Dementia avoidance: Good leads but elusive evidence.

I just came across a study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) a body of experts that advises for governmental policy on pressing issues.  The study, called Preventing Cognitive Decline and Dementia: A Way Forward, looked at all the evidence there is on preventing dementia with certain actions or strategies.  The 3 specific strategies […]

Insurance fails the MS patient.

In a study called Health insurance affects the use of disease-modifying therapy in multiple sclerosis, published in the journal Neurology, researchers find the not surprising fact that drug costs and insurance coverage influence treatment for this manageable disease.  The article points out that the person with MS has health-care costs 4.7 times the cost of a healthy […]

Potassium supplementation and stroke risk reduction

The issue of potassium intake and the risk of stroke was reviewed in an article published in Stroke called Potassium intake and stroke risk: a review of the evidence and practical considerations for achieving a minimum target. In light of growing evidence for benefit from potassium intake, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently issued guidelines […]

Treacherous finances for Multiple Sclerosis

I read an article in Neurology Today called New Supreme Court Case & the Complicated Accounting of MS Drugs which details some eye-opening realities about the cost of multiple sclerosis.  The article impetus was a Supreme Court agreement to hear Teva Pharmaceutical’s challenge to generic makers of its MS drug glatiramir acetate (Copaxone), a drug […]

Stroke falls from number 3 to number 4.

Mortality rates for stroke have been declining steadily since around 1900.  Fewer people over time are dying from stroke.  In 1900, mortality rates for stroke and heart disease were about the same at around 250/100,000 per year.  (Figures standardized to the US standard 2000 population.)  From 1900 to 1968 stroke mortality declined by about 0.5% […]

Variability discovered in how hospitals diagnose brain death.

In the United States, a person is diagnosed as dead if they satisfy one of the following two criteria: (1) irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions, or (2) irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem.  This is the wording from the Uniform Determination of Death Act, a federal […]

Are men and women treated differently after brain hemorrhage?

An intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is one of the most serious problems that humans face.  An ICH is when a small vessel inside the brain ruptures and leaks blood into the brain substance.  The person suffering from an ICH experiences what looks like a stroke with a sudden body malfunction like weakness or trouble speaking, often […]

Neurology meets Consumer Reports.

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) published its report on the Top 5 “Choosing Wisely” recommendations.  The Choosing Wisely Campaign is a collaboration among neurology (and 15 other specialties), the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation, and Consumer Reports.  The bottom line is that it seeks to identify wasteful or unnecessary tests, with the aim […]