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  • August 23, 2016
  • 03:47 AM
  • 234 views

Autism and/or ADHD in Down's syndrome

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"High rates of ASD [autism spectrum disorder] and ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] were found: 17 (42%) and 14 (34%) of the 41 children met DSM criteria for ASD and ADHD respectively."That was the conclusion reached in the study by Ulrika Oxelgren and colleagues [1] looking at the "prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in a population-based group of children and adolescents with Down syndrome." The populatio........ Read more »

Oxelgren UW, Myrelid Å, Annerén G, Ekstam B, Göransson C, Holmbom A, Isaksson A, Åberg M, Gustafsson J, & Fernell E. (2016) Prevalence of autism and attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder in Down syndrome: a population-based study. Developmental medicine and child neurology. PMID: 27503703  

  • August 22, 2016
  • 03:00 PM
  • 215 views

Stroke-like brain damage is reduced in mice injected with omega-3s

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A stroke can happen at any age, and as with anything that involves the brain, a few seconds can be life altering. Usually the rule is time lost is brain lost, but there might be some good news regarding that, researchers found that omega-3 fatty acids reduced brain damage in a neonatal mouse model of stroke.

... Read more »

  • August 22, 2016
  • 05:17 AM
  • 280 views

"Theory of mind is not theory of emotion"

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A rather interesting paper by Beth Oakley and colleagues [1] (open-access might be available here) appeared recently providing a "cautionary note on the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test" [2], one of the premier assessments thought to offer a performance-based measure "involving mental state attribution and complex facial emotion recognition from photographs where only the eye region of the face is available."Most people with some knowledge about autism research history will have heard about the........ Read more »

  • August 21, 2016
  • 02:53 PM
  • 251 views

In cells, some oxidants are needed

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Within our bodies, high levels of reactive forms of oxygen can damage proteins and contribute to diabetic complications and many other diseases. But some studies are showing that these reactive oxygen species (ROS) molecules sometimes can aid in maintaining health--findings now boosted by a surprising discovery by researchers.

... Read more »

Hourihan, J., Moronetti Mazzeo, L., Fernández-Cárdenas, L., & Blackwell, T. (2016) Cysteine Sulfenylation Directs IRE-1 to Activate the SKN-1/Nrf2 Antioxidant Response. Molecular Cell, 63(4), 553-566. DOI: 10.1016/j.molcel.2016.07.019  

  • August 21, 2016
  • 03:00 AM
  • 284 views

Brawn, Brain and Beauty

by Aurametrix team in Aurametrix Blog

In the future all humans will be tall and beautiful look-alikes, as in GATTACA. Or they will split into frail beauties and sturdy beasts, as described in H. G. Wells' The Time Machine. British evolutionary psychologist Oliver Curry and paleoanthropologist Matthew Skinner believe in the possibility of similar scenarios, based on either the rich and poor divide ("gracile" vs "robust" species) or climate change-related evolution (pale hairy giants vs aquatic and space humans). The change may b........ Read more »

Crabtree, G. (2013) Our fragile intellect. Part II. Trends in Genetics, 29(1), 3-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.tig.2012.10.003  

Dickenson, E., O'Connor, P., Robinson, P., Campbell, R., Ahmed, I., Fernandez, M., Hawkes, R., Charles, H., & Griffin, D. (2016) Hip morphology in elite golfers: asymmetry between lead and trail hips. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 50(17), 1081-1086. DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2016-096007  

  • August 20, 2016
  • 04:47 AM
  • 258 views

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and risk of psychiatric disorder

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder affecting 5-15% of reproductive-aged women and characterized by high levels of circulating androgens."OK, go on."Women with PCOS had higher risks for a range of psychiatric disorders not shown before. Elevated risk in their siblings suggests shared familial factors between PCOS and psychiatric disorders."So said the findings reported by Carolyn Cesta and colleagues [1] who using Swedish national register data concluded that there ma........ Read more »

  • August 19, 2016
  • 03:34 PM
  • 279 views

Cloth masks offer poor protection against air pollution

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Results of a new study by environmental health scientists suggest that inexpensive cloth masks worn by people who hope to reduce their exposure to air pollution vary widely in effectiveness and could be giving users a false sense of security, especially in highly polluted areas.

... Read more »

Shakya, K., Noyes, A., Kallin, R., & Peltier, R. (2016) Evaluating the efficacy of cloth facemasks in reducing particulate matter exposure. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. DOI: 10.1038/jes.2016.42  

  • August 19, 2016
  • 07:00 AM
  • 228 views

Friday Fellow: Asian Pigeonwing

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll Today’s Friday Fellow is a creeping (but not creepy) plant with nice deep blue flowers shaped like a human female genitalia. Yeah, you read that right. Its scientific name is Clitoria ternatea, the genus name being a … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • August 19, 2016
  • 04:35 AM
  • 234 views

Childhood inflammation and hypomanic symptoms in young adulthood?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Higher levels of systemic inflammatory marker IL-6 in childhood were associated with hypomanic symptoms in young adulthood, suggesting that inflammation may play a role in the pathophysiology of mania."That was the conclusion reached by Joseph Hayes and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) who drew on data derived from the excellent resource that is ALSPAC ("Charting the health of 14,500 families in the Bristol area to improve the health of future generations"). I'll be talking abou........ Read more »

  • August 18, 2016
  • 04:07 PM
  • 236 views

Neural stem cells control their own fate

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

To date, it has been assumed that the differentiation of stem cells depends on the environment they are embedded in. A research group now describes for the first time a mechanism by which hippocampal neural stem cells regulate their own cell fate via the protein Drosha.

... Read more »

Chiara Rolando,, Andrea Erni,, Alice Grison,, Robert Beattie,, Anna Engler,, Paul J. Gokhale,, Marta Milo,, Thomas Wegleiter,, Sebastian Jessberger, & Verdon Taylor. (2016) Multipotency of Adult Hippocampal NSCs In Vivo Is Restricted by Drosha/NFIB. Cell Stem Cell . info:/10.1016/j.stem.2016.07.003

  • August 18, 2016
  • 08:00 AM
  • 291 views

Sorry, I Don't Drink

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Koalas don’t drink a lot of water, but the spinifex hopping mouse and kangaroo rat put him to shame. They never drink. What water they need they get from the seeds they eat and from the fact that they conserve water amazingly well – including the water that they produce during metabolism. Adult mayflies don’t drink either – they don’t have working mouthparts! Of course, some only live a few minutes as adults, so it may not be that big a deal.... Read more »

  • August 18, 2016
  • 06:09 AM
  • 256 views

Mercury and autism: where the science currently stands

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Yes, I know that on the 'hot potato' scale, to talk about mercury and autism still moves the needle up to somewhere approaching furnace level for some people despite discussions on this heavy metal still figuring in several quarters. This is however a blog based on peer-reviewed science (for the most part) and so with mucho, mucho caveats included I want to draw your attention to the review paper by Janet Kern and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) and the observation that: "The pr........ Read more »

Kern JK, Geier DA, Sykes LK, Haley BE, & Geier MR. (2016) The relationship between mercury and autism: A comprehensive review and discussion. Journal of trace elements in medicine and biology : organ of the Society for Minerals and Trace Elements (GMS), 8-24. PMID: 27473827  

  • August 17, 2016
  • 02:20 PM
  • 269 views

Can cell phones make you feel less connected to your friends and family?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

In this digital age, with phones at our fingertips, you would think that access to constant communication would make us feel closer to one another. But a new study shows that may not be the case. In fact, cell phone use might actually lead to feeling less socially connected, depending on your gender or cell phone habits.

... Read more »

  • August 17, 2016
  • 01:30 PM
  • 280 views

The PROCAMIO Trial – IV Procainamide vs IV Amiodarone for the Acute Treatment of Stable Wide Complex Tachycardia

by Rogue Medic in Rogue Medic

This is a very interesting trial that may surprise the many outspoken amiodarone advocates, but it should not surprise anyone who pays attention to research.

ALPS showed that we should stop giving amiodarone for unwitnessed shockable cardiac arrest. The lead researcher is still trying to spin amiodarone for witnessed shockable cardiac arrest, even though the results do not show improvement in the one outcome that matters – leaving the hospital with a brain that still works.[1],[2],[3]... Read more »

Kudenchuk PJ, Brown SP, Daya M, Rea T, Nichol G, Morrison LJ, Leroux B, Vaillancourt C, Wittwer L, Callaway CW.... (2016) Amiodarone, Lidocaine, or Placebo in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest. The New England journal of medicine, 374(18), 1711-22. PMID: 27043165  

Marill KA, deSouza IS, Nishijima DK, Senecal EL, Setnik GS, Stair TO, Ruskin JN, & Ellinor PT. (2010) Amiodarone or procainamide for the termination of sustained stable ventricular tachycardia: an historical multicenter comparison. Academic emergency medicine : official journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, 17(3), 297-306. PMID: 20370763  

Marill KA, deSouza IS, Nishijima DK, Stair TO, Setnik GS, & Ruskin JN. (2006) Amiodarone is poorly effective for the acute termination of ventricular tachycardia. Annals of emergency medicine, 47(3), 217-24. PMID: 16492484  

Kułakowski P, Karczmarewicz S, Karpiński G, Soszyńska M, & Ceremuzyński L. (2000) Effects of intravenous amiodarone on ventricular refractoriness, intraventricular conduction, and ventricular tachycardia induction. Europace : European pacing, arrhythmias, and cardiac electrophysiology : journal of the working groups on cardiac pacing, arrhythmias, and cardiac cellular electrophysiology of the European Society of Cardiology, 2(3), 207-15. PMID: 11227590  

Bonny A, De Sisti A, Márquez MF, Megbemado R, Hidden-Lucet F, & Fontaine G. (2012) Low doses of intravenous epinephrine for refractory sustained monomorphic ventricular tachycardia. World journal of cardiology, 4(10), 296-301. PMID: 23110246  

Kowey PR. (1988) The calamity of cardioversion of conscious patients. The American journal of cardiology, 61(13), 1106-7. PMID: 3364364  

  • August 17, 2016
  • 05:01 AM
  • 206 views

76% of youths with autism meet ADHD diagnostic criteria? No, more like 59%

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"In a population of children diagnosed with ASD [autism spectrum disorder], the rate of ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] + ASD was 42% and the rate of ADHD + ASD + ID [intellectual disability] was 17%, resulting in a 59% total comorbidity rate of ADHD and ASD."That was one of the important findings reported by Tara Stevens and colleagues [1] who using data from the Survey of Pathways to Diagnosis and Services (Pathways), a US initiative that has previ........ Read more »

  • August 16, 2016
  • 04:36 AM
  • 227 views

Group A Streptococcal infections and paediatric neuropsychiatric disorders: Taiwan style

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

There they go again. Taiwan and their 'big data' publishing, yet again, some rather interesting population-based research trends derived from data from the National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD).This time around it is the paper by Han-Cheng Wang and colleagues [1] and the hypothesis to evaluate the "association between group A streptococcal (GAS) infections and the risks of developing tic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disord........ Read more »

  • August 15, 2016
  • 04:09 AM
  • 234 views

Offending behaviour and ADHD

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Although some associations between ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] and offending may be accounted for by co-morbidity with substance use disorders, early onset of offending and repeated violent offending appear to be directly related to ADHD."That was the conclusion reached by Jan Román-Ithier and colleagues [1] reporting on their study designed to "examine correlates of childhood ADHD symptoms among prisoners." Based on a sample adult prison population (N=1179) where........ Read more »

  • August 14, 2016
  • 05:40 PM
  • 251 views

Exercise can tackle symptoms of schizophrenia

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Aerobic exercise can significantly help people coping with the long-term mental health condition schizophrenia, according to a new study. Through combining data from 10 independent clinical trials with a total of 385 patients with schizophrenia, Joseph Firth found that around 12 weeks of aerobic exercise training can significant improve patients' brain functioning.

... Read more »

  • August 13, 2016
  • 02:43 PM
  • 303 views

Intestinal flora effects drug response

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Intestinal flora has multiple influences on human health, but researchers have revealed that it is also likely to have an effect on the body's response to drugs. Recent research suggests that changes in the intestinal flora, caused by antibacterial and antibiotic drugs or individual differences between people, may have an effect on a person's response to drugs including side effects. The research focused on the changes in proteins due to the condition of intestinal flora that affect th........ Read more »

  • August 13, 2016
  • 03:26 AM
  • 319 views

Inflammation is part of Gulf War Syndrome

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Although mostly trying to avoid any politics-talk on this blog I am going to make some reference to it in this post set in the context of the Persian Gulf War otherwise known at the First Iraq War.The recent publication of the Chilcot report describing the case for the UK's involvement in the 2003 Iraq War (the second Iraq War) has further lit up an already illuminating year in British politics, by perhaps adding fuel to the notion that 'finishing the job' might have been an ........ Read more »

Johnson GJ, Slater BC, Leis LA, Rector TS, & Bach RR. (2016) Blood Biomarkers of Chronic Inflammation in Gulf War Illness. PloS one, 11(6). PMID: 27352030  

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