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Clinical Neuroscience

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

[The role of sleep in the relational memory processes ]

CSÁBI Eszter, ZÁMBÓ Ágnes, PROKECZ Lídia

[A growing body of evidence suggests that sleep plays an essential role in the consolidation of different memory systems, but less is known about the beneficial effect of sleep on relational memory processes and the recognition of emotional facial expressions, however, it is a fundamental cognitive skill in human everyday life. Thus, the study aims to investigate the effect of timing of learning and the role of sleep in relational memory processes. 84 young adults (average age: 22.36 (SD: 3.22), 21 male/63 female) participated in our study, divided into two groups: evening group and morning group indicating the time of learning. We used the face-name task to measure relational memory and facial expression recognition. There were two sessions for both groups: the immediate testing phase and the delayed retesting phase, separated by 24 hours. 84 young adults (average age: 22.36 (SD: 3.22), 21 male/63 female) participated in our study, divided into two groups: evening group and morning group indicating the time of learning. We used the face-name task to measure relational memory and facial expression recognition. There were two sessions for both groups: the immediate testing phase and the delayed retesting phase, separated by 24 hours. Our results suggest that the timing of learning and sleep plays an important role in the stabilizing process of memory representation to resist against forgetting.]

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

[A forgotten physician in the history of Hungarian Psychiatry. Dr. Ferenc Klein’s biography]

SZABÓ József

[The Psychiatry Department of St. Raphael’s Hospital in Zala County celebrated its 110th anniversary last year. This important anniversary raised the idea of studying deeper than usual the life of our professional ancestors. We tried to discover the personality, character, and oeuvre of our first appointed chief physician Ferenc Klein while using historical recollections and press articles published by our county, city and hospital. An image of a prominent physician, psychiatrist, patriot and individual was emerging before our very eyes by processing the available sources. As a pulmonologist, a field surgeon, or a psychiatrist he was able to meet the expectations of his age. He was highly appreciated by his patients and the people of Zalaegerszeg. Despite his significant oeuvre and martyrdom, he sank in oblivion and his name was not preserved either in the history of psychiatry or in the general memory. In the present study, we want to commemo­rate him by collecting and publishing his biography. ]

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

JANUARY 30, 2020

Neurocognitive functions in patients with hepatitis C infection

HORVÁTH Gergely, KELETI Teodóra, MAKARA Mihály, UNGVARI S Gabor, GAZDAG Gábor

Background - With improving treatment options, more attention is being paid to the neurocognitive symptoms related to hepatitis C infection (HCI). While HCI-related neurocognitive impairments are frequently subclinical, they can influence patients’ quality of life and fitness to work. Objective - The aim of this study was to assess HCI patients’ neurocognitive functions and explore the correlations between disease variables and neurocognitive symptoms. Method - The study was conducted between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2015. All patients with HCI were included in the study who were registered at the Hepatology Outpatient Clinic of Szent István and Szent László Hospitals, met inclusion criteria and volunteered to participate. Patients’ sociodemographic data and medical history were recorded in a questionnaire designed for the study. The 21-item Beck Depression Inventory was used to detect depressive symptoms. Six computerized tests were used to evaluate patients’ neuropsychological functions. Results - Sixty patients participated in the study. In comparison with general population standards, patients demonstrated poorer performance in several neurocognitive tests. Neuropsychological performance was correlated with age, sex, length of time since HCI diagnosis, Fibroscan score and the number of previous antiviral treatments. Conclusions - The study’s main finding is that compared to general population standards, patients with hepatitis C virus-related disease exhibit impaired neuropsychological functioning in visuomotor and visuospatial functions, working memory, executive functions, and reaction time. Executive functions and reaction time were the most sensitive indicators for the length and severity of disease. Deterioration in these functions has a major negative effect on work performance particularly in certain occupations.