Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Neurology for April 2020. 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.

Symptomatic Health Care Staff in U.K. Screened for COVID-19

THURSDAY, April 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Screening symptomatic health care workers for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is feasible during the pandemic, according to a research letter published online April 22 in The Lancet.

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NT-proBNP Does Not Improve Evaluation of Syncope in the ED

THURSDAY, April 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) — For adult emergency department (ED) patients with syncope, serum N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) does not improve prognostication above the Canadian Syncope Risk Score (CSRS), according to a study published online April 28 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Psoriasis Tied to Higher Alzheimer Disease Risk

THURSDAY, April 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The incidence of Alzheimer disease (AD) is significantly higher in patients with psoriasis versus individuals without psoriasis, according to a Korean study published online April 15 in Scientific Reports.

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Rate, Timing of Altered Smell, Taste in Mild COVID-19 Examined

THURSDAY, April 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Mildly symptomatic patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection often have alterations in smell or taste, according to a research letter published online April 22 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Large-Vessel Stroke Described in Young Adults With COVID-19

THURSDAY, April 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Cases of large-vessel stroke in individuals younger than 50 years are described in patients with COVID-19 in a case report published online April 28 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Pediatric Brain Cancer Outcomes Worse for Black, Hispanic Patients

WEDNESDAY, April 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Treatment disparities may explain worse outcomes for pediatric black and Hispanic brain cancer patients, according to a study recently published in Scientific Reports.

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David Shulkin, M.D., on COVID-19 Financial Consequences for Health Care System

MONDAY, April 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Health care organizations are facing hard financial decisions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but an end is in sight as some are beginning to slowly open back up around the country, according to David Shulkin, M.D. Shulkin, who served as ninth secretary for Veterans Affairs and is former president and CEO of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, spoke with HealthDay during a live stream on the HealthDay YouTube channel and live blog.

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KIMT3 Article

Reviews Assess Tools to Identify, Diagnose, Treat Alzheimer Dementia

WEDNESDAY, April 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Limited tools are available for identifying, diagnosing, and treating cognitive dysfunction from Alzheimer disease, according to three studies published online April 28 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Abstract/Full Text — Fink Study 1 (subscription or payment may be required)
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Low Vitamin D, Smoking Predict Worse Cognitive Function in MS

WEDNESDAY, April 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) — For multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with clinically isolated syndrome, lower vitamin D and smoking predict worse long-term cognitive function and neuronal integrity, according to a study published online April 16 in Neurology.

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Nearly Half of U.S. Population Breathes Unhealthy Air

TUESDAY, April 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Climate change continues to make air pollution worse, with 45.8 percent of the U.S. population living in counties with unhealthy ozone or particle pollution, according to the American Lung Association (ALA) 21st annual State of the Air report.

State of the Air Report

Roadmap Developed for Resuming Elective Surgery During COVID-19

MONDAY, April 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A roadmap for resuming elective surgery after new cases of COVID-19 begin to wane is presented in a joint statement published by the American College of Surgeons and other societies.

Joint Statement

Neurologic Features Tied to ARDS in Severe COVID-19 Described

MONDAY, April 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) due to COVID-19 is associated with neurologic features, including encephalopathy, agitation, and confusion, according to a letter to the editor published online April 15 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Hearing Loss Linked to Postural Instability in Older Adults

MONDAY, April 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The odds of postural instability are increased in older adults with moderate or worse hearing loss, even when hearing loss is present on only one side, according to a study published online April 23 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

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Former Footballers Report Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Symptoms

MONDAY, April 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A number of former American-style football (ASF) players report clinician-diagnosed chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and they have significantly more comorbidities and cognitive impairment symptoms, according to a study published online April 13 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Prevalence of Hypertension in U.S. 45.4 Percent in 2017 to 2018

FRIDAY, April 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) — In 2017 to 2018, 45.4 percent of adults had hypertension, with prevalence higher among men than women, according to an April data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics.

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Visual Impairment May Up Risk for Dementia in Older Women

THURSDAY, April 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) — In older women, objectively measured visual impairment is associated with a twofold to more than fivefold increased risk for dementia, according to a study published online April 16 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

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Processed Meat, Unhealthy Snack Food Networks Tied to Dementia

WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Focused eating habits with high processed meats and unhealthy snacking may be associated with increased dementia risk, according to a study published online April 22 in Neurology.

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Scoring System Helps Guide Surgical Care During COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A scoring system for medically necessary time-sensitive (MeNTS) procedures can facilitate decision making and triage in the setting of COVID-19, according to a study published online April 9 in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

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More Screen Time for Babies Tied to Autism-Like Symptoms

TUESDAY, April 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Greater screen exposure and less interactive play between caregivers and children early in life is associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)-like symptoms at age 2 years, according to a study published online April 20 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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Most Older Adults With New Dementia Die Within Five Years

TUESDAY, April 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Most community-dwelling older adults with newly identified dementia die or are admitted to a long-term care home within five years, according to a study published online April 20 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Benefit of Social Distancing Outweighs Economic Impact

MONDAY, April 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The economic benefits of lives saved through social distancing substantially outweigh the value of the projected losses to the U.S. economy, according to a study to be published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis.

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ADHD Rates Up in Veterans

MONDAY, April 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The number of veterans being diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is increasing, according to a study published in the March issue of Medical Care.

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Higher Nighttime Blood Pressure Tied to Worse Vascular Disease

FRIDAY, April 17, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Higher nighttime blood pressure may exacerbate the detrimental effects of hypertension on cerebrovascular health and cognitive abilities among middle-aged individuals, according to a study published online April 15 in Neurology.

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BP Levels Influence Racial Differences in Cognitive Decline

THURSDAY, April 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Black individuals’ higher cumulative blood pressure (BP) levels may influence racial differences in cognitive decline, according to a study published online April 13 in JAMA Neurology.

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Quality Improvement Effort Cuts Blood Clots in Brain Injury Patients

THURSDAY, April 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Implementation of an anticoagulation protocol reduces blood clots in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to a study published in the April 1 issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

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SARS-CoV-2 Contamination of Air, Surfaces Examined in ICU, Wards

WEDNESDAY, April 15, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Considerable severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) contamination of air and object surfaces is reported in intensive care units (ICUs) and general coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) wards (GW), according to a study published online April 10 in Emerging Infectious Diseases, a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Risk for Cognitive Decline Reduced With Adherence to aMED Diet

WEDNESDAY, April 15, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Closer adherence to the alternative Mediterranean diet (aMED) is associated with a reduced risk for cognitive decline, but not with slower decline in cognitive function, according to a study published online April 13 in Alzheimer’s & Dementia.

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Medical Masks May Be Sufficient During COVID-19 Routine Care

TUESDAY, April 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Use of medical masks, such as surgical or procedural masks, does not increase the risk for viral infection or respiratory illness, and their use may serve as a protective measure in instances of N95 respirator shortages, according to the results of a meta-analysis published online April 4 in Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses.

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KL-VSHET+ Genotype Linked to Reduced Alzheimer Disease Risk

TUESDAY, April 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Klotho-VS heterozygosity (KL-VSHET+ status) is associated with a reduced risk for Alzheimer disease (AD) and β-amyloid (Aβ) burden in cognitively normal individuals aged older than 60 years who carry apolipoprotein e4 (APOE4), according to research published online April 13 in JAMA Neurology.

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High Rates of Appropriate E-Consults Seen Across Specialties

MONDAY, April 13, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The rates of appropriate electronic consultations (e-consults) are high across specialties, according to a study published online April 14 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Prehospital Triage System Improves Stroke Care

MONDAY, April 13, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A new pretransport triage system improves stroke care, according to a study published online April 6 in JAMA Neurology.

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Neurologic Effects Seen in a Third of Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients

FRIDAY, April 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Neurologic manifestations are common among hospitalized patients with COVID-19, according to a study published online April 10 in JAMA Neurology.

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Nocturnal Supervision May Have Protective Effect in SUDEP

FRIDAY, April 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) — There is limited, very low-certainty evidence of a protective effect for nocturnal supervision against sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), according to a report published online April 2 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

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Middle-Age Lifestyle Changes Can Cut Women’s Stroke Risk

FRIDAY, April 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Even in middle age, women can make lifestyle modifications that can substantially lower their stroke risk, according to a study published online April 9 in Stroke.

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Air Pollution May Hasten Cognitive Decline in Older Adults

THURSDAY, April 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Exposure to air pollution may have adverse effects on cognitive aging and brain health in older adults, according to a study published online April 8 in Neurology.

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Maternal Obesity May Be Related to Risk for ADHD in Children

WEDNESDAY, April 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Mothers with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 kg/m² and greater are more likely to see behavioral problems and psychiatric symptoms in their children, according to a study recently published in The Journal of Pediatrics.

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Heavy Drinking Tied to Larger Waist Lines, Higher Stroke Risk

WEDNESDAY, April 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Heavy drinkers who continue drinking into old age have significantly larger waistlines and increased stroke risk, according to a study published online March 31 in Addiction.

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Risk Score Can Predict Long-Term Multiple Sclerosis Progression

TUESDAY, April 7, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A new risk score is capable of predicting long-term multiple sclerosis (MS) progression, according to a study published online March 19 in Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery.

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Majority of Physicians Report Serious Concerns About COVID-19

MONDAY, April 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) — According to a national survey conducted by Harvard Medical School, the RAND Corporation, and Doximity, practicing physicians currently report substantial concerns about supplies, the government response, and availability of testing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Brain Changes From Multiple Sclerosis May Occur in Preteens

MONDAY, April 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Greater genetic predisposition for multiple sclerosis (MS) is associated with altered brain white matter development at an early age, according to a study published online March 12 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Many Legal Marijuana Products Too Strong for Treating Pain

FRIDAY, April 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Legally dispensed marijuana products have stronger concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) than needed for chronic pain relief, according to a study published online March 26 in PLOS ONE.

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Autism Rates Inversely Tied to County’s Wealth

FRIDAY, April 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Rates of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are declining among wealthy whites in California while escalating among poor and minority children, according to a study published online March 19 in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

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Unemployed Workers Less Likely to Be Uninsured Post-ACA

THURSDAY, April 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Following implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), unemployed workers were less likely to be uninsured, and uninsurance rates decreased more in states with Medicaid expansion, according to a report from the Urban Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Phone-Based Therapy Beneficial for Depression in Parkinson Disease

WEDNESDAY, April 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Telephone-based cognitive behavioral therapy (T-CBT) seems to be an effective intervention for depression in Parkinson disease (PD), outperforming treatment-as-usual (TAU) on all depression, anxiety, and quality-of-life measures, according to a study published online April 1 in Neurology.

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