I wanted to alert Brain Posts readers to a very important ongoing study out of the United Kingdom.The UK Biobank prospective epidemiological study is a study designed to identify imaging markers for a wide variety of diseases. Additionally, a goal of the study is to better understand disease mechanisms.Here is what is being collected on 100,000 healthy participants who will be tracked over decades:Brain structural and functional imaging (fMRI)Brain diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)Neuropsychologica........ Read more »
Miller KL, Alfaro-Almagro F, Bangerter NK, Thomas DL, Yacoub E, Xu J, Bartsch AJ, Jbabdi S, Sotiropoulos SN, Andersson JL.... (2016) Multimodal population brain imaging in the UK Biobank prospective epidemiological study. Nature neuroscience. PMID: 27643430
Take Home Message: Limb symmetry indices may not be sufficient to identify strength and performance deficits, particularly in patients who have a history of bilateral anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.... Read more »
Zwolski, C., Schmitt, L., Thomas, S., Hewett, T., & Paterno, M. (2016) The Utility of Limb Symmetry Indices in Return-to-Sport Assessment in Patients With Bilateral Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 44(8), 2030-2038. DOI: 10.1177/0363546516645084
"While most studies found that respite care was associated with lower stress, several found that respite care was associated with higher stress."That sentence is perhaps the most important finding recorded in the 'integrative review' published by Kim Whitmore  looking at "the relationship between respite care and stress among caregivers of children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder]."Covering a "final sample of 11 primary research reports" the author provides yet another example of how ........ Read more »
Whitmore KE. (2016) Respite Care and Stress Among Caregivers of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Integrative Review. Journal of pediatric nursing. PMID: 27592275
Household dust exposes people to a wide range of toxic chemicals from everyday products, according to a new study. A multi-institutional team conducted a first-of-a-kind meta-analysis, compiling data from dust samples collected throughout the United States to identify the top ten toxic chemicals commonly found in dust.
... Read more »
Mitro, S., Dodson, R., Singla, V., Adamkiewicz, G., Elmi, A., Tilly, M., & Zota, A. (2016) Consumer Product Chemicals in Indoor Dust: A Quantitative Meta-analysis of U.S. Studies. Environmental Science . DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b02023
Vitamin D - the sunshine vitamin/hormone - is seemingly everywhere these days in research terms. At the time of writing this post we have news that vitamin D might cut the risk of severe asthma attacks if taken alongside prescribed asthma medication. The week before that it was the suggestion that vitamin D might be part of the explanation as to why childhood learning difficulties were more commonly found in children conceived during the winter months. Vitamin D is seemingly shouldering quite a ........ Read more »
Chen, J., Xin, K., Wei, J., Zhang, K., & Xiao, H. (2016) Lower maternal serum 25(OH) D in first trimester associated with higher autism risk in Chinese offspring. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 98-101. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2016.08.013
Depression is a common feature following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Post-TBI depression may be difficult to treat and evolve into a chronic depression syndrome.A recent published study demonstrates that prophylactic SSRI antidepressant treatment may reduce the incidence of depression following TBI.This study was conducted by investigators affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine and the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa.Ninety four subjects were recruited to this randomized........ Read more »
Jorge RE, Acion L, Burin DI, & Robinson RG. (2016) Sertraline for Preventing Mood Disorders Following Traumatic Brain Injury: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA psychiatry. PMID: 27626622
"Constipation and dyspepsia are disturbing gastrointestinal symptoms that are often ignored in research on physical comorbidities of schizophrenia."Go on."The prevalence of constipation was 31.3%, and of dyspepsia 23.6%."So said the findings reported by Tomi Virtanen and colleagues  who assessed "dyspepsia and constipation in a sample of outpatients with schizophrenia spectrum psychoses." Alongside the general practitioner assessment of such functional bowel complaints, researchers also ........ Read more »
Virtanen T, Eskelinen S, Sailas E, & Suvisaari J. (2016) Dyspepsia and constipation in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Nordic journal of psychiatry, 1-7. PMID: 27564411
Scientists trying to find ways to regenerate a damaged heart have shed more light on the molecular mechanisms that could one day make this a reality. Whilst other organs such as the liver can regenerate, the heart muscle has very little ability to do so after suffering damage, such as a heart attack.
In the womb the body is able to produce heart muscle cells but soon after birth it effectively stops producing them.... Read more »
Mazzotta, S., Neves, C., Bonner, R., Bernardo, A., Docherty, K., & Hoppler, S. (2016) Distinctive Roles of Canonical and Noncanonical Wnt Signaling in Human Embryonic Cardiomyocyte Development. Stem Cell Reports. DOI: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2016.08.008
"This large nationwide registry linkage study confirms that the clinical picture in CFS/ME [chronic fatigue syndrome / myalgic encephalomyelitis] is complex."That sentence, taken from the paper by Inger Bakken and colleagues  (open-access available here), is perhaps the under-statement of the year as authors sought to "describe comorbidities diagnosed in primary care in children diagnosed with CFS/ME in specialist health care" and "describe the timing of the diagnoses from prim........ Read more »
Bakken IJ, Tveito K, Aaberg KM, Ghaderi S, Gunnes N, Trogstad L, Magnus P, Stoltenberg C, & Håberg SE. (2016) Comorbidities treated in primary care in children with chronic fatigue syndrome / myalgic encephalomyelitis: A nationwide registry linkage study from Norway. BMC family practice, 17(1), 128. PMID: 27590471
My Twitter post on a recently published study of brain structure in a group of high performing older adults received quite a bit of attention (see below).Felicia Sun and colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School selected an interesting research design.A group of elderly subjects between the ages of 60 and 80 years were identified as showing "superaging". This was defined as scoring like young adults on two neuropsychological tests: The Long Delay Free Recall measure........ Read more »
Sun FW, Stepanovic MR, Andreano J, Barrett LF, Touroutoglou A, & Dickerson BC. (2016) Youthful Brains in Older Adults: Preserved Neuroanatomy in the Default Mode and Salience Networks Contributes to Youthful Memory in Superaging. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 36(37), 9659-9668. PMID: 27629716
Birt–Hogg–Dubé syndrome is caused by germline mutations in the FLCN gene and characterized by skin fibrofolliculomas, lung cysts, spontaneous pneumothorax (SP) and renal cancer. Because sudden changes in air pressure can increase the chances of developing a collapsed lung, a concern many BHD patients have is whether it is safe to air travel and scuba dive, or whether this increases the chances of a pneumothorax. In a new study, Johannesma et al. (2016) evaluate the incidence ........ Read more »
Johannesma, P., van de Beek, I., van der Wel, J., Paul, M., Houweling, A., Jonker, M., van Waesberghe, J., Reinhard, R., Starink, T., van Moorselaar, R.... (2016) Risk of spontaneous pneumothorax due to air travel and diving in patients with Birt–Hogg–Dubé syndrome. SpringerPlus, 5(1). DOI: 10.1186/s40064-016-3009-4
"Anxiety disorders significantly increased mortality risk. Comorbidity of anxiety disorders and depression played an important part in the increased mortality."So said the findings reported by Sandra Meier and colleagues  looking to assess any relationship between the presence of an anxiety disorder and mortality risk. Based on data from one of those oh-so-useful Scandinavian population registries (Denmark this time), researchers reported that: "The risk of death by natural and unnatural........ Read more »
Meier SM, Mattheisen M, Mors O, Mortensen PB, Laursen TM, & Penninx BW. (2016) Increased mortality among people with anxiety disorders: total population study. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science. PMID: 27388572
"Further RCTs [randomised-controlled trials] should be conducted on study populations with diagnosed or clinically significant depression of adequate duration using EPA [eicosapentaenoic acid] -predominant omega-3 HUFA [highly unsaturated fatty acids] formulations."So went the conclusions of the review article published by Brian Hallahan and colleagues  who searched the peer-reviewed science literature for clinical trials "evaluating efficacy of omega-3 high........ Read more »
Hallahan B, Ryan T, Hibbeln JR, Murray IT, Glynn S, Ramsden CE, SanGiovanni JP, & Davis JM. (2016) Efficacy of omega-3 highly unsaturated fatty acids in the treatment of depression. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science. PMID: 27103682
Stabilization exercises are better than general exercises for people with chronic non-specific low back pain and possibly as effective as manual therapy.... Read more »
Neto, M., Lopes, J., Conceição, C., Araujo, A., Brasileiro, A., Sousa, C., Carvalho, V., & Arcanjo, F. (2016) Stabilization exercise compared to general exercises or manual therapy for the management of low back pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Physical Therapy in Sport. DOI: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2016.08.004
The paper by Enzo Grossi and colleagues  (open-access) is definitely worthy of a post today and the suggestion that the "appropriate use of probiotics" might be something to consider for at least some diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum.Accepting that I'm slightly curious as to what would be considered 'inappropriate use of probiotics', the Grossi paper describes the clinical journey of a boy aged 12 diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) accompanied by learning (intellectual)........ Read more »
Grossi, E., Melli, S., Dunca, D., & Terruzzi, V. (2016) Unexpected improvement in core autism spectrum disorder symptoms after long-term treatment with probiotics. SAGE Open Medical Case Reports. DOI: 10.1177/2050313X16666231
Today I'm (belatedly) talking about the paper by Robert Naviaux and colleagues  (open-access) and some further peer-reviewed discussion concerning the metabolomics of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Suggesting that "targeted, broad-spectrum metabolomics of plasma not only revealed a characteristic chemical signature but also revealed an unexpected underlying biology" when it comes to CFS, it is not surprising that this work has attracted some media interest (indeed, quite a lot of m........ Read more »
Molecular model of the drug buprenorphineThe U.S. Surgeon General recently sent a letter to all physicians about the danger of prescription opioids, particularly when used in combination with benzodiazepines (i.e. Valium, Xanax). This combination greatly increases the risk of overdose death.Clinicians can successfully assist those with opioid use disorders. Marc Schuckit, M.D. recently published a nice summary review of entitled "Treatment of Opioid-Use Disorder" in the New England Journal........ Read more »
This post describes the concept behind combination therapies for cancer. Why are they needed? Why can they fail...?... Read more »
"Tablet and phone games could help diagnose autism, study suggests" went the BBC headline covering the paper by Anna Anzulewicz and colleagues  (open-access). The idea being that the way that touch screens are used on tablet and smart phones could potentially 'separate out' those with autism from those with not-autism.Based on a small participant number of "37 children 3–6 years old with autism and 45 age- and gender-matched children developing typically" researchers set about examinin........ Read more »
Anzulewicz A, Sobota K, & Delafield-Butt JT. (2016) Toward the Autism Motor Signature: Gesture patterns during smart tablet gameplay identify children with autism. Scientific reports, 31107. PMID: 27553971
Three minutes of acupressure was effective in decreasing pain in athletes that sustained an acute musculoskeletal injury; however, it failed to help decrease anxiety levels.... Read more »
Mącznik, A., Schneiders, A., Athens, J., & Sullivan, S. (2016) Does Acupressure Hit the Mark? A Three-Arm Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial of Acupressure for Pain and Anxiety Relief in Athletes With Acute Musculoskeletal Sports Injuries. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, 1. DOI: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000378
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