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Clinical Neuroscience

MAY 30, 2021

Validation of the Hungarian PHQ-15. A latent variable approach

STAUDER Adrienne, WITTHÖFT Michael, KÖTELES Ferenc

Somatic symptoms without a clear-cut organic or biomedical background, also called “medically unexplained” or “somatoform” symptoms, are frequent in primary and secondary health care. They are often accompanied by depression and/or anxiety, and cause functional impairment. The Patient Health Question­naire Somatic Symptom Scale (PHQ-15) was developed to measure somatic symptom distress based on the frequency and bothersomeness of non-specific somatic symptoms. The study aimed to (1) evaluate the Hungarian version of the PHQ-15 from a psychometric point of view; (2) replicate the bifactor structure and associations with negative affect described in the literature; and (3) provide the Hungarian clinical and scientific community with reference (normal) values split by sex and age groups. PHQ-15, depression (BDI-R), and subjective well-being (WHO-5) scores obtained from a large (n = 5020) and close to representative community sample (Hun­garostudy 2006) were subjected to correlation analysis and linear structural equation modeling. The PHQ-15 showed good internal consistency (Cronbach’s α = 0.810; McDonald’s ω = 0.819) and moderate to strong correlation with the BDI-R (rs = .49, p < 0.001) and WHO-5 (rs = -.48, p < 0.001). Fit of the bifactor structure was excellent; in independent analyses, the general factor was strongly associated with depression (β = 0.656±0.017, p < 0.001) and well-being (β = -0.575±0.015, p < 0.001), whereas the symptom specific factors were only weakly or not related to these constructs. The PHQ-15 score was higher in females and showed a weak positive association with age. The Hungarian PHQ-15 is a psychometrically sound scale which is positively associated with depression and ne­gatively related to subjective well-being. The bifactor structure indicates the existence and meaningfulness of a gene­ral factor representing the affective-motivational component of somatic symptom distress. The Hungarian version of the PHQ-15 is a brief and usable tool for the pre-screening of somatization disorder (DSM-IV) or somatic symptom disorder (DSM-5). The reported reference values can be used in the future for both clinical and research purposes.

Clinical Neuroscience

MAY 30, 2019

Somatosensory amplification absorption contribute to electrosensitivity


Background - Two trait-like characteristics, somatosensory amplification and absorption, have been associated with symptom reports and idiopathic environmental intolerances in past research. Purpose - As the two constructs are not connected with each other, their independent contribution to symptom reports and electromagnetic hypersensitivity, as well as their interaction can be expected. Methods - On-line questionnaire. Patients - 506 college students completed an on-line questionnaire assessing absorption, somatosensory amplification, negative affect, somatic symptoms, and electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Results - Somatosensory amplification (β = 0.170, p < 0.001) and absorption (β = 0.128, p < 0.001) independently contributed to somatic symptoms after controlling for gender and negative affect (R2 = 0.347, p < 0.001). Similarly, somatosensory amplification (OR = 1.082, p < 0.05) and absorption (OR = 1.079, p < 0.01) independently contributed to electromagnetic hypersensitivity after controlling for somatic symptoms, gender, and negative affect (Nagelkerke R2 = 0.134, p < 0.001). However, no interaction effects were found. Discussion - Somatosensory amplification and absorption independently contribute to symptom reports and electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Conclusion - The findings suggest that psychological mechanisms underlying symptom reports and electromagnetic hypersensitivity might be heterogeneous.

Clinical Neuroscience

JULY 30, 2018

Isocitrate dehydrogenase mutations in defining the biology of and supporting clinical decision making in glioblastoma


Background and purpose - Oncogenesis is related to a sequential accumulation of somatic mutations. Comprehensive characterizations of the genomic landscapes have been completed recently for several tumors, glioblastoma being among the first ones. Our own translational research studies have been focused on defining molecular subtypes of glioblastoma in the clinical setting because of an expected prognostic and therapeutic utility of the information. Somatic mutations in genes of the isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) enzyme family appear to be among the best-defined biomarkers that also influence tumor behavior and confer clinical utility. Methods - We have reviewed the literature including our own results to summarize basic science and clinical correlates of IDH mutations. Results - The surveyed data reveal genomic, transcriptomic, epigenomic and biochemical consequences of IDH mutations in the context of glioblastoma biology and phenotype. In addition, a few studies highlight the therapeutic potential of targeting IDH, although thus far all tests have only been conducted in the preclinical setting. Conclusions - Somatic mutations in isoforms of IDH genes represent important biomarkers that correlate with biochemical, biological and phenotypic features of glioblastoma, and may also facilitate the development of new therapeutic strategies complementing the currently available approved protocols.

Hypertension and nephrology

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

[Association between cyclothymic affective temperament and hypertension]


[Affective temperaments (cyclothymic, hypertymic, depressive, anxious, irritable) are stable parts of personality and after adolescent only their minor changes are detectable. Their connections with psychopathology is well-described; depressive temperament plays role in major depression, cyclothymic temperament in bipolar II disorder, while hyperthymic temperament in bipolar I disorder. Moreover, scientific data of the last decade suggest, that affective temperaments are also associated with somatic diseases. Cyclothymic temperament is supposed to have the closest connection with hypertension. The prevalence of hypertension is higher parallel with the presence of dominant cyclothymic affective temperament and in this condition the frequency of cardiovascular complications in hypertensive patients was also described to be higher. In chronic hypertensive patients cyclothymic temperament score is positively associated with systolic blood pressure and in women with the earlier development of hypertension. The background of these associations is probably based on the more prevalent presence of common risk factors (smoking, obesity, alcoholism) with more pronounced cyclothymic temperament. The scientific importance of the research of the associations of personality traits including affective temperaments with somatic disorders can help in the identification of higher risk patient subgroups.]

Clinical Neuroscience

SEPTEMBER 30, 2019

Modern health worries in patients with affective disorders. A pilot study


Background - Modern health worries (MHWs) are asso­ciated with various indicators of negative affect, conspiracy theories, and paranormal beliefs in healthy individuals. Purpose - The current pilot study aimed to assess MHWs and indicators of negative affect in patients with affective disorders (N = 66), as well as the possible associations between MHWs and paranoid and schizophrenic tendencies. Results - Compared to somatic patients, psychiatric patients showed higher levels of MHWs, somatosensory amplification, health anxiety, and somatic symptoms. Medium level associations between MHWs and paranoid (r = 0.35, p < 0.01) and schizophrenic (r = 0.37, p < 0.01) tendencies were also revealed. Somatosensory amplification (β = 0.452, p < 0.001) and paranoia (β = 0.281, p < 0.01) significantly contributed to MHWs in multiple linear regression analysis (R2 = 0.323, p < 0.001). Discussion - High (i.e. pathological) levels of negative affect can impact a number of related characteristics. Non-pathological paranoid tendencies might contribute to MHWs. The identification of paranoid tendencies seems to be relevant for the treatment of psychiatric patients exhibiting MHWs. Conclusion - Patients with affective disorders are characterized by higher levels of modern health worries, health anxiety, and somatosensory amplification. Modern health worries are associated with paranoid tendencies.

Lege Artis Medicinae

SEPTEMBER 20, 2018

[The liaison between internal medicine and psychiatry can be life-saving in the treatment of severe anorexia nervosa]

SZÉNYEI Gábor, BENE László, TÚRY Ferenc

[INTRODUCTION - In the severe forms of anorexia nervosa hospitalization may be required, and the somatic treatment is provided in a department of internal medicine. In such cases, collaboration between internist and psychiatrist is essential. Psycho­logical support is necessary even in the period of nutritional rehabilitation. This can be applied in the framework of consultation-liaison psychiatry. After the initial weight gain providing psychotherapy in an outpatient setting is fundamental. In the case of anorexic patients who maintain a close relationship with the family, family therapy is the most effective treatment. CASE REPORT - A 26-year old female patient with anorexia was hospitalized in a department of internal medicine after an extreme emaciation, her body mass index was 11.6. During this period there was a psychiatric consultation involving the fa-ther of the patient as well. Her body weight increased, and outpatient family therapy was initiated. Fifteen family sessions were conducted in nine months, with special focus on the separation-individuation process. At the end of the therapy a full remission could be observed, with a normal body weight, and her periods returned. After a four-month follow-up her state was stable, and she got married. CONCLUSION - Interdisciplinary collaboration can be cardinal when somatic and psychological disorders are interwoven. The role of family therapy is crucial in those cases where emotional separation from the family of origin is difficult, even if the patient does not live with the parents any longer. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

SEPTEMBER 20, 1996

[Prognosis of neuroepithelial tumours by means of cell proliferation studies]


[Cell-kinetic analysis of tumours has recently been widely used in clinical oncology for prognosis of patients treated with malignant neoplasms and for controlling the efficiency of treatment protocols. Definition of biological nature of neuroepithelial tumours was based on grading depending on the severity of cellular anaplasia. Neuroepithelial tumours can be characterized not only by the histological features but also by the DNA content and abnormalities of the cell proliferation – though the relationship between histological malignancy, proliferative activity and cellular aneuploidity was found to be rather controversial according to the literature. In this review article the clinical value of cell cycle analysis such as distribution of DNA content, DNA index; S-phase fraction; proliferation-markers [MIB 1 antibody, bromdeoxy uridin labelling index, mitotic index, definition of nucleolar organization region) are discussed on the basis of personal experience and review of the appropriate literature. Flow cytometry and examination of proliferation markers have a significant role in the definition of prognosis of patients suffering from WHO grade II and III neuroepithelial tumours. Gliomas giving rise to recidivism have a rapid cell cycle already at their first occurrence, which is characterized by raised proliferation indices, and occurrence of aneuploid cell clones. An unfavourable outcome can be prognosed in patients suffering from a WHO grade II or III glioma if the DNA index is above or below 1+0.1 if the value of the S phase fraction is above 6%, if more than 1 mitosis is found in 10 large magnification field, and if the number of cells labelled with MIB 1 antibody exceeds 3 in 1 large magnification field. The literature confirms our notion that further studies of proliferation characteristics may help in the production of a malignity score of gliomas that could support the efficiency of traditional histological grading in prognosis and control of complex therapy of these tumours.]

Clinical Neuroscience

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

[Prognostic significance of invasion in glioblastoma]


[Glioblastoma is the most common malignant CNS tumor, its surgical removal is hindered by the tumors invasive nature, while current anti-tumor therapies show limited effectiveness – mean overall survival is 16-24 months. Some patients show minimal response towards standard oncotherapy, however there are no routinely available prognostic and predictive markers in clinical practice to identify the background of mentioned differences in prognosis. This research aims to identify the prognostic significance of invasion-related extracellular (ECM) components. Patient groups with different prognoses were created (OS: group A <16 months, group B > 16 months), and internationally recognized prognostic markers (IDH1 mutation and MGMT promoter hyper-methylation) were tested in the flash-frozen tumor samples. Furthermore, the mRNA levels of 46 invasion-related ECM molecules were measured. Clinical data of the patients who have been operated on at the University of Debrecen Clinical Center Department of Neurosurgery and treated at the Department of Clinical Oncology showed no significant differences except for survival data (OS and PFS), and reoperation rate. All samples were IDH wild type. MGMT promoter hypermethylation rate showed significant differences (28.6% vs 68.8%). The expressional pattern of the invasion-related ECM molecules, i.e. the invasion spectrum also showed major differences, integrin β2, cadherin-12, FLT4/VEGFR-3 and versican molecules having signficantly different mRNA levels. The accuracy of the inivasion spectrum was tested by statistical classifier, 83.3% of the samples was sorted correctly, PPV was 0.93. The difference found in the reoperation rate when comparing different prognostic groups aligns with literature data. MGMG promoter region methylation data in Hungarian samples has not been published yet, and further confirming current knowledge urges the implementation of MGMT promoter analysis in clinical practice. Studying the invasion spectrum provides extra information on tumors, as a prognostic marker it helps recognizing more aggressive tumors, and calls attention to the necessity of using anti-invasive agents in GBM therapies in the future.]

Hypertension and nephrology

OCTOBER 23, 2019

[Non-invasive evaluation of cardiovascular risk in pediatric chronic kidney disease patients]

BÁRCZI Adrienn, DÉGI Arianna Amália, KIS Éva, REUSZ György

[Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in children with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Similar to adults, children with CKD experience a high burden of traditional and uremia-associated risk factors. Recent years, several studies were published in connection with cardiovascular risk factors, patomechanism, and early markers of cardiovascular diseases. Early signs of cardiomyopathy, such as left ventricular hypertrophy or dysfunction, and markers of atherosclerosis, such as increased intima-media thickness of the carotid artery or increased wall stiffness of the aorta are frequently present in early stages of CKD in children. As prevention is important in pediatrics, the evaluation of subtle changes of the cardiovascular system provide opportunity for early treatment and that enables children to develop normally and have a better long-term quality of life. Recently, newer non-invasive cardiovascular imaging modalities have been emerged to diagnose subclinical alterations of the heart and vessels in this specific population with kidney disease. In this review, we provide an overwiev of the emerging imaging techniques used to detect early subclinical organ damage in pediatric chronic kidney disease patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

SEPTEMBER 20, 1996

[Importance of sociological and psychological factors in pathogenesis of ischaemic stroke]

MENDE Lilla, JÓRI Birkás Adrien, FAZEKAS Gábor, FAZEKAS András

[The authors investigate sociological and psychological factors in the pathogenesis of ischaemic stroke, as a follow up of their earlier study. In the first part of the recent study patients and control subjects are compared in terms of frequency, severity, type and the temporal distribution of life events within the 5 years preceding the stroke. In the second part the importance of coping-style and psychological characteristics are studied. It is shown that the likely factors leading to stroke are: lower life events score in the more distant period, but higher life events score preceding the stroke, poor coping, greater emotional instability, trait-anxiety, hostility, and decreased job involvement. The type of life events, global Type-A behaviour, "speed and impatience", "hard driving and competitiveness” seem indifferent. On the basis of these results a successful stroke-programme should consider the complexity of somatic, sociological and psychological factors.]