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Category: Neurology | Monthly Briefing

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July 2009 Briefing - Neurology

Last Updated: August 03, 2009.

 

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

Electronic Disease Surveillance Systems Vary Widely

FRIDAY, July 31 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic disease surveillance systems vary widely from state to state and the lack of homogeneity will raise the cost of data sharing, according to a study published in the July 31 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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U.S. Health Data Network a Powerful Tool for Quality

FRIDAY, July 31 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. health care system is on the verge of a new era in which distributed health data networks will assure local control of sensitive individual patient data, while providing medical researchers and policy makers access to powerful aggregate data on millions of patients, according to a pair of articles in the September 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Abstract - Maro
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Abstract - Pace
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Stroke Is a Rare but Serious Complication After PCI

FRIDAY, July 31 (HealthDay News) -- Although fewer than 1 percent of patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) develop a stroke, having a stroke greatly increases the likelihood of in-hospital death, according to a study in the August 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Abstract
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Family Calcium Intake Linked to Children's Health Outcomes

THURSDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- A family diet high in calcium during childhood may be associated with a lower risk of death from stroke later in life, according to research published online July 29 in Heart.

Abstract
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MRI Can Help Determine Glaucoma Severity

THURSDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- Magnetic resonance imaging of the optic nerve and optic radiations of the brain may offer a new diagnostic tool to evaluate severity of glaucoma, according to a study in the August issue of Radiology.

Abstract
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Predictors Identified for Progression of Benign MS

THURSDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- Cognitive assessment tests and conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can predict future disease progression in patients with benign multiple sclerosis (B-MS), according to a study published online July 29 in Neurology.

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Pregnant Women, Children Among H1N1 Vaccine Priorities

WEDNESDAY, July 29 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women, health care workers, and children who are aged 6 months and older should be the first to receive this fall's H1N1 swine flu vaccine, according to recommendations made July 29 by a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) panel.

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Antipsychotic Drugs May Pose Risk to Older Diabetics

WEDNESDAY, July 29 (HealthDay News) -- Older diabetic patients are at significant risk of hospitalization due to hyperglycemia when they are prescribed antipsychotic medication, according to a study published in the July 27 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Abstract
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Developments Offer Hope to Ischemic Stroke Patients

TUESDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- Current and emerging therapies for acute ischemic stroke have the potential to significantly improve patient outcomes, according to an article published in the inaugural July issue of the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery.

Abstract
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Ischemia Risk May Be Linked to Exercise Capacity

TUESDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- Patients at intermediate to high risk of coronary artery disease are at low risk of developing ischemia if they are able to reach a high exercise workload during an exercise stress test, according to a study in the August 4 Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Abstract
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Many Syncopal Episode Tests Deemed Unnecessary

TUESDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- Older patients are often given unnecessary tests to evaluate syncopal episodes, and more attention should be paid to patient history and examination, according to a study in the July 27 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Lacunar Infarcts Often Seen in Patients in Their 60s

TUESDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- Lacunar infarcts are a fairly common incidental finding among patients in their 60s, and hypertension is a major treatable risk factor, according to a study published in the July 28 issue of Neurology.

Abstract
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Caregiver Closeness May Slow Alzheimer's Disease Progress

MONDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with Alzheimer's disease who have a closer relationship with their caregiver -- especially when the caregiver is a spouse -- may have a slower progression of cognitive and functional symptoms, according to research published online June 29 in the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences.

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Autism Linked to Some Gastrointestinal Symptoms

MONDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- Children with autism may be more likely to have an increased incidence of gastrointestinal symptoms, according to a study in the August issue of Pediatrics.

Abstract
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Editorial

Beta Blocker Link to Risk for Postoperative Stroke Analyzed

MONDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- The chronic use of beta blockers prior to non-cardiac surgery is not associated with an increased incidence of postoperative stroke, according to a study in the August 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Abstract
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Stem-Like Cells Identified in Benign Tumors

MONDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- Benign tumors contain stem-like cells that can be serially transplanted to generate new tumors, suggesting that such cells in benign as well as malignant tumors may be targets for anti-tumor therapies, according to a study published in the July issue of the British Journal of Cancer.

Abstract
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Review Shows Benefits of Massage in Low Back Pain

FRIDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- Massage may offer long-lasting benefits in individuals with subacute or chronic nonspecific low back pain, according to research published in the July 15 issue of Spine.

Abstract
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Stroke Patients Need More Than Words to Get Active

FRIDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- Using verbal encouragement does not appear to result in increased physical activity in patients who have had an ischemic stroke, according to a study published online July 22 in BMJ.

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H1N1 Can Cause Neurologic Complications in Children

FRIDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- H1N1 influenza can lead to neurologic complications in children, according to a study published in the July 24 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Operative Scoliosis Treatment Linked to Less Leg Pain

FRIDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- Surgical treatment of scoliosis in adults may lead to better improvement of leg pain than non-operative treatment, according to research published in the July 15 Spine.

Abstract
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Methods to Determine Health Care Priorities Questioned

FRIDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- Evaluating health care priorities based on the attitudes of patients (direct method) or the attitudes of the general public (indirect method) can produce different results, complicating decisions on the allocation of health care resources, according to two papers published July 22 in BMJ.

Abstract - Arnold
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Abstract - Dolan
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Camera Phones Can Help Doctors Make Rare Diagnoses

FRIDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- A pregnant patient with an uncommon nipple condition captured images of the transient changes to her nipples and gave them to her doctor, enabling an accurate diagnosis, according to an article published online July 22 in BMJ.

Abstract
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Classification System Could Improve Low Back Pain Care

FRIDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- Although low back pain is a heterogeneous condition, recognizing patterns in symptoms can help to classify it and guide more effective treatment, according to a study in the August issue of The Spine Journal.

Abstract
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Training Program Can Improve Attention in Stroke Survivors

FRIDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- Attention process training appears useful in improving attention deficits in individuals who have had a stroke, according to research published online July 23 in Stroke.

Abstract
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Drugs for Blunt Cerebrovascular Injuries Compared

THURSDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- Both systemic heparin and antiplatelet agents are effective in treating blunt cerebrovascular injuries, according to a paper published in the July issue of the Archives of Surgery.

Abstract
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Most Critically Ill Infants Receive Pain Relief

WEDNESDAY, July 22 (HealthDay News) -- Most critically ill infants undergoing minor painful procedures at an Australian hospital received pain relief, more than reported in previous studies, according to an article in the July issue of the Journal of Pain.

Abstract
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Biomarkers May Predict Incipient Alzheimer's Disease

TUESDAY, July 21 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with mild cognitive impairment, three cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers may accurately identify incipient Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published in the July 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Editorial

IV Immunoglobulin Treatment May Reduce Alzheimer's Risk

TUESDAY, July 21 (HealthDay News) -- Prior treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) for indications not having to do with Alzheimer's disease may lower the risk for developing Alzheimer's disease and Alzheimer's disease-related disorders (ADRD), according to a study in the July 21 issue of Neurology.

Abstract
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Forceps-Associated Palsy Usually Mild, Temporary

MONDAY, July 20 (HealthDay News) -- In neonates, facial nerve palsy caused by forceps use is usually mild and resolves without treatment, according to a study published in the July issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery.

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Prenatal Exposure to Hydrocarbons May Affect IQ

MONDAY, July 20 (HealthDay News) -- Prenatal exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons adversely affects children's later intelligence, according to a study published online July 20 in Pediatrics.

Abstract
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Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Cardiovascular Disease

FRIDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including hypertension, heart failure and ischemic heart disease, according to a recent symposium on nutrition and heart disease summarized in the July issue of the American Journal of the Medical Sciences.

American Journal of the Medical Sciences

Electrical Muscular Stimulation May Have Role in Rehab

FRIDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- Transcutaneous neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) may help improve endurance and muscular fitness in patients with congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who cannot exercise strenuously, according to a literature review in the July issue of Chest.

Abstract
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Molecule May Correct Toxicity of Muscular Dystrophy Defect

FRIDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- A synthetic molecule can correct the consequences of the genetic defect causing myotonic dystrophy in a mouse model of the disease, according to a study in the July 17 issue of Science.

Abstract
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Obesity Rates Highest Among African-American Population

FRIDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of obesity is far higher among African-Americans than Caucasians in America, and Hispanics also have significantly higher obesity rates, according to a study published in the July 17 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Physical Activity May Improve Post-Stroke Function

FRIDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- Some evidence suggests that getting more physical activity before a stroke may be linked to better functional status afterward, according to research published online July 14 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

Abstract
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Chronic Daily Headache Often Subsides in Adolescents

THURSDAY, July 16 (HealthDay News) -- In most adolescents with chronic daily headache, symptoms decline over time, but about one-quarter of patients may still experience headache-related disability or daily headaches as young adults, according to a study published online July 15 in Neurology.

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Inflammation Affects Alzheimer's Protein Transport

THURSDAY, July 16 (HealthDay News) -- Inflammation and a transport protein at the blood-brain barrier affect the passage of the amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide implicated in Alzheimer's disease across the blood-brain barrier, according to a study in the May issue of Brain, Behavior, and Immunity and a study in the third 2009 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

Abstract
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Apolipoprotein E Genotype Disclosure May Not Be Harmful

WEDNESDAY, July 15 (HealthDay News) -- In the adult children of patients with Alzheimer's disease, the disclosure of apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype does not appear to increase short-term psychological distress even in those who are APOE ε4-positive. But positive status may be associated with a premature decline in memory, according to two studies published in the July 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Abstract - Green
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Abstract - Caselli
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Smoking Linked to More Rapid Multiple Sclerosis Progression

WEDNESDAY, July 15 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with multiple sclerosis who smoke have worse disease and develop progressive disease faster than nonsmokers, according to a study in the July issue of the Archives of Neurology.

Abstract
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Study Looks at Predictors of Early Treatment in Parkinson's

WEDNESDAY, July 15 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with early Parkinson's disease who are better educated or have greater disability may require earlier symptomatic treatment, according to research published online July 13 in the Archives of Neurology.

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Repair of Patent Foramen Ovale May Not Be Beneficial

TUESDAY, July 14 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with a patent foramen ovale that is discovered and repaired during unrelated surgery may have a significantly increased risk of postoperative stroke, according to a study published in the July 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract
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Genetic Alterations Linked to Malignant Gliomas

TUESDAY, July 14 (HealthDay News) -- The development and progression of malignant gliomas may be related to the interactions between a network of altered genes, and the responsible mechanism may be a deregulation of the annexin A7 (ANXA7) gene, according to two related studies published in the July 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract - Bredel
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Abstract - Yadav
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Godelive Denys-Struyf Method Useful for Low Back Pain

TUESDAY, July 14 (HealthDay News) -- The muscular and articular Godelive Denys-Struyf method of physical therapy, named after its developer, a Belgian kinesiotherapist, is more effective for the treatment of nonspecific lower back pain than conventional physical therapy, according to a study published in the July 1 issue of Spine.

Abstract
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Halo Treatment Effective in Cervical Spine Injury

TUESDAY, July 14 (HealthDay News) -- Treating traumatic cervical spine injuries with halo vest immobilization (HVI) is a reasonable option, according to a study published in the July 1 issue of Spine.

Abstract
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White Matter Changes May Predict Cognition Issues

TUESDAY, July 14 (HealthDay News) -- The progression of white matter hypersensitivity is a better predictor of persistent cognitive impairment than baseline white matter hypersensitivity volume, according to a study published in the July 14 issue of Neurology.

Abstract
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History of Periodontitis Linked to Stroke in Men

MONDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) -- A history of periodontitis, but not current periodontal inflammation, is associated with the incidence of stroke and transient ischemic attack in men, according to research published online ahead of print on May 28 in the Annals of Neurology.

Abstract
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Potassium Citrate May Prevent Stones in Ketogenic Diet

MONDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) -- An oral potassium citrate supplement, Polycitra K, can prevent the formation of kidney stones in children put on a ketogenic diet for intractable epilepsy, according to a study published online July 13 in Pediatrics.

Abstract
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Anti-TNF Monoclonal Antibody Therapy Linked to Tuberculosis

MONDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) Anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) monoclonal antibody therapy is associated with a higher risk of tuberculosis than soluble TNF receptor therapy, according to research published in the July issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Abstract
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Routine X-Rays After Lumbar Fusion May Not Be Useful

FRIDAY, July 10 (HealthDay News) -- Routine X-rays appear to have limited usefulness in the year after lumbar spinal fusion, according to research published in the July 1 issue of Spine.

Abstract
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Pediatric Stroke Associated With High Care Costs

FRIDAY, July 10 (HealthDay News) -- In children, acute stroke is costly to treat and may lead to an even greater lifetime cost of care than acute adult stroke, and in young adults with a first-ever ischemic stroke, mostly modifiable factors are independently associated with long-term mortality, according to two studies published online July 9 in Stroke.

Abstract - Perkins
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Abstract - Putaala
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Migraine Linked to Lower Breast Cancer Risk

THURSDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- In both premenopausal and postmenopausal women, a history of migraine may be independently associated with a significantly reduced risk of breast cancer, according to a study published in the July issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Abstract
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Five Genes Implicated in Brain Tumor Risk

THURSDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified five genes that may contribute to the risk of developing a glioma, the most common type of brain tumor, according to a study published July 5 in Nature Genetics.

Abstract
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Polygenic Component Linked to Risk of Schizophrenia

THURSDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- Common polygenic variation may be responsible for a considerable portion of the total genetic variation involved in schizophrenia risk, according to research published online July 1 in Nature.

Abstract
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Obesity Rates for American Adults Still Going Up

THURSDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- At least 25 percent of the adult population in 32 states is now obese, and national prevalence of obesity has risen from 25.6 percent in 2007 to 26.1 percent in 2008, according to a July 8 report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Press Release
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Hypertrophy May Be the Key to Silent Alzheimer's Disease

THURSDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- The brain cells of people with asymptomatic Alzheimer's disease undergo significant hypertrophy, which may be a compensatory mechanism to prevent cognitive impairment, according to a study published online July 8 in Neurology.

Abstract
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One-Fifth of Patients Aged 60 to 69 Have Spinal Stenosis

THURSDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) increases with age, and almost one-fifth of patients aged 60 to 69 years have absolute stenosis, putting them at greater risk for lower back pain, according to a study published in the July issue of The Spine Journal.

Abstract
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Bevacizumab May Improve Hearing in Neurofibromatosis

WEDNESDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with bevacizumab may improve hearing in patients with neurofibromatosis type 2, and it may also be associated with a reduction in growing vestibular schwannoma volume, according to a study published online July 8 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Abstract
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Autoantibodies Link to Neural-Tube Defect in Irish Examined

WEDNESDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- The presence in mother's blood of autoantibodies against folate receptors does not appear to be a factor in the incidence of neural-tube defects among the Irish, according to a study in the July 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Abstract
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More Suicides and Homicides With Rising Unemployment

WEDNESDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- Rises in the level of unemployment are associated with rises in the number of suicides and homicides, but a reduction in the number of road traffic accident-related deaths, according to a study published online July 8 in The Lancet.

Abstract
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Sciatica Outcomes Not Better After Tubular Diskectomy

TUESDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with sciatica, minimally invasive treatment with tubular diskectomy does not significantly improve functional disability compared to conventional microdiskectomy, and may be associated with poorer outcomes, according to a study in the July 8 Journal of the American Medical Association.

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FDA Requires Stronger Label Warnings About Propoxyphene

TUESDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken steps to help prevent overdose in patients taking pain medications that contain the opioid propoxyphene, including Darvon and Darvocet, according to a July 7 release issued by the agency.

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Stepped-Dose Efavirenz May Minimize Side Effects

TUESDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- In HIV-positive patients, step-wise administration of efavirenz may reduce neuropsychiatric adverse events and prove just as effective as full-dose administration, according to a study published online July 7 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Parental Autoimmune Disease Linked to Autism in Children

MONDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- A family history of some autoimmune diseases may be associated with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorders and infantile autism in children, according to a study published online July 6 in Pediatrics.

Abstract
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No Superior Treatment for Acute Basilar Artery Occlusion

MONDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with acute basilar artery occlusion, intra-arterial therapy (IAT) is not unequivocally superior to primary intravenous thrombolysis (IVT), according to a study published online July 6 in The Lancet Neurology.

Abstract
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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Researchers Debate Benefits of Prenatal Magnesium Sulfate

MONDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- Although debate continues about the ability of prenatal magnesium sulfate to prevent cerebral palsy in preterm infants, the weight of evidence suggests that it may be beneficial, according to three studies published in the June issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Abstract - Conde-Agudelo
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Mechanism May Explain Quick Metastases of Lung Cancer

MONDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with lung cancer, the WNT/TCF cell-signaling pathway appears to play a major role in the spread of the disease to the brain and bone, according to a study published online July 2 in Cell.

Abstract
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Thromboprophylaxis Need Assessed in Spine Surgery

MONDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- In spinal trauma with or without spinal cord injury, spine surgeons agree that pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis is necessary for selected groups of patients, according to a study published in the July issue of The Spine Journal.

Abstract
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Parkinson's Drugs Show Promise Against Tuberculosis

MONDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- Two existing drugs used for Parkinson's disease may be useful in treating drug-resistant cases of tuberculosis, according to research published July 3 in PLoS Computational Biology.

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Brain Infarct Increases Risk of Visual Field Loss in Glaucoma

MONDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- Silent cerebral infarct (SCI) increases the risk for visual field progression in patients with normal-tension glaucoma, according to a study reported in the July issue of Ophthalmology.

Abstract
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Mood Appears to Affect Brain's Processing of Pain

FRIDAY, July 3 (HealthDay News) -- Patients' emotional state may affect the way they process painful stimuli, even when it appears to have no impact on subjective responses to pain, according to a study published in the July issue of Gastroenterology.

Abstract
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Single Status at Middle-Age May Affect Alzheimer's Risk

FRIDAY, July 3 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged people who are widowed or divorced are more likely than their cohabiting counterparts to have cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease in later life, according to a study published online on July 2 in BMJ.

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Novel Gene Therapy for Brain Tumor Nears Clinical Trial

THURSDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- A novel gene therapy for glioblastoma multiforme utilizing a combination of adenoviral vectors and the drug ganciclovir (GCV) is nearing clinical trial with the discovery of a biomarker to gauge tumor response to the treatment, according to a study reported in the July 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

Abstract
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Adolescent Intelligence Link to Adult Mortality Negotiable

THURSDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- The association between IQ in adolescence and mortality in later life is almost entirely attenuated by other risk factors, according to a study published online July 1 in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Abstract
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Ghrelin May Play Role in Alcohol Dependence

THURSDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- In addition to its already known function in the regulation of eating, central ghrelin signaling appears to be necessary for the rewarding properties of alcohol, according to research published online June 29 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Sleep Apnea Treatment Cuts Death Risk for Stroke Patients

WEDNESDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment can reduce mortality risk in stroke patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), according to a study in the July 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Abstract
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Triple Antithrombotic Therapy Becoming Growing Concern

WEDNESDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- Given that the number of patients requiring warfarin and dual antiplatelet therapy is expected to rise, clinicians should give thought to the best use of these therapies to balance their benefits and risks, according to a review published in the July 7 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Abstract
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Priorities Set for Comparative Effectiveness Research

WEDNESDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- The extent to which large-scale public investment in comparative effectiveness research can achieve its goals of better decision making and improved uptake of new knowledge depends on engaging the medical profession and patients, according to recommendations by the Institute of Medicine published online June 30 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Editorial - Luce
Editorial - Iglehart
Editorial - Conway & Clancy
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