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August 2007 Briefing - Neurology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Neurology for August 2007. 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.

Immune System Genes Linked to Multiple Sclerosis

FRIDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified variants in several genes involved in immune system regulation that are associated with an increased risk of multiple sclerosis, according to a study published in the Aug. 30 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Death Risk Higher in Stroke Survivors Who Stop Statins

FRIDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke survivors who discontinue prescribed statin therapy have a nearly triple risk of dying within a year compared to those who remain adherent, according to a study published online Aug. 30 in Stroke.

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Pre-Menopausal Oophorectomy Linked to Brain Disorders

THURSDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Women who undergo oophorectomy before menopause may be at higher risk of developing cognitive impairment, dementia or Parkinson disease, suggesting that estrogen plays a neuroprotective role, according to two studies published online Aug. 29 in Neurology.

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Risk of Death Higher After Albumin for Brain Injury

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Resuscitating traumatic brain injury patients with albumin instead of saline can increase the risk of death by nearly twofold, according to study findings published in the Aug. 30 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Resistance Training Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Resistance training improves cognitive function and quality of life in the elderly, according to a report in the August issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

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Brain Abnormality Predicts Multiple Sclerosis Severity

TUESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with multiple sclerosis, hyperintense lesions on non-enhanced T1-weighted magnetic resonance images are common indicators of disease severity and may be a clinically relevant biomarker, according to a report published in the September issue of Radiology.

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Stopping Statin Treatment May Increase Death After Stroke

TUESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke patients who stop taking statins immediately after hospitalization for stroke run a greater risk of death or dependency, according to a report in the Aug. 28 issue of Neurology.

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Zolmitriptan Nasal Spray Relieves Cluster Headaches

TUESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Zolmitriptan nasal spray safely relieves cluster headaches, researchers report in the Aug. 28 issue of Neurology.

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Perinatal Strokes May Be More Common Than Thought

MONDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Perinatal stroke is more common than previously reported and its characteristics differ in acutely and retrospectively diagnosed children, according to the results of a study conducted in Estonia and published in the August issue of Stroke.

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Central Nervous System HIV Triggers Early B-Cell Response

FRIDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- HIV infection of the central nervous system triggers a strong B-cell response, with the viral load correlating with the level of plasmablasts found in the cerebrospinal fluid, according to a study published online Aug. 15 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Swallowing and Vocal Problems Fade After Cervical Surgery

FRIDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who undergo anterior cervical decompression (ACD) commonly experience swallowing and vocal problems following surgery, but these difficulties are usually temporary and do not interfere with patient satisfaction overall, according to study findings published in the August issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine.

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Neurodevelopmental Risks Low with Operative Deliveries

FRIDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Infants born after an instrument-assisted vaginal delivery or Caesarean-section during the second stage of labor have similar rates of neurodevelopmental complications at age 5, which are low overall, according to a report in the August issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Leptin Has Neuroprotective Effect and Could Treat Stroke

FRIDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The adipose hormone leptin has a neuroprotective effect and may be a worthwhile candidate for the treatment of ischemic stroke, according to the results of an animal study published in the August issue of Stroke.

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Researchers Spur 'Out-of-Body' Sensation in Healthy Subjects

THURSDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- European researchers have induced healthy people to have an "out-of-body" experience by visually tricking them into believing that their body is somewhere else, according to two reports published in the Aug. 24 issue of Science.

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Enzyme Deficiency Reduces Alzheimer's Plaques in Mice

THURSDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Mice prone to developing Alzheimer disease develop fewer amyloid plaques and have less oxidative damage if they lack mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase (COX) activity in neurons, according to a study published online Aug. 21 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Cardiac Valve Surgery Can Result in Saccadic Palsy

THURSDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- In patients who develop saccadic palsy after cardiac surgery, the selective loss of all types of saccades but not other eye movements suggests that the brainstem circuit that generates saccades may be malfunctioning, according to study findings published online Aug. 14 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Factors Identify Stroke Patients at Risk of Cardiac Events

THURSDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke patients with heart failure, diabetes and other factors are at risk of having a serious cardiac event shortly after the stroke and may benefit from more aggressive treatment, according to study findings published in the August issue of Stroke.

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Risperdal Approved to Treat Teens with Schizophrenia

THURSDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Risperdal (risperidone) to treat children and adolescents with two major psychiatric conditions. A short-term course can now be prescribed to treat manic or mixed episodes of bipolar I disorder in children and adolescents aged 10 to 17, and can also be used to treat adolescents aged 13 to 17 with schizophrenia.

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Epilepsy Patients with Aura May Benefit from Surgery

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with partial epilepsy who experience multiple auras during epileptic seizures are good candidates for surgical intervention, according to a report published in the Aug. 21 issue of Neurology.

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Soldiers' Eardrum Perforation Linked to Brain Injury

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Eardrum perforation is a significant marker of concussive brain injury in U.S. soldiers who are exposed to explosive devices in Iraq, according to a letter published in the Aug. 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors Affect Aneurysm

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In rats with an induced cerebral aneurysm, the progression towards rupture is regulated by tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases 1 (TIMP1) and 2 (TIMP-2), according to a study published in the August issue of Stroke. Given that there is no treatment to suppress cerebral aneurysms, the study findings imply that modulating matrix metalloproteinases or TIMPs may offer a way to inhibit aneurysm progression, the authors conclude.

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Heavy Drinking Increases Stroke Risk in Chinese Men

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged and older men who consume more than 21 alcoholic beverages per week may have an increased risk of stroke, according to the results of a study of Chinese men published online Aug. 20 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Resident Duty-Hour Cuts Curb Surgeon Job Satisfaction

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Reforms limiting resident duty hours are increasing surgeons' workloads and may be negatively affecting patient care, researchers report in the August issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Surgical Fusion May Benefit Skull-Spine Instability

TUESDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Occipitocervical fusion with rigid internal fixation is safe and effective for treating occipitocervical instability caused by a variety of factors, researchers report in the August issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine.

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Chronic Sinusitis Linked to Smell Impairment

TUESDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Several illnesses, including chronic sinusitis, are significantly associated with smell disturbance in managed care patients, researchers report in the August issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery.

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Women with Dementia Lose Weight Long Before Diagnosis

MONDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Dementia in women is characterized by a steady loss of weight that begins years before the condition is diagnosed, according to a report published in the Aug. 21 issue of Neurology. The study found no evidence of weight loss associated with dementia in men.

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Heart Disease Guidelines Reach 1 Million Patients

FRIDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Since its launch in 2000, the American Heart Association's "Get With The Guidelines" quality-improvement program has been adopted by more than 1,400 hospitals and this month surpassed the 1 million patient milestone.

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Prophylactic Brain Irradiation Helps in Small-Cell Lung Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Prophylactic cranial irradiation in patients with extensive small-cell lung cancer reduces the incidence of symptomatic brain metastases and prolongs overall survival, according to the results of a randomized controlled trial published in the Aug. 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Opioid Dependence May Affect Outcomes in Spine Patients

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with chronic disabling occupational spinal disorders and opioid dependence disorder are less likely to return to, and retain, work following interdisciplinary rehabilitation than are their counterparts without this comorbid psychiatric condition, researchers report in the Aug. 1 issue of Spine.

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Needle Gauge Affects Risk of Disc Injury in Spine Surgery

TUESDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Choosing spinal needles that are 22-gauge or smaller may help reduce leakage after anular puncture, according to tests conducted on human and porcine discs. The findings are published in the Aug. 1 issue of Spine.

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Oral Antisense Drug May Benefit Myasthenia Gravis

TUESDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- An oral antisense drug reduced muscle weakness in a small, open-label trial of patients with myasthenia gravis, researchers report in the Aug. 14 issue of Neurology. Oral EN101 antisense is a drug that inhibits the production of acetylcholinesterase.

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DNA Vaccine Shows Promise for Multiple Sclerosis

MONDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- BHT-3009, a DNA vaccine that encodes full-length human myelin basic protein, appeared to be safe and reduced myelin specific autoantibodies in cerebrospinal fluid in a phase I/II trial of multiple sclerosis patients. The results are published in the Aug. 13 issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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High-Dose Verapamil for Headache May Affect Heart

MONDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who receive higher doses of verapamil for cluster headaches may be at greater risk of developing electrocardiographic abnormalities than those given lower doses, according to study findings published in the Aug. 14 issue of Neurology.

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IL-1Ra Enriched Serum Relieves Lumbar Compression Pain

MONDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Epidural perineural injection of autologous serum that has been treated to increase the content of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) may be more effective than triamcinolone for the relief of pain of lumbar radicular compression, according to the results of a randomized trial published in the Aug. 1 issue of Spine. IL-1Ra is a natural inhibitor of interleukin-1.

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Two Gene Variations Predict Citalopram Response

MONDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- A newly identified marker -- a variation in the GRIK4 gene -- may help identify depressed patients who are more likely to respond to citalopram, researchers report in the August issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Heatwave Length, Not Intensity, Spurs Hospital Visits

FRIDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital admissions of elderly patients are more influenced by a heatwave's duration than by its intensity, according to the results of a study published Aug. 9 in the journal BMC Public Health. The study also suggests that patients do not necessarily adapt to the effects of repeated heatwaves over the course of a summer.

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Brain Injury Can Cause Auditory Hallucinations

FRIDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Auditory hallucinations can result from trauma to the brain, not just from psychotic disorders, according to the authors of a case report published in the Aug. 11 issue of The Lancet.

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Back Surgery Patients May Overestimate Graft Site Pain

THURSDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who undergo low-level spinal fusion operations using bone grafts from the iliac crest probably cannot distinguish between postoperative pain originating at the graft site and pain originating at the primary surgery site, according to a report published in the Aug. 1 issue of Spine.

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Leptin Makes Food Seem Less Enticing, Boosts Satiety

THURSDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Leptin appears to modulate neural responses to visual food stimuli, leading to increased satiety and a diminished perception of how rewarding food will be, according to a study published online Aug. 9 in Science.

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Migraine with Aura May Increase Women's Stroke Risk

THURSDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Women of child-bearing age who have migraine headaches with aura may be at increased risk of ischemic stroke, according to study findings published online Aug. 9 in Stroke.

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ADHD Children at Risk for Delinquency, Substance Abuse

THURSDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to have delinquency and substance use problems later on than other children their age, researchers report in the August issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

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Drug Ineffective in Reducing Disability After Stroke

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- A drug that traps free radicals and had shown promise in an earlier trial is ineffective in reducing disability after acute ischemic stroke when given within six hours of symptom onset, according to the results of a study published in the Aug. 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Targeting Alzheimer's Protein May Treat Glaucoma

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Targeting the formation, deposition and aggregation of the amyloid-beta protein found in Alzheimer disease is effective in reducing the death of retinal cells in a rat model of glaucoma, according to study findings published online Aug. 7 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Gene Variant Linked to Brain Changes in Attention-Deficit

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- In children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a variation in the dopamine receptor D4 gene -- the 7-repeat allele -- is associated with tissue thinning in areas of the brain that control attention, according to a report published in the August issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Common Geriatric Conditions Linked to Disability

TUESDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- In older adults, geriatric conditions that are not part of the traditional disease model of medicine are significantly associated with disability, according to the results of a study published in the Aug. 7 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Caffeine May Reduce Risk of Cognitive Decline

MONDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Women who drink three or more cups of a caffeinated drink such as coffee or tea per day seem to have a lower risk of cognitive decline after age 65 than women who drink one or fewer cups per day, according to a report published online Aug. 6 in Neurology.

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Depressed Dopamine Activity Seen in Adult ADHD

MONDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have a blunted response to methylphenidate in the left and right caudate, and they have a lower dopamine release than those without the disorder, researchers report in the August issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Schizophrenia Hallucinations Linked to Brain Regions

MONDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with schizophrenia and chronic auditory hallucinations appear to have abnormal activity in brain regions involved in processing emotions and human voices, including the middle and superior temporal gyri and the cingular gyri, according to a report in the August issue of Radiology.

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Maternal Thyroid Disease May Increase Risk of Birth Defect

FRIDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Maternal thyroid disease may increase the risk of an infant having craniosynostosis, a premature fusion of one or more cranial sutures, researchers report in the August issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Screening for Atrial Fibrillation Increases Detection Rate

FRIDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Active screening of elderly individuals for atrial fibrillation in primary care increases the detection rate, with pulse-taking followed by electrocardiography being the preferred method, according to study findings published online Aug. 3 in BMJ.

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Vague Stroke Symptoms Linked to Lower Quality of Life

FRIDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with stroke-like symptoms but no diagnosis of stroke or transient ischemic attack have a lower quality of life compared to those without symptoms and a similar quality of life as those who have had a stroke or transient ischemic attack, according to a study published online Aug. 2 in Stroke.

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Early Use of Interferon Beneficial in Multiple Sclerosis

FRIDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Initiating the use of interferon beta-1b soon after a suspected diagnosis of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis can help prevent progression to clinically definite multiple sclerosis as well as disability, according to research published in the Aug. 4 issue of The Lancet.

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Gene Variant Associated With Enhanced Emotional Memory

THURSDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- A somewhat common variant of a neurotransmitter receptor is associated with an enhanced ability to remember images and events with emotional significance, including highly traumatic events, according to a study published online July 29 in Nature Neuroscience.

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Physicians 'Awaken' Man 6 Years After Severe Brain Injury

THURSDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In a scene reminiscent of Oliver Sacks' book Awakenings, physicians have managed to partially rekindle the mind of a man who had been in a minimally conscious state for six years, according to a report published in the August 2 issue of Nature.

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Gene Linked to Sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Variations in a previously uncharacterized gene called FLJ10986 may increase the risk for developing sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, according to a new genome-wide analysis published early online Aug. 1 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Physician's Briefing