News Roundup

New and Noteworthy Information—January 2018


Sleep Improves After Retirement

Transition to statutory retirement is associated with a decrease in sleep difficulties, especially waking up too early in the morning and nonrestorative sleep, according to a study published online ahead of print November 16, 2017, in Sleep. The study included 5,807 public sector employees who retired between 2000 and 2011. Participants were administered the Jenkins Sleep Problem Scale Questionnaire before and after retirement in surveys conducted every four years. At the last study wave before retirement, 30% of the participants had sleep difficulties. The risk ratio for having sleep difficulties in the first study wave following retirement, compared with the last study wave preceding retirement, was 0.89. The decreases in sleep difficulties occurred primarily among people with psychologic distress, suboptimal self-rated health, short sleep duration, and job strain before retirement.

Myllyntausta S, Salo P, Kronholm E, et al. Changes in sleep difficulties during the transition to statutory retirement. Sleep. 2017 Nov 16 [Epub ahead of print].

Vigorous Exercise May Delay Parkinson’s Disease Progression

High-intensity treadmill exercise may be feasible and prescribed safely for patients with Parkinson’s disease, according to a study published online ahead of print December 11, 2017, in JAMA Neurology. The randomized clinical trial included 128 participants between ages 40 and 80. Participants were at an early stage of the disease and not taking Parkinson’s disease medication. Investigators randomized the population to high-intensity exercise, moderate-intensity exercise, or a control condition. At baseline and six months, clinicians assessed the participants using the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). Participants in the study had a UPDRS score of about 20 at baseline. At six months, the high-intensity group’s score stayed at 20, and the moderate exercise group worsened by 1.5 points. The control group’s score worsened by three points.

Schenkman M, Moore CG, Kohrt WM, et al. Effect of high-intensity treadmill exercise on motor symptoms in patients with de novo Parkinson disease: a phase 2 randomized clinical trial. JAMA Neurol. 2017 Dec 11 [Epub ahead of print].

Can Exposure to Terror Raise the Risk of Headache?

Exposure to terror increases the risk of persistent weekly and daily migraine and tension-type headache in adolescent survivors above expected levels, according to a study published online ahead of print December 13, 2017, in Neurology. Investigators interviewed 213 survivors of a terror attack in Norway. Half were male, the mean age was 17.7, and 13 survivors were severely injured. Participants provided information about their headache frequency four to five months after the attack. For each survivor, eight matched controls were drawn from the Young-HUNT3 Study. After exposure to terror, the odds ratio for migraine was 4.27, and that for tension-type headache was 3.39, as estimated in multivariable logistic regression models adjusted for injury, sex, age, family structure and economy, prior exposure to physical or sexual violence, and psychologic distress.

Stensland SØ, Zwart JA, Wentzel-Larsen T, Dyb G. The headache of terror: a matched cohort study of adolescents from the Utøya and the HUNT Study. Neurology. 2017 Dec 13 [Epub ahead of print].

Diet Reduces Disability and Symptoms of MS

A healthy diet and a composite healthy lifestyle are associated with less disability and symptom burden in multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study published online ahead of print December 6, 2017, in Neurology. The study involved 6,989 people with MS who completed questionnaires about their diet as part of the North American Research Committee registry. The questionnaire estimated intake of fruits, vegetables and legumes, whole grains, added sugars, and red and processed meats. Researchers constructed an overall diet quality score for each individual based on the food groups. Participants with diet quality scores in the highest quintile had lower levels of disability and lower depression scores. Individuals reporting a composite healthy lifestyle had lower odds of reporting severe fatigue, depression, pain, or cognitive impairment.

Fitzgerald KC, Tyry T, Salter A, et al. Diet quality is associated with disability and symptom severity in multiple sclerosis. Neurology. 2017 Dec 6 [Epub ahead of print].

What Are the Effects of Childhood Convulsive Status Epilepticus?

Childhood convulsive status epilepticus (CSE) is associated with substantial long-term neurologic morbidity, but primarily in people who have epilepsy, neurologic abnormalities, or both before the episode of CSE, according to a study published online ahead of print December 5, 2017, in Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. Researchers followed a population-based childhood CSE cohort. Of 203 survivors, 134 were assessed at a median follow-up of 8.9 years. Lasting neurologic conditions, including epilepsy, learning disabilities, and movement problems, were more common among participants than expected for children from the general population. Children who had existing neurologic or developmental issues at the time of CSE were more likely to have a neurologic problem at follow-up. Children without a neurologic or developmental issue tended to have better outcomes.

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