Shaheen Lakhan

435 posts · 748,550 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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  • February 28, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Psychotropics and Youth, Part 2 – The Solutions

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

“Prescribed psychotropic medications are now high on the research agenda,” assert Lakhan and Hagger-Johnson. Their study advocates new approaches to research to address the rising concern over dramatic increases in psychotropic prescriptions for both children and young. Our first post delineated the five erroneous myths often adhered to when prescribing youth’s psychotropic medication. Here are the [...]... Read more »

Lakhan, S., & Hagger-Johnson, G. (2007) The impact of prescribed psychotropics on youth. Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health, 3(1), 21. DOI: 10.1186/1745-0179-3-21  

  • February 25, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

How Your Brain Groups Words

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

When you say or hear a concrete noun, such as “apple”, what happens in your mind? Even without seeing a physical apple in front of you, your brain is drawing up an image of an apple, maybe the last one you ate or saw in the stores or on TV. A team of researchers at [...]... Read more »

  • February 19, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

You Have a Right to Choose if we Agree

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

My first encounter with informed medical consent came as a young law student. I was assigned to assist a lawyer in the defense of an older man who had refused treatment for leukemia. His daughter objected, and asked the court to appoint her to be his conservator so she could compel him to undergo treatment. When [...]... Read more »

Buchanan, A. (2004) Mental capacity, legal competence and consent to treatment. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 97(9), 415-420. DOI: 10.1258/jrsm.97.9.415  

  • February 17, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Measuring Quality in Primary Care

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Increasing attention is focused on the quality of healthcare provided in the United States, as well as options for controlling costs. Quality and cost measurements are important in assessing access to and satisfaction with healthcare services and managing cost and payment practices; a sufficient sample size of patients is necessary to reliably interpret the results [...]... Read more »

Gosden T, Forland F, Kristiansen IS, Sutton M, Leese B, Giuffrida A, Sergison M, & Pedersen L. (2000) Capitation, salary, fee-for-service and mixed systems of payment: effects on the behaviour of primary care physicians. Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online). PMID: 10908531  

Gosden, T., Forland, F., Kristiansen, I., Sutton, M., Leese, B., Giuffrida, A., Sergison, M., & Pedersen, L. (2001) Impact of payment method on behaviour of primary care physicians: a systematic review. Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, 6(1), 44-55. DOI: 10.1258/1355819011927198  

  • February 13, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Psychotropics and Youth, Part 1 – The Five Myths

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

“The dramatic rise in prescriptions [of psychotropics for children and young adults] has alarmed several commentators,” according to Lakhan and Hagger-Johnson. In their article, they trace this problem to five erroneous myths that influence prescribing: 1) Children are little adults. During adolescence, the brain changes rapidly. As a result, therapeutic benefits, potential adverse occurrences, and drug interactions [...]... Read more »

Lakhan, S., & Hagger-Johnson, G. (2007) The impact of prescribed psychotropics on youth. Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health, 3(1), 21. DOI: 10.1186/1745-0179-3-21  

  • February 11, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

When It Comes to Aging, Size Matters

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Recently, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to three scientists who defined the role and functionality of an enzyme important to the aging process. They outlined just how chromosomes — those vital, thread-like molecules of DNA that contain our genes — are protected against being destroyed. It turns out that a telomere [...]... Read more »

  • February 9, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

“I Feel Your Pain” – The Neural Basis of Empathy

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Last month, a terrible earthquake raised havoc in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. While the Haitians in Port-au-Prince are miles away from us, witnessing media images of their physical and emotional suffering moves us tremendously, and motivates many of us to respond to their distress with monetary and other donations. In a sense, this is an amazing human [...]... Read more »

  • February 7, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Speaking in Tongues – A Neural Snapshot

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

“Asaria isa asaria ari masheetee sadabada vena amina gotaya menda meshela mosha nami ki toro ma…” Glossolalia, or speaking in tongues, has fascinated thinkers ever since the “tongues of angels” descended upon early believers as a gift from the Holy Ghost in the New Testament of the Bible. This unusual mental state, characterized by utterances that [...]... Read more »

  • February 5, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Neuro Case 1 – Using Transcranial Doppler for Basilar Artery Occlusion

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Welcome the first of a series of neurological cases to be featured on Brian Blogger. We will periodically choose the most enlightening cases from the Journal of Medical Case Reports (JMCR) for which I serve as an Associate Editor. I will present the case as published, discuss the implications of the findings or techniques employed, [...]... Read more »

Kassab, M., Majid, A., Farooq, M., Azhary, H., Hershey, L., Bednarczyk, E., Graybeal, D., & Johnson, M. (2007) Transcranial Doppler: An Introduction for Primary Care Physicians. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 20(1), 65-71. DOI: 10.3122/jabfm.2007.01.060128  

Rubiera M, & Alexandrov AV. (2010) Sonothrombolysis in the management of acute ischemic stroke. American journal of cardiovascular drugs : drugs, devices, and other interventions, 10(1), 5-10. PMID: 20104930  

  • February 3, 2010
  • 10:37 AM

Journal Retracts Autism Research

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

In 1998, a landmark study was published in the medical journal The Lancet. It was the first major research that suggested a link between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. Almost immediately following publication, the rates of vaccination plummeted and the incidence of measles escalated among children. Since then, the subject has been the source [...]... Read more »

  • February 1, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Crossing the Line from Physician to Journalist

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The recent coverage of the devastation and destruction after the earthquake in Haiti has had an unintended consequence; the public is now questioning the legitimacy and ethics of the physicians who masquerade as journalists. For decades, there has been an increased interest in and awareness of the need for physicians and the medical community to work [...]... Read more »

  • January 29, 2010
  • 09:24 AM

Ginkgo Biloba Ineffective… Again

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Many parents have cried “How many times do I have to tell you?” at their young children when trying to get their attention or emphasize specific behaviors. Now, pharmacists and other medical practitioners are beginning to feel like these parents: “How many times do we have to tell you that Ginkgo biloba is not all [...]... Read more »

Leistner, E., & Drewke, C. (2010) and Ginkgotoxin . Journal of Natural Products, 73(1), 86-92. DOI: 10.1021/np9005019  

Snitz, B., O'Meara, E., Carlson, M., Arnold, A., Ives, D., Rapp, S., Saxton, J., Lopez, O., Dunn, L., Sink, K.... (2009) Ginkgo biloba for Preventing Cognitive Decline in Older Adults: A Randomized Trial. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 302(24), 2663-2670. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2009.1913  

  • January 26, 2010
  • 10:39 AM

The Smart Ones are Living Longer

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

A child with a high IQ is more likely to get good grades, be accepted to a prestigious college, accrue successes in life and career, and make healthy lifestyle choices compared to lower-IQ peers. Now, a Swedish study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) concludes that children with a high IQ also have a [...]... Read more »

Aberg, M., Pedersen, N., Toren, K., Svartengren, M., Backstrand, B., Johnsson, T., Cooper-Kuhn, C., Aberg, N., Nilsson, M., & Kuhn, H. (2009) Cardiovascular fitness is associated with cognition in young adulthood. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(49), 20906-20911. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0905307106  

Batty, G., Wennerstad, K., Smith, G., Gunnell, D., Deary, I., Tynelius, P., & Rasmussen, F. (2009) IQ in Early Adulthood and Mortality By Middle Age. Epidemiology, 20(1), 100-109. DOI: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e31818ba076  

  • January 22, 2010
  • 03:16 PM

Too Much Information?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

How things have changed. Once information was a precious commodity, jealously guarded by the elite who deliberately withheld it from the masses in order to keep them in their place. Now information is everywhere, available to everybody, all of the time. While the democratization of information is undoubtedly a force for good, is there such [...]... Read more »

Clauson, K., Polen, H., Boulos, M., & Dzenowagis, J. (2008) Scope, Completeness, and Accuracy of Drug Information in Wikipedia. Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 42(12), 1814-1821. DOI: 10.1345/aph.1L474  

  • January 18, 2010
  • 12:17 PM

Coping with Trauma – Lessons from Resilient Individuals

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Most individuals at some point of their life experience events that are stressful. While some people seem to crumble to the deleterious effects of stress, others sail through adverse situations. Chronic or acute stress is associated with a wide range of psychosocial disorders. So what are the factors and the possible neurobiological mechanisms associated with [...]... Read more »

Feder, A., Nestler, E., & Charney, D. (2009) Psychobiology and molecular genetics of resilience. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 10(6), 446-457. DOI: 10.1038/nrn2649  

  • January 13, 2010
  • 11:45 AM

Worried Well on the Web

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Eight out of every ten Americans have searched for medical information online. Three-quarters of these searchers do not scrutinize the quality, validity, or date of the information. With the overabundance of healthcare information available on the World Wide Web, people looking for quality medical information could easily be led astray. The unnecessary escalation of health [...]... Read more »

  • January 7, 2010
  • 11:22 AM

One Puff Forward, Two Pounds Back

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Considerable improvements have been made in the health of the population of the United States in the last three decades owing to healthy living interventions, specifically a reduction in smoking. However, during the same period, substantial increases in the incidence of overweight and obesity have adversely impacted the health of the same population. A new [...]... Read more »

Stewart, S., Cutler, D., & Rosen, A. (2009) Forecasting the Effects of Obesity and Smoking on U.S. Life Expectancy. New England Journal of Medicine, 361(23), 2252-2260. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMsa0900459  

  • January 3, 2010
  • 02:17 PM

Income Inequality and Health Outcomes

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

During the last several decades, industrialized countries have experienced a growing gap between the rich and the poor. This income inequality is believed to damage health, with even modest associations between inequality and health outcomes having substantial ramifications for society as a whole. While most analyses of income inequality and health have revealed inconsistent results, [...]... Read more »

LYNCH, J., SMITH, G., HARPER, S., HILLEMEIER, M., ROSS, N., KAPLAN, G., & WOLFSON, M. (2004) Is Income Inequality a Determinant of Population Health? Part 1. A Systematic Review. The Milbank Quarterly, 82(1), 5-99. DOI: 10.1111/j.0887-378X.2004.00302.x  

  • December 25, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

Is a Slim Santa Claus Coming to Town?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Once upon a time, a lively old man named Santa Claus worked very hard — all by himself, not exploiting animals or short people — to make safe, educational toys to deliver to children all over the world on Christmas Eve. Santa exercised regularly, and ate a balanced diet of whole grains and plenty of [...]... Read more »

Grills, N., & Halyday, B. (2009) Santa Claus: a public health pariah?. BMJ, 339(dec16 1). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.b5261  

  • December 24, 2009
  • 11:11 AM

Stimulants May Offer Protection in ADHD

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

As many as 10% of children suffer from attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a neuropsychiatric behavioral disorder characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. ADHD can cause significant functional, social, and psychological impairment in children and adults. ADHD treatment in children has been controversial, since the mainstay of treatment is stimulant medications, including methylphenidate and amphetamines. Parents [...]... Read more »

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