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  • April 27, 2014
  • 09:15 PM

Mice inherit fathers’ trauma through small RNAs?

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

When it comes to inheritance, you’re getting more than just DNA. Life experiences – famine, stress, fear and even drug use – can all leave...... Read more »

Gapp K, Jawaid A, Sarkies P, Bohacek J, Pelczar P, Prados J, Farinelli L, Miska E, & Mansuy IM. (2014) Implication of sperm RNAs in transgenerational inheritance of the effects of early trauma in mice. Nature neuroscience, 17(5), 667-9. PMID: 24728267  

  • April 21, 2014
  • 04:27 PM

Daylight Savings is a Public Health Concern. Who is responsible? The circadian system or sleep homeostat?

by Allison in Dormivigilia

A study published in 2013 did a US examination of the risk for heart attack from falling back or springing forward (Daylight Savings). The results mirror those of a landmark study on the subject. But neither study seems to think that disruption of circadian rhythms is responsible, but rather that one hour of precious sleep lost or gained...... Read more »

Jiddou MR, Pica M, Boura J, Qu L, & Franklin BA. (2013) Incidence of myocardial infarction with shifts to and from daylight savings time. The American journal of cardiology, 111(5), 631-5. PMID: 23228926  

  • April 19, 2014
  • 02:54 AM

Brain oscillations bind smell to memory

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image credit: Pixar As a foodie, one scene in Pixar’s Ratatouille particularly resonated with me: Anton Ego, the acerbic food critic, takes one bite out...... Read more »

  • April 18, 2014
  • 01:07 PM

Overcomming Social Phobia with CBT and Pharmacotherapy

by Vivek Misra in Uberbrain Research Frontier

photo credit: ParadigmMalibu.comSocial phobia, a type of anxiety disorder, is characterized by persistent fear of one or more social or performance situations in which the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny by others (1). The individual fears that he or she will act in a way (or show anxiety symptoms) that will be embarrassing and humiliating.  Exposure to the feared situation almost invariably provokes anxiety, which may take the form of a situationally bou........ Read more »

Domschke K, Stevens S, Beck B, Baffa A, Hohoff C, Deckert J, & Gerlach AL. (2009) Blushing propensity in social anxiety disorder: influence of serotonin transporter gene variation. Journal of neural transmission (Vienna, Austria : 1996), 116(6), 663-6. PMID: 18629430  

Nahshoni E, Gur S, Marom S, Levin JB, Weizman A, & Hermesh H. (2004) QT dispersion in patients with social phobia. Journal of affective disorders, 78(1), 21-6. PMID: 14672793  

  • April 7, 2014
  • 08:33 PM

Is ketamine really a plausible treatment for depression?

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Last week, a publication in the Journal of Psychopharmacology made international news by reporting that patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) showed improvement after being given the dissociative hallucinogenic drug ketamine. Ketamine, which is traditionally used as an anesthetic in humans and other animals, is probably better known for its use as a party drug (in this context it is often called "special K"). However, a growing body of evidence has begun to suggest that ketamine may........ Read more »

  • March 30, 2014
  • 06:33 AM

The right inferior frontal cortex - The brain’s cognitive brake

by Robert Seymour in NeuroFractal

Whilst go/no-go tasks and stop-tasks have given researchers a lot of information about “pure” inhibition, this is not how people typically stop themselves performing actions in real life. In the past few years a slightly more ecologically valid paradigm has emerged in which participants anticipate they might have to inhibit a response, followed by the normal Go/No-Go signal. Participant’s responses are very slightly slower on go trials if they anticipate having to stop. This ha........ Read more »

  • March 27, 2014
  • 12:51 PM

Is Insomnia Relief Just a Mouse Click Away?

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Cognitive behavioral treatment of insomnia (CBT-I) is increasingly recognized as an important treatment option.However, in some regions of the U.S. and the world, access to this type of therapy is limited and may be cost prohibitive.A recent review of the diagnosis and treatment of insomnia noted the promise of internet-based CBT-I. The promise of internet-based CBT-I is based on several randomized controlled trials.Ritterband and colleagues published a study 44 subjects randomize........ Read more »

Buysse DJ. (2013) Insomnia. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 309(7), 706-16. PMID: 23423416  

Ritterband LM, Thorndike FP, Gonder-Frederick LA, Magee JC, Bailey ET, Saylor DK, & Morin CM. (2009) Efficacy of an Internet-based behavioral intervention for adults with insomnia. Archives of general psychiatry, 66(7), 692-8. PMID: 19581560  

  • March 25, 2014
  • 11:08 AM

When Sleeping Pills Don't Work

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Hypnotics or sleeping pills typically are effective and indicated as an option for the short-term relief of transient insomnia.However, a minority of individuals report persistent insomnia and lack of sleep despite use of a hypnotic.When drugs that typically treat a disorder fail to work, it is important to reconsider the accuracy of the diagnosis.Yun Li and colleagues from China recently published a case report illustrating this issue in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.They reported on a........ Read more »

Li Y, Li Z, Lei F, Du L, & Tang X. (2013) Persistent insomnia despite long-term nightly use of sleeping pills. Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 9(8), 834-6. PMID: 23946716  

  • March 18, 2014
  • 11:46 AM

Short Sleep Duration in Children with Autism

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Parents of children with autism and autism spectrum disorder commonly report sleep problems in their child.However, there have been few prospective systematic studies of sleep in this disorder.Joanna Humphreys from Canada and colleagues from England recently published an important manuscript addressing this topic.They used data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. This data set includes prospective data collected from a cohort of over 14,000 children born between April 1991 ........ Read more »

Humphreys JS, Gringras P, Blair PS, Scott N, Henderson J, Fleming PJ, & Emond AM. (2014) Sleep patterns in children with autistic spectrum disorders: a prospective cohort study. Archives of disease in childhood, 99(2), 114-8. PMID: 24061777  

  • March 17, 2014
  • 12:04 PM

This month’s Nature methods (part 2): optogenetics

by Gal Haimovich in Green Fluorescent Blog

Optogenetic tools are light-sensitive genetically encoded proteins that, upon light activation, affect a molecular change in the cells. In the previous post I described an optogenetic system to induce transcription. However, the most common use is of channelrhodopsin (ChR) molecules, that alter … Continue reading →... Read more »

Klapoetke NC, Murata Y, Kim SS, Pulver SR, Birdsey-Benson A, Cho YK, Morimoto TK, Chuong AS, Carpenter EJ, Tian Z.... (2014) Independent optical excitation of distinct neural populations. Nature methods, 11(3), 338-46. PMID: 24509633  

  • March 17, 2014
  • 11:10 AM

Brain Gray Matter Volumes in Primary Insomnia

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Chronic primary insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by delayed sleep onset, reduced total sleep duration and fatigue on morning awakening.In addition, by definition chronic primary insomnia cannot be due to a primary medical or psychiatric disorder. Some patients with chronic primary insomnia also demonstrate subjective and objective impairment in concentration and memory.Eun Yeon Joo and colleagues from South Korea recently published an analysis of brain structural features in 27 su........ Read more »

Joo EY, Noh HJ, Kim JS, Koo DL, Kim D, Hwang KJ, Kim JY, Kim ST, Kim MR, & Hong SB. (2013) Brain Gray Matter Deficits in Patients with Chronic Primary Insomnia. Sleep, 36(7), 999-1007. PMID: 23814336  

  • March 3, 2014
  • 09:14 AM

Behavioral Weight-Loss in Serious Mental Illness

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Individuals with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder are at higher risk for obesity.This risk may be related to physical inactivity, diet or the weight gain commonly associated with psychotropic drug use.Few clinical trials for weight loss have targeted individuals with serious mental illness (SMI). This population may pose specific challenges in recruitment, adherence and outcome.Gail Daumit and colleagues recently published a randomized clinical trial of behavioral weight loss in a cohort with S........ Read more »

Daumit GL, Dickerson FB, Wang NY, Dalcin A, Jerome GJ, Anderson CA, Young DR, Frick KD, Yu A, Gennusa JV 3rd.... (2013) A behavioral weight-loss intervention in persons with serious mental illness. The New England journal of medicine, 368(17), 1594-602. PMID: 23517118  

  • March 3, 2014
  • 09:00 AM

Life (for a mouse) sucks without Bmal1

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Scientists have uncovered a host of pathological consequences in liver- and mitochondrial-pathways in the absence of Bmal1. These studies lend further credence to Bmal1 being important for rhythms of metabolism. These critters are certainly no star athletes. ... Read more »

Peek CB, Affinati AH, Ramsey KM, Kuo HY, Yu W, Sena LA, Ilkayeva O, Marcheva B, Kobayashi Y, Omura C.... (2013) Circadian clock NAD cycle drives mitochondrial oxidative metabolism in mice. Science (New York, N.Y.), 342(6158), 1243417. PMID: 24051248  

  • February 20, 2014
  • 09:16 AM

Exercise as a Treatment Following Stroke

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Exercise appears to be therapeutic in treatment of a variety of medical conditions.However, the relative magnitude of the effect of exercise is less well documented. Comparing the magnitude of the therapeutic effect of exercise with that of common drug interventions can be quite informative.Such comparisons provide insight into the relative value of exercise and the role of exercise in comprehensive treatment planning.Huseyin Naci and John Ioannidis recently published a study of the compara........ Read more »

  • February 15, 2014
  • 02:28 PM

Models of Anorexia Nervosa: A Few Insights from Our Animal Cousins

by Liz in Science of Eating Disorders

In 1967, Routtenberg and Kuznesof reported a very peculiar phenomenon in rats:
They discovered that when rats were on a restricted feeding schedule (1 hour per day in their experiment) and had free access to a running wheel, their food intake was significantly lower than in control rats, which were on the same feeding schedule but without access to a running wheel. This discrepancy between increased running activity and decreased food intake caused substantial body weight loss, and if rats........ Read more »

  • February 13, 2014
  • 11:00 AM

Neury Thursday: Genotypic Insights on Dopamine, Modafinil, and Sleep

by Allison in Dormivigilia

A recent study in the Journal of Neuroscience uncovers genetic sensitivity to drugs that increase dopamine concentrations and their subsequent effects on sleep in humans. These studies raise important concerns for primary care practitioners when prescribing meds. ... Read more »

Holst SC, Bersagliere A, Bachmann V, Berger W, Achermann P, & Landolt HP. (2014) Dopaminergic role in regulating neurophysiological markers of sleep homeostasis in humans. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 34(2), 566-73. PMID: 24403155  

  • February 12, 2014
  • 12:45 PM

Three Seconds: Poems, Cubes and the Brain

by Jalees Rehman in Fragments of Truth

Temporal order can be assessed in a rather straightforward experimental manner. Research subjects can be provided sequential auditory clicks, one to each ear. If the clicks are one second apart, nearly all participants can correctly identify whether or not the click in the right ear came before the one in the left ear. It turns out that this holds true even if the clicks are only 100 milliseconds (0.1 seconds) apart. The threshold for being able to correctly assign a temporal order to such brief........ Read more »

  • February 12, 2014
  • 07:50 AM

Tasting With Every Part Of Your Body

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Lots of recent evidence is demonstrating that lingual taste buds are just the tip of the iceberg. Taste receptors have been identified in parts of the respiratory, gastrointestinal, renal, and nervous systems. Taste receptor functions in non-gustatory tissues are related to feeding and hunger, nutrient sensing, and protective responses.

Studies have shown that the pancreas has umami and sweet receptors that work in insulin release. The gut has receptors for fat, umami, sweet and bitter. The........ Read more »

Sundaresan S, Shahid R, Riehl TE, Chandra R, Nassir F, Stenson WF, Liddle RA, & Abumrad NA. (2013) CD36-dependent signaling mediates fatty acid-induced gut release of secretin and cholecystokinin. FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, 27(3), 1191-202. PMID: 23233532  

Wauson EM, Zaganjor E, Lee AY, Guerra ML, Ghosh AB, Bookout AL, Chambers CP, Jivan A, McGlynn K, Hutchison MR, Deberardinis RJ, Cobb MH. (2012) The G protein-coupled taste receptor T1R1/T1R3 regulates mTORC1 and autophagy. Mol Cell., 47(6), 851-862. DOI: 10.1016/j.molcel.2012.08.001  

Dehkordi O, Rose JE, Fatemi M, Allard JS, Balan KV, Young JK, Fatima S, Millis RM, & Jayam-Trouth A. (2012) Neuronal expression of bitter taste receptors and downstream signaling molecules in the rat brainstem. Brain research, 1-10. PMID: 22836012  

  • January 31, 2014
  • 12:04 AM

You Sure You Want to Eat That? Perceived Consequences of Eating & Its Relation to Recovery

by Jackie in Science of Eating Disorders

I recently had a total Aha! moment (or a why-didn’t-I-ever-think-of-it moment) when I had chanced upon a recently published article titled “Eating Expectancies in Relation to Eating Disorder Recovery” by Fitzsimmons-Craft and colleagues. The title caught my attention because I had never come across any research tying eating expectancies to eating disorders, though I was familiar with the concept from the health psychology and obesity literature. Eating, as a ........ Read more »

  • January 27, 2014
  • 08:09 AM

Vagal Nerve Blockade in Type 2 Diabetes Clinical Trial

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

One of the potential advances in diabetes management is modulation of the vagus nerve.The vagus nerve appears to influence a variety of physiological factors related to calorie intake, metabolism and blood glucose control.Severing the vagus nerve (vagotomy) results in weight loss and increased satiety but can cause gastric retention.An implantable device that can intermittently block vagal nerves may provide favorable metabolic modulation without the adverse effects of vagotomy.An initial study ........ Read more »

Shikora S, Toouli J, Herrera MF, Kulseng B, Zulewski H, Brancatisano R, Kow L, Pantoja JP, Johnsen G, Brancatisano A.... (2013) Vagal blocking improves glycemic control and elevated blood pressure in obese subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Journal of obesity, 245683. PMID: 23984050  

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