Shaheen Lakhan

435 posts · 748,489 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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  • August 25, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Deinstitutionalization of Mental Health Care – Availability of Bed Space and Involuntary Admissions

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

As developed nations around the world have attempted to deinstitutionalize mental health care, the number of beds available for inpatient treatment has declined. A recent survey of mental health care reported that the decrease in bed space leads to more involuntary admissions for mental health care. Wealthy, developed nations throughout the world, including the United [...]... Read more »

Abramowitz M, Grinshpoon A, Priebe S, & Ponizovsky AM. (2008) New institutionalization as a rebound phenomenon? The case of Israel. The Israel journal of psychiatry and related sciences, 45(4), 272-7. PMID: 19439832  

Priebe S, Badesconyi A, Fioritti A, Hansson L, Kilian R, Torres-Gonzales F, Turner T, & Wiersma D. (2005) Reinstitutionalisation in mental health care: comparison of data on service provision from six European countries. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 330(7483), 123-6. PMID: 15567803  

Priebe S, Frottier P, Gaddini A, Kilian R, Lauber C, Martínez-Leal R, Munk-Jørgensen P, Walsh D, Wiersma D, & Wright D. (2008) Mental health care institutions in nine European countries, 2002 to 2006. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.), 59(5), 570-3. PMID: 18451020  

Swartz MS, Wilder CM, Swanson JW, Van Dorn RA, Robbins PC, Steadman HJ, Moser LL, Gilbert AR, & Monahan J. (2010) Assessing outcomes for consumers in New York's assisted outpatient treatment program. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.), 61(10), 976-81. PMID: 20889634  

  • August 18, 2011
  • 07:00 AM

Antidepressants Bad for Babies

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Recently, two studies reported that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a common class of antidepressant medication, increase the risk for congenital malformations and developmental disorders among children when taken by mothers during pregnancy. The first study, published in Obstetrics and Gynecology, evaluated more than half of a million offspring over 11 years. Of these, just [...]... Read more »

None. (2006) SSRI antidepressants and birth defects. Prescrire international, 15(86), 222-3. PMID: 17167929  

Croen LA, Grether JK, Yoshida CK, Odouli R, & Hendrick V. (2011) Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy and Childhood Autism Spectrum Disorders. Archives of general psychiatry. PMID: 21727247  

Tuccori M, Montagnani S, Testi A, Ruggiero E, Mantarro S, Scollo C, Pergola A, Fornai M, Antonioli L, Colucci R.... (2010) Use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors during pregnancy and risk of major and cardiovascular malformations: an update. Postgraduate medicine, 122(4), 49-65. PMID: 20675971  

  • August 13, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Mental Health Disorders Prevalent Among Youth Worldwide

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO) published in Lancet, mental health disorders account for nearly half of the disease burden in the world’s adolescents and young adults. Young people aged 10 to 24 years equal 27% of the world’s population. This age group is important in public health interventions because health problems [...]... Read more »

Gore FM, Bloem PJ, Patton GC, Ferguson J, Joseph V, Coffey C, Sawyer SM, & Mathers CD. (2011) Global burden of disease in young people aged 10-24 years: a systematic analysis. Lancet, 377(9783), 2093-102. PMID: 21652063  

Merikangas KR, He JP, Burstein M, Swanson SA, Avenevoli S, Cui L, Benjet C, Georgiades K, & Swendsen J. (2010) Lifetime prevalence of mental disorders in U.S. adolescents: results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication--Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A). Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 49(10), 980-9. PMID: 20855043  

Patton GC, Coffey C, Sawyer SM, Viner RM, Haller DM, Bose K, Vos T, Ferguson J, & Mathers CD. (2009) Global patterns of mortality in young people: a systematic analysis of population health data. Lancet, 374(9693), 881-92. PMID: 19748397  

  • August 10, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Careful with that Axe – The Effects of Criticism on Autistic Symptoms

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Being a parent of a child with a developmental disorder has to be one of the most stressful and challenging of all human experiences. Looking after someone afflicted with such a disorder is difficult not only because of the direct symptoms of the disorder but also because of the indirect effects that come around and [...]... Read more »

  • August 7, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Elderly? Put On a Happy Face!

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

A positive affect — the hallmark of overall well-being — is associated with improved health and success in many areas of life. Now, it may also predict survival. Positive affect is a psychological state of experiencing joy, happiness, excitement, enthusiasm, and contentment. In contrast, a negative affect is characterized by anxiety, depression, and hostility. Many [...]... Read more »

Fredman L, Hawkes WG, Black S, Bertrand RM, & Magaziner J. (2006) Elderly patients with hip fracture with positive affect have better functional recovery over 2 years. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 54(7), 1074-81. PMID: 16866678  

Krijthe BP, Walter S, Newson RS, Hofman A, Hunink MG, & Tiemeier H. (2011) Is Positive Affect Associated With Survival? A Population-based Study of Elderly Persons. American journal of epidemiology, 173(11), 1298-307. PMID: 21454828  

Ostir GV, Markides KS, Black SA, & Goodwin JS. (2000) Emotional well-being predicts subsequent functional independence and survival. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 48(5), 473-8. PMID: 10811538  

  • 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 1, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Fighting Words

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Language can reveal, or conceal, the soul. Words express thoughts, share emotions, and foretell actions. Now, speech can predict victory in boxing matches. It is probably fair to say that few boxers are considered masters of the spoken word. But, researchers in Arkansas recently presented results of a study at the 16th Annual International Stress [...]... Read more »

  • July 29, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Blue in the Brain – The Upside of Depression

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

You watch the world bang door after door in your face, numbly, bitterly. You have forgotten the secret you knew, once, ah, once, of being joyous, of laughing, of opening doors. — Sylvia Plath Depression is generally associated with a poor intellectual and physical performance. The assumption that negativity and lack of interest in the [...]... Read more »

  • July 26, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Bad Memories Don’t Have to Last Forever

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Painful emotional memories may not be permanent, according to researchers from the University of Montreal. Manipulating hormone levels can decrease the recall and reconsolidation of negative memories. Memories are continuously retrieved and reactivated, which keeps the memories alive. Researchers have shown that glucocorticoids, such as cortisol, modulate this process. Glucocorticoids are released in response to [...]... Read more »

Marin MF, Pilgrim K, & Lupien SJ. (2010) Modulatory effects of stress on reactivated emotional memories. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 35(9), 1388-96. PMID: 20471179  

Schelling G, Roozendaal B, & De Quervain DJ. (2004) Can posttraumatic stress disorder be prevented with glucocorticoids?. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 158-66. PMID: 15677403  

Wolf OT, Kuhlmann S, Buss C, Hellhammer DH, & Kirschbaum C. (2004) Cortisol and memory retrieval in humans: influence of emotional valence. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 195-7. PMID: 15677409  

  • July 23, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

A Thin Line Between Love And Hate… In Your Brain

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

We are all familiar with the fuzzy feelings that accompany falling in love. You and your partner become emotionally connected, supported, and complete. Although human love is a complicated and long journey, scientists consistently find that the release of a specific neuropetide—oxytocin—may kick start these feelings right away in courtship. In fact, for the past [...]... Read more »

Kosfeld, M., Heinrichs, M., Zak, P., Fischbacher, U., & Fehr, E. (2005) Oxytocin increases trust in humans. Nature, 435(7042), 673-676. DOI: 10.1038/nature03701  

Bartz, J., Zaki, J., Bolger, N., Hollander, E., Ludwig, N., Kolevzon, A., & Ochsner, K. (2010) Oxytocin Selectively Improves Empathic Accuracy. Psychological Science, 21(10), 1426-1428. DOI: 10.1177/0956797610383439  

De Dreu, C., Greer, L., Handgraaf, M., Shalvi, S., Van Kleef, G., Baas, M., Ten Velden, F., Van Dijk, E., & Feith, S. (2010) The Neuropeptide Oxytocin Regulates Parochial Altruism in Intergroup Conflict Among Humans. Science, 328(5984), 1408-1411. DOI: 10.1126/science.1189047  

De Dreu, C., Greer, L., Van Kleef, G., Shalvi, S., & Handgraaf, M. (2011) Oxytocin promotes human ethnocentrism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(4), 1262-1266. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1015316108  

  • July 20, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Stigma Influences Seeking Mental Health Care

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Stigmatization of mental health disorders leads to a decreased quality of life, missed opportunities, and lost independence for the affected individual. A new study reports that stigmatization also determines if and when people will seek mental health care for themselves. A large population-based survey in Finland evaluated the stigmatizing attitudes about mental illness and the [...]... Read more »

Hinshaw SP, & Stier A. (2008) Stigma as related to mental disorders. Annual review of clinical psychology, 367-93. PMID: 17716044  

Horsfall J, Cleary M, & Hunt GE. (2010) Stigma in mental health: clients and professionals. Issues in mental health nursing, 31(7), 450-5. PMID: 20521914  

  • July 17, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Consumer Perception of Health – The Cost of Happiness

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Consumer perception drives most of the success or failure of an industry. When consumers perceive a need for a product or service, an industry has a limitless ability to expand, innovate and thrive. In the health care industry, the product consumers crave (and need) is health and wellness. Health and wellness is an essential quality [...]... Read more »

  • July 14, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Memory – Not as Good as We Think

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

One of the more controversial topics within cognitive psychology is whether or not there are repressed memories and if so, can they accurately be recovered. In order to understand how memories might become repressed, we need to first understand the memory system. Memory includes both learning and then some sort of recollection. We have to [...]... Read more »

  • July 11, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Is Happiness Always a Good Thing?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Happiness is a component of subjective well-being, and is typically thought of as leading to positive outcomes. But, researchers now report that happiness may not always be as pleasant as it sounds. A review published in Perspectives on Psychological Science reports scenarios in which happiness is not a good thing. The authors claim that not [...]... Read more »

Diener E, & Seligman ME. (2002) Very happy people. Psychological science, 13(1), 81-4. PMID: 11894851  

  • July 8, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Look at Yourself! – Perceptual Accuracy and Body Dysmorphic Disorder

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

We all have our flaws, but some of us are more keenly aware of them than others. Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) affects about 1.7% of the population and is characterized by an enhanced awareness of one’s physical appearance, specifically the perceived negative aspects. Dissatisfaction with one’s appearance is not abnormal in itself, but in individuals [...]... Read more »

Lambrou C, Veale D, & Wilson G. (2011) The role of aesthetic sensitivity in body dysmorphic disorder. Journal of abnormal psychology, 120(2), 443-53. PMID: 21280932  

Feusner JD, Hembacher E, Moller H, & Moody TD. (2011) Abnormalities of object visual processing in body dysmorphic disorder. Psychological medicine, 1-13. PMID: 21557897  

  • July 5, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Music and Art – Good for Your Soul and Your Lifespan

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Friedrich Neitzsche once claimed that without music, life would be a mistake. Researchers in Norway claim that without music, art, or other cultural events, life may also be shorter and less satisfying. A new study, published by the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, reports that visiting museums, attending concerts, playing an instrument, and creating [...]... Read more »

Bygren LO, Weissglas G, Wikström BM, Konlaan BB, Grjibovski A, Karlsson AB, Andersson SO, & Sjöström M. (2009) Cultural participation and health: a randomized controlled trial among medical care staff. Psychosomatic medicine, 71(4), 469-73. PMID: 19321851  

  • July 2, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Female Orgasm – Unlocking the Neuroscientific Mysteries

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Recently Brain Blogger featured an article entitled Your Brain on Sex and Love. While it delineated a few recent studies that focused on what goes on in the brain during sex, few recognize how little is known about human sexuality, particularly the neural and psychological responses that stem from it. Logistically, it is difficult to [...]... Read more »

Komisaruk BR, & Whipple B. (2005) Functional MRI of the brain during orgasm in women. Annual review of sex research, 62-86. PMID: 16913288  

  • June 26, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Being a Mensan – a Gift or a Curse?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

What is the good of an intelligence when it reasons always the same way and always reaches the same conclusion? — from CHANGE, Cuba, 2007 When Argentinean novelist Ernesto Sabato (a reputable genius) passed away a few weeks ago, the son of famous composer Astor Piazzola shared an unflattering story about him. As a middle-aged [...]... Read more »

Duckworth AL, Quinn PD, Lynam DR, Loeber R, & Stouthamer-Loeber M. (2011) Role of test motivation in intelligence testing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 21518867  

  • June 23, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Drug Disposal – to Flush or Not to Flush?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Richard Asher, considered one of the preeminent medical thinkers of the 20th century, said, “If you give a man a pill there are only two things he can do with it: he can swallow it or he can throw it away.” As the production and use of medications increases worldwide, it has become clear that [...]... Read more »

Frolund, F. (1978) Better prescribing. BMJ, 2(6139), 741-741. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.2.6139.741  

  • June 20, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Is Charity Bad For Your Health?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Since 2000, there has been a massive flow of funding from the West into health care in developing African countries. Some of this has come from governmental sources in response to G8 initiatives such as the 2000 Millenium Fund and a significant amount has come from charitable organizations. One of the largest of these, the Bill [...]... Read more »

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