Post List

  • August 2, 2015
  • 01:29 PM
  • 7 views

Perfectionism linked to burnout at work, school and sports

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Concerns about perfectionism can sabotage success at work, school or on the playing field, leading to stress, burnout and potential health problems, according to new research. In the first meta-analysis of the relationship between perfectionism and burnout, researchers analyzed the findings from 43 previous studies conducted over the past 20 years. It turns out perfectionism isn’t all bad.... Read more »

  • August 2, 2015
  • 09:54 AM
  • 6 views

A Close Look at the Connectivity of a Single Brain

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

In a new paper just out in Neuron, researchers Timothy Laumann and colleagues present an in-depth analysis of the functional connectivity of a single human brain.



The brain in question belongs to neuroscientist Russ Poldrack, and he's one of the authors of the paper. Poldrack was fMRI scanned a total of 84 times over a period of 532 days. The goal of this intense scanning schedule was to provide a detailed analysis of the functional connectivity of an individual brain.

Previous studies... Read more »

Laumann TO, Gordon EM, Adeyemo B, Snyder AZ, Joo SJ, Chen MY, Gilmore AW, McDermott KB, Nelson SM, Dosenbach NU.... (2015) Functional System and Areal Organization of a Highly Sampled Individual Human Brain. Neuron. PMID: 26212711  

  • August 2, 2015
  • 08:31 AM
  • 10 views

Blood Pressure Dippers May React Differently to Morning Blood Pressure Surge

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Sante D. Pierdomenico Associate Professor of Internal Medicine University “Gabriele d’Annunzio” Chieti-Pescara – Italy Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Pierdomenico: Though a peak incidence of cardiovascular … Continue reading →
The post Blood Pressure Dippers May React Differently to Morning Blood Pressure Surge appeared first on MedicalResearch.com Medical Research Interviews and News.
... Read more »

Prof. Sante D. Pierdomenico. (2015) Blood Pressure Dippers May React Differently to Morning Blood Pressure Surge . MedicalResearch.com. info:/

  • August 2, 2015
  • 08:13 AM
  • 7 views

Epigenetic Biomarker May Improve Cervical Cancer Screening

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christos Nikolaidis Ph.D. Laboratory of Pharmacology Medical School, Democritus University of Thrace Dragana, Alexandroupolis Greece Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Response: Epigenetic changes are part of the natural history of cervical neoplasia. Tracking … Continue reading →
The post Epigenetic Biomarker May Improve Cervical Cancer Screening appeared first on MedicalResearch.com Medical Research Interviews and News.
... Read more »

Christos Nikolaidis Ph.D. (2015) Epigenetic Biomarker May Improve Cervical Cancer Screening. MedicalResearch.com. info:/

  • August 1, 2015
  • 08:42 PM
  • 24 views

The Idiosyncratic Side of Diagnosis by Brain Scan and Machine Learning

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

R2D3R2D3 recently had a fantastic Visual Introduction to Machine Learning, using the classification of homes in San Francisco vs. New York as their example. As they explain quite simply: In machine learning, computers apply statistical learning techniques to automatically identify patterns in data. These techniques can be used to make highly accurate predictions. You should really head over there right now to view it, because it's very impressive.Computational neuroscience types are using machine learning algorithms to classify all sorts of brain states, and diagnose brain disorders, in humans. How accurate are these classifications? Do the studies all use separate training sets and test sets, as shown in the example above?Let's say your fMRI measure is able to differentiate individuals with panic disorder (n=33) from those with panic disorder + depression (n=26) with 79% accuracy.1 Or with structural MRI scans you can distinguish 20 participants with treatment-refractory depression from 21 never-depressed individuals with 85% accuracy.2 Besides the issues outlined in the footnotes, the “reality check” is that the model must be able to predict group membership for a new (untrained) data set. And most studies don't seem to do this.I was originally drawn to the topic by a 3 page article entitled, Machine learning algorithm accurately detects fMRI signature of vulnerability to major depression (Sato et al., 2015). Wow! Really? How accurate? Which fMRI signature? Let's take a look.machine learning algorithm = Maximum Entropy Linear Discriminant Analysis (MLDA)accurately predicts = 78.3% (72.0% sensitivity and 85.7% specificity)fMRI signature = “guilt-selective anterior temporal functional connectivity changes” (seems a bit overly specific and esoteric, no?)vulnerability to major depression = 25 participants with remitted depression vs. 21 never-depressed participantsThe authors used a “standard leave-one-subject-out procedure in which the classification is cross-validated iteratively by using a model based on the sample after excluding one subject to independently predict group membership” but they did not test their fMRI signature in completely independent groups of participants.Nor did they try to compare individuals who are currently depressed to those who are currently remitted. That didn't matter, apparently, because the authors suggest the fMRI signature is a trait marker of vulnerability, not a state marker of current mood. But the classifier missed 28% of the remitted group who did not have the “guilt-selective anterior temporal functional connectivity changes.”What is that, you ask? This is a set of mini-regions (i.e., not too many voxels in each) functionally connected to a right superior anterior temporal lobe seed region of interest during a contrast of guilt vs. anger feelings (selected from a number of other possible emotions) for self or best friend, based on written imaginary scenarios like “Angela [self] does act stingily towards Rachel [friend]” and “Rachel does act stingily towards Angela” conducted outside the scanner (after the fMRI session is over). Got that?You really need to read a bunch of other articles to understand what that means, because the current paper is less than 3 pages long. Did I say that already?modified from Fig 1B (Sato et al., 2015). Weight vector maps highlighting voxels among the 1% most discriminative for remitted major depression vs. controls, including the subgenual cingulate cortex, both hippocampi, the right thalamus and the anterior insulae.The patients were previously diagnosed according to DSM-IV-TR (which was current at the time), and in remission for at least 12 months. The study was conducted by investigators from Brazil and the UK, so they didn't have to worry about RDoC, i.e. “new ways of classifying mental disorders based on behavioral dimensions and neurobiological measures” (instead of DSM-5 criteria). A “guilt-proneness” behavioral construct, along with the “guilt-selective” network of idiosyncratic brain regions, might be more in line with RDoC than past major depression diagnosis.Could these results possibly generalize to other populations of remitted and never-depressed individuals? Well, the fMRI signature seems a bit specialized (and convoluted). And overfitting is another likely problem here... In their next post, R2D3 will discuss overfitting: Ideally, the [decision] tree should perform similarly on both known and unknown data. So this one is less than ideal. [NOTE: the one that's 90% in the top figure] These errors are due to overfitting. Our model has learned to treat every detail in the training data as important, even details that turned out to be irrelevant.In my next post, I'll present an unsystematic review of machine learning as applied to the classification of major depression. It's notable that Sato et al. (2015) used the word “classification” instead of “diagnosis.”3 Footnotes1 The sensitivity (true positive rate) was 73% and the specificity (true negative rate) was 85%. After correcting for confounding variables, these numbers were 77% and 70%, respectively.2 The abstract concludes this is a “high degree of accuracy.” Not to pick on these particular authors (this is a typical study), but Dr. Dorothy Bishop explains why this is not very helpful for screening or diagnostic purposes. And what you'd really want to do here is to discriminate between treatment-resistant vs. treatment-responsive depression. If an individual does not respond to standard treatments, it would be highly beneficial to avoid a long futile period of medication trials. 3 In case you're wondering, the title of this post was based on The Dark Side of Diagnosis by Brain Scan, which is about Dr  Daniel Amen. The work of the investigators discussed here is in ... Read more »

  • August 1, 2015
  • 01:58 PM
  • 24 views

Childhood cancer cells drain immune system’s batteries

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Cancer cells in neuroblastoma contain a molecule that breaks down a key energy source for the body’s immune cells, leaving them too physically drained to fight the disease, according to new research. Cancer Research UK-funded scientists have discovered that the cells in neuroblastoma – a rare type of childhood cancer that affects nerve cells – produce a molecule that breaks down arginine, one of the building blocks of proteins and an essential energy source for immune cells.... Read more »

  • August 1, 2015
  • 09:20 AM
  • 5 views

Genes May Explain Why Smarter People Live Longer

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Rosalind Arden Centre for Philosophy of Natural & Social Science London School of Economics London MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Arden: We’ve known for a while that … Continue reading →
The post Genes May Explain Why Smarter People Live Longer appeared first on MedicalResearch.com Medical Research Interviews and News.
... Read more »

Dr. Rosalind Arden. (2015) Genes May Explain Why Smarter People Live Longer. MedicalResearch.com. info:/

  • August 1, 2015
  • 07:25 AM
  • 5 views

Patients With Blood Cancers May Need More Support At End Of Life

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof David C Currow Discipline of Palliative and Supportive Services Flinders University Adelaide, SA, Australia Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Prof. Currow: This study grew out of a desire to better understand the … Continue reading →
The post Patients With Blood Cancers May Need More Support At End Of Life appeared first on MedicalResearch.com Medical Research Interviews and News.
... Read more »

Prof David C Currow. (2015) Patients With Blood Cancers May Need More Support At End Of Life. MedicalResearch.com. info:/

  • August 1, 2015
  • 03:16 AM
  • 36 views

Methylphenidate: a repairer of the 'oxidative balance' in ADHD?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A fairly quick post for you today based on the findings reported by Esra Guney and colleagues [1] who examined whether markers of oxidative stress - an imbalance "between the systemic manifestation of reactive oxygen species and a biological system's ability to readily detoxify the reactive intermediates or to repair the resulting damage" - might be something to look at when it comes to cases of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).They concluded that, based on a small-ish sample size, there may be more to see when it comes to oxidative metabolism with ADHD in mind. Their findings are not a million miles away from other work in this area [2] bearing in mind the need for further investigations. I might add that given the quite strong links being put forward between autism and issues with oxidative stress (see here) and the quite consistent overlap between autism and ADHD (see here), future work might need to take quite a broad view of any relationship.Of particular note to me in the Guney paper was mention of how differences in the oxidative stress index before and after intervention (i.e. medication) in their cohort might offer some new ideas about how certain types of medicines 'work' on cases of ADHD. So: "It was also determined that methylphenidate repairs the oxidative balance by increasing antioxidant defence mechanisms."Methylphenidate (MPH) (known as Concerta or Ritalin) is a medication of choice for many people diagnosed with ADHD. Although by no means an expert on the whys and wherefores of how MPH works, discussions have always been a little unclear as to how something that looks chemically like an amphetamine (a stimulant) seems to have such a calming effect on some of the characteristics of ADHD. As a nootropic (so-called smart drug) the idea that MPH might work as a performance enhancer offers some clues as to how it might impact on ADHD type symptoms but still curiosity remains on it's important effects.The idea that MPH might, in amongst its various proposed actions, also impact on processes pertinent to oxidative stress is an interesting one. Animal studies have previously suggested that administration of MPH might affect key compounds related to oxidative stress [3] in particular, related to oxidative defences. That being said, evidence has also been produced to suggest that MPH might do more to induce oxidative stress [4] than to solve any issues, so one has to be a little guarded about making too many sweeping generalisations. That drug dose might also be an important factor is something to take on board too.Assuming further work is forthcoming to further elucidate any role for MPH in relation to the processes of oxidative stress, some intriguing prospects may lie on the research horizon.Music: Dream Academy - Life In A Northern Town.----------[1] Guney E. et al. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and oxidative stress: A short term follow up study. Psychiatry Res. 2015 Jul 8. pii: S0165-1781(15)00448-5.[2] Joseph N. et al. Oxidative Stress and ADHD: A Meta-Analysis. J Atten Disord. 2013 Nov 14.[3] Schmitz F. et al. Chronic methylphenidate administration alters antioxidant defenses and butyrylcholinesterase activity in blood of juvenile rats. Mol Cell Biochem. 2012 Feb;361(1-2):281-8.[4] Martins MR. et al. Methylphenidate treatment induces oxidative stress in young rat brain. Brain Res. 2006 Mar 17;1078(1):189-97.----------Guney, E., Cetin, F., Alisik, M., Tunca, H., Tas Torun, Y., Iseri, E., Isik Taner, Y., Cayci, B., & Erel, O. (2015). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and oxidative stress: A short term follow up study Psychiatry Research DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2015.07.003... Read more »

Guney, E., Cetin, F., Alisik, M., Tunca, H., Tas Torun, Y., Iseri, E., Isik Taner, Y., Cayci, B., & Erel, O. (2015) Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and oxidative stress: A short term follow up study. Psychiatry Research. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2015.07.003  

  • July 31, 2015
  • 02:33 PM
  • 61 views

Crystal clear images uncover secrets of hormone receptors

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Many hormones and neurotransmitters work by binding to receptors on a cell’s exterior surface. This activates receptors causing them to twist, turn and spark chemical reactions inside cells. NIH scientists used atomic level images to show how the neuropeptide hormone neurotensin might activate its receptors. Their description is the first of its kind for a neuropeptide-binding G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), a class of receptors involved in a wide range of disorders and the target of many drugs.... Read more »

  • July 31, 2015
  • 02:00 PM
  • 5 views

Cancer Drug Can Activate HIV Reservoirs To Target For Eradication

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Satya Dandekar PhD Professor and Chair Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology UC Davis Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Dandekar: Current anti-retroviral therapy is effective in … Continue reading →
The post Cancer Drug Can Activate HIV Reservoirs To Target For Eradication appeared first on MedicalResearch.com Medical Research Interviews and News.
... Read more »

Dr. Satya Dandekar PhD. (2015) Cancer Drug Can Activate HIV Reservoirs To Target For Eradication. MedicalResearch.com. info:/

  • July 31, 2015
  • 01:15 PM
  • 16 views

Modern Wireless Devices May Cause Excessive Oxidative Stress In Humans

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Igor Yakymenko Laboratory of Biophysics, Institute of Experimental Pathology, Oncology and Radiobiology NAS of Ukraine Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Prof. Yakymenko: We know a lot about … Continue reading →
The post Modern Wireless Devices May Cause Excessive Oxidative Stress In Humans appeared first on MedicalResearch.com Medical Research Interviews and News.
... Read more »

Prof. Igor Yakymenko. (2015) Modern Wireless Devices May Cause Excessive Oxidative Stress In Humans. MedicalResearch.com. info:/

  • July 31, 2015
  • 01:01 PM
  • 6 views

Biomarker S100B Can Help Rule Out Hemorrhage After Minor Head Injury

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Heinrich Thaler Trauma Hospital Meidling Vienna Austria Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Thaler:  An increased prevalence of minor head injuries in elderly patients combined with the frequent use of platelet aggregation … Continue reading →
The post Biomarker S100B Can Help Rule Out Hemorrhage After Minor Head Injury appeared first on MedicalResearch.com Medical Research Interviews and News.
... Read more »

Dr. Heinrich Thaler. (2015) Biomarker S100B Can Help Rule Out Hemorrhage After Minor Head Injury. MedicalResearch.com. info:/

  • July 31, 2015
  • 12:31 PM
  • 5 views

Insulin Resistance Linked to Poor Memory Performance

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Auriel A. Willette, M.S., Ph.D. Food Science and Human Nutrition Neuroscience Interdepartmental Graduate Program Gerontology Interdepartmental Graduate Program Iowa State University, Ames Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Obesity is … Continue reading →
The post Insulin Resistance Linked to Poor Memory Performance appeared first on MedicalResearch.com Medical Research Interviews and News.
... Read more »

Auriel A. Willette, M.S., Ph.D. (2015) Insulin Resistance Linked to Poor Memory Performance. MedicalResearch.com. info:/

  • July 31, 2015
  • 12:00 PM
  • 4 views

Mild Increase in Daily Sodium Increases Risk of Hypertension

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tomonori Sugiura, MD, PhD Department of Cardio‐Renal Medicine and Hypertension Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences Nagoya  Japan Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Sugiura: Although … Continue reading →
The post Mild Increase in Daily Sodium Increases Risk of Hypertension appeared first on MedicalResearch.com Medical Research Interviews and News.
... Read more »

Tomonori Sugiura, MD, PhD. (2015) Mild Increase in Daily Sodium Increases Risk of Hypertension. MedicalResearch.com. info:/

  • July 31, 2015
  • 10:40 AM
  • 53 views

What Happens When People Text on an Obstacle Course

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



Exercise scientist Conrad Earnest was dodging some oblivious pedestrians in England when inspiration struck. He was trying to walk down the sidewalk, but all around him people were weaving back and forth as they focused on their smartphone screens. Earnest suggested to two of his students that they study the dangers of texting while walking. Specifically, they could ask whether texters are more likely to trip and fall—perhaps wishful thinking on Earnest's part as he walked among them.

The... Read more »

  • July 31, 2015
  • 10:00 AM
  • 49 views

How to make rice healthier for you and the environment

by Betty Zou in Eat, Read, Science

An innovative way of cooking rice that removes more arsenic than the conventional method and a new strain of high-starch, low-methane rice are discussed.... Read more »

  • July 31, 2015
  • 08:03 AM
  • 45 views

What if There Were Live Music at the Doctor’s Office?

by Jeremiah Stanghini in Jeremiah Stanghini

There was a really interesting study published earlier this year that had live music in a medical waiting room. The aim of the study was to learn more about the staff’s perceptions of this live music, but as you might expect, the live … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • July 31, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 47 views

Workplace rudeness: Death of a thousand cuts 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

It makes sense. If someone is rude to you, you might become grumpy and be rude in response, or rude to those who cross your path in the wake of the mistreatment. You may think of this as a small issue but new research shows us that rude behaviors are actually harmful—and, in fact, as […]

Related posts:
The Workplace Ostracism Scale: Making the subjective objective?
Fat bias in the workplace
Who benefits from racism in the workplace?


... Read more »

  • July 31, 2015
  • 05:01 AM
  • 50 views

Of the importance of giving opportunities to practice

by Mirjam Sophia Glessmer in Adventures in Teaching and Oceanography

When you are short on time and want to teach as much as possible in a given time, how do you allocate time to different activities and are there any that you might be able to drop? Classically, practice is … Continue reading →... Read more »

Martin, F., Klein, J., & Sullivan, H. (2007) The impact of instructional elements in computer-based instruction. British Journal of Educational Technology, 38(4), 623-636. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2006.00670.x  

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use ResearchBlogging.org to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit seedmediagroup.com.