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  • March 12, 2015
  • 01:16 PM

Study shows modest reductions in ER visits from the ACA implementation

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

It’s future might still be in the air to those of us not on the supreme court, but two patient groups created by the Affordable Care Act (or ACA, also known as “Obama care”) – Medicare patients enrolled in federally designated patient-centered medical homes and people under age 26 who are allowed to remain on their parents’ health insurance – had slightly fewer emergency department visits than they had before health care reform. However, there was no change in the rate of the most ex........ Read more »

  • March 12, 2015
  • 09:25 AM

The Last Man And Woman On Earth – Can Two People Repopulate The Planet?

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

In the new hit TV show, "Last Man On Earth", two survivors of a great plague are left with the task of repopulating the Earth. Can this really be done? ... Read more »

  • March 12, 2015
  • 05:49 AM

More evidence for non-coeliac gluten sensitivity?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"In a cross-over trial of subjects with suspected NCGS [non-coeliac gluten sensitivity], the severity of overall symptoms increased significantly during 1 week of intake of small amounts of gluten, compared with placebo."That was the conclusion reached in the study by Antonio Di Sabatino and colleagues [1] who applied the gold standard research methodology - "a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial" - to studying the effects of small amounts of gluten on those ........ Read more »

Di Sabatino A, Volta U, Salvatore C, Biancheri P, Caio G, De Giorgio R, Di Stefano M, & Corazza GR. (2015) Small Amounts of Gluten in Subjects with Suspected Nonceliac Gluten Sensitivity: a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Cross-Over Trial. Clinical gastroenterology and hepatology : the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association. PMID: 25701700  

  • March 11, 2015
  • 04:20 PM

The cerebral cortex: we can rebuild it, we have the technology

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

While the first actual bionic man (or woman) might still be a ways off, the writers of the show might be impressed at this. A international team of researchers, have just taken an important step in the area of cell therapy: repairing the cerebral cortex of the adult mouse using a graft of cortical neurons derived from embryonic stem cells.... Read more »

  • March 11, 2015
  • 03:27 PM

Part of the diabetes puzzle solved… with breast milk

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

There is a long-standing puzzle in the diabetes field, only a small subset of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas of adult organisms can replicate (and hence contribute to beta cell regeneration in diabetes). Furthermore, this subset of replicating cells continues to decline with advancing age. This means that the typical risk for diabetes gets higher as you age, well now researchers have discovered an important piece of the puzzle.... Read more »

Stolovich-Rain, M., Enk, J., Vikesa, J., Nielsen, F., Saada, A., Glaser, B., & Dor, Y. (2015) Weaning Triggers a Maturation Step of Pancreatic β Cells. Developmental Cell, 32(5), 535-545. DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2015.01.002  

  • March 11, 2015
  • 09:03 AM

After Consulting Dr. Wiki, You Should Get a Second Opinion

by Vivek Misra in The UberBrain

We have all been there: waking up in the middle of the night with a pounding headache, nausea, rashes on skin or another ailment with an unexplained origin. More often than not, first thing we’re inclined to do is begin... Read more »

Hasty RT, Garbalosa RC, Barbato VA, Valdes PJ Jr, Powers DW, Hernandez E, John JS, Suciu G, Qureshi F, Popa-Radu M.... (2014) Wikipedia vs peer-reviewed medical literature for information about the 10 most costly medical conditions. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, 114(5), 368-73. PMID: 24778001  

  • March 11, 2015
  • 07:38 AM

‘Traffic Light’ Nutrition Labels Help Consumers Make Healthier Choices

by Marie Benz in Interview with: Professor Dr. Bernd Weber Heisenberg Professor Department of Epileptology Head – NeuroCognition | Imaging Life&Brain Center  Board of Directors Center for Economics and Neuroscience Bonn Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the … Continue reading →... Read more » Interview with:, & Professor Dr. Bernd Weber. (2015) 'Traffic Light' Nutrition Labels Help Consumers Make Healthier Choices. info:/

  • March 11, 2015
  • 07:09 AM

Burn Your Mouth, Burn Your Fat

by Jeffrey Daniels in United Academics

Eating hot peppers could help those wishing to lose stubborn body-fat.... Read more »

  • March 11, 2015
  • 05:47 AM

Intimate partner abuse and risk of offspring autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I want to be slightly careful when discussing the conclusion reached in the paper by Andrea Roberts and colleagues [1] that: "autism spectrum disorder risk was increased in children of women who reported fear of partner or sexual, emotional, or physical abuse in the 2 years before the birth year."Careful not only because correlation has an uncanny habit of being translated into causation for some people (they are not one and the same thing) and how this combines when one interprets the concept........ Read more »

  • March 10, 2015
  • 08:51 PM

Should Hospitalized Patients Have Access To Their Electronic Medical Record?

by Marie Benz in Interview with: Jonathan Pell, MD Assistant Professor Hospital Medicine University of Colorado Denver Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Pell: Back in 2001, the Institute of Medicine’s charter document Crossing the Quality Chasm proposed that … Continue reading →... Read more »

Jonathan Pell, MD, Assistant Professor Hospital Medicine, & University of Colorado Denver. (2015) Should Hospitalized Patients Have Access To Their Electronic Medical Record?. info:/…medical-record/12405

  • March 10, 2015
  • 01:26 PM

New understanding of genetics behind the autism spectrum

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Autism is a spectrum, because it isn’t a clear-cut diagnosis — and because the brain is so complex — it has been hard to figure out what causes autism. This uncertainty has led rise to the anti-vaccination movement along with other groups who are at best misinformed and at worst trying to make a quick dollar. However, a new study reveals an important connection between dozens of genes that may contribute to autism, a major step toward understanding how brain development goes awry in some i........ Read more »

  • March 10, 2015
  • 05:34 AM

Microbes passing traits to host babies?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Clara Moon and colleagues [1] has garnered a lot of headlines with their findings suggesting that [mouse] mothers pass on bacteria to their [mouse] offspring. Their results reported in Nature, focused on a bacterium not unfamiliar to this blog, Sutterella (see here) and how, through the transmission of Sutterella via their poo(p), a specific trait might also be passed on. In this case, low levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA) (something else that has cropped up on this blog) were noted ........ Read more »

  • March 9, 2015
  • 11:15 PM

How dogs get the point: what enables canines to interpret human gestures?

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Guest post by: Lucia Lazarowski, PhD candidate. Her research is available via free promotional access in the journal Behavioural Processes until February, 2016. Hi Mia and Julie,As a long-time fan of the blog, it is an honor to be a guest contributor! I am especially excited to tell DYBID readers about this research because it was somewhat of a pet project (pun intended). I am now a PhD student at Auburn University, but this study was done while I was working at North Carolina State Univers........ Read more »

  • March 9, 2015
  • 03:47 PM

Alzheimer’s, the autoimmune disease?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Brain levels of the lipid ceramide are high in Alzheimer’s disease, and now scientists have found increased levels of an antibody to the lipid in their disease model. While some members of this lipid family are a plus in skin cream, inside the brain, ceramide appears to increase beta amyloid production and help the iconic plaque kill brain cells in Alzheimer’s.... Read more »

  • March 9, 2015
  • 09:04 AM

Law Brings More Student Athletes To ER For Sports-Related Concussions

by Marie Benz in Interview with: Dr. Pina Violano, RN, PhD Trauma Department, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Injury Free Coalition for Kids of New Haven Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital New Haven 06510, CT MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Dr. Violano: In … Continue reading →... Read more » Interview with:, & Dr. Pina Violano, RN, PhD. (2015) Law Brings More Student Athletes To ER For Sports-Related Concussions. info:/

  • March 9, 2015
  • 03:44 AM

Mercury, autism and mitochondrial dysfunction?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Appreciating that to mention the words 'mercury and autism' in the same sentence can lead to furrowed brows and invoke eye-rolling in some quarters, I don't want to shy away from the results reported by Shannon Rose and colleagues [1] (open-access here) and their suggestion that: "the epidemiological link between environmental mercury exposure and an increased risk of developing autism may be mediated through mitochondrial dysfunction". Further that their result: "support the notion that a subse........ Read more »

  • March 7, 2015
  • 02:25 PM

New approach to herpes vaccine succeeds where others failed

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Herpes simplex virus infections are an enormous global health problem and there is currently no viable vaccine. For nearly three decades, immunologists’ efforts to develop a herpes vaccine have centered on exploiting a single protein found on the virus’s outer surface that is known to elicit robust production of antibodies. Breaking from this approach, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine have created a genetic mutant lacking that protein. ........ Read more »

William Jacobs Jr,, Betsy Herold,, Christopher Petro,, Pablo A. González,, Natalia Cheshenko,, Thomas Jandl,, Nazanin Khajoueinejad,, Angèle Bénard,, & Mayami Sengupta,. (2015) Herpes simplex type 2 virus deleted in glycoprotein D protects against vaginal, skin and neural disease. eLife. info:/

  • March 7, 2015
  • 03:48 AM

Systemic Integral Disorder: linking autism and schizophrenia?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Martial arts gradings call for my brood today (and well they should) so I'm gonna be fairly brief and introduce the paper by Haoran George Wang and colleagues [1] for your reading pleasure today alongside the concept of 'Systemic Integral Disorder' (SID) as a potential bridge between the diagnoses of autism and schizophrenia.I'm always a bit wary of grand over-arching theories or universal conceptual 'break-throughs' when it comes to autism simply because the inevitable hype which follows s........ Read more »

  • March 6, 2015
  • 05:01 PM

People with anorexia and body dysmorphic disorder have similar brain abnormalities

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Imagine looking in the mirror and not seeing yourself. Imagine losing weight and seeing a lower number on the scale, but when looking in the mirror you are still just as fat. Suffering from anorexia or other body dysmorphic disorders live like that daily. They literally don’t see what you and I might see when we look at them. It’s not their fault and a new study suggests that people suffering from anorexia or body dysmorphic disorder have similar abnormalities in their brains that affect the........ Read more »

  • March 6, 2015
  • 05:20 AM

Hypovitaminosis D is frequent in Down's syndrome

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Hypovitaminosis D is very frequent in DS [Down's syndrome] subjects, in particular in presence of obesity and autoimmune diseases."That was the conclusion reached in the study by Stefano Stagi and colleagues [1] (open-access here) based on an analysis of their small participant group diagnosed with Down's syndrome looking at vitamin D status among other things. The comment about obesity potentially exacerbating vitamin D deficiency ties in well with another paper independent........ Read more »

Stagi S, Lapi E, Romano S, Bargiacchi S, Brambilla A, Giglio S, Seminara S, & de Martino M. (2015) Determinants of vitamin d levels in children and adolescents with down syndrome. International journal of endocrinology, 896758. PMID: 25685147  

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