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  • August 3, 2016
  • 09:13 AM
  • 212 views

Do we need a doping Olympics? The ethics of doping in sports

by gdw in FictionalFieldwork

There is only her and the track. The people standing on her left and right do not matter now. She has only one adversary: time. In her head she plays how the future might…will unfold. Forty seven strides. That’s all she needs. All things on the periphery disappear. Her world, her universe becomes a single […]... Read more »

  • August 3, 2016
  • 03:57 AM
  • 210 views

Omega-3 fatty acids, gut bacteria and mouse behaviour

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I read with great interest the paper by Ruairi Robertson and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) recently, talking about how "neurobehavioural changes induced by altering n-3 PUFA [omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids] status are closely associated with comprehensive alterations in gut microbiota composition, HPA-axis activity and inflammation" in mice.Coming out of the 'bacterial research powerhouse' that is University College Cork, such research potentially unites some im........ Read more »

  • August 2, 2016
  • 02:03 PM
  • 234 views

Cardiac complications from energy drinks?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The high levels of caffeine in energy drinks may lead to cardiac complications. A new case report adds to previous reports of adverse cardiovascular events related to consuming energy drinks, including abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias).

... Read more »

Sattari M, Sattari A, & Kazory A. (2016) Energy Drink Consumption and Cardiac Complications: A Case for Caution. Journal of addiction medicine, 10(4), 280-2. PMID: 27471919  

  • August 1, 2016
  • 10:43 PM
  • 217 views

Autism, urinary porphyrins and mercury

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I appreciate that the title of this post is probably going to result in an immediate 'click away' for some folk but for those who've endured it I'd like to talk briefly about the findings reported by Eman Khaled and colleagues [1]. Namely the observation that: "ASD [autism spectrum disorder] children in the present study had increased blood Hg [mercury] and Pb [lead] levels compared with healthy control children indicating that disordered porphyrin metabolism might ........ Read more »

  • August 1, 2016
  • 07:36 PM
  • 188 views

This Month in Blastocystis Research - Interactive Edition

by Christen Rune Stensvold in Blastocystis Parasite Blog

What are your thoughts on Blastocystis carriage and age? Please comment!... Read more »

  • August 1, 2016
  • 03:10 PM
  • 209 views

FAMIN or feast? Newly discovered mechanism influences how immune cells 'eat' invaders

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A new mechanism that affects how our immune cells perform - and hence their ability to prevent disease - has been discovered by an international team of researchers. To date, researchers have identified hundreds of genetic variants that increase or decrease the risk of developing diseases from cancer and diabetes to tuberculosis and mental health disorders.

... Read more »

M Zaeem Cader, Katharina Boroviak, Qifeng Zhang, Ghazaleh Assadi, Sarah L Kempster, Gavin W Sewell, Svetlana Saveljeva, Jonathan W Ashcroft, Simon Clare, Subhankar Mukhopadhyay, Karen P Brown, Markus Tschurtschenthaler, Tim Raine, Brendan Doe, Edwin R Chilvers, Jules L Griffin, Nicole C Kaneider, R Andres Floto, Mauro D'Amato, Allan Bradley, Michael J O Wakelam.... (2016) C13orf31 (FAMIN) is a central regulator of immunometabolic function. Nature Immunology. info:/10.1038/ni.3532

  • August 1, 2016
  • 04:10 AM
  • 201 views

Physical activity in children and youth: themes and consensus

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

'Physical activity boosts kids' brain power and academic prowess' went the press release accompanying the consensus statement published by Jens Bangsbo and colleagues [1] (open-access).The consensus statement brought together researchers from around the world "and from a variety of academic disciplines" to emphasise how undertaking all-manner of different kinds of exercise "are still a good investment in academic achievement" when it comes to children aged between 6-18 years of age.The stat........ Read more »

Bangsbo J, Krustrup P, Duda J, Hillman C, Andersen LB, Weiss M, Williams CA, Lintunen T, Green K, Hansen PR.... (2016) The Copenhagen Consensus Conference 2016: children, youth, and physical activity in schools and during leisure time. British journal of sports medicine. PMID: 27354718  

  • July 31, 2016
  • 03:38 PM
  • 243 views

Tracking how HIV disrupts immune system informs vaccine development

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

One of the main mysteries confounding development of an HIV vaccine is why some people infected with the virus make the desired antibodies after several years, but a vaccine can't seem to induce the same response.

... Read more »

M. Anthony Moody1,2,3,*,†, Isabela Pedroza-Pacheco4,†, Nathan A. Vandergrift1,5, Cecilia Chui4, Krissey E. Lloyd1, Robert Parks1, Kelly A. Soderberg1, Ane T. Ogbe4, Myron S. Cohen6, Hua-Xin Liao1,5, Feng Gao1,5, Andrew J. McMichael, David C. Montefiori, Laurent Verkoczy, Garnett Kelsoe, Jinghe Huang, Patrick R. Shea, Mark Connors, Persephone Borrow, & Barton F. Haynes. (2016) Immune perturbations in HIV-1–infected individuals who make broadly neutralizing antibodies. Science Immunology . info:/10.1126/sciimmunol.aag0851

  • July 30, 2016
  • 03:58 PM
  • 267 views

Fish oil vs. lard -- why some fat can help or hinder your diet

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A diet high in saturated fat can make your brain struggle to control what you eat. If people are looking to lose weight, stay clear of saturated fat. Consuming these types of fatty food affects a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which helps regulate hunger.

... Read more »

Viggiano, E., Mollica, M., Lionetti, L., Cavaliere, G., Trinchese, G., De Filippo, C., Chieffi, S., Gaita, M., Barletta, A., De Luca, B.... (2016) Effects of an High-Fat Diet Enriched in Lard or in Fish Oil on the Hypothalamic Amp-Activated Protein Kinase and Inflammatory Mediators. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. DOI: 10.3389/fncel.2016.00150  

  • July 30, 2016
  • 03:32 AM
  • 285 views

More scientific flesh on the bones of non-coeliac gluten/wheat sensitivity

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I was really, really pleased to read the paper by Melanie Uhde and colleagues [1] (open-access) I don't mind telling you. Covering a topic close to my blogging and research heart - sensitivity to wheat or gluten but not coeliac disease - the authors provide some much needed scientific clarification when it comes to how gluten or wheat might impact on some of those "who reported symptoms in response to wheat intake and in whom coeliac disease and wheat allergy were ruled out." Some media int........ Read more »

  • July 29, 2016
  • 03:55 PM
  • 236 views

Breastfeeding associated with better brain development and neurocognitive outcomes

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A new study, which followed 180 preterm infants from birth to age seven, found that babies who were fed more breast milk within the first 28 days of life had had larger volumes of certain regions of the brain at term equivalent and had better IQs, academic achievement, working memory, and motor function.

... Read more »

Mandy B. Belfort, MD, Peter J. Anderson, PhD, Victoria A. Nowak, MBBS, Katherine J. Lee, PhD, Charlotte Molesworth, Deanne K. Thompson, PhD, Lex W. Doyle, MD, & Terrie E. Inder, MBChB, MD. (2016) Breast Milk Feeding, Brain Development, and Neurocognitive Outcomes: A 7-Year Longitudinal Study in Infants Born at Less Than 30 Weeks' Gestation. The Journal of Pediatrics. DOI: http://dx.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2016.06.045  

  • July 29, 2016
  • 11:22 AM
  • 252 views

Elite Cyclists and Brain Fatigue Resistance

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

In a Brain Post from 2012 I reviewed a study of fatigue in elite athletic performance. This study supported a key role in the brain insula in regulating the perception of exercise-induced fatigue. You can access this post by clicking HERE.An update on this topic was recently published in PloS One by a research team in Australia.This study compared performance on a cognitive task after extreme 20 minute cycling time trial. Professional cyclists were compared to recreational cyclists on the Stroop........ Read more »

Martin K, Staiano W, Menaspà P, Hennessey T, Marcora S, Keegan R, Thompson KG, Martin D, Halson S, & Rattray B. (2016) Superior Inhibitory Control and Resistance to Mental Fatigue in Professional Road Cyclists. PloS one, 11(7). PMID: 27441380  

  • July 29, 2016
  • 04:20 AM
  • 283 views

Pregnancy multivitamins 'are a waste of money' (except when they're not)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Science headlines eh? Who would trust them and their sometimes inflated press releases?I start today with a science headline taken from the BBC website reading: "Pregnancy multivitamins 'are a waste of money'" based on the findings of a review article [1] published in the journal Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin.In it we are told that complex multi-vitamin and mineral supplements are 'unlikely to be needed and are an unnecessary expense' during the nine months that made us. Further that certain vi........ Read more »

Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin. (2016) Vitamin supplementation in pregnancy. Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin. DOI: 10.1136/dtb.2016.7.0414  

  • July 28, 2016
  • 03:23 PM
  • 260 views

Why do antidepressants take so long to work?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Medication roulette, if you have ever had to deal with depression or other types of mental illness you know what I'm talking about. You take a pill that could help or could cause all sorts of horrid side effects. You cross your fingers as you take that first pill and in the 4-6 weeks it takes to start working you cross your fingers, hope, wish and probably even dread the outcome. But why does it take so long for antidepressants to start working in the first place and what could be done to c........ Read more »

  • July 28, 2016
  • 12:48 PM
  • 266 views

Space disturbs the heart-related system and increases the chances of death

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

Deep space missions could increase the chances of cardiovascular diseases, thereby increasing the chances of deaths in astronauts.

Published in:

Scientific Reports

Study Further:

NASA’s Apollo program sent 9 manned missions and 24 astronauts above the low Earth orbit (LEO) during decades of 1960s and 1970s. Those missions also included Apollo 11, which was used to take Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the moon. However, it appears that such beyond Earth missions........ Read more »

  • July 28, 2016
  • 03:49 AM
  • 241 views

Autism in adults in the UK continued

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Traolach Brugha and colleagues [1] makes for some blogging fodder today and the suggestion that: "The combined prevalence of autism in adults of all ages in England was 11/1000."Just before going through the Brugha paper it is perhaps appropriate to put it into some context based on other work from this group previously covered on this blog (see here) and the findings again by Brugha and colleagues [2] (a further report on their findings that time around can be seen h........ Read more »

Brugha TS, Spiers N, Bankart J, Cooper SA, McManus S, Scott FJ, Smith J, & Tyrer F. (2016) Epidemiology of autism in adults across age groups and ability levels. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science. PMID: 27388569  

  • July 27, 2016
  • 03:39 PM
  • 309 views

Common brain changes found in children with autism, ADHD and OCD

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A team of Toronto scientists has found similarities in brain impairments in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). The study involved brain imaging of white matter in 200 children with autism, ADHD, OCD or no diagnosis.

... Read more »

  • July 27, 2016
  • 03:44 AM
  • 237 views

Blood glutamate levels in autism meta-analysed

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"The meta-analysis provided evidence for higher blood glutamate levels in ASD [autism spectrum disorder]."That was the research bottom-line reported by Zhen Zheng and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) who surveyed the current peer-reviewed science literature in this area and found something to see based on: "Twelve studies involving 880 participants and 446 incident cases."Drawing on the idea that glutamate is a rather important amino acid that plays a role in various biological p........ Read more »

  • July 26, 2016
  • 04:22 PM
  • 269 views

The mysterious fart

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Everyone does it ...no, not poop, but fart. Passing gas, fuming, crop dusting, cracking a rat -- no matter what you call it -- everyone fart, but why? Researchers have published an article devoted to the review of gaseous neurotransmitters of microbial origin and their role in the human body.

... Read more »

  • July 26, 2016
  • 03:41 AM
  • 214 views

Probiotics degrading gluten peptides - part 2

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I going to assume that readers have some background knowledge about probiotics, gut bacteria, bacterial dysbiosis and coeliac disease before reading this post. I'd love to be able to give detailed descriptions of each here but fear that this would turn a short post into a much longer one...So... in a previous post titled: 'Probiotics degrading gluten peptides?' I covered the potentially important suggestion that certain types of bacteria might have the ability to breakdown (degrade) immunog........ Read more »

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