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  • October 7, 2014
  • 04:21 PM
  • 114 views

Personality, Emotion and Psychopathology: David Watson Lecture Notes

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

I had the privilege to attend today the William K Warren Frontiers in Neuroscience Conference in Tulsa, OK by Dr. David Watson from Notre Dame University.Dr. Watson's lecture was titled: An integrative model of personality, emotion and psychopathology. This lecture summarized a body of research examining personality, psychological symptoms and a variety of brain disorders.Here are my lecture notes and links to relevant research citations. The first two citations have links to a free full-te........ Read more »

Stasik SM, Naragon-Gainey K, Chmielewski M, & Watson D. (2012) Core OCD symptoms: exploration of specificity and relations with psychopathology. Journal of anxiety disorders, 26(8), 859-70. PMID: 23026094  

  • October 7, 2014
  • 10:15 AM
  • 108 views

Scientists Recommend Vole Shaving

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Sometimes scientists need to make their research subjects’ lives harder. No matter how much affection they may feel for those flatworms or fish or pigeons, there are certain things they can only learn by forcing the animals to use more energy. But for animals living in the wild, this can be tricky. Now scientists studying […]The post Scientists Recommend Vole Shaving appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

Szafrańska PA, Zub K, Wieczorek M, Książek A, Speakman JR, & Konarzewski M. (2014) Shaving increases daily energy expenditures in free living root voles. The Journal of experimental biology. PMID: 25278468  

  • October 7, 2014
  • 05:02 AM
  • 106 views

Infection during pregnancy and offspring autism risk

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Lee and colleagues [1] forms the starting material for today's blog post looking at hospitalisation for infection during pregnancy as potentially being a risk factor for receipt of a subsequent diagnosis for autism in offspring."Chaos is what killed the dinosaurs, darling"Based on data derived from one of those very useful Scandinavian health registries, authors observed "approximately a 30% increase in ASD [autism spectrum disorder] risk associated with any inpatient diag........ Read more »

Lee BK, Magnusson C, Gardner RM, Blomström S, Newschaffer CJ, Burstyn I, Karlsson H, & Dalman C. (2014) Maternal hospitalization with infection during pregnancy and risk of autism spectrum disorders. Brain, behavior, and immunity. PMID: 25218900  

  • October 6, 2014
  • 03:55 PM
  • 116 views

Orange Corn Aims to Fight Vitamin A Deficiency

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

GMO food is still a hot button topic, honestly for no other reason than fear. Sure Monsanto is a big evil corporation, but the science is only as bad as what you do with it. In the modern fortified world we don’t think about vitamin deficiency or the horrible things that come with it, however vitamin A deficiency is a huge problem in developing countries. To combat this researchers have identified a set of genes that can be used to naturally boost the provitamin A content of corn kernels, a fi........ Read more »

  • October 6, 2014
  • 04:36 AM
  • 109 views

Correcting vitamin D levels improves fatigue severity?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I was interested to read the paper by Satyajeet Roy and colleagues [1] (open-access here) concluding that: "Normalization of vitamin D levels with ergocalciferol therapy significantly improves the severity of... fatigue symptoms". Ergocalciferol by the way, means vitamin D2, which is distinct from cholecalciferol (vitamin D3), the seemingly more desirable form of vitamin D supplementation (see here)."It's beyond my control"The Roy paper is open-access but a few details might be useful:........ Read more »

  • October 5, 2014
  • 05:09 PM
  • 94 views

The Playing Ground Part Two

by Rodney Steadman in Gravity's Pull

Does the removal of park benches from a playground increase physical activity in adults and children?... Read more »

  • October 5, 2014
  • 01:43 PM
  • 120 views

Using “Programmable” Antibiotics to Attack Drug-Resistant Microbes

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

The body is pretty great at self regulation, that is up until it isn't. The antibiotic era was one that improved human health hundreds of times over. Unfortunately health is a joint effort, a multitude of microbes scientists have found populating the human body have good, bad and mostly mysterious implications for our health. But when something goes wrong, we defend ourselves with the undiscriminating brute force of traditional antibiotics, which wipe out everything at once like a wild fire, reg........ Read more »

Luciano Marraffini et al. (2014) Exploiting CRISPR-Cas nucleases to produce sequence-specific antimicrobials. Nature Biotechnology. info:/10.1038/nbt.3043

  • October 5, 2014
  • 04:30 AM
  • 99 views

Pain needs painkillers – right?

by DJMac in Recovery Review

Overprescribing of opioid painkillers has caused harm to many people including addiction, loss of social functioning and, increasingly though still relatively uncommonly in the UK, to death. Concerns have been raised about deaths associated with tramadol. I’ve written before about the lack of evidence of effectiveness for opiates in chronic pain, but it is hard for [...]
The post Pain needs painkillers – right? appeared first on Recovery Review.
... Read more »

  • October 4, 2014
  • 02:47 PM
  • 131 views

The Path of Antibiotic Resistance

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

MRSA, not that long ago we had no idea what MRSA was… mostly because it hadn’t come into prevalence. With an increase in the use and abuse of antibiotics there has been an ever growing pressure for the pathogens we treat to mutate in order to survive, this pressure is called selective pressure and helped cause drug-resistance in pathogens. In response to the rise of these drug-resistant pathogens, doctors are routinely cautioned against over prescribing antimicrobials. But when a patient has........ Read more »

Kouyos RD, Metcalf CJ, Birger R, Klein EY, Abel Zur Wiesch P, Ankomah P, Arinaminpathy N, Bogich TL, Bonhoeffer S, Brower C.... (2014) The path of least resistance: aggressive or moderate treatment?. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 281(1794). PMID: 25253451  

  • October 4, 2014
  • 04:57 AM
  • 130 views

The gut-brain axis and schizophrenia

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A micropost to direct your attention to the recent paper by Katlyn Nemani and colleagues [1] titled: 'Schizophrenia and the gut-brain axis'. Mentioning words like that, I couldn't resist offering a little exposure to this review and opinion piece, drawing on what seems to be some renewed research interest in work started by pioneers such as the late Curt Dohan [2].The usual triad of gastrointestinal (GI) variables - gut barrier, gut bacteria and gut immune function - are mentioned in the article........ Read more »

Nemani, K., Ghomi, R., McCormick, B., & Fan, X. (2014) Schizophrenia and the gut–brain axis. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2014.08.018  

  • October 3, 2014
  • 05:24 PM
  • 134 views

The Neurobiological Basis of a Human-Pet Relationship

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

My wife adores our cats. Now, I'm not a cat person, but my wife loves them. In fact if we had children and someone held a gun to her head and said choose between the kid or the cats, there would likely be an uncomfortable amount of time before a response. The big question is, why do we love animals like we do our own children? Well a small study helps try to answer this complex question by investigating differences in how important brain structures are activated when women view images of their c........ Read more »

  • October 3, 2014
  • 08:40 AM
  • 109 views

The Friday Five for 10/3/2014

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

The coolest science of the week, including the physics of space battles, leeches eating worms, and how to get others to do your bidding!... Read more »

O'Shea TJ, Cryan PM, Cunningham AA, Fooks AR, Hayman DT, Luis AD, Peel AJ, Plowright RK, & Wood JL. (2014) Bat flight and zoonotic viruses. Emerging infectious diseases, 20(5), 741-5. PMID: 24750692  

  • October 3, 2014
  • 05:10 AM
  • 123 views

S100B and schizophrenia meta-analysed

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I don't know if it's just me but this year (2014) I seem to be covering a lot more meta-analysis papers on this blog. I assume that's because of the increasing volume of peer-reviewed research being created year-on-year leading to greater volumes of research fodder for such grand reviews. Whatever the reason(s), there are some really interesting conclusions being reached in that literature as per the meta-analysis by Aleksovska and colleagues [1] (open-access) focusing on S100B bl........ Read more »

  • October 2, 2014
  • 05:04 PM
  • 167 views

The Mysterious Origins of HIV Discovered

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

There have been a lot of theories on where HIV came from, anywhere from the mundane, it spread from other animals. To the down right crazy, the government created it to wipe out homosexuals. Well bad news for conspiracy theorists, a new study suggests that the HIV pandemic with us today is almost certain to have begun its global spread from Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).... Read more »

Nuno R. Faria1, Andrew Rambaut, Marc A. Suchard, Guy Baele, Trevor Bedford, Melissa J. Ward, Andrew J. Tatem, João D. Sousa, Nimalan Arinaminpathy, Jacques Pépin,.... (2014) The early spread and epidemic ignition of HIV-1 in human populations. Science. info:/10.1126/science.1256739

  • October 2, 2014
  • 11:01 AM
  • 133 views

Parenting: Genetics and Environmental Effects

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Effective parenting is a key element in child development.Both genetic and environmental factors appear to contribute to the cognitive, emotional and behavioral aspects of parenting.Childhood temperament also influences the process of parenting. A well-behaved, emotionally stable and loving child is obviously much easier to parent than a child with behavioral and emotional problems.Bonamy Oliver and colleagues from the United Kingdom have recently published an informative twin study of pare........ Read more »

Oliver BR, Trzaskowski M, & Plomin R. (2014) Genetics of parenting: The power of the dark side. Developmental psychology, 50(4), 1233-40. PMID: 24364831  

  • October 2, 2014
  • 08:03 AM
  • 125 views

Coeliac disease risk not affected by early feeding practices

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I'd like to bring three papers to your attention, all united by their discussion of coeliac (celiac) disease, that most classic of autoimmune conditions in the most part managed by the use of a lifelong gluten-free diet.First up are the papers by Elena Lionetti and colleagues [1] and Sabine Vriezinga and colleagues [2] which unfortunately pour cold water on the notion that the risk of developing coeliac disease (CD) can be somehow mitigated via the use of either the early or delayed in........ Read more »

Lionetti E, Castellaneta S, Francavilla R, Pulvirenti A, Tonutti E, Amarri S, Barbato M, Barbera C, Barera G, Bellantoni A.... (2014) Introduction of Gluten, HLA Status, and the Risk of Celiac Disease in Children. The New England journal of medicine, 371(14), 1295-1303. PMID: 25271602  

Vriezinga SL, Auricchio R, Bravi E, Castillejo G, Chmielewska A, Crespo Escobar P, Kolaček S, Koletzko S, Korponay-Szabo IR, Mummert E.... (2014) Randomized Feeding Intervention in Infants at High Risk for Celiac Disease. The New England journal of medicine, 371(14), 1304-1315. PMID: 25271603  

  • October 2, 2014
  • 04:57 AM
  • 100 views

Volatile organic compounds and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

As harsh as the phrase volatile organic compounds (VOCs) might appear at first glance, all this refers to is a class of compounds containing carbon which have a tendency to evaporate at room temperature assuming normal air pressure. VOCs have been associated with pollutants as per their inclusion in various literature on the topic of things like indoor air pollution (see here) and the fact that just about everything around us in the modern home or office is likely to release VOCs. Whilst not try........ Read more »

  • October 2, 2014
  • 04:52 AM
  • 103 views

JUST PUBLISHED: A Trial to Evaluate the Efficacy of an Integrated Smoking Cessation Intervention among Mental Health Patients

by Mark Rubin in The University of Newcastle's School of Psychology Newsline

Depending on diagnosis and setting, between 33 and 90 per cent of people with mental illness smoke tobacco, both in Australia and worldwide. As a result, tobacco-related diseases are one of the leading causes of mortality among this population subgroup. A paucity of research to date has examined the efficacy of cessation strategies to assist people with mental illness to quit smoking. However, limited findings have suggested that aids that have been found to be effective for the general populati........ Read more »

  • October 1, 2014
  • 01:41 PM
  • 130 views

The Ever Plastic Brain and Intellectual Disabilities

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

The plasticity of the brain is always somewhat of a shock. It's near incredible what the brain can achieve, look at people who have strokes, or any other sort of brain injury and yet still somehow manage to get up and move, or perform tasks. So I guess it should be no surprise, but still amazing that studying mice with a genetic change similar to what is found in Kabuki syndrome (an inherited disease of humans) researchers report they have used an anticancer drug to improve mental function......... Read more »

Hans T. Bjornsson, Joel S. Benjamin, Li Zhang, Jacqueline Weissman, Elizabeth E. Gerber, Yi-Chun Chen, Rebecca G. Vaurio, Michelle C. Potter, Kasper D. Hansen, & Harry C. Dietz. (2014) Histone deacetylase inhibition rescues structural and functional brain deficits in a mouse model of Kabuki syndrome. Science Translational Medicine. info:/10.1126/scitranslmed.3009278

  • October 1, 2014
  • 05:11 AM
  • 105 views

Maternal complement C1q and offspring psychosis

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"In conclusion, exposure to maternal C1q activity during pregnancy may be a risk factor for the development of schizophrenia and psychosis in offspring". That was the primary observation made by Emily Severance and colleagues [1] at Johns Hopkins, extending their scientific interest in immune system involvement being potentially linked to psychiatry [2]."Serve the public trust, protect the innocent, uphold the law"I've already talked about Dr Severance's previous research forays into complement ........ Read more »

Emily G. Severance, Kristin L. Gressitt, Stephen L. Buka, Tyrone D. Cannon, & Robert H. Yolken. (2014) Maternal complement C1q and increased odds for psychosis in adult offspring. Schizophrenia Research. info:/10.1016/j.schres.2014.07.053

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