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Clinical Neuroscience

NOVEMBER 30, 2020

[New results of neuroscience research – the background of symptomatological and etiological diversity of mental disorders]


[Nowadays, the focus of genetic, neurobiological, neuropsychological and psychosocial research is on a more accurate discovery of the etiology of mental illnesses, especially with regard to the role and complex interactions of certain risk factors. It is increasingly challenging to interpret the results of different aspects and methodologies in a coherent theoretical framework, as this can only lead to a more accurate understanding of the complexity and mechanism of the psychiatric disorders. The main aim of this paper to overview recent studies on etiological background of mental disorders and to present the most important aspects of the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) system. Review of reports from comprehensive studies published in the most important psychiatric journals over the past five years summarizing new findings on the etio­logy of mental disorders. Although current classifications indicate that mental disorders are strictly distinct diagnostic categories, new findings suggest that these marked differences in symptomatic, genetic, and neurobiological backgrounds are not detectable, as many mental disorders have been identified as having common molecular genetic risk factors, which may indicate common neurobiological pathomechanisms. Research results support the need for a rethinking of psychiatric nosology on an etiological basis and represent an important step forward in the more accurate exploration of the neurobiological background factors of mental disorders and thus in the development of more targeted therapeutic approaches. The development of the RDoC system can be a great help in this, as this dimensional approach offers the possibility of integrating the - often diffuse or even contradictory - neuroscientific research findings into a unified theoretical framework for the etiology, nosology and treatment of mental disorders. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

[Case report about the choice of care at Olajág Elderly Home in Budapest during the COVID-19 epidemic in spring 2020]

PETRÓ Kata, PETKE Zsolt, RADNAI Zoltán, SZIRMAI Viktor

[During the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, elderly people in long-term nursing homes were espe­cially risks exposed. In this study, the au­thors analyse the causes of local outbreak at the Olajág Elderly Home Vezér street facility in Budapest and the means and ways to curb the spreading of infection. They summarise the measures, which proved to be effective in isolation and treat­ing the patients. The number of infected residents as well as the course of the disease are demonstrated by statistical data. The authors consider as pre-eminently important to identify asymptomatic but in­fec­ted residents, further the rapid introduc­tion of screening tests, strict compliance with protocols, patient path regulation and the use of enhanced, supportive communication.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

JULY 01, 2020

[The significance of the identification of SARS-CoV-2 virus and the possible errors of the sampling method]


[The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus while emerging suddenly and spreading throughout the globe challenged seriously also the modern medicine. Diag­nostic methods recognising viral infections of the upper airways developed essentially in the last 20 years, and it was specifically progressing during the SARS and MERS epidemics thus facilitating the recognition and identifica­tion of infections by influenza, RS- and adenoviruses as well. Nevertheless the present novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) also de­mon­strated that the relatively simple procedures of naso- and oropharyngeal sampling are fallible too. Thus they may have a relatively high risk of false-negative outcomes. However the correct sampling prior the RT-PCR tests provides reliable diagnosis by high sensitivity and specificity. Thus improving the quality of sampling and avoiding failures by correct training and education of the personnel make more reliable the detection of viral infection or indicate recovery after the infection. Finally, this is a key issue while overcoming the present pan­demic.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

JULY 01, 2020

[Minority students in Hungarian medical training]

SZÉL Zsuzsanna

[General health of minority people is usually worse than that of their majority peers and they often expe rience discrimination in the healthcare system. According to international literature, physicians belonging to any minority group are more likely to care for other mi nority people, therefore they may play a key role in reducing healthcare inequities. Anonymous, online questionnaire was distributed to medical students of the four Hungarian universities with medical schools (response rate was 8.86%). In this paper, we analyze our collected data about perceived discrimination with descriptive statistical methods. Results of confirmative statistical analyses (statistical tests) were considered exploratory in nature. 29.6% of respondents self-identified as a member of any minority. 63.0% of minority students and 53.8% of women indicated that they realized discriminated or were harassed in the last 12 months, meanwhile, 37.8% of non-minority students and 31.9% of males have experienced discrimination. Dis­cri­mi­na­tion related to ethnic origin, sexual orientation and disability are regarded as the most widespread forms of discrimination according to our respondents. Students are most likely to say that there is no age related discrimination on the grounds of age – both being under 30 years old (12.0%) and being over 55 (8.6%). Being the member of any minority group seems to have no effect on student’s/ one’s opinion how widespread the forms of dis crimination are. Minority students are more comfortable to work with a member of another minority. However male students feel more uncomfortable to work with a member of sexual or gender minorities compared to female counterparts. Mi­no­rity students tend to be more critical to the universities’ efforts to enhance diversity. Minority students and females may play a key role in reducing discrimination in medical training and in the healthcare system and in providing high-quality care for individuals who belong to any minority. Although there are more females than males in medical training they still report higher occurrence of perceived discrimination. However, it is important to emphasize the low response rate in our study, which does not allow us to draw any general conclusions.]

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

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.