A violent attack by someone who is mentally ill quickly grabs the headlines. And it’s usually implied that mental illnesses are a preventable cause of violent crime. Tackle that and we can all sleep safer in our beds. But by pressuring mental health services to focus on the risk of violence we are in danger of actually increasing it.
Most of the debate around risk and offending has centred around schizophrenia – the bread and butter of community psychiatry. But what is the evidenc........ Read more »
Short, T., Thomas, S., Mullen, P., & Ogloff, J. (2013) Comparing violence in schizophrenia patients with and without comorbid substance-use disorders to community controls. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica. DOI: 10.1111/acps.12066
In 2008, doctor Sergio Canavero, an italian neurosurgeon based in Turin, IT, have awakened a 20 years old lady from a permanent post-traumatic vegetative state, by means of a bifocal extradural cortical electro-stimulation. Today, while Science still find it hard to explain consciousness and embodied cognition – the world-class neurosurgeon made a shock announcement: “I’m ready for the first head transplant on a man.”
In the manuscript published on Surgical Neurology I........ Read more »
Canavero, S. (2013) HEAVEN: The head anastomosis venture Project outline for the first human head transplantation with spinal linkage (GEMINI). Surgical Neurology International, 4(2), 335. DOI: 10.4103/2152-7806.113444
A new study led by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center -- Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James) has identified a biochemical pathway in cancer stem cells that is essential for promoting head and neck cancer.The study shows that a protein called Nanog, which is normally active in embryonic stem cells, promotes the growth of cancer stem cells in head and neck cancer. The findings provide information essential for de........ Read more »
Xie, X., Piao, L., Cavey, G., Old, M., Teknos, T., Mapp, A., & Pan, Q. (2013) Phosphorylation of Nanog is essential to regulate Bmi1 and promote tumorigenesis. Oncogene. DOI: 10.1038/onc.2013.173
by Andrea in Science of Eating Disorders
While there is growing recognition that (surprise, surprise!) men are not immune to eating disorders, men are still underrepresented in the literature about eating disorders. We know comparatively little about what it is like to be a man with an eating disorder, and less still about recovery and life after recovery for these individuals. Recently, Björk, Wallin, & Pettersen (2012) conducted a qualitative study that asked men who had been diagnosed with an eating disorder and completed........ Read more »
Björk T, Wallin K, & Pettersen G. (2012) Male experiences of life after recovery from an eating disorder. Eating Disorders, 20(5), 460-8. PMID: 22985242
Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers have identified in the most aggressive forms of cancer a gene known to regulate embryonic stem cell self-renewal, beginning a creative search for a drug that can block its activity.The gene, SALL4, gives stem cells their ability to continue dividing as stem cells rather than becoming mature cells. Typically, cells only express SALL4 during embryonic development, but the gene is re-expressed in nearly all cases of acute myeloid leukemia and 10 to 30 ........ Read more »
Yong, K., Gao, C., Lim, J., Yan, B., Yang, H., Dimitrov, T., Kawasaki, A., Ong, C., Wong, K., Lee, S.... (2013) Oncofetal Gene in Aggressive Hepatocellular Carcinoma . New England Journal of Medicine, 368(24), 2266-2276. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1300297
A team from the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Research Institute and the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Centre of Columbia University has generated patient-specific beta cells, or insulin-producing cells, that accurately reflect the features of maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY).The researchers used skin cells of MODY patients to produce induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, from which they then made beta cells. Transplanted into a mouse, the stem cell-derived beta cells secreted insulin........ Read more »
Hua, H., Shang, L., Martinez, H., Freeby, M., Gallagher, M., Ludwig, T., Deng, L., Greenberg, E., LeDuc, C., Chung, W.... (2013) iPSC-derived β cells model diabetes due to glucokinase deficiency. Journal of Clinical Investigation. DOI: 10.1172/JCI67638
Take Home Message: While both the Y-graft and C-graft effectively stabilized the patellofemoral joint, the patients who received the Y-graft had significantly better subjective outcome scores than the patients who received the C-graft.
Patients who endure a patellofemoral dislocation are often plagued with patellofemoral instability and frequent re-injury. While multiple methods of patellar fixation exist, a gold-standard does not. Therefore, Kang and colleagues performed a randomized trial t........ Read more »
Kang, H., Cao, J., Yu, D., Zheng, Z., & Wang, F. (2013) Comparison of 2 Different Techniques for Anatomic Reconstruction of the Medial Patellofemoral Ligament: A Prospective Randomized Study. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 41(5), 1013-1021. DOI: 10.1177/0363546513480468
The newly unveiled genome of a medieval strain of the mycobacterium that causes leprosy is a technical triumph borne of next-generation sequencing machines and clever new techniques to extract target DNA from a soup of ancient molecules. Awash in data, several labs are racing neck-and-neck to cull DNA from a Most Wanted list of other legendary killers: tuberculosis, plague, cholera, Leishmania, the potato blight, and AIDS. They gather traces of these culprits from ancient teeth, bones, hair, fec........ Read more »
Scientists at CalTech simultaneously found a way to stimulate your midbrain without invasive methods (ie: opening up your skull) and make you find them attractive.
Chib, et al. reported in Translational Psychiatry that by using their newly designed noninvasive method called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on the prefrontal cortex they were able to activate the interconnected midbrain.... Read more »
Chib VS, Yun K, Takahashi H, & Shimojo S. (2013) Noninvasive remote activation of the ventral midbrain by transcranial direct current stimulation of prefrontal cortex. Translational psychiatry. PMID: 23756377
In a previous post, I reviewed a research summary of the potential for brain imaging to be a clinical tool in the diagnosis of brain disorders in the mood disorders domain.One of the key points in that review is the value of finding brain biomarkers for response to specific treatments.To follow up on this point, a recent research study has been published that proposes the brain insular cortex region may be key to determining specific treatment response in major depressive disorder.Helen Mayberg ........ Read more »
McGrath CL, Kelley ME, Holtzheimer PE, Dunlop BW, Craighead WE, Franco AR, Craddock RC, & Mayberg HS. (2013) Toward a Neuroimaging Treatment Selection Biomarker for Major Depressive Disorder. JAMA psychiatry (Chicago, Ill.), 1-9. PMID: 23760393
Autoimmunity, the process by which the immune system fails to recognise self as self and subsequently targets those self tissues and cells, is something talked about quite a lot on this blog with autism specifically in mind. Part of the very wide and diverse immune-related features which have been discussed with at least some of the autisms in mind, it's not yet altogether clear exactly how and why autoimmunity is linked to behaviour but the association is an interesting one.Sally? @ Wikipe........ Read more »
Benros ME, Waltoft BL, Nordentoft M, Ostergaard SD, Eaton WW, Krogh J, & Mortensen PB. (2013) Autoimmune Diseases and Severe Infections as Risk Factors for Mood Disorders: A Nationwide Study. JAMA psychiatry (Chicago, Ill.), 1-9. PMID: 23760347
In my mind, pills are like apps. Do you have a common problem to solve? There’s an app for that, as Apple has trademarked. Do you have some health related issue? There’s probably a pill for that. Blood pressure? Check. Cholesterol? Check. Social anxiety? Check. Erectile dysfunction? Check. Obesity? Check. Female libido? Oops! No check! But just wait! Big Pharma is working on that! As far back as January 2005, as published in the British Medical Journal, attempts have been made to dev........ Read more »
Moynihan, R. (2005) The marketing of a disease: female sexual dysfunction. BMJ, 330(7484), 192-194. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.330.7484.192
by Bruce Lieberman in Beaker
The first experimental drug to boost brain synapses lost in Alzheimer’s disease has been developed by researchers at Sanford-Burnham. The drug, called NitroMemantine, combines two FDA-approved medicines to stop the destructive cascade of changes in the brain that destroys the connections between neurons, leading to memory loss and cognitive decline.... Read more »
Talantova, M., Sanz-Blasco, S., Zhang, X., Xia, P., Akhtar, M., Okamoto, S., Dziewczapolski, G., Nakamura, T., Cao, G., Pratt, A.... (2013) A induces astrocytic glutamate release, extrasynaptic NMDA receptor activation, and synaptic loss. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1306832110
A press release by Yale University Press Office claimed that "A new study of the genetic origins of dyslexia and other learning disabilities could allow for earlier diagnoses and more successful interventions, according to researchers at Yale School of Medicine. Many students now are not diagnosed until high school, at which point treatments are less effective." The account by the Press Office is hard to square with the abstract of the paper, which makes no mention of early diagnosis o........ Read more »
Powers, N., Eicher, J., Butter, F., Kong, Y., Miller, L., Ring, S., Mann, M., & Gruen, J. (2013) Alleles of a Polymorphic ETV6 Binding Site in DCDC2 Confer Risk of Reading and Language Impairment. The American Journal of Human Genetics. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2013.05.008
Difficult to study diseases such as Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, and autism can now be probed more safely and effectively thanks to an innovative new method for obtaining mature brain cells called neurons from reprogrammed skin cells.According to Gong Chen, the Verne M. Willaman Chair in Life Sciences and professor of biology at Penn State University and the leader of the research team, "the most exciting part of this research is that it offers the promise of direct disease modelling, al........ Read more »
Tang, X., Zhou, L., Wagner, A., Marchetto, M., Muotri, A., Gage, F., & Chen, G. (2013) Astroglial cells regulate the developmental timeline of human neurons differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells. Stem Cell Research, 11(2), 743-757. DOI: 10.1016/j.scr.2013.05.002
Using a difficult laboratory technique, Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) physician-researchers have isolated genetically healthy stem cells from patients with Pearson Marrow Pancreas Syndrome (PS), a generally fatal infant blood disorder with less than a hundred reported cases worldwide. Children with PS experience a range of symptoms, most notably: anaemia, decreased organ function, and difficulty absorbing nutrients and gaining weight. Blood transfusions can prolong life, but once diagnosed,........ Read more »
Cherry, A., Gagne, K., McLoughlin, E., Baccei, A., Gorman, B., Hartung, O., Miller, J., Zhang, J., Zon, R., Ince, T.... (2013) Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells with a Pathological Mitochondrial DNA Deletion. STEM CELLS. DOI: 10.1002/stem.1354
Short bouts of intermittent exercise throughout the day may be better than one vigorous workout in convincing your brain that you are full, according to a new study published in the journal Obesity.
The researchers, from the United States and Murdoch University, set out to find how the appetite-regulating hormone Peptide YY (PYY) fluctuates with intermittent or continuous exercise. The research team asked the 11 participants to do no exercise on day one, to do a one-hour morning exercise sess........ Read more »
Holmstrup, M., Fairchild, T., Keslacy, S., Weinstock, R., & Kanaley, J. (2013) Satiety, but not total PYY, is increased with continuous and intermittent exercise. Obesity. DOI: 10.1002/oby.20335
Mammals possess the remarkable ability to regenerate a lost fingertip, including the nail, nerves and even bone. In humans, an amputated fingertip can sprout back in as little as two months, a phenomenon that has remained poorly understood until now. In a recently published paper in the Nature journal, researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center shed light on this rare regenerative power in mammals, using genetically engineered mice to document for the first time the biochemical chain of events t........ Read more »
Takeo, M., Chou, W., Sun, Q., Lee, W., Rabbani, P., Loomis, C., Taketo, M., & Ito, M. (2013) Wnt activation in nail epithelium couples nail growth to digit regeneration. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature12214
Researchers from Western Australia are working to improve immune system, so that we can defeat cancers such as mesothelioma and lung cancer.
It has already been found that in late stages of life, immunity decreases and that could be the reason for increased chances of cancer in that part of life.
In order to understand the relation between decreasing immunity and the start of mesothelioma and other cancers, researchers from Cu........ Read more »
Jackaman, C., Radley-Crabb, H., Soffe, Z., Shavlakadze, T., Grounds, M., & Nelson, D. (2013) Targeting macrophages rescues age-related immune deficiencies in C57BL/6J geriatric mice. Aging Cell, 12(3), 345-357. DOI: 10.1111/acel.12062
Alcohol is the drug of choice for many people these days. For most, it's a case of the odd glass of wine here or there or a beer whilst sat outside in the garden during the summer we're supposed to be basking in at the moment.The grape @ Wikipedia But there is no getting away from the fact that alcohol is a drug, and by all accounts, a drug which very readily impacts on the lives of many, many people. Outside of all the social ills associated with excessive alcohol consumption, there i........ Read more »
Tunc-Ozcan E, Ullmann TM, Shukla PK, & Redei EE. (2013) Low-Dose Thyroxine Attenuates Autism-Associated Adverse Effects of Fetal Alcohol in Male Offspring's Social Behavior and Hippocampal Gene Expression. Alcoholism, clinical and experimental research. PMID: 23763370
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