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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 26, 2010
  • 04:17 PM

Is Bipolar Disorder a Circadian Rhythm Problem?

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

By Hannah Dunbar (Brain Post Note: Hannah Dunbar is a Oral Roberts University undergraduate student who is doing a summer research elective with me. She will be providing some guest posts over the next two months related to her interest in sleep and bipolar disorder.) Bipolar disorder is commonly characterized by sleep fluctations and distrubance of a regular circadian rhythm. It is logical to explore the role of circadian clock genes in bipolar disorder genetic studies. Pediatric bipolar dis........ Read more »

McGrath, C., Glatt, S., Sklar, P., Le-Niculescu, H., Kuczenski, R., Doyle, A., Biederman, J., Mick, E., Faraone, S., Niculescu, A.... (2009) Evidence for genetic association of RORB with bipolar disorder. BMC Psychiatry, 9(1), 70. DOI: 10.1186/1471-244X-9-70  

  • May 24, 2010
  • 12:50 PM

Anxiety Help Five Cents. The Doctor (Computer) Is In

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

I've always enjoyed the Peanuts cartons featuring Lucy behind the box advertising psychiatric help for five cents. Charlie Brown always received pithy advice for his worries and anxiety. Now a study of anxiety disorder treatment in primary supports a new cost-effective intervention model.Peter Roy-Byrne and colleagues summarized the result of randomized study of 1004 patients with anxiety disorder in primary care. The subjects had at least one of four anxiety disorders: panic disorder, genera........ Read more »

Roy-Byrne, P., Craske, M., Sullivan, G., Rose, R., Edlund, M., Lang, A., Bystritsky, A., Welch, S., Chavira, D., Golinelli, D.... (2010) Delivery of Evidence-Based Treatment for Multiple Anxiety Disorders in Primary Care: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 303(19), 1921-1928. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2010.608  

Unützer J, Katon W, Callahan CM, Williams JW Jr, Hunkeler E, Harpole L, Hoffing M, Della Penna RD, Noël PH, Lin EH.... (2002) Collaborative care management of late-life depression in the primary care setting: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 288(22), 2836-45. PMID: 12472325  

Craske MG, Rose RD, Lang A, Welch SS, Campbell-Sills L, Sullivan G, Sherbourne C, Bystritsky A, Stein MB, & Roy-Byrne PP. (2009) Computer-assisted delivery of cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders in primary-care settings. Depression and anxiety, 26(3), 235-42. PMID: 19212970  

  • May 21, 2010
  • 11:30 AM

Physical Features in Autism

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Social and language issues dominate most of the discussion about the features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A neglected area of study are the physical feature characteristics that have been known to be associated with ASD. Unlike some of the diagnostic physical changes in disorders such as Down Syndrome, physical features found in ASD are often subtle and missed by most clinicians.Ozgen and colleagues from the Netherlands, UCLA and the UK recently published a case-control study of physica........ Read more »

Ozgen, H., Hellemann, G., Stellato, R., Lahuis, B., Daalen, E., Staal, W., Rozendal, M., Hennekam, R., Beemer, F., & Engeland, H. (2010) Morphological Features in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Matched Case–Control Study. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-010-1018-7  

  • May 19, 2010
  • 04:03 PM

Getting Fit with Wii--Ranking Exercise MET Values

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Regular exercise has been shown to be helpful in the prevention and management of a variety of clinical neuroscience conditions including: Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, major depression and anxiety disorders. However, motivating people to get involved in a regular exercise program is a significant challenge. Wii Sports and Wii Fit Plus may provide the motivation edge for some patients to start and maintain an exercise program. The Wii video game system is a multi-gaming experience........ Read more »

Miyachi M, Yamamoto K, Ohkawara K, & Tanaka S. (2009) METs In Adults While Playing Active Video Games: A Metabolic Chamber Study. Medicine and science in sports and exercise. PMID: 19997034  

  • May 17, 2010
  • 03:11 PM

ADHD and Maturation "Catch-up"

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Child development produces marked changes in attention, impulsivity and activity levels. Preschool children present a significant challenge for the diagnosis of ADHD because of their typical activity and attention levels. It is possible that the diagnosis of ADHD in some young children might be incorrect due to delayed maturation.Swedish researchers looked at this issue in a study of children examined in grades one and two and then re-studied in eighth grade. A child who was hyperactive/inatte........ Read more »

Gustafsson P, Holmström E, Besjakov J, & Karlsson MK. (2010) ADHD symptoms and maturity - a follow up study in school children. Acta paediatrica (Oslo, Norway : 1992). PMID: 20456272  

  • May 10, 2010
  • 06:25 PM

Challenging the Plasticity Limits of Visual Development

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Pawan Sinha is an MIT academic engineer who is involved in a combined humanitarian, medical and scientific effort to understand childhood blindness. He has established a program in India called Project Prakash to identify children with congenital cataracts who would benefit for early correction. Early correction is key to prevent persistent blindess as visual plasticity declines over time if the retina and brain are not stimulated. He has challenged the idea that vision cannot be established ........ Read more »

Ostrovsky Y, Andalman A, & Sinha P. (2006) Vision following extended congenital blindness. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 17(12), 1009-14. PMID: 17201779  

  • May 7, 2010
  • 12:04 AM

Pathological Shyness as a Pathway to Alcoholism

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Alcohol abuse and dependence risk is influenced by a variety of mental disorders. Probably the strongest association is between antisocial personality, alcohol and drug abuse. But anxiety and mood disorders also commonly influence the risk of developing a substance abuse problem.A recent study examined the association between alcohol use disorder and social anxiety disorder. Social anxiety disorder is defined as a pervasive anxiety related to human interaction. Patients with social anxiety c........ Read more »

  • May 5, 2010
  • 01:00 PM

The Math (and Physiology) of Obesity

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Kevin Hall, Ph.D. spoke at the May 2010 Frontiers of Neuroscience series in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Dr. Hall is a senior faculty member of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) at NIH. His presentation was titled: "Modelling Weight Gain and Loss: Links Betweein Nutrition, Metabolism and Body Composition. I will summarize my notes for his presentation and his recent research publications. Dr. Hall has been working on a mathematical model to describe the physiolo........ Read more »

  • May 3, 2010
  • 01:37 PM

Genetics of Methamphetamine Psychosis

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

I have been working on updating a lecture on substance-induced psychosis. In the last few years a significant amount of research has been published on methamphetamine psychosis. Methamphetamine can produce a psychotic state characterized by paranoia, agitation and behavioral problems. Not all individuals appear to experience this induced state. This leads to the question of what factors might be related to the risk of psychosis in those using methamphetamine. Certain dose and duration of met........ Read more »

  • April 29, 2010
  • 10:43 AM

Eating Chocolate and Depression

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

A recent study examined the correlation between chocolate consumption and self-reported depression symptoms. This study used a cross-sectional design and a self-report measure of nutritional intake--the Fred Hutchinson Food Frequency Questionnaire.Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D). Subjects were stratified into three groups: CES-D score of 16 or less (non-depressed), CES-D score of 16-22 (positive depression screen) and CES-D ........ Read more »

Strandberg TE, Strandberg AY, Pitkälä K, Salomaa VV, Tilvis RS, & Miettinen TA. (2008) Chocolate, well-being and health among elderly men. European journal of clinical nutrition, 62(2), 247-53. PMID: 17327862  

  • April 26, 2010
  • 02:35 PM

When Is It Time to Stop Driving in Dementia?

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

A common clinical problem in aging is when should driving a motor vehicle be discontinued. When does driving become a significant safety hazard as cognition and motor skills decline?The American Academy of Neurology recently published a Practice Parameter update: Evaluation and management of driving risk in dementia. This important review provides clinicians and family members with assistance in making an accurate and timely decision.The authors of the guideline review research evidence of a v........ Read more »

  • April 21, 2010
  • 02:13 PM

Set-shifting as a Biomarker for Eating Disorders

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Significant research focuses on the identification of biomarkers in a a variety of psychiatric disorders. A biomarker can be any biological variable that is associated with an illness. Biomarkers are important because they provide an opportunity to identify high-risk individuals prior to disease onset. Early intervention in these individuals may reduce the risk of illness or reduce the severity and impairment of the disorder. Biomarkers may also be valuable in identifying genes associated wi........ Read more »

  • April 19, 2010
  • 03:27 PM

Aspirin Endorsed as Effective Agent in Migraine

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Migraine headaches are a common type of severe headache that can cause significant episodic disability. The one-year prevalence for migraine is estimated to be 18% for women and 6% for men in the U.S. Headaches typically last from four to 72 hours and can interfere with work and interpersonal function.A recent Cochrane Review examined the effectiveness of aspirin. The review included a comparison between aspirin and more recently developed triptan drugs such as sumatriptin (Imitrex). Thirtee........ Read more »

Kirthi V, Derry S, Moore RA, & McQuay HJ. (2010) Aspirin with or without an antiemetic for acute migraine headaches in adults. Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online). PMID: 20393963  

  • April 17, 2010
  • 01:36 PM

Diagnostic Challenges in Pediatric Bipolar Disorder

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

This is the third in a series of posts from the NARSAD-sponsored Healthy Minds Across America 2010 symposium in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The first two posts covered deep brain stimulation in depression and the neurocircuitry of depression. Dr. Robert Kowatch presented a review of the key issues in pediatric mood disorder. Dr. Kowatch is a child and adolescent psychiatrist from the University of Cincinnati who has been involved in assessment of bipolar disorder and depression. A portion of his presen........ Read more »

Danner S, Fristad MA, Arnold LE, Youngstrom EA, Birmaher B, Horwitz SM, Demeter C, Findling RL, Kowatch RA, & LAMS Group. (2009) Early-onset bipolar spectrum disorders: diagnostic issues. Clinical child and family psychology review, 12(3), 271-93. PMID: 19466543  

Zimmerman M, Ruggero CJ, Chelminski I, & Young D. (2010) Psychiatric diagnoses in patients previously overdiagnosed with bipolar disorder. The Journal of clinical psychiatry, 71(1), 26-31. PMID: 19646366  

  • April 14, 2010
  • 05:35 PM

Brain Neurocircuitry in Depression

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

This is the second in a series of three posts from my notes at the NARSAD Healthy Minds Across American 2010 symposium in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The University of Oklahoma-Tulsa and OU-Tulsa President Dr. Gerry Clancy served as host for the event. Following a presentation by Dr. Helen Mayberg from Emory University (notes here), Dr. Wayne Drevets presented a review of neurocircuitry in depression.Dr. Drevets has been a leader in neuroimaging research in mood disorders. His studies have included usin........ Read more »

Price JL, & Drevets WC. (2010) Neurocircuitry of mood disorders. Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 35(1), 192-216. PMID: 19693001  

  • April 12, 2010
  • 01:51 PM

Deep Brain Stimulation for Depression

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

NARSAD, a leading private funding organization for brain disorders is sponsoring educational symposiums across the United States. One such symposium in the Healthy Minds Across America 2010 series was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma on April 10, 2010. Three internationally recognized researchers presented at the Tulsa symposium: Helen Mayberg, Wayne Drevets and Robert Kowatch. I will present some of my notes for these presentations over the next week. This post will summarize the key points for Dr......... Read more »

  • March 25, 2010
  • 03:16 PM

Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Brain Cortex Activity

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

There is some research evidence to support the cognitive benefits of omega 3 fatty acids. These natural compounds are found in a variety of dietary sources including tuna, salmon and sardines. McNamara et al and colleagues at the University of Cincinnati recently published an interesting brain fMRI study of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) supplementation. DHA is a key component of omega-3 fatty acids. Here are the key elements of the design:33 healthily boys age 8 to 10 years were randomizedSubjec........ Read more »

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