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Clinical Neuroscience

NOVEMBER 30, 2020

[Covid-19 associated neurological disorders]

SZÔTS Mónika, PÉTERFI Anna, GERÖLY Júlia, NAGY Ferenc

[The clinical signs of SARS-CoV-2 infection has become more recognisable in recent times. In addition to common symptoms such as fever, cough, dyspnea, pneumonia and ageusia, less common complications can be identified, including many neurological manifestations. In this paper, we discuss three Covid-19 associated neurological disorders (Case 1: Covid-19 encephalitis, Case 2: Covid-19 organic headache, Case 3: SARS-CoV-2-infection and ischaemic stroke). We emphasize in our multiple case study that during the present pandemic, it is especially important for neurologists to be aware of the nervous system complications of the virus infection, thus saving unnecessary examinations and reducing the frequency of patients’ contact with health care personnel. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

OCTOBER 21, 2020

[Gene modified immune cells: New weapons not exclusively against cancer]

SZÖŐR Árpád

[The oncological breakthrough of the last decade was the application of CD19-specific CAR T cells in different hematologic diseases. Experience gained by clinical trials, coupled with investments of the private stakeholders and the pharmaceutical industry resulted not only in commercial release to the public of already developed CAR T cell products, but drew the atten­tion of many researchers to the potentials of new type immune cells, and their non-oncological administration. This study aims to present briefly those preclinical applications, which approved successfully the administration of CAR T cells in autoimmune and infectious diseases.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

JULY 01, 2020

[Persisting Hashimoto’s thyroiditis converting to Graves’ disease]

TÓTH Géza

[Graves’disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis are the two most important types of autoimmune thyroid dis­eases. Autoimmune hyperthyroidism commonly leads later on to hypothyroidism. The conversion from persisting Hashimoto-thyroiditis to hyperthyroidism is rare in the literature. The author presents the cases of two patients, whose Hashimoto’s thyroiditis treated with thyroxin for years, changed into Graves’ hyperthyroidism sponta­neously. CASE REPORT – The patients had been diagnosed with autoimmune hypothyroidism since several years. The clinical symp­­toms, the low peripheral hormone le­vels, the high level of antithyroid antibo­dies and the ultrasound imaging confirmed the hypertrophic form of Hashimoto’s thy­roiditis. After several years of high dose le­vothyroxin treatment, clinical symptoms of hyperthyroidism have appeared. After omit­ting the substitution, the thyroid hormone levelled off at high values and the level of anti-TSH receptor antibodies raised too. The diffuse, obviously increased blood flow of the thyroid glands, and in one of the patients the thyroid scan, confirmed the Graves’ disease. During the thyreostatic treatment, the symptoms of the patients disappeared, they became euthyreoid and the antibody levels decreased as well. The Graves’ disease and the Hashimoto’s thyroiditis have many common features. These immunological, ge­netic and other common features enable the mutual transition of these two diseases.]

Clinical Neuroscience

MAY 30, 2020

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease: A single center experience and systemic analysis of cases in Turkey

USLU Ilgen Ferda, ELIF Gökçal, GÜRSOY Esra Azize, KOLUKISA Mehmet, YILDIZ Babacan Gulsen

We aimed to analyze the clinical, laboratory and neuroimaging findings in patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in a single center as well as to review other published cases in Turkey. Between January 1st, 2014 and June 31st, 2017, all CJD cases were evaluated based on clinical findings, differential diagnosis, the previous misdiagnosis, electroencephalography (EEG), cerebrospinal fluid and cranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in our center. All published cases in Turkey between 2005-2018 were also reviewed. In a total of 13 patients, progressive cognitive decline was the most common presenting symptom. Two patients had a diagnosis of Heidenhain variant, 1 patient had a diagnosis of Oppenheimer-Brownell variant. Seven patients (53.3%) had been misdiagnosed with depression, vascular dementia, normal pressure hydrocephalus or encephalitis. Eleven patients (87%) had typical MRI findings but only 5 of these were present at baseline. Asymmetrical high signal abnormalities on MRI were observed in 4 patients. Five patients (45.4%) had periodic spike wave complexes on EEG, all appeared during the follow-up. There were 74 published cases in Turkey bet­ween 2005 and 2018, with various clinical presentations. CJD has a variety of clinical features in our patient series as well as in cases reported in Turkey. Although progressive cognitive decline is the most common presenting symptom, unusual manifestations in early stages of the disease might cause misdiagnosis. Variant forms should be kept in mind in patients with isolated visual or cerebellar symptoms. MRI and EEG should be repeated during follow-up period if the clinical suspicion still exists.

Clinical Neuroscience

NOVEMBER 20, 2015

[A rare complication of a rare disease; stroke due to relapsing polychondritis]

KILIC COBAN Eda, XANMEMMEDOV Elimir, COLAK Melek, SOYSAL Aysun

[Relapsing polychondritis (RP) is an episodic and progressive inflammatory disease of cartilaginous structures. Its diagnosis is based primarily on clinical features such as laboratory parameters, biopsy. Neurological complications occur in 3% of the cases and are classified as an important cause of death. The cranial nerve disorders are most common but hemiplegia, ataxia, myelitis, polyneuritis, seizures, confusion, hallucination and headache can also happen. The aetiology of central nervous system involvement is still unknown. Moreover stroke has rarely reported in these patients. The diagnosis of stroke is challenging because of its rarity among these patients. Perhaps vasculitis is the common underlying mechanism. Also meningitis and encephalitis can occur during the course of RP. A 44 year-old woman was admitted with uncontemplated left hemiparesis, redness, swelling, and tenderness of the metacarpophalangeal and interphalangeal joints of the right hand and the cartilaginous portion. White blood cell count, C-reactive protein and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate were elevated. Vasculitis biomarkers were normal in our patient. Carotid and vertebral artery doppler ultrasonography, cranial and cervical MR Angiography were normal. Echocardiography showed a mild mitral valve prolapse and regurgitation. Our patient had the history of auricular polychondritis but she had not been diagnosed. Hemiparesis was her first neurological manifestation that led her to doctors for diagnosis. Our patient fulfilled the criteria of RP so no biopsy was needed. She was treated with oral prednisolone (80 mg/day) and aspirin (300 mg/day) and now she is on 10 mg prednisolone and 150 mg azathioprine. Two months later her physical and neurological symptoms returned to normal.]

Clinical Neuroscience

JANUARY 30, 2020

Myasthenia gravis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, or both?

ERDOGAN Cagdas, TEKIN Selma, ÜNLÜTÜRK Zeynep, GEDIK Korkut Derya

Myasthenia gravis (MG) and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) are autoimmune disorders that may cause weakness in the extremities. The coexistence of MG and GBS in the same patient has rarely been reported previously. A 52-year-old male presenting with ptosis of the left eye that worsened with fatigue, especially toward evening, was evaluated in our outpatient department. His acetylcholine receptor antibody results were positive, supporting the diagnosis of MG. His medical history revealed a post-infectious acute onset of weakness in four extremities, difficulty in swallowing and respiratory failure, which was compatible with a myasthenic crisis; however, his nerve conduction studies and albuminocytologic dissociation at the time were compatible with GBS. With this case report, we aimed to mention this rare coincidental state, discuss possible diagnoses and review all other similar cases in the literature with their main features.

Lege Artis Medicinae

JULY 20, 2019

[Severe polymyositis associated with multiplex pulmonary abscesses]

SZABÓ Katalin, VINCZE Anett, NAGY-VINCZE Melinda, DANKÓ Katalin, GRIGER Zoltán

[INTRODUCTION – Idiopathic inflammatory myopathies are heterogeneous autoimmune diseases characterized by immune mediated inflammation of the skeletal muscles. CASE REPORT – A case of a 62-year-old male patient with severe proximal muscle weakness, elevated creatine kinase and swallowing difficulity is presented. Electromyography showed myogenic pattern, thus probable polymyositis was diagnosed. Radiological examination has confirmed bilateral multiplex lung lesions, which were caused by the possibility of tumor, tuberculosis, vasculitis and abscess as well. The condition of the patient deteriorated, nasogastric feeding, high dose steroid treatment was initiated, which reduced the patient's creatinine kinase values, but muscle strength was not changed. Based on the results of various investigations, the condition of the patient was finally confirmed by the development of myositis, resulting dysphagia, chronic aspiration, and multiplex lung abscess. Antibiotic therapy, steroid treatment was continued and finally intravenous immunoglobulin treatment was administered. The condition of the patient gradually improved, the swallowing dysfunction disappeared, and the lung abscesses were resolved. As a result of physiotherapy and rehabilitation treatment, the patient could walk again. CONCLUSIONS – Nasogastric feeding is recommended to prevent aspiration in the case of myositis-associated dysphagia. In case of steroid refractory therapy, the use of intravenous immunoglobulin may be effective. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

JULY 30, 2019

Isolated hypoglossal nerve palsy due to a jugular foramen schwannoma

ÖZTOP-CAKMAK Özgür, VANLI-YAVUZ Ebru, AYGÜN Serhat, BASTAN Birgül, EGEMEN Emrah, SOLAROGLU Ihsan, GURSOY-OZDEMIR Yesemin

Introduction – Although the involvement of the hypoglossal nerve together with other cranial nerves is common in several pathological conditions of the brain, particularly the brainstem, isolated hypoglossal nerve palsy is a rare condition and a diagnostic challenge. Case presentation – The presented patient arrived to the hospital with a history of slurred speech and an uncomfortable sensation on his tongue. Neurological examination showed left-sided hemiatrophy of the tongue with fasciculations and deviation towards the left side during protrusion. Based on the clinical and MRI findings, a diagnosis of hypoglossal nerve schwannoma was made. Discussion – Hypoglossal nerve palsy may arise from multiple causes such as trauma, infections, neoplasms, and endocrine, autoimmune and vascular pathologies. In our case, the isolated involvement of the hypoglossal nerve was at the skull base segment, where the damage to the hypoglossal nerve may occur mostly due to metastasis, nasopharyngeal carcinomas, nerve sheath tumors and glomus tumors. Conclusion – Because of the complexity of the region’s anatomy, the patient diagnosed with hypoglossal nerve schwannoma was referred for gamma knife radiosurgery.

Lege Artis Medicinae

OCTOBER 20, 2018

[Gene modified T cells against cancer]

SZÖŐR Árpád

[Chimeric antigen receptor modified (CAR) T cells are hailed as a revolutionary breakthrough in the field of oncology. CAR T cells were first applied, with outstanding success, in the treatment of various leukaemias, yielding unprecedented antitumor activity and long periods of disease free survival. Following the success of CAR T cell therapy in leukaemias, solid tumors should now be targeted. These are more complex targets, therefore CAR T cell therapy needs to be further optimized for this purpose. Also, some unfortunate side effects, including the potentially deadly global inflammation called cytokine storm have to be minimized and possibly even eradicated. The next decade will be an exciting time to define whether this therapy which is yet exclusively used for cancer patients is also successful in the treatment of other diseases. In a recent study, T cells reengineered with CAR derived chimeric autoantibody receptors (CAAR) efficiently prevented disease progression in pre-clinical animal models simulating the serious autoimmune disorder, pemphigus vulgaris. Therapy was based on CAAR constructs which have the unique ability to selectively recognize and eliminate the B-cell clones secreting autoantibodies against a self-protein, thus playing a key role in disease pathogenesis and progression. In this review, we would like to give an overview about the history of the CAR T-cell concept, summarize briefly the currently running clinical trials, and discuss the challenges and future prospects of CAR T-cell therapy.]

Clinical Neuroscience

SEPTEMBER 30, 2018

Acute motor and sensory axonal neuropathy associated with Sjögren’s syndrome

ETHEMOGLU Ozlem, KOCATÜRK Özcan, TARINI Zeynep Emine

Sjögren’s syndrome (SS) is an autoimmune disease with mononuclear cell infiltration and destruction of the lacrimal gland and salivary glands, which cause dryness of the eyes and mouth. The most common neurological condition seen in SS is peripheral neuropathy. Initial manifestation of SS as an acute fulminant peripheral neuropathy is extremely rare. We report a 42-year-old patient presenting with acute motor sensory-axonal neuropathy in the presence of SS. She showed partial response to intravenous immunoglobulin but favourable clinical improvement was seen after initiation of corticosteroid treatment.