American Academy of Neurology, April 15-21

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The 68th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology

The annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology was held from April 15 to 21 in Vancouver, Canada, and attracted approximately 12,000 participants from around the world, including clinicians, academicians, allied health professionals, and others interested in neurology. The conference highlighted recent advances in neurological disorders, with presentations focusing on the diagnosis, management, and treatment of disorders impacting the brain and nervous system.

In one study, Gretchen Tietjen, M.D., of the University of Toledo in Ohio, and colleagues identified a link between emotional abuse and migraine in young adults. In addition, emotional abuse may have more influence than other types of childhood abuse.

Specifically, the investigators found that emotional abuse in childhood appears to be more closely linked to developing migraine in adulthood than are childhood physical and sexual abuse. Additionally, the likelihood of developing migraine after abuse is higher in men than women and in Caucasians than in non-Caucasians. Lastly, the more types of abuse a person has experienced the higher the likelihood they will develop migraine.

"Similar to what has been found in prior studies in older populations (ACE Study, AMPP Study), young adults also demonstrate a link between emotional abuse and migraine, and it may have more influence than other types of childhood abuse," Tietjen said. "Other studies have shown that childhood abuse is linked to a number of conditions that are comorbid with migraine (depression, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, etc.). Screening for abuse in persons with migraine identifies those at risk of having or developing these other conditions. It also identifies those with a higher risk of experiencing abuse in adulthood."

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In another study, Blair R. Leavitt, M.D., of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and colleagues found that IONIS-HTTRx, an antisense drug that inhibits the production of huntingtin protein, was efficacious and tolerable in mice and monkeys with Huntington's disease (HD).

Specifically, the investigators found that motor deficits improved within one month of starting treatment with IONIS-HTTRx in YAC128 mice (a transgenic model of HD). In addition, motor deficits were restored to normal at two months after treatment was halted. The investigators found similar restoration of motor deficits in BACHD mice (another transgenic model of HD) treated with IONIS-HTTRx. The drug was well tolerated, with limited serious adverse events. In monkeys, the drug was effective in reducing HTT mRNA and Htt protein levels, as well as significantly reducing cortical huntingtin and caudate levels.

"It is very exciting to have the possibility of a treatment that could alter the course of this devastating disease," Leavitt said in a statement. "Right now, we only have treatments that work on the symptoms of the disease."

The study was funded in part by Ionis Pharmaceuticals and Roche Pharmaceuticals, both of which participated in the development of IONIS-HTTRx.

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Maurice Ohayon, M.D., Ph.D., of Stanford University in California, and colleagues found that nighttime light negatively impacts sleep duration and is tied to sleep disturbances.

Specifically, the investigators found that individuals exposed to more intense light during the nighttime hours were 6 percent more likely to sleep less than six hours per night as compared to individuals exposed to less intense light. The investigators also found that individuals exposed to more intense light were more dissatisfied with their sleep quality and reported more fatigue as compared to those exposed to less intense light.

"Light pollution can be found in any sizable city in the world. Yet, excessive exposure to light at night may affect how we function during the day and increase the risks of excessive sleepiness," Ohayon said in a statement. "If this association is confirmed by other studies, people may want to consider room darkening shades, sleep masks, or other options to reduce their exposure."

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AAN: Botulinum Toxin Approved for Use in Chronic Migraine

THURSDAY, April 21, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Botulinum toxin is a safe and effective treatment for chronic migraine and three other neurological disorders, according to an updated guideline published online April 18 in Neurology, and presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), held from April 15 to 21 in Vancouver, Canada.

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AAN: Once-Daily Eslicarbazepine Helps Prevent Seizures

FRIDAY, April 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Once-daily eslicarbazepine acetate (Aptiom) may control seizures just as well as twice-daily carbamazepine (Tegretol, Carbatrol), according to research scheduled to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, held from April 15 to 21 in Vancouver, Canada.

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AAN: Using Entire Shape of CBFV Waveform IDs Concussion

FRIDAY, April 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A machine-learning platform that uses the entire shape of cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFV) waveforms acquired via transcranial Doppler (TCD) imaging is more accurate for diagnosing concussion, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, held from April 15 to 21 in Vancouver, Canada.

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AAN: Antihistamine May Help Reverse Optic Neuropathy in MS

WEDNESDAY, April 13, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Clemastine fumarate partially reverses optic neuropathy in patients with multiple sclerosis, according to a study scheduled to be presented at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, held from April 15 to 21 in Vancouver, Canada.

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AAN: Zika May Be Linked to Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis

MONDAY, April 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The Zika virus may be linked to acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), according to a study scheduled for presentation at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, to be held from April 15 to 21 in Vancouver, Canada.

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AAN: Preeclampsia, LBW Up With Severe Migraine While Pregnant

FRIDAY, March 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Severe migraines are associated with an increased risk of complications during pregnancy and childbirth, especially among older women, according to a study scheduled for presentation at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, to be held from April 15 to 21 in Vancouver, Canada.

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AAN: Stroke Risk Up With Daylight Saving Transitions

TUESDAY, March 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The transition to daylight saving time (DST) is associated with a transient increase in the risk of ischemic stroke, according to a study scheduled for presentation at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, to be held from April 15 to 21 in Vancouver, Canada.

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AAN: Ebola May Leave Lasting Neurological Symptoms

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Many Ebola survivors have neurological symptoms that last long after other signs of the infection are gone, according to a study scheduled for presentation at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, to be held from April 15 to 21 in Vancouver, Canada.

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