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  • September 19, 2011
  • 03:29 PM

Seeing is believing?

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

I am slowly wending my way through a long, complex and incredibly important article by a group of researchers and clinicians writing about the social element of pain.  The basic premise of this paper is that while pain is a private experience, we are social creatures.  As social creatures, we communicate about things that are … Read more... Read more »

Hadjistavropoulos, T., Craig, K., Duck, S., Cano, A., Goubert, L., Jackson, P., Mogil, J., Rainville, P., Sullivan, M., de C. Williams, A.... (2011) A biopsychosocial formulation of pain communication. Psychological Bulletin. DOI: 10.1037/a0023876  

  • September 19, 2011
  • 01:39 PM

Inflammation, Depression and Heart Disease

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Sunset in Santa Fe, New MexicoMajor depression appears linked to risk for coronary artery disease and an adverse outcome following myocardial infarction.  The mechanism for this association is unclear.One proposed mechanism relates to systemic markers of inflammation.  Elevated serum blood levels of inflammatory markers such as interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein are risk factors for heart disease.  Some research point to higher inflammatory markers levels in samples of individua........ Read more »

  • September 19, 2011
  • 07:28 AM

Who likes to play online games?

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Buffer Some research has been done on factors influencing a persons likelihood to play online games. All these motivations found in research doesn’t say much about the sources of these motivations. This study looks at how personality traits motivate online game play. This study was done in Korea. In Korea, watching television, going to the [...]

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  • September 18, 2011
  • 10:05 PM

Exercise and Your Immune System Revisited

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

It's not every day I get an email from someone in Taiwan about exercise, white blood cells, and menstruation. But in response to my post How Much Exercise Harms Your Immune System?, Guan-Da Syu from National Cheng Kung University Medical College dropped me a friendly note (if you can call an email with its own bibliography a "note") a few days ago. Syu is the lead author of the paper I'd discussed in that post, and he wanted to respond to some questions I raised.

T........ Read more »

  • September 16, 2011
  • 06:23 PM

Predictors of PTSD in children and adults

by Eva Alisic in Trauma Recovery

We know that traumatic events occur quite often. We also know that most people are resilient, even though many survivors experience some distress in the direct aftermath of an event. Only a minority will develop longer-term stress symptoms. What are their characteristics? Who is ‘at risk’ after trauma? ... Read more »

Alisic, E., Jongmans, M., van Wesel, F., & Kleber, R. (2011) Building child trauma theory from longitudinal studies: A meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 31(5), 736-747. DOI: 10.1016/j.cpr.2011.03.001  

  • September 16, 2011
  • 11:32 AM

Whole-genome sequencing and clinical annotation

by Daniel Koboldt in Massgenomics

Next-generation sequencing has immense transformative potential for medicine in the coming decade. Rapid, economical whole-genome sequencing can provide a wealth of information useful for diagnosis, treatment, and even prevention of disease. Very soon (if not already), generating whole-genome sequencing data will be routine. The challenges will lie in accurate variant calling, phasing, annotation, and clinical [...]... Read more »

Frederick E. Dewey, Rong Chen, Sergio P. Cordero, Kelly E. Ormond, Colleen Caleshu, Konrad J. Karczewski, Michelle Whirl-Carrillo, Matthew T. Wheeler, Joel T. Dudley, Jake K. Byrnes, Omar E. Cornejo, Joshua W. Knowles, Mark Woon, Katrin Sangkuhl, Li Gong,, Madeleine P. Ball, Alexander W. Zaranek, Heidi L. Rehm, George M. Church, John S. West, Carlos D. Bustamante, Michael Snyder, Russ B. Altman, Teri E. Klein.... (2011) Phased whole genome genetic risk in a family quartet using a major allele reference sequence. PLoS Genetics, 7(9). info:/

  • September 15, 2011
  • 09:37 AM

Cannabis use in young people: The risk for schizophrenia

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Buffer Now, addiction is not Dr Shock’s specialty but I have attended a lecture on this subject a few years ago by one of the authors Robin M. Murray and was very impressed by the subtlety of his research and reasoning. Moreover, I’ve often been questioned about this subject by our med students just before [...]

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Casadio, P., Fernandes, C., Murray, R., & Di Forti, M. (2011) Cannabis use in young people: The risk for schizophrenia. Neuroscience , 35(8), 1779-1787. DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2011.04.007  

  • September 14, 2011
  • 04:22 PM

Real-Time fMRI Psychotherapy

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Old World Psychotherapy: Sofa of Sigmund FreudThere has been a series of interesting research studies examining the effect of psychotherapy on brain structure and function.  These studies have typically shown that effective psychotherapy results in reduction of brain deficits or abnormalities associated with a specific neuropsychiatric disorder.Now a study published in Plos One summarizes the results of study examining the use of real-time fMRI to provide neurofeedback during an amygdala ac........ Read more »

Zotev, V., Krueger, F., Phillips, R., Alvarez, R., Simmons, W., Bellgowan, P., Drevets, W., & Bodurka, J. (2011) Self-Regulation of Amygdala Activation Using Real-Time fMRI Neurofeedback. PLoS ONE, 6(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0024522  

  • September 13, 2011
  • 03:29 PM

How Much Exercise Harms Your Immune System?

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

I'm looking at you, marathoners and triathletes. While you're out there building superhuman endurance and making the rest of us feel bad, are you also beefing up your immune systems? Or does becoming an Ironwoman actually weaken your body's defenses?

It may depend on how you're exercising. Researchers in Taiwan compared two types of exercise, the names of which might reveal the researchers' own feelings toward hitting the gym: "Acute Severe Exercise" (ASE) and "Chronic Moderate Exercise" (CME)......... Read more »

  • September 13, 2011
  • 03:27 PM

Serotonin, Social Interaction and Making Decisions

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

The role of specific neurotransmitters and neurotransmitter circuits in decision making is being explored in a variety of ways.  Dopamine appears to have significant research support for a key role in making decisions related to reward.The role of serotonin in decision making is less well studied but also appears to be important.  Robert Rogers, Ph.D. recently presented some of his lab's research at the Warren Frontiers in Neuroscience lecture in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  (Additionally, I........ Read more »

  • September 13, 2011
  • 01:07 PM

Attack of the Warrior Gene Babies!

by nooffensebut in The Unsilenced Science

This is a look at the first study on the warrior gene’s effect on babies, and I reviewed the scientific literature on monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) in women and Asians, including epigenetics and gene expression, and hormone-gene interactions in aggression.... Read more »

Zhang M, Chen X, Way N, Yoshikawa H, Deng H, Ke X, Yu W, Chen P, He C, Chi X.... (2011) The association between infants' self-regulatory behavior and MAOA gene polymorphism. Developmental science, 14(5), 1059-1065. PMID: 21884321  

  • September 13, 2011
  • 12:00 PM

Genes for antibiotic resistance

by Lab Rat in Lab Rat Blog

Ever since the discovery and marketing of penicillin in 1928 by Alexander Fleming, bacteria have been developing resistance to antibiotics at an alarming rate. In many cases, resistant bacteria can be found lurking even before the new drug hits the market, making it only a matter of time before it becomes widespread.

Bacteria that are resistant to multiple antibiotics are commonly known as ‘superbugs’ and on one particularly virulent such bug is vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus ........ Read more »

Arias CA, Panesso D, McGrath DM, Qin X, Mojica MF, Miller C, Diaz L, Tran TT, Rincon S, Barbu EM.... (2011) Genetic basis for in vivo daptomycin resistance in enterococci. The New England journal of medicine, 365(10), 892-900. PMID: 21899450  

  • September 12, 2011
  • 01:20 PM

Patient Perceptions of Computed Tomographic Imaging and Their Understanding of Radiation Risk and Exposure – Part IV

by Rogue Medic in Rogue Medic

We seem to most insist on stripping information of its meaning when we create multiple choice tests. Correct answers become a simple matter of memorization separated from understanding. This is one way to create the protocol monkey - the automaton, whom we claim is rendered harmless by being prevented from thinking. This desire to prevent the use of judgment may be the ultimate irrational decision.... Read more »

Wears RL. (2011) Risk, radiation, and rationality. Annals of emergency medicine, 58(1), 9-11. PMID: 21459481  

  • September 12, 2011
  • 12:14 PM

Going bananas over RotPotA...

by Kausik Datta in In Scientio Veritas

Caveat Lector: This post may contain what one might consider spoilers. Therefore, if you haven't already watched the 2011 movie "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" and are planning to do so, please cease and desist from reading...... Read more »

  • September 12, 2011
  • 11:07 AM

Is Insomnia a Risk Factor for Suicide?

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Sleep is known to be important for physical as well as emotional well-being.  Mood and anxiety disorders commonly present with a variety of sleep problems including initial, middle and early morning insomnia.  Although the association of mood disorders and anxiety disorders in suicide is established, the independent contribution of insomnia to suicide risk is less well studied.Bjorngaard and colleagues recently published a results of a Norwegian study on this issue in the Journal Sleep........ Read more »

  • September 12, 2011
  • 09:00 AM

Roche files vismodegib for basal cell carcinoma with FDA

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

Good new this morning as Roche announced that their Hedgehog (Hh) inhibitor licensed from Curis, GDC-0449 (now know as vismodegib), has been submitted to the FDA for the treatment of advanced basal cell carcinoma (BCC) in patients for whom surgery is not appropriate.... Read more »

  • September 12, 2011
  • 04:39 AM

Optimism and Personality

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Buffer Optimism is good for you, this feature enhances physical well being, gets you more adjusted and satisfied with life. But what is the relationship between optimism and personality? Of course the big five was used to answer this question. For those of you who don’t exactly know what the big five is The Big [...]

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  • September 11, 2011
  • 07:50 PM

Music – The Medicine of the Mind

by Jennifer Gibson, PharmD in Brain Blogger

Music is the language of the soul. Where words end, music begins. Now, a review article suggests that where modern medicine ends, music begins. The review evaluated 30 trials that included almost 2,000 cancer patients who received music therapy in concert with traditional treatment. Overall, music had a beneficial effect on the patients’ anxiety levels [...]... Read more »

Allred KD, Byers JF, & Sole ML. (2010) The effect of music on postoperative pain and anxiety. Pain management nursing : official journal of the American Society of Pain Management Nurses, 11(1), 15-25. PMID: 20207324  

Erkkilä J, Punkanen M, Fachner J, Ala-Ruona E, Pöntiö I, Tervaniemi M, Vanhala M, & Gold C. (2011) Individual music therapy for depression: randomised controlled trial. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science, 132-9. PMID: 21474494  

Mahon EM, & Mahon SM. (2011) Music therapy: a valuable adjunct in the oncology setting. Clinical journal of oncology nursing, 15(4), 353-6. PMID: 21810567  

Schlez A, Litmanovitz I, Bauer S, Dolfin T, Regev R, & Arnon S. (2011) Combining kangaroo care and live harp music therapy in the neonatal intensive care unit setting. The Israel Medical Association journal : IMAJ, 13(6), 354-8. PMID: 21809733  

  • September 11, 2011
  • 05:09 PM

What do we have to do to prove that a vaccine is safe?

by Jennifer Ring in Antiviral Immunity

about scientific misconduct in the Wakefield study suggesting autism was caused by the MMR vaccine... Read more »

  • September 11, 2011
  • 11:12 AM

How much 9/11 TV footage is too much?

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

Ten years on from the fateful and tragic day, once again our TV screens relive the moments when the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon came under terrorist attack. Footage of planes exploding into skyscrapers, crumbling buildings and billowing dust clouds are all now indelibly etched into all of our psyches. It was a watershed … Continue reading »... Read more »

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