Shaheen Lakhan

435 posts · 534,551 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.

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  • 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 »

  • 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  

  • 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 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 »

  • 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 »

  • 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 »

  • November 27, 2008
  • 09:07 AM

Should Doctors Engage in Racial Profiling?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The time was June 2000. Scientists with the Celera Genomics Corporation, in conjunction with the international Human Genome Project, announced that they had successfully derived the entire sequence of the human genome. Furthermore, they noted that humans share 99.9% of their genetic code with one another. This discovery served as the platform for the medical [...]... Read more »

  • 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 »

  • 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 »

  • August 14, 2008
  • 10:27 AM

Will Money Improve NYC’s Health?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

You know, there’s a reason why famous sayings are, well, famous sayings. It’s because they’re true and they usually sum up this truth is just a few words so as to package their neat truism in a tidy little box.

BMJ’s article, New York’s road to health, quickly brought to mind one of those sayings in [...]... Read more »

K McColl. (2008) New York's road to health. BMJ, 337(jul08 3). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.a673  

  • September 28, 2008
  • 05:43 PM

Preventative Care in Medicine

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Medicine and health care are classified into various categories based on different specifying criteria. One of the classifications is a distinction on the basis of preventative and curative care: primary, secondary and tertiary cares. Primary care occurs when lifestyle modification behaviors are taught and encouraged in order to maintain a state of good health before [...]... 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  

  • December 11, 2008
  • 10:09 AM

Depression and the Risk for Cardiovascular Events

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Depression is a risk factor for the development of coronary heart disease in healthy patients, as well as a predictor of adverse cardiovascular outcomes in patients with diagnosed heart disease. One-fifth of patients with coronary heart disease and one-third of patients with congestive heart failure show signs of depression. Many of these cases of depression [...]... Read more »

H Lester, & A Howe. (2008) Depression in primary care: three key challenges. Postgraduate Medical Journal, 84(996), 545-548. DOI: 10.1136/pgmj.2008.068387  

M. A. Whooley. (2006) Depression and Cardiovascular Disease: Healing the Broken-Hearted. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 295(24), 2874-2881. DOI: 10.1001/jama.295.24.2874  

M. A. Whooley, P. de Jonge, E. Vittinghoff, C. Otte, R. Moos, R. M. Carney, S. Ali, S. Dowray, B. Na, M. D. Feldman.... (2008) Depressive Symptoms, Health Behaviors, and Risk of Cardiovascular Events in Patients With Coronary Heart Disease. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 300(20), 2379-2388. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2008.711  

  • 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 »

  • January 10, 2009
  • 10:03 AM

Safety Concerns with Prescription Drug Samples

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Drug manufacturers widely use prescription drug samples as a marketing tool. In 2004, drug samples accounted for approximately half of the pharmaceutical industry’s marketing budget, or $16 billion. An advantage, touted by pharmaceutical companies and some physicians, is that these samples are made available to low-income and uninsured patients, providing them with otherwise unaffordable medications. [...]... Read more »

  • October 7, 2008
  • 07:57 PM

China’s Tainted Reputation

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Call me paranoid but I am careful about what I allow in my house. When I buy toys for my son I actually look to see where they are made. The same with clothing. And ditto for food items. Although I consider these actions quite sound, there is a kink when it comes to execution.

You [...]... Read more »

  • March 13, 2008
  • 05:13 PM

Videophilia Takes Over

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The benefits of spending time outdoors are numerous –- fresh air, sunshine, relaxation. Who wouldn’t want that? Apparently, many Americans don’t. Researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago tracked outdoor activities over several decades, and found a sharp decline among US citizens. Rates of fishing, hiking, hunting, backpacking and national and state park visits ... Read more »

  • March 4, 2008
  • 01:15 PM

Are Insurance Copayments Unethical?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Mammograms are recommended for all women over the age of 45 as a breast cancer screening tool. Some insurance and Medicare plans provide full coverage for these tests because they are deemed necessary and beneficial. Other plans apply co-pays to mammograms, and other similar medical interventions, despite the prevalent medical opinion that they are both ... Read more »

  • April 17, 2009
  • 08:18 AM

Objective Testing for Alzheimer’s Disease

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) at the earliest clinical stages can be difficult. Given the variability in clinical threshold at which there is functional compromise in one’s social and professional life — a necessary component to AD diagnosis — there are several in-organic factors that affect early detection. Health professionals and biomedical scientists [...]... Read more »

Gauthier, S., Reisberg, B., Zaudig, M., Petersen, R., Ritchie, K., Broich, K., Belleville, S., Brodaty, H., Bennett, D., & Chertkow, H. (2006) Mild cognitive impairment. The Lancet, 367(9518), 1262-1270. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(06)68542-5  

Hunderfund, A., Roberts, R., Slusser, T., Leibson, C., Geda, Y., Ivnik, R., Tangalos, E., & Petersen, R. (2006) Mortality in amnestic mild cognitive impairment: A prospective community study. Neurology, 67(10), 1764-1768. DOI: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000244430.39969.5f  

Petersen RC, & Negash S. (2008) Mild cognitive impairment: an overview. CNS Spectr, 13(1), 45-53.

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