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Category: Neurology | Monthly Briefing

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March 2012 Briefing - Neurology

Last Updated: April 02, 2012.

 

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Neurology for March 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.

Similar Rates of Depression After Stroke and TIA

FRIDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- The frequency of depression and newly identified depression rates are similar following a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), according to a study published online March 29 in Stroke.

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Electrocorticographic Signals May Restore Arm Movement

THURSDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) -- Electrocorticography (ECoG) signals from patients with chronic motor dysfunction represent motor information that may be useful for controlling prosthetic arms, according to a study published in the March issue of the Annals of Neurology.

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CDC: Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders Increasing

THURSDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) -- The estimated prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in 2008 was 11.3 per 1,000 children, which shows a marked increase from earlier estimates, according to a report published March 30 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Ratio of Amyloid Biomarkers Predicts Alzheimer's Risk

THURSDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) -- The ratio of two plasma amyloid-β (Aβ) biomarkers is associated with the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and dementia, according to a review published online March 26 in the Archives of Neurology.

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Lifestyle Factors Linked to Slower Progression in MS

THURSDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) -- There is an inverse association between the consumption of alcoholic beverages, coffee, and fish and time to disability progression in people with relapsing onset multiple sclerosis (MS), but not in those with progressive onset MS, according to research published in the April issue of the European Journal of Neurology.

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Antipsychotic Medications Increase Risk of Heart Attack

WEDNESDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) -- For older patients treated with cholinesterase inhibitors, taking antipsychotic agents (APs) for dementia is associated with a modest and time-limited increased risk of myocardial infarction (MI), according to a study published online March 26 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Invasive Strategy Ups Survival in Myotonic Dystrophy 1

WEDNESDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) -- An invasive strategy, based on prophylactic permanent pacing, is associated with longer survival for patients with myotonic dystrophy type 1, according to a study published in the March 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Early Immunotherapy May Benefit Autoimmune Epilepsy

WEDNESDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) -- Patients suspected of having autoimmune epilepsy that fails to respond to anti-epileptic drugs may benefit from early immunotherapy, according to a study published online March 26 in the Archives of Neurology.

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Ipilimumab Active in Advanced Melanoma With Brain Mets

TUESDAY, March 27 (HealthDay News) -- For some patients with advanced melanoma and brain metastases, ipilimumab is active, according to the results of a phase 2 study published online March 27 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Diagnosis of ADHD Has Risen 66 Percent Over Last Decade

TUESDAY, March 27 (HealthDay News) -- The diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents has increased 66 percent in the last decade, with approximately one-third of these young patients now being managed by psychiatrists, rather than pediatricians, according to research published in the March issue of Academic Pediatrics.

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Transneuronal Spread Model Fits Neurodegenerative Disease

FRIDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- Neurodegenerative diseases may be characterized by specific regions of the brain that are critical network epicenters, with disease-related vulnerability associated with shorter paths to the epicenter and greater total connectional flow, according to a study published in the March 22 issue of Neuron.

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In Older Adults, Extra Fat Tied to Poor Cognitive Function

FRIDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- In older adults (aged 60 to ≤70 years), obesity and high visceral adiposity are associated with poor cognitive function, according to a study published online March 22 in Age and Ageing.

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Genes Differ in Brains of Young and Old With Autism

FRIDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- Young and old patients with autism differ in the expression of genes in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, an area of overgrowth and excess neurons in autism, according to a study published online March 22 in PLoS Genetics.

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Health Care Team Members Key for Antimicrobial Stewardship

THURSDAY, March 22 (HealthDay News) -- Antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) that use health care epidemiologists (HEs) and infection preventionists (IPs) have a crucial role to play in the effort to combat health care-associated infections (HAIs), including those caused by multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs), according to the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America position paper published in the March issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

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Tenecteplase Superior to Alteplase for Stroke Treatment

WEDNESDAY, March 21 (HealthDay News) -- Tenecteplase is superior to alteplase for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke for select patients, according to a study published in the March 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Cognitive Decline Seen in Elderly After Hospitalization

WEDNESDAY, March 21 (HealthDay News) -- Older people may have an increased risk of memory problems after being discharged from the hospital, according to a study published online March 21 in Neurology.

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Seeing a Human Infant Face Induces Brain Activation

WEDNESDAY, March 21 (HealthDay News) -- Viewing an infant face, even an unfamiliar one, is associated with activation of brain regions associated with communication, attachment, and caregiving, according to a study published in the April issue of NeuroImage.

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Alcohol Effects on Brain Activity Vary With Blackout History

WEDNESDAY, March 21 (HealthDay News) -- A neurobiological mechanism may be associated with alcohol-induced fragmentary blackouts (FBs), with alcohol exerting different effects on neural activity for individuals with or without FBs, according to research published online March 15 in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

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Antioxidants Don't Impact Most CSF Biomarkers in Alzheimer's

TUESDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease, antioxidant supplements do not affect cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers related to amyloid or tau pathology, according to a study published online March 19 in the Archives of Neurology.

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Survey Describes Docs' Online Professionalism Violations

TUESDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- Most medical licensing authorities receive and act upon reports of physicians' online professionalism violations, according to a research letter published in the March 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Cellphone Radiation In-Utero Linked to Neuropathology

TUESDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- Mice exposed to cellphone radiation in-utero are more hyperactive and have impaired memory, according to an experimental study published online March 15 in Scientific Reports.

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Trans Fat Intake Linked to Aggressive Behavior

TUESDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- Consumption of trans fats is associated with greater aggression, according to a study published online March 5 in PLoS One.

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Functional Connectivity Reduced by ECT for Severe Depression

MONDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with severe depression, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is associated with a reduction in functional connectivity, which is accompanied by improved depressive symptoms, according to a study published online March 19 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Synthetic Cannabinoid Toxicity Among Teenagers on the Rise

MONDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking synthetic versions of marijuana is landing some teens in the emergency room complaining of restlessness, agitation, and diaphoresis, according to a case report published online March 19 in Pediatrics.

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Prenatal Meth Exposure Linked to Behavioral Problems

MONDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- Prenatal methamphetamine (MA) exposure is linked to emotional and anxiety problems in 3-year-olds and an increased risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in 5-year-olds, according to a study published online March 19 in Pediatrics.

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Jobs, Earnings Affected for Mothers of Children With Autism

MONDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- Mothers of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are more likely to be unemployed, work fewer hours per week, and earn significantly less than mothers of children with no health limitations, according to a study published online March 19 in Pediatrics.

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Study Validates Perimenopausal Memory Complaints

MONDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- For perimenopausal women, memory complaints are associated with working memory and complex attention performance, according to a study published online March 12 in Menopause.

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Vets With MS Have Higher Prevalence of Chronic Diseases

FRIDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Male veterans with multiple sclerosis (MS) have an increased prevalence of chronic diseases compared with the general population and with veterans without MS, according to a study published online Feb. 9 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

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Poorer Health Literacy Linked to Increased Mortality

FRIDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- A considerable proportion of older adults in England have medium or low health literacy, which is associated with increased mortality, according to a study published online March 15 in BMJ.

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Study Looks at Effect of Emotions on Pain and Itch Intensity

FRIDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Emotions influence the experience of somatosensory sensations of both pain and itch, with negative emotions eliciting higher levels of itch and pain compared to positive emotions, according to research published online March 8 in the British Journal of Dermatology.

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Hyperammonemia Disrupts Sleep in Patients With Cirrhosis

FRIDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with cirrhosis, hyperammonemia induced by an amino acid challenge (AAC) leads to an increase in daytime subjective sleepiness and changes in sleep patterns, according to a study published in the March issue of Hepatology.

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Mutations in CIZ1 May Cause Adult-Onset Cervical Dystonia

THURSDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- Mutations in CIZ1 may cause adult-onset primary cervical dystonia, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in the Annals of Neurology.

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FTY720 Shows Promise for Spinal Cord Injury Recovery

THURSDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- A mouse model of spinal cord injury (SCI) suggests that the orally-administered sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptor agonist FTY720 has immune-independent functions which promote functional recovery, according to an experimental study published online March 15 in The American Journal of Pathology.

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Statin Use Linked to Modest Reduction in Parkinson's Risk

THURSDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- Regular use of statins may be associated with a small reduction in the risk of developing Parkinson's disease (PD), particularly among younger patients, according to a study published in the March issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Repair of Patent Foramen Ovale Does Not Reduce Stroke Risk

THURSDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- Closure of a patent foramen ovale does not reduce the risk of recurrent stroke compared with antiplatelet treatment alone in patients who present with a cryptogenic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), according to a study published in the March 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Laquinimod Reduces Relapse Rate in Relapsing-Remitting MS

WEDNESDAY, March 14 (HealthDay News) -- Oral laquinimod reduces the rate of relapse and slows the progression of disability in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, according to a phase 3 study published in the March 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Retinopathy Linked to Cognitive Impairment in Older Women

WEDNESDAY, March 14 (HealthDay News) -- The presence of retinopathy in older women is associated with cognitive decline and greater ischemic brain volumes, according to a study published online March 14 in Neurology.

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Vitamin D Stimulates Amyloid Clearance in Alzheimer's

WEDNESDAY, March 14 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin D stimulates macrophages from patients with Alzheimer's disease to allow phagocytosis of amyloid beta (Aβ42) through genomic and non-genomic signaling, according to a study published in the March issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

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Personal Mobile Computers Improve Resident Efficiency

WEDNESDAY, March 14 (HealthDay News) -- The use of personal mobile computers (Apple iPads) by internal medicine residents improves efficiency, according to a research letter published in the March 12 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Higher Spending by Hospitals Improves Outcomes

TUESDAY, March 13 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitals that are part of the universal health care system in Canada that spend more on inpatient care have lower rates of deaths and hospital readmissions, according to a study published in the March 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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U.S. Mortality Rates Dropped 60 Percent From 1935 to 2010

TUESDAY, March 13 (HealthDay News) -- From 1935 to 2010, the death rate in the United States decreased considerably, although the single-year improvements in mortality were often small, according to a March data brief issued by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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Novel Neurologic Approach to Glaucoma Therapy Described

TUESDAY, March 13 (HealthDay News) -- Neurologic-based therapies may represent a more successful strategy for managing glaucoma versus intraocular pressure (IOP)-lowering therapies, according to a review published online Feb. 20 in Ophthalmology.

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Use of Head CT Varies Between Emergency Physicians

MONDAY, March 12 (HealthDay News) -- In the emergency department, there is wide interphysician variation in the use of head computed tomography (CT) overall, and for patients diagnosed with atraumatic headache, according to a study published online Feb. 13 in the American Journal of Medicine.

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MRI Use Increasing for Evaluating Stroke Patients

MONDAY, March 12 (HealthDay News) -- The use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the evaluation of hospitalized stroke patients has dramatically increased over the past decade, according to an article published in the February issue of the Annals of Neurology.

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Aggressive Care Improves QoL in Traumatic Brain Injury

MONDAY, March 12 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with routine care, an aggressive-care approach to the treatment of patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), which follows the Brain Trauma Foundation guidelines, is estimated to improve quality of life and significantly lower associated costs, regardless of patient age, according to research published online March 6 in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

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Flu Vaccine Up Among Medical Staff When They Believe It Works

FRIDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital health care workers (HCWs) are more likely to receive the seasonal influenza vaccination if they believe it works and are committed to preventing this highly contagious virus, according to research published in the April issue of Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Linked to Increased Risk of A-Fib, Stroke

FRIDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with rheumatoid arthritis have a significantly increased risk of atrial fibrillation and stroke, according to a study published online March 8 in BMJ.

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Surrogates Tend to Misinterpret Poor Prognosis Information

FRIDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- Surrogate decision makers for critically ill patients interpret prognostic statements expressing a low risk of death accurately, but interpret statements conveying poor prognosis optimistically, according to a study published in the March 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Increased Cognitive Decline One Year After Mild TBI in Children

THURSDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Children with mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) continue to experience postconcussive symptoms that are associated with functional impairment, according to research published online March 5 in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Buprenorphine Maintenance Therapy Not Recommended

THURSDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Opioid substitution therapy with buprenorphine is not recommended for opioid-addicted health care professionals (HCPs), according to research published in the March issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Cognitive Benefits With Continued Donepezil in Alzheimer's

WEDNESDAY, March 7 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with moderate-to-severe Alzheimer's disease, continuation of treatment with donepezil is linked to significant cognitive benefits, according to a study published in the March 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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For Women, Offspring Number, Parity Linked to Lower MS Risk

WEDNESDAY, March 7 (HealthDay News) -- For women, higher offspring number and higher parity are associated with a reduced risk of first clinical demyelinating event (FCD), according to a study published online March 7 in Neurology.

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Classification Criteria Help ID Polymyalgia Rheumatica

WEDNESDAY, March 7 (HealthDay News) -- Provisional classification criteria have been established to discriminate polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) from conditions which mimic PMR, according to a study published in the April issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Financial Burden of Medical Care Affects One in Three

WEDNESDAY, March 7 (HealthDay News) -- In the first half of 2011, one in three individuals was in a family that experienced the financial burden of medical care in the United States, according to the results of the National Health Interview Survey published March 7 by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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Long-Term Cardiac Effects for Childhood Cancer Survivors

WEDNESDAY, March 7 (HealthDay News) -- Regardless of exposure to cardiotoxic cancer therapies, survivors of childhood cancers display cardiovascular abnormalities and have markers of increased systemic inflammation and atherosclerotic disease, according to research published online March 5 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Economic Stagnation May Have Increased Mortality Rate

WEDNESDAY, March 7 (HealthDay News) -- From the late 1990s through 2005, mortality rates for Japanese men who worked as professionals or managers began to increase, coinciding with the country's period of economic stagnation, according to research published online March 6 in BMJ.

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Surgery Helps Reduce Epileptic Seizures When Drugs Fail

TUESDAY, March 6 (HealthDay News) -- Temporal resection surgery reduces the probability of seizures in patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy, compared with continued antiepileptic drug (AED) treatment, according to a study published in the March 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Electronic Test Result Access Does Not Reduce Test Ordering

TUESDAY, March 6 (HealthDay News) -- For office-based physicians, electronic access to patient imaging and laboratory test results does not decrease -- and may actually increase -- the number of diagnostic tests ordered, according to research published in the March issue of Health Affairs.

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Depression, Cognitive Decline Linked in Elderly With CAD

TUESDAY, March 6 (HealthDay News) -- Older patients with coronary artery disease who have persistent depression have a significantly increased risk of cognitive decline, according to a study published in the March issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Youngest in Class More Likely to Be Diagnosed With ADHD

MONDAY, March 5 (HealthDay News) -- The youngest children in a classroom are significantly more likely to be diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and prescribed medication than their older peers in the same grade, according to a study published online March 5 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Diabetic Polyneuropathy Not Up With Impaired Glycemia

FRIDAY, March 2 (HealthDay News) -- Although significantly increased in subjects with new diabetes, the rates of typical diabetic polyneuropathy (DPN), retinopathy, and nephropathy are not significantly different between subjects with and without impaired glycemia (IG), according to research published in the March issue of Diabetes Care.

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Trans Fat Intake Tied to Stroke in Postmenopausal Women

THURSDAY, March 1 (HealthDay News) -- Higher trans fat intake increases the risk of ischemic stroke independent of other lifestyle factors, but the adverse effects of trans fat on ischemic stroke may be mitigated by aspirin, according to a study published online March 1 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Risk of Stroke Increases With Each Year of Having Diabetes

THURSDAY, March 1 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of stroke increases with the length of time a patient has diabetes, according to a study published online March 1 in Stroke.

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Epigenetic Blockade May Impair Cognition in Alzheimer's

THURSDAY, March 1 (HealthDay News) -- An epigenetic blockade may be responsible for cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's disease, and reversing this blockade improves cognitive abilities in mouse models of Alzheimer-like neurodegeneration, according to an experimental study published online Feb. 29 in Nature.

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Thalidomide Induces Complete Response in Cutaneous Lupus

THURSDAY, March 1 (HealthDay News) -- Low-dose thalidomide successfully induces complete response in a majority of patients with refractory cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE), according to research published in the March issue of the British Journal of Dermatology.

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