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Lege Artis Medicinae

NOVEMBER 30, 2020

[Economic features of rewarding physicians – changing for fair incomes in Hungary ]

BALÁZS Péter

[Since ages, rewarding physicians was a crucial problem. Among true professionals (priests, legal experts, physicians and teachers) only medical doctors are necessarily working in physical terms, which generates permanent uncertainty about their remuneration. Old Age manual services (surgery, obstetrics) were paid by artisans’ standards while patients of faith-healing (by priest-doctors) presented religious offers according to their capacities. Hippocrates’ business ethics transformed this pattern as price elasticity for profane providers. During the Medieval Ages, governments issued also for physicians fee schedules or in some countries like Hungary they agreed free on remuneration with their patients. Thus, Hungary’s physicians experienced 1891 the implementation of the Bismarck type social health insurance as a real shock-wave generated by the depressed fee proposals. After the first hit, during the following 100 years Hungary committed all possible financial failures down to the fall of Communism in 1989. After the age (1949–1989) of socialism in the health care, general practitioners returned to the self-employed business however under heavy custody of a single payer public fi­nan­cing. Specialist in out and in-patient care (if they used this opportunity) were “li­cenced” for earning money on the quasi pri­vate market of the under-the-table informal business. Actually, only the private dentistry preserved its legal free market share and by the cross-border “dental-tourism” Hungary joined also the competitive international dental market. All other specialists demonstrate income discontent by requiring higher wages, working abroad or fuelling debates on accepting informal payments of “thankful” patients. Contrasted to dentistry, there are actually no economic standards to ponder physicians’ income expectations and compare them with purchasing power of public and private financing. This study shows first the historic evidence of the relevant golden standard and its continuity un-der the present circumstances however supressed for political reasons. It would be able to settle debates about the public employees’ wages of doctors caught out of the thin air. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

NOVEMBER 30, 2020

[The Comprehensive Aphasia Test in Hungarian]

ZAKARIÁS Lilla, RÓZSA Sándor, LUKÁCS Ágnes

[In this paper we present the Comprehensive Aphasia Test-Hungarian (CAT-H; Zakariás and Lukács, in preparation), an assessment tool newly adapted to Hungarian, currently under standardisation. The test is suitable for the assessment of an acquired language disorder, post-stroke aphasia. The aims of this paper are to present 1) the main characteristics of the test, its areas of application, and the process of the Hungarian adaptation and standardisation, 2) the first results from a sample of Hungarian people with aphasia and healthy controls. Ninety-nine people with aphasia, mostly with unilateral, left hemisphere stroke, and 19 neurologically intact control participants were administered the CAT-H. In addition, we developed a questionnaire assessing demographic and clinical information. The CAT-H consists of two parts, a Cognitive Screening Test and a Language Test. People with aphasia performed significantly worse than the control group in all language and almost all cognitive subtests of the CAT-H. Consistent with our expectations, the control group performed close to ceiling in all subtests, whereas people with aphasia exhibited great individual variability both in the language and the cognitive subtests. In addition, we found that age, time post-onset, and type of stroke were associated with cognitive and linguistic abilities measured by the CAT-H. Our results and our experiences clearly show that the CAT-H provides a comprehensive profile of a person’s impaired and intact language abilities and can be used to monitor language recovery as well as to screen for basic cognitive deficits in aphasia. We hope that the CAT-H will be a unique resource for rehabilitation professionals and aphasia researchers in aphasia assessment and diagnostics in Hungary. ]

Clinical Oncology

AUGUST 30, 2019

[Electrochemotherapy]

KIS Erika Gabriella

[Tumors with standard electrochemotherapy (ECT) has raised over the past decade from skin cancers to locally advanced or metastatic tumors. The procedure became a reliable alternative of other local tumor ablation methods, because of its patient tolerability, effi cacy across histotypes, and repeatability. ECT is based on the physical phenomenon of reversible electroporation; short electric pulses are applied to tumor nodules to achieve transient cell membrane permeabilization to otherwire poorly permeant chemotherapy drugs, which consequently increases cytotoxicity. At present recognized indications include superfi cial metastases of malignant melanoma, breast cancer, head and neck skin tumors, Kaposi sarcoma, primary and recurrent nonmelanoma skin cancers, and in well-selected patients mucosal oropharyngeal cancers. Emerging applications include skin metastases from visceral or hematological malignancies, vulvar cancer, certain benign skin lesions, and the combination of ECT with systemic immunotherapy. Thanks to the technical developments, the new ECT indications are deep-seated tumors, including bone metastases, liver malignancies, pancreatic and prostate cancers with the use of long needle variable geometry electrodes. Herein we review the present status of ECT from the basic principles to emerging applications, and report the effi cacy of standard ECT across histotypes.]

Clinical Neuroscience

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

Neuroscience highlights: Main cell types underlying memory and spatial navigation

KRABOTH Zoltán, KÁLMÁN Bernadette

Interest in the hippocampal formation and its role in navigation and memory arose in the second part of the 20th century, at least in part due to the curious case of Henry G. Molaison, who underwent brain surgery for intractable epilepsy. The temporal association observed between the removal of his entorhinal cortex along with a significant part of hippocampus and the developing severe memory deficit inspired scientists to focus on these regions. The subsequent discovery of the so-called place cells in the hippocampus launched the description of many other functional cell types and neuronal networks throughout the Papez-circuit that has a key role in memory processes and spatial information coding (speed, head direction, border, grid, object-vector etc). Each of these cell types has its own unique characteristics, and together they form the so-called “Brain GPS”. The aim of this short survey is to highlight for practicing neurologists the types of cells and neuronal networks that represent the anatomical substrates and physiological correlates of pathological entities affecting the limbic system, especially in the temporal lobe. For that purpose, we survey early discoveries along with the most relevant neuroscience observations from the recent literature. By this brief survey, we highlight main cell types in the hippocampal formation, and describe their roles in spatial navigation and memory processes. In recent decades, an array of new and functionally unique neuron types has been recognized in the hippocampal formation, but likely more remain to be discovered. For a better understanding of the heterogeneous presentations of neurological disorders affecting this anatomical region, insights into the constantly evolving neuroscience behind may be helpful. The public health consequences of diseases that affect memory and spatial navigation are high, and grow as the population ages, prompting scientist to focus on further exploring this brain region.

Clinical Neuroscience

JULY 30, 2020

[What happens to vertiginous population after emission from the Emergency Department?]

MAIHOUB Stefani, MOLNÁR András, CSIKÓS András, KANIZSAI Péter, TAMÁS László, SZIRMAI Ágnes

[Background – Dizziness is one of the most frequent complaints when a patient is searching for medical care and resolution. This can be a problematic presentation in the emergency department, both from a diagnostic and a management standpoint. Purpose – The aim of our study is to clarify what happens to patients after leaving the emergency department. Methods – 879 patients were examined at the Semmel­weis University Emergency Department with vertigo and dizziness. We sent a questionnaire to these patients and we had 308 completed papers back (110 male, 198 female patients, mean age 61.8 ± 12.31 SD), which we further analyzed. Results – Based on the emergency department diagnosis we had the following results: central vestibular lesion (n = 71), dizziness or giddiness (n = 64) and BPPV (n = 51) were among the most frequent diagnosis. Clarification of the final post-examination diagnosis took several days (28.8%), and weeks (24.2%). It was also noticed that 24.02% of this population never received a proper diagnosis. Among the population only 80 patients (25.8%) got proper diagnosis of their complaints, which was supported by qualitative statistical analysis (Cohen Kappa test) result (κ = 0.560). Discussion – The correlation between our emergency department diagnosis and final diagnosis given to patients is low, a phenomenon that is also observable in other countries. Therefore, patient follow-up is an important issue, including the importance of neurotology and possibly neurological examination. Conclusion – Emergency diagnosis of vertigo is a great challenge, but despite of difficulties the targeted and quick case history and exact examination can evaluate the central or peripheral cause of the balance disorder. Therefore, to prevent declination of the quality of life the importance of further investigation is high.]

Clinical Neuroscience

JULY 30, 2020

[Recurrent inhibition during Jendrassik maneuver]

LUKÁCS Miklós

[Objective – Conflicting theoretical models exist regarding the mechanism related to the ability of the Jendrassik maneuver to reinforce reflex parameters. Our objective was to investigate if vigorous handgrip would induce changes in recurrent inhibition of soleus motoneurons. Method – Soleus H reflex was evoked by stimulating the tibial nerve at rest and during bilateral vigorous handgrip, alternating single (H1) and paired stimulation (H2). At paired stimulation we used interstimulus intervals of 10, 15, 20 and 25 ms and supramaximal test stimulus. H1- and H2-wave amplitudes were expressed as percentage of maximal M-wave amplitude. Conditioned H2 wave maximal (H2max) and minimal (H2) amplitudes evoked at rest and expressed as a percentage of the unconditioned H1max amplitude were compared with the corresponding values obtained during handgrip by means of paired Student test and Bonferroni correction. Subjects – At the study participated 28 healthy volunteers. Results – The H1max/Mmax × 100 values obtained during handgrip (37.5±10.1) were significantly higher than those obtained at rest (27.1±7.4). The H2max/H1max × 100-va­lues obtained at paired stimulation were significantly higher during handgrip than at rest, while no significant diffe­rence was found between the H2/H1max × 100-values obtained during handgrip and at rest respectively. Discussion – The H2max/H1max is determined by both the excitability of the motoneurons and the recurrent inhibition elicited by the conditioning stimulus, while H2/H1max indicates only the level of recurrent inhibition. According to our results the Renshaw cells retain their inhibitory effect on the soleus alpha motoneurons during remote muscle contraction. Conclusion – Soleus H reflex enhancement during Jendrassik maneuver is not due to decrease of recurrent inhibition. ]

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.

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.