June 2010 Briefing - Neurology
Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Neurology for June 2010. 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.
Best Predictors of Alzheimer's Disease Identified
WEDNESDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- In individuals with mild cognitive impairment, fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) and episodic memory may be the best predictors of conversion to Alzheimer's disease, while cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) proteins and -- to a lesser extent -- FDG-PET predict longitudinal cognitive decline, according to a study published online June 30 in Neurology.
MMRV Vaccine Ups Fever and Seizure Risk
TUESDAY, June 29 (HealthDay News) -- Measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) vaccination is associated with an increased risk of fever and seizure in young children, above that already associated with measles-containing vaccines, according to research published online June 29 in Pediatrics, confirming preliminary evidence from a previous study.
LGI1 Appears to Be Autoantigen Linked to Limbic Encephalitis
TUESDAY, June 29 (HealthDay News) -- The target of autoantibodies associated with limbic encephalitis previously thought to be voltage-gated potassium channels is actually leucine-rich, glioma-inactivated 1 protein (LGI1), which serves as a ligand for two epilepsy-related proteins, according to a study published online June 28 in The Lancet Neurology.
Doctors Agree Malpractice Fears Drive Overuse of Tests
MONDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- A large majority of physicians agree that the practice of defensive medicine -- stemming from malpractice concerns -- is responsible for an overuse of medical tests and procedures, according to a research letter in the June 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Brain Stimulation Linked to Benefits in Alzheimer's
FRIDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) may have a beneficial effect on sentence comprehension in individuals with Alzheimer's disease, according to research published online June 23 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.
Test Combination Predicts Fall Risk in Parkinson's Disease
WEDNESDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- A combination of tests on disease-specific and mobility- and balance-related measures can accurately predict which Parkinson's disease patients are more likely to fall, according to a study published online June 23 in Neurology.
Brain Hemorrhage Diagnosis Delay Rare in Children
MONDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- In children with uncomplicated minor head injuries, delayed diagnosis of intracranial hemorrhage is rare, according to research published online June 21 in Pediatrics.
Hepatic Encephalopathy Linked to Chronic Cognitive Effects
FRIDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients with cirrhosis, episodes of overt hepatic encephalopathy (OHE) may be associated with lingering and cumulative problems with learning, working memory, and response inhibition, according to research published in the June issue of Gastroenterology.
10 Risk Factors Associated With Most of Stroke Risk
FRIDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Worldwide, 10 risk factors are associated with 90 percent of the risk for stroke, suggesting that interventions targeting these particular factors could greatly reduce the stroke burden, according to a study published online June 18 in The Lancet.
Lack of Fitness, Inactivity Linked to Walking Falls
FRIDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Poor physical fitness and physical inactivity may increase the risk of falls while walking, particularly in men, according to research published in the July issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Gene-Pesticide Interaction Supported in Parkinson's
THURSDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- Genetic polymorphisms associated with a decreased ability of the ABCB1 gene to clear xenobiotics from the brain increase the risk of Parkinson's disease (PD) in the presence of high cumulative organochlorine insecticide exposure, according to research published in the June issue of the Archives of Neurology.
Alzheimer's Risk May Be Decreased by Protective Diet
THURSDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- A dietary pattern (DP) with higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, salad dressing, nuts, fish, and poultry, and lower intakes of items including red meat and high-fat dairy products may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease by almost 40 percent, according to research published in the June issue of the Archives of Neurology.
Scant Evidence Links Any Factor to Alzheimer's Prevention
TUESDAY, June 15 (HealthDay News) -- There is scant evidence that any one factor -- such as exercising or following a Mediterranean diet -- is protective of cognitive decline, including Alzheimer's disease (AD), in older adults, according to a review presented at a National Institutes of Health State-of-the-Science Conference and a subsequent conference statement, both published online June 14 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Mental Activity May Protect Brain in Multiple Sclerosis
MONDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) -- Higher levels of intellectual enrichment may negate the negative impact of brain atrophy in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to research published in the June 15 issue of Neurology.
Presence of Alzheimer's Genes Influences Brain Imaging
MONDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) -- The presence of established Alzheimer's disease (AD) genes, and a pair of promising and novel AD genes, influence the brain characteristics seen in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies of patients with the disease, according to a study in the June issue of the Archives of Neurology.
Incidental Findings Frequently Seen in Pediatric Brain Imaging
MONDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 7 percent of children involved in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study had incidental intracranial findings, calling attention to issues related to counseling families when such findings arise in clinical situations, according to research published online June 14 in Pediatrics.
Prognosis Favorable for Most Children With Epilepsy
MONDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) -- About seven in 10 children who develop epilepsy experience terminal remission, while the condition becomes intractable in only about one in 10, according to a study published online June 14 in Epilepsia.
Private Insurance Linked to Lower Hospital Mortality
FRIDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with private insurance who are hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), stroke or pneumonia have significantly lower in-hospital mortality than patients who are uninsured or have Medicaid, according to research published online June 10 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.
Genetic Variations Identified in Autism Spectrum Disorders
THURSDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- An international team of researchers has identified genetic variants, both inherited and unique, in the DNA of people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The findings, published online June 9 in Nature, may be helpful in early diagnosis and treatment of autism, according to the researchers.
S. aureus Infections a Greater Risk After Certain Procedures
THURSDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- The frequency and type of invasive Staphylococcus aureus infections following surgeries vary according to the type of procedure, with cardiothoracic and neurosurgical procedures linked to the highest risks, according to research published in the July issue of Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.
Valproic Acid Use in Pregnancy Tied to Malformation Risk
THURSDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- In pregnant women, first-trimester use of valproic acid is associated with significantly increased risks of five congenital malformations in addition to spina bifida, according to research published in the June 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Lifestyle, Behaviors Affect Headache Risk in Adolescents
WEDNESDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- High consumption of alcoholic drinks, coffee drinking, smoking, and lack of physical activity are all associated with headaches in adolescents, according to a study published online June 7 in Headache.
Pediatric Migraine Treatment Practices Vary Widely in ER
WEDNESDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- In a sample of Canadian emergency departments, children seen for migraine headaches reported frequent occurrence of attacks, and were subject to significant treatment variations by emergency department physicians, according to research published online June 7 in Pediatrics.
Fatal Medication Errors Rise in July at Teaching Hospitals
TUESDAY, June 8 (HealthDay News) -- In July there is a significant increase in fatal medication errors at medical institutions, and this spike is at least partly due to the arrival of new medical residents, according to a study published online May 29 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
Revised, Evidence-Based Brain Death Guideline Issued
MONDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) -- A new guideline for determining brain death has been issued by the American Academy of Neurology, updating the 1995 version and including a checklist to provide doctors with clarity and direction. The guideline has been published in the June 8 issue of Neurology.
Overlap Exists in TBI, Fractures Attributable to Abuse
MONDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) -- In children younger than 3, considerable overlap exists in the occurrence of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and fractures attributable to abuse, though accidental falls occur more commonly than abuse, even among very young children, according to a study published online June 7 in Pediatrics.
Specific Care Plan Does Not Slow Decline in Alzheimer's
FRIDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- A comprehensive specific care plan carried out with biannual clinic consultations and management of problems with standardized guidelines does not decrease the rate of functional decline in individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, according to research published June 3 in BMJ.
Low-Dose Estrogen Patch Linked to Lower Risk of Stroke
FRIDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women who use low-dose estrogen transdermal patches have a lower risk of stroke compared to users of either high-dose estrogen patches or oral hormone replacement therapy (HRT), according to research published June 3 in BMJ.
Many Ischemic Stroke Patients Arrive at ER Within Hour
FRIDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- A substantial portion of ischemic stroke patients present to emergency departments within an hour of onset, and they are more likely to receive thrombolytic therapy than those who arrive later, but both factors present room for improvement, according to research published online June 3 in Stroke.
Stroke Patients Benefit From Early Lipid-Lowering Therapy
THURSDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- Early initiation of lipid-lowering therapy (LLT) during hospitalization for ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack correlates with improved clinical outcomes, according to research published in the May 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.
Motor Change Similar With Two Brain-Stimulation Targets
WEDNESDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Pallidal and subthalamic stimulation are associated with similar improvements in motor function over 24 months in patients with Parkinson's disease, and clinicians may reasonably weigh non-motor factors when choosing a surgical target for deep-brain stimulation, according to research published in the June 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Parkinson's Disease Drug Can Cause Corneal Damage
WEDNESDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Parkinson's disease patients taking the drug amantadine are at risk for damage to the corneal endothelium and resulting impaired vision, which can become more pronounced the longer the drug is used, according to research published in Ophthalmology.
Ultrasound Identifies Patients at Higher Stroke Risk
WEDNESDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- The detection of asymptomatic embolic signals using transcranial doppler (TCD) may help identify groups of patients with asymptomatic carotid stenosis who are at low or high risk of stroke, which could be useful in identifying those most likely to benefit from endarterectomy, according to a study published online May 28 in The Lancet Neurology to coincide with its presentation at the European Stroke Conference, held from May 25 to 28 in Barcelona, Spain.