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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  • November 12, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Faith or Fiction?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Arguably, one of the greatest scenes in all of movie history is the parting of the Red Sea by Moses played by Charlton Heston in the blockbuster epic The Ten Commandments. (The awe inspired by the portrayal of the miracle during the Israelites’s exodus from Egypt is matched only by the awe that movie special [...]... Read more »

  • November 9, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Narcissism in High-Functioning Individuals – Big Ego or Severe Disorder?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Love seeketh only Self to please, To bind another to its delight, Joys in another’s loss of ease, And builds a Hell in Heaven’s despite. – William Blake from “The Clod and the Pebble” Though Blake showed an intuition of the evils of pathological narcissism in the quoted verses, there are certain personality disorders that [...]... Read more »

  • November 6, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Daytime Napping Improves Memory

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Napping sounds like just the thing for babies and elderly, but even healthy adults can rely on a daytime snooze to improve memory. A recent study suggests that napping not only strengthens memory but also reorganizes memory and links information together to form memory networks for an easy retrieval later.... Read more »

  • November 3, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

The Psychology of Poker

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

You are playing poker with a stranger whose betting and bluffing strategies are unknown to you. How do you decide if he is bluffing? Research shows that first impression of opponents’ trustworthiness influences your decision. You fold more often playing against trustworthy-looking opponents than against untrustworthy or poker-faced opponents. ... Read more »

Schlicht, E., Shimojo, S., Camerer, C., Battaglia, P., & Nakayama, K. (2010) Human Wagering Behavior Depends on Opponents' Faces. PLoS ONE, 5(7). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0011663  

Oosterhof, N., & Todorov, A. (2008) The functional basis of face evaluation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(32), 11087-11092. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0805664105  

  • October 31, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

The Art of Medicine

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The health care system and its practitioners are under increasing pressure to provide efficient, effective, and consistent care to patients. Patients want to be treated as an individual, not a case number; insurance companies want to pay the least amount of money possible for services; and physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other practitioners want to provide [...]... Read more »

Castledine G. (2010) Creative nursing: art or science?. British journal of nursing (Mark Allen Publishing), 19(14), 937. PMID: 20647990  

Gauderer MW. (2009) Creativity and the surgeon. Journal of pediatric surgery, 44(1), 13-20. PMID: 19159713  

LoFaso VM, Breckman R, Capello CF, Demopoulos B, & Adelman RD. (2010) Combining the creative arts and the house call to teach medical students about chronic illness care. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 58(2), 346-51. PMID: 20374408  

Naghshineh, S., Hafler, J., Miller, A., Blanco, M., Lipsitz, S., Dubroff, R., Khoshbin, S., & Katz, J. (2008) Formal Art Observation Training Improves Medical Students’ Visual Diagnostic Skills. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 23(7), 991-997. DOI: 10.1007/s11606-008-0667-0  

Shaywitz, D., & Ausiello, D. (2004) Preserving Creativity in Medicine. PLoS Medicine, 1(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0010034  

  • October 28, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Maternal Weight Gain Puts Child at Risk

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Many mothers-to-be relish the idea of 9 months of eating for two and giving in to cravings of pickles and ice cream. But, a new study indicates that women who gain excessive weight during pregnancy are more likely to have heavier babies, and these children may grow up with long-term adverse health consequences. The authors [...]... Read more »

Crane JM, White J, Murphy P, Burrage L, & Hutchens D. (2009) The effect of gestational weight gain by body mass index on maternal and neonatal outcomes. Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology Canada : JOGC , 31(1), 28-35. PMID: 19208280  

Dietz PM, Callaghan WM, & Sharma AJ. (2009) High pregnancy weight gain and risk of excessive fetal growth. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 201(1), 510-6. PMID: 19576373  

Rode L, Hegaard HK, Kjaergaard H, Møller LF, Tabor A, & Ottesen B. (2007) Association between maternal weight gain and birth weight. Obstetrics and gynecology, 109(6), 1309-15. PMID: 17540802  

Viswanathan M, Siega-Riz AM, Moos MK, Deierlein A, Mumford S, Knaack J, Thieda P, Lux LJ, & Lohr KN. (2008) Outcomes of maternal weight gain. Evidence report/technology assessment, 1-223. PMID: 18620471  

  • October 25, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Free Will is NOT An Illusion

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Many scientists think that free-will is an illusion. That is, intentions, choices, and decisions are made by subconscious mind, which only lets the conscious mind know what was willed after the fact. This argument was promoted long ago by scholars like Darwin, Huxley, and Einstein. Many modern scientists also hold that position and have even [...]... Read more »

  • October 22, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

The Personality of Chronic Fatigue

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Studies suggest that chronic fatigue may not only have the power to change a person’s personality but that certain personality traits may also put a person at higher risk of developing chronic fatigue. One recent study, in particular, examined the personalities of both people diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and victims of medically unexplainable chronic [...]... Read more »

Buckley L, MacHale SM, Cavanagh JT, Sharpe M, Deary IJ, & Lawrie SM. (1999) Personality dimensions in chronic fatigue syndrome and depression. Journal of psychosomatic research, 46(4), 395-400. PMID: 10340240  

Kato K, Sullivan PF, Evengård B, & Pedersen NL. (2006) Premorbid predictors of chronic fatigue. Archives of general psychiatry, 63(11), 1267-72. PMID: 17088507  

Magnusson AE, Nias DK, & White PD. (1996) Is perfectionism associated with fatigue?. Journal of psychosomatic research, 41(4), 377-83. PMID: 8971668  

Taillefer SS, Kirmayer LJ, Robbins JM, & Lasry JC. (2003) Correlates of illness worry in chronic fatigue syndrome. Journal of psychosomatic research, 54(4), 331-7. PMID: 12670610  

  • October 19, 2010
  • 11:52 PM

How Prozac works

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The tightly regulated balance between secretion and removal of neurotransmitters is not functioning properly in certain mental conditions like bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and depression. Neurotransmitters are signaling molecules used to transmit messages between neurons (nerve cells) in the brain. Serotonin is one of the neurotransmitters affected in depression and similar disorders. The most common class of [...]... Read more »

Baudry A, Mouillet-Richard S, Schneider B, Launay JM, & Kellermann O. (2010) miR-16 targets the serotonin transporter: a new facet for adaptive responses to antidepressants. Science (New York, N.Y.), 329(5998), 1537-41. PMID: 20847275  

  • October 16, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Instant Antidepressants on the Horizon

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Depression and similar mental disorders like bi-polar disorder, anxiety, and obsessive–compulsive disorder are associated with imbalances in neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are signaling molecules exchanged between neurons (nerve cells) for communication purposes. One of these neurotransmitters is serotonin, and drugs that increase serotonin levels in the brain are the most widely used treatments for [...]... Read more »

Talbot JN, Jutkiewicz EM, Graves SM, Clemans CF, Nicol MR, Mortensen RM, Huang X, Neubig RR, & Traynor JR. (2010) RGS inhibition at G(alpha)i2 selectively potentiates 5-HT1A-mediated antidepressant effects. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(24), 11086-91. PMID: 20534514  

  • October 13, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Omega-3s and Depression – Treatment Miracle or Fishy Connection?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

A new study investigating the effects of fish oil on depression has helped cement omega-3 fats as one of the most effective natural approaches to depression. A new research study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry was one of the first to put fish oil’s potential depression-battling benefits through the rigor of a randomized [...]... Read more »

Lespérance F, Frasure-Smith N, St-André E, Turecki G, Lespérance P, & Wisniewski SR. (2010) The efficacy of omega-3 supplementation for major depression: a randomized controlled trial. The Journal of clinical psychiatry. PMID: 20584525  

Hakkarainen R, Partonen T, Haukka J, Virtamo J, Albanes D, & Lönnqvist J. (2004) Is low dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids associated with depression?. The American journal of psychiatry, 161(3), 567-9. PMID: 14992986  

  • October 10, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Translational Neuroscience – Untapped Potential for Education and Policy

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Recent decades have seen extraordinary advances in the fields of neuroscience, molecular biology, genetics, psychology, and cognitive science. In particular, the National Institutes of Health called the last 10 years of the 20th century the “Decade of the Brain.” Aside from the scientific advances made during that time, government agencies, foundations, and professional organizations put [...]... Read more »

  • October 7, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Physical Strength Predicts Mortality

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Aging gracefully is a challenge for all who are fortunate enough to be given the privilege of growing old. If there was a secret to staying strong and avoiding death as long as possible, someone would have surely discovered it by now. While the secret to successful aging might still elude researchers, new evidence suggests [...]... Read more »

Ensrud KE, Ewing SK, Cawthon PM, Fink HA, Taylor BC, Cauley JA, Dam TT, Marshall LM, Orwoll ES, Cummings SR.... (2009) A comparison of frailty indexes for the prediction of falls, disability, fractures, and mortality in older men. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 57(3), 492-8. PMID: 19245414  

Cooper R, Kuh D, Cooper C, Gale CR, Lawlor DA, Matthews F, Hardy R, & the FALCon and HALCyon Study Teams. (2010) Objective measures of physical capability and subsequent health: a systematic review. Age and ageing. PMID: 20843964  

Fried LP, Tangen CM, Walston J, Newman AB, Hirsch C, Gottdiener J, Seeman T, Tracy R, Kop WJ, Burke G.... (2001) Frailty in older adults: evidence for a phenotype. The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences, 56(3). PMID: 11253156  

Kuh D, Hardy R, Butterworth S, Okell L, Richards M, Wadsworth M, Cooper C, & Sayer AA. (2006) Developmental origins of midlife physical performance: evidence from a British birth cohort. American journal of epidemiology, 164(2), 110-21. PMID: 16757569  

Kuh D, Hardy R, Butterworth S, Okell L, Wadsworth M, Cooper C, & Aihie Sayer A. (2006) Developmental origins of midlife grip strength: findings from a birth cohort study. The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences, 61(7), 702-6. PMID: 16870632  

Topinková E. (2008) Aging, disability and frailty. Annals of nutrition , 6-11. PMID: 18382070  

  • October 4, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Can a Tan Stave Off Dementia? Vitamin D and Cognitive Decline

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

With Alzheimer’s disease affecting 5 million Americans — a rate that the Alzheimer’s Association warns is ballooning — public health experts are scrambling for cost-effective ways to combat this deadly disease. While Alzheimer’s medications remain expensive and largely ineffective in preventing or halting disease progression, an unexpected potential weapon has recently emerged. Research published in [...]... Read more »

Alzheimer's Association. (2010) 2010 Alzheimer's disease facts and figures. Alzheimer's , 6(2), 158-94. PMID: 20298981  

Llewellyn DJ, Lang IA, Langa KM, Muniz-Terrera G, Phillips CL, Cherubini A, Ferrucci L, & Melzer D. (2010) Vitamin D and risk of cognitive decline in elderly persons. Archives of internal medicine, 170(13), 1135-41. PMID: 20625021  

Wilkins CH, Sheline YI, Roe CM, Birge SJ, & Morris JC. (2006) Vitamin D deficiency is associated with low mood and worse cognitive performance in older adults. The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 14(12), 1032-40. PMID: 17138809  

  • September 28, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Virtual Therapy – Wave of the Future?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Depression is a mood disorder characterized by the absence of a positive effect, low mood, and various associated emotional, physical, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms. Associated symptoms include sadness, pessimism, loss of interest, changes in sleep, decreased appetite, and decreased motivation. New technology has allowed depression to now be treated by way of computer. European countries [...]... Read more »

Marks IM, Cavanagh K, & Gega L. (2007) Computer-aided psychotherapy: revolution or bubble?. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science, 471-3. PMID: 18055948  

Bates B, Choi JY, Duncan PW, Glasberg JJ, Graham GD, Katz RC, Lamberty K, Reker D, Zorowitz R, US Department of Defense.... (2005) Veterans Affairs/Department of Defense Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Adult Stroke Rehabilitation Care: executive summary. Stroke; a journal of cerebral circulation, 36(9), 2049-56. PMID: 16120847  

  • September 25, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

The Price of Happiness

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Much research has focused on what makes people happy, but there are no definitive conclusions. For ages, adages that money does not equal happiness have been repeated by philosophers, religious leaders, and cultural icons. Now, a new study debunks that myth. An analysis of income and happiness in the United States reveals that a salary [...]... Read more »

  • September 22, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Shock Therapy – A Thing of the Past or the Only Way Out?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

When most people think of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), the first thing that comes to mind may be a scene in the 1975 film “One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest,” where Jack Nicholson undergoes the treatment, in a way more akin to torture than medical care. There are people holding him down, he is not under [...]... Read more »

Coentre R, Barrocas D, Chendo I, Abreu M, Levy P, Maltez J, & Figueira ML. (2009) [Electroconvulsive therapy: myths and evidences]. Acta medica portuguesa, 22(3), 275-80. PMID: 19686628  

  • September 19, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Fear-Reducing Drugs – An Emerging Science?

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

A new animal study reveals that a brain protein can reduce the expression of fear when infused into specific parts of the brain involved in behavioral responses to fear-inducing stimuli. The findings have important implications for the possible development of new drug therapies that can mimic these effects in humans with anxiety disorders or post-traumatic [...]... Read more »

Peters J, Dieppa-Perea LM, Melendez LM, & Quirk GJ. (2010) Induction of fear extinction with hippocampal-infralimbic BDNF. Science (New York, N.Y.), 328(5983), 1288-90. PMID: 20522777  

Soliman F, Glatt CE, Bath KG, Levita L, Jones RM, Pattwell SS, Jing D, Tottenham N, Amso D, Somerville LH.... (2010) A genetic variant BDNF polymorphism alters extinction learning in both mouse and human. Science (New York, N.Y.), 327(5967), 863-6. PMID: 20075215  

  • September 16, 2010
  • 11:12 AM

Born to be Lazy

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

Physical activity is recommended as part of every healthy lifestyle in order to maintain appropriate body weight and composition and to prevent a myriad of diseases. Now, researchers suggest that genetics plays a role in how much voluntary physical activity one is likely to engage in. Predispositions to active, athletic lifestyles are passed on from [...]... Read more »

Garland T Jr, Kelly SA, Malisch JL, Kolb EM, Hannon RM, Keeney BK, Van Cleave SL, & Middleton KM. (2010) How to run far: multiple solutions and sex-specific responses to selective breeding for high voluntary activity levels. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society. PMID: 20810439  

Swallow JG, Koteja P, Carter PA, & Garland T Jr. (2001) Food consumption and body composition in mice selected for high wheel-running activity. Journal of comparative physiology. B, Biochemical, systemic, and environmental physiology, 171(8), 651-9. PMID: 11765974  

  • September 12, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

A Little Education Goes a Long Way

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

The burden of type 2 diabetes is staggering. Close to 20 million people in the United States are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and total costs related to diabetes are creeping toward $200 billion annually. Programs to prevent and treat diabetes are numerous, but the effectiveness of various types of programs and modes of education [...]... Read more »

American Diabetes Association. (2008) Economic costs of diabetes in the U.S. In 2007. Diabetes care, 31(3), 596-615. PMID: 18308683  

Deakin TA, Cade JE, Williams R, & Greenwood DC. (2006) Structured patient education: the diabetes X-PERT Programme makes a difference. Diabetic medicine : a journal of the British Diabetic Association, 23(9), 944-54. PMID: 16922700  

Duke SA, Colagiuri S, & Colagiuri R. (2009) Individual patient education for people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online). PMID: 19160249  

Farmer AJ, Wade AN, French DP, Simon J, Yudkin P, Gray A, Craven A, Goyder L, Holman RR, Mant D.... (2009) Blood glucose self-monitoring in type 2 diabetes: a randomised controlled trial. Health technology assessment (Winchester, England), 13(15). PMID: 19254484  

Urbanski P, Wolf A, & Herman WH. (2008) Cost-effectiveness of diabetes education. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 108(4 Suppl 1). PMID: 18358259  

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