June 2016 Briefing - Neurology

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

Zika Virus Congenital Syndrome: A New Teratogenic Disease

THURSDAY, June 30, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Zika virus congenital syndrome is a new teratogenic disease, with many definite or probable cases presenting with normal head circumference values, according to research published online June 29 in The Lancet.

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Concussions Found to Be Common in Water Polo

THURSDAY, June 30, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Add water polo to the list of sports where concussions are common, according to findings published online June 27 in Frontiers of Neurology.

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Spinal Cord Transplant of Neural Stem Cells Can Be Safe in ALS

THURSDAY, June 30, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Intraspinal transplantation of human spinal cord-derived neural stem cells appears feasible for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but it's not yet clear whether the treatment provides any benefits, according to a study published online June 29 in Neurology.

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Cardiovascular Disease Mortality Progress Slowing Down in U.S.

WEDNESDAY, June 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The rate of decline in cardiovascular disease mortality has decelerated, according to research published online June 29 in JAMA Cardiology.

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Pregnancy May Lengthen Life of Zika Virus Infection

WEDNESDAY, June 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Infection with the Zika virus may protect against future infection, but pregnancy seems to extend how long the virus stays in the body, according to findings published online June 28 in Nature Communications.

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Pharmacy Programs to ID Opioid Abuse Effective, but Underused

WEDNESDAY, June 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Pharmacy programs to reduce opioid abuse are effective but underused, according to a new study published in the July issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

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Electronic Record Demands Are Overwhelming Many Physicians

WEDNESDAY, June 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians using electronic practice tools report higher rates of burnout and increased frustration with the amount of computerized paperwork, according to research published online June 27 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Two Vaccines Deemed Feasible Against Zika Virus Infection

TUESDAY, June 28, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Experimental studies support the effectiveness of two vaccine candidates against the Zika virus, according to research published online June 28 in Nature.

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Methylene Blue Appears to Boost Brain's Memory Centers

TUESDAY, June 28, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Methylene blue may increase activity in brain regions involved in short-term memory and attention, according to a study published online June 28 in Radiology.

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Too Many Elderly, Terminal Patients Getting Unnecessary Tx

TUESDAY, June 28, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Patients dying in old age often receive unnecessary end-of-life medical treatments in hospitals, according to research published online June 27 in the International Journal for Quality in Health Care.

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Coprescribing Naloxone to Opioid Users Helps Reduce ER Visits

TUESDAY, June 28, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Patients on long-term opioid therapy who receive prescriptions for naloxone are less likely to return for emergency care related to opioid use, according to a study published online June 28 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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End-of-Life Care Received Varies Based on Type of Disease

TUESDAY, June 28, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Family-reported quality of end-of-life care is significantly better for patients with cancer or dementia than for patients with other chronic conditions, according to research published online June 26 in JAMA Internal Medicine to coincide with presentation at AcademyHealth's Annual Research Meeting, held from June 26 to 28 in Boston.

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Coenzyme Q10 Levels Linked to Multiple System Atrophy

TUESDAY, June 28, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with multiple system atrophy (MSA) have reduced levels of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), according to a study published online June 27 in JAMA Neurology.

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Clopidogrel Plus Aspirin Good for Noncarriers of CYP2C19 Variants

TUESDAY, June 28, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with minor ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack, the risk of new stroke is reduced with use of clopidogrel plus aspirin versus aspirin alone among those who are not carriers of the CYP2C19 loss-of-function alleles, according to a study published online June 23 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The research was published to coincide with the Second Annual Scientific Session of the Chinese Stroke Association and the Tiantan International Stroke Conference, held from June 24 to 26 in Beijing.

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Patients Face High Hospital Bills Despite Having Insurance

MONDAY, June 27, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Costs of hospitalization for privately insured adults rose more than 37 percent over five years, with patients paying more than $1,000 on average by 2013, according to research published online June 27 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Infant Milestones May Indicate Later Adaptive, Cognitive Skills

MONDAY, June 27, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Infants who reach certain milestones sooner tend to have higher scores on some developmental measures by the time they are 4 years old, according to a study published online June 27 in Pediatrics.

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DNA Tests May Aid Diagnosis of CNS Infections

FRIDAY, June 24, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Genetic testing may help diagnose or rule out central nervous system (CNS) infections, according to research published online June 13 in Neurology: Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation.

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2017 Will Bring Premium Rate Increases Under ACA

FRIDAY, June 24, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Health insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act will rise in 2017, analysts and insurance brokers say.

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Nerve Transposition Technique Successful in Facial Paralysis

FRIDAY, June 24, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- After facial paralysis, mobilization and transposition of the intratemporal segment of the facial nerve for end-to-side coaptation to the hypoglossal nerve can restore facial tone and symmetry, according to research published online June 23 in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.

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Exposure to the Dengue Virus May Up Potency of Zika Infection

THURSDAY, June 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Prior exposure to the dengue fever virus may increase the severity of Zika virus infection, according to a study published online June 23 in Nature Immunology.

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Digital Technology Holds Potential in Emergency CVD Care

THURSDAY, June 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Smartphones, apps, and other digital technology could speed emergency care to patients experiencing an acute myocardial infarction (AMI), stroke, or cardiac arrest, according to a new report issued by the American Heart Association (AHA) and published online June 22 in Circulation.

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Smartphone Use at Night May Result in Monocular 'Blindness'

THURSDAY, June 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A short-lived optical sensation can lead some smartphone users to mistakenly believe they've lost sight in one eye, according to a research letter published in the June 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Zika Infection Also Linked to Uveitis in Adults

THURSDAY, June 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- In a letter published online June 22 in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers describe the case of a man who was infected with Zika and developed uveitis.

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CDC: Alternative Medicine a Booming Business in U.S.

WEDNESDAY, June 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Americans spent more than $30 billion out of pocket in 2012 on chiropractors and other complementary health practitioners, as well as supplements and other forms of alternative medicine, according to research published online June 22 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Health Statistics Reports.

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Risk of Cardiovascular Events Up in Black Patients With A-Fib

WEDNESDAY, June 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Black Americans with atrial fibrillation are at higher risk than whites for serious cardiovascular complications and death, according to a study published online June 22 in JAMA Cardiology.

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Statins Could Reduce Risk of Infection in Stroke Patients

WEDNESDAY, June 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Statins could significantly reduce the risk of infection in stroke patients, according to a study published online June 9 in the Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases.

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Nine-Protein Risk Score May Help Predict CV Events in Stable CHD

WEDNESDAY, June 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A nine-protein risk score may help predict cardiovascular events among patients with stable coronary heart disease (CHD), according to a study published in the June 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Tips Provided for Leveraging Social Media

TUESDAY, June 21, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- During a presentation at the 2016 American Medical Association Annual Meeting, Kevin Pho, M.D., founder and editor of the popular physician blog KevinMD, shared insights into making a difference in health care through use of social media.

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Too Many A-Fib Patients Taking Aspirin Instead of Anticoagulant

TUESDAY, June 21, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- More than one-third of U.S. patients with atrial fibrillation who need anticoagulation to prevent strokes aren't receiving it, according to a study published in the June 28 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Moderately Low LDL May Be Enough to Ward Off CVD Risk

TUESDAY, June 21, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Very low target low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels may not benefit all patients with preexisting heart disease, according to a study published online June 20 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Placebo Effect Seen in Brain-Training Program Effectiveness

TUESDAY, June 21, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Cognitive-training programs may be offering only placebo effects, according to a study published online June 20 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Sleep Apnea Could Worsen Cognitive Deficits in MS Patients

TUESDAY, June 21, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may be associated with cognitive dysfunction in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study published in the May issue of SLEEP.

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Rates of Parkinson's Disease Rising Among U.S. Males

MONDAY, June 20, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Rates of Parkinson's disease have increased for U.S. men over the past three decades, and the trend could be tied to declines in smoking, according to a report published online June 20 in JAMA Neurology.

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One Free Meal From Industry Ups Brand-Name Rx Among Doctors

MONDAY, June 20, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians who receive even one free meal, valued at less than $20 on average, are more likely to prescribe a promoted brand-name drug than a cheaper generic alternative, compared with doctors who did not accept a meal, according to a study published online June 20 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Reset Room Can Help Address Physician Burnout

MONDAY, June 20, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The creation of a reset room is one of several solutions that can help physicians and medical providers address burnout, according to a report published by the American Medical Association.

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Scientists Pinpoint Potential Drug Target for Zika Virus

MONDAY, June 20, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A potential way to prevent Zika and similar viruses from spreading in the body has been identified, according to research published online June 17 in Nature.

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CDC: New Test May Help Screen Blood Donations for Zika

FRIDAY, June 17, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The Zika virus is spreading through Puerto Rico, placing hundreds of pregnant women at risk for delivering babies with microcephaly, and blood centers in Puerto Rico have begun testing donations for Zika, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

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Strategy Needed to Address Impending Physician Shortage

FRIDAY, June 17, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Steps should be taken to combat the impending physician shortage of between 61,700 and 94,700 doctors that the United States is expected to face over the next decade, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Gross Total Resection for the Best Results in Glioblastoma

FRIDAY, June 17, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- More extensive surgeries may best optimize patient survival in glioblastoma multiforme, according to research published online June 16 in JAMA Oncology.

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Exercise After Learning May Improve Knowledge Retention

FRIDAY, June 17, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Physical activity after learning might help improve retention of new information, but the exercise has to be done within a specific time window, and it can't be immediately after learning, according to a study published online June 16 in Current Biology.

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Recombinant tPA Safe for Patients With Wake-Up Stroke

FRIDAY, June 17, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with wake-up stroke (WUS), treatment with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA) seems safe, according to a study published online June 6 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Pharmacist Involvement Can Improve Cardiovascular Care

THURSDAY, June 16, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with poorly controlled cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors could improve their prognosis by having pharmacists help manage their care, according to a study published in the June 21 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Potential Impact of Single-Payer Health Care Discussed

THURSDAY, June 16, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is promoting his version of single-payer health care, although the actual impact of such a system is unclear, according to a report published in Medical Economics.

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Prices for Care Rise Significantly As Multi-Hospital Systems Emerge

THURSDAY, June 16, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital prices in California increased substantially from 2004 to 2013, with a larger increase in hospitals that are members of multi-hospital systems, according to a study published online June 9 in Inquiry.

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Implantable Ultrasound Device Augments Chemo in Glioblastoma

THURSDAY, June 16, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- An implantable ultrasound device (SonoCloud) appears to enhance chemotherapy treatment in glioblastoma, according to research published online June 15 in Science Translational Medicine.

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Economic Impact of Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Injury Measured

WEDNESDAY, June 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The management of recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) injury has a considerable economic impact, according to a study published online June 5 in Head & Neck.

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Four-Step Strategy Suggested for Boosting Practice Quality of Care

WEDNESDAY, June 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Four steps can help doctors improve patient care and office efficiency, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Sales of Zecuity Migraine Skin Patches Halted

TUESDAY, June 14, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Sales of the migraine treatment skin patch Zecuity (sumatriptan iontophoretic transdermal system) have been halted after patients reported suffering burns and scars where the patches were applied, Teva Pharmaceutical says.

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Newly-Infected HIV Patients Often Display Neurologic Systems

MONDAY, June 13, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Many newly infected HIV patients experience neurological symptoms, but they tend to be mild and subside after initiation of antiretroviral treatment, according to a study published online June 10 in Neurology.

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Many Patients Prescribed Opioids Sharing Leftover Pills

MONDAY, June 13, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of patients prescribed opioids receive more than they need, and many share the drugs or fail to store them securely, according to research published online June 13 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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American Seniors With Diabetes Living Longer Without Disability

MONDAY, June 13, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- American seniors with diabetes are starting to live longer without disabilities, according to a study published online June 10 in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

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Type of Shaving Impacts Body Image in Elective Cranial Sx

MONDAY, June 13, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing elective cranial surgery, the rate of surgical site infections is similar for regional and strip hair shaving, but regional shaving negatively affects patient body image, according to a study published in the July issue of the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

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New Post-Chemo Stem Cell Transplant Promising in MS

FRIDAY, June 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A treatment combining chemotherapy and an autologous hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (aHSCT) could represent a major advance against aggressive multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study published online June 9 in The Lancet.

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WHO Advises Delaying Pregnancy in Zika-Affected Areas

FRIDAY, June 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- In order to avoid having infants with Zika-related birth defects, women living in areas where the virus is circulating should consider delaying pregnancy, according to the World Health Organization.

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Risk of S. aureus Bacteremia Up in Patients on Glucocorticoids

FRIDAY, June 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Patients taking systemic glucocorticoids are at higher risk for community-acquired Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia (CA-SAB), according to research published online June 8 in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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California's Right-to-Die Law Now in Effect

THURSDAY, June 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- California on Thursday becomes the fifth and largest state in the country to allow terminally ill patients to end their own lives.

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Faster Results for Experimental Rx in Chronic Migraine

THURSDAY, June 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental drug -- TEV-48125 -- brings fast relief to patients with debilitating chronic migraines, according to a new study published online June 8 in Neurology.

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Electroacupuncture May Benefit Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

WEDNESDAY, June 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Electroacupuncture may be a beneficial treatment option for carpal tunnel syndrome, according to a study published online June 6 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Shift Work 'Unwinds' Body Clock, May Lead to More Severe Stroke

WEDNESDAY, June 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Circadian rhythm disruption associated with shifted light:dark (LD) cycles exacerbates stroke outcomes in a rat model, according to an experimental study published online June 2 in Endocrinology.

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Early Use of Anesthesia Does Not Lead to Cognitive Deficits in Kids

WEDNESDAY, June 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- General anesthesia doesn't seem to harm young children's mental development, according to research published in the June 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Clonidine Has Antipyretic Effect in ICU Patients

WEDNESDAY, June 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For mechanically ventilated intensive care unit (ICU) patients, clonidine in addition to commonly used sedative agents has an antipyretic effect, according to a study published online June 6 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

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Late-Term Gestation Linked to Improved Cognitive Outcomes

TUESDAY, June 7, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Late-term infants have better cognitive outcomes but may have impaired physical outcomes compared with full-term infants, according to a study published online June 6 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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Zika Virus May Be Transmitted Through Oral Sex

FRIDAY, June 3, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- It may be possible to transmit Zika virus through oral sex, according to a research letter published in the June 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Stem Cells Can Restore Motor Function in Stroke Patients

FRIDAY, June 3, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Injecting modified, human, adult stem cells directly into the brain is a safe and effective way to restore motor function in stroke patients long after their stroke occurred, according to a study published online June 2 in Stroke.

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AMA Module Promotes Training of Medical Assistants

THURSDAY, June 2, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A new training module can improve training for medical assistants (MAs), according to a report from the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Decline in Complex Congenital Heart Defects in Down Syndrome

THURSDAY, June 2, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For infants diagnosed with Down syndrome there has been a reduction in the risk of complex congenital heart defects, according to a study published online June 1 in Pediatrics.

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Short-Term Risk of Arrhythmia Up With New ADHD Rx

THURSDAY, June 2, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Methylphenidate can increase the risk of arrhythmias during the first two months of use, according to a study published online May 31 in The BMJ.

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Patients Like to See Physicians Wearing White Coats

THURSDAY, June 2, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Most patients prefer that physicians wear white coats, according to research published online June 1 in JAMA Dermatology.

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Premenstrual Estrogen Levels Drop More Rapidly in Migraineurs

THURSDAY, June 2, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- In women who get migraines, levels of estrogen drop more rapidly in the days before menstruation, compared to that seen in women without migraines, according to a study published online June 1 in Neurology.

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CVD Risk Appears to Be Increased in Women With Migraine

WEDNESDAY, June 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Women who suffer from migraine headaches may have a slightly increased risk of heart disease or stroke, according to a study published online May 31 in The BMJ.

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FDA Urges Food Manufacturers to Reduce Sodium in Their Products

WEDNESDAY, June 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants the food industry to voluntarily reduce the amount of sodium in processed and commercially prepared food.

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Blood-Brain Barrier Leaks Seen in Patients With Early Alzheimer's

WEDNESDAY, June 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Patients in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease may have more leakages in the blood-brain barrier (BBB), according to a study published online May 31 in Radiology.

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