April 2017 Briefing - Neurology

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Neurology for April 2017. 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.

Meeting Organizers Overlooking Qualified Female Scientists

FRIDAY, April 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Invited speakers at medical conferences tend to be disproportionately male, a disparity that can be addressed by actively preparing lists of potential speakers, according to a study published online April 18 in Nature Immunology.

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AMA Urges Doctors to Talk About Safe Opioid Storage, Disposal

FRIDAY, April 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians should take three essential steps to reduce the amount of unwanted, unused, and expired medications in an effort to avoid non-medical uses of the drugs, according to a new recommendation from the American Medical Association (AMA) Task Force to Reduce Opioid Abuse.

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Enzyme Replacement Drug OK'd for Form of Batten Disease

FRIDAY, April 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Brineura (cerliponase alfa) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat a specific form of Batten disease, a rare set of genetic disorders that typically begin between ages 2 and 4, the agency said in a news release.

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Routine Blood Tests Can Harm Patient Care

FRIDAY, April 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Routine blood tests waste money and can damage patient care, according to an opinion piece published online April 27 in the BMJ.

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Distinct Bacterial Taxa in ME/CSF Subgroups With/Without IBS

FRIDAY, April 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Distinct bacterial taxa are seen in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) subgroups, defined by the presence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to a study published online April 27 in Microbiome.

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Combo Rx for Fibromyalgia Tied to Higher Adherence

FRIDAY, April 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Medication adherence is better for combination prescription initiators with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), although expenditures for total health care are higher with combination prescriptions, according to a study published online April 18 in Pain Practice.

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Risk Factors in Six Areas Tied to Physician Burnout

THURSDAY, April 27, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Physician burnout factors include control, whether there is time to deliver excellent care, and whether the workplace is fair, according to a presentation at the Medical Group Management Association/American Medical Association 2017 Collaborate in Practice Conference, held April 9 to 11 in Chicago.

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Single-Payer Health System Bill Moves Forward in California

THURSDAY, April 27, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A proposal to replace private insurance with government-funded health care for all moved forward in California on Wednesday as Democrats on the Senate Health Committee voted to advance the measure.

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Overall Vagotomy Not Linked to Risk of Parkinson's Disease

THURSDAY, April 27, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Overall vagotomy is not associated with the risk of Parkinson's disease (PD), according to a study published online April 26 in Neurology.

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Genetic Variant Tied to MS and Systemic Lupus Identified

THURSDAY, April 27, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A genetic variant that is associated with both multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) has been identified, according to a study published online April 26 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Illicit Marijuana Use Up in States With Legal Medical Use

WEDNESDAY, April 26, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Illicit cannabis use increased significantly more in states that passed medical marijuana laws than in other states, according to a study published online April 26 in JAMA Psychiatry.

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Many Patients With Alzheimer's Disease Discontinue AChEIs

WEDNESDAY, April 26, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Discontinuation of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs) for treatment of Alzheimer's disease is common, with adverse effects and cost cited as major factors, according to a study published recently in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Exercise Improves Cognitive Function in Those Over 50

TUESDAY, April 25, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Physical exercise improves cognitive function in people over 50 years of age, according to a review published online April 24 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

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Microvascular Endothelial Dysfunction Can Predict Dementia

FRIDAY, April 21, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Markers of microvascular endothelial dysfunction can predict dementia, according to a study published online April 13 in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

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Artificially-Sweetened Drinks Linked to Stroke, Dementia Risk

THURSDAY, April 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Consumption of artificially-sweetened drinks is associated with increased risk of stroke and dementia, according to a study published online April 20 in Stroke.

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Antipsychotic Medication Use Can Be Reduced in Dementia Patients

THURSDAY, April 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Hoping to cut the use of antipsychotic drugs in nursing home residents, researchers tried training staff on new ways to meet the needs of residents with dementia. Their findings were published online April 17 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Electronic Drug Administration Record App Cuts Errors

THURSDAY, April 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Use of an electronic medication administration record (eMAR) application can reduce the rate of medication errors in medication administration recording (ME-MAR), according to a study published online April 18 in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice.

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FDA OKs Vagus Nerve Stimulator to Treat Cluster Headaches

THURSDAY, April 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A new noninvasive device, gammaCore, which works to reduce cluster headache pain by transmitting mild electrical stimulation to the vagus nerve through the skin on the neck, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Just Over Half of MI Patients Taking Statins As Recommended

THURSDAY, April 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Many myocardial infarction patients aren't taking statins as recommended, according to a brief report published online April 19 in JAMA Cardiology.

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Circulating Exosomes Have Distinct RNA Profile in MS

THURSDAY, April 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Circulating exosomes have a distinct RNA profile in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), according to a study published online April 15 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Slow Processing Speed Predicts Falls in Elderly

THURSDAY, April 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Slow processing speed predicts future falls in older adults with a history of falls, according to a study published online April 8 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Potential Benefits, Risks of OpenNotes Discussed

WEDNESDAY, April 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The benefits of sharing notes with patients include improved patient engagement and empowerment, while potential risks may include more phone calls, questions, and increased documentation time, according to a report published in Medical Economics.

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Non-Invasive Neurotechnology May Help Ease PTSD Symptoms

WEDNESDAY, April 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Technology using a patient's own brainwaves might offer hope against tough-to-treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a study published online April 19 in BMC Psychiatry.

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Researchers Warn of Epilepsy in Zika-Infected Infants

WEDNESDAY, April 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Beyond its known links to birth defects and other issues, the Zika virus may also trigger cases of epilepsy in infants, according to a viewpoint piece published online April 17 in JAMA Neurology.

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Differing Statin Guidelines Leave Many Clinicians Uncertain

TUESDAY, April 18, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- If all clinicians followed U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines for prescription of a statin, nine million fewer adults would be taking such medication versus adherence to the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association recommendations, according to a study published in the April 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Link Between Antidepressant Use in Pregnancy, Autism Challenged

TUESDAY, April 18, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Taking antidepressants during pregnancy doesn't appear to raise a child's risk of autism, once other factors that could influence the risk are taken into account, according to two studies published in the April 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Glucose Variation Doesn't Affect Microvascular Complications

TUESDAY, April 18, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Measures of glycemic variability in type 1 diabetes, based on complete quarterly 7-point glucose profiles, fail to provide evidence that glycemic variability contributes to the risk of development or progression of microvascular complications beyond the influence of mean glucose levels, according to a study published online April 12 in Diabetes Care.

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Costs Up With Specialist As Predominant Provider of Care

TUESDAY, April 18, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For older adults with multimorbidity, having a specialist as the predominant provider of care (PPC) is associated with higher spending and lower continuity of care, according to a study published online April 8 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Over 20 Percent of Maternal Mortality in Illinois Due to CVD

TUESDAY, April 18, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- More than one in five maternal deaths in Illinois in 2002 to 2011 were attributable to cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in the May issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Doctors Need to Be Mindful of What They Post on Social Media

MONDAY, April 17, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Young doctors often have unprofessional or offensive content on their Facebook profiles, according to a study published online April 9 in BJU International.

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Dizziness in Parkinson's May Be Due to Cerebral Hypoperfusion

MONDAY, April 17, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Cerebral hypoperfusion contributes to dizziness in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), even without orthostatic hypotension (OH), according to a study published online April 12 in the Journal of Clinical Ultrasound.

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Major Bleeding Risk From Drugs Similar in Elderly

MONDAY, April 17, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of major bleeding is similar for older patients with atrial fibrillation taking either antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs, according to a review published online April 10 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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Vaccine-Chemotherapy Combo Promising in Glioblastoma

FRIDAY, April 14, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental vaccine therapy shows promise in treating glioblastoma, according to a study published online April 14 in Clinical Cancer Research.

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Iodide Supplementation No Benefit for Preemies

FRIDAY, April 14, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For preterm infants, iodide supplementation is not associated with neurodevelopmental benefit at age 2 years, according to a study published online April 14 in Pediatrics.

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Accurate Diagnosis of Endocrine Hypertension Important

THURSDAY, April 13, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- An accurate diagnosis of endocrine hypertension allows clinicians to provide effective treatment, including a surgical cure or to achieve an optimal response with specific pharmacologic therapy, according to a scientific statement published online April 5 in Endocrine Reviews.

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Overweight, Underweight Both Tied to Migraines

THURSDAY, April 13, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Weight -- both overweight and underweight -- may influence risk of migraine headaches, according to a review published online April 12 in Neurology.

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FDA Approves First Drug for Treatment of Tardive Dyskinesia

WEDNESDAY, April 12, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Ingrezza (valbenazine), the first drug to treat adults with tardive dyskinesia, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Physicians Are Spending Half Their Time on Computer Tasks

WEDNESDAY, April 12, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians spend roughly as many hours on computer work as they do meeting with patients, according to a study published in the April issue of Health Affairs.

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Deep Brain Stimulation Beneficial in Severe Tourette's

WEDNESDAY, April 12, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Some young patients with severe cases of Tourette's syndrome (TS) may benefit from deep brain stimulation (DBS), according to a study published online April 7 in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

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Midlife Vascular Risk Factors Associated With Elevated Amyloid

WEDNESDAY, April 12, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke in middle age are more likely to have elevated levels of amyloid, according to a study published in the April 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Past Psychiatric Disorders Do Not Raise Risk of Alzheimer's Disease

TUESDAY, April 11, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Having a mental health disorder doesn't translate into a higher risk of Alzheimer's disease later in life, according to a study published in European Psychiatry.

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Acute Ischemic Stroke Prevalence Up in Younger Americans

TUESDAY, April 11, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Acute ischemic stroke is increasingly prevalent in Americans under 65, as is the percentage of those with three or more stroke risk factors, according to a study published online April 10 in JAMA Neurology.

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Integrated E-Prescribing Can Cut Prescribing, Dispensing Errors

MONDAY, April 10, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- An integrated electronic medication prescribing (e-prescribing) and dispensing system can reduce prescribing and dispensing errors, according to a study published online March 30 in the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research.

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Benzodiazepines May Up Risk of Pneumonia in Alzheimer's Disease

MONDAY, April 10, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with Alzheimer's disease who use benzodiazepines may have an increased risk for pneumonia, according to a study published in the April 10 issue of CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Insulin Resistance Predicts Later Cognitive Decline

MONDAY, April 10, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Higher serum fasting insulin and insulin resistance predict poorer verbal fluency and a steeper decline in future verbal fluency, according to a study published online April 5 issue of Diabetes Care.

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MACRA Changes Government Approach to Doctor Payment

FRIDAY, April 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) has made fundamental changes to the government's approach to physician payment, according to a March 27 policy brief published in Health Affairs.

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Multivitamin Use Does Not Benefit Cardiovascular Health in Men

FRIDAY, April 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A daily multivitamin doesn't benefit cardiovascular health in men, according to a study published online April 5 in JAMA Cardiology.

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991 Used Oregon's Physician-Aided Dying Law 1998 to 2015

FRIDAY, April 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer than 1,000 residents have followed through since Oregon became the first state to permit physician-aided dying in 1997, according to a report published online April 6 in JAMA Oncology.

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FDA OKs Marketing of Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Risk Tests

FRIDAY, April 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first home genetic tests for 10 diseases or conditions, including Parkinson's disease and late-onset Alzheimer's.

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Risk Adjustment, Reinsurance Transfer Offer Financial Benefit

THURSDAY, April 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Risk adjustment and reinsurance transfer programs seem to have been effective for increasing revenues at the expense of claims costs, according to research published in the March issue of Health Affairs.

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Pre-Stroke Fitness, but Not BMI, May Predict Post-Stoke Disability

THURSDAY, April 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke patients who are active and exercise regularly before the event have a lower risk of post-stroke disability, but body mass index does not appear to be related to the decreased risk, according to a study published online April 5 in Neurology.

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Higher Risk of Cardiovascular Events With Weight Fluctuations

THURSDAY, April 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Fluctuation in body weight is associated with higher mortality and a higher rate of cardiovascular events -- independent of traditional cardiovascular risk factors -- in patients with coronary artery disease, according to a study published in the April 6 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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No CVD Protection Seen With Monthly High-Dose Vitamin D

THURSDAY, April 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Taking high doses of vitamin D once a month won't lower the risk for cardiovascular disease, according to a study published online April 5 in JAMA Cardiology.

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'SuperAgers' Have Less Whole-Brain Cortical Volume Loss

WEDNESDAY, April 5, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Cognitively-average elderly adults have greater annual whole-brain cortical volume loss than adults age 80 years and older with episodic memory ability at least as good as that of average middle-age adults (SuperAgers), according to a research letter published in the April 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Hydrocortisone Tx Doesn't Impair Neurodevelopment in Preemies

WEDNESDAY, April 5, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For extremely preterm infants, early hydrocortisone therapy is not associated with neurodevelopmental impairment at age 2 years, according to a study published in the April 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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CDC: Birth Defects Seen in 1 in 10 U.S. Pregnancies Affected by Zika

WEDNESDAY, April 5, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- One in 10 pregnant U.S. women with confirmed Zika infection in 2016 had a baby with virus-related birth defects, according to research published in the April 4 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Second Opinion Yields Different Diagnosis for 1 in 5 Patients

WEDNESDAY, April 5, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- One-fifth of patients who sought a second opinion recently at a single academic medical center had received a different diagnosis from their primary care providers, according to a study published online April 4 in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice.

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Doctors Must Be Wary of HIPAA Violations With Online Reviews

TUESDAY, April 4, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians should be aware that responding to a negative health care review could potentially expose personal medical information, resulting in a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) violation, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Maternal Overweight, Obesity May Increase Childhood Epilepsy

TUESDAY, April 4, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The rates of childhood epilepsy increase with maternal overweight and obesity, according to a study published online April 3 in JAMA Neurology.

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Use of Health Literacy Tools Can Promote Shared Decision Making

MONDAY, April 3, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Use of health literacy tools is encouraged for facilitating shared decision making (SDM), according to an article published in the March issue of the AMA Journal of Ethics.

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