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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

NOVEMBER 15, 2019

[Hypertension in the elderly ]

BARNA István

[Elevated isolated systolic pressure is the most common and greatest cardiovascular risk factor with age. The prevalence of hypertension increases with age and ex­ceeds 60% over 70 years. Proper treatment of hypertension in the elderly, even in very old age (> 80 years), increases life expectancy and reduces the risk of cardiovascular events. For patients over 65 years of age, the target blood pressure range is between 130-139 / 70-80 mmHg if the patient tolerates the treatment. In elderly patients with poorer conditions, systolic blood pressure may be <150 mmHg. White-coat hypertension is common, nondipper ratio is increased, autonomic nervous system dysregulation is more common, and orthostatic decrease of blood pressure. The renal function is decreased or already impaired, often resulting in poorer therapeutic cooperation due to impaired cognitive function. The blood pressure lowering effect of targeted lifestyle changes may be the same as medication monotherapy, with the main disadvantage of decreasing adherence over time, for which a proper physician-patient relationship is essential. First-line agents for the treatment of elderly hypertension include angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors), angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), long-acting calcium channel blockers, and thiazide, thiazide-like diuretics. Beta-blockers should be used in the treatment of elderly hypertension if they have other indications (coronary heart disease, heart failure, arrhythmias). More than 70% of hypertensive patients should use combination therapy to achieve target blood pressure. Take advantage of fixed dose combination to improve compliance to optimize treatment. ]

Hypertension and nephrology

FEBRUARY 20, 2019

[Carvedilol in chronic kidney disease]

CSIKY Botond

[Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is endemic affecting 850 million people worldwide. Adequate antihypertensive treatment slows the progression of the kidney disease and also decreases the mortality of this population. Because of the comorbidities and the high cardiovascular risk beta-blockers have to be administered frequently in these patients. Carvedilol is a 3rd generation non-selective beta-blocker with alpha- 1 receptor blocking and antioxidant properties. It is metabolically neutral, it does not increase the risk of new onset diabetes and it does not increase the patients’ body weight. In some animal models of CKD and in several human CKD studies carvedilol has shown to have nephroprotective properties and it also decreased the cardiovascular risk in combination therapies.]

Clinical Neuroscience

NOVEMBER 30, 2017

[Alemtuzumab therapy 2017]

BIERNACKI Tamás, BENCSIK Krisztina, SANDI Dániel, VÉCSEI László

[Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, immune-mediated disease of the central nervous system comprising of inflammation, demyelinisation and neurodegeneration. The natural history of MS is heterogenous. Owing to the vast range and severity of the symptoms MS can cause the effect of the disease on one’s cognitive and physical status is unpredictable. According to the new, phenotype based classification two subgroups can be distinguished; relapsing-remitting (RR) and progressive MS. Relapsing-remitting MS can be further divided into active and inactive disease. The activity of the disease can be proven either clinically and/or by radiological means. A patient’s disease is considered inactive, if it fulfills the criteriae set in the “no evidence of disease activity-3” (NEDA-3) concept, meaning that no progression can be seen on the MRI scans, the patient is relapse free and there is no worsening on any disability scale. Nowadays a paradigm shift can be seen in the treatment of MS. The aim of this shift is to provide each and every patient with the most potent medication best suiting his/her illness as soon as possible. Alemtuzumab offers a great option as either a first line treatment or as escalation therapy for patients with a highly active disease. The efficacy of alemtuzumab was proven in two phase III trials (CARE-MS I, II), where it was compared to subcutaneous interferon b-1a, administered three times weekly. In both studies alemtuzumab was superior to subcutaneous interferon b-1a in terms of relapse rate reduction, in all scouted MRI parameters. In the CARE-MS II trial it was found superior in terms of progression slowing. In the studies’ first 2 years 32% and 39% of the alemtuzumab treated patients managed to achieve the NEDA-3 state (data from CARE-MS II and I respectively). At the end of the 4 year extension of both studies these numbers have increased to 60% and 55% respectively. The aim of our synopsis is to suggest neurologists an evidence based guideline, a therapeutic algorithm to be used when they give their MS patients the very best, personalised treatment, and also to appoint the recently introduced alemtuzumab to its proper place in the algorithm.]

Hypertension and nephrology

OCTOBER 20, 2017

[Therapy of isolated systolic hypertension III.]


[In the elderly and very elderly (˃80 yrs), a wealth of data from large clinical trials are available, showing the necessity of treatment mostly with drug combinations - fix-combinations are preferred for increasing the adherence/persistence to therapy. Using diuretics, ACE-inhibitors/ARBs with calcium antagonists, and in special cases diuretics and beta blockers are also suggested by recent European guidelines (ESH, HSH). The target is <140 mmHg, but in octogenarians <150 mmHg. Some studies are pressing for even lower SBP (to around 120 mm Hg), but it seems to be wise to balance advantages/disadvantages, so the optimal SBP may be around 130 mmHg.]

Hypertension and nephrology

MAY 20, 2017

[Isolated systolic hypertension in children and young adults I.]


[Prevalence of the isolated increase in systolic blood pressure ≥140 mmHg with normal or low diastolic blood pressure ≤80 mmHg, is defined as isolated systolic hypertension. Its prevalence increases with age up to >90% in patients aged >90 years. Isolated systolic hypertension is also found in the young and the clinical significance of it is still debated. For the therapy, those drugs should be used which have a license for use in children: angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin AT-1 receptor antagonists, calcium channel blockers beta-blockers and diuretics and their combinations. The young adults with isolated systolic hypertension had a much higher risk of dying from coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease, then the normotensive individuals, and should be treated to normalise their blood pressure. In the elderly and very elderly (>80 yrs), a wealth of data from large clinical trials are available, showing the necessity of treatment mostly with drug combinations - fix-combinations are preferred for increasing the adherence / persistence to therapy. Using diuretics, ACE-inhibitors / ARBs with calcium antagonists, and when needed diuretics and beta-blockers are suggested by recent European guidelines. The target is <140 mmHg, but in octogenarians <150 mmHg. Some studies are pressing for even lower SBP (to around 120 mm Hg), but it seems to be wise to balance advantages / disadvantages, so the optimal SBP may be around 130 mmHg.]

Clinical Neuroscience

MAY 30, 2017

[EEG-based cerebral networks in 14 neurological disorders]

DÖMÖTÖR Johanna, CLEMENS Béla, CSÉPÁNY Tünde, EMRI Miklós, FOGARASI András, HOLLÓDY Katalin, PUSKÁS Szilvia, FEKETE Klára, KOVÁCS Attila, FEKETE István

[Background - Brain networks have not been systematically investigated yet in most neurological disorders. Purpose - To investigate EEG functional connectivity (EEGfC) networks in 14 neurological disorders. Patients - Potentially eligible patients were collected from clinical and EEG databases. All the available clinical data and EEG records were critically revised. All the patients who suffered of a single neurological disorder (out of the 14) and had a good quality EEG recording entered the study. Confoundig factors as comorbidity and CNS-active drug effects were eliminated as far as possible. EEG analysis - Three minutes of resting-state, waking EEG activity were selected for analysis. Current source density (CSD) values were computed for 2394 cortical voxels by Low Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography (LORETA). Thereafter, Pearson correlation coefficients were computed between all pairs of 23 cortical regions of interest (ROI) in each hemisphere (LORETA Source Correlation, LSC software). Computation was carried out for conventional EEG broad bands and very narrow bands (1 Hz bandwidth) between 1 and 25 Hz as well. Correlation coefficients of each group were statistically compared to our normative EEG (LSC) database by two-talied t-tests. Bonferroni-corrected p<0.05 values were accepted as statistically significant, and were graphically displayed as topographical networks. Results and conclusion - Group-specific networks were demonstrated. However, non-specific networks, charasteristic for most groups, were detected as well. Common finding were: decreased connectivity in the alpha band and increased connectivity in the delta, theta bands and upper-beta band. Decreased alpha-band connectivity presumably reflected primary lesional effects and on the other hand, non-specific vulnerability of “rich club connections”. Increased connectivity in the slow bands presumably indicated adaptive-compensatory activity of brain homeostasis. ]

Hypertension and nephrology

DECEMBER 20, 2016

[Hypertension and atrial fibrillation]

SZŐKE Vince Bertalan, BARACSI-BOTOS Viktória, JÁRAI Zoltán

[Hypertension is the most important independent risk factor of atrial fibrillation, the most common clinically significant arrhythmia. Increased atrial wall tension, myocardium remodelling, activation of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) and fibrotic remodelling are possible hypertension induced mechanisms which can contribute to developing atrial fibrillation. Knowing the relation of hypertension to atrial fibrillation is crucial in the need for effective and up-to-date therapeutic strategies. RAAS inhibitors and beta blockers prevent atrial fibrillation not only by lowering blood pressure but partly due to the inhibition of the above mentioned mechanisms. Complications of hypertension, such as left ventricular hypertrophy and hypertensive cardiomyopathy are substantially limiting the number of drugs that can be used for rhythm control. In most cases in the presence of hypertension initiation of anticoagulation therapy is necessary too.]

Journal of Nursing Theory and Practice

APRIL 30, 2015

[Intracystic brachytherapy of cystic brain tumors by image fusion method- intracavital beta irradiation of 90-Yttrium solution]


[Aim of the research: The authors aimed to gain acceptance, effectiveness testing and the timetable of the shrinking of the cysts for the treatment procedure of patients with cystic craniopharyngeoma. The procedure utilizes intracavitary beta irradiation by 90Y colloidal solution. Image fusion was used for the first time for the guidance and control of the intra cystic irradiation of brain tumors. The authors also examined the use of the image fusion for brachytherapy of brain tumors before, during, and months or even years after surgery and to patient follow up. Research and sampling methods: 130 craniopharyngeoma cyst was irradiated with the Yttrium-90 colloidal solution in 84 patients. The internal wall of the cyst were getting a load of 180-300 Gy. The volumes of the cysts were followed almost over 30 years by the control of CT-MRI image fusion. For the planning of the irradiation the authors developed their own software and BrainLab was used for the CT-MRI-PET image fusion. For the mathematical and statistical calculation Matlab and MedCalc soft wares were utilized. Results: The results were from 130, 90Y β stereotactic intracavitary irradiation of cystic craniopharyngiomas. As per cystic CRF volume the volume reduction exceeded 80 %. The mean survival rate following 90-Y irradiation was 7.5 years. Large-scale shrinkage of craniopharyngioma cysts were observed significantly, following 6 months. Conclusions: According to long term clinical experience the intracavitary 90 Yttrium brachytherapy is a relatively non-invasive and effective mode for the recurrent cystic craniopharyngeoma therapy. Procedures where isotope get implanted, qualify in all aspects of a minimally invasive therapy.]