William Yates, M.D.

510 posts · 427,554 views

Physician, Writer and Bird Photographer. Translating Neuroscience Research Into Better Care for Brain Disorders.

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  • June 30, 2015
  • 12:55 PM
  • 43 views

Bipolar Disorder: Novel Clinical Trials II

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

This is the second post reviewing recent novel trials for the treatment of bipolar disorder.Again, for my sources I am using are clinicaltrials.gov and PubMed.Clicking on the study title will take you to the clinicaltrials.gov site for more detailed protocol information.Allopurinol Maintenance Study for Bipolar DisorderThis completed study examined the effect of 300 to 600 mg per day of allopurinol on mania prevention. Allopurinol is a drug used primarily for the treatment of gout or kidney ston........ Read more »

  • June 25, 2015
  • 11:42 AM
  • 57 views

Bipolar Disorder: Novel Clinical Trials I

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

To finish out the bipolar disorder topic month I will review some of the novel clinical trials in this condition.Clinicaltrials.gov is a valuable resource in searching for active and recently completed clinical trials.Here are some of the rostered trials from this site related to bipolar disorder that caught my attention.Sensoril for Bipolar DisorderSensoril is the trade name for the natural product ashwagandha an herbal extract from the herb Withania somnifera. This trial was sponsored through ........ Read more »

  • June 24, 2015
  • 11:02 AM
  • 66 views

Bipolar Disorder Link to Rheumatoid Arthritis

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Finding links between disorders felt to be distinct is a helpful tool in understanding genetics and pathophysiology. An example would be the discovery that individuals with genetically determined elevated cholesterol levels had higher rates of cardiovascular disease. This led to drug development of cholesterol lowering agents leading to reduced rates of cardiovascular disease and mortality.A recent population-based study from a research team in Taiwan identified an increased risk of bipolar........ Read more »

  • June 23, 2015
  • 12:11 PM
  • 83 views

Bipolar Disorder Linked to Increased Dementia Risk

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

A variety of risk factors have been identified in Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia.The risk for dementia following major psychiatric syndromes in mid-life is an important research area.Renate Zilkens and colleagues in Australia recently published an informative study of psychiatric disorders and later dementia risk. This study used a population-based case control methodology.The key elements in the design of this study included the following:Subjects: General population in Western........ Read more »

  • June 10, 2015
  • 12:58 PM
  • 126 views

Brain Default Network in Psychotic Bipolar Disorder

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

In a previous post I reviewed a summary of research related to genetics and improved diagnosis in bipolar disorder.One key point in this review was a highlight of the promise for integrating genetic with imaging research in bipolar disorder and other neuropsychiatric disorders.An example of this type of integrated research has been recently published in PNAS by a group of Yale University, the University of New Mexico and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.This study used functio........ Read more »

Meda SA, Ruaño G, Windemuth A, O'Neil K, Berwise C, Dunn SM, Boccaccio LE, Narayanan B, Kocherla M, Sprooten E.... (2014) Multivariate analysis reveals genetic associations of the resting default mode network in psychotic bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(19). PMID: 24778245  

  • June 8, 2015
  • 01:10 PM
  • 121 views

Genetics Leading to Better Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

I wanted to alert Brain Posts readers to an important new review of genetics and diagnosis in brain disorders including bipolar disorder.One hope for the emerging genetics research in mental disorders is a better diagnostic classification system.The current psychiatric diagnostic system is hampered by use of a primary symptoms and signs approach leading to messy heterogeneous groups of clinical conditions.Elliot Gerson has been a giant in neuroscience genetics for quite some time and recently pu........ Read more »

  • June 5, 2015
  • 11:04 AM
  • 149 views

Bipolar Disorder Guidelines: NICE Update

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Clinicians treating bipolar disorder and patients with a bipolar disorder diagnosis are aided by the availability of expert opinion guidelines.In the last post, I reviewed a study that found decreased rates of suicidal behavior in bipolar patients treated with antidepressant drugs.This review prompted me to look for a recent consensus update on assessment and treatment of bipolar. One recent update came from the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence or NICE. This guideline is free........ Read more »

Kendall T, Morriss R, Mayo-Wilson E, Marcus E, & Guideline Development Group of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. (2014) Assessment and management of bipolar disorder: summary of updated NICE guidance. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). PMID: 25258392  

  • June 4, 2015
  • 10:58 AM
  • 148 views

Antidepressants Linked to Lower Suicide in Bipolar Disorder

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Bipolar disorder is known to have a marked increased lifetime risk for suicide.There has been limited study of the effect of specific interventions in the risk of suicidal behavior and completed suicide.A recent study has added to our understanding of this topic using data from the Collaborative Depression Study or CDS.The CDS is a large longitudinal stud funded by the NIMH that enrolled a large sample of subjects with bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder and unipolar depression.Subject were ........ Read more »

Leon AC, Fiedorowicz JG, Solomon DA, Li C, Coryell WH, Endicott J, Fawcett J, & Keller MB. (2014) Risk of suicidal behavior with antidepressants in bipolar and unipolar disorders. The Journal of clinical psychiatry, 75(7), 720-7. PMID: 25093469  

  • June 2, 2015
  • 03:41 PM
  • 147 views

Neurobiology of Child Neglect/Abuse: Nemeroff Lecture Notes

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

I had the opportunity to attend the Warren Neuroscience Lecture presented by Dr. Charles Nemeroff in Tulsa, OK on June 2, 2015.Dr. Nemeroff has been an international leader in research in mood and anxiety disorders. His recent focus has been on the effects of adverse childhood environments on risk for adult mood and anxiety disorders. Here are my notes that summarize some of the key points from his lecture.Introduction:Stress is an important factor in understanding depressionEarly life stre........ Read more »

  • May 26, 2015
  • 10:18 AM
  • 118 views

Conduct Disorder as a Substance Abuse Risk Factor

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

In this series of research reviews on conduct disorder several important findings are evident.Conduct disorder (CD) commonly evolves into adult antisocial personality disorderConduct disorder in children often presents along with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and learning problemsCD in childhood and adolescence raises risk for alcohol, drug and nicotine dependence.Margaret Sibley and colleagues recently published a study of CD and ADHD and later initiation and escalation of the use of........ Read more »

  • May 18, 2015
  • 10:45 AM
  • 113 views

Brain Imaging and Conduct Disorder: Temporal Lobe Abnormalities

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Conduct disorder is a complex behavioral disorder with significant risk for later adult psychopathology.There is increasing evidence for a biological basis for conduct disorder.Twin studies show a significant genetic contribution to the disorder.Brain imaging studies also point to biological factors in conduct disorder.Gregory Wallace and colleagues recently published a structural MRI study of conduct disorder in 22 adolescents between the ages of 10 and 18. Conduct disorder subjects were compar........ Read more »

Wallace GL, White SF, Robustelli B, Sinclair S, Hwang S, Martin A, & Blair RJ. (2014) Cortical and subcortical abnormalities in youths with conduct disorder and elevated callous-unemotional traits. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 53(4), 456-650. PMID: 24655655  

  • May 14, 2015
  • 10:31 AM
  • 162 views

Male Depression Risk Via Childhood Conduct Disorder

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Conduct disorder represents an important childhood-onset condition that commonly persists into adulthood.Adult antisocial personality disorder and substance abuse are known risks associated with conduct disorder.A recent study by Kenneth Kendler and Charles Gardner identified male conduct disorder as a risk factor for adult major depression.Their study using the Virginia Twin Registry examined 20 developmental risk factors in male and female twins for presence of recent adult major depression.A ........ Read more »

  • May 7, 2015
  • 10:30 AM
  • 182 views

Conduct Disorder: Predictors, Gender and Genetics

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Genetic factors contribute to risk for many childhood mental disorders.Gender issues in childhood psychopathology are also important factors.Boys show higher rates for conduct disorder (CD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).Nora Kerekes and colleagues in Sweden and Australia examined a large twin study of childhood behavioral and neurobehavioral disorders. The aims of this study were to better understand the developmental and genetic feature........ Read more »

  • May 5, 2015
  • 11:12 AM
  • 183 views

Bad Boy. Bad Boy. Is It Conduct Disorder?

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Defining the line between normal childhood behavior and more serious problems like conduct disorder (CD) is important.Conduct disorder is linked to a significant risk for a lifelong problem with aggression. Identifying CD early in life provides the hope that early intervention might reduce the later consequences of the disorder.The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has an excellent online resource center to understand conduct disorder. They note the condition is characteri........ Read more »

  • April 30, 2015
  • 10:35 AM
  • 208 views

Bupropion: A Non-stimulant ADHD Drug Treatment

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Stimulant drugs including dextroamphetamine (Adderall) and methylphenidate (Ritalin) remain among the most common and effective drug treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).Alternative to stimulant drugs are needed to expand treatment options for clinicians and patients.One problem with the stimulants is the potential for misuse and diversion of prescription drugs to illicit drug use.One non-stimulant FDA approved drug (atomoxetine/Strattera) is available in the U.S.An add........ Read more »

  • April 27, 2015
  • 10:50 AM
  • 165 views

ADHD and Vehicular Accident Risk

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Attention and impulsive behaviors found in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can contribute to accident risk in children and adults.A recent study of adult drivers in France provides evidence for increased accident risk in adults with ADHD.Researchers at the Bordeaux University Hospital interviewed a series of adult drivers seen in the emergency department following a road traffic crash.A total of 777 eligible subjects completed assessments of accident information, distraction expo........ Read more »

  • April 22, 2015
  • 12:13 PM
  • 216 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
  • 201 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
  • 237 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
  • 215 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 »

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