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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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  • July 21, 2015
  • 12:29 PM
  • 149 views

Mediterranean Diet and Alzheimer's Disease Prevention

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

There is an urgent need to identify strategies to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.The role of diet as a prevention strategy is controversial. Some research evidence supports a role for a Mediterranean diet in cognitive health and dementia prevention.A recent brain imaging study adds to this evidence. Dr. Lisa Mosconi and colleagues at New York University School of Medicine completed a cross-sectional study of brain magnetic resonance imaging and diet........ Read more »

Mosconi L, Murray J, Tsui WH, Li Y, Davies M, Williams S, Pirraglia E, Spector N, Osorio RS, Glodzik L.... (2014) Mediterranean Diet and Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Assessed Brain Atrophy in Cognitively Normal Individuals at Risk for Alzheimer's Disease. The journal of prevention of Alzheimer's disease, 1(1), 23-32. PMID: 25237654  

  • July 15, 2015
  • 12:32 PM
  • 150 views

Fitness Boosts White Matter Integrity in Aging

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Cardiovascular fitness has been correlated with a variety of beneficial effects on brain structure and cognition.These correlations have not proven causality but they do support continued imaging and brain function studies.Scott Hayes from the VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston School of Medicine recently published an information study on this topic.Brain white matter integrity is now open for study using diffusion tensor imaging, available from high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MR........ Read more »

Hayes SM, Salat DH, Forman DE, Sperling RA, & Verfaellie M. (2015) Cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with white matter integrity in aging. Annals of clinical and translational neurology, 2(6), 688-98. PMID: 26125043  

  • July 13, 2015
  • 12:31 PM
  • 149 views

Alzheimer's Disease: The Promise of Diabetes Drugs

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Current pharmacologic interventions in Alzheimer's disease (AD) have limited effectiveness.Most of the current AD drugs available promise to slow the rate of progression but fail to reverse or prevent the disease.Novel strategies for AD drug treatment are desperately needed and one promising class of agents are the newer drugs for treatment of diabetes. How might a diabetes treatment drug potentially treat a brain disease like AD?A recent review article in World Journal of Diabetes summariz........ Read more »

Candeias EM, Sebastião IC, Cardoso SM, Correia SC, Carvalho CI, Plácido AI, Santos MS, Oliveira CR, Moreira PI, & Duarte AI. (2015) Gut-brain connection: The neuroprotective effects of the anti-diabetic drug liraglutide. World journal of diabetes, 6(6), 807-27. PMID: 26131323  

  • July 8, 2015
  • 12:54 PM
  • 207 views

Brain Imaging and Alzheimer's Disease Prediction

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Enhanced early detection of risk for Alzheimer's dementia and other forms of dementia is key to prevention and early intervention.Brain imaging holds promise as a pre-clinical disease risk assessment tool in Alzeimer's dementia.Dementia risk has been linked to several brain imaging abnormalities found with magnetic resonance imaging. These abnormalities have included atrophy of the brain hippocampus, medial temporal lobe as well as white matter hyperintensities.A recent study from France examine........ Read more »

  • July 7, 2015
  • 11:16 AM
  • 205 views

Brain Deficits in Visual Hallucinations

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

One the early things I was taught in my neuroscience training was that new-onset visual hallucinations need to be assessed for medical or "organic causes".Auditory hallucinations were felt to be more characteristic of schizophrenia.One medical disorder linked to visual hallucinations is dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). DLB is second to Alzheimer's disease in producing neurodegenerative dementia. Visual hallucinations is a hallmark of DLB and is found in up to 70% of clinical samples with th........ Read more »

Heitz C, Noblet V, Cretin B, Philippi N, Kremer L, Stackfleth M, Hubele F, Armspach JP, Namer I, & Blanc F. (2015) Neural correlates of visual hallucinations in dementia with Lewy bodies. Alzheimer's research , 7(1), 6. PMID: 25717349  

  • June 30, 2015
  • 12:55 PM
  • 154 views

Bipolar Disorder: Novel Clinical Trials II

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

This is the second post reviewing recent novel trials for the treatment of bipolar disorder.Again, for my sources I am using are clinicaltrials.gov and PubMed.Clicking on the study title will take you to the clinicaltrials.gov site for more detailed protocol information.Allopurinol Maintenance Study for Bipolar DisorderThis completed study examined the effect of 300 to 600 mg per day of allopurinol on mania prevention. Allopurinol is a drug used primarily for the treatment of gout or kidney ston........ Read more »

  • June 25, 2015
  • 11:42 AM
  • 163 views

Bipolar Disorder: Novel Clinical Trials I

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

To finish out the bipolar disorder topic month I will review some of the novel clinical trials in this condition.Clinicaltrials.gov is a valuable resource in searching for active and recently completed clinical trials.Here are some of the rostered trials from this site related to bipolar disorder that caught my attention.Sensoril for Bipolar DisorderSensoril is the trade name for the natural product ashwagandha an herbal extract from the herb Withania somnifera. This trial was sponsored through ........ Read more »

  • June 24, 2015
  • 11:02 AM
  • 162 views

Bipolar Disorder Link to Rheumatoid Arthritis

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Finding links between disorders felt to be distinct is a helpful tool in understanding genetics and pathophysiology. An example would be the discovery that individuals with genetically determined elevated cholesterol levels had higher rates of cardiovascular disease. This led to drug development of cholesterol lowering agents leading to reduced rates of cardiovascular disease and mortality.A recent population-based study from a research team in Taiwan identified an increased risk of bipolar........ Read more »

  • June 23, 2015
  • 12:11 PM
  • 214 views

Bipolar Disorder Linked to Increased Dementia Risk

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

A variety of risk factors have been identified in Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia.The risk for dementia following major psychiatric syndromes in mid-life is an important research area.Renate Zilkens and colleagues in Australia recently published an informative study of psychiatric disorders and later dementia risk. This study used a population-based case control methodology.The key elements in the design of this study included the following:Subjects: General population in Western........ Read more »

  • June 10, 2015
  • 12:58 PM
  • 221 views

Brain Default Network in Psychotic Bipolar Disorder

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

In a previous post I reviewed a summary of research related to genetics and improved diagnosis in bipolar disorder.One key point in this review was a highlight of the promise for integrating genetic with imaging research in bipolar disorder and other neuropsychiatric disorders.An example of this type of integrated research has been recently published in PNAS by a group of Yale University, the University of New Mexico and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.This study used functio........ Read more »

Meda SA, Ruaño G, Windemuth A, O'Neil K, Berwise C, Dunn SM, Boccaccio LE, Narayanan B, Kocherla M, Sprooten E.... (2014) Multivariate analysis reveals genetic associations of the resting default mode network in psychotic bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(19). PMID: 24778245  

  • June 8, 2015
  • 01:10 PM
  • 228 views

Genetics Leading to Better Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

I wanted to alert Brain Posts readers to an important new review of genetics and diagnosis in brain disorders including bipolar disorder.One hope for the emerging genetics research in mental disorders is a better diagnostic classification system.The current psychiatric diagnostic system is hampered by use of a primary symptoms and signs approach leading to messy heterogeneous groups of clinical conditions.Elliot Gerson has been a giant in neuroscience genetics for quite some time and recently pu........ Read more »

  • June 5, 2015
  • 11:04 AM
  • 246 views

Bipolar Disorder Guidelines: NICE Update

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Clinicians treating bipolar disorder and patients with a bipolar disorder diagnosis are aided by the availability of expert opinion guidelines.In the last post, I reviewed a study that found decreased rates of suicidal behavior in bipolar patients treated with antidepressant drugs.This review prompted me to look for a recent consensus update on assessment and treatment of bipolar. One recent update came from the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence or NICE. This guideline is free........ Read more »

Kendall T, Morriss R, Mayo-Wilson E, Marcus E, & Guideline Development Group of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. (2014) Assessment and management of bipolar disorder: summary of updated NICE guidance. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). PMID: 25258392  

  • June 4, 2015
  • 10:58 AM
  • 271 views

Antidepressants Linked to Lower Suicide in Bipolar Disorder

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Bipolar disorder is known to have a marked increased lifetime risk for suicide.There has been limited study of the effect of specific interventions in the risk of suicidal behavior and completed suicide.A recent study has added to our understanding of this topic using data from the Collaborative Depression Study or CDS.The CDS is a large longitudinal stud funded by the NIMH that enrolled a large sample of subjects with bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder and unipolar depression.Subject were ........ Read more »

Leon AC, Fiedorowicz JG, Solomon DA, Li C, Coryell WH, Endicott J, Fawcett J, & Keller MB. (2014) Risk of suicidal behavior with antidepressants in bipolar and unipolar disorders. The Journal of clinical psychiatry, 75(7), 720-7. PMID: 25093469  

  • June 2, 2015
  • 03:41 PM
  • 254 views

Neurobiology of Child Neglect/Abuse: Nemeroff Lecture Notes

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

I had the opportunity to attend the Warren Neuroscience Lecture presented by Dr. Charles Nemeroff in Tulsa, OK on June 2, 2015.Dr. Nemeroff has been an international leader in research in mood and anxiety disorders. His recent focus has been on the effects of adverse childhood environments on risk for adult mood and anxiety disorders. Here are my notes that summarize some of the key points from his lecture.Introduction:Stress is an important factor in understanding depressionEarly life stre........ Read more »

  • May 26, 2015
  • 10:18 AM
  • 223 views

Conduct Disorder as a Substance Abuse Risk Factor

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

In this series of research reviews on conduct disorder several important findings are evident.Conduct disorder (CD) commonly evolves into adult antisocial personality disorderConduct disorder in children often presents along with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and learning problemsCD in childhood and adolescence raises risk for alcohol, drug and nicotine dependence.Margaret Sibley and colleagues recently published a study of CD and ADHD and later initiation and escalation of the use of........ Read more »

  • May 18, 2015
  • 10:45 AM
  • 205 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
  • 243 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
  • 279 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
  • 263 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
  • 289 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 »

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