The Handoff is a weekly roundup of neurology news covering various developments in subspecialties, as well as pharmaceutical and association and society news. Keep your finger on the pulse of neurology with The Handoff.

– The American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association has released a policy statement addressing the early implementation of palliative care in patients with advanced cardiovascular disease and stroke.

– The French health ministry is denying any wrongdoing after a weekly newspaper claimed that over 10,000 pregnant women were given Sanofi’s antiepileptic drug depakine despite well-known risks of fetus malformation and neurodevelopmental disabilities.

– The first patients have been dosed with Zynerba Pharmaceuticals’ ZYN002 cannabidiol gel in the Phase 2 STAR 1 clinical trial. The drug is the first and only synthetic, transdermal CBD formulation being developed for the treatment of refractory focal seizures.

– Eisai and Biogen are moving on to Phase 3 trials of their BACE inhibitor treatment for Alzheimer’s disease after the FDA deemed their Phase 2 data “sufficient.” The new trial will measure the effect of 50 mg/day of E2609 in Alzheimer’s patients after previous data indicated that treatment decreased beta-amyloid levels in plasma and CSF in a dose-dependent fashion.

– Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. claimed the top spot on US News & World Report’s best hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery for the third year in a row, scoring an overall 100 out of 100. Johns Hopkins and New York-Presbyterian followed at second and third.

– A workshop at Northwestern University is helping people with dementia and their partners cope with changes through storytelling.

– A robotic suit that bridges the brain-machine interface has allowed for partial neurological recovery in patients with severe spinal cord injuries. Watch the video below for more about the groundbreaking technology.

Video courtesy Nature Publishing Group