Pfizer's Lyrica shows no relief from post-traumatic nerve pain

By Reuters Staff

(Reuters) - Pfizer Inc said its blockbuster pain drug Lyrica (pregabalin) had failed to show benefit in patients suffering from a type of post-traumatic nerve pain, in a late-stage study.

The drug did not lead to pain reduction in patients compared with a placebo, the company said on Wednesday.

Currently, there is no approved treatment in the United States for post-traumatic neuropathic pain.

Pulse-echo ultrasound useful for osteoporosis screening

By Will Boggs MD

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Pulse-echo ultrasound is a useful method for point-of-care osteoporosis screening, researchers from Finland report.

"To effectively increase diagnostic coverage, this kind of device should be in every primary or occupational healthcare unit," Dr. Janne P. Karjalainen from the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio told Reuters Health by email.

Glucose levels tied to bone turnover in diabetics

By David Douglas

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Blood glucose changes may alter bone turnover and have detrimental effects on bone health in diabetics, according to Danish researchers.

As Dr. Jakob Starup-Linde told Reuters Health by email, "Our findings suggest that the bone turnover is dependent on plasma glucose levels in patients with diabetes. Thus, glycemic variability may cause the diabetic bone disease with high fracture rates in spite of normal to increased bone mineral density."

How to care for two parents at once without going broke

By Chris Taylor

NEW YORK (Reuters) - For years, Madeleine Smithberg has been at the forefront of American comedy as co-creator of "The Daily Show" and a talent coordinator for "Late Show with David Letterman."

That sense of humor was especially handy during the last few years. That is because Smithberg had to cope with not one, but two elderly parents in rapid decline.

"It's heartbreaking," says Smithberg, 56, who heads a production company in Los Angeles. "And yet it's invisible, because nobody talks about it."

More urinary potassium tied to reduction in kidney, heart complications in diabetes

By Anne Harding

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Patients with type 2 diabetes and normal kidney function who excrete more potassium in their urine are at lower risk of cardiovascular complications, and also have slower renal function decline, new research shows.

The findings were published online November 12 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

UCB wins European green light for new epilepsy drug

By Reuters Staff

LONDON (Reuters) - Belgian drugmaker UCB got a boost to its drug pipeline on Friday when European regulators recommended approval of its experimental epilepsy medicine brivaracetam.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said its experts backed the drug as a treatment for patients aged 16 years and older with uncontrolled partial-onset seizures.

Medical directive for nurses may help reduce catheter use, infections

By Anne Harding

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A medical directive for removal of urinary catheters (UC) by nurses on general medical wards appears to reduce UC days and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), new findings show.

Topical imiquimod pretreatment enhances influenza vaccine immunogenicity

By Will Boggs MD

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Topical application of imiquimod at the injection site improves the immunogenicity of intradermal trivalent influenza vaccine, researchers from Hong Kong report.

"There is an inexpensive and feasible way to make the vaccine working faster, stronger, and maybe with broader spectrum at your clinic," Dr. Kwok-Yung Yuen from The University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, told Reuters Health by email.

U.S. public health funding on the decline

By Lisa Rapaport

(Reuters Health) - U.S. public health funding - which covers things like disease prevention, cancer screenings, contraceptives and vaccines - has been steadily falling in recent years and is expected to keep going down, a recent study projects.

Real, inflation-adjusted public health expenditures surged from $39 per capita in 1960 to $281 per capita in 2008, then fell 9.3% to $255 per capita in 2014, according to the analysis published online November 12 in the American Journal of Public Health.

Many nurses happy with pay, would still change careers

By Lisa Rapaport

(Reuters Health) - Many U.S. nurses are satisfied with their pay but a lot of them would choose a different job or career path if they could, a new survey suggests.

Overall, nurses typically earn more - $95,000 to $170,000 - with advanced degrees that let them specialize in areas such as anesthesia, midwifery and primary care, according to the Medscape Nurse Salary Report 2015. These nurses are generally more satisfied with their pay than others in the profession.