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Clinical Neuroscience

JULY 30, 2020

[The complex intensive care and rehabilitation of a quadriplegic patient using a diaphragm pacemaker]

FODOR Gábor, GARTNER Béla, KECSKÉS Gabriella

[A 21 year female polytraumatized patient was admitted to our unit after a serious motorbike accident. We carried out CT imaging, which confirmed the fracture of the C-II vertebra and compression of spinal cord. Futhermore, the diagnostic investigations detected the compound and comminuted fracture of the left humerus and femur; the sacrum and the pubic bones were broken as well. After the stabilization of the cervical vertebra, a tracheotomy and the fixation of her limbs were performed. She spent 1.5 years in our unit. Meanwhile we tried to fix all the medical problems related to tetraplegia and respiratory insufficiency. As part of this process she underwent an electrophysiological examination in Uppsala (Sweden) and a diaphragm pacemaker was implanted. Our main goal was to reach the fully available quality of life. It is worth making this case familiar in a wider range of public as it could be an excellent example for the close collaboration of medical and non-medical fields.]

Clinical Neuroscience

JULY 30, 2020

[Advanced Parkinson’s disease characteristics in clinical practice: Results from the OBSERVE-PD study and sub-analysis of the Hungarian data]

TAKÁTS Annamária, ASCHERMANN Zsuzsanna, VÉCSEI László, KLIVÉNYI Péter, DÉZSI Lívia, ZÁDORI Dénes, VALIKOVICS Attila, VARANNAI Lajos, ONUK Koray, KINCZEL Beatrix, KOVÁCS Norbert

[The majority of patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease are treated at specialized movement disorder centers. Currently, there is no clear consensus on how to define the stages of Parkinson’s disease; the proportion of Parkinson’s patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease, the referral process, and the clinical features used to characterize advanced Parkinson’s disease are not well delineated. The primary objective of this observational study was to evaluate the proportion of Parkinson’s patients identified as advanced patients according to physician’s judgment in all participating movement disorder centers across the study. Here we evaluate the Hungarian subset of the participating patients. The study was conducted in a cross-sectional, non-interventional, multi-country, multi-center format in 18 countries. Data were collected during a single patient visit. Current Parkinson’s disease status was assessed with Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) parts II, III, IV, and V (modified Hoehn and Yahr staging). Non-motor symptoms were assessed using the PD Non-motor Symptoms Scale (NMSS); quality of life was assessed with the PD 8-item Quality-of-Life Questionnaire (PDQ-8). Parkinson’s disease was classified as advanced versus non-advanced based on physician assessment and on questions developed by the Delphi method. Overall, 2627 patients with Parkinson’s disease from 126 sites were documented. In Hungary, 100 patients with Parkinson’s disease were documented in four movement disorder centers, and, according to the physician assessment, 50% of these patients had advanced Parkinson’s disease. Their mean scores showed significantly higher impairment in those with, versus without advanced Parkinson’s disease: UPDRS II (14.1 vs. 9.2), UPDRS IV Q32 (1.1 vs. 0.0) and Q39 (1.1 vs. 0.5), UPDRS V (2.8 vs. 2.0) and PDQ-8 (29.1 vs. 18.9). Physicians in Hungarian movement disorder centers assessed that half of the Parkinson’s patients had advanced disease, with worse motor and non-motor symptom severity and worse QoL than those without advanced Parkinson’s disease. Despite being classified as eligible for invasive/device-aided treatment, that treatment had not been initiated in 25% of these patients.]

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, 2016

Facial virus inoculations infect vestibular and auditory neurons in rats


Background and purpose – There is growing evidence for the viral origin of the Bell’s facial palsy, vestibular neuritis and sudden sensorineural hearing loss, however their exact pathophysiology is still unknown. We investigated the possibility of brainstem infections following peripheral viral inoculations in rats. Methods – Pseudorabies virus, a commonly used neurotropic viral retrograde tracer was injected into the nasolabial region of rats. Five and 6 days after injections, infected brainstem nuclei were demonstrated by immunohistochemical techniques. Results – Infected neurons were found in the motor facial, the medial vestibular, and the sensory trigeminal nuclei, as well as in the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body. Conclusion – Pseudorabies virus infects auditory and vestibular sensory neurons in the brainstem through facial inoculation. The possible routes of infections: 1. trans-synaptic spread constituted by facio-vestibular anastomoses: primarily infected motor facial neuron infects neurons in the medial vestibular nucleus, 2. via trigeminal sensory nerves: the sensory trigeminal complex innervated by GABAergic medial vestibular neurons, and 3. one bisynaptical route: infected facial motoneurons may receive indirect input from the medial vestibular nucleus and the trapezoid body via connecting neurons in the sensory trigeminal complex. We may assume that latent infections of these areas may precede the infections of the peripheral organs and the reactivation of the virus exerts the symptoms.

Clinical Neuroscience

MARCH 30, 2016

The electrophysiological changes after 1 hz RTMS in ALS patients. A pilot study

MAJOR Zsigmond Zoltán, VACARAS Vitalie, MARIS Emilia, CRISAN Ioana, FLOREA Bogdan, MAJOR Andrea Kinga, MURESANU Fior Dafin

Motor neuron diseases are disabling poor prognostic conditions, with no successful treatment. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation might offer a temporary functional improvement. Objective - We intended to evaluate the extent of the functional improvement using electrophysiological and clinical tests. Methods - Patients with motor neuron disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) were included. Muscle strength and respiratory function assessment represents the clinical approach, and central motor conduction time, motor unit number estimation, blink reflex and H-reflex stands for electrophysiology. Two tests were performed using the whole battery prior and after low frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, using 1 Hz stimulation frequency for five consecutive days, 20 minutes daily, at 80% of the individual resting motor threshold. Results - Central motor conduction time, muscle strength and pulmonary function showed no statistically significant differences, but a tendency towards improvement. Motor unit number estimation, blink reflex and H-reflex showed a significantly better outcome after the five day repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment. Conclusion - Low frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation influences beneficially electrophysiological parameters in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but with little clinical impact; further studies are needed to validate the extent of the effect.