December 2012 Briefing - Neurology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Neurology for December 2012. 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.

EP Studies Helpful in Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Prognosis

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Electrophysiological abnormalities have been identified that are of some prognostic value in determining deteriorating clinical status over the long term for patients with mild-to-moderate lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS), according to research published in the December issue of the European Spine Journal.

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MRI Fairly Accurate As Surrogate for CSF Biomarkers

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a fairly accurate screening tool for distinguishing between Alzheimer's disease (AD) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), according to a study published online Dec. 26 in Neurology.

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MS Disease Activity Tied to Hastened Retinal Thinning

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) with clinical or radiologic nonocular disease activity have accelerated ganglion cell/inner plexiform (GCIP) layer thinning, according to a study published in the Jan. 1 issue of Neurology.

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Lower Developmental Scores at Age 3 Seen in Plagiocephaly

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Preschool-aged children with deformational plagiocephaly (DP) have lower scores on a measure of child development than unaffected controls, according to a study published online Dec. 24 in Pediatrics.

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FDA Recommends Against Drug to Treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory committee on Thursday recommended against approval of the first proposed drug to treat chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), intravenous Ampligen (rintatolimod).

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Motor Vehicle Incidents Common in Medical Residents

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- During training, internal medicine residents commonly experience motor vehicle incidents, including crashes and near misses, but less commonly experience blood and body fluid (BBF) exposures, according to research published in the December issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Gene Therapy for Canavan Disease Safe and Effective

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- In children with Canavan disease, a hereditary leukodystrophy that results in the degeneration of brain white matter caused by mutations in the aspartoacylase (ASPA) gene, gene therapy is safe, reverses the primary defect, and improves clinical status, according to a study published in the Dec. 19 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

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Alzheimer's Trial Participation Linked to Study Partner

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) with non-spouse caregivers participate less frequently in AD clinical trials, according to research published online Dec. 19 in Neurology.

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Many Docs Use Social Media to Find, Share Medical Data

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Most physicians use social media on at least a weekly basis, and report that it improves the quality of patient care they deliver, according to a study published in the September/October issue of the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

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Children With Mild TBI Exhibit White Matter Abnormalities

TUESDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Children and adolescents who have experienced mild traumatic brain injury (concussion) show changes in brain white matter that persist months after the injury, even after symptoms have disappeared, according to a study published in the Dec. 12 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

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Health Care Satisfaction Rated As High by Unacculturated Hispanics

MONDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Hispanic patients, particularly unacculturated Hispanics, rate their health care experience more highly than do other patient groups, according to a study published in the October issue of the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health.

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For Elderly, Stroke Risk Up With Psychosocial Distress

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- In older black and white adults, psychosocial distress is related to fatal and nonfatal stroke, according to a study published online Dec. 13 in Stroke.

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Exposure to Nature Improves Creative Thinking

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Spending several days hiking without access to electronic devices improves scores on a creativity test by 50 percent, according to a study published online Dec. 12 in PLOS One.

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Current Health Costs Pushing Docs to Make Urgent Choices

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The current growth in health care's share of the gross domestic product (GDP) and need to implement learning health systems is forcing physicians to make important choices, according to a perspective piece published online Dec. 12 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Care Based on Intracranial Pressure Not Superior in TBI

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) treated in the intensive care unit, treatment based on maintaining monitored intracranial pressure is not superior to care based on imaging and clinical examination, according to a study published online Dec. 12 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Admission for Syncope Ups Risk of Death, Cardio Events

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients without previous comorbidity admitted for syncope, there is a significant increased risk of all-cause mortality, stroke, and cardiovascular hospitalization, according to a study published online Dec. 12 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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MRI, PET, and CSF Biomarkers Up Prediction of Alzheimer's

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Adding data from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), fluorine 18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET), and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers to routine clinical testing can improve the ability to predict conversion from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to Alzheimer's disease (AD), according to research published online Dec. 11 in Radiology.

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Stent Revascularization Safe, Effective for MCA Occlusion

TUESDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with acute ischemic stroke due to middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion who either fail to respond or have contraindications to intravenous thrombolysis (IVT), local intraarterial revascularization with stents is superior to no further therapy, according to research published online Dec. 11 in Radiology.

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Loneliness Linked to Increased Dementia Risk

TUESDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults who feel lonely have a higher risk of developing dementia, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

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Number of Independent Physicians Continues to Decline

MONDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Physician business models are transforming, with a sustained shift away from independent practice, according to report released by the consulting firm Accenture.

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Spinal Fusion Surgery Not Associated With Stroke

MONDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Undergoing spinal fusion surgery does not affect the risk of stroke within the three years after surgery, according to a study published in the December issue of the European Spine Journal.

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Raised Risk of Ischemic Stroke in Women With A-Fib Explored

MONDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Women with atrial fibrillation (AF) have a higher risk of ischemic stroke than men with AF, related in part to differences in the percent time in the therapeutic range (TTR) associated with warfarin anticoagulation control, according to research published in the Dec. 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Neuroplasticity Reduced in Teens Born Prematurely

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents who were born prematurely have reduced neuroplasticity, which may explain their motor, learning, and memory difficulties, according to a study published in the Nov. 14 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

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Health Care Law Boosts Savings on Meds for Medicare Recipients

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Savings on prescription drugs related to the Affordable Care Act have reached $5.1 billion, according to a Dec. 3 news release from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Anticompetitive Market Power Common in Managed Care Plans

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- For each of the three most popular types of managed care plans in the United States (point-of-service plan [POS], health maintenance organization [HMO], and preferred provider organization [PPO]), anticompetitive market power is widespread, according to a Nov. 28 news release from the American Medical Association (AMA).

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FDA: Public-Private Venture Set to Improve Regulatory Science

THURSDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The Medical Device Innovation Consortium (MDIC), the first public-private partnership to promote medical device regulatory science, has been established, according to a Dec. 3 news release issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Impact of HTN Meds on Cardio Risk Affected by Body Size

THURSDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with hypertension, the impact of the type of treatment on cardiovascular risk is affected by body size, according to a study published online Dec. 6 in The Lancet.

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Extended Sleep Time Linked to Reduced Pain Sensitivity

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Extending bedtime for sleepy healthy adults reduces daytime sleepiness and correlates with reduced pain sensitivity, according to a study published in the Dec. 1 issue of SLEEP.

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Few Internal Medicine Residents Choosing Primary Care

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Only about one in five graduating internal medicine residents in the United States plan to enter general internal medicine (GIM), which is more common among graduates of primary care programs, women, and U.S. medical graduates, according to a study published in the Dec. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Five-Hour Protected Sleep Feasible for Medical Interns

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Implementation of a five-hour period of protected sleep is feasible for medical interns on long shifts, resulting in interns getting more uninterrupted sleep and feeling more alert the next day, according to a study published in the Dec. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Final Diagnostic Criteria for DSM-5 Approved by APA

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The final diagnostic criteria for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) have been approved by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Board of Trustees.

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Increasing Number of Workers in Self-Insured Health Plans

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- There has been a recent increase in the percentage of workers in the private sector who are enrolled in self-insured health plans, in which the employer assumes the financial risk related to health insurance (unlike a fully-insured plan, where the insurance company assumes the risk), according to research published in the November issue of the Employee Benefit Research Institute's Notes.

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Physician's Briefing