415 posts · 640,863 views
This is the personal blog of a Dutch psychiatrist working in a University hospital. His specialty in psychiatry is the treatment of depression. This explains his interest in electroconvulsive therapy and the development of new forms of neurostimulation for the treatment of depression. He is also involved in medical education. He does research in the treatment and neuroscience of depression. He mostly writes about these topics on this blog for fun and to keep up with recent developments. Besides writing about his work he also writes about other subjects that (neuro)stimulates him such as chocolate, computer gaming, gadgets, and Internet. The postings are based on what I want to write about and what I feel will be interesting to read.
Major depression is a very heterogeneous diagnosis. Subtypes of depression such as melancholic, psychotic or atypical depression may differ not only in etiology and clinical picture, but also in clinical response to medical treatments.
The last decades the working mechanisms of antidepressants haven’t changed very much, hence the name “me too drugs”. Moreover, current antidepressants [...]... Read more »
Alessandro Bartolomucci, & Rosario Leopardi. (2009) Stress and Depression: Preclinical Research and Clinical Implications. PLoS ONE, 4(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004265
Dr Shock has an old fashioned avatar, a photograph, on his blog and twitter. What does that tell you, an old fashioned guy? How do bloggers and such, choose to present themselves through an avatar? This was studied in a blogging, dating or gaming environment.
For the most part, avatars in blogging were created [...]... Read more »
A VASALOU, & A JOINSON. (2009) Me, myself and I: The role of interactional context on self-presentation through avatars. Computers in Human Behavior. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2008.11.007
Two of three humans never get cancer. Even the majority of heavy smokers remain cancer free. Is this a matter of chance, or are there cancer-resistant genotypes?
Genetics play an important role in cancer. Not seldom the same types of cancer runs in families. Genetics tries to identify which features are inherited, and work out the [...]... Read more »
We recently discussed the results of a study about derogatory and cynical humor used by residents and assistants towards mental health patients. These results were in line with the results of a previous published study with medical students: ingrained prejudices and misinformation is the rule. Mental health patients are trouble.
Iatrogenic stigma is stigma resulting from [...]... Read more »
J. Simon Bell, S. Elina Aaltonen, Elina Bronstein, Franciska A. Desplenter, Veerle Foulon, Anna Vitola, Ruta Muceniece, Manjiri S. Gharat, Daisy Volmer, Marja S. Airaksinen.... (2008) Attitudes of pharmacy students toward people with mental disorders, a six country study. Pharmacy World , 30(5), 595-599. DOI: 10.1007/s11096-008-9211-x
To me bedside teaching is number one in teaching anything to medical students. Nevertheless most of the teaching in med school is done in tutorial groups, lectures and computer based learning. This next four weeks I am supervising a group of 12 med students in computer based learning. In this coming weeks they have to [...]... Read more »
Peter Hull, Adnan Chaudry, Anna Prasthofer, & Giles Pattison. (2009) Optimal sequencing of bedside teaching and computer-based learning: a randomised trial. Medical Education, 43(2), 108-112. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2923.2008.03261.x
M COLE. (2009) Using Wiki technology to support student engagement: Lessons from the trenches. Computers , 52(1), 141-146. DOI: 10.1016/j.compedu.2008.07.003
Efficacy of rTMS for treatment resistant depression isn’t impressive to say the least. The results of studies show little clinical relevance of the efficacy compared to sham rTMS, many studies have reported limited effect sizes or response rates.
A recent study tried to address one of the main concerns that could be responsible for the lack [...]... Read more »
Paul B Fitzgerald, Kate Hoy, Susan McQueen, Jerome J Maller, Sally Herring, Rebecca Segrave, Michael Bailey, Greg Been, Jayashri Kulkarni, & Zafiris J Daskalakis. (2009) A Randomized Trial of rTMS Targeted with MRI Based Neuro-Navigation in Treatment-Resistant Depression. Neuropsychopharmacology. DOI: 10.1038/npp.2008.233
Scales to diagnose Internet Dependence and Internet Addiction prosper. Even when this diagnosis is doubted by scientists and bloggers alike these scales get used very frequently and their publications accepted in peer reviewed journals. It is possible that this diagnosis will be included in the new DSM V. Recent research evaluated the utility of [...]... Read more »
Nicki A. Dowling, Ph.D, & Kelly L. Quirk, BAppSci. (2008) Screening for Internet Dependence: Do the Proposed Diagnostic Criteria Differentiate Normal from Dependent Internet Use?. CyberPsychology . DOI: http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10.1089/cpb.2008.0162
The last systematic review of this topic was in 1994. According to this recent review ECT does seem to be effective for treating mental illness during pregnancy and the risks of adverse events are low. It should be considered in pregnant women with severe mental illness such as psychotic symptoms, catatonia or strong suicidal urges. [...]... Read more »
E. L. Anderson, & I. M. Reti. (2008) ECT in Pregnancy: A Review of the Literature From 1941 to 2007. Psychosomatic Medicine. DOI: 10.1097/PSY.0b013e318190d7ca
A number of studies have shown cardiovascular benefits of eating flavanol rich cocoa. Cocoa is the important substance of chocolate. Especially dark chocolate can contain high levels of flavanols.
The possible underlying mechanisms of these cardioprotective properties of chocolate can be several.
One of the possible mechanism mentioned before is the potential anti-inflammatory activities [...]... Read more »
Romina di Giuseppe,, Augusto Di Castelnuovo,, Floriana Centritto,, Francesco Zito,, Amalia De Curtis,, Simona Costanzo,, Branislav Vohnout,, Sabina Sieri,, Vittorio Krogh,, Maria Benedetta Donati,.... (2008) Regular Consumption of Dark Chocolate Is Associated with Low Serum Concentrations of C-Reactive Protein in a Healthy Italian Population. Journal of Nutrition, 1939-1945. DOI: 18806104
There is a humor–health hypothesis. This hypothesis claims that there is a link between humor and health. It is perceived that there is a positive link between humor and health. Humor should improve your health. There are many suggestions as how humor can improve health or not.
Humor, in terms of laughter, creates accompanying physiological changes [...]... Read more »
May McCreaddie, & Sally Wiggins. (2008) The purpose and function of humour in health, health care and nursing: a narrative review. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 61(6), 584-595. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2007.04548.x
Depression is recognized as a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease in healthy patients, for recurrent events in patients with established cardiovascular disease, and for adverse outcomes after coronary bypass graft surgery. Physical inactivity largely explains the association between depressive symptoms and adverse cardiovascular events such as heart failure, myocardial infarction, stroke, transient [...]... Read more »
M. A. Whooley, P. de Jonge, E. Vittinghoff, C. Otte, R. Moos, R. M. Carney, S. Ali, S. Dowray, B. Na, M. D. Feldman.... (2008) Depressive Symptoms, Health Behaviors, and Risk of Cardiovascular Events in Patients With Coronary Heart Disease. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 300(20), 2379-2388. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2008.711
Psychosocial stress predisposes to depression, especially chronic stress. Stress together with a functional genetic variant of the serotonin transporter gene and dysregulation of the stress hormone cortisol increase the risk of depression. Stress reactivity might be an important link between a genetic variant of the serotonin transporter gene, stressful life events in early years and [...]... Read more »
C. Liston, B. S. McEwen, & B. J. Casey. (2009) Psychosocial stress reversibly disrupts prefrontal processing and attentional control. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0807041106
In a recent published research 44,218 and 46,089 baseline users of single typical and atypical drugs, respectively, and 186,600 matched nonusers of antipsychotic drugs were retrospectively compared for the risk of sudden cardiac death.
Current users of typical and of atypical antipsychotic drugs had a similar, dose-related increased risk of sudden cardiac death.
It was already [...]... Read more »
W. A. Ray, C. P. Chung, K. T. Murray, K. Hall, & C. M. Stein. (2009) Atypical Antipsychotic Drugs and the Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death. New England Journal of Medicine, 360(3), 225-235. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa0806994
S. Schneeweiss, & J. Avorn. (2009) Antipsychotic Agents and Sudden Cardiac Death -- How Should We Manage the Risk?. New England Journal of Medicine, 360(3), 294-296. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMe0809417
The digital divide in this post refers to the disparity in Internet access between developed and developing countries. In a recent published study they explored Internet addiction among university students in China and the United States to develop a better understanding of Internet addiction in a cross-national setting. Three hundred fourteen respondents were evaluated on 10 Internet addiction symptoms and five Internet addiction dimensions. And the conclusion was:
We conclude that Internet addiction may result as an artifact of the stage of Internet adoption within a society.... Read more »
Lixuan Zhang, Clinton Amos, & William C. McDowell. (2008) A Comparative Study of Internet Addiction between the United States and China. CyberPsychology , 11(6), 727-729. DOI: 10.1089/cpb.2008.0026
Some bloggers, I think most of them reflect some of their inner feelings through their writing. Most bloggers more or less use self-disclosure, a process by which an individual shares his or her feelings, thoughts, experiences, or information with others. Self disclosure leads to gain of acquaintance or even develops intimate relationships with others. Witnessed [...]... Read more »
Hsiu-Chia Ko, & Feng-Yang Kuo. (2009) Can Blogging Enhance Subjective Well-Being Through Self-Disclosure?. CyberPsychology , 2147483647-5. DOI: 10.1089/cpb.2008.0163
What is transcranial direct current stimulation?
With tDCS a weak electrical current of 1 or 2 m Ampere is applied to the head with an electrode. The electrode is a non-metalic conductive rubber electrode, covered completely by saline soaked sponges.It is a noninvasive brain stimulation technique that utilizes low amplitude direct currents applied via scalp electrodes [...]... Read more »
C MINIUSSI, S CAPPA, L COHEN, A FLOEL, F FREGNI, M NITSCHE, M OLIVERI, A PASCUALLEONE, W PAULUS, & A PRIORI. (2008) Efficacy of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation/transcranial direct current stimulation in cognitive neurorehabilitation. Brain Stimulation. DOI: 10.1016/j.brs.2008.07.002
This model is right, use chocolate as make-up. Cocoa polyphenols such as flavanols have a positive effect on skin structure when applied for at least 5 days. Cocoa butter also has an activity, but its onset of action takes longer (12 days). Cocoa butter doesn’t contain polyphenolen. The dose at which cocoa polyphenols – when [...]... Read more »
P. Gasser, E. Lati, L. Peno-Mazzarino, D. Bouzoud, L. Allegaert, & H. Bernaert. (2008) Cocoa polyphenols and their influence on parameters involved in skin restructuring . International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 30(5), 339-345. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2494.2008.00457.x
That is a difficult question for two reasons:
The exact meaning of the terms `laughter,’ `humour’ and `funny’ have been formulated for individual studies, a broad consensus on their exact meanings has yet to be reached. Are tickling and contagious laughter one and the same or manifestations of particular kinds of humour? Is humour a kind [...]... Read more »
E. Azim. (2005) Sex differences in brain activation elicited by humor. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 102(45), 16496-16501. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0408456102
Patients can say and do funny things no matter how ill or even depressed they are. Medical students are often surprised to find that patients often respond to humor, even in discussions of the most serious consequence. Good humor can promote a conversation with a patient and it can be a bedside skill worth acquiring. [...]... Read more »
Delese Wear, Julie M Aultman, Joseph Zarconi, & Joseph D Varley. (2009) Derogatory and cynical humour directed towards patients: views of residents and attending doctors. Medical Education, 43(1), 34-41. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2923.2008.03171.x
Ronald Berk. (2009) Derogatory and cynical humour in clinical teaching and the workplace: the need for professionalism. Medical Education, 43(1), 7-9. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2923.2008.03239.x
You would think a flower that resembles a 3-metre phallus would have no problems attracting attention, especially if it also stinks like a rotting corpse.
But for the carrion flower, which has the world’s largest flowering head, getting noticed by flesh-eating insect pollinators in its jungle home requires yet another amazing adaptation – and one that [...]... Read more »
W. Barthlott, J. Szarzynski, P. Vlek, W. Lobin, & N. Korotkova. (2008) A torch in the rain forest: thermogenesis of the Titan arum ( ) . Plant Biology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1438-8677.2008.00147.x
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