Theory of Mind (ToM) is a concept describing the ability to understand what another person is thinking or feeling.Today in my neuroscience medicine news review I ran across a novel, interesting and important research study targeting brain development in ToM.Normally developing children develop ToM around 4 years of age. In the study published in Nature Communications, a research team at the Max Planck Institute in Germany studied white matter development in 3 to 4 year old children.Using a serie........ Read more »
Grosse Wiesmann C, Schreiber J, Singer T, Steinbeis N, & Friederici AD. (2017) White matter maturation is associated with the emergence of Theory of Mind in early childhood. Nature communications, 14692. PMID: 28322222
I ran into an interesting article at ScienceDaily providing data on a small sample size study of the anti-inflammatory drug celecoxib (Celebrex) in depression.Access the ScienceDaily report on this study by clicking HERE.This study focused on subjects with bipolar depression. All subjects were in a depressed phase and received the antidepressant drug escitalopram (Lexapro).Although only 55 subjects participated in this study, the results were significant and large. Adding Celebrex to escitalopra........ Read more »
Savitz, J., Preskorn, S., Teague, T., Drevets, D., Yates, W., & Drevets, W. (2012) Minocycline and aspirin in the treatment of bipolar depression: a protocol for a proof-of-concept, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 2×2 clinical trial. BMJ Open, 2(1). DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000643
Bugs Bunny in Hyde and Hare (1955)Delusional misidentification syndromes have fascinated filmmakers and psychiatrists alike. Afflicted individuals suffer under the false belief that persons or things around them have changed their identities or appearance. Classification schemes have varied, but a general outline includes:Capgras delusion Fregoli delusion Intermetamorphosis Subjective doublesfrom Table 1 (Ellis et al., 1994). Classification and description of the four principal delusional miside........ Read more »
Malliaras DE, Kossovitsa YT, Christodoulou GN. (1978) Organic contributors to the intermetamorphosis syndrome. American Journal of Psychiatry, 135(8), 985-987. DOI: 10.1176/ajp.135.8.985
Neuroscience medicine clinicians encounter patients every day who have both a mental and substance use disorder.This co-occurrence, or comorbidity, complicates diagnosis, treatment and outcome.The exact mechanism for this comorbidity issue is unclear.A recent study out of Washington University in St. Louis and King's College London provides some insight into this comorbidity issue.They examined participants in the Study of Addiction: Genetics and Environment (SAGE). These subjects provided genet........ Read more »
Carey CE, Agrawal A, Bucholz KK, Hartz SM, Lynskey MT, Nelson EC, Bierut LJ, & Bogdan R. (2016) Associations between Polygenic Risk for Psychiatric Disorders and Substance Involvement. Frontiers in genetics, 149. PMID: 27574527
In a post last week, I highlighted a recent study examining clinical issues in the diagnosis of Lewy body dementia (LBD).This study examined differentiating clinical and neuropsychological factors between LBD, Alzheimer's dementia and Parkinson's disease.You can access this post by clicking HERE.This topic received significant attention following the description of comedian Robin Williams' last years by his wife in the journal Neurology.Robin Williams suffered from LBD and like many, his diagnos........ Read more »
Williams SS. (2016) The terrorist inside my husband's brain. Neurology, 87(13), 1308-1311. info:/
Dyslexia or developmental reading disorder is a common learning disorder affecting about 5% of the school age population.Treatment of dyslexia is difficult and typically is focused on special education classes and reading exercises.Medication treatment for dyslexia is nearly unheard of as no FDA-approved drug is available for the condition.However, a recent randomized clinical drug trial found evidence to support the potential use of atomoxetine for dyslexia.Atomoxetine is a drug approved for at........ Read more »
Shaywitz S, Shaywitz B, Wietecha L, Wigal S, McBurnett K, Williams D, Kronenberger WG, & Hooper SR. (2016) Effect of Atomoxetine Treatment on Reading and Phonological Skills in Children with Dyslexia or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Comorbid Dyslexia in a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology. PMID: 27410907
In my previous post, I highlighted a recent study of genetics and major depression from the 23andMe database.I have had a chance to review this manuscript in more detail. One of the findings of interest involved secondary marker or secondary phenotypes.Fifteen genetic loci were identified in this 23andMe sample using a discovery and replication data set.Secondary phenotypes with the highest correlation with the 17 SNPs identified in the study included (effect) :Taking a selective serotonin reupt........ Read more »
Hyde CL, Nagle MW, Tian C, Chen X, Paciga SA, Wendland JR, Tung JY, Hinds DA, Perlis RH, & Winslow AR. (2016) Identification of 15 genetic loci associated with risk of major depression in individuals of European descent. Nature genetics. PMID: 27479909
One would think that people with few friends and living in poverty are more at risk for PTSD than those with a strong support network and many resources. And that's true.
However, it is a different story when you look at the country-, rather than the individual level. Countries with more resources, such as the USA and the Netherlands, have higher levels of PTSD than countries with fewer resources (e.g. Colombia, South Africa).
... Read more »
Dückers ML, Alisic E, & Brewin CR. (2016) A vulnerability paradox in the cross-national prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder. The British Journal of Psychiatry. PMID: 27445357
As basic and clinical sciences advance, it becomes increasing important to understand the role of multidisciplinary efforts in scientific progress. In this post, I propose rethinking and renaming the medically-related neuroscience disciplines into a new specialty called neuroscience medicine.Basic neuroscience research has evolved and emerged as a powerful discipline due to the increasing use of multidisciplinary research teams. Basic neuroscience involves collaboration of various scientifi........ Read more »
We recently examined how global and how open the literature on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is.
Not so global, and not so open.
Only 13% of the publications of 2012 regarded samples in low- or middle-income countries and 58% were behind a paywall.
It worries me that practicing psychologists can’t access the latest research on therapy effectiveness...
... Read more »
Fodor, K., & et al. (2014) Is traumatic stress research global? A bibliometric analysis. European Journal of Psychotraumatology. DOI: 10.3402/ejpt.v5.23269
I spent the majority of my career in medical education and saw significant changes over time.One encouraging sign was the emergence of neuroscience as a respected and beneficial academic discipline.Now, a new perspective on Neuroscience Training for the 21st Center has been written by Huda Akil and colleagues. This perspective is recently published in the journal Neuron with free access to the full-text manuscript.Here are my notes from reading this perspective. Readers can access the free full-........ Read more »
The topic prevention of brain disorders is commonly neglected. This is despite increasing evidence for evidence-based support for prevention opportunities.This issue is highlighted in a recent study out of Finland that examined prenatal nicotine metabolite levels and offspring diagnosis of schizophrenia.In this study, Solja Niemela and the Finnish research team examined all live births in Finland between 1983 and 1998.What makes this study powerful is the measurement of maternal serum coti........ Read more »
Niemelä, S., Sourander, A., Surcel, H., Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki, S., McKeague, I., Cheslack-Postava, K., & Brown, A. (2016) Prenatal Nicotine Exposure and Risk of Schizophrenia Among Offspring in a National Birth Cohort. American Journal of Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2016.15060800
Talati A, Bao Y, Kaufman J, Shen L, Schaefer CA, & Brown AS. (2013) Maternal smoking during pregnancy and bipolar disorder in offspring. The American journal of psychiatry, 170(10), 1178-85. PMID: 24084820
In my last post I reported on the use of machine learning to aid in predicting response to depression treatment.Another interesting depression prediction tool is being investigated in a trial in England funded by the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.This trial uses a visual facial recognition tool. The hypothesis is that early antidepressant action can be identified by changes in facial emotional recognition.This trial stems from work by Catherine Harmer Ph.D. from the University of Oxford. He........ Read more »
Pringle A, & Harmer CJ. (2015) The effects of drugs on human models of emotional processing: an account of antidepressant drug treatment. Dialogues in clinical neuroscience, 17(4), 477-87. PMID: 26869848
Treatment of depression remains primarily an uninformed clinical process. Several effective drug and psychotherapy interventions are available. However, there is no reliable way to determine which treatment is likely to be the most effective for an individual patient.A recent study that used machine learning techniques to address this problem has been published.A research team from Yale University used clinical data from the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) tr........ Read more »
Chekroud AM, Zotti RJ, Shehzad Z, Gueorguieva R, Johnson MK, Trivedi MH, Cannon TD, Krystal JH, & Corlett PR. (2016) Cross-trial prediction of treatment outcome in depression: a machine learning approach. The lancet. Psychiatry, 3(3), 243-50. PMID: 26803397
Model of crytalized ketamine moleculeStandard antidepressant therapies typically take two weeks or more to begin to act.Ketamine is an anesthetic drug recently demonstrated to have a rapid antidepressant effect.The mechanism for this effect is unknown. A recent mouse study of ketamine and metabolites of ketamine show some potentially groundbreaking insight for the treatment of depression.This study found these significant findings:Ketamine like most organic compounds is made of boty an R an........ Read more »
Zanos, P., Moaddel, R., Morris, P., Georgiou, P., Fischell, J., Elmer, G., Alkondon, M., Yuan, P., Pribut, H., Singh, N.... (2016) NMDAR inhibition-independent antidepressant actions of ketamine metabolites. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature17998
Our bodily sense of self contributes to our personal feelings of awareness as a conscious being. How we see our bodies and move through space and feel touched by loved ones are integral parts of our identity. What happens when this sense of self breaks down? One form of dissolution is Depersonalization Disorder (DPD).1 Individuals with DPD feel estranged or disconnected from themselves, as if their bodies belong to someone else, and “they” are merely a detached observer. Or the self feel........ Read more »
Adler, J., Schabinger, N., Michal, M., Beutel, M., & Gillmeister, H. (2016) Is that me in the mirror? Depersonalisation modulates tactile mirroring mechanisms. Neuropsychologia. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2016.03.009
Lenggenhager, B., Pazzaglia, M., Scivoletto, G., Molinari, M., & Aglioti, S. (2012) The Sense of the Body in Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury. PLoS ONE, 7(11). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050757
Would you believe that the anatomy of your ribs is why you can sing and an ape can’t, or that one of the same reasons you can speak is the same reason you are likely to choke to death on a hotdog? Biology is weird, and you can tell it I said so.... Read more »
Kurt, S., Fisher, S., & Ehret, G. (2012) Foxp2 Mutations Impair Auditory-Motor Association Learning. PLoS ONE, 7(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0033130
Li, T., Zeng, Z., Zhao, Q., Wang, T., Huang, K., Li, J., Li, Y., Liu, J., Wei, Z., Wang, Y.... (2012) FoxP2 is significantly associated associated with schizophrenia and major depression in the Chinese Han Population . World Journal of Biological Psychiatry, 1-5. DOI: 10.3109/15622975.2011.615860
The return of consciousness without the return of a pulse is still rare, but may be more common with our increased focus on high quality chest compressions. There is still no evidence that interrupting chest compressions, for anything other than defibrillation, improves outcomes.
Is this due to the consistency of the machine? Maybe. Maybe not. We do not have enough evidence to draw that conclusion.
Is this growing population really growing? Maybe. Maybe not. We do not have enough evidence ........ Read more »
Rice, D., Nudell, N., Habrat, D., Smith, J., & Ernest, E. (2016) CPR induced consciousness: It's time for sedation protocols for this growing population. Resuscitation. DOI: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2016.02.013
Olaussen A, Shepherd M, Nehme Z, Smith K, Bernard S, & Mitra B. (2015) Return of consciousness during ongoing cardiopulmonary resuscitation: A systematic review. Resuscitation, 44-8. PMID: 25447435
Lilja G, Nilsson G, Nielsen N, Friberg H, Hassager C, Koopmans M, Kuiper M, Martini A, Mellinghoff J, Pelosi P.... (2015) Anxiety and depression among out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survivors. Resuscitation, 68-75. PMID: 26433116
Who is this, wandering around the crowded street, afraid of everything, trusting no one? “There must be something wrong, somewhere.”But maybe I’m safer since I look disheveled. Who are these people? Where is this place?Did I write that? When did that happen? I don’t remember. I can’t stop writing. I can’t stop walking, either, which is a problem because it’s hard to write and walk at the same time.In the early 1940s, Austrian Psychiatrist Dr. Erwin Stengel wrote a pair of papers........ Read more »
Stengel, E. (1943) Further Studies on Pathological Wandering (Fugues with the Impulse to Wander). The British Journal of Psychiatry, 89(375), 224-241. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.89.375.224
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0129659.g003Did you know that SPECT imaging can diagnose PTSD with 100% accuracy (Amen et al., 2015)? Not only that, out of a sample of 397 patients from the Amen Clinic in Newport Beach, SPECT was able to distinguish between four different groups with 100% accuracy! That's right, the scans of (1) healthy participants, and patients with (2) classic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), (3) classic traumatic brain injury (TBI), and (4) both disorders..... were all classi........ Read more »
Amen, D., Raji, C., Willeumier, K., Taylor, D., Tarzwell, R., Newberg, A., & Henderson, T. (2015) Functional Neuroimaging Distinguishes Posttraumatic Stress Disorder from Traumatic Brain Injury in Focused and Large Community Datasets. PLOS ONE, 10(7). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0129659
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