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Clinical Neuroscience

MAY 30, 2018

What is the real effect of pregabalin in patients with diabetic neuropathic pain? (Do patients suffer from less pain or do they less care about it?)

CAGDAS Erdogan, NEDIM Ongun, SELIM Tümkaya, HAKAN Alkan, NEŞE Öztürk

Objectives - Depression and anxiety are frequent in patients with chronic diseases such as diabetic neuropathic pain. The pain seems to be more severe in patients in whom depressive findings accompanied pain symptoms. Pregabalin was reported to have positive effects on anxiety and depression. This brings out the question, whether the pain relief effect of pregabalin is due to its analgesic effect or to its effects on mood? The aim of this study is to find out whether the positive effect of pregabalin in patients with diabetic neuropathic pain is limited to its effect on pain. Thus the question - do patients suffer from less pain or do they less care about pain? - should be answered. Methods - With this aim the NRS scores of 46 patients with diabetic neuropathic pain, whose HADS scores did not change with pregabalin treatment were compared with their baseline levels, retrospectively. Results - The NRS scores of the group were reduced with pregabalin treatment. Conclusion - This results suggests that the reduced pain in pregabalin treatment should be independent from its effects on depression and anxiety.

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.]

Journal of Nursing Theory and Practice

JUNE 30, 2019

[Postoperative pain management today in Hungary - Part 2 ]

LOVASI Orsolya, LÁM Judit

[According to the literature, the practice of postoperative pain relief in Hungary is an area to be developed. Postoperative pain is a key issue for patients. Surveys show that more than 59% of patients are worried about postoperative pain. Their concerns are not baseless, as recent studies have consistently shown that pain has not been properly treated after surgery. It has also been shown that postoperative pain can lead to a deterioration in the quality of life of patients. The aim of our study was to assess the degree of postoperative pain in patients and their satisfaction with pain relief. We conducted interviews based on personal inquiries with a total of 168 patients, with the involvement of certain surgical departments of three Hungarian institutions. Based on our results, we found that patients report remarkable pain after surgery, so the practice of postoperative pain relief is in many cases unsatisfactory. Comparing the results and the international literature, postoperative analgesic practice can be considered as an area to be developed. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

JANUARY 30, 2019

[The effect of palliative neural therapy on the improvement of chronic pain]

MOLNÁR István, HEGYI Gabriella, KOVÁCS Zoltán, KAPÓCS Gábor, SZŐKE Henrik

[Objective - To assess the extent to which pain therapy can improve chronic pain in a heterogeneous group of patients, its impact on their quality of life and the correlation of the changes with their age and the underlying disease. The investigation has its actuality by its impact on public health. Methods - a prospective, non-randomized, interventional, clinical cohort study was conducted under real-life conditions in a general pain clinic, which lasted for 6 months. Changes in pain intensity (VAS) and related quality of life changes (SF-36 HRQoL) were measured using validated internationally accepted questionnaires. The questionnaires were filled out by all patients on their own, so they provided information of self-esteem on their own. All patient post-treatment results were compared to pre-treatment results. The general quality of life changes found in our patients were compared to the representative norms of healthy population in Hungary. Subjects - patients participated voluntarily at their own decision in the survey. The underlying disease of chronic pain, age and gender of the patients did not limit the inclusion into the study. Results - Data of 231 patients were evaluated. After pain therapy, the decrease in intensity of pain was confirmed by VAS at p=0.002. This was linked to a quality of life change that has been shown to be p=0.003 for men, with p=0.002 in women with SF-36 HRQoL. Based on the correlation coefficients, the changes in quality of life improved regardless of the age of the patients and the nature of the underlying conditions causing the pain. Conclusions - Although analgesia is basicly a symptomatic therapy, our findings suggest that the reduction of pain improves the quality of life of patients independently from their, and the curability of the underlying and accompanying diseases. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

JULY 30, 2019

[Treatment of complex regional pain syndrome with amitriptyline]


[Introduction - Complex regional pain syndrome is a di­stressing neuropathic pain condition without known etiology and evidence based treatment. Case presentation - Here a posttraumatic severe case of complex regional pain syndrome is presented, successfully treated by amitriptyline monotherapy. Amitriptyline is one of the most effective evidence based treatments of peri­pheral diabetic neuropathic pain and other neuropathic pain syndromes. Discussion - Amitriptyline seems to be effective to decrease pain, autonomic and motor symptoms in chronic regional pain syndrome. Conclusion - Controlled trials may be warranted to test the effectiveness of amitriptyline in complex regional pain syndrome.]

Journal of Nursing Theory and Practice

APRIL 30, 2020

[The Effectiveness of Pain Control in Cancer]

BÖGYÖS Dorina Viola, KIRÁLY Edit

[Introduction: Cancer diseases pose a serious public health issue nowadays, as they are among the leading causes of death. As today it is possible to live with this disease for a long time, the quality of life, which is greatly affected by pain, becomes a very important factor. Objective: The purpose of the research is to investigate and explore potential existing problems in the field of cancer pain relief in Hungary and to propose solutions to these problems. In our questionnaire survey, we asked patients suffering from tumors who were in pain and living their lives at home. The research was an anonymous cross-sectional study using descriptive and comparative statistical methods. The average age of respondents was 55 and most of them were women. Answers showed that primary tumors appear mostly in breasts (n=25) or the lungs (n=13). Metastasis developed by almost 30% of the patients. 42% of the respondents experienced severe pain (VAS ≥7 point), which they estimated to last for 1-2 (n=40) or rather 4-5 hours daily (n=30). Almost two third of the respondents were using products containing NSAID (n=64). The number of mild (n=18) versus strong painkiller (n=15) users were almost equal. There was a significant difference between groups of patients experiencing “mild-medium” (p=0,01) versus “mild-strong” pains (p=0,004) due to the usage of medication containing stronger opioids. From this revealed that individuals with greater pain used potent analgetics. More than half of the patients use some sort of sleep or relax aid as a supplement to their medication. Patients with metastasis (n=28) use strong (n=7) as well as mild analgesics (n=10) in greater numbers than those without metastasis. The results reveal that in Hungary, relatively few patients with cancer diseases use strong opioid-containing drugs despite of the fact that their pains are severe. Therefore, a nearly precise estimate of pain levels would be important. Fear of side effects is often unjustified and cannot limit the choice of appropriate therapy. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

NOVEMBER 30, 2019

A clinical study of an online educational programme for chronic pain patients

GALAMBOS Wellingerné Krisztina, SZOK Délia, CSABAI Márta

Background - The research of alexithymia - the inability to express or understand emotions - has recently become of great importance in clinical practice, mainly in the field of doctor-patient and psychologist patient communication. Many studies have proven the correlation between alexithymia and the development of functional somatic symptoms, i.e. somatization. Purpose - The aim of this clinical study was to examine the emotion-recognition and emotion communication patterns of patients suffering from chronic pain (e.g., headache, low back pain, arthralgia, neuropathy). Moreover, the participants received access to the Hungarian adaptation of a new international online educational site ( dealing with pain management. Methods - Data were collected from the Headache and Chronic Pain Outpatient Clinic, Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Szeged, Hungary (tertiary care - Group 1) and from a general practice in district 2, Budapest, Hungary (primary care - Group 2) from March, 2017 to April, 2018. Patients received a test package containing a pain-specific questionnaire, then the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS), the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), and the shortened Hungarian version of the WHO-Well-being (WBI-5) had to be completed. After filling out the questionnaires, all patients got access to the Hungarian adaptation of the website. Results - Altogether 92 patients participated in the study (Group 1 n=50; Group 2 n=42). Based on the TAS-20 re­sults, 35 patients reached a pathological score (≥60 points), which indicates the diagnosis of alexithymia. The mean TAS-score was lower in Group 2 (primary care) than in Group 1 (tertiary care) (p=0.003). The DERS disclosed pathological results in 19 cases (p=0.009). As regards the chapters, we received feedback only from 25 out of 92 patients (27%) (Group 1 n=20; Group 2 n=5). Conclusions - Although the examined patients have been suffering from different chronic pain syndromes for years and 50% of them confirmed that symptoms placed at least moderate or heavy burden on their everyday life, the available educational programme was studied only by a smaller proportion of patients than expected. Additionally, those who surveyed the Hungarian adaptation of the website were mainly patients from primary care (Group 2), in spite of the fact that patients from specialized medical care (Group 1) had worse subjective conditions. Our future objective is to extend our database with follow-up results and to improve patients’ response willingness.

Journal of Nursing Theory and Practice

OCTOBER 30, 2018

[Postoperative Pain Management Today in Hungary Part 1 ]

LOVASI Orsolya, LÁM Judit

[According to the results of relevant publications the practice for providing effective postoperative pain relief needs to be improved in Hungary. The inadequate pain management can occur several complications resulting prolonged recovery and increased cost of care. Providing adequate analgesia is not only a regulated activity, but a professional, ethical and moral obligation to diminish patients’ suffering. The current practice of pain management was evaluated in several Hungarian hospitals with questionnaires and interviews, analyzing the local pain protocols, and identifying the deeper causes of problems founded. After the comparison of our findings with the suggestions founded in the literature we identified numerous issues to be enhanced. The suggestions based on the results of our study are worth to be reconsidered to improve the current pain management practice of the health care providers performing surgical procedures. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

NOVEMBER 15, 2019

[Neuropathic pain: spotligth on amitriptyline]

FEHÉR Gergely, POHL Marietta, KAPUS Krisztián, GOMBOS Katalin, PUSCH Gabriella, MÁK Kornél, KOLTAI Katalin, BANK Gyula, KÓSA Gábor, VARJASI Gábor, TIBOLD Antal

[The management of neuropathic pain is a challenge both for patients and medical professioners. A novel approach is recommended for its management based on the novel neurobiological results of pain research. Multidisciplinary teams and medical consensus are required due to the variety of symptoms and concomittant psychopathology. This approach allows us to avoid extensive diagnostic and trerapeutic workups and appropiate treatment for our patients. Most extensive evidence is available for pharmacological treatment, and currently recommended first-line treatments include antidepressants (tricyclic agents and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) and anticonvulsants (gabapentin and pregabalin). The aim of our review was to collect articles focusing on the efficacy of the most widely available and cheapest tricyclic agent, amitriptyline in different neuropathic pain conditions. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

NOVEMBER 30, 2018

Psychoform and somatoform dissociative experiences in migraine: relationship with pain perception and migraine related disability

SENGUL Yildizhan, SENGUL Serdar Hakan, TUNC Abdulkadir

Objective - Migraine is a common and often debilitating disorder. Although the existence of a link between migraine and certain psychological features has long been known, data on dissociative experiences in migraine patients is insufficient. The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of psychoform and somatoform dissociative experiences among migraine patients without aura and to examine their relationship with pain perception and disability. Methods - A total of 110 outpatients diagnosed with migraine based on the International Classification of Headache Disorders-III (ICHD-III) criteria and 70 healthy subjects were enrolled to this study. Sociodemographic data, Somatoform Dissociation Questionnaire (SDQ), Dissociative Experience Scale (DES), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and Beck Anxiety Scale (BAS) scores were recorded for each patient. The Migraine Impairment Disability Assessment Scale (MIDAS) and Visual Analog Scale (VAS) scores were also determined. Results - The mean SDQ and DES scores were significantly higher in migraine patients (p<0.001, p<0.01). According to SDQ, somatoform dissociation disorder, dissociative disorder not otherwise specified, and dissociative identity disorder were considered in 29.4%, 18.3%, and 10.1% of the migraine patients, respectively. Also, 20.9% of the patients had possible psychoform dissociation according to DES. A significant positive correlation was found between DES, SDQ scores, and VAS, MIDAS scores. Patients were found to have statistically significantly higher levels of depression and anxiety symptoms compared to healthy controls (p < 0.001). Higher DES and SDQ scores were associated with increased disability and pain level (p<0.01). Conclusion - Our findings seem to confirm the increased occurrence of somatoform and psychoform dissociative experiences in migraine patients. This study was intended as a beginning towards understanding dissociative experiences in migraine.