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I am a physician interested in clinical neuroscience research. I will use this blog to post more detailed analysis of recent studies in addition to my @WRY999 Twitter scientific reading log. I will also post some of my wildlife/sports photography. Aim to educate and amuse. Not selling anything.

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  • April 22, 2015
  • 12:13 PM
  • 54 views

Brain EEG and the Genetics of ADHD

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Twin studies in ADHD demonstrate a significant genetic contribution to the disorder.Linking this genetic influence to specific biomarkers may provide a better understanding of the pathophysiology of ADHD.Grainne McLoughlin and colleagues at the University of California San Diego and King's College London recently published a twin study of brain EEG and the genetics of ADHD.In their study 67 twin pairs (34 monozygotic and 33 dizygotic) between the ages of 12 and 15 years completed tasks measuring........ Read more »

  • April 20, 2015
  • 11:32 AM
  • 66 views

ADHD and Autism Overlap: Adult Twin Study

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Clinical studies show high rates of ADHD in adults with autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These studies have estimated the prevalence of ADHD in adults with ASD at between 28 and 44% of individuals. The prevalence of ADHD in the adult general population without ASD is estimated at 2.5%.Given the overlap between these two developmental disorders, it makes sense to examine genetic factors that might contribute to co-occurrence.TJC Polderman along with colleagues from the Netherlands, ........ Read more »

  • April 16, 2015
  • 10:32 AM
  • 88 views

What is Neurofeedback Training for ADHD?

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

There are a variety of behavioral strategies for treating the attention and activity components of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).One of these strategies is known as neurofeedback. A recent study in the journal Pediatrics found evidence for effectiveness of in-school neurofeedback for ADHD in a randomized controlled trial.In this trial, 104 children between the ages of 7 and 11 years of age were randomized to one of three research arms: in-school neurofeedback, cognitive th........ Read more »

  • April 13, 2015
  • 10:22 AM
  • 81 views

Treating Insomnia in Children with ADHD

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Insomnia commonly complicates the clinical presentation and treatment in children with ADHD.Stimulant therapy may provide significant relief for daytime attention and hyperactivity symptoms. However, stimulants do not appear to help with comorbid insomnia. In fact, stimulant therapy may cause more problems with insomnia in ADHD.Behavioral treatments are known to be effective in children without ADHD. Now we have a recently published study showing the effectiveness of behavioral treatment of inso........ Read more »

  • April 9, 2015
  • 10:38 AM
  • 97 views

Brain Volume Differences in ADHD Normalize By Adulthood

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Brain volume differences in ADHD have been documented in some childhood studies.ADHD symptoms diminish with maturation in many but not all individuals. It is unclear whether this improvement in symptoms is also related to maturation of brain regions.A recent study from the Netherlands provides some answers on this issue. A. Marten H. Onnink and colleagues performed a structural MRI study of 119 adults with ADHD compared to a group of controls.This study is important because it examined effects o........ Read more »

Onnink AM, Zwiers MP, Hoogman M, Mostert JC, Kan CC, Buitelaar J, & Franke B. (2014) Brain alterations in adult ADHD: effects of gender, treatment and comorbid depression. European neuropsychopharmacology : the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 24(3), 397-409. PMID: 24345721  

  • April 8, 2015
  • 11:16 AM
  • 104 views

Adult ADHD and Brain White Matter Deficits

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

In my last post I reviewed a recent diffusion tensor imaging study of ADHD in children. This study found evidence for brain white matter deficits in several ciruitry regions including frontal, temporal and occipital areas.To follow up on this post, I want to highlight a recent study of DTI in adults with ADHD.This study from Brazil recruited 22 drug treatment-naive subjects between the ages of 18 and 50 years of age.This study excluded subjects with a history of substance dependence or other med........ Read more »

  • April 7, 2015
  • 11:57 AM
  • 86 views

ADHD and Brain White Matter Deficits

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Structural brain imaging studies in ADHD fail to find consistent differences from non-ADHD populations.However, there is increasing evidence linking ADHD to changes in brain white matter function.An example of these findings is a recent study from China examining white matter in children with ADHD.ADHD is typically subgrouped into inattention (ADHD-I), hyperactivity ADHD-H or combined categories (ADHD-C). In the recent Chinese study, inattention and combined subgroups of children were compa........ Read more »

  • April 1, 2015
  • 11:20 AM
  • 110 views

Fatherhood and the Biology of Infant Care Behavior

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Early positive parental-infant attachment provides a key developmental advantage.The maternal-infant dyad has received the most research attention. However, fathers also can play an important role in infant development. An increasing number of studies focus on the biology of fatherhood and infant care behavior.Ilanit Gordon along with colleagues in Israel and the United States examined the role of two central neuropeptides in paternal behavior during the first six months of infancy.In their stud........ Read more »

  • March 30, 2015
  • 11:25 AM
  • 101 views

One Parent,Two Parents and Child Well-Being

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

The structure of the family in the United States and other countries is changing. This change has occurred over a relatively brief period of time. Data noted in the study I am reviewing today shows that between 1970 and 2013 in the U.S.:Percentage of children living with two parents dropped 24%Percentage of children living with a single mother increased to 23.7%Percentage of children living with a single father quadrupled to 4.1%Percentage of children living with a grandparent doubled to 6......... Read more »

  • March 26, 2015
  • 11:17 AM
  • 92 views

Parenting Moderates Childhood Brain Stress Response

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Child brain development benefits from a positive parenting style and environment.The mechanism for this positive effect is unclear but moderation of the stress response in the growing child is an area of research interest.Haroon Sheikh and colleagues from the University of Ontario in Canada recently published results on a study of parenting and brain development in children.In their study, a cohort of 46 six year old girls underwent brain imaging using a technique known as diffusion tensor imagi........ Read more »

  • March 25, 2015
  • 10:37 AM
  • 112 views

Parental Education As Risk Factor For Eating Disorders

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Genetic and environmental risk factors contribute to the risk for anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders.Known risk factors for anorexia nervosa include female gender, young age, family member with anorexia nervosa, weight loss, and participation in weight sensitive sports or activities, i.e. gymnastics, dancing.There has also been evidence that anorexia nervosa is more common in higher socioeconomic classes. This finding has made it one of the few brain disorders more common with this cate........ Read more »

  • March 23, 2015
  • 11:01 AM
  • 125 views

Smoking in Pregnancy and Child Brain Development

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Smoking during pregnancy produces significant and diverse effects on prenatal development.These adverse effects include dysfunction in prenatal and early childhood brain development.Hanan El Marroun and colleagues from the Netherlands recently published an important childhood brain imaging study of smoking during pregnancy.One hundred and thirteen children exposed to tobacco during pregnancy were compared to a control group of unexposed children.Both groups of children between 6 and 8 years of a........ Read more »

El Marroun H, Schmidt MN, Franken IH, Jaddoe VW, Hofman A, van der Lugt A, Verhulst FC, Tiemeier H, & White T. (2014) Prenatal tobacco exposure and brain morphology: a prospective study in young children. Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 39(4), 792-800. PMID: 24096296  

  • March 17, 2015
  • 11:56 AM
  • 149 views

Physical Exercise Effects on Brain EEG

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

There are a variety of methods to study the effects on exercise on brain function. Brain imaging techniques such as fMRI provides a new tool to search for regional effects of acute and chronic exercise.Another tool that has received less attention is the electroencephalogram or EEG. One EEG measure of brain function is the individual alpha peak frequency or iAPF.The iAPF is positively correlated with arousal, attention and speed of information processing. Higher iAPF is linked to faster spe........ Read more »

Gutmann B, Mierau A, Hülsdünker T, Hildebrand C, Przyklenk A, Hollmann W, & Strüder HK. (2015) Effects of physical exercise on individual resting state EEG alpha peak frequency. Neural plasticity, 717312. PMID: 25759762  

  • February 18, 2015
  • 11:53 AM
  • 185 views

Exercise Guidelines in Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

A series of seven guidelines for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease (AD) has recently been published.These guidelines resulted from a conference of experts in nutrition and the brain.The guidelines included a recommendation for 40 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week.Support for this exercise recommendation by experts was linked to 2 areas of research:Observational studies show lower rates of AD in regular exercise groups compared to sedentary groupsA single clinical trial found red........ Read more »

Barnard ND, Bush AI, Ceccarelli A, Cooper J, de Jager CA, Erickson KI, Fraser G, Kesler S, Levin SM, Lucey B.... (2014) Dietary and lifestyle guidelines for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease. Neurobiology of aging. PMID: 24913896  

  • February 4, 2015
  • 09:32 AM
  • 175 views

Exercise in the Elderly: BDNF and Executive Function

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Exercise promotes cognitive function in children, adults and elderly individuals.The mechanism for this effect is unclear. Some of the effect may be due to a general improvement in vascular function and health.Another potential mechanism is via increased neuroplasticity mediated by neurotrophic factors.Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BNDF) is a known contributor to brain neuroplasticity. Levels of BNDF can be determined with serum assays.RL Leckie and colleagues recently found support for BND........ Read more »

Leckie RL, Oberlin LE, Voss MW, Prakash RS, Szabo-Reed A, Chaddock-Heyman L, Phillips SM, Gothe NP, Mailey E, Vieira-Potter VJ.... (2014) BDNF mediates improvements in executive function following a 1-year exercise intervention. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 985. PMID: 25566019  

  • February 2, 2015
  • 11:39 AM
  • 217 views

Exercise in the Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Growing evidence links physical activity to improved cognitive outcome in elderly individuals.Few studies have examined effects of exercise on those at highest risk for Alzheimer's disease.J Carson Smith and colleagues recently published a prospective study of a cohort of older adults using structural magnetic resonance imaging.The key elements of the design of their study included the following elements:Participants: 97 adults between the ages of 65 and 89Physical activity level: Frequency and ........ Read more »

Smith JC, Nielson KA, Woodard JL, Seidenberg M, Durgerian S, Hazlett KE, Figueroa CM, Kandah CC, Kay CD, Matthews MA.... (2014) Physical activity reduces hippocampal atrophy in elders at genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease. Frontiers in aging neuroscience, 61. PMID: 24795624  

  • January 26, 2015
  • 10:02 AM
  • 135 views

Obesity, Inflammation and Cognitive Decline

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

The rate of cognitive decline with aging is quite variable. Identifying important components of this process is needed for developing interventions to reduce the burden of Alzheimer's and other dementias.Excess inflammation has been linked to obesity as well as aging-related cognitive decline.Archana Singh-Manoux and colleagues recently published a study of the association between blood markers of inflammation and cognitive decline.This study used data from the U.K. Whitehall II cohort, a g........ Read more »

Singh-Manoux A, Dugravot A, Brunner E, Kumari M, Shipley M, Elbaz A, & Kivimaki M. (2014) Interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein as predictors of cognitive decline in late midlife. Neurology, 83(6), 486-93. PMID: 24991031  

  • January 19, 2015
  • 10:09 AM
  • 271 views

Mediterranean Diet and Aging

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

There is a growing research body of evidence to support beneficial effects of a Mediterranean diet on brain health.In previous posts I have reviewed research on the Mediterranean diet and:Cognitive DeclineAlzheimer's Disease PreventionA recent study adds an important element in potential mechanisms for the beneficial effects of the Mediterranean diet.Marta Crous-Bou and colleauges from Harvard University and the University of Washington published a study of the Mediterranean diet and chromosome ........ Read more »

Crous-Bou M, Fung TT, Prescott J, Julin B, Du M, Sun Q, Rexrode KM, Hu FB, & De Vivo I. (2014) Mediterranean diet and telomere length in Nurses' Health Study: population based cohort study. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). PMID: 25467028  

  • January 14, 2015
  • 10:51 AM
  • 256 views

Obesity, Inflammation and the Brain

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Brain inflammation produces a variety of emotional, behavior and cognitive symptoms.I remember clearly a patient I cared for with central nervous system lupus erythrematosis (SLE). With SLE flairs she developed flagrant psychotic symptoms including hallucinations requiring inpatient psychiatric care.Between flares she had no significant psychiatric symptoms.Nicole Castanon and two colleagues from France have published a review of the role of obesity-associated inflammation and brain dysfunction......... Read more »

  • January 12, 2015
  • 10:56 AM
  • 259 views

Dietary Grains and Heart/Stroke Mortality

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Dietary intake of whole grains and fiber shows consistent beneficial effects on a variety of health and mortality measures.In a post in 2011, I reviewed study results from the NIH-AARP cohort. That study reported reduced cardiovascular disease but not cancer in men and women with the highest fiber intake.A recent Harvard University study examined mortality risk in a group of U.S. health professionals grouped by level of whole grain intake.Participants in this study were over 118,000 men and wome........ Read more »

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