Chronic consumption of large quantities of alcohol can produce severe deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B1).This can precipitate an acute brain failure known as Wernicke's encephalopathy. Wernicke's encephalopathy is characterized by sudden onset of mental status changes, eye muscle impairment and disturbed gait or ataxia.Other illnesses can also produce this level of severe thiamine deficiency. A partial list of these non-alcoholism causes for thiamine deficiency with encephalopathy includes........ Read more »
Manzo G, De Gennaro A, Cozzolino A, Serino A, Fenza G, & Manto A. (2014) MR imaging findings in alcoholic and nonalcoholic acute Wernicke's encephalopathy: a review. BioMed research international, 503596. PMID: 25050351
Smartphone apps and other mobile technology are emerging as promising tools in medical treatment.A recent randomized study published in JAMA Psychiatry found evidence that a smartphone app improves alcoholism treatment outcomes.David Gustafson and colleagues conducted a study funded by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.A series of 349 adults with DSM-IV alcohol dependence were enrolled as they entered a alcoholism residential treatment program.Approximately half of the subje........ Read more »
Gustafson DH, McTavish FM, Chih MY, Atwood AK, Johnson RA, Boyle MG, Levy MS, Driscoll H, Chisholm SM, Dillenburg L.... (2014) A smartphone application to support recovery from alcoholism: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA psychiatry, 71(5), 566-72. PMID: 24671165
In a previous post, I summarized a research study six month outcome of insomnia in a group of subjects treated for alcoholism.This study found a high persistence of insomnia despite reduction, and in many cases abstinence, from alcohol.A second study recently published by investigators at the National Institute of Health provides some additional insight into this topic.Gwenyth Wallen and colleagues studied a series of 164 participants admitted to a 4-6 week inpatient program for alcohol dependen........ Read more »
Wallen GR, Brooks AT, Whiting B, Clark R, Krumlauf MC, Yang L, Schwandt ML, George DT, & Ramchandani VA. (2014) The prevalence of sleep disturbance in alcoholics admitted for treatment: a target for chronic disease management. Family , 37(4), 288-97. PMID: 25167069
Sleep problems complicate the treatment and recovery in alcoholism. Heavy alcohol consumption modifies the nature of sleep architecture.A high blood alcohol concentration at bedtime may promote sleep early in the sleep cycle.However, as alcohol levels decline, sleep is often interrupted with limiting rapid eye movement (REM) sleep duration.Shortened total sleep time with alcohol can produce a lack of feeling well rested on awakening.For those with alcoholism or alcohol dependence, successfu........ Read more »
Brower KJ, Krentzman A, & Robinson EA. (2011) Persistent insomnia, abstinence, and moderate drinking in alcohol-dependent individuals. The American journal on addictions / American Academy of Psychiatrists in Alcoholism and Addictions, 20(5), 435-40. PMID: 21838842
Bubble fun at the Santa Fe Renaissance Fair © EEG One of the twists in my latest book, Gene Cards, is an unknown pathogen threatening the fictional city of Liasis. I confess that when I came up with the idea I was a little nervous. My story is set in the future, and with all the state-of-the-art technology we already have, is it feasible to think that we will still deal with diseases without a known causative agent? The thing is, new viruses and new pathogens arise all the time. Take the f........ Read more »
Kim H, Kang B, Hwang S, Lee SW, Cheon DS, Kim K, Jeong YS, & Hyeon JY. (2014) Clinical and enterovirus findings associated with acute flaccid paralysis in the Republic of Korea during the recent decade. Journal of medical virology, 86(9), 1584-9. PMID: 24114945
Zangwill KM, Yeh SH, Wong EJ, Marcy SM, Eriksen E, Huff KR, Lee M, Lewis EM, Black SB, & Ward JI. (2010) Paralytic syndromes in children: epidemiology and relationship to vaccination. Pediatric neurology, 42(3), 206-12. PMID: 20159431
I had the privilege to attend today the William K Warren Frontiers in Neuroscience Conference in Tulsa, OK by Dr. David Watson from Notre Dame University.Dr. Watson's lecture was titled: An integrative model of personality, emotion and psychopathology. This lecture summarized a body of research examining personality, psychological symptoms and a variety of brain disorders.Here are my lecture notes and links to relevant research citations. The first two citations have links to a free full-te........ Read more »
Stasik SM, Naragon-Gainey K, Chmielewski M, & Watson D. (2012) Core OCD symptoms: exploration of specificity and relations with psychopathology. Journal of anxiety disorders, 26(8), 859-70. PMID: 23026094
Effective parenting is a key element in child development.Both genetic and environmental factors appear to contribute to the cognitive, emotional and behavioral aspects of parenting.Childhood temperament also influences the process of parenting. A well-behaved, emotionally stable and loving child is obviously much easier to parent than a child with behavioral and emotional problems.Bonamy Oliver and colleagues from the United Kingdom have recently published an informative twin study of pare........ Read more »
Oliver BR, Trzaskowski M, & Plomin R. (2014) Genetics of parenting: The power of the dark side. Developmental psychology, 50(4), 1233-40. PMID: 24364831
Do companion animals contribute to human Blastocystis? Do IBS patients have a higher prevalence of Blastocystis and Dientamoeba fragilis than healthy invididuals? Check out this issue of 'This Month in Blastocystis Research'.... Read more »
Krogsgaard LR, Engsbro AL, Stensvold CR, Vedel Nielsen H, & Bytzer P. (2014) The Prevalence of Intestinal Parasites is not Greater Among Individuals with IBS: a Population-Based Case-Control Study. Clinical gastroenterology and hepatology : the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association. PMID: 25229421
Krogsgaard LR, Engsbro AL, & Bytzer P. (2013) The epidemiology of irritable bowel syndrome in Denmark. A population-based survey in adults ≤50 years of age. Scandinavian journal of gastroenterology, 48(5), 523-9. PMID: 23506174
Ruaux CG, & Stang BV. (2014) Prevalence of Blastocystis in Shelter-Resident and Client-Owned Companion Animals in the US Pacific Northwest. PloS one, 9(9). PMID: 25226285
Wang W, Cuttell L, Bielefeldt-Ohmann H, Inpankaew T, Owen H, & Traub RJ. (2013) Diversity of Blastocystis subtypes in dogs in different geographical settings. Parasites , 215. PMID: 23883734
Wawrzyniak I, Poirier P, Viscogliosi E, Dionigia M, Texier C, Delbac F, & Alaoui HE. (2013) Blastocystis, an unrecognized parasite: an overview of pathogenesis and diagnosis. Therapeutic advances in infectious disease, 1(5), 167-78. PMID: 25165551
Healthy family attachment provides a key element for social support and successful interpersonal relationships.Several brain regions as well as hormonal factors appear to modulate positive emotional responses to family members.I have previously reviewed several studies involving the prosocial effects of the hormone oxytocin and the related hormone vasopressin.Nicolas Rusch from the Department of Psychiatry at Ulm University in Germany along with colleagues in Brazil and London recently published........ Read more »
Rüsch N, Bado P, Zahn R, Bramati IE, de Oliveira-Souza R, & Moll J. (2014) You and your kin: Neural signatures of family-based group perception in the subgenual cortex. Social neuroscience, 9(4), 326-31. PMID: 24802255
Consumer spending on gifts for birthdays and holidays is a multi-billion dollar big business.Despite this large economic impact, little research examines factors associated with gift recipient satisfaction.Selecting good gifts for others involves a complex social decision-making process related to judging the value hierarchy of others.A study from the Netherlands recently published in the journal PLOS One featured three experiments on gift selection in a series of men and women.The design of the........ Read more »
In my last post, I wrote about the return of results from next-gen sequencing, specifically a recent paper in AJHG about secondary findings in ~6500 ESP exomes. Today we’ll delve into another paper in the same issue on the attitudes of genetics professionals on return of incidental findings from whole genome sequencing (WGS) and exome sequencing […]... Read more »
Yu JH, Harrell TM, Jamal SM, Tabor HK, & Bamshad MJ. (2014) Attitudes of genetics professionals toward the return of incidental results from exome and whole-genome sequencing. American journal of human genetics, 95(1), 77-84. PMID: 24975944
Social neuroscience is an emerging emphasis in the field of neuroscience research.Social cognition is the subset of cognitive functions related to social processes and includes factors such as facial recognition, social memory and ability to form friendships and other social bonds.Impairment in social cognition is a known feature in autism, schizophrenia and other mental disorders. This type of impairment can produce significant problems in life adjustment, employment and human attachment.Geneti........ Read more »
Skuse DH, Lori A, Cubells JF, Lee I, Conneely KN, Puura K, Lehtimäki T, Binder EB, & Young LJ. (2014) Common polymorphism in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) is associated with human social recognition skills. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(5), 1987-92. PMID: 24367110
The mechanism of antidepressant drug response is not well understood.One theory posits antidepressant effects are only seen in those with clinical depression leaving the healthy brain unchanged.In a previous post, I outlined a study demonstrating effects of antidepressants on brain connectivity measures in the healthy brain.A recent fMRI study extends our understanding of the potential mechanisms for antidepressant drugs.CT Cerqueira and colleagues from Brazil studied the effects of the antidepr........ Read more »
Cerqueira CT, Sato JR, de Almeida JR, Amaro E Jr, Leite CC, Gorenstein C, Gentil V, & Busatto GF. (2014) Healthy individuals treated with clomipramine: an fMRI study of brain activity during autobiographical recall of emotions. Translational psychiatry. PMID: 24984192
Some individuals appear vulnerable to paranoia induced by exposure to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in cannabis.The mechanism for this effect is poorly understood.Daniel Freeman from University of Oxford along with colleagues in England and Switzerland recently conducted an interventional research study on this issue.In this study, 121 subjects were recruited to receive injections of THC in a laboratory setting.These subjects were required to have taken cannabis at least once before participation i........ Read more »
Freeman D, Dunn G, Murray RM, Evans N, Lister R, Antley A, Slater M, Godlewska B, Cornish R, Williams J.... (2014) How Cannabis Causes Paranoia: Using the Intravenous Administration of ∆9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to Identify Key Cognitive Mechanisms Leading to Paranoia. Schizophrenia bulletin. PMID: 25031222
We like to give treatments that produce results that we can see and logically attribute to the treatments we gave.
We like to give IV (IntaVenous) furosemide (Lasix – frusemide in Commonwealth countries) for CHF (Congestive Heart Failure).
1. The patient had CHF.
2. I gave IV furosemide.
3. The patient produced urine.... Read more »
Figueras J, & Weil MH. (1978) Blood volume prior to and following treatment of acute cardiogenic pulmonary edema. Circulation, 57(2), 349-55. PMID: 618625
Francis GS, Siegel RM, Goldsmith SR, Olivari MT, Levine TB, & Cohn JN. (1985) Acute vasoconstrictor response to intravenous furosemide in patients with chronic congestive heart failure. Activation of the neurohumoral axis. Annals of internal medicine, 103(1), 1-6. PMID: 2860833
Hoffman JR, & Reynolds S. (1987) Comparison of nitroglycerin, morphine and furosemide in treatment of presumed pre-hospital pulmonary edema. Chest, 92(4), 586-93. PMID: 3115687
The rapid adoption of next-gen exome and genome sequencing for clinical use (i.e. with patient DNA) raises some difficult questions about the return of results to patients and their families. In contrast to traditional genetic testing, which usually checks for variants in specific genes, high-throughput sequencing has the potential to reveal a number of secondary […]... Read more »
Tabor HK, Auer PL, Jamal SM, Chong JX, Yu JH, Gordon AS, Graubert TA, O'Donnell CJ, Rich SS, Nickerson DA.... (2014) Pathogenic variants for mendelian and complex traits in exomes of 6,517 European and african americans: implications for the return of incidental results. American journal of human genetics, 95(2), 183-93. PMID: 25087612
Humans are essentially 90% bacteria. These bacteria pepper our skin and hang out in our digestive tracts, helping to break down complex carbohydrates and keeping bad bugs in check. We know how the human microbiome (our collection of bacteria) gets … Continue reading →... Read more »
David LA, Materna AC, Friedman J, Campos-Baptista MI, Blackburn MC, Perrotta A, Erdman SE, & Alm EJ. (2014) Host lifestyle affects human microbiota on daily timescales. Genome biology, 15(7). PMID: 25146375
One method to advance understanding of a disorder is to use statistical modeling for sub-type or class analysis.Lia Nower and colleagues recently published the results of such an analysis from the large general population data-set known as the U.S. National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC).In this sample, 851 adults 18 years and older were identified with disordered gambling.This group then underwent a type of latent class statistical analysis known as the Pathways........ Read more »
Nower L, Martins SS, Lin KH, & Blanco C. (2013) Subtypes of disordered gamblers: results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Addiction (Abingdon, England), 108(4), 789-98. PMID: 23072599
Behavioral disorders like pathological gambling (PG) rarely occur alone as a single uncomplicated disorder.In a previous post, I noted the overlap of PG with personality disorder, anxiety disorder, depression, bipolar disorder and substance abuse.A recent study from Germany adds to our knowledge of the general diagnostic profile in the PG population.Erbas and Buchner reviewed German national data sources and other German studies to come up with a series of findings:Twelve month prevalence rates ........ Read more »
Erbas B, & Buchner UG. (2012) Pathological gambling: prevalence, diagnosis, comorbidity, and intervention in Germany. Deutsches Arzteblatt international, 109(10), 173-9. PMID: 22470406
August 2014 saw interesting data emerging on Blastocystis in the background population, mRNA polyadnylation in the Blastocystis nuclear genome which calls for genome reannotation, and a large focus on Blastocystis in the ICOPA 2014 Congress in Mexico City.... Read more »
Klimeš V, Gentekaki E, Roger AJ, & Eliáš M. (2014) A large number of nuclear genes in the human parasite blastocystis require mRNA polyadenylation to create functional termination codons. Genome biology and evolution, 6(8), 1956-61. PMID: 25015079
Hanage, W. (2014) Microbiology: Microbiome science needs a healthy dose of scepticism. Nature, 512(7514), 247-248. DOI: 10.1038/512247a
Scanlan PD, Stensvold CR, Rajilić-Stojanović M, Heilig HG, De Vos WM, O'Toole PW, & Cotter PD. (2014) The microbial eukaryote Blastocystis is a prevalent and diverse member of the healthy human gut microbiota. FEMS microbiology ecology. PMID: 25077936
Venton, D. (2014) Highlight: Not Like a Textbook--Nuclear Genes in Blastocystis Use mRNA Polyadenylation for Stop Codons. Genome Biology and Evolution, 6(8), 1962-1963. DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evu167
Wang W, Bielefeldt-Ohmann H, Traub RJ, Cuttell L, & Owen H. (2014) Location and pathogenic potential of blastocystis in the porcine intestine. PloS one, 9(8). PMID: 25093578
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