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Lege Artis Medicinae

JULY 01, 2020

[Sarcopenia – muscle loss – pathomechanism, clinical presentation and metabolic comorbidities]


[Sarcopenia, or the age-related involution of muscle strength and muscle mass, is a serious public health concern, due to the growing number of elderly population caused by nowadays demographic changes i.e. prolonged life expectancy. By ageing, the muscle tissue is shrinking gradually, leading to the loss of muscle strength and masses. This condition is called sarcopenia. Sar­co­penia is the simultaneous decrease of muscle mass, muscle strength and functional independence. In parallel the physical performance deteriorates (weakness, slowness and poor physical balancing). Fatigue, el­derly behaviour and weight loss are the consequences of these accumulating deficits, which associate with cognitive decline and result in increasing social isolation. The primary form of sarcopenia is the decrease of the energy production of muscle cells and then the death of muscle cells. Se­con­dary, endocrine dysfunctions, diseases of the nervous system, decreased physical activity, malnutrition or malabsorption, chronic infection accelerate the process and aggravate the patient’s condition. Complex genetic, biochemical and endocrine mechanisms take part in the development of sarcopenia. This involution is due to the impaired balance of restoring and depleting processes of muscles. A questionnaire and algorithm have been developed to recognize, screen and diagnose the risks of sarcopenic condition; these separate the sarcopenic and non-sarcopenic patients with specific cut-off values. Sar­co­penia can be diagnosed based on walking speed, decreased handgrip strength and measured or calculated muscle mass in persons over 65. Sarcopenia can be considered as a phenomenon of “physiological” aging, however, it becomes a disease when diagnostic cut-offs are exceeded and the patient experiences functional disability and declining quality of life. Prevention and treatment of sarcopenia and reducing the risk of falling are based on regular active resistance and coordination exercises. Options for pharmaceutical treatments are limited since despite of identified molecular targets there are no convincingly effective innovative therapy on the horizon. Nevertheless, there are some weak evidence for efficacy of the application of amino acids stimulating muscle cell differentiation, such as leucine or the analogue of beta-hydoxy-methylbutyrate beside exercise therapy.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

JULY 01, 2020

[Avoiding unlimited energy drink consumption is a matter of our heart]


[Energy drinks have been gaining unbroken popularity, especially among youngsters and children since they were introduced to the market. Manufacturers promise to improve performance and stamina with consuming the products, classified as non-alcoholic soft drinks. In addition to the vitamins and plant extracts, they contain a significant amount of caffeine and other stimulants (taurine, guarana). Among the active ingredients, caffeine has an outstanding effect and thereby a danger, since its overconsumption – in addition to milder he­mo­dynamic changes – can cause severe cardio­vascular consequences, cardiac arrhythmias, ion channel diseases, increased blood coagulation, myocardial infarction or reduced cerebral blood flow in susceptible consumers. Many case studies have also reported serious cardiovascular attacks among young chronic energy drink consumers. Health impairments of excessive and long-term consumption of energy drinks have been studied increasingly, however there is limited and contradictory evidence on the safety of consumption and the effectiveness of performance enhancement. ]

Hypertension and nephrology

JUNE 24, 2020

[Not all young, athletic university students have optimal blood pressure. Results of the May 2019 Measurement Month (MMM19)]

PATÓ Anna, NÉMETH Zoltán, JÁRAI Zoltán, KOLLER Ákos

[For about 100 years, it has been known that persistently high blood pressure (hypertension) is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease deaths, such as major risk factors for heart failure, myocardial infarction, stroke, kidney and eye disease. Unfortunately, one of the characteristics of hypertension is that it remains undetected for a long time until damage to one or more organs has already occurred. Therefore, it is very important that systemic blood pressure is monitored from time to time, especially above 45 years of age. The prevalence of hypertension is more than 35% in the Hungarian population. Recent data have pointed out that hypertension may occur at a younger age, although at a lower frequency. Our studies were conducted in the context of the May 2019 Measurement Month (MMM19), an international campaign that draws attention to hypertension and the lack of systematic screening at population level. We hypothesized that hypertension may occur in young, apparently healthy university students. The studies were conducted among students of the University of Physical Education (n = 33; 25 males, 8 females). The mean age was 24.3 years (20–34 years). To measure blood pressure, an automatic blood pressure monitor (Omron MIT5) was used, placed on individuals’ upper arms, as specified in the guidelines, in a relaxed, sitting position. The measurements were repeated three times at one-minute intervals and the average of the three measurements was statistically analyzed. Blood pressure values (mean ± SEM, averaged over 3 measurements) in the student population were systolic 121.9 ± 14.4 mmHg, diastolic 75.1 ± 9.1 mmHg, mean 90.7 ± 10.9 mmHg, and heart rate: 46.8 ± 5.3 mmHg. Although mean blood pressure was within the normal range, higher values were also found in some individuals. Systolic blood pressure fell by 33% due to elevated normal blood pressure, respectively of Grade 1 hypertension. These data confirmed our hypothesis that hypertension may occur at a young age, despite the fact that members of the study population exercise regularly, which is an important preventive factor in the development of cardiovascular disease. These results underscore the importance of regular blood pressure measurement in adolescents, which may reduce the global spread of hypertension and prevent the development of a number of cardiovascular diseases, including stroke, heart attack, renal failure and mental decline.]

Clinical Neuroscience

JULY 30, 2020

Extraskeletal, intradural, non-metastatic Ewing’s sarcoma. Case report


Intracranial localization of Ewing’s sarcoma is considerably very rare. Herein, we present clinical and neuroimaging findings regarding a 4-year-old boy with intracranial Ewing’s sarcoma. He was born prematurely, suffered intraventricular haemorrhage, posthaemorrhagic hydrocephalus developed, and a ventriculoperitoneal shunt was inserted in the newborn period. The patient endured re­gular follow ups, no signs of shunt malfunction nor increased intracranial pressure were observed. The last neuroima­ging examination was performed at 8 months of age. Upon reaching the age of 4 years, repeated vomiting and focal seizures began, and symptoms of increased intracranial pressure were detected. A brain MRI depicted a left frontoparietal space-occupying lesion infiltrating the superior sagittal sinus. The patient underwent a craniotomy resulting in the total excision of the tumour. The histological examination of the tissue revealed a small round blue cell tumour. The diagnosis was confirmed by the detection of EWSR1 gene translocation with FISH (fluorescent in situ hybridization). No additional metastases were detected during the staging examinations. The patient was treated in accordance to the EuroEwing 99 protocol. Today, ten years onward, the patient is tumour and seizure free and has a reasonably high quality of life.

Clinical Neuroscience

JULY 30, 2020

[Advanced Parkinson’s disease characteristics in clinical practice: Results from the OBSERVE-PD study and sub-analysis of the Hungarian data]

TAKÁTS Annamária, ASCHERMANN Zsuzsanna, VÉCSEI László, KLIVÉNYI Péter, DÉZSI Lívia, ZÁDORI Dénes, VALIKOVICS Attila, VARANNAI Lajos, ONUK Koray, KINCZEL Beatrix, KOVÁCS Norbert

[The majority of patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease are treated at specialized movement disorder centers. Currently, there is no clear consensus on how to define the stages of Parkinson’s disease; the proportion of Parkinson’s patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease, the referral process, and the clinical features used to characterize advanced Parkinson’s disease are not well delineated. The primary objective of this observational study was to evaluate the proportion of Parkinson’s patients identified as advanced patients according to physician’s judgment in all participating movement disorder centers across the study. Here we evaluate the Hungarian subset of the participating patients. The study was conducted in a cross-sectional, non-interventional, multi-country, multi-center format in 18 countries. Data were collected during a single patient visit. Current Parkinson’s disease status was assessed with Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) parts II, III, IV, and V (modified Hoehn and Yahr staging). Non-motor symptoms were assessed using the PD Non-motor Symptoms Scale (NMSS); quality of life was assessed with the PD 8-item Quality-of-Life Questionnaire (PDQ-8). Parkinson’s disease was classified as advanced versus non-advanced based on physician assessment and on questions developed by the Delphi method. Overall, 2627 patients with Parkinson’s disease from 126 sites were documented. In Hungary, 100 patients with Parkinson’s disease were documented in four movement disorder centers, and, according to the physician assessment, 50% of these patients had advanced Parkinson’s disease. Their mean scores showed significantly higher impairment in those with, versus without advanced Parkinson’s disease: UPDRS II (14.1 vs. 9.2), UPDRS IV Q32 (1.1 vs. 0.0) and Q39 (1.1 vs. 0.5), UPDRS V (2.8 vs. 2.0) and PDQ-8 (29.1 vs. 18.9). Physicians in Hungarian movement disorder centers assessed that half of the Parkinson’s patients had advanced disease, with worse motor and non-motor symptom severity and worse QoL than those without advanced Parkinson’s disease. Despite being classified as eligible for invasive/device-aided treatment, that treatment had not been initiated in 25% of these patients.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

APRIL 18, 2020

[Digitally-assisted treatment planning in precision oncology]


[The progress of molecular information based on personalized precision medicine has reached a new milestone. Actually, about 6 million mutations of 600 genes may be related to the development of cancer, and on average, 3-4 of these “driver” mutations are present in each patient. Due to the progress in molecular diagnostics, we can now routinely identify the molecular profile of tumors in clinical settings. By clinical translation, there are actually available more than 125 targeted pharmaceuticals and hundreds of such therapies are under clinical trial. As a result, we have many first-line and licenced treatment options to be elected by molecular information as the optimal one for every patient. There is an increasing need for complex informatics solutions by medical software. Geneticists, molecular biologists, molecular pathologists, molecular pharmacologists are already using bioinformatics and interpretation software on their daily work. Today, online digital tools of artificial intelligence are also available for physicians for assisted treatment planning. Telemedicine, videoconferencing provide solutions for interdisciplinary virtual molecular tumor boards, which democratizes the access to precision oncology for all doctors and patients. ]

Journal of Nursing Theory and Practice

OCTOBER 30, 2019

[Biomonitoring of lead exposure among workers: the role of the occupational health nurse ]


[Biological monitoring (biomonitoring) in occupational safety and health is the detection of substances (biomarkers) in biological samples of workers, compared to reference values. This article is limited to Lead (Pb) exposures, as it is one of the most important models for biomonitoring of exposure, with the blood Pb concentration as a predominant choice in occupational health. This article examines the nature of and risk factors for lead exposure among workers, the scope of the problem, the legislative and regulatory framework relevant to biomonitoring, and the role of occupational health nurses in promoting a culture of safety to prevent exposures. ]

Clinical Oncology

APRIL 10, 2019

[Metals and cancer]

VETLÉNYI Enikő, RÁCZ Gergely

[We often tend to forget about our environment when looking for the origin of a disease. Inhaled air, drinking water and food, substances in contact with the skin all have an effect on the human body. Metals are indispensable parts of our everyday lives, their mining, processing and use cause a continuous exposure to them. Metal exert their effects on the body in various ways. Many of them are essential for maintaining homeostasis, but excessive or harmful metal intake can lead to health damage, including tumour formation through multiple attack points. Metals substitute each other during different transport processes and in the structure of proteins, they cause oxidative stress and bind to DNA, thereby damaging it. Applying them appropriately, the proapoptotic effect of the metal compounds is brought to the fore, thus becoming a therapeutic tool for tumours. Nowadays, platinum(II) compounds are widely used as chemotherapeutic agents and there are many ongoing studies to fi nd metal compounds with an ideal therapeutic and side-effect profi le. The aims of this article were to draw the attention to the dangers of metals in relation to cancer and to highlight their diverse application possibilities in current and future cancer therapy and diagnostics.]

Hypertension and nephrology

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

[Post-career development of cardiometabolic changes and hypertension in competitive athletes]


[Regular physical activity is essential in delaying the aging processes (e.g. arterial remodelling – stiffening, metabolism, bodyweight), the beneficial effects of competitive sports – especially strength sports – according to the recent data of the literature are questionable. The beneficial effects of physical activity on the cardiovascular (CV) system are well known, however less is known regarding the delayed impacts of high intensity competitive sports on the CV system, especially after the sport career is over. This review summarizes the effects of active competitive sport and the post-career period on the cardiometabolic system with special attention to the systemic blood pressure and the development of metabolic syndrome. After sport career, the welldeveloped high performance cardiovascular- and metabolic system suddenly is much less used, but still supported by sport-level diet. It is well known that hypertension is a significant pathogenic factor in the development of cardiovascular diseases, characterized – among others – by reduced elasticity of large- and medium- sized vessels thereby importantly contributing to the development of systolic hypertension. Inflammation and thrombus formation both play an important role in the development of vascular injury and atherosclerosis. The increased tone of microvessels can impair the blood supply of certain organs, including the coronary circulation. It has been ample shown, that regular non-competitive, aerobic exercise activities are important factors in preventing hypertension. Such pathological changes become more evident after the development of post-career obesity, as well as the development of hypertension due to the activation of the renin-angiotensin system through sodium retention and other metabolic changes (increased glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, type II diabetes mellitus). It has been ample shown, that regular non-competitive, dynamic aerobic exercise activities are important factors in preventing hypertension. The frequency, intensity, type, and time (FITT) principle of exercise prescription is the first and common therapeutic approach, which represents the translation of cardiovascular basic science research results into hypertension treatment, thus can provide a personalized physical activity program/therapy according to medical needs not just for the post-career sportspersons, but the wide range of patients.]

Hypertension and nephrology

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

[Treatment and care of hypertensive patients during and after the Covid-19 pandemic. Possibilities and effectiveness of telemedicine]


[The course and outcome of an pandemic caused by coronaviruses are determined by many factors, such as the strength and dose of the infectious virus, the immune system of the affected individual, the underlying diseases, the speed of virus spread, age and environmental factors and methods of control. In old age, there is a significantly higher risk of developing severe cases and fatalities. The rate of loss of life is particularly high in social care and nursing homes. Hypertension as the underlying disease is the most common cause of death, but hypertension alone is not an independence risk factor, but the main reason is the co-morbidities and complications associated with viral infection. In the epidemic situation, the treatment and care of hypertensive patients poses special challenges for health and active primary and specialist care workers and, of course, for hypertonologists. The Hungarian Society of Hypertension expressed its opinions and recommendations to patients living at home and to doctors performing treatment and care during the Covid-19 virus epidemic and summarized the decision-making possibilities derived from the data obtained during the telemedicine consultation. We would like to present the details of the possibilities provided by telemedicine, the practical possibilities and advantages of the different methods of teleconsultation, and the models that can be implemented in a domestic environment. We have taken into account international experience to date, the new e-health strategy for chronic, non-communicable diseases and the WHO concept. Telemedicine, continuous teleconsultation ensures an optimal relationship between the patient and the doctor, increases the patient’s sense of security, improves drug adherence. The doctor receives reliable data about the patient’s condition and can send him instructions as well as information. The development of a harmonious balance between personal contact and telecommunications already shows the future, and the application of these methods must be developed in the epidemic-free period as well. Previous international (TASMINH-4, HOMED-BP etc.) and domestic (CONADPER-HU) studies have proved that telemonitoring of hypertensive patients can be successfully solved, improves patients’ drug adherence, increases the target blood pressure achievement rate and at the same time the patient will be the active part of the treatment. The method is especially useful in rural settlements without a doctor. Telemedicine monitoring of elderly and multimorbid patients is especially useful in social institutions and nursing homes. It is solved the continuous control of vital functions, ensures continuity of contact with the supervising physician and in urgent cases, allows for rapid intervention. Telemedicine is also of great importance due to the lack of human resources, as many things can be solved with such technology, there are no need so many personal encounters. In addition to influencing the course of this pandemic, it also plays an important role in efficiency, headcount, management and “convenience” in general practice and in all formes of medicine. The proposed models can not only be applied in an epidemic situation, but should continue to be part of everyday health work in future.]