"The results of this systematic review show that low vitamin D levels might contribute to the development of dementia."Whilst slightly off-topic when it comes to the core research material typically included on this blog, I did want to bring to your attention the systematic review and meta-analysis results published by Isolde Sommer and colleagues  (open-access) for your perusal. Although unable to "identify a single study investigating the association between sunlight exposure and demen........ Read more »
Sommer I, Griebler U, Kien C, Auer S, Klerings I, Hammer R, Holzer P, & Gartlehner G. (2017) Vitamin D deficiency as a risk factor for dementia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC geriatrics, 17(1), 16. PMID: 28086755
"This paper provides an overview of the benefits and drawbacks of the current clinical pathway that places primacy on a diagnostic assessment for triggering the commencement of therapy. The paper then presents an alternative clinical pathway - the identification and provision of therapy to infants at risk of ASD [autism spectrum disorder] - and provides a critical review of current evidence supporting this model."So said the 'lecture paper' by Andrew Whitehouse  and, as per the titl........ Read more »
Whitehouse AJ. (2017) Elizabeth Usher Memorial Lecture: Rethinking the clinical pathway for autism spectrum disorder and challenging the status quo. International journal of speech-language pathology, 1-10. PMID: 28084105
Abrupt changes in the biological clock or circadian rhythm are noted to contribute to significant cognitive and psychomotor impairments.One practical area for this effect to potentially be important is in the area of sports performance.Alex Song and colleagues recently completed an interesting study of major league baseball (MLB) performance related to team travel patterns.The major leagues are divided into regional divisions (western, central and eastern) to minimize length of travel to and fro........ Read more »
Song A, Severini T, & Allada R. (2017) How jet lag impairs Major League Baseball performance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 28115724
I've talked about 'fecal microbial transplants' a.k.a the poo(p) transplant before on this blog (see here). That previous entry was about the more typical (and potentially life-saving) use of a poo transplant - where stool from one person is extracted, 'repackaged' and transferred to another person - albeit with caveats in terms of possible long-term side-effects. Now it appears that poo transplants are being investigated with something rather more central to the typical cont........ Read more »
Kang, D., Adams, J., Gregory, A., Borody, T., Chittick, L., Fasano, A., Khoruts, A., Geis, E., Maldonado, J., McDonough-Means, S.... (2017) Microbiota Transfer Therapy alters gut ecosystem and improves gastrointestinal and autism symptoms: an open-label study. Microbiome, 5(1). DOI: 10.1186/s40168-016-0225-7
Of the various autism science journals out there in peer-reviewed (La-La!) land, one journal in particular is really starting to grow on me: [The] Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.I like this journal because it is basically systematic review and meta-analysis heaven when it comes to the quite voluminous autism research literature and seems to publish some real gems (see here for example).Another paper from this journal caught my eye recently by Maggie Butchart and colleagues ........ Read more »
Butchart, M., Long, J., Brown, M., McMillan, A., Bain, J., & Karatzias, T. (2017) Autism and Visual Impairment: a Review of the Literature. Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. DOI: 10.1007/s40489-016-0101-1
"Because of the limited number of included studies and small sample sizes, no firm conclusions can be drawn. However, the limited data currently available suggest that ω-3 FA [fatty acid] supplementation does not enhance the performance of children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder]."Those were the conclusions reached in the systematic review and meta-analysis paper published by Andrea Horvath and colleagues  looking at the collected peer-reviewed literature on the topic up t........ Read more »
Horvath A, Łukasik J, & Szajewska H. (2017) ω-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation Does Not Affect Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. The Journal of nutrition. PMID: 28077731
Processing speed declines significantly with age and contributes to impairment and disability in old age.There is little known about whether age-related processing speed decline can be slowed with interventionA recent clinical trial by a Japanese group targeted processing speed training in a group of 72 elderly.This study found significant effects for a daily 15 minute processing speed training game over 4 weeks.In contrast to a control group, the intervention group found specific improvement in........ Read more »
Nouchi R, Saito T, Nouchi H, & Kawashima R. (2016) Small Acute Benefits of 4 Weeks Processing Speed Training Games on Processing Speed and Inhibition Performance and Depressive Mood in the Healthy Elderly People: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial. Frontiers in aging neuroscience, 302. PMID: 28066229
"From 2006 to 2012, the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder diagnoses in 0- to 24-year-olds increased from 0.22% to 0.38%."That was one of the details included in the rather interesting paper by Christian Bachmann and colleagues  who provided some introductory information on the the trends in autism diagnoses in Germany. I say 'introductory information' because it appears that autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has not exactly received the research attention in Germany that it p........ Read more »
Christian J Bachmann, Bettina Gerste, & Falk Hoffmann. (2016) Diagnoses of autism spectrum disorders in Germany: Time trends in administrative prevalence and diagnostic stability. Autism: International Journal of Research . info:/10.1177/1362361316673977
I'm a great believer in balance when it comes to this blog and its content. As enthusiastic as I might be about a particular topic or topics, I don't want to lose sight of the fact that peer-reviewed science is a messy business and often filled with contrary findings.With 'contrary' in mind, I want to talk today about a paper by Amy Romijn and colleagues  detailing the results of a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial of a probiotic mix which contained "freeze-dried L. helv........ Read more »
Romijn AR, Rucklidge JJ, Kuijer RG, & Frampton C. (2017) A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum for the symptoms of depression. The Australian and New Zealand journal of psychiatry, 2147483647. PMID: 28068788
In today's post I want to draw your attention to the findings reported by Diana Ohanian and colleagues  (open-access available here) talking about "the use of machine learning to further explore the unique nature"of various conditions/labels including those typically headed under the label of chronic fatigue syndrome / myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME).Including one 'Jason LA' on the authorship list, researchers set about looking at "what key symptoms differentiate Myalgic Encephalomyelitis ........ Read more »
Ohanian D, Brown A, Sunnquist M, Furst J, Nicholson L, Klebek L, & Jason LA. (2016) Identifying Key Symptoms Differentiating Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome from Multiple Sclerosis. Neurology (E-Cronicon), 4(2), 41-45. PMID: 28066845
"A more homogeneous subgroup with regression between 18 and 36 months (n = 48) had higher rates of intellectual disability, epilepsy, and special education, more socially restrictive educational settings, and more severe ASD [autism spectrum disorder] communication deficits and schizophrenia spectrum symptoms than non-regressed youth (n = 136)."So said the findings reported by Kenneth Gadow and colleagues  taking on one of the more important issues in relation to autism: dev........ Read more »
Gadow KD, Perlman G, & Weber RJ. (2017) Parent-Reported Developmental Regression in Autism: Epilepsy, IQ, Schizophrenia Spectrum Symptoms, and Special Education. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. PMID: 28074354
"Adolescents with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] spent less time in MVPA [moderate and vigorous physical activity] compared to TD [typically developing] adolescents (29 min/day vs. 50 min/day, p < 0.001) and fewer met the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (14 vs. 29%, p > 0.05)."So said the study results published by Heidi Stanish and colleagues  adding yet more to another growth autism research area - physical activity and exercise - ........ Read more »
Stanish, H., Curtin, C., Must, A., Phillips, S., Maslin, M., & Bandini, L. (2017) Physical Activity Levels, Frequency, and Type Among Adolescents with and Without Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-016-3001-4
"Vitamin D treatment significantly improved fatigue in otherwise healthy persons with vitamin D deficiency."Supplementation details, described in the paper by Albina Nowak and colleagues  (open-access available here), were a single dose of 100,000 IU [international units] of vitamin D or a placebo (mannitol) administered to 120 adult participants who presented with "fatigue and vitamin D deficiency (serum 25(OH)D < 20 μg/L)." This was a double-blind trial and self-perceived fatigue ........ Read more »
Nowak A, Boesch L, Andres E, Battegay E, Hornemann T, Schmid C, Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Suter PM, & Krayenbuehl PA. (2016) Effect of vitamin D3 on self-perceived fatigue: A double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial. Medicine, 95(52). PMID: 28033244
"Rates of ASD [autism spectrum disorder] and ASD traits are elevated in a psychosis population."The paper by Debbie Kincaid and colleagues  provides yet more [short] blogging material pertinent to the increasing interest in how psychosis may be yet another comorbidity over-represented when it comes to autism (see here) and vice-versa. I know this is another topic that has to be treated with some caution in terms of concepts like stigma but more discussions - science discussions........ Read more »
Kincaid, D., Doris, M., Shannon, C., & Mulholland, C. (2017) What is the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder and ASD traits in psychosis? A systematic review. Psychiatry Research. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2017.01.017
"As compared with 54 typically developing controls, we found no evidence of differences in the blood profile of immune mediators supportive of active systemic inflammation mechanisms in participants with autism."That was the unexpected research bottom-line published by Carlos Pardo and colleagues  (open-access) examining whether various immune-related chemicals - "cytokines, chemokines, or growth factors in serum and cerebrospinal fluid" - might be linked to autism following longitudinal........ Read more »
Pardo, C., Farmer, C., Thurm, A., Shebl, F., Ilieva, J., Kalra, S., & Swedo, S. (2017) Serum and cerebrospinal fluid immune mediators in children with autistic disorder: a longitudinal study. Molecular Autism, 8(1). DOI: 10.1186/s13229-016-0115-7
"Our data suggest that exercise is more effective than control at reducing anxiety symptoms."So said the meta-analysis published by Brendan Stubbs and colleagues  who surveyed the peer-reviewed literature "investigating the benefits of exercise compared to usual treatment or control conditions in people with an anxiety and/or stress-related disorders." From the 6 randomised, controlled trials found "from inception until December 2015" exercise (various types of exercise regime) did seem to ha........ Read more »
Stubbs, B., Vancampfort, D., Rosenbaum, S., Firth, J., Cosco, T., Veronese, N., Salum, G., & Schuch, F. (2017) An examination of the anxiolytic effects of exercise for people with anxiety and stress-related disorders: A meta-analysis. Psychiatry Research. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2016.12.020
"However, patients admitted on five day/number combinations were 20-30% more likely to survive at 13 years. These findings could be explained by subgroup analysis inflation of the type I error, although supernatural causes merit further investigation."
No. Supernatural causes do not merit further investigation, at least, not based on anything in this paper.
The authors used Friday the 13th as their "normal" date for comparison with every other date, but the outcomes ........ Read more »
Protty, M., Jaafar, M., Hannoodee, S., & Freeman, P. (2016) Acute coronary syndrome on Friday the 13th: a case for re-organising services?. The Medical Journal of Australia, 205(11), 523-525. DOI: 10.5694/mja16.00870
"Fifteen studies suggest a higher prevalence rate of ASDs [autism spectrum disorder] among children of immigrants in comparison to native children."Those fifteen studies formed a large part of the seventeen studies included in the review by Rafal Kawa and colleagues  who set out to look at the collected peer-reviewed literature on the topic of the "prevalence and risk for ASD in Europe among immigrants and ethnic minorities." Carried out as part of a European Union (EU) initiative t........ Read more »
Kawa R, Saemundsen E, Lóa Jónsdóttir S, Hellendoorn A, Lemcke S, Canal-Bedia R, García-Primo P, & Moilanen I. (2016) European studies on prevalence and risk of autism spectrum disorders according to immigrant status-a review. European journal of public health. PMID: 28013245
The quote making up the title of this post comes from the case report described by Albino J Oliveira-Maia and colleagues  talking yet again about how coeliac disease - the archetypal autoimmune condition where dietary gluten is the baddie - may have effects well beyond just the physical.Describing the experiences of a woman who was admitted to a psychiatry inpatient unit on the basis of "suicidal behaviours" who also "developed an agitated catatonic state", a mix of "antidepressants, anx........ Read more »
Oliveira-Maia AJ, Andrade I, & Barahona-Corrêa JB. (2016) Case of coeliac disease presenting in the psychiatry ward. BMJ case reports. PMID: 28003229
Mechanisms of antibiotic resistance... Read more »
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