In answer to the question that titles this post on whether parental age differences at offspring conception might matter when it comes to offspring risk of autism or schizophrenia, the answer is very possibly. As the paper by Byars & Boomsma  (open-access) reports: "Our study shows that autistic and schizophrenic disorder risks tend to be higher, in more dissimilarly aged parents, relative to parents with the most similar ages." This age disparity issue has been mentioned previously in th........ Read more »
Byars SG, & Boomsma JJ. (2016) Opposite differential risks for autism and schizophrenia based on maternal age, paternal age, and parental age differences. Evolution, medicine, and public health, 2016(1), 286-98. PMID: 27637201
There are many reports of drug use leading to mental health problems, and we all know of someone having a few too many drinks to cope with a bad day. Many people who are diagnosed with a mental health disorder indulge in drugs, and vice versa. As severity of both increase, problems arise and they become more difficult to treat. But why substance involvement and psychiatric disorders often co-occur is not well understood.
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Carey, C., Agrawal, A., Bucholz, K., Hartz, S., Lynskey, M., Nelson, E., Bierut, L., & Bogdan, R. (2016) Associations between Polygenic Risk for Psychiatric Disorders and Substance Involvement. Frontiers in Genetics. DOI: 10.3389/fgene.2016.00149
Prevention programs focused on reducing the risk of ankle injury are effective for soccer athletes.... Read more »
Grimm, N., Jacobs, J., Kim, J., Amendola, A., & Shea, K. (2016) Ankle Injury Prevention Programs for Soccer Athletes Are Protective: A Level-I Meta-Analysis. The Journal of Bone , 98(17), 1436-1443. DOI: 10.2106/JBJS.15.00933
"Biomarker studies of PUFA [polyunsaturated fatty acid] and treatment studies of n-3 [omega-3] PUFA in bipolar disorder show promise for indicating a way forward in the study of PUFA in bipolar disorder."I don't want to labour any points raised by the review of studies published by Erika Saunders and colleagues  looking at fatty acids and bipolar disorder but there does seem to be a familiar ring to the current evidence base on how for at least 'some' cases of bipolar diso........ Read more »
Saunders EF, Ramsden CE, Sherazy MS, Gelenberg AJ, Davis JM, & Rapoport SI. (2016) Omega-3 and Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Bipolar Disorder: A Review of Biomarker and Treatment Studies. The Journal of clinical psychiatry. PMID: 27631140
Scientists have discovered a new pathway in the brain that can be manipulated to alleviate depression. The pathway offers a promising new target for developing a drug that could be effective in individuals for whom other antidepressants have failed. New antidepressant options are important because a significant number of patients don't adequately improve with currently available antidepressant drugs.
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Brooker SM, Gobeske KT, Chen J, Peng CY, & Kessler JA. (2016) Hippocampal bone morphogenetic protein signaling mediates behavioral effects of antidepressant treatment. Molecular psychiatry. PMID: 27698430
Honest signalling Theory. Why would animals tell the truth? Is it strong moral fiber? Maybe they paid really close attention when their mother told them the story of the boy who cried wolf? It's actually about self preservation.
Signalling theory states that animals send out signals that benefit themselves. Honest signalling theory states when an animal tells the truth , eg: sends a signal that says 'I'm healthy' when the animal is actually healthy, it does so to avoid a p........ Read more »
Blount JD, Speed MP, Ruxton GD, & Stephens PA. (2009) Warning displays may function as honest signals of toxicity. Proceedings. Biological sciences, 276(1658), 871-7. PMID: 19019790
Me and my microbes In the past decade or so, the microbiota, the community of microbes that makes its home in the guts of humans and other animals, has become quite a popular research topic. Quite rightly so, since our little guests seem to affect aspects of our lives that we wouldn’t necessarily consider to […]... Read more »
Faria VG, Martins NE, Magalhães S, Paulo TF, Nolte V, Schlötterer C, Sucena É, & Teixeira L. (2016) Drosophila Adaptation to Viral Infection through Defensive Symbiont Evolution. PLoS genetics, 12(9). PMID: 27684942
Solé RV, Montañez R, & Duran-Nebreda S. (2015) Synthetic circuit designs for earth terraformation. Biology direct, 37. PMID: 26187273
The quote: "a low prevalence of definite pathology in children with autism spectrum disorder undergoing brain MRI [magnetic resonance imaging]" heading up today's post is taken from the paper by Alison Cooper and colleagues  who among other things, examined whether MRI picked up anything 'useful' when it came to autism / autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in their cohort. MRI, by the way, refers to the fantastic imaging technology that provides those rather detailed pictures of our inner bod........ Read more »
Cooper AS, Friedlaender E, Levy SE, Shekdar KV, Bradford AB, Wells KE, & Mollen C. (2016) The Implications of Brain MRI in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of child neurology. PMID: 27629267
Patients who return to pre-injury activities one year after an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction reported being more motivated prior to and during the rehabilitation process to return to these activities than athletes who did not return to pre-injury activities.... Read more »
Sonesson S, Kvist J, Ardern C, Österberg A, & Silbernagel KG. (2016) Psychological factors are important to return to pre-injury sport activity after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: expect and motivate to satisfy. Knee surgery, sports traumatology, arthroscopy : official journal of the ESSKA. PMID: 27562372
A team of scientists are redefining what it means to be a prion--a type of protein that can pass heritable traits from cell to cell by its structure instead of by DNA. Although prions are infamous for causing Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, fatal familial insomnia, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as mad cow's disease, the present study indicates that prions identified in yeast, and possibly in plants, and other organisms may be beneficial.
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Chakrabortee, S., Byers, J., Jones, S., Garcia, D., Bhullar, B., Chang, A., She, R., Lee, L., Fremin, B., Lindquist, S.... (2016) Intrinsically Disordered Proteins Drive Emergence and Inheritance of Biological Traits. Cell. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.09.017
Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are hot, massive blobs of plasma and magnetic fields that erupt from the Sun, and are sometimes Earth-directed. Depending on their speed and mass these transients can strongly effect the space weather, causing geomagnetic storms and damage to space bound technologies. It is therefore imperative to [...]... Read more »
Sachdeva, N., Subramanian, P., Colaninno, R., et al.,. (2015) Propagation of Coronal Mass Ejections: Aerodynamic Drag. Astrophysical Journal, 158. info:/
Can we and should we formally 'teach' humour to people diagnosed on the autism spectrum? Indeed, do we actually need to?Yes said the results of the study published by Ching-Lin Wu and colleagues  although I personally am not so impressed.Discussing how their results "supported the effectiveness of the 15-hour training" regime, Wu et al report that for a small group of adolescents diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) "and average intelligence" moves to implement "a humor-knowl........ Read more »
Wu, C., Liu, Y., Kuo, C., Chen, H., & Chang, Y. (2016) Effectiveness of humor training among adolescents with autism. Psychiatry Research. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2016.09.016
The recent emergence of Zika Virus (ZIKV) in the Americas has been associated with abnormal brain development of the foetal brain leading to microcephaly, other neurological abnormalities, severe depilation of neonates and foetal or neonatal death. it should be noted however that so far in the most affected countries -Brazil and Colombia- only a subset of all reported cases of microcephaly have been shown to be tested positive for ZIKV suggesting that other factors also may play a role in the ob........ Read more »
Simonin Y, Loustalot F, Desmetz C, Foulongne V, Constant O, Fournier-Wirth C, Leon F, Molès JP, Goubaud A, Lemaitre JM.... (2016) Zika Virus Strains Potentially Display Different Infectious Profiles in Human Neural Cells. EBioMedicine. PMID: 27688094
Bell BP, Boyle CA, & Petersen LR. (2016) Preventing Zika Virus Infections in Pregnant Women: An Urgent Public Health Priority. American journal of public health, 106(4), 589-90. PMID: 26959253
de Araújo TV, Rodrigues LC, de Alencar Ximenes RA, de Barros Miranda-Filho D, Montarroyos UR, de Melo AP, Valongueiro S, de Albuquerque MF, Souza WV, Braga C.... (2016) Association between Zika virus infection and microcephaly in Brazil, January to May, 2016: preliminary report of a case-control study. The Lancet. Infectious diseases. PMID: 27641777
Dang J, Tiwari SK, Lichinchi G, Qin Y, Patil VS, Eroshkin AM, & Rana TM. (2016) Zika Virus Depletes Neural Progenitors in Human Cerebral Organoids through Activation of the Innate Immune Receptor TLR3. Cell stem cell, 19(2), 258-65. PMID: 27162029
Cugola FR, Fernandes IR, Russo FB, Freitas BC, Dias JL, Guimarães KP, Benazzato C, Almeida N, Pignatari GC, Romero S.... (2016) The Brazilian Zika virus strain causes birth defects in experimental models. Nature, 534(7606), 267-71. PMID: 27279226
Hanners NW, Eitson JL, Usui N, Richardson RB, Wexler EM, Konopka G, & Schoggins JW. (2016) Western Zika Virus in Human Fetal Neural Progenitors Persists Long Term with Partial Cytopathic and Limited Immunogenic Effects. Cell reports, 15(11), 2315-22. PMID: 27268504
Hamel R, Dejarnac O, Wichit S, Ekchariyawat P, Neyret A, Luplertlop N, Perera-Lecoin M, Surasombatpattana P, Talignani L, Thomas F.... (2015) Biology of Zika Virus Infection in Human Skin Cells. Journal of virology, 89(17), 8880-96. PMID: 26085147
Hamel R, Liégeois F, Wichit S, Pompon J, Diop F, Talignani L, Thomas F, Desprès P, Yssel H, & Missé D. (2016) Zika virus: epidemiology, clinical features and host-virus interactions. Microbes and infection, 18(7-8), 441-9. PMID: 27012221
Miner, J., Cao, B., Govero, J., Smith, A., Fernandez, E., Cabrera, O., Garber, C., Noll, M., Klein, R., Noguchi, K.... (2016) Zika Virus Infection during Pregnancy in Mice Causes Placental Damage and Fetal Demise. Cell, 165(5), 1081-1091. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.05.008
Tang H, Hammack C, Ogden SC, Wen Z, Qian X, Li Y, Yao B, Shin J, Zhang F, Lee EM.... (2016) Zika Virus Infects Human Cortical Neural Progenitors and Attenuates Their Growth. Cell stem cell, 18(5), 587-90. PMID: 26952870
Machado-Alba JE, Machado-Duque ME, Gaviria-Mendoza A, & Orozco-Giraldo V. (2016) Diagnosis of Neurological Disorders and Zika virus epidemic in Colombia 2014 -2016. International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases. PMID: 27637419
Coelho, F., Durovni, B., Saraceni, V., Lemos, C., Codeco, C., Camargo, S., Carvalho, L., Bastos, L., Arduini, D., Villela, D.... (2016) Higher incidence of Zika in adult women in Rio de Janeiro suggests a significant contribution of sexual transmission from men to women. International Journal of Infectious Diseases. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijid.2016.08.023
Li C, Xu D, Ye Q, Hong S, Jiang Y, Liu X, Zhang N, Shi L, Qin CF, & Xu Z. (2016) Zika Virus Disrupts Neural Progenitor Development and Leads to Microcephaly in Mice. Cell stem cell, 19(1), 120-6. PMID: 27179424
Wu KY, Zuo GL, Li XF, Ye Q, Deng YQ, Huang XY, Cao WC, Qin CF, & Luo ZG. (2016) Vertical transmission of Zika virus targeting the radial glial cells affects cortex development of offspring mice. Cell research, 26(6), 645-54. PMID: 27174054
Jurado KA, Simoni MK, Tang Z, Uraki R, Hwang J, Householder S, Wu M, Lindenbach BD, Abrahams VM, Guller S.... (2016) Zika virus productively infects primary human placenta-specific macrophages. JCI insight, 1(13). PMID: 27595140
Yockey LJ, Varela L, Rakib T, Khoury-Hanold W, Fink SL, Stutz B, Szigeti-Buck K, Van den Pol A, Lindenbach BD, Horvath TL.... (2016) Vaginal Exposure to Zika Virus during Pregnancy Leads to Fetal Brain Infection. Cell, 166(5), 1247-12560000. PMID: 27565347
Driggers RW, Ho CY, Korhonen EM, Kuivanen S, Jääskeläinen AJ, Smura T, Rosenberg A, Hill DA, DeBiasi RL, Vezina G.... (2016) Zika Virus Infection with Prolonged Maternal Viremia and Fetal Brain Abnormalities. The New England journal of medicine, 374(22), 2142-51. PMID: 27028667
Quicke KM, Bowen JR, Johnson EL, McDonald CE, Ma H, O'Neal JT, Rajakumar A, Wrammert J, Rimawi BH, Pulendran B.... (2016) Zika Virus Infects Human Placental Macrophages. Cell host , 20(1), 83-90. PMID: 27247001
Tabata T, Petitt M, Puerta-Guardo H, Michlmayr D, Wang C, Fang-Hoover J, Harris E, & Pereira L. (2016) Zika Virus Targets Different Primary Human Placental Cells, Suggesting Two Routes for Vertical Transmission. Cell host , 20(2), 155-66. PMID: 27443522
A widely-used 'brain stimulation' tool has no effect on the speed of the brain's responses, according to a new study from Australian neuroscientists Jared Horvath et al.
The technique of transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) involves attaching electrodes to the scalp and applying a weak electrical current. This current is thought to flow through the brain and alter neural activity in areas close to the electrodes. tDCS is a popular experimental method in neuroscience, and there's a... Read more »
Horvath JC, Carter O, & Forte JD. (2016) No significant effect of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) found on simple motor reaction time comparing 15 different simulation protocols. Neuropsychologia, 544-552. PMID: 27664296
Among a group of older women, self-reported caffeine consumption of more than 261 mg per day was associated with a 36 percent reduction in the risk of incident dementia over 10 years of follow-up. This level is equivalent to two to three 8-oz cups of coffee per day, five to six 8-oz cups of black tea, or seven to eight 12-ounce cans of cola.
... Read more »
Driscoll, I., Shumaker, S., Snively, B., Margolis, K., Manson, J., Vitolins, M., Rossom, R., & Espeland, M. (2016) Relationships Between Caffeine Intake and Risk for Probable Dementia or Global Cognitive Impairment: The Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences. DOI: 10.1093/gerona/glw078
Beyond the well-known Solar System, there is an immensity of other unique systems... Read more »
Johanna K. Teske, Stephen A. Shectman, Steve S. Vogt, Matías Díaz, R. Paul Butler, Jeffrey D. Crane, Ian B. Thompson, & Pamela Arriagada. (2016) The Magellan PFS Planet Search Program: Radial Velocity and Stellar Abundance Analyses of the 360 AU, Metal-Poor Binary "Twins" HD 133131A . Astronomical Journal,. arXiv: 1608.06216v2
Orosz, J., Welsh, W., Carter, J., Fabrycky, D., Cochran, W., Endl, M., Ford, E., Haghighipour, N., MacQueen, P., Mazeh, T.... (2012) Kepler-47: A Transiting Circumbinary Multiplanet System. Science, 337(6101), 1511-1514. DOI: 10.1126/science.1228380
R. Di Stefano, & A. Ray. (2016) Globular Clusters as Cradles of Life and Advanced Civilizations. ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL , 827(1). arXiv: 1601.03455v1
Marcelo Tucci Maia, Jorge Melendez, & Ivan Ramirez. (2014) High precision abundances in the 16 Cyg binary system: a signature of the rocky core in the giant planet. ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL LETTERS , 790(2). arXiv: 1407.4132v1
Anglada-Escudé, G., Amado, P., Barnes, J., Berdiñas, Z., Butler, R., Coleman, G., de la Cueva, I., Dreizler, S., Endl, M., Giesers, B.... (2016) A terrestrial planet candidate in a temperate orbit around Proxima Centauri. Nature, 536(7617), 437-440. DOI: 10.1038/nature19106
Borucki, W., Agol, E., Fressin, F., Kaltenegger, L., Rowe, J., Isaacson, H., Fischer, D., Batalha, N., Lissauer, J., Marcy, G.... (2013) Kepler-62: A Five-Planet System with Planets of 1.4 and 1.6 Earth Radii in the Habitable Zone. Science, 340(6132), 587-590. DOI: 10.1126/science.1234702
Stephen R. Kane, & Dawn M. Gelino. (2014) On the Inclination and Habitability of the HD 10180 System. ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL, 792(2). arXiv: 1408.4150v1
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:/
Another short post today opening with the conclusion reached in the paper by Andrew Cashin and colleagues : "From the findings, it can be stated with confidence that people with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] have a high rate of comorbidity and increased risk for chronic disease."Yes, not new news to many that physical health is generally 'under-rated' when it comes to adult autism (see here and see here for examples). The question remains however: what are we all going to........ Read more »
Cashin A, Buckley T, Trollor JN, & Lennox N. (2016) A scoping review of what is known of the physical health of adults with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of intellectual disabilities : JOID. PMID: 27623754
Ongoing research has continued to implicate the microbiome in a variety of human diseases. We often hear about this in the context of bacterial communities. Certain bacterial communities appear to be associated with health, and disrupting these communities seems to be associated with disease...... Read more »
An unexpected sugary snack can give bees a little buzz and appears to lift their mood, even making them optimistic, according to research that suggests pollinators have feelings, too. Since emotions are subjective and difficult to measure—particularly in animals—researchers looked at how bees' behavior changed after they were given a sip of sucrose solution.
... Read more »
Perry, C., Baciadonna, L., & Chittka, L. (2016) Unexpected rewards induce dopamine-dependent positive emotion-like state changes in bumblebees. Science, 353(6307), 1529-1531. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf4454
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