January 2009 Briefing - Neurology

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

Anticholinergic Agents Linked to Cognitive Impairment

FRIDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Cumulative long-term use of anticholinergic medications can lead to cognitive impairment, including poor memory and executive function, according to study findings published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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New Guidelines for Opioid-Linked Respiratory Depression

THURSDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Updated guidelines for the prevention, detection and treatment of respiratory depression associated with neuraxial opioids have been published in the February issue of Anesthesiology.

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Gene Appears to Play Role in Epilepsy EEG Trait

THURSDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- A mutation in a non-coding region of the Elongator Protein Complex 4 ELP4 gene appears to be associated with rolandic epilepsy, which is marked by nocturnal seizures that begin in childhood and remit in adolescence, according to research published online Jan. 28 in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

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Sleep Mutants Increase Anesthesia Requirement

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Gene mutations in fruit flies that shorten sleep time also affect their sensitivity to volatile anesthetics, according to research published in the February issue of Anesthesiology.

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Chronic Hyperglycemia Linked to Cognitive Dysfunction

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with type 2 diabetes, higher A1C levels are associated with lower scores on cognitive tests, researchers report in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

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Acupuncture Offers Only Minimal Pain Relief

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Acupuncture offers some pain relief but at a level below clinical significance, according to a report published online Jan. 28 in BMJ.

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Caloric Restriction Improves Memory in Elderly

TUESDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Reducing calorie intake by 30 percent improves memory in elderly individuals, according to research published online Jan. 26 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Gene Variation Linked to Glioblastoma in Young

TUESDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Functional variation in the TP53 gene appears to play a crucial role in the development of glioblastoma in younger individuals, according to research published in the Jan. 27 issue of Neurology.

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Clinical Information Technology Leads to Safer Hospitals

TUESDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitals that make use of clinical information technology to automate notes, records, order entry and clinical decision support have lower mortality rates, fewer complications and also save money, according to a report published in the Jan. 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Meditation Practice Linked to Less Pain Sensitivity

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Experience in Zen meditation is associated with reduced pain sensitivity, a finding supporting the value of mindfulness-based meditation, according to research published in the January issue of Psychosomatic Medicine.

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AHA Reveals Top 10 Heart Disease Research Advances

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The American Heart Association (AHA) has released its annual top 10 list of advances in research into heart disease and stroke, with a study on the impact of smoke-free legislation on hospitalizations for acute coronary syndrome topping the list.

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Seat Belt, Air Bag Protect Against Spinal Fracture

FRIDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Although the occurrence of spinal fractures among drivers and front-seat passengers in motor vehicle crashes has increased despite increases in seat belt and air bag use, their combined use is protective against spinal fractures, according to study findings published in the February issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine.

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New Guidelines Issued for Brain Hemorrhage Management

FRIDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- New recommendations summarize the best available evidence for treatment of patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage and identify areas of future research, according to a statement published online Jan. 22 in Stroke.

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Abuse of Dementia Patients by Carers Is Common

FRIDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- It is common for people with dementia to be abused by family carers, most often with verbal abuse, although frequent and physical abuse seems to be rare, according to the results of a study published online Jan. 22 in BMJ.

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Educational Booklets Don't Affect Neck-Pain Outcomes

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In neck-pain patients receiving workers' compensation, the use of educational booklets has no significant effect on improving outcomes, according to study findings published in the Jan. 15 issue of Spine.

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Default Network Issues Tied to Schizophrenia Symptoms

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Hyperactivation of the default network -- which includes brain regions that are more active during rest than during cognitive tasks -- may play a role in the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia, according to research published online Jan. 21 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Brain Scans Show Effects of Self-Inhibition Toward Food

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- During food stimulation, men who suppressed their hunger and desire for food showed reduced activation in brain structures linked to emotional regulation, according to research published online Jan. 21 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Baby with Seizures Had Rickets and Anemia

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- A 9-month-old baby who presented with seizures and a bulging fontanelle was diagnosed as having rickets due to vitamin D deficiency, iron deficiency anemia and severe protein-calorie malnutrition, according to a case report published in the Jan. 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Mouse Mutation Results in Hearing Protection

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Efferent feedback inhibition appears to play a role in protecting hearing in the presence of loud noise, according to the results of study in mice published online Jan. 20 in PLoS Biology.

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Neuroblastoma May Be a Stem Cell Disease

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Human neuroblastoma cell lines appear to harbor subpopulations of cells that have similarities to normal neural stem cells, according to research published online Jan. 21 in PLOS One.

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Disc Prosthesis Shows Efficacy in Cervical Disease

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with single-level cervical disc disease, arthroplasty with a cervical disc prosthesis appears to be a reasonable alternative to anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, according to research published in the Jan. 15 issue of Spine.

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Many Support Surrogate Consent in Dementia Research

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Most participants in a sample of older Americans supported allowing families to provide surrogate consent decisions as part of research on dementia, and most would also participate in surrogate-based research, according to the results of a study published in the Jan. 13 issue of Neurology.

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Effects of High Altitude Offer Way to Study Brain Damage

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The impact of altitude on oxygen supply to the brain may offer an ethical, repeatable and controlled way to study the brain's response to hypoxia due to injury, according to a report published in the February issue of The Lancet Neurology.

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Low Neuroticism Linked to Decreased Dementia

TUESDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Low neuroticism and high social extraversion is associated with a decreased risk of dementia, although low neuroticism lowers risk even among socially isolated persons, according to an article published in the Jan. 20 issue of Neurology.

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Cognitive Rehab Shows Some Benefit in Brain Injury

MONDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Cognitive rehabilitation appears to have a modest effect in individuals with acquired brain injury, according to the results of a study published in the January Neuropsychology.

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Antidepressants May Be Useful in Treating Fibromyalgia

TUESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Antidepressants appear to offer some benefits in treating pain, sleep problems and depression, and for improving health-related quality of life in people with fibromyalgia syndrome, according to the results of a meta-analysis published in the Jan. 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Finger Length Ratio in Male Traders Predicts Profitability

TUESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The ratio of the second to the fourth finger, a marker of prenatal testosterone exposure, in male high-frequency financial traders predicts their long-term profitability, according to research published in the Jan. 13 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Hormone Therapy Linked to Reduced Brain Size

TUESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women receiving hormone treatment have reductions in brain volume and cognitive deficits, although there are no significant changes in ischemic brain lesion volume, according to two studies published in the Jan. 13 issue of Neurology.

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Stroke Risk Associated with Job-Related Stress

TUESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of incident stroke is higher among men with job strain-related occupational stress, according to the results of a study of Japanese men published in the Jan. 12 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Genetic Variation Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

TUESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Variation in the PCDH11X gene is significantly associated with the risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer's disease, according to research published online Jan. 11 in Nature Genetics.

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Relapses More Common in Pediatric-Onset Multiple Sclerosis

TUESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis are more likely to experience relapses than those with adult-onset disease, suggesting that their disease course may be more inflammatory, according to study findings published in the January issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Diabetes Status Affects Brain Damage in Dementia

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly dementia patients with or without diabetes appear to have distinct patterns of cerebral damage, according to study findings published online Jan. 12 in the Archives of Neurology.

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Treatment Response Studied in Attention-Deficit Disorder

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Variability in response to methylphenidate treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is likely not due to common genes of large effects, according to research published Dec. 5 in a special issue of the American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B.

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Saliva Difference Distinguishes Autistic Children

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Many children with autism and related disorders have lower levels of a protein modification on four salivary proteins, suggesting that this could be used to distinguish these children from others, according to a report released online in November in advance of publication in the Journal of Proteome Research.

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Adding Two Biomarkers Improves Prediction of Stroke

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Stratification of ischemic stroke risk is greatly improved with the use of two markers -- lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), according to research published in the January issue of Stroke.

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Imaging Correlates with Exam in Children with Spinal Injury

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- MRI correlates well with the results of a standard international examination to determine neurologic level in children with chronic spinal cord injury, suggesting that MRI may be useful for children unable to participate in the exam, researchers report in the Jan. 1 issue of Spine.

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Study Finds Heparin Complication Rate Lower than Reported

FRIDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage who are treated with heparin may not be at higher risk of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia type II (HIT II) than those treated with enoxaparin, according to research published in the January issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery.

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Antipsychotics Linked to Mortality in Alzheimer's

FRIDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Antipsychotic medication is associated with an increased risk of long-term mortality in Alzheimer's disease patients, further suggesting their use should be limited in these patients, according to research published online Jan. 9 in The Lancet Neurology.

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Model Demonstrates Ability to Predict Aneurysm Rupture

THURSDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- A model of aneurysm rupture derived from measuring hundreds of aneurysms showed good accuracy in identifying the rupture status of another cohort of patients, according to research published in the January issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery.

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Surgery Safe for Patients with Spinal Cord Syndrome

THURSDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Surgery rather than conservative treatment safely improves motor function in patients with traumatic central cord syndrome, with most patients reporting satisfaction with their final symptoms, according to an article in the January issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine.

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Fewer Than 200 Pediatric Neurosurgeons in US

THURSDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer than 200 neurosurgeons in the United States are currently focused on pediatric neurosurgery, with pediatric neurosurgeons more likely to be women, in academic practice, frequently on-call and have fewer financial motivators, according to study findings published in the January issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics.

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Hyperbaric Oxygen Effective for Spinal Infection

THURSDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is effective in treating bacterial spinal osteomyelitis resistant to antibiotics or that developed after spinal surgery in patients at risk for poor healing, researchers report in the January issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine.

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Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Risks Identified

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking and family history of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage are independently associated with an increased risk of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, researchers report in the Jan. 6 issue of Neurology.

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Stress Explains Resistance to Appetite-Suppressing Hormone

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The resistance of obese individuals to leptin, a fat hormone that suppresses appetite, is due to increased cellular stress and the subsequent cellular response, according to study findings published in the Jan. 7 issue of Cell Metabolism.

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Deep Brain Stimulation Benefits Parkinson's Patients

TUESDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with advanced Parkinson's disease, those who receive deep brain stimulation treatment may experience greater improvement in movement skills and quality of life than those who receive conventional therapy, according to a report published in the Jan. 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Bulimia Linked to Impulsivity, Brain Circuit Abnormalities

TUESDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to women without eating disorders, women with bulimia nervosa respond more impulsively during psychological testing and show brain circuit abnormalities, according to study findings published in the January issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Headaches Common in Soldiers with Mild Brain Injury

MONDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Among U.S. soldiers who suffered explosion-related mild traumatic brain injuries in Iraq, those with residual neurocognitive deficits are likely to experience frequent and severe headaches, according to a report published in the December issue of the Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development.

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Receptor Availability in Brain, Novelty-Seeking Traits Linked

MONDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Novelty-seeking traits in humans appear to be associated with lowered D2-like receptor availability in the substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area, which might lead to heightened dopaminergic responses to novel situations, according to research published Dec. 31 in the Journal of Neuroscience.

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