CPAP May Ease Depression

By Ed Susman, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today

Published: June 14, 2012.
Reviewed by Zalman S. Agus, MD; Emeritus Professor, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Dorothy Caputo, MA, BSN, RN, Nurse Planner

Obstructive sleep apnea patients who use — or even try to use — continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices appear to reduce their overall depressive symptom scores, researchers said here.

In every category measured, patients reduced depressive symptoms, even if they were not using the CPAP devices as prescribed, Charles Bae, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University told attendees at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies. [Read more…]

Medtronic Pain Therapies

Medtronic offers a wide range of neurostimulation and Targeted Drug Delivery products to fit the unique needs of each individual patient.

  • Neurostimulation
  • Targeted Drug Delivery
  • MRI Labeling


Neurostimulation therapy consists of an implantable system that delivers small electrical signals via a lead implanted in the epidural space. Pain signals are inhibited before they reach the brain and are replaced with a tingling sensation that covers the specific areas where pain is felt. [Read more…]

Bold Surgery Needed in Mutant Astrocytomas – Brain Cancer

CHICAGO – Patients diagnosed with a mutant type of astrocytic glioma should have aggressive surgery to resect as much tumor as possible because these individuals may be able to achieve long-term survival, researchers said here.

In patients identified with the IDH1-mutation and who had less than 2 cc of residual tumor, survival was greater than 95% over nearly 17 years, compared with a survival of 20% among patients with a larger residual tumor (P=0.01), said Daniel Cahill, MD, PhD, assistant professor of neurosurgery at Harvard.

“This is personalized surgery for these patients,” Cahill told MedPage Today at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. [Read more…]

RLS Drug Gets New Indication – in Public Health & Policy

By Cole Petrochko, Associate Staff Writer, MedPage Today

WASHINGTON — The FDA has approved the restless legs syndrome drug gabapentin enacarbil (Horizant) to treat postherpetic neuralgia.

The drug is administered in one 600 mg dose for the first 3 days of treatment, followed by 600 mg doses twice daily on day four and onward, a statement from makers GlaxoSmithKline and XenoPort said.

Patients with renal impairment should have adjusted doses, the statement added.

Safety and efficacy for the new indication were evaluated in a 12-week principal efficacy trial and two supportive studies of a combined 574 patients.

Adverse events in the studies included somnolence, dizziness, headache, nausea, and fatigue.

Patients taking anti-epileptic drugs, including other gabapentin formulations, may be at increased risk for suicidal ideation and behavior, as well as potentially fatal multi-organ hypersensitivity, symptoms of which include fever, rash, and lymphadenopathy.

The drug should be tapered to once daily for a week before ceasing treatment to reduce risk of withdrawal seizure, the statement said.

The drug was initially approved for the treatment of moderate-to-severe primary restless legs syndrome in April 2011.

Study finds drinking coffee can delay onset of Alzheimer’s

A study of senior citizens in Florida found that drinking coffee could delay the onset of or help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

The study, carried out on adults over the age of 65 in Miami and Tampa, found that those with higher levels of caffeine in their blood avoided the onset of Alzheimer’s in the two- to four-year period they were monitored.

Dr. Chuanhai Cao, a neuroscientist at the University of South Florida College of Pharmacy, said, “These intriguing results suggest that older adults with mild memory impairment who drink moderate levels of coffee — about three cups a day — will not convert to Alzheimer’s disease or at least will experience a substantial delay before converting to Alzheimer’s.” [Read more…]

More Evidence Dark Chocolate Is Cardioprotective

The blood pressure–lowering and lipid effects of dark chocolate could be an effective — and money-saving — strategy for preventing cardiovascular events in high-risk patients, a new study suggests.

“The findings of this study suggest that the blood pressure lowering and lipid effects of plain dark chocolate could represent an effective and cost effective strategy for the prevention of cardiovascular disease in people with metabolic syndrome (and no diabetes),” the researchers, with senior author Christopher M. Reid, PhD, CCRE Therapeutics, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, The Alfred Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, conclude. [Read more…]

Is Coconut Oil Effective for Alzheimer Disease?

Response from Gayle Nicholas Scott, PharmD
Assistant Professor, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, Virginia; Clinical Pharmacist, Chesapeake Regional Medical Center, Chesapeake, Virginia

Coconut oil and a related medical food, Axona® (Accera, Inc; Broomfield, Colorado), are being promoted as treatments for Alzheimer disease (AD). Obtained from the kernel of the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera),[1] coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids, predominately lauric acid but also caprylic, myristic, and palmitic acids. Medium-chain triglycerides are the esterified form of medium-chain fatty acids; the terms are often used interchangeably.[2] The active ingredient of Axona is caprylic triglyceride. In the published research available, the product is called AC-1202. [Read more…]

CPAP for Sleep Apnea May Prevent New Hypertension

May 23, 2012 — A pair of studies released this week confirm an association between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and hypertension, and hint that adherent continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy may reduce the risk for new-onset hypertension.

Vishesh K. Kapur, MD, MPH, and Edward M. Weaver, MD, MPH, both from the University of Washington in Seattle, add that treatment of OSA “may not only reduce blood pressure (although modestly on average), but if confirmed by future studies also may prevent hypertension in at-risk patients. Thus, OSA deserves attention in patients with or at risk of developing hypertension as a potentially treatable cause of hypertension as well as other clinically important outcomes.”

A Modifiable Risk Factor

In their paper, José M. Marin, MD, from the Hospital Universitario Miguel Servet in Zaragoza, Spain, and colleagues report results of an observational cohort study of 1889 adults without hypertension referred for polysomnography between January 1, 1994, and December 31, 2000. [Read more…]

New Alzheimer’s Prevention Trial Part of US National Plan

May 18, 2012 — An ambitious National Alzheimer’s Plan announced this week by the Department of Health and Human Services to address the growing threat of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in the United States includes funding for the first prevention trial in people genetically predisposed to develop early symptoms.

The double-blind, placebo-controlled study will test the drug crenezumab, an antibody that targets beta-amyloid, in a large extended family in Colombia, many of whom carry genetic risk mutations. Typically, cognitive impairment begins at around age 45 in affected individuals. [Read more…]

Deep Brain Stimulation May Improve Symptoms in Alzheimer’s

May 23, 2012 — Deep brain stimulation (DBS), a therapy already approved for use in Parkinson’s disease, may also be useful for treating some patients with early signs of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a pilot study suggests.

After 1 year of continuous DBS, a clinically meaningful increase in cerebral metabolism in the hippocampal area was observed in 1 of the 5 patients, lead author Gwenn Smith, PhD, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, told Medscape Medical News.

Curb Eating, Improve Memory

“The idea to try deep brain stimulation came from a single individual who had morbid obesity and who underwent DBS to try and curb his eating behavior,” Dr. Smith said. “Even though that individual did not have a memory problem at baseline, when the electrodes were turned on, he showed a substantial improvement in memory.” [Read more…]