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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.
No matter which side of the political fence you sit on, most Americans agree that our health care system is broken. Health care costs in the United States are approximately 16% of our gross domestic product (GDP), and they are expected to reach 20% of the GDP by 2017. That amounts to a staggering $4.3 [...]... Read more »
J. Oberlander. (2007) Presidential Politics and the Resurgence of Health Care Reform. New England Journal of Medicine, 357(21), 2101-2104. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp078202
J. Oberlander. (2008) The Partisan Divide -- The McCain and Obama Plans for U.S. Health Care Reform. New England Journal of Medicine, 359(8), 781-784. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp0804659
R. Steinbrook. (2007) Election 2008 -- Campaign Contributions, Lobbying, and the U.S. Health Sector. New England Journal of Medicine, 357(8), 736-739. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp078151
Call me paranoid but I am careful about what I allow in my house. When I buy toys for my son I actually look to see where they are made. The same with clothing. And ditto for food items. Although I consider these actions quite sound, there is a kink when it comes to execution.
You [...]... Read more »
J. Parry. (2008) China's tainted infant formula sickens nearly 13 000 babies. BMJ, 337(sep24 1). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.a1802
I have always been a fan of the written word. Even before I started my professional writing career I wrote. In school yes, but I wrote beyond what was required for classes. I wrote fiction stories and a little poetry but I mainly spent my time filling up diaries and journals. Even though I sometimes [...]... Read more »
G Bolton. (2008) "Writing is a way of saying things I can't say"--therapeutic creative writing: a qualitative study of its value to people with cancer cared for in cancer and palliative healthcare. Medical Humanities, 34(1), 40-46. DOI: 10.1136/jmh.2007.000255
These days, sleep is often seen as an expendable resource. With so much work to do and limited time to accomplish tasks, going to sleep later and waking up earlier seems so natural. For some people, lack of sleep was used to prove toughness and stamina. It was common for physician trainees to boast (in [...]... Read more »
S. Okie. (2007) An Elusive Balance -- Residents' Work Hours and the Continuity of Care. New England Journal of Medicine, 356(26), 2665-2667. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp078085
Medicine and health care are classified into various categories based on different specifying criteria. One of the classifications is a distinction on the basis of preventative and curative care: primary, secondary and tertiary cares. Primary care occurs when lifestyle modification behaviors are taught and encouraged in order to maintain a state of good health before [...]... Read more »
J PROCHASKA, W VELICER, C REDDING, J ROSSI, M GOLDSTEIN, J DEPUE, G GREENE, S ROSSI, X SUN, & J FAVA. (2005) Stage-based expert systems to guide a population of primary care patients to quit smoking, eat healthier, prevent skin cancer, and receive regular mammograms. Preventive Medicine, 41(2), 406-416. DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2004.09.050
If you knew that your husband was twice as likely to be unfaithful in your marriage than another man, would you still marry him? Scientists have discovered a gene that may be able to tell just that. The question is: would you want to know if he had the gene?
We know strong emotional relationships are [...]... Read more »
M LIM, & L YOUNG. (2006) Neuropeptidergic regulation of affiliative behavior and social bonding in animals. Hormones and Behavior, 50(4), 506-517. DOI: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2006.06.028
H. Walum, L. Westberg, S. Henningsson, J. M. Neiderhiser, D. Reiss, W. Igl, J. M. Ganiban, E. L. Spotts, N. L. Pedersen, E. Eriksson.... (2008) Genetic variation in the vasopressin receptor 1a gene (AVPR1A) associates with pair-bonding behavior in humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(37), 14153-14156. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0803081105
Empathy is the ability and quality that allows humans to feel and understand what others are experiencing. It literally means “with [em-] suffering [-pathos]” as in suffering along with someone else. Empathy is not just emotionally suffering; it is also cognitively understanding what another person is going through; walking in their shoes, per se. [...]... Read more »
RODGER LL. WOOD, & CLAIRE WILLIAMS. (2008) Inability to empathize following traumatic brain injury. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 14(02). DOI: 10.1017/S1355617708080326
It’s common knowledge that an example is more powerful than words. After all, aren’t parents routinely admonished for telling their children to do one thing while clearly breaking that same rule themselves? For parents and non-parents alike, saying one thing while doing something else greatly diminishes the influence of the words. Maybe that explains why [...]... Read more »
A few years ago, my friend encouraged her father to drink large amounts of water through hot and sultry summer afternoons in India in a bid to sustain hydration in him — with solely good intentions. The next year, he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy — which meant that his heart muscles were not pumping efficiently; [...]... Read more »
A recent New England Journal of Medicine article questions the ethics of psychiatrists being involved in interrogations. In 2006 the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the American Medical Association (AMA), and the American Psychological Association (APA) issued statements that it is unethical for doctors and psychologists to be directly involved in the interrogation process. Directly involved [...]... Read more »
J. H. Marks, & M. G. Bloche. (2008) The Ethics of Interrogation -- The U.S. Military's Ongoing Use of Psychiatrists. New England Journal of Medicine, 359(11), 1090-1092. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp0806689
Right now, I have hundreds of songs on my mp3 player. I listen to everything from heavy metal when I run, to classical when I need to relax, to jazz when I am cooking. I listen to Broadway show tunes, movie soundtracks, and classic rock, depending on my mood. I also have tracks of nursery [...]... Read more »
Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, & Adrian Furnham. (2007) Personality and music: Can traits explain how people use music in everyday life?. British Journal of Psychology, 98(2), 175-185. DOI: 10.1348/000712606X111177
Peter J. Rentfrow, & Samuel D. Gosling. (2003) The do re mi's of everyday life: The structure and personality correlates of music preferences. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(6), 1236-1256. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3522.214.171.1246
Peter J. Rentfrow, & Samuel D. Gosling. (2006) Message in a Ballad. The Role of Music Preferences in Interpersonal Perception. Psychological Science, 17(3), 236-242. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01691.x
Anyone who has tried to visit a primary care physician lately likely knows first hand that there is a shortage of general practice physicians in the United States. Primary care physicians provide half of the health care obtained in the outpatient setting, but over the past several decades, career interest in internal medicine, particularly general [...]... Read more »
S. E. Brotherton. (2005) US Graduate Medical Education, 2004-2005: Trends in Primary Care Specialties. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 294(9), 1075-1082. DOI: 10.1001/jama.294.9.1075
K. E. Hauer, S. J. Durning, W. N. Kernan, M. J. Fagan, M. Mintz, P. S. O'Sullivan, M. Battistone, T. DeFer, M. Elnicki, H. Harrell.... (2008) Factors Associated With Medical Students' Career Choices Regarding Internal Medicine. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 300(10), 1154-1164. DOI: 10.1001/jama.300.10.1154
Karen E. Hauer, Mark J. Fagan, Walter Kernan, Matthew Mintz, & Steven J. Durning. (2008) Internal Medicine Clerkship Directors’ Perceptions About Student Interest in Internal Medicine Careers. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 23(7), 1101-1104. DOI: 10.1007/s11606-008-0640-y
E. Salsberg, P. H. Rockey, K. L. Rivers, S. E. Brotherton, & G. R. Jackson. (2008) US Residency Training Before and After the 1997 Balanced Budget Act. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 300(10), 1174-1180. DOI: 10.1001/jama.300.10.1174
George Huntington was the son and grandson of medical practitioners. He gave rise to a great interest in the origins of this disease which now bears his name.
At the age of 22, the year following his graduation from medical school at Columbia, George Huntington (1850-1916) made his contribution to medical research, publishing his report on [...]... Read more »
T Neylan. (2003) Neurodegenerative Disorders: George Huntington's Description of Hereditary Chorea. Journal of Neuropsychiatry, 15(1), 108-108. DOI: 10.1176/appi.neuropsych.15.1.108
Alcohol (when used commonly refers to ethanol) is consumed widely around the world for numerous reasons. Its properties have been both praised and demonized. In humans it generally acts as a depressant with, conversely, mild stimulating effects of some parts of the brain. At low levels of consumption alcohol has minimal effects on a person; [...]... Read more »
Annlia Paganini-Hill. (2001) Risk Factors for Parkinson’s Disease: The Leisure World Cohort Study. Neuroepidemiology, 20(2), 118-124. DOI: 10.1159/000054770
Suicide is an all-too familiar consequence of depression. Up to 15% of patients with untreated or undertreated depression commit suicide. The goal of treatment for depressive disorders is to alleviate the symptoms of depression, which may include an inability to experience pleasure, a pessimistic attitude, and generalized anxiety. Patients with psychotic symptoms of depression — [...]... Read more »
B GAUDIANO, D YOUNG, I CHELMINSKI, & M ZIMMERMAN. (2008) Depressive symptom profiles and severity patterns in outpatients with psychotic vs nonpsychotic major depression☆. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 49(5), 421-429. DOI: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2008.02.007
M RAJA, A AZZONI, & A KOUKOPOULOS. (2008) Psychopharmacological treatment before suicide attempt among patients admitted to a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit. Journal of Affective Disorders. DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2008.04.024
Reeves H, Batra S, May RS, Zhang R, Dahl DC, & Li X. (2008) Efficacy of Risperidone Augmentation to Antidepressants in the Management of Suicidality in Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study. J Clin Psychiatry.
Depression is a subtle thing. It can easily take on the disguise of other illnesses or temporary conditions.
Tired? Who isn’t? Sad? Well, the world can be depressing. Worried? Yeah, that’s why we all have grey hairs. Can’t sleep well? Join the club. Aren’t hungry? You’re just too busy. Unfocused? You just need to simplify. Irritable? [...]... Read more »
If only I had a nickel each time I was asked this question! Well, I am vegetarian, and my meals are balanced and healthy. I have not been diagnosed with deficiencies or malnourishment yet. On the other hand, I feel light and healthy, eat 25% less fat (than meat eaters) on an average, and save [...]... Read more »
C FU, C YANG, C LIN, & T KUO. (2006) Effects of Long-Term Vegetarian Diets on Cardiovascular Autonomic Functions in Healthy Postmenopausal Women. The American Journal of Cardiology, 97(3), 380-383. DOI: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2005.08.057
Many people, at one time or another, have witnessed this ritual: a beaming new mother enters with baby pictures. A group of genuinely excited women gather around the new mother admiring the pictures as they are passed around. The new mother is oblivious to the fact that she has showed dozens of pictures at different [...]... Read more »
L. Strathearn, J. Li, P. Fonagy, & P. R. Montague. (2008) What's in a Smile? Maternal Brain Responses to Infant Facial Cues. PEDIATRICS, 122(1), 40-51. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2007-1566
I hang out sometimes on a forum for parents of children with epilepsy. It’s a heartbreaking place. If there are kids whose seizures are controlled by medication and who are doing well — or even making it through the day — in school, their parents are posting somewhere else.
The forum’s purpose is to let parents [...]... Read more »
Lin Xu, Nicholas Rensing, Xiao-Feng Yang, Hai Xia Zhang, Liu Lin Thio, Steven M. Rothman, Aryan E. Weisenfeld, Michael Wong, & Kelvin A. Yamada. (2008) Leptin inhibits 4-aminopyridine– and pentylenetetrazole-induced seizures and AMPAR-mediated synaptic transmission in rodents. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 118(1), 272-280. DOI: 10.1172/JCI33009
E NEAL, H CHAFFE, R SCHWARTZ, M LAWSON, N EDWARDS, G FITZSIMMONS, A WHITNEY, & J CROSS. (2008) The ketogenic diet for the treatment of childhood epilepsy: a randomised controlled trial. The Lancet Neurology, 7(6), 500-506. DOI: 10.1016/S1474-4422(08)70092-9
I have many memories of being sick as a child. I remember lying on the couch watching movies with our rented VCR and putting sympathy stickers given to me by my older sisters in my sticker book. I remember stopping by the meat market to buy a BBQ burger and bag of Cheetos before heading [...]... Read more »
B. Roehr. (2008) Antibiotics account for 19% of emergency department visits in US for adverse events. BMJ, 337(aug15 2). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.a1324
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