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  • August 21, 2014
  • 01:30 AM
  • 2 views

How to prevent a possible concussion from the ALS ice bucket challenge

by William Lu in The Quantum Lobe Chronicles

The ice bucket challenge has swept the nation in an effort to raise awareness for ALS. However, there seems to have been a number of concussions (or mild traumatic brain injury) sustained from performing a seemingly altruistic act. Although some people may find the below video funny, concussions are a serious issue and can lead to serious consequences including executive dysfunction.Two recent meta-analyses (one examining neuropsychological performance while the other examining fMRI data) have i........ Read more »

  • August 20, 2014
  • 12:30 PM
  • 17 views

The DNA Signature of Lupus

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

My Uncle suffered from Lupus. The disease itself should have a more sinister sounding name, given the effect it has on the body. Lupus is a form of autoimmune disease which attacks the body and causes an incredible amount of pain. It’s not pretty and complications from the disease can make life even more unbearable for people. There is no cure and sadly there are few treatments outside of managing the pain and side effects of the disease. Thankfully medical researchers have used DNA sequencing........ Read more »

Julia I Ellyard, Rebekka Jerjen, Jaime L Martin, Adrian Lee, Matthew A Field, Simon H Jiang, Jean Cappello, Svenja K Naumann, T Daniel Andrews, Hamish S Scott.... (2014) Whole exome sequencing in early-onset cerebral SLE identifies a pathogenic variant in TREX1. Arthritis . info:/10.1002/art.38824

  • August 20, 2014
  • 09:30 AM
  • 36 views

State Fairs and Stiff Beers: Why We Can't Stop Drinking

by Aarti Chawla in The 'Scope

A look into why we drink and what alcohol does to the brain.... Read more »

Diamond I, & Messing RO. (1994) Neurologic effects of alcoholism. The Western journal of medicine, 161(3), 279-87. PMID: 7975567  

Paul CA, Au R, Fredman L, Massaro JM, Seshadri S, Decarli C, & Wolf PA. (2008) Association of alcohol consumption with brain volume in the Framingham study. Archives of neurology, 65(10), 1363-7. PMID: 18852353  

  • August 18, 2014
  • 10:16 AM
  • 47 views

Guidelines for Treatment of Problem Gambling

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Despite the prevalence and impact of problem gambling, few summaries or guidelines address treatment.Searching the guideline.gov website shows no recent additions to the guideline literature.A guideline was published by the Singapore Ministry of Health in 2011. This guideline is still relevant and highlights some of the key elements of a problem gambling treatment program.I will summarize some of these key elements from this source titled: "Management of gambling disorders".  In their summa........ Read more »

Lee KM, Chan HN, Cheah B, Gentica GF, Guo S, Lim HK, Lim YC, Noorul F, Tan HS, Teo P.... (2011) Ministry of Health clinical practice guidelines: management of gambling disorders. Singapore medical journal, 52(6), 456. PMID: 21732000  

  • August 17, 2014
  • 09:00 PM
  • 82 views

Can psychopathy be treated?

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Some psychological conditions receive a disproportionate amount of attention in popular media relative to how frequently they actually occur in the population. One of those is psychopathy, a personality disorder that is characterized by antisocial behavior, impulsivity, and a lack of empathy. Psychopaths may be charming on the surface but tend towards pathological deception and indifferent manipulation of other people. And they are more likely to have behavioral problems or be involved in crimin........ Read more »

  • August 17, 2014
  • 02:36 PM
  • 74 views

Schizophrenia and the Twilight Zone

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

You are now entering the Twilight Zone. You may remember the television show, with it’s odd twists and turns, but for people with schizophrenia it means something just a little […]... Read more »

  • August 16, 2014
  • 01:00 PM
  • 87 views

Is your Stomach… Controlling your Mind?

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Close the blinds, lock the doors, and find a safe place to hide. Are you alone? No, no you aren’t and you may not even be in control of your […]... Read more »

  • August 15, 2014
  • 04:46 PM
  • 81 views

Global similarity signals of recognition strength

by Emilie Reas in Emilie Reas - Remember

The below article was recently rejected from the Journal of Neuroscience as a ‘Journal Club’ commentary on Davis et al., 2014, ‘Medial temporal lobe global similarity signals underlie recognition strength’. Hoping that my efforts will not go to waste, I’d like to give the piece an alternate home here. Please read, comment and share, all […]... Read more »

Davis T, Xue G, Love BC, Preston AR, & Poldrack RA. (2014) Global neural pattern similarity as a common basis for categorization and recognition memory. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 34(22), 7472-84. PMID: 24872552  

  • August 15, 2014
  • 11:34 AM
  • 49 views

Breaking research: A new technique for uncovering cell-specific differences in the Drosophila “interactome”

by Bethany Christmann in Fly on the Wall

A recently published fly paper describes a new technique for uncovering cell-specific differences in protein interactions. I review this paper and discuss its relevance to human health.... Read more »

  • August 15, 2014
  • 08:35 AM
  • 113 views

The Friday Five 8/15/2014

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

An amusing look at 5 of the hottest science news stories this week... Read more »

Rechavi, O., Houri-Ze’evi, L., Anava, S., Goh, W., Kerk, S., Hannon, G., & Hobert, O. (2014) Starvation-Induced Transgenerational Inheritance of Small RNAs in C. elegans. Cell, 158(2), 277-287. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.06.020  

Yang B, Treweek JB, Kulkarni RP, Deverman BE, Chen CK, Lubeck E, Shah S, Cai L, & Gradinaru V. (2014) Single-Cell Phenotyping within Transparent Intact Tissue through Whole-Body Clearing. Cell. PMID: 25088144  

Hsu, D., Huang, L., Nordgren, L., Rucker, D., & Galinsky, A. (2014) The Music of Power: Perceptual and Behavioral Consequences of Powerful Music. Social Psychological and Personality Science. DOI: 10.1177/1948550614542345  

  • August 14, 2014
  • 03:54 PM
  • 66 views

August 14, 2014

by Erin Campbell in HighMag Blog

Astrocytes used to be the red-headed stepchild of the neurology world, but no more! Once considered to be just filler material, astrocytes are now known to function in the development and function of synapses, though the mechanisms are unclear. Today’s stunning image is from a paper showing how astrocytes can stabilize synapses, possibly serving as an important component of learning and memory. The synapses of neurons in the central nervous system are dynamic in response to learning and m........ Read more »

Bernardinelli, Y., Randall, J., Janett, E., Nikonenko, I., König, S., Jones, E., Flores, C., Murai, K., Bochet, C., Holtmaat, A.... (2014) Activity-Dependent Structural Plasticity of Perisynaptic Astrocytic Domains Promotes Excitatory Synapse Stability. Current Biology, 24(15), 1679-1688. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.06.025  

  • August 14, 2014
  • 11:17 AM
  • 60 views

FDA Approves Novel Insomnia Drug Suvorexant (Belsomra)

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Regular readers of this blog had a heads up last year on the development of orexin receptor antagonists for the treatment of insomnia.I posted a review of an Italian clinical drug trial in humans with insomnia paired with polysomnography. This study used three different doses of a orexin receptor antagonist (10 mg 30 mg and 60 mg).In a second post, I reviewed a sleep lab study of the effects of an orexin antagonist drug compared to zolpidem (Ambien) on sleep architecture.This second study found ........ Read more »

  • August 12, 2014
  • 02:07 PM
  • 67 views

Treatment and Prevention of PTSD

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

It’s no secret for anyone who follows me that I am a Marine veteran. It’s also no secret for anyone who follows me that I’ve had my own ups and downs in life because of my experiences. PTSD is a nightmare, one that you can’t quite shake no matter how hard you try. Then again, not everyone reacts the same way to the trauma that typically causes PTSD, not everyone walks away from war with it. The big question that scientists set out to answer was, why? And now they might just have an answe........ Read more »

Nikolaos P. Daskalakis, Hagit Cohen, Guiqing Caia, Joseph D. Buxbaum, & Rachel Yehuda. (2014) Expression profiling associates blood and brain glucocorticoid receptor signaling with trauma-related individual differences in both sexes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(32). info:/10.1073/pnas.1401660111

  • August 11, 2014
  • 01:30 PM
  • 118 views

New Hope for Autoimmune Diseases

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Autoimmune diseases are on the rise. Since I have a history of over sharing, my Uncle suffered from a form of lupus. It caused him intense and — in my opinion — unbearable pain although he shouldered it like the incredible man he was and never complained. My sister unfortunately is suffering from a rare disease that has yet to be diagnosed, which in my opinion has autoimmune dysfunction as the root cause. If you or anyone you know suffers in a similar fashion then you know that the treatment........ Read more »

Chhabra S, Chang SC, Nguyen HM, Huq R, Tanner MR, Londono LM, Estrada R, Dhawan V, Chauhan S, Upadhyay SK.... (2014) Kv1.3 channel-blocking immunomodulatory peptides from parasitic worms: implications for autoimmune diseases. FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. PMID: 24891519  

  • August 11, 2014
  • 11:42 AM
  • 72 views

Clinical Drug Trials for Pathological Gambling

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Several drug classes hold promise for reduction in pathological gambling behavior.However, there are very few published randomized and controlled clinical drug trials in gambling subjects.Searching clinical trials and gambling on PubMed yields only one small open-label proof of concept trial for the drug tolcapone within the last year.This study found evidence that this COMT inhibitor drug reduced gambling symptoms and was accompanied by fronto-parietal activation on fMRI imaging.However, on sea........ Read more »

Grant JE, Odlaug BL, Chamberlain SR, Hampshire A, Schreiber LR, & Kim SW. (2013) A proof of concept study of tolcapone for pathological gambling: relationships with COMT genotype and brain activation. European neuropsychopharmacology : the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 23(11), 1587-96. PMID: 23953269  

  • August 11, 2014
  • 09:38 AM
  • 70 views

Lithium For Aging Brain

by Vivek Misra in The UberBrain

Recent studies investigating Lithium, a drug commonly used for the treatment of mood disorders in humans, found its robust neurotrophic and neuroprotective effects which can help us exploring new novel, exciting, and promising targets. The molecular mechanism underlying lithium’s mood stabilizing effect is not yet unraveled. Suggested hypotheses include inositol-depletion via inhibition of inositol- monophosphatase and neuroprotection, via inhibition of GSK-3. Chronic lithium treatment inc........ Read more »

Chen G, Rajkowska G, Du F, Seraji-Bozorgzad N, & Manji HK. (2000) Enhancement of hippocampal neurogenesis by lithium. Journal of neurochemistry, 75(4), 1729-34. PMID: 10987856  

O'Brien WT, Harper AD, Jové F, Woodgett JR, Maretto S, Piccolo S, & Klein PS. (2004) Glycogen synthase kinase-3beta haploinsufficiency mimics the behavioral and molecular effects of lithium. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 24(30), 6791-8. PMID: 15282284  

Berggren U, Tallstedt L, Ahlenius S, & Engel J. (1978) The effect of lithium on amphetamine-induced locomotor stimulation. Psychopharmacology, 59(1), 41-5. PMID: 100811  

Agam G, Bersudsky Y, Berry GT, Moechars D, Lavi-Avnon Y, & Belmaker RH. (2009) Knockout mice in understanding the mechanism of action of lithium. Biochemical Society transactions, 37(Pt 5), 1121-5. PMID: 19754464  

Lu T, Aron L, Zullo J, Pan Y, Kim H, Chen Y, Yang TH, Kim HM, Drake D, Liu XS.... (2014) REST and stress resistance in ageing and Alzheimer's disease. Nature, 507(7493), 448-54. PMID: 24670762  

  • August 10, 2014
  • 12:03 PM
  • 101 views

Pregnancy and Antibacterial Soap a Potentially Dangerous Combination

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

My wife likes to sanitize everything with bleach. I don’t really approve, but I bite my tongue because it makes her feel better. Germs are everywhere and honestly there is […]... Read more »

Pycke BF, Geer LA, Dalloul M, Abulafia O, Jenck AM, & Halden RU. (2014) Human biomonitoring of prenatal exposure to triclosan and triclocarban in a multiethnic urban population from Brooklyn, New York. Environmental Science , 8831-8838. info:/10.1021/es501100w

  • August 9, 2014
  • 01:45 PM
  • 347 views

Marijuana and the Developing Brain

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

You can’t get away from it, the big marijuana debate here in the US. Is it good? Is it bad? What are other countries doing? There are also a lot of claims made about marijuana, most of which aren’t true, namely the big medical claims. Then there is the other side of that fence, what about some of the health issues that are claimed, where does science sit on that?[…]... Read more »

Giedd JN, Blumenthal J, Jeffries NO, Rajapakse JC, Vaituzis AC, Liu H, Berry YC, Tobin M, Nelson J, & Castellanos FX. (1999) Development of the human corpus callosum during childhood and adolescence: a longitudinal MRI study. Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology , 23(4), 571-88. PMID: 10390717  

Giedd, J. N. (2004) Structural magnetic resonance imaging of the adolescent brain. Adolescent Brain Development: Vulnerabilities and Opportunities. info:/

Choo EK, Benz M, Zaller N, Warren O, Rising KL, & McConnell KJ. (2014) The impact of state medical marijuana legislation on adolescent marijuana use. The Journal of adolescent health : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, 55(2), 160-6. PMID: 24742758  

Joffe A, American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Substance Abuse, & American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Adolescence. (2004) Legalization of marijuana: potential impact on youth. Pediatrics, 113(6), 1825-6. PMID: 15173518  

  • August 8, 2014
  • 03:36 PM
  • 139 views

The Self Assembling Brain

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Let’s face it, if the brain were a lego set I would still be staring at the box wondering what I got myself into. So I guess we can just […]... Read more »

Lorenzo I. Finci et. al. (2014) The Crystal Structure of Netrin-1 in Complex with DCC Reveals the Bifunctionality of Netrin-1 As a Guidance Cue. Neuron. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2014.07.010

  • August 8, 2014
  • 09:52 AM
  • 88 views

Know your brain: Corpus callosum

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged







Corpus callosum (in red).CC image courtesy of Life Science Databases(LSDB).






Where is it?The corpus callosum is a large, C-shaped nerve fiber bundle found beneath the cerebral cortex. It stretches across the midline of the brain, connecting the left and right cerebral hemispheres. It makes up the largest collection of white matter tissue found in the brain.What is it and what does it do?To understand the role of the corpus callosum, it is first importan........ Read more »

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