June 2017 Briefing - Neurology

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

Poll Finds Seniors Struggling With Drug Costs Don't Seek Help

FRIDAY, June 30, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Many older Americans who have difficulty paying for their medications don't seek help in finding more economical options, according to the University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging.

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Doctors Urged to Take Care With Electronic Communications

THURSDAY, June 29, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Care should be taken when conveying electronic messages to patients, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Health of the Nation Presented in 40th Annual CDC Report

THURSDAY, June 29, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The health of the United States is summarized in the 40th annual report published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Wireless Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Safe and Effective

THURSDAY, June 29, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Wireless peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) is beneficial for chronic intractable pain secondary to post-herpetic neuralgia, according to a case report published online June 20 in PAIN Practice.

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Teenage Weight Gain Could Up Odds of Later Stroke Risk

THURSDAY, June 29, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Teens who become overweight during adolescence appear to face a higher stroke risk later, according to a study published online June 28 in Neurology.

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FDA Seeks to Increase Number of Generic Drugs on Market

WEDNESDAY, June 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- New measures to increase the number of generic prescription drugs available to Americans have been taken by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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PPIs Not Found to Raise Risk of Alzheimer's Disease

WEDNESDAY, June 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) don't appear to increase the risk of dementia, as has been previously suspected, according to a study published online June 7 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Presence of Smartphone Cuts Available Cognitive Capacity

WEDNESDAY, June 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Just the presence of one's smartphone is associated with reduced available cognitive capacity, according to a study published recently in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research.

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Carpal Tunnel Up With Increased Electronic Device Use

FRIDAY, June 23, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Extended use of smartphones and other hand-held electronic devices leads to an increased risk of carpal tunnel syndrome, according to a study published online June 21 in Muscle & Nerve.

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High Levels of Brain Inflammation Seen in OCD

FRIDAY, June 23, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have high levels of brain inflammation, according to a study published online June 21 in JAMA Psychiatry.

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Blood Test Can Detect GLUT1 Deficiency Syndrome

FRIDAY, June 23, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A simple and rapid blood test can detect GLUT1 deficiency syndrome (DS), according to a study published online May 26 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Shared Decision-Making Encouraged in Multiple Sclerosis

FRIDAY, June 23, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Patients should be engaged in decision-making about multiple sclerosis (MS) and the treatment options available, according to a report published online May 29 in Practical Neurology.

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CDC: Zika Can Be Found in Placental, Fetal Tissue at Birth

FRIDAY, June 23, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Testing placental and fetal tissue after a child is born can confirm or rule out Zika infection, according to research published in the June 23 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Opioid Rx Too Often Given to Back Pain Patients With Depression

THURSDAY, June 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with low back pain who are depressed are more likely to be prescribed opioids, and to be prescribed higher doses, according to a study published online June 20 in PAIN Reports.

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1991-2014 Saw Minimal Change in Health Spending Per State

THURSDAY, June 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- From 1991 to 2014 there was minimal change in health spending by state, according to a study published online June 14 in Health Affairs.

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Valproic Acid Concentration Drops With Ketogenic Diet

THURSDAY, June 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with epilepsy, anti-epileptic drug serum concentrations remain stable during the ketogenic diet (KD), apart from those of valproic acid, according to a study published online June 18 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.

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Head Positioning May Not Be Key to Acute Stroke Outcome

THURSDAY, June 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Head positioning does not appear to affect survival and recovery in acute ischemic stroke patients, according to a study published in the June 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Sharp Rise Among Women for Opioid-Related Hospitalizations

WEDNESDAY, June 21, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Opioid-related hospitalizations among women in the United States increased far faster than among men between 2005 and 2014, according to the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

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CDC: Number of U.S. Counties With Zika-Carrying Mosquitoes Up

WEDNESDAY, June 21, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Mosquitoes that can spread Zika, dengue, and chikungunya viruses are in more counties in the southern United States than previously thought, according to a study published online June 19 in the Journal of Medical Entomology.

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Polymorphism in rs4343 of ACE Gene Linked to Migraine

WEDNESDAY, June 21, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) gene rs4343 polymorphism is associated with the risk of migraine, according to a letter to the editor published online June 18 in CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics.

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Yoga Noninferior to Physical Therapy in Chronic Low Back Pain

TUESDAY, June 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Yoga may be as effective as physical therapy for pain relief and improved function in patients with chronic low back pain, according to a study published online June 20 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Age a Factor in Patients Leaving Hospital Against Medical Advice

TUESDAY, June 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Although patients aged 65 and older are four times less likely to leave the hospital against medical advice than adults under 65, race/ethnicity and poverty appear to increase this risk in elderly inpatients, according to a study published online June 19 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Embolic Protection Device Useful Post Carotid Artery Stenting

TUESDAY, June 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with carotid stenosis, use of an embolic protection device is associated with reduced risk for in-hospital stroke or death, major stroke or death, and stroke after carotid artery stenting, according to a study published in the June 26 issue of JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions.

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Chronic Lyme Disease Treatments Tied to Serious Adverse Effects

MONDAY, June 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Serious bacterial infections have been documented during treatment for chronic Lyme disease, according to research published in the June 16 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Older Age Needn't Be a Barrier to Herniated Disc Surgery

MONDAY, June 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- People over age 65 shouldn't avoid surgery for a herniated disc just because of their age, as they can benefit from the procedure as much as younger patients, according to a research letter published recently in JAMA Surgery.

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VKA Monotherapy Linked to Reduced MI, Stroke Risk in A-Fib

MONDAY, June 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), vitamin K antagonist (VKA) monotherapy is associated with reduced risk of first-time myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke compared with acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) monotherapy, according to a study published in the June 20 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Health Insurers Recruiting Former Pharma Reps to Cut Costs

FRIDAY, June 16, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Health insurers are recruiting former pharmaceutical company representatives to educate doctors and help save money on prescription medications, according to a report published June 8 in Kaiser Health News.

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Horseback Riding May Improve Function in Late-Phase Stroke

FRIDAY, June 16, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Two unconventional therapies -- horseback riding and music-and-rhythm therapy -- can help stroke survivors regain lost mobility and balance years later, according to a study published online June 15 in Stroke.

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Replacing Saturated Fats With Healthy Fats Lowers CVD Risk

FRIDAY, June 16, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats can reduce cardiovascular disease risk as much as statins, according to a new American Heart Association (AHA) advisory published online June 15 in Circulation.

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AMA Endeavors to Increase Transparency of Rx Pricing

THURSDAY, June 15, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Association (AMA) is calling for more transparency in drug pricing amid rising costs that are putting some lifesaving medications out of reach for patients and communities.

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Telemedicine Consult As Effective As Office Visit for Headache

THURSDAY, June 15, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Telemedicine consultation in cases of nonacute headache is as efficient and safe as a traditional consultation, according to research published online June 14 in Neurology.

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Strategies Implemented to Cut Opioid ODs, Deaths in Maryland

THURSDAY, June 15, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Strategies are being implemented to reduce opioid overdoses and deaths in Maryland, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Antiplatelet Bleeding Risk Higher Than Expected for Older Patients

WEDNESDAY, June 14, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term daily aspirin use is linked to a higher-than-expected risk of disabling or fatal bleeding in patients aged 75 and over, according to a study published online June 13 in The Lancet.

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Olive Oil, Ibuprofen May Have Synergistic Effects

TUESDAY, June 13, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The combination of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and ibuprofen at a therapeutic dose is superior to the two compounds used separately, according to an experimental study published online June 7 in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

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Sodium Intake Not Linked to Multiple Sclerosis Progression

TUESDAY, June 13, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- There is no association between average 24-hour urine sodium levels and conversion from clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) to clinically definite multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study published online May 26 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Medical Students Lacking Proficiency in BP Measurements

MONDAY, June 12, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Medical students frequently do not achieve mastery of the skills necessary for accurate measurement of blood pressure (BP), according to a study published online April 28 in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension.

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Review: Depression Screening As Inpatient Important, Feasible

MONDAY, June 12, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Depression affects about one-third of hospital patients and could slow their recovery, according to research published recently in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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New Bill With Tort Reforms Will Protect Iowa Physicians

FRIDAY, June 9, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A new bill with tort reforms to protect Iowa physicians will take effect July 1, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Type of Hospital Doesn't Impact Thrombolysis Outcomes in Stroke

FRIDAY, June 9, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For older adults with acute stroke, treatment with intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) is associated with similar outcomes, irrespective of hospital characteristics, according to a study published online June 2 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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CDC: ~5 Percent of Pregnancies With Zika Result in Birth Defects

FRIDAY, June 9, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- About one in 20 women in the U.S. territories who were infected with Zika during pregnancy had babies with possible Zika-associated birth defects, according to research published in the June 8 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Low-Fat Dairy Intake May Up Risk of Parkinson's Disease

FRIDAY, June 9, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Consumption of low-fat dairy foods is linked with a slight increase in the risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to a study published online June 8 in Neurology.

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Lithium's Risk to Fetus May Be Lower Than Previously Thought

THURSDAY, June 8, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Lithium is linked to an increased risk of heart malformations in infants born to women taking the drug during pregnancy, but the risk is smaller than once believed, according to research published in the June 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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U.S. Leads in Income-Based Health Care Inequalities

THURSDAY, June 8, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The United States has larger income-related differences in perceptions of health and health care than other middle- and high-income countries, according to a report published in the June issue of Health Affairs.

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Researchers Target Zolmitriptan Dosing for Pediatric Migraine

THURSDAY, June 8, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- In a report published online June 5 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, recommended dosing regimens of zolmitriptan are suggested for children with migraine.

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Adverse Brain Outcomes Seen With Even Moderate Drinking

WEDNESDAY, June 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Moderate drinkers are more than three times as likely as abstainers to show abnormal levels of atrophy in the right hippocampus, according to a study published online June 6 in The BMJ.

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Chronic Pain Tied to Increased Risk of Memory Loss

WEDNESDAY, June 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic pain is associated with increased odds of mental decline and dementia, according to research published online June 5 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Health System Sees Success With E-Visits Via Patient Portal

WEDNESDAY, June 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Patient portals can successfully offer access to physicians without office visits, according to a report published online May 30 by the American Medical Association.

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Lifespan Up With Adoption of Four Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors

WEDNESDAY, June 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Adoption of four healthy lifestyle behaviors is associated with increased lifespan for men and women, according to a study published online May 31 in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

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Ablation Successful for Trigeminal Neuralgia in Pregnancy

WEDNESDAY, June 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Trigeminal neuralgia in pregnancy can be managed successfully by conventional radiofrequency ablation of Gasserian ganglion, according to a case report published online June 2 in Pain Practice.

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CDC: High-Deductible Health Plan Use Rising Among Employers

WEDNESDAY, June 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- High-deductible health plans are becoming more common among U.S. adults with employer-sponsored health insurance coverage, according to a report issued June 6 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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Combo of Several Meds at Smaller Doses May Boost HTN Care

TUESDAY, June 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Combining low doses of several different antihypertensive medications may be better than using a standard dose of just one drug, according to a review published online June 5 in Hypertension.

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Stroke Risk Elevated in Elderly Patients With Cirrhosis

TUESDAY, June 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Cirrhosis may raise older patients' odds for a stroke, particularly hemorrhagic stroke, according to a study published online June 5 in JAMA Neurology.

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Many Taking NOACs for A-Fib May Not Be Getting Right Dose

TUESDAY, June 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly one in six Americans taking non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants for atrial fibrillation may not be receiving the proper dose, according to a study published in the June 13 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Small Unruptured Intracranial Aneurysms Grow Slowly

TUESDAY, June 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Small unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) have low growth and rupture rates, according to a review published online June 6 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Positive Clinical Effects Seen for Placebos Without Deception

TUESDAY, June 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Open-label placebos are associated with a positive effect compared with no treatment in a variety of clinical conditions, according to a review and meta-analysis published online May 30 in the Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine.

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U.S. Emergency Departments Commonly Overcharging Patients

FRIDAY, June 2, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Americans are routinely overcharged for emergency department care, and minority and uninsured patients are most likely to face this issue, according to a study published online May 30 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Cool Water Works As Well As Hot for Ridding Hands of Germs

FRIDAY, June 2, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For effective hand hygiene, water temperature matters less than time, according to a study published in the June issue of the Journal of Food Protection.

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Model Predicts Acute GI Bleeding in Anticoagulated Patients

FRIDAY, June 2, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For patients taking oral anticoagulants, a new model can predict acute gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, which is associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality, according to a study published online May 19 in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Post-Op A-Fib Down With Low-Level Vagus Nerve Stimulation

FRIDAY, June 2, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing cardiac surgery, low-level vagus nerve stimulation (LLVNS) is associated with a reduction in postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) and with lower levels of inflammatory cytokines, according to a study published online May 31 in JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology.

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Reducing SBP Targets Below Current Guidelines Cuts Risk

FRIDAY, June 2, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For adults with hypertension treated with antihypertensive medication, reducing systolic blood pressure (SBP) levels to 120 to 124 mm Hg is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality, according to a review published online May 31 in JAMA Cardiology.

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Excess Weight Increases Costs Across Health Care Settings

THURSDAY, June 1, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Excess weight is associated with increased costs across health care settings, with the highest percentage increases seen in costs for medications, according to research published online May 22 in Obesity Reviews.

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Brain Changes in MS May Contribute to Lack of Empathy

THURSDAY, June 1, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Subtle brain changes may explain why some patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) lose their ability to interpret social cues, according to a study published online May 31 in Neurology.

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Risk of Conversion to Multiple Sclerosis Down With Minocycline

THURSDAY, June 1, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with a first demyelinating event (clinically isolated syndrome), treatment with minocycline is associated with reduced risk of conversion to multiple sclerosis over six months, according to a study published in the June 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Intra-Arterial Treatment Effective With Extracranial Carotid Disease

THURSDAY, June 1, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Acute intra-arterial treatment (IAT) seems to be as effective for patients with acute ischemic stroke caused by intracranial proximal occlusion with, versus those without, extracranial carotid disease (ECD), according to research published online May 23 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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