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New treatment for GERD may offer alternative to Reglan

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Rochester, NYA new treatment being designed for gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) may offer an alternative to the medication Reglan, which has been reported to have a number of adverse side effects.

Some patients who use the medication for acid reflux, heartburn or GERD have experienced such Reglan side effects as tardive dyskinesia and Neuropleptic Malignant Syndrome.

According to the FDA, tardive dyskinesia is a condition that involves involuntary and repetitive movements of the extremities as well as impaired movement of the fingers. There is currently no known treatment for the disease.

Dr Jeffery Peters, an esophageal surgeon at the University of Rochester Medical Center, recently told ABC affiliate WTVQ a new system that is currently being studied may offer an alternative to Reglan in the future.

The LINX Reflux Management System uses tiny magnetic beads encased in titanium, which are placed at the lower end of the esophagus during surgery. Peters said some patients are able to stop their medication and eat a "normal" diet when they return home from surgery.

According to the American College of Gastroenterology, about 15 million Americans have daily heartburn symptoms and 60 million experience the problem at least once a month.

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