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January 2011 Briefing - Neurology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Neurology for January 2011. 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.

New Device May Help Surgeons Resect Brain Tumors

MONDAY, Jan. 31 (HealthDay News) -- A newly developed optical touch pointer (OTP) used to differentiate between healthy tissue and tumor tissue by means of fiber-optic fluorescence spectroscopy can help surgeons during resection of malignant brain tumors, according to a study published in the January issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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Long Febrile Seizures Linked to Developmental Delays

MONDAY, Jan. 31 (HealthDay News) -- A prolonged first febrile seizure is likely to occur at a younger age and is associated with developmental delay, according to a study published online Jan. 11 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Adult ADHD Linked to Lewy Body Dementia

FRIDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Adults with symptoms of attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be at increased risk of developing dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), according to a study published in the January issue of the European Journal of Neurology.

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Deep Brain Stimulation Stalls Parkinson's Progression

FRIDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) who are effectively treated with deep brain stimulation (DBS), the natural progression of the disease's motor symptoms appears to stabilize over time, according to a study published in the November issue of the International Journal of Neuroscience.

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Brain Response to Rectal Distension Different in IBS

THURSDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) experience greater brain activation in regions associated with emotional arousal and endogenous pain modulation when subjected to rectal distension, compared to controls, according to a meta-analysis published in the January issue of Gastroenterology.

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Traffic Noise Tied to Increased Stroke Risk in Elderly

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to residential road traffic noise is associated with an increased risk of stroke in people older than 64.5 years of age, according to a study published online Jan. 25 in the European Heart Journal.

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Electronic Health Records May Not Improve Care Quality

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic health records (EHRs) and clinical decision support (CDS) do not appear to improve the quality of clinical care, according to a study published online Jan. 24 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Stroke Center Admission Likely Improves Patient Outcomes

TUESDAY, Jan. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Admission of patients with acute ischemic stroke to a designated stroke center may lower mortality and improve use of thrombolytic therapy, and the occurrence of stroke among patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery appears to be declining despite increases in patient risk profiles, according to two studies published online Jan. 25 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract - Tarakji
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Abstract - Xian
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Deep Brain Stimulation Lowers Blood Pressure

TUESDAY, Jan. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Deep brain stimulation (DBS) may offer a new strategy for treating refractory hypertension, according to findings described in a case report published in the Jan. 25 issue of Neurology.

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Rise in Stroke Patients With Comorbid HIV

THURSDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. hospitals are treating significantly more stroke patients who have co-existing HIV infections, according to a study published online Jan. 19 in Neurology.

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PET Imaging Determines β-Amyloid Levels

TUESDAY, Jan. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Florbetapir F 18 positron emission tomography (PET) appears to be an effective method for determining β-amyloid levels in vivo, and lower levels of β-amyloid in older adults may predict greater cognitive decline as they age, according to two articles published in the Jan. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract - Clark
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Guidelines for Plasmapheresis in Neurological Disorders Issued

TUESDAY, Jan. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) has issued updated evidence-based guidelines dealing with the use of plasmapheresis to treat patients suffering from severe relapses in certain types of multiple sclerosis, specific neuropathies, and related diseases; the guideline update has been published in the Jan. 18 issue of Neurology.

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Metrics Proposed to Monitor Care at Stroke Centers

FRIDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The American Heart Association has proposed a set of metrics intended to provide a framework for standard data collection at comprehensive stroke centers (CSCs). These metrics, published online Jan. 13 in Stroke, will help monitor quality of care in these centers and may lead to the development of national performance standards.

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CDC Report Highlights Important Health Disparities

THURSDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Among Americans, disparities in income, race and ethnicity, gender, and other social attributes have an impact on whether an individual is healthy or ill or will die prematurely, according to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released as a supplement to the Jan. 14 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Anti-Epileptic Drugs Increase Risk of Fractures

THURSDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) may increase the risk of nontraumatic fractures in patients aged 50 and older, according to a study published in the January issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Combination Therapy Bests Monotherapy for BP Control

THURSDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- In individuals with high blood pressure, a combination drug therapy given initially appears to result in better blood pressure control than monotherapy, and patients who undergo the two-drug treatment after taking the single-drug therapy also experience better blood pressure outcomes, though not at the same level as those who began with the combination treatment, according to research published online Jan. 13 in The Lancet.

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Mom's Depression Lowers Epileptic Child's Quality of Life

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Depressive symptoms in mothers negatively impact health-related quality of life (HRQL) of their children with new-onset epilepsy during the first 24 months from diagnosis, according to research published online Nov. 3 in Epilepsia.

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Analysis Supports Cardiovascular Concern With NSAIDs

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Commonly used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death, according to a meta-analysis published Jan. 11 in BMJ.

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Aspirin Use in High-Risk Individuals Is Suboptimal

TUESDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Among individuals at increased or high risk for coronary heart disease, fewer blacks, Hispanics, and Chinese adhere to a regular aspirin regimen than do whites, and regular aspirin use overall is relatively low, according to a study published in the January issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Mediterranean Diet May Reduce Rate of Cognitive Decline

TUESDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Following a Mediterranean diet may reduce the rate of cognitive decline in older adults, according to a study published online Dec. 22 the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Statins May Be Inadvisable After Hemorrhagic Stroke

TUESDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Statin use for primary or secondary prevention of cardiovascular events may be inadvisable in patients with a high risk of recurrent intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), according to a study published online Jan. 10 in the Archives of Neurology.

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Burnout Levels Particularly High in Residents

MONDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of burnout and risk for burnout are high in physicians, particularly residents, and more than a quarter of anesthesiology chairs meet criteria for high burnout, according to two articles published in the January issue of Anesthesiology.

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For Teen Athletes, Concussion Symptoms Differ by Gender

MONDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- High school-age boys and girls tend to present with different symptoms after a concussion, but their recovery time is the same, according to research published in the January/February issue of the Journal of Athletic Training.

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Closely Spaced Pregnancies May Raise Odds of Autism

MONDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Second-born children born after an interpregnancy interval (IPI) of less than one year appear to be at a substantially higher risk of autism than those with IPIs of at least 36 months, according to a study published online Jan. 10 in Pediatrics.

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Fluoxetine May Improve Post-Stroke Motor Function

MONDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with moderate to severe motor deficit who are given the antidepressant fluoxetine shortly after suffering an ischemic stroke may experience improved motor function, according to research published online Jan. 10 in The Lancet Neurology.

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Biking Ability May Help Identify Type of Parkinson's

FRIDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The ability to ride a bicycle may separate people with standard Parkinson's disease from those with atypical Parkinson's disease, according to correspondence published in the Jan. 8 issue of The Lancet.

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MS-Related Gene More Common in Women Than Men

THURSDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- A gene associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) appears to be more common in women than in men with the illness, according to research published online Jan. 5 in Neurology.

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Medications Thwart Smokers' Cravings

THURSDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Varenicline and bupropion appear to influence brain pathways associated with cue-induced cravings in smokers, according to two articles published online Jan. 6 in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Abstract - Culbertson
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Researchers Define Spine Surgery Complications

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have developed a practical definition of complications in spine surgery but have determined that further work in assessing complications is necessary; their research has been published in the December issue of the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques.

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Concussion May Have Little Long-Term Effect on Soldiers

TUESDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Although posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) appears to be strongly related to psychosocial outcomes and postconcussive symptoms in soldiers a year after they return from Iraq, concussion/mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) seems to have little impact on these outcomes after PTSD is accounted for, according to research published in the January issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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