February 2016 Briefing - Neurology

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Neurology for February 2016. 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.

Car Crash Risk May Nearly Double in Patients With Syncope

MONDAY, Feb. 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with a history of syncope may be almost twice as likely as others to get into a car crash, according to a study published online Feb. 29 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Active Mind May Delay Alzheimer Symptoms, but Not Disease

THURSDAY, Feb. 25, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Intellectual enrichment (high education and high midlife cognitive activity) has effects on biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease (AD) in older adults, according to a study published online Feb. 24 in Neurology.

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Suggestions for Optimizing Practice Feedback Effectiveness

THURSDAY, Feb. 25, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- In an article published online Feb. 23 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, 15 suggestions are presented to optimize the effectiveness of practice feedback.

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Authors Urge Caution Before Adopting New Systolic BP Goals

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A small reduction as the primary composite outcome may not justify the increased adverse events and costs associated with an intervention targeting systolic blood pressure (BP) less than 120 mm Hg, according to an Ideas and Opinions piece published online Feb. 23 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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FDA Approves Briviact for Partial Onset Seizures

FRIDAY, Feb. 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Briviact (brivaracetam) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat partial onset seizures in people aged 16 and older with epilepsy.

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Three Classes of Antibiotic-Associated Encephalopathy ID'd

FRIDAY, Feb. 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Antibiotic-associated encephalopathy (AAE) can be classified into three unique clinical phenotypes, according to research published online Feb. 17 in Neurology.

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Botulinum Toxin Ups Physical, Mental Health in Hyperhidrosis

FRIDAY, Feb. 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with hyperhidrosis, botulinum toxin treatment is associated with significant improvements in mental and physical health, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in the Journal of Dermatology.

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Many Med Schools Appear Unwelcoming Regarding Disability

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Most medical schools need to post, update, or clarify technical standards (TSs), required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), that detail what a school will do to accommodate a student with a disability, according to a study published online Jan. 19 in Academic Medicine.

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USPSTF: Evidence Lacking for Routine Use of ASD Screening

TUESDAY, Feb. 16, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) concludes that the evidence is currently insufficient to weigh the balance of benefits and harms of screening for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in young children for whom no concerns of ASD have been raised. These findings form the basis of a recommendation statement published in the Feb. 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Little Progress Made in Preventing New-Onset Epilepsy

TUESDAY, Feb. 16, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A long-term study shows that little progress has been made in the prevention of epilepsy in Finland over the past 40 years. The findings were published online Feb. 15 in JAMA Neurology.

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Proton Pump Inhibitors Linked to Increased Dementia Risk

MONDAY, Feb. 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) may be tied to the development of dementia in the elderly, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in JAMA Neurology.

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Good Long-Term Outcomes for Fetal Myelomeningocele Surgery

MONDAY, Feb. 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Fetal myelomeningocele (fMMC) surgery is associated with improved long-term functional outcomes, according to a study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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CDC: Number of Uninsured Persons in U.S. Down Since 2013

FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The percentage of uninsured persons is decreasing in the United States, according to a report published by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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Dexamethasone No Help in HIV-Linked Cryptococcal Meningitis

FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with HIV-associated cryptococcal meningitis, dexamethasone does not reduce mortality compared with placebo, according to a study published in the Feb. 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Physicians Concerned By Increasing Cost of Generics

THURSDAY, Feb. 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Pennsylvania physicians have called for state- and national-level medical associations to take an active role in addressing the issue of increasing generic drug prices, according to an article published by the Pennsylvania Medical Society.

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Cardiovascular Fitness, Exercise BP Linked to Brain Volume

THURSDAY, Feb. 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Poor cardiovascular (CV) fitness and greater exercise blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) responses in middle age correlate with smaller brain volume later in life, according to a study published online Feb. 10 in Neurology.

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Novel Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato Genospecies ID'd

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A novel Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato genospecies has been identified, which causes Lyme borreliosis, according to research published online Feb. 5 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Incidence of Dementia Down in Framingham Heart Study

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of dementia decreased over three decades among participants in the Framingham Heart Study, according to research published in the Feb. 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Task-Oriented Rehab Not Superior for Motor Stroke

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with motor stroke and primarily moderate upper extremity impairment, a structured, task-oriented rehabilitation program is not superior to occupational therapy, according to a study published in the Feb. 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Tasering Found to Cause Short-Term Cognitive Impairment

TUESDAY, Feb. 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Being shocked by a Taser stun gun can cause short-term cognitive impairment similar to dementia, according to a new study.

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Botox May Reduce Chronic Neuropathic Pain

TUESDAY, Feb. 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Subcutaneous botulinum toxin type A (BTX-A) injections appear to safely and effectively reduce chronic neuropathic pain in patients with spinal cord injury, according to a study published online Jan. 27 in the Annals of Neurology.

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AMA Highlights Issues Relating to Medical Liability Reform

MONDAY, Feb. 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Medical liability reforms are likely to be advanced and challenged in 2016, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Three-Fold Increased Suicide Risk After Concussion

MONDAY, Feb. 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of suicide is increased after concussion, particularly after concussions on weekends, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Doctors Offer Suggestions for Electronic Health Records

FRIDAY, Feb. 5, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians recently met in Seattle to discuss the difficulties and benefits associated with electronic health records (EHRs) in a third town hall meeting on the subject, according to a report published by the American Medical Association.

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Seven Tips Provided for Optimizing Practice Revenue

THURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Business operations data represent a relatively untapped resource for optimizing practice revenue, and can indicate areas of strength and opportunities for improvement, according to a report published in Medical Economics.

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Patient-Centered System Recommended for Medical Billing

THURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Simplification, consolidation, and real time point-of-care information could address the inefficiencies in the medical billing system, according to an Ideas and Opinions piece published online Feb. 2 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Video Games Offer Educational Methods for Med Students

THURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Video games can play a role in medical education, offering new methods for teaching medical students, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Axonal Injury in Brain Trauma Tied to β-Amyloid Burden

THURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Imaging studies suggest that the development of β-amyloid (Aβ) plaques in individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) may be related to the presence of axonal damage, according to research published online Feb. 3 in Neurology.

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Minimal Benzodiazepine Exposure May Up Dementia Risk

THURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with minimal exposure to benzodiazepine have a slightly increased risk of dementia, according to a study published online Feb. 2 in The BMJ.

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Physicians Should Actively Address Tackling in Football

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians should take a more active stand against tackle football, according to a perspective piece published in the Feb. 4 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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ACIP Approves 2016 Adult Immunization Schedule

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has approved the recommended adult immunization schedule for 2016. The recommendations are published as a clinical guideline in the Feb. 2 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Mercury From Seafood Not Tied to Brain Neuropathology

TUESDAY, Feb. 2, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Seafood consumption is associated with increased brain levels of mercury, but these levels are not associated with brain neuropathology, according to a study published in the Feb. 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Tips Presented for Encouraging Treatment Adherence

TUESDAY, Feb. 2, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Tips for increasing patient adherence to treatment plans include patient engagement and addressing barriers to adherence, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Researchers Say JNC8 Recs May Put Some Patients at Risk

TUESDAY, Feb. 2, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For people 60 and older, the Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC8) in 2014 recommended raising the blood pressure level at which doctors prescribe treatment from 140 to 150 systolic blood pressure. But individuals with systolic blood pressure of 140 to 149 have a 70 percent increased risk of stroke compared to people with lower blood pressure, according to research published online Feb. 1 in Hypertension.

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Few Adults Discuss Subjective Memory Complaints With Doctors

TUESDAY, Feb. 2, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Few adults aged 45 years or older with subjective memory complaints (SMCs) report discussing these with a health care professional, according to a study published online Jan. 28 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

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Opioids Don't Ease Disability in Neuropathic Pain

MONDAY, Feb. 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Taking prescription opioids doesn't improve movement or reduce disability for patients with neuropathic pain, according to a study published recently in Pain Medicine.

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Increasing Weight Loss From Mid- to Late-Life May Identify MCI Risk

MONDAY, Feb. 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Increasing weight loss from midlife to late life may be a marker for mild cognitive impairment (MCI), according to a study published online Feb. 1 in JAMA Neurology.

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Mobile Texts May Up Adherence to Meds for Chronic Illness

MONDAY, Feb. 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Mobile telephone text messaging may be a promising new way to improve adherence to medications for chronic diseases, according to research published online Feb. 1 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Patients and Families Highlight Value of Nurse Practitioners

MONDAY, Feb. 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Patients and their families believe that teams in acute and primary care are more effective when they include nurse practitioners, according to research published online Jan. 27 in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

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Comorbidity Affects Fitness-to-Drive Recs in Parkinson's Disease

MONDAY, Feb. 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Comorbidities in Parkinson's disease patients impact physicians' fitness-to-drive recommendations, according to a study published online Jan. 25 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Proton Radiotherapy May Be New Option for Peds Brain Tumor

MONDAY, Feb. 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- An open-label, phase 2 trial showed acceptable toxicity and survival rates for the use of proton radiotherapy in children with medulloblastoma. The findings were published online Jan. 29 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Many Physicians Show Tendency to Undertreat With Statins

MONDAY, Feb. 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Some clinical departments tend to undertreat when prescribing statins, according to a study published in the February issue of the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.

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