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Clinical Neuroscience

NOVEMBER 30, 2020

[Covid-19 associated neurological disorders]

SZÔTS Mónika, PÉTERFI Anna, GERÖLY Júlia, NAGY Ferenc

[The clinical signs of SARS-CoV-2 infection has become more recognisable in recent times. In addition to common symptoms such as fever, cough, dyspnea, pneumonia and ageusia, less common complications can be identified, including many neurological manifestations. In this paper, we discuss three Covid-19 associated neurological disorders (Case 1: Covid-19 encephalitis, Case 2: Covid-19 organic headache, Case 3: SARS-CoV-2-infection and ischaemic stroke). We emphasize in our multiple case study that during the present pandemic, it is especially important for neurologists to be aware of the nervous system complications of the virus infection, thus saving unnecessary examinations and reducing the frequency of patients’ contact with health care personnel. ]

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

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

[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.]

Clinical Neuroscience

NOVEMBER 30, 2016

NMDA-receptor associated encephalitis in a woman with mature cystic ovarian teratoma


Introduction - N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDA-R) antibody-associated encephalitis has been reported in the international neurological literature to be associated with mature or immature ovarian teratomas (OTs). However, few cases of encephalitis were diagnosed in Hungary. In 2011 Hollody et al. described the first case of anti-NMDA receptor associated encephalitis in Hungary. Objective - Our aim was to present a case of NMDA-R antibody-mediated encephalitis in a woman with OT thereby providing information facilitating diagnosis of OT in women, who present with symptoms of encephalitis. Case - We report the case of a 25 year-old women, who developed NMDA-R -antibody associated autoimmune encephalitis and who displayed confusion, disorientation, a behavioural disturbance with agitation and features of paranoia and at least one reported generalized tonic clonic seizure and orofacial dyskinesia. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a functional ovarian cyst measuring 3.3 cm, which was removed surgically and demonstrated histologically to be a mature cystic OT. The serum was positive for antibodies to NMDA receptors. Following intravenous immunoglobulin treatment, oophorectomy and a 5-day course of plasma exchange, followed by corticosteroid and azathioprine immunosuppressive therapy, the patient displayed a significant clinical improvement. Conclusion - Cystic teratomas are common benign ovarian lesions in women of reproductive age. Although the association of OTs and NMDA-R antibody-associated encephalitis has been described in the international neurological literature, this relationship needs to be considered from on the interdisciplinary aspect by the health care providers.

Clinical Neuroscience

JULY 30, 2016

Four cases of GABAB receptor encephalitis

SZŐTS Mónika, MORTEN Blaabjerg, KONDZIELLA Daniel, DIÓSZEGHY Péter, BAJZIK Gábor, BERKI Tímea, KÁLMÁN Endre, NAGY Ferenc, ILLÉS Zsolt

GABAB receptor (gamma-aminobutyric acid type B receptors - GABABR) encephalitis is a rare manifestation of autoimmune encephalitides. We report four cases - including the first two Hungarian patients - with some peculiar features. One patient developed subacute disorientation and almost complete loss of short-term memory, but no epilepsy. Without immunotherapy, his memory spontaneously improved up to mild cognitive impairment in six weeks. GABABR antibodies persisted in his serum, and 18 months later, FDG-PET detected abnormal mediastinal lymph nodes and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Another patient had persistently decreased sodium content in the peripheral blood. In those three patients who died, CSF was abnormal, but CSF was not pathological in the patient, who spontaneously improved. Brain MRI indicated signal intensity changes in the medial temporal areas in three cases. SCLC was found in three patients. Only the patient, who spontaneously improved, survived for more than 24 months. In summary, our cases show that (i) GABABR encephalitis may develop without epilepsy; (ii) the severe short-term memory loss can spontaneously improve; (iii) persistent hyponatremia can be present in the blood; (iv) the patient with benign course without epilepsy and CSF abnormality survived; (v) spontaneously remitting encephalitis can precede SCLC by 1.5 year, which emphasizes that repeated search for cancer is of paramount importance even in cases with spontaneous improvement.

Lege Artis Medicinae

JUNE 20, 2016

[Neurological symptoms in a patient with treated multiple myeloma]


[INTRODUCTION - Meningeal infiltration by multiple myeloma is rare. Its incidence among cases of multiple myeloma is 1%. CASE REPORT - Multiple myeloma was diagnosed in a 53-year-old woman in December 2014. After chemotherapy, the disease was treated with autologous bone marrow transplantation in June 2015. Remission was observed through two months, but in August the patient was hospitalized due to severe headache with neck stiffness. Meningitis or viral encephalitis were suspected following her investigation. She was taken to the Intensive Care Unit because of a progression to status epilepticus. The EEG-examination revealed generalized slow wave activity and a right temporal epileptiform focus manifesting rarely. Clinical brain death developed on the 17th day in hospital. DISCUSSION - Although meningeal infiltration is infrequent in multiple myeloma, the present case report draws attention to this possibility. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

MARCH 20, 2016

[Tuberculous meningoencephalitis in a toddler child]

REISZ Zita, GÁL Péter, TAJTI Zsanett, TERHES Gabriella, URBÁN Edit, KISS Ildikó, BARZÓ Pál, KIS Dávid, SENONER Zsuzsanna, SZABÓ Nóra, SZAPPANOS Norbert, TISZLAVICZ László

[INTRODUCTION - Central nervous system complications occur in 1% of patients with Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, but the mortality is very high, about 50 percent. CASE REPORT - A 1-year-old child in tenebrous condition was admitted to the hospital with suspicion of meningitis. MRI detected disseminated encephalitis and dilated ventricles. Examination of the serum and cerebrospinal fluid didn’t bring any results. The microscopic examination of the brain biopsy raised the possibility of tuberculous meningoencephalitis, and the culture and PCR from the brain tissue revealed meningoencephalitis caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis Beijing. DISCUSSION - Tuberculous meningitis is a very rare, but severe consequence of extrapulmonary tuberculosis. Due to the high mortality, early diagnosis and whenever suspected, the use of empiric antituberculotic therapy are the only chances of recovery.]

Clinical Neuroscience

SEPTEMBER 30, 2015

Extreme delta brush EEG pattern in a case with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis


Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor NMDA-R encephalitis is caused by antibodies against the NMDA-R and characterized by a severe encephalopathy with psychosis, epileptic seizures and autonomic disturbances. This disorder is often accompanied with malignancies, especially ovarian teratoma. Some patients’ EEGs show a different pattern similar to the waveforms of premature infants and this pattern is specifically named as extreme delta brush (EDB). We report a 24-year-old female having anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis and EDB patern.

Clinical Neuroscience

JULY 30, 2015

[LGI1 encephalitis: the first Hungarian patient]

SZŐTS Mónika, MARTON Annamária, ILLÉS Zsolt, BAJZIK Gábor, NAGY Ferenc

[In the recent years, it has been increasingly recognised that in a group of limbic encephalitis antibodies are directed against the scaffolding protein LGI1 (Leucine-rich glioma inactivated 1), which is part of the voltage gated potassium channel (VGKC) complex on neural synapses. Patients present with seizures and subacute history of neuropsychiatric symptoms, including psychosis and changes in memory, cognition, behaviour. Faciobrachial dystonic seizures can be observed, which are highly characteristic for LGI1 encephalitis. MRI shows medial temporal abnormalities in more than half of the cases. CSF evaluation is usually normal. Hyponatremia is frequently associated and may confuse the initial diagnosis. Early recognition and prompt initiation of immunotherapies are of great importance. The clinical improvements often correlate with the antibody levels. We present the case of a 64-year old man, who responded quickly to plasma exchange and major improvement was noted within few weeks.]