ROUTINE measurement of a child’s head circumference does not have the sensitivity or specificity to detect neurocognitive disorders and may result in unnecessary investigations, researchers say. A UK study of almost 11,000 children found that while there was a sevenfold higher chance of developmental problems in children with consistently smaller heads, most (85%) developed normally. Almost all children (93%) who had developmental problems had head circumference in the normal range. Head circumference was measured at multiple points from two to 24 months, IQ was tested at age seven, and education records analysed at age 11. Pediatrics ...
The following articles have the tag Neurology
A STUDY comparing data from a scratch-and-sniff test with imaging adds to the evidence associating a person’s poor ability to identify odours with neurodegeneration. Among 215 healthy elderly adults participating in the US Harvard Aging Brain Study, researchers found deficits in the sense of smell were associated with decreased hippocampal volume and thinner entorhinal cortex on MRI. There was also an association between low scores on the 40-item Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test and evidence of amyloid burden on PET scan, the authors said. The study is just one of a growing number investigating the possible utility ...
Research has moved beyond the benefits of probiotics to explore the influence of gut microbiota on the brain.
COGNITIVELY demanding jobs may be the key to longer life in individuals with young-onset frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), research suggests.
A SMARTPHONE app touted as the next big thing in primary stroke prevention could pose challenges to GPs, an expert says.
IN ALL my searches for new and interesting apps, I have never come across one quite like this, which can turn your phone into some of the tools needed for a neurological examination.
A TRIBUNAL has challenged the practice of states and territories preferring locally trained medical graduates for hospital internships with a ruling in favour of a Chinese-trained doctor.
CHILDHOOD infection with the common gut microbe Helicobacter pylori , responsible for an array of chronic gastrointestinal morbidities, may offer a protective benefit later in life, new research suggests.
VITAMIN B12 and folic acid supplements are unlikely to protect healthy elderly people from cognitive decline, a new study finds.
BARIATRIC surgery could be a risk factor for a condition that causes severe headache, new research suggests.
AS MANY as one in three patients who have had a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) could go on to develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) a study suggests.
Evidence suggests most strokes can be prevented by lifestyle modification.
This Update is the second in a two-part series. We will discuss the endocrine sequelae, fertility, fertility preservation and models of care for adult survivors.
PEOPLE who experience migraine with aura have more than twice the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease in later life, according to findings from a large population-based study.
This Update is the first of a two-part series. In this article we discuss the background, epidemiology, late effects on organ systems, psychosocial and neurocognitive impacts, radiotherapy side effects and second malignancies.
SCIENTISTS claim success in a telepathy experiment, sending a simple ‘mind-to-mind’ message from a person in India to a person in France.
DOCTORS who diagnosed a 50-year-old man's subdural haematoma a month after a night of headbanging say the case is "evidence of Motörhead's reputation as one of the most hardcore rock'n'roll acts on earth" – but also serves as a health warning.
Several studies suggest pesticides may contribute to disease, whether the exposure is through food, the environment or occupational.
With increasing numbers of childhood cancer survivors, GPs will play a vital role in their care.
MONASH University researchers believe melatonin patches could lead to a simple and affordable way of reducing death and disability in babies born with asphyxia.
MEDICAL marijuana administered orally in pills or sprays (but not smoked) may help ease some multiple sclerosis symptoms, according to a review by the American Academy of Neurology.
A NEW form of gene therapy could mean that age-related hearing loss might one day be a thing of the past.
WHAT travelling doctor hasn’t felt the tug to stay a while and help treat the sick in poor countries of the world?
SYMPTOMS of apathy in elderly people without depression may signal underlying brain degeneration, researchers say.
A DIAGNOSIS of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with an increased risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) that increases with disease duration.
A COMMONLY prescribed statin has shown promise in slowing brain atrophy associated with the secondary progressive and chronic stage of multiple sclerosis (MS).
EVEN low-range prehypertension can increase the risk of stroke, a meta-analysis has found.
WITH the rising incidence of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and its significant contribution to death in women (9.2%, ranked 3rd as cause of death) and men (4.3%, ranked 6th), it is imperative to address preventive strategies. 1
HIGH oestrogen levels and diabetes can dramatically increase the risk of dementia in older women, a study has found.
MEN who consume more than two alcoholic drinks per day while in middle age may speed up their memory loss in later life by up to six years, a study has shown.
BILINGUAL individuals may be less likely to develop early dementia, a study suggests.
ALTHOUGH fish and nuts are commonly believed to be good ‘brain food’, US researchers have found a high intake of omega-3 fatty acids appears to make no difference to the rate of cognitive decline in healthy older women.
VITAMIN B supplements may reduce the risk of stroke in selected patients, researchers have found.
PEOPLE who are obese are more likely to experience episodic migraines than those of normal weight, a study shows.
VERY fit young men may have a reduced risk of developing epilepsy later in life, researchers say.
THIS Update looks at common sleep disorders and discusses their management.
AIR FORCE and other high-flying pilots may be at increased risk of brain lesions linked to cognitive impairment and memory loss.
AN APPLE a day keeps the doctor away but two hot chocolates a day could help fight cognitive decline in older people, according to a study published in Neurology.
FURTHER study of potential links between anaemia and dementia may be warranted after a study found a possible connection between the two.
THE risk of stroke is higher for Chinese people than for Caucasians, according to a review.
THIS Update will discuss five common neurological disorders and their psychiatric associations.
ENGAGING in mentally stimulating activities throughout life independently protects the brain from cognitive decline, dementia researchers say.
MEN with restless legs syndrome (RLS) have an increased risk of mortality, research suggests.
THIS Update discusses the diagnosis and management of dementia.
EXPOSURE to pesticides or herbicides can increase the likelihood of developing Parkinson’s disease by up to 80%, researchers say after a meta-analysis.
AVOIDANCE of saturated fats, meat and dairy has been linked to a reduced risk of cognitive impairment and memory loss in the largest study of its kind to date.
IT is important to include complementary and alternative medicine in history-taking.
VASOVAGAL syncope may be heritable, according to Australian research at odds with the conclusions of a previous systematic review.
PATIENTS with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (sCJD) may receive scores of differential diagnoses, a study shows.
USING beta-blockers and behavioural management together prevents migraine effectively and should be adopted alongside optimal acute care, US research suggests. Patients receiving a combined preventive approach had 3.3 fewer migraines over 30 days compared to those receiving optimal acute care alone, a study of 232 adults showed. The benefits of the dual approach were sustained up to 16 months; but behavioural management or beta-blockers were not effective in isolation, prompting calls for wider adoption of the dual approach. “Patient outcomes will not improve merely by writing a prescription for a preventive drug. Migraine is a complex ...
EXPERT opinion remains divided on risks versus benefits of NSAIDs, after research shows even low doses may raise the risk of stroke in healthy individuals. The findings, building on earlier work linking NSAIDs to cardiovascular (CV) mortality, have prompted calls for diclofenac to be withdrawn. The Danish study, presented recently at the European Society of Cardiology congress, reviewed data from more than a million patients prescribed an NSAID. Diclofenac use increased the risk of stroke by 86%, while ibuprofen increased it by 28 per cent. There was a dose-dependent relationship with both drugs. David Henry, ...
MENTALLY stimulating activities such as crossword puzzles, playing cards and reading newspapers may at first slow the decline of cognitive skills in Alzheimer’s disease, but patients may pay a price later on. A US study of 1157 individuals (mean age 78 years) found those who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease had an increased rate of cognitive decline if they undertook more cognitive activity. Among those with mild cognitive impairment, the rate of cognitive decline was unrelated to the level of cognitive activity. In contrast, those free of cognitive impairment at baseline had slower cognitive decline if ...
MIGRAINE with aura can now be regarded as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. An Icelandic study, including 18,725 middle-aged people, found migraineurs with aura had a 27% increased risk of cardiovascular-related death compared with non-migraineurs. After 26 years follow-up, they also had a 21% increased risk of all-cause mortality. There was no such increased risk among those with non-migraine headache or migraine without aura. The association remained after adjusting for other risk factors. “Migraine with aura was an independent risk factor for cardiovascular and all-cause mortality in both men and women, but ...
THE use of newer antiepileptic drugs, already associated with an increased risk of depression, has now been linked to a three-fold increased risk of self-harm or suicidal behaviour. A study of 453 potential cases, from a UK general practice database of 44,000 patients with epilepsy, showed those taking the antiepileptics had an increased risk of suicidal behaviour compared to non-users. However, the finding is based on a small number of cases, six people taking topiramate, levetiracetam, vigabatrin or tiagabine. Other new antiepileptics considered low risk – oxcarbazepine, lamotrigine, gabapentin and pregabalin – as well as conventional ...
Draft guidelines on assessing fitness to drive may make life a little easier for GPs, but some experts say they need to go much further. Caroline Brettingham-Moore reports.