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  • October 20, 2015
  • 12:50 PM
  • 699 views

Hopelessness as Risk Factor for Alzheimer's Disease

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Original figure from Hakansson K et al. (citation below)I have been reviewing advances in neuropsychology in neuroscience medicine.One important relevant topic is the art of neuropsychological testing for the early diagnosis and monitoring of Alzheimer's and other dementias.Another important focus is finding neuropsychological risk factors for later development of cognitive impairment.Mid-life depression has been identified as a risk factor for later life cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's dis........ Read more »

  • October 15, 2015
  • 11:54 AM
  • 775 views

Tools for Alzheimer's Screening: BrainCheck

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Screening for cognitive decline and early Alzheimer's disease presents a clinical challenge for primary care providers.A variety of tests and tools are available for use but limited research has focused on testing in primary care settings.Michael Ehrensperger and colleagues recently published a study of a brief tool for screening for cognitive decline called BrainCheck.This tool combines a patient interview, an informant interview and the Clock Drawing Test administered in combination.The import........ Read more »

  • October 12, 2015
  • 11:29 AM
  • 810 views

Neuroplasticity and Training the Older Brain

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Neuroplasticity is the brain and nervous systems ability to evolve and to repair deficits.At a basic level it represents the ability to learn and develop a structural and functional system to interact with the environment.The brain's neuroplasticity is maximized during childhood and adolescence. This adaptability wanes with age. However, some neuroplasticity ability persists in the older brain.This persistence was highlighted in a study from Hong Kong recently published in the journal Neural Pla........ Read more »

Leung NT, Tam HM, Chu LW, Kwok TC, Chan F, Lam LC, Woo J, & Lee TM. (2015) Neural Plastic Effects of Cognitive Training on Aging Brain. Neural plasticity, 535618. PMID: 26417460  

  • October 8, 2015
  • 11:36 AM
  • 844 views

Brain Reward and Anabolic Steroids

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Pine Cone and Peacocks from Vatican MuseumTestosterone displays effects on brain function in both males and females.Emanuela Mhillaj and colleagues recently published a nice summary of what is currently known about the effects of anabolic-androgen steroids (AAS) on the brain.Their review highlighted the potential for AAS to modulate brain reward function and potentially lead to a drug dependence type of abuse pattern.Here are some of my notes on their discussion of AAS and the brain reward syste........ Read more »

Mhillaj E, Morgese MG, Tucci P, Bove M, Schiavone S, & Trabace L. (2015) Effects of anabolic-androgens on brain reward function. Frontiers in neuroscience, 295. PMID: 26379484  

Yates WR, Perry PJ, & Andersen KH. (1990) Illicit anabolic steroid use: a controlled personality study. Acta psychiatrica Scandinavica, 81(6), 548-50. PMID: 2378247  

  • October 6, 2015
  • 11:22 AM
  • 850 views

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
  • 631 views

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 »

  • October 1, 2015
  • 12:04 PM
  • 555 views

Does Brain Injury Increase Criminal Behavior?

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Traumatic brain injury produces a variety of cognitive effects.Some individuals will have behavioral disturbances including anger outbursts and interpersonal conflict.A recent study examined the rates of first criminal conviction in a group of 7694 men and women hospitalized with traumatic brain injury (TBI).The study found about a 50 to 75% increase in rates of post-TBI criminal convictions including violent convictions. This effect was noted using either general population controls or sibling ........ Read more »

  • September 30, 2015
  • 11:29 AM
  • 597 views

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
  • 672 views

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 18, 2015
  • 04:19 AM
  • 899 views

Use of Cavitation Ultrasonic Surgical Aspirators for partial nephrectomies

by Joana Guedes in BHD Research Blog

Partial nephrectomies are technically challenging surgeries but preserve healthy renal tissue and therefore function. To minimise bleeding the major blood vessels are usually clamped and tumour extraction completed under ischemic conditions – the renal tissue is deprived of oxygen and nutrients due to restricted blood flow. Although ischemic conditions for less than 25 minutes have minimal reported impact on renal function (Volpe et al., 2015), more complex tumours result in prolonged isch........ Read more »

  • September 16, 2015
  • 01:00 AM
  • 665 views

Journal club summary on Calorie for Calorie, Dietary Fat Restriction Results in More Body Fat Loss than Carbohydrate Restriction in People with Obesity

by Bridges Lab in Bridges Lab Commentaries

Rationale
It has been suggested that low carbohydrate diets lead to a greater fat loss than diets of reduced fat content. The rationale behind this claim is that insulin promotes lipid synthesis and storage in adipose tissue, therefore a reduction in dietary carbohydrate would reduce circulating insulin concentrations and discourage fat storage. However, the first law of thermodynamics clearly states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed; therefore, all calories are equal,........ Read more »

  • September 4, 2015
  • 06:08 AM
  • 806 views

Everolimus for the treatment of lymphangioleiomyomatosis

by Joana Guedes in BHD Research Blog

mTOR is dysregulated in a range of tumour types and can be targeted with mTOR inhibitor treatments such as everolimus and sirolimus. Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) and sporadic lymphangioleiomyamatosis (LAM) result from mutations in TSC1 or TSC2 that disrupt mTOR signalling (Carsillo et al., 2000, Glasgow et al., 2010). The associated aberrant cell growth, survival and movement results in the formation of slow growing tumours in various tissues and pulmonary cyst formation with loss of pulmona........ Read more »

Goldberg HJ, Harari S, Cottin V, Rosas IO, Peters E, Biswal S, Cheng Y, Khindri S, Kovarik JM, Ma S.... (2015) Everolimus for the treatment of lymphangioleiomyomatosis: a phase II study. The European respiratory journal, 46(3), 783-94. PMID: 26113676  

  • September 3, 2015
  • 12:00 PM
  • 573 views

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
  • 786 views

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
  • 779 views

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 16, 2015
  • 07:45 AM
  • 821 views

How to Succeed at Clinical Genome Sequencing

by Daniel Koboldt in Massgenomics

Whole-genome sequencing holds enormous potential to improve the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases. Although this approach is the only way to capture the complete spectrum of genetic variation, its application in clinical settings has been slow compared to more targeted strategies (i.e. panel and exome sequencing). Everyone talks about cost as the main contributing factor for […]... Read more »

Taylor JC, Martin HC, Lise S, Broxholme J, Cazier JB, Rimmer A, Kanapin A, Lunter G, Fiddy S, Allan C.... (2015) Factors influencing success of clinical genome sequencing across a broad spectrum of disorders. Nature genetics, 47(7), 717-26. PMID: 25985138  

  • July 15, 2015
  • 12:32 PM
  • 835 views

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
  • 718 views

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
  • 788 views

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 »

  • June 30, 2015
  • 12:55 PM
  • 709 views

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 »

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