December 2014 Briefing - Neurology

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Neurology for December 2014. 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.

Exercise Helps Reduce Fall Risk for Some With Parkinson's

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For individuals with Parkinson's disease, an exercise program does not reduce falls overall, although it could help in milder disease, according to a study published online Dec. 31 in Neurology.

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AMA Identifies Top 10 Issues That Affected Docs in 2014

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The top 10 issues that affected physicians in 2014 include many regulatory issues relating to Medicare and data release, as well as health issues such as overprescribing of antibiotics and the Ebola crisis, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Vaccination Hesitancy in Israel's 2013 Polio Outbreak Explored

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Factors associated with understanding of vaccination and contextual factors can impact parents' willingness to vaccinate their children in cases of disease outbreak, according to a study published online Dec. 12 in the Journal of Risk Research.

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Ebola, ACA, VA Scandal Top U.S. Health News for 2014

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- It started as a deadly but little-known outbreak in West Africa, but the lethal and unchecked spread of the Ebola virus dominated U.S. headlines for much of 2014, making it one of the year's top health news features.

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MS Remission Sustained Three Years Post-Stem Cell Transplant

MONDAY, Dec. 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), high-dose immunosuppressive therapy (HDIT) with autologous hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) is associated with sustained remission and improvements in neurologic function, according to research published online Dec. 29 in JAMA Neurology.

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Higher Risk of Parkinson's Seen With Methamphetamine Use

MONDAY, Dec. 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- People who use methamphetamine have a greatly increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to a study published in the Jan. 1 issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

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Surgery or Medical Tx for Cervical Epidural Abscesses?

MONDAY, Dec. 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- At one medical center, early operative management of cervical spine epidural abscess (CSEA) appeared to offer the benefit of improved neurologic outcome, according to research published in the Jan. 1 issue of The Spine Journal.

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2015 Medicare Fee Schedule Offers Payment for Chronic Care

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The 2015 Medicare Fee Schedule includes a Current Procedural Terminology Code that pays for clinical staff time for developing and implementing a care plan for patients with two or more chronic conditions, according to an article published Dec. 18 in Medical Economics.

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BP-Lowering Therapy Reduces Stroke, Death in Grade 1 HTN

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with grade 1 hypertension, blood pressure-lowering therapy is associated with a reduction in blood pressure and a lower likelihood of stroke and death, according to research published online Dec. 23 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Need for More Physicians to Be Recruited to Vascular Neurology

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Issues related to physician recruitment to the subspecialty of vascular neurology are discussed in a review published in the December issue of Stroke.

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No Mortality Benefit for Longer Cooling, Deeper Cooling in NICU

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For full-term neonates with moderate or severe hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, longer cooling, deeper cooling, or both do not reduce neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) death, according to a study published in the Dec. 24/31 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Maintaining No Evidence of Disease Difficult to Sustain in MS

TUESDAY, Dec. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), disease-free status or no evidence of disease activity (NEDA) is difficult to sustain, according to research published online Dec. 22 in JAMA Neurology.

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Increased Health Care Use With Concussion Legislation

TUESDAY, Dec. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Legislation outlining the medical care of children and adolescents with concussion correlates with increased health care utilization rates, according to research published online Dec. 22 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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Older Women Restrict Driving More Than Older Men

MONDAY, Dec. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Older women restrict their driving activity more than older men, regardless of physical health or cognitive status, according to a study published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Tips Offered to Docs, Spouses for Maintaining Happy Marriage

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Simple tips can help physicians and their spouses maintain marital happiness, according to an article published in the American Medical Association (AMA) Alliance magazine Physician Family.

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Simple, 20-Second Test May Aid Prognosis of Brain Health

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Difficulty standing on one leg may indicate that lacunar infarctions or microbleeds have already occurred, which means the risk for more serious strokes is high, the investigators according to research published online Dec. 18 in Stroke.

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Migraines Linked to Increased Risk of Bell's Palsy

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- People who experience migraine headaches may be at heightened risk for Bell's palsy, according to a new study published online Dec. 17 in Neurology.

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Intraarterial Treatment May Reduce Stroke Disability

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Intraarterial treatment administered within six hours after stroke onset in patients with acute ischemic stroke caused by a proximal intracranial arterial occlusion is safe and improves recovery, researchers report. The findings -- from a trial largely funded by the Dutch Heart Foundation -- were published online Dec. 17 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Internal Carotid Artery Tear Seen in Child After Roller-Coaster Ride

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Frequenting roller-coaster rides may lead to intimal tears within the cervical internal carotid artery (ICA), according to a case report published online Nov. 26 in Pediatric Neurology.

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Digital Self-Scheduling Set to Increase Considerably by 2019

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Digital self-scheduling is set to increase considerably in the next five years, according to a report published by Accenture.

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Challenges ID'd in Development of the Physician Compare Website

TUESDAY, Dec. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), information must be made available to allow the public to compare physicians, although there are considerable challenges surrounding the development of the physician performance website, Physician Compare. These challenges are addressed in a health policy brief published online Dec. 11 in Health Affairs.

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Support for Electronic Health Information Varies With Use

TUESDAY, Dec. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Consent and purpose are important for public support of secondary uses of electronic health information, according to a study published in the Dec. 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Physicians Reminded of Ethical Obligations Regarding Torture

TUESDAY, Dec. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- With the issuing of the new U.S. Senate report on interrogations, the American Medical Association (AMA) is reminding physicians of their ethical obligations relating to torture and interrogation.

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Methylphenidate Use Tied to Fewer Injuries in Kids With ADHD

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Taking medication for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) might reduce the risk of young patients accidentally injuring themselves, new research suggests. The findings, published online Dec. 15 in Pediatrics, applied to both girls and boys.

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Physicians Should Scrutinize Job Offers Before Accepting

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians should scrutinize job offers and pay attention to specific issues before accepting a job, according to an article published Dec. 3 in Medical Economics.

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Webcast Scheduled to Discuss Maintenance of Certification

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- New data relating to Maintenance of Certification (MOC) will be discussed in a free webcast to be held Dec. 17 by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

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Cobalamin Defects Can Explain Neurologic Regression in Children

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Cobalamin defects can account for neurologic regression in healthy children, according to a case report published online Dec. 15 in Pediatrics.

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No Higher Risk of Breast Cancer for Women With Migraines

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Migraine headaches do not raise the risk for breast cancer, according to research published online Dec. 12 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Transesophageal ECHO Impacts Cardioembolic Stroke Care

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- As a result of transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) for suspected cardioembolic stroke, 16.7 percent of patients experience a significant change in management, according to a study published in the Dec. 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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In Nursing Homes, Statins Often Continued in Advanced Dementia

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For nursing home (NH) residents with dementia taking statins, most continue statins with the progression to advanced dementia, according to research published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Tips Offered for Docs to Manage Their Online Reputation

FRIDAY, Dec. 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians can manage their online reputation, according to a report from the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Progesterone Offers No Clinical Benefit in Severe, Acute TBI

THURSDAY, Dec. 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Progesterone offers no clinical benefit for patients with severe or acute traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to two studies published online Dec. 10 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Poor Quality Sleep Tied to Higher Risk of Dementia

THURSDAY, Dec. 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Older men who have breathing difficulties or spend less time in deep sleep may be at greater risk of brain changes that can precede dementia, a new study suggests. The findings were published online Dec. 10 in Neurology.

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Nutrition, Weight Loss Key in Mobility-Impaired Adults

THURSDAY, Dec. 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Nutrition and weight loss research is needed in adults with mobility-impairing conditions, according to a review published in the December issue of Obesity Reviews.

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More Students Enrolling in U.S. Medical Schools

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- More students are enrolling in medical schools, and enrollees are more diverse than before, according to a report from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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More Docs, Patients Not Speaking Same Language

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- People applying to become medical residents in the United States speak a wide range of non-English languages, but many aren't the languages spoken by patients with limited English skills, according to a research letter published in the Dec. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on medical education.

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Spending Cuts May Have Mixed Effects on Stroke Outcomes

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The long-term effects of fee-for-service (FFS)-based reimbursement cuts on processes and outcomes of care for stroke may be mixed, according to research published online Dec. 9 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Higher Paid Docs Earn More Money From More Procedures

TUESDAY, Dec. 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- High-income doctors make more money by ordering more procedures for each patient rather than by seeing more patients, according to an analysis of 2012 Medicare data published in a research letter Dec. 8 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Docs Trained in High-Cost Areas Practice More Costly Medicine

TUESDAY, Dec. 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors who were trained in high-cost areas of the United States may be more likely to practice expensive medicine, a new study suggests; however, that effect gradually decreases over time. The study was published in the Dec. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on medical education.

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Work-Hour Restrictions Have Not Improved Outcomes

TUESDAY, Dec. 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Reducing medical residents' work hours hasn't improved mortality rates, hospital readmission rates, or outcomes of surgery, according to two new studies published in the Dec. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on medical education.

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CT Scans Post-TIA Yield Clues to Future Stroke Risk

FRIDAY, Dec. 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A computed tomography (CT) scan shortly after a transient ischemic attack can help identify patients at risk of suffering another stroke within three months, new research suggests. The study was published online Dec. 4 in Stroke.

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AMA: Social Determinants of Health to Be Taught in Med School

THURSDAY, Dec. 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A new policy implemented by the American Medical Association (AMA) supports integrating more training on the social determinants of health into undergraduate medical education, according to a report published by the AMA.

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Seasonal MS Relapse Onset Seen in Both Hemispheres

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Seasonal relapse onset in multiple sclerosis occurs in both hemispheres and varies with latitude, according to a study published in the December issue of the Annals of Neurology.

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Too Much Patient Care Tied to Faculty Members' Intent to Leave

TUESDAY, Dec. 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Spending "far too much/too much" time/effort on patient care is associated with increased intent to leave the institution, according to research published in Academic Medicine.

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Midlife Diabetes Linked to Greater Cogntive Decline Later

TUESDAY, Dec. 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Diabetes in midlife is associated with a greater decline in cognitive skills over 20 years, according to a new study published in the Dec. 2 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Doctor Discusses Ways to Keep Morale in Medicine High

MONDAY, Dec. 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the many frustrations for doctors in medical practice, there are ways to keep morale high, according to an article published Nov. 20 in Medical Economics.

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Many Physicians Report Their Incomes Have Plateaued

MONDAY, Dec. 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Many physicians report that their personal income has not changed since last year, according to the results of the Physicians Practice 2014 Physicians Compensation Survey.

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