Vehicular air pollution could cause autism - Photo by Sarah StephenA recent study by Californian researchers indicates increased odds for developing autism in children whose mothers were exposed to ozone and particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5). Ozone and PM2.5 are associated with vehicular pollution and this study emphasizes the dangers posed by traffic pollutants to health in utero.The researchers used Los Angeles as a sample population. Mothers of over 7600 children between ages of 3........ Read more »
Becerra, T., Wilhelm, M., Olsen, J., Cockburn, M., & Ritz, B. (2012) Ambient Air Pollution and Autism in Los Angeles County, California. Environmental Health Perspectives. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1205827
Windham, G., Zhang, L., Gunier, R., Croen, L., & Grether, J. (2006) Autism Spectrum Disorders in Relation to Distribution of Hazardous Air Pollutants in the San Francisco Bay Area. Environmental Health Perspectives, 114(9), 1438-1444. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.9120
I previously reviewed a brain research imaging study of patients with systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE). This study found evidence of disruption of brain connectivity markers even before any clinical brain symptoms.SLE is a multi-organ disease known to produce significant neuropsychiatric symptoms. These symptoms do not affect all patients with SLE as the brain effects are highly variable in this disorder. Studying patients with early SLE without brain-related symptoms provide........ Read more »
Ramage, A., Fox, P., Brey, R., Narayana, S., Cykowski, M., Naqibuddin, M., Sampedro, M., Holliday, S., Franklin, C., Wallace, D.... (2011) Neuroimaging evidence of white matter inflammation in newly diagnosed systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis , 63(10), 3048-3057. DOI: 10.1002/art.30458
Researchers have recently published a case report of 61 years old Japanese, who is a “disease-free survivor of malignant pleural mesothelioma” for seven years utilizing only heat therapy and chemotherapy.
This case report has been published online in the Journal of Medical Case Reports.
This Japanese man, with five years of asbestos exposure, went to hospital for chest pain. His scan showed thickening on the right lining around the lungs and some small nodules. Moreover, a tumo........ Read more »
Okonogi, N., Ebara, T., Ishikawa, H., Yoshida, D., Ueno, M., Maeno, T., Suga, T., & Nakano, T. (2012) A seven-year disease-free survivor of malignant pleural mesothelioma treated with hyperthermia and chemotherapy: a case report. Journal of Medical Case Reports, 6(1), 427. DOI: 10.1186/1752-1947-6-427
For this week’s Tip of the Week we highlight our new tutorial on OMIM, Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man. If you haven’t looked at OMIM for a while, or if you usually only think about it as a link in some other database you use, look again. There’s more there than you realize. OMIM is [...]... Read more »
Amberger, J., Bocchini, C., & Hamosh, A. (2011) A new face and new challenges for Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM®). Human Mutation, 32(5), 564-567. DOI: 10.1002/humu.21466
Researchers discover that the genes active in a person’s belly fat are significantly different than those in his or her thigh fat, a finding that could shift the way we approach unwanted belly fat—from banishing it to relocating it.... Read more »
Karastergiou K, Fried SK, Xie H, Lee MJ, Divoux A, Rosencrantz MA, Chang RJ, & Smith SR. (2013) Distinct developmental signatures of human abdominal and gluteal subcutaneous adipose tissue depots. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 98(1), 362-71. PMID: 23150689
Mammals are diploid organisms. Triploid and tetraploid fetuses are the largest single cause of spontaneous abortions. Yet one mammal, the red vizcacha rat (T. berrarae) survives as a tetraploid mammal. New evidence indicates that the T. berrerae is a tetraploid hybrid of diploid species of rat, not a result of meiotic or mitotic duplication in a single ancestor. The key to surviving tetaploidy in this rat may have implications for cancer treatment.
Treatment induced cancer senescence (TCS) ha........ Read more »
Suárez-Villota, E., Vargas, R., Marchant, C., Torres, J., Köhler, N., Núñez, J., de la Fuente, R., Page, J., Gallardo, M., & Jenkins, G. (2012) Distribution of repetitive DNAs and the hybrid origin of the red vizcacha rat (Octodontidae). Genome, 55(2), 105-117. DOI: 10.1139/G11-084
Wang, Q., Wu, P., Dong, D., Ivanova, I., Chu, E., Zeliadt, S., Vesselle, H., & Wu, D. (2012) Polyploidy road to therapy-induced cellular senescence and escape. International Journal of Cancer. DOI: 10.1002/ijc.27810
Measuring ground reaction and contact pressure forces can be a time-intensive and expensive burden that is often difficult to justify for clinical uses; for example, injury prevention or performance improvements among the athletic population. Recent technological advancements within video gaming systems and the development of the Wii balance board may make this type of analysis more readily available to clinicians and patients in sports medicine. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to inv........ Read more »
Yamamoto K, & Matsuzawa M. (2012) Validity of a jump training apparatus using Wii Balance Board. Gait . PMID: 23219781
When Charles Darwin first sketched how species evolved by natural selection, he drew what looked like a tree. The diagram started at a central point with a common ancestor, then the lines spread apart as organisms evolved and separated into distinct species. In the 175 years since, scientists have come to agree that Darwin’s original [...]... Read more »
Joseph K. Pickrell, & Jonathan K. Pritchard. (2012) Inference of population splits and mixtures from genome-wide allele frequency data. PLoS Genet 8(11): e1002967 (2012). arXiv: 1206.2332v1
The recent papers published by Amanda Langridge and colleagues* (open-access) and Venla Lehti and colleagues** set some cogs running in my grey/pink matter recently with their research focus on our very earliest days and what (if any) risk for the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) there may be when things don't go as smoothly as expected during that magical nine months and just before/after.A new child is Björn @ Wikipedia I've previously talked about factors during pregnancy and........ Read more »
Amanda T. Langridge, Emma J. Glasson, Natasha Nassar, Peter Jacoby, Craig Pennell, Ronald Hagan, Jenny Bourke, Helen Leonard, & Fiona J. Stanley. (2013) Maternal Conditions and Perinatal Characteristics Associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability. PLoS ONE. info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0050963
My attention was drawn to an article in the JAMA today (1) by one of my friends who is actively pursuing the USMLE route. And after reading this, I guess I have to admit that one now has to make haste in order to prevent waste. Now I have long been wanting to write about [...]... Read more »
Traverso G, & McMahon GT. (2012) Residency training and international medical graduates: coming to America no more. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 308(21), 2193-4. PMID: 23212494
One of the burdens of the information age is that there’s far more content produced than could ever be read by the population. This is categorically true of blogging, but also a fact of research publication. With hundreds of academic journals (ISI indexes over 11,000 science and social science journals) and thousands of articles published [...]... Read more »
Tort, A., Targino, Z., & Amaral, O. (2012) Rising Publication Delays Inflate Journal Impact Factors. PLoS ONE, 7(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053374
This is part II in my series of posts on the role of dopamine in anorexia nervosa. (You can find the first part, which covers the basics of dopamine signalling, here.) In this post I’m going to discuss the findings from preclinical studies (studies in animal models).
I don’t think I’ve talked about animal models of anorexia nervosa before on the blog, but believe or not, they exist. The most well-known one is called activity-based anorexia (ABA). ABA works like this: ........ Read more »
‘What’s this? A potato?’ asked my friend’s grandfather during lunch. As always, he used his charming grin and characteristically loud voice. Even though the entire conversation was in Argentine Spanish – which I had learned only a short while before – I understood the oddity of the situation at once. Instead of a potato, the [...]... Read more »
Akbaraly, T., Portet, F., Fustinoni, S., Dartigues, J., Artero, S., Rouaud, O., Touchon, J., Ritchie, K., & Berr, C. (2009) Leisure activities and the risk of dementia in the elderly: Results from the Three-City Study. Neurology, 73(11), 854-861. DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181b7849b
Bickel H, & Kurz A. (2009) Education, occupation, and dementia: the Bavarian school sisters study. Dementia and geriatric cognitive disorders, 27(6), 548-56. PMID: 19590201
Hall CB, Derby C, LeValley A, Katz MJ, Verghese J, & Lipton RB. (2007) Education delays accelerated decline on a memory test in persons who develop dementia. Neurology, 69(17), 1657-64. PMID: 17954781
Hall CB, Lipton RB, Sliwinski M, Katz MJ, Derby CA, & Verghese J. (2009) Cognitive activities delay onset of memory decline in persons who develop dementia. Neurology, 73(5), 356-61. PMID: 19652139
Kemppainen NM, Aalto S, Karrasch M, Någren K, Savisto N, Oikonen V, Viitanen M, Parkkola R, & Rinne JO. (2008) Cognitive reserve hypothesis: Pittsburgh Compound B and fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography in relation to education in mild Alzheimer's disease. Annals of neurology, 63(1), 112-8. PMID: 18023012
Rentz DM, Locascio JJ, Becker JA, Moran EK, Eng E, Buckner RL, Sperling RA, & Johnson KA. (2010) Cognition, reserve, and amyloid deposition in normal aging. Annals of neurology, 67(3), 353-64. PMID: 20373347
Scarmeas, N., Albert, S.M., Manly, J.J., & Stern, Y. (2005) Education and rates of cognitive decline in incident Alzheimer's disease. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery , 77(3), 308-316. DOI: 10.1136/jnnp.2005.072306
Valenzuela MJ, & Sachdev P. (2006) Brain reserve and cognitive decline: a non-parametric systematic review. Psychological medicine, 36(8), 1065-73. PMID: 16650343
The default-mode network comprises several brain regions (i.e., posterior cingulate cortex, inferior parietal and medial prefrontal cortex) and is involved in brain activity at rest. When this network is altered higher cognitive functions (e.g., memory) become disrupted. Similar dysfunctions are symptoms from a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). Therefore, Zhou and colleagues investigated the integrity of the default-mode network among 23 patients with MTBI and 18 healthy control participants.... Read more »
Zhou Y, Milham MP, Lui YW, Miles L, Reaume J, Sodickson DK, Grossman RI, & Ge Y. (2012) Default-mode network disruption in mild traumatic brain injury. Radiology, 265(3), 882-92. PMID: 23175546
Two long-term studies yield grim stats, and women are no exception.
We know that smoking kills. But until the results of 50 years’ worth of observations on British male smokers was published by Richard Doll and coworkers in the British Journal of Medicine in 2004, we didn’t know how many. Cigarettes will kill at least half of those who smoke them past the age of 30—possibly more. In older, specific populations, possibly as many as 2/3.
It took a prospective study of more ........ Read more »
Pirie, K., Peto, R., Reeves, G., Green, J., & Beral, V. (2012) The 21st century hazards of smoking and benefits of stopping: a prospective study of one million women in the UK. The Lancet. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61720-6
As per the primary message on this blog, I'm a great believer in science and the scientific method as a route to informing the public at large about lots of different issues. A recent opinion piece in Chemistry World by Prof. Steve Fuller kinda coincided with my view of science: an informer, not an instructor.Outside of the notion of science measuring probabilities over absolutes, one of the other great pillars of the scientific method is the concept of replication: that is for a finding to........ Read more »
Okusaga O, Yolken RH, Langenberg P, Sleemi A, Kelly DL, Vaswani D, Giegling I, Hartmann AM, Konte B, Friedl M.... (2013) Elevated gliadin antibody levels in individuals with schizophrenia. The world journal of biological psychiatry : the official journal of the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry. PMID: 23282016
The modern biomedical research and healthcare delivery domains have seen an unparalleled increase in the rate of innovation and novel technologies over the past several decades. Catalyzed by paradigm-shifting public and private programs focusing upon the formation and delivery of genomic and personalized medicine, the need for high-throughput and integrative approaches to the collection, management, and analysis of heterogeneous data sets has become imperative. This need is particularly pressing........ Read more »
I recently wrote about anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, a neurological disorder that often manifests with psychiatric symptoms, such as depression and hallucinations.The latest American Journal of Psychiatry features a strange series of four drawings made by a 15 year old girl during an episode of the disease, which presented as psychotic symptoms but later progressed to severe insomnia and epilepsy before it was diagnosed and treated."As she gradually recovered we asked her to draw something. S........ Read more »
Esseveld MM, van de Riet EH, Cuypers L, & Schieveld JN. (2013) Drawings During Neuropsychiatric Recovery From Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis. The American journal of psychiatry, 170(1), 21-2. PMID: 23288386
There is this prevalent myth on tumblr eating disorder blogs that increased dopamine (DA) receptor activity or increased DA signalling causes anorexia nervosa. It has left me quite perplexed, as I have never come across a single paper that has shown increased DA activity causes anorexia nervosa. My research for this post also left me empty-handed. I have no idea where this myth comes from, but I thought I’d blog about what research on DA activity in anorexia has shown.&........ Read more »
Beaulieu, J., & Gainetdinov, R. (2011) The Physiology, Signaling, and Pharmacology of Dopamine Receptors. Pharmacological Reviews, 63(1), 182-217. DOI: 10.1124/pr.110.002642
Nine subtypes have been found in humans, but some of them only on rare occasions. A recent study going out from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and led by Dr Alfellani and published just now in Acta Tropica looked at 356 Blastocystis sequences from samples from the UK and Libya, but also from sub-Saharan Africa, namely Liberia and Nigeria.... Read more »
Alfellani, M., Stensvold, C., Vidal-Lapiedra, A., Onuoha, E., Fagbenro-Beyioku, A., & Clark, C. (2013) Variable geographic distribution of Blastocystis subtypes and its potential implications. Acta Tropica. DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2012.12.011
Stensvold, C. (2012) Comparison of Sequencing (Barcode Region) and Sequence-Tagged-Site PCR for Blastocystis Subtyping. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 51(1), 190-194. DOI: 10.1128/JCM.02541-12
Domínguez-Márquez, M., Guna, R., Muñoz, C., Gómez-Muñoz, M., & Borrás, R. (2009) High prevalence of subtype 4 among isolates of Blastocystis hominis from symptomatic patients of a health district of Valencia (Spain). Parasitology Research, 105(4), 949-955. DOI: 10.1007/s00436-009-1485-y
Stensvold, C., Alfellani, M., & Clark, C. (2012) Levels of genetic diversity vary dramatically between Blastocystis subtypes. Infection, Genetics and Evolution, 12(2), 263-273. DOI: 10.1016/j.meegid.2011.11.002
Stensvold, C., Christiansen, D., Olsen, K., & Nielsen, H. (2011) Blastocystis sp. Subtype 4 is Common in Danish Blastocystis-Positive Patients Presenting with Acute Diarrhea. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 84(6), 883-885. DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.2011.11-0005
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