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Clinical Neuroscience

JANUARY 30, 2021

Electrophysiological investigation for autonomic dysfunction in patients with myasthenia gravis: A prospective study


Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disorder of neuromuscular transmission. Autonomic dysfunction is not a commonly known association with MG. We conducted this study to evaluate autonomic functions in MG & subgroups and to investigate the effects of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. This study comprised 30 autoimmune MG patients and 30 healthy volunteers. Autonomic tests including sympathetic skin response (SSR) and R-R interval variation analysis (RRIV) was carried out. The tests were performed two times for patients who were under acetylcholinesterase inhibitors during the current assessment. The RRIV rise during hyperventilation was better (p=0.006) and Valsalva ratio (p=0.039) was lower in control group. The SSR amplitudes were lower thereafter drug intake (p=0.030). As much as time went by after drug administration prolonged SSR latencies were obtained (p=0.043).Valsalva ratio was lower in the AchR antibody negative group (p=0.033). The findings showed that both ocular/generalized MG patients have a subclinical parasympathetic abnormality prominent in the AchR antibody negative group and pyridostigmine has a peripheral sympathetic cholinergic noncumulative effect.

Clinical Neuroscience

MARCH 30, 2019

[Symptomatic trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia without headache]

RÓZSA Anikó, KOVÁCS Krisztina, GUBA Katalin, GÁCS Gyula

[We report the case of a 60-year-old man who exhibited trigeminal autonomic symptoms on his right side (numbness of the face, reddening of the eye, nasal congestion) occurring several times a day, for a maximum of 60 se­conds, without any pain. The complaints were similar to trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia, just without any headache. Our 60-year-old male patient underwent a craniocervical MRI as part of his neurological workup, which revealed lesions indicative of demyelination. Further testing was guided (ophthalmological examination, VEP, CSF test) by the presumptive diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. It is likely that in his case the cause of these trigeminal and autonomic paroxysms is MS. Here we present an overview of the few cases we found in the literature, although we did not find any similar case reports. Perhaps the most interesting among these is one in which the author describes a family: a 54-year-old female exhibiting the autonomic characteristics of an episodic cluster headache, only without actual headache, her son, who had typical episodic cluster headaches with autonomic symptoms, and the woman’s father, whose short-term periorbital headaches were present without autonomic symptoms. We had not previously encountered a case of trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia without headache in our practice, nor have we had an MS patient exhibiting similar neurologic symptoms. The significance of our case lies in its uniqueness. ]

Hypertension and nephrology

FEBRUARY 20, 2019

[Sexual problems in CKD – a narrative review]

TÖRÖK Marietta, JÖRGEN Hegbrant, GIOVANNI Strippoli

[Sexual dysfunction is highly prevalent in patients with CKD, especially those receiving dialysis. Given the high prevalence of sexual problems in CKD patients, there has been growing interest in finding effective treatments for sexual dysfunction. PDE5i and zinc have been found promising interventions for treating sexual dysfunction in men with CKD in a systematic review of RCTs, but the evidence supporting their routine use in CKD patients is limited. In the Collaborative Depression and Sexual Dysfunction (CDS) Study, over a cohort of 1611 men in hemodialysis, 83% reported erectile dysfunction and 47% reported severe erectile dysfunction, with depression strongly correlated to this problem. Similarly, sexual dysfunction was highly prevalent in women undergoing hemodialysis. Of the 659 respondents, 555 (84%) reported sexual dysfunction and more than half of sexually active women reported sexual dysfunction, associated with age, depressive symptoms, menopause, low serum albumin, and diuretic therapy.]

Clinical Neuroscience

MAY 30, 2020

Autonomic nervous system may be affected after carpal tunnel syndrome surgery: A possible mechanism for persistence of symptoms after surgery

ONDER Burcu, KELES Yavuz Betul

After carpal tunnel surgery, some patients report complaints such as edema, pain, and numbness. Purpose – The aim of this study was to evaluate autonomic nervous system function in patients with a history of carpal tunnel surgery using sympathetic skin response (SSR). Thirty three patients (55 ±10 years old) with a history of unilateral operation for carpal tunnel syndrome were included in the study. The SSR test was performed for both hands. Both upper extremities median and ulnar nerve conduction results were recorded. A reduced amplitude (p=0.006) and delayed latency (p<0.0001) were detected in the SSR test on the operated side compared to contralateral side. There was no correlation between SSR and carpal tunnel syndrome severity. Although complex regional pain syndrome does not develop in patients after carpal tunnel surgery, some of the complaints may be caused by effects on the autonomic nervous system.

Lege Artis Medicinae

OCTOBER 20, 2018

[Does venous congestion decrease renal function - fiction or real?]


[Venous congestion can result in dysfunction of several organs. Although experimental data on renal dysfunction caused by venous congestion were already published about 90 years ago, those were difficult to extrapolate to humans, due to significant interracial differences. Acute pre-renal, or volume-sensitive kidney injury might respond to volume replacement; however, overt fluid resuscitation with or without right ventricular dysfunction can result in elevated central venous pressure. The glomerular capillary blood pressure, i. e. net filtration pressure in a single glomerulus is about 10 mmHg. Kidney dysfunction can both increase intra-abdominal pressure or elevate central venous pressure with or without decreased mean arterial pressure, can lead to renal dysfunction. In studies among patients with heart failure, or after cardiac or abdominal surgery, the increase of central venous pressure or intra-abdominal pressure above 8 mmHg resulted in impaired kidney function. This review summarizes both pre-clinical and clinical data on the role of intra-abdominal hypertension and venous congestion in the development of acute kidney injury.]

Clinical Neuroscience

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

Acute effect of sphenopalatine ganglion block with lidocaine in a patient with SUNCT


Short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache with conjunctival injection and tearing/short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache with cranial autonomic features (SUNCT/SUNA) is a rare severe headache. At the time of an attack, it can hinder a patient from eating and requires acute intervention. The sphenopalatine ganglion is an extracranial parasympathetic ganglion with both sensory and autonomic fibers. Sphenopalatine ganglion block has long been used in the treatment of headache, particularly when conventional methods have failed. Here, we present a patient who was resistant to intravenous lidocaine, but responded rapidly to sphenopalatine ganglion block during an acute episode of SUNCT/SUNA.

Clinical Neuroscience

MAY 30, 2020

Alexithymia is associated with cognitive impairment in patients with Parkinson’s disease

SENGUL Yildizhan, KOCAK Müge, CORAKCI Zeynep, SENGUL Serdar Hakan, USTUN Ismet

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.