Shaheen Lakhan

435 posts · 514,429 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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  • June 6, 2009
  • 12:37 PM
  • 966 views

Who Should Decide the Survivability of Newborns?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Among the most controversial of medical issues is the resuscitation of newborns that are unlikely to survive. The Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (BAIPA), enacted in 2002, and the enforcement guidelines later issued by the United State’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) outlined clinical procedures to be used in the resuscitation and care of [...]... Read more »

Campbell, D., & Fleischman, A. (2001) Limits of Viability: Dilemmas, Decisions, and Decision Makers. American Journal of Perinatology, 18(03), 117-128. DOI: 10.1055/s-2001-14530  

  • June 3, 2009
  • 08:46 AM
  • 1,060 views

Reflections on Plasticity

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Neuroplasticity is a relatively new concept for researchers. Up until the 1970s, scientists held firm to the belief that once we exit childhood, our neurons are fixed and we are unable to grow any new ones, except for very select areas of the brain such as the hippocampus where memory is processed. Since that time, [...]... Read more »

  • May 31, 2009
  • 03:38 PM
  • 1,270 views

Death and Dying in Tough Economic Times

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Cash-strapped states and private health care providers are looking for ways to cut costs and save money in these economic times. While across-the-board cuts in spending are intuitively appealing and a seemingly straightforward method for saving money, it turns out that some health care expenditures actually lead to cost savings. Spend money to save money [...]... Read more »

Morrison, R., Penrod, J., Cassel, J., Caust-Ellenbogen, M., Litke, A., Spragens, L., Meier, D., & , . (2008) Cost Savings Associated With US Hospital Palliative Care Consultation Programs. Archives of Internal Medicine, 168(16), 1783-1790. DOI: 10.1001/archinte.168.16.1783  

Phelps, A., Maciejewski, P., Nilsson, M., Balboni, T., Wright, A., Paulk, M., Trice, E., Schrag, D., Peteet, J., Block, S.... (2009) Religious Coping and Use of Intensive Life-Prolonging Care Near Death in Patients With Advanced Cancer. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 301(11), 1140-1147. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2009.341  

Ray, D., Fuhrman, C., Stern, G., Geracci, J., Wasser, T., Arnold, D., Masiado, T., & Deitrick, L. (2006) Integrating palliative medicine and critical care in a community hospital. Critical Care Medicine, 34(Suppl). DOI: 10.1097/01.CCM.0000237046.62046.49  

Zhang, B., Wright, A., Huskamp, H., Nilsson, M., Maciejewski, M., Earle, C., Block, S., Maciejewski, P., & Prigerson, H. (2009) Health Care Costs in the Last Week of Life: Associations With End-of-Life Conversations. Archives of Internal Medicine, 169(5), 480-488. DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2008.587  

  • May 28, 2009
  • 12:28 PM
  • 1,305 views

Medicate or Educate? - Just Pop a Polypill

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

At this moment, a trial is underway in India. This trial, named the TIPS trial, involves a new medication — a so-called “polypill” — which contains three antihypertensive drugs, a statin, and aspirin. Its researchers enthuse that it may cut the risk of cardiovascular disease by half in healthy people. So far, the study has [...]... Read more »

Xavier, D., Pais, P., Sigamani, A., Pogue, J., Afzal, R., & Yusuf, S. (2008) The need to test the theories behind the Polypill: rationale behind the Indian Polycap Study. Nature Clinical Practice Cardiovascular Medicine, 6(2), 96-97. DOI: 10.1038/ncpcardio1438  

Ridker, P., Danielson, E., Fonseca, F., Genest, J., Gotto, A., Kastelein, J., Koenig, W., Libby, P., Lorenzatti, A., MacFadyen, J.... (2008) Rosuvastatin to Prevent Vascular Events in Men and Women with Elevated C-Reactive Protein. New England Journal of Medicine, 359(21), 2195-2207. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa0807646  

  • May 25, 2009
  • 10:55 AM
  • 1,209 views

Dressing for Success? - the White Coat Dilemma

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

For nearly 200 years, the white coat has served as a symbol of the medical profession. Originally, the white coat was worn to symbolize hope and life — an absolute contrast to the black of death and mourning that was widespread at the time. Hospitals, and the physicians who worked in them, became places of [...]... Read more »

  • May 19, 2009
  • 01:15 PM
  • 1,080 views

Clearing the Haze - Is Marijuana Addictive?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

In the past few years, as addiction researchers have been mapping out the chemical alterations in the brain caused by alcohol, nicotine, methamphetamine, and other drugs, America’s most popular illegal drug has remained largely a scientific mystery. It is a drug that millions of Americans have been using regularly for years, and, from a clinical [...]... Read more »

  • May 13, 2009
  • 10:39 AM
  • 956 views

Barriers to Emergency Contraception

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Emergency contraception (EC) has been available in the United States for almost a decade. It is a safe and effective contraceptive choice when other methods have failed or have not been used and a pregnancy is not desired. Still, many barriers exist to the prompt and reliable provision of EC to appropriate patients. While the [...]... Read more »

Landau, S., Besinque, K., Chung, F., Dries-Daffner, I., Maderas, N., McGhee, B., & Foster, D. (2009) Pharmacist interest in and attitudes toward direct pharmacy access to hormonal contraception in the United States. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, 49(1), 43-50. DOI: 10.1331/JAPhA.2009.07154  

  • May 7, 2009
  • 10:29 AM
  • 1,233 views

Wash Your Hands, Save a Life

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Health care-associated infections (HAI) occur in a variety of settings and are caused by a variety of pathogens. They occur in ambulatory, institutional, hospital, and home-based settings. Four primary categories of HAIs exist, most of which are seen in acute care settings: surgical site infections, central line-associated blood stream infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia, and catheter-related urinary [...]... Read more »

Banfield, K., Kerr, K., Jones, K., & Snelling, A. (2007) Hand hygiene and health-care-associated infections. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 7(5), 304-304. DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(07)70088-9  

  • May 4, 2009
  • 07:38 AM
  • 1,013 views

Are Humans Hard-Wired to Torture?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

With the reign of the Bush administration at an end, one issue that has plagued his legacy is the government-sanctioned acts of torture. The United States government was involved with several controversial actions ranging from the indefinite detention of so-called enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay, to the outright abuses and torture at Abu Ghraib. The [...]... Read more »

Milgram, S. (1963) Behavioral Study of obedience. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 67(4), 371-378. DOI: 10.1037/h0040525  

  • May 1, 2009
  • 11:07 AM
  • 1,062 views

Be a Doctor! The Hours are Great!

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Residency training in the United States has historically been a period of abusive hours and intense training. Until recently, there was no limit to the number of hours per week a resident could work. In fact, that has something to do with why they’re called “residents” in the first place: they practically lived in the [...]... Read more »

E. Ray Dorsey, David Jarjoura, & Gregory W. Rutecki. (2003) Influence of Controllable Lifestyle on Recent Trends in Specialty Choice by US Medical Students. JAMA, 290(9), 1173-1178.

  • April 28, 2009
  • 02:22 PM
  • 1,070 views

Lose Weight to Go Green

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The newest target of the worldwide “Go Green” campaign is obesity. Virtually everyone understands the concepts of reduce, reuse, and recycle in the context of being better stewards of the environment, but now “reduce” may mean reducing your waistline. An article recently published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, suggests that the prevalence of obesity [...]... Read more »

AKHTAR, A., GREGER, M., FERDOWSIAN, H., & FRANK, E. (2009) Health Professionals' Roles in Animal Agriculture, Climate Change, and Human Health. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 36(2), 182-187. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2008.09.043  

Edwards, P., & Roberts, I. (2009) Population adiposity and climate change. International Journal of Epidemiology. DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyp172  

  • April 25, 2009
  • 09:37 AM
  • 1,357 views

The Many Facets of Addiction

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The science of neurology has created a paradigm shift in our basic understanding of the structure of the brain and the rest of the human nervous system. It has taken a long time, and a large group of doctors, clinicians and assorted scientists to piece together the ways in which this new knowledge of the [...]... Read more »

Kreek, M., LaForge, K., & Butelman, E. (2002) Pharmacotherapy of addictions. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, 1(9), 710-726. DOI: 10.1038/nrd897  

  • April 23, 2009
  • 12:03 PM
  • 1,490 views

The Adoption of Health IT

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Dr. David Blumenthal is the newly appointed National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. You may have seen his name as the director of the Institute for Health Policy at the Massachusetts General Hospital (also known as “Mass General”) and Partners Healthcare System which is part of the Harvard hospital system. It’s too bad for Harvard. [...]... Read more »

  • April 20, 2009
  • 06:39 AM
  • 1,024 views

Tax Your Way Thin

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The obesity epidemic in the United States has stirred emotions and inspired calls for public health initiatives to get American thin. The idea of food taxes on sugar-sweetened drinks levied to curb the consumption of such beverages is discussed in an article published by the New England Journal of Medicine. The idea of an excise [...]... Read more »

  • April 17, 2009
  • 08:18 AM
  • 2,084 views

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.

  • April 14, 2009
  • 09:32 AM
  • 1,098 views

Free Will and the Philosophy of Science

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

For many years the discussion over the existence of free will was limited to philosophers and theologians. Scientists started talking about free will once science started separating as a discipline from philosophy. However, it wasn’t until the rise of functional neuroimaging that some neuroscientists started studying if the brain and deterministic brain processes could explain [...]... Read more »

Soon, C., Brass, M., Heinze, H., & Haynes, J. (2008) Unconscious determinants of free decisions in the human brain. Nature Neuroscience, 11(5), 543-545. DOI: 10.1038/nn.2112  

  • April 11, 2009
  • 08:52 AM
  • 1,281 views

Electronic Health Information - Small Steps, but No Giant Leaps

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

More than 5 years ago in his state of the union address, President George W. Bush announced a goal that all Americans have electronic health records within 10 years. Since then, momentum has been building towards that target, but we still have a long way to go. A recent special article published online by the [...]... Read more »

FRIEDMAN, L., HALPERN, N., & FACKLER, J. (2007) Implementing an Electronic Medical Record. Critical Care Clinics, 23(3), 347-381. DOI: 10.1016/j.ccc.2007.05.001  

Jha, A., DesRoches, C., Campbell, E., Donelan, K., Rao, S., Ferris, T., Shields, A., Rosenbaum, S., & Blumenthal, D. (2009) Use of Electronic Health Records in U.S. Hospitals. New England Journal of Medicine. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMsa0900592  

  • April 5, 2009
  • 09:19 AM
  • 1,580 views

Who Gets to be a Doctor?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

I was intrigued by a recent article in the New York Times describing how a Swedish medical school admitted a student whom they later learned had done jail time for murder. Apparently Swedish universities aren’t allowed to do criminal background checks, and even if they were, the student in question had legally changed his name [...]... Read more »

  • April 1, 2009
  • 02:27 PM
  • 1,248 views

Father’s Milk

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

There’s a great scene in Meet the Parents in which Ben Stiller’s character Greg is trying to convince his future father-in-law, played by Robert DeNiro, of his history of milking cats in Detroit. He claims it’s possible because cats have nipples. DeNiro’s character replies, “I have nipples, Greg. Can you milk me?”

In spite of [...]... Read more »

  • March 30, 2009
  • 08:31 AM
  • 1,128 views

Transparency in the Pharmaceutical Industry

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

With the intensifying call for transparency in corporate America, several pharmaceutical companies have announced plans to jump on the proverbial bandwagon early. In anticipation of the passage of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act in the U.S. Senate, Eli Lilly and Merck have announced plans to establish online registries of payments made to physicians. Additionally, Glaxo [...]... Read more »

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