February 2017 Briefing - Neurology

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

Strategies Suggested to Protect Practices From Hackers

TUESDAY, Feb. 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Steps should be taken to protect medical practices, including small practices, from hackers, according to a report published in Medical Economics.

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Physician Burnout Eroding Sense of Calling

TUESDAY, Feb. 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For physicians across specialties, burnout is associated with reduced odds of a sense of calling, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Higher Dietary Potassium to Sodium Ratio Can Lower CVD Risk

TUESDAY, Feb. 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Higher dietary potassium seems to be associated with reduced blood pressure, regardless of sodium intake, with the postulated mechanism involving the distal tubule sodium chloride cotransporter (NCC), according to research published online Feb. 7 in the American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism.

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Comorbid Neuropathies Common With MCI Diagnosis

TUESDAY, Feb. 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is frequently associated with comorbid neuropathologies, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Supreme Court Rules Patient Safety Data Subject to Litigation

MONDAY, Feb. 27, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The Supreme Court of Florida has reversed a District Court of Appeal decision deeming information related to patient safety unprotected from litigation discovery, according to a report published from the American Medical Association.

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Retinal OCT Measures Tied to Intracranial Pressure in Children

MONDAY, Feb. 27, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Peripapillary retinal optical coherence tomography (OCT) measures are associated with intracranial pressure in children, according to a study published online Feb. 23 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

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Deep Brain Stimulation Beneficial in Anorexia Nervosa

MONDAY, Feb. 27, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is associated with significant improvements in affective symptoms and body mass index (BMI) in treatment-refractory anorexia nervosa, according to a study published online Feb. 23 in The Lancet.

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$20 Million Awarded for Quality Payment Program Training

FRIDAY, Feb. 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- About $20 million has been awarded to 11 organizations for the first of a five-year program to provide training and education about the Quality Payment Program for clinicians in individual or small group practices, with up to $80 million to be invested over the remaining four years, according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

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Cyberattacks Remain Serious Threat to Health Providers

THURSDAY, Feb. 23, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Cyberattacks remain a serious threat to small providers as well as big institutions, according to a report published in Medical Economics.

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Off-Label Antidepressant Use Common, but Evidence Lacking

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Up to one-third of antidepressants are prescribed for pain, insomnia, migraine, or other unapproved uses, but just 16 percent of those off-label prescriptions are supported by strong research, according to a study published online Feb. 21 in The BMJ.

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Health Information Theft a Pressing Concern for U.S. Patients

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Forty-four percent of U.S. adults are worried about having their personal health care information stolen, according to findings from the Xerox eHealth Survey published Feb. 9 in HIT Consultant.

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Trials Highlight Benefits, Risks of Testosterone Treatment

TUESDAY, Feb. 21, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Testosterone treatment can boost bone density and reduce anemia in older men with low levels of the hormone, but it might also increase the risk of future adverse cardiovascular events, a new set of trials suggests. The research was published Feb. 21 in either the Journal of the American Medical Association or JAMA Internal Medicine.

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CMS Rule Set to Stabilize Small Health Insurance Markets

TUESDAY, Feb. 21, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed a rule in relation to new reforms intended to stabilize individual and small group health insurance markets for 2018.

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Reduced Endothelium-Dependent Vasodilation in T2DM

TUESDAY, Feb. 21, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with type 2 diabetes have reduced endothelium-dependent vasodilation, regardless of the presence of polyneuropathy, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in Diabetes Care.

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Better Stem Cell Tx Outcomes for Younger MS Patients

MONDAY, Feb. 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Stem cell transplants may halt the progression of aggressive multiple sclerosis (MS) in nearly half of those with the disease, but selecting the right patients for the treatment is key, according to a study published online Feb. 20 in JAMA Neurology.

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Early PT Not Tied to Lower Health Care Use Later On

MONDAY, Feb. 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Early use of physical therapy (PT) for new low back pain in older adults is not associated with less subsequent back pain-specific health care utilization, compared with patients not receiving early PT, according to a study published in the March issue of The Spine Journal.

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D.C. Zika Tests Were Flawed

FRIDAY, Feb. 17, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Two women in Washington, D.C., were incorrectly found to be negative for Zika virus last year due to flawed testing, health officials said Thursday.

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Delayed Development ID'd in Five Brain Regions of ADHD Patients

THURSDAY, Feb. 16, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with the delayed development of five brain regions and should be considered a brain disorder, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in The Lancet Psychiatry.

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Health Care Spending Expected to Grow 5.6% Annually to 2025

THURSDAY, Feb. 16, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Health care spending is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 5.6 percent from 2016 to 2025, according to a report published online Feb. 15 in Health Affairs.

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Hormone Therapy Doesn't Appear to Protect Against Alzheimer's

THURSDAY, Feb. 16, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Women who use hormone therapy (HT) after menopause may not have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD), although there is some evidence that long-term use -- over a decade -- might be tied to a lower risk, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in Neurology.

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MRI Can Identify Early Signs of ASD in High-Risk Infants

THURSDAY, Feb. 16, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- By using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to evaluate size, surface area, and thickness of the cerebral cortex as an infant reaches the 6-month and 12-month marks, it may be possible to predict autism spectrum disorder (ASD) risk with 90 percent accuracy, according to research published online Feb. 15 in Nature.

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Evidence of CTE Identified in Former Soccer Players

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For the first time, evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in retired soccer players has been confirmed, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in Acta Neuropathologica.

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Bacteria, Fungi Found in Some Medicinal Marijuana Samples

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Medical marijuana may carry infectious bacteria and fungi that can pose a life-threatening risk to cancer patients who use it to ease the side effects of chemotherapy, according to a study published online recently in Clinical Microbiology and Infection.

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AHA: CVD Expected to Cost U.S. $1.1 Trillion Per Year by 2035

TUESDAY, Feb. 14, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is increasing in the United States, with costs expected to double from $555 billion in 2016 to $1.1 trillion in 2035, a new American Heart Association report estimates.

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ACP Issues Guideline for Treating Acute, Subacute, Chronic LBP

TUESDAY, Feb. 14, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- First-line therapy for patients with low back pain should be simple non-pharmacological remedies -- from heat wraps to physical therapy, according to a new clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians (ACP) published online Feb. 14 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Use of Multiple CNS-Affecting Drugs Increasing Among Seniors

MONDAY, Feb. 13, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- There has been a sharp rise in the number of American seniors who take three or more medications that affect their central nervous system, according to a research letter published online Feb. 13 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Review Links Albuminuria to Cognitive Impairment, Dementia

MONDAY, Feb. 13, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Albuminuria is associated with cognitive impairment, dementia, and cognitive decline, according to a review published online Feb. 2 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Concussion May Affect Driving Even After Symptoms Are Gone

FRIDAY, Feb. 10, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Even after their symptoms disappear, concussion patients may still have difficulty driving, according to research published online Jan. 24 in the Journal of Neurotrauma.

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FDA Approves Emflaza for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

FRIDAY, Feb. 10, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Emflaza (deflazacort) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) in patients 5 years and older, the agency said Thursday in a news release.

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Peroxide Ingestion As 'Cleansing Agent' Can Be Fatal

FRIDAY, Feb. 10, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Ingesting high-concentration hydrogen peroxide as a "natural cure" or cleansing agent is a dangerous practice that is associated with a high incidence of embolic events, according to a study published recently in Annals of Emergency Medicine.

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Valproic Acid Plasma Levels Down With Concomitant Meropenem

THURSDAY, Feb. 9, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Concomitant use of valproic acid (VPA) and meropenem (MEPM) is associated with a decrease in VPA plasma levels, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.

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Diagnostic Potential for Blood-Based NfL in Parkinson's Disease

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Measuring blood neurofilament light chain (NfL) levels may help distinguish Parkinson's disease (PD) from atypical parkinsonian disorders (APD), according to a study published online Feb. 8 in Neurology.

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Very Brief Exposure to Phobic Stimuli Beneficial in Therapy

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to phobic images without conscious awareness may be more effective than longer, conscious exposure for reducing fear, according to a study published online Feb. 6 in Human Brain Mapping.

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Mortality Down for U.S. Patients Treated by International Doctors

MONDAY, Feb. 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Mortality rates are lower for older Americans treated by doctors trained in other countries than by those who went to a U.S. medical school, according to research published online Feb. 3 in The BMJ.

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Zoster Ups Stroke Risk in Patients With Autoimmune Disease

FRIDAY, Feb. 3, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with autoimmune diseases, the risk of stroke is increased in the few months subsequent to incident herpes zoster (HZ), according to a study published online Jan. 28 in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

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High TG, Low HDL-C Levels May Help Further Stratify CHD Risk

FRIDAY, Feb. 3, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A high fasting triglyceride (TG) level combined with a low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) level is associated with increased risks of incident coronary heart disease (CHD) and ischemic stroke, especially for patients with diabetes or a low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) level of ≥130 mg/dL, independent of other atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk factors, according to a study published online Jan. 25 in Diabetes Care.

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Transverse Myelitis ID'd As Manifestation of Celiac Dx in Child

THURSDAY, Feb. 2, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Transverse myelitis (TM) can be a manifestation of celiac disease (CD) in young children, according to a case report published online Feb. 2 in Pediatrics.

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Benefits for Intensive BP Lowering in Older HTN Patients

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 1, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For older patients with hypertension, intensive blood pressure (BP) lowering strategies are associated with reduced risk of certain cardiovascular events, according to research published in the Feb. 7 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Brain-Computer Interface Lets Locked-In Patients Communicate

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 1, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A brain-computer interface can enable severely locked-in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients to answer yes-and-no questions, according to research published online Jan. 31 in PLOS Biology.

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