Eye Tests to Detect Alzheimer’s Disease

eye-testTwo novel, noninvasive, and relatively simple eye tests show promise as potential screening tools for early Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Preliminary results from 2 studies presented here at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2014 show that beta-amyloid detected in the eyes significantly correlated with the burden of beta-amyloid in the brain, allowing investigators to accurately identify individuals with AD.

In the first study, researchers at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency, used curcumin fluorescence imaging to highlight beta-amyloid in the retina and correlated these results using Pittsburgh compound B (PiB) positron emission tomography (PET) imaging findings in the brain.

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Medical Marijuana: What Physicians Think About It?

medical-marijuanaMedical Marijuana: A Growing Trend
The legalization of marijuana for medical use is sweeping the nation. It is currently legal in 21 states and the District of Columbia; legislatures in 14 additional states are considering bills to legalize it for medical use in 2014. However, The Drug Enforcement Agency still lists marijuana as a Schedule I substance, or having “no accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse,” alongside some of the most dangerous drugs. The designation carries with it serious restrictions for research.

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FDA Approves First ER Oxycodone Acetaminophen Combo

FDAThe US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an extended-release combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen (Xartemis XR, Mallinckrodt plc), previously known as MNK-795, for the management of acute pain severe enough to require opioid treatment, and for patients for whom alternative treatment options are ineffective, not tolerated, or would otherwise be inadequate.

The drug has both immediate- and extended-release components to allow pain relief within an hour, with twice-daily dosing, the company notes in a statement issued today.

Approval is based in part on results of a phase 3 trial in an acute post-surgical pain model of bunionectomy; results were presented last fall during PAINWeek 2013, and reported by Medscape Medical News at that time. The new formulation met the primary endpoint and showed statistically significant improvement in pain scores vs placebo from baseline over 48 hours.

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New approved extended release medication for epilepsy

FDAThe US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved another once-daily extended-release formulation of topiramate (Qudexy XR, Upsher-Smith Laboratories Inc), the company announced.

It is indicated as initial monotherapy in patients 10 years of age or older with partial-onset seizures or primary tonic-clonic seizures, and also approved as adjunctive therapy in patients 2 years of age or older with partial-onset seizures, primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures, and seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

The new formulation is available in 25-, 50-, 100-, 150-, and 200-mg extended-release capsules, the statement notes. Capsules can be opened and the contents sprinkled on a spoonful of soft food to facilitate dosing. “This makes it the only approved extended-release topiramate product for patients who experience challenges swallowing whole capsules or tablets,” the release adds.

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New Device Approved For Migraine

FDAA headband delivering electrical nerve stimulation can prevent onset of migraine headaches and can be marketed for that purpose in the U.S., the FDA said Tuesday.

Called Cefaly, the Belgian-made device is the first to win FDA approval for migraine prevention and is also the first transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) system OK’d for any type of pain prevention, as opposed to acute treatment, the agency said.

The device is battery-powered and worn around the head, with the actual TENS stimulator centered on the forehead just above the eyes. It delivers a small, steady current to trigeminal nerve branches. Patients will be instructed to use the device once daily for a maximum of 20 minutes. It is approved for adults only.

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New device to monitor heart arrythmias!

HealthyHeartDMC Among First to Implant New Device for Irregular Heartbeats

The Detroit Medical Center is among the first hospitals in the world to implant a new cardiac monitoring device used to diagnose and monitor irregular heartbeats with hopes of possibly thwarting strokes or other heart ailments.

“The device revolutionizes the whole clinical approach to the workup and management of symptoms potentially caused by arrhythmias of the heart, and is likely to prevent many, many strokes due to atrial fibrillation,” Dr. Theodore Schreiber, president of DMC Cardiovascular Institute and the DMC Heart Hospitalsaid in a statement.

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All you need to know about ARB’s

ARB'sAngiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs)

What are angiotensin receptor blockers, and how do they work?

Angiotensin II is a very potent chemical that causes muscles surrounding blood vessels to contract, thereby narrowing blood vessels. This narrowing increases the pressure within the vessels and can cause high blood pressure (hypertension). Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) are medications that block the action of angiotensin II by preventing angiotensin II from binding to angiotensin II receptors on blood vessels. As a result, blood vessels enlarge (dilate) and blood pressure is reduced. Reduced blood pressure makes it easier for the heart to pump blood and can improve heart failure. In addition, the progression of kidney disease due to high blood pressure or diabetes is slowed. ARBs have effects that are similar to angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, but ACE inhibitors act by preventing the formation of angiotensin II rather than by blocking the binding of angiotensin II to muscles on blood vessels.

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What everyone needs to know about ACE Inhibitors

ACE-InhibitorsWhat are ACE inhibitors, and how do they work?

Angiotensin II is a very potent chemical produced by the body that causes the muscles surrounding blood vessels to contract, thereby narrowing the vessels. The narrowing of the vessels increases the pressure within the vessels causing increases in blood pressure (hypertension). Angiotensin II is formed from angiotensin I in the blood by the enzyme angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE). ACE inhibitors are medications that slow (inhibit) the activity of the enzyme ACE, which decreases the production of angiotensin II. As a result, the blood vessels enlarge or dilate, and blood pressure is reduced. This lower blood pressure makes it easier for the heart to pump blood and can improve the function of a failing heart. In addition, the progression of kidney disease due to high blood pressure or diabetes is slowed.

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Patients With Dizziness Treated Effectively with VENG diagnosis and vestibular rehabilitation

balance trainingThe number of people who present to emergency departments with dizziness is increasing, as is the percentage of emergency department visits resulting from dizziness, according to research presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Neurological Association. Benign positional vertigo is one of the major causes of dizziness, yet clinicians are administering a proven cure, the Epley maneuver, less often, said Kevin Kerber, MD.

At the same time, an increasing proportion of patients who present with dizziness are receiving CAT scans, which may have little value in this context and may entail more harm than benefit for these patients, in terms of radiation exposure, cost, length of stay in the emergency department, and misdiagnoses, said Dr. Kerber, Associate Professor of Neurology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The system used to document emergency department visits may be contributing to the high rate of CAT scans, he added.

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Epilepsy surgery effective also on patients older than 60

epilepsySurgery in older patients with epilepsy has the potential to improve overall health and quality of life, as well as provide a favorable seizure outcome, according to a study presented at the 67th Annual Meeting of the American Epilepsy Society.

Investigators at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), reviewed the records of 10 patients who had undergone resective epilepsy surgery for medically refractory focal onset seizures at their institution between 1992 and 2012. Patients ages 60 and older (age range: 60 to 74) with a minimum follow-up of one year (range 1 to 7.5 years) were included in the study. Comorbidities at the time of surgery, including hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, osteoporosis, obstructive sleep apnea, depression, and falls, were noted. A modified Liverpool life satisfaction tool was administered postoperatively, with a maximum score of 40.

Patients’ mean age at surgery was 65.4. The mean duration of epilepsy before surgery was 27.8 years. At the time of surgery, 70% of patients had at least one medical comorbidity in addition to refractory seizures. No patients experienced any postsurgical complications.

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