February 2015 Briefing - Neurology

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

AMA: Key Steps for Minimizing Liability Risk in Telemedicine

FRIDAY, Feb. 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Key steps should be taken to minimize the potential risk of liability resulting from use of telemedicine, according to an article published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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No Response to Statin May Mean More Rapid Atheroma Progression

FRIDAY, Feb. 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Twenty percent of people with coronary artery disease experience little or no reduction in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol from statin treatment, according to research published online Feb. 26 in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

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Patients Give Favorable Report of Epilepsy Surgery

FRIDAY, Feb. 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- More than nine in 10 epilepsy patients who had brain surgery to try to control their seizures are happy they did so, according to survey findings published in the February issue of Epilepsy & Behavior.

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Sleeping More Than Eight Hours a Night May Up Stroke Risk

THURSDAY, Feb. 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Adults who sleep more than eight hours a night may face a higher risk of stroke, a new analysis suggests. The study was published online Feb. 25 in Neurology.

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Success for 'Bionic Hand' Procedure in Three Patients

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- In what scientists say is a first, a robotic hand controlled by a patient's own muscle and nerves appears to have restored complex hand function to a trio of amputees in Austria. The findings were reported online Feb. 24 in The Lancet.

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SNP Linked to Vincristine-Related Neuropathy in ALL

TUESDAY, Feb. 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the promoter region of the CEP72 gene, which encodes a centrosomal protein involved in microtubule formation, correlates with risk and severity of vincristine-related peripheral neuropathy in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), according to a study published in the Feb. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Noncancer Pain Patients Commonly Use Benzodiazepines

MONDAY, Feb. 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic noncancer pain (CNCP) patients who use benzodiazepines (BZDs) daily frequently have multiple comorbid mental health conditions and higher rates of emergency health care use, according to a study published in the February issue of Pain Medicine.

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Patients Say Cost Matters Greatly in Choosing Doctor

FRIDAY, Feb. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The number one determining factor for selecting a doctor is whether the physician is in-network, according to a report published by Vitals.

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Doctors, Pharmacists Least Likely Health Pros to Divorce

THURSDAY, Feb. 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors appear less likely to get divorced than most other health care professionals, according to research published online Feb. 18 in The BMJ.

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Fear of Discrimination Keeps Many LGBT Med Students Silent

THURSDAY, Feb. 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Fear of discrimination is a major reason why about one-third of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) medical students stay "in the closet," new research finds. The study was published online Feb. 16 in Academic Medicine.

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Varicella Zoster Linked to Giant Cell Arteritis

THURSDAY, Feb. 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- New research links the varicella zoster virus to giant cell arteritis. The study was published online Feb. 18 in Neurology.

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Article Emphasizes Importance of Apology in Medical Error

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Apology laws, which prohibit certain statements or expressions of sympathy by a physician from being admissible in a lawsuit, are unnecessary if physicians understand the importance of saying sorry and offering accountability after an error, according to an article published Feb. 4 in Medical Economics.

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'Most Comprehensive Map' of Human Epigenomes Presented

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists have issued a comprehensive map of human epigenomes -- the range of chemical and structural shifts that determine how genes govern health. The group published the new map online Feb. 18 in Nature, accompanied by simultaneous publication in six other sister journals.

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High Deductible Plans Factor Into Physician-Patient Relationship

MONDAY, Feb. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- In an environment where patients are increasingly aware of the costs of health care, physicians need to be prepared to address these issues with their patients, according to an article published Feb. 4 in Medical Economics.

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Antipsychotic Rx Often Relates to Non-Approved Indications

MONDAY, Feb. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For individuals with dementia living in nursing homes, the provider's rationale for use of antipsychotic drug therapy frequently relates to indications for which these drugs are not approved, according to a study published online Jan. 30 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Patients Tend to Prefer Formal Physician Attire

FRIDAY, Feb. 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Patients often prefer physicians with formal attire and white coats, according to a systematic review published online Jan. 19 in BMJ Open.

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Targeted Panel Testing Superior for Neuromuscular Diseases

FRIDAY, Feb. 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Targeted panel testing has the highest clinical yield for molecular diagnosis of neuromuscular diseases (NMDs), according to a study published in the February issue of the Annals of Neurology.

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Latino Physician Shortage Has Worsened Since 1980

FRIDAY, Feb. 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- From 1980 to 2010 the Latino physician shortage worsened, according to a study published online Jan. 27 in Academic Medicine.

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Defensive Neurosurgery Up in States With High Liability Risk

THURSDAY, Feb. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Neurosurgeons are more likely to practice defensive medicine in states with high state-level liability risk, according to a study published in the February issue of Neurosurgery.

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Specific NSAIDs Increase Nonfatal Ischemic Stroke Risk

THURSDAY, Feb. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Use of specific nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), diclofenac and aceclofenac, is associated with increased risk of nonfatal ischemic stroke, according to a study published online Jan. 22 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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Seven Tips Help Doctors Prepare for Meaningful Use Audits

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Given that physicians are chosen for meaningful use (MU) audits at random, the best way to prepare is for a physician to assume they will be audited, according to an article published Jan. 28 in Medical Economics.

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AMA: Use American Heart Month to Focus on Patients' BP

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- As part of American Heart Month, physicians are encouraged to focus on patients' blood pressure, according to a report from the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Americans' Complementary Health Approaches Changing

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Yoga is increasingly popular among U.S. adults and children, two new government surveys reveal. Both surveys, which were published Feb. 10 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), looked at the overall use of alternative or complementary medicine among Americans.

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Findings Do Not Support Creatine for Parkinson's Rx

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Creatine monohydrate doesn't appear to slow the progression of Parkinson's disease, according to research published in the Feb. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Naps Counteract Negative Effects of Sleep Deprivation

TUESDAY, Feb. 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Brief daytime naps might protect against the harmful health effects of a poor night's sleep, according to a study published online Feb. 10 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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FDA OKs Device to Help Prevent Procedure-Related Stroke

TUESDAY, Feb. 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The ENROUTE Transcarotid Neuroprotection System (TNS) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a minimally invasive device designed to help prevent stroke during stent and angioplasty procedures.

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Research Misconduct ID'd by FDA Often Unreported in Literature

TUESDAY, Feb. 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A review of U.S. Food and Drug Administration inspection reports between 1998 and 2013 revealed 57 clinical trials in which regulators had uncovered violations serious enough to earn the agency's most severe classification -- "official action indicated," or OAI. The findings were published online Feb. 9 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Confidence Not Accurate Measure of Prescribing Competence

MONDAY, Feb. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For medical students, self-reported confidence in prescribing only weakly correlates with actual competence, according to a study published online Feb. 4 in The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

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Resting-State Connectivity Predicts Psychotherapy Response

MONDAY, Feb. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Resting-state functional brain connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fcMRI) can predict response to psychotherapy in major depressive disorder (MDD), according to a study published online Feb. 4 in Neuropsychopharmacology.

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Motivational Interviewing Can Help Reach Nonadherent Patients

FRIDAY, Feb. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Motivational interviewing can be a useful approach for reaching noncompliant patients, according to an article published Jan. 22 in Medical Economics.

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APOE Allele Linked to Severity of Alzheimer's Disease

FRIDAY, Feb. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The APOEε2 allele may be associated with a milder clinical and pathological course of Alzheimer's disease (AD), according to research published online Jan. 26 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Early Stroke Care Can Start With Paramedics

FRIDAY, Feb. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- It's possible for paramedics to deliver immediate drug treatment to stroke patients, new research suggests. The study, funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), was published in the Feb. 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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U.S. Lyme Disease Costs Could Exceed $1 Billion Annually

FRIDAY, Feb. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- With an estimated 240,000 to 440,000 new cases of Lyme disease diagnosed every year, the illness costs the U.S. health care system between $712 million and $1.3 billion annually, according to a study published online Feb. 4 in PLOS ONE.

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Prompt, Aggressive BP Management Encouraged

THURSDAY, Feb. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with systolic blood pressure higher than 150 mm Hg face increased risks without aggressive drug treatment started within a month and a half, according to research findings published Feb. 5 in The BMJ.

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Perspective on Dr. Davidson: 'Be Like Mike'

THURSDAY, Feb. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The tragic shooting of surgeon Michael Davidson can be used as an opportunity to find meaning in tragedy, according to a perspective piece published online Feb. 5 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Researchers Identify Predictors of Awakening After Acute Coma

THURSDAY, Feb. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with acute coma, reversal and/or limitation of lateral brain displacement is associated with awakening, according to a study published online Jan. 27 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Prehospital Magnesium Sulfate Doesn't Benefit Stroke Outcomes

THURSDAY, Feb. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with suspected stroke, prehospital magnesium sulfate therapy is safe but does not impact the degree of disability at 90 days, according to a study published in the Feb. 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Biomarkers Show Potential for Parkinson's Diagnosis

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have developed a blood test that they say could help neurologists detect Parkinson's disease and track the illness as it progresses. The study was published online Feb. 2 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Patient Engagement Can Cut Costs, Improve Outcomes

MONDAY, Feb. 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Patient engagement initiatives can decrease costs without sacrificing quality care, according to an article published Jan. 22 in Medical Economics.

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Estrogen May Lessen Cognitive Effects of Lead Exposure

MONDAY, Feb. 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Estrogen and estradiol may help protect against lead's harmful effects on the frontal areas of the brain, according to a study published recently in the Journal of Environmental Health.

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