Health

By Maureen Salamon

WEDNESDAY, March 1, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- An implanted device that provides electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve leading to the enhanced arm movement in a small group of patients, researchers report.

Evaluating 17 stroke patients with chronic arm weakness who also received intense , scientists found that three-quarters improved with vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), while only one-quarter of those receiving "sham" nerve stimulation did.

"Arm weakness affects three of every four of our patients and persists to a disabling degree in at least 50 percent of them, so it's a hugely important problem in the long term," explained study author Dr. Jesse Dawson. He's director of the Scottish Research Network and a clinical researcher at University of Glasgow.

"A unique aspect of this [device] is that patients can deliver the brain stimulation technique in their own home during exercise .

By Alan Mozes

THURSDAY, Feb. 23, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Getting care at a hospital for a psychiatric disorder may be linked to a higher risk of in the following weeks and months, new research suggests.

People who sought care at a hospital for serious conditions -- such as , or post-traumatic disorder -- faced a tripled risk of following their visit, the study authors contended.

The risk started to decrease after 30 days, but remained twice as high for at least a year after the ER visit or hospital stay, the researchers said.

"We have known for some time that people who have a seem to be at an increased risk for later on developing some sort of psychiatric illness, or post-stroke ," said study lead author Jonah Zuflacht. He's a fourth-year medical student at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City.

By Alan Mozes

THURSDAY, Feb. 23, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A large new analysis suggests there may some type of link between and the risk for .

However, the study can't prove that one condition causes the other -- or even which direction the link might travel, the researchers said.

For example, maybe Parkinson's somehow raises a person's odds for ischemic -- the type that's caused by a clot and makes up the vast majority of strokes. Or, it could be that having a stroke weakens the brain, raising the risk that a patient will develop Parkinson's.

Or, as one expert who reviewed the findings said, a separate, unknown factor might independently link the two conditions.

"There may be some processes that occur with aging that increase the risk of both and neurodegenerative disorders" such as Parkinson's, said Dr. Andrew Feigin, a neurologist at Northwell Health's Neuroscience Institute in Manhasset, N.Y.