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  • April 4, 2015
  • 04:55 AM
  • 135 views

No evidence for efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids on [autism] core symptom domains

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

To quote from the study by Deepali Mankad and colleagues [1] (open-access): "This study does not support high dose supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids in young children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder]."Only yesterday I was discussing the results from Bos and colleagues [2] (see here) and the idea that inattention might be a target behaviour for supplementation with PUFAs [polyunsaturated fatty acids] with (and without) ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder] in mind. The........ Read more »

Mankad, D., Dupuis, A., Smile, S., Roberts, W., Brian, J., Lui, T., Genore, L., Zaghloul, D., Iaboni, A., Marcon, P.... (2015) A randomized, placebo controlled trial of omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of young children with autism. Molecular Autism, 6(1). DOI: 10.1186/s13229-015-0010-7  

  • April 3, 2015
  • 03:15 PM
  • 103 views

New therapy halts artery plaque growth and suppresses inflammation

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

According to the CDC, 1 in 4 deaths are due to heart attacks. In fact it is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Largely attributed to diet, most medications solely aim at lowering cholesterol. However, a research team showed that a nanotherapeutic medicine can halt the growth of artery plaque cells resulting in the fast reduction of the inflammation that may cause a heart attack, offering a new way to treat people at risk for heart disease.... Read more »

Jun Tang, Mark E. Lobatto, Laurien Hassing, Susanne van der Staay, Sarian M. van Rijs, Claudia Calcagno, Mounia S. Braza, Samantha Baxter, Francois Fay, Brenda L. Sanchez-Gaytan.... (2015) Inhibiting macrophage proliferation suppresses atherosclerotic plaque inflammation. Science Advances. info:/10.1126/sciadv.1400223

  • April 3, 2015
  • 04:29 AM
  • 151 views

Improving inattention in boys with and without ADHD

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The [truncated] PubMed listing of the abstract by Dienke Bos and colleagues [1] does little justice to the results reported by this group looking at the effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on the behaviour of boys both diagnosed with ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) and those who are described as 'typically developing'.Luckily the paper is open-access (see here) and one can get a true flavour of what happened to this cohort of boys with and without a diagnosis of AD........ Read more »

Bos DJ, Oranje B, Veerhoek ES, Van Diepen RM, Weusten JM, Demmelmair H, Koletzko B, de Sain-van der Velden MG, Eilander A, Hoeksma M.... (2015) Reduced symptoms of inattention after Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation in boys with and without Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. PMID: 25790022  

  • April 2, 2015
  • 02:55 PM
  • 122 views

Beta secretase inhibitors to treat Alzheimer's disease

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

With each new amyloid-targeting treatment for Alzheimer’s disease that has been developed, there has been a corresponding concern. For example, antibodies targeting amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) produce inflammation in the brain in some patients. Gamma secretase inhibitors tend to produce adverse effects by interacting with Notch, an important pathway for cellular signaling. However, a new target for alzheimer’s is offering some new hope.... Read more »

Filser, S., Ovsepian, S., Masana, M., Blazquez‐Llorca, L., Brandt Elvang, A., Volbracht, C., Müller, M., Jung, C., & Herms, J. (2015) Pharmacological Inhibition of BACE1 Impairs Synaptic Plasticity and Cognitive Functions. Biological Psychiatry, 77(8), 729-739. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.10.013  

  • April 2, 2015
  • 02:11 PM
  • 136 views

Underage drinking has lasting effects on the brain and epigenetics

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The rise of underage drinking has almost left a sense that it is acceptable or even free of long-term consequences. Unfortunately because the brain continues forming long into the early twenties, environmental factors can have a large impact on the development. In fact, research shows that binge-drinking during adolescence may perturb brain development at a critical time and leave lasting effects on genes and behavior that persist into adulthood.... Read more »

  • April 2, 2015
  • 04:58 AM
  • 89 views

The Bourbon Virus: Less Fun Than Whiskey

by Rebekah Morrow in United Academics

Deadly tick-borne Bourbon virus remains an incurable mystery.... Read more »

Kosoy, O., Lambert, A., Hawkinson, D., Pastula, D., Goldsmith, C., Hunt, D., & Staples, J. (2015) Novel Thogotovirus Associated with Febrile Illness and Death, United States, 2014. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 21(5). DOI: 10.3201/eid2105.150150  

Ciancanelli, M., Huang, S., Luthra, P., Garner, H., Itan, Y., Volpi, S., Lafaille, F., Trouillet, C., Schmolke, M., Albrecht, R.... (2015) Life-threatening influenza and impaired interferon amplification in human IRF7 deficiency. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa1578  

  • April 2, 2015
  • 03:12 AM
  • 129 views

Physical activity and sleep in autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Sleep issues are not an uncommon feature for quite a few people on the autism spectrum (see here).Autism research has provided some pretty strong evidence to support that last sentence and how sleep, or a lack of it in terms of quality and/or quantity, might not be optimal for people on the autism spectrum (as it isn't for those not on the spectrum).The hows and whys of sleep affecting the behavioural presentation of autism are still a little in the air outside of what is known more generally ab........ Read more »

  • April 1, 2015
  • 03:14 PM
  • 98 views

Sleep may be critical to avoid miscarriage

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

If you are trying to have a baby, a good night’s sleep is more important than ever. A recently published research report shows that the womb has its own “body clock” that needs to synchronize with the mother’s body clock to ensure optimal conditions for fetal growth and development. The inability of a mother’s body clock to synchronize with the womb’s clock may be at least part of the reason why some women have difficulty carrying a pregnancy to full term.... Read more »

  • April 1, 2015
  • 11:20 AM
  • 110 views

Fatherhood and the Biology of Infant Care Behavior

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Early positive parental-infant attachment provides a key developmental advantage.The maternal-infant dyad has received the most research attention. However, fathers also can play an important role in infant development. An increasing number of studies focus on the biology of fatherhood and infant care behavior.Ilanit Gordon along with colleagues in Israel and the United States examined the role of two central neuropeptides in paternal behavior during the first six months of infancy.In their stud........ Read more »

  • April 1, 2015
  • 05:52 AM
  • 112 views

Blocking Serotonin Could Cure Obesity

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

Blocking serotonin boosts the metabolism, inhibits fat storage and wards off obesity.... Read more »

  • April 1, 2015
  • 05:37 AM
  • 133 views

Gulf War agents and delayed onset of symptoms in mice

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I was recently intrigued by the findings reported by Zuchra Zakirova and colleagues [1] (open-access) on what happened to mice following 'acute' exposure to pyridostigmine bromide (PB) and the pesticide permethrin (PER) in the context of these compounds being "key contributors to the etiology of GWI [Gulf War Illness] post deployment to the Persian GW [Gulf War]."I've covered the topic of Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) before on this blog (see here) and how, foll........ Read more »

  • March 31, 2015
  • 04:58 PM
  • 138 views

An apple a day may keep the children away: Pesticides and sperm count

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Ever hear that old saying an apple a day keeps the Doctor away? Well it might have the right idea, just the wrong person. New research investigating the relationship between eating fruit and vegetables containing pesticide residues and the quality of men’s semen has shown a link with lower sperm counts and percentages of normally-formed sperm. So for people wanting children it may be time to rethink that produce.... Read more »

Y.H. Chiu et al. (2015) Fruit and vegetable intake and their pesticide residues in relation to semen quality among men from a fertility clinic. Human Reproduction. info:/10.1093/humrep/dev064

Hagai Levine, & Shanna H. Swan. (2015) Is dietary pesticide exposure related to semen quality? Positive evidence from men attending a fertility clinic. Human Reproduction. info:/10.1093/humrep/dev065

  • March 31, 2015
  • 04:23 PM
  • 127 views

Ovulation changes women’s desire for variety in products

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

We know that hormones affect who we are, even when we aren’t aware of it. In the past scientists have found that people who are hungry tend to buy more things, no surprise for those of us who have shopped hungry. However, new research shows that women seek a greater variety of products and services, specifically when they are ovulating.... Read more »

  • March 31, 2015
  • 05:45 AM
  • 113 views

African-Americans Receive Heart Transplants at Hospitals With Poor Performance Track Records

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

About five million people in the US suffer from heart failure, and approximately half of them die within five years of being diagnosed. Only about 2,500 hundred people a year receive a heart transplant – the treatment of last resort. A new heart can be life-saving, but it is also life-changing. Even under the best conditions, the surgery is complex, and recovery carries a heavy physical and emotional burden.
... Read more »

  • March 31, 2015
  • 04:35 AM
  • 123 views

Is anhedonia a key component of depression comorbid to autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Anhedonia: the inability to experience pleasure from activities usually found enjoyable.Although by no means an expert on anhedonia (or much else), I believe that it is a concept quite important when it comes to making a diagnosis of depression although the precise hows and whys of connecting anhedonia to other symptoms are still the source of some discussion [1].The paper from Vicki Bitsika & Christopher Sharpley [2] brings the concepts of anhedonia and depression into v........ Read more »

  • March 30, 2015
  • 08:27 PM
  • 97 views

Florida researchers find one in five college students may have misophonia – a hypersensitivity to sounds like lip smacking and pen clicking

by Megan Cartwright in Science-Based Writing

Almost one in five college students are so sensitive to common, annoying sounds like lip smacking and pen clicking that they may have misophonia—a little-understood condition where people overreact to irritating noises. The results come from a University of South … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • March 30, 2015
  • 05:42 PM
  • 100 views

Welcome to the wikipedia for neurons

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

While the brain might not have more connections than stars in the universe (sorry guys), it is still complex. In fact, someone I respect defined a neuroscientist as “someone who knows how little we know about the brain.” Despite the decades worth of data that has been collected about the billions of neurons in the brain, we still don’t know much. So to help scientists make sense of the vast amount of information we already collected, researchers used data mining to create neuroelectro.org,........ Read more »

  • March 30, 2015
  • 11:32 AM
  • 145 views

Gut Feelings

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

This boy may be influencing who he will marry when he grows up. Photo by Orrling at Wikimedia Commons.Animals (including humans) are swarming with microorganisms both on and in our bodies. Humans harbor so many different microorganisms that we have over 150 times more microbial genes than mammalian genes, and it is reasonable to suspect that this scenario is similar for most animals. But before you run to soak in a tub of hand sanitizer, you should realize that many of these microorganisms are a........ Read more »

Ezenwa, V., Gerardo, N., Inouye, D., Medina, M., & Xavier, J. (2012) Animal Behavior and the Microbiome. Science, 338(6104), 198-199. DOI: 10.1126/science.1227412  

  • March 30, 2015
  • 11:25 AM
  • 101 views

One Parent,Two Parents and Child Well-Being

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

The structure of the family in the United States and other countries is changing. This change has occurred over a relatively brief period of time. Data noted in the study I am reviewing today shows that between 1970 and 2013 in the U.S.:Percentage of children living with two parents dropped 24%Percentage of children living with a single mother increased to 23.7%Percentage of children living with a single father quadrupled to 4.1%Percentage of children living with a grandparent doubled to 6......... Read more »

  • March 30, 2015
  • 03:20 AM
  • 122 views

Asthma and ADHD (again)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Asthmatic children had a higher risk of also having ADHD."That was the conclusion reached by Kirsten Holmberg and colleagues [1] based on their analysis of rates of ADHD, and other variables found "through the Swedish Twin Register, linked to the Swedish Medical Birth Register, the National Patient Register and the Prescribed Drug Register." Said data came from over 20,000 twins who's parents were questioned when children were aged 9 or 12 years.For those unfamiliar with the proposed conne........ Read more »

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