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Joana I. Simeonova, Snejanka T. Tisheva-Gospodinova, Yoana M. Todorova, Petkana A. Hristova, Asia N. Yanakieva and Martin I. Hristov

ESH and SCORE strategies. J Hypertens. 2007;25(4):757-62. 4. Mancia G, Fagard R, Narkiewicz K, Redón J, Zanchetti A, Böhm M, et al. 2013 ESH/ESC Guidelines for the management of arterial hypertension: the Task Force for the management of arterial hypertension of the European Society of Hypertension (ESH) and of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). J Hypertens. 2013;31(7):1281-357. 5. Stoianov M. [Assessment of cardiovascular risk by SCORE]. Science Cardiology. 2010;3:142-7. Bulgarian. 6. Erhardt L, Moller R, Puig JG. Comprehensive

Open access

Desislava D. Drenska and Dimitar B. Maslarov

References 1. Giles MF, Rothwell PM. Risk of stroke early after transient ischaemic attack: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Neurol . 2007;6(12):1063-72. 2. Johnston SC, Rothwell PM, Nguyen-Huynh MN, Giles MF, Elkins JS, Bernstein AL, et al. Validation and refinement of scores to predict very early stroke risk after transient ischaemic attack. The ABCD, California, and unified ABCD2 risk scores predicted stroke within 2, 7, and 90 days after TIA. Lancet. 2007;369:283-92. 3. Josephson SA, Sidney S, Pham TN, Bernstein AL, Johnston SC

Open access

Dorota Talarska, Michał Michalak and Patrycja Talarska


Background. Every chronic illness, including epilepsy, has a negative effect on both the quality of life of the sufferer as well as on their relationship with their surroundings.

Aims. To investigate the quality of life of children suffering from epilepsy and analyse how they assessed and scored their experiences compared to their parents.

Materials and methods. The study included 209 children with epilepsy and their parents. The research tool was a questionnaire for gathering demographic and clinical data as well as the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory 4.0 Generic Core Scales (PedsQL 4.0) questionnaire in two versions, one for 8–12 year olds and one for 13–18 year olds and their parents.

Results. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient for the entire PedsQL 4.0 questionnaire was 0.91 and 0.93 for children with epilepsy and their parents respectively. Children rated their Total Scale Score higher (67.5 points) than their parents (62.5 points). Whilst analyzing children’s functioning in different areas it was observed that girls’ assessments were higher than boys’, except for Emotional Functioning. Both parents and children scored School Functioning the lowest. The greatest agreement of responses was observed in the domain of Physical Functioning, the smallest in the domain of Emotional Functioning.

Conclusions. Quality of life was rated higher by both age groups of children suffering from epilepsy than by their parents. A statistically significant difference was found when comparing the assessment scores of children and parents in light of the following variables; child age, gender, illness duration, seizure frequency and treatment effectiveness.

Open access

Rumyana N. Kuzmanova, Irina Z. Stefanova, Irena V. Velcheva and Katerina I. Stambolieva


The aim of the study is the translation, adaptation and validation of Side effects of antiepileptic drugs questionnaire in Bulgarian language (SIDAED-BG) in order to use it for objective monitoring of patients with epilepsy. One hundred and thirty one patients (mean age 40.13±13.37 years) took part in the investigation. The internal consistency and test-retest reliability were tested by Cronbach's α and ICC estimations. The convergent construct validity was evaluated by estimating the correlation of SIDAED-BG with the QOLIE-89 and the discriminant validity - by evaluation of the difference between SIDAED-BG scores and clinical parameters such as type of epilepsy using Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA. The Cronbach's α of the total scale was 0.93. The test-retest reliability was higher and determined the strong positive correlations between the first and second examination. The SIDAED-BG questionnaire showed good internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha ranged from 0.37 to 0.86) and the scores significantly correlated with other questionnaires such as QOLIE-89 and showed a good discriminative validity between groups with different levels of self-assessed adverse effects of antiepileptic drugs. The Bulgarian version of SIDAED is a reliable and valid tool in assessing the patient-reported adverse effects of antiepileptic drugs and their impact on the patient's outcome.

Open access

Savelina L. Popovska, Ivan N. Ivanov and Dorian Y. Dikov


Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is the standard of care for patients with locally advanced breast cancer (LABS). The aim of this study was to determine the effects of neoadjuvant chemotherapy on metastatic and nonmetastatic breast cancer axillary lymph nodes (ALNs). Seventy-seven patients with LABS and cytologically documented ALN metastases were treated in two prospective trials. Patients had breast surgery with level I and level II axillary dissection followed by additional chemotherapy or radiation treatment. Clinical nodal status was determined by physical examination and compared with histological and immunohistochemical findings. The regressive changes in primary tumor and ALNs were achieved using scoring systems. Objective clinical response in primary tumor was seen in 48.05% of patients. Histologic evidence of regression was noted in 46 cases (59.75%), with complete histologic regression achieved in 5 cases (6.49%). The number of cases according to the ALNs regression scoring system was as follows: 0 grade - viable metastases without effect - 21 patients (30%); 1 grade - cytotoxic effect in metastases - 20 patients (28.58%), 2 grade - micrometastasis - only3 patients (4.28%); 3 grade - no residual metastatic disease - 1 patient (1.43%); 4 grade - negative ALNs before and after treatment - 25 patients (35.71%). Nodular fibrotic area and iron-loaded macrophages suggested previous presence of tumor metastasis. There was significant relationship between histologic regression in the primary tumor and the presence of effect of cytotoxic agents on ALNs metastases (r=0.9123; p<0.00001). As chemotherapy is widely used in the treatment of breast carcinoma, pathologists should be aware of chemotherapy-induced changes in metastatic and in non­metastatic ALNs.

Open access

Vladimir V. Kalinin, Daniya M. Nazmetdinova and Alexander V. Basamygin


Introduction. The current knowledge of significance of some neurobiological and clinical variables for the development of cognitive deterioration in patients with epilepsy remains sparse and controversial.

Aim. The current study has been carried out in order to elucidate the role of handedness in terms of influence on cognitive processing and intelligence in patients with epilepsy.

Material and methods. One hundred and thirty two patients (62 males, 70 females, aged 27.8 ± 8.9 years) with epilepsy participated in the study. Patients were divided into two groups. The first group included 112 patients that were characterized by intelligence and cognitive impairment while the second group (20 patients) had no mental deterioration and was regarded as controls. The two diagnostic categories accorded with ICD-10 criteria. The diagnosis of Dementia (F-02.8) was confirmed in 54 patients, while the diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment (F-06.7) was confirmed in 58 patients.

Results. Our results show that the level of left-handers among patients with cognitive Impairment achieved 14.2%, whilst in the group without cognitive deterioration there were no left-handers, and this difference was statistically significant (p = 0.051). An analysis of possible influence of motor lateralization on degree of cognitive deterioration, revealed that left-handedness determines the higher degrees of intelligence deterioration compared with right-handedness (χ2 = 6.64; p < 0,05). These data were confirmed by use of Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) and the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) tests, and all left-handed epilepsy patients achieved lower scores on MMSE, total WAIS, as well as verbal and nonverbal WAIS scores.

Conclusion. Our data confirm a role of some neurobiological variables, with emphasis on cerebral motor lateralization, in their influence upon intelligence level and cognitive deterioration in epilepsy. These data may be used for predictive purposes of intelligence assessment in patients with epilepsy.

Open access

Evangelina E. Ballini, Edward Helmes and Bruce K. Schefft


Introduction. The traditional view of cognition in idiopathic or genetic generalized epilepsy (GGE) is that “one size fits all” i.e. only very mild generalized impairment might be detected, if any. This paper describes four case studies of cognitive functioning in GGE patients with photosensitivity and reflexive seizures.

Aim. The aim was to discover whether each individual’s set of cognitive deficits varied in accordance with his/her other clinical phenomena such as photosensitivity and kinds of reflexive seizures.

Method. Neurological and cognitive performance was assessed by comprehensive evaluation of each patient based on interviews, neurologist’s EEG reports and neuropsychological tests. Assessment of cognitive domains included estimated pre-morbid I.Q. based on reading ability and demographic norms, current I.Q., attention factors, verbal memory, visual memory and executive functions.

Results. Clinical signs and investigative studies indicated that two cases typically began reflexive seizure episodes with facial myoclonia which evolved into tonic-clonic convulsions or generalized myoclonic seizures. These patients had widespread attention and working memory deficits, some severe, together with lowered intelligence scores. In contrast, two other cases (with no history of myoclonus) had generalized reflexive seizures originating in the occipital lobes, very mild localized visual dysfunction and high intelligence.

Conclusions. The systematic variation in extent and nature of cognitive dysfunction illustrated in these cases with reflexive seizures (preceded by myoclonia or visual phenomena) would be explained by a more recent conceptualization of GGE as encompassing regional differences in variable hyperexcitability located at cortical levels or functional neural networks.

Open access

Violeta S. Rilcheva, Nina P. Ayvazova, Lyubomira O. Ilieva, Svetlana P. Ivanova and Emiliana I. Konova


The objective of the study was to investigate the influence of sperm DNA fragmentation index (DFI) by DNA integrity test on pregnancy outcome and pregnancy loss after assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedure: autologous intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), donation eggs ICSI, and intrauterine insemination (IUI). We investigated men from 531 couples undergoing autologous ICSI procedure (n=416), from couples undergoing donation eggs procedure (n=39) and IUI (n=76). We performed the following interventions: semen analysis, DNA integrity test, embryo scoring by Gardner and Schoolcraft grading system (1999). The study showed no statistically significant differences between the group regarding pregnancy rate (χ2=0.55; p>0.05; OR=1.25, 95% Cl 1.23-1.46; p>0.05). However, with increased levels of DFI, the number of pregnancy losses became higher (including biochemical pregnancies and spontaneous abortions) at OR=5.65 (95% Cl 4.32-7.11; p=0.05). We examined the percentage of grade I blastocysts (by Gardner and Schoolcraft, 1999) before donation eggs embryo transfer and found a statistically significant correlation with both the DFI (χ2=7.80; p<0.05) and sperm morphology (χ2=6.14; p<0.05). Analysis of the relationship between DFI and IUI output (clinical pregnancy, miscarriage) revealed significant correlations in both directions: between DFI and pregnancy rate after IUI (χ2=6.29; p<0.05) and between the DFI and pregnancy development after IUI (χ2=6.87; p<0.05). The three group categories (autologous, heterologous ICSI procedures and IUI) studied showed that sperm samples with DFI>27% were associated with increased riskofearlypregnancyloss. Men with infertility should undergo DNA fragmentation assay in addition to the standard semen analysis. When DFI exceeds 27%, ICSI should be a method of choice, even in cases where the conventional parameters of semen analysis tests are normal.

Open access

Boyan A. Stoykov, Nikolay H. Kolev, Rumen P.Kotsev, Fahd Al-Shargabi, Pencho P. Genov, Aleksandar Vanov, Jitian A. Atanasov, Manish Sachdeva, Pencho T. Tonchev and Maria I. Koleva


The experience accumulated with low-intensity extracorporeal shock wave therapy (LI-ESWT) from international clinical trials has demonstrated its safety, efficacy and good tolerance in treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED). The aim of this retrospective study was to investigate the effect of LI-ESWT in patients with ED after bilateral nerve sparing radical surgery for prostate cancer. Twenty-seven patients underwent bilateral nerve sparing radical retropubic prostatectomy (BNSRRP) at the clinic of urology of the university hospital in Pleven between January 2016 and December 2016. Twenty-one of these patients had pre-operative preserved erectile function (EF), as reported according to the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5). Postoperatively, these 21 patients experienced a mild (18-21 points) impairment of EF. In 10 patients (group 1), LI-ESWT was performed. The procedure was performed once a week for 6 weeks with a LI-ESWT (BTL 6000 SWT Topline) instrument. The reading was obtained with IIEF-5 on the third and sixth month after the end of therapy. The other 11 patients (group 2) were used as a control group and did not receive treatment. In 5 patients in group 1, a recovery of EF (> 21 points) as per IIEF-5 was recorded at the third month after treatment. In two patients, the same score was recorded at the sixth month. No improvement was seen in three men in group 1. In the controls (group 2), a spontaneous EF improvement in four patients at sixth month was registered. Despite the small number of patients and their short-term follow-up, our initial results indicate that LI-ESWT is effective, safe and well-tolerated. It could be an alternative for early penis rehabilitation in patients who have undergone BNSRRP.

Open access

Ivelina A. Yordanova, Desislava D. Tsvetanova, Diana D. Strateva, Pavlina D. Yordanova-Laleva and Dimitar K. Gospodinov

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