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April 2013 Briefing - Neurology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Neurology for April 2013. 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.

Outcomes Often Good for Extremely Premature Infants

TUESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- About three-quarters of infants born extremely prematurely who receive active care have mild or no neurodevelopmental disability at 2.5 years of age, according to a study published in the May 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on child health.

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More Than One-Third of Stroke Patients Don't Utilize EMS

TUESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- More than one-third of stroke patients still do not use emergency medical services (EMS), despite the fact that EMS use is linked to significantly more rapid evaluation and treatment, according to a study published online April 29 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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No Evidence of Lyme Disease in Children With Autism

TUESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- A small study of 120 children appears to show that children with autism have no serological evidence of Lyme disease, according to a research letter published in the May 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on child health.

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Renewed Efforts From AAFP to Repeal OTC Provision in ACA

TUESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Members of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and other medical associations are urging further consideration of Section 9003 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires holders of tax-preferred health care accounts to obtain a physician's prescription to use funds from those accounts to pay for over-the-counter (OTC) medications. The concerns have been laid out in a letter to the chair and the ranking member of the House Committee on Ways and Means.

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Mediterranean Diet Adherence Cuts Cognitive Impairment

MONDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Greater adherence to a Mediterranean diet (MeD) is associated with a lower likelihood of incident cognitive impairment (ICI), especially among those without diabetes, according to a study published in the April 30 issue of Neurology.

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FDA Announces New Network to Focus Exclusively on Patients

MONDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced the launch of a new interactive tool for educating patients, their advocates, and consumers about the processes involved in medication development.

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FDA: Purveyors of Phony Botox Targeting U.S. Practices

MONDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Medical practices that purchase Botox may unwittingly be purchasing a fraudulent product not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for sale in the United States, according to an April 26 drug safety alert issued by the agency.

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Medical Interns Spending Less Time With Patients

FRIDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- Medical interns are spending less time with patients and more time at a computer since new rules limiting total work hours were instituted in 2011, according to a study published online April 18 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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Saturday Marks Sixth Annual Rx Drug Take-Back Day

FRIDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- United States residents across the nation will have an opportunity to safely and anonymously unload expired, unwanted prescription medications on Saturday, April 27, during the sixth annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

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Review: All Approved Drugs Similarly Prevent Migraines

THURSDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- There is no significant difference in effectiveness in approved drugs for preventing episodic migraine frequency by 50 percent or more, according to a review published in the April issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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Physicians Less Empathetic in Talking to Heavy Patients

THURSDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Primary care physicians (PCPs) are less likely to bond with overweight and obese patients, according to research published online March 20 in Obesity.

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Air Pollution Linked to Marker of Atherosclerosis

THURSDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Greater exposure to air pollution is associated with greater progression of carotid artery thickness, a marker of atherosclerosis, according to a study published online April 23 in PLOS Medicine.

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Fumarate Linked to Progressive Multifocal Encephalopathy

WEDNESDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Fumaric acid or fumarate-induced lymphopenia may contribute to the development of progressive multifocal encephalopathy (PML), according to two letters published in the April 25 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Teen Residence in Stroke Belt Linked to Risk of Stroke

WEDNESDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Living in the stroke belt during adolescence is linked with an increased risk of incident stroke, according to a study published online April 24 in Neurology.

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Diagnostic Errors Are the Leading Type of Malpractice Claim

WEDNESDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- In the past 25 years, diagnostic errors have been the leading type of malpractice claim and account for the highest proportion of total payments, according to a study published online April 22 in BMJ Quality & Safety.

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Pill Form of Marijuana Found to Alleviate Pain for Longer Period

WEDNESDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Dronabinol (Δ9 tetrahydrocannabinol [THC]), a pharmaceutical formulation of the psychoactive component of marijuana, produces a longer duration of pain relief than smoked marijuana, according to a small study published online April 22 in Neuropsychopharmacology.

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MRI Atrophy Measures May ID Patients Progressing to MS

WEDNESDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) biomarkers may identify patients who are at high risk for conversion from clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) to clinically definite multiple sclerosis (CDMS), according to a study published online April 23 in Radiology.

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Maternal Use of Valproate Ups Risk of Autism in Offspring

TUESDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Prenatal exposure to valproate correlates with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder and childhood autism in offspring, according to a study published in the April 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Brain Stimulation Reduces Smoking Cravings

TUESDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- High-frequency brain stimulation can temporarily reduce smoking cravings, according to a study published in the April 15 issue of Biological Psychiatry.

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U.S. Shortfall in Neurologists Expected to Get Worse

TUESDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- The current national shortfall in neurologists is about 11 percent, and is likely to increase to 19 percent by 2025, according to research published online April 17 in Neurology.

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Genetics Linked to Abnormal Alzheimer's Markers

FRIDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with a family history of late-onset Alzheimer's disease who are cognitively normal or mildly impaired have a higher prevalence of abnormal cerebral markers, according to a study published online April 17 in PLOS ONE.

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Patient-Centered Decision Making Ups Health Outcomes

FRIDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Patient-centered decision making (PCDM) is associated with improved health care outcomes, according to a study published in the April 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Lupus Ups Risk of Spontaneous Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

FRIDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have an increased risk of spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and increased mortality after SAH, according to a study published in the April issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Guidelines Issued Relating to Online Medical Professionalism

THURSDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians should be aware of the benefits on online media and should recognize the implications for patient confidentiality and public perception, according to a position paper published in the April 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Family-Centered Teaching Rounds Good for Patients, Students

THURSDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Teaching and conducting rounds in the presence of patients and their families can be beneficial for patients and learners, according to research published online April 15 in Pediatrics.

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Vascular Markers Linked to Cognitive Decline in Diabetes

THURSDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke and subclinical markers of macrovascular disease are associated with cognitive decline in older adults with type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online April 11 in Diabetes Care.

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Relative Proportion of MRSA Increasing in S. aureus Isolates

THURSDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- The relative proportion of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is increasing in S. aureus isolates, and methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics, according to a study published in the April issue of JAMA Dermatology.

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Glutamine, Antioxidants No Benefit to Critically Ill Patients

WEDNESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- For critically ill patients with multiorgan failure, early supplementation with glutamine or antioxidants does not improve clinical outcomes, according to a study published in the April 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Community Benefit Spending Varies for Tax-Exempt Hospitals

WEDNESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- There is considerable variation in the level of community benefit expenditure by tax-exempt hospitals, according to a study published in the April 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Presenting Fee Data to Docs Cuts Number of Tests Ordered

WEDNESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Presenting fee data to providers at the time of laboratory test orders is associated with a small reduction in the number of tests ordered, according to a study published online April 15 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Aerobic Exercise Reduces Brain Damage From Alcohol

WEDNESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Heavy alcohol consumption is associated with greater white matter damage in people who do not regularly do aerobic exercise, according to a study published online April 2 in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

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Migraines in Children Linked to Infantile Colic

TUESDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Children with migraine headaches are more likely to have a history of infantile colic, according to a study published in the April 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Exercise Benefits Physical Functioning in Alzheimer's

TUESDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with Alzheimer's disease, a year-long exercise program is associated with reduced deterioration in physical functioning, according to a study published online April 15 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Overall Prevalence of Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors Is Low

TUESDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of healthy lifestyle behaviors in patients with either a coronary heart disease (CHD) or stroke event is low in various countries with different income levels, but those living in poorer countries have the lowest prevalence, according to research published in the April 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Some Triggered Fainting May Be Inherited

TUESDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Some inherited cases of vasovagal syncope, or fainting caused by particular triggers, are linked to a particular region of chromosome 15q26, according to a study in the April 16 issue of Neurology.

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FDA Warns Consumers of Dangers of the Stimulant DMAA

MONDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is attempting to halt distribution of dietary supplements that contain the stimulant dimethylamylamine (DMAA), following reports of illness and death associated with these supplements.

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Review Addresses Sexuality After Traumatic Brain Injury

FRIDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- Brain injury can directly and indirectly affect important aspects related to sexuality and sexual function, according to a review published in NeuroRehabilitation.

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Speech Details Practices to Improve U.S. Health Systems

THURSDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- There are specific steps health care providers and policymakers should take to create high-quality, patient-centered care at lower costs, according to remarks made in an April 9 speech to the National Press Club.

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Sales Representatives Provide Inadequate Safety Information

THURSDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Pharmaceutical sales representatives (PSRs) rarely inform primary care physicians about drug safety information during sales visits, according to research published online April 10 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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Functional MRI Can Be Used to Assess Physical Pain

WEDNESDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can be used to as a sensitive and specific tool to assess pain elicited by noxious heat in healthy persons, according to a study published in the April 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Patients Using Different Rx Strategies to Save Money

TUESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Adults in the U.S. who are poor or uninsured are more likely to ask for lower-cost alternatives or not to take their prescribed medications, according to research published in the April NCHS Data Brief.

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SNP Spots Late Alzheimer's Risk in African-Americans

TUESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- A novel variant in the ATP-Binding Cassette Transporter (ABCA7) has been identified, which is associated with late-onset Alzheimer's disease in African-Americans, according to a study published April 10 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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AAN Issues Guidelines for Tapeworm Ix on Rise in U.S.

TUESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Adults and children with intraparenchymal neurocysticercosis, a tapeworm infection causing seizures most commonly in developing countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, should be treated with albendazole plus either dexamethasone or prednisolone, according to guidelines published online April 8 in Neurology.

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Chronic Pain Syndromes Are Common After Ischemic Stroke

FRIDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- About 10 percent of patients develop chronic pain syndromes post-stroke, and these patients are more likely to have increased functional dependence and cognitive decline, according to research published online April 4 in Stroke.

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EEG Proves Useful in Detection of Causes of In-Hospital Spells

FRIDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- Seizures are common among hospitalized patients who undergo electroencephalography (EEG) due to spells or altered mental status, according to a study in the April issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Annual Cost of Dementia About $200 Billion in U.S.

WEDNESDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- In 2010, about 15 percent of elderly individuals in the United States had dementia, with the total monetary cost about $200 billion, according to a study published in the April 4 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Obama Administration Unveils The BRAIN Initiative

WEDNESDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Following the presentation of a new research initiative designed to map the human brain, set out in the State of the Union address, the Obama administration has unveiled the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, according to a White House press release issued April 2.

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Physical, Mental Activity Improve Seniors' Cognitive Function

TUESDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Physical and mental activity are both associated with improved cognitive functioning in inactive, older adults with cognitive complaints, according to a study published online April 1 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Most Partners of U.S. Docs Satisfied in Their Relationships

MONDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Most spouses/partners of U.S. physicians report being satisfied with their relationships, with satisfaction linked to time spent together each day, according to research published in the March issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Physician's Briefing