Shaheen Lakhan

435 posts · 751,872 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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  • May 10, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Antidepressants Not Effective for Some Types of Depression

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Antidepressant medications have been the mainstay of treatment for depressive disorders for decades. But these drugs may not be as effective as once believed, according to a new analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania conducted a meta-analysis of data from trials of antidepressants and [...]... Read more »

Fournier, J., DeRubeis, R., Hollon, S., Dimidjian, S., Amsterdam, J., Shelton, R., & Fawcett, J. (2010) Antidepressant Drug Effects and Depression Severity: A Patient-Level Meta-analysis. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 303(1), 47-53. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2009.1943  

  • May 7, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Light at the End of the Tunnel or Too Much Carbon Dioxide?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The connection between mind and body is never as ambiguous as when the body is near death. Reports of near-death experiences (NDEs) in people who suffer cardiac arrest or other life-threatening traumas are unexplained by current science. Theories of psychological, physiological, and transcendental causes abound, but none has defined the true source of the phenomenon. [...]... Read more »

Lai CF, Kao TW, Wu MS, Chiang SS, Chang CH, Lu CS, Yang CS, Yang CC, Chang HW, Lin SL.... (2007) Impact of near-death experiences on dialysis patients: a multicenter collaborative study. American journal of kidney diseases : the official journal of the National Kidney Foundation, 50(1), 124. PMID: 17591532  

  • May 4, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Winston Churchill once defined a pessimist as one who sees the difficulty in every opportunity, but an optimist as one who sees the opportunity in every difficulty. New research shows that optimists, who already enjoy better goal attainment, more resilience, and better overall well-being compared to pessimists, also enjoy a healthier immune system. The new [...]... Read more »

Avitsur, R., Powell, N., Padgett, D., & Sheridan, J. (2009) Social Interactions, Stress, and Immunity. Immunology and Allergy Clinics of North America, 29(2), 285-293. DOI: 10.1016/j.iac.2009.02.006  

Segerstrom, S. (2007) Stress, Energy, and Immunity: An Ecological View. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 16(6), 326-330. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8721.2007.00522.x  

  • May 1, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Societal Assumptions on Abuse and the Victim’s Perspective

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Sexual abuse of children is morally revolting and a topic wrought with emotions. In the past few decades, awareness of the prevalence of child abuse and its psychological repercussions has increased. A “trauma model” has been built around sexual abuse that perceives it as being directly traumatic and frightening, and necessarily damaging.
Many psychologists now argue [...]... Read more »

Loftus, E., & Frenda, S. (2010) Bad Theories Can Harm Victims. Science, 327(5971), 1329-1330. DOI: 10.1126/science.1187716  

  • April 28, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

The Brain Rejects Inequality

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The human brain likes balance. Not simply biological and physiological homeostasis that maintains the proper functioning of the brain, but emotional, social and psychological balance. Notably, the human brain dislikes inequality when it comes to money, and rejects it at all costs, according to new research in the journal Nature.
Behavioral and anthropological evidence show that [...]... Read more »

Guroglu, B., van den Bos, W., Rombouts, S., & Crone, E. (2010) Unfair? It depends: Neural correlates of fairness in social context. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1093/scan/nsq013  

Smith, D., Hayden, B., Truong, T., Song, A., Platt, M., & Huettel, S. (2010) Distinct Value Signals in Anterior and Posterior Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(7), 2490-2495. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3319-09.2010  

Tricomi, E., Rangel, A., Camerer, C., & O’Doherty, J. (2010) Neural evidence for inequality-averse social preferences. Nature, 463(7284), 1089-1091. DOI: 10.1038/nature08785  

Yamagishi, T., Horita, Y., Takagishi, H., Shinada, M., Tanida, S., & Cook, K. (2009) The private rejection of unfair offers and emotional commitment. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(28), 11520-11523. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0900636106  

  • April 25, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Good Health Equals Good Sex

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Sexuality is an important component of overall health and quality of life. An active sex life can reduce stress, strengthen the immune system, improve cardiovascular health and promote longevity. Not only does sex lead to health benefits, but good health leads to improved sexuality. A recent British Medical Journal (BMJ) report concluded that the better [...]... Read more »

  • April 22, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

The Neurobiology of Social Anxiety Disorder

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Shyness is a unique trait and all of us experience it in various degrees when faced with performance situations or new social surroundings. However, many people go through life dreading such encounters and exposure to the feared social situation provokes anxiety, or possibly a panic attack. Social anxiety disorder (SAD) or social phobia is a [...]... Read more »

Stein, M., & Stein, D. (2008) Social anxiety disorder. The Lancet, 371(9618), 1115-1125. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(08)60488-2  

Stein MB, & Gorman JM. (2001) Unmasking social anxiety disorder. Journal of psychiatry , 26(3), 185-9. PMID: 11394188  

Strug, L., Suresh, R., Fyer, A., Talati, A., Adams, P., Li, W., Hodge, S., Gilliam, T., & Weissman, M. (2008) Panic disorder is associated with the serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) but not the promoter region (5-HTTLPR). Molecular Psychiatry, 15(2), 166-176. DOI: 10.1038/mp.2008.79  

Smoller, J., Paulus, M., Fagerness, J., Purcell, S., Yamaki, L., Hirshfeld-Becker, D., Biederman, J., Rosenbaum, J., Gelernter, J., & Stein, M. (2008) Influence of RGS2 on Anxiety-Related Temperament, Personality, and Brain Function. Archives of General Psychiatry, 65(3), 298-308. DOI: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2007.48  

  • April 19, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Leg Length and Osteoarthritis

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

At least 20 million people in the United States have osteoarthritis. This prevalent type of arthritis is most simply age-related wear-and-tear of joints. As people age, cartilage that protects the body’s joints breaks down, leading to joint pain and stiffness. Osteoarthritis normally appears after middle age and can cause significant disability if not treated. However, [...]... Read more »

Golightly, Y., Allen, K., Helmick, C., Renner, J., & Jordan, J. (2009) Symptoms of the knee and hip in individuals with and without limb length inequality. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 17(5), 596-600. DOI: 10.1016/j.joca.2008.11.005  

Golightly, Y., Allen, K., Renner, J., Helmick, C., Salazar, A., & Jordan, J. (2007) Relationship of limb length inequality with radiographic knee and hip osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 15(7), 824-829. DOI: 10.1016/j.joca.2007.01.009  

  • April 13, 2010
  • 01:21 PM

Health Behaviors More Important than Socioeconomic Status

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Many studies have reported that socioeconomic status is a predictor of morbidity and mortality. Now, a large-scale, longitudinal study asserts that the association may be more related to health behaviors than socioeconomic status. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), reports that assessment of health behaviors over time lessens the [...]... Read more »

Goldfarb-Rumyantzev, A., Rout, P., Sandhu, G., Khattak, M., Tang, H., & Barenbaum, A. (2010) Association between social adaptability index and survival of patients with chronic kidney disease. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation. DOI: 10.1093/ndt/gfq177  

Singh, T., Givertz, M., Semigran, M., DeNofrio, D., Costantino, F., & Gauvreau, K. (2010) Socioeconomic Position, Ethnicity, and Outcomes in Heart Transplant Recipients. The American Journal of Cardiology, 105(7), 1024-1029. DOI: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2009.11.015  

Stringhini, S., Sabia, S., Shipley, M., Brunner, E., Nabi, H., Kivimaki, M., & Singh-Manoux, A. (2010) Association of Socioeconomic Position With Health Behaviors and Mortality. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 303(12), 1159-1166. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2010.297  

  • April 9, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Pulling The Plug Too Soon?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The findings of the new study show that, even when no physical movement or observable response to stimuli are present, means exist to permit some individuals to respond sufficiently to prove that they understand their condition and may wish to continue treatment.... Read more »

Monti, M., Vanhaudenhuyse, A., Coleman, M., Boly, M., Pickard, J., Tshibanda, L., Owen, A., & Laureys, S. (2010) Willful Modulation of Brain Activity in Disorders of Consciousness. New England Journal of Medicine, 362(7), 579-589. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa0905370  

  • April 6, 2010
  • 10:18 AM

Closing the Window of Fear

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Excessive fear is the cause of many psychopathologies. Although pharmacological interventions can help in preventing the retrieval of fear memories, they are toxic and involve a lot of side-effects. Till now, non-pharmacological interventions were only effective in suppressing the memory of fear for a short period. A new technique developed by scientists at the Center for [...]... Read more »

Schiller, D., Monfils, M., Raio, C., Johnson, D., LeDoux, J., & Phelps, E. (2009) Preventing the return of fear in humans using reconsolidation update mechanisms. Nature, 463(7277), 49-53. DOI: 10.1038/nature08637  

  • April 2, 2010
  • 11:15 AM

Lawsuits Shed Light on Seasonal Depression

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Many people get a little melancholy as the winter months take away sunshine and warm weather. But, for some, the winter blues become a serious case of depression. Recent lawsuits have designated this recurrent seasonal depression, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), as a disability that requires accommodation by employers. However, these rulings are provoking renewed [...]... Read more »

  • March 30, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Be Mindful to Maintain Job Satisfaction

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Physician burnout and job dissatisfaction are concerning as physicians in the United States have more patients to see in less time with fewer resources. Physician burnout is associated with job absenteeism, leaving the profession altogether, poor quality of care, and medical errors. Now, a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association [...]... Read more »

Scheurer, D., McKean, S., Miller, J., & Wetterneck, T. (2009) U.S. physician satisfaction: A systematic review. Journal of Hospital Medicine, 4(9), 560-568. DOI: 10.1002/jhm.496  

Utsugi-Ozaki, M., Bito, S., Matsumura, S., Hayashino, Y., Fukuhara, S., & , . (2009) Physician Job Satisfaction and Quality of Care Among Hospital Employed Physicians in Japan. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 24(3), 387-392. DOI: 10.1007/s11606-008-0886-4  

  • March 27, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Screening for Postpartum Depression Not Worth the Time or Money

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

More than 10% of women experience either major or minor depression six weeks after giving birth. Postpartum depression (PPD) leads to significant biological, social, psychological, and economic consequences for the mother, the child, and the family. Clinically and cost-effective treatments are available for PPD, but less than half of PPD cases are ever diagnosed. Unfortunately, [...]... Read more »

  • March 24, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Survive the A-Bomb, Die Prematurely from Stroke and Heart Disease

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The survivors of the World War II atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki may have considered themselves lucky, at least at first. Shortly thereafter, however, those who didn’t die from radiation poisoning learned that the radiation from the bombings placed themselves and their children at increased risk of cancer. Now, they can add heart disease [...]... Read more »

  • March 21, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Empathy – How Much is Too Much?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The physician-patient relationship is the cornerstone to quality medical care. A key component to this relationship is physician empathy — the ability to understand the patient’s experiences and feelings and view the world from the patient’s perspective. Empathy is so important in this day and age that medical and other health care professional schools are [...]... Read more »

Brunero, S., Lamont, S., & Coates, M. (2010) A review of empathy education in nursing. Nursing Inquiry, 17(1), 65-74. DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1800.2009.00482.x  

Cheng, Y., Lin, C., Liu, H., Hsu, Y., Lim, K., Hung, D., & Decety, J. (2007) Expertise Modulates the Perception of Pain in Others. Current Biology, 17(19), 1708-1713. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2007.09.020  

Singer T. (2007) The neuronal basis of empathy and fairness. Novartis Foundation symposium, 20. PMID: 17214308  

  • March 16, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

My Nephew and his Brain, Part 2 – Revealed to be Complicated

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Continued from Part 1. After we had arrived at the new hospital and my nephew had been placed into the Pediatric ICU (PICU), the doctors started running more tests, and in conjunction with what the ER doctor had found out, my nephew was diagnosed with a seizure disorder or, as it is more commonly known, [...]... Read more »

  • March 12, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Deep Brain Stimulation – A New Frontier in Psychiatry

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

For as long as the brain has been seen as the site of mental activity, it has followed that altering brain function should be implemented to treat mental illness. Second generation antidepressants and psychotherapy are currently the least invasive ways of affecting brain function but they leave too many patients only partially improved, and have [...]... Read more »

  • March 9, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Psychotropics and Youth, Part 3 – Equip Teachers with Prescription Pads?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Contentious debate is brewing over the large role educators play role in recommending what students receive psychotropics, even though they have limited knowledge of treatment. Consider the standards by which one teacher described the benefits of psychotropics to researchers in a recent pilot investigation: the children are “better able to attend to their work… they [...]... Read more »

  • March 3, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Tall Tales of Diabetic Amputations

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Diabetes is the leading cause of nontraumatic amputation in developed nations. Lower-limb amputations are particularly common in type 2 diabetes and impose a substantial burden on the patient’s and caregiver’s quality of life, as well as profound economic and health care burdens for the individual and society. Many studies have attempted to outline the risk [...]... Read more »

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