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February 2013 Briefing - Neurology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Neurology for February 2013. 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.

CMS Issues Final Rule on Physician Sunshine Act

THURSDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have issued a final rule requiring drug and device manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) to report payment or gifts of more than $10 to physicians, hospitals, and other providers, and necessitating manufacturers and GPOs to report ownership or investment interests held by physicians or their family members.

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Possible Therapeutic Window ID'd to Treat Memory Problems

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Plaques in the brain linked to decreased cognition in the elderly take about 15 years to accumulate, according to a study published online Feb. 27 in Neurology.

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Preparation Underway for Implementation of ACA in 2014

TUESDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- As the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) nears, states are preparing for some of its provisions, including expanded access to Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the use of information technology, according to a report issued by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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Fatty Acids May Be Neuroprotective After Stroke

TUESDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- If injected within a few hours of an ischemic stroke, triglyceride (TG) lipid emulsions with omega-3 fatty acids (n-3 FA) may reduce the total infarct volume by about 50 percent, according to research published online Feb. 20 in PLOS ONE.

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AAN Issues Top Five Choosing Wisely Recommendations

MONDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- The American Academy of Neurology's (AAN's) Top Five Recommendations in the Choosing Wisely campaign, established to promote high-value neurologic medicine and to foster physician-patient communication, have been approved and issued, according to a special article published online Feb. 20 in Neurology.

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Effectiveness of Deep Brain Stimulation for OCD Explained

MONDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Deep brain stimulation is an effective treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) through its ability to normalize function and connectivity in a particular brain region, according to a brief communication published online Feb. 24 in Nature Neuroscience.

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Natalizumab Shows Promise for Teens With Multiple Sclerosis

FRIDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Natalizumab may be safe in pediatric multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with highly active disease, according to a small study published online Feb. 18 in JAMA Neurology.

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Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefits Expanded

FRIDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In a final rule, which will make purchasing health coverage easier for consumers, mental health and substance use benefits will be expanded to 62 million Americans, according to a report published Feb. 20 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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CMS Proposes Payment and Policy Updates for 2014

THURSDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Payment and policy updates have been proposed for 2014, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Advanced Notice and draft Call Letter published Feb. 15.

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Air Pollution Ups Mortality Rate Post-ACS Hospitalization

THURSDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- For individuals hospitalized with acute coronary syndrome (ACS), exposure to higher levels of air pollution, specifically particulate matter with a diameter of ≤2.5 µm (PM2.5), correlates with increased all-cause mortality, according to a study published online Feb. 19 in the European Heart Journal.

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Report Discusses Impact of ACGME 2011 Requirements

THURSDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Although many residency program directors approve of individual components within the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Common Program Requirements introduced in 2011, less than half express overall approval, according to a perspective piece published in the Feb. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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White Matter Hyperintensities Tied to Alzheimer's Disease

THURSDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The presence of Pittsburgh Compound B (PIB) positron-emission tomography-derived amyloids and increased total white matter hyperintensities (WMHs) are independently associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) diagnosis, according to a study published online Feb. 18 in JAMA Neurology.

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Antioxidant Capacity of Diet Not Tied to Dementia, Stroke Risk

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- For older adults, the total antioxidant capacity of their diet does not affect the risk of dementia or stroke, according to a study published online Feb. 20 in Neurology.

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Faster Adoption of Electronic Health Records Needed

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) by health providers for Medicare is increasing, but not quickly enough to avoid penalties in 2015, according to a letter published in the Feb. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Opioids Involved in Most Medical Overdose Deaths

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Opioid analgesics are involved in the majority of pharmaceutical-related overdose deaths, frequently involving drugs prescribed for mental health conditions, according to a research letter published in the Feb. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Compound Localizes Recurrent Brain Tumor During Surgery

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- A fluorescent compound can help localize the spread of recurrent glioblastoma multiforme during surgery, according to a case report published online Feb. 19 in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

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CMS: Unnecessary Medicare Regulations to Be Reformed

TUESDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Medicare regulations which are unnecessary, obsolete, or excessively burdensome on hospital or health care providers will be reformed, according to a rule proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in response to the President's instructions in Executive Order 13563.

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Multimodality Approach Needed to Reengineer Health Care

TUESDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A multimodality approach focusing on reengineering the U.S. health care system may provide a way to improve quality and reduce costs, according to a viewpoint published in the Feb. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Artificial Intelligence Can Improve Patient Care

TUESDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Use of an artificial intelligence (AI) framework can improve patient outcomes at one-third of the costs of the current standard of care, according to a study published online Jan. 2 in Artificial Intelligence in Medicine.

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Health Care-Associated Infections Decreased in 2011

FRIDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In 2011, decreases were noted for some health care-associated infections (HAIs), according to a report prepared by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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IOM Urges International Action to Eradicate Fake Drugs

THURSDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Falsified and substandard medications pose public health problems around the world, and international action should be taken to combat the phenomenon, according to a report published Feb. 13 by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

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Psychological, Sexual Impact of Female Breadwinners Explored

THURSDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- For couples in which the wife earns more than the husband, there may be psychological and sexual implications, according to a study published in the March issue of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

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Activated Platelets Linked to White Matter Hyperintensity

THURSDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Platelet-derived thrombogenic microvesicles correlate with increased white matter hyperintensity (WMH) load in recently menopausal women, according to a study published online Feb. 13 in Neurology.

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Oregon Experiment Will Provide Insight Into ACO-Based Reform

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The outcome of the Oregon experiment, an ambitious program centered on a model of an accountable care organization (ACO), will offer important lessons for the wider implementation of ACOs as cost-saving mechanisms, according to a perspective piece published online Feb. 13 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Neurostimulation Benefits Early Parkinson's Disease

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with early motor complications due to Parkinson's disease, neurostimulation is associated with improved quality of life and motor ability, according to a study published in the Feb. 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Health Insurance Exchanges Are Top Priority on U.S. Agenda

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The public's health care agenda places creation of a health insurance exchange or marketplace as a top priority, according to a report published by the Kaiser Family Foundation/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health.

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Maternal Folic Acid Use Linked to Reduced Autism Risk

TUESDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Maternal use of folic acid supplements around the time of conception is associated with a reduced risk of having children with autistic disorder, according to a study published in the Feb. 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Vascular Brain Injury Has Negative Impact on Cognition

TUESDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- For elderly patients, vascular brain injury (VBI) is associated with lower cognitive performance, according to a study published online Feb. 11 in JAMA Neurology.

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Progressive Exercise Training May Benefit Diabetic Neuropathy

MONDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In a rat model of diabetes, exercise is associated with decreased diabetes-associated neuropathic pain, which correlates with increased expression of heat shock protein 72 (Hsp72), according to a study published in the February issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia.

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Increasing Patient Activation Tied to Lower Health Care Costs

MONDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Patient activation is associated with improved outcomes and lower health care costs, according to a review published in the February issue of Health Affairs.

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Brain Activity Linked to TNF Inhibitor Response in RA

MONDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with rheumatoid arthritis who respond to tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFi) show changes in activity in pain-related areas of the brain before clinical signs of improvement are observed, according to a study published in the February issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Incidence of Noncarotid Vascular Peri-Op Stroke 0.6 Percent

FRIDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- The overall incidence of perioperative stroke is 0.6 percent within 30 days of noncarotid vascular surgery, and is associated with increased 30-day all-cause mortality and increased median surgical length of stay, according to a study published in the February issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia.

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Final HIPAA Omnibus Rule Goes Into Effect March 26

FRIDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- The final omnibus rule, which makes changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, goes into effect March 26, and physicians must be in compliance by Sept. 23.

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Seizures in ~Half Peds Patients With Intracranial Hemorrhage

FRIDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Acute symptomatic seizures occur in about half of pediatric patients with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and are often a presenting symptom, according to a study published online Feb. 7 in JAMA Neurology.

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Most Dietary Supplement Use Not Recommended by Docs

FRIDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Adults frequently use dietary supplements, including multivitamins, calcium, and omega-3 or fish oil, to improve or maintain their health, and less than one-quarter of this use is on the basis of health care provider recommendation, according to research published online Feb. 4 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Supraorbital Transcutaneous Stimulator Prevents Migraines

THURSDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with a supraorbital transcutaneous stimulator seems safe and effective for preventing migraine headaches, according to a study published online Feb. 6 in Neurology.

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Alzheimer's Projected to Affect 13.8 Million in U.S. in 2050

THURSDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- By 2050, an estimated 13.8 million Americans over the age of 65 years will have Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia, according to a study published online Feb. 6 in Neurology.

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ECT + SSRI Better for Major Depression Than Either Alone

THURSDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- In antidepressant-free patients with major depressive disorder, treatment with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) plus sertraline is more effective than either treatment alone, according to a study published online Feb. 6 in JAMA Psychiatry.

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Corticorelin Acetate Has Steroid-Sparing Effect in Brain Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Corticorelin acetate (CrA) administration to patients with peritumoral brain edema (PBE) allows the reduction of steroid doses and is associated with reduced incidence and severity of steroid-induced myopathy and other steroid-related adverse effects, according to research published online Feb. 4 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Antipsychotic Rx for 22 Percent of Nursing Home Residents

TUESDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly one-quarter of nursing home residents are prescribed one or more antipsychotic agents, according to a research letter published in the Feb. 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Physicians' Pay for Existing Patients Dropped in 2012

TUESDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians' pay for existing patients dropped considerably in 2012, according to the results of the Fee Schedule Survey published Jan. 31 in Physicians Practice.

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Pathogenic Proteins Don't Transmit Neurodegenerative Dz

TUESDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- There seems to be no evidence to support human-to-human transmission of Alzheimer's disease (AD) or Parkinson's disease (PD) via transmission of neurodegenerative disease (ND)-associated proteins (NDAPs) in recipients of cadaveric human growth hormone (c-hGH), according to a study published online Feb. 4 in JAMA Neurology.

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Higher Midlife Fitness Linked to Lower All-Cause Dementia Risk

MONDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with higher midlife cardiorespiratory fitness levels are significantly less likely to develop all-cause dementia later in life, according to research published in the Feb. 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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FSMB: Approaches Explored for Expediting Multi-State Licenses

MONDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- New approaches are being explored for streamlining physician multi-state licensure to accommodate the use of telemedicine in the delivery of health care, according to a report from a meeting held from Jan. 16 to 17 by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB).

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Knowing Cost of Imaging Tests Doesn't Cut Utilization

FRIDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians do not order fewer imaging tests if they are aware of the costs, according to a study published online Jan. 2 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

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