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  • May 5, 2015
  • 04:25 AM
  • 17 views

Childhood cat ownership and risk of later life schizophrenia?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

'I' before the 'E' except after 'C'."Is childhood cat ownership a risk factor for schizophrenia later in life?"That was the rather peculiar question posed and partially answered in the paper by Fuller Torrey and colleagues [1]. They concluded that "cat ownership in childhood is significantly more common in families in which the child later becomes seriously mentally ill."For those new to this topic, it might sound rather strange that cat ownership in childhood might elevate the risk of mental il........ Read more »

  • May 4, 2015
  • 07:22 PM
  • 21 views

Fracked, shale-drilling additives in drinking-water taps near leak

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Shale oil has helped the US see lower gas prices and even an opportunity to start exporting. However, it isn’t as great as it might sound, hydraulic fracturing — also known as fracking — has been scrutinized by environmentalists since it’s inception. As it turns out, for good reason, substances commonly used for drilling or extracting Marcellus shale gas foamed from the drinking water taps of three Pennsylvania homes near a reported well-pad leak, according to new analysis from a team of........ Read more »

Garth T. Llewellyn, Frank Dorman, J. L. Westland, D. Yoxtheimer, Paul Grieve, Todd Sowers, E. Humston-Fulmer, & Susan L. Brantley. (2015) Evaluating a groundwater supply contamination incident attributed to Marcellus Shale gas development. PNAS. info:/10.1073/pnas.1420279112

  • May 4, 2015
  • 04:59 AM
  • 27 views

Responding to parental concerns about possible offspring autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"In conclusion, despite early parental concerns, children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] receive less proactive provider responses to these concerns than children with ID/DD [intellectual disability/developmental delay]. Less proactive/more passive provider responses are associated with delays in diagnosing ASD."So said the paper from Katharine Zuckerman and colleagues [1] (open-access) who using "nationally representative data from the 2011 Survey of Pathways to Diagnosis an........ Read more »

Katharine Elizabeth Zuckerman, Olivia Jasmine Lindly, & Brianna Kathleen Sinche. (2015) Parental Concerns, Provider Response, and Timeliness of Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis. The Journal of Pediatrics. info:/10.1016/j.jpeds.2015.03.007

  • May 2, 2015
  • 03:48 PM
  • 69 views

Walking an extra two minutes each hour may offset hazards of sitting too long

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Eat less, workout more, these are the messages we are being sent almost on a daily basis. But how do we quantify “more” and who really should listen to that advice? Well a new study suggests that engaging in low intensity activities such as standing may not be enough to offset the health hazards of sitting for long periods of time. On the bright side, adding two minutes of walking each hour to your routine just might do the trick.... Read more »

  • May 2, 2015
  • 04:03 AM
  • 48 views

Healthcare experiences and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

In today's brief post I want to highlight the important findings reported by Christina Nicolaidis and colleagues [1] who suggested that quite a bit more could be done to improve the success of "healthcare interactions" when it comes to the autism spectrum.Based on the experiences of 39 adults with autism and "16 people who had experience supporting autistic adults in healthcare settings" researchers came up with a few "patient- and provider-level factors" that might impact on said heal........ Read more »

  • May 1, 2015
  • 03:05 PM
  • 54 views

US clinics avoiding government oversight of ‘stem cell’ treatments

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Clinics across the United States are advertising stem cell treatments that attempt to take advantage of what they perceive as exceptions in FDA regulations.The therapies in question are adipose-derived autologous stem cell treatments, in which fat cells are removed from a patient, broken down to separate components that purportedly contain stem cells, and are then reinjected into the same patient.... Read more »

  • May 1, 2015
  • 05:00 AM
  • 66 views

Severe mental illness and victims of crime

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"In conclusion, victimisation among people with SMI [severe mental illness] is more prevalent and associated with greater psychosocial morbidity than victimisation among the general population."That was the finding reported by Hind Khalifeh and colleagues [1] (open-access here) following their analysis of "the prevalence and impact of crime among people with SMI compared with the general population." SMI, by the way, covered various labels including: "people with psychotic disorde........ Read more »

Khalifeh H, Johnson S, Howard LM, Borschmann R, Osborn D, Dean K, Hart C, Hogg J, & Moran P. (2015) Violent and non-violent crime against adults with severe mental illness. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science. PMID: 25698767  

  • April 30, 2015
  • 07:41 PM
  • 47 views

This Month in Blastocystis Research (APR 2015)

by Christen Rune Stensvold in Blastocystis Parasite Blog

A post on trending Blastocystis research and on advances in the discoveries of plant extracts with anti-Blastocystis activity.... Read more »

  • April 30, 2015
  • 06:00 PM
  • 77 views

The Avengers: Is It Possible Someone Could Turn Into A Hulk?

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

In anticipation of the return of THE AVENGERS, we take a look at the science that could possibly help someone to turn into a HULK.... Read more »

  • April 30, 2015
  • 04:26 PM
  • 59 views

Pesticides alter bees’ brains, making them unable to live and reproduce adequately

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A new report suggests that a particular class of pesticides called “neonicotinoids” wreaks havoc on the bee populations, ultimately putting some crops that rely on pollination in jeopardy. Specifically, these pesticides kill bee brain cells, rendering them unable to learn, gather food and reproduce. The report, however, also suggests that the effects of these pesticides on bee colonies may be reversible by decreasing or eliminating the use of these pesticides on plants pollinated by bees and........ Read more »

  • April 30, 2015
  • 10:35 AM
  • 72 views

Bupropion: A Non-stimulant ADHD Drug Treatment

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Stimulant drugs including dextroamphetamine (Adderall) and methylphenidate (Ritalin) remain among the most common and effective drug treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).Alternative to stimulant drugs are needed to expand treatment options for clinicians and patients.One problem with the stimulants is the potential for misuse and diversion of prescription drugs to illicit drug use.One non-stimulant FDA approved drug (atomoxetine/Strattera) is available in the U.S.An add........ Read more »

  • April 30, 2015
  • 04:27 AM
  • 71 views

The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder is not increasing in childhood

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The title of this post is an excerpt from the paper by Sebastian Lundström and colleagues [1] (open-access) who set out to "compare the annual prevalence of the autism symptom phenotype and of registered diagnoses for autism spectrum disorder during a 10 year period in children" living in Sweden. Based on two datasets - the Child and Adolescent Twin Study in Sweden and the Swedish national patient register (NPR) - researchers analysed the records of well over a million ........ Read more »

  • April 29, 2015
  • 03:12 PM
  • 107 views

Psychologists share the three secrets to healthier eating

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

You don’t need a crazy diet to lose weight. In fact, your typical fad diet won’t help you keep weight off long term and could be harming your health. If you want to know the secrets of healthier eating, think of the kitchen fruit bowl. A fruit bowl makes fruit more convenient, attractive, and normal to eat than if the same fruit were in the bottom of the refrigerator.... Read more »

  • April 29, 2015
  • 11:08 AM
  • 109 views

How Much Exercise Do You Really Need?

by Shawn Radcliffe in Shawn Radcliffe | Health and Science Writer

The benefits of exercise are clear, but how much should you be doing each week? And how hard should you work out? It turns out that most of us could stand to squeeze more exercise into our day. But we can probably get away with moderate exercise like walking. Exercising Lags Behind Screen Time If […]
The post How Much Exercise Do You Really Need? appeared first on Shawn Radcliffe.
... Read more »

  • April 29, 2015
  • 04:41 AM
  • 59 views

The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) core sets for autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) is a framework for describing and organising information on functioning and disability. It provides a standard language and a conceptual basis for the definition and measurement of health and disability."That is the US CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - definition of the ICF (from WHO) and how, among other things, the ICF offers a "scientific basis for understanding and studying health an........ Read more »

  • April 28, 2015
  • 02:44 PM
  • 72 views

The adolescent brain on alcohol: Changes last into adulthood

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Repeated alcohol exposure during adolescence results in long-lasting changes in the region of the brain that controls learning and memory, according to a research team at Duke Medicine that used a rodent model as a surrogate for humans. The study provides new insights at the cellular level for how alcohol exposure during adolescence, before the brain is fully developed, can result in cellular and synaptic abnormalities that have enduring, detrimental effects on behavior.... Read more »

Risher, M., Fleming, R., Risher, W., Miller, K., Klein, R., Wills, T., Acheson, S., Moore, S., Wilson, W., Eroglu, C.... (2015) Adolescent Intermittent Alcohol Exposure: Persistence of Structural and Functional Hippocampal Abnormalities into Adulthood. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. DOI: 10.1111/acer.12725  

  • April 28, 2015
  • 07:03 AM
  • 76 views

Mind-blowing Brain Cases: The Woman With Half A Brain

by Elisabeth Buhl Thubron in United Academics

Chinese woman without a cerebellum gives insight into neuroplasticity.... Read more »

  • April 28, 2015
  • 04:36 AM
  • 71 views

Melatonin and leaky gut continued

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper from Garth Swanson and colleagues [1] reporting findings suggesting that "suppression of melatonin in AD [alcohol use disorder] may promote gut leakiness and endotoxemia" make for the discussion point today.Continuing a theme from previous times on this blog that "melatonin may serve important gastrointestinal barrier functions" [2] and specifically those related to the concept of intestinal permeability and the so-called 'leaky gut' (see here), these are potentially imp........ Read more »

Swanson GR, Gorenz A, Shaikh M, Desai V, Forsyth CB, Fogg L, Burgess HJ, & Keshavarzian A. (2015) Decreased Melatonin Secretion is Associated with Increased Intestinal Permeability and Marker of Endotoxemia in Alcoholics. American journal of physiology. Gastrointestinal and liver physiology. PMID: 25907689  

  • April 27, 2015
  • 10:50 AM
  • 57 views

ADHD and Vehicular Accident Risk

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Attention and impulsive behaviors found in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can contribute to accident risk in children and adults.A recent study of adult drivers in France provides evidence for increased accident risk in adults with ADHD.Researchers at the Bordeaux University Hospital interviewed a series of adult drivers seen in the emergency department following a road traffic crash.A total of 777 eligible subjects completed assessments of accident information, distraction expo........ Read more »

  • April 27, 2015
  • 04:36 AM
  • 67 views

When optimal outcome in autism meets ESSENCE

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I recently came across the paper by Martina Barnevik Olsson and colleagues [1] (open-access) and their rather interesting take on the issue of optimal outcome and autism (see here for some background on this concept).Based on the idea that a diagnosis of autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) might not be as immutable as perhaps once thought (as in 'no longer meeting the diagnostic criteria for the condition'), Barnevik Olsson et al reported that loss of the autism/ASD label does not........ Read more »

Barnevik Olsson, M., Westerlund, J., Lundström, S., Giacobini, M., Fernell, E., & Gillberg, C. (2015) “Recovery” from the diagnosis of autism – and then?. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 999. DOI: 10.2147/NDT.S78707  

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