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Why Sleep Raises Risk for Sudden Death in People With Epilepsy

New research gives insight into why people with epilepsy are at increased risk of sudden death during sleep.

The study found that both sleep and epileptic seizures work together to slow heart rate, and that seizures also disrupt the body's natural regulation of sleep-related changes.

These factors can sometimes lead to sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), which caused the 20...

Race Against Time: Stricken With ALS, She's Seeking Access to Experimental Drug

Like many proud moms, Lisa Stockman-Mauriello of Summit, N.J., is looking forward to exciting milestones in lives of her three sons over the coming months: One will graduate college, one will enter college, and the third will begin high school.

But unlike other moms, it's not guaranteed that she'll be there to experience them.

Lisa, 51, has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a di...

Long-Haul COVID Symptoms Common, Rise With Severity of Illness

For people who've suffered through a bout of COVID-19, their misery is too often not over. New research shows that a wide variety of "long-haul" symptoms are common, and the risk rises along with the severity of their case of COVID-19.

In what may be the largest such study to date, "the findings show that beyond the first 30 days of illness, substantial burden of health loss — spanning...

'Disrupted' Sleep Could Be Seriously Affecting Your Health

THURSDAY, April 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Waking up briefly throughout the night may do more than leave you feeling grumpy and tired in the morning.

Disrupted sleep may actually increase your odds of dying early from heart disease or any other cause, and women seem to be harder hit by these effects than men.

"The data underscores all the more reasons why we nee...

How 'Bleeding' Stroke Affects Brain May Depend on Your Race

Black and Hispanic survivors of a bleeding stroke are more likely than white survivors to have changes in small blood vessels in the brain that increase the risk of another bleeding stroke, researchers say.

'Bleeding' strokes, also called hemorrhagic stroke, comprise about 13% of all strokes. They occur when an artery in the brain leaks or ruptures.

"While Black and Hispanic bleedin...

Brain Study Suggests Autism Develops Differently in Girls Than Boys

Autism appears to develop differently in girls and boys, so the findings of research conducted mainly with boys might not apply to girls, a new study suggests.

Autism spectrum disorder is four times more common in boys, which may help explain why there's far less research about autism in girls.

"This new study provides us with a roadmap for understanding how to better match current...

Could Chronic Sinusitis Affect Brain Health?

WEDNESDAY, April 21, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- As if the headaches and stuffy nose aren't bad enough, chronic sinus trouble often leaves patients foggy-headed and depressed. Now, new research suggests one possible reason why: Sinusitis may trigger changes in brain activity.

"Chronic sinusitis is incredibly common," said study lead author Dr. Aria Jafari. Upwards of 11% ...

'Nerve Zap' Pain Treatment Could Cut Need for Opioids After Surgeries

WEDNESDAY, April 21, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- An emerging technology could zap your post-op pain away — little or no opioids needed.

The technique is called percutaneous peripheral nerve stimulation. It involves inserting a small wire next to a nerve and using a stimulator to deliver a mild electrical current to the affected area, interrupting pain transmission.

Sleepwalking Tied to Higher Odds for Parkinson's in Men

TUESDAY, April 20, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Men with certain sleep problems, like sleep walking, may be at a higher risk of developing Parkinson's disease, a new study suggests.

Among nearly 26,000 men, researchers found those who sleepwalked or had rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD) had a four times or higher risk of developing Parkinson's disease compare...

Many Kids Who Develop Severe COVID-Linked Syndrome Have Neurologic Symptoms

In very rare cases, children infected with the new coronavirus can develop a severe illness known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C). Now, research finds that these young patients often develop neurologic symptoms along with the respiratory issues they might face.

These neurologic symptoms were present in half of children who were hospitalized with MIS-C, U.K. researchers say.

Diminished Hearing, Vision Together Could Be Risk Factor for Dementia

A combination of hearing and vision loss is tied to an increased risk of mental decline and dementia, but having just one of those impairments isn't connected with a higher risk, a new South Korean study finds.

It's not clear why a diminishing of both senses, but not just one, would raise dementia risks, but the study's leader had a theory that's tied to the importance of socializing in ...

1 in 3 COVID Survivors Struggle With Mental Health Issues Months Later

Doctors are seeing such cases around the world: About a third of COVID-19 patients go on to develop "long-haul" neurological or psychiatric conditions months after being infected, new research shows.

The findings suggest a link between COVID-19 and a higher risk for later mental health and neurological disorders, researchers report.

The new analysis of data from more than 236,000 ...

Loneliness in Mid-Life Linked to Higher Odds for Alzheimer's

Middle-aged folks who feel persistently lonely appear to have a nearly doubled risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer's disease, a new study reports.

If you take steps to counter your loneliness, however, you might actually reduce your dementia risk, the researchers found.

Dementia risk rose 91% in those who reported feelings of loneliness that persisted across two separate health...

'Zombie Genes' Spur Some Brain Cells to Grow Even After Death

When people die some cells in their brains go on for hours, even getting more active and growing to gargantuan proportions, new research shows.

Awareness of this activity, spurred on by "zombie genes," could affect research into diseases that affect the brain.

For the study, researchers analyzed gene expression using fresh brain tissue collected during routine surgery and found that...

Half of COVID Survivors Struggle With Depression: Study

To the lingering damage of COVID-19 infection, add this side effect: New research shows that more than half of those sickened by COVID-19 report depression.

Among more than 3,900 people who had COVID-19 surveyed between May 2020 and January 2021, 52% suffered symptoms of major depression, researchers found.

"People who have been ill with COVID-19 can experience depressive symptoms f...

Could a New Drug Help Ease Alzheimer's?

About 7 out of 10 Alzheimer's patients wound up free of the brain plaques that are a hallmark of the disease after treatment with a potentially breakthrough experimental drug, clinical trial results show.

The drug, donanemab, also significantly slowed the patients' brain decline, according to findings published March 13 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Donanemab diss...

Switch to Plant-Based Diet Can Cut Your Odds for Stroke

A healthy, plant-based diet could reduce your risk of stroke by up to 10%, researchers say.

This type of diet includes greater amounts of foods like vegetables, whole grains and beans, and fewer less-healthy foods like refined grains or added sugars.

"Many studies already show that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can reduce your risk of all kinds of diseases, from heart ...

Clocks 'Spring Forward' on Sunday: Be Prepared

Many people dread the switch to daylight saving time. When you're losing an hour of sleep, it can be hard to actually feel like springing forward.

Dr. Rachel Ziegler, a sleep medicine physician from the Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont, Minn., offers some tips for easing into the time change before it happens on March 14.

Ziegler recommends getting to bed 15 minutes early now, ...

For Amputees, a New Kind of Surgery May Allow Better Control, Sensation

A new type of surgery offers amputees better control of muscles that remain after surgery, and of their prosthetic limbs, its inventors say.

The standard surgical approach to amputation has changed little since the American Civil War, according to developers of the new approach. In their small study, the new procedure also helped curb pain and sensations like the troubling "phantom limb" ...

No Sense of Smell After COVID? Therapies Can Help Bring It Back

So, you had COVID-19 a few months back and you still can't smell that first steaming cup of coffee in the morning. Is there anything you can do to hasten the return of that vital sense?

Experts say there is, including "physical therapy" for your nose.

"In most cases, smell loss is temporary, but it can take months or even years to recover," said researcher Dr. Tran Locke. She's an a...

'Rerouting' Brain Blood Flow: Old Technique Could Be New Advance Against Strokes

Doctors are testing a decades-old surgical technique as a new way to treat certain stroke patients. And the preliminary results look promising, they say.

At issue are strokes caused by intracranial atherosclerosis, where blood vessels within the brain become hardened and narrowed.

Strokes occur when the blood supply to the brain is disrupted, depriving tissue of oxygen and nutrients...

'Telestroke' Care at Hospitals Is Boosting Patient Outcomes

You've had a stroke and arrive at a hospital, but the stroke specialist is off-duty. Never fear: Telemedicine may help save your life.

Especially during the COVID-19 crisis, so-called 'telestroke' services -- where health workers use video to consult with a stroke specialist who could be miles away -- is helping to lead to better patient outcomes, new research shows.

"Our findings p...

Stem Cell Injections Show Early Promise Against Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can be devastating to the more than 17,000 Americans who suffer them each year. But many patients may have new reason for hope: Early research suggests infusions of stem cells could help them regain lost sensation and movement.

These improvements may occur within days or weeks of receiving the stem cell therapy, and can last at least six months, according to the small...

'Night Owls' Perform Worse at Work, Study Finds

"Early to bed, early to rise" may be good advice for your career. New research finds that, compared to night owls, folks with earlier bedtimes perform better at work and are less plagued by disabilities that lead to early retirement.

Overall, "night owls" were twice as likely as "early birds" to underperform at work, the new study found. Folks who stayed up late also ran a heightened risk...

Grumpy? Depressed? Try a More Regular Sleep Schedule

A steady sleep routine may do more than keep you well-rested: New research suggests that the more swings in your slumber schedule, the worse your mood and depression symptoms are likely to be.

Researchers from Michigan Medicine followed the sleep patterns of interns in their first year of residency after medical school. That irregular sleep schedule can increase a person's risk of depress...

Too Little Sleep Could Raise Your Dementia Risk

Older adults who get little sleep each night may be at heightened risk of dementia or earlier death, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that among 2,600 older Americans, those who were deemed "short sleepers" -- catching no more than five hours of sleep at night -- were more likely to develop dementia or die over the next five years.

Their risks were double that of older people...

Autopsy Study May Explain Why Some COVID Survivors Have 'Brain Fog'

One of the least understood effects of COVID-19 infection is "brain fog," a kind of mental confusion that can take hold among seriously ill patients, sometimes lingering long after recovery.

Now, a new study has spotted a possible neurological clue in the form of highly unusual cell clusters in the brains of people who had COVID-19.

"What we're talking about is a situation where pat...

Is Any Amount of Coffee Safe for Baby During Pregnancy?

Too much coffee during pregnancy could lead to kids with behavior problems later on.

That's the key takeaway from new research that examined 9,000 brain scans from 9- and 10-year-olds as part of the largest long-term study of brain development and child health.

"The goalposts are moved by caffeine, and there are subtle, but real changes in behavioral outcomes in most kids who were e...

AHA News: Hoping to Find Out Her Baby's Sex, She Learned of a Serious Heart Defect

Latisha Wilborne was excited. She and her husband had tried for a year to get pregnant, and now, 20 weeks pregnant, she was at a doctor's visit with her two sisters where an ultrasound would determine if she was having a girl or boy. A party to celebrate the news was just days away.

The happy mood changed when the doctor told Latisha they detected a problem with the baby's heart.

"I...

Could a Common Prostate Drug Help Prevent Parkinson's?

While scientists still don't know what causes Parkinson's disease, new research shows an association between a drug that some men take for an enlarged prostate condition and a reduced risk of developing the illness.

A team led by scientists at the University of Iowa, working in collaboration with researchers in Denmark and China, found that the drug terazosin and similar medications may h...

'So Happy:' World's First Hand/Face Transplant Patient Doing Well

Joe DiMeo's life changed forever when he fell asleep at the wheel on U.S. Route 22 in New Jersey on July 14, 2018.

The horrific crash left him with third-degree burns on 80% of his body and a grim prognosis.

Now, more than two years later, DiMeo, 22, is the recipient of the world's first successful double hand and face transplant, and on the road to recovery.

The historic surg...

How Your Neighborhood Can Hamper Your Teen's Sleep

Living in a noisy neighborhood with less green space negatively affects teens' sleep, which may lead to poorer memory and thinking skills, according to a pair of studies.

In a study on residential environment, researchers found that as noise levels steadily increased, so too did the time needed for teens to fall asleep. They also didn't sleep as long as kids in quieter, greener neighborho...

Researchers Use Computers and 'Exoskeletons' to Help Stroke Survivors

Stroke survivor Ken Allsford focused intensely on how he wanted to bend his elbow.

And then the robot exoskeleton attached to his left arm obeyed his unspoken command, moving his crippled limb.

"It was a combination of exciting and trepidation, because sometimes nothing would happen," Allsford, 61, of Katy, Texas, recalled. "But when you actually see it move without actually making ...

Healthy Eating Could Delay Onset of Parkinson's Disease

While researchers continue to try to find the key that unlocks the cause of Parkinson's disease, new research suggests that what a person eats could make a difference.

Researchers in Canada found a strong correlation between eating either a Mediterranean diet or the MIND diet (which combines elements of the Mediterranean diet and a diet known as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), a...

Could Stem Cell Therapy Be a Breakthrough Against MS?

Stem cell transplants may have long-lasting benefits for some people with aggressive cases of multiple sclerosis, a new study suggests.

Italian researchers found that among 210 multiple sclerosis (MS) patients who received a stem cell transplant -- with cells from their own blood -- two-thirds saw no worsening in their disability 10 years out.

That included 71% of patients with rela...

A Promising New Therapy Against OCD?

Noninvasive electrical stimulation of the brain, fine-tuned to specific "circuitry" gone awry, might help ease obsessive-compulsive behaviors, an early study hints.

Researchers found that the brain stimulation, delivered over five days, reduced obsessive-compulsive tendencies for three months, though in people who did not have full-blown obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

It's too...

Aphasia Affects Brain Similar to Alzheimer's, But Without Memory Loss

A rare brain disease that causes loss of language skills doesn't lead to memory loss, a new study finds.

The condition is called primary progressive aphasia and about 40% of people who have it have underlying Alzheimer's disease, according to researchers. Their study was published online Jan. 13 in the journal Neurology.

"While we knew that the memories of people with prima...

Get Fit in Middle Age to Boost Your Aging Brain

Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity in middle age and beyond might help keep your brain healthy, a new study suggests.

"Our study suggests that getting at least an hour and 15 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity a week or more during midlife may be important throughout your lifetime for promoting brain health and preserving the actual structure of your brain," s...

Global Warming May Be Triggering Toxic Algae Blooms Along U.S. West Coast

New toxic algal blooms have appeared on the U.S. west coast due to an ocean heat wave, a new study finds.

The researchers said that climate change is increasing the frequency of highly toxic algal blooms in this area.

These algae produce a neurotoxin called domoic acid that causes severe and potentially lethal digestive and neurological symptoms, and is a threat to marine wildlife a...

Brain May Age Faster After Spinal Cord Injury

A new study supports the theory that people who suffer a spinal cord injury may also have accelerated brain aging that affects how fast they process information.

Those "cognitive deficits" are similar to those in older adults, according to research from the nonprofit Kessler Foundation in New Jersey.

Individuals with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) have an increased risk for cognit...

Police Use of Neck Restraint Never Medically Appropriate, Neurologists Say

Despite training that teaches police officers to use neck restraints, there is no medical justification for the tactic, three neurologists write in JAMA Neurology.

The killing of George Floyd, who died in May 2020 after an arresting police officer pressed a knee to his neck for more than eight minutes, helped spark a nationwide conversation about racial injustice.

While Fl...

Scans Reveal How COVID-19 Can Harm the Brain

Blood vessel damage and inflammation in the brains of deceased COVID-19 patients suggest the damage is not caused by the virus, but the body's immune response to it.

Researchers from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) consistently found signs of damage caused by thinning and leaky brain blood vessels in tissue samples from patients who died shortly after getting COVID-19.

...

Neurologists Much Tougher to Find in Rural America

A shortage of neurologists in rural parts of the United States means that people in those areas are less likely to receive specialized care for conditions such as stroke, dementia and back pain, a new study claims.

"Neurologists in the United States are not evenly spread out, which affects whether patients can see a neurologist for certain conditions like dementia and stroke," said study ...

What Loneliness Looks Like in the Brain

As COVID-19 continues to spread and people face more isolation than usual, researchers are noting the impact of loneliness on the brain.

A new study from McGill University in Montreal found a tell-tale signature in the brains of lonely people. Specifically, they discovered variations in the volume of different brain regions and how those regions communicate across brain networks.

"W...

COVID-19 Survival Declines When Brain Affected: Study

Hospitalized COVID-19 patients with brain complications such as stroke and confusion have an increased risk of death, a new study shows.

The findings could improve care and save lives during the pandemic, the researchers said.

"This study is the first to show that the presence of neurological symptoms, particularly stroke and confused or altered thinking, may indicate a more serious...

As Testing Costs Rise, Neurology Patients May Skip Screening

Rising out-of-pocket costs for neurological tests could lead many Americans to forgo them, researchers warn.

Their study, published online Dec. 23 in the journal Neurology, analyzed neurology care costs for more than 3.7 million people in a large private insurance claims database.

They found that average, inflation-adjusted out-of-pocket costs for diagnostic tests rose by a...

No Link Seen Between COVID, Guillain-Barré Syndrome

There's no evidence of a link between COVID-19 and a serious neurological condition called Guillain-Barré syndrome, British researchers say.

Guillain-Barré syndrome is a rare autoimmune condition that attacks the peripheral nervous system, typically causing numbness, weakness and pain. In severe cases, it can cause paralysis and is sometimes fatal.

The exact cause isn't known, but...

I've Lost My Sense of Smell: Is It COVID?

While loss of smell is a symptom of COVID-19, don't panic -- there are a variety of other possible causes, one expert says.

"It can be due to nasal or sinus inflammation, or other viral infections distinct from COVID-19," explained Dr. Bobby Tajudeen, director of rhinology, sinus surgery and skull base surgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

"And it can even occur as a...

Why a Newborn's First Breath Is So Important

New research on what happens as a newborn is delivered and takes its first breath may shed light on a potential contributor to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

A team led by doctors from the University of Virginia School of Medicine discovered a signaling system within the brainstem that activates almost immediately at birth to support early breathing.

The findings help re...

Even in Moderate Cases, COVID-19 Is Causing Long-Term Neurological Harm

COVID-19 can cause a wide range of neurological complications, even in patients who are not critically ill, a new study shows.

Since the start of the pandemic, it's become clear that infection with SARS-CoV-2 can affect organ systems throughout the body. That includes problems affecting the brain and nervous system -- ranging from altered mental states to seizures to strokes.

In the...