Shaheen Lakhan

435 posts · 751,289 views

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.

Brain Blogger
435 posts

Sort by Latest Post, Most Popular

View by Condensed, Full

  • September 13, 2008
  • 01:42 AM

Physiological Effects of Alcohol Consumption

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Alcohol (when used commonly refers to ethanol) is consumed widely around the world for numerous reasons. Its properties have been both praised and demonized. In humans it generally acts as a depressant with, conversely, mild stimulating effects of some parts of the brain. At low levels of consumption alcohol has minimal effects on a person; [...]... Read more »

  • September 8, 2008
  • 11:30 PM

Planning for Postnatal Depression

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Depression is a subtle thing. It can easily take on the disguise of other illnesses or temporary conditions.

Tired? Who isn’t? Sad? Well, the world can be depressing. Worried? Yeah, that’s why we all have grey hairs. Can’t sleep well? Join the club. Aren’t hungry? You’re just too busy. Unfocused? You just need to simplify. Irritable? [...]... Read more »

  • April 12, 2008
  • 11:06 AM

Inflammatory Markers Altered in Depression and Suicide

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Inflammation is a hot topic in medical research, with studies showing links to heart disease, dementia and longevity. Depression is a relatively new addition to the list of inflammation-associated diseases, with two recent publications demonstrating altered levels of inflammatory molecules in the blood of patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Both studies evaluated the levels ... Read more »

T Eller. (2008) Pro-inflammatory cytokines and treatment response to escitalopram in major depressive disorder. Progress in Neuro-psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 32(2), 445-450.

YK Kim. (2008) Differences in cytokines between non-suicidal patients and suicidal patients in major depression. Progress in Neuro-psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 32(2), 356-361.

  • September 13, 2008
  • 01:08 PM

George Huntington and the Disease Bearing His Name

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

George Huntington was the son and grandson of medical practitioners. He gave rise to a great interest in the origins of this disease which now bears his name.

At the age of 22, the year following his graduation from medical school at Columbia, George Huntington (1850-1916) made his contribution to medical research, publishing his report on [...]... Read more »

  • September 16, 2008
  • 11:09 PM

What Does Your iPod Say About You?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Right now, I have hundreds of songs on my mp3 player. I listen to everything from heavy metal when I run, to classical when I need to relax, to jazz when I am cooking. I listen to Broadway show tunes, movie soundtracks, and classic rock, depending on my mood. I also have tracks of nursery [...]... Read more »

  • January 23, 2009
  • 03:12 AM

An Old Weapon May Still Be Effective in the War Against Bioterrorism - Smallpox Vaccination

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

In recent years, there has been renewed interest in creating new smallpox vaccines due to the threat of the smallpox pathogen being used as a bioterrorism tool. The vaccinia virus vaccine has been used to prevent smallpox disease since the late 18th century and, until 30 years ago, most countries conducted routine smallpox vaccination programs. [...]... Read more »

D TAUB, W ERSHLER, M JANOWSKI, A ARTZ, M KEY, J MCKELVEY, D MULLER, B MOSS, L FERRUCCI, & P DUFFEY. (2008) Immunity from Smallpox Vaccine Persists for Decades: A Longitudinal Study. The American Journal of Medicine, 121(12), 1058-1064. DOI: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2008.08.019  

  • September 6, 2008
  • 12:30 PM

A Baby’s Smile - Mom’s Natural High

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Many people, at one time or another, have witnessed this ritual: a beaming new mother enters with baby pictures. A group of genuinely excited women gather around the new mother admiring the pictures as they are passed around. The new mother is oblivious to the fact that she has showed dozens of pictures at different [...]... Read more »

  • October 1, 2008
  • 11:37 AM

Sleep Deprivation, Behavior, and the Young

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

These days, sleep is often seen as an expendable resource. With so much work to do and limited time to accomplish tasks, going to sleep later and waking up earlier seems so natural. For some people, lack of sleep was used to prove toughness and stamina. It was common for physician trainees to boast (in [...]... Read more »

J. John Mann. (2003) Neurobiology of suicidal behaviour. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 4(10), 819-828. DOI: 10.1038/nrn1220  

  • August 4, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Horror in the Mind – The Psychological Effects of Torture

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

When most people think of torture, the first thing that comes to mind is unimaginable, unendurable pain. Physical pain is, however, the one thing that tends to remain in the torture chamber, the hidden cells of illegal prisons after the victim has left. As terrible as the physical after effects of torture may be, the [...]... Read more »

Carinci AJ, Mehta P, & Christo PJ. (2010) Chronic pain in torture victims. Current pain and headache reports, 14(2), 73-9. PMID: 20425195  

Abildgaard U, Daugaard G, Marcussen H, Jess P, Petersen HD, & Wallach M. (1984) Chronic organic psycho-syndrome in Greek torture victims. Danish medical bulletin, 31(3), 239-42. PMID: 6744953  

Mollica, R. (2004) Surviving Torture. New England Journal of Medicine, 351(1), 5-7. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp048141  

Kira, I., Templin, T., Lewandowski, L., Clifford, D., Wiencek, P., Hammad, A., Mohanesh, J., & Al-haidar, A. (2006) The Effects of Torture: Two Community Studies. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 12(3), 205-228. DOI: 10.1207/s15327949pac1203_1  

  • August 13, 2008
  • 12:51 PM

Culturally Competent Care - Are Health Care Providers Doing Enough?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

America is arguably one of the most diverse nations in the world. While such diversity can provide opportunities for unique social and cultural interactions, it can also present opportunities for poor medical care. Many studies show that ethnic and cultural minorities do not receive the same level of care as patients in majority groups. The [...]... Read more »

  • June 26, 2008
  • 04:10 PM

Blood Glucose and the Brain: Sugar and Short-Term Memory

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Millions of older adults suffer from significant memory loss, despite the lack of a diagnosis of dementia-causing disease. This memory loss can lead to a significant decline in quality of life and often remains undiagnosed and untreated. Recently, however, scientists have begun to study the role of glucose regulation in cognitive enhancement of adults. Cognitive ... Read more »

  • August 29, 2008
  • 12:31 PM

When the Doctor is the Patient

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Sometimes we forget that doctors are just like everyday people. They have families, they are members of parent/teacher organizations (PTOs), they help their children with school projects and homework, and they, in many cases, are still repaying school loans. You name it, and yes, the doctor has probably experienced it. So too is the case [...]... Read more »

  • October 18, 2008
  • 12:52 PM

Is Vitamin C the New Cancer Cure?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

In addition to the popular saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, maybe some day we can say the phrase, “Vitamin C a day keeps cancer away”.

Who would have thought that oranges and lemons, fruits easily found in a local grocery store, may hold the answer to curing cancer? Oranges vs. cancer — [...]... Read more »

Q. Chen, M. G. Espey, A. Y. Sun, C. Pooput, K. L. Kirk, M. C. Krishna, D. B. Khosh, J. Drisko, & M. Levine. (2008) From the Cover: Pharmacologic doses of ascorbate act as a prooxidant and decrease growth of aggressive tumor xenografts in mice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(32), 11105-11109. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0804226105  

  • August 25, 2008
  • 07:01 PM

Can Drug Therapy Prevent Parkinson’s Disease?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

A recent issue of the journal Neurology published two separate case-controlled studies that showed a decreased risk for Parkinson’s disease associated with both cholesterol-lowering medication and blood pressure-lowering medication.

A common class of cholesterol-lowering medications, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (also collectively called “statins”), includes the well-known and often-prescribed atorvastatin (Lipitor), simvastatin (Zocor), lovastatin (Altocor, Mevacor), and pravastatin [........... Read more »

G Hu, R Antikainen, P Jousilahti, M Kivipelto, & J Tuomilehto. (2008) Total cholesterol and the risk of Parkinson disease. Neurology, 70(21), 1972-1979. DOI: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000312511.62699.a8  

Annlia Paganini-Hill. (2001) Risk Factors for Parkinson. Neuroepidemiology, 20(2), 118-124. DOI: 10.1159/000054770  

T TON, S HECKBERT, W LONGSTRETHJR, M ROSSING, W KUKULL, G FRANKLIN, P SWANSON, T SMITHWELLER, & H CHECKOWAY. (2007) Calcium channel blockers and β-blockers in relation to Parkinson's disease. Parkinsonism , 13(3), 165-169. DOI: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2006.08.011  

A Wahner, J M Bronstein, Y M Bordelon, & B Ritz. (2008) Statin use and the risk of Parkinson disease. Neurology, 70(Issue 16,Part 2), 1418-1422. DOI: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000286942.14552.51  

  • October 27, 2008
  • 11:49 AM

A Unique Struggle Against Juvenile Huntington’s Disease

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

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 »

  • April 1, 2008
  • 04:10 PM

New Anti-Cancer Drug for Aggressive Brain Tumors

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Researchers are constantly trying to find new drugs or forms of therapy that can be used to treat cancer. Quite often when a possible treatment is discovered, being allowed to test a drug or other experimental cancer treatment at a clinical level is difficult. For example, after an anti-carcinogenic drug has been thoroughly tested at ... Read more »

Tim Cloughesy, Koji Yoshimoto, Phioanh Nghiemphu, Kevin Brown, Julie Dang, Shaojun Zhu, Teli Hsueh, Yinan Chen, Wei Wang, David Youngkin.... (2008) Antitumor Activity of Rapamycin in a Phase I Trial for Patients with Recurrent PTEN-Deficient Glioblastoma. PLoS Medicine, 5(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0050008  

  • April 4, 2008
  • 03:05 AM

Functional MRI: Emerging Uses for Neurological Diseases - Part 2

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Despite the fact that functional MRI was discovered in the early 90’s, scientific research related to its clinical applications is still at an early stage. The first paper on the use of functional MRI (fMRI) in Alzheimer’s disease came out as late as 1999. Today, fMRI is being intensively studied in a number of other ... Read more »

  • September 3, 2008
  • 12:25 AM

Stroke’s Little Known Complication - Pain

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Many people have a general familiarity to the obvious symptoms of stroke complications: paralysis, thinking and concentration deficits, speech problems, emotional difficulties, and daily living problems. However, many are unaware of the possible pain complications.

A 29 year old stroke victim in the magazine Stroke Connection provided vivid detail of his stroke pain,

Someone is ripping [...]... Read more »

  • December 25, 2008
  • 01:16 PM

Happiness is Contagious, If Not For a Fleeting Moment

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

According to a twenty-year longitudinal study of over 4000 individuals, happiness is indeed contagious. Dr. Nicholas Christakis, professor at Harvard University, compared the spread of happiness to a “ripple effect” that could affect others up to three degrees of separation away; a friend of a friend of a friend, so to speak.

The study did [...]... Read more »

  • May 2, 2008
  • 03:09 PM

Are You Depressed Because You’re Introverted?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

A study published in Psychological Science evaluated the link between happiness and personality traits in 973 twins. The authors found that happiness was heritable, and that it showed genetic linkage to certain personality traits. Those who were extroverted, open, agreeable and conscientious were more likely to be happy. Moreover, twins who exhibited similar personality traits ... Read more »

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use 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 SRI Technology.

To learn more, visit