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  • August 12, 2016
  • 03:37 PM
  • 535 views

Sugar addiction: Discovery of a brain sugar switch

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers have discovered that our brain actively takes sugar from the blood. Prior to this, researchers around the world had assumed that this was a purely passive process. An international team reports that transportation of sugar into the brain is regulated by so-called glial cells that react to hormones such as insulin or leptin; previously it was thought that this was only possible for neurons.

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García-Cáceres, C., Quarta, C., Varela, L., Gao, Y., Gruber, T., Legutko, B., Jastroch, M., Johansson, P., Ninkovic, J., Yi, C.... (2016) Astrocytic Insulin Signaling Couples Brain Glucose Uptake with Nutrient Availability. Cell, 166(4), 867-880. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.07.028  

  • August 12, 2016
  • 04:22 AM
  • 491 views

Anti-psychotics for non-psychotic issues

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A bit of a lazy post for you today with lots of quotes based on the findings reported by Ragnar Nesvåg and colleagues [1] asking some important questions about 'off-label' use of antipsychotics.Drawing on population-based data from Norway concerning "which substances, and for which mental disorder diagnoses, antipsychotic drugs were prescribed to 0–18-year-old boys and girls" the conclusions drawn make for some interesting reading.So: "In total, 0.18% of Norwegian children and adolescent........ Read more »

Nesvåg, R., Hartz, I., Bramness, J., Hjellvik, V., Handal, M., & Skurtveit, S. (2016) Mental disorder diagnoses among children and adolescents who use antipsychotic drugs. European Neuropsychopharmacology. DOI: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2016.07.001  

  • August 11, 2016
  • 08:30 PM
  • 528 views

Acupuncture vs intravenous morphine in the management of acute pain in the ED

by Rogue Medic in Rogue Medic

Should we have people providing "fake" acupuncture in the Emergency Department?

If so, how should we do this?

Since it is not the acupuncture, but the patient's reaction to the "ceremony of the placebo" that appears to be providing the pain relief, how many different ways might we vary the "treatment" to improve the placebo effect?... Read more »

Grissa, M., Baccouche, H., Boubaker, H., Beltaief, K., Bzeouich, N., Fredj, N., Msolli, M., Boukef, R., Bouida, W., & Nouira, S. (2016) Acupuncture vs intravenous morphine in the management of acute pain in the ED. The American Journal of Emergency Medicine. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajem.2016.07.028  

Espay, A., Norris, M., Eliassen, J., Dwivedi, A., Smith, M., Banks, C., Allendorfer, J., Lang, A., Fleck, D., Linke, M.... (2015) Placebo effect of medication cost in Parkinson disease: A randomized double-blind study. Neurology, 84(8), 794-802. DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000001282  

Ee, C., Xue, C., Chondros, P., Myers, S., French, S., Teede, H., & Pirotta, M. (2016) Acupuncture for Menopausal Hot Flashes. Annals of Internal Medicine, 164(3), 146. DOI: 10.7326/M15-1380  

Cherkin, D., Sherman, K., Avins, A., Erro, J., Ichikawa, L., Barlow, W., Delaney, K., Hawkes, R., Hamilton, L., Pressman, A.... (2009) A Randomized Trial Comparing Acupuncture, Simulated Acupuncture, and Usual Care for Chronic Low Back Pain. Archives of Internal Medicine, 169(9), 858. DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2009.65  

Goldman, R., Stason, W., Park, S., Kim, R., Schnyer, R., Davis, R., Legedza, A., & Kaptchuk, T. (2008) Acupuncture for Treatment of Persistent Arm Pain Due to Repetitive Use. The Clinical Journal of Pain, 24(3), 211-218. DOI: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e31815ec20f  

  • August 11, 2016
  • 02:04 PM
  • 419 views

Targeting the gut-brain connection can impact immunity

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

There's a reason it's called a gut feeling. The brain and the gut are connected by intricate neural networks that signal hunger and satiety, love and fear, even safety and danger. These networks employ myriad chemical signals that include dopamine, a powerful neurotransmitter most famous for its role in reward and addiction.

... Read more »

Xiou Cao, & Alejandro Aballay. (2016) Neural inhibition of dopaminergic signaling enhances immunity in a cell non-autonomous manner. Current Biology. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2016.06.036

  • August 11, 2016
  • 04:35 AM
  • 532 views

Induced labour and autism (again)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"In this nationwide sample of live births we observed no association between induction of labor and offspring ASD [autism spectrum disorder] within sibling comparison. Our findings suggest that concern for ASD should not factor into the clinical decision about whether to induce labor."So said the findings reported by Anna Sara Oberg and colleagues [1] supposedly providing some reassurance to mums-to-be and other groups around the likelihood of offspring autism when birth or l........ Read more »

Oberg, A., D’Onofrio, B., Rickert, M., Hernandez-Diaz, S., Ecker, J., Almqvist, C., Larsson, H., Lichtenstein, P., & Bateman, B. (2016) Association of Labor Induction With Offspring Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders. JAMA Pediatrics. DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.0965  

  • August 10, 2016
  • 01:30 PM
  • 442 views

Is depression in parents, grandparents linked to grandchildren's depression?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

If you read my blog often, it's no surprise I suffer from PTSD, depression, and anxiety issues. Maybe it's from my military service, but maybe it's my father's, or his father's, maybe it's an insidious family legacy that was just never noticed. This is because having both parents and grandparents with major depressive disorder (MDD) was associated with higher risk of MDD for grandchildren, which could help identify those who may benefit from early intervention.

... Read more »

Myrna M. Weissman, PhD, Obianuju O. Berry, MD, MPH, Virginia Warner, DrPH, Marc J. Gameroff, PhD, Jamie Skipper, MS, Ardesheer Talati, PhD, Daniel J. Pilowsky, MD, MPH, & Priya Wickramaratne, PhD. (2016) A 30-Year Study of 3 Generations at High Risk and Low Risk for Depression. JAMA Psychiatry . info:/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.1586

  • August 10, 2016
  • 04:24 AM
  • 433 views

No association between [current] mycotoxin exposure and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Although research stories stating a link (an association if you will) between condition A and factor X make for interesting reading, not all science is so blessed with such news-worthy findings. That's not to say that 'negative findings' are any less important than the 'hey, we found this...' studies, just that they don't perhaps tend to grab the headlines as much as those finding something.In saying all that I'm standing up for negative findings today and some rather interesting science reporte........ Read more »

  • August 9, 2016
  • 02:41 PM
  • 526 views

Want a better memory? Try eating a Mediterranean diet

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

It's not a fad diet, it is an actual diet -- as in the way a person eats normally -- and it may do more than just help your waistline. The Mediterranean diet can improve your mind, as well your heart.

... Read more »

  • August 9, 2016
  • 11:16 AM
  • 555 views

Genetics of Depression: Secondary Markers

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

In my previous post, I highlighted a recent study of genetics and major depression from the 23andMe database.I have had a chance to review this manuscript in more detail. One of the findings of interest involved secondary marker or secondary phenotypes.Fifteen genetic loci were identified in this 23andMe sample using a discovery and replication data set.Secondary phenotypes with the highest correlation with the 17 SNPs identified in the study included (effect) :Taking a selective serotonin reupt........ Read more »

  • August 9, 2016
  • 02:56 AM
  • 440 views

Anxiety spreads across various psychiatric labels

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Comorbid anxiety symptoms are ubiquitous among psychiatric patients with mood or schizophrenia spectrum disorders, and in almost half of them, reportedly severe."So said the findings reported by Karpov and colleagues [1] who sought to put some further research flesh on to the bones of the idea that clinically relevant anxiety symptoms might not be unstrange bedfellows with a variety of other psychiatric labels.Based on the analysis of various patient groups included in the "Helsinki University ........ Read more »

Karpov, B., Joffe, G., Aaltonen, K., Suvisaari, J., Baryshnikov, I., Näätänen, P., Koivisto, M., Melartin, T., Oksanen, J., Suominen, K.... (2016) Anxiety symptoms in a major mood and schizophrenia spectrum disorders. European Psychiatry, 1-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2016.04.007  

  • August 8, 2016
  • 03:38 PM
  • 501 views

World's worst hickeys: Cupping is weird and potentially dangerous

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

In an effort to reduce pain or fix other health problems, some people will submit to having suction temporarily applied to various regions of their skin, usually the neck, shoulders, and back, via a collection of plastic or glass cups. This is known as cupping, and is a great way to embrace your inner Polkaroo.... Read more »

Lin CW, Wang JT, Choy CS, & Tung HH. (2009) Iatrogenic bullae following cupping therapy. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 15(11), 1243-1245. PMID: 19922257  

  • August 8, 2016
  • 01:54 PM
  • 446 views

Pesticides used to help bees may actually harm them

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Pesticides beekeepers are using to improve honeybee health may actually be harming the bees by damaging the bacteria communities in their guts. The discovery is a concern because alterations can affect the gut's ability to metabolize sugars and peptides, processes that are vital for honeybee health.

... Read more »

Madhavi Kakumanu, Alison M. Reeves, Troy Anderson, Richard R. Rodrigues, & Mark A. Williams. (2016) Honey bee gut microbiome is altered by in-hive pesticide exposures. Frontiers in Microbiology. info:/10.3389/fmicb.2016.01255

  • August 8, 2016
  • 03:46 AM
  • 403 views

On staff training in the UK autism services sector

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I tread carefully in discussing the findings reported by Karola Dillenburger and colleagues [1] (open-access) on the question of "knowledge and training with regards to autism" received by "health, social care, and education staff who work within the statutory autism services sector in the UK." The observation that "an acute lack of autism-specific training that has detrimental impacts" was apparent is a worrying sign indeed.Although not intimately involved in the autism services sector, I ........ Read more »

Dillenburger K, McKerr L, Jordan JA, & Keenan M. (2016) Staff Training in Autism: The One-Eyed Wo/Man…. International journal of environmental research and public health, 13(7). PMID: 27438846  

  • August 7, 2016
  • 02:35 PM
  • 532 views

Why you're stiff in the morning: Your body suppresses inflammation when you sleep at night

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Feeling stiff first thing in the morning? It's not your imagination, new research has found a protein created by the body's "biological clock" that actively represses inflammatory pathways within the affected limbs during the night. This protein, called CRYPTOCHROME, has proven anti-inflammatory effects in cultured cells and presents new opportunities for the development of drugs that may be used to treat inflammatory diseases and conditions, such as arthritis.

... Read more »

Hand, L., Hopwood, T., Dickson, S., Walker, A., Loudon, A., Ray, D., Bechtold, D., & Gibbs, J. (2016) The circadian clock regulates inflammatory arthritis. The FASEB Journal. DOI: 10.1096/fj.201600353R  

  • August 7, 2016
  • 11:53 AM
  • 470 views

The (surprising) rate of ADHD in Taiwan

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The idea that use of the diagnostic label called attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is on the increase, and pretty significantly so, is quite common-place these days (see here). Appreciating that not everyone is convinced that the increase is necessarily genuine (see here) I would like to discuss some interesting data coming out of the 'big data' country that is Taiwan in the form of the findings reported by Wang and colleagues [1].As regular readers might already know, Taiwan is th........ Read more »

  • August 6, 2016
  • 03:24 PM
  • 480 views

Microcephaly discoveries in non-Zika cases explain abnormal brain growth

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Long before Zika virus made it a household word, the birth defect called microcephaly puzzled scientists and doctors -- even as it changed the lives of the babies born with it during the pre-Zika era. But new discoveries reported by an international team of scientists may help explain what happens in the developing brains of babies still in the womb, causing them to be born with small brains and heads.

... Read more »

Li, H., Bielas, S., Zaki, M., Ismail, S., Farfara, D., Um, K., Rosti, R., Scott, E., Tu, S., Chi, N.... (2016) Biallelic Mutations in Citron Kinase Link Mitotic Cytokinesis to Human Primary Microcephaly. The American Journal of Human Genetics, 99(2), 501-510. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2016.07.004  

  • August 5, 2016
  • 03:10 PM
  • 519 views

From Sci Fi to reality: Unlocking the secret to growing new limbs

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Many lower organisms retain the miraculous ability to regenerate form and function of almost any tissue after injury. Humans share many of our genes with these organisms, but our capacity for regeneration is limited. So scientists are studying the genetics of these organisms to find out how regenerative mechanisms might be activated in humans.

... Read more »

  • August 5, 2016
  • 07:00 AM
  • 620 views

Friday Fellow: Beggar’s tick

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll What if the cure for cancer has been living in your garden all this time and you have been trying to get rid of it because it is an annoying weed? I cannot assure you that … Continue reading →... Read more »

Chiang, L., Chang, J., Chen, C., Ng, L., & Lin, C. (2003) Anti-Herpes Simplex Virus Activity of Bidens pilosa and Houttuynia cordata. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 31(03), 355-362. DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X03001090  

Kviecinski, M., Felipe, K., Schoenfelder, T., de Lemos Wiese, L., Rossi, M., Gonçalez, E., Felicio, J., Filho, D., & Pedrosa, R. (2008) Study of the antitumor potential of Bidens pilosa (Asteraceae) used in Brazilian folk medicine. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 117(1), 69-75. DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2008.01.017  

  • August 5, 2016
  • 02:59 AM
  • 476 views

Hospitalisation for mania following antibiotic exposure?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Individuals hospitalized with acute mania have a markedly increased rate of bacterial infections, as evidenced by the recent prescription of antimicrobial agents. The prevention and effective treatment of bacterial infections may be important interventions for the management of individuals with mania."That was the research bottom-line reported by Robert Yolken and colleagues [1] (yes, that Robert Yolken) who continued a theme of how immune function/response might be something pretty important w........ Read more »

Yolken R, Adamos M, Katsafanas E, Khushalani S, Origoni A, Savage C, Schweinfurth L, Stallings C, Sweeney K, & Dickerson F. (2016) Individuals hospitalized with acute mania have increased exposure to antimicrobial medications. Bipolar disorders. PMID: 27425597  

  • August 4, 2016
  • 02:07 PM
  • 611 views

Biomimicry is a promising approach for driving innovation

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A new case study shows that biomimicry, a relatively new field that seeks to emulate nature to find solutions to human problems, can potentially expand intellectual property, increase energy savings and accelerate product innovation.

... Read more »

Emily Barbara Kennedy, & Thomas Andrew Marting. (2016) Biomimicry: Streamlining the Front End of Innovation for Environmentally Sustainable Products. Research-Technology Management. info:/10.1080/08956308.2016.1185342

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