William Yates, M.D.

521 posts · 452,411 views

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

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  • October 6, 2015
  • 11:22 AM

Do Baseball Players Live Longer?

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

The Major League Baseball (MLB) playoffs begin today. I did a PubMed search for recent research related to baseball.One interesting abstract examined the body of research related to elite athletes and longevity.This review article examined 54 peer-reviewed manuscripts that addressed the mortality and longevity of elite athletes. Sixteen of these studies examined longevity in MLB players.I will summarize some of the conclusions from this review.MLB players tended to have longer lifespan than cont........ Read more »

  • October 2, 2015
  • 10:41 AM

Academic Performance in Adolescents: Behavioral Correlates

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Galileo Bust in Galileo Museum, Florence (wryates photo)There is a significant level of interest in the best behavioral activity balance in adolescents.Adolescents currently live in an environment of expanding opportunities for spending time watching TV, surfing the internet and playing video games.Understanding the best balance of study, exercise and time in front of a screen is an important topic.Kristen Corder and colleagues recently examined adolescent behavioral activity patterns and perfor........ Read more »

  • September 30, 2015
  • 11:29 AM

iPad Intervention Boosts Cognition in Schizophrenia

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

In a previous post, I summarized some of the current thinking on the use of cognitive enhancement drugs in Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, ADHD and schizophrenia.This summary was based on a review by Gabe Howard and colleagues. The review also included a summary of a clinical trial using an iPad cognitive training app for the treatment of cognition in schizophrenia.Here are the key elements of the study and the results.Study sample: 22 adults with a diagnosis of DSM-5 schizophrenia, sc........ Read more »

Sahakian BJ, Bruhl AB, Cook J, Killikelly C, Savulich G, Piercy T, Hafizi S, Perez J, Fernandez-Egea E, Suckling J.... (2015) The impact of neuroscience on society: cognitive enhancement in neuropsychiatric disorders and in healthy people. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 370(1677). PMID: 26240429  

  • September 29, 2015
  • 11:04 AM

Cognitive Enhancers in Neuroscience Medicine

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Neuropsychiatric disorders cause impairment via multiple pathways. One pathway to impairment is cognitive impairment via attention problems, cognitive slowing and memory disruption.Barbara Sahakian and colleagues recently published an interesting manuscript examining the issue of cognitive enhancement.Their review begins by summarizing some of the research related to cognitive enhancement in four neuropsychiatric syndromes. I will summarize their main points by specific disorder.Alzheimer's Dise........ Read more »

Sahakian BJ, Bruhl AB, Cook J, Killikelly C, Savulich G, Piercy T, Hafizi S, Perez J, Fernandez-Egea E, Suckling J.... (2015) The impact of neuroscience on society: cognitive enhancement in neuropsychiatric disorders and in healthy people. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 370(1677). PMID: 26240429  

  • September 3, 2015
  • 12:00 PM

Brain Imaging in Football-Related Brain Injury

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

The scope and mechanism of significant brain injury in football and other sports is unclear.One research challenge is the identification of early signals indicated risk for remote cognitive decline and dementia.For example, repeated concussions at age 20 with brain injury may not produce clinical cognitive deficits for 20 or 30 years. Early identification of risk and counseling of individuals may reduce trauma exposure and cognitive decline.There are no valid tests of brain imaging in high-risk ........ Read more »

  • September 2, 2015
  • 12:48 PM

Managing Fatigue in Match-Play Tennis

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

The 2015 U.S. Tennis Open is in full swing and I ran into an interesting recent manuscript summarizing fatigue in tennis.Fatigue has multiple elements including changes in muscle performance, blood markers of lactic acid and other compounds as well as brain central perception factors.Long multi-set matches can last four or five hours. Obviously, at the end of this type of exertion, players have had to adjust to effects of significant fatigue.Reid and Duffield review the key elements of fatigue i........ Read more »

Reid M, & Duffield R. (2014) The development of fatigue during match-play tennis. British journal of sports medicine. PMID: 24668384  

  • July 21, 2015
  • 12:29 PM

Mediterranean Diet and Alzheimer's Disease Prevention

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

There is an urgent need to identify strategies to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.The role of diet as a prevention strategy is controversial. Some research evidence supports a role for a Mediterranean diet in cognitive health and dementia prevention.A recent brain imaging study adds to this evidence. Dr. Lisa Mosconi and colleagues at New York University School of Medicine completed a cross-sectional study of brain magnetic resonance imaging and diet........ Read more »

Mosconi L, Murray J, Tsui WH, Li Y, Davies M, Williams S, Pirraglia E, Spector N, Osorio RS, Glodzik L.... (2014) Mediterranean Diet and Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Assessed Brain Atrophy in Cognitively Normal Individuals at Risk for Alzheimer's Disease. The journal of prevention of Alzheimer's disease, 1(1), 23-32. PMID: 25237654  

  • July 15, 2015
  • 12:32 PM

Fitness Boosts White Matter Integrity in Aging

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Cardiovascular fitness has been correlated with a variety of beneficial effects on brain structure and cognition.These correlations have not proven causality but they do support continued imaging and brain function studies.Scott Hayes from the VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston School of Medicine recently published an information study on this topic.Brain white matter integrity is now open for study using diffusion tensor imaging, available from high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MR........ Read more »

Hayes SM, Salat DH, Forman DE, Sperling RA, & Verfaellie M. (2015) Cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with white matter integrity in aging. Annals of clinical and translational neurology, 2(6), 688-98. PMID: 26125043  

  • July 13, 2015
  • 12:31 PM

Alzheimer's Disease: The Promise of Diabetes Drugs

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Current pharmacologic interventions in Alzheimer's disease (AD) have limited effectiveness.Most of the current AD drugs available promise to slow the rate of progression but fail to reverse or prevent the disease.Novel strategies for AD drug treatment are desperately needed and one promising class of agents are the newer drugs for treatment of diabetes. How might a diabetes treatment drug potentially treat a brain disease like AD?A recent review article in World Journal of Diabetes summariz........ Read more »

Candeias EM, Sebastião IC, Cardoso SM, Correia SC, Carvalho CI, Plácido AI, Santos MS, Oliveira CR, Moreira PI, & Duarte AI. (2015) Gut-brain connection: The neuroprotective effects of the anti-diabetic drug liraglutide. World journal of diabetes, 6(6), 807-27. PMID: 26131323  

  • July 8, 2015
  • 12:54 PM

Brain Imaging and Alzheimer's Disease Prediction

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Enhanced early detection of risk for Alzheimer's dementia and other forms of dementia is key to prevention and early intervention.Brain imaging holds promise as a pre-clinical disease risk assessment tool in Alzeimer's dementia.Dementia risk has been linked to several brain imaging abnormalities found with magnetic resonance imaging. These abnormalities have included atrophy of the brain hippocampus, medial temporal lobe as well as white matter hyperintensities.A recent study from France examine........ Read more »

  • July 7, 2015
  • 11:16 AM

Brain Deficits in Visual Hallucinations

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

One the early things I was taught in my neuroscience training was that new-onset visual hallucinations need to be assessed for medical or "organic causes".Auditory hallucinations were felt to be more characteristic of schizophrenia.One medical disorder linked to visual hallucinations is dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). DLB is second to Alzheimer's disease in producing neurodegenerative dementia. Visual hallucinations is a hallmark of DLB and is found in up to 70% of clinical samples with th........ Read more »

Heitz C, Noblet V, Cretin B, Philippi N, Kremer L, Stackfleth M, Hubele F, Armspach JP, Namer I, & Blanc F. (2015) Neural correlates of visual hallucinations in dementia with Lewy bodies. Alzheimer's research , 7(1), 6. PMID: 25717349  

  • June 30, 2015
  • 12:55 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 »

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