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Category: Neurology | Monthly Briefing

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March 2009 Briefing - Neurology

Last Updated: April 01, 2009.

 

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Neurology for March 2009. 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.

Safe Practice Scores Do Not Add Up to Fewer Patient Deaths

TUESDAY, March 31 (HealthDay News) -- In hospitals, higher self-reported scores for improvements in safe practices do not correlate with reduced mortality rates, researchers report in the April 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Neck Disc Offers Good Results After Earlier Fusion

TUESDAY, March 31 (HealthDay News) -- Clinical outcomes following placement of an artificial cervical disc were similar in patients with and without previous adjacent cervical fusion, according to research published in the March 15 issue of Spine.

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Lower Cancer Risk Seen in Multiple Sclerosis Patients

TUESDAY, March 31 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with multiple sclerosis have an overall lower cancer risk, which does not appear to be due to heredity, according to the results of a study published in the March 31 issue of Neurology.

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Seated Postures Linked to Different Muscle Activities

MONDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- The use of electromyography provides helpful details regarding the regional muscle activity that occurs during three sagittally balanced seated postures, according to research published in the March 15 issue of Spine.

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Depression Risk Linked to Cortical Thinning

MONDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- People with a family history of depression are more likely to develop the illness if they have loss of brain cortex matter, according to research published online March 27 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Social Isolation Worsens Stroke Outcomes in Mouse Study

MONDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- Mice housed in isolation are more likely to experience major ischemic damage and die of a stroke than their socially housed cohorts, according to research published online March 23 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Treatment Eases Symptoms in Cervical Stenosis Patients

MONDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- The use of the prostaglandin E1 derivative limaprost alfadex may provide symptomatic relief in patients with cervical spinal canal stenosis (CSCS), according to research published in the March 15 issue of Spine.

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Pregnancy Feasible After Anterior Spinal Surgery

THURSDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) -- In women of childbearing age, anterior spinal surgery may not affect fertility, although it may be associated with a higher rate of cesarean section deliveries, according to the results of a study published in the April issue of The Spine Journal.

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Light Alcohol Consumption Linked to β-Endorphin Release

THURSDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) -- Alcohol consumption, up to moderate levels, may increase β-endorphin release in the brain and play a role in ethanol reward, according to research published online March 19 in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

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Substantia Nigra Shows Role in Reinforcement Learning

THURSDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) -- Neurons in the substantia nigra appear to play a key role in human reinforcement learning, according to research published online March 13 in Science.

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Positional Vertigo Linked to Osteoporosis and Osteopenia

THURSDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) -- The dizziness-inducing condition known as benign positional vertigo is associated with osteopenia and osteoporosis, researchers report in the March 24 issue of Neurology.

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Somatosensory Evoked Potential Monitoring Useful

THURSDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) -- In patients undergoing lumbosacral spinal surgery, monitoring of upper-limb somatosensory evoked potential may help prevent position-related peripheral nerve injuries, according to a report published in the April issue of The Spine Journal.

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Cost Barriers Slow Adoption of Electronic Health Records

WEDNESDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- Citing cost barriers, relatively few U.S. hospitals have adopted electronic health records, posing a major obstacle for policy makers who say health information technology is critical to the improvement of health care quality and cost-effectiveness, according to an article published online March 25 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Burden of Alzheimer's Disease Triples Health Costs

TUESDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- People aged 65 and older with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia make Medicare and Medicaid claims that are three times higher than those of their counterparts without the condition, according to a report, 2009 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures, released March 24 by the Alzheimer's Association.

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Pediatric Anesthesia Linked to Learning Disability Risk

TUESDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- Multiple early exposures to anesthesia may be an important risk factor for developing learning disabilities later in childhood, researchers report in the April issue of Anesthesiology.

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Switching Anticonvulsant Drugs Cuts Cardiovascular Risk

TUESDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- Switching to anticonvulsant drugs that don't activate cytochrome P450 enzymes can improve blood cholesterol levels and lower cardiovascular risk in epilepsy patients, according to research published online March 18 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Prolactin Maintains Mating-Induced Prolactin Surges

MONDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- Prolactin injected directly into the brains of rats can induce a prolactin secretory rhythm similar to that induced after mating, but only maintains and does not initiate mating-induced prolactin surges, according to a study published online March 12 in Endocrinology.

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Emotional Content of Western Music Universally Recognized

MONDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- The emotional content of Western music appears to be universally recognized even by isolated African tribesman, and is not the result of acculturation, according to research reported March 19 in Current Biology.

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Rodent Studies Focus on Parkinson's Treatments

MONDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- Dorsal column stimulation in animal models of Parkinson's disease points to a less-invasive method of improving function, and the use of optogenetics suggests a major target for deep brain stimulation in the disease, according to two studies published March 20 and online March 19 in Science.

Abstract - Fuentes
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Abstract - Gradinaru
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Gene Promotes Degeneration of Nerves After Injury

FRIDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- A gene involved in promoting the degeneration of nerve axons in response to damage or drugs may be part of a common self-destruct program that can be targeted for the treatment of neuropathies and other conditions, according to a study published online March 15 in Nature Neuroscience.

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Neck Injuries Common in Pediatric Homicide Victims

THURSDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- Infants who die after abusive head injuries often have neck injuries, although these injuries appear to be only a contributing factor to most brain lesions associated with abusive head trauma, researchers report in the March issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics.

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Hippocampal Measures Predict Alzheimer's Progression

THURSDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- Although the rate of hippocampal atrophy may better distinguish individuals with mild cognitive impairment from controls, measures of whole brain volume may better discriminate Alzheimer's disease from mild cognitive impairment, according to research published in the March 17 issue of Neurology.

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DiGeorge Case Offers Example of Genetic Compensation

WEDNESDAY, March 18 (HealthDay News) -- Cytogenetic studies of the family of a child with DiGeorge syndrome highlights a case of genetic compensation, according to a report published in the March 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Guideline Aids Decision on Surgery for Birth Injury

WEDNESDAY, March 18 (HealthDay News) -- A newly developed guideline may help determine which infants with obstetrical brachial plexus injury (OBPI) would benefit from surgery, according to a study in the March issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics.

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Narcolepsy Drug Has Potential for Abuse and Addiction

TUESDAY, March 17 (HealthDay News) -- Modafinil, a drug used to treat narcolepsy and psychiatric disorders, increases dopamine in the brain and may have the potential for abuse and addiction, according to a report published in the March 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Quinacrine Does Not Delay Course of Prion Disease

MONDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Treating human prion disease with quinacrine does not reduce the mortality rate associated with the disease, according to a study published online March 10 in The Lancet Neurology.

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Receptor Contributes to Control of Food Intake

MONDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Endogenous hindbrain glucagon-like-peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) activation contributes to the control of food intake by mediating gastric satiation signaling, according to the results of an animal study published online ahead of print March 5 in Endocrinology.

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Religious Beliefs Linked to Brain Networks

THURSDAY, Mar. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Well-known brain networks appear to play a role in certain aspects of religious belief, according to research published online Mar. 9 before print in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Older Fathers Linked to Lower Intelligence in Offspring

THURSDAY, Mar. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Children of older fathers are more likely to have subtle neurocognitive problems, while children of older women are more likely to have superior neurocognitive abilities, researchers report in the March issue of PLoS Medicine.

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Migraines in Pregnancy Linked to Vascular Disease

WEDNESDAY, Mar. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women who experience migraine headaches are at increased risk of stroke and vascular disease, according to research published online Mar. 10 in BMJ.

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Warmer Weather Linked to Increased Headache Risk

TUESDAY, Mar. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Higher outdoor temperatures were associated with a short-term increase in headache risk, according to the results of a study published in the Mar. 10 issue of Neurology.

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Metabolic Disorder, Obesity Associated with Dementia

TUESDAY, Mar. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight and obesity, and its associated metabolic disorders including diabetes, are linked with dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, according to research published in a series of articles in the March issue of the Archives of Neurology.

Abstract - Fitzpatrick
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Abstract - Yaffe
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Abstract - Helzner
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Vascular Risks May Speed Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer's

MONDAY, Mar. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Pre-existing vascular risk factors such as abnormal cholesterol levels and diabetes may be associated with an accelerated cognitive decline in patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, according to the results of a study published in the March issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Brain Tumor Stem Cell-Like Cells Highly Tumorigenic

MONDAY, Mar. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A population of stem cell-like glioma cells characterized by the presence of a drug transporter are highly tumorigenic and resistant to drugs, and the standard glioma treatment increases this population, according to a report in the Mar. 6 issue of Cell Stem Cell.

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Brain Tumor Combination Treatment Improves Survival

MONDAY, Mar. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Combined postoperative treatment of glioblastoma patients with radiation and temozolomide improves five-year survival over radiation alone, though most patients still eventually die of the disease, according to an article published online Mar. 9 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Use of Stroke Prevention Services Can Be Improved

FRIDAY, Mar. 6 (HealthDay News) -- There is widespread underutilization of stroke secondary prevention services, according to a report published online Mar. 5 in Stroke.

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Transdermal Patches Pose Burn Risk During Scans

FRIDAY, Mar. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning about the risk of burns as a result of wearing medicated patches, such as those used for smoking cessation or pain relief, during MRI scans.

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Obama Wants to Spend $630 Billion on Health Care Reform

THURSDAY, Mar. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Achieving health care reform is one of President Barack Obama's major challenges, and his newly released spending plan calls on Congress to commit $630 billion over the next decade to finance that reform, according to an article published online Mar. 4 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Cerebral Blood Flow Changes Indicative of Dementia

WEDNESDAY, Mar. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Continuous arterial spin-labeling (CASL) MRI is a non-invasive technique that can reveal changes in cerebral blood flow within specific brain regions, which may help to identify progression to Alzheimer's disease, according to research published in the March issue of Radiology.

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Classification Systems for Spinal Tumors Reliable

TUESDAY, Mar. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Two systems to stage and manage spinal tumors have moderate interobserver reliability and substantial intraobserver reliability, according to the results of a study published in the Feb. 15 issue of Spine.

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Vitamin K Doesn't Reduce Bleeding in Warfarin Patients

TUESDAY, Mar. 3 (HealthDay News) -- In patients receiving warfarin, vitamin K does not reduce bleeding, according to study findings published in the Mar. 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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MET Gene Variant Linked to Autism, GI Disorders

TUESDAY, Mar. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Alterations of the MET gene, encoding an enzyme involved in brain development and gastrointestinal repair, may be associated with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder with associated gastrointestinal dysfunction, according to research published in the March issue of Pediatrics.

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US Motor Vehicle-Related Death Rates Vary Geographically

MONDAY, Mar. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Although the mortality rate related to motor vehicles remained almost unchanged from 1999 to 2005 in the United States, on closer inspection the data reveals wide variations from state to state, as well as by gender and ethnicity, according to a report published in the Feb. 27 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Incidence of Sick Leave at Iranian Car Company Examined

MONDAY, Mar. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Workers in Iran, a middle-income country, take little sick leave for neck and shoulder pain compared with workers in high-income countries, researchers report in the Feb. 15 issue of Spine.

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CT Perfusion May Predict Hemorrhagic Transformation

MONDAY, Mar. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with acute ischemic stroke, admission perfusion-derived permeability-surface area product (PS) measurement may differentiate those who are and are not likely to develop hemorrhagic transformation, according to the results of a pilot study published in the March issue of Radiology.

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Age Stereotypes Affect Disease Risk Later in Life

MONDAY, Mar. 2 (HealthDay News) -- People who have negative views about aging are more likely to have a cardiovascular event later in life, according to research published online Feb. 13 in Psychological Science.

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