NMDA receptor autoantibodies rare in schizophrenia

By Will Boggs MD

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Only rarely do patients with schizophrenia have IgG autoantibodies to the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) that have been implicated in a form of encephalitis, researchers from the Netherlands report.

At-home walking program group support helps people with poor leg circulation

By Andrew M. Seaman

(Reuters Health) - Group sessions that teach and encourage people with poor circulation in their legs to walk regularly on their own improves mobility and prevents its loss, according to a new study.

The findings suggest that supervised activity is not essential for peripheral artery disease (PAD) patients, and doctors and other healthcare providers should not rule out at-home programs, said the study's lead author.

Memory loss may not always be first sign of Alzheimer's

By Lisa Rapaport

(Reuters Health) - While memory loss is thought to be a classical first sign of Alzheimer's disease, some middle-aged people and younger seniors may initially experience different cognitive problems such as trouble with language or problem solving, a large U.S. study suggests.

Researchers reviewed data on early symptoms for almost 8,000 Alzheimer's patients and found one in four people under age 60 had a chief complaint unrelated to memory, though memory was by far still the most common problem overall.

Conflict resolution in care of critically ill patients: policy statement

By Reuters Staff

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - When weighing life-prolonging medical treatments for a critically ill patient, the clinician and patient's family should work together to make appropriate decisions, says a new policy statement from the American Thoracic Society.

FDA approves longer-acting version of J&J's schizophrenia drug

By Vidya L Nathan

(Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a longer-acting version of Johnson & Johnson's schizophrenia treatment, developed by the company's Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit.

The FDA approved the drug, Invega Trinza, to be administered just four times a year, the longest dosing interval available for the treatment of the neurological disorder, Janssen said on Tuesday.

Invega Trinza is the third approved version of JNJ's blockbuster drug Invega, known chemically as paliperidone.

Senior housing transitions can lead to stigma and isolation

By Kathryn Doyle

(Reuters Health) - In senior housing facilities where residents are required to relocate as heath issues worsen, seniors tend to isolate themselves and may hide health conditions out of fear of relocation, according to a new study.

Transitioning from independent living to assisted living to skilled nursing in one place can be disruptive and stressful, as researchers have known for 30 years, the authors write in The Gerontologist, online May 4.

Chamomile may help women live longer

By Lisa Rapaport

(Reuters Health) - Tea and other herbal remedies made from the chamomile plant may help women live longer, a small study suggests.

Based on the results for elderly residents of five U.S. states, it appears that food or beverages containing chamomile don't do much for men. But the women in the study who consumed chamomile had a 33% lower risk of death than those who didn't.

Depression may double stroke risk in older adults

By Lisa Rapaport

(Reuters Health) - Chronic depression may more than double the risk of stroke for older adults, and the danger remains high even when mental health improves, a large U.S. study suggests.

While previous research has linked depression to greater odds of having a stroke, the current study offers fresh evidence that mood-improving treatments like counseling or medications may not completely address the stroke risk tied to psychological problems.

Oral THC fails to ease behavioral symptoms of dementia

By Megan Brooks

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Oral tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main active ingredient in marijuana, did not reduce neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients with dementia enrolled in a randomized controlled trial.

But it wasn't harmful and a higher dose might have some effect, and is worth further study, the researchers say, which they plan do to.

Antihypertensives may reduce fall risk in healthy older adults

By Anne Harding

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Contrary to what's often feared, antihypertensive medication does not increase the risk of falls in healthy, community-dwelling older people, a new prospective study has found.

The results, published May 4 online in Hypertension, contradict a 2014 report in JAMA Internal Medicine (http://bit.ly/NvtVOg) that found an increased risk of serious fall injuries among older adults on blood-pressure-lowering medication, especially among those who had fallen previously.