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Clinical Neuroscience

NOVEMBER 30, 2020

[Covid-19 associated neurological disorders]

SZÔTS Mónika, PÉTERFI Anna, GERÖLY Júlia, NAGY Ferenc

[The clinical signs of SARS-CoV-2 infection has become more recognisable in recent times. In addition to common symptoms such as fever, cough, dyspnea, pneumonia and ageusia, less common complications can be identified, including many neurological manifestations. In this paper, we discuss three Covid-19 associated neurological disorders (Case 1: Covid-19 encephalitis, Case 2: Covid-19 organic headache, Case 3: SARS-CoV-2-infection and ischaemic stroke). We emphasize in our multiple case study that during the present pandemic, it is especially important for neurologists to be aware of the nervous system complications of the virus infection, thus saving unnecessary examinations and reducing the frequency of patients’ contact with health care personnel. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

NOVEMBER 30, 2020

[The connection between the socioeconomic status and stroke in Budapest]

VASTAGH Ildikó, SZŐCS Ildikó, OBERFRANK Ferenc, AJTAY András, BERECZKI Dániel

[The well-known gap bet­ween stroke mortality of Eastern and Western Euro­pean countries may reflect the effect of socioeconomic diffe­rences. Such a gap may be present between neighborhoods of different wealth within one city. We set forth to compare age distribution, incidence, case fatality, mortality, and risk factor profile of stroke patients of the poorest (District 8) and wealthiest (District 12) districts of Budapest. We synthesize the results of our former comparative epidemiological investigations focusing on the association of socioeconomic background and features of stroke in two districts of the capital city of Hungary. The “Budapest District 8–12 project” pointed out the younger age of stroke patients of the poorer district, and established that the prevalence of smoking, alcohol-consumption, and untreated hypertension is also higher in District 8. The “Six Years in Two Districts” project involving 4779 patients with a 10-year follow-up revealed higher incidence, case fatality and mortality of stroke in the less wealthy district. The younger patients of the poorer region show higher risk-factor prevalence, die younger and their fatality grows faster during long-term follow-up. The higher prevalence of risk factors and the higher fatality of the younger age groups in the socioeconomically deprived district reflect the higher vulnerability of the population in District 8. The missing link between poverty and stroke outcome seems to be lifestyle risk-factors and lack of adherence to primary preventive efforts. Public health campaigns on stroke prevention should focus on the young generation of socioeconomi­cally deprived neighborhoods. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

NOVEMBER 30, 2020

[The Comprehensive Aphasia Test in Hungarian]

ZAKARIÁS Lilla, RÓZSA Sándor, LUKÁCS Ágnes

[In this paper we present the Comprehensive Aphasia Test-Hungarian (CAT-H; Zakariás and Lukács, in preparation), an assessment tool newly adapted to Hungarian, currently under standardisation. The test is suitable for the assessment of an acquired language disorder, post-stroke aphasia. The aims of this paper are to present 1) the main characteristics of the test, its areas of application, and the process of the Hungarian adaptation and standardisation, 2) the first results from a sample of Hungarian people with aphasia and healthy controls. Ninety-nine people with aphasia, mostly with unilateral, left hemisphere stroke, and 19 neurologically intact control participants were administered the CAT-H. In addition, we developed a questionnaire assessing demographic and clinical information. The CAT-H consists of two parts, a Cognitive Screening Test and a Language Test. People with aphasia performed significantly worse than the control group in all language and almost all cognitive subtests of the CAT-H. Consistent with our expectations, the control group performed close to ceiling in all subtests, whereas people with aphasia exhibited great individual variability both in the language and the cognitive subtests. In addition, we found that age, time post-onset, and type of stroke were associated with cognitive and linguistic abilities measured by the CAT-H. Our results and our experiences clearly show that the CAT-H provides a comprehensive profile of a person’s impaired and intact language abilities and can be used to monitor language recovery as well as to screen for basic cognitive deficits in aphasia. We hope that the CAT-H will be a unique resource for rehabilitation professionals and aphasia researchers in aphasia assessment and diagnostics in Hungary. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

NOVEMBER 30, 2020

The applications of transcranial Doppler in ischemic stroke

FINNSDÓTTIR Herdis, SZEGEDI István, OLÁH László, CSIBA László

Background: This overview provides a summary of the applications of transcranial Doppler (TCD) in ischemic stroke. Results: A fast-track neurovascular ultrasound protocol has been developed for detecting occlusion or stenosis. The technique is more reliable in the carotid area than in the posterior circulation. By monitoring the pulsatility index the in­crea­sed intracranial pressure can be diagnosed. TIBI score was developed for grading residual flow. TCD has been shown to accurately predict complete or any recanalization. Regarding recanalization, TCD has a sensitivity of 92%, a specificity of 88%, a positive predictive value of 96%, a negative predictive value of 78% and an overall accuracy of 91%, respectively. Sonothrombolysis seemed to be a promising application but randomized controlled trials have shown that it does not improve clinical outcome. TCD examination can detect microembolic signals (MES) which are associated with an increased risk of stroke. Micro­em­boli were detected in symptomatic and asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis and during carotid endarterectomy. The number of microemboli can be decreased by antithrombotic therapy. Contrast en­chan­ced examination and Valsalva maneuver with continuous TCD monitoring can accurately screen for right-to-left shunt.

Hypertension and nephrology

JUNE 24, 2020

[Hypertension and Covid-19 – Part I. Significance of age, underlying diseases, and ACEI/ARB therapy in hypertension and co-morbidities during SARS-Cov2 infection]

KÉKES Ede, SZÉKÁCS Béla, NAGY Judit, KOVÁCS Tibor

[The appearance of the Covid-19 epidemic in different continents shows specific clinical features. Confirmed infected patients are detectable from approximately 30 years, with a maximum between 40 and 70 years of age. At the same time, however, a significant proportion of those who die from the infection come from patients over 65 years. The prevalence and mortality rates of the hypertensive population show a very similar formation. Based on the data collected, it is not surprising that hypertension as the underlying disease in the Covid- 19 epidemic is the first in all analysis. A more precise analysis clarified that it is not hypertension per se, but co-morbidities and complications of hypertension that play a primary role behind large-scale mortality in old age, such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, heart failure, and chronic kidney disease. Data from China, North America, and Italy suggest that hypertension and diabetes – and in North America, pathological obesity – in infected patients actually only reflect the prevalence of these diseases in a given population. The presence of comorbidities (coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure, arrhythmia, chronic kidney disease) – based on multivariate logistic regression analysis – presents a more risk for severe clinical course and mortality. Some recent analyses have provided strong evidence that ACEI/ARB treatment does not pose a higher risk for the course or outcome of infection. Their administration is constantly needed in hypertension and comorbidities due to their organ protective and slowing the progression of diseases.]

Hypertension and nephrology

JUNE 24, 2020

[Not all young, athletic university students have optimal blood pressure. Results of the May 2019 Measurement Month (MMM19)]

PATÓ Anna, NÉMETH Zoltán, JÁRAI Zoltán, KOLLER Ákos

[For about 100 years, it has been known that persistently high blood pressure (hypertension) is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease deaths, such as major risk factors for heart failure, myocardial infarction, stroke, kidney and eye disease. Unfortunately, one of the characteristics of hypertension is that it remains undetected for a long time until damage to one or more organs has already occurred. Therefore, it is very important that systemic blood pressure is monitored from time to time, especially above 45 years of age. The prevalence of hypertension is more than 35% in the Hungarian population. Recent data have pointed out that hypertension may occur at a younger age, although at a lower frequency. Our studies were conducted in the context of the May 2019 Measurement Month (MMM19), an international campaign that draws attention to hypertension and the lack of systematic screening at population level. We hypothesized that hypertension may occur in young, apparently healthy university students. The studies were conducted among students of the University of Physical Education (n = 33; 25 males, 8 females). The mean age was 24.3 years (20–34 years). To measure blood pressure, an automatic blood pressure monitor (Omron MIT5) was used, placed on individuals’ upper arms, as specified in the guidelines, in a relaxed, sitting position. The measurements were repeated three times at one-minute intervals and the average of the three measurements was statistically analyzed. Blood pressure values (mean ± SEM, averaged over 3 measurements) in the student population were systolic 121.9 ± 14.4 mmHg, diastolic 75.1 ± 9.1 mmHg, mean 90.7 ± 10.9 mmHg, and heart rate: 46.8 ± 5.3 mmHg. Although mean blood pressure was within the normal range, higher values were also found in some individuals. Systolic blood pressure fell by 33% due to elevated normal blood pressure, respectively of Grade 1 hypertension. These data confirmed our hypothesis that hypertension may occur at a young age, despite the fact that members of the study population exercise regularly, which is an important preventive factor in the development of cardiovascular disease. These results underscore the importance of regular blood pressure measurement in adolescents, which may reduce the global spread of hypertension and prevent the development of a number of cardiovascular diseases, including stroke, heart attack, renal failure and mental decline.]

Clinical Neuroscience

JANUARY 30, 2016

Comparison of hospitalized acute stroke patients’ characteristics using two large central-eastern european databases

ORBÁN-KIS Károly, SZŐCS Ildikó, FEKETE Klára, MIHÁLKA László, CSIBA László, BERECZKI Dániel, SZATMÁRI Szabolcs

Objectives – Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the European region. In spite of a decreasing trend, stroke related mortality remains higher in Hungary and Romania when compared to the EU average. This might be due to higher incidence, increased severity or even less effective care. Methods – In this study we used two large, hospital based databases from Targu Mures (Romania) and Debrecen (Hungary) to compare not only the demographic characteristics of stroke patients from these countries but also the risk factors, as well as stroke severity and short term outcome. Results – The gender related distribution of patients was similar to those found in the European Survey, whereas the mean age of patients at stroke onset was similar in the two countries but lower by four years. Although the length of hospital stay was significantly different in the two countries it was still much shorter (about half) than in most reports from western European countries. The overall fatality rate in both databases, regardless of gender was comparable to averages from Europe and other countries. In both countries we found a high number of risk factors, frequently overlapping. The prevalence of risk factors (hypertension, smoking, hyperlipidaemia) was higher than those reported in other countries, which can explain the high ratio of recurring stroke. Discussion – In summary, the comparatively analyzed data from the two large databases showed several similarities, especially regarding the high number of modifiable risk factors, and as such further effort is needed regarding primary prevention.

Clinical Neuroscience

JANUARY 30, 2016

To treat or not to treat, cheyne-stokes respiration in a young adult with vascular encephalopathy

HUBATSCH Mihaela, ENGLERT Harald, WAGNER Ulrich

Cheyne-Stokes respiration (CSR) is a form of sleep-disordered breathing characterised by recurrent central sleep apnoea alternating with a crescendo-decrescendo pattern of tidal volume, relatively rare observation in sleep labs. It is mainly seen in severe heart failure and stroke. We report the case of a young man with CSR after sudden onset of seizure in the context of hypertensive exacerbation leading to the diagnosis of a leukoencephalopathy, and comment on differential diagnoses, prognostic and therapeutic outcomes. The very uniqueness of this case consists in the extremely young age for developing a vascular encephalopathy in the absence of genetic diseases and without previous diagnose of hypertension. There is no adequate explanation for the origin of vascular encephalopathy; also there is lack of evidence regarding the benefits and modality of treatment for CSR in neurologic diseases. Thus, we were forced to find the best compromise in a nocturnal oxygen therapy and follow-up.

Clinical Neuroscience

MARCH 30, 2016

[The importance of anticoagulant therapy in patients with artial fibrillation in stroke prevention – summary of international data and novel therapeutic modalities]

MIROLOVICS Ágnes, PAPP Csaba, ZSUGA Judit, BERECZKI Dániel

[The most common cardiogenic cause of ischaemic stroke is atrial fibrillation which increases the probability of stroke five-fold and doubles case fatality. Based on international data the incidence of atrial fibrillation is approx. 2% however this rapidly increases with age. The necessity of using oral anticoagulants in the prevention of non-valvular atrial fibrillation related stroke is decided based on estimated stroke risk. The CHADS2 and the more predictive CHA2DS2-VASc scales are used for this purpose while the bleeding risk of patients treated with anticoagulant may be estimated by the HAS-BLED scoring scale. For decades oral anticoagulation meant using vitamin-K antagonists. Based on international data we can see that rate of anticoagulation is unacceptably low, furthermore most of the anticoagulated patients aren’t within the therapeutic range of INR (INR: 2-3). A lot of disadvantages of vitamin-K antagonists are known (e.g. food-drug interaction, need for regular coagulation monitoring, increased risk of bleeding), therefore compounds with new therapeutic target have been developed. The novel oral anticoagulants (NOAC) can be divided in two major subgroups: direct thrombin inhibitors (dabigatran etexilate) and Xa-factor inhibitors (rivaroxaban, apixaban, edoxaban). These products are administered in fix doses, they less frequently interact with other medications or food, and regular coagulation monitoring is not needed when using these drugs. Moreover several studies have shown that they are at least as effective in the prevention of ischaemic stroke than the vitamin-K antagonists, with no more haemorrhagic complications.]