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Clinical Neuroscience

JANUARY 30, 2020

The effects of the level of spinal cord injury on life satisfaction and disability

GULSAH Karatas, NESLIHAN Metli, ELIF Yalcin, RAMAZAN Gündüz, FATIH Karatas, MÜFIT Akyuz

Introduction - Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) may often lead to significant disability in affected individuals and reduce life satisfaction. Herein we aimed to investigate the effects of the level of injury on disability and life satisfaction as well as the relation between life satisfaction and disability. Methods - Patients with at least one-year history of SCI were included. Demographic-clinical data of patients were recorded. The Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique-Short Form (CHART-SF) was used for quantifying the degree of patients’ disability. Life satisfaction was assessed by the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS). Results - Of the 76 patients, 21 (27.6%) were tetraplegic and 55 (72.4%) were paraplegic. SWLS was found to be similar in tetraplegic vs. paraplegic patients (P=0.59), whereas CHART parameters such as physical independence, mobility, occupation, and total CHART value were significantly higher in paraplegic patients (P=0.04, P=0.04, P=0.001 and P=0.01, respectively). Social integration was found similarly high in both groups. There was a positive correlation between elapsed time after the injury and CHART physical independence, occupation and the level of economic sufficiency (P<0.01, P<0.01, P=0.01). Excluding the economic sufficiency (P=0.02), there was not any other association between the rest of CHART parameters and SWLS. Conclusions - According to our findings, although the level of injury seems to be influential on disability, it seems to have no significant effect on life satisfaction. Since the only thing that positively affects life satisfaction is economic sufficiency, more emphasis should be placed on regulations that increase the return to work in patients.

Clinical Neuroscience

JANUARY 30, 2020

[Current questions of multiple sclerosis: the secunder progressive form of the disease]


[Recent data suggest that long-term worsening is common in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients and is largely independent of relapses or new lesion formation on brain MRI. The current definition of secunder progressive multiple sclerosis is worsening of disability independent of relapses over at least 6-month interval. Early focal inflammatory disease activity and spinal cord lesion are predictors of very-long term disease outcomes in relapse - onset multiple sclerosis. The potential of PET imaging to visualize hidden inflammation in MS brain in vivo is an important contribution for better understanding the progression of the disease. Therefore, PET imaging is a promising tool in detecting the conversion from relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis to secunder progressive form of multiple sclerosis. Furthermore, neuro-axonal damage is the pathological substrate of permanent disability in different neurological disorders including multiple sclerosis. The neurofilament proteins have promise in this context because their levels rise upon neuro-axonal damage not only in the cerebrospinal fluid but also in blood. Patients with increased serum levels of neurofilament at baseline, independent of other clinical and MRI variables, experience significantly more brain and spinal cord volume loss over 2 years and 5 years of follow-up. The kynurenine-pathway abnormalities may be associated with the swich from early-mild stage multiple sclerosis to debilitating progressive forms of the disease. Analysis of these metabolites in serum may have application as multiple sclerosis disease biomarkers. Free radical action has been suggested as a causal factor in the illness. Increased free radical production and consumption of the scavenger molecules were found during the active phase of the disease. Based on the clinical findings (EXPAND Study) and pathomechanism of the disease siponimod is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of relapsing remitting forms of multiple sclerosis, to include secunder progressive multiple sclerosis with active disease, relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and clinically isolated syndrome.]

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

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

MARCH 30, 2019

[Prognostic factors of surgically treated spinal meningeomas and long-term surgical outcomes ]


[Introduction, the aim of article - The spinal meningeomas are one of the most common types of spinal tumors. In the treatment of spinal meningeomas, the surgical removal is the gold standard method. There are many factors that have impacts on surgical outcomes such as age, preoperative neurological condition, the extent of resection and histological grade. The aim of our article is to analyze surgical experiences, prognostic features and long-term surgical outcomes of spinal meningeomas. Patients and methods - Retrospective database of surgically treated patients with spinal meningeomas between 2008 and 2016 was made in the National Institute of Clinical Neuroscience, Budapest, Hungary. Demographic data, preoperative neurological symptoms, radiological discrepancies, pathological results (histology, grade), types of treatments and postoperative results were examined. All of our patients were followed clinically and radiologically in the postoperative courses. Results - All of the 153 patients were surgically treated. We have examined 112 women and 41 men. The average age of the patients was 65.5 years. In 98.7% of the cases, the postoperative control examinations (postoperative 6th week) showed a significant improvement in sensorial and motorial functions. The neurological improvements were evident right after the surgeries. In 2 cases (1.30%), no changes were observed in the preoperative symptoms. Recurrence was noticed in 4 cases (2.61%). Conclusion - According to our results, the spinal meningeomas can be sufficiently treated with early diagnosis and total surgical removal. Most of the patients become asymptomatic and the rate of recurrence is quite low.]

Clinical Neuroscience

SEPTEMBER 30, 2018

A multidisciplinary clinical approach to facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy

CAKMAK Öztop Özgür, EREN Ilker, ASLANGER Ayca, GÜNERBÜYÜK Caner, KAYSERILI Hülya, OFLAZER Piraye, SAR Cüneyt, DEMIRHAN Mehmet, ÖZDEMIR Gürsoy Yasemin

Background - Impaired shoulder function is the most disabling problem for daily life of Fascioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) patients. Scapulothoracic arthrodesis can give a high impact to the functionality of patients. Here we report our experience with scapulothoracic arthrodesis and spinal stenosis surgery in FSHD patients. Patients and methods - 32 FSHD patients were collected between 2015-2016. Demographical and clinical features were documented. All the patients were neurologically examined. The Medical Research Council (MRC) and the FSHD evaluation scale was used to assess muscle involvement1. Scapulothoracic arthrodesis and spinal stenosis surgeries were performed in eligible patients. Results - There were 16 male and 16 female (mean age 34.4 years; range 12-73) patients. 6 shoulders of 4 patients aged between 2132 years underwent scapulothoracic arthrodesis (two bilateral, one left and one right sided). Only one 63 years old female patient with severe hyperlordosis had spinal fusion surgery. All of the patients undergoing these corrective surgeries have better functionality in daily life, as well as superior shoulder elevation. Conclusion - Until the emergence and clinical use of novel therapeutics, surgical interventions are indicated in carefully selected patients with FSHD to improve arm movements, the posture and the quality of life of patients in general. Scapulothorosic arthrodesis is a management with good clinical results and patient satisfaction. In selected cases other corrective orthopedic surgeries like spinal fusion may also be considered.

Clinical Neuroscience

SEPTEMBER 30, 2019

Coexistence of cervical vertebral scalloping, pedicle deficiencies and dural ectasia in type I neurofibromatosis

YALDIZ Mahizer

Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF-1; also known as Von Recklinghausen’s disease) is a common autosomal dominant disease that occurs in the general population at the rate of 1 in 3000. Many NF-1 patients present with spinal malformations. A 54-year-old female patient was admitted to the Outpatient Clinic of Dermatology with gradually increasing swelling and spots on the body that had been present for a long period of time. Cervical vertebral scalloping, pedicle deficiencies and dural ectasia (DE) were also detected. She was diagnosed with NF-1. NF-1 is routinely seen in dermatology practice. Coexistence of NF-1 with vertebral scalloping, pedicle deficiencies and DE rarely occurs. Our case is the second reported instance in the literature of NF-1 with a spinal anomaly in the cervical region, and the first reported instance of the coexistence of NF-1 with cervical vertebral scalloping, pedicle deficiencies and DE.

Clinical Neuroscience

MARCH 30, 2021

[Consensus statement of the Hungarian Clinical Neurogenic Society about the therapy of adult SMA patients]

BOCZÁN Judit, KLIVÉNYI Péter, KÁLMÁN Bernadette, SZÉLL Márta, KARCAGI Veronika, ZÁDORI Dénes, MOLNÁR Mária Judit

[Background – Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive, progressive neuromuscular disorder resulting in a loss of lower motoneurons. Recently, new disease-modifying treatments (two drugs for splicing modification of SMN2 and one for SMN1 gene replacement) have become available. Purpose – The new drugs change the progression of SMA with neonatal and childhood onset. Increasing amount of data are available about the effects of these drugs in adult patients with SMA. In this article, we summarize the available data of new SMA therapies in adult patients. Methods – Members of the Executive Committee of the Hungarian Clinical Neurogenetic Society surveyed the literature for palliative treatments, randomized controlled trials, and retrospective and prospective studies using disease modifying therapies in adult patients with SMA. Patients – We evaluated the outcomes of studies focused on treatments of adult patients mainly with SMA II and III. In this paper, we present our consensus statement in nine points covering palliative care, technical, medical and safety considerations, patient selection, and long-term monitoring of adult patients with SMA. This consensus statement aims to support the most efficient management of adult patients with SMA, and provides information about treatment efficacy and safety to be considered during personalized therapy. It also highlights open questions needed to be answered in future. Using this recommendation in clinical practice can result in optimization of therapy.]

Clinical Neuroscience

JANUARY 30, 2021

Evaluation of the effectiveness of transforaminal epidural steroid injection in far lateral lumbar disc herniations

EVRAN Sevket, KATAR Salim

Far lateral lumbar disc herniations (FLDH) consist approximately 0.7-12% of all lumbar disc herniations. Compared to the more common central and paramedian lumbar disc herniations, they cause more severe and persistent radicular pain due to direct compression of the nerve root and dorsal root ganglion. In patients who do not respond to conservative treatments such as medical treatment and physical therapy, and have not developed neurological deficits, it is difficult to decide on surgical treatment because of the nerve root damage and spinal instability risk due to disruption of facet joint integrity. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effect of transforaminal epidural steroid injection (TFESI) on the improvement of both pain control and functional capacity in patients with FLDH. A total of 37 patients who had radicular pain caused by far lateral disc herniation which is visible in their lumbar magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, had no neurological deficit and did not respond to conservative treatment, were included the study. TFESI was applied to patients by preganglionic approach. Pre-treatment Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) scores of the patients were compared with the 3rd week, 3rd month and 6th month scores after the procedure. The mean initial VAS score was 8.63 ± 0.55, while it was 3.84 ± 1.66, 5.09 ± 0.85, 4.56 ± 1.66 at the 3rd week, 3rd month and 6th month controls, respectively. This decrease in the VAS score was found statistically significant (p = 0.001). ODI score with baseline mean value of 52.38 ± 6.84 was found to be 18.56 ± 4.95 at the 3rd week, 37.41 ± 14.1 at the 3rd month and 34.88 ± 14.33 at the 6th month. This downtrend of pa­tient’s ODI scores was found statistically significant (p = 0.001). This study has demonstrated that TFESI is an effective method for gaining increased functional capacity and pain control in the treatment of patients who are not suitable for surgical treatment with radicular complaints due to far lateral lumbar disc hernia.

Clinical Neuroscience

JANUARY 30, 2019

[Multiple ischemic stroke in Osler-Rendu-Weber disease]

SALAMON András, FARAGÓ Péter, NÉMETH Viola Luca, SZÉPFALUSI Noémi, HORVÁTH Emese, VASS Andrea, BERECZKY Zsuzsanna, TAJTI János, VÉCSEI László, KLIVÉNYI Péter, ZÁDORI Dénes

[Hereditary hemorrhagic teleangiectasia (HHT, Osler-Rendu-Weber disease) is an autosomal dominantly inherited disorder caused by the mutation of several possible genes and characterized by malformations of the arteriovenous system in multiple organs. The clinical diagnosis is based on the Curaçao criteria ((1) spontaneous, recurrent epistaxis; (2) teleangiectasias in characteristic sites (lips, oral cavity, nose, fingers); (3) visceral lesions (gastrointestinal, pulmonary, cerebral, spinal); (4) affected first degree relative). The aim of this study is to present the first genetically confirmed Hungarian case of hereditary hemorrhagic teleangiectasia with multiple ischemic strokes. Our 70-year-old woman has been suffering from severe epistaxis since her childhood and presented gastrointestinal bleeding during her adulthood as well. The characteristic skin lesions developed in the 5th decade of life. She was admitted to our department with loss of consciousness and fluctuating speech and swallowing problems. MRI of the brain supplemented with angiography revealed multiple arteriovenous malformations and multiple subacute ischemic lesions. The EEG demonstrated slowing of electric activity in the left frontal lobe. The neuropsychological assessment showed deficits in anterograde memory and executive functions. The diagnostic work-up for other characteristic alterations identified an arteriovenous malformation in the left lung. The genetic analysis demonstrated a heterozygous mutation in the 7th exon of the ENG gene at position 834 resulting in a thymine duplication and an early stop codon by a frame shift. The present case is largely similar to those already described in literature and draws the attention to the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration in the care of HHT patients.]