Brain Posts

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I am a physician interested in clinical neuroscience research. I will use this blog to post more detailed analysis of recent studies in addition to my @WRY999 Twitter scientific reading log. I will also post some of my wildlife/sports photography. Aim to educate and amuse. Not selling anything.

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  • May 18, 2015
  • 10:45 AM
  • 44 views

Brain Imaging and Conduct Disorder: Temporal Lobe Abnormalities

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Conduct disorder is a complex behavioral disorder with significant risk for later adult psychopathology.There is increasing evidence for a biological basis for conduct disorder.Twin studies show a significant genetic contribution to the disorder.Brain imaging studies also point to biological factors in conduct disorder.Gregory Wallace and colleagues recently published a structural MRI study of conduct disorder in 22 adolescents between the ages of 10 and 18. Conduct disorder subjects were compar........ Read more »

Wallace GL, White SF, Robustelli B, Sinclair S, Hwang S, Martin A, & Blair RJ. (2014) Cortical and subcortical abnormalities in youths with conduct disorder and elevated callous-unemotional traits. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 53(4), 456-650. PMID: 24655655  

  • May 14, 2015
  • 10:31 AM
  • 86 views

Male Depression Risk Via Childhood Conduct Disorder

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Conduct disorder represents an important childhood-onset condition that commonly persists into adulthood.Adult antisocial personality disorder and substance abuse are known risks associated with conduct disorder.A recent study by Kenneth Kendler and Charles Gardner identified male conduct disorder as a risk factor for adult major depression.Their study using the Virginia Twin Registry examined 20 developmental risk factors in male and female twins for presence of recent adult major depression.A ........ Read more »

  • May 7, 2015
  • 10:30 AM
  • 108 views

Conduct Disorder: Predictors, Gender and Genetics

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Genetic factors contribute to risk for many childhood mental disorders.Gender issues in childhood psychopathology are also important factors.Boys show higher rates for conduct disorder (CD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).Nora Kerekes and colleagues in Sweden and Australia examined a large twin study of childhood behavioral and neurobehavioral disorders. The aims of this study were to better understand the developmental and genetic feature........ Read more »

  • May 5, 2015
  • 11:12 AM
  • 106 views

Bad Boy. Bad Boy. Is It Conduct Disorder?

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Defining the line between normal childhood behavior and more serious problems like conduct disorder (CD) is important.Conduct disorder is linked to a significant risk for a lifelong problem with aggression. Identifying CD early in life provides the hope that early intervention might reduce the later consequences of the disorder.The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has an excellent online resource center to understand conduct disorder. They note the condition is characteri........ Read more »

  • April 30, 2015
  • 10:35 AM
  • 126 views

Bupropion: A Non-stimulant ADHD Drug Treatment

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Stimulant drugs including dextroamphetamine (Adderall) and methylphenidate (Ritalin) remain among the most common and effective drug treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).Alternative to stimulant drugs are needed to expand treatment options for clinicians and patients.One problem with the stimulants is the potential for misuse and diversion of prescription drugs to illicit drug use.One non-stimulant FDA approved drug (atomoxetine/Strattera) is available in the U.S.An add........ Read more »

  • April 27, 2015
  • 10:50 AM
  • 107 views

ADHD and Vehicular Accident Risk

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Attention and impulsive behaviors found in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can contribute to accident risk in children and adults.A recent study of adult drivers in France provides evidence for increased accident risk in adults with ADHD.Researchers at the Bordeaux University Hospital interviewed a series of adult drivers seen in the emergency department following a road traffic crash.A total of 777 eligible subjects completed assessments of accident information, distraction expo........ Read more »

  • April 22, 2015
  • 12:13 PM
  • 138 views

Brain EEG and the Genetics of ADHD

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Twin studies in ADHD demonstrate a significant genetic contribution to the disorder.Linking this genetic influence to specific biomarkers may provide a better understanding of the pathophysiology of ADHD.Grainne McLoughlin and colleagues at the University of California San Diego and King's College London recently published a twin study of brain EEG and the genetics of ADHD.In their study 67 twin pairs (34 monozygotic and 33 dizygotic) between the ages of 12 and 15 years completed tasks measuring........ Read more »

  • April 20, 2015
  • 11:32 AM
  • 136 views

ADHD and Autism Overlap: Adult Twin Study

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Clinical studies show high rates of ADHD in adults with autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These studies have estimated the prevalence of ADHD in adults with ASD at between 28 and 44% of individuals. The prevalence of ADHD in the adult general population without ASD is estimated at 2.5%.Given the overlap between these two developmental disorders, it makes sense to examine genetic factors that might contribute to co-occurrence.TJC Polderman along with colleagues from the Netherlands, ........ Read more »

  • April 16, 2015
  • 10:32 AM
  • 152 views

What is Neurofeedback Training for ADHD?

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

There are a variety of behavioral strategies for treating the attention and activity components of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).One of these strategies is known as neurofeedback. A recent study in the journal Pediatrics found evidence for effectiveness of in-school neurofeedback for ADHD in a randomized controlled trial.In this trial, 104 children between the ages of 7 and 11 years of age were randomized to one of three research arms: in-school neurofeedback, cognitive th........ Read more »

  • April 13, 2015
  • 10:22 AM
  • 142 views

Treating Insomnia in Children with ADHD

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Insomnia commonly complicates the clinical presentation and treatment in children with ADHD.Stimulant therapy may provide significant relief for daytime attention and hyperactivity symptoms. However, stimulants do not appear to help with comorbid insomnia. In fact, stimulant therapy may cause more problems with insomnia in ADHD.Behavioral treatments are known to be effective in children without ADHD. Now we have a recently published study showing the effectiveness of behavioral treatment of inso........ Read more »

  • April 9, 2015
  • 10:38 AM
  • 153 views

Brain Volume Differences in ADHD Normalize By Adulthood

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Brain volume differences in ADHD have been documented in some childhood studies.ADHD symptoms diminish with maturation in many but not all individuals. It is unclear whether this improvement in symptoms is also related to maturation of brain regions.A recent study from the Netherlands provides some answers on this issue. A. Marten H. Onnink and colleagues performed a structural MRI study of 119 adults with ADHD compared to a group of controls.This study is important because it examined effects o........ Read more »

Onnink AM, Zwiers MP, Hoogman M, Mostert JC, Kan CC, Buitelaar J, & Franke B. (2014) Brain alterations in adult ADHD: effects of gender, treatment and comorbid depression. European neuropsychopharmacology : the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 24(3), 397-409. PMID: 24345721  

  • April 8, 2015
  • 11:16 AM
  • 172 views

Adult ADHD and Brain White Matter Deficits

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

In my last post I reviewed a recent diffusion tensor imaging study of ADHD in children. This study found evidence for brain white matter deficits in several ciruitry regions including frontal, temporal and occipital areas.To follow up on this post, I want to highlight a recent study of DTI in adults with ADHD.This study from Brazil recruited 22 drug treatment-naive subjects between the ages of 18 and 50 years of age.This study excluded subjects with a history of substance dependence or other med........ Read more »

  • April 7, 2015
  • 11:57 AM
  • 138 views

ADHD and Brain White Matter Deficits

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Structural brain imaging studies in ADHD fail to find consistent differences from non-ADHD populations.However, there is increasing evidence linking ADHD to changes in brain white matter function.An example of these findings is a recent study from China examining white matter in children with ADHD.ADHD is typically subgrouped into inattention (ADHD-I), hyperactivity ADHD-H or combined categories (ADHD-C). In the recent Chinese study, inattention and combined subgroups of children were compa........ Read more »

  • April 1, 2015
  • 11:20 AM
  • 155 views

Fatherhood and the Biology of Infant Care Behavior

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Early positive parental-infant attachment provides a key developmental advantage.The maternal-infant dyad has received the most research attention. However, fathers also can play an important role in infant development. An increasing number of studies focus on the biology of fatherhood and infant care behavior.Ilanit Gordon along with colleagues in Israel and the United States examined the role of two central neuropeptides in paternal behavior during the first six months of infancy.In their stud........ Read more »

  • March 30, 2015
  • 11:25 AM
  • 167 views

One Parent,Two Parents and Child Well-Being

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

The structure of the family in the United States and other countries is changing. This change has occurred over a relatively brief period of time. Data noted in the study I am reviewing today shows that between 1970 and 2013 in the U.S.:Percentage of children living with two parents dropped 24%Percentage of children living with a single mother increased to 23.7%Percentage of children living with a single father quadrupled to 4.1%Percentage of children living with a grandparent doubled to 6......... Read more »

  • March 26, 2015
  • 11:17 AM
  • 139 views

Parenting Moderates Childhood Brain Stress Response

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Child brain development benefits from a positive parenting style and environment.The mechanism for this positive effect is unclear but moderation of the stress response in the growing child is an area of research interest.Haroon Sheikh and colleagues from the University of Ontario in Canada recently published results on a study of parenting and brain development in children.In their study, a cohort of 46 six year old girls underwent brain imaging using a technique known as diffusion tensor imagi........ Read more »

  • March 25, 2015
  • 10:37 AM
  • 156 views

Parental Education As Risk Factor For Eating Disorders

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Genetic and environmental risk factors contribute to the risk for anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders.Known risk factors for anorexia nervosa include female gender, young age, family member with anorexia nervosa, weight loss, and participation in weight sensitive sports or activities, i.e. gymnastics, dancing.There has also been evidence that anorexia nervosa is more common in higher socioeconomic classes. This finding has made it one of the few brain disorders more common with this cate........ Read more »

  • March 23, 2015
  • 11:01 AM
  • 164 views

Smoking in Pregnancy and Child Brain Development

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Smoking during pregnancy produces significant and diverse effects on prenatal development.These adverse effects include dysfunction in prenatal and early childhood brain development.Hanan El Marroun and colleagues from the Netherlands recently published an important childhood brain imaging study of smoking during pregnancy.One hundred and thirteen children exposed to tobacco during pregnancy were compared to a control group of unexposed children.Both groups of children between 6 and 8 years of a........ Read more »

El Marroun H, Schmidt MN, Franken IH, Jaddoe VW, Hofman A, van der Lugt A, Verhulst FC, Tiemeier H, & White T. (2014) Prenatal tobacco exposure and brain morphology: a prospective study in young children. Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 39(4), 792-800. PMID: 24096296  

  • March 17, 2015
  • 11:56 AM
  • 194 views

Physical Exercise Effects on Brain EEG

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

There are a variety of methods to study the effects on exercise on brain function. Brain imaging techniques such as fMRI provides a new tool to search for regional effects of acute and chronic exercise.Another tool that has received less attention is the electroencephalogram or EEG. One EEG measure of brain function is the individual alpha peak frequency or iAPF.The iAPF is positively correlated with arousal, attention and speed of information processing. Higher iAPF is linked to faster spe........ Read more »

Gutmann B, Mierau A, Hülsdünker T, Hildebrand C, Przyklenk A, Hollmann W, & Strüder HK. (2015) Effects of physical exercise on individual resting state EEG alpha peak frequency. Neural plasticity, 717312. PMID: 25759762  

  • February 18, 2015
  • 11:53 AM
  • 225 views

Exercise Guidelines in Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

A series of seven guidelines for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease (AD) has recently been published.These guidelines resulted from a conference of experts in nutrition and the brain.The guidelines included a recommendation for 40 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week.Support for this exercise recommendation by experts was linked to 2 areas of research:Observational studies show lower rates of AD in regular exercise groups compared to sedentary groupsA single clinical trial found red........ Read more »

Barnard ND, Bush AI, Ceccarelli A, Cooper J, de Jager CA, Erickson KI, Fraser G, Kesler S, Levin SM, Lucey B.... (2014) Dietary and lifestyle guidelines for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease. Neurobiology of aging. PMID: 24913896  

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