October 2009 Briefing - NeurologyLast Updated: November 02, 2009.
Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Neurology for October 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.
Working After Retirement Associated With Better Health
FRIDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Retirees who engage in bridge employment tend to have better health than those who cease work completely, according to a study published in the October issue of the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.
Toronto Acute Stroke Protocol Increases Timely Thrombolysis
FRIDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- An acute stroke treatment protocol in which patients were taken directly to a regional stroke center instead of the closest local hospital resulted in a six-fold increase in the number of patients receiving tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) within 2.5 hours of symptom onset over a four-month study period, according to a report published online Oct. 29 in Stroke.
Surgery Not Found to Affect Cognitive Function in Elderly
FRIDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Non-cardiac surgery and major illness have no long-term effect on cognitive function in the elderly, including those with mild dementia, according to a study in the November issue of Anesthesiology.
Additional Recommendations for Imaging on the Rise
THURSDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Recommendations for additional imaging in radiology reports at one institution increased steeply in recent years, and from 1980 to 2006, radiologic and nuclear medicine procedures increased roughly 10-fold and 2.5 fold, respectively, according to two studies the November issue of Radiology.
Gene Alterations Replicate Neurofibromatosis in Mice
THURSDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Mice containing alterations in two genes involved in cellular signaling are a good model for neurofibromatosis (NF) and its transformation into malignant sarcomas, according to a study published online Oct. 21 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Pain Among Men and Women War Veterans Evaluated
THURSDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Among veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF), women have a lower prevalence of overall pain, moderate-severe pain, and persistent pain compared to men, according to a study in the October issue of Pain Medicine.
Migraine With Aura Linked to Risk of Ischemic Stroke
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 28 (HealthDay News) -- People who have migraine headache with aura are at increased risk for ischemic stroke, particularly women, according to a meta-analysis of research on the links between migraines and cardiovascular disease published online Oct. 27 in BMJ.
Rate of Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer's Disease Evaluated
TUESDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) and Alzheimer's disease, the presence of DM slows the rate of cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's disease, according to a prospective, multi-center study in the Oct. 27 issue of Neurology.
Deep Brain Stimulation May Help in Tourette Syndrome
TUESDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Thalamic deep brain stimulation reduces tic severity in patients with severe and refractory Tourette syndrome, and also improves symptoms of anxiety and depression, according to a study in the Oct. 27 issue of Neurology.
Gender Gap in Midlife Heart Disease Risk Is Narrowing
TUESDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of midlife myocardial infarction is increasing for women, and vascular risk factor prevention should be given a higher priority, according to a study in the Oct. 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Medical School Enrollment Continues to Expand
MONDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Almost 18,400 students enrolled in medical school in the United States in 2009, a 2 percent increase over the previous year, but even more expansion is needed to meet future demand, according to an Oct. 20 report from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
Protein May Slow Progression of Lou Gehrig's Disease
MONDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Activated protein C slows disease progression and improves survival in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), according to a study published online Oct. 19 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Alteplase Effective for Stroke Even After Three-Hour Window
MONDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The tissue plasminogen activator alteplase leads to better outcomes in stroke patients even when administered more than three hours after onset of symptoms, according to a study published online Oct. 21 in The Lancet Neurology.
Some Hospital Staff Predicted to Be Infection Superspreaders
THURSDAY, Oct. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital staff such as therapists and radiologists who are in contact with all patients have the potential to be superspreaders of infection if they fail to wash their hands regularly, according to a study published online Oct. 19 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Gene Mutations Associated With Parkinson's Disease
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Mutations in the glucocerebrosidase (GBA) gene are associated with Parkinson's disease, and mutations are associated with earlier disease onset and atypical clinical symptoms, according to a study in the Oct. 22 New England Journal of Medicine.
Most H1N1 Hospitalizations Are in Young Patients
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 21 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of hospitalizations for H1N1 influenza are occurring in people younger than 25 years of age, and very few are occurring in the elderly, according to information presented at the Oct. 20 press briefing by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Factors Contributing to Autism in Preterm Children Assessed
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The higher risk of autistic disorders related to premature birth may be largely due to higher rates of prenatal and neonatal complications, according to research completed in Sweden and published online Oct. 19 in Pediatrics.
Childhood Hyperactivity Linked to Shortened Nighttime Sleep
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Children who are not able to sleep through the night are more likely to be hyperactive, with the risk especially high for boys with adverse family living conditions, according to a study published online Oct. 19 in Pediatrics.
Sources Find Different Numbers of Active Physicians
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Estimates from U.S. Census Bureau surveys find fewer older physicians remaining active compared with the American Medical Association Physician Masterfile data, according to research published in the Oct. 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein May Predict Mortality
TUESDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- In stroke-free middle-aged and older people, higher levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein are associated with a modestly increased risk of heart attack and death, but are not associated with an increased risk of stroke, according to a study published in the Oct. 20 issue of Neurology.
Blood Mercury Not Found to Be Elevated in Autism
TUESDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Blood mercury levels are similar in children with autism or autism spectrum disorder (AU/ASD), non-autism developmental delays (DD) or typically developing (TD) controls, according to the Childhood Autism Risk from Genetics and the Environment study published online Oct. 19 in Environmental Health Perspectives.
Article Reviews Technique for Cervical Disc Arthroplasty
MONDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Cervical disc arthroplasty -- which research has suggested is equivalent to arthrodesis for cervical myelopathy with single-level abnormalities in the disc space -- is the focus of a surgical technique article in a supplement to the Oct. 1 issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.
Electrical Stimulation Not Linked to Better Spinal Fusion
FRIDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Electrical stimulation following spinal fusion surgery wasn't effective in improving fusion rates in older patients, but was associated with a tendency toward better functional outcome, according to two articles published in the Oct. 1 issue of Spine.
Gene Therapy Found Effective in Monkeys With Parkinson's
FRIDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Injecting three genes critical for producing dopamine into the brains of a monkey model of Parkinson's disease corrects the motor problems without inducing the abnormal involuntary movements seen with other treatments, according to a study in the Oct. 14 issue of Science Translational Medicine.
Lumbar Spondylolysis Rate Is 6 Percent in Japanese
FRIDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of lumbar spondylolysis, a crack in the lumbar vertebrae often caused by repeated stress, is about 6 percent in the Japanese, according to a study in the Oct. 1 issue of Spine.
FDA Launches Drug Disposal Advice Web Page
FRIDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has launched a new Web page for consumers to educate them on the safe disposal of certain medicines that can be dangerous or even fatal if they end up in the wrong hands.
Excess Weight's Role in Sleep-Disordered Breathing Studied
THURSDAY, Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Excess body weight may serve as a potentially important predictor of oxygen desaturation severity during sleep disturbances caused by apneas or hypopneas, according to a study in the Oct. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Interferon Beta Effects Explored in Multiple Sclerosis
THURSDAY, Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The effects of interferon beta on chemokine receptor genes and chemokine expression in peripheral immune cells may provide the therapeutic effect seen in multiple sclerosis treatment, according to a German study in the October issue of the Archives of Neurology.
Cognitive Factors Preceding Alzheimer's Disease Examined
THURSDAY, Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The onset of Alzheimer's disease can be seen on tests for several cognitive factors up to three years prior to clinical diagnosis, according to a study in the October issue of the Archives of Neurology.
Second-Line Diuretics in Hypertension Reviewed
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The addition of diuretics as a second-line approach to another anti-hypertensive agent further lowers systolic and diastolic blood pressure, providing the same effect as when used as first-line monotherapy, according to a review published online Oct. 7 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
Urate Concentrations Linked to Parkinson's Progression
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 14 (HealthDay News) -- An increased concentration of the antioxidant urate in the serum or cerebral spinal fluid of a person with Parkinson's disease may slow the progression of clinical disability, according to a study published online Oct. 12 in the Archives of Neurology.
Folic Acid Blockers May Increase Risk of Birth Defects
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Drugs such as methotrexate and anti-epileptics that reduce folic acid levels during the first trimester of pregnancy more than double the risk of congenital abnormalities in the developing fetus, according to a study published online Oct. 14 in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.
Possible Link Found Between Tumors and Mobile Phone Use
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 14 (HealthDay News) -- There is a possible link between mobile phone use and higher risk of tumors, but studies with a higher level of evidence are needed for confirmation, according to a study published online Oct. 13 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Study Evaluates Hospital Quality and Mortality Rates
TUESDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital mortality rates in the United States have improved, although major differences in quality still exist between the best and worst hospitals, according to a report published Oct. 13 by HealthGrades.
Practice Updates Issued for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
TUESDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- New research promises to improve the management of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, according to two Practice Parameter updates published in the Oct. 13 issue of Neurology.
Brain Seems to Play Role in Resveratrol's Diabetes Effect
MONDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Resveratrol appears to exert an anti-diabetic effect in mice via the brain, with intracerebroventricular treatment improving hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia, according to research published online Oct. 9 in Endocrinology.
Evidence Scant on Effects of Exercise After Stroke
FRIDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Aerobic exercise training that involves walking may improve walking ability in individuals following a stroke, but the effects of cardiorespiratory fitness training on death and disability remain unclear, according to research published online Oct. 7 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
Cytokines Linked to Knee Pain With Meniscal Injury
FRIDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Several inflammatory cytokines may play a role in the pain that develops following meniscal injuries in the knee, according to research published in the Oct. 1 issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.
Health Care Disparities Among States Found to Be Widening
FRIDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Increasing health care costs and growing disparities in coverage among U.S. states point to the urgent need for national health care reform, according to an Oct. 8 state-by-state report card from the Commonwealth Fund Commission, a private foundation supporting research on the health care system.
Herpes Zoster Infection May Increase Risk of Stroke
FRIDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of stroke is higher in people who have had a herpes zoster infection than in those with no history of the disease, according to a study published online Oct. 8 in Stroke.
Study Assesses Survival After Second Primary Neoplasms
FRIDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In survivors of childhood cancer, survival following second primary glioma is poor, though the outlook is good for second primary meningioma, according to research published online Sept. 28 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Glatiramer Acetate May Delay Multiple Sclerosis Onset
THURSDAY, Oct. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Early treatment with glatiramer acetate may delay the start of clinically definite multiple sclerosis (MS), according to the PreCISe study published online Oct. 7 in The Lancet.
More Elderly Might Benefit From Stroke Treatment
THURSDAY, Oct. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Given an aging population, the prevention and treatment of stroke in the very elderly -- who are under-represented in studies regarding therapy -- will become more important, according to research published online Oct. 2 in The Lancet Neurology.
Roundtable Discussion Tackles Health Care Reform
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The health care payment system, the role of consumers in responsible health care spending, and the use of comparative-effectiveness research were topics covered in a roundtable discussion with several health economics experts published in the Oct. 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Medical Students Want More Practice of Medicine Training
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Medical students in the United States perceive that they are not getting enough training in the practice of medicine, particularly in medical economics, according to a study in the September issue of Academic Medicine.
Many Chronic Low Back Pain Patients Recover Within a Year
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to common wisdom that patients with chronic low back pain can rarely recover, one-third of patients will recover in nine months, and four in 10 patients will recover within a year, according to a study published Oct. 6 in BMJ.
Glioma Risk Associated With Youth Obesity and Inactivity
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of glioma is greater among those who are tall and those who were inactive or obese in adolescence, suggesting a link between the cancer and early-life energy balance, according to a study published online Oct. 6 in Cancer Research.
Effectiveness and Cost Help to Make Coverage Decisions
TUESDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Countries using evidence-based cost-effectiveness and effectiveness to help make drug coverage decisions show how these factors can successfully support decision making and can also be adapted to the specific conditions of other countries, according to a study in the Oct. 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Low-Contrast Visibility May Be Issue for Parkinson's Drivers
TUESDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Drivers with Parkinson's disease may be more prone to poor vehicle control and crashes while driving in low-contrast visibility conditions due to issues with perception, cognition and motor dysfunction, according to a study in the Oct. 6 issue of Neurology.
Untreated Sleep Disorder Can Impair Driving Ability
TUESDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients are more prone to the effects of alcohol consumption and sleep restriction on driving performance than healthy individuals, according to a study in the Oct. 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Autism Spectrum Disorder May Affect 673,000 Children in U.S.
MONDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- In the United States, the point-prevalence of autism spectrum disorder in children may be significantly higher than previously estimated, according to a study published online Oct. 5 in Pediatrics.
CT Scans Found Suitable for Use in Memory Clinics
MONDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- In patients attending a memory clinic, 64-detector row computed tomography (CT) yields findings that are almost as reliable as those from an MRI, according to a study published in the October issue of Radiology.
Heroin, Crack Treatment Often Successful in Short Term
FRIDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Heroin and crack cocaine addiction can be successfully treated in the short term with either pharmacological or psychosocial methods, but treatments are less successful in those with addictions to both drugs, according to a study published online Oct. 2 in The Lancet.
Technique Found Effective for Intracranial Aneurysms
FRIDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Stent-assisted coil embolization is a safe and effective treatment for wide-necked intracranial aneurysms occurring during subarachnoid hemorrhage that are difficult to treat by other techniques, according to a study in the October issue of Radiology.
Rising Numbers of Elderly Will Pose Issues for Nations
FRIDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- An anticipated rise in life expectancy, involving more than half of babies born in wealthy nations living to 100, will cause societal and economic challenges in coming decades, according to research published in the Oct. 3 issue of The Lancet.
Early Presentation Remains Uncommon in Stroke Patients
FRIDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Between 2001 and 2004, there was no change in the proportion of stroke patients who arrived at academic medical centers within two hours of symptom onset. However, usage of intravenous tissue-type plasminogen activator (IV t-PA) in such patients increased, according to a study published online Oct. 1 in Stroke.
Emergence of Nootropic Drugs Raises Familiar Ethical Issues
THURSDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The emerging use of cognitive-enhancing nootropic drugs, the so-called "smart drugs," in competitive academia raises ethical issues that parallel the doping controversy played out over the past 50 years in competitive sports, according to a paper in the October issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics.
Surgical Masks Found to Be Non-Inferior to Respirators
THURSDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Surgical masks may be no less effective than N95 respirators in preventing influenza in health care workers, according to a study published online Oct. 1 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Sleep Deprivation May Be Associated With Alzheimer's
THURSDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Sleep deprivation may play a role in the development of Alzheimer's disease, according to research published online Sept. 24 in Science.
Strep Infections Not Linked to Neuropsychiatric Disorders
THURSDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- In children, streptococcal infections do not appear to significantly affect the onset of neuropsychiatric disorders, according to a study published online Sept. 30 in Neurology.
CDC Says States Not Meeting Fruit and Veggie Objectives
THURSDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- In a Sept. 29 press release, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says no U.S. state is currently meeting the national Healthy People 2010 objectives for fruit and vegetable consumption.
Physicians May Fail to Act on Electronic Alerts Quickly
THURSDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians using a system with electronic medical records and computerized alerts may not acknowledge or act upon critical imaging results in a timely manner, according to research published in the Sept. 28 Archives of Internal Medicine.