December 2009 Briefing - NeurologyLast Updated: January 01, 2010.
Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Neurology for December 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.
Precautions and Training Can Reduce Scalpel Injuries
THURSDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Although less common than needle-stick injuries, cuts from scalpels also put operating room personnel at risk and can be reduced by closely following safety precautions and taking advantage of new technology, according to a study in the December issue of the AORN Journal.
Therapy Found Ineffective for Chronic Low Back Pain
THURSDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS) is not recommended for treating chronic low back pain, though it appears effective in treating the pain of diabetic peripheral neuropathy, according to an American Academy of Neurology guideline published online Dec. 30 in Neurology.
Study Sheds Light on Factors Involved in Brain Tumors
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The transcription factors C/EBPβ and Stat3 appear to work together to trigger and regulate the mesenchymal transformation seen in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), according to research published online Dec. 23 in Nature.
Ultrasound Detects Shoulder Dislocation After Birth Injury
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Ultrasound can be used to detect a posterior shoulder dislocation in infants 3 to 6 months old with a permanent brachial plexus birth injury (BPBI), according to a study in the January issue of Radiology.
Ginkgo biloba May Not Reduce Cognitive Decline in Adults
TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Ginkgo biloba, an herbal extract used to prevent memory loss and cognitive decline, was not effective in reducing the incidence of cognitive decline in individuals 72 to 96 years of age with normal brain function or mild cognitive impairment, according to the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory study published in the Dec. 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Technique Found Effective, Safe in Spinal Stabilizations
MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In patients undergoing spinal stabilization, intraoperative computed tomography in combination with neuronavigation improves the accuracy of screw placement, according to a study in the Dec. 15 issue of Spine.
Certain Medications May Alter Quad Screen Results
MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- A pregnant woman's use of certain prescription drugs may skew results of the standard Quad screening and increase the rate of screen-positives for neural tube defects, according to a study in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Mental and Physical Activity Can Boost Cognitive Function
FRIDAY, Dec. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Elders at risk for cognitive impairment can improve cognitive function with increased mental and physical activity, according to a study in the December issue of the Journals of Gerontology.
History of Cancer Associated With Lower Alzheimer's Risk
THURSDAY, Dec. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Caucasian older adults with Alzheimer's disease are less likely than their counterparts without the condition to have cancer, and Caucasian older adults with a history of cancer are less likely to have Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published online Dec. 23 in Neurology.
Over 85s Function Well Despite Disease and Disability
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Elders over the age of 85 report good health and functional ability despite the fact that they have to contend with a range of diseases and disabilities; however, as the fastest growing segment of the world's population, the health needs of future generations of over 85s represent a profound challenge, according to a study published online Dec. 22 in BMJ.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help Brain Cope With Overload
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Low intake of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the brain's ability to handle sensory overload, which could explain some of the symptoms seen in conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and attention-deficit disorder, according to an animal study published in the December issue of Behavioral Neuroscience.
Effects of Screw Length on Spine Reconstruction Studied
TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In treating spinal disorders that require spino-pelvic reconstruction, short screws have similar biomechanical strength as long screws if augmented by bone cement, according to a study in the December issue of the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques.
CRP Levels Linked to Heart Disease, but Causality Unlikely
TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- C-reactive protein (CRP) blood concentration is associated with risk of a range of diseases, including heart attack, stroke, cancer death and chronic lung disease, but most of the associations between CRP levels and heart disease are explained by risk factors already known to cause heart disease, according to a study published online Dec. 22 in The Lancet.
Prenatal Aspirin Not Linked to Adverse Infant Outcomes
MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Among infants born preterm, low-dose aspirin (LDA) during pregnancy is not associated with fetal or infant deaths, infant cerebral damage, or brain development disorders, according to research published online Dec. 21 in Pediatrics.
Risk of Neurologic Deficit Right After Spinal Surgery Low
MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The likelihood of developing a major neurologic deficit immediately after spinal surgery is low, according to a study in the December issue of the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques.
Fatty Acid Synthesis Important for Brain Tumor Survival
MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Fatty acid synthesis is important for the survival of glioblastomas with a continuously active epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and, inhibiting fatty acid synthesis leads to reduced tumor growth and increased tumor death, according to a study in the Dec. 15 issue of Science Signaling.
Study Examines Low Back Pain Therapy Techniques
FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with low back pain, a clinical prediction rule may be generalizable to additional thrust manipulation techniques but not to non-thrust manipulation techniques, according to a study in the Dec. 1 issue of Spine.
Antidepressants Not Found to Increase Heart Risk
FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women taking antidepressants, whether they are tricyclic medications or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are not at increased risk of coronary heart disease compared to their counterparts not taking the drugs, but there is a modestly higher risk of mortality and stroke, according to a study in the Dec. 14/28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Goal Achievement Impacts Spine Patients' Satisfaction
FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with chronic disabling spinal disorders who complete a functional restoration program, goal achievement may be a valuable patient-centered measure of treatment outcome, according to a study in the Dec. 1 issue of Spine.
Cost of Treatment for Heart Disease and Stroke Increasing
FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The estimated cost of treatment for cardiovascular disease and stroke in the United States in 2010 is estimated to be $503.2 billion, a 5.8 percent increase over the previous year, according to the American Heart Association's Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics -- 2010 Update, published online Dec. 17 in Circulation.
Autism Spectrum Disorder Prevalence Increases
FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Improved documentation and identification of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) may have contributed to a rise in prevalence from 2002 to 2006, but an increased risk of developing an ASD should not be discounted, according to a surveillance summary published Dec. 18 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Amino Acids Found to Restore Function After Brain Injury
THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Feeding amino acids to mice who have had a traumatic injury to a part of the brain important for learning and memory restores neural activity and cognitive function, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Most Stroke Survivors Take an Antithrombotic Agent
THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- A large proportion of stroke survivors used antithrombotic agents during a recent period, according to research published in the January issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Risk of Microemboli Reduced in Some Stenosis Patients
THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with asymptomatic carotid stenosis (ACS), the presence of microemboli is associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular events, but intensive medical therapy may reduce the risk of microemboli, according to research published online Dec. 14 in the Archives of Neurology.
Stroke Education Program Improves Student Knowledge
THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- A stroke education program for middle-school students in a largely Hispanic population, which has a higher incidence of stroke than other groups, improves knowledge of stroke signs and treatment, according to a study published online in Health Promotion Practice.
Intensive Lipid-Lowering Cuts Risk of Repeat Cardiac Events
THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Follow-up analyses of two studies on intensive versus less intensive lipid-lowering regimens conclude that intensive lipid-lowering is superior for preventing recurrent cardiovascular events, according to two studies in the Dec. 15/22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Tool May Predict Additional Strokes Over Short Term
THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- A tool called the recurrence risk estimator at 90 days (RRE-90), which includes clinical and imaging factors that are usually available to clinicians when patients are admitted, appears useful in predicting 90-day risk of recurrent stroke, according to research published online Dec. 16 in Neurology.
Generic Aricept Approved for Alzheimer's Dementia
TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) --Generic versions of the drug Aricept (donepezil hydrochloride) that will dissolve instantly on the tongue have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat dementia resulting from Alzheimer's disease, the agency said Tuesday.
More Computed Tomography May Mean More Cancer Risk
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The growing use of computed tomography (CT) scans will cause thousands more cases of cancer in the future, according to a study published in the Dec. 14/28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, while a second study in the same issue found that the dose and cancer risk of CT scans varies widely from case to case.
Tarenflurbil Not Found to Reduce Declines in Alzheimer's
TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Tarenflurbil, an amyloid-β-lowering treatment, isnt associated with reduced cognitive decline or functional loss in patients with mild Alzheimer's disease, according to research published in the Dec. 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Leptin Linked to Lower Risk of Alzheimer's Disease
TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults with higher leptin levels may have a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia in general, according to research published in the Dec. 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Chronic Kidney Patients Can Benefit From Carotid Surgery
MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with chronic kidney disease and high-grade carotid stenosis are at higher risk of stroke than those with preserved renal function, and they benefit more from carotid endarterectomy, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
Factors Affecting Back-Pain Sick Leave in Chile Identified
FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Chileans are more likely to take longer sick leave for low back pain if they have a history of sick leave for low back pain, do manual labor, or were seen by an orthopedic surgeon, similar to other Western populations, according to a study in the December issue of The Spine Journal.
Spinal Surgeries May Improve Back Pain and Sexual Function
FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Total disc replacement and posterior fusion both lead to improvements in not only lower back pain but also sexual function, according to a study in the December issue of The Spine Journal.
Patients Often Lack Knowledge of Their Own Medications
THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Patients routinely under-report, or even over-report, their outpatient and inpatient medications, and should be included in hospital medication management to improve safety, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.
Transplantation Technique Feasible for Spinal Cord Injury
THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In the treatment of spinal cord injury, transplantation of readily available mono-nuclear bone marrow cells may be an alternative to the use of bone marrow stromal cells, according to an animal study published in the Nov. 15 issue of Spine.
New Technique Effective in L5 Radicular Syndrome
THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with L5 radicular syndrome, an ultrasound-guided L5 nerve root block using electrical nerve stimulation is safe and effective, according to a study in the Nov. 15 issue of Spine.
Internet-Addicted Teens More Likely to Harm Themselves
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents who are addicted to the Internet may be more likely to harm themselves as compared to their counterparts without Internet addiction, according to a study in the December issue of Injury Prevention.
Anti-Epileptic Drugs Found Safe to Treat Bipolar Disorder
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of suicidality among bipolar disorder patients treated with anti-epileptic drugs does not increase relative to those taking lithium or no drugs, according to a study published in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.
Oxygen Useful in Treating Cluster Headache Pain
TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Inhaling high-flow oxygen may provide relief from the pain of cluster headaches within 15 minutes, according to research published in the Dec. 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
FDA Issues Recommendations to Prevent Excess CT Radiation
TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Following news that 206 patients at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles were overexposed to radiation during computed tomography (CT) perfusion imaging over an 18-month period, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued interim recommendations to help prevent similar incidents.
Childbirth Linked to Milder Multiple Sclerosis Course
MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Women with multiple sclerosis (MS) who have children, particularly after the onset of the disease, may have a milder disease course than women without children, according to research published online Nov. 25 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.
Low Back Pain Management Guidelines Have Improved
MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Guidelines on the management of acute and chronic low back pain have improved in recent years but still require greater transparency, applicability and editorial independence, according to a study in the Nov. 1 issue of Spine.
Depression Linked to Poorer Spinal Surgery Outcomes
MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) patients who undergo decompressive surgery are more likely to report poorer outcomes from surgery if they were suffering from depression prior to surgery or in the early stages of recovery, according to a study in the Nov. 1 issue of Spine.
New Cervical Spine Surgery Protocol May Reduce Delirium
FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A modified perioperative protocol for elderly patients undergoing cervical spine surgery that involves early commencement of mobilization, resumption of normal circadian rhythm, and reduction or avoidance of methylprednisolone may reduce postoperative delirium risk, according to a Japanese study published in the Nov. 1 issue of Spine.
Shingles Incidence Following Varicella Vaccination Low
FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of shingles (herpes zoster) resulting from the reactivation of the latent varicella-zoster virus following vaccination for chicken pox is very low, but the risk may be higher for children with asthma or those vaccinated later, according to a study in the December issue of Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.
Beta 2 Adrenergic Agonist Use During Pregnancy Examined
FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The use of beta 2 adrenergic agonist medications in pregnancy can disrupt the fetus's sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system activity, possibly resulting in autism spectrum disorders, poor cognition, impaired motor function, psychiatric problems, high blood pressure and poor school performance, according to a review published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Childhood Stroke Mortality Affects Boys More Than Girls
THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Childhood stroke mortality disproportionately affects boys more than girls, and rates have plateaued since the 1980s, according to a study published online Dec. 1 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.
Ecstasy Identified as Risk Factor for Sleep Apnea
THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The use of MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, is associated with a higher risk of sleep apnea in young adults, according to research published online Dec. 2 in Neurology.
Southern Residence Linked to Increased Stroke Mortality
TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Birth in a Stroke Belt state and adult residence there are associated with stroke mortality risk, according to a study in the Dec. 1 issue of Neurology.
Women Researchers Lag Behind Men in Grant Awards
TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Female physicians with a proven interest in research are less likely to receive prestigious research grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) than are male physicians, according to a study in the Dec. 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.