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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.
The American historian and educator Daniel Boorstin once wrote, “Time makes heroes but dissolves celebrities.”
We have just experienced an historic presidential campaign of unprecedented proportions, our economy is in peril, our military struggles to fight two wars, and our health care system is facing impending collapse. With all of these pressing issues weighing on the [...]... Read more »
M DALTON, J SARGENT, M BEACH, L TITUSERNSTOFF, J GIBSON, M AHRENS, J TICKLE, & T HEATHERTON. (2003) Effect of viewing smoking in movies on adolescent smoking initiation: a cohort study. The Lancet, 362(9380), 281-285. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(03)13970-0
John Maltby, Liza Day, Lynn E. McCutcheon, Raphael Gillett, James Houran, & Diane D. Ashe. (2004) Personality and coping: A context for examining celebrity worship and mental health. British Journal of Psychology, 95(4), 411-428. DOI: 10.1348/0007126042369794
JOHN MALTBY, JAMES HOURAN, & LYNN E. MCCUTCHEON. (2003) A CLINICAL INTERPRETATION OF ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIORS ASSOCIATED WITH CELEBRITY WORSHIP. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 191(1), 25-29. DOI: 10.1097/00005053-200301000-00005
Lynn E. McCutcheon, Rense Lange, & James Houran. (2002) Conceptualization and measurement of celebrity worship. British Journal of Psychology, 93(1), 67-87. DOI: 10.1348/000712602162454
John Maltby, David C. Giles, Louise Barber, & Lynn E. McCutcheon. (2005) Intense-personal celebrity worship and body image: Evidence of a link among female adolescents. British Journal of Health Psychology, 10(1), 17-32. DOI: 10.1348/135910704X15257
Alcohol use by underage college students has increasingly grown as a large issue across the United States. Excessive, or binge drinking among college students is associated with a variety of negative consequences, such as a decrease in academic productivity, unwanted sexual encounters and an increase in violent behavior.
Many colleges have made an attempt to examine [...]... Read more »
John Clapp, & Audrey Shillington. (2001) ENVIRONMENTAL PREDICTORS OF HEAVY EPISODIC DRINKING. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 27(2), 301-313. DOI: 10.1081/ADA-100103711
T OEI, & C JARDIM. (2007) Alcohol expectancies, drinking refusal self-efficacy and drinking behaviour in Asian and Australian students. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 87(2-3), 281-287. DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2006.08.019
Countless studies have focused on the subject of bullying, and the latest even suggest an interesting paradox: is bullying caused by a lack of empathy for others or, surprisingly, by too much empathy? Because, although all of us react in some way to seeing others in pain, we don’t all react in the same way. [...]... Read more »
J DECETY, K MICHALSKA, Y AKITSUKI, & B LAHEY. (2008) Atypical empathic responses in adolescents with aggressive conduct disorder: A functional MRI investigation. Biological Psychology. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2008.09.004
A young football player is running the ball downfield when he gets blindsided by two tacklers. They upend the player, who haplessly inverts in the air and lands on his neck. In an instant, his whole body goes limp, and the player has difficulty breathing. Paramedics are rushed to the field, and the player is [...]... Read more »
Leigh R. Hochberg, Mijail D. Serruya, Gerhard M. Friehs, Jon A. Mukand, Maryam Saleh, Abraham H. Caplan, Almut Branner, David Chen, Richard D. Penn, & John P. Donoghue. (2006) Neuronal ensemble control of prosthetic devices by a human with tetraplegia. Nature, 442(7099), 164-171. DOI: 10.1038/nature04970
Chet T. Moritz, Steve I. Perlmutter, & Eberhard E. Fetz. (2008) Direct control of paralysed muscles by cortical neurons. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature07418
The cholesterol-lowering drugs collectively known as “statins” are among the top drugs sold in the United States, and worldwide. Although current guidelines only recommend the use of statins for people with elevated cholesterol, there is new evidence that these recommendations should be expanded. The November 20, 2008 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine [...]... Read more »
M. A. Hlatky. (2008) Expanding the Orbit of Primary Prevention -- Moving beyond JUPITER. New England Journal of Medicine. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMe0808320
P. M Ridker, E. Danielson, F. A.H. Fonseca, J. Genest, A. M. Gotto, J. J.P. Kastelein, W. Koenig, P. Libby, A. J. Lorenzatti, J. G. MacFadyen.... (2008) Rosuvastatin to Prevent Vascular Events in Men and Women with Elevated C-Reactive Protein. New England Journal of Medicine. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa0807646
Since its discovery many years ago, harnessing the power of electricity has been an ongoing endeavor. Benjamin Franklin’s eighteenth century experiments with electricity ushered in the evolution of the modern battery. In the middle of the last century, electricity was introduced as a remedy for difficult psychiatric disorders. “Shock treatment,” as it was known then, [...]... Read more »
Bradley W Vines, Carlo Cerruti, & Gottfried Schlaug. (2008) Dual-hemisphere tDCS facilitates greater improvements for healthy subjects' non-dominant hand compared to uni-hemisphere stimulation. BMC Neuroscience, 9(1), 103. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2202-9-103
In October, the Federal Drug Administration approved lacosamide as add-on therapy for adults with partial seizures. The approval is based on data from multiple phase 1, 2, and 3 clinical trials involving approximately 1300 people.
The study participants were aged 16 years or older, and experienced between 10 and 17 seizures per month. Patients continued to [...]... Read more »
Victor Biton, William E. Rosenfeld, John Whitesides, Nathan B. Fountain, Nerija Vaiciene, & G. David Rudd. (2008) Intravenous lacosamide as replacement for oral lacosamide in patients with partial-onset seizures. Epilepsia, 49(3), 418-424. DOI: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2007.01317.x
Memantine (Namenda) is approved to treat Alzheimer’s disease, but may also be effective in treating binge eating disorder. A new study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders demonstrates memantine’s effectiveness in a small group of patients with binge eating disorder.
Binge eating is a relatively newly recognized psychiatric disorder that involves recurrent episodes of [...]... Read more »
A BISAGA, W DANYSZ, & R FOLTIN. (2008) Antagonism of glutamatergic NMDA and mGluR5 receptors decreases consumption of food in baboon model of binge-eating disorder. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 18(11), 794-802. DOI: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2008.05.004
Brian P. Brennan, Jacqueline L. Roberts, Kate V. Fogarty, Karina A. Reynolds, Jeffrey M. Jonas, & James I. Hudson. (2008) Memantine in the treatment of binge eating disorder: An open-label, prospective trial. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 41(6), 520-526. DOI: 10.1002/eat.20541
Zdanys K, & Tampi RR. (2008) A systematic review of off-label uses of memantine for psychiatric disorders. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry, 32(6), 1362-1374. DOI: 18262702
Unquestionably, child abuse is one of the most devastating and horrendous issues faced by health practitioners. Not only because of the vulnerability of the victim and the implications for their future health but also because of the senselessness of this violence.
In a BMJ editorial, Naomi Sugar explains current research and makes a case for putting [...]... Read more »
Chronic pain is a widespread challenge, affecting as many as 50 million Americans, and lacks effective treatment options. The American College of Rheumatology defines chronic pain as pain occurring at least 4 days per week for at least 3 months. If there is pain at 11 or more of the 18 defined trigger points, the [...]... Read more »
Carli G, Suman AL, Biasi G, Marcolongo R, & Santarcangelo EL. (2008) Paradoxical experience of hypnotic analgesia in low hypnotizable fibromyalgic patients. Arch Ital Biol, 146(2), 75-82. DOI: 18822796
Jan Grøndahl, & Elin Rosvold. (2008) Hypnosis as a treatment of chronic widespread pain in general practice: A randomized controlled pilot trial. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 9(1), 124. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2474-9-124
M JENSEN, S HAKIMIAN, L SHERLIN, & F FREGNI. (2008) New Insights Into Neuromodulatory Approaches for the Treatment of Pain. The Journal of Pain, 9(3), 193-199. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpain.2007.11.003
Molton IR, Graham C, Stoelb BL, & Jensen MP. (2007) Current psychological approaches to the management of chronic pain. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol, 20(5), 485-489. DOI: 16911061
You can’t have skeletons in the closet if you want to be the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces.
As Election Day draws near, I imagine that both McCain and Obama are exhausted; both have been run through the ringer. After all, they must endure non-stop campaigning schedules, high pressure debates, and the constant [...]... Read more »
F. Charatan. (2008) Records of presidential candidates show McCain has had melanoma and Obama is using nicotine replacement therapy. BMJ, 337(oct27 2). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.a2260
In the last presidential debate there were only a few zingers. One came from John McCain who, after Barack Obama compared him to G. W. Bush, emphatically stated, “If you wanted to run against President Bush, you should have run four years ago.”
Since the debate Obama’s running mate, Joe Bidden, responded to McCain’s implications with, [...]... Read more »
D. Kamerow. (2008) Politics and science: a cautionary tale for the presidential candidates. BMJ, 337(oct14 4). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.a2093
Is compassion a skill that can be perfected, like playing a musical instrument or competing in sports? A study published this spring suggests: Yes. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin assert that cultivating compassion and kindness through learned meditation practices can make a person more empathetic.
Previous studies have pinpointed the insula and anterior congulate cortices [...]... Read more »
Antoine Lutz, Julie Brefczynski-Lewis, Tom Johnstone, & Richard J. Davidson. (2008) Regulation of the Neural Circuitry of Emotion by Compassion Meditation: Effects of Meditative Expertise. PLoS ONE, 3(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0001897
T PACE, L NEGI, D ADAME, S COLE, T SIVILLI, T BROWN, M ISSA, & C RAISON. (2008) Effect of compassion meditation on neuroendocrine, innate immune and behavioral responses to psychosocial stress. Psychoneuroendocrinology. DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2008.08.011
Huntington’s Disease (HD) affects approximately 30,000 people in the United States. Less than 10% of these people are under 20 years old at the time of diagnosis. These patients with juvenile, or early-onset, HD and their family members face significant and unique challenges as they battle a fatal, degenerative disease.
Symptoms of HD typically present in [...]... Read more »
Aubeeluck A, & Brewer H. (2008) Huntington's disease. Part 2: treatment and management issues in juvenile HD. Br J Nurs, 17(4), 260-263. DOI: 18414272
E. Gomez-Tortosa. (1998) Severity of Cognitive Impairment in Juvenile and Late-Onset Huntington Disease. Archives of Neurology, 55(6), 835-843. DOI: 10.1001/archneur.55.6.835
P. Ribai, K. Nguyen, V. Hahn-Barma, I. Gourfinkel-An, M. Vidailhet, A. Legout, C. Dode, A. Brice, & A. Durr. (2007) Psychiatric and Cognitive Difficulties as Indicators of Juvenile Huntington Disease Onset in 29 Patients. Archives of Neurology, 64(6), 813-819. DOI: 10.1001/archneur.64.6.813
Shihui Xing, Ling Chen, Xi Chen, Zhong Pei, Jinsheng Zeng, & Jinru Li. (2008) Excessive blinking as an initial manifestation of juvenile Huntington’s disease. Neurological Sciences, 29(4), 275-277. DOI: 10.1007/s10072-008-0981-7
The adage of those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it rings as true in medicine as in any other field. Learning from previous patients and past experiences — even mistakes — is the best learning tool in medicine. The treatment and diagnosis of epilepsy is no different, and a new [...]... Read more »
Andres M. Kanner. (2007) To Treat or Not to Treat…Is It Still the Question?. Epilepsy Currents, 7(6), 154-156. DOI: 10.1111/j.1535-7511.2007.00210.x
Andres Kanner. (2008) Common Errors Made in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Epilepsy. Seminars in Neurology, 28(03), 364-378. DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1079341
Andres Kanner. (2008) The Use of Psychotropic Drugs in Epilepsy: What Every Neurologist Should Know. Seminars in Neurology, 28(03), 379-388. DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1079342
Marcel Proust’s 3,200 page novel À la recherche du temps perdu has in it the famous scene where dipping pastry into his tea flooded him with his childhood memories. It was the odor which provoked it, and it has gone into psychoanalytical literature as the most famous literary evidence of the power of scents in [...]... Read more »
S. D. Shea, L. C. Katz, & R. Mooney. (2008) Noradrenergic Induction of Odor-Specific Neural Habituation and Olfactory Memories. Journal of Neuroscience, 28(42), 10711-10719. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3853-08.2008
Stroke patients may have a new tool in their rehabilitation shed: a mirror. A study presented at the 6th World Stroke Congress in Vienna, Austria, in September 2008 suggests that adding mirror therapy to traditional rehabilitation programs may speed the recovery of stroke patients. Mirror therapy is used to treat phantom limb pain after amputation, [...]... Read more »
Kynan Eng, Ewa Siekierka, Pawel Pyk, Edith Chevrier, Yves Hauser, Monica Cameirao, Lisa Holper, Karin Hägni, Lukas Zimmerli, Armin Duff.... (2007) Interactive visuo-motor therapy system for stroke rehabilitation. Medical , 45(9), 901-907. DOI: 10.1007/s11517-007-0239-1
D ERTELT, S SMALL, A SOLODKIN, C DETTMERS, A MCNAMARA, F BINKOFSKI, & G BUCCINO. (2007) Action observation has a positive impact on rehabilitation of motor deficits after stroke. NeuroImage. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2007.03.043
S SUTBEYAZ, G YAVUZER, N SEZER, & B KOSEOGLU. (2007) Mirror Therapy Enhances Lower-Extremity Motor Recovery and Motor Functioning After Stroke: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 88(5), 555-559. DOI: 10.1016/j.apmr.2007.02.034
G YAVUZER, R SELLES, N SEZER, S SUTBEYAZ, J BUSSMANN, F KOSEOGLU, M ATAY, & H STAM. (2008) Mirror Therapy Improves Hand Function in Subacute Stroke: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 89(3), 393-398. DOI: 10.1016/j.apmr.2007.08.162
I write this article in honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness month. Most of us know someone within our close social circle who has been through this terrible ordeal. This is not surprising, as the National Cancer Institute estimates that there were about 2.4 million women breast cancer survivors in 2004, with a 3.5% [...]... Read more »
C. K. Kuhl. (2005) Mammography, Breast Ultrasound, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Surveillance of Women at High Familial Risk for Breast Cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 23(33), 8469-8476. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2004.00.4960
Misuse of antibiotics is the leading cause of emerging antimicrobial resistance — a public health crisis in the making. Inappropriate prescribing practices by health care providers contributes greatly to this problem, but now there is evidence that everyday cleaning and hand-washing may also contribute to the growing trend of antimicrobial resistance.
Bacteria become resistant to antibiotics [...]... Read more »
A. E. Aiello, R. M. Coulborn, V. Perez, & E. L. Larson. (2008) Effect of Hand Hygiene on Infectious Disease Risk in the Community Setting: A Meta-Analysis. American Journal of Public Health, 98(8), 1372-1381. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2007.124610
Allison E. Aiello, Elaine L. Larson, & Stuart B. Levy. (2007) Consumer Antibacterial Soaps: Effective or Just Risky?. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 45(S2). DOI: 10.1086/519255
R. T. Carson, E. Larson, S. B. Levy, B. M. Marshall, & A. E. Aiello. (2008) Use of antibacterial consumer products containing quaternary ammonium compounds and drug resistance in the community. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 62(5), 1160-1162. DOI: 10.1093/jac/dkn332
Siamak P. Yazdankhah, Anne A. Scheie, E. Arne Hoiby, Bjorn-Tore Lunestad, Even Heir, Tor Oystein Fotland, Kristine Naterstad, & Hilde Kruse. (2006) Triclosan and Antimicrobial Resistance in Bacteria: An Overview. Microbial Drug Resistance, 12(2), 83-90. DOI: 10.1089/mdr.2006.12.83
There is a rare neurological condition called alien limb syndrome in which a person has one or more limbs that will often move without conscious control. Little is known about the exact cause of this rare and interesting disorder. The person usually can have conscious control of the limb at times but not always. A [...]... Read more »
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