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All posts; Tags Include "Behavioral Neuroscience"

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  • December 4, 2014
  • 07:39 PM
  • 1,161 views

Arsenic, cadmium, and lead: A toxic trinity of risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease?

by Megan Cartwright in Science-Based Writing

A modern cause of Alzheimer’s disease may lie in the ancient poisons of arsenic, lead, and cadmium. Indian researchers recently reported that young rats exposed to water contaminated with these toxic metals developed symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, a form of … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • December 1, 2014
  • 12:09 PM
  • 750 views

Common Genes in Neuropsychiatric Disorders

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Finding a specific genes linked to specific neuropsychiatric disorders has been a key research strategy.However, this strategy has not been entirely successful.One problem with this unitary approach is the diagnostic overlap and comorbidity common to neuropsychiatric disorders such as mood disorders and autism.A promising alternative strategy is to focus on genes that share risk with more than one neuropsychiatric condition.Amit Lotan from Israel along with colleagues from the Netherlands, Germa........ Read more »

  • November 26, 2014
  • 11:06 AM
  • 921 views

Treatment Resistance in Eating Disorders

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Clinicians treating patients with eating disorders find the challenge great with many treatment-resistant cases.To some extent, this is true of any clinical disorder. Outpatient treatment rolls and inpatient samples are over-represented by those failing to respond to initial interventions.A medical example is helpful here. Endocrinologists specializing in diabetes see more complicated cases where glucose control is difficult and diabetic complications are common.Diabetics with easy glucose contr........ Read more »

  • November 17, 2014
  • 10:55 AM
  • 903 views

Eating Disorders in Obesity: DSM-IV and DSM-5

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

The recent revision of the American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) altered several eating disorder diagnostic criteria.Some have expressed concern that these revisions are overly broad and may result in over diagnosis in some clinical populations. One clinical population where this is a concern is obesity.A research study has been recently published addressing this issue.Jennifer Thomas and colleagues at Harvard University a........ Read more »

  • November 16, 2014
  • 05:25 AM
  • 842 views

Sleep & Life

by Viputheshwar Sitaraman in Draw Science

Science unveils the role of sleep in life, relationships and music. [Infographic]... Read more »

  • November 12, 2014
  • 11:14 AM
  • 936 views

Binge Eating Linked to Risk for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Binge eating is defined as the recurrent rapid consumption of high calorie meals accompanied by a feeling that eating is out of control.Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by binge eating paired with a purging behavior such as self-induced vomiting.Binge eating without purging is receiving increased clinical and research attention.Binge eating is a relative common component in elevated body mass index and obesity. Successful behavior and drug treatment for obesity often includes ........ Read more »

Peat CM, Huang L, Thornton LM, Von Holle AF, Trace SE, Lichtenstein P, Pedersen NL, Overby DW, & Bulik CM. (2013) Binge eating, body mass index, and gastrointestinal symptoms. Journal of psychosomatic research, 75(5), 456-61. PMID: 24182635  

  • November 11, 2014
  • 11:13 AM
  • 781 views

Anorexia Nervosa: Brain Connectivity Abnormalities

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Functional magnetic resonance imaging is providing a new tool for understanding brain circuitry in normal brain development and in brain disorders. Anorexia nervosa is an restrictive calorie eating disorder often resistant to treatment.No effective drug treatment for anorexia nervosa currently exists and psychotherapy is often only partially effective. A better understanding of the brain pathophysiology in anorexia nervosa is needed to aid in treatment development.Stephanie Kullman along wi........ Read more »

  • November 10, 2014
  • 10:05 AM
  • 637 views

Eating Disorders Linked to Higher Autoimmune Disease Rates

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

There is increasing evidence for inflammation contributing to risk for a variety of psychiatric disorders.I previously summarized research supporting use of anti-inflammatory drugs in the treatment of depression.A recent study from Finland supports an inflammation link to the eating disorder categories.The key elements of the design of this study included:Subjects: 2342 subjects admitted for treatment in the Eating Disorders Unit at the central hospital in Finland. Four controls were identified ........ Read more »

Raevuori A, Haukka J, Vaarala O, Suvisaari JM, Gissler M, Grainger M, Linna MS, & Suokas JT. (2014) The increased risk for autoimmune diseases in patients with eating disorders. PloS one, 9(8). PMID: 25147950  

  • November 5, 2014
  • 10:30 AM
  • 740 views

Neury Thursday: Sleep and the Blood Brain Barrier, with some hesitation

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Researchers found that the permeability of the blood brain barrier is compromised with chronic sleep deprivation. However, the methods section brings these findings into question. Scientists, do your job and make those methods detailed. ... Read more »

He, J., Hsuchou, H., He, Y., Kastin, A., Wang, Y., & Pan, W. (2014) Sleep Restriction Impairs Blood-Brain Barrier Function. Journal of Neuroscience, 34(44), 14697-14706. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2111-14.2014  

  • November 4, 2014
  • 10:52 AM
  • 847 views

Anorexia Nervosa: Fasting and Starvation Brain Effects

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Brain research in anorexia nervosa presents several challenges.Current knowledge of cognitive function in anorexia supports impairment in set shifting and global brain processing or central coherence.However, there are two issues that complicate understanding the underlying brain effects in anorexia nervosa.First, individuals with anorexia nervosa often have additional anxiety and mood disorders. It can be difficult to tease out the specific effects of anorexia nervosa from the effects of these ........ Read more »

Billingsley-Marshall RL, Basso MR, Lund BC, Hernandez ER, Johnson CL, Drevets WC, McKee PA, & Yates WR. (2013) Executive function in eating disorders: the role of state anxiety. The International journal of eating disorders, 46(4), 316-21. PMID: 23354876  

  • November 2, 2014
  • 09:47 AM
  • 913 views

The heritability of fears

by EE Giorgi in CHIMERAS

Cyborg © EEGAs many of you know, one of my favorite topics here on the blog is epigenetic inheritance, i.e. the mechanisms that regulate changes in gene expression that can be passed from one generation to the next. Epigenetics has revolutionized the way we look at genetic inheritance: Darwin had taught us that the only way the environment can shape the genome of a species is through natural selection. While this is certainly still true, today we also know that:1) Most of the mutations we see i........ Read more »

  • October 30, 2014
  • 11:20 AM
  • 973 views

Alcoholism as a Reward System Dysfunction

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Alcoholism and other addictive behaviors often occur together within individual patients.For example, individuals with alcoholism commonly also are smokers and meet criteria for a diagnosis of nicotine dependence.This co-occurrence suggests multiple types of addiction may share genetic and environmental risk factors. Additionally, there might be a common neurobiological mechanism in play for many addictions.Kenneth Blum and other leading alcoholism researchers recently published a review that pr........ Read more »

  • October 28, 2014
  • 11:59 AM
  • 850 views

Night Owls Show Increased Alcohol Use Risk

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Humans commonly display a circadian rhythm preference for getting up early in the morning or staying up late at night (night owls).This sleep timing, or diurnal preference appears to have genetic contributions.Additionally, diurnal preference may contribute to risk for alcohol consumption as more alcohol is consumed later in the day and during the night time.Nathaniel Watson and colleagues at the University of Washington and the University of Texas recently explored the relationship between diur........ Read more »

Watson NF, Buchwald D, & Harden KP. (2013) A twin study of genetic influences on diurnal preference and risk for alcohol use outcomes. Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 9(12), 1333-9. PMID: 24340296  

  • October 26, 2014
  • 10:18 PM
  • 642 views

Using neuroimaging to expose the unconscious influences of priming

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

In 1996, a group of researchers at NYU conducted an interesting experiment. First, they had NYU students work on unscrambling letters to form words. Unbeknownst to the students, they had been split up into three groups, and each group unscrambled letters that formed slightly different words. One group unscrambled words with a "rude" connotation like aggressively, bold, and interrupt. Another group unscrambled "polite" words like considerate, patiently, and respect. And the third group unscramble........ Read more »

Schacter, D., Wig, G., & Stevens, W. (2007) Reductions in cortical activity during priming. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 17(2), 171-176. DOI: 10.1016/j.conb.2007.02.001  

  • October 23, 2014
  • 10:20 AM
  • 909 views

Smartphone App Boosts Alcoholism Treatment Outcome

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Smartphone apps and other mobile technology are emerging as promising tools in medical treatment.A recent randomized study published in JAMA Psychiatry found evidence that a smartphone app improves alcoholism treatment outcomes.David Gustafson and colleagues conducted a study funded by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.A series of 349 adults with DSM-IV alcohol dependence were enrolled as they entered a alcoholism residential treatment program.Approximately half of the subje........ Read more »

Gustafson DH, McTavish FM, Chih MY, Atwood AK, Johnson RA, Boyle MG, Levy MS, Driscoll H, Chisholm SM, Dillenburg L.... (2014) A smartphone application to support recovery from alcoholism: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA psychiatry, 71(5), 566-72. PMID: 24671165  

  • October 21, 2014
  • 11:25 AM
  • 747 views

Sleep Problems in Alcoholism Treatment

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

In a previous post, I summarized a research study six month outcome of insomnia in a group of subjects treated for alcoholism.This study found a high persistence of insomnia despite reduction, and in many cases abstinence, from alcohol.A second study recently published by investigators at the National Institute of Health provides some additional insight into this topic.Gwenyth Wallen and colleagues studied a series of 164 participants admitted to a 4-6 week inpatient program for alcohol dependen........ Read more »

  • October 20, 2014
  • 10:56 AM
  • 838 views

Persistent Insomnia and Alcoholism

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Sleep problems complicate the treatment and recovery in alcoholism. Heavy alcohol consumption modifies the nature of sleep architecture.A high blood alcohol concentration at bedtime may promote sleep early in the sleep cycle.However, as alcohol levels decline, sleep is often interrupted with limiting rapid eye movement (REM) sleep duration.Shortened total sleep time with alcohol can produce a lack of feeling well rested on awakening.For those with alcoholism or alcohol dependence, successfu........ Read more »

Brower KJ, Krentzman A, & Robinson EA. (2011) Persistent insomnia, abstinence, and moderate drinking in alcohol-dependent individuals. The American journal on addictions / American Academy of Psychiatrists in Alcoholism and Addictions, 20(5), 435-40. PMID: 21838842  

  • October 14, 2014
  • 09:30 PM
  • 1,220 views

What is the habenula?

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Despite the fact that it is present in almost all vertebrate species, very little was known about the habenula until fairly recently. In the past several years, however, the habenula has received a significant amount of attention for its potential role in both cognition (e.g. reward processing) and disorders like depression. Still, the habenula remains a little-known structure whose functions are yet to be fully elucidated.Where is the habenula?The habenula is part of the diencephalon and, toget........ Read more »

  • October 14, 2014
  • 11:30 AM
  • 938 views

Vampire Diaries: Tales of Sleep

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Researchers at UPENN have done gene profiles of blood taken from subjects sensitive or resistant to sleep deprivation. Is the blood gaining some street cred in neuroscience?... Read more »

Arnardottir, E., Nikonova, E., Shockley, K., Podtelezhnikov, A., Anafi, R., Tanis, K., Maislin, G., Stone, D., Renger, J., Winrow, C.... (2014) Blood-Gene Expression Reveals Reduced Circadian Rhythmicity in Individuals Resistant to Sleep Deprivation. SLEEP. DOI: 10.5665/sleep.4064  

  • October 14, 2014
  • 09:30 AM
  • 1,158 views

Zombies And The Loss of Free Will

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Nature is rife with examples of how one organism can rob another of its free will, turning them into zombies so to say. Who would have guessed that Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds was really a zombie movie.... Read more »

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