Weak muscles can put diabetics at risk on stairs

By Janice Neumann

(Reuters Health) - People with diabetic peripheral neuropathy often have trouble on stairs, but exercise might help lower their risk of falling, researchers say.

People with diabetic peripheral neuropathy go up and down stairs more slowly and clumsily than healthy people because of weak muscles, sensory damage, and poor coordination, say the authors of the report.

Resistance exercises could help these individuals build up strength and avoid future falls, they wrote in Diabetes Care, online October 14.

Which anticoagulant is right for AF patients on amiodarone?

By Will Boggs MD

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - For patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) who are receiving amiodarone, apixaban might be a better anticoagulant choice than warfarin, according to data from the ARISTOTLE trial.

Hand exercise program improves function in rheumatoid arthritis

By Anne Harding

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A tailored, low-cost exercise program improves hand function in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to new findings.

Nearly 80% of RA patients have hand dysfunction. Small studies suggest that exercise programs can help maintain or improve hand function in these patients, "but larger trials with longer follow-up are needed," Dr. Sarah Lamb of the University of Oxford in the UK and colleagues write in The Lancet, online October 10.

Frontotemporal dementia linked to high BMI, carb consumption

By Rob Goodier

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Patients with two subtypes of frontotemporal dementia consume more sugar and other carbohydrates than normal and they have a higher-than-average BMI and waist circumference, a new study has found.

Patients with the behavioral variant of the disease and another subtype, semantic dementia, have been known to change their eating habits, and this new research measures some of those changes.

Parkinson's drugs linked to impulse control disorders

By Kathryn Doyle

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Dopamine receptor agonist drugs were linked with higher risks for pathological gambling, hypersexuality and compulsive shopping in a new study.

Cases of these severe impulse control disorders linked to the drugs have been reported for more than 10 years, and in many cases the abnormal behavior stops when patients stop taking the medications, lead author Thomas J. Moore of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices in Alexandria, Virginia, and colleagues write in their report of the study.

Trunk muscle control, not kyphosis, tied to vertebral fractures in elderly

By David Douglas

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - In elderly patients with osteoporosis, arm movements modify trunk muscle activity differently than in younger subjects. Vertebral fractures and kyphosis further influence this response and might be a factor in subsequent fractures, according to Australian researchers.

Bisphosphonates can be started early after surgery for fracture

By Rob Goodier

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Bisphosphonate therapy for osteoporosis does not appear to interfere with healing after surgery for bone fractures, according to new research.

A meta-analysis of 10 studies involving nearly 2900 patients found no delay in clinical or radiological healing times among patients on bisphosphonates, and bone mineral density improved within one year.

Vancomycin MIC does not affect mortality from S aureus bacteremia

By Reuters Staff

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - So long as Staphylococcus aureus is susceptible to vancomycin, the drug's minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) does not influence mortality from bloodstream infections, researchers say.

Some recent reports have suggested that elevated vancomycin MIC levels may be associated with increased treatment failure and mortality from S. aureus bacteremia.