July 2015 Briefing - Neurology

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Neurology for July 2015. 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.

CDC: 20 Percent of U.S. Adults Have a Disability

FRIDAY, July 31, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- More than 50 million Americans live with a physical or mental disability, according to research published in the July 31 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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AMA Wants Doctor Input on EHRs, Meaningful Use

FRIDAY, July 31, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Association (AMA) is encouraging clinicians to share their perspectives on electronic heath records (EHRs) and the meaningful use program.

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U.S. Health Spending Projected to Rise 5.8 Percent By 2024

FRIDAY, July 31, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- From 2014 to 2024, U.S. health spending growth is projected to increase by about 6 percent, according to a report published online July 28 in Health Affairs.

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U.S. Medical Groups Fighting Prescription Opioid Abuse

THURSDAY, July 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Led by the American Medical Association (AMA), a group of 27 major U.S. medical organizations are banding together to tackle the continuing epidemic of opioid abuse.

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Hippocampal Insulin Resistance Linked to Neuroplasticity

THURSDAY, July 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Hippocampal insulin resistance may be a key mediator of cognitive deficits, independent of glycemic control, according to an experimental study published online July 27 in Diabetes.

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Autism Spectrum Disorder Care Costs Could Top $500B by 2025

WEDNESDAY, July 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The annual cost of caring for Americans with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) might reach $500 billion by 2025, with outside estimates approaching $1 trillion, according to a study published online July 17 in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

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Early Surgery Tied to Increased Mortality in Polytraumatized

WEDNESDAY, July 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For polytraumatized patients, surgery for thoracic spine trauma within 72 hours of trauma is associated with increased mortality, according to a study published in the Aug. 1 issue of The Spine Journal.

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Doctors Perform First Double Hand Transplant in a Child

WEDNESDAY, July 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A young Baltimore boy has two new transplanted hands to replace ones he lost to amputation five years ago, his doctors announced Tuesday.

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2015 MOC Program Expected to Cost $5.7 Billion Over 10 Years

WEDNESDAY, July 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The 2015 version of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) maintenance-of-certification (MOC) program is expected to generate considerable costs, mainly due to physician time costs, according to research published online July 28 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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No Lasting Value for Minimally Invasive Lumbar Laminotomy

TUESDAY, July 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with neural foraminal or lateral recess stenosis with unilateral leg neurogenic symptoms (NS), a minimally invasive surgical (MIS) approach offers no advantage over an open lumbar laminotomy approach in the longer term, according to a study published in the Aug. 1 issue of The Spine Journal.

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Patients Report Improved Care Access, Better Health With ACA

TUESDAY, July 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Millions more Americans have affordable health insurance, access to a personal doctor, and feel they are in better health following the first two open-enrollment periods of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a new analysis shows. The results are published in the July 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Visit-to-Visit BP Variability May Impact Cardiovascular Outcomes

TUESDAY, July 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Wide blood pressure fluctuations may signal an increased risk of coronary heart disease and early death, according to research published online July 28 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Components of Mediterranean Lifestyle Cut Postprandial Lipemia

TUESDAY, July 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Components of the Mediterranean lifestyle may reduce postprandial lipemia (PPL), an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, according to a review published online July 7 in the American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism.

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Delays Noted in the Reporting of Serious Patient Harms to FDA

MONDAY, July 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- About 10 percent of cases where a drug does serious harm are not reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration within the required 15-day period, according to a new analysis published online July 27 as a research letter in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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'Driving Straight' May Be Suitable Road Test in Dementia

FRIDAY, July 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Drivers with dementia who have more difficulties driving straight and making left and right turns are more likely to fail road testing, according to a study published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Cannabis Alleviates Peripheral Neuropathic Pain in Diabetes

FRIDAY, July 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A small trial shows a dose-dependent reduction in peripheral neuropathic pain in patients with diabetes, according to a study published in the July issue of The Journal of Pain.

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Mouse Model of Head Transplantation Is Promising

FRIDAY, July 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The mouse model of allo-head and body reconstruction (AHBR) is feasible for avoiding brain ischemia during transplantation, according to a study published in the August issue of CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics.

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Expansion of High-Deductible Plans to Impact Physician Care

FRIDAY, July 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- As a result of the increasing popularity of high-deductible health care plans, patients now have more financial responsibility for medical services, which is impacting physician practices, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Adherence to Stroke Guidelines Overestimated by Hospitals

THURSDAY, July 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Many U.S. hospitals overestimate their ability to provide fast delivery of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) to stroke patients, according to a study published online July 22 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Optical Coherence Tomography IDs Brain Atrophy in MS

WEDNESDAY, July 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Rates of ganglion cell + inner plexiform layer (GCIP) atrophy mirrors that of whole brain atrophy in multiple sclerosis (MS), as measured by optimal coherence tomography (OCT), according to a study published online July 18 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Glitazone Usage Tied to Lower Risk for Parkinson's Disease

WEDNESDAY, July 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Use of glitazones may help protect against Parkinson's disease, according to new research published online July 21 in PLOS Medicine.

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CDC: Aspirin Use Common Among Americans With Heart Disease

TUESDAY, July 21, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- About seven in 10 Americans with a history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) or stroke regularly take aspirin, according to a report published in the July 17 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Clinicians May Harbor Biases About Sexual Orientation

FRIDAY, July 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Clinicians may be biased when it comes to the sexual orientation of patients, new research suggests. The study was published online July 16 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Treats Tinnitus

FRIDAY, July 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) can improve tinnitus severity, according to a study published online July 16 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

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AMA Suggests Ways to Encourage Use of Patient Portals

THURSDAY, July 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Measures can be taken to encourage patients to use patient portals to help ensure practices meet current Stage 2 meaningful use requirements, according to an article published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Choosing Wisely: How to Implement in Clinical Practice

THURSDAY, July 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Strategies should be adopted to help with implementation of the Choosing Wisely program, which was designed to address the problem of medical overuse, according to an article published in the July/August issue of Family Practice Management.

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Geographic Expansion of High-Risk Areas for Lyme Disease

THURSDAY, July 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- From 1993 to 2012 there has been geographic expansion of high-risk areas for Lyme disease, according to a study published online July 15 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Emerging Infectious Diseases.

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Standing Work May Have Long-Term Health Consequences

THURSDAY, July 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Standing work is associated with increased muscle fatigue, according to a study published online June 5 in Human Factors.

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New Guidelines Deemed Better for Identifying Statin Candidates

WEDNESDAY, July 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Updated guidelines for cholesterol management were released in 2013 by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA). Now, a new report indicates they are more accurate and efficient than earlier guidelines in identifying adults at high risk for cardiovascular events who could benefit from statins. The findings are published in the July 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Body Contact of Players Blamed for Most Soccer Concussions

TUESDAY, July 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- While many experts have called for a ban on "heading" the ball in youth soccer because they believe it is a leading cause of concussions, a new study suggests the body contact that often occurs during such play is to blame for most brain injuries. The findings were published online July 13 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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Formaldehyde Exposure Linked to Increased Risk of ALS in Men

TUESDAY, July 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Men whose jobs involve continual exposure to the formaldehyde in embalming fluid are three times more likely to develop amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), compared to those never exposed to the chemical, researchers reported online July 13 in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

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Stimulant Addiction May Affect Brains Differently by Gender

TUESDAY, July 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Women formerly addicted to stimulant drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine, may have a smaller amount of gray matter in the brain, according to research published online July 14 in Radiology.

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Progress in Reporting Conflict of Interest Among IRB Members

TUESDAY, July 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Among institutional review board (IRB) members, there has been positive progress in the reporting and management of conflicts of interest, according to a study published online July 13 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Arts Observation Curriculum May Be Beneficial for Medical Students

TUESDAY, July 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Use of an arts observation curriculum can help students learn to observe objectively and articulate their observations, which are important traits for clinical practice, according to an article published online July 3 in Academic Medicine.

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Uncontrolled Diabetes Linked to Increased Risk of Dementia

TUESDAY, July 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Diabetes patients with high rates of complications from the disease may face increased risk for dementia, according to a study published online July 9 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Alcohol Use Appears to Impair Driving More Than Cannabis Use

TUESDAY, July 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Drinking alcohol appears to negatively affect driving skills to a greater extent than smoking cannabis, according to research findings published online June 23 in Drug and Alcohol Dependence. And, combined use leads to greater behind-the-wheel impairment, but it doesn't double the effect.

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Secondhand Smoke Exposure Tied to Increased Stroke Risk

MONDAY, July 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke risk is increased with secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure, according to a study published online June 23 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Strategies Needed to Combat Weight Gain in Smoking Cessation

MONDAY, July 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Quitting smoking is associated with weight gain, according to a meta-analysis published online June 26 in Obesity Reviews, and clinicians are encouraged to help patients who are undergoing cessation achieve/maintain a healthy weight.

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Uric Acid Therapy Improves Stroke Outcomes in Women

FRIDAY, July 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Uric acid (UA) therapy, administered in combination with thrombolysis, is more effective in cutting stroke-related disability in women than in men, according to a study published online July 9 in Stroke.

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FDA Strengthens Heart Attack, Stroke Warning for NSAIDs

FRIDAY, July 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S Food and Drug Administration on Thursday strengthened the warning labels for non-aspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), regarding increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

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Exotic Squirrels Transmit Deadly Virus to Breeders in Germany

THURSDAY, July 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- After the mysterious deaths of three German variegated squirrel breeders, researchers have identified a deadly new virus that can be transmitted from variegated squirrels to humans. Details of the findings were published in the July 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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T2DM Linked to Declines in Cerebral Vasoreactivity, Cognition

THURSDAY, July 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- In as little as two years, patients with type 2 diabetes may exhibit diminished global and regional cerebral vasoreactivity, which could negatively affect cognitive skills, a small study suggests. The findings were published online July 8 in Neurology.

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IGF2 Variant Affects Prenatal and Postnatal Growth

THURSDAY, July 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- An IGF2 variant (c.191C→A, p.Ser64Ter) affects postnatal as well as prenatal growth among those who have inherited the variant through paternal transmission, according to a report published online July 8 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Dopamine May Up Risk-Taking Behaviors in Healthy People

THURSDAY, July 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Higher levels of dopamine may increase risk-taking behaviors in healthy people, much like dopamine-boosting medications have been shown to do in people with Parkinson's disease, according to research published in the July 8 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

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ACIP Recommends MenB Vaccine for 16- to 23-Year-Olds

WEDNESDAY, July 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has voted to issue a category B recommendation for use of two serogroup B meningococcal (MenB) vaccines in patients aged 16 to 23 years for short-term disease prevention, according to a report published by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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Correction of Vitamin B-12 Deficiency No Benefit in Seniors

WEDNESDAY, July 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For older adults, vitamin B-12 supplementation is not associated with improvements in neurologic or cognitive function, according to a study published online July 1 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Stroke Tied to Accelerated Cognitive Decline Over Long Term

TUESDAY, July 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who suffer a stroke are more likely to experience an accelerated decline in their global cognition and executive function for at least six years following the acute event, according to a report published in the July 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Life Expectancy Substantially Drops With Disease Combo

TUESDAY, July 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- While having one major health problem -- such as diabetes, myocardial infarction, or stroke -- can increase the risk for an early death, new research warns that the risk of dying prematurely goes up significantly for individuals with more than one of these conditions. The findings were reported in the July 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Higher Pregnancy/Childbirth Risks for Women With Epilepsy

TUESDAY, July 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women with epilepsy appear to have a heightened risk of adverse outcomes, including a higher mortality risk, according to research published online July 6 in JAMA Neurology.

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No 'Downside' With Residents Assisting During Surgery

TUESDAY, July 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Patients undergoing brain or spine surgery are at no greater risk if residents assist during the operation, a new study indicates. The findings were published recently in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

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Very Small Brain Lesions Linked to Risk of Stroke, Death

TUESDAY, July 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Very small subclinical cerebral lesions are associated with increased risks of stroke and death, according to a study published in the July 7 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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USPSTF: Evidence Lacking for Speech, Language Screening

TUESDAY, July 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has concluded that the current evidence is insufficient to weigh the benefits and harms of screening for speech and language delays in children aged younger than 5 years. The final recommendation statement has been published online July 7 in Pediatrics.

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Court Upholds Medical Liability Damages Cap

TUESDAY, July 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The non-economic damages cap under the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) has been upheld again in a California court of appeal, according to a report published by the American Medical Association.

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Despite Risk to Patients, Health Providers Often Work While Sick

MONDAY, July 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Many health care professionals work when they are sick, putting their patients at risk for serious illness or even death, according to a study published online July 6 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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Health Insurance Expansion Likely to Increase HTN Treatment

MONDAY, July 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Efforts to expand health insurance coverage are expected to lead to increased treatment rates among nonelderly patients with hypertension, which will have significant health benefits, according to a study published online July 2 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

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Regional Variation in Treatment of Ischemic Stroke

THURSDAY, July 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- There is considerable regional variation in thrombolysis treatment for ischemic stroke, according to a study published online June 2 in Stroke.

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Residents' Knowledge of High-Value Care Varies

WEDNESDAY, July 1, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. internal medicine (IM) residents report varying knowledge and practice of high-value care (HVC), according to research published online June 16 in Academic Medicine.

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Recurrent Major Depression May Damage Hippocampus

WEDNESDAY, July 1, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Smaller hippocampal volumes are seen in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), and the association appears to be moderated by age of onset and first episode versus recurrent episode status, according to new research published online June 30 in Molecular Psychiatry.

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Public Opinion Sought on New Licensure for Assistant Physicians

WEDNESDAY, July 1, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- New classification of licensure for assistant physicians has been created, and public opinion is being sought by the Missouri State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts prior to filing these rules with the Secretary of State's Office and the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.

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Vitamin D Shows Negative Association With ALS Progression

WEDNESDAY, July 1, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Higher vitamin D levels were associated with a negative effect on prognosis in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), according to a study published online June 20 in CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics.

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