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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. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

OCTOBER 21, 2020

[Atherosclerosis: an ancient process in a new interpretation]


[The progress of atherosclerosis starts in childhood and lasts until the body dies. Most cardiovascular diseases and deaths can be traced back to atherosclerotic vascular changes. The process is thousands of years old, but its complex pathophysiology becomes recognized and realised only nowadays. Based on the evidence available today, atherosclerosis is such a chronic inflammatory disease of large- and medium-sized arteries, which is characterized by lipoproteins and immune cells transformed through oxidative and other changes and subendothelial accumulation of extracellular matrix. Innate and adaptive immunity provide a complex regulating system of atherogenesis, which while directing specifically the pro-atherogenic inflammatory and atheroprotective anti-inflammatory processes intensify plaque progression or even stabilize them respectively. With our growing knowledge about the pathology of atherogenesis, we can further improve the identification of cardiovascular risk conditions and apply more personalized therapeutic strategies.]

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.

Hypertension and nephrology

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

[Post-career development of cardiometabolic changes and hypertension in competitive athletes]


[Regular physical activity is essential in delaying the aging processes (e.g. arterial remodelling – stiffening, metabolism, bodyweight), the beneficial effects of competitive sports – especially strength sports – according to the recent data of the literature are questionable. The beneficial effects of physical activity on the cardiovascular (CV) system are well known, however less is known regarding the delayed impacts of high intensity competitive sports on the CV system, especially after the sport career is over. This review summarizes the effects of active competitive sport and the post-career period on the cardiometabolic system with special attention to the systemic blood pressure and the development of metabolic syndrome. After sport career, the welldeveloped high performance cardiovascular- and metabolic system suddenly is much less used, but still supported by sport-level diet. It is well known that hypertension is a significant pathogenic factor in the development of cardiovascular diseases, characterized – among others – by reduced elasticity of large- and medium- sized vessels thereby importantly contributing to the development of systolic hypertension. Inflammation and thrombus formation both play an important role in the development of vascular injury and atherosclerosis. The increased tone of microvessels can impair the blood supply of certain organs, including the coronary circulation. It has been ample shown, that regular non-competitive, aerobic exercise activities are important factors in preventing hypertension. Such pathological changes become more evident after the development of post-career obesity, as well as the development of hypertension due to the activation of the renin-angiotensin system through sodium retention and other metabolic changes (increased glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, type II diabetes mellitus). It has been ample shown, that regular non-competitive, dynamic aerobic exercise activities are important factors in preventing hypertension. The frequency, intensity, type, and time (FITT) principle of exercise prescription is the first and common therapeutic approach, which represents the translation of cardiovascular basic science research results into hypertension treatment, thus can provide a personalized physical activity program/therapy according to medical needs not just for the post-career sportspersons, but the wide range of patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

JANUARY 30, 2016

[Financing of medicines for treatment of rare diseases of the nervous system. orphan drugs in rare neurological diseases]


[Objectives – Nervous system involvement is expected up to 60-70% in case of rare diseases. This article aims to present the financial methods and expenditures of rare neurological diseases’ orphan medicinal products being financed in the frame of Hungarian social insurance system in 2012. Methods – The subsidized orphan medicines were selected on the Orphanet portal 2012 while orphans financed by compessionate use were provided by the Hungarian National Insurance Fund Administration (OEP) database. Three products exist without orphan designation, however those are intended for the treatment of rare neurological ailments. The medicines were categorized by financial methods and determined by costs. Results – Numerically, out of 36 pieces of subsidized orphan or orphan criteria fulfilled medicines 17 were authorized for the treatments of rare neurological diseases in the year of 2012. Most of the drugs (14 pieces) were to be financed in the frame of compassionate use by the reimbursement system. The cost amount of social insurance for 387 rare neurological disease patients reached more than 4.5 billion HUF (1.4% of the total pharmaceutical budget in outpatient care). Conclusions – In Hungary half of the subsidized orphans are intended for the treatments of rare neurological ailments. 30% of the total amount of social insurance for rare diseases’ medicinal treatments were used to subsidizing rare neurological disease patients in 2012. Most of the orphan medicines were to be financed in the frame of compassionate use by the reimbursement system for outpatient care. Consequently, a great deal of crucial problems occurred in relation with the unconventional subsidizing method. At the end of 2012 new financial methods have been elaborated and introduced in a pilot phase from 1 January 2013. In spite of the high cost commitment, nearly the entire diagnosed rare disease subpopulation have been provided with subsidized treatments in Hungary. In order to facilitate the acces to orphan medicines, collaboration shall be achieved by financing authority and professionals for identificating the descently sustainable, affordable and viable financial method. ]

Journal of Nursing Theory and Practice

FEBRUARY 28, 2019

[Efficient employee performance appraisal systems]

SÁRGA Norbert Zétény

[A well-functioning performance appraisal system and information obtained from it will provide support for executive decisions. Developing the performance appraisal system, not only the definition of performance is a key factor, but also the steps to be taken to shape it; such as the purpose for which the performance appraisal system is to be used, the method of evaluating who the members of the evaluation system are. This paper presents the various evaluation techniques and methods; the importance and effective application of the written and oral evaluations as well as the evaluation interview. Furthermore, the difficulties encountered in the evaluations and the evaluation mistakes are described. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

JUNE 07, 2021

[Hypertension, COPD and COVID-19. Focus on antihypertensive therapy]


[Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a very common comorbidity of hypertension and it is often unrecognised by physicians. The factors involved in the pathomechanism of both diseases should be realised when choosing treatment. Among factors, hypoxia, increased tone of sympathetic nervous system and activation of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system should primarily be considered. Vascular wall damage and endothelial dysfunction has an important role in both conditions. The goals of treatment are elimination of risk factors, optimizing the blood pressure, the consequential prevention of cardio-cerebrovascular, renal and pulmonary damage; finally prolonging the patients’ life and improving their quality of life as well. Both hypertension and COPD significantly worsen the condition of COVID-19 patients since they increase the severity of the disease and the rate of in-patients’ and their mortality. In the treatment of hypertension among COPD and COVID-19 patients there must be emphasized the medication inhibiting of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, such as angiotensin-converting en­zyme inhibitors or angiotensin-II AT1 re­cep­tor antagonists. Special attention concerned the beneficial effect of mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist spironolactone. Other antihypertensive drugs (calcium channel blockers, thiazide-like diu­retics, high selectivity β1 receptor antagonists) may supplement the treatment if necessary. Long-acting β2 receptor agonists, muscarinic receptor antagonists and inhalation corticosteroids may be administered in double or triple combination also in hypertension and COPD as well. It is important to note, that statin therapy and also vitamin D3 improve the condition of COVID-19 patients.]

Hypertension and nephrology

DECEMBER 19, 2020

[Possibility of ARNI (angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitor) treatment in hypertension]


[The natriuretic peptide (NP) is an important endocrine, autocrine and paracrine system that is in constant interaction with RAAS and the sympathetic nervous system in order to ensure a continuous cardio-renal homeostasis. In abnormal conditions – if the pressure/volume load develops in the heart or there are some disorder in the vascular tone or in sodium-water balance, the NP system triggers the body’s defense mechanism. The neutral endopeptidase (NEP) inactivates the vasodilator NPs, bradykinin and vasoconstrictor angiotensin II and endothelin I as well. From this knowledge, the idea that inhibition of the effect of NEP (NEPg) offers a potentially beneficial option in the treatment of heart failure and hypertension was initiated, only the stimulatory effect of angiotensin II needs to be blocked. After a lengthy search, they arrived at a dualacting molecule with a beneficial effect of NEP inhibition (secubitrile) and the angiotensin II AT1 receptor antagonist valsartan (ARNI). Several clinical studies have shown that ARNI alone and in combination with other antihypertensive agents significantly reduces SBP and DBP in hypertensive patients. Its effect is also present in isolated systolic hypertension and in chronic kidney disease with high risk. Do not administer with an ACE inhibitor. Based on clinical experience to date, there is a logic expectation that ARNI will also be classified as a useful antihypertensive agent in the near future.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

OCTOBER 21, 2020

[Attitudes towards obesity in the health care system]


[Bias, prejudice and discrimination are part of the everyday life of people with obesity, even in the health care system. Obesity-related prejudices can lead to disrespectful, humiliating treatment of pa­tients with excess weight and impair the quality of care for patients. There is a bidirectional relationship between stigmatization of obesity and obesity: discrimination against obesity is frequent, while stigmatization experiences lead to additional weight gain and result in avoidance of health care, and health deterioration and increas­ed risk of mortality. The aim of the study is to raise awareness among professionals about obesity-related prejudices and dis­crimination, and to present strategies to reduce stigmatization of obesity in the health care system. All this will serve better care and may have public health significance in the long run.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

[The pain-trigger role of cytokines in the nervous system – the direct analgesic effect of anti-cytokine therapy ]


[Nociceptive, neuropathic and central me­chanisms are involved in the perception, transmission and processing of chronic pain and shaping of cerebral pain image. Alar­mins – molecules alarming defence and signing the presence of pathogens and tissue damage - trigger a series of pathogenic events resulting in inflammatory pain stimuli. Proinflammatory cytokines play a determining role in the pain perception at the level of the nervous system. Continuous inflammatory stimuli while sensitizing the periferic and central neurons activate the pain-related cerebral areas and develop the complex pain image, the pain matrix. Ce­reb­ral functional connections are operating in networks and can be visualized by functional MRI. Cytokines activate the neurons directly or indirectly by other neuromediators. Cytokine receptors are expressed on no­ciceptors and even on higher-level neurons and on various non-neural cells, such as microglia and astrocytes. The most ubiquitous cytokines are the Tumour Necrosis Factor and Interleukin 6 in the nervous sys­tem. The signaling pathways are the Nuclear Factor κB and the Janus-kinase enzyme system. The proinflammatory cytokines and the Janus-kinase are therefore primary therapeutic targets. Anti-cytokine biologicals and small molecular kinase inhibitors decrease the pain and improve functional activity in rheumatoid arthritis. Decrease of pain was more pronounced than expected only from the decrease of the clinical biomarkers of inflammation. The early and ra­pid painkiller effect of targeted biological and chemical-biological response modifiers is attributed to their direct analgesic effect on the brain.]