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  • May 26, 2015
  • 01:38 PM
  • 18 views

Babies can think before they can speak

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Two pennies can be considered the same — both are pennies, just as two elephants can be considered the same, as both are elephants. Despite the vast difference between pennies and elephants, we easily notice the common relation of sameness that holds for both pairs. Analogical ability — the ability to see common relations between objects, events or ideas — is a key skill that underlies human intelligence and differentiates humans from other apes.... Read more »

  • May 26, 2015
  • 01:30 PM
  • 10 views

Researchers find essential fats for brain growth

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

New research has proved that certain special fats found in blood are essential for human brain growth and function. The two studies showed that mutations in the protein Mfsd2a causes impaired brain development in humans. Mfsd2a is the transporter in the brain for a special type of fat called lysophosphatidylcholines (LPCs) — composed of essential fatty acids like omega-3. These studies show, for the first time, the crucial role of these fats in human brain growth and function.... Read more »

  • May 26, 2015
  • 10:18 AM
  • 12 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 26, 2015
  • 05:08 AM
  • 21 views

Health and adults on the autism spectrum

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Nearly all medical conditions were significantly more common in adults with autism, including immune conditions, gastrointestinal and sleep disorders, seizure, obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and diabetes."So said the study results from Lisa Croen and colleagues [1] who set out to "describe the frequency of psychiatric and medical conditions among a large, diverse, insured population of adults with autism in the United States." Said participant group was derived from the interrogation of d........ Read more »

Croen LA, Zerbo O, Qian Y, Massolo ML, Rich S, Sidney S, & Kripke C. (2015) The health status of adults on the autism spectrum. Autism : the international journal of research and practice. PMID: 25911091  

  • May 25, 2015
  • 02:42 AM
  • 39 views

Ginkgo biloba for ADHD?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I approach the paper by Fereshteh Shakibaei and colleagues [1] with some degree of caution save any suggestions that I am somehow 'promoting' the herb Ginkgo biloba for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or anything else. I'm not, but I am interested in the results of their placebo-controlled trial suggesting that "The G. biloba is an effective complementary treatment for ADHD" and their subsequent calls for further research into this potentially promising intervention.As ........ Read more »

  • May 24, 2015
  • 06:19 PM
  • 42 views

When medication side effects get in the way of living life

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

There are very few people living with chronic pain who gleefully swallow a handful of pills and skip happily off for the day feeling chipper and bright as a button. For the most part, people living with chronic pain don’t seem to enjoy the need to take medications – I’ve heard some say they’re worried about “not being able to tell whether I’m doing damage” when they can’t feel their pain, others say they don’t think medications are very helpf........ Read more »

  • May 24, 2015
  • 04:12 PM
  • 49 views

This is your brain, on video games

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A new study shows that while video game players (VGPs) exhibit more efficient visual attention abilities, they are also much more likely to use navigation strategies that rely on the brain’s reward system (the caudate nucleus) and not the brain’s spatial memory system (the hippocampus). Past research has shown that people who use caudate nucleus-dependent navigation strategies have decreased grey matter and lower functional brain activity in the hippocampus.... Read more »

West, G., Drisdelle, B., Konishi, K., Jackson, J., Jolicoeur, P., & Bohbot, V. (2015) Habitual action video game playing is associated with caudate nucleus-dependent navigational strategies. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282(1808), 20142952-20142952. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.2952  

  • May 23, 2015
  • 03:59 PM
  • 60 views

Omega-3 as an intervention for childhood behavioral problems

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

We don’t usually think of a child’s behavior as a diet issue, but if new findings hold true, then that might be the very case. In a new study, researchers suggest that omega-3, a fatty acid commonly found in fish oil, may have long-term neurodevelopmental effects that ultimately reduce antisocial and aggressive behavior problems in children.... Read more »

  • May 23, 2015
  • 03:53 AM
  • 70 views

Psychological morbidity of coeliac disease

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Anxiety, depression and fatigue are common complaints in patients with untreated celiac disease and contribute to lower quality of life."That was one of the conclusions reached in the paper by Fabiana Zingone and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) following their review of the research literature "on psychological morbidity of celiac disease." Celiac (coeliac) disease (CD), by the way, is the autoimmune condition classically treated via the use of a gluten-free diet (GFD). Readers........ Read more »

Zingone F, Swift GL, Card TR, Sanders DS, Ludvigsson JF, & Bai JC. (2015) Psychological morbidity of celiac disease: A review of the literature. United European gastroenterology journal, 3(2), 136-45. PMID: 25922673  

  • May 22, 2015
  • 03:11 PM
  • 78 views

Air pollution is causing your baby problems, but breastfeeding can help

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Aitana Lertxundi has conducted her research work within the framework of the INma (Childhood and Environment) programme led by Jesús Ibarluzea of the Department of Health of the Government of the Basque Autonomous Community (region). The aim is to assess how exposure to environmental pollution during pregnancy affects health and also to examine the role of diet in physical and neurobehavioural development in infancy. The study focusses on the repercussions on motor and mental development during........ Read more »

  • May 22, 2015
  • 03:02 PM
  • 90 views

Are infections making you stupid?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

New research shows that infections can impair your cognitive ability measured on an IQ scale. The study is the largest of its kind to date, and it shows a clear correlation between infection levels and impaired cognition. Anyone can suffer from an infection, for example in their stomach, urinary tract or skin. However, a new Danish study shows that a patient’s distress does not necessarily end once the infection has been treated.... Read more »

  • May 22, 2015
  • 04:07 AM
  • 85 views

Clinical trials for rare diseases – finding and keeping patients

by Danielle Stevenson in BHD Research Blog

International Clinical Trial day (May 20th) celebrates the medical advances as a result of clinical trials. Clinical trials are essential to ensure drug safety and efficacy, and the recent increase in the development of orphan drugs has led to an increase in rare disease clinical trials. The nature of rare diseases creates specific challenges for clinical trial design and patient recruitment.... Read more »

  • May 22, 2015
  • 02:24 AM
  • 87 views

Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) and autism: 2 year outcomes

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"These results provide evidence that gains from early intensive intervention are maintained 2 years later. Notably, core autism symptoms improved in the ESDM [Early Start Denver Model] group over the follow-up period relative to the COM [community-intervention-as-usual] group."Those were some of the conclusions reported in amongst the potentially very important results from Annette Estes and colleagues [1] looking at "the sustained effects of early intervention" followin........ Read more »

Annette Estes, Jeffrey Munson, Sally J. Rogers, Jessica Greenson, Jamie Winter, & Geraldine Dawson. (2015) Long-Term Outcomes of Early Intervention in 6-Year-Old Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. info:/10.1016/j.jaac.2015.04.005

  • May 21, 2015
  • 05:43 PM
  • 96 views

E-cigarettes don’t help smokers stop smoking (or smoke less)

by Megan Cartwright in Science-Based Writing

Electronic cigarettes don’t help people quit smoking or even smoke less. This conclusion – which further squashes hopes that e-cigarettes might enable America’s 42 million smokers to quit – comes from one of the largest studies of e-cigarette users to … Continue reading →... Read more »

Al-Delaimy WK, Myers MG, Leas EC, Strong DR, & Hofstetter CR. (2015) E-cigarette use in the past and quitting behavior in the future: a population-based study. American journal of public health, 105(6), 1213-9. PMID: 25880947  

  • May 21, 2015
  • 05:09 AM
  • 82 views

Respiratory illness and schizophrenia

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Schizophrenia is associated with impaired lung function and increased risk for pneumonia, COPD [Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease] and chronic bronchitis."That was the primary conclusion reached in the paper by Krista Partti and colleagues [1] who aimed to "compare the respiratory health of people with psychosis with that of the general population." Their findings, based on data from "a nationally representative sample of 8028 adult Finns" (Finns as in inhabitants of Finland) invo........ Read more »

Partti K, Vasankari T, Kanervisto M, Perälä J, Saarni SI, Jousilahti P, Lönnqvist J, & Suvisaari J. (2015) Lung function and respiratory diseases in people with psychosis: population-based study. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science. PMID: 25858177  

  • May 20, 2015
  • 08:06 AM
  • 61 views

What Can "Lived Experience" Teach Neuroscientists?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A provocative paper says that neuroscientists who research mental health problems ought to listen to the views of people who have experienced those conditions.

The piece, from Australian authors Anthony Stratford and colleagues, is published in The Psychiatric Quarterly.



Here are some highlights:
Traditionally, mental health consumer [i.e. patient] involvement in research activities has largely been as "subjects"... the passive recipients of research activity... This approach does lit... Read more »

  • May 20, 2015
  • 04:49 AM
  • 56 views

Severe obesity pre-pregnancy and offspring developmental outcome

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Children whose mothers were severely obese before pregnancy had increased risk for adverse developmental outcomes."That was the conclusion reached in the paper by Heejoo Jo and colleagues [1] based on results derived from the Infant Feeding Practices Study II (IFPS II) "a US nationally distributed longitudinal study of maternal health and infant health and feeding practices." Said data included information on "maternal prepregnancy BMI [body mass index] and child psychosocia........ Read more »

  • May 19, 2015
  • 04:21 PM
  • 64 views

Suicide and skin color, or how being black is killing you

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The great racial divide, despite all the evidence showing that racism, hate and frankly plain stupidity is alive and well, there are people who cannot accept it. This probably will not change anything for those people, but for the first time a new study shows that while suicide rates in children younger than 12 have remained steady for the past 20 years, there are significantly higher suicide rates among black children.... Read more »

Bridge, J., Asti, L., Horowitz, L., Greenhouse, J., Fontanella, C., Sheftall, A., Kelleher, K., & Campo, J. (2015) Suicide Trends Among Elementary School–Aged Children in the United States From 1993 to 2012. JAMA Pediatrics. DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.0465  

  • May 19, 2015
  • 04:50 AM
  • 55 views

Social anxiety affecting autism intervention outcome?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Anxiety is an unpleasant state of inner turmoil" according to one definition. In other descriptions, words such as 'worry' and 'dread' are used (see here) describing how beyond the typical feelings of apprehension about a new situation for example, anxiety can turn into something altogether more serious and life-disrupting for some.There are various types of anxiety disorder (see here) to consider, but for the purposes of this post I'm going to focus on social anxiety disorder in the context of........ Read more »

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

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