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Category: Neurology | Monthly Briefing

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February 2010 Briefing - Neurology

Last Updated: March 01, 2010.

 

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Neurology for February 2010. 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.

Spinal Manipulation Shows Benefit for Treating Headache

FRIDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The use of chiropractic spinal manipulation for the neck and upper thoracic spine may be useful in treating cervicogenic headache (CGH), according to research published in the February issue of The Spine Journal.

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Older Maternal Age Found to Up Risk of Autism in Offspring

THURSDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Women who give birth over the age of 40 are more likely than their younger counterparts to have a child with autism, but the father's age only affects the odds of autism when the mother is under 30, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in Autism Research.

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Questionnaire May Help Predict Chronic Low Back Pain

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with (sub) acute low back pain, the Acute Low Back Pain Screening Questionnaire Dutch Language Version (ALBPSQ-DLV) may help identify those at risk of developing chronic low back pain because of psychosocial factors, according to a study in the Feb. 15 issue of Spine.

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Extended-Release Mirapex Approved for Parkinson's Disease

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Mirapex ER (pramipexole dihydrochloride extended-release) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a once-daily option to treat early Parkinson's disease, drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim said in a news release.

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Awareness of Heart Disease Risk Still Lacking in Women

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Despite some gains in public awareness, almost half of all American women are unaware that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women, according to research published online Feb. 10 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Critical Illness Linked to Decline in Cognitive Function in Elderly

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly adults who are hospitalized for an acute or critical illness are more likely to experience cognitive decline, and the risk of developing dementia is significantly higher after hospitalization for a non-critical illness, according to research published in the Feb. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Platelet Function Tests Only Modestly Predict Outcomes

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Three tests of platelet function can modestly predict outcomes such as death and stroke in patients taking clopidogrel (Plavix) and undergoing elective coronary stent implantation, but they do not identify patients at higher risk of bleeding, according to a study in the Feb. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Physicians Working Fewer Hours for Lower Fees

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians in the United States have been working fewer hours for lower fees in the past decade, according to research published in the Feb. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Quinine Derivatives for Muscle Cramp Treatment Examined

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Although quinine derivatives appear effective for muscle cramps, these agents should be avoided for routine treatment of muscle cramps due to the possibility of serious side effects, according to an article published in the Feb. 23 issue of Neurology.

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Profiles of Episodic, Chronic Migraine Patients Compared

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- There are significant differences between chronic and episodic migraine sufferers in terms of sociodemographic factors and comorbidities, according to research published online Feb. 17 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

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Menveo Vaccine Approved for Bacterial Meningitis

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The Novartis vaccine Menveo has been approved to prevent bacterial meningitis and other health problems caused by meningococcal disease, the drug maker said in a news release.

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Medical Checklists Needed to Improve Care and Outcomes

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The checklists so common in aviation and many professions are underused in medicine and, if more widely adopted, would provide powerful tools to standardize care and improve patient outcomes, according to an article published Dec. 31 in Critical Care.

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Halting Anticoagulants Lowers Post-Ablation Stroke Risk

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who undergo atrial fibrillation ablation are less likely to have a stroke if they stop taking oral anticoagulants after a few months, according to a study in the Feb. 23 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Predictors of Atrial Fibrillation Progression Identified

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A substantial percentage of patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF) progress to sustained AF within a year, which may be predicted by five factors known to affect atrial structural remodeling, according to a study in the Feb. 23 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Flat Head Syndrome Linked to Delayed Neurodevelopment

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Infants with deformational plagiocephaly (DP) -- flat head syndrome -- may be at risk for delayed development of cognition, language, and motor functions, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.

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Many Adults in Utah Report Using Opioids Incorrectly

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In 2008, one-fifth of adults in Utah had been prescribed an opioid pain medication in the past year, with some respondents reporting use of these medications despite no prescription for them, according to an article in the Feb. 19 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Clinical Decision Rule Predicts High-Risk Syncope Patients

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A clinical decision rule for use in patients with syncope has high sensitivity and negative predictive value, and, in combination with B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) measurement, may help identify those at high risk of serious outcomes and death, according to a study in the Feb. 23 Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Drug Addition Found to Reduce Multiple Sclerosis Activity

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The addition of daclizumab to interferon beta treatment reduces brain lesion formation in patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis, possibly by increasing the number of a subset of natural killer cells, according to a study published online Feb. 16 in The Lancet Neurology.

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Statins Linked to Slightly Increased Diabetes Risk

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Although statin therapy is associated with a slightly increased risk of diabetes, the risk is outweighed by a significantly decreased risk of coronary events, according to a review article published online Feb. 17 in The Lancet.

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Hormone Oxytocin Offers Possible Autism Treatment

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with the hormone oxytocin improves social interactions and performance, and enhances feelings of trust in subjects with high-functioning autism or Asperger's syndrome during simulated social interaction, according to a study published online Feb. 16 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Aspirin Use Linked to Fewer Breast Cancer Deaths

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Women with breast cancer who take aspirin several days a week have a lower risk of death or recurrence, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Lumbar Fusion Linked to Improved Driver Reaction Time

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The driver reaction time (DRT) in patients a week after lumbar fusion surgery is not significantly slower than their preoperative DRT, and after three months recovery their DRT may be faster than their preoperative DRT, according to a study in the Feb. 1 issue of Spine.

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Chronic Conditions Becoming More Common in Children

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic health conditions have become increasingly more common in children in recent decades, according to research published in the Feb. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Racial Disparities Seen in New York Surgical Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In New York City, minority patients are significantly less likely than Caucasians to use high-volume surgeons and hospitals when undergoing procedures with an established volume-mortality association, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Botox Injections Found to Reduce Migraine Frequency

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Migraineurs who received botulinum toxin type A (BTX) injections have substantially decreased frequency of migraine headaches, but the relief is highly dependent on the type of migraine, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Poor Sleep Linked to More Car Accidents in Teenagers

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Poor sleep habits are associated with a higher risk of car accidents among teenagers, according to a study in the Feb. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

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Outcomes Found to Be Poor in South Carolina Stroke Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In South Carolina, patients hospitalized for an initial stroke have an elevated short- and long-term risk of recurrent stroke, heart attack, vascular death, and all-cause death, according to a study in the Feb. 16 issue of Neurology.

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Severe Sleep Apnea Linked to Fewer Nightmares

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) report fewer nightmares, according to a study in the Feb. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

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Lifestyle Changes Found to Improve Endothelial Function

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Lifestyle changes such as a low-fat diet and regular exercise improve endothelial function and inflammatory markers of atherosclerosis in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), according to a study published in the Feb. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Physical Activity Surveillance Methods Need Improvement

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Relying on self-reported data to study disparities in physical activity can produce misleading information about population-wide trends, and surveillance should be revised to use more objective methods of data collection, according to research published online Feb. 10 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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2009 H1N1-Related Deaths and Hospitalizations Examined

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided updated estimates of the 2009 H1N1 cases, related hospitalizations and deaths, with approximately 57 million cases occurring between April 2009 and January 2010.

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Stenosis Can Still Exist in Absence of Coronary Calcium

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- In contradiction of professional guidelines, the absence of coronary calcification in blood vessels does not rule out the potential existence of stenosis, and should not be used to decide if revascularization is needed, according to a study in the Feb. 16 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Mnemonic Device for Patient Decision-Making Assessed

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Clinicians who must quickly assess a patient's capacity to make an emergency treatment decision can now fall back on a new mnemonic device, "CURVES," developed at Johns Hopkins University and reviewed in the February issue of Chest.

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Study Finds Speckle Tracking Aids in Patient Selection

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Radial dyssynchrony by speckle tracking may be useful in predicting response to cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) in patients with borderline QRS and wide QRS durations, according to research published in the February Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Imaging.

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Dietary Supplement Suspected of Causing Selenium Poisoning

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A liquid dietary supplement that contained 200 times the labeled concentration of selenium caused a widespread outbreak of selenium poisoning affecting 201 people in 10 states, according to a study published in the Feb. 8 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Migraine Associated With Cardiovascular Events, Risk

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Migraines -- both with and without aura -- are associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular events and risk factors for cardiovascular disease, according to research published online Feb. 10 in Neurology.

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Youth Cardiovascular Risk Factors Linked to Early Death

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiovascular risk factors in childhood are associated with a higher rate of premature death from endogenous causes, according to research published in the Feb. 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Draft Diagnostic Criteria for DSM-5 Are Released

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Proposed revisions to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) were released Feb. 10 by the American Psychiatric Association.

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AHRQ: U.S. Adults Seeing Big Barriers to Specialty Care

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In 2007, about one in 13 of U.S. adults reported that access to specialist care was a "big problem," according to a December report issued by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

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FDA Initiative Aims to Cut Medical Radiation Exposure

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has launched a new initiative that aims to reduce exposure to radiation from computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine studies and fluoroscopy, the three procedures that are the main sources of medically-related radiation exposure.

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Tamoxifen Treatment Linked to Worse Cognitive Function

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women with breast cancer have worse cognitive function after treatment with tamoxifen but not exemestane, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Neutralizing Antibodies to Interferon Beta May Persist

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- After cessation of interferon beta therapy for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, neutralizing antibodies to interferon beta can persist, and their presence is associated with poorer clinical outcomes, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in the Archives of Neurology.

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Executive Dysfunction With High BP May Help Predict Dementia

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In elderly adults, executive dysfunction -- but not memory dysfunction -- accompanied by hypertension may help predict progression to dementia and provide an opportunity to intervene, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Age-Related Treatment and Outcomes in Stroke Examined

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Older people who suffer ischemic stroke are more likely to die in the hospital than younger stroke victims, though disparities in care by age group have been reduced or eliminated in recent years, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in Circulation.

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Outcomes Improving in Asymptomatic Carotid Stenosis

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with asymptomatic carotid stenosis (ACS), intensive medical therapy has significantly reduced microemboli on transcranial Doppler as well as cardiovascular events, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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H1N1 Vaccination Still Highly Recommended

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Despite H1N1 virus levels stabilizing, transmission remains an issue and vaccination continues to be an effective option for prevention of this potentially serious condition, according to a Feb. 5 press briefing by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

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Many American Adults Do Not Get Recommended Vaccines

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Although most parents ensure their children are vaccinated, adults often do not receive recommended vaccinations themselves, according to a new report, Adult Immunization: Shots to Save Lives.

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Physical Inactivity, Not Just Lack of Exercise, Harms Health

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Sedentary behavior and a lack of whole-body movement are independent predictors of increased mortality and increased incidence of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer, regardless of level of physical exercise, according to an article published online Feb. 4 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

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FDA Warns of Link Between Natalizumab, Brain Infection

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- On Feb. 5, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration notified health care professionals and patients that the risk of developing a rare but serious brain infection increases as the number of natalizumab (Tysabri) infusions received increases.

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Coalition Launches Campaign to Limit Residents' Hours

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- To prevent medical errors caused by doctor fatigue, a coalition of public interest and patient safety groups is urging the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to limit the amount of time residents must work without sleep to 16 hours and to increase resident supervision.

www.wakeupdoctor.org
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Blood Sugar Levels Shown to Affect Reward Preferences

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Blood glucose levels appear to affect whether a person is more likely to prefer a reward now or later, according to a study published online Jan. 20 in Psychological Science.

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Health Care Spending Makes Record Leap in GDP Share

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A growth in health spending in 2009, coupled with a sagging economy, created the largest one-year jump in health care's share of the nation's gross domestic product since 1960, according to an article published online Feb. 4 in Health Affairs.

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No Rebound Seen in Platelet Aggregation After Clopidogrel

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- There was no rebound in platelet aggregation (PA) observed in cardiovascular patients who stopped taking clopidogrel abruptly or tapered off the medication gradually after the prescribed course of treatment, according to a study in the Feb. 9 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Views of Physicians, Patients Differ on Spinal Surgery

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Surgeons, family physicians, and their patients have different perceptions of what constitutes good grounds for spinal surgery, according to a study in the Jan. 1 issue of Spine.

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Diversity Growth Incremental in the Medical Professions

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- One hundred years after the Flexner Report recommended closing five of the seven African-American medical schools then extant, African-Americans and other minorities remain grossly underrepresented in the medical professions, according to an article in the February issue of Academic Medicine.

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Communication Found Possible With Some Coma Patients

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Basic communication can be established with some disorders-of-consciousness patients who are otherwise unresponsive, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure neuroanatomically specific, blood-oxygenation-level-dependent responses to mental imagery tasks, according to a study published online Feb. 3 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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The Lancet Retracts Study Linking MMR Vaccine, Autism

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- On Feb. 2, The Lancet retracted a controversial 1998 study that linked the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism and gastrointestinal problems.

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Hippocampal Volume Found to Increase With Aerobic Exercise

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Aerobic exercise can increase the volume of the hippocampus in schizophrenia patients, and may have a role in the treatment of disabilities associated with the condition, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Antidepressant May Aid Post-Stroke Cognitive Recovery

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke patients who receive the antidepressant escitalopram within three months of their stroke show improvement in cognitive functioning as compared to those receiving either placebo or Problem Solving Therapy, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Cognitive Test May Predict Brain Infarction in Elderly Men

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In elderly men, impaired performance on a cognitive test is an independent predictor of brain infarction, according to a study published in the Feb. 2 issue of Neurology.

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Extended Use of Nicotine Patch Linked to Benefits

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The use of transdermal nicotine patches for an extended duration, compared to the standard eight-week therapy, may improve the chances of smoking abstinence, according to research published in the Feb. 2 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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President Proposes $911 Billion Budget for HHS

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- As part of his 2011 budget proposal, President Barack Obama has proposed $911 billion for the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Department, according to a Feb. 1 announcement by the secretary of HHS, Kathleen Sebelius.

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Antioxidants Found to Alter Muscle Oxygen Use in Rats

MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Antioxidants alter the pattern of oxygen delivery and consumption in resting and contracting muscle in aged rats, according to recent studies at Kansas State University, including research originally published in the December 2008 issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology.

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Foster Care Quality Linked to Hyperactive Youths' Progress

MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The degrees of parental warmth and hostility, as well as the number of foster-care moves, affect the progression of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity among children placed in foster care, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in Pediatrics.

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BMI Thresholds May Be Too Restrictive for Older Adults

MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Body mass index thresholds are too restrictive for older adults, who are at no greater risk of mortality if they are overweight versus normal weight, according to a study in the February issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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