy subject groups, or for the detection of differences between the cognitive performance of patient groups. Patients and method - The test battery was administrated to 38 healthy subjects, 69 schizophrenic patients, and 18 patients suffering from dementia (10 probable Alzheimer-type and eight vascular dementia). Results - There was a significant decrease of performance in all patient groups compared to the healthy group. In the schizophrenic group, the test indicated a deterioration of functioning in all cognitive areas. The patient group with Alzheimer-type dementia performed only slightly better than the schizophrenic group, because the fall of performance was not significant only one of the cognitive areas (in the visuo-spatial tasks) when compared to the healthy group. There was no difference between the performance of patients with vascular dementia and that of healthy subjects in direct memory, verbal and visuo-spatial tasks. The test results indicated an even deterioration of cognitive areas in patients with Alzheimer-type dementia. As for the vascular dementia group, the most vulnerable area proved to be that of attention, while their verbal functions were relatively spared. The deterioration in other cognitive functions shown by schizophrenic subjects was more moderate, but still significant. A comparison of the RBANS scores of the schizophrenic patients in our study and the result of an American study was also carried out. The global indeces showed no difference; only the pattern of the sub-scales was a little different. Conclusion - The Hungarian version of the RBANS seems appropriate for the differentiation of healthy and deteriorated cognitive performance in a Hungarian patient population.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[The effects of angiotensin receptor blockers on the nervous system in hypertension and dementia]


[The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is one of the most important mechanisms regarding the pathomechanism and treatment of hyprtension. The most of the elements of the RAS are found in the nervous system too. The effect of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) is based on the inhibition of the RAS. ARBs might have a special role in the central nervous system because they do not decrease the production of angiotensin but inhibit its harmful effects mediated through the AT1 receptor while allowing the stimulation of AT2 receptors with resulting pleiotrophic actions. Hypertension is the most important risk factor for stroke and has a negative effect on cognitive functions. Antihypertensive treatment has an effect on the nervous system; in addition to the consequences of the reduced blood pressure, ARBs might provide additional advantages in stroke and dementia prevention.]

LAM Extra for General Practicioners



[Statins have become crucial components of the therapy of cardiovascular diseases. Beyond their cholesterol-lowering effect, statins turned out to have further beneficial effects on various vascular mechanisms. One of the best known effects is antithrombotic capacity, which is related partly to platelet function and partly to the coagulation cascade. Besides experimental observations, interventional clinical trials have also demonstrated that statins have an antithrombotic effect both in arterial and venous thrombosis. Regarding the effects of statins on dementia, previous studies with relatively small sample sizes had controversial results. Recently, two observational studies of tens of thousands of elderly patients reported that statins reduce the incidence of nonvascular dementia. Evaluation of the data revealed that statins have pleiotropic effects in this case, too. The results discussed here shed light on new benefits of statin therapy used for reducing cardiovascular mortality, namely the prevention of thrombotic events and dementia. These benefits are related to the antithrombotic and anti-inflammatoric capacity of statins.]

Journal of Nursing Theory and Practice

[Associated factors of independency in older adults with cognitive impairment living in a long term care institute]


[Aim of the research: Functional independence determines the elderly’s health and quality of life. In them cross-sectional study the authors analysed the associations between functional abilities (balance, gait, functional mobility, cognitive abilities), age, BMI and comorbidities and independency in older adults with cognitive impairment. Research and sampling methods: 110 elderly people were measured. Self-sufficiency was measured by the Katz-index, balance, and gait by the Tinetti Test and functional mobility by the Timed Up and Go Test. Correlations between variables were analysed with the Spearman’s rank-order correlation. Results: There was strong association between balance (r=0,557), gait (r=0,515), functional mobility (r=-0,647), and independency. It means the better the balance, gait, and functional mobility is, the higher the independency is. There was weak association between age, BMI, cognitive abilities, comorbidities and independency. Conclusion: Results show that preserving of the functional independence in older adults with cognitive impairment is a multidisciplinary task: physiotherapists and nurses should work together to complete doctors’ curative work of chronic diseases.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Early onset dementias: Case studies]

MERKLI Hajnalka, PÁL Endre, GÁTI István, KOSZTOLÁNYI Péter, KÖVÉR Ferenc

[Introduction - Dementia is a decline of intellectual abilities. The etiology of dementia syndrome is diverse. The authors describe three patients with early-onset dementia. Case reports - The first patient was a 44 years old male with mild gait, body ataxia, memory loss, slowness and apathy. Investigations proved AIDS dementia syndrome. In the second case of a 37 years old female patient, herpes simplex encephalitis was suspected due to sudden onset of speech arrest and to brain MRI and CSF findings. Her symptoms improved during antiviral treatment but later progressive dementia developed. CSF serological tests proved the presence of neurolues-dementia paralytica. The third patient was a 38-years-old female. Neurological examination was performed because of progressive memory loss, changed behaviour and impaired attention. Neuropsychological test showed severe dementia. Metachromatic leukodystrophy was proven by decreased arylsulfatase activity. Conclusions - It is not easy to recognize the early symptoms of dementia. In these cases, besides detailed history, neurological examination and neuropsychological tests, brain MRI and cerebral spinal fluid serological tests were indispensable for a correct diagnosis, especially in the young patients.]