Five of the coolest science news stories of the week! Friends & DNA, Alzheimer’s, a satanic gecko, fist bumps, and political brains... Read more »
Hibbing, J., Smith, K., & Alford, J. (2014) Differences in negativity bias underlie variations in political ideology. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 37(03), 297-307. DOI: 10.1017/S0140525X13001192
Tumours are incredibly heterogeneic- that is that they have different properties including morphology (how they look), metabolism (the processes they use to generate energy), proliferation (how fast they grow, divide and replicate themselves) and potential to metastasise (where a tumour moves to another part of the body). But why is this so?
Many people are under the assumption that a cancer will arise from a single mutation in the DNA, but this is not actually the case. For a cancer to dev........ Read more »
Lo, Y., Corbetta, N., Chamberlain, P., Rai, V., Sargent, I., Redman, C., & Wainscoat, J. (1997) Presence of fetal DNA in maternal plasma and serum. The Lancet, 350(9076), 485-487. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(97)02174-0
Vasioukhin V, Anker P, Maurice P, Lyautey J, Lederrey C, & Stroun M. (1994) Point mutations of the N-ras gene in the blood plasma DNA of patients with myelodysplastic syndrome or acute myelogenous leukaemia. British journal of haematology, 86(4), 774-9. PMID: 7918071
De Mattos-Arruda L, Weigelt B, Cortes J, Won HH, Ng CK, Nuciforo P, Bidard FC, Aura C, Saura C, Peg V.... (2014) Capturing Intra-Tumor Genetic Heterogeneity by De Novo Mutation Profiling of Circulating Cell-Free Tumor DNA: A Proof-of-Principle. Annals of oncology : official journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology / ESMO. PMID: 25009010
Pantel K, & Alix-Panabières C. (2013) Real-time liquid biopsy in cancer patients: fact or fiction?. Cancer research, 73(21), 6384-8. PMID: 24145355
Today I'm bringing to your attention the paper by Eva Troyb and colleagues  and the quite dramatic assertion: "Reports of current behavior indicated that RRB's [restricted and repetitive behaviors] had almost totally disappeared in the OO [optimal outcomes] group". RRBs just in case you might not know include quite an array of behaviours, some of which might not be considered 'disabling' such as the presence of certain circumscribed interests. Others, such as an insistence........ Read more »
Troyb E, Orinstein A, Tyson K, Eigsti IM, Naigles L, & Fein D. (2014) Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors in Individuals with a History of ASDs Who Have Achieved Optimal Outcomes. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. PMID: 25030967
This happens many times every day. A patient falls and may have hit her head, but there is no change from her normal mental status. To complicate matter, she takes an anticoagulant.
There are no clear signs of serious trauma. so should we automatically go to the trauma center?
What can help us decide?... Read more »
Hamden K, Agresti D, Jeanmonod R, Woods D, Reiter M, & Jeanmonod D. (2014) Characteristics of elderly fall patients with baseline mental status: high-risk features for intracranial injury. The American journal of emergency medicine. PMID: 24929771
Although the words “anorexia nervosa” typically conjure up images of emaciated bodies, eating disorders characterized by dietary restriction or weight loss can — and do — occur at any weight. However, precisely because anorexia nervosa is associated with underweight, doctors are less likely to identify eating disorders among individuals who are in the so-called “normal” or above normal weight range, even if they have........ Read more »
Lebow, J., Sim, L., & Kransdorf, L. (2014) Prevalence of a History of Overweight and Obesity in Adolescents With Restrictive Eating Disorders. Journal of Adolescent Health. DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.06.005
The creation of the category “Twitter Psychosis" tells us more about the culture of contemporary psychiatry than it does about the purported dangers of social media overuse. Can Twitter really “cause” psychotic symptoms in predisposed individuals? Or is Twitter merely the latest technical innovation that influences “the form, origin and content of delusional beliefs” (Bell et al., 2005)? Twitter as the new telephone tower, radio waves, microchip implant or personal TV show, if you wil........ Read more »
Kalbitzer J, Mell T, Bermpohl F, Rapp MA, & Heinz A. (2014) Twitter Psychosis: A Rare Variation or a Distinct Syndrome?. The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 202(8), 623. PMID: 25075647
I’m sure you can all relate, you go to fix the sink and in the process you build a new kitchen on accident. Anyone… no? Well that is sort of […]... Read more »
Lisanti, S., Tavecchio, M., Chae, Y., Liu, Q., Brice, A., Thakur, M., Languino, L., & Altieri, D. (2014) Deletion of the Mitochondrial Chaperone TRAP-1 Uncovers Global Reprogramming of Metabolic Networks. Cell Reports. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.06.061
Serum levels of dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP) IV were found to be lower in children with autism compared to asymptomatic controls according to the study by Shahid Bashira & Laila AL-Ayadhi . Based on analysis by ELISA, researchers concluded that "alterations in the plasma level of DPP IV play a role in the pathophysiology of autism".A sailor went to sea, sea, sea... @ Wikipedia Anyone who has followed the autism research scene for any length of time might have already heard ab........ Read more »
Bashir, S., & AL-Ayadhi, L. (2014) Alterations in plasma dipeptidyl peptidase IV in autism: A pilot study. Neurology, Psychiatry and Brain Research, 20(2), 41-44. DOI: 10.1016/j.npbr.2014.03.001
If you’ve been watching the news recently, you’ll probably have seen reports on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Around 673 people in Guinea and Liberia have died so far (including one case of a Liberian government employee who died shortly after arriving at Lagos airport in Nigeria), making this the most deadly outbreak to date. So what exactly is Ebola, and why is it so deadly?
Ebola virus disease (EVD) has an incredibly high mortality rate – while the current outbreak h........ Read more »
Gatherer, D. (2014) The 2014 Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa. Journal of General Virology, 95(Pt_8), 1619-1624. DOI: 10.1099/vir.0.067199-0
I tried to kill myself, more than once in fact. It was a troubling time for me and as a former active duty Marine that might not be too surprising […]... Read more »
Guintivano, J., Brown, T., Newcomer, A., Jones, M., Cox, O., Maher, B., Eaton, W., Payne, J., Wilcox, H., & Kaminsky, Z. (2014) Identification and Replication of a Combined Epigenetic and Genetic Biomarker Predicting Suicide and Suicidal Behaviors. American Journal of Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2014.14010008
Guintivano, J., Arad, M., Gould, T., Payne, J., & Kaminsky, Z. (2013) Antenatal prediction of postpartum depression with blood DNA methylation biomarkers. Molecular Psychiatry, 19(5), 560-567. DOI: 10.1038/mp.2013.62
Anecdotal reports have linked traumatic brain injury with later violent death including death by suicide.Few large epidemiological studies have been published on this association.However, a recent Swedish population study published in JAMA Psychiatry provides valuable insight into this issue.Seena Fazel and colleagues from the University of Oxford, University College London and the Karolinksa Institute examined a large database of over 200,000 patients with TBI.Cases of TBI were identified from ........ Read more »
Fazel S, Wolf A, Pillas D, Lichtenstein P, & Långström N. (2014) Suicide, fatal injuries, and other causes of premature mortality in patients with traumatic brain injury: a 41-year Swedish population study. JAMA psychiatry, 71(3), 326-33. PMID: 24430827
The Great War helped create the influenza pandemic of 1918, which eventually brought an early end to the Great War. Continue reading...... Read more »
Gamblin S. J. (2004) The Structure and Receptor Binding Properties of the 1918 Influenza Hemagglutinin. Science, 303(5665), 1838-1842. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1093155
Barry John M. (2004) The site of origin of the 1918 influenza pandemic and its public health implications (Commentary). Journal of Translational Medicine, 2(3). DOI: 10.1186/1479-5876-2-3
Humphries M. O. (2014) Paths of Infection: The First World War and the Origins of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic. War in History, 21(1), 55-81. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0968344513504525
The dbGaP, database of Genotypes and Phenotypes, repository at NCBI collects information from research projects that link genotype and phenotype information and human variation, across many different types of studies, providing leads on variation that may be important to understand clinical issues. Some of the data is publicly available de-identified patient information, and some of the […]... Read more »
Doan Son, Lin Ko-Wei, Conway Mike, Ohno-Machado Lucila, Hsieh Alex, Feupe Stephanie Feudjio, Garland Asher, Ross Mindy K, Jiang Xiaoqian, & Farzaneh Seena. (2013) PhenDisco: phenotype discovery system for the database of genotypes and phenotypes. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA. PMID: 23989082
Tryka K. A., A. Sturcke, Y. Jin, Z. Y. Wang, L. Ziyabari, M. Lee, N. Popova, N. Sharopova, M. Kimura, & M. Feolo. (2013) NCBI's Database of Genotypes and Phenotypes: dbGaP. Nucleic Acids Research, 42(D1). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkt1211
Is there a minimum size for life? How would you measure it, cell volume or genome size? People do both. The current minimum example of life is Mycoplasma genitalium, at just 200 nm by 600 nm in well-fed cultures. M. genitalium also has the smallest known genome for a free-living organism (520 genes, we have about 27,000). Some organisms have fewer genes (137 or so) but are endosymbionts, so they can get away with trashing some of their DNA. New research shows that M. genitalium is a pathogenic o........ Read more »
Manhart LE. (2013) Mycoplasma genitalium: An emergent sexually transmitted disease?. Infectious disease clinics of North America, 27(4), 779-92. PMID: 24275270
Wu CY, Young L, Young D, Martel J, & Young JD. (2013) Bions: a family of biomimetic mineralo-organic complexes derived from biological fluids. PloS one, 8(9). PMID: 24086546
Gibson DG, Glass JI, Lartigue C, Noskov VN, Chuang RY, Algire MA, Benders GA, Montague MG, Ma L, Moodie MM.... (2010) Creation of a bacterial cell controlled by a chemically synthesized genome. Science (New York, N.Y.), 329(5987), 52-6. PMID: 20488990
The findings from Jai Eun Choi and colleagues  suggesting that use of the antipsychotic risperidone may impact on levels of certain cytokines - messenger cells of the immune system - in some cases of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) grabbed my attention recently. I've always been pretty interested in the complexity of the immune system when it comes to something like autism (see here) as well as the various examples of how many of the medications used to 'manage' aspects of autis........ Read more »
Choi JE, Widjaja F, Careaga M, Bent S, Ashwood P, & Hendren RL. (2014) Change in Plasma Cytokine Levels During Risperidone Treatment in Children with Autism. Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology. PMID: 24828014
Over 75% of surveyed collegiate athletes, who believed they sustained a concussion in the past year, reported not seeking proper medical attention for that concussion. The most common reason athletes reported not seeking proper medical attention was not believing the concussion was severe enough to warrant stopping the activity to seek out a medical professional.... Read more »
Delaney, J., Lamfookon, C., Bloom, G., Al-Kashmiri, A., & Correa, J. (2014) Why University Athletes Choose Not to Reveal Their Concussion Symptoms During a Practice or Game. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, 1. DOI: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000112
Gabapentin and pregabalin misuse are problems that are not going to go away. My post on gabapentin is one of the most-read on this site. While these are useful medicines, workers in drug treatment and support see patients regularly on gabapentin or pregabalin who have misused the drugs or who are misusing them. Guidance is [...]
The post Gabapentin and pregabalin misuse appeared first on Recovery Review.
... Read more »
Schifano, F. (2014) Misuse and Abuse of Pregabalin and Gabapentin: Cause for Concern?. CNS Drugs, 28(6), 491-496. DOI: 10.1007/s40263-014-0164-4
Do you rise to the occasion, or do you fold under the pressure? No matter which side of the fence you’re, you can thank [or blame] your brain. Some people […]... Read more »
Kumar, S., Hultman, R., Hughes, D., Michel, N., Katz, B., & Dzirasa, K. (2014) Prefrontal cortex reactivity underlies trait vulnerability to chronic social defeat stress. Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5537
Sleep problems are common following traumatic brain injury (TBI).In a previous post, I reviewed a study of the risk factors for sleep disorders following TBI.The most severe TBI is a risk factor for hypersomnia. Anxiety and depression following TBI increase risk for insomnia complaints.Few large studies of treatment for sleep problems after TBI exist. However, a recent manuscript outlined the potential benefit of treatment of sleep disorders in a series of 12 subjects.Catherine Wiseman-Hake........ Read more »
Wiseman-Hakes C, Murray B, Moineddin R, Rochon E, Cullen N, Gargaro J, & Colantonio A. (2013) Evaluating the impact of treatment for sleep/wake disorders on recovery of cognition and communication in adults with chronic TBI. Brain injury : [BI], 27(12), 1364-76. PMID: 24070180
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine describes an autoinflammatory syndrome associated with mutations in the gene encoding STING. Dubbed SAVI, for STING-associated vasculopathy with onset in infancy, the disease is characterized by systemic inflammation, severe cutaneous … Continue reading →... Read more »
Liu, Y., Jesus, A., Marrero, B., Yang, D., Ramsey, S., Sanchez, G., Tenbrock, K., Wittkowski, H., Jones, O., Kuehn, H.... (2014) Activated STING in a Vascular and Pulmonary Syndrome. New England Journal of Medicine, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1312625
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