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Clinical Neuroscience

JANUARY 30, 2016

[A visual based proto-consciousness model of human thinking]

SZŐKE Henrik, HEGYI Gabriella, CSÁSZÁR Noémi, VAS József Pál, KAPÓCS Gábor, BÓKKON István

[Background and objectives – Here we present our results of many years of research on the visual (pictorial) representation model expanded with some new ideas in a simplified form. Our goal is to make available our new pictorial model for a broader scientific community and to point to its possible importance in the future. Method – Own scientific publications, selective literature analysis and preliminary experiments. Results – Our several scientific publications and preliminary experiments were presented outlining our new molecular visual representation model as brain might be able to generate internal images by regulated biophotons in early V1 retinotopic visual regions. We also proposed that some of symptoms and characteristics of autism and savantism may suggest that visual (pictorial) thinking might be a possible cognitive model in the case of healthy people as well. Our model can present a uniform molecular basis for many visual related phenomena. Conclusions – It is possible that a so-called visual proto-consciousness might be developed in evolution, which is directly related to the retinotopic visual areas, and which has a different cognitive ability from verbal abilities. If our model can be exactly proved it presents a common molecular basis for various visual phenomena such as visual perception and imagination, phosphenes ect. and might open new ways in several fields of science such as visual prosthesis for the blind, artificial intelligence, visual neuroscience, cognitive and autism research.]

Clinical Neuroscience

NOVEMBER 30, 2019

[Tracing trace elements in mental functions]

JANKA Zoltán

[Trace elements are found in the living organism in small (trace) amounts and are mainly essential for living functions. Essential trace elements are in humans the chromium (Cr), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), fluorine (F), iodine (I), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), selenium (Se), zinc (Zn), and questionably the boron (B) and vanadium (V). According to the biopsychosocial concept, mental functions have biological underpinnings, therefore the impairment of certain neurochemical processes due to shortage of trace elements may have mental consequences. Scientific investigations indicate the putative role of trace element deficiency in psychiatric disorders such in depression (Zn, Cr, Se, Fe, Co, I), premenstrual dysphoria (Cr), schizophrenia (Zn, Se), cognitive deterioration/de­mentia (B, Zn, Fe, Mn, Co, V), mental retardation (I, Mo, Cu), binge-eating (Cr), autism (Zn, Mn, Cu, Co) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (Fe). At the same time, the excess quantity (chronic exposure, genetic error) of certain trace elements (Cu, Mn, Co, Cr, Fe, V) can also lead to mental disturbances (depression, anxiety, psychosis, cognitive dysfunction, insomnia). Lithium (Li), being efficacious in the treatment of bipolar mood disorder, is not declared officially as a trace element. Due to nutrition (drinking water, food) the serum Li level is about a thousand times less than that used in therapy. However, Li level in the red cells is lower as the membrane sodium-Li countertransport results in a Li efflux. Nevertheless, the possibility that Li is a trace element has emerged as studies indicate its potential efficacy in such a low concentration, since certain geographic regions show an inverse correlation between the Li level of drinking water and the suicide rate in that area. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

JUNE 20, 2018

[Applying musical tools in healing children]


[The aim of the study is drawing the attention to the possibilities of applying musical tools in healing children. After doing research in main medical databases (PubMed, Web of Science, Medline) some research works were discovered and harmonized in which the researchers give proof of the effectiveness of music therapies implemented in therapeutic circumstances and by proper experts on medical fields. The study focuses on the following topics: applying music for reducing stress caused by medical interventions and hospitalization, treating speech disturbances, improving communication and social abilities of autistic children, improving capabilities of people suffering from visual and hearing impairment, providing help during anaesthesia, stimulating different parts of the brain in children suffering from PDOC (Prolonged Disorder of Consciousness), improving capabilities of children living with disabilities and helping creating harmonic relationship between children, their parents and the healing staff. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

JANUARY 20, 2018

[Classical methods in modern approach. Training for the recognition of emotions using bibliotherapy-techniques]

SZABÓ József, SIPOS Mária

[BACKGROUND - Nowadays it is an understood fact, that theory of mind has a great psychological significance. Deficits of theory of mind skills are observed in schizophrenia such as depression, dementia, autism and some personality disorders as well. Conceptions of theory of mind and emotion recognition ability have been coming in front at the expanse of the older empathy also in the present-day research in connection with helper connections and their effects. It is probably due to popular approach of cognitive neuroscience exact methods. METHODS - We intended to demonstrate, that the ability of emotion recognition can be developed, or partially restored, even in case of patients suffering from schizophrenia. We compiled an 8-seat training. Our method was a bibliotherapy training, each of chosen novels expressed one of basic emotions (by Ekman). After a common reading we projected validated portraits expressing also those emotions. Participants had to choose reflecting the emotional state of the characters photos. Then they shared stories from their own lives experiencing similar emotions. We measured the effectiveness of our method by the Reading the Mind in the Eyes measured (RMET) test. RESULTS - Comparing data before and after the training in t-test we detected significant difference (p=0.000608 <0.05). Verifying that the observed changes are not only the common effects of the other types of treatment, the same tests were performed on a similar in-patient treated control group. There was no significant difference between the RMET first time and two weeks later values of the control group (p=0.467). The rate of changes in the test and control group (RMET) was compared in a paired-sample t-test, and we also found a significant difference: p=0.000786 <0.005. CONCLUSIONS - The deficit of theory of mind in schizophrenia can be reduced, which indirectly can improve our patients' communication and adaptation skills, or worse, their deterioration can be reduced.]

Clinical Neuroscience

MARCH 30, 2017

Procedural learning and its consolidation in autism spectrum disorder


Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show altered learning and memory. A number of recent studies have debated whether procedural learning in ASD is intact or not. Our aim was to further assess the question of whether the implicit, non-conscious form of procedural learning in ASD children is intact or not, furthermore, how shifts towards a more explicit, attention-demanding task setting can alter this performance. We administered a modified version of the Alternating Serial Reaction Time (ASRT) Task to children with ASD and IQ- and age-matched typically developing (TD) children. The task consisted of alternating blocks of cued (explicit) and uncued (implicit probe) blocks, and was repeated after a 16-hour delay. We found that ASD and TD children showed similar sequence-specific learning in cued explicit blocks, however, on the uncued probe blocks ASD children performed better compared to TD children. After the 16-hour delay both groups showed retention of the previously acquired knowledge. Finally, when we investigated the performance in different parts of the blocks, we found that ASD children did not show an effect of fatigue by the second part of the blocks. Our results suggest that children with ASD have increased implicit procedural learning skills compared to TD children. Differences in cued (explicit) and uncued (implicit) settings indicate that children with ASD are not affected by the lack of explicit instructions in probe blocks, suggesting a resistance for changes in task settings. These findings can help in a more thorough planning of cognitive therapeutic setups for ASD children.

Clinical Neuroscience

MARCH 30, 2017

Surveillance and management of patients with tuberous sclerosis complex

FOGARASI András, GYORSOK Zsuzsanna, BODÓ Tímea

Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is an autosomal dominant disease due to the uncontrolled differentiation, proliferation, and migration of cells in several organs. Clinical expression is highly variable, from mild skin findings and asymptomatic brain lesions to seizures, mental retardation, autism, and potentially fatal kidney, cardiac, or pulmonary disease. Aim of this paper is to summarize the diagnostic criteria, surveillance and therapeutic issues of this multisystemic disorder emphasizing the most important neurological consequences. Presenting the state-of-the-art management recommendations and comparing them with the local protocols, we hope that our review might help in the proper assessment of one of the most important single gene disorder.

Clinical Neuroscience

NOVEMBER 30, 2016

[Behavioral and cognitive profile of corpus callosum agenesia - Review]

LÁBADI Beatrix, BEKE Anna Mária

[Introduction - Agenesis of corpus callosum is a relatively frequent congenital cerebral malformation including dysplasia, total or partial absence of corpus callosum. The agenesis of corpus callosum can be occured in isolated form without accompanying somatic or central nervous system abnormalities and it can be associated with other central nervus system malformations. The behavioral and cognitive outcome is more favorable for patients with isolated agenesis of corpus callous than syndromic form of corpus callosum. The aim of this study is to review recent research on behavioral and social-cognitive functions in individuals with agenesis of corpus callosum. Developmental delay is common especially in higher-order cognitive and social functions. Methods - An internet database search was performed to identify publications on the subject. Results - Fifty-five publications in English corresponded to the criteria. These studies reported deficits in language, social cognition and emotions in individuals with agenesis of corpus callosum which is known as primary corpus callous syndrome. Discussion - The results indicate that individuals with agenesis of corpus callosum have deficiency in social-cognitive domain (recognition of emotions, weakness in paralinguistic aspects of language and mentalizing abilities). The impaired social cognition can be manifested in behavioral problems like autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.]

Clinical Neuroscience

JULY 30, 2013

[Minor physical anomalies in autism]

TÉNYI Tamás, JEGES Sára, HALMAI Tamás, CSÁBI Györgyi

[Background and purpose - Minor physical anomalies are mild, clinically and cosmetically insignificant errors of morphogenesis which have a prenatal origin and may bear major informational value for diagnostic, prognostic and epidemiological purposes. Since both the central nervous system and the skin are derived from the same ectodermal tissue in utero, minor physical anomalies can be external markers of abnormal brain development and they appear more commonly in neurodevelopmental disorders. In a recently published meta-analysis Ozgen et al. have published the results of seven studies - all have used the Waldrop Scale which contains 18 minor physical anomalies - and reported on the higher prevalence of minor physical anomalies among patients with autism. There are only a very few data on the individual analysis of the prevalence of minor physical anomalies in autism. Methods - In our study we have studied the prevalence of 57 minor physical anomalies in 20 patients with autism and in 20 matched control subjects by the use of the Méhes Scale. Results - The prevalence of minor physical anomalies was significantly higher in the autism group (p<0.001). The individual analysis of the 57 minor physical anomalies showed the significantly more frequent apperance of four signs (primitive shape of ear p=0.047, abnormal philtrum p=0.001, clinodactylia p=0.002, wide distance between toes 1 and 2 p=0.003). No correlation was found between the four significantly more common minor physical anomalies. Conclusion - The higher prevalence of minor physical anomalies in autism supports the neurodevelopmental hypothesis of the disorder and the individual analysis of minor physical anomalies can help to understand the nature of the neurodevelopmental defect.]

Clinical Neuroscience

JANUARY 25, 2013

[Blood lipid peroxidation, antioxidant enzyme activities and hemorheological changes in autistic children]

LÁSZLÓ Aranka, NOVÁK Zoltán, SZÕLLÕSI-VARGA Ilona, HAI Quai Du, VETRÓ Ágnes, KOVÁCS Attila

[Objectives - Early infantile autism is a severe form of childhood psychiatric disease with characteristic symptoms. Hyperserotoninaemia in 43.5%, lactic acidosis 43% and hyperpyruvataemia in 30% were biochemically demonstrated in autistic children. Our earlier results led to the postulation that a disequilibrium in the blood redox is involved in infantile autism; the oxidative loading and the antioxidant defending enzyme system were investigated together with the hemorheological parameters in infantile autism. Methods - Malonyl-dialdehyde (MDA) endproduct of lipid peroxidation and activities of the antioxidant enzymes: superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (C-ase), glutathione peroxidase (GP-ase) and reduced glutathione (GSH) were biochemically determined from plasma and red blood cells. Patients - The antioxidant specificities were investigated in plasma and red blood cell haemolysate from 25 infantile autistic children. Results - Significantly increased superoxide dismutase (SOD) (2.89 vs. 1.32 U/mg protein, p<0.01) and decreased glutathione peroxidase (0.620 vs. 0.910 U/mg protein, p<0.01) levels as well as catalase (0.463 vs. 4.948 BU/mg protein, p<0.001) activities were detected; while the plasma and erythrocyte lipid peroxidation and the reduced glutathione (GSH) levels did not change. The results of the investigated prooxidant and the antioxidant status provide evidence that there exists an oxidative stress in children with infantile autism. While investigating the hemorheological parameters of 25 infantile autistic patients, some characteristic pathological parameters were detected: the initial filtration rate (Fi) (0.72 vs. 0.75 p<0,01) and the clogging rate (CR) (1.926 vs. 2.912, p<0.01) values of red blood cells (RBC) decreased while the mean transit time (Tc) (8.93 vs. 7.39, p<0.001) increased suggesting reduced RBC deformability.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

SEPTEMBER 20, 2012