The team of Jinsang Kim, a professor of materials science and engineering and chemical engineering at the University of Michigan, developed bright, metal-free, organic, phosphorescent light emitters.... Read more »
Kwon, M., Lee, D., Seo, S., Jung, J., & Kim, J. (2014) Tailoring Intermolecular Interactions for Efficient Room-Temperature Phosphorescence from Purely Organic Materials in Amorphous Polymer Matrices. Angewandte Chemie. DOI: 10.1002/ange.201404490
For many years, the hormone oxytocin was caricatured as the source of all human goodness - trust, altruism, love, and morality. Among the findings that contributed to this picture were the discovery that sniffing oxytocin increases people's trust and generosity in financial games; that it aids face recognition; and that its release is associated with maternal bonding; and with orgasm.However, the picture has grown a lot more complicated of late, with findings showing that oxytocin has a "dark side" - for example, boosting envy and shadenfreude. Now a team of researchers led by Nathan DeWall has further sullied the reputation of this once idolised molecule. They've demonstrated that for certain people in particular circumstances, exposure to oxytocin might actually lead to increased violence.The researchers split 93 undergraduates (47 men) into two groups - one group sniffed oxytocin, the other group sniffed a salt water solution. The students didn't know whether they'd received the oxytocin or the placebo, and the researchers were also blinded to who'd received what. Next the students completed two tasks designed to make them stressed, including giving a public presentation to an unfriendly audience. Finally, they answered two questions about their tendency to be physically aggressive, and further questions about how likely it was that they'd engage in violence towards a current or former romantic partner based on how they currently felt.Here's the main finding - oxytocin boosted the self-confessed likelihood of being violent towards a partner, specifically in those students who admitted that they have a proclivity for physical aggression. DeWall's team think this fits with an emerging, more nuanced understanding of oxytocin's effects. It remains true that the hormone plays an important role in maintaining human relationships, but this isn't always an innocent function. Previous research shows oxytocin can increase intolerance and aggression towards outsiders. Now we learn that for people who typically resort to aggression to keep hold of their romantic partners, stress plus increased oxytocin nudges them towards violence."Our findings add to the understanding of the 'prickly side of oxytocin'," said DeWall and his team. "Far from being a panacea for all social ills, oxytocin may have a much more diversified effect, as in the current case."_________________________________ DeWall, C., Gillath, O., Pressman, S., Black, L., Bartz, J., Moskovitz, J., & Stetler, D. (2014). When the Love Hormone Leads to Violence: Oxytocin Increases Intimate Partner Violence Inclinations Among High Trait Aggressive People Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5 (6), 691-697 DOI: 10.1177/1948550613516876 --further reading--A social 'Viagra' for shy people?Why do some men insult their partners?Post written by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.
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DeWall, C., Gillath, O., Pressman, S., Black, L., Bartz, J., Moskovitz, J., & Stetler, D. (2014) When the Love Hormone Leads to Violence: Oxytocin Increases Intimate Partner Violence Inclinations Among High Trait Aggressive People. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5(6), 691-697. DOI: 10.1177/1948550613516876
Leafcutter ants form some of the biggest, most remarkable animal societies on Earth, living in sprawling colonies of up to 8 million individuals. These ants harvest more greenery in South American rainforests than any other animal, consuming almost 20% of … Continue reading →... Read more »
Elizondo Wallace, D., Vargas Asensio, J., & Pinto Tomas, A. (2014) Correlation between virulence and genetic structure of Escovopsis strains from leaf cutting ant colonies in Costa Rica. Microbiology. DOI: 10.1099/mic.0.073593-0
The findings from Jai Eun Choi and colleagues  suggesting that use of the antipsychotic risperidone may impact on levels of certain cytokines - messenger cells of the immune system - in some cases of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) grabbed my attention recently. I've always been pretty interested in the complexity of the immune system when it comes to something like autism (see here) as well as the various examples of how many of the medications used to 'manage' aspects of autism appear to have quite a few more biological effects over and above those listed on the patient information leaflet. Think melatonin for example, and what a molecular handyperson this pharmaceutic has turned out to be (see here).Could it be magic... @ Wikipedia The Choi paper worked on the assumption that use of risperidone and other antipsychotics have previously been shown to correlate with changes to serum levels of certain cytokines as per examples of work in the area of schizophrenia  and here . Some of this research even hinted that part of the reason why antipsychotics might 'work' in some cases of schizophrenia was to do with their potential effect on "the inflammatory-like situation" present . Certainly it's been noted before on this blog how inflammation may very well play some role when it comes to psychiatry (see here) particularly in light of some of the research on the various inflammatory markers (see here) accepting the chicken-and-egg question of what comes first: inflammation or symptoms?Anyhow, based on a small-ish sample (n=45), Choi et al looked at plasma levels of "27 different cytokines" both before risperidone treatment was introduced and after 8 weeks on the drug. Interestingly the words 'responders' and 'nonresponders' were included in the analyses undertaken to look for any changes/trends following antipsychotic use (something which I think more studies should head towards). As it happens, "2 of the 27 plasma cytokines showed statistically significant decreases in median levels" - eotaxin and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1). Further, when those responders and non-responders were separated out "the median values of interleukin (IL)-5 were significantly higher (p=0.005) in the overall responder group than in nonresponders".Obviously one has to be a little bit guarded about the conclusions reached from this fairly small and fairly short study. Whilst risperidone does have a place in the medicines cabinet for some people with autism (see here), paediatric use (as was the case in the Choi study) is not without risks as per a recent entry on the SFARI website (see here). The guidance from NICE here in the UK (well, England at least) also mentioned how cautious physicians must be when using antipsychotics "for behaviour that challenges" with autism in mind.I was quite interested in the Choi findings particularly that of the elevations in IL-5 in the responder group. I'm no expert on IL-5 but some light reading around the topic (see here) seems to imply that elevations of this cytokine are probably not going to be a great thing from the point of view of their involvement in the activation of eosinophils . I've talked before on this blog about some of the work looking at eosinophils and autism (see here) and some potentially interesting correlations with other research (see here). I'd perhaps like to see more about this correlation in future studies particularly building on other findings in relation to IL-5 and autism  (open-access here) including as part of being a risk factor for offspring autism  (open-access here).Insofar as the eotaxin and MCP-1 findings, well, again there is probably a lot more work to do on these compounds as a function of their mention in other autism research  (open-access here). The paper by Paul Ashwood  (who incidentally was an author on the Choi paper) looking at Fragile X syndrome (FXS) with and without autism also caught my eye: "significant differences were observed between the FXS group with autism and the FXS without autism for IL-6, eotaxin, MCP-1" as another avenue for further study.So then... somewhere the drinks are free (or should that be all-inclusive).---------- Choi JE. et al. Change in Plasma Cytokine Levels During Risperidone Treatment in Children with Autism. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2014 May 14. Zhang XY. et al. Changes in serum interleukin-2, -6, and -8 levels before and during treatment with risperidone and haloperidol: relationship to outcome in schizophrenia. J Clin Psychiatry. 2004 Jul;65(7):940-7. Kim DJ. et al. Effect of risperidone on serum cytokines. Int J Neurosci. 2001;111(1-2):11-9. Cazzullo CL. et al. Cytokine profiles in schizophrenic patients treated with risperidone: a 3-month follow-up study. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2002 Jan;26(1):33-9. Takatsu K. & Nakajima H. IL-5 and eosinophilia. Curr Opin Immunol. 2008 Jun;20(3):288-94. Suzuki K. et al. Plasma cytokine profiles in subjects with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders. PLoS One. 2011;6(5):e20470. Goines PE. et al. Increased midgestational IFN-γ, IL-4 and IL-5 in women bearing a child with autism: A case-control study. Mol Autism. 2011 Aug 2;2:13. Ashwood P. et al. Associations of impaired behaviors with elevated plasma chemokines in autism spectrum disorders. J Neuroimmunol. 2011 Mar;232(1-2):196-9.[... Read more »
Choi JE, Widjaja F, Careaga M, Bent S, Ashwood P, & Hendren RL. (2014) Change in Plasma Cytokine Levels During Risperidone Treatment in Children with Autism. Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology. PMID: 24828014
Over 75% of surveyed collegiate athletes, who believed they sustained a concussion in the past year, reported not seeking proper medical attention for that concussion. The most common reason athletes reported not seeking proper medical attention was not believing the concussion was severe enough to warrant stopping the activity to seek out a medical professional.... Read more »
Delaney, J., Lamfookon, C., Bloom, G., Al-Kashmiri, A., & Correa, J. (2014) Why University Athletes Choose Not to Reveal Their Concussion Symptoms During a Practice or Game. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, 1. DOI: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000112
It’s getting pretty hard to do anything these days that doesn’t involve software. Our governments, businesses, laboratories, personal lives and entertainment would look very different without the software that makes them tick. How can we classify all this software to make sense of it all? The likes of this huge list of software categories on wikipedia are pretty bewildering, and projects such as the Software Ontology (SWO)  are attempting to make sense of swathes of software too. There’s lots of software out there.... Read more »
Malone, J., Brown, A., Lister, A., Ison, J., Hull, D., Parkinson, H., & Stevens, R. (2014) The Software Ontology (SWO): a resource for reproducibility in biomedical data analysis, curation and digital preservation. Journal of Biomedical Semantics, 5(1), 25. DOI: 10.1186/2041-1480-5-25
Do you rise to the occasion, or do you fold under the pressure? No matter which side of the fence you’re, you can thank [or blame] your brain. Some people […]... Read more »
Kumar, S., Hultman, R., Hughes, D., Michel, N., Katz, B., & Dzirasa, K. (2014) Prefrontal cortex reactivity underlies trait vulnerability to chronic social defeat stress. Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5537
(Attention warning: massive speculation ahead.) Auguries often seem made up, useless. Is that why they are useful? Dove figured that the birds must be serving as some kind of ecological indicator. Perhaps they gravitated toward good soil, or smaller trees, or some other useful characteristic of a swidden site. After all, the Kantu’ had been […]... Read more »
Cockburn, J., Collins, A., & Frank, M. (2014) A Reinforcement Learning Mechanism Responsible for the Valuation of Free Choice. Neuron. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.06.035
It sounds like the setup to a bad joke told by zoologists: What do you get when you cross a bird that always flies to the west with one that always flies east? But the punch line is weirder than you’d guess. Birds’ migratory routes are partly coded into their DNA. A baby that inherits […]The post When Mom and Dad Have Different Migratory Routes, Kids Fly Right Down the Middle appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »
Delmore, K., & Irwin, D. (2014) Hybrid songbirds employ intermediate routes in a migratory divide. Ecology Letters. DOI: 10.1111/ele.12326
The accumulation of misfolded proteins in the ER lumen induces a stress response commonly known as the Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) or ER stress response, an adaptive signalling pathway increasing the expression of ER chaperones, inhibiting mRNA translation, and stimulating ER associated degradation (ERAD) of accumulated proteins. The degradation via the ERAD pathway in particular requires the formation of double membrane vesicles -more commonly referred to as autophagosomes - which subsequently fuse with lysosomes to form the autolysosome. The ERAD pathway can be induced by all three branches of the ER stress response -PERK, ATF6, and IRE1- which increase the expression of ER degradation enhancer, mannosidase alpha-like-1/-2 (EDEM1/2) proteins in addition to other components of the ERAD pathway either by ATF4 (in conjunction with sXBP1) by cleaved ATF6α. Binding of cytosolic misfolded proteins to components of the ERAD pathway allows the retrotranslocation of these protein into the ER lumen where ER chaperones may assist these proteins to be folded correctly and/or be glycosylated in a process which involves binding to EDEM1/2/3. JEV induces autophagy early in the infection but apoptosis at later stages. The pathways linking autophagy and apoptosis to ER stress response are discussed and the role of JEV proteins in the induction of both apoptosis and autophagy via CHOP is highlighted and compared to Coronavirus nsp -3/-4/-6.... Read more »
Matsumoto H, Miyazaki S, Matsuyama S, Takeda M, Kawano M, Nakagawa H, Nishimura K, & Matsuo S. (2013) Selection of autophagy or apoptosis in cells exposed to ER-stress depends on ATF4 expression pattern with or without CHOP expression. Biology open, 2(10), 1084-90. PMID: 24167719
Kouroku Y, Fujita E, Tanida I, Ueno T, Isoai A, Kumagai H, Ogawa S, Kaufman RJ, Kominami E, & Momoi T. (2007) ER stress (PERK/eIF2alpha phosphorylation) mediates the polyglutamine-induced LC3 conversion, an essential step for autophagy formation. Cell death and differentiation, 14(2), 230-9. PMID: 16794605
Shin YJ, Han SH, Kim DS, Lee GH, Yoo WH, Kang YM, Choi JY, Lee YC, Park SJ, Jeong SK.... (2010) Autophagy induction and CHOP under-expression promotes survival of fibroblasts from rheumatoid arthritis patients under endoplasmic reticulum stress. Arthritis research , 12(1). PMID: 20122151
Armstrong, J., Flockhart, R., Veal, G., Lovat, P., & Redfern, C. (2009) Regulation of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress-induced Cell Death by ATF4 in Neuroectodermal Tumor Cells. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 285(9), 6091-6100. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M109.014092
Shoulders MD, Ryno LM, Genereux JC, Moresco JJ, Tu PG, Wu C, Yates JR 3rd, Su AI, Kelly JW, & Wiseman RL. (2013) Stress-independent activation of XBP1s and/or ATF6 reveals three functionally diverse ER proteostasis environments. Cell reports, 3(4), 1279-92. PMID: 23583182
Rzymski T, Milani M, Pike L, Buffa F, Mellor HR, Winchester L, Pires I, Hammond E, Ragoussis I, & Harris AL. (2010) Regulation of autophagy by ATF4 in response to severe hypoxia. Oncogene, 29(31), 4424-35. PMID: 20514020
B'chir W, Chaveroux C, Carraro V, Averous J, Maurin AC, Jousse C, Muranishi Y, Parry L, Fafournoux P, & Bruhat A. (2014) Dual role for CHOP in the crosstalk between autophagy and apoptosis to determine cell fate in response to amino acid deprivation. Cellular signalling, 26(7), 1385-91. PMID: 24657471
Yu Z, Wang AM, Adachi H, Katsuno M, Sobue G, Yue Z, Robins DM, & Lieberman AP. (2011) Macroautophagy is regulated by the UPR-mediator CHOP and accentuates the phenotype of SBMA mice. PLoS genetics, 7(10). PMID: 22022281
Li JK, Liang JJ, Liao CL, & Lin YL. (2012) Autophagy is involved in the early step of Japanese encephalitis virus infection. Microbes and infection / Institut Pasteur, 14(2), 159-68. PMID: 21946213
Banerjee S, Narayanan K, Mizutani T, & Makino S. (2002) Murine coronavirus replication-induced p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase activation promotes interleukin-6 production and virus replication in cultured cells. Journal of virology, 76(12), 5937-48. PMID: 12021326
Fung TS, & Liu DX. (2014) Coronavirus infection, ER stress, apoptosis and innate immunity. Frontiers in microbiology, 296. PMID: 24987391
Cottam EM, Whelband MC, & Wileman T. (2014) Coronavirus NSP6 restricts autophagosome expansion. Autophagy, 10(8). PMID: 24991833
Sleep problems are common following traumatic brain injury (TBI).In a previous post, I reviewed a study of the risk factors for sleep disorders following TBI.The most severe TBI is a risk factor for hypersomnia. Anxiety and depression following TBI increase risk for insomnia complaints.Few large studies of treatment for sleep problems after TBI exist. However, a recent manuscript outlined the potential benefit of treatment of sleep disorders in a series of 12 subjects.Catherine Wiseman-Hakes and colleagues from the University of Toronto described their experience with sleep and TBI in a manuscript in the journal Brain Injury.Their study examined the impact of sleep disorder treatment in TBI on recovery of cognitive function including speech/communication. Treatment included sleep hygiene education, pharmacological treatment and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for those with sleep apnea.Twelve subjects with TBI completed a baseline assessment for presence of insomnia, communication function and neuropsychological performance. Subjects also completed a laboratory sleep study (polysomnography) for accurate diagnosis of specific sleep disorders.Subjects then had treatment for sleep problems individualized to the specific sleep disorders diagnoses. After 2 to 4 months ofleep disorder treatment, follow up neuropsychological assessment was completed.The key findings from the study included:Sleep disorder diagnoses were diverse and included hypersomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, circadian rhythm disturbances and insomniaTreatment of sleep disorders produced a robust subjective reduction in insomnia severity ratingsTreatment of sleep disorders produced a reduction in depression, improved language function and increased speed of language processingPharmacological treatments selected by the treating physicians included modafanil, methylphendiate and fluoxetine for hypersomnia, trazodone for insomnia, pregabablin, gabapentin and pramipexole for restless leg syndromeThe authors note their findings "reinforce the necessity for routine screening for sleep disorders in persons with TBI".Given the diversity of diagnoses in this study, screening in TBI needs to be linked to comprehensive sleep laboratory assessment.This study supports sleep assessment and sleep disorder treatment as a key component of TBI rehabilitation. This component appears to have significant benefit to global cognitive and communication recovery after TBI.Weaknesses of this clinical trial are the small sample size, lack of a control group and non-standardized pharmacological treatment.Nevertheless, the results are impressive and point to the need for additional larger randomized clinical trials of treatment for sleep disorders in TBI.Readers with more interest in this study can access the free full-text manuscript by clicking on the PMID link in the citation below.Photo of juvenile great blue heron is from the author's files. Follow the author on Twitter WRY999.Wiseman-Hakes C, Murray B, Moineddin R, Rochon E, Cullen N, Gargaro J, & Colantonio A (2013). Evaluating the impact of treatment for sleep/wake disorders on recovery of cognition and communication in adults with chronic TBI. Brain injury : [BI], 27 (12), 1364-76 PMID: 24070180... Read more »
Wiseman-Hakes C, Murray B, Moineddin R, Rochon E, Cullen N, Gargaro J, & Colantonio A. (2013) Evaluating the impact of treatment for sleep/wake disorders on recovery of cognition and communication in adults with chronic TBI. Brain injury : [BI], 27(12), 1364-76. PMID: 24070180
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine describes an autoinflammatory syndrome associated with mutations in the gene encoding STING. Dubbed SAVI, for STING-associated vasculopathy with onset in infancy, the disease is characterized by systemic inflammation, severe cutaneous … Continue reading →... Read more »
Liu, Y., Jesus, A., Marrero, B., Yang, D., Ramsey, S., Sanchez, G., Tenbrock, K., Wittkowski, H., Jones, O., Kuehn, H.... (2014) Activated STING in a Vascular and Pulmonary Syndrome. New England Journal of Medicine, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1312625
One of the more common (though often frustrating) questions we get in archaeology is “Why are you doing historic archaeology? We already know what happened”. To some extent, for eras […]... Read more »
Bigman, D. (2013) Mapping social relationships: geophysical survey of a nineteenth-century American slave cemetery. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 6(1), 17-30. DOI: 10.1007/s12520-013-0119-6
“Hey al im on my way 2wrk but i totes 4got 2bring ur ipod sori il hav 2 bring it nxt tym ur workin. Hav a nice day xo”
Gives you the cramps? Maybe you should read this article.... Read more »
Grace, A., Kemp, N., Martin, F., & Parrila, R. (2013) Undergraduates' attitudes to text messaging language use and intrusions of textisms into formal writing. New Media . DOI: 10.1177/1461444813516832
Thompson, C., Gray, K., & Kim, H. (2014) How social are social media technologies (SMTs)? A linguistic analysis of university students' experiences of using SMTs for learning. The Internet and Higher Education, 31-40. DOI: 10.1016/j.iheduc.2013.12.001
In the beginning, there was no sex. That’s because in the beginning, there was no Barry White. A playful look at examples of homosexuality in nature.... Read more »
Rice WR, Friberg U, & Gavrilets S. (2012) Homosexuality as a consequence of epigenetically canalized sexual development. The Quarterly review of biology, 87(4), 343-68. PMID: 23397798
Although it might seem a good idea to work with other people to remember important information, the evidence suggests that this typically isn't so. Individual recall is most efficient whereas social remembering comes with drawbacks, tripping up our flow and inhibiting memories. But this evidence mostly comes from asking people to collaborate with a stranger. What happens when you know each other really, really well?Celia Harris and colleagues at Macquarie University recently reviewed their previously published and new research on social remembering by long-term intimate couples. Their data showed that on standard tasks, such as reproducing words from studied lists, couples working together often did as well as when they worked alone. This lack of a penalty from social remembering is itself notable, but it's just a gateway into more intriguing findings.During another study, the researchers noticed that although couples did more poorly at listing their shared holidays when recalling together, these social sessions were filled with anecdotes and tangents that weren't generated in the solo sessions. This inspired them to depart from testing memory for lists of words and events, and to explore the amount of rich, in-depth information remembered by couples about experienced events. They found these social exchanges led to clear collaborative memory benefits, which could take three forms:“New information” such as finally snatching an elusive name of a musical thanks to a chain of prompts between the two parties.Richer, more vivid descriptions of events including sensory information.Information from one partner painting things in a new light for the other.Differences between the couples were crucial. Those who structured their approach together and were more prepared to riff off the other's contributions did better than those who were more passive or critical. Richer events were also better remembered by partners who rated their intimacy as higher.The authors note that older adults tend to experience the greatest memory difficulties with first-hand autobiographical information, rather than abstracted facts. This is exactly where the couples gained the biggest benefit from remembering together, as evidenced by performance on the in-depth event recall task and the spontaneously emerging anecdotes. It's possible that as we grow older, we offset the unreliability of our own episodic systems by drawing on the memorial support offered by a trusted partner. This might explain why when one member of an older couple experiences a drop in cognitive function, the other soon follows. Our memory systems are more of a shared resource than we realise._________________________________ Harris, C., Barnier, A., Sutton, J., & Keil, P. (2014). Couples as socially distributed cognitive systems: Remembering in everyday social and material contexts Memory Studies, 7 (3), 285-297 DOI: 10.1177/1750698014530619 Post written by Alex Fradera (@alexfradera) for the BPS Research Digest.
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Harris, C., Barnier, A., Sutton, J., & Keil, P. (2014) Couples as socially distributed cognitive systems: Remembering in everyday social and material contexts. Memory Studies, 7(3), 285-297. DOI: 10.1177/1750698014530619
A brief entry today and yet another blog post that starts with a quote (sorry)... "The offspring exposed to VPA [valproic acid] prenatally demonstrated a significant decrease in the number of play initiations/attacks and this was reversed with the KD [ketogenic diet]".Gloucester Old Spot @ Wikipedia That finding reported in the paper by Ahn and colleagues  continues my interest in all-things related to prenatal VPA exposure and the reported effects on some offspring (see here). The added bonus of including some discussion about how the use of a ketogenic diet might reverse some of the effects of VPA exposure (in rats at least) is also worthwhile mentioning.A couple of pointers perhaps...Rats, Sprague-Dawley mother rats, were given VPA or saline (as a control) during pregnancy and their pups (VPA-exposed vs. controls) were subjected to measures looking at "juvenile play behavior" and eventually "mitochondrial bioenergetic analysis" as a function of the use of a ketogenic or standard diet.Results: "Prenatal VPA exposure also disrupted the pattern of play responses". Not a great surprise there given everything else that has been linked to VPA exposure in-utero. But.. use of the ketogenic diet "was able to modify complex social behaviors and mitochondrial respiration". As noted previously, the reduction in play initiations made by the VPA exposed mice was to some degree rescued following use of the ketogenic diet.Yes, I know that this was a study of rats, and whilst useful, rats are rats not humans. But I am nevertheless intrigued by the suggestion that something like a ketogenic diet - more typically indicated for some types of treatment resistant epilepsy - might to some degree, affect the behaviour and physiology of animals exposed to a traditional anticonvulsant like valproate during the nine months that made them. Does anyone else find that a little ironic? Also throw in mention of the words 'autism spectrum disorder' alongside that animal VPA exposure model alongside the ketogenic diet (see here) and I'm sure there's some more research to be done in this area.Mode of action? I dunno. I will draw your attention to some interesting work on carnitine homoeostasis as a function of valproate administration  which might be relevant. Carnitine plays a role in mitochondrial function  and there is some suggestion that a ketogenic diet might help maintain carnitine levels in the presence of VPA . Whether this applies to brain structures or neurochemistry potentially already affected by prenatal exposure to VPA is a question not yet asked or answered. Bearing in mind the gastrointestinal (GI) effects also noted in VPA exposure models (see here) I might also be inclined to 'look to the bowels' in terms of any potential effects from the ketogenic diet in that organ too.Music to close and I was taken aback by the performance from Pumeza at the opening to the 2014 Commonwealth Games and her version of Freedom Come All Ye...---------- Ahn Y. et al. The Ketogenic Diet Modifies Social and Metabolic Alterations Identified in the Prenatal Valproic Acid Model of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dev Neurosci. 2014 Jul 8. Morand R. et al. Effect of short- and long-term treatment with valproate on carnitine homeostasis in humans. Ther Drug Monit. 2012 Aug;34(4):406-14. Zammit VA. et al. Carnitine, mitochondrial function and therapy. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2009 Nov 30;61(14):1353-62. Coppola G. et al. Plasma free carnitine in epilepsy children, adolescents and young adults treated with old and new antiepileptic drugs with or without ketogenic diet. Brain Dev. 2006 Jul;28(6):358-65.----------Ahn Y, Narous M, Tobias R, Rho JM, & Mychasiuk R (2014). The Ketogenic Diet Modifies Social and Metabolic Alterations Identified in the Prenatal Valproic Acid Model of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Developmental neuroscience PMID: 25011527... Read more »
Ahn Y, Narous M, Tobias R, Rho JM, & Mychasiuk R. (2014) The Ketogenic Diet Modifies Social and Metabolic Alterations Identified in the Prenatal Valproic Acid Model of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Developmental neuroscience. PMID: 25011527
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, is a common childhood disorder. ADHD can often persist into adolescence and adulthood. The prevalence of ADHD is thought to be between 6-7% among children and adolescents and ~5% among adults (Willcutt, 2012).
Increasingly, evidence from multiple studies has pointed to comorbidity between ADHD and eating disorders (EDs). For example, one study found that young females with ADHD were 5.6 times more likely to develop clinical (i.e., diagnosable according to DSM-5) or subthreshold (i.e., sub-clinical) bulimia nervosa (BN) (Biederman et al., 2007). Another study found that found that 21% of female inpatients at an ED unit had six or more ADHD symptoms (Yates et al., 2009).
However, most previous studies are limited by the fact that they assessed comorbidity between ADHD and EDs among patients. This limits our ability to generalize these findings to community samples, where many may experience symptoms of the disorders at subthreshold levels. Moreover, most studies focused on bingeing/purging behaviours and did not investigate differences between ADHD subtypes.
In the current study, Jennifer Bleck …
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Bleck, J., DeBate, R., & Olivardia, R. (2014) The Comorbidity of ADHD and Eating Disorders in a Nationally Representative Sample. The Journal of Behavioral Health Services . DOI: 10.1007/s11414-014-9422-y
A new study from Colombia sees Blastocystis as a quasi-ubiquitous organism.... Read more »
Londoño-Franco AL, Loaiza-Herrera J, Lora-Suárez FM, & Gómez-Marín JE. (2014) [Blastocystis sp . frequency and sources among children from 0 to 5 years of age attending public day care centers in Calarcá, Colombia]. Biomedica : revista del Instituto Nacional de Salud, 34(2), 218-27. PMID: 24967927
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. PMID: 25015079
Lukeš J, Kuchta R, Scholz T, & Pomajbíková K. (2014) (Self-) infections with parasites: re-interpretations for the present. Trends in parasitology. PMID: 25033775
Tomasini N, Lauthier JJ, Ayala FJ, Tibayrenc M, & Diosque P. (2014) How often do they have sex? A comparative analysis of the population structure of seven eukaryotic microbial pathogens. PloS one, 9(7). PMID: 25054834
Okay, not quite all of them. But it looks like Misha Ahrens and Jeremy Freeman are going to continue their reign of terror, imaging the whole zebrafish brain as if it’s no big deal. Yeah they’ve got almost every neuron of a vertebrate, so what? Besides figuring out that not shooting light at the eyes might […]... Read more »
Freeman, J., Vladimirov, N., Kawashima, T., Mu, Y., Sofroniew, N., Bennett, D., Rosen, J., Yang, C., Looger, L., & Ahrens, M. (2014) Mapping brain activity at scale with cluster computing. Nature Methods. DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.3041
Vladimirov, N., Mu, Y., Kawashima, T., Bennett, D., Yang, C., Looger, L., Keller, P., Freeman, J., & Ahrens, M. (2014) Light-sheet functional imaging in fictively behaving zebrafish. Nature Methods. DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.3040
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