A Letter in the prestigious American Journal of Psychiatry offers a skeptical response to a paper published there recently.The original article claimed amazing benefits of a safe and cheap brain stimulation technique in treating schizophrenia. But Dutch letter-writers Sommer et al aren't convinced.It's a short piece and worth quoting:We read with interest the article by Brunelin et al. in the July issue, which described the application of transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) in the tre........ Read more »
Sommer IE, Aleman A, Slotema CM, & Schutter DJ. (2012) Transcranial stimulation for psychosis: the relationship between effect size and published findings. The American journal of psychiatry, 169(11), 1211. PMID: 23128925
Increasingly people will have the option to learn more about their genetic makeup with new sequencing technologies. These strategies are really moving to the clinic now–and also to the general public in what has been called “recreational genomics”–so more people will be confronted with what to do about the data. For some families there are [...]... Read more »
Bloss, C., Schork, N., & Topol, E. (2011) Effect of Direct-to-Consumer Genomewide Profiling to Assess Disease Risk. New England Journal of Medicine, 364(6), 524-534. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1011893
Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. (2012) PRIVACY and PROGRESS in Whole Genome Sequencing. Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. info:other/
I'm a little bit puzzled when it comes to iron and autism. In one of my earliest posts on this blog I talked about iron deficiency and autism, and how at that point there was some suggestion that there may be issues with iron availability in cases of autism and what remedial measures might be indicated.Opposites attract? @ Wikipedia As with just about everything in autism research, things are never so straight forward though. With the recent paper from Reynolds and colleagues* (open-........ Read more »
Reynolds A, Krebs NF, Stewart PA, Austin H, Johnson SL, Withrow N, Molloy C, James SJ, Johnson C, Clemons T.... (2012) Iron status in children with autism spectrum disorder. Pediatrics. PMID: 23118246
In amongst the various studies which I have a tendency to read, quite a lot of column inches seem to have been dedicated to the prevalence of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in one sense or another.Counting @ Wikipedia Take for example the quite recent paper by Hanson and colleagues* estimating the rate of ADHD in cases of pediatric and adolescent autism spectrum disorder.Out of over 1500 children included for analysis, they detected comorbid ADHD (clinically significant lev........ Read more »
Hanson E, Cerban BM, Slater CM, Caccamo LM, Bacic J, & Chan E. (2012) Brief Report: Prevalence of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Among Individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. PMID: 23065101
The answer to the question "Is BPA Dangerous?" has not been answered yet.
Scientific research about endocrine disruption is becoming increasingly politicized. This is a shame. Research should be rational and independent of wishes, agendas and demands. Scientists are human, of course. It can be difficult for people to be completely objective. That is why scientists undergo many years of training and mentoring before they receive their degrees. A ........ Read more »
The answer to the question "Is BPA Dangerous?" has not been answered yet. Most people in the CrossFit community are very health aware. But there seems to be an interesting complification (new word) with the high value placed on toughness. For example, eating Paleo is tough. Good. Pushing yourself in CrossFit workouts is tough. Good. Concern for global warming is not tough. (wussy topic). Recycling is not tough (wussy topic). Concern abo........ Read more »
It can be hard to comprehend the damage that pathogenic viruses and microbes can inflict on the human body, especially if you have scientists prattling on about cells, using multi-syllabic acronyms and tossing around - god forbid! - actual numbers. It's helpful to have easily understood images to help put diseases into perspective, to understand that viruses like HIV have tangible and real effects. ... Read more »
Brenchley, J. (2004) CD4 T Cell Depletion during all Stages of HIV Disease Occurs Predominantly in the Gastrointestinal Tract. Journal of Experimental Medicine, 200(6), 749-759. DOI: 10.1084/jem.20040874
One of the important areas for understanding learning disorders is learning about the prevalence and specificity of various types of disorders.In a previous post, I summarized a research review that estimated math disorder or disability is present in about 7% of school children. It is possible that math disorder simply represents a component of a more general learning disability. If this is true, there should be a large overlap of math disorder with other learning disorders such as re........ Read more »
Compton DL, Fuchs LS, Fuchs D, Lambert W, & Hamlett C. (2012) The cognitive and academic profiles of reading and mathematics learning disabilities. Journal of learning disabilities, 45(1), 79-95. PMID: 21444929
Canals, we have quite a few of them here in Blighty. People cruise them on their canal boats to slowly take in the rich countryside and reminisce over their important role in our Industrial past. Venice has also quite a few canals, as was wrongly believed about Mars quite a few years ago.Canals not camels @ Wikipedia A very different kind of canal is the topic of today's post, the central canal, an important part of our body given that it houses cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), the stuff our........ Read more »
Johansson V, Nybom R, Wetterberg L, Hultman CM, Cannon TD, Johansson AG, Ekman CJ, & Landén M. (2012) Microscopic particles in two fractions of fresh cerebrospinal fluid in twins with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and in healthy controls. PloS one, 7(9). PMID: 23049916
"We are covered in an ecological wonderland," declares Rob Dunn, a man with a strange idea of a wonderland. In the wild bacterial jungle that is our skin, Dunn has been studying an especially dark cave: the belly button. He's found out which microorganisms are the big game, which are the rare birds, and which ones may take up residence in your navel if you stop bathing.
Dunn is a biologist at North Carolina State University who studies the tiny life forms that share our personal ........ Read more »
Jiri Hulcr, Andrew M. Latimer, Jessica B. Henley, Nina R. Rountree, Noah Fierer, Andrea Lucky, Margaret D. Lowman, & Robert R. Dunn. (2012) A Jungle in There: Bacteria in Belly Buttons are Highly Diverse, but Predictable. PLOS ONE. info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0047712
(Australian bushfires are big. Really big. source)Hey Julie,What an important topic to raise. It's so important that we stop to consider what animals are experiencing in times of natural disaster and 'rescue'. It got me thinking about a different kind of natural disaster that struck my local community in February 2009, the series of bushfires (wild fires) that came to be known in Australia as the Black Saturday bushfires. It was horrible.&n........ Read more »
Yorke Jan. (2010) The significance of human–animal relationships as modulators of trauma effects in children: a developmental neurobiological perspective. Early Child Development and Care, 180(5), 559-570. DOI: 10.1080/03004430802181189
Vormbrock Julia K., & Grossberg John M. (1988) Cardiovascular effects of human-pet dog interactions. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 11(5), 509-517. DOI: 10.1007/BF00844843
Cherry Katie E., Silva Jennifer L., & Marks Loren D. (2009) The Psychology Behind Helping and Prosocial Behaviors: An Examination from Intention to Action . Lifespan Perspectives on Natural Disasters, 219-240. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4419-0393-8_11
Irvine Leslie. (2007) Ready or Not: Evacuating an Animal Shelter During a Mock Emergency. Anthrozoos: A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People , 20(4), 355-364. DOI: 10.2752/089279307X245482
Recently, I posted information from the Swiss Living Donor Registry on the health and well-being of kidney donors ten years post-donation. Well, it seems that the researchers at the registry, who owe their paychecks and employment to the Swiss government, are more than a little ticked off about their numbers being made public.As I understand the situation, Dr. Thiel (of the Swiss LD Registry) gave a bunch of data to the german tv show REPORT MAINZ in April 2011 for a July 2011 broadcast foc........ Read more »
Abecassis, M., Fisher, R., Olthoff, K., Freise, C., Rodrigo, D., Samstein, B., Kam, I., Merion, R., & , . (2012) Complications of Living Donor Hepatic Lobectomy-A Comprehensive Report. American Journal of Transplantation, 12(5), 1208-1217. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2011.03972.x
Math disorder or dyscalculia is a learning disability where math performance lags significantly behind expected performance given the students age, grade level and general intelligence.In the next few posts, I will focus on math disorder and explore the epidemiology of math disorder and compare overlap with reading disorder. Additionally, I will review some of the genetic and environmental risk factors for math disorder. Finally, I will take a look at some of the research related to ........ Read more »
Geary DC. (2011) Consequences, characteristics, and causes of mathematical learning disabilities and persistent low achievement in mathematics. Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics : JDBP, 32(3), 250-63. PMID: 21285895
The quite recent paper published by Ann Neumeyer and colleagues* on bone mineral density in boys diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) brings me back to a topic which I've talked a little about before specifically with relation to use of a casein-free diet and what that may mean for bone health and autism.Bones: I'm a Doctor not a ..... @ Wikipedia In that previous post the issue of bone health was discussed following a piece of research published by Hediger and colleagues** whi........ Read more »
Neumeyer AM, Gates A, Ferrone C, Lee H, & Misra M. (2012) Bone Density in Peripubertal Boys with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. PMID: 23124396
How do children recover from Hurricane Sandy? And how can we help them? Here are some lessons learned from a study with 277 children after Hurricane Ike. ... Read more »
Lai BS, La Greca AM, Auslander BA, & Short MB. (2012) Children's symptoms of posttraumatic stress and depression after a natural disaster: Comorbidity and risk factors. Journal of affective disorders. PMID: 22974469
A new study has found little evidence that aerobic exercise helps treat depression, contrary to popular belief.Danish researchers Krogh and colleagues randomly 115 assigned depressed people to one of two exercise programs. One was a strenuous aerobic workout - cycling for 30 minutes, 3 times per week, for 3 months. The other was various stretching exercises.The idea was that stretching was a kind of placebo control group on the grounds that, while it is an intervention, it's not the kind of exer........ Read more »
Krogh J, Videbech P, Thomsen C, Gluud C, & Nordentoft M. (2012) DEMO-II Trial. Aerobic Exercise versus Stretching Exercise in Patients with Major Depression-A Randomised Clinical Trial. PloS one, 7(10). PMID: 23118981
It’s great to be nerdy picking apart how things work for the sake of learning science, but what really drives a point home is discussing it’s relevance.
Why is it bad to hold on to outdated pain theories?... Read more »
Darlow B, Fullen BM, Dean S, Hurley DA, Baxter GD, & Dowell A. (2012) The association between health care professional attitudes and beliefs and the attitudes and beliefs, clinical management, and outcomes of patients with low back pain: a systematic review. European journal of pain (London, England), 16(1), 3-17. PMID: 21719329
A lot of fuss has been made recently about the street drug "Special K" (ketamine). It's basically an anesthetic used in labs and veterinary offices to tranquilize mice, rats, cats, and (famously) horses, but recently its been lauded as a newer faster anti-depressant. Ketamine: from the dealer or from the doctor? (image source)The possibility that it might have near immediate anti-depressant effects on humans has been around for a little while, but the concept is picking up steam as new r........ Read more »
Duman RS, & Li N. (2012) A neurotrophic hypothesis of depression: role of synaptogenesis in the actions of NMDA receptor antagonists. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 367(1601), 2475-84. PMID: 22826346
Li N, Lee B, Liu RJ, Banasr M, Dwyer JM, Iwata M, Li XY, Aghajanian G, & Duman RS. (2010) mTOR-dependent synapse formation underlies the rapid antidepressant effects of NMDA antagonists. Science (New York, N.Y.), 329(5994), 959-64. PMID: 20724638
If I had a pound (inflation adjusted y'know) for every time the words 'correlation does not equal causation' were used with autism and related conditions in mind, my piggy bank would probably be rather full by now. Indeed such is the application of this term when referring to the wide (very wide) variety of associations made between this, that and t'other, that a backlash has seemingly emerged to counter its usage as per this Slate article. Cool, clear water @ Wikipedia Of course that's not........ Read more »
Sophie St Hilaire, Victor Ezike, Henrik Stryhn, & Michael A Thomas. (2012) An ecological study on childhood autism. International Journal of Health Geographics. info:/
How much protein do Masters Athletes need?
Younger athletes may benefit from increased protein intake in a number of ways. Increased protein intake may result in muscle strength gains in young adults in as quickly as six weeks (Candow et al. 2006). Protein supplements may also increase strength in elderly people (average age 83) as well (Bjorkman et al. 2012). The Bjorkman study of 106 elderly men and women showed a 2.1% gain in body weight with a high-leucine whey protein s........ Read more »
Candow DG, Burke NC, Smith-Palmer T, & Burke DG. (2006) Effect of whey and soy protein supplementation combined with resistance training in young adults. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism, 16(3), 233-44. PMID: 16948480
Buckley JD, Thomson RL, Coates AM, Howe PR, DeNichilo MO, & Rowney MK. (2010) Supplementation with a whey protein hydrolysate enhances recovery of muscle force-generating capacity following eccentric exercise. Journal of science and medicine in sport / Sports Medicine Australia, 13(1), 178-81. PMID: 18768358
Björkman, M., Finne-Soveri, H., & Tilvis, R. (2012) Whey protein supplementation in nursing home residents. A randomized controlled trial. European Geriatric Medicine, 3(3), 161-166. DOI: 10.1016/j.eurger.2012.03.010
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