William Yates, M.D.

474 posts · 385,918 views

Physician, Writer and Bird Photographer. Translating Neuroscience Research Into Better Care for Brain Disorders.

Brain Posts
474 posts

Sort by Latest Post, Most Popular

View by Condensed, Full

  • December 15, 2014
  • 08:42 AM
  • 84 views

Who is Getting High in Europe (and Where)?

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

My research training is in psychiatric epidemiology. Alcohol and drug dependence have been two of my topic areas of research.So I found a recent novel study of the epidemiology of illicit drug use in Europe intriguing.Typical methods of looking for the prevalence of drug use in populations are direct diagnostic interviews and studies of emergency room attendees or autopsy cases with medical complications of drug use.However, Christopher Ort from Switzerland along with a host of European col........ Read more »

Ort C, van Nuijs AL, Berset JD, Bijlsma L, Castiglioni S, Covaci A, de Voogt P, Emke E, Fatta-Kassinos D, Griffiths P.... (2014) Spatial differences and temporal changes in illicit drug use in Europe quantified by wastewater analysis. Addiction (Abingdon, England), 109(8), 1338-52. PMID: 24861844  

  • December 10, 2014
  • 11:46 AM
  • 52 views

Prescription Opiate Abuse: High-Risk Populations

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Prescription opiate abuse is a significant problem in the United States.I have previously written about this issue in several previous posts.One important factor for clinicians and patients is the need to identify high-risk populations that may be more vulnerable to opiate abuse and dependence.One obvious group would be those with alcohol or another non-opiate abuse diagnosis. Additionally, some psychiatric disorders are associated with increased risk for substance abuse including opiate abuse.G........ Read more »

  • December 10, 2014
  • 11:06 AM
  • 76 views

Incentives in the Treatment of Cocaine Dependence

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Relapse rates are high in treatment samples of adults with cocaine dependence.Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common standard of care for cocaine dependence.A recent clinical trial from Switzerland examined the use of financial prize incentives to augment standard CBT in the treatment of cocaine dependence.Sixty subjects participated in this trial with the following inclusion criteria: least 18 years of age, had a DSM-IV diagnosis of cocaine dependence with at least one po........ Read more »

Petitjean SA, Dürsteler-MacFarland KM, Krokar MC, Strasser J, Mueller SE, Degen B, Trombini MV, Vogel M, Walter M, Wiesbeck GA.... (2014) A randomized, controlled trial of combined cognitive-behavioral therapy plus prize-based contingency management for cocaine dependence. Drug and alcohol dependence, 94-100. PMID: 25456571  

  • December 1, 2014
  • 12:09 PM
  • 94 views

Common Genes in Neuropsychiatric Disorders

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Finding a specific genes linked to specific neuropsychiatric disorders has been a key research strategy.However, this strategy has not been entirely successful.One problem with this unitary approach is the diagnostic overlap and comorbidity common to neuropsychiatric disorders such as mood disorders and autism.A promising alternative strategy is to focus on genes that share risk with more than one neuropsychiatric condition.Amit Lotan from Israel along with colleagues from the Netherlands, Germa........ Read more »

  • November 26, 2014
  • 11:06 AM
  • 120 views

Treatment Resistance in Eating Disorders

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Clinicians treating patients with eating disorders find the challenge great with many treatment-resistant cases.To some extent, this is true of any clinical disorder. Outpatient treatment rolls and inpatient samples are over-represented by those failing to respond to initial interventions.A medical example is helpful here. Endocrinologists specializing in diabetes see more complicated cases where glucose control is difficult and diabetic complications are common.Diabetics with easy glucose contr........ Read more »

  • November 17, 2014
  • 10:55 AM
  • 65 views

Eating Disorders in Obesity: DSM-IV and DSM-5

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

The recent revision of the American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) altered several eating disorder diagnostic criteria.Some have expressed concern that these revisions are overly broad and may result in over diagnosis in some clinical populations. One clinical population where this is a concern is obesity.A research study has been recently published addressing this issue.Jennifer Thomas and colleagues at Harvard University a........ Read more »

  • November 12, 2014
  • 11:14 AM
  • 141 views

Binge Eating Linked to Risk for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Binge eating is defined as the recurrent rapid consumption of high calorie meals accompanied by a feeling that eating is out of control.Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by binge eating paired with a purging behavior such as self-induced vomiting.Binge eating without purging is receiving increased clinical and research attention.Binge eating is a relative common component in elevated body mass index and obesity. Successful behavior and drug treatment for obesity often includes ........ Read more »

Peat CM, Huang L, Thornton LM, Von Holle AF, Trace SE, Lichtenstein P, Pedersen NL, Overby DW, & Bulik CM. (2013) Binge eating, body mass index, and gastrointestinal symptoms. Journal of psychosomatic research, 75(5), 456-61. PMID: 24182635  

  • November 11, 2014
  • 11:13 AM
  • 123 views

Anorexia Nervosa: Brain Connectivity Abnormalities

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Functional magnetic resonance imaging is providing a new tool for understanding brain circuitry in normal brain development and in brain disorders. Anorexia nervosa is an restrictive calorie eating disorder often resistant to treatment.No effective drug treatment for anorexia nervosa currently exists and psychotherapy is often only partially effective. A better understanding of the brain pathophysiology in anorexia nervosa is needed to aid in treatment development.Stephanie Kullman along wi........ Read more »

  • November 10, 2014
  • 10:05 AM
  • 117 views

Eating Disorders Linked to Higher Autoimmune Disease Rates

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

There is increasing evidence for inflammation contributing to risk for a variety of psychiatric disorders.I previously summarized research supporting use of anti-inflammatory drugs in the treatment of depression.A recent study from Finland supports an inflammation link to the eating disorder categories.The key elements of the design of this study included:Subjects: 2342 subjects admitted for treatment in the Eating Disorders Unit at the central hospital in Finland. Four controls were identified ........ Read more »

Raevuori A, Haukka J, Vaarala O, Suvisaari JM, Gissler M, Grainger M, Linna MS, & Suokas JT. (2014) The increased risk for autoimmune diseases in patients with eating disorders. PloS one, 9(8). PMID: 25147950  

  • November 5, 2014
  • 12:19 PM
  • 122 views

Anorexia Nervosa as a Disorder of Perception

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

A key feature in anorexia nervosa is the disturbance in perception of the body.This perceptual disturbance is encapsulated in criteria 3 from DSM-5: "Disturbance in the way in which one's body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence of body weight or shape evaluation, or denial of the seriousness of the current low weight" Santino Guadio from Italy and colleagues recently published a nice summary of the support for body image disturbance in anorexia nervosa. This study focused ........ Read more »

  • November 4, 2014
  • 10:52 AM
  • 125 views

Anorexia Nervosa: Fasting and Starvation Brain Effects

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Brain research in anorexia nervosa presents several challenges.Current knowledge of cognitive function in anorexia supports impairment in set shifting and global brain processing or central coherence.However, there are two issues that complicate understanding the underlying brain effects in anorexia nervosa.First, individuals with anorexia nervosa often have additional anxiety and mood disorders. It can be difficult to tease out the specific effects of anorexia nervosa from the effects of these ........ Read more »

Billingsley-Marshall RL, Basso MR, Lund BC, Hernandez ER, Johnson CL, Drevets WC, McKee PA, & Yates WR. (2013) Executive function in eating disorders: the role of state anxiety. The International journal of eating disorders, 46(4), 316-21. PMID: 23354876  

  • October 30, 2014
  • 11:20 AM
  • 164 views

Alcoholism as a Reward System Dysfunction

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Alcoholism and other addictive behaviors often occur together within individual patients.For example, individuals with alcoholism commonly also are smokers and meet criteria for a diagnosis of nicotine dependence.This co-occurrence suggests multiple types of addiction may share genetic and environmental risk factors. Additionally, there might be a common neurobiological mechanism in play for many addictions.Kenneth Blum and other leading alcoholism researchers recently published a review that pr........ Read more »

  • October 28, 2014
  • 11:59 AM
  • 155 views

Night Owls Show Increased Alcohol Use Risk

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Humans commonly display a circadian rhythm preference for getting up early in the morning or staying up late at night (night owls).This sleep timing, or diurnal preference appears to have genetic contributions.Additionally, diurnal preference may contribute to risk for alcohol consumption as more alcohol is consumed later in the day and during the night time.Nathaniel Watson and colleagues at the University of Washington and the University of Texas recently explored the relationship between diur........ Read more »

Watson NF, Buchwald D, & Harden KP. (2013) A twin study of genetic influences on diurnal preference and risk for alcohol use outcomes. Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 9(12), 1333-9. PMID: 24340296  

  • October 27, 2014
  • 11:10 AM
  • 155 views

Brain Imaging In Alcoholic Brain Thiamine Deficiency

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Chronic consumption of large quantities of alcohol can produce severe deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B1).This can precipitate an acute brain failure known as Wernicke's encephalopathy. Wernicke's encephalopathy is characterized by sudden onset of mental status changes, eye muscle impairment and disturbed gait or ataxia.Other illnesses can also produce this level of severe thiamine deficiency. A partial list of these non-alcoholism causes for thiamine deficiency with encephalopathy includes........ Read more »

  • October 23, 2014
  • 10:20 AM
  • 160 views

Smartphone App Boosts Alcoholism Treatment Outcome

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Smartphone apps and other mobile technology are emerging as promising tools in medical treatment.A recent randomized study published in JAMA Psychiatry found evidence that a smartphone app improves alcoholism treatment outcomes.David Gustafson and colleagues conducted a study funded by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.A series of 349 adults with DSM-IV alcohol dependence were enrolled as they entered a alcoholism residential treatment program.Approximately half of the subje........ Read more »

Gustafson DH, McTavish FM, Chih MY, Atwood AK, Johnson RA, Boyle MG, Levy MS, Driscoll H, Chisholm SM, Dillenburg L.... (2014) A smartphone application to support recovery from alcoholism: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA psychiatry, 71(5), 566-72. PMID: 24671165  

  • October 21, 2014
  • 11:25 AM
  • 167 views

Sleep Problems in Alcoholism Treatment

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

In a previous post, I summarized a research study six month outcome of insomnia in a group of subjects treated for alcoholism.This study found a high persistence of insomnia despite reduction, and in many cases abstinence, from alcohol.A second study recently published by investigators at the National Institute of Health provides some additional insight into this topic.Gwenyth Wallen and colleagues studied a series of 164 participants admitted to a 4-6 week inpatient program for alcohol dependen........ Read more »

  • October 20, 2014
  • 10:56 AM
  • 171 views

Persistent Insomnia and Alcoholism

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Sleep problems complicate the treatment and recovery in alcoholism. Heavy alcohol consumption modifies the nature of sleep architecture.A high blood alcohol concentration at bedtime may promote sleep early in the sleep cycle.However, as alcohol levels decline, sleep is often interrupted with limiting rapid eye movement (REM) sleep duration.Shortened total sleep time with alcohol can produce a lack of feeling well rested on awakening.For those with alcoholism or alcohol dependence, successfu........ Read more »

Brower KJ, Krentzman A, & Robinson EA. (2011) Persistent insomnia, abstinence, and moderate drinking in alcohol-dependent individuals. The American journal on addictions / American Academy of Psychiatrists in Alcoholism and Addictions, 20(5), 435-40. PMID: 21838842  

  • October 7, 2014
  • 04:21 PM
  • 217 views

Personality, Emotion and Psychopathology: David Watson Lecture Notes

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

I had the privilege to attend today the William K Warren Frontiers in Neuroscience Conference in Tulsa, OK by Dr. David Watson from Notre Dame University.Dr. Watson's lecture was titled: An integrative model of personality, emotion and psychopathology. This lecture summarized a body of research examining personality, psychological symptoms and a variety of brain disorders.Here are my lecture notes and links to relevant research citations. The first two citations have links to a free full-te........ Read more »

Stasik SM, Naragon-Gainey K, Chmielewski M, & Watson D. (2012) Core OCD symptoms: exploration of specificity and relations with psychopathology. Journal of anxiety disorders, 26(8), 859-70. PMID: 23026094  

  • October 2, 2014
  • 11:01 AM
  • 211 views

Parenting: Genetics and Environmental Effects

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Effective parenting is a key element in child development.Both genetic and environmental factors appear to contribute to the cognitive, emotional and behavioral aspects of parenting.Childhood temperament also influences the process of parenting. A well-behaved, emotionally stable and loving child is obviously much easier to parent than a child with behavioral and emotional problems.Bonamy Oliver and colleagues from the United Kingdom have recently published an informative twin study of pare........ Read more »

Oliver BR, Trzaskowski M, & Plomin R. (2014) Genetics of parenting: The power of the dark side. Developmental psychology, 50(4), 1233-40. PMID: 24364831  

  • September 29, 2014
  • 10:32 AM
  • 216 views

Family Attachment and the Brain Cingulate Cortex

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Healthy family attachment provides a key element for social support and successful interpersonal relationships.Several brain regions as well as hormonal factors appear to modulate positive emotional responses to family members.I have previously reviewed several studies involving the prosocial effects of the hormone oxytocin and the related hormone vasopressin.Nicolas Rusch from the Department of Psychiatry at Ulm University in Germany along with colleagues in Brazil and London recently published........ Read more »

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use ResearchBlogging.org to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit seedmediagroup.com.