Plasticity of the brain, what does that even mean? Well the good news is that it isn’t just a marketing ploy, the brain needs to be “plastic” because we need to be able to adapt. Frankly speaking, the brain still has a lot to learn about itself. Scientists at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute have made a key finding of the striking differences in how the brain’s cells can change through experience.
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Saez, I., & Friedlander, M. (2016) Role of GABAA-Mediated Inhibition and Functional Assortment of Synapses onto Individual Layer 4 Neurons in Regulating Plasticity Expression in Visual Cortex. PLOS ONE, 11(2). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147642
The Eatles are cleaning the skull of a domestic dog. Come read about osteoporosis research in the Organ Lab at Indiana University School of Medicine... Read more »
Allen MR, Territo PR, Lin C, Persohn S, Jiang L, Riley AA, McCarthy BP, Newman CL, Burr DB, & Hutchins GD. (2015) In Vivo UTE-MRI Reveals Positive Effects of Raloxifene on Skeletal-Bound Water in Skeletally Mature Beagle Dogs. Journal of bone and mineral research : the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, 30(8), 1441-4. PMID: 25644867
Allen MR, McNerny EM, Organ JM, & Wallace JM. (2015) True Gold or Pyrite: A Review of Reference Point Indentation for Assessing Bone Mechanical Properties In Vivo. Journal of bone and mineral research : the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, 30(9), 1539-50. PMID: 26235703
Aref M, Gallant MA, Organ JM, Wallace JM, Newman CL, Burr DB, Brown DM, & Allen MR. (2013) In vivo reference point indentation reveals positive effects of raloxifene on mechanical properties following 6 months of treatment in skeletally mature beagle dogs. Bone, 56(2), 449-53. PMID: 23871851
Skoglund P, Ersmark E, Palkopoulou E, & Dalén L. (2015) Ancient wolf genome reveals an early divergence of domestic dog ancestors and admixture into high-latitude breeds. Current biology : CB, 25(11), 1515-9. PMID: 26004765
"The primary finding from the study was evidence of an improvement in several objective sleep parameters in participants in whom the increased colonization of lactic acid producing organisms was resolved after antibiotic treatment."Those were the words written by Melinda Jackson and colleagues  (open-access) who, during an open-label trial, looked at whether administration of an antibiotic (erythromycin 400 mg) over the course of 6 days might have some important effects on elements of sleep i........ Read more »
Jackson ML, Butt H, Ball M, Lewis DP, & Bruck D. (2015) Sleep quality and the treatment of intestinal microbiota imbalance in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A pilot study. Sleep Science (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 8(3), 124-33. PMID: 26779319
Underwater sound linked to human activity could alter the behaviour of seabed creatures that play a vital role in marine ecosystems, according to new research from the University of Southampton. The study found that exposure to sounds that resemble shipping traffic and offshore construction activities results in behavioural responses in certain invertebrate species that live in the marine sediment.
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Solan, M., Hauton, C., Godbold, J., Wood, C., Leighton, T., & White, P. (2016) Anthropogenic sources of underwater sound can modify how sediment-dwelling invertebrates mediate ecosystem properties. Scientific Reports, 20540. DOI: 10.1038/srep20540
"Vitamin D deficiency might contribute to the aetiology of ASD [autism spectrum disorder]. Supplementation of vitamin D3, which is a safe and cost-effective form of treatment, may significantly improve the outcome of some children with ASD, especially younger children."More big words have appeared from a research group who seem to be particularly interested in how vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin/hormone) might have some important links to at least some cases of autism. The findings thi........ Read more »
Feng J, Shan L, Du L, Wang B, Li H, Wang W, Wang T, Dong H, Yue X, Xu Z.... (2016) Clinical improvement following vitamin D3 supplementation in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Nutritional neuroscience. PMID: 26783092
The findings reported by Ciro Marangoni and colleagues  made for some interesting reading recently and their systematic review of longitudinal studies looking at the various environmental exposures put forward as possible risk factors pertinent to the development of bipolar disorder (BD).Trawling through the peer-reviewed material on this topic, the authors were able to 'clump' the various proposed risk factors into one of three categories: "neurodevelopment (maternal influenza during pr........ Read more »
Marangoni C, Hernandez M, & Faedda GL. (2016) The role of environmental exposures as risk factors for bipolar disorder: A systematic review of longitudinal studies. Journal of affective disorders, 165-174. PMID: 26773919
Men who use mobile phone more frequently and place their phone close to their groin have higher chances of getting abnormal sperm concentration.
Reproductive BioMedicine Online
Researchers have reported that male infertility constitutes about 30% to 40% of all infertility cases. They also reported that studies are showing continuous decline in semen quality since the start of the last century. One of the potential contributing factors in th........ Read more »
Zilberlicht, A., Wiener-Megnazi, Z., Sheinfeld, Y., Grach, B., Lahav-Baratz, S., & Dirnfeld, M. (2015) Habits of cell phone usage and sperm quality – does it warrant attention?. Reproductive BioMedicine Online, 31(3), 421-426. DOI: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2015.06.006
Depression is a serious issue for expecting mothers. Left untreated, depression could have implications for a fetus’s health. But treating the disease during pregnancy may carry health risks for the developing fetus, which makes an expecting mother’s decision whether to take medication a very difficult one. To better understand how antidepressants affect fetuses during pregnancy, scientists studied exposure in mice.
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Velasquez, J., Goeden, N., Herod, S., & Bonnin, A. (2016) Maternal Pharmacokinetics and Fetal Disposition of (±)-Citalopram during Mouse Pregnancy. ACS Chemical Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1021/acschemneuro.5b00287
I decided to look for something I wrote that I have been wrong about. I thought about Masimo and their RAD-57. I had been very critical of Dr. Michael O’Reilly (then Executive Vice President of Masimo Corporation) for being an advocate of bad science, but he has been hired away by Apple. He should be less dangerous with a telephone than he was with the RAD-57. At the time, he wrote –... Read more »
Weaver, L., Churchill, S., Deru, K., & Cooney, D. (2012) False Positive Rate of Carbon Monoxide Saturation by Pulse Oximetry of Emergency Department Patients. Respiratory Care. DOI: 10.4187/respcare.01744
Hampson NB, & Holm JR. (2015) Suicidal carbon monoxide poisoning has decreased with controls on automobile emissions. Undersea , 42(2), 159-64. PMID: 26094291
Roderique, J., Josef, C., Feldman, M., & Spiess, B. (2015) A modern literature review of carbon monoxide poisoning theories, therapies, and potential targets for therapy advancement. Toxicology, 45-58. DOI: 10.1016/j.tox.2015.05.004
Touger, M., Birnbaum, A., Wang, J., Chou, K., Pearson, D., & Bijur, P. (2010) Performance of the RAD-57 Pulse Co-Oximeter Compared With Standard Laboratory Carboxyhemoglobin Measurement. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 56(4), 382-388. DOI: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2010.03.041
O'Reilly, M. (2010) Performance of the Rad-57 Pulse Co-Oximeter Compared With Standard Laboratory Carboxyhemoglobin Measurement. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 56(4), 442-444. DOI: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2010.08.016
Sensory-targeted rehabilitation strategies (STARS) result in improvements in patient-reported and clinical outcomes. Certain deficits may be specifically targeted by different techniques.... Read more »
McKeon, P., & Wikstrom, E. (2015) Sensory-Targeted Ankle Rehabilitation Strategies for Chronic Ankle Instability. Medicine , 1. DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000859
"The average prevalence of ASD [autism spectrum disorder] was 35/10 000 children and was about 4-fold higher in males."I don't have too much to add to the findings reported by Karolina Skonieczna-Żydecka and colleagues  who estimated the prevalence of ASD in two regions of Poland: "West Pomeranian and Pomeranian regions." Based on the analysis of data from "Provincial Disability Services Commissions", researchers concluded that approximately 3 children in 1000 in those regions........ Read more »
Skonieczna-Żydecka K, Gorzkowska I, Pierzak-Sominka J, & Adler G. (2016) The Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders in West Pomeranian and Pomeranian Regions of Poland. Journal of applied research in intellectual disabilities : JARID. PMID: 26771078
Between 1993 and 2015, cattle killed 13 people who were out for walks in the United Kingdom. Dozens more walkers received broken bones or other injuries from the animals.
Murderous cattle are an understudied phenomenon, say veterinarian Angharad Fraser-Williams and other researchers at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom. So they scoured news articles and scientific literature to learn about cattle attacks over two decades. They turned up some advice for people wishing to av........ Read more »
Inflammation is a good thing, it helps the body fight disease, and without it we wouldn't survive. Unfortunately, when inflammation isn't kept under control it can wreak havoc on the body. From potentially causing alzheimer's to arthritis it seems that unchecked inflammation can cause all sorts of issues. In fact, a new study adds to the list of issues out of control inflammation causes in the body.
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Dowell, N., Cooper, E., Tibble, J., Voon, V., Critchley, H., Cercignani, M., & Harrison, N. (2016) Acute Changes in Striatal Microstructure Predict the Development of Interferon-Alpha Induced Fatigue. Biological Psychiatry, 79(4), 320-328. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.05.015
A quote to begin: "Taken together, there are no published evidence to suggest that there is a high overall concordance between ASD [autism spectrum disorders] and cancer or between ASD and specific cancers."Those words reported by Svend Erik Mouridsen and colleagues  (who knows a thing or two about autism research) should offer some relief to both people on the autism spectrum and their loved ones.Based on the analysis of over 100 adults "diagnosed with infantile autism (IA) in........ Read more »
Mouridsen, S., Rich, B., & Isager, T. (2016) Risk of cancer in adult people diagnosed with infantile autism in childhood: A longitudinal case control study based on hospital discharge diagnoses. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 203-209. DOI: 10.1016/j.rasd.2015.12.010
An estimated 1 in 68 children in the United States has autism. The neurodevelopmental disorder, which impairs communication and social interaction skills, can be treated with medications and behavioral therapies, though there is no cure. Now, University of Missouri researchers have found that a medication commonly used to treat high blood pressure and irregular heartbeats may have the potential to improve some social functions of individuals with autism.
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Zamzow, R., Ferguson, B., Stichter, J., Porges, E., Ragsdale, A., Lewis, M., & Beversdorf, D. (2016) Effects of propranolol on conversational reciprocity in autism spectrum disorder: a pilot, double-blind, single-dose psychopharmacological challenge study. Psychopharmacology. DOI: 10.1007/s00213-015-4199-0
Concussion rates in youth ice hockey are nearly 3 times higher during games compared to practice, and 12 to 14 year olds have higher incidence rates compared to 15 to 18 year olds.... Read more »
Kontos, A., Elbin, R., Sufrinko, A., Dakan, S., Bookwalter, K., Price, A., Meehan, W., & Collins, M. (2016) Incidence of Concussion in Youth Ice Hockey Players. PEDIATRICS. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2015-1633
At the time of writing this [long read] post there has been a flurry of autism research articles making news.The headline: 'Scientists create the first ever autistic monkeys' referring to the work published by Liu and colleagues  who reported on "lentivirus-based transgenic cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) expressing human MeCP2 in the brain exhibit autism-like behaviours and show germline transmission of the transgene" started the ball rolling. Anyone who knows a little bit about aut........ Read more »
Li, M., Fallin, M., Riley, A., Landa, R., Walker, S., Silverstein, M., Caruso, D., Pearson, C., Kiang, S., Dahm, J.... (2016) The Association of Maternal Obesity and Diabetes With Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities. PEDIATRICS, 137(2), 1-10. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2015-2206
Choi GB, Yim YS, Wong H, Kim S, Kim H, Kim SV, Hoeffer CA, Littman DR, & Huh JR. (2016) The maternal interleukin-17a pathway in mice promotes autismlike phenotypes in offspring. Science (New York, N.Y.). PMID: 26822608
I have a friend who lost an eye to his brother. Yes, you read that correctly, his brother tried to kill him and in the process he lost his eye. I’ve told this story before, but whenever new schizophrenia research comes out I feel the need to tell it again. While he has forgiven his brother (partly because not long after, he was diagnosed as schizophrenic), he will not be able to see him again until he is released from prison. A tragedy that could’ve been avoided had he been diagnosed sooner......... Read more »
Arnedo, J., Mamah, D., Baranger, D., Harms, M., Barch, D., Svrakic, D., de Erausquin, G., Cloninger, C., & Zwir, I. (2015) Decomposition of brain diffusion imaging data uncovers latent schizophrenias with distinct patterns of white matter anisotropy. NeuroImage, 43-54. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.06.083
Nearly half of HIV infected patients suffer from impaired neurocognitive function. The HIV protein transactivator of transcription (Tat) is an important contributor to HIV neuropathogenesis because it is a potent neurotoxin that continues to be produced despite treatment with antiretroviral therapy.
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Krogh, K., Green, M., & Thayer, S. (2015) HIV-1 Tat-Induced Changes in Synaptically-Driven Network Activity Adapt During Prolonged Exposure. Current HIV Research, 12(6), 406-414. DOI: 10.2174/1570162X13666150121110402
The first post in the This Month in Blastocystis Research series in 2016 is about Blastocystis epidemiology in India (including IBS patients), views on treatment, and Blastocystis in non-human primates.... Read more »
Das R, Khalil S, Mirdha BR, Makharia GK, Dattagupta S, & Chaudhry R. (2016) Molecular Characterization and Subtyping of Blastocystis Species in Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients from North India. PloS one, 11(1). PMID: 26784888
Pandey PK, Verma P, Marathe N, Shetty S, Bavdekar A, Patole MS, Stensvold CR, & Shouche YS. (2015) Prevalence and subtype analysis of Blastocystis in healthy Indian individuals. Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases, 296-9. PMID: 25701123
Kurt Ö, Doğruman Al F, & Tanyüksel M. (2016) Eradication of Blastocystis in humans: Really necessary for all?. Parasitology international. PMID: 26780545
Zanzani SA, Gazzonis AL, Epis S, & Manfredi MT. (2016) Study of the gastrointestinal parasitic fauna of captive non-human primates (Macaca fascicularis). Parasitology research, 115(1), 307-12. PMID: 26374536
Yoshikawa H, Wu Z, Kimata I, Iseki M, Ali IK, Hossain MB, Zaman V, Haque R, & Takahashi Y. (2004) Polymerase chain reaction-based genotype classification among human Blastocystis hominis populations isolated from different countries. Parasitology research, 92(1), 22-9. PMID: 14598169
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