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  • July 8, 2015
  • 04:46 AM
  • 107 views

Massaging autism (continued)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A quote to begin:"Tactile-based interventions such as massage therapy were the most promising intervention in reducing behavioral problems."Derived from the systematic review results published by Farahiyah Wan Yunus and colleagues [1] looking at the current collected literature on sensory-based interventions for "children with behavioral problems", researchers zoomed in on massage therapy as perhaps being something requiring further investigation. Said therapy also potentially overlayi........ Read more »

  • July 7, 2015
  • 03:50 PM
  • 115 views

The powerful influence of placebos on the brain

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

The term placebo effect describes an improvement in the condition of a patient after being given a placebo--an inert substance (e.g. sugar pill) the patient expects may hold some benefit for him. The placebo effect has long been recognized as an unavoidable aspect of medical treatment. Physicians before the 1950s often took advantage of this knowledge by giving patients treatments like bread pills or injections of water with the understanding that patients had a tendency to feel better when they........ Read more »

  • July 7, 2015
  • 03:21 PM
  • 135 views

Pupil response predicts depression risk in kids

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Most parents don’t want to think about their children as depressed, but that can be a deadly mistake. Short of clinical diagnosis through cost prohibitive therapy, there is no real way to tell if a child is at risk for depression. However, according to new research from Binghamton University , how much a child’s pupil dilates in response to seeing an emotional image can predict his or her risk of depression over the next two years.... Read more »

  • July 7, 2015
  • 11:16 AM
  • 126 views

Brain Deficits in Visual Hallucinations

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

One the early things I was taught in my neuroscience training was that new-onset visual hallucinations need to be assessed for medical or "organic causes".Auditory hallucinations were felt to be more characteristic of schizophrenia.One medical disorder linked to visual hallucinations is dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). DLB is second to Alzheimer's disease in producing neurodegenerative dementia. Visual hallucinations is a hallmark of DLB and is found in up to 70% of clinical samples with th........ Read more »

Heitz C, Noblet V, Cretin B, Philippi N, Kremer L, Stackfleth M, Hubele F, Armspach JP, Namer I, & Blanc F. (2015) Neural correlates of visual hallucinations in dementia with Lewy bodies. Alzheimer's research , 7(1), 6. PMID: 25717349  

  • July 7, 2015
  • 09:00 AM
  • 63 views

Is Your Tech Working for You? Accuracy of Activity Trackers

by Rodney Steadman in Gravity's Pull

Two studies that investigate the effectiveness of activity trackers.... Read more »

  • July 7, 2015
  • 06:02 AM
  • 119 views

5 Ways To Connect Science And Spirituality

by Pieter Carriere in United Academics

To assess the value of spirituality, this article aims to give a clear, imaginable and humble impression of spirituality research. It describes research of spiritual practices, which are practiced by people of multiple religious affiliations and even by irreligious people.... Read more »

Gothe N, Pontifex MB, Hillman C, & McAuley E. (2013) The acute effects of yoga on executive function. Journal of physical activity , 10(4), 488-95. PMID: 22820158  

Vickhoff, B., Malmgren, H., Åström, R., Nyberg, G., Ekström, S., Engwall, M., Snygg, J., Nilsson, M., & Jörnsten, R. (2013) Music structure determines heart rate variability of singers. Frontiers in Psychology. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00334  

Friese M, Schweizer L, Arnoux A, Sutter F, & Wänke M. (2014) Personal prayer counteracts self-control depletion. Consciousness and cognition, 90-5. PMID: 25277947  

  • July 7, 2015
  • 05:25 AM
  • 112 views

Sick leave and income levels for parents of children with autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Parents of children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] living in Stockholm, Sweden in 2006 were more likely to be on sick leave, not in the labor force, or earning low income when compared to parents who did not have a child with ASD and these results remained after adjusting for familial socioeconomic factors and parental psychiatric care."That was the rather grim conclusion reached by Miranda McEvilly and colleagues [1] (open-access) following their analysis of families taking........ Read more »

  • July 6, 2015
  • 02:45 PM
  • 106 views

Link between autoimmune diseases, medications, and a dangerous heart condition

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Mohamed Boutjdir, PhD, professor of medicine, cell biology, and physiology and pharmacology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, has led a study with international collaborators identifying the mechanism by which patients with various autoimmune and connective tissue disorders may be at risk for life-threatening cardiac events if they take certain anti-histamine or anti-depressant medications. Dr. Boutjdir is also director of the Cardiac Research Program at VA New York Harbor Healthcare System.... Read more »

Yue, Y., Castrichini, M., Srivastava, U., Fabris, F., Shah, K., Li, Z., Qu, Y., El-Sherif, N., Zhou, Z., January, C.... (2015) Pathogenesis of the Novel Autoimmune-Associated Long QT Syndrome. Circulation. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.115.009800  

  • July 6, 2015
  • 02:22 PM
  • 143 views

Restraint and confinement still an everyday practice in mental health settings

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Providers of mental-health services still rely on intervention techniques such as physical restraint and confinement to control some psychiatric hospital patients, a practice which can cause harm to both patients and care facilities, according to a new study from the University of Waterloo. The study found that almost one in four psychiatric patients in Ontario hospitals are restrained using control interventions, such as chairs that prevent rising, wrist restraints, seclusion rooms or acute con........ Read more »

Mah, T., Hirdes, J., Heckman, G., & Stolee, P. (2015) Use of control interventions in adult in-patient mental health services. Healthcare Management Forum, 28(4), 139-145. DOI: 10.1177/0840470415581230  

  • July 6, 2015
  • 10:00 AM
  • 18 views

Brain Activity of Passengers on Terrifying Flight Sheds Light on Trauma Memory

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Neuroimaging data collected from a group of passengers who thought they were going to die when their plane ran out of fuel over the Atlantic Ocean in the summer of […]... Read more »

  • July 6, 2015
  • 04:54 AM
  • 130 views

Is coeliac disease an aetiological factor in paediatric nonsyndromic intellectual disability?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

In answer to the question posed in the title of this post on whether coeliac disease (CD) might show some connection to intellectual (learning) disability, 'probably not' is the finding reported by Taner Sezer and colleagues [1].Researchers initially looked at "serum levels of tissue transglutaminase antibody and total IgA" in over 230 children diagnosed with nonsyndromic intellectual disability compared with about the same number of asymptomatic controls. Nonsyndromic intellectual dis........ Read more »

  • July 5, 2015
  • 01:50 PM
  • 116 views

Discovery points to a new path toward a universal flu vaccine

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Flu vaccines can be something of a shot in the dark. Not only must they be given yearly, there’s no guarantee the strains against which they protect will be the ones circulating once the season arrives. New research by Rockefeller University scientists suggests it may be possible to harness a previously unknown mechanism within the immune system to create more effective and efficient vaccines against this ever-mutating virus.... Read more »

Wang, T., Maamary, J., Tan, G., Bournazos, S., Davis, C., Krammer, F., Schlesinger, S., Palese, P., Ahmed, R., & Ravetch, J. (2015) Anti-HA Glycoforms Drive B Cell Affinity Selection and Determine Influenza Vaccine Efficacy. Cell, 162(1), 160-169. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.06.026  

  • July 4, 2015
  • 02:26 PM
  • 157 views

Long-term memories are maintained by prion-like proteins

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Research from Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) has uncovered further evidence of a system in the brain that persistently maintains memories for long periods of time. And paradoxically, it works in the same way as mechanisms that cause mad cow disease, kuru, and other degenerative brain diseases.... Read more »

Fioriti, L., Myers, C., Huang, Y., Li, X., Stephan, J., Trifilieff, P., Colnaghi, L., Kosmidis, S., Drisaldi, B., Pavlopoulos, E.... (2015) The Persistence of Hippocampal-Based Memory Requires Protein Synthesis Mediated by the Prion-like Protein CPEB3. Neuron, 86(6), 1433-1448. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.05.021  

Drisaldi, B., Colnaghi, L., Fioriti, L., Rao, N., Myers, C., Snyder, A., Metzger, D., Tarasoff, J., Konstantinov, E., Fraser, P.... (2015) SUMOylation Is an Inhibitory Constraint that Regulates the Prion-like Aggregation and Activity of CPEB3. Cell Reports, 11(11), 1694-1702. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.04.061  

Stephan, J., Fioriti, L., Lamba, N., Colnaghi, L., Karl, K., Derkatch, I., & Kandel, E. (2015) The CPEB3 Protein Is a Functional Prion that Interacts with the Actin Cytoskeleton. Cell Reports, 11(11), 1772-1785. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.04.060  

  • July 4, 2015
  • 05:19 AM
  • 153 views

A viral 'cause' of obesity?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I must thank Leah Hardy (@LeahFHardy) for bringing to my attention the paper by Qinglong Shang and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) reporting that: "Ad36 [Human adenovirus 36] infection is associated with an increased risk of obesity development."Based on a meta-analysis of the available research literature examining whether Ad-36 - "a nonenveloped icosahedral virus comprised of double-stranded DNA and is one of 56 serotypes in 7 subgroups of human adenoviruses" - might........ Read more »

  • July 3, 2015
  • 04:37 PM
  • 194 views

REM sleep critical for young brain development; medication interferes

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Rapid eye movement or REM sleep actively converts waking experiences into lasting memories and abilities in young brains reports a new study. The finding broadens the understanding of children’s sleep needs and calls into question the increasing use of REM-disrupting medications such as stimulants and antidepressants.

... Read more »

Michelle C. Dumoulin Bridi, Sara J. Aton, Julie Seibt, Leslie Renouard, Tammi Coleman1, & Marcos G. Frank. (2015) Rapid eye movement sleep promotes cortical plasticity in the developing brain. Science Advances. info:/10.1126/sciadv.1500105

  • July 3, 2015
  • 04:05 PM
  • 148 views

Novel DNA repair mechanism brings new horizons

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The DNA molecule is chemically unstable giving rise to DNA lesions of different nature. That is why DNA damage detection, signaling and repair, collectively known as the DNA damage response, are needed. A group of researchers discovered a new mechanism of DNA repair, which opens up new perspectives for the treatment and prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.... Read more »

Nikolay A. Pestov, Nadezhda S. Gerasimova, Olga I. Kulaeva, & Vasily M. Studitsky. (2015) Structure of transcribed chromatin is a sensor of DNA damage. Science Advances. info:/10.1126/sciadv.1500021

  • July 3, 2015
  • 06:02 AM
  • 176 views

5 Tips For Better Sleep

by Elisabeth Buhl Thubron in United Academics

Adding some ‘worry time’ to your day could work better than pills.... Read more »

  • July 3, 2015
  • 04:56 AM
  • 136 views

Vitamin D metabolic gene variants and risk for autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I was really rather happy to see the "preliminary evidence" reported by Rebecca Schmidt and colleagues [1] when it came to examining whether selected vitamin D metabolic gene variants might show linkage to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) based on data derived from the CHARGE initiative.For quite a while now I've discussed the various peer-reviewed science on the topic of vitamin D deficiency / insufficiency with autism in mind on this blog (see here and see here for example). Specifically, h........ Read more »

Schmidt RJ, Hansen RL, Hartiala J, Allayee H, Sconberg JL, Schmidt LC, Volk HE, & Tassone F. (2015) Selected vitamin D metabolic gene variants and risk for autism spectrum disorder in the CHARGE Study. Early human development, 91(8), 483-489. PMID: 26073892  

  • July 2, 2015
  • 11:57 AM
  • 136 views

Digesting bread and pasta can release biologically active molecules

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Biologically active molecules released by digesting bread and pasta can survive digestion and potentially pass through the gut lining, suggests new research. The study reveals the molecules released when real samples of bread and pasta are digested, providing new information for research into gluten sensitivity.... Read more »

  • July 2, 2015
  • 02:34 AM
  • 146 views

Acute bipolar depression and immune alterations

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Individuals with acute bipolar depression show immune alterations. Some of the alterations are similar to those found in acute mania."That was the bottom line reported by Faith Dickerson and colleagues [1] following their analysis of blood samples provided by "82 individuals with acute bipolar depression, 147 with acute mania, and 280 controls." Looking for the presence of various antibodies to "human herpesviruses, gliadin, Toxoplasma gondii, and endogenous retroviruses as well as for C-reacti........ Read more »

Dickerson F, Katsafanas E, Schweinfurth LA, Savage CL, Stallings C, Origoni A, Khushalani S, Lillehoj E, & Yolken R. (2015) Immune alterations in acute bipolar depression. Acta psychiatrica Scandinavica. PMID: 26061032  

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