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  • August 13, 2014
  • 08:00 AM

Getting High On Life

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Living organisms can survive and thrive in all kinds of rough environments. This would include the edges of space. There are bird species that can fly at almost 40,000 ft., as high as the highest clouds. New research is showing just how the bar headed goose is able to fly when the air is thin and the oxygen is scarce. But more impressive are the bacteria. They can actually live their whole lives in the air, dividing and growing nearly 25 miles (41 km) above the surface of the Earth. A study from India has now presented a draft genome for Janibacter hoylei, an organism found only in extremely high air. A 2009 paper presented evidence of two additional bacteria that have not been identified on Earth, only above it. These organisms could provide clues for astrobiologists looking to see how life might travel from planet to planet.... Read more »

Pawar SP, Dhotre DP, Shetty SA, Chowdhury SP, Chaudhari BL, & Shouche YS. (2012) Genome sequence of Janibacter hoylei MTCC8307, isolated from the stratospheric air. Journal of bacteriology, 194(23), 6629-30. PMID: 23144385  

Hawkes LA, Balachandran S, Batbayar N, Butler PJ, Chua B, Douglas DC, Frappell PB, Hou Y, Milsom WK, Newman SH.... (2013) The paradox of extreme high-altitude migration in bar-headed geese Anser indicus. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 280(1750), 20122114. PMID: 23118436  

  • August 13, 2014
  • 04:11 AM

Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) survivors and greater risk of autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"In term NICU [neonatal intensive care unit] survivors, ASD [autism spectrum disorder] occurs with a greater frequency than in the general population and often develops alongside comorbid conditions". That was the conclusion from the study by Alexander Winkler-Schwartz and colleagues [1] looking at term at-risk infants who survived NICU."You were only meant to blow the bloody doors off"'Surviving' their earliest days spent in NICU brings a bit of lump to my throat. As a parent, I can only imagine how worrying and daunting a prospect it must be to watch your child, your baby, spending what is meant to be the very happiest of occasions housed in an incubator with every aspect of their being monitored and controlled. I appreciate that with the technology and medical advances available these days, the prospects for many infants 'surviving' NICU are pretty good compared to even a few decades ago. But still, I imagine it can be an overwhelming prospect.The Winkler-Schwartz paper reported that out of 180 infants analysed as part of their study, 12 of them (6%) were later diagnosed with an ASD. This compared with ~40% diagnosed with global developmental delay and between 25-30% diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP) and epilepsy. The authors also noted that: "Nine patients with ASD (75%) were diagnosed with at least one other adverse outcome", a point which ties in with their comorbidity finding.At least one of the authors on the Winkler-Schwartz paper has some interest in looking at the cognitive-behavioural profile of neonates under adverse conditions. A quick trawl of the peer-reviewed literature base confirms that Michael Shevell has some research form specifically focused in areas such as neurodevelopment associated with congenital heart defects for example [2]. The word 'autism' has also been discussed in some of his previous research investigations too [3].Aside from the primary conclusion included in the Winkler-Schwartz paper on NICU survivors and autism risk, the other important message is on how comorbidities might fit in with the presentation of autism. Autism and epilepsy has been an oft-discussed topic on this blog so I don't really need to say much more there. CP and autism is something of increasing interest (see here) particularly so when taking into account the findings from Christensen and colleagues [4] seemingly suggesting different autism risk profiles according to different types of CP.I close with another quote from the Winkler-Schwartz paper on: "the importance of screening term NICU survivors for ASD, particularly when comorbidities are present". Yes another group where screening for autism might be preferentially indicated...----------[1] Winkler-Schwartz A. et al. Autism spectrum disorder in a term birth neonatal intensive care unit population. Pediatric Neurology. 2014. July 16.[2] Limperopoulos C. et al. Neurologic status of newborns with congenital heart defects before open heart surgery. Pediatrics. 1999 Feb;103(2):402-8.[3] Webster RI. et al. The clinical spectrum of developmental language impairment in school-aged children: language, cognitive, and motor findings. Pediatrics. 2006 Nov;118(5):e1541-9.[4] Christensen D. et al. Prevalence of cerebral palsy, co-occurring autism spectrum disorders, and motor functioning - Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, USA, 2008. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2014 Jan;56(1):59-65.----------Winkler-Schwartz, A., Garfinkle, J., & Shevell, M. (2014). Autism spectrum disorder in a term birth neonatal intensive care unit population Pediatric Neurology DOI: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2014.07.009... Read more »

  • August 13, 2014
  • 12:05 AM

Make Sure You Charge That Phone Before Measuring Anterior Tibial Translation

by Kyle Harris in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

A mobile phone arthrometer application may be a reliable alternative to the KT-1000 when measuring anterior tibial translation following an anterior cruciate ligament injury.... Read more »

Andrea, F., Luigi, V., Daniele, M., Luca, M., Paolo, I., Giovanni, G., Fabio, C., & Raffaele, I. (2014) Smartphone versus knee ligament arthrometer when size does not matter. International Orthopaedics. DOI: 10.1007/s00264-014-2432-9  

  • August 12, 2014
  • 02:07 PM

Treatment and Prevention of PTSD

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

It’s no secret for anyone who follows me that I am a Marine veteran. It’s also no secret for anyone who follows me that I’ve had my own ups and downs in life because of my experiences. PTSD is a nightmare, one that you can’t quite shake no matter how hard you try. Then again, not everyone reacts the same way to the trauma that typically causes PTSD, not everyone walks away from war with it. The big question that scientists set out to answer was, why? And now they might just have an answer.[…]... Read more »

Nikolaos P. Daskalakis, Hagit Cohen, Guiqing Caia, Joseph D. Buxbaum, & Rachel Yehuda. (2014) Expression profiling associates blood and brain glucocorticoid receptor signaling with trauma-related individual differences in both sexes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(32). info:/10.1073/pnas.1401660111

  • August 12, 2014
  • 04:04 AM

Neonatal jaundice and increased risk of ADHD

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The findings from Chang-Ching Wei and colleagues [1] suggesting an over-representation of the diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) following a history of neonatal jaundice provides fodder for today's brief post. Based in Taiwan, one of the most impressive countries when it comes to the use and analysis of 'big data' (see here), researchers were able to identify some 25,000 participants diagnosed with neonatal jaundice and compare them with almost 70,000 non-jaundiced controls to calculate: "the incidence rate and hazard ratios (HRs) of physician-diagnosed ADHD"."Imperial troops have entered the base"They observed that the "incidence of ADHD was 2.48-fold greater in the jaundice cohort than in the nonjaundice cohort (3.84 vs. 1.51 per 100,000 person-years) in the study period" between 2000 and 2008. Several other variables also seemed to affect the HR of ADHD including being male, being born preterm and being a low birth weight infant. To my mind, finding such variables already potentially connected to a heightened risk for a diagnosis of ADHD [2] strengthens the Wei results when it comes to jaundice potentially also being a risk factor. The authors conclude: "A risk alert regarding neurologic consequences is urgently required after a neonatal jaundice diagnosis" bearing in mind the need for further research on the potential mechanisms at work in this proposed relationship.I'm becoming pretty interested in the cognitive and developmental outcomes associated with cases of neonatal jaundice. As per previous posts on this blog on jaundice and autism (see here and more recently here), there are definitely grounds for quite a bit more investigation in this area. The overlap between something like ADHD with autism (at least some of the autisms) also begs the question whether there may be some tie up between the various diagnoses and something like neonatal jaundice. It certainly wouldn't be the first time that ADHD and autism have been mentioned with the same risk factors in mind as for example, with the increasingly interesting area of asthma and childhood neurodevelopmental issues (see here and see here)...Music to finish. I assume most people have heard the very sad news about actor and comedian Robin Williams this morning. Just the other day I was introducing my brood to Mork and Mindy... RIP.----------[1] Wei CC. et al. Neonatal jaundice and increased risk of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a population-based cohort study. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2014 Jul 24.[2] Chu SM. et al. The relationship between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and premature infants in Taiwanese: a case control study. BMC Psychiatry. 2012 Jul 23;12:85.----------Wei CC, Chang CH, Lin CL, Chang SN, Li TC, & Kao CH (2014). Neonatal jaundice and increased risk of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a population-based cohort study. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines PMID: 25056274... Read more »

  • August 11, 2014
  • 01:30 PM

New Hope for Autoimmune Diseases

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Autoimmune diseases are on the rise. Since I have a history of over sharing, my Uncle suffered from a form of lupus. It caused him intense and — in my opinion — unbearable pain although he shouldered it like the incredible man he was and never complained. My sister unfortunately is suffering from a rare disease that has yet to be diagnosed, which in my opinion has autoimmune dysfunction as the root cause. If you or anyone you know suffers in a similar fashion then you know that the treatments for such things are, expensive, moderately effective at best, and are overall inadequate.[…]... Read more »

Chhabra S, Chang SC, Nguyen HM, Huq R, Tanner MR, Londono LM, Estrada R, Dhawan V, Chauhan S, Upadhyay SK.... (2014) Kv1.3 channel-blocking immunomodulatory peptides from parasitic worms: implications for autoimmune diseases. FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. PMID: 24891519  

  • August 11, 2014
  • 12:00 PM


by Robb Hollis in Antisense Science

Those of you familiar with a certain misanthropic maverick MD will no doubt be familiar with the phrase “it’s never lupus”. Unfortunately, in the real world, it IS sometimes lupus – but what is lupus and how does it arise?
... Read more »

  • August 11, 2014
  • 12:00 PM

It's Never Lupus? Think Again...

by Robb Hollis in Antisense Science

Those of you familiar with a certain misanthropic maverick MD will no doubt be familiar with the phrase “it’s never lupus”. Unfortunately, in the real world, it IS sometimes lupus – but what is lupus and how does it arise?... Read more »

  • August 11, 2014
  • 11:42 AM

Clinical Drug Trials for Pathological Gambling

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Several drug classes hold promise for reduction in pathological gambling behavior.However, there are very few published randomized and controlled clinical drug trials in gambling subjects.Searching clinical trials and gambling on PubMed yields only one small open-label proof of concept trial for the drug tolcapone within the last year.This study found evidence that this COMT inhibitor drug reduced gambling symptoms and was accompanied by fronto-parietal activation on fMRI imaging.However, on searching the website there are a few trials in progress or recently completed for gambling.Here are a few interesting studies from with public information about the trials that is listed on the site.Investigation of Naltrexone for Pathological GamblingThis Yale University study is currently listed as ongoing but not recruiting participants. This is a placebo controlled study using 50 mg of naltrexone, an opiate antagonist as active drug.  The primary outcome measure is the Yale Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale Modified for Pathological Gambling (YBOCS-PG). The study has an estimated date of completion of February 2015.Memantine Treatment Study of Pathological GamblingThis open label study of the Alzheimer's drug memantine has some results published at but I could not find any on PubMed. Subjects in this study were treated with memantine 10 to 30 mg daily as tolerated. Mean YBOCS-PG scores decreased from 22 at baseline to 9 at 10 weeks. Open label studies are vulnerable to placebo effects.Clinical Study to Determine if Ecopipam Can Reduce Urges to GambleThis open label study investigated the effects of ecopipam a selective dopamine 1 receptor antagonist. Subjects were instructed to take a 50 mg tablet when they experienced an urge to gamble. The dose could be increased to 100 mg if the lower dose was ineffective. The study is listed as being completed in December of 2012 but I could find no published results on PubMed. The drug is reported to have reduced the YBOC-PG score from 28 to 14. An undefined safety issue is noted in the listing.Commentary:The relative paucity of published drug trial studies with only a few in progress suggests we are not really close to an effective drug treatment for gambling.In a future post, I will summarize some of the psychological treatment research on this topic.Photo of poker hand is from the author's files.Follow the author on Twitter WRY999.Grant JE, Odlaug BL, Chamberlain SR, Hampshire A, Schreiber LR, & Kim SW (2013). A proof of concept study of tolcapone for pathological gambling: relationships with COMT genotype and brain activation. European neuropsychopharmacology : the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 23 (11), 1587-96 PMID: 23953269... Read more »

Grant JE, Odlaug BL, Chamberlain SR, Hampshire A, Schreiber LR, & Kim SW. (2013) A proof of concept study of tolcapone for pathological gambling: relationships with COMT genotype and brain activation. European neuropsychopharmacology : the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 23(11), 1587-96. PMID: 23953269  

  • August 11, 2014
  • 09:38 AM

Lithium For Aging Brain

by Vivek Misra in The UberBrain

Recent studies investigating Lithium, a drug commonly used for the treatment of mood disorders in humans, found its robust neurotrophic and neuroprotective effects which can help us exploring new novel, exciting, and promising targets. The molecular mechanism underlying lithium’s mood stabilizing effect is not yet unraveled. Suggested hypotheses include inositol-depletion via inhibition of inositol- monophosphatase and neuroprotection, via inhibition of GSK-3. Chronic lithium treatment increases dentate-gyrus neurogenesis in adult rodents [1], reduces mice immobility in the forced-swim test (FST) model of depression [2] and attenuates amphetamine-induced hyperlocomotion model of mania [3]. Bessa et al [4] showed that antidepressants retain antidepressant-like effect in the FST even when neurogenesis is blocked. It has been hypothesized that blockade of neurogenesis will not affect lithium’s behavioral impact. Specifically, we studied whether lithium-induced decreased immobility in the FST and attenuated amphetamine-induced hyperactivity remain under neurogenesis-arrest conditions. The results suggest that lithium’s effect on neurogenesis is not involved in its antidepressant-like mechanism. Given ample evidence suggesting that lithium promotes neurogenesis via GSK-3β inhibition [5] it is plausible that lithium’s antidepressant-like effect is not mediated via GSK-3β inhibition. Studies reported that, there is an increased neurogenesis in homozygote knockout mice of the inositol transporter. Since these mice exhibit lithium-like reduced brain inositol and behavioral phenotype [6] which suggest that inositol depletion rather than GSK-3 inhibition mediate lithium’s mood stabilizing effects. How this will benefit People with Dementia? One of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease is the build-up of plaques of amyloid-beta, along with the neurofibrillary tangles, cause neurons to die, which leads […]
The post Lithium For Aging Brain appeared first on The UberBrain.
... Read more »

Chen G, Rajkowska G, Du F, Seraji-Bozorgzad N, & Manji HK. (2000) Enhancement of hippocampal neurogenesis by lithium. Journal of neurochemistry, 75(4), 1729-34. PMID: 10987856  

O'Brien WT, Harper AD, Jové F, Woodgett JR, Maretto S, Piccolo S, & Klein PS. (2004) Glycogen synthase kinase-3beta haploinsufficiency mimics the behavioral and molecular effects of lithium. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 24(30), 6791-8. PMID: 15282284  

Berggren U, Tallstedt L, Ahlenius S, & Engel J. (1978) The effect of lithium on amphetamine-induced locomotor stimulation. Psychopharmacology, 59(1), 41-5. PMID: 100811  

Agam G, Bersudsky Y, Berry GT, Moechars D, Lavi-Avnon Y, & Belmaker RH. (2009) Knockout mice in understanding the mechanism of action of lithium. Biochemical Society transactions, 37(Pt 5), 1121-5. PMID: 19754464  

Lu T, Aron L, Zullo J, Pan Y, Kim H, Chen Y, Yang TH, Kim HM, Drake D, Liu XS.... (2014) REST and stress resistance in ageing and Alzheimer's disease. Nature, 507(7493), 448-54. PMID: 24670762  

  • August 11, 2014
  • 03:43 AM

Risk of neurodevelopmental disorder in cases of hypospadias

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"This is the first study to identify an increased risk for neurodevelopmental disorders in patients with hypospadias, as well as an increased risk for ASD [autism spectrum disorders] in their brothers, suggesting a common familial (genetic and/or environmental) liability".Rainy days and Mondays... @ Wikipedia That was the conclusion reached in the study by Agnieszka Butwicka and colleagues [1] looking at various neurodevelopmental outcomes associated with a diagnosis of hypospadias, a congenital condition characterised by an "aberrant opening of the urethra on the underside of the penis". The authors noted that: "Patients with hypospadias were more likely to be diagnosed with intellectual disability... ADHD... and behavioral/emotional disorders" compared with asymptomatic controls. Further: "Brothers of patients with hypospadias had an increased risk of ASD" when compared with siblings of asymptomatic controls. Ergo, the possibility of a 'link' between a physical condition and neurodevelopment potentially with a familial link.Whilst being the first study to look at the possible behavioural correlates associated with hypospadias, I might draw your attention to some mention of this condition and the presentation of autism or autistic-like behaviour as per papers like the one from Willatt and colleagues [2] or in the case of ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder), the paper by Battaglia and colleagues [3]. In both cases, the focus of these papers were rare genetic conditions hinting as some shared role for genomic factors.That being said, the jury is still to some degree out about the possible cause(s) of hypospadias. The paper by Sharma and colleagues [4] talked about elevated blood cadmium and/or lead levels as being "associated with the increased risk of hypospadias". Knowing what we know about something like lead for example, and it's potential to affect developmental processes in quite small amounts (see here) might tie in well with such findings. Maternal exposure to specific chemicals (yes, that word again) has also been suggested to be potentially linked to hypospadias [5]. Certain pesticides reside in that 'chemical' category association too [6]. What this collected work points to is something suggesting that genes and environment variably interacting might also be a route to hypospadias, and onwards the correlation with neurodevelopmental conditions.Although the Butwicka paper talked about a sibling link between hypospadias and autism, my mind drifted back to the quite recent study by Rzhetsky and colleagues [4] (open-access) looking at congenital malformations of the reproductive study as surrogate markers for environmental exposures being linked to cases of autism (see here for that entry). At the time, I seem to remember there was some chatter about the usefulness of such data as surrogate markers for environmental exposure. What I think we might be able to draw from the Butwicka data is that hypospadias at least, might actual be quite a useful area for the continued study with neurodevelopmental conditions in mind.And to complement that painting, here are The Carpenters... (which might be particularly apt after the weather we've had here in Blighty recently).----------[1] Butwicka A. et al. Hypospadias and increased risk for neurodevelopmental disorders. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 2014. July 22.  doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12290[2] Willatt L. et al. 3q29 microdeletion syndrome: clinical and molecular characterization of a new syndrome. Am J Hum Genet. 2005 Jul;77(1):154-60.[3] Battaglia A. et al. The FG syndrome: report of a large Italian series. Am J Med Genet A. 2006 Oct 1;140(19):2075-9.[4] Sharma T. et al. Heavy metal levels in adolescent and maternal blood: association with risk of hypospadias. ISRN Pediatr. 2014 Mar 4;2014:714234.[5] Thorup J. et al. Genetic and environmental origins of hypospadias. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2014 Jun;21(3):227-32.[6] Michalakis M. et al. Hypospadias in offspring is associated with chronic exposure of parents to organophosphate and organochlorine pesticides. Toxicol Lett. 2013 Oct 25. pii: S0378-4274(13)01358-1.[7] Rzhetsky A. et al. Environmental and State-Level Regulatory Factors Affect the Incidence of Autism and Intellectual Disability. PLoS Comput Biol. 2014;  10(3): e1003518.----------Butwicka A, Lichtenstein P, Landén M, Nordenvall AS, Nordenström A, Nordenskjöld A, & Frisén L (2014). Hypospadias and increased risk for neurodevelopmental disorders. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines PMID: 25048198... Read more »

Butwicka A, Lichtenstein P, Landén M, Nordenvall AS, Nordenström A, Nordenskjöld A, & Frisén L. (2014) Hypospadias and increased risk for neurodevelopmental disorders. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines. PMID: 25048198  

  • August 11, 2014
  • 12:05 AM

Emergency Room Visits for Sports Injuries

by Nicole Cattano in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

Take Home Message: Sports-related injuries among teenagers accounts for over 430,000 emergency room visits in the United States in 2008 and represent a significant financial burden to the healthcare system.

Sports-related injuries in teenagers result in a significant number of emergency room visits, which can result in relatively large direct costs. However, little is known about national estimates of how many emergency room visits actually occur as well as the direct costs affiliated with this. The authors of this retrospective research study analyzed the 2008 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample data set for patient variables (e.g., age, sex, type of injury) among patients aged 13 to 19 years who visited an emergency room for a sports-related injury.... Read more »

Nalliah RP, Anderson IM, Lee MK, Rampa S, Allareddy V, & Allareddy V. (2014) Epidemiology of Hospital-Based Emergency Department Visits Due to Sports Injuries. Pediatric Emergency Care, 30(8), 511-515. PMID: 25062295  

  • August 10, 2014
  • 12:03 PM

Pregnancy and Antibacterial Soap a Potentially Dangerous Combination

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

My wife likes to sanitize everything with bleach. I don’t really approve, but I bite my tongue because it makes her feel better. Germs are everywhere and honestly there is […]... Read more »

Pycke BF, Geer LA, Dalloul M, Abulafia O, Jenck AM, & Halden RU. (2014) Human biomonitoring of prenatal exposure to triclosan and triclocarban in a multiethnic urban population from Brooklyn, New York. Environmental Science , 8831-8838. info:/10.1021/es501100w

  • August 9, 2014
  • 01:45 PM

Marijuana and the Developing Brain

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

You can’t get away from it, the big marijuana debate here in the US. Is it good? Is it bad? What are other countries doing? There are also a lot of claims made about marijuana, most of which aren’t true, namely the big medical claims. Then there is the other side of that fence, what about some of the health issues that are claimed, where does science sit on that?[…]... Read more »

Giedd JN, Blumenthal J, Jeffries NO, Rajapakse JC, Vaituzis AC, Liu H, Berry YC, Tobin M, Nelson J, & Castellanos FX. (1999) Development of the human corpus callosum during childhood and adolescence: a longitudinal MRI study. Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology , 23(4), 571-88. PMID: 10390717  

Giedd, J. N. (2004) Structural magnetic resonance imaging of the adolescent brain. Adolescent Brain Development: Vulnerabilities and Opportunities. info:/

Choo EK, Benz M, Zaller N, Warren O, Rising KL, & McConnell KJ. (2014) The impact of state medical marijuana legislation on adolescent marijuana use. The Journal of adolescent health : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, 55(2), 160-6. PMID: 24742758  

Joffe A, American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Substance Abuse, & American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Adolescence. (2004) Legalization of marijuana: potential impact on youth. Pediatrics, 113(6), 1825-6. PMID: 15173518  

  • August 9, 2014
  • 12:46 PM

Terminal Lucidity: Myth, Mystery or Miracle?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Can sick people gain mental clarity just before they die? University of Virginia researchers Michael Nahm and Bruce Greyson explore this issue in a gripping (if macabre) paper published in the journal Omega: The death of Anna Katharina Ehmer: a case study in terminal lucidity.The authors discuss the case of Anna Katharina Ehmer, a German […]The post Terminal Lucidity: Myth, Mystery or Miracle? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • August 8, 2014
  • 06:00 PM

Psychiatry and inflammation (again)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I'd like to bring two papers to your attention in today's very quick post."The Death Star plans are not in the main computer"First up is the article by Kahn & Sommer [1] (open-access) titled: 'The neurobiology and treatment of first-episode schizophrenia'. It's about as good a read as we have so far on the topic of "brain changes in the first phase of schizophrenia" and the various management options for first-episode schizophrenia. Outside of the very important fact that "It is highly unlikely that the pathogenesis of all patients with schizophrenia will be uniform", the authors make mention of the growing interest that "the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia is an increased proinflammatory status of the brain".Continuing on the topic of inflammation and psychiatry, which has been mentioned previously on this blog, the article by Friedrich [2] (open-access) is also worth a read which also covers anti-inflammatory treatment in schizophrenia. This paper has also been talked about with reference to inflammatory mechanisms potentially related to cases of autism (see here for some commentary).Cumulatively, these papers do a good job of bringing immune involvement in psychiatry to the forefront. The recent publication [3] suggestive of common genetic variants linked to schizophrenia and in particular "loci found in areas of the genome associated with the immune system" ties in well with the increased interest in issues like inflammation in relation to schizophrenia. The next question is 'where next?'.Music from a local band to finish: Frankie and the Heartstrings with Hunger. They also run quite a nice shop/store too (see here).----------[1] Kahn RS. Sommer IE. The neurobiology and treatment of first-episode schizophrenia. Mol Psychiatry. 2014. July 22.[2] Friedrich MJ. Research on Psychiatric Disorders Targets Inflammation. JAMA 2014. July 23.[3] Schizophrenia Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. Biological insights from 108 schizophrenia-associated genetic loci. Nature. 2014; 511: 421-427.----------Kahn RS, & Sommer IE (2014). The neurobiology and treatment of first-episode schizophrenia. Molecular psychiatry PMID: 25048005Friedrich MJ (2014). Research on Psychiatric Disorders Targets Inflammation. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association PMID: 25054339... Read more »

  • August 8, 2014
  • 03:36 PM

The Self Assembling Brain

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Let’s face it, if the brain were a lego set I would still be staring at the box wondering what I got myself into. So I guess we can just […]... Read more »

Lorenzo I. Finci et. al. (2014) The Crystal Structure of Netrin-1 in Complex with DCC Reveals the Bifunctionality of Netrin-1 As a Guidance Cue. Neuron. info:/

  • August 8, 2014
  • 12:13 PM

Melanoma, UV radiation, and TP53

by Aurelie in Coffee break Science

It’s summer, and time to get some tan. Many people flock to beaches and parks and expose as much skin as possible, bathing in sunlight – and ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Over the past decades, public health campaigns have rather successfully … Continue reading →... Read more »

Viros A, Sanchez-Laorden B, Pedersen M, Furney SJ, Rae J, Hogan K, Ejiama S, Girotti MR, Cook M, Dhomen N.... (2014) Ultraviolet radiation accelerates BRAF-driven melanomagenesis by targeting TP53. Nature, 511(7510), 478-82. PMID: 24919155  

  • August 8, 2014
  • 09:13 AM

Translational Findings: How fruit fly research has already contributed to human health

by Bethany Christmann in Fly on the Wall

How have fruit flies already contributed to human health? I review four landmark fly papers that won their authors Nobel Prizes in Physiology or Medicine. ... Read more »

  • August 8, 2014
  • 08:01 AM

Researchers Uncover Stem Cell Behaviour of Human Bowel

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

For the first time, researchers say they have uncovered new information on how stem cells in the human bowel behave, revealing vital clues about the earliest stages in bowel cancer development and how we may begin to prevent it.The research, led by Queen May University of London (QMUL) and published yesterday the journal Cell Reports, discovered how many stem cells exist within the human bowel and how they behave and evolve over time.Read More... Read more »

Quantification of Crypt and Stem Cell Evolution in the Normal and Neoplastic Human Colon. (2014) Ann-Marie Baker, Biancastella Cereser, Samuel Melton, Alexander G. Fletcher, Manuel Rodriguez-Justo, Paul J. Tadrous, Adam Humphries, George Elia, Stuart A.C. McDonald, Nicholas A. Wright, Benjamin D. Simons, Marnix Jansen, Trevor A. Graham. Cell Reports. info:/10.1016/j.celrep.2014.07.019

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