November 2006 Briefing - Neurology
Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Neurology for November 2006. 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.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Drugs May Boost Cardiovascular Risk
THURSDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Biologic immunosuppressive agents do not affect the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, but the risk increases by 30 percent to 80 percent in patients taking glucocorticoids or cytotoxic immunosuppressive drugs, according to study findings published in the December issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Pregabalin Relieves Spinal Cord Injury Pain
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Pregabalin relieves pain better than a placebo in patients with spinal cord injury and improves overall well-being, researchers report in the Nov. 28 issue of Neurology.
Ancrod Ineffective for Stroke Beyond Three-Hour Window
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Previous studies have found that ancrod, a drug derived from Malaysian pit viper venom, is effective for ischemic stroke if given within three hours of symptom onset, but a new study shows it is not effective when given beyond three hours but within six hours, and increases the risk of short-term mortality and intracranial hemorrhage. The findings are published in the Nov. 25 issue of The Lancet.
Inhibiting Receptor Prevents Craniosynostosis in Mice
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Blocking the fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (Fgfr2) pathway could help in treatment of craniosynostosis and other bone disorders, according to a report published online Nov. 28 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.
Driving Errors More Frequent in Parkinson Patients
TUESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with Parkinson disease make more safety errors while driving and are more than twice as likely to make errors while distracted, researchers report in the Nov. 28 issue of Neurology.
Chemotherapy Causes Short-Term Brain Structure Change
TUESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Chemotherapy appears to cause short-term changes in brain structure, which could account for cognitive impairments such as memory loss and difficulties problem-solving that are often reported by cancer patients, according to a report published online Nov. 27 in Cancer.
Statins for Primary Prevention Don't Reduce Mortality
MONDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Although statin therapy decreases major coronary and cerebrovascular events and revascularization procedures, it does not decrease all-cause mortality or death due to coronary heart disease in patients who do not have cardiovascular disease, according to study results published in the Nov. 27 Archives of Internal Medicine.
Hypoxia Linked to Progression of Alzheimer Disease
THURSDAY, Nov. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Loss of oxygen flow to the brain may trigger the progression of Alzheimer disease by upregulating a gene that accelerates plaque formation, according to a report published online Nov. 22 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.
Childhood Leukemia, Brain Tumor Survivors Risk Stroke
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term childhood leukemia or brain tumor survivors have a sixfold to 29-fold higher risk of stroke later in life than their cancer-free siblings, researchers report in the Nov. 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
LRRK2 Overactivation Linked to Parkinson Disease
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Mutations in the LRRK2 gene reduce neurite length and branching, and may contribute to the development of Parkinson disease, according to in vitro and animal research published in the Nov. 22 issue of Neuron.
Support Can Ease Stress for Most Dementia Caregivers
TUESDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Hispanics and whites, but not blacks, who care for relatives with dementia have significant quality-of-life improvements when supported by a multifaceted intervention that includes in-home and telephone discussions, researchers report in the Nov. 21 Annals of Internal Medicine.
Parental Leave Policies Vary Across Specialty Boards
TUESDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Restrictions on how long residents can take parental-leave breaks from training and still qualify for specialty board certification are not uniform, and current policies lack the flexibility working parents need, according to a report in the November issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
Residents and Fellows Are Cheapest Way to Staff ICUs
TUESDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Using non-physician providers to staff intensive care units is less cost-effective than using residents and fellows, according to the results of a study published in the November issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
DHA Levels in Older Adults May Predict Dementia Risk
TUESDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults with high plasma levels of docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, may have a significantly lower risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer disease, according to a study in the November issue of the Archives of Neurology.
Younger Stroke Survivors Face Health Care Barriers
MONDAY, Nov. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Younger stroke survivors may have less access to medical care, medications and health insurance than their counterparts who are 65 and older, according to study findings published online Nov. 13 in the Archives of Neurology.
New Guidelines for Status Epilepticus in Children
MONDAY, Nov. 22 (HealthDay News) -- For children with treated epilepsy who develop status epilepticus, physicians should consider testing for levels of anti-epileptic drugs, which are low in 32 percent of children, according to guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology and the Child Neurology Society. The guidelines are published in the Nov. 14 issue of Neurology.
Occupational Therapy Benefits Dementia Patients
FRIDAY, Nov. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the fact that patients with dementia have limited learning ability, community-based occupational therapy improves their daily functioning and also has benefits for their caregivers, according to research published online Nov. 17 in BMJ.
Influenza Vaccination Linked to Risk for Guillain-Barre
FRIDAY, Nov. 17 (HealthDay News) -- A small but statistically significant increase in adult hospitalization for Guillain-Barre syndrome is linked to influenza vaccination, according to the results of a Canadian study published in the Nov. 13 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
One in Four U.S. Adults Recently Affected by Pain
THURSDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Recent and chronic pain afflict a large proportion of the U.S. adult population, according to Health, United States, 2006, a report published Nov. 15 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). One in four U.S. adults have suffered a bout of pain in the last month, and one in 10 report that the pain has lasted for at least a year.
Midlife Self-Care Extends Men's Life Span into 80s, 90s
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged men who avoid common risk factors for chronic disease have a better chance of achieving an "exceptional" survival, defined as living to age 85 and beyond without physical or mental impairment, according to a study published in the Nov. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Alzheimer's Target Essential for Normal Myelination
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The enzyme Bace1, a recently proposed therapeutic target for Alzheimer disease, is also essential for normal myelination in central and peripheral nerves, according to research reported Nov. 12 in an advance online publication of Nature Neuroscience. The results suggest Bace1 therapeutics may produce significant side effects.
Caregiver Support Delays Nursing Home for Alzheimer's
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Caregiver counseling can help keep Alzheimer disease patients home for a longer period of time and delay the need for nursing home placement, according to a report in the November issue of Neurology.
Deep-Brain Stimulation Studied in Dystonia
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with primary generalized or segmental dystonia, bilateral pallidal deep-brain stimulation is more effective than sham stimulation, according to a study published in the Nov. 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Iron-Deficient Infants Have Persistent Cognitive Deficit
MONDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Infants who are iron deficient have lower cognitive test scores than those with sufficient iron levels, and the gap persists into the teenage years, especially for children at lower socioeconomic levels, according to a report published in the November issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
Electric Stimulation of Brain During Sleep Boosts Memory
MONDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The application of a weak electrical current to the brain during sleep can improve memory, according to a study published online Nov. 5 in Nature. The findings show that brain activity during stage 2 non-rapid eye movement (REM) sleep plays a key role in consolidating new memories.
Curry Intake Associated with Cognitive Function in Elderly
FRIDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Curry consumption is associated with better cognitive function in the elderly, according to a report in the Nov. 1 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Lower Body Temperature May Extend Life Span
THURSDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have found that mice with a core temperature one-half a degree Celsius lower than normal live about 15 percent longer than mice with a normal body core temperature, according to a report in the Nov. 3 issue of Science.
Tall Patients Have Higher Risk of Peripheral Neuropathy
THURSDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Diabetics are twice as likely as non-diabetics to develop peripheral insensate neuropathy, and patients who are tall have an additional risk regardless of whether or not they have diabetes, according to a study in the November issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.
One-Third of Those Over 65 Have Dementia When They Die
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Thirty percent of people aged 65 and older in England and Wales have dementia before death, researchers report in the October issue of PLoS-Medicine.
Gene Linked to Greater Tolerance of Pain
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The GTP cyclohydrolase gene, GCH1, is an essential component in neurotransmitter production and may also be a key modulator of pain sensitivity, according to a report in the Oct. 22 advance online edition of Nature Medicine. Individuals carrying particular variants of GCH1 seem to be more tolerant of acute pain.