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  • June 3, 2014
  • 12:14 PM

Executive Cognition in Autism Sprectrum Disorder

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Executive functions (EF) of the brain are processes used to make complex decisions and plans.Deficits in EF can produce significant impairment in the ability to successfully many daily life challenges.EF are felt to be primarily a reflection of workings of the frontal lobe although additional brain regions contribute this cognitive skill.Simonetta Panerai and colleagues from Italy recently examined the key components of EF in a group of children with autism sprectrum disorder (ASD). They adminis........ Read more »

  • June 1, 2014
  • 08:59 AM

Feeling Mighty Unreal: Derealization in Kleine-Levin Syndrome

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

I went on this trip once, back to my hometown after a long absence. Have you ever felt that your surroundings seem odd and distant, and that you're completely detached from them? That the things and places around you aren't real? This can happen to me, on occasion.It did on this trip, perhaps because I've dreamed about those places so many times that the real places and the dream places are blurred in memory.Of course time marches on. The stores in the strip mall have changed, and you go to Star........ Read more »

  • May 30, 2014
  • 07:16 AM

Smells can help restore memories

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

Freshly cut grass, rain falling on sun-baked tarmac, the cologne of your first love… we all have smells that stir up special, personal memories. For me, the smell of wood smoke evokes memories of camping as a child. A close friend told me that, for him, even the faintest whiff of a burning mosquito coil … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • May 29, 2014
  • 03:20 PM

Genetics and Schizophrenia

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Like most mental illness, schizophrenia sucks. Once a friend of mine lost an eye to his schizophrenic brother during a serious episode. That sort of thing will tear a family apart and while […]... Read more »

  • May 29, 2014
  • 11:45 AM

The Aging Political Brain: Hillary's Advantage

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

There has been significant public discussion on the topic of politicians running for office at an older age. I wanted to add a few comments to this discussion from a neuroscience perspective on the aging brain.I think there are three key elements in this topic. The first is pretty universal effect of age to produce a reduction in psychomotor speed. The graph above shows norms for the completion of the Trails B Test by age. This test involves connecting an alternating number/letter series of dots........ Read more »

  • May 28, 2014
  • 12:32 PM

Physical Abnormalities in Adults with Autism Spectrum

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

In a previous post, I reviewed a study of minor physical abnormalities in a group of children with autism.This study found that children with autism were more likely to show a variety of physical features including a gap between the large and second toe, facial asymmetry, a high arched palate and attached ear lobes.A more recent Swedish study has been published examining physical features of adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).In this study, Irina Manouilenko and colleagues used a scale t........ Read more »

  • May 28, 2014
  • 09:00 AM

Cold Receptors Come In From The Cold

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

TRPM8 is a cool sensing ion channel. It acts in thermoregulation and nasal resistance, but new research is showing some impressive functions outside of temperature sensing. Sperm maturation is inhibited by TRPM8 signaling until the egg is reached and CRISP4 levels rise to the point of TRPM8 inhibition. Then TRPV1 can initiate the acrosome reaction.

In addition, morphine action and opiate withdrawal have related to TRPM8. Morphine in the presence of a TRPM8 inhibitor is much less analgesic. O........ Read more »

Gibbs GM, Orta G, Reddy T, Koppers AJ, Martínez-López P, de la Vega-Beltràn JL, Lo JC, Veldhuis N, Jamsai D, McIntyre P.... (2011) Cysteine-rich secretory protein 4 is an inhibitor of transient receptor potential M8 with a role in establishing sperm function. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(17), 7034-9. PMID: 21482758  

Shapovalov G, Gkika D, Devilliers M, Kondratskyi A, Gordienko D, Busserolles J, Bokhobza A, Eschalier A, Skryma R, & Prevarskaya N. (2013) Opiates modulate thermosensation by internalizing cold receptor TRPM8. Cell reports, 4(3), 504-15. PMID: 23911290  

  • May 21, 2014
  • 09:20 AM

The Cold Cure All

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Having a cold is no fun. But exercise is excellent for decreasing nasal resistance so you aren’t so stuffed up. Vicks VapoRub has been a staple for children’s colds since the 1890’s, but it wasn’t until 2008 that research showed that the menthol effect on TRPM8 does not have any effect at all on nasal resistance and the brain just interprets TRPM8 cool sensing as a signal that your nose is open and passing air freely.

However, Vicks is effective as an anti-tussive age........ Read more »

Lindemann J, Tsakiropoulou E, Scheithauer MO, Konstantinidis I, & Wiesmiller KM. (2008) Impact of menthol inhalation on nasal mucosal temperature and nasal patency. American journal of rhinology, 22(4), 402-5. PMID: 18702906  

Buday T, Brozmanova M, Biringerova Z, Gavliakova S, Poliacek I, Calkovsky V, Shetthalli MV, & Plevkova J. (2012) Modulation of cough response by sensory inputs from the nose - role of trigeminal TRPA1 versus TRPM8 channels. Cough (London, England), 8(1), 11. PMID: 23199233  

Plevkova J, Kollarik M, Poliacek I, Brozmanova M, Surdenikova L, Tatar M, Mori N, & Canning BJ. (2013) The role of trigeminal nasal TRPM8-expressing afferent neurons in the antitussive effects of menthol. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), 115(2), 268-74. PMID: 23640596  

  • May 14, 2014
  • 09:25 AM

Cold Keeps You Warm

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Sensing cool temperatures is just as important for thermoregulation as is sensing warm temperatures. But the mechanisms are different. New research is showing that the TRPM8 cool sensing ion channel is important for thermoregulation, but we do not know yet how cool tmepratures open the channel. What is clear is that activation of TRPM8 on adipose tissue can increase UCP expression and increase mitochondria number. This increases BAT activity and makes WAT more like BAT to increase heat productio........ Read more »

Pogorzala LA, Mishra SK, & Hoon MA. (2013) The cellular code for mammalian thermosensation. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 33(13), 5533-41. PMID: 23536068  

Rossato M, Granzotto M, Macchi V, Porzionato A, Petrelli L, Calcagno A, Vencato J, De Stefani D, Silvestrin V, Rizzuto R.... (2014) Human white adipocytes express the cold receptor TRPM8 which activation induces UCP1 expression, mitochondrial activation and heat production. Molecular and cellular endocrinology, 383(1-2), 137-46. PMID: 24342393  

  • May 13, 2014
  • 04:59 PM

Gabapentin abuse

by DJMac in Recovery Review

Gabapentin can be addictive. Search for gabapentin abuse or pregabalin abuse on Google Scholar and you’ll turn up 18,000 entries in less than a second. Pubmed is a little more specific finding 249 papers related to the subject. Vaults of Erowid has over 100 gabapentin and pregabalin ‘experiences’ detailed by users. I wrote a while back [...]
The post Gabapentin abuse appeared first on Recovery Review.
... Read more »

Smith, B., Higgins, C., Baldacchino, A., Kidd, B., & Bannister, J. (2012) Substance misuse of gabapentin. British Journal of General Practice, 62(601), 406-407. DOI: 10.3399/bjgp12X653516  

  • May 12, 2014
  • 01:05 AM

Don’t Be Quick to Use Simple Reaction Time Test on Concussed High School Athletes

by Jane McDevitt in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

The clinical reaction time test is a cost efficient, simple test to perform; however, further validation of this clinical measure is warranted before incorporation into the concussion protocol.
... Read more »

  • May 7, 2014
  • 09:05 AM

Everybody Wants To Be Cool

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Capsaicin activates TRPV1 ion channels. Why do we care? Because that’s makes our mouth burn when we eat spicy food. But TRPV1 also senses noxious heat. On the other end of the scale, there are also ion channels for sensing cool and cold temperatures. But the TRPM8 cool receptor is also activated by menthol. This is much of the reason for menthol being added to cigarettes.

New research shows that menthol in cigarettes adds to the cytotoxicity of tobacco smoke, while menthol alone causes ........ Read more »

Noriyasu A, Konishi T, Mochizuki S, Sakurai K, Tanaike Y, Matsuyama K, Uezu K, & Kawano T. (2013) Menthol-enhanced cytotoxicity of cigarette smoke demonstrated in two bioassay models. Tobacco induced diseases, 11(1), 18. PMID: 24001273  

Brody AL, Mukhin AG, La Charite J, Ta K, Farahi J, Sugar CA, Mamoun MS, Vellios E, Archie M, Kozman M.... (2013) Up-regulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in menthol cigarette smokers. The international journal of neuropsychopharmacology / official scientific journal of the Collegium Internationale Neuropsychopharmacologicum (CINP), 16(5), 957-66. PMID: 23171716  

Ashoor A, Nordman JC, Veltri D, Yang KH, Al Kury L, Shuba Y, Mahgoub M, Howarth FC, Sadek B, Shehu A.... (2013) Menthol binding and inhibition of α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. PloS one, 8(7). PMID: 23935840  

  • May 4, 2014
  • 08:02 PM

Pain management in drug addiction & recovery

by DJMac in Recovery Review

“Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.” So starts a paper on managing chronic pain in patients with opioid dependence. It’s a dilemma, or is it really? It’s actually less of a dilemma because the evidence for opioids in chronic pain is pretty ropey in everybody, never mind in addicted populations. When you balance potential benefits up against the risks [...]
The post Pain management in drug addiction & recovery appeared first on Recovery Review.
... Read more »

Liebschutz, J., Beers, D., & Lange, A. (2014) Managing Chronic Pain in Patients With Opioid Dependence. Current Treatment Options in Psychiatry, 1(2), 204-223. DOI: 10.1007/s40501-014-0015-4  

  • May 1, 2014
  • 02:22 PM

Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury

by Vivek Misra in Uberbrain Research Frontier

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is brain injury resulting from the application of an external physical force to the brain, including acceleration/deceleration and/or blast-related forces , that produce immediately apparent physiological disruption of brain function and/or structure, usually evidenced by an alteration of mental state and/or sensorimotor impairments, that result in at least transient functional disability. This definition of TBI excludes brain injuries due to perinatal trauma, hypoxi........ Read more »

Roozenbeek B, Maas AI, & Menon DK. (2013) Changing patterns in the epidemiology of traumatic brain injury. Nature reviews. Neurology, 9(4), 231-6. PMID: 23443846  

Silver JM, McAllister TW, & Arciniegas DB. (2009) Depression and cognitive complaints following mild traumatic brain injury. The American journal of psychiatry, 166(6), 653-61. PMID: 19487401  

Coronado VG, Xu L, Basavaraju SV, McGuire LC, Wald MM, Faul MD, Guzman BR, Hemphill JD, & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2011) Surveillance for traumatic brain injury-related deaths--United States, 1997-2007. Morbidity and mortality weekly report. Surveillance summaries (Washington, D.C. : 2002), 60(5), 1-32. PMID: 21544045  

  • April 30, 2014
  • 09:15 AM

Capsaicin Receptors – Matters Of Life And Death

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

The functions of the chili pepper (capsaicin) receptor TRPV1 have been expanded in the recent years. Mechanisms of hearing involve TRPV1, but the functional range is narrow, as new research is showing that excess noise and ototoxic drugs are TRPV1 agonists and lead to abberant expression and function – hearing damage and tinnitus.

In the realm of cancer, capsaicin is showing two faces as well. TRPV1 agonists can induce apoptosis, reactive oxygen species-mediated damage, and cell cycle ........ Read more »

  • April 28, 2014
  • 01:05 AM

Are Concussion Apps Ready For the General Public?

by Jane McDevitt in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

The SCAT2-1.0.0, SCAT2-1.3.0, and Concussion-1.2.0 are comprehensive apps for trained medical personnel to use for concussion diagnosis and monitoring.... Read more »

Lee H, Sullivan SJ, Schneiders AG, Ahmed OH, Balasundaram AP, Williams D, Meeuwisse WH, & McCrory P. (2014) Smartphone and tablet apps for concussion road warriors (team clinicians): a systematic review for practical users. British Journal of Sports Medicine. PMID: 24668048  

  • April 23, 2014
  • 09:25 AM

Chili Peppers Run Hot And Cold

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Hot peppers are hot because their capsaicin binds to the TRPV1 heat sensing ion channel. Agonists of TRPV1 can lead to a hypothermia, while antagonists result in a hyperthermia. Normally these would be poor outcomes, but there are particular instances that new researchs are showing to be beneficial. Brown adipose tissue is promoted by TRPV1 agonists, and studies are showing that capsaicin can hinder formation of white adipose tissue. Likewise, agonists of TRPV1 can induce a protective hypothermi........ Read more »

Yoneshiro T, Aita S, Matsushita M, Kayahara T, Kameya T, Kawai Y, Iwanaga T, & Saito M. (2013) Recruited brown adipose tissue as an antiobesity agent in humans. The Journal of clinical investigation, 123(8), 3404-8. PMID: 23867622  

Feng Z, Hai-Ning Y, Xiao-Man C, Zun-Chen W, Sheng-Rong S, & Das UN. (2014) Effect of yellow capsicum extract on proliferation and differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.), 30(3), 319-25. PMID: 24296036  

Muzzi M, Felici R, Cavone L, Gerace E, Minassi A, Appendino G, Moroni F, & Chiarugi A. (2012) Ischemic neuroprotection by TRPV1 receptor-induced hypothermia. Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism : official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, 32(6), 978-82. PMID: 22434066  

  • April 18, 2014
  • 02:07 PM

Overcomming Social Phobia with CBT and Pharmacotherapy

by Vivek Misra in Uberbrain Research Frontier

photo credit: ParadigmMalibu.comSocial phobia, a type of anxiety disorder, is characterized by persistent fear of one or more social or performance situations in which the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny by others (1). The individual fears that he or she will act in a way (or show anxiety symptoms) that will be embarrassing and humiliating.  Exposure to the feared situation almost invariably provokes anxiety, which may take the form of a situationally bou........ Read more »

Domschke K, Stevens S, Beck B, Baffa A, Hohoff C, Deckert J, & Gerlach AL. (2009) Blushing propensity in social anxiety disorder: influence of serotonin transporter gene variation. Journal of neural transmission (Vienna, Austria : 1996), 116(6), 663-6. PMID: 18629430  

Nahshoni E, Gur S, Marom S, Levin JB, Weizman A, & Hermesh H. (2004) QT dispersion in patients with social phobia. Journal of affective disorders, 78(1), 21-6. PMID: 14672793  

  • April 16, 2014
  • 09:05 AM

Using Pain To Stop Pain

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Chronic pain can involve TRPV1 pathways, yet traditional TRPV1 antagonists cannot be used due to incidence of hyperthermia. New research has identified new routes of administration, new agonists and new allosteric functions that will make TRPV1 a viable target for chronic, acute, and cancer-mediated pains. Alternative mechanisms, such as counter irritants and acupuncture are also gaining in evidence for mechaisms that involve TRPV1 signaling pathways... Read more »

Andreev YA, Kozlov SA, Korolkova YV, Dyachenko IA, Bondarenko DA, Skobtsov DI, Murashev AN, Kotova PD, Rogachevskaja OA, Kabanova NV.... (2013) Polypeptide modulators of TRPV1 produce analgesia without hyperthermia. Marine drugs, 11(12), 5100-15. PMID: 24351908  

Lee MG, Huh BK, Choi SS, Lee DK, Lim BG, & Lee M. (2012) The effect of epidural resiniferatoxin in the neuropathic pain rat model. Pain physician, 15(4), 287-96. PMID: 22828682  

Kelly S, Chapman RJ, Woodhams S, Sagar DR, Turner J, Burston JJ, Bullock C, Paton K, Huang J, Wong A.... (2013) Increased function of pronociceptive TRPV1 at the level of the joint in a rat model of osteoarthritis pain. Annals of the rheumatic diseases. PMID: 24152419  

  • April 11, 2014
  • 01:05 AM

Can Biochemical Markers in the Blood Detect Concussions?

by Jane McDevitt in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

Biochemical markers in the blood, like T-tau, are elevated after a concussion and are associated with recovery time. These markers may eventually be developed into clinical tools to determine diagnosis and prognosis after concussions as well as to devise improved return-to-play decisions.... Read more »

Shahim, P., Tegner, Y., Wilson, D., Randall, J., Skillbäck, T., Pazooki, D., Kallberg, B., Blennow, K., & Zetterberg, H. (2014) Blood Biomarkers for Brain Injury in Concussed Professional Ice Hockey Players. JAMA Neurology. DOI: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2014.367  

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