The girl seizes. Her body torques and twists and jerks about like a snake trapped on an electric fence. She flops back and forth on the gurney before us, her pale forehead glistening with sweat, her brown hair wetted black from the effort of muscle contractions that threaten to tear apart her tiny frame. Trauma room two is silent save for the gluck-gluck-gluck of her gagging as jaw and teeth grind and bang together ...

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The medical condition provocatively called exploding head syndrome, or EHS, brings back the disturbingly graphic images of the 1981 sci-fi horror flick Scanners where the main character blew up people’s heads with the power of telekinesis. Fortunately, as ominous as exploding head syndrome sounds, no skulls have actually exploded, and the condition is reassuringly non-life threatening. For the people who experience the symptoms of EHS, however, the ordeal can be ...

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Three years ago I received some of the best news of my life -- that I have dopa-responsive dystonia. (Yes, a neuromuscular disorder was welcome news.) Painful, life-interrupting muscle contractions had made the dystonia diagnosis likely several years before, despite poor response to standard treatments, and I was fighting through graduate school: trying to compensate for medication-induced memory problems, increasing need to work from bed, and a disappearing social life. ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. Brain Blood Flow May Tell of Concussion Recovery. Cerebral blood flow may be a useful biomarker for predicting outcomes following concussion.
  2. Does More Coffee Mean Less Arterial Plaque? Moderate coffee consumption was associated with a decreased risk of high coronary artery calcium (CAC) scores in asymptomatic people.

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. More U.S. Women Rely on IUDs and Implants. The use of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC), such as intrauterine devices, among U.S. women has increased nearly five-fold in the last decade.
  2. Wise Buy? Drugs for Alzheimer's Dementia. On Sunday night when Julianne Moore collected an Oscar for her performance in ...

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The power of placebos has long been known. People who believe that they are taking an effective drug frequently feel better. In fact, prior to the discovery of penicillin, it is likely that the placebo effect accounted for much of the benefit of medical care. A study published in the journal Neurology makes an interesting connection between the magnitude of the placebo effect and the medication’s perceived price. The study enrolled 12 ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 58-year-old woman is seen for a follow-up evaluation of Parkinson disease, which she has had for 12 years. She was initially treated with ropinirole to which levodopa-carbidopa was added as the disease progressed. After 5 years of good control on medication, she began to experience involuntary generalized twisting and writhing movements ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today: Long-Term Danger for Kids' Tackle Football? Cognitive impairments in retired professional football players with behavioral or mental complaints were more pronounced in those who had played tackle football prior to age 12. Skipping Doses to Save $$$. Nearly 8% of adults in the U.S. did not take their medications ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. Current Flu Vaccine Half as Effective as Previous Years. People receiving this year's seasonal influenza vaccine are 23% less likely to seek medical treatment for flu-type symptoms relative to unvaccinated individuals, according to an interim CDC estimate based on reports submitted so far for the current season.
  2. New Board ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. Should FDA Change Metformin's Black Box Warning? Diabetes experts are building a case to lift restrictions on using metformin in patients with moderate chronic kidney disease.
  2. Tacrolimus for Induction in Lupus Nephritis? Tacrolimus was found to be noninferior to mycophenolate mofetil (Cellcept) for lupus nephritis induction therapy when given ...

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