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Category: Neurology | Monthly Briefing

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February 2012 Briefing - Neurology

Last Updated: March 01, 2012.

 

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Neurology for February 2012. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Amantadine Speeds Recovery From Consciousness Disorders

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Amantadine improves the rate of functional recovery during active treatment in patients with severe traumatic brain injury, according to a study published in the March 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Despite Benefits of Selenium, Supplements May Be Harmful

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 29 (HealthDay News) -- While selenium is necessary for good health, levels that are too high can be harmful, and people whose serum selenium levels are already at least 122 µ/L should not take supplements, according to a review published online Feb. 29 in The Lancet.

Abstract
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Neurophysiological Deficits Persist Following Concussion

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 29 (HealthDay News) -- For athletes who suffer a concussion, neurophysiological deficits persist and are present at least six months following a concussion, and adolescents appear to be more vulnerable to the consequences of concussion, according to a study published in the March issue of Brain Injury.

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Hearing Loss Linked to Falls in Those Under Age 70

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Hearing loss is associated with increased odds of falling, according to research published in the Feb. 27 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Abstract
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Care Protocol for Comatose Patients May Need Revision

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Although neurological tests are highly reliable predictors of death in patients who remain in a coma following cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), withdrawal-of-treatment decisions may need to be delayed for those who undergo mild hypothermia therapy, according to a Dutch study published in the February issue of the Annals of Neurology.

Abstract
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Inactivity and Obesity Relate to Cognitive Impairment in Lupus

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Physical inactivity and obesity are associated with impaired cognitive function, especially executive functions, in women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), according to research published online Feb. 15 in Arthritis Care & Research.

Abstract
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Autoinjector Version of Multiple Sclerosis Drug Approved

TUESDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- A pen-delivery version of the multiple sclerosis drug Avonex has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, drug manufacturer Biogen Idec said Tuesday.

multiple sclerosis

FDA Approves Label Changes for Statins

TUESDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The recommendation to remove routine monitoring of liver enzymes is among safety label changes recently approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for statins, according to a Feb. 28 Drug Safety Communication issued by the agency.

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Bidirectional Causality for Attention Issues, Video Games

TUESDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Children who spend more time playing video games subsequently have more attention problems and impulsivity, and those who are more impulsive or have attention problems spend more time playing video games, according to a study published in the January issue of Psychology of Popular Media Culture.

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Adults With Disabilities at Increased Risk of Violence

TUESDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Adults with disabilities face an increased risk of violence, with an even higher risk evident for those with mental illness, according to a review published online Feb. 28 in The Lancet.

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Cognitive Development Stable for Low Birth Weight Infants

TUESDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- For very low birth weight (VLBW) babies, there is good stability of cognitive development over time, with a strong correlation between assessments at 2 years of corrected age and at age 5, according to a study published online Feb. 27 in Pediatrics.

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A-Fib Increases Risk of Cognitive, Functional Decline

TUESDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with atrial fibrillation are at an increased risk for both cognitive and functional decline, regardless of whether they have a stroke, according to research published online Feb. 27 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Red Blood Cell Omega-3 Levels Linked to Brain Volume

MONDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- In adults without clinical dementia, low red blood cell (RBC) levels of omega-3 fatty acids are associated with smaller brain volumes and lower scores on tests of visual memory and executive function, according to a study published in the Feb. 28 issue of Neurology.

Abstract
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Chemo for Breast Cancer Tied to Long-Term Cognitive Issues

MONDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Women treated with cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and fluorouracil (CMF) chemotherapy for breast cancer still experience neuropsychological problems decades later, according to a study published online Feb. 27 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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ASD Meds More Commonly Used by Teens With Comorbid ADHD

FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are more likely to use psychotropic medication if they also have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a study published in the Dec. 23 issue of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology.

Abstract
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Variable Mortality Risk for Antipsychotic Use in Elderly

FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of mortality associated with antipsychotic drug use among elderly residents in nursing homes in the United States varies between drugs, according to a study published online Feb. 23 in BMJ.

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Plasma Protein S100-B Useful Screening Tool in Head Trauma

FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Measuring plasma levels of the protein S100-B has a high negative predictive value compared with computed tomography (CT) scans for patients with minor head injuries, according to research published in the March issue of the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Abstract
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Citrus Fruit Linked to Lower Risk of Ischemic Stroke

THURSDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Eating higher amounts of a compound (flavonoid) found in citrus fruits may lower the risk of stroke, according to a study published online Feb. 23 in Stroke.

Abstract
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Cognitive Rehabilitation Improves Brain Function in MS

THURSDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) demonstrates that patients with relapsing-remitting (RR) multiple sclerosis (MS) who respond to 12 weeks of computer-assisted cognitive rehabilitation with improved attention, information processing, and executive functions have modified brain activity, according to research published in the March issue of Radiology.

Abstract
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Low Neuro-Psych Functioning for Long-Term Glioma Survivors

THURSDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term survivors of childhood high-grade glioma have intellectual functioning within low-average ranges and low neuropsychological functioning, but the majority of patients report within or above normal quality of life, according to a study published online Feb. 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Surgical Spinal Cord Monitoring May Predict Paralysis

MONDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Intraoperative monitoring (IOM) of the spinal cord with somatosensory and transcranial electrical motor evoked potentials (EPs) during spinal surgery and certain chest surgeries can help predict surgery-related paralysis and possibly allow for intervention, according to new guidelines published by the Therapeutics and Technology Assessment Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) in the Feb. 21 issue of Neurology.

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White Matter Changes Precede Manifestations of Autism

MONDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The development of white matter pathways is abnormal in infants before manifestations of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), according to a study published online Feb. 17 in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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CT Myelography More Accurately Detects CSF Leakage

MONDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage may be detected more accurately in patients with spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) using epidural collection on computed tomography myelography (CTM) rather than paraspinal radioisotope (RI) accumulation on radioisotope cisternography (RIC), according to a study published in the Feb. 15 issue of Spine.

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Donepezil Improves Symptoms in Dementia With Lewy Bodies

FRIDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), 5 and 10 mg/day doses of donepezil are associated with significant improvements in behavioral, cognitive, and global symptoms, according to a phase II study published online Feb. 8 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Study Evaluates Clinical Value of Stroke Biomarkers

FRIDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- While 136 different stroke biomarkers have been identified, the clinical value of these biomarkers remains unclear, according to a study published online Feb. 9 in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

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Aphasia Increases Cost of Care After Ischemic Stroke

FRIDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- In ischemic stroke patients, aphasia is associated with greater morbidity, higher mortality, and increased length of stay, and adds $1,703 per patient to the cost of stroke-related care, according to research published online Feb. 16 in Stroke.

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Autism Spectrum Disorders Linked to Motor Impairment

THURSDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Motor skills are impaired in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and this impairment correlates with autistic severity and IQ, according to a study published online in Autism.

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Infants Comprehend Some Words As Early As 6 Months

THURSDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Infants already know the meanings of several common words at 6 months of age, according to a study published online Feb. 13 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Intramuscular Midazolam As Safe As Intravenous Lorazepam

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Intramuscular midazolam is as safe and effective as intravenous lorazepam for treatment of patients with seizures by paramedics, according to a study published in the Feb. 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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New Method Found to Detect Sensorimotor Polyneuropathy

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Corneal nerve fiber length (CNFL), as measured using corneal confocal microscopy (CCM), can be used to reliably rule diabetic sensorimotor polyneuropathy (DSP) in or out, according to research published online Feb. 8 in Diabetes Care.

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Brief Cognitive Screens at Primary Care Visits Effective

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Brief cognitive screening of older patients combined with further evaluation, if needed, in the primary care setting leads to a two- to three-fold increase in the diagnosis of cognitive impairment, including dementia, according to a study published in the February issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Pollutant Exposure Tied to Cognitive Decline in Elderly

TUESDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term exposure to particulate matter (PM) (coarse PM: 2.5 to 10 µm in diameter [PM2.5-10] and fine PM: <2.5 µm in diameter [PM2.5]) is associated with faster cognitive decline in older women, according to a study published in the Feb. 13 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Mediterranean Diet Linked to Healthier Brain Matter

TUESDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Consumption of a Mediterranean-style diet (MeDi) is linked to a reduced burden of white matter hyperintensity volume (WMHV), a marker of small vessel brain damage, according to a study published in the February issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Big Waistline in HIV Tied to Neurocognitive Impairment

MONDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Central obesity is linked to an increased risk of decreased mental functioning in HIV-positive individuals, according to a study published in the Feb. 14 issue of Neurology.

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Increases in [18F]FDDNP Tied to Future Cognitive Decline

MONDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- For individuals without dementia, increases in 2-(1-{6-[(2-fluorine 18-labeled fluoroethyl)methylamino]-2-napthyl}ethylidene) malononitrile ([18F]FDDNP) positron emission tomography (PET) binding in brain regions are associated with future cognitive decline, according to a study published in the February issue of the Archives of Neurology.

Abstract
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Prenatal Vitamin D Deficit Linked to Language Impairment

MONDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Maternal vitamin D insufficiency during pregnancy is linked to subsequent language impairment in offspring, according to a study published Feb. 13 in Pediatrics.

Abstract
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Mindfulness Therapy Improves Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

MONDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) may improve mood, emotional regulation, well-being, and functioning in individuals with bipolar disorder, according to a study published in the February issue of CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics.

Abstract
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Sudomotor Denervation Found in Diabetic Neuropathy

FRIDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Sudomotor denervation has been demonstrated in individuals with diabetic neuropathy, and the sweat gland innervation index (SGII) correlates with glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels, according to research published online Feb. 1 in Diabetes Care.

Abstract
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Brain Changes ID'd in Young Adults With Type 1 Diabetes

FRIDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- By late adolescence and early adulthood, brain volume and T2 relaxation time, a measure of tissue health, has declined in patients with type 1 diabetes compared with similarly-aged healthy peers, according to research published online Feb. 1 in Diabetes Care.

Abstract
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Risk of Collision Doubles for Drivers Using Cannabis

FRIDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Drivers under the influence of cannabis are twice as likely to be involved in motor vehicle collisions, particularly fatal collisions, according to research published online Feb. 9 in BMJ.

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Inflammation Link With Stroke Depends on Stroke Type

THURSDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Elevated leukocyte counts are associated with a higher incidence of cerebral infarction and a lower incidence of intracerebral hemorrhage, according to a study published online Feb. 3 in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

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Intracerebroventricular Opioid Infusion Feasible at Home

THURSDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Intracerebroventricular (ICV) infusion of opioids is safe and effective for the treatment of nonresponsive pain in terminally-ill patients in home settings, according to a review published online Feb. 1 in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Abstract
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Stimulation of Entorhinal Cortex Enhances Memory

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Focal electrical stimulation to the entorhinal cortex is associated with enhanced memory, according to a study published in the Feb. 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Tai Chi Training Improves Balance in Parkinson's Disease

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with mild to moderate Parkinson's disease, tai chi reduces balance impairments compared with resistance training or stretching, according to a study published in the Feb. 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Parkin Has Key Role in Human Nigral Dopaminergic Neurons

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Parkin may control dopamine utilization in the human midbrain by enhancing dopaminergic neurotransmission and suppressing dopamine oxidation, according to a study published online Feb. 7 in Nature Communications.

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Epilepsy Surgery Improves Long-Term Outcomes

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Epilepsy surgery is a beneficial procedure, resulting in sustained quality of life and better long-term seizure control for patients, according to a study published online Feb. 7 in Epilepsia.

Abstract
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Neuropsychiatric Events Have No Long-Term Impact in Lupus

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Neuropsychiatric manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are not associated with long-term disease activity, the accumulation of organ damage, or overall health-related quality of life, according to a study published online Jan. 30 in Arthritis Care & Research.

Abstract
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Cognitive Impairment Criteria Impact Alzheimer's Diagnosis

TUESDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Using revised criteria for mild cognitive impairment (MCI), the vast majority of patients with very mild or mild Alzheimer's disease (AD) would be reclassified as having MCI, according to a study published online Feb. 6 in the Archives of Neurology.

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Polyethylene Glycol Repairs Severed Nerves in Rats

TUESDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Polyethylene glycol (PEG) may be useful for repairing severed nerves, according to two experimental studies published online Feb. 3 in the Journal of Neuroscience Research.

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Subcortical Gray Matter Changes Seen in RA Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with healthy control subjects, patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have reduced intracranial volumes and structural changes in the subcortical gray matter, but do not have localized cortical gray matter atrophy, according to research published in the February issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Abstract
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Brain Connectivity Linked to Visual Task Performance

MONDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Functional connectivity within and between the visual cortex is correlated with the ability to perform a perceptual task, according to a study published online Feb. 6 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Abstract
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DRAGON Score Helps Predict Functional Outcomes in Stroke

MONDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- A new scoring method can aid clinicians in predicting functional outcomes for patients with ischemic stroke receiving intravenous (IV) alteplase, according to a study published in the Feb. 7 issue of Neurology.

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Startle Response Up in Early-Onset Alcohol Dependence

MONDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Early-onset alcohol-dependent patients have increased acoustic startle responses compared with late-onset alcohol-dependent patients or healthy controls, according to a study published online Jan. 24 in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Abstract
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Same Gene Variants in Early- and Late-Onset Alzheimer's

FRIDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Rare variants of three genes linked to early-onset Alzheimer's disease can also be found in individuals with late-onset Alzheimer's disease, suggesting that mutations are not the only factor affecting age of onset, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in PloS One.

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Palsy Complications Low for Cervical Spine Surgery

FRIDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of postoperative C5 nerve palsy, a well-known complication in cervical spine surgery, is very low, according to research published in the Feb. 1 issue of Spine.

Abstract
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Reconstruction of Words From Brain Waves Feasible

THURSDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Words can be reconstructed from neural activity in the superior temporal gyrus (STG), according to a study published online Jan. 31 in PLoS Biology.

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Heart Failure Linked to Loss of Cerebral Gray Matter

THURSDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Heart failure is associated with loss of gray matter (GM) in the brain and worse cognitive function, according to a study published online Jan. 31 in the European Heart Journal.

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β-Amyloid Deposition Seen in Some Healthy Older Adults

THURSDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Elevated β-amyloid (Aβ) deposition is seen in some healthy older adults and is associated with worse cognitive performance, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in Neurology.

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