December 2017 Briefing - Neurology

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

More Daily Steps Associated With Thicker Brain Sub-Regions

THURSDAY, Dec. 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- In older adults with memory complaints but no dementia, higher physical activity (PA) levels are associated with thicker medial temporal lobe (MTL) sub-regions and better cognitive skills, according to a study published online Dec. 12 in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

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Tips Offered for Patient-Provider Opioid Tapering Talks

THURSDAY, Dec. 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Helping patients understand individualized reasons for opioid tapering and encouraging them to provide input into the process are key for patient-provider communications, according to a study published in the November issue of the Journal of Pain.

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Variation Seen in Hospice Use for Malignant Glioma

THURSDAY, Dec. 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- There are noticeable differences in hospice utilization among patients with malignant glioma (MG), with older age, female sex, and urban residence predicting longer length of stay, according to a study published recently in Neuro-Oncology.

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Criteria Developed for Idiopathic Inflammatory Myopathies

THURSDAY, Dec. 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- New classification criteria have been developed for idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIM), according to an article published in the December issue of Arthritis & Rheumatology.

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Sleep May Mediate Fish-Cognition Relationship in Children

THURSDAY, Dec. 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Greater fish consumption is associated with fewer sleep problems and higher IQ scores in children, with sleep quality partially mediating the relationship between fish consumption and verbal IQ, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in Scientific Reports.

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Neuroanatomic Abnormalities ID'd in Those at Risk for Autism

THURSDAY, Dec. 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Neuroanatomic abnormalities are seen in cohorts at high risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a study published in the January issue of Radiology.

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Robot Training Improves Gait Stability in Parkinson's

THURSDAY, Dec. 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Training with a cable-driven robot is associated with improved response to perturbations and increased gait stability among patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), according to a study published online Dec. 19 in Scientific Reports.

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More Than a Third of Patients Do Not Respond to Antiepileptics

THURSDAY, Dec. 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- More than one-third of patients with newly diagnosed epilepsy do not respond to treatment with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), according to a study published online Dec. 26 in JAMA Neurology.

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Smoking Cessation Drug Tied to Increased Cardiovascular Risk

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 27, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals taking varenicline for smoking cessation appear to be at increased risk of cardiovascular but not neuropsychiatric events, according to a study published online Dec. 20 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Rituximab Effective for Lupus-Associated Cytopenia

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 27, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Rituximab treatment seems effective for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)-associated immune cytopenias, with an overall initial response rate of 86 percent, according to a study published online Dec. 16 in the American Journal of Hematology.

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Intensive Lifestyle Intervention Linked to Cerebral Blood Flow

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 27, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A long-term intensive lifestyle intervention (ILI) in overweight and obese adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus is associated with greater cerebral blood flow (CBF), according to a study published recently in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Gene Polymorphisms Linked to Risk of Chronic Post-Op Pain

TUESDAY, Dec. 26, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Genetics may be a factor in the experience of chronic pain post surgery, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in Anesthesiology.

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Early-Stage Cancer Diagnoses Up With ACA's Medicaid Expansions

THURSDAY, Dec. 21, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- In their first year, the 2014 Medicaid expansions, facilitated by the Affordable Care Act, were associated with an increase in cancer diagnoses, particularly at the early stage, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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Gender Differences Seen in Mental Stress-Induced Ischemia

THURSDAY, Dec. 21, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Men and women have different cardiovascular reactivity mechanisms for mental stress-induced myocardial ischemia (MSIMI), according to a study published online Dec. 21 in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

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CDC: 2015 to 2016 Saw Drop in Life Expectancy in United States

THURSDAY, Dec. 21, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- From 2015 to 2016, life expectancy decreased by one-tenth of a year, and there was an increase in the rate of age-adjusted drug overdose deaths, according to two December data briefs published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

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Wearing Amber Lenses Before Bed May Help With Insomnia

THURSDAY, Dec. 21, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For individuals with insomnia symptoms, wearing amber versus clear lenses for two hours before bedtime is associated with improved sleep, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

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C7 Nerve Transfer Improves Function in Spastic Arm Paralysis

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- C7 nerve transfer is beneficial for patients with unilateral arm paralysis for more than five years, according to a study published online Dec. 20 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Cognitive Benefits Seen With Leafy Green Vegetable Intake

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Intake of primary nutrients and bioactives in green leafy vegetables is associated with slower cognitive decline, according to a study published online Dec. 20 in Neurology.

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Rheumatic Diseases Associated With Increased Dementia Risk

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with various rheumatic diseases have an increased risk of dementia, according to a study published online Dec. 15 in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

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Tumor-Treating Fields Aid Survival With Glioblastoma

TUESDAY, Dec. 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The use of the tumor-treating fields (TTFields) treatment modality, in addition to maintenance chemotherapy, significantly improves survival in patients with glioblastoma, according to a study published in the Dec. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Gingko Biloba Extract Found Effective in Acute Ischemic Stroke

TUESDAY, Dec. 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For acute ischemic stroke, Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) in combination with aspirin alleviates cognitive and neurological deficits, according to a study published online Dec. 18 in Stroke and Vascular Neurology.

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DBS Safe But Not Beneficial in Parkinson's Dementia

TUESDAY, Dec. 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Low-frequency deep brain stimulation of the nucleus basalis of Meynert (NBM DBS) can be safely conducted in patients with Parkinson's disease dementia, but it does not result in significant improvements in primary cognitive outcomes, according to a study published online Dec. 18 in JAMA Neurology.

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RA Exposure In Utero Tied to Increased Disease Risk

TUESDAY, Dec. 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Children born to mothers with rheumatoid arthritis may have an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, and epilepsy, according to a study published online Dec. 11 in Arthritis Care & Research.

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Subcutaneous Galcanezumab May Help Prevent Episodic Migraines

MONDAY, Dec. 18, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Monthly subcutaneous injections of galcanezumab are efficacious in prevention of episodic migraine headaches, according to a study published online Dec. 18 in JAMA Neurology.

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Male U.S. Doctors Receive Higher Values of Industry Payments

MONDAY, Dec. 18, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Male physicians in the United States received higher values of general payments from industry than females in 2015, according to a research letter published online Dec. 18 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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No Magic Bullet for Preventing Late-Life Dementia

MONDAY, Dec. 18, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The evidence of benefit for different types of interventions to prevent late-life dementia is limited, according to four reviews published online Dec. 18 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Year One Results Out for Value-Based Payment Modifier Program

MONDAY, Dec. 18, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Almost 30 percent of eligible practices failed to register and report data in the first year of the Physician Value-Based Payment Modifier program, according to a report published in the December issue of Health Affairs.

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Doctors Must Report on at Least 1 Patient, 1 Measure for MACRA

FRIDAY, Dec. 15, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- In order to meet the 2017 Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) participation reporting deadline and avoid a Medicare payment penalty in 2019, physicians must report on at least one patient and one measure by Dec. 31, and submit to Medicare no later than Feb. 28, 2018, according to a report from the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Functional Limitations Ongoing With Congenital Zika

FRIDAY, Dec. 15, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Severe functional limitations are reported among children with microcephaly and laboratory evidence of Zika virus infection in infancy, according to research published in the Dec. 15 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Expanded TIMI Risk Score Deemed Practical in Diabetes

FRIDAY, Dec. 15, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The TIMI (Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction) Risk Score for Secondary Prevention (TRS 2°P) is an accurate predictor of atherothrombotic disease among patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online Dec. 1 in Diabetes Care.

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Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation No Aid to Memory

THURSDAY, Dec. 14, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) applied to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) may not enhance short-term memory in healthy individuals, according to a study published online Nov. 23 in CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics.

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Making Insurers Participate in Marketplace Could Cut Volatility

THURSDAY, Dec. 14, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Requiring insurers that participate in Medicare or Medicaid to also participate in Marketplaces in the same geographic area could improve access to insurance, according to a study published in the December issue of Health Affairs.

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Bivalent Meningococcal B Vaccine Safe, Immunogenic

THURSDAY, Dec. 14, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A bivalent meningococcal B vaccine targeting factor H-binding protein (MenB-FHbp) elicits bactericidal responses against diverse meningococcal B strains after two and three doses in adolescents and young adults, according to a study published in the Dec. 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Gabapentin Doesn't Cut Time to Pain Cessation After Surgery

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 13, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing surgery, gabapentin does not reduce the time to pain cessation, but can increase the rate of opioid cessation, according to a study published online Dec. 13 in JAMA Surgery.

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In Utero Methylphenidate Exposure Tied to Heart Defects

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 13, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Intrauterine exposure to methylphenidate is associated with a small increase in the risk of cardiac malformations, according to a study published online Dec. 13 in JAMA Psychiatry.

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Disrupted Sleep Linked to Increased Amyloid-β Production

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 13, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Disrupted sleep is associated with increased amyloid-β production in adults, according to a study published online Dec. 8 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Atherosclerosis ID'd in Many Without CV Risk Factors

TUESDAY, Dec. 12, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Many individuals without cardiovascular risk factors (CVRFs) have atherosclerosis, with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) independently associated with the presence and extent of atherosclerosis, according to a study published in the Dec. 19 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Cognitive Status Doesn't Impact Cortical Aβ, Tau in Parkinson's

TUESDAY, Dec. 12, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Patterns of cortical β-amyloid (Aβ) and tau are not different for patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) who are cognitively normal (PD-CN) or with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and for healthy adults, according to a study published online Dec. 11 in JAMA Neurology.

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High-Intensity Treadmill Exercise Feasible in Parkinson's Disease

MONDAY, Dec. 11, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with Parkinson's disease, high-intensity treadmill exercise seems feasible and safe, according to a study published online Dec. 11 in JAMA Neurology.

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Preconception Paternal SSRI Use Linked to ADHD in Offspring

MONDAY, Dec. 11, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Paternal use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) before conception is associated with increased risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in offspring, according to a study published online Dec. 11 in Pediatrics.

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Deceleration in Health Care Spending Growth in 2016

MONDAY, Dec. 11, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Health care spending growth slowed in 2016 following faster growth in 2014 and 2015, according to research published online Dec. 6 in Health Affairs.

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No Increase in Seizure Incidence With Enzalutamide in mCRPC

FRIDAY, Dec. 8, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) with at least one risk factor for seizure at baseline, treatment with enzalutamide is not associated with increased incidence of seizure, according to research published online Dec. 7 in JAMA Oncology.

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Alternative Diagnosis for Many Referred for Optic Neuritis

FRIDAY, Dec. 8, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Almost 60 percent of patients referred for acute optic neuritis have an alternative diagnosis, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

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15 Million Americans Expected to Have Alzheimer's by 2060

THURSDAY, Dec. 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A total of 15.0 million Americans are expected to have clinical Alzheimer's disease (AD) or mild cognitive impairment by 2060, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in Alzheimer's & Dementia.

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Diet Quality Linked to Disability, Symptom Severity in MS

THURSDAY, Dec. 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), diet quality is associated with disability and symptom severity, according to a study published online Dec. 6 in Neurology.

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Impaired White Matter Integrity for Depression in Parkinson's

THURSDAY, Dec. 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Parkinson's disease (PD) patients with depression have impaired white matter integrity, especially in the long contact fibers in the left hemisphere, according to a study published online Nov. 10 in CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics.

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Antithrombotics Deemed Safe in Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery

TUESDAY, Dec. 5, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing wide-awake carpal tunnel release (CTR) surgery, antithrombotic (AT) agents may be safely continued, according to a research letter published online Nov. 29 in JAMA Surgery.

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About One in Six Readmitted Post-Revascularization for PAD

TUESDAY, Dec. 5, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with peripheral arterial disease who are discharged following peripheral arterial revascularization, 17.6 percent have 30-day nonelective readmission, according to a study published online Dec. 5 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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More Men Than Women With Parkinson's Have Caregivers

TUESDAY, Dec. 5, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), more men than women have a caregiver, and greater strain is reported for caregivers of men, according to a study published online Dec. 1 in Neurology.

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CVS-Aetna Merger Has Implications for Doctors' Offices

TUESDAY, Dec. 5, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- CVS Health's planned purchase of insurance giant Aetna, a $69 billion deal, was announced Sunday.

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Relevant Health Care Price Info Hard to Find Online

MONDAY, Dec. 4, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Overall, 17 percent of websites provide geographically relevant health care price estimates relating to specific interventions, according to a research letter published online Dec. 4 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Odds for Carotid Artery Stenting in Seniors Up Post-CREST Era

MONDAY, Dec. 4, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The odds of carotid artery stenting (CAS) have increased in the post-Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy vs Stenting Trial (CREST) era, despite safety concerns for patients older than 70 years, according to a study published online Dec. 4 in JAMA Neurology.

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Memory Scores Limited As Alzheimer's Screening Tool

MONDAY, Dec. 4, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Low memory scores are an early marker of amyloid positivity, but have limited value as a screening measure for early Alzheimer's disease among persons without dementia, according to a study published online Nov. 29 in JAMA Psychiatry.

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Specialty Care Tied to Reduced Mortality in New-Onset A-Fib

MONDAY, Dec. 4, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiologist care is associated with a lower rate of death in patients with new-onset atrial fibrillation (AF), according to a study published in the December issue of the Canadian Journal of Cardiology.

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Almonds With/Without Chocolate May Improve Lipid Profiles

FRIDAY, Dec. 1, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Eating raw almonds, dark chocolate, and cocoa can significantly improve lipid profiles of overweight and obese people, according to a small study published online Nov. 29 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

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ACC Guides Treatment of Bleeding With Oral Anticoagulation

FRIDAY, Dec. 1, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A decision pathway has been developed to guide management of acute bleeding in patients treated with oral anticoagulants (OACs); the decision pathway was published online Dec. 1 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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FDA Approves Once-Monthly Injection for Opioid Addiction

FRIDAY, Dec. 1, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Sublocade, a once-monthly injection of buprenorphine to treat opioid use disorder, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Poor Agreement for Practitioners in Defining Myofascial Pain

FRIDAY, Dec. 1, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Health care practitioner groups differ regarding the signs and symptoms that define myofascial pain syndrome (MPS), according to a study published online Nov. 1 in PAIN Practice.

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