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American Academy of Neurology, April 9-16, 2011

Last Updated: April 20, 2011.

 

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The 63rd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology

The annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology was held from April 9 to 16 in Honolulu and attracted approximately 10,000 participants from around the world, including clinicians, academicians, allied health professionals, and others interested in neurology. The conference highlighted recent advances in neurological disorders, with presentations focusing on the diagnosis, management, and treatment of disorders impacting the brain and nervous system.

In one study, Farrah J. Mateen, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues found that a large number of Iraqi refugees were impacted by brain and nervous system disorders.

"I presented the burden of neurological disorders in Iraqi refugees in the Kingdom of Jordan, as measured by an active data information system operated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) called the Refugee Assistance Information System. This is a pilot system of programmatic data. In 2010, UNHCR provided health and humanitarian assistance to 7,642 refugees in Jordan, 1,295 of whom were found to have a neurological diagnosis," Mateen said.

The investigators found that the most common diagnoses were back pain, headache, and epilepsy. Other diagnoses in the top 10 were infantile cerebral palsy, cerebrovascular disease, and dizziness, Mateen said. More Iraqi refugees with neurological diagnoses self-reported a history of torture than did refugees who received assistance and did not have a neurological diagnosis. One in 10 Iraqi refugees with a neurological diagnosis in this group was disabled, Mateen added.

"This study provides a first glimpse into the neurological diagnoses of a group of predominantly urban refugees from a middle income setting. Previously, very little was understood about the range and burden of neurological disorders in a setting of humanitarian assistance. Our previous knowledge was limited to mortality surveys and case series, and the neurological diagnoses in a large group of Iraqi refugees in a country of first asylum was not known," Mateen said.

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In another study, Jacqueline French, M.D., of New York University in New York City, and colleagues found that a novel drug, perampanel, significantly reduced seizures in individuals with difficult-to-control epilepsy. The investigators randomized 387 individuals in the United States and Latin America with uncontrolled epilepsy who were currently taking one to three other anti-seizure drugs to receive either 8 or 12 mg of perampanel or placebo once daily for 19 weeks in addition to their regular medications.

Compared to those who took placebo, those who received 12 mg of perampanel experienced a 14 percent reduction in seizures in a 28 day period, and those who took 8 mg of the drug experienced a nearly 6 percent reduction in seizures.

"The side effects were similar to other currently available drugs, with adverse events including sleepiness, fatigue, and dizziness. However, clinical practice dosing is different than study dosing. In clinical practice, practitioners do not have to titrate to a pre-defined dose, as in the study; therefore, the side effects are more manageable. The next step is to finish the analysis of the last trial and submit the drug for approval to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, [and] hopefully [it] would be approved within one year," French said. "In summary, the drug shows promise as a new option for patients with difficult-to-control epilepsy."

The study was supported by Eisai Inc.

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AAN: Inability to Detect Lies Could Predict Early Dementia

FRIDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- Certain neurodegenerative diseases such as frontotemporal dementia may be detected earlier by evaluating an individual's ability to detect lies and sarcasm, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, held from April 9 to 16 in Honolulu.

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AAN: Laquinimod Reduces Multiple Sclerosis Activity

FRIDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- The immunomodulator laquinimod appears to reduce the relapse rate and delay the progression of disability in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, held from April 9 to 16 in Honolulu.

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AAN: Low Intensity Walking Improves Parkinson's Mobility

WEDNESDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- Low-intensity treadmill walking appears to improve mobility among patients with Parkinson's disease, while an investigational drug, safinamide, seems to reduce dyskinesia in patients with mid- to late-stage Parkinson's disease, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, held from April 9 to 16 in Honolulu.

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AAN: Dementia Frequently Diagnosed Inaccurately

THURSDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Inaccuracies in clinical diagnoses of dementia are common, according to research released Feb. 23 to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, which will be held from April 9 to 16 in Honolulu.

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AAN: Multilingualism May Help Protect Against Cognitive Issues

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Senior citizens who speak more than two languages have a lower risk of developing cognitive impairment, according to research released Feb. 22 to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, which will be held from April 9 to 16 in Honolulu.

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AAN: Cardiac Risk Factors Tied to Cognitive Problems

TUESDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged individuals free of cardiovascular disease but with cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol appear to be at a higher risk for developing early cognitive and memory problems, according to research released Feb. 21 to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, which will be held from April 9 to 16 in Honolulu.

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AAN: Amphetamines Tied to Parkinson's Disease Risk

MONDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Prior use of amphetamines such as benzedrine and dexedrine appears to be associated with an increased risk of Parkinson's disease (PD), according to research released Feb. 20 to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, which will be held from April 9 to 16 in Honolulu.

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AAN: Warm Weather Tied to Worse Cognition in MS

FRIDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Warmer weather is associated with worse cognitive functioning among individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to research released Feb. 17 to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, which will be held from April 9 to 16 in Honolulu.

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AAN: Consuming Anthocyanins Tied to Lower Parkinson's Risk

MONDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Men and women who regularly consume anthocyanins, a subclass of flavonoids mainly obtained from berries, appear to have a lower risk of developing Parkinson's disease, while men who also consume foods rich in other subclasses of flavonoids may further lower their risk of developing the disease, according to research released Feb. 13 to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, held from April 9 to 16 in Honolulu.

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