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  • April 16, 2014
  • 08:05 AM
  • 9 views

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 16, 2014
  • 01:54 AM
  • 11 views

Joined by HDAC (inhibitors)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I'm treading quite carefully with this post which came about following my [non-expert] reading of the paper abstract from Anand Venkatraman and colleagues [1] on a potential downside to the use of HDAC (histone deacetylase) inhibitors for treating spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1), a progressive disease affecting movement and other knock-on functions. This follows other work suggesting that certain HDAC inhibitors might offer some important new lines of investigation when it co........ Read more »

  • April 15, 2014
  • 08:00 PM
  • 18 views

New Study Shows Surgical Checklists In Operating Rooms Are Less Effective Than Assumed

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

Optimizing such tailored checklists, understanding why some studies indicate benefits of checklists whereas others do not and re-evaluating the efficacy of checklists in the non-academic setting will all require a substantial amount of future research before one can draw definitive conclusions about the efficacy of checklists. Regulatory agencies in Canada and the United Kingdom should reconsider their current mandates. Perhaps an even more important lesson to be learned is that health regulator........ Read more »

Urbach DR, Govindarajan A, Saskin R, Wilton AS, & Baxter NN. (2014) Introduction of surgical safety checklists in Ontario, Canada. The New England Journal of Medicine, 370(11), 1029-38. PMID: 24620866  

  • April 15, 2014
  • 11:43 AM
  • 23 views

Religious Belief and Depression Resilience

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Identifying risk factors for brain disorders is a key element in clinical research.Understanding protective or resilience factors for brain disorders is also important and receiving increased attention in clinical research.Factors that promote resilience to brain disorders may come from a variety of domains. Religious belief is one domain receiving attention as a potential resilience factor.Miller and colleagues recently published a longitudinal study of religious belief and risk for major ........ Read more »

Miller L, Wickramaratne P, Gameroff MJ, Sage M, Tenke CE, & Weissman MM. (2012) Religiosity and major depression in adults at high risk: a ten-year prospective study. The American journal of psychiatry, 169(1), 89-94. PMID: 21865527  

  • April 14, 2014
  • 10:51 PM
  • 44 views

Disordered Eating and Athletic Performance: Where’s the Line?

by Emma in Science of Eating Disorders


If a person severely restricts his diet and exercises for hours each day, he has an eating disorder. If another does exactly the same but it is because she wants to make the lightweight rowing team (which has an upper weight limit), she’s a committed athlete. When the two overlap, and an athlete presents with eating disorder symptoms, how do we distinguish between the demands of the sport and the illness?
I’ve been interested in the distinctions we make between disordered and n........ Read more »

  • April 14, 2014
  • 01:10 PM
  • 76 views

Does Access to Birth Control Reduce Poverty?

by Eric Horowitz in peer-reviewed by my neurons

In American politics the proliferation of birth control is important because of how it affects the eternal resting place of our immortal souls. But believe it or not, there are also non-metaphysical policy consequences to increasing access to birth control. A new study by a pair of economists — Stephanie Browne of J.P. Morgan and […]... Read more »

Browne, S., & LaLumia, S. (2014) The Effects of Contraception on Female Poverty. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. DOI: 10.1002/pam.21761  

  • April 14, 2014
  • 10:24 AM
  • 55 views

Some exploratory evidence that wait-list conditions may act as a nocebo in psychotherapy trials

by Kristoffer Magnusson in R Psychologist

The hypothesis that wait-lists could be nocebo conditions was investigated by Furukawa et al (2014). The authors performed a network meta-analysis of 49 RCT that involved cognitive-behaviour therapy for depression. ... Read more »

Furukawa TA, Noma H, Caldwell DM, Honyashiki M, Shinohara K, Imai H, Chen P, Hunot V, & Churchill R. (2014) Waiting list may be a nocebo condition in psychotherapy trials: a contribution from network meta-analysis. Acta psychiatrica Scandinavica. PMID: 24697518  

  • April 14, 2014
  • 03:58 AM
  • 51 views

Neurology of inflammatory bowel diseases

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Ben-Or and colleagues [1] talking about a neurologic profile present in a small participant cohort of children and adolescents diagnosed with an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) caught my eye recently. Their findings reporting that over two-thirds of their paediatric participant group diagnosed with IBD also "exhibited neurologic manifestations" provides some compelling preliminary evidence for further investigation in this area.Outside of reports of headache and dizziness, the pres........ Read more »

  • April 13, 2014
  • 11:59 AM
  • 77 views

The Curse of the Internet

by Aurametrix team in Health Technologies

It's hard to imagine our lives without the Internet  - either mobile or desktop. The Internet has become a catalyst of innovation, an essential tool in business and social life. It brought new levels of participation and access to knowledge. It enabled new forms of interaction, albeit mostly utilized for entertainment purposes. But despite all the advantages and conveniences, does the Internet really serve us or is it the other way around?... Read more »

  • April 12, 2014
  • 01:38 PM
  • 61 views

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, and Home Remedies

by Imtiaz Ibne Alam in Medical-Reference - A Pioneer in Medical Blogging

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common causes of woman's infertility. It is a problem results from an imbalance of female sex hormones. It may cause irregular menstruation, difficulties in getting pregnant, and cysts in the ovaries. If it's not treated, overtime it can lead to diabetes and several other troubling health conditions.... Read more »

Pau CT, Keefe CC, & Welt CK. (2013) Cigarette smoking, nicotine levels and increased risk for metabolic syndrome in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Gynecological endocrinology : the official journal of the International Society of Gynecological Endocrinology, 29(6), 551-5. PMID: 23656383  

  • April 11, 2014
  • 06:25 PM
  • 67 views

Dad's obesity and risk of offspring autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

In this post I'm talking about the paper by Pål Surén and colleagues [1] and their suggestion that "paternal obesity is an independent risk factor for ASDs [autism spectrum disorders] in children". I do so not with the intent of stigmatising parents and specifically parents with weight issues, which tend to be present for many more reasons than just food and exercise (see here), but merely to highlight how parental physical health may show some relationship to offspring cog........ Read more »

Suren, P., Gunnes, N., Roth, C., Bresnahan, M., Hornig, M., Hirtz, D., Lie, K., Lipkin, W., Magnus, P., Reichborn-Kjennerud, T.... (2014) Parental Obesity and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder. PEDIATRICS. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2013-3664  

  • April 10, 2014
  • 09:54 AM
  • 84 views

Aluminum adjuvants in vaccines: are they safe?

by EE Giorgi in CHIMERAS

Multnomah Falls, © EEGDisclaimer: I work on HIV vaccine design and I'm quite proud of it. I know that for three million HIV-positive kids in Africa, a vaccine is the only hope they have to grow into adulthood. So, when people tell me that vaccines are bad I cringe. Infant mortality rates have dropped since vaccinations have been introduced. We live longer, healthier lives thanks to vaccines. Diseases like polio can paralyze and kill, yet they are no longer a concern for children in the western ........ Read more »

  • April 10, 2014
  • 03:56 AM
  • 79 views

Gluten exposure and "feelings of depression"?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Could exposure to dietary gluten affect a person's moods or emotional state?Well, if the paper by Simone Peters and colleagues [1] (open-access here) is to be believed the answer may very well be yes, at least in some cases, as they report a link between gluten consumption and feelings of depression under [short-term] experimental conditions. If replicated, such a finding may have profound consequences for how we view our relationship between food and mental health and wellbeing.Bread Ma'am?&nbs........ Read more »

  • April 10, 2014
  • 01:16 AM
  • 53 views

Resources For Blastocystis Epidemiology Research

by Christen Rune Stensvold in Blastocystis Parasite Blog

An inventory of useful free online tools for studying the molecular epidemiology of Blastocystis.... Read more »

Alfellani MA, Taner-Mulla D, Jacob AS, Imeede CA, Yoshikawa H, Stensvold CR, & Clark CG. (2013) Genetic diversity of blastocystis in livestock and zoo animals. Protist, 164(4), 497-509. PMID: 23770574  

Alfellani MA, Stensvold CR, Vidal-Lapiedra A, Onuoha ES, Fagbenro-Beyioku AF, & Clark CG. (2013) Variable geographic distribution of Blastocystis subtypes and its potential implications. Acta tropica, 126(1), 11-8. PMID: 23290980  

Clark CG, van der Giezen M, Alfellani MA, & Stensvold CR. (2013) Recent developments in Blastocystis research. Advances in parasitology, 1-32. PMID: 23548084  

Stensvold CR, Suresh GK, Tan KS, Thompson RC, Traub RJ, Viscogliosi E, Yoshikawa H, & Clark CG. (2007) Terminology for Blastocystis subtypes--a consensus. Trends in parasitology, 23(3), 93-6. PMID: 17241816  

  • April 9, 2014
  • 11:18 AM
  • 53 views

Telomere length: a new measure of chronic stress in wildlife? | @GrrlScientist

by GrrlScientist in GrrlScientist

Telomeres, the DNA-protein caps that prevent chromosomal fraying, are positively affected by social stress, according to two independent studies that were just published within days of each other. One study -- which has received widespread media coverage -- found a positive relationship between social environment and telomere length in children, adding support to previous work in people. A second study -- which few have heard about -- found that accelerated telomere erosion is associated with so........ Read more »

Shalev Idan, Entringer Sonja, Wadhwa Pathik D., Wolkowitz Owen M., Puterman Eli, Lin Jue, & Epel Elissa S. (2013) Stress and telomere biology: A lifespan perspective. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 38(9), 1835-1842. DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2013.03.010  

  • April 9, 2014
  • 06:33 AM
  • 58 views

What is Ebola? Why is it scary? A really simple answer

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

“Ebola Virus outbreak” is a headline that produces terror. Well, it should… but I’m not sure that it does. There’s been an outbreak of Ebola in Guinea and Liberia in West Africa, but how many of us actually know what Ebola is – let alone why it is so scary? A quick poll of friends … Continue reading →... Read more »

Bwaka, M., Bonnet, M., Calain, P., Colebunders, R., De Roo, A., Guimard, Y., Katwiki, K., Kibadi, K., Kipasa, M., Kuvula, K.... (1999) Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever in Kikwit, Democratic Republic of the Congo: Clinical Observations in 103 Patients. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 179(s1). DOI: 10.1086/514308  

  • April 8, 2014
  • 07:35 AM
  • 54 views

COFFEE VS. PARKINSON’S DISEASE – CAN CAFFEINE REDUCE THE RISK OF DEVELOPING THE DISEASE?

by Robb Hollis in Antisense Science

There are a number of genetic and environmental factors known to affect the development and progression of the disease, but the exact underlying cause of the neuronal degeneration is still largely unknown. Studies of Parkinson’s in families have revealed that genetic factors are likely to contribute to the development of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in particular. The list of environmental factors associated with Parkinson’s is extensive, including increased risk with exposu........ Read more »

  • April 8, 2014
  • 03:35 AM
  • 91 views

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and various factors

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Kate Lievesley and colleagues [1] documenting various "predisposing, precipitating and perpetuating factors in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in children and adolescents" caught my eye recently. Based on a review of the research literature around the topic of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) [in childhood], the authors set about detailing some of the important factors linked to the condition and in doing so, highlighted how physiology and psychology might combine when it........ Read more »

  • April 7, 2014
  • 11:37 AM
  • 92 views

The Genetics of Religious Belief

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

In the next few posts, I will review some of the recent brain-related research related to religious belief.Religious belief and religious affiliation run in families. This effect is not surprising as parents influence their children's type of religious experience during development.However, there is increasing evidence that adult religious belief and behavior is also influenced by genetic factors independent of family environment experience.Twin studies represent a powerful research model to tea........ Read more »

  • April 7, 2014
  • 07:03 AM
  • 29 views

Why “7 a Day” is the new “5 a Day”

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

You probably saw the news last week that you should “Forget five a day: You need SEVEN portions a day for a long life”. Yes you read that correctly, research now tells us that should eat seven – or possibly even ten – portions of fruit and veg every day to help keep disease at … Continue reading →... Read more »

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