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Category: Neurology | Monthly Briefing

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May 2012 Briefing - Neurology

Last Updated: June 01, 2012.

 

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

Genetic Personality Traits May Play Role in Longevity

THURSDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- Centenarians often have a positive outlook on life, are less likely to be neurotic, and are more likely to be conscientious, suggesting that genetically-based aspects of personality play a role in longevity, according to a study published online May 21 in Aging.

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Neural Link Between Resiliency and Alcohol, Drug Use Identified

THURSDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- For young adults, the coupling strength between the subthalamic nucleus (STN) and median cingulate cortex may be involved in the association between resiliency and alcohol/drug use, according to a study published online May 15 in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

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White Matter Integrity Linked to Intelligence in Elderly

THURSDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- Differences in white matter integrity in the brain account for some of the variation in general intelligence in elderly individuals, with their effect mediated by information-processing speed, according to a study published online May 22 in Molecular Psychiatry.

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Hypothermia of Some Benefit to Neonates With Encephalopathy

WEDNESDAY, May 30 (HealthDay News) -- For infants with neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, undergoing whole-body hypothermia results in lower mortality rates as well as a nonsignificant reduction in the combined end point of death or an IQ score of less than 70 at age 6 to 7 years, compared with usual care, according to a study published in the May 31 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Repeat CT Scan Urged for Head Trauma Patients on Warfarin

WEDNESDAY, May 30 (HealthDay News) -- Minor head trauma patients taking warfarin should have a repeat computed tomography (CT) scan prior to discharge to detect delayed hemorrhage, particularly in those with an initial international normalized ratio (INR) higher than 3, according to research published in the June issue of the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

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Protein Elevated in Stroke Patients With Microbleeds

WEDNESDAY, May 30 (HealthDay News) -- Serum levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a marker of vascular permeability, are significantly higher in stroke patients with cerebral microbleeds, according to a study published online May 28 in the Archives of Neurology.

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Lower Limb Muscle Limitations Hamper Walking in Diabetes

TUESDAY, May 29 (HealthDay News) -- In older adults, diabetes correlates with slower walking speed, and diabetes-linked reductions in muscle strength and worse muscle quality contribute to these walking limitations, according to a study published online May 17 in Diabetes Care.

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Solvent Exposure Tied to Lower Cognition Among Less Educated

TUESDAY, May 29 (HealthDay News) -- Occupational exposure to chemical solvents affects the cognitive abilities of less-educated workers, but not more-educated workers, with a dose-response relationship between lifetime exposure and the risk of poor cognition, according to a study published in the May 29 issue of Neurology.

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Fever During Pregnancy Linked to Autism in Offspring

TUESDAY, May 29 (HealthDay News) -- Maternal influenza during pregnancy is not associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or developmental delay (DD), but the odds of ASD and DD are increased for children whose mothers had fever during pregnancy, according to a study published online May 5 in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

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AAP Cautions Against Diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder

TUESDAY, May 29 (HealthDay News) -- Pediatricians should avoid the use of sensory processing disorder as an independent diagnosis and should integrate sensory-based therapy as one part of a comprehensive treatment plan, according to a policy statement issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published online May 28 in Pediatrics.

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Family History of Alzheimer's Affects Functional Connectivity

FRIDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Cognitively normal individuals with a family history of late-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD) may display lower resting state functional connectivity in the default mode network (DMN) of the brain, and this effect is detectable even in those who do not carry the apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele, according to a study published online May 9 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Probability of Long-Term Glioblastoma Survival Assessed

FRIDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Although the overall mortality rate of glioblastoma is high, compared with patients newly diagnosed with glioblastoma, those who survive two years or more after diagnosis have a favorable conditional probability of future survival, according to a study published online May 8 in Cancer.

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Research Offers Insight Into Link Between Metabolism, Epilepsy

FRIDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- In mice, modifications to the BCL-2-associated agonist of cell death (BAD) protein -- a protein that reduces glucose metabolism -- induce an increase in metabolically responsive adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels, and resistance to seizures, according to a study published in the May 24 issue of Neuron.

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Magnesium Not Recommended After Subarachnoid Bleed

FRIDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, intravenous magnesium sulfate is no better than placebo for reduction of poor outcome, according to a study published online May 25 in The Lancet to coincide with presentation at the European Stroke Conference, held from May 22 to 25 in Lisbon, Portugal.

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Childhood Obesity Linked to Idiopathic Intracranial HTN

FRIDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight and obese children are at higher risk of developing idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), particularly non-Hispanic white adolescent girls, according to a study published online May 24 in The Journal of Pediatrics.

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Interneuron Transplant Treats Neuropathic Pain in Mice

FRIDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Transplanting embryonic GABAergic interneurons into the spinal cords of mice is highly effective for treating neuropathic pain but not inflammatory pain, according to an experimental study published in the May 24 issue of Neuron.

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U.S. Stroke Prevalence Little Changed in Recent Years

THURSDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of stroke in the United States has changed little over the past seven years, and disparities by race/ethnicity, education level, and geographic location still persist, according to a study published in the May 25 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

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Low Vitamin D Intake Tied to Risk of Thromboembolic Stroke

THURSDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- In Japanese-American men, low dietary vitamin D intake is associated with an increased risk of all stroke and thromboembolic stroke during a 34-year follow-up period, according to a study published online May 24 in Stroke.

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School-Aged Children With ASD Usually Identified At Age 5

THURSDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- School-aged children with special health care needs (CSHCN) who have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are usually identified at age 5, and the majority use one or more services and/or at least one psychotropic medication to meet their developmental needs, according to a May data brief issued by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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Exposure Therapy Alters Neural Response to Feared Stimuli

THURSDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure therapy is linked with reduced phobogenic image-induced activity in a network of brain regions, and the reduced responsiveness persists for six months, according to a study published online May 23 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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New Estimates Up Dementia Rates in Mid-Income Countries

WEDNESDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- Use of 10/66 dementia diagnosis criteria (10/66) results in an increase in the estimated incidence of dementia in middle-income countries, according to a study published online May 23 in The Lancet.

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Treatment With rt-PA Within Six Hours of Stroke Beneficial

WEDNESDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with acute ischemic stroke, treatment with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) within six hours is associated with improved outcomes, according to two studies published online May 23 in The Lancet to coincide with presentation at the European Stroke Conference, held from May 22 to 25 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Abstract - Sandercock
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Abstract - Wardlaw
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For Older Women, Saturated Fats Linked to Worse Cognition

TUESDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- For older women, higher saturated fatty acid (SFA) intake correlates with worse global cognition and verbal memory trajectories, while higher intake of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) correlates with improved trajectories, according to a study published online May 17 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Post-Stroke Inpatient Statins Improve Discharge Outcomes

TUESDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- Statin use during hospitalization for ischemic stroke significantly improves the likelihood of being discharged to home or institution, according to a study published in the May 22 issue of Neurology.

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White Matter of Abstinent Alcoholics Recovers Over Time

MONDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- Based on diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), the microstructural changes seen in the genu and body of the corpus callosum in recently detoxified alcohol-dependent patients are found to improve after one year of abstinence, according to research published online May 2 in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

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Parents of Children With Epilepsy Have Suboptimal Sleep

MONDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- Parents of children with epilepsy often share a room or cosleep with their child, with both parents and child having suboptimal sleep and greater fatigue, according to a study published online May 17 in Epilepsia.

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Higher Pain Tolerance for Athletes Than Active Controls

MONDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- Athletes seem to have significantly higher pain tolerance than normally-active people, according to research published in the June issue of Pain.

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PEG Tubes Linked to Increased Risk of New Pressure Ulcers

THURSDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) feeding tubes significantly increase the risk of new pressure ulcers and do not promote the healing of existing pressure ulcers in nursing home residents with advanced cognitive impairment, according to a study published in the May 14 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Generic Versions of Plavix Approved

THURSDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- The first generic versions of Plavix (clopidogrel bisulfate) have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

this drug

Neurally Controlled Arm Lets Tetraplegics Reach, Grasp

THURSDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- For tetraplegic individuals, use of a neural interface system is a feasible approach to direct robotic arm actions to reach and grasp, according to a letter published online May 16 in Nature.

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Causality Link Between HDL Cholesterol, MI Challenged

THURSDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- Genetic mechanisms that are associated with high plasma levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol do not reduce the risk of myocardial infarction (MI), adding question to causality of link, according to a study published online May 17 in The Lancet.

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Leukoencephalopathy Risk Factors ID'd for MS Drug

WEDNESDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- Multiple sclerosis patients taking natalizumab are at higher risk of developing progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) if they are positive for the anti-JC virus antibodies, have been treated with immunosuppressants, and have been treated with natalizumab for longer periods, according to a study published in the May 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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SNCA Variants Linked to Motor Function Decline in Parkinson's

WEDNESDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- Variants of the alpha-synuclein gene (SNCA) are associated with a higher risk of a more rapid decline in motor function in patients with Parkinson's disease, according to a study published online May 15 in PLoS One.

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For Contact Sport Athletes, Head Impact Impairs Learning

WEDNESDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- For contact sport athletes, repetitive head impact during a single season is associated with poorer measures of new learning and poorer performance on cognitive measures, according to a study published online May 16 in Neurology.

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Some Function Returned to Hand in Spinal Cord Injury Patient

WEDNESDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with spinal cord injury (SCI), nerve transfer may represent a therapeutic option, according to a case report published online May 15 in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

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Better Outcomes at High-Volume Stroke Centers

TUESDAY, May 15 (HealthDay News) -- High-volume endovascular stroke centers provide faster times to treatment, and patients are more likely to have good clinical outcomes and successful reperfusion, according to a study published online May 13 in the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery.

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U.S. Lifetime Prevalence of Sleep Walking ~30 Percent

TUESDAY, May 15 (HealthDay News) -- The lifetime prevalence of nocturnal wandering with abnormal state of consciousness (NW) is approximately 30 percent in the U.S. general population, according to a study published in the May 15 issue of Neurology.

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Trail Making Test Performance Predicts Post-Stroke Mortality

TUESDAY, May 15 (HealthDay News) -- Poor executive performance, as measured with the Trail Making Test (TMT)-A and -B, can identify elderly men who are at higher risk of death after a first-ever stroke, according to a study published online May 9 in BMJ Open.

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Patients on Gilenya for MS May Require Extended Monitoring

MONDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- Based on the report of a patient who died after taking one dose of the multiple sclerosis (MS) drug Gilenya (fingolimod) and on clinical trial data, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is recommending extended monitoring for certain patients taking this drug, according to a May 14 Drug Safety Communication issued by the agency.

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Sumatriptan/Naproxen Helpful in Treating Teens' Migraines

MONDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with sumatriptan and naproxen sodium (suma/nap) is well tolerated and effective in reducing migraine pain in adolescents, according to a study published online May 14 in Pediatrics.

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Smoking Cannabis Reduces Spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis

MONDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking cannabis is associated with a reduction in spasticity for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study published online May 14 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Youth With ASD Have Poor Postsecondary Outcomes

MONDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- Youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are at high risk for not participating in postsecondary education or employment, particularly in the first two years after high school, according to a study published online May 14 in Pediatrics.

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Brain Stimulation Improves Brain Function in Alzheimer's

FRIDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Deep brain stimulation can improve brain connectivity and function in patients with mild Alzheimer's disease, and having a greater purpose in life reduces the effect of Alzheimer's pathology on cognitive function, according to one study published online May 7 in the Archives of Neurology and another study published in the May issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Abstract - Smith
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Abstract - Boyle
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Epilepsy Treatment Response Patterns Usually Constant

WEDNESDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- The response that newly-diagnosed epilepsy patients have to their first drug treatment may indicate their likelihood of achieving seizure freedom, according to a study published online May 9 in Neurology.

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Older Women With A-Fib at Greater Stroke Risk Than Men

TUESDAY, May 8 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of stroke following a recent diagnosis of atrial fibrillation (AF) in older patients is higher in women than men, regardless of warfarin use, according to a study published in the May 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Self-Disclosure Linked to Activation of Reward in Brain

TUESDAY, May 8 (HealthDay News) -- Self-disclosure is associated with increased activation in regions of the brain linked with reward, according to research published online May 7 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Modified Fluorene Compound Potently Disrupts Amyloid-β

MONDAY, May 7 (HealthDay News) -- A modified version of fluorene counteracts amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide toxicity, and is more potent than the original fluorene compounds, according to a study published online April 30 in PLoS One.

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Computer Use + Exercise Lower Mild Cognitive Impairment Risk

FRIDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- The combination of engaging in moderate exercise and using a computer significantly reduces the likelihood of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) among the elderly, according to a study published in the May issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Variation in Dopamine Function Impacts Cost/Benefit Decisions

FRIDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Variation in human dopamine function is associated with cost/benefit preferences, according to a study published in the May 2 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

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CMS Policy Helping Hospitals to Prevent Targeted Infections

FRIDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitals seem to be paying greater attention to preventing targeted health care-associated infections (HAIs) as a result of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) nonpayment policy, according to a study published in the May issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

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New Guidelines for Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Bleeds Issued

THURSDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- The latest evidence emphasizes early and aggressive care for emergency room patients diagnosed with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH), according to revised treatment guidelines issued by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Stroke Association and published online May 3 in Stroke.

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Generally No Link Between Prenatal Smoking and Autism

THURSDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- Generally there is no association between maternal smoking during pregnancy and risk of the child developing autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), although there may be a link between smoking and development of high-functioning autism, according to a study published online April 25 in Environmental Health Perspectives.

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Odor Receptor Genotype May Be Cause of Meat Aversion

THURSDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- Having two copies of a functional odor receptor gene variant (OR7D4 RT) is associated with increased sensitivity to androstenone, and androstenone-containing meat, according to a study published online May 2 in PLoS One.

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Omega-3 Intake Linked With Reduced Plasma β-Amyloid 42

WEDNESDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- Higher intake of ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) is correlated with lower plasma levels of β-amyloid (Aβ)42, according to a study published online May 2 in Neurology.

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Methodological Heterogeneity Seen in Clinical Trials

TUESDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- Clinical studies registered with ClinicalTrials.gov from 2007 and 2010 are predominately small, single-center trials and contain significant heterogeneity in methodology, according to a study published in the May 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Indirect Link ID'd Between Pain Catastrophizing, Severity

TUESDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- Pain catastrophizing, in particular ruminating about pain, has an indirect effect on clinical pain severity and pain-related interference, through sleep disturbance, according to a study published online March 14 in Pain.

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