Shaheen Lakhan

435 posts · 748,295 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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  • March 30, 2008
  • 11:08 AM

Ignoring Natural Remedies

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

I have yet to form a solid opinion regarding universal health coverage. Regardless of what I conclude to be the best policy, I am glad that the issue is out there. But I wish that this topic was more extensive; I wish that our country would broaden its’ definition of healthcare to include alternative treatments.
A ... Read more »

J GOUIN, J KIECOLTGLASER, W MALARKEY, & R GLASER. (2007) The influence of anger expression on wound healing☆. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2007.10.013  

  • March 29, 2008
  • 10:08 AM

The Science of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Women take a lot of criticism for premenstrual syndrome, being accused by male friends and partners of irritability and moodiness. Now, women may have a good explanation for their behavior.
During the 2 weeks before their period, women experience a gradual surge of progesterone secretion. Progesterone is produced by an ovulated egg within the ovaries, and ... Read more »

G van Wingen, F van Broekhoven, R J Verkes, K M Petersson, T Bäckström, J K Buitelaar, & G Fernández. (2008) Progesterone selectively increases amygdala reactivity in women. Molecular Psychiatry, 13(3), 325-333. DOI: 10.1038/  

  • March 28, 2008
  • 01:09 PM

The Brain-Road Link: New Evidence on Cell Phones and Driving

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Law enforcers now have all the proof they need for tougher anti-cell phone measures for drivers, as the latest published neurological study shows that there is a 37% reduction in parietal cortex activity with driving. Arguments that there are many among us who can multi-task well have taken a back seat in recent studies involving ... Read more »

  • March 24, 2008
  • 11:20 AM

Is This a Cure for War and Domestic Violence?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

"When people could envision their own government committing acts similar to those of the terrorists, they were less vengeful. ...they were more supportive of negotiations and economic aid."
... Read more »

Julie Exline, Roy F Baumeister, Anne L Zell, Amy J Kraft, & Charlotte V Witvliet. (2008) Not so innocent: Does seeing one's own capability for wrongdoing predict forgiveness?. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94(3), 495-515. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.94.3.495  

  • March 23, 2008
  • 01:10 PM

Why People Stop Taking Anti-Depressants: Part 3

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

We’ve examined the common reasons people stop taking anti-depressants. That’s part of this puzzle. We’ve looked at the difficulty of proving the type of depression an individual has. Now, let’s answer the big question: why does the “cause” of depression really matter? Let’s start with something that happened recently.
Research published by Dr. Irving Kirsch of ... Read more »

  • March 19, 2008
  • 10:27 AM

Functional MRI: A Radiological Window into the Mind - Part 1

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Functional MRI (fMRI) is one of the most widely used experimental tools in neuroscience today, which allows us to study blood flow patterns to different parts of the brain during a given task. For example during solving mathematical problems, a typical fMRI pattern is seen. Recently however, psychological theories are being tested, and a broader ... Read more »

  • March 18, 2008
  • 12:28 PM

Irritable Bowel Syndrome and the Brain Revisited

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

A few weeks ago, I wrote about irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and the abnormal brain activity seen on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in a recent clinical trial. These findings supported the theory that patients with IBS have an altered sensation of abdominal pain and respond more strongly and more emotionally to pain than unaffected patients.
Now, ... Read more »

  • March 13, 2008
  • 05:13 PM

Videophilia Takes Over

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The benefits of spending time outdoors are numerous –- fresh air, sunshine, relaxation. Who wouldn’t want that? Apparently, many Americans don’t. Researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago tracked outdoor activities over several decades, and found a sharp decline among US citizens. Rates of fishing, hiking, hunting, backpacking and national and state park visits ... Read more »

  • March 12, 2008
  • 10:32 AM

When Entertainment Encourages Epidemics

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a press release calling for ABC to cancel its pilot episode of a new drama Eli Stone. Renee R. Jenkins, MD, President of the AAP, accused ABC of “reckless irresponsibility” in screening a television program that may give parents the false impression that vaccines cause autism. She goes on ... Read more »

A WAKEFIELD, S MURCH, A ANTHONY, J LINNELL, D CASSON, M MALIK, M BERELOWITZ, A DHILLON, M THOMSON, & P HARVEY. (1998) Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children. The Lancet, 351(9103), 637-641. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(97)11096-0  

  • March 10, 2008
  • 02:42 PM

Magnetoencephalography: A Breakthrough Imaging Technique for Pediatrics

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Magnetoencephalography (MEG) is an imaging technique that is currently being used before resective surgery in pediatric epilepsy patients to determine whether or not surgery is necessary and if the surgery will be successful. Before this technique was implemented, doctors had to rely on symptoms caused by seizures and traditional techniques that did not provide sufficient ... Read more »

ES Schwartz, DJ Dlugos, PB Storm, J Dell, R Magee, TP Flynn, DM Zarnow, RA Zimmerman, & TPL Roberts. (2008) Magnetoencephalography for Pediatric Epilepsy: How We Do It. American Journal of Neuroradiology. DOI: 10.3174/ajnr.A1029  

  • March 6, 2008
  • 01:20 PM

Is it the Brain or the Game? Gender Differences in Gaming

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

New research findings from the Stanford University proves that men find playing video games more rewarding. This wouldn’t appear surprising to the millions of console and PC gaming widows worldwide, but this gives us an opportunity to have a look at the good old chicken-and-egg conundrum in the context of arriving at sweeping generalizations on ... Read more »

F HOEFT, C WATSON, S KESLER, K BETTINGER, & A REISS. (2008) Gender differences in the mesocorticolimbic system during computer game-play. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 42(4), 253-258. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2007.11.010  

  • March 4, 2008
  • 01:15 PM

Are Insurance Copayments Unethical?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Mammograms are recommended for all women over the age of 45 as a breast cancer screening tool. Some insurance and Medicare plans provide full coverage for these tests because they are deemed necessary and beneficial. Other plans apply co-pays to mammograms, and other similar medical interventions, despite the prevalent medical opinion that they are both ... Read more »

  • March 3, 2008
  • 12:14 PM

Emotional Vitality May Protect Against Heart Disease

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

While a number of studies have shown that negative social behaviors and emotional states tend to correlate with a lower overall level of physical health, few have sought to illuminate a link between emotional vitality and physical well-being. A recent study provides evidence that there may, indeed, be a connection. Six thousand twenty-five men and ... Read more »

  • March 1, 2008
  • 10:13 AM

Why Some Men, Like Women, Cannot Read Maps Too

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

I never quite got around to write the sequel to Barbara and Allan Pease’s evocative work (1), although I had figured out a nice name for it, “Why men don’t use makeup, and women can’t Sumo wrestle.” Not to make fun of the genetic determinists who study gender differences, but to drive home the whole ... Read more »

  • February 26, 2008
  • 11:14 AM

The Chattering Brain - How Chronic Pain Throws our Cortex out of Sync

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

A new study from the Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine has provided important clues to how chronic pain might throw our lives out of gear by affecting many areas of the cerebral cortex. Worse, if left unchecked, it could lead to irreversible damage to the interconnection between the neurons, leading to permanent changes in ... Read more »

Lynn Webster, Youngmi Choi, Himanshu Desai, Linda Webster, & Brydon J Grant. (2007) Sleep-Disordered Breathing and Chronic Opioid Therapy. Pain Medicine, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1111/j.1526-4637.2007.00343.x  

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