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Brain Blogger covers topics from multidimensional biopsychosocial perspectives. It reviews the latest news and stories related to neuroscience, psychiatry, and neurology. It serves as a focal point for attracting new minds beyond the science of the mind-and-brain and into the biopsychosocial model.

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  • October 23, 2012
  • 08:00 AM

Pacifier Use Detrimental to Emotional Health

by Jennifer Gibson, PharmD in Brain Blogger

New parents have a lot of decisions to make regarding their children’s physical well-being, many of which can be controversial: feed on demand or feed on a schedule, breastfeed or bottle-feed, circumcision or no circumcision, vaccines or no vaccines. Now, parents are getting mixed messages about a once-universal baby accessory that no one thought twice [...]... Read more »

  • October 20, 2012
  • 08:00 AM

Obesity – Food Takes Over The Brain

by Shefali Sabharanjak, PhD in Brain Blogger

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), we will have 700 million obese and 2.3 billion overweight people, worldwide, by the year 2015. Obesity stems from excessive intake of energy and/or storage of excess energy in adipose tissues. Numerous studies on obesity have focused on the role of the digestive, adipose and muscular systems. Emergent [...]... Read more »

Posey KA, Clegg DJ, Printz RL, Byun J, Morton GJ, Vivekanandan-Giri A, Pennathur S, Baskin DG, Heinecke JW, Woods SC.... (2009) Hypothalamic proinflammatory lipid accumulation, inflammation, and insulin resistance in rats fed a high-fat diet. American journal of physiology. Endocrinology and metabolism, 296(5). PMID: 19116375  

  • October 17, 2012
  • 08:00 AM

Retain Your Memory with a Brighter Smile

by Amy Wong, MS in Brain Blogger

It is common sense that practicing good oral hygiene equates to healthier gums and teeth. Not only does it diminish the number of cavities, gingivitis, and promote proper healing and regeneration of the oral tissues, but the general public would be gratefully spared from the pungent smells of bad breath. Recently, Paganini-Hill and colleagues reported [...]... Read more »

Chalmers JM, Hodge C, Fuss JM, Spencer AJ, & Carter KD. (2002) The prevalence and experience of oral diseases in Adelaide nursing home residents. Australian dental journal, 47(2), 123-30. PMID: 12139265  

Paganini-Hill A, White SC, & Atchison KA. (2012) Dentition, dental health habits, and dementia: the leisure world cohort study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 60(8), 1556-63. PMID: 22860988  

Wu B, Plassman BL, Crout RJ, & Liang J. (2008) Cognitive function and oral health among community-dwelling older adults. The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences, 63(5), 495-500. PMID: 18511753  

  • October 14, 2012
  • 08:00 AM

Smoking and Adolescent Brain Development

by Shefali Sabharanjak, PhD in Brain Blogger

When it comes to substance abuse like smoking or abuse of intoxicating drugs, it is very difficult to determine what a “safe” limit of exposure is.  Quite often, the initial exposure to mood altering substances like nicotine occurs during the teenage years. The period of adolescence is marked by a tendency towards risk-taking behavior which [...]... Read more »

Adriani W, Macrì S, Pacifici R, & Laviola G. (2002) Peculiar vulnerability to nicotine oral self-administration in mice during early adolescence. Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 27(2), 212-24. PMID: 12093595  

Counotte DS, Goriounova NA, Moretti M, Smoluch MT, Irth H, Clementi F, Schoffelmeer AN, Mansvelder HD, Smit AB, Gotti C.... (2012) Adolescent nicotine exposure transiently increases high-affinity nicotinic receptors and modulates inhibitory synaptic transmission in rat medial prefrontal cortex. FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, 26(5), 1810-20. PMID: 22308197  

Kawai HD, Kang HA, & Metherate R. (2011) Heightened nicotinic regulation of auditory cortex during adolescence. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 31(40), 14367-77. PMID: 21976522  

  • October 11, 2012
  • 08:00 AM

What Make Us Moral?

by Marcia Malory, BA in Brain Blogger

In the 1962 novel A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, doctors attempt to cure a violent, murderous psychopath using psychological conditioning — forcing him to endure disturbing physical reactions while witnessing acts of violence. Today, neuroscientists are studying how we use our brains to make moral decisions, and what we can do for people who [...]... Read more »

Fumagalli M, & Priori A. (2012) Functional and clinical neuroanatomy of morality. Brain : a journal of neurology, 135(Pt 7), 2006-21. PMID: 22334584  

  • October 8, 2012
  • 08:00 AM

The Unfulfilled Promises of Psychotropics

by Richard Kensinger, MSW in Brain Blogger

I remember thinking over 40 years ago when I began my clinical career, that with the rapid advances made in psychotropic agents, psychotherapy would become a venture of the past. A recent editorial published in Schizophrenia Bulletin dispels my myth of becoming unemployed. Psychopharmacology is in crisis. The data are in, and it is clear [...]... Read more »

  • October 5, 2012
  • 08:00 AM

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Bulimia Nervosa – A Success Story

by Veronica Pamoukaghlian, MA in Brain Blogger

When I was researching to write this article, I found a piece entitled Fifteen years of bulimia, then came the miracle of CBT. The article told the story of a woman who had “seen the light” through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and linked to the clinic where she had been treated in Spain. While CBT [...]... Read more »

Wilson GT, Fairburn CC, Agras WS, Walsh BT, & Kraemer H. (2002) Cognitive-behavioral therapy for bulimia nervosa: time course and mechanisms of change. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 70(2), 267-74. PMID: 11952185  

Shapiro JR, Berkman ND, Brownley KA, Sedway JA, Lohr KN, & Bulik CM. (2007) Bulimia nervosa treatment: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. The International journal of eating disorders, 40(4), 321-36. PMID: 17370288  

  • October 4, 2012
  • 08:00 AM

Is Hoarding A Symptom Or A Disorder? – It’s Place in the DSM-V

by Amy Wong, MS in Brain Blogger

We have all seen it before on reality television — mound and mounds of rotten foods, unsalvageable trinkets, and even cat poop fill every nook and cranny of what was once a livable space. As we cover our mouths in disgust, we cannot help but shake our heads at the homeowners’ uncontrollable hoarding habits. Suddenly, [...]... Read more »

Anderson SW, Damasio H, & Damasio AR. (2005) A neural basis for collecting behaviour in humans. Brain : a journal of neurology, 128(Pt 1), 201-12. PMID: 15548551  

Grisham JR, Norberg MM, Williams AD, Certoma SP, & Kadib R. (2010) Categorization and cognitive deficits in compulsive hoarding. Behaviour research and therapy, 48(9), 866-72. PMID: 20542489  

Mataix-Cols D, Frost RO, Pertusa A, Clark LA, Saxena S, Leckman JF, Stein DJ, Matsunaga H, & Wilhelm S. (2010) Hoarding disorder: a new diagnosis for DSM-V?. Depression and anxiety, 27(6), 556-72. PMID: 20336805  

Subkowski P. (2006) On the psychodynamics of collecting. The International journal of psycho-analysis, 87(Pt 2), 383-401. PMID: 16581582  

  • October 3, 2012
  • 08:00 AM

Smell Your Age

by Jennifer Gibson, PharmD in Brain Blogger

You have likely been told to act your age or look your age, but can you smell your age? According to new research, you can at least smell another person’s age. Apparently, humans can correctly identify a person’s age simply by smelling their body odor. The group of genes that makes up the olfactory (sense [...]... Read more »

  • October 2, 2012
  • 08:00 AM

Gender Competency Principles in Clinical Practice

by Richard Kensinger, MSW in Brain Blogger

Though we are of the same species and in some ways alike, women and men are uniquely different. In this article, I highlight some of the key qualities of this “differentness” as it directly relates to clinical care in behavioral health. One of my most popular trainings is the one on “Brain Sex” which focuses [...]... Read more »

  • October 1, 2012
  • 08:00 AM

Spirituality Improves Mental Health

by Jennifer Gibson, PharmD in Brain Blogger

Quality of life is a subjective gauge of a person’s overall well-being and includes assessments and self-reports of physical health, mental health, functional abilities, emotional condition, social support, and spirituality. As healthcare continues to evolve and provide more complete, holistic care for patients, the importance of religion and spirituality is increasingly emphasized. And, with good [...]... Read more »

  • September 30, 2012
  • 08:00 AM

Bath Salts – Designer Drug Danger

by Harry L Leider, MD, MBA in Brain Blogger

The media has been abuzz in recent weeks about “bath salts” — but they’re not writing headlines about the scented crystals used for bathing or Epsom salts. Bath salts are the latest designer street drug to raise alarm bells across Europe and the United States. Marketed falsely under benign-sounding names that also include “research chemicals” [...]... Read more »

  • September 29, 2012
  • 08:00 AM

Your Baby’s Brain on Sunshine – Vitamin D and Neurodevelopment

by Leslie Jellen, PhD in Brain Blogger

We’ve long associated vitamin D deficiency with rickets, but autism? Schizophrenia? Depression? The past decade of research has cast light on a new role for the sunshine vitamin and there’s a growing consensus: vitamin D deficiency doesn’t just harm developing bones—it harms the developing brain. Known as the sunshine vitamin because its primary source in [...]... Read more »

  • September 28, 2012
  • 08:00 AM

Mental Healthcare on the Go – There’s an App for That

by Jennifer Gibson, PharmD in Brain Blogger

Mental health problems often begin in adolescence and young adulthood and can lead to poor academic performance, social dysfunction, substance abuse and suicide. Therefore, early intervention is essential. However, detection and management of mental health disorders, especially among young people, is challenging due to many patient- and physician-related barriers. Now, physicians are turning to technology [...]... Read more »

  • September 27, 2012
  • 08:00 AM

Gentlemen Prefer Brains

by Jennifer Gibson, PharmD in Brain Blogger

For generations, it has been an accepted — if annoying — part of the human experience that men tend to choose mates based more on physical attractiveness than intelligence. But, a new study finds that the gender roles have shifted and, now, women are guilty of looking at skin-deep characteristics when choosing a partner. Over [...]... Read more »

Candolin U. (2003) The use of multiple cues in mate choice. Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 78(4), 575-95. PMID: 14700392  

Jennions MD, & Petrie M. (1997) Variation in mate choice and mating preferences: a review of causes and consequences. Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 72(2), 283-327. PMID: 9155244  

Vakirtzis A, & Roberts SC. (2012) Human nonindependent mate choice: Is model female attractiveness everything?. Evolutionary psychology : an international journal of evolutionary approaches to psychology and behavior, 10(2), 225-37. PMID: 22947636  

  • December 28, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Mind Games – Science’s Attempts at Thought Control

by Veronica Pamoukaghlian, MA in Brain Blogger

If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind is controllable – what then? — George Orwell, in 1984 The concept of brainwashing was first used to describe certain obscure procedures carried out in early Communist China, but the idea of “cleansing the mind” can be traced [...]... Read more »

  • December 25, 2011
  • 08:54 AM

Bad Christmas Gifts – A Neuroscientific Gifting Guide

by Jordan Gaines, PhD student in Brain Blogger

Gift-giving isn’t easy — particularly during the holidays, when there are so many different people for whom to buy. It’s overwhelming and stressful, and people cope with the burden in different ways. Some, like myself, begin lists in September, all the while picking up hints from others and taking note, then making my purchases before [...]... Read more »

  • December 24, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Major Depression in the Real World – The STAR*D Trial

by Alex Kadner, PhD in Brain Blogger

Major depression is a very common and debilitating. It is characterized by low mood, changes in sleeping patterns, changes in appetite, lack of energy and a very substantial loss of quality of life. Depression may not improve for long periods of time, often years, and that someone who has experienced one episode of major depression [...]... Read more »

Stafford, R., Ausiello, J., Misra, B., & Saglam, D. (2000) National Patterns of Depression Treatment in Primary Care. The Primary Care Companion to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 02(06), 211-216. DOI: 10.4088/PCC.v02n0603  

Warden, D., Rush, A., Trivedi, M., Fava, M., & Wisniewski, S. (2007) The STAR*D project results: A comprehensive review of findings. Current Psychiatry Reports, 9(6), 449-459. DOI: 10.1007/s11920-007-0061-3  

  • December 21, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Hard Economic Times and Increased Suicide

by Amie Martin, MSW, LMSW in Brain Blogger

With another United States election around the corner, and what promises to be an exciting — if not benchmark — time in modern history, there is arguably not a person untouched by one of the hottest global and domestic issues at hand: the economy. The effects world affairs have on individuals is widely varying, depending [...]... Read more »

Falagas ME, Vouloumanou EK, Mavros MN, & Karageorgopoulos DE. (2009) Economic crises and mortality: a review of the literature. International journal of clinical practice, 63(8), 1128-35. PMID: 19624782  

Gresenz CR, Stockdale SE, & Wells KB. (2000) Community effects on access to behavioral health care. Health services research, 35(1 Pt 2), 293-306. PMID: 10778816  

  • December 18, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Shyness and Social Phobia

by Jennifer Gibson, PharmD in Brain Blogger

Personalities come in all shapes and sizes. Boisterous and docile. Flamboyant and reserved. Extroverted and introverted. Sociable and shy. But, when does a normal variation in personality characteristic, such as shyness, become a medical condition? Not as often as you might think, according to a new study that observed little connection between shyness and social [...]... Read more »

Burstein M, Ameli-Grillon L, & Merikangas KR. (2011) Shyness versus social phobia in US youth. Pediatrics, 128(5), 917-25. PMID: 22007009  

Burstein M, He JP, Kattan G, Albano AM, Avenevoli S, & Merikangas KR. (2011) Social phobia and subtypes in the national comorbidity survey-adolescent supplement: prevalence, correlates, and comorbidity. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 50(9), 870-80. PMID: 21871369  

Ginsburg GS, Kendall PC, Sakolsky D, Compton SN, Piacentini J, Albano AM, Walkup JT, Sherrill J, Coffey KA, Rynn MA.... (2011) Remission after acute treatment in children and adolescents with anxiety disorders: Findings from the CAMS. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 79(6), 806-13. PMID: 22122292  

Hitchcock CA, Chavira DA, & Stein MB. (2009) Recent findings in social phobia among children and adolescents. The Israel journal of psychiatry and related sciences, 46(1), 34-44. PMID: 19728571  

Schutters SI, Dominguez MD, Knappe S, Lieb R, van Os J, Schruers KR, & Wittchen HU. (2011) The association between social phobia, social anxiety cognitions and paranoid symptoms. Acta psychiatrica Scandinavica. PMID: 22077136  

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