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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.

Lege Artis Medicinae

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

[Frequency and risk factors of “de novo” tumors after kidney transplantation ]


[After kidney transplantation, the administration of immunosuppressive therapy not only renders the patient susceptible to infections, but it may also damage the function of tumor cell recognition and elimination. Our study was performed at the Department of Surgery, University of Szeged. After establishing the inclusion criteria, 570 patients were involved in the study. We examined the age, sex, immunosuppressive therapy of the patients, and searched for the rela­tionship between the different immunosuppressive agents and the type of the tumor. In 81 cases, de novo cancer was diagnosed. Among patients treated with cyclosporin and tacrolimus there was no significant difference in the mean age (p = 0.734) and body mass index (p = 0.543). There was no significant difference in graft function between the two groups of patients (Tac vs Cyc; 44 vs 20). Related to the time passed since the trans­plantation to diagnosing the tumors the earliest were prostate and cervix cancers however without significant difference. Skin cancers are the most frequent followed by post-transplant lym­pho­prolife­ra­tive diseases. The increasing risk of developing tumors is mainly due to immunosuppressive therapy. ]

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.]

Hypertension and nephrology

JUNE 24, 2020

[Covid-19 and the kidney]

PATÓ Éva, DEÁK György

[Covid-19 pandemy has emerged from Wuhan, China in December 2019. The infection affects not only the lung but other organs such as the kidney, as well. The relation between Covid-19 infection and the kidney is bidirectional. On one hand, Covid-19 infection may cause kidney damage in 50-75% of the cases resulting in proteinuria, haematuria and acute kidney injury (AKI). The etiology of AKI is multifactorial. Main pathogenic mechanisms are direct proximal tubular cell damage, sepsis-related haemodinamic derangement, citokine storm and hypercoagulability. The virus enters proximal tubular cells and podocytes via the ACE2 receptor followed by multiplication in the lysomes and consequential cell lesion. Histopathology shows acute tubular necrosis and acute tubulointerstitial nephritis. AKI is a strong predictor of mortality in critically ill patients. On the other hand, the risk of Covid-19 infection and mortality is substantially increased in patients with chronic kidney disease – especially in those with a kidney transplant or on dialysis – due to their immunocompromised status. Among haemodialysis patients, infection may spread very easily due to the possibility of getting contacted in the ambulance car or at the dialysis unit. The mortality rate of patients on renal replacement therapy with Covid-19 infection is 20-35%. In order to avoid mass infection it is obligatory to employ preventive measures and implement restricions along with (cohors) isolation of infected patients. In Hungary, every dialysis or kidney transplant patient with Covid-19 infection should be admitted to dedicated Covid-19 wards.]

Clinical Neuroscience

JULY 30, 2020

Life threatening rare lymphomas presenting as longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis: a diagnostic challenge

TOLVAJ Balázs, HAHN Katalin, NAGY Zsuzsanna, VADVÁRI Árpád, CSOMOR Judit, GELPI Ellen, ILLÉS Zsolt, GARZULY Ferenc

Background and aims – Description of two cases of rare intravascular large B-cell lymphoma and secondary T-cell lymphoma diagnosed postmortem, that manifested clinically as longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (LETM). We discuss causes of diagnostic difficulties, deceptive radiological and histological investigations, and outline diagnostic procedures based on our and previously reported cases. Case reports – Our first case, a 48-year-old female was admitted to the neurological department due to paraparesis. MRI suggested LETM, but the treatments were ineffective. She died after four weeks because of pneumonia and untreatable polyserositis. Pathological examination revealed intravascular large B-cell lymphoma (IVL). Our second case, a 61-year-old man presented with headache and paraparesis. MRI showed small bitemporal lesions and lesions suggesting LETM. Diagnostic investigations were unsuccessful, including tests for possible lymphoma (CSF flow cytometry and muscle biopsy for suspected IVL). Chest CT showed focal inflammation in a small area of the lung, and adrenal adenoma. Brain biopsy sample from the affected temporal area suggested T-cell mediated lymphocytic (paraneoplastic or viral) meningoencephalitis and excluded diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. The symptoms worsened, and the patient died in the sixth week of disease. The pathological examination of the presumed adenoma in the adrenal gland, the pancreatic tail and the lung lesions revealed peripheral T-cell lymphoma, as did the brain and spinal cord lesions. Even at histological examination, the T-cell lymphoma had the misleading appearance of inflammatory condition as did the MRI. Conclusion – Lymphoma can manifest as LETM. In cases of etiologically unclear atypical LETM in patients older than 40 years, a random skin biopsy (with subcutaneous adipose tissue) from the thigh and from the abdomen is strongly recommended as soon as possible. This may detect IVL and provide the possibility of prompt chemotherapy. In case of suspicion of lymphoma, parallel examination of the CSF by flow cytometry is also recommended. If skin biopsy is negative but lymphoma suspicion remains high, biopsy from other sites (bone marrow, lymph nodes or adrenal gland lesion) or from a simultaneously existing cerebral lesion is suggested, to exclude or prove diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, IVL, or a rare T-cell lymphoma.

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

NOVEMBER 20, 2015

[A rare complication of a rare disease; stroke due to relapsing polychondritis]


[Relapsing polychondritis (RP) is an episodic and progressive inflammatory disease of cartilaginous structures. Its diagnosis is based primarily on clinical features such as laboratory parameters, biopsy. Neurological complications occur in 3% of the cases and are classified as an important cause of death. The cranial nerve disorders are most common but hemiplegia, ataxia, myelitis, polyneuritis, seizures, confusion, hallucination and headache can also happen. The aetiology of central nervous system involvement is still unknown. Moreover stroke has rarely reported in these patients. The diagnosis of stroke is challenging because of its rarity among these patients. Perhaps vasculitis is the common underlying mechanism. Also meningitis and encephalitis can occur during the course of RP. A 44 year-old woman was admitted with uncontemplated left hemiparesis, redness, swelling, and tenderness of the metacarpophalangeal and interphalangeal joints of the right hand and the cartilaginous portion. White blood cell count, C-reactive protein and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate were elevated. Vasculitis biomarkers were normal in our patient. Carotid and vertebral artery doppler ultrasonography, cranial and cervical MR Angiography were normal. Echocardiography showed a mild mitral valve prolapse and regurgitation. Our patient had the history of auricular polychondritis but she had not been diagnosed. Hemiparesis was her first neurological manifestation that led her to doctors for diagnosis. Our patient fulfilled the criteria of RP so no biopsy was needed. She was treated with oral prednisolone (80 mg/day) and aspirin (300 mg/day) and now she is on 10 mg prednisolone and 150 mg azathioprine. Two months later her physical and neurological symptoms returned to normal.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

APRIL 18, 2020

[What is worth to know about COVID-19 for (not only) a cardiologist]

HEPP Tamás, CSÉKE Balázs, BENCZÚR Béla

[SARS-CoV-2 virus infection sprang from Wuhan the capital of the Chinese Hubei province, at the end of 2019 and caused a worldwide pandemic with 1.5 million confirmed cases and claimed almost 100 000 victims until the beginning of April, 2020. First analyses of Chinese COVID-patients confirmed that diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases were highly prevalent among SARS-CoV2 infected patients, and might be associated with poor outcome. As previously shown for SARS-CoV-1, SARS-CoV-2 similarly utilizes ACE2 as receptor for viral alveolar cell entry. A suspicion has arisen that the widely used ACE-inhibitor/ARB therapy could be potentially harmful for patients suffering from COVID-19 infection as these agents upregulate the ACE2-expressions. From the other point RAAS-blockade might be beneficial due to fact that ACE2 counters the deleterious effects of Angiotensin II. Authors provide a comprehensive over­view of the most recent literature and summarize the link between COVID-19 and car­diovascular disease. It is important to em­phasize that there are no available hu­man evidences confirming if the RAAS-in­hi­bitor therapy were harmful or helpful in pa­tients suffering from COVID-19.]

Clinical Neuroscience

MARCH 30, 2020

CANOMAD syndrome with respiratory failure

SALAMON András, DÉZSI Lívia, RADICS Bence, VARGA Tímea Edina, HORTOBÁGYI Tibor, TÖMÖSVÁRI Adrienn, VÉCSEI László, KLIVÉNYI Péter, RAJDA Cecília

CANOMAD (chronic ataxic neuropathy, ophthalmoplegia, M-protein agglutination, disialosyl antibodies) syndrome is a rare polyneuropathy. IgM paraproteins react with ganglioside-containing disialylated epitopes resulting in dorsal root ganglionopathy and B-lymphocyte infiltration of cranial and peripheral nerves. Clinical features include ataxia, slight muscle weakness, areflexia, sensory- and cranial nerve symptoms. Case studies have reported the efficacy of rituximab and intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) treatments. We present the case of a 57-year-old man, who had difficulty walking, with numbness and clumsiness in all limbs. He had areflexia, vibratory sensation loss and ataxia. Laboratory tests showed IgM monoclonal components and disialosyl antibodies in the serum. Nerve conduction studies indicated severe sensorimotor demyelinating polyneuroradiculopathy. Despite IVIg and rituximab treatments, the patient’s disease course gradually worsened and he died of respiratory failure. Neuropathological examination revealed dorsal column- and dorsal root atrophy with mixed mononuclear cell infiltration. This article aims to draw attention to this syndrome, and the use of early potent immunosuppressive treatment to improve patients’ quality of life.

Clinical Oncology

APRIL 10, 2019

[New perspectives in the treatment of lung cancer]

SZONDY Klára, BOGOS Krisztina

[In recent years, huge research is going on in the fi eld of oncology and as a result, we can see a signifi cantly longer survival in this area of medicine. Lung cancer, which has been taken places in the back for decades, it has not become a curable disease, but begins to belong to the chronic diseases. As a result of brilliant surgical technics and stereotactic radiotherapy, or as a result of changes in drug treatment, 5-year survival is not uncommon in metastatic lung cancer patients, next to relatively long progression free survive. After the third-generation cytotoxic combinations the added growth inhibition (VEGF inhibitor) maintenance therapy or continuous pemetrexed cytotoxic chemotherapy were resulted in high survival benefi ts. The fi rst real breakthrough, long progression-free survival was achieved by targeted treatment, which proved to be effective with known driver mutations. The other great result, especially in squamous cell carcinoma, was the immunotherapy, the inhibition of immune checkpoints, which effi cacy was confi rmed in adenocarcinoma also. Several studies are going on with adjuvant or neoadjuvant immunotherapy, and combined use of immunotherapy (either in combination with radiotherapy or cytotoxic chemotherapy).]