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Clinical Oncology

DECEMBER 30, 2019

[Cell death]

KOPPER László, TÍMÁR József

[Cell proliferation and cell death (mainly apoptosis) have programs forming a network to maintain the functional integrity of the organism. Apoptosis has an external and internal units with ligands, signalling pathways and targets. Besides, some other participants (e.g. p53) are involved in the regulation of cell death. Although, apoptosis is a multitargeted process, there is no useful therapy, if it is needed, to correct accumulation of unwanted cells.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

OCTOBER 21, 2020

[Epidemiology of diabetes mellitus and diabetes-related eye complications in Hungary]

TÓTH Gábor, NÉMETH János

[Diabetes mellitus is a disease of civilization and a leading cause of blindness among people of working age in developed countries. It’s prevalence is estimated to be 9.9% in the adult population in Hungary, based on this, the estimated number of people with diabetes mellitus was 807 000 in 2015 in our country. Almost every fifth people with diabetes mellitus has some form of diabetic retinopathy in Hungary. Among diabetic persons 0.3% is blind and 0.3% has serious visual impairment due to not adequately treated diabetes mellitus. The total prevalence-based diabetes retinopathy-associated economic burden was 43.66 billion HUF in 2018 in our country. The two major cost drivers were anti-VEGF injections and vitrectomies; they covered almost the four-fifths of the total cost among people with diabetes mellitus. We have to emphasize the importance of prevention, healthy nutrition and frequent sport activity in the fight against diabetes mellitus and overweight. With at least annually performed eye examinations in people with diabetes mellitus and timely treatment of diabetic retinopathy, visual impairment and blindness due to complications of diabetes mellitus can be prevented. ]

Hypertension and nephrology

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

[Routes of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection]


[The modes of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 virus have been analyzed in detail recently. It can be stated that the deposition of micro-sized virus particles on different surfaces and in the air is the main reason for the strength and spread of the epidemic all over the world. Spread of virus is present in practically every event of our lives and daily activities. The usual movements of human-human contact, the specific habits of our own lives (face smoothing, eye rubbing etc.) increase the spread. The greatest threat is posed by infected but asymptomatic individuals as carriers of the virus, and the main concern is the speed of transmission dynamics. We have strong evidence that 1.5-2 meter distance, mask wearing, and eye protection are crucial in reducing the rate of virus transmission. It can be assumed that, like normal influenza virus infections, the appearance of the coronavirus shows a seasonal appearance.]

Hypertension and nephrology

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

[Post-career development of cardiometabolic changes and hypertension in competitive athletes]


[Regular physical activity is essential in delaying the aging processes (e.g. arterial remodelling – stiffening, metabolism, bodyweight), the beneficial effects of competitive sports – especially strength sports – according to the recent data of the literature are questionable. The beneficial effects of physical activity on the cardiovascular (CV) system are well known, however less is known regarding the delayed impacts of high intensity competitive sports on the CV system, especially after the sport career is over. This review summarizes the effects of active competitive sport and the post-career period on the cardiometabolic system with special attention to the systemic blood pressure and the development of metabolic syndrome. After sport career, the welldeveloped high performance cardiovascular- and metabolic system suddenly is much less used, but still supported by sport-level diet. It is well known that hypertension is a significant pathogenic factor in the development of cardiovascular diseases, characterized – among others – by reduced elasticity of large- and medium- sized vessels thereby importantly contributing to the development of systolic hypertension. Inflammation and thrombus formation both play an important role in the development of vascular injury and atherosclerosis. The increased tone of microvessels can impair the blood supply of certain organs, including the coronary circulation. It has been ample shown, that regular non-competitive, aerobic exercise activities are important factors in preventing hypertension. Such pathological changes become more evident after the development of post-career obesity, as well as the development of hypertension due to the activation of the renin-angiotensin system through sodium retention and other metabolic changes (increased glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, type II diabetes mellitus). It has been ample shown, that regular non-competitive, dynamic aerobic exercise activities are important factors in preventing hypertension. The frequency, intensity, type, and time (FITT) principle of exercise prescription is the first and common therapeutic approach, which represents the translation of cardiovascular basic science research results into hypertension treatment, thus can provide a personalized physical activity program/therapy according to medical needs not just for the post-career sportspersons, but the wide range of patients.]

Hypertension and nephrology

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

[Treatment and care of hypertensive patients during and after the Covid-19 pandemic. Possibilities and effectiveness of telemedicine]


[The course and outcome of an pandemic caused by coronaviruses are determined by many factors, such as the strength and dose of the infectious virus, the immune system of the affected individual, the underlying diseases, the speed of virus spread, age and environmental factors and methods of control. In old age, there is a significantly higher risk of developing severe cases and fatalities. The rate of loss of life is particularly high in social care and nursing homes. Hypertension as the underlying disease is the most common cause of death, but hypertension alone is not an independence risk factor, but the main reason is the co-morbidities and complications associated with viral infection. In the epidemic situation, the treatment and care of hypertensive patients poses special challenges for health and active primary and specialist care workers and, of course, for hypertonologists. The Hungarian Society of Hypertension expressed its opinions and recommendations to patients living at home and to doctors performing treatment and care during the Covid-19 virus epidemic and summarized the decision-making possibilities derived from the data obtained during the telemedicine consultation. We would like to present the details of the possibilities provided by telemedicine, the practical possibilities and advantages of the different methods of teleconsultation, and the models that can be implemented in a domestic environment. We have taken into account international experience to date, the new e-health strategy for chronic, non-communicable diseases and the WHO concept. Telemedicine, continuous teleconsultation ensures an optimal relationship between the patient and the doctor, increases the patient’s sense of security, improves drug adherence. The doctor receives reliable data about the patient’s condition and can send him instructions as well as information. The development of a harmonious balance between personal contact and telecommunications already shows the future, and the application of these methods must be developed in the epidemic-free period as well. Previous international (TASMINH-4, HOMED-BP etc.) and domestic (CONADPER-HU) studies have proved that telemonitoring of hypertensive patients can be successfully solved, improves patients’ drug adherence, increases the target blood pressure achievement rate and at the same time the patient will be the active part of the treatment. The method is especially useful in rural settlements without a doctor. Telemedicine monitoring of elderly and multimorbid patients is especially useful in social institutions and nursing homes. It is solved the continuous control of vital functions, ensures continuity of contact with the supervising physician and in urgent cases, allows for rapid intervention. Telemedicine is also of great importance due to the lack of human resources, as many things can be solved with such technology, there are no need so many personal encounters. In addition to influencing the course of this pandemic, it also plays an important role in efficiency, headcount, management and “convenience” in general practice and in all formes of medicine. The proposed models can not only be applied in an epidemic situation, but should continue to be part of everyday health work in future.]

Clinical Neuroscience

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

Neuroscience highlights: Main cell types underlying memory and spatial navigation

KRABOTH Zoltán, KÁLMÁN Bernadette

Interest in the hippocampal formation and its role in navigation and memory arose in the second part of the 20th century, at least in part due to the curious case of Henry G. Molaison, who underwent brain surgery for intractable epilepsy. The temporal association observed between the removal of his entorhinal cortex along with a significant part of hippocampus and the developing severe memory deficit inspired scientists to focus on these regions. The subsequent discovery of the so-called place cells in the hippocampus launched the description of many other functional cell types and neuronal networks throughout the Papez-circuit that has a key role in memory processes and spatial information coding (speed, head direction, border, grid, object-vector etc). Each of these cell types has its own unique characteristics, and together they form the so-called “Brain GPS”. The aim of this short survey is to highlight for practicing neurologists the types of cells and neuronal networks that represent the anatomical substrates and physiological correlates of pathological entities affecting the limbic system, especially in the temporal lobe. For that purpose, we survey early discoveries along with the most relevant neuroscience observations from the recent literature. By this brief survey, we highlight main cell types in the hippocampal formation, and describe their roles in spatial navigation and memory processes. In recent decades, an array of new and functionally unique neuron types has been recognized in the hippocampal formation, but likely more remain to be discovered. For a better understanding of the heterogeneous presentations of neurological disorders affecting this anatomical region, insights into the constantly evolving neuroscience behind may be helpful. The public health consequences of diseases that affect memory and spatial navigation are high, and grow as the population ages, prompting scientist to focus on further exploring this brain region.

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.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

JULY 01, 2020

[Sarcopenia – muscle loss – pathomechanism, clinical presentation and metabolic comorbidities]


[Sarcopenia, or the age-related involution of muscle strength and muscle mass, is a serious public health concern, due to the growing number of elderly population caused by nowadays demographic changes i.e. prolonged life expectancy. By ageing, the muscle tissue is shrinking gradually, leading to the loss of muscle strength and masses. This condition is called sarcopenia. Sar­co­penia is the simultaneous decrease of muscle mass, muscle strength and functional independence. In parallel the physical performance deteriorates (weakness, slowness and poor physical balancing). Fatigue, el­derly behaviour and weight loss are the consequences of these accumulating deficits, which associate with cognitive decline and result in increasing social isolation. The primary form of sarcopenia is the decrease of the energy production of muscle cells and then the death of muscle cells. Se­con­dary, endocrine dysfunctions, diseases of the nervous system, decreased physical activity, malnutrition or malabsorption, chronic infection accelerate the process and aggravate the patient’s condition. Complex genetic, biochemical and endocrine mechanisms take part in the development of sarcopenia. This involution is due to the impaired balance of restoring and depleting processes of muscles. A questionnaire and algorithm have been developed to recognize, screen and diagnose the risks of sarcopenic condition; these separate the sarcopenic and non-sarcopenic patients with specific cut-off values. Sar­co­penia can be diagnosed based on walking speed, decreased handgrip strength and measured or calculated muscle mass in persons over 65. Sarcopenia can be considered as a phenomenon of “physiological” aging, however, it becomes a disease when diagnostic cut-offs are exceeded and the patient experiences functional disability and declining quality of life. Prevention and treatment of sarcopenia and reducing the risk of falling are based on regular active resistance and coordination exercises. Options for pharmaceutical treatments are limited since despite of identified molecular targets there are no convincingly effective innovative therapy on the horizon. Nevertheless, there are some weak evidence for efficacy of the application of amino acids stimulating muscle cell differentiation, such as leucine or the analogue of beta-hydoxy-methylbutyrate beside exercise therapy.]

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.]