The Handoff: Your Week in Neurology News – 6/22/17

The Handoff is a weekly roundup of neurology news covering various developments in subspecialties, the pharmaceutical industry, and the overall state of health care as it affects neurologists.

— Senate Republicans have introduced their version of the health care bill — what seems to be a marginally more generous version of the house bill. Stat has a good overview here

— Months after the controversial and conditional approval of Exondys 51 for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, patients are facing backlash from insurers who are refusing to pay for the drug, which can cost upwards of $1 million per year. 

— The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine say that cognitive training, blood pressure control in those with hypertension, and increased physical activity may help stave off dementia

— “Nootropics” — wellness trend or cognitive breakthrough? The practice of ingesting cocktails of unproven chemicals and substances is growing fast, but does it actually improve brain function?

— A new tool may be able to predict which patients with Parkinson’s disease will develop dementia. 

— A large Chinese study found that breastfeeding is associated with an approximately 10% reduction in risk for cardiovascular disease later in life.

— The NIH is hosting a webcast this upcoming Wednesday on the applications for transcranial magnetic stimulation. You can sign up for the online event here

— A large natural history study is underway in rural Guatemala, where researchers will examine the neurologic, neurodevelopmental and other clinical outcomes of Zika virus infection in infants and young children infected after birth. 

— Watch the video below to learn more about the AAN’s Axon Registry and how it can help improve data collection and patient