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  • October 13, 2014
  • 04:46 AM
  • 92 views

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for anxiety in autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I'll readily admit that despite having a tinge of psychology running through my research career, I'm not overly enthused about the impact of the discipline on the autism spectrum down the years. I'm not necessarily just talking about the Freudian effect which set autism research back decades and shamefully added needless worry and stigma to those on the spectrum and their loved ones, but also the grand over-arching psychological theories which seemed, for example, to completely miss the 'heterog........ Read more »

  • October 12, 2014
  • 03:48 PM
  • 97 views

…but I thought a new knee would fix my pain!

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

Working in an orthopaedic surgery department is quite enlightening. Along with discussions about ceramic vs metal implants and cartilage regeneration (I work with a team of researchers looking at how to create replacement cartilage), the topic of what counts as a surgical success in knee surgery also comes up from time to time. Knee joint replacement isn’t as successful as hip joint replacement for a number of reasons including the complex nature of the joint, the way the joint capsule is ........ Read more »

  • October 12, 2014
  • 02:57 PM
  • 108 views

Nothing Sticks to a new Bioinspired coating for medical devices

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Putting things in the body can be tricky, I mean we need things from joint replacements to cardiac implants and dialysis machines, these medical devices are needed to enhance or save lives on a daily basis. However, any device implanted in the body or in contact with flowing blood faces two critical challenges that can threaten the life of the patient the device is meant to help: blood clotting and bacterial infection. Problems that sound easier to fix than they actually are.... Read more »

Don Ingber et. al. (2014) A bioinspired omniphobic surface coating on medical devices prevents thrombosis and biofouling. Nature Biotechnology. info:/10.1038/nbt.3020

  • October 12, 2014
  • 11:30 AM
  • 120 views

Your Artificial Sweeteners, Your Bacteria, and Your Health

by Geoffrey Hannigan in Prophage

It seems like one cannot help hearing about this paper throughout the microbiome and related fields. The paper "Artificial Sweeteners Induce Glucose Intolerance by Altering the Gut Microbiota" was recently published in Nature, and it has had a lot of press...... Read more »

Suez, J., Korem, T., Zeevi, D., Zilberman-Schapira, G., Thaiss, C., Maza, O., Israeli, D., Zmora, N., Gilad, S., Weinberger, A.... (2014) Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature13793  

  • October 12, 2014
  • 10:55 AM
  • 110 views

Is EV-D68 causing mysterious polio-like symptoms in children?

by EE Giorgi in CHIMERAS

Bubble fun at the Santa Fe Renaissance Fair © EEG One of the twists in my latest book, Gene Cards, is an unknown pathogen threatening the fictional city of Liasis. I confess that when I came up with the idea I was a little nervous. My story is set in the future, and with all the state-of-the-art technology we already have, is it feasible to think that we will still deal with diseases without a known causative agent? The thing is, new viruses and new pathogens arise all the time. Take the f........ Read more »

Zangwill KM, Yeh SH, Wong EJ, Marcy SM, Eriksen E, Huff KR, Lee M, Lewis EM, Black SB, & Ward JI. (2010) Paralytic syndromes in children: epidemiology and relationship to vaccination. Pediatric neurology, 42(3), 206-12. PMID: 20159431  

  • October 11, 2014
  • 04:14 PM
  • 143 views

Poop Pills, Yeah they are a Thing Now

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

When someone is lying it isn't too abnormal to hear someone say, "you're full of sh..." well you get the idea. Our poop defines us, the microbes that live in our digestive tract make it possible for us to digest food, absorb nutrients, and stay healthy. Heck they may even cause your cravings! Unfortunately sometimes --whether due to abuse of antibiotics or some medical condition like C. diff infection-- gut bacteria can work against us, leading to all sorts of problems. As of now, the only real........ Read more »

Ilan Youngster, MD,, George H. Russell, MD,, Christina Pindar, Tomer Ziv-Baran, PhD, Jenny Sauk, MD, & Elizabeth L. Hohmann, MD. (2014) Oral, Capsulized, Frozen Fecal Microbiota Transplantation for Relapsing Clostridium difficile Infection. Journal of the American Medical Association . info:/10.1001/jama.2014.13875

  • October 11, 2014
  • 12:06 PM
  • 109 views

Efficacy of foetal stem cell transplantation in autism...

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The recent news that researchers might be one step closer to 'curing' type 1 diabetes following the publication of the paper by Pagliuca and colleagues [1] brought back into focus how stem cell therapy might hold some promise for all manner of conditions. The idea that researchers could generate "hundreds of millions of glucose-responsive β cells from hPSC [human pluripotent stem cells] in vitro" still faces a few challenges, including overcoming the immune assault central to the autoimmun........ Read more »

Bradstreet JJ, Sych N, Antonucci N, Klunnik M, Ivankova O, Matyashchuk I, Demchuk M, & Siniscalco D. (2014) Efficacy of fetal stem cell transplantation in autism spectrum disorders: an open-labeled pilot study. Cell transplantation. PMID: 25302490  

  • October 11, 2014
  • 04:48 AM
  • 110 views

Yet more air pollution and autism risk research

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Air pollution and autism risk. It's a topic which has cropped up a few times on this blog (see here and see here and see here) with the majority of the research (but not all) suggesting that there may be something to see when it comes to such a correlation.Enter then the paper by Amy Kalkbrenner and colleagues [1] to proceedings, and their conclusion: "Our study adds to previous work in California showing a relation between traffic-related air pollution and autism, and adds similar findings in a........ Read more »

  • October 10, 2014
  • 05:49 PM
  • 133 views

How the Brain Heals After a Stroke

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

You have all the brain cells you'll ever have when you reach adulthood. That was the science lesson I was taught in high school from, maybe a misguided teacher, or maybe just misinformed, I do not know. That statement however is not true, we know that the brain is very plastic and ever changing. It's resilience still amazes us, even today with all that we know about it. Now a previously unknown mechanism through which the brain produces new nerve cells after a stroke has been discovered, showing........ Read more »

Magnusson, J., Goritz, C., Tatarishvili, J., Dias, D., Smith, E., Lindvall, O., Kokaia, Z., & Frisen, J. (2014) A latent neurogenic program in astrocytes regulated by Notch signaling in the mouse. Science, 346(6206), 237-241. DOI: 10.1126/science.346.6206.237  

  • October 10, 2014
  • 07:55 AM
  • 123 views

The Friday Five for 10/10/14

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

Paralyzed rats walk again, origins of AIDS, science of touching and kissing, and how to tell if you're dying.... Read more »

Wenger N, Moraud EM, Raspopovic S, Bonizzato M, DiGiovanna J, Musienko P, Morari M, Micera S, & Courtine G. (2014) Closed-loop neuromodulation of spinal sensorimotor circuits controls refined locomotion after complete spinal cord injury. Science translational medicine, 6(255). PMID: 25253676  

Pinto, J., Wroblewski, K., Kern, D., Schumm, L., & McClintock, M. (2014) Olfactory Dysfunction Predicts 5-Year Mortality in Older Adults. PLoS ONE, 9(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0107541  

Faria, N., Rambaut, A., Suchard, M., Baele, G., Bedford, T., Ward, M., Tatem, A., Sousa, J., Arinaminpathy, N., Pepin, J.... (2014) The early spread and epidemic ignition of HIV-1 in human populations. Science, 346(6205), 56-61. DOI: 10.1126/science.1256739  

  • October 10, 2014
  • 04:40 AM
  • 110 views

Vitamin D supplement improves autistic behaviours?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I don't want to get too ahead of myself with this post talking about the paper by Feiyong Jia and colleagues [1] (open-access) who concluded: "Vitamin D supplementation may be effective in ameliorating the autistic behavioral problems in children with autism spectrum disorders [ASDs]".The idea however that issues with vitamin D seemingly present in quite a few cases of ASD [2] (see here too) but not all [3] might actually have more direct consequences for behavioural presentation ........ Read more »

  • October 9, 2014
  • 09:50 PM
  • 139 views

Fluoridation, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Water

by Alexis Delanoir in How to Paint Your Panda

Most of us have heard the famous line by General Jack D. Ripper in Dr. Strangelove, "have you ever seen a Commie drink a glass of water?" The conversation thereafter satirically illustrated a fear that grew most prominent starting in the 1940s with the Second Red Scare -- public water fluoridation. Many conspiracy theories about water fluoridation arose during this time, but they all aimed to make the same case: that fluoride in drinking water is bad (sometimes just meaning unethical),........ Read more »

  • October 9, 2014
  • 08:06 PM
  • 125 views

Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Mental Health – What Does it Take ?

by Vivek Misra in The UberBrain

“These are ways of treating illness that have developed outside the mainstream of modern medicine.” (The Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2009) There is growing evidence that Complementary Therapies are being used to good effect within mental health services throughout the UK and Internationally. Many clinicians are expanding the spectrum and variety of services to be offered to patients/clients both in the hospital and in the community. In recent years complementary therapies have become inc........ Read more »

  • October 9, 2014
  • 04:41 AM
  • 117 views

Physical activity and fitness levels and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Although at present having to be slightly more cautious following some recent surgery (general anaesthetic is awesome by the way!), I normally consider myself to be quite an active person. Through previous discussions on this blog covering topics on the positive effects of walking (see here) and the physical+ benefits of the martial arts (see here) I'd like to think that there are quite a few ways and means that the population at large can easily increase their daily physical activity levels. Th........ Read more »

  • October 8, 2014
  • 04:43 PM
  • 106 views

tRNA lookalikes in the Human Genome

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

There was a time not long ago when we knew we had the longest genome. It was an obvious assumption because we are "in fact" the most intelligent and complex species on the planet. Boy were we wrong, as genetics progressed we came to realize that we weren't as genetically special as we thought we were. We found that we had tons of "junk" DNA. Of course we continue to be wrong and we now know that we may not be the biggest genome on the planet, but we are still very complex and new research is pro........ Read more »

  • October 8, 2014
  • 04:34 AM
  • 117 views

Alcohol and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I tread very carefully with this post today looking at some of the peer-reviewed research on the topic of alcohol use (and abuse) and autism without wishing to stigmatise nor generalise.I was brought to this important topic as a result of the recent paper by Tabata and colleagues [1] who discussed three case reports of alcoholism associated with a diagnosis of autism. For each person described in that report, a common theme describing alcohol being used as a means to "reduce anxiety" related to ........ Read more »

Tabata K, Yoshida T, & Naoe J. (2014) Three cases of alcoholism with autism spectrum disorder. Alcohol and alcoholism (Oxford, Oxfordshire). PMID: 25221235  

  • October 7, 2014
  • 05:00 PM
  • 135 views

The Blood-Brain Barrier and the Future of Medicine

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

The blood-brain barrier, not quite a brick and mortar defense from the outside world, but strangely enough it is extremely effective. The blood-brain barrier (BBB) acts as a bouncer, it keeps the bad things out, while helping to regulate certain aspects of the brain. To circumvent the BBB thousands of people have stimulators placed deep in their brains in the hope of curing their ills. Many require tubes, catheters, and shunts penetrating deep into their brain ventricles to deliver medicine or t........ Read more »

  • October 7, 2014
  • 04:21 PM
  • 131 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
  • 124 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
  • 118 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  

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