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The 2012 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting

New research was presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 64th annual meeting from April 21-28, 2012 in New Orleans. The features below highlight just some of the studies that emerged from the conference, including diagnosing Alzheimer’s earlier, an investigational drug to reduce MS lesions, a new drug formulation benefits Parkinson’s, and determining the threshold for head trauma. Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Earlier The Particulars: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) currently can only be confirmed definitively upon autopsies after patients have died or with brain tissue biopsies to detect amyloid plaques, tangles, or both. Florbetaben is an investigational agent that may be beneficial when used as a tracer during PET scans to detect amyloid plaques in patients living with AD. Data Breakdown: In a study, more than 200 patients with and without known dementia who were nearing death and willing to donate their brain to science underwent MRI and florbetaben PET scans. Amyloid plaque levels among those who reached autopsy were compared with scan results. Florbetaben scans were found to have 77% sensitivity and 94% specificity in detecting beta-amyloid. Take Home Pearl: Florbetaben, when used as a PET scan tracer to visualize amyloid plaques in the brain, appears to help diagnose AD in those living with the disease. Investigational Drug May Reduce MS Lesions The Particulars: Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) who have Gd-enhancing brain lesions have limited treatment options. ONO-4641 is an investigational drug that may help reduce lesions in this patient population. Data Breakdown: Researchers randomized patients with relapsing-remitting MS to placebo or 0.05 mg, 0.10 mg, or 0.15 mg of ONO-4641 once daily for 26 weeks in a study. When...
Conference Highlights: ISET 2012

Conference Highlights: ISET 2012

New research was presented at ISET 2012, the annual International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy, on January 15-19 in Miami Beach. The features below highlight just some of the studies that emerged from the meeting. » A New Approach to Managing Unstoppable Nosebleeds  » Cryoablation Deemed Effective in Ovarian Cancer » MS Patients Report Benefits With Angioplasty » Fibromuscular Dysplasia Frequently Undiagnosed Treating DVT in Pregnant Women The Particulars: Studies have shown that DVT is four to six times more common in pregnant women than in non-pregnant women. Research suggests that many pregnant women with DVT often forgo the most effective treatments—surgery or catheter-directed thrombolysis—because they fear that doing so may harm their unborn children. Data Breakdown: In a study of 11 pregnant women with DVT, two underwent surgery to remove the clot, and nine were treated with a bath of thrombolytic medications delivered directly into the clot. Removal of the clot was successful in all cases, and all but one pregnancy resulted in successful birth. One woman who miscarried 1 week after treatment suffered from antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, which the researchers believe likely caused the miscarriage. Take Home Pearl: Aggressive treatment with surgery or catheter-directed thrombolysis for pregnant women with DVT appears to be safe. Aggressive treatment was also shown to prevent serious complications and death.     A New Approach to Managing Unstoppable Nosebleeds [back to top] The Particulars: Unstoppable nosebleeds can cause anemia and may lead to other more serious complications, including heart attack. When packing the nose with gauze, inflating a balloon to stop blood flow, or cauterizing the vessels in the nose fail, surgery or embolization are the...
65% of Patients with MS Have Trouble Walking

65% of Patients with MS Have Trouble Walking

Approximately two-thirds of people with MS report an inability to walk or have difficulty maintaining balance at least twice per week, yet 40% of these patients “rarely or never” mention the problems to their physician, according to a Harris Interactive online survey. The landmark survey — conducted on behalf of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) and presented this week — revealed that younger people with MS are less likely to initiate a conversation with their doctor about walking difficulties, and only 46% of patients aged 41 or younger who do discuss the topic initiate the conversation. The study comprised more than 1,200 adults in the United States over age 18. Additional findings for adults who experienced difficulty walking were: 79% who are employed report it has negatively impacted them at work. 60% have had to miss at least one major personal event as a result. 32% report that it has caused them to feel isolated. “Clearly we need to encourage and empower people with MS to discuss walking impairment with their doctor,” said Nicholas LaRocca, PhD, Vice President for Health Care Delivery and Policy Research at NMSS, “including newly diagnosed patients who may be experiencing only mild problems with walking ability or balance, so that these issues can be addressed.” Physician’s Weekly wants to know… How can physicians encourage and empower patients to discuss issues with their...
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