Short News


short news

Study offers new insights
into basal ganglia diseases

Basal ganglia are deep grey matter structures in the brain involved in the control of posture and voluntary movements, cognition, behaviour, and motivational states. Several conditions are known to affect basal ganglia during childhood, but many questions remain.

In a study published that included 62 children with basal ganglia diseases who were followed for two years, investigators identified multiple genetic variations that pointed to the presence of mitochondrial diseases, Aicardi-Goutires syndrome (a rare genetic disorder that affects the brain, spinal cord, and immune system), and dystonia and/or epilepsy. Radiological imaging tests also revealed several characteristics in patients that could help lead to an earlier diagnosis of basal ganglia diseases.

Reproductive changes
among women in their 40s

In a study published in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica that examined the total population of women aged 40–49 years between 2008-2018 in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, birth rates increased in Denmark and Sweden, and births resulting from assisted reproductive technology doubled in all three countries.

Among the major findings:

  • Use of hormonal contraception increased among women aged 40–44 years in Denmark from 24% to 31%, in Sweeden from 27% to 30%, and in Norway from 22% to 24%.
  • Birth rates among women 40–444 years increased from 9.5 to 12 per 1,000 women in Denmark and from 11.7 to 14.3 per 1,000 in Sweden, while they remained stable in Norway at approximately 11 per 1,000 women.
  • In women aged 40–49 years, there was a doubling of assisted conceptions in Denmark from 0.71 to 1.71 per 1,000 women, in Sweden from 0.43 to 0.81 per 1,000, and in Norway from 0.25 to 0.53 per 1,000 women.
  • Sweden had the highest induced abortion rate (7.7 to 8.1 per 1,000 women) in women aged 40–49 years during the study period.

This study confirms the trend of postponing childbirth observed for most of Europe and demonstrates the important role of assisted reproductive technology on birth rates in this age group, said lead author Ingela Lindh, MD, of Sahlgrenska University Hospital, in Sweden. The study provides valuable information to improve women’s knowledge about their fertility.

Can antidepressant
medication alleviate pain in
patients with osteoarthritis?

A clinical trial published in Arthritis & Rheumatology recently examined whether duloxetine, a medication that is prescribed to treat depression and may also reduce chronic pain, can benefit patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis.

In the trial of patients experiencing chronic osteoarthritis-related pain in the hip or knee that did not go away with over-the-counter medications, 66 were randomized to duloxetine added to usual care and 66 were randomized to usual care alone.

The trial’s investigators found that duloxetine did not lessen pain at 3 months or 12 months. There was no clinically relevant effect of duloxetine added to usual care compared to usual care alone for chronic osteoarthritis pain, and it should not be implemented, the authors wrote.

© Professional Medical Publications. All rights reserved.