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American Academy of Neurology, March 16-23, 2013

Last Updated: March 27, 2013.

The 65th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology

The annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology was held from March 16 to 23 in San Diego and attracted approximately 12,000 participants from around the world, including clinicians, academicians, allied health professionals, and others interested in neurology. The conference highlighted recent advances in neurological disorders, with presentations focusing on the diagnosis, management, and treatment of disorders impacting the brain and nervous system.

In one study, Gunjan Parikh, M.D., of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the University of Maryland in Baltimore, and colleagues found that advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) detected lesions. The investigators evaluated 256 individuals who had been seen in the emergency department after mild head injuries.

The investigators found that 104 individuals showed evidence of hemorrhage in the brain with traditional MRI. These 104 individuals also underwent advanced MRI and the investigators found that 20 percent had microbleed lesions and 33 percent had tube-shaped linear lesions.

"Our study suggests that imaging may be used to detect and distinguish between these lesions in a living person with mTBI and this finding has important implications for treatment," Parikh said in a statement.

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In another study, Stuart Isaacson, M.D., of the Parkinson's Disease/Movement Disorders Center in Boca Raton, Fla., and colleagues found that droxidopa reduced dizziness and lightheadedness associated with orthostatic hypotension in patients with Parkinson's disease, with good tolerability.

"In the largest study to date in patients with Parkinson's disease with symptomatic neurogenic orthostatic hypotension, droxidopa was found to have both clinically meaningful and statistically significant improvement over placebo at week one in reducing symptoms of dizziness/lightheadedness and increasing standing blood pressure. Additionally, these patients experienced fewer falls and fall-related injuries," said Isaacson. "This study provides the first robust clinical evidence that shows meaningful improvement in these disabling symptoms. The study also provides intriguing data that should be further evaluated to see if droxidopa has potential as a treatment to reduce falls."

Press Release

Tuan Dong-Si, M.D., of Biogen Idec in Weston, Mass., and colleagues found that natalizumab-treated patients who developed progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) and were asymptomatic at diagnosis may have improved survival and less functional disability compared with patients who were diagnosed when symptomatic. The investigators found that survival following PML diagnosis was 100 percent in the patients without symptoms at diagnosis, compared to 77 percent in the patients with symptoms at diagnosis. Functional outcomes and disability were also better in the asymptomatic group one year after PML diagnosis.

"Physicians should be aware that PML may be diagnosed in asymptomatic patients on the basis of brain MRI findings and the presence of John Cunningham virus DNA in the cerebrospinal fluid or on brain biopsy. Approximately 7 percent of patients with natalizumab-associated PML in this large cohort were asymptomatic at the time of PML diagnosis," said Dong-Si. "Preliminary results from this study suggest that early detection of PML using MRI, prior to the presentation of symptoms, may help improve disability levels and survival."

The study was funded in part by Biogen Idec, the manufacturer of natalizumab. Several authors disclosed financial ties to Biogen Idec.

Press Release

AAN: Three New Treatments Show Promise for Parkinson's

FRIDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- Three new treatments show promise for patients with Parkinson's disease, according to three studies to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, held from March 16 to 23 in San Diego.

Abstract - Isaacson
Abstract - Olanow
Abstract - Hauser
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AAN: Add-On Drug Improves Memory in Alzheimer's Disease

WEDNESDAY, March 13 (HealthDay News) -- In a first report of human trials, a selective alpha-2C adrenoceptor antagonist improves memory in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), according to a study to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, held from March 16 to 23 in San Diego.

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AAN: White Matter Damaged in Depressed NFL Athletes

THURSDAY, Jan. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Retired National Football League (NFL) athletes with depression have impaired white matter integrity detected by diffusion tensor imaging; and among retired NFL athletes, a history of concussion correlates with depression, according to two studies released in advance of their presentation at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, which will be held from March 16 to 23 in San Diego.

Abstract - Womack
Abstract - Didehbani
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AAN: Migraine With Aura Ups Clot Risk for Combo Contraceptives

TUESDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Women with migraine with aura (MwA) who use combined hormonal contraceptives (CHCs) have an increased risk of major thrombotic events; and MwA is a strong contributor to major cardiovascular disease risk in women, according to two studies released in advance of their presentation at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, which will be held from March 16 to 23 in San Diego.

Abstract - Joshi
Abstract - Kurth
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AAN: Cognitive Decline With Early-Age Surgical Menopause

MONDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Early age at surgical menopause correlates with cognitive decline, with slower decline linked to the duration of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), according to research released in advance of its presentation at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, which will be held from March 16 to 23 in San Diego.

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AAN: Mortality Up for Stroke Survivors With Depression

FRIDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with stroke and depression have a significantly higher risk of all-cause and stroke mortality, compared to those with neither condition, according to a study released in advance of its presentation at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, which will be held from March 16 to 23 in San Diego.

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AAN: Submandibular Gland Biopsy Viable to ID Parkinson's

THURSDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Submandibular gland biopsy to detect Lewy-type alpha-synucleinopathy (LTS) may be feasible as a diagnostic test for Parkinson's disease, according to a study released in advance of its presentation at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, which will be held from March 16 to 23 in San Diego.

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AAN: Stem Cells Show Promise in Mouse Model of ALS

THURSDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Implantation of a neural stem cell (NCS) fraction of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) shows promise in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), according to a study released in advance of its presentation at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, which will be held from March 16 to 23 in San Diego.

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AAN: Drinking Sweetened Beverages Linked to Depression

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Among older adults, drinking sweetened beverages, especially diet drinks, is associated with an increased risk of depression, according to a study released in advance of its presentation at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, which will be held from March 16 to 23 in San Diego.

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AAN: Beta-Blocker Use Linked to Fewer Brain Abnormalities

MONDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Men who are treated with beta-blockers seem to have fewer microinfarcts and Alzheimer brain lesions and less brain atrophy at autopsy, according to a study released in advance of its presentation at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, which will be held from March 16 to 23 in San Diego.

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