Shaheen Lakhan

435 posts · 748,296 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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  • July 31, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

Working Overtime May be a Risk for Dementia

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Many occupations can make you feel like you are losing your mind, but new evidence suggests that long working hours may actually lead to cognitive decline. Notably, cognitive impairment in midlife is already established as a risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia. A new report from the Whitehall II Study, published [...]... Read more »

Elovainio, M., Ferrie, J., Singh-Manoux, A., Gimeno, D., De Vogli, R., Shipley, M., Vahtera, J., Brunner, E., Marmot, M., & Kivimaki, M. (2009) Cumulative exposure to high-strain and active jobs as predictors of cognitive function: the Whitehall II study. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 66(1), 32-37. DOI: 10.1136/oem.2008.039305  

Elovainio, M., Kivimaki, M., Ferrie, J., Gimeno, D., De Vogli, R., Virtanen, M., Vahtera, J., Brunner, E., Marmot, M., & Singh-Manoux, A. (2009) Physical and cognitive function in midlife: reciprocal effects? A 5-year follow-up of the Whitehall II study. Journal of Epidemiology , 63(6), 468-473. DOI: 10.1136/jech.2008.081505  

Virtanen, M., Singh-Manoux, A., Ferrie, J., Gimeno, D., Marmot, M., Elovainio, M., Jokela, M., Vahtera, J., & Kivimaki, M. (2008) Long Working Hours and Cognitive Function: The Whitehall II Study. American Journal of Epidemiology, 169(5), 596-605. DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwn382  

Wilson, R., Hebert, L., Scherr, P., Barnes, L., Mendes de Leon, C., & Evans, D. (2009) Educational attainment and cognitive decline in old age. Neurology, 72(5), 460-465. DOI: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000341782.71418.6c  

Yaffe, K., Fiocco, A., Lindquist, K., Vittinghoff, E., Simonsick, E., Newman, A., Satterfield, S., Rosano, C., Rubin, S., Ayonayon, H.... (2009) Predictors of maintaining cognitive function in older adults: The Health ABC Study. Neurology, 72(23), 2029-2035. DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181a92c36  

  • July 29, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

The Slow-Developing Human – Rationale for a Species of Newborn Motor Morons

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Dolphins are born swimming, cattle can walk within hours and lions are able to run within 20 days of birth. Compare this to a human newborn who will require months before he is able to merely sit without support. More advanced skills like running and jumping may take years to develop in a human newborn. [...]... Read more »

  • July 27, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

Migraine and Vascular Disease

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Migraine is a recurring headache of moderate to severe intensity that is associated with gastrointestinal, neurologic, and autonomic symptoms. As the most common of the chronic headache disorders, migraine affects 18% of women and 6% of men in the United States. More than one-half of all migraine sufferers report significant disability with the migraine. While [...]... Read more »

Scher, A., Gudmundsson, L., Sigurdsson, S., Ghambaryan, A., Aspelund, T., Eiriksdottir, G., van Buchem, M., Gudnason, V., & Launer, L. (2009) Migraine Headache in Middle Age and Late-Life Brain Infarcts. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 301(24), 2563-2570. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2009.932  

  • July 25, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

The Psychology of Minority Students

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

A major public policy concern is the well known fact that many minority students under-achieve scholastically. The roots of the discrepancy in performance of some minorities and their white counterparts has been attributed to many causes, such as socioeconomic disparities and poor school systems in minority communities. Many of the explanations, however, focus on the [...]... Read more »

  • July 23, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

Improve Children’s Mental Health – Turn Off the TV

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Obesity is a global epidemic, in adults and children. The increase in childhood obesity has been linked to behavioral and environmental factors: decreased physical activity and increased television viewing. Now it is clear that these activities are detrimental not only to physical health, but also psychological health. A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics [...]... Read more »

  • July 21, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

Neglecting Unilateral Neglect

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Unilateral neglect (UN) is a debilitating cognitive deficit following traumatic brain injury with long-term implications to both the person affected and the health care system. In the United States, UN affects up to 200,000 stroke survivors, with the incidence and severity of UN increasing with age. However, UN is rarely recognized by the health care [...]... Read more »

  • July 19, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

Narcolepsy Treatment May Lead to Abuse

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder typified by excessive daytime sleepiness. The symptoms of the disorder can be disabling, and for years treatment relied on amphetamines and related stimulants to help patients stay awake. For nearly 2 decades now, modafinil (Provigil) has been available to treat the symptoms of narcolepsy; modafinil has been the preferred wake-promoting [...]... Read more »

Didato, G., & Nobili, L. (2009) Treatment of narcolepsy. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 9(6), 897-910. DOI: 10.1586/ern.09.29  

Volkow, N., Fowler, J., Logan, J., Alexoff, D., Zhu, W., Telang, F., Wang, G., Jayne, M., Hooker, J., Wong, C.... (2009) Effects of Modafinil on Dopamine and Dopamine Transporters in the Male Human Brain: Clinical Implications. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 301(11), 1148-1154. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2009.351  

  • July 17, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

Mechanisms of Drug Tolerance

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

New data emerging from the investigation of the death of Michael Jackson reveal that the iconic pop star was taking very high doses of sedative medications during the course of his career. At the time of his death, it was reported that he was taking at least ten tablets of the powerful sedative Xanax every [...]... Read more »

  • July 15, 2009
  • 01:52 PM

The Curse of the Nocebo Effect

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The placebo effect is a universally acknowledged phenomenon. In essence, if you think something is going to make you better, it probably will. If you believe that three tablets will do you more good than two, this may prove to be the case; if you believe that capsules are more effective than tablets, this may [...]... Read more »

  • July 12, 2009
  • 04:03 PM

I Can Read Your Mind!

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Mind reading or delving into a person’s conscious experience is a concept only science fiction consists of. Though it sounds improbable, recent strides in neuroimaging have made it a reality, at least partially.

Visual stimuli are captured through the eyes and relayed into the brain for perception. Decoding this process involves a systemic mapping between the [...]... Read more »

Kay K, & Gallant J. (2009) I can see what you see. Nature Neuroscience, 12(3). DOI: 10.1038/nn0309-245  

  • July 9, 2009
  • 10:19 AM

Natural Good, Chemical Bad – Right?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Arsenic sandwich anyone? Mercury soup, deadly nightshade surprise? No? Really? Well, I’m baffled! They’re all natural you know. And as we know, natural is good; natural is pure. Best of all, natural is healthy.

Such is the creed that has grown up around natural products. You want to market a new range of face cream –- [...]... Read more »

Pino, JA, Ortega A, Marbot, R, & Aguero, J. (2003) Volatile components of banana fruit (musa sapientum L.) "Indio" for Cuba. JEOR.

  • July 6, 2009
  • 07:17 AM

What is in a Brand Name which Appeals to the Brain?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Why do we shop? Most often, it is because we need something. Sometimes, it is simply because we see something we like and can’t resist buying it. Why do we select one product or service over another that is similar? Depending on the product, it may be because our brain likes the color or smell, [...]... Read more »

Maslow AH. (1943) A Theory of Human Motivation. Psychological Review, 370-396.

  • July 3, 2009
  • 09:30 AM

Why Do Schizophrenics Smoke Cigarettes?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

For health care workers in psychiatric hospitals, it is no secret: one of the major issues confronting psychiatric facilities seeking to institute blanket no-smoking policies concerns chronic inpatients with schizophrenia. Patients with schizophrenia are almost always heavy cigarette smokers, given a choice. As Edward Lyon wrote in an analysis of studies and surveys performed throughout [...]... Read more »

  • June 30, 2009
  • 10:57 AM

Prevention of Adolescent Depression

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Children and adolescents of depressed parents are four to six times more likely to develop depressive symptoms themselves than children of non-depressed parents. This translates to approximately 61% of children of parents with depression developing a psychiatric disorder during their life. Strikingly, more than one-quarter of children in America will experience at least one episode [...]... Read more »

Garber, J., Clarke, G., Weersing, V., Beardslee, W., Brent, D., Gladstone, T., DeBar, L., Lynch, F., D'Angelo, E., Hollon, S.... (2009) Prevention of Depression in At-Risk Adolescents: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 301(21), 2215-2224. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2009.788  

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  

WEERSING, V. (2006) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression in Youth. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 15(4), 939-957. DOI: 10.1016/j.chc.2006.05.008  

  • June 27, 2009
  • 10:08 AM

Get By With a Little Help From Your Friends

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Scientists love to solve the unanswerable questions in life, wrapping up tidy answers with equations or charts or definitions, leaving no gray area. Unfortunately for some researchers, not everything is so black and white. Can we really define love? Is success simply the sum of the right variables put into the right equation?  Does happiness [...]... Read more »

ISAACOWITZ, D., VAILLANT, G., & SELIGMAN, M. (2003) STRENGTHS AND SATISFACTION ACROSS THE ADULT LIFESPAN. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 57(2), 181-201. DOI: 10.2190/61EJ-LDYR-Q55N-UT6E  

Vaillant, G. (2001) Successful Aging. American Journal of Psychiatry, 158(987), 839-847. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.158.987.839  

  • June 24, 2009
  • 09:31 AM

Communication is Key to Appropriate Antibiotic Use

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The misuse of antibiotics around the world is increasing due, in part, to diagnostic uncertainty and patient expectations. One of the most common causes of antibiotic use in the United States, as well as other industrialized nations, is lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs). Unfortunately, LRTIs are, for the most part, unresponsive to antibiotics. The inappropriate [...]... Read more »

  • June 21, 2009
  • 08:08 AM

Time for a Change – Gender Reassignment

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

I still remember him plainly: middle-aged, married, paunchy around the middle. He didn’t come in to the clinic because he was sick or had a chronic medical illness. He came in because he wanted to be a woman.

Gender reassignment was not something I had learned about in medical school. It was mentioned in passing, but [...]... Read more »

  • June 18, 2009
  • 09:52 AM

Common Treatment Ineffective for Autism

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The growing prevalence of autism worldwide has parents and clinicians searching for effective treatment options. Though not approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of autism, a common class of antidepressants is often prescribed to treat the symptoms of autism in children. The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are among [...]... Read more »

  • June 15, 2009
  • 12:24 PM

Marijuana Withdrawal Syndrome

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

There are now several clinical trials showing that mice and dogs show evidence of cannabis withdrawal. (For THC-addicted dogs, it is the abnormal number of wet-dog shakes that give them away.) Today, scientists have a much better picture of the jobs performed by anandamide, the body’s own form of THC. This knowledge helps explain a [...]... Read more »

Vandrey, R., Budney, A., Kamon, J., & Stanger, C. (2005) Cannabis withdrawal in adolescent treatment seekers. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 78(2), 205-210. DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2004.11.001  

WILSON, D., VARVEL, S., HARLOE, J., MARTIN, B., & LICHTMAN, A. (2006) SR 141716 (Rimonabant) precipitates withdrawal in marijuana-dependent mice. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 85(1), 105-113. DOI: 10.1016/j.pbb.2006.07.018  

  • June 12, 2009
  • 12:06 PM

NSAIDs – Prevention or Just Delay of Dementia?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Many epidemiological and observational studies have reported that the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduces the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in the elderly. To date, there have been no clinical trials to support these claims, and there are just as many studies that report conflicting results. In a recent issue [...]... Read more »

Cacabelos, R. (2008) Pharmacogenomics and therapeutic prospects in dementia. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 258(S1), 28-47. DOI: 10.1007/s00406-007-1006-x  

Hayden, K., Zandi, P., Khachaturian, A., Szekely, C., Fotuhi, M., Norton, M., Tschanz, J., Pieper, C., Corcoran, C., Lyketsos, C.... (2007) Does NSAID use modify cognitive trajectories in the elderly?: The Cache County Study. Neurology, 69(3), 275-282. DOI: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000265223.25679.2a  

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