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March 2019 Briefing – Neurology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Neurology for March 2019. 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.

Therapeutic Ball Pits Found to Harbor Pathogenic Germs

FRIDAY, March 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Therapeutic ball pits in physical therapy clinics may pose an infection hazard, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

Abstract/Full Text

High Prenatal Omega-6:Omega-3 Ratio Linked to ADHD at Age 7

FRIDAY, March 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) — A higher prenatal omega-6:omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid ratio in cord plasma is associated with a higher attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) index score for the child at age 7 years, according to a study published online March 28 in The Journal of Pediatrics.

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Questions Remain About Safety of Parkinson Disease Psychosis Drug

FRIDAY, March 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) — There are many unanswered questions about the safety and effectiveness of a drug used to combat hallucinations and delusions in Parkinson disease patients, says a report from a drug safety group. The nonprofit Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) called for Nuplazid to have stronger warnings on its label for patients and their families, CNN reported.

CNN Article

Shorter Reproductive Span May Up Risk for Dementia in Women

FRIDAY, March 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Having a shorter reproductive span is associated with an increased risk for dementia in women, according to a study published online March 28 in Neurology.

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

High Rates of Visual Problems Seen in Stroke Survivors

FRIDAY, March 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The incidence and point prevalence of visual problems in acute stroke survivors are very high, according to a study published online March 6 in PLOS ONE.

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Lifetime HTN Risk High for Black Men and Women, White Men

THURSDAY, March 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Lifetime risks of hypertension under the American Heart Association (AHA) and American College of Cardiology (ACC) 2017 threshold exceed 75 percent for white men and African-American men and women, according to a study published online March 27 in JAMA Cardiology.

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Nonsurgical Brain Stimulation Beneficial in Major Depressive Episodes

THURSDAY, March 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Nonsurgical brain stimulation techniques seem effective for acute treatment of major depressive episodes in adults, according to a review published online March 27 in The BMJ.

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Doctors With Malpractice Claims More Likely to Leave Medicine

THURSDAY, March 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Physicians with one or more paid malpractice claims are more likely to leave practice or shift into smaller practice settings, according to a study published in the March 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Infants Born Weighing <400 g Who Survive at Risk for Severe Morbidity

WEDNESDAY, March 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) — One-fifth of infants born with a birth weight (BW) less than 400 g survive to 18 to 26 months’ corrected age, but they are at high risk for neurodevelopmental impairment, according to a study published online March 25 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Maltreatment in Childhood May Affect Course of Adult Depression

WEDNESDAY, March 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Early life stress caused by childhood maltreatment can alter brain structure, which may increase the risk for adverse disease courses in patients with major depression, according to a study published in the April issue of The Lancet Psychiatry.

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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

FDA Approves Mayzent for Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis

WEDNESDAY, March 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Mayzent (siponimod) pills have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for adults with relapsing multiple sclerosis.

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$775 Million Settlement Reached in Xarelto Lawsuits

TUESDAY, March 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) — A settlement of $775 million will be paid to settle lawsuits involving the blood thinner Xarelto, Johnson & Johnson and Bayer said Monday.

The New York Times Article

Douglas County, Colorado, Ranked as Healthiest Community

TUESDAY, March 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The 2019 healthiest community in America is Douglas County, Colorado, according to a report published online March 26 by U.S. News & World Report, in conjunction with the Aetna Foundation.

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Smoking Seems Not to Be Linked to Increased Dementia Risk

TUESDAY, March 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) — After adjusting for the competing risk of death without dementia, smoking is not associated with an increased risk for dementia, according to a study published online March 26 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

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Digital Intervention Ups Socialization in Children With Autism

MONDAY, March 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) — An artificial intelligence-driven wearable behavioral intervention, Superpower Glass, can improve social outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a study published online March 25 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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Ocular Protein Levels May Be Useful for Alzheimer Testing

MONDAY, March 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Patients with poor cognitive function have significantly lower levels of Alzheimer disease-related biomarkers in the vitreous humor, according to a study published March 8 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

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2019 Residency Match Day Was Largest in History

MONDAY, March 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The 2019 Main Residency Match was the largest in history, with a record high of 38,376 applicants for 35,185 positions, according to 2019 Match Day results released by the National Resident Matching Program.

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Aspiration Noninferior to Stent Retriever for Clot Removal

MONDAY, March 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Aspiration is as effective as the traditional stent retriever approach for clot removal in patients presenting with large-vessel occlusion stroke, according to a study published online March 9 in The Lancet.

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More Vascular Risk Factors Tied to Worse Brain Health

FRIDAY, March 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) — A higher number of vascular risk factors (VRFs) is associated with poorer brain health across gray and white matter macrostructure and microstructure, according to a study published online March 11 in the European Heart Journal.

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Prenatal Pesticide Exposure Linked to Increased Risk for Autism

FRIDAY, March 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Prenatal exposure to ambient pesticides within 2,000 m of maternal residence during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk for autism spectrum disorder, according to a study published online March 20 in The BMJ.

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Editorial

Many Patients Still Employ Strategies to Reduce Prescription Drug Costs

FRIDAY, March 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The number of adults reporting the use of strategies, such as requesting a lower-cost medication or not using medication as prescribed, to reduce prescription drug costs remained stable in 2015 to 2017, according to a March data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics.

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Certain Dietary Patterns Linked to Cognitive Performance

THURSDAY, March 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Higher Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) and A Priori Diet Quality Score (APDQS) scores are associated with better cognitive performance in midlife, according to a study published online March 6 in Neurology.

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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

In Youth With ADHD, New-Onset Psychosis Up With Amphetamines

THURSDAY, March 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) — For adolescents and young adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), new-onset psychosis occurs more often with amphetamine use versus methylphenidate use, according to a study published in the March 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Older Age at Puberty Linked to Lower Odds of Multiple Sclerosis

THURSDAY, March 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Older genetically predicted age at puberty is associated with reduced odds of multiple sclerosis (MS), although the correlation seems to be dependent on body mass index (BMI), according to a study published online March 20 in Neurology.

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Antiepileptic Drugs Not Tied to Dementia Risk

WEDNESDAY, March 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Antiepileptic drug (AED) use is not significantly associated with dementia risk in patients in Germany, according to a study published online March 12 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

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Patients With Diabetes at Increased Risk for Sleep Apnea

WEDNESDAY, March 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Patients with type 2 diabetes are at increased risk for developing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), independent of other factors, according to a study published online March 12 in Diabetes Care.

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Overall, Physicians Are Happy and Enjoy Their Lives

WEDNESDAY, March 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Overall, physicians are happy and enjoy their lives, according to the 2019 American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)/CompHealth Physician Happiness Survey published online March 19.

2019 AAFP/CompHealth Physician Happiness Survey

Analgesics in Pregnancy Do Not Seem to Cause Offspring Asthma

TUESDAY, March 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Analgesics taken during pregnancy, including opioids, antimigraine drugs, and paracetamol, do not appear to cause asthma, according to a study published online March 17 in the European Respiratory Journal.

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Novel Checklist Can Distinguish Anthrax Exposure From Other Illnesses

TUESDAY, March 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) — A newly developed checklist can rapidly identify anthrax cases after a suspected mass exposure, according to a study published online March 19 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Neighborhood-Level Socioeconomics Tied to MS Disability Progression

TUESDAY, March 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Lower neighborhood-level socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with a higher risk for disability progression in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study recently published in Neurology.

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Average of 8.8 Inactive Ingredients Found in Oral Medications

MONDAY, March 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Oral forms of medications contain an average of 8.8 inactive ingredients, many of which could cause adverse reactions, according to a perspective piece published in the March 13 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

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Physician Burnout Rate Increased From 2014 to 2017

FRIDAY, March 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) — From 2014 to 2017, there was an increase in physician burnout, with early-career physicians being the most susceptible, according to a study published online March 15 in JAMA Network Open.

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Less Invasive Method Safely IDs Epilepsy Surgical Candidates

FRIDAY, March 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The robotic stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) procedure to determine whether patients with pharmacoresistant epilepsy are candidates for brain surgery is safer and more efficient and more often leads to favorable epilepsy outcomes than the traditional subdural electrode (SDE) implantation method among those undergoing resection or ablation, according to a study published online March 4 in JAMA Neurology.

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Average of 283,000 Children Have Sports-Related TBIs/Year

THURSDAY, March 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Annually, an average of 283,000 children aged younger than 18 years seek care in emergency departments for sports- and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries (SRR-TBIs), according to research published in the March 15 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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CDC: 2000 to 2017 Saw Increase in Mortality Due to Dementia

THURSDAY, March 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Mortality attributed to dementia increased from 2000 to 2017, with variation by age, race, and sex, according to a study published online March 14 in National Vital Statistics Reports, a publication from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Having Affected Relatives Linked to Increased Alzheimer Risk

THURSDAY, March 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Having affected first-degree, second-degree, or third-degree relatives (FDRs, SDRs, and TDRs) is associated with an increased risk for Alzheimer disease (AD), according to a study published online March 13 in Neurology.

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‘Brain Vital Signs’ Detect Concussion-Related Changes

THURSDAY, March 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Brainwave monitoring can detect concussion-related brain changes as well as subclinical impairment in hockey players, according to a study recently published in Brain.

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Head of National Cancer Institute Named Acting FDA Commissioner

WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will temporarily be overseen by the head of the National Cancer Institute when FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., leaves the post next month.

AP News Article

CDC: Most Americans Report Excellent, Good Health

WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Most Americans report having excellent or good health and have a usual place to go for medical care, according to a report published March 13 for the National Health Interview Survey Early Release Program.

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Noncontrast Brain MRI Effective for Monitoring Multiple Sclerosis

WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) — For patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), use of a contrast-based agent at follow-up magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) does not change the diagnosis of interval disease progression, according to a study published online March 12 in Radiology.

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MRI Method That Measures Iron in Brain Shows Impact of Stroke

TUESDAY, March 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Higher values of R2* (the magnetic resonance transverse relaxation rate) found in the substantia nigra (SN) likely reflect greater iron content and are associated with worse long-term outcomes after stroke, according to a study published online March 12 in Radiology.

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Diet Quality in Midlife Not Linked to Later Risk for Dementia

TUESDAY, March 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Diet quality in midlife is not associated with subsequent dementia risk, according to a study published in the March 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Odds of Dry Eye Disease Up With Migraine Headache

TUESDAY, March 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Patients with migraine headache may have increased odds of dry eye disease (DED), according to a study published online March 7 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

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Retinal Microvascular Changes Identified in Alzheimer Disease

MONDAY, March 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Individuals with Alzheimer disease (AD) have changes in the retinal microvasculature in the superficial capillary plexus (SCP) compared with those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and controls, according to a study published online March 11 in Ophthalmology Retina.

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Conversion From Sleep Disorder to Neurodegeneration Studied

THURSDAY, March 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Predictors of neurodegeneration from idiopathic REM sleep behavior disorder (iRBD) have been identified, according to a study published online Feb. 20 in Brain.

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Long-Term Systemic Hormone Therapy May Up Alzheimer Risk

THURSDAY, March 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Long-term use of systemic hormone therapy may be associated with an increased risk for Alzheimer disease, according to a study published online March 6 in The BMJ.

Abstract/Full Text

Editorial

Predictors ID’d for Successful Removal of Mechanical Ventilation

THURSDAY, March 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Mechanically ventilated patients who pass a spontaneous breathing trial (SBT) and are extubated reach a higher level of wakefulness, indicated by a higher odds ratio product (ORP), according to a study published online March 1 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Cocoa Beverage Could Improve Multiple Sclerosis-Related Fatigue

WEDNESDAY, March 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) — For patients with relapsing and remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), a flavonoid cocoa beverage can potentially improve fatigue and fatigability, according to a study published online March 4 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

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Editorial

Few Seniors Receive Regular Brief Cognitive Assessments

WEDNESDAY, March 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Only 16 percent of seniors receive regular cognitive assessments, according to the Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report published March 5.

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Electronic Order Set May Reduce Inappropriate ECG Monitoring

WEDNESDAY, March 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Use of electronic order sets is a safe and effective way to enhance appropriate electrocardiographic (ECG) monitoring of hospitalized patients, according to a study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Critical Care.

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Mental Health Symptoms Common After Mild Brain Injury

WEDNESDAY, March 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Approximately one in five individuals may develop mental health symptoms up to six months after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), according to a study recently published in JAMA Psychiatry.

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FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb Resigns

TUESDAY, March 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) — In what probably came as a surprise to many, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., announced his resignation on Tuesday. Gottlieb is leaving the FDA because he wants to spend more time with his wife and three young daughters — twins aged 9 and a 5-year-old — one official said. He currently commutes each week from the family home in Connecticut to his Washington, D.C., office.

The Washington Post Article

Methanol Toxicity Can Result From Occupational Exposure

TUESDAY, March 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Methanol toxicity can occur as a consequence of occupational exposure, according to a research letter published online March 5 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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MMR Not Linked to Autism in Danish Cohort Study

MONDAY, March 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccination is not associated with an increased risk for autism, including in children with autism risk factors, according to a study published online March 5 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy Tied to Stroke Risk

MONDAY, March 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Women with a history of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) have a greater long-term risk for stroke that is reduced by aspirin use, according to a study recently published in Neurology.

Abstract/Full Text

Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

FDA Warns Americans Not to Buy Drugs From Canadian Company

FRIDAY, March 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) — A large Canadian drug distributor sells unapproved and mislabeled medicines to Americans, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Thursday. The distributor disputes the claim, however.

The New York Times Article

More Information: FDA

Heavy Smoking Linked to Damaged Spatial, Color Vision

FRIDAY, March 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Heavy smoking is associated with damaged vision, according to a study published in the January issue of Psychiatry Research.

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