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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

[Mentalizing deficit in neurological disorders: a review article]

HEROLD Róbert, VARGA Eszter, MIKE Andrea, TÉNYI Tamás, SIMON Mária, HAJNAL András, FEKETE Sándor, ILLÉS Zsolt

[Introduction – Mentalization is the ability to attribute mental states (intentions, desires, thoughts, emotions) to others, and hence to predict their behaviour. This ability fundamentally determines our participation in social relationships and adaptation to society. A significant proportion of the disorders of the central nervous system (CNS) affects those brain structures and neurotransmitter systems that play a role in the mentalizing processes. Accordingly, a number of CNS disorders may be associated with mentalizing deficits, which may affect the outcome of these diseases. Here, we review recent research on mentalizing abilities in neurological diseases. Methods – An internet database search was performed to identify publications on the subject. Results – Sixty-two publications in English corresponded to the search criteria. These publications reported impaired mentalization in several neurological disorders (e.g. epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, dementias, traumatic brain injury). Discussion – The results indicate that a number of neurological disorders associate with mentalizing deficit. This deficit is often present in the early stages of the diseases and has a prognostic value, which in turn emphasizes the importance of the early detection and adequate rehabilitation.]

Clinical Neuroscience

JANUARY 30, 2016

To treat or not to treat, cheyne-stokes respiration in a young adult with vascular encephalopathy


Cheyne-Stokes respiration (CSR) is a form of sleep-disordered breathing characterised by recurrent central sleep apnoea alternating with a crescendo-decrescendo pattern of tidal volume, relatively rare observation in sleep labs. It is mainly seen in severe heart failure and stroke. We report the case of a young man with CSR after sudden onset of seizure in the context of hypertensive exacerbation leading to the diagnosis of a leukoencephalopathy, and comment on differential diagnoses, prognostic and therapeutic outcomes. The very uniqueness of this case consists in the extremely young age for developing a vascular encephalopathy in the absence of genetic diseases and without previous diagnose of hypertension. There is no adequate explanation for the origin of vascular encephalopathy; also there is lack of evidence regarding the benefits and modality of treatment for CSR in neurologic diseases. Thus, we were forced to find the best compromise in a nocturnal oxygen therapy and follow-up.

Hypertension and nephrology

DECEMBER 12, 2019

[Hypertension and brain function. Correlation of high blood pressure and demencia in aging. Hypertension in young-middle adults - demencia in elderly]


[The cerebral vascular damage caused by hypertension is manifested primarily in cognitive dysfunction, which is caused by hypoperfusion of brain tissue, ischemic, or bleeding stroke, or white matte injury. Hypertension may not only result in cerebral damage to the vascular background - dementia -, but may also contribute to the development and progression of classical gene-related Alzheimer’s disease. Blood pressure gradually increases in the elderly and in the very elderly, and the frequency of hypertension-mostly as isolated systolic hypertension - is 50% to 70%. High blood pressure predominately, or in full, means not only an increase in the circulatory resistance of the small children, but also, as part of the aging of the body, the rigidity (stiffness) of the arteries. At the same time, the incidence of dementia, along with age, rises sharply - up to 20% in those over 65 years of age, and over 40% in 80-90 years of age. The relationship between high blood pressure and dementia from the young age to the very old age may change as a function of current age. In the very old age of life, the varying influence of other pathological factors other than hypertension is becoming more and more important in the deterioration of both the vascular structure and the brain function. In this late stage of life, the very advanced rate of aging and nutritive blood flow often require higher perfusion pressure, and the not enough thought-out blood pressure reduction can be more damaging than a protective effect on brain condition or function. SPRINT MIND - the Intense Blood Pressure Reduction - hasn’t resolved the question, and we can legally assume that the 130-140 Hgmm SBP. Is the most favorable for dementia. The value of DBP 70 Hgmm is definitely unfavorable.]

Clinical Neuroscience

NOVEMBER 30, 2019

[The applicability of 123I-FP-CIT SPECT dopamine transporter imaging in clinical practice]

PERLAKI Gábor, SZEKERES Sarolta, JANSZKY József, DEZSŐ Dániel, ASCHERMANN Zsuzsanna, ZÁMBÓ Katalin, KOVÁCS Norbert

[The 123I-FP-CIT dopamine transporter SPECT imaging is a sensitive method to assess functional dopaminergic neuron terminals in the striatum. The method has also been available in Hungary for years. There are two main indications: (i) to help differentiate essential tremor from clinically uncertain Parkinsonism, including patients with early symptoms and (ii) to help differentiate dementia with Lewy bodies from Alzheimer’s disease. The aim of this paper is to review 123I-FP-CIT SPECT imaging based on international data/guidelines and our own experiences, thereby assisting nuclear medicine practitioners and neurologists.]

Journal of Nursing Theory and Practice

FEBRUARY 28, 2019

[Who helps the caregivers? - Psychosocial characteristics of nurses in dementia care ]


[The aim of the study: Studies underline the increasing burden of dementia people. Hungarian social care system is also facing dementia care challenge. In case of developing of social sector, it is beneficial to research the psychosocial status of nurses working in dementia care. Material and method: N=130 professional caregivers in dementia care filled out self- administered questionnaires. Standardized health-psychological scales were evaluated: SWLS, Rahe’s Life Meaning, Beck’s Inventory of Measuring Depression, Maastricht Vital Exhaustion, Freudenberger’s Burn Out Inventory. Results: Caregivers have fatigue, dissatisfaction and tendency of quitting profession. Scales show high burn-out, exhaustion and depression and show correlations. Depression correlates with vital exhaustion (r=0.549), depression moves with burn out r=0,528. SWLS correlates opposite with Vital Exhaustion: r = - 366. Coherence and SWLS shows statistically significance correlation: r=0,455. Conclusion: Indicators apply nurses are in risk conditions. More focus on workplace satisfaction, psychosocial care and stress management training is essential. .]

Clinical Neuroscience

MAY 30, 2019

The prevalence of sarcopenia and dynapenia according to stage among Alzheimer-type dementia patients

YAZAR Tamer, YAZAR Olgun Hülya

Aim - In this study, the aim was to identify the prevalence of sarcopenia and dynapenia according to disease stage among Alzheimer-type dementia (AD) patients and collect data to suggest precautions related to reducing the disease load. Method - The study was completed with 127 patients separated into stages according to Clinical Dementia Rating Scale (CDR) criteria and 279 healthy volunteers aged 18-39 years and 70-80 years abiding by the exclusion criteria who agreed to participate in the research. Our prospective and cross-sectional study applied the CDR and mini mental test (MMSE) to patients with disorder in more than one cognitive area and possible AD diagnosis according to NINCDS-ADRDA (National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke-Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association) diagnostic criteria. The patient and control groups had skeletal muscle mass index (SMMI), muscle strength and physical performance assessed with sarcopenia diagnosis according to European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP) diagnostic criteria. Results - In our study, in parallel with the increase in disease stage of AD patients, the prevalence of sarcopenia (led by severe sarcopenia) and dynapenia was higher compared to a control group of similar age. Conclusion - In chronic, progressive diseases, like AD, identification of changes in parameters, like muscle mass and strength and reductions in physical performance in the early period, is important for identification and to take precautions in the initial stages considering the limitations of the preventive effects of treatment applied after diagnosis of AD.

Clinical Neuroscience

JANUARY 30, 2019

Additional value of tau protein measurement in the diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

CSEH Katalin Edina, VERES Gábor, DANICS Krisztina, SZALÁRDY Levente, NÁNÁSI Nikolett, KLIVÉNYI Péter, VÉCSEI László, ZÁDORI Dénes

Since the definite diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) can currently only be provided by autopsy, there is a special need for fine diagnostic tools in live patients to achieve accurate diagnosis as early as possible. The aim of this study was to perform a preliminary retrospective analysis on the utility of the measurement of total Tau (tTau) and some other biomarkers from the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with rapidly progressive dementia in the diagnostic work up of CJD. Beside the assessment of relevant clinical data and the findings of electroencephalography and brain magnetic resonance imaging, the presence of 14-3-3 protein and the levels of tTau were determined by Western blot technique and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay from the CSF of 19 patients diagnosed with rapidly progressive dementia between the period of 2004-2017 at the Department of Neurology, University of Szeged. This preliminary study provided 100% sensitivity for 14-3-3, and interestingly, only 40% specificity to support the clinical diagnosis of CJD. Regarding tTau, the sensitivity values were calculated to be 100% or 83%, whereas the specificity values were 71% or 86%, depending on the applied cut-off levels. The poor specificity of 14-3-3 is not in line with literature data and may be the result of the small number of patients in the cohort with non-prion disease, predominantly consisting of disorders with considerable tissue damage, whereas tTau presented good sensitivity and specificity values. The combined application of these and novel chemical biomarkers may increase both sensitivity and specificity to a desired level.

Lege Artis Medicinae

JANUARY 20, 2019

[Medical and supportive tasks for patients with severe dementia ]


[This summarizing paper demonstrates the main elements and tasks of severe dementia care of patients. Dementia care is provided on three levels of competence: level of specialist’s, that of physician’s and of caregiver’s/supporter’s. Because of increasing gravity of tasks during the progression of dementia the caregivers become(s) risk-persons from psychopathological points of views. The most important tasks of the everyday care are summarized in tables and the main factors of predominantly emotional character, which can limit the results are also demonstrated. Application of some up-to-date institutional solutions, which can optimize the patients’ care is also listed. Supposing an ever increasing burden of dementia care, author delivers an important message also for members of the younger generations. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

JANUARY 20, 2019

[Animal-assisted therapies for the treatment of elderly dementia ]


[The therapeutic value of the relationship between humans and animals should be considered in the cases of patients suffering from dementia with the onset in old age. This paper provides an overview of the animal assisted interventions in dementia. Reviews emphasize the positive effects of pet-keeping on mental and physical quality of life. However, it can also have adverse effects unless the pet is selected with caution. Regular animal assisted therapies within institutional framework provide a valuable potential programme for the patients in care. Articles published so far depict the physiological, social and psychological output variables of animal assisted therapies. The enhancement of social behavior is considered to be a specific factor of animal assisted therapies. Among the physiological symptoms the enhanced physical activity, the decrease of stress response and sympathic activation have been highlighted. Among the psychological functions reduction of state anxiety, mood lift and the reduction of negative emotions such as isolation and abandonment should be underlined. Acknowledging the available results, it seems that cognitive efficacy is less impacted directly by animal assisted therapies. However, promising results have been acquired in the alleviation of the behavioural and psychological symptoms related to dementia ]