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  • November 3, 2013
  • 04:13 AM

This Month in Blastocystis Research (OCT 2013)

by Christen Rune Stensvold in Blastocystis Parasite Blog

A post about a selection of papers related to Blastocystis research emerging in October 2013.... Read more »

Maas L, Dorigo-Zetsma JW, de Groot CJ, Bouter S, Plötz FB, & van Ewijk BE. (2013) Detection of intestinal protozoa in paediatric patients with gastrointestinal symptoms by multiplex real-time PCR. Clinical microbiology and infection : the official publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. PMID: 24131443  

  • November 1, 2013
  • 12:19 PM

Speech Markers of Alzheimer's Disease Progression

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Sensitive, reliable and inexpensive markers of disease progression in Alzheimer's disease are needed.It is known that language and speech domains are impaired with Alzeimer's disease.What is not known is whether speech performance can be used in the diagnosis and monitoring of progression in Alzheimer's disease (AD).A recent case series published in the journal Brain supports the potential for expanded use of speech assessment in AD.Ahmed and colleagues reported their findings in a group of 15 p........ Read more »

  • October 31, 2013
  • 10:34 AM

Genetic Testing for Alzheimer's Disease Risk

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Molecular model image of Apolipoprotein ERisk for Alzheimer's disease and other brain disorders is a complex interaction between genetic and environmental factors.A recent research mansuscript published novel candidate genes for Alzheimer's disease risk.Some of these new genes are likely to advance our understanding of the genetics and molecular biology of the disease.Alzheimer's disease has been know to be linked to the Apolipoprotein E gene for quite some time. Individuals with one or two........ Read more »

  • October 30, 2013
  • 03:20 PM

The forgotten case of the sleepy virus

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

I spent last night rewatching the Steven Soderbergh classic “Contagion“. Halfway through I realized that a story of an unidentified, mind-bending infectious brain disease would make the perfect neuroscience halloween tale. This is not “based” on a true story. It IS a true story. The year is 1917. Dr. Constantin Economo sat deep in thought, staring […]... Read more »

Vilensky JA, Foley P, & Gilman S. (2007) Children and encephalitis lethargica: a historical review. Pediatric neurology, 37(2), 79-84. PMID: 17675021  

Dourmashkin RR, Dunn G, Castano V, & McCall SA. (2012) Evidence for an enterovirus as the cause of encephalitis lethargica. BMC infectious diseases, 136. PMID: 22715890  

Dale RC, Church AJ, Surtees RA, Lees AJ, Adcock JE, Harding B, Neville BG, & Giovannoni G. (2004) Encephalitis lethargica syndrome: 20 new cases and evidence of basal ganglia autoimmunity. Brain : a journal of neurology, 127(Pt 1), 21-33. PMID: 14570817  

  • October 30, 2013
  • 11:26 AM

The Genetics of Educational Attainment

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

I ran across an interesting genetic study examining the potential genetic contributions to educational attainment. There have been quite a few genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of intelligence quotient (IQ).... Read more »

Rietveld CA, Medland SE, Derringer J, Yang J, Esko T, Martin NW, Westra HJ, Shakhbazov K, Abdellaoui A, Agrawal A.... (2013) GWAS of 126,559 individuals identifies genetic variants associated with educational attainment. Science (New York, N.Y.), 340(6139), 1467-71. PMID: 23722424  

  • October 29, 2013
  • 07:02 PM

Bridging Study in Clinical Trials: Definition, History, and Importance

by Imtiaz Ibne Alam in Medical-Reference - A Pioneer in Medical Blogging

In today’s economic environment, globalization of pharmaceutical products has turned into the key to success for drug manufacturers. Investors in new drug development are therefore required to do more at less cost and faster rate now. However, sponsors are facing a new challenge due to ethnic factors, as the pharmacodynamic or clinical data in the original population could vary with the population in the new region. ... Read more »

Liu JP, & Chow SC. (2002) Bridging studies in clinical development. Journal of biopharmaceutical statistics, 12(3), 359-67. PMID: 12448577  

  • October 28, 2013
  • 01:38 PM

Epidemiology of Concussion Sequelae in High School Footballers

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

The recent PBS Frontline series on concussion sequelae in the NFL is an important advance in the discussion on this important topic.  Significant research is needed to better understand the risk of football-related brain injury.An additional important issue on this topic related to the interaction between sport-related brain trauma and developmental stage.  Football training and full-contact games begin during elementary school in many parts of the U.S.  So this is not just an NFL........ Read more »

Savica R, Parisi JE, Wold LE, Josephs KA, & Ahlskog JE. (2012) High school football and risk of neurodegeneration: a community-based study. Mayo Clinic proceedings. Mayo Clinic, 87(4), 335-40. PMID: 22469346  

  • October 22, 2013
  • 11:34 AM

Does Ice Use Improve Baseball Pitching Performance?

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

If you watch the 2013 World Series that opens tomorrow night, you are likely to see pitchers using ice on their pitching arms between innings.The use of ice on key muscles between use seems counterintuitive.  Isn't it best to key a muscloskeletal region warm?  After all, we "warm-up" before using muscles all the time in a variety of activities.I had thought that icing was designed primarily to reduce muscle stiffness and soreness during the recover period.However, I recently ran into a........ Read more »

Bishop SH, Herron R, Ryan G, Katica C, & Bishop P. (2013) THE EFFECT OF INTERMITTENT ARM AND SHOULDER COOLING ON BASEBALL PITCHING VELOCITY. Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength . PMID: 24077378  

  • October 21, 2013
  • 11:46 AM

Can Vision Training Improve Baseball Hitting Performance?

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

The visuomotor process involved in hitting a baseball is complex and not completely understood.At one time, hitters were told they must follow the path of the baseball until it hit their bat in order to succeed.However, further study found the speed of a baseball exceeds the speed of the human eye for tracking objects.It is unclear whether using vision training exercises increases hitting ability above and beyond that associated with hitting practice.A study from the University of Cincinnati att........ Read more »

  • October 16, 2013
  • 08:30 PM

Dying to know about Dientamoeba?

by Christen Rune Stensvold in Blastocystis Parasite Blog

Similar to Blastocystis, Dientamoeba fragilis is a very common parasite in countries where other intestinal parasites are of low endemic occurrence. We are exploring the clinical significance of these parasites.... Read more »

Engsbro AL, Stensvold CR, Nielsen HV, & Bytzer P. (2012) Treatment of Dientamoeba fragilis in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene, 87(6), 1046-52. PMID: 23091195  

Ogren J, Dienus O, Löfgren S, Iveroth P, & Matussek A. (2013) Dientamoeba fragilis DNA detection in Enterobius vermicularis eggs. Pathogens and disease. PMID: 23893951  

Stark DJ, Beebe N, Marriott D, Ellis JT, & Harkness J. (2006) Dientamoebiasis: clinical importance and recent advances. Trends in parasitology, 22(2), 92-6. PMID: 16380293  

Stark D, Barratt J, Roberts T, Marriott D, Harkness J, & Ellis J. (2010) A review of the clinical presentation of dientamoebiasis. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene, 82(4), 614-9. PMID: 20348509  

Stensvold CR, Clark CG, & Röser D. (2013) Limited intra-genetic diversity in Dientamoeba fragilis housekeeping genes. Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases, 284-6. PMID: 23681023  

Stensvold CR, Lewis HC, Hammerum AM, Porsbo LJ, Nielsen SS, Olsen KE, Arendrup MC, Nielsen HV, & Mølbak K. (2009) Blastocystis: unravelling potential risk factors and clinical significance of a common but neglected parasite. Epidemiology and infection, 137(11), 1655-63. PMID: 19393117  

  • October 16, 2013
  • 11:48 AM

Depression, Inflammation and Novel Treatments

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

There is growing evidence of a role for inflammation in the etiology of some types of mood disorders. Patients receiving the antiviral inflammatory drug interferon commonly demonstrate symptoms of depression. Depression rates are increased in patients suffering from other known inflammatory diseases such as type 2 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.A recent animal study of depression induced by inflammation supports further research into the potential for anti-inflammatory drugs as novel ant........ Read more »

  • October 16, 2013
  • 11:47 AM

Removing the PD-1 brake enhances the effect on adoptive CAR T cells

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

Someone in my Twitter stream kindly shared a link to an article this morning on how removing the PD-1 brake…

... Read more »

John LB, Devaud C, Duong CP, Yong CS, Beavis PA, Haynes NM, Chow MT, Smyth MJ, Kershaw MH, & Darcy PK. (2013) Anti-PD-1 Antibody Therapy Potently Enhances the Eradication of Established Tumors By Gene-Modified T Cells. Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. PMID: 23873688  

Morales-Kastresana A, Labiano S, Quetglas JI, & Melero I. (2013) Better Performance of CARs Deprived of the PD-1 Brake. Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. PMID: 24004672  

  • October 9, 2013
  • 12:37 PM

Stress, Antidepressants and Cardiovascular Function

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

There is increased interest in the relationship between mood and anxiety disorders and cardiovascular function.Presence of depression appears to be an independent risk factor for the future development of cardiovascular disease.Patients with depression and myocardial infarction demonstrate increased risk for future cardiac events including cardiac death.The exact mechanism for the interaction of depression and cardiovascular function is unclear.  Depression appears to be associated with a f........ Read more »

  • October 3, 2013
  • 04:34 PM

Exhibitionism in Medical Education: The Brindley Lecture – Heralding A Sexual Revolution

by Pranab Chatterjee in Scepticemia

The first boom in treatment for male erectile dysfunction came in the 1920s and 1930 when the Russian-origin French surgeon Serge Abramovitch Voronoff started to prescribe surgical implantation of monkey testicles in the human scrotum to augment sexual prowess. This gained quite a bit of fan following for a couple of decades and brough Voronoff […]... Read more »

  • September 26, 2013
  • 12:29 PM

Notes on the Suicide in U.S. Freakonomics Podcast

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

The Freakonomics podcast is about one of ten that I follow regularly. Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner have written two popular books, Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics.Levitt and Dubner utilize advanaces in statistical analysis techniques to examine important societal issues related to economics.In a recent podcast, the replayed an episode that looked at suicide.  This episode is an interesting review of some of the current issues in suicide epidemiology.Here are my notes from the episode........ Read more »

Gunn Iii JF, & Lester D. (2012) Media guidelines in the internet age. Crisis, 33(4), 187-9. PMID: 22820640  

Wray M, Miller M, Gurvey J, Carroll J, & Kawachi I. (2008) Leaving Las Vegas: Exposure to Las Vegas and risk of suicide. Social science , 67(11), 1882-8. PMID: 18938005  

Niederkrotenthaler T, Fu KW, Yip PS, Fong DY, Stack S, Cheng Q, & Pirkis J. (2012) Changes in suicide rates following media reports on celebrity suicide: a meta-analysis. Journal of epidemiology and community health, 66(11), 1037-42. PMID: 22523342  

Rihmer Z, Gonda X, Kapitany B, & Dome P. (2013) Suicide in Hungary-epidemiological and clinical perspectives. Annals of general psychiatry, 12(1), 21. PMID: 23803500  

  • September 25, 2013
  • 11:09 AM

Autism, Risperidone and the Genetics of Weight Gain

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Weight gain is an key adverse event associated with many drug classes in psychopharmacology.Understanding this adverse event is important in patient selection and management.Genetics may play a key role in the risk for the type and severity of adverse events.  EL Nurmi and colleagues recently published an exploratory study of the role of genetics in weight gain associated with autism in children and adolescents participating in a clinical trial. The key elements of the design of this s........ Read more »

  • September 23, 2013
  • 09:24 AM

Vaccines: what is the meaning of phase I, II and III?

by EE Giorgi in CHIMERAS

I'm often asked, "How long will it take to finally have an HIV vaccine? Are we close? What about this study that published good results on an HIV vaccine?" Right now, the HIV community is generally optimistic that we will indeed have an HIV vaccine within the next decade. This is based on the relatively recent discovery of new broadly neutralizing antibodies and the mildly positive results obtained by one of the five major efficacy trials, the RV144 Thai trial, which found a 31% reduction in HIV........ Read more »

Lawrence Corey, Gary J. Nabel, Carl Dieffenbach, Peter Gilbert, Barton F. Haynes, Margaret Johnston, James Kublin, H. Clifford Lane, Giuseppe Pantaleo, Louis J. Picker and Anthony S. Fauci. (2011) HIV-1 Vaccines and Adaptive Trial Designs. Sci Transl Med. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3001863  

  • September 19, 2013
  • 12:07 PM

Update on KRAS and NRAS mutations in colorectal cancer

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

A new NEJM article on KRAS and metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) caught my eye last week. One of the challenges…

... Read more »

Douillard JY, Oliner KS, Siena S, Tabernero J, Burkes R, Barugel M, Humblet Y, Bodoky G, Cunningham D, Jassem J.... (2013) Panitumumab-FOLFOX4 treatment and RAS mutations in colorectal cancer. The New England journal of medicine, 369(11), 1023-34. PMID: 24024839  

  • September 17, 2013
  • 07:17 AM

Brain Insular Cortex Function in Bulimia and Obesity

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

In a previous post, I summarized some of the evolving research highlighting the function of the human brain insular cortex.A recent review article examined the role of the insular cortex in processes related to hunger, eating and obesity.Sabine Frank and colleagues from Tubingen, Germany published this summary in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.I will outline some of their review relevant to bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa and obesity.Food Processing Role of InsulaWhile the hypothalamus plays ........ Read more »

Frank S, Kullmann S, & Veit R. (2013) Food related processes in the insular cortex. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 499. PMID: 23986683  

  • September 16, 2013
  • 02:04 PM

Questionable Enrollment Math at the UK's NIHR

by Paul Ivsin in Placebo Control

There has been considerable noise coming out of the UK lately about successes in clinical trial enrollment.

First, a couple months ago came the rather dramatic announcement that clinical trial participation in the UK had "tripled over the last 6 years". That announcement, by the chief executive of the

creature of bombast: is Sir John writing press releases for the NIHR?

National Institute of Health Research's Clinical Research Network, was quickly and uncritically picked up by t........ Read more »

Ennis L, & Wykes T. (2013) Impact of patient involvement in mental health research: longitudinal study. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science. PMID: 24029538  

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