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  • November 25, 2016
  • 02:49 AM
  • 364 views

Screening for coeliac disease in autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"The overall CD [coeliac disease or celiac disease depending on where you live] prevalence was 2.62%, which is statistically significant higher to that reported in the Italian paediatric population... If replicated, these data suggest the importance of regular screening for CD in young patients with ASD [autism spectrum disorder]."Those were some of the findings/conclusions reported in the paper by Sara Calderoni and colleagues [1] (open-access) and with them, some ........ Read more »

Calderoni, S., Santocchi, E., Del Bianco, T., Brunori, E., Caponi, L., Paolicchi, A., Fulceri, F., Prosperi, M., Narzisi, A., Cosenza, A.... (2016) Serological screening for Celiac Disease in 382 pre-schoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Italian Journal of Pediatrics, 42(1). DOI: 10.1186/s13052-016-0308-x  

  • November 24, 2016
  • 04:48 AM
  • 380 views

Breastfeeding and autism (or autistic traits) continued?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"After adjustment for several confounders, longer duration of breastfeeding was independently associated with better cognitive development and with fewer autistic traits."So said the paper by Olivier Boucher and colleagues [1] communicating findings based on the examination of data from "the INMA Project, a Spanish multicenter birth-cohort study" (an initiative that has cropped up on this blog before).Including over 1300 children who were subject to a battery of psychometric and behavioural asse........ Read more »

Boucher O, Julvez J, Guxens M, Arranz E, Ibarluzea J, Sánchez de Miguel M, Fernández-Somoano A, Tardon A, Rebagliato M, Garcia-Esteban R.... (2016) Association between breastfeeding duration and cognitive development, autistic traits and ADHD symptoms: a multicenter study in Spain. Pediatric research. PMID: 27846197  

  • November 23, 2016
  • 07:00 AM
  • 354 views

Hypertriacylglycerolaemia: Genetic and epigenetic factors jointly regulate circulating triacylglycerol levels

by Iris Oliva Rodriguez in EpiBeat

Apolipoprotein A5 gene (APOA5) is one of the genes implicated in contributing to a predisposition for hypertriacylglycerolaemia (HTG), a complex polygenic pathology that is highly influenced by environment. Hypertriacylglycerolaemia is characterized by having high circulating triacylglycerol levels and is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis. This genetic predisposition has an inherited component (based on polymorphisms) as well as an acquired component regu........ Read more »

Oliva, I., Guardiola, M., Vallve, J., Ibarretxe, D., Plana, N., Masana, L., Monk, D., & Ribalta, J. (2016) APOA5 genetic and epigenetic variability jointly regulate circulating triacylglycerol levels. Clinical Science, 130(22), 2053-2059. DOI: 10.1042/CS20160433  

  • November 23, 2016
  • 04:29 AM
  • 363 views

ADHD symptoms not methylphenidate treatment might prime for psychotic events

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"This study does not support the hypothesis that MPH [methylphenidate] increases risk of incident psychotic events. It does indicate an increased risk of psychotic events before the first prescription of MPH, which may be because of an association between psychotic events and the behavioural and attentional symptoms that led to psychiatric assessment and initiation of MPH treatment."The results published by Man and colleagues [1] (open-access) sit right with me. I say that on the basis........ Read more »

Man, K., Coghill, D., Chan, E., Lau, W., Hollis, C., Liddle, E., Banaschewski, T., McCarthy, S., Neubert, A., Sayal, K.... (2016) Methylphenidate and the risk of psychotic disorders and hallucinations in children and adolescents in a large health system. Translational Psychiatry, 6(11). DOI: 10.1038/tp.2016.216  

  • November 22, 2016
  • 03:43 AM
  • 322 views

Interview with Rosa Fernández, 2016 OMA Visiting Fellow

by Christophe Dessimoz in Open Reading Frame

Note: We are rebooting our “Life in the Lab” series, which features interviews of interns and visitors. This post is by our inaugural OMA Visiting Fellow Rosa Fernández García, who spent a month with us earlier this year. You can follow Rosa on Twitter at @Rosamygale. —Christophe

 

Please introduce yourself and your research interests.

I received my bachelor’s degree in Biology (major in Zoology) at Complutense University in Madrid, Spain. I got my master’s and PhD at the s........ Read more »

Fernández R, Laumer CE, Vahtera V, Libro S, Kaluziak S, Sharma PP, Pérez-Porro AR, Edgecombe GD, & Giribet G. (2014) Evaluating topological conflict in centipede phylogeny using transcriptomic data sets. Molecular biology and evolution, 31(6), 1500-13. PMID: 24674821  

Novo M, Fernández R, Andrade SC, Marchán DF, Cunha L, & Díaz Cosín DJ. (2016) Phylogenomic analyses of a Mediterranean earthworm family (Annelida: Hormogastridae). Molecular phylogenetics and evolution, 94(Pt B), 473-8. PMID: 26522608  

Sharma, P., Fernandez, R., Esposito, L., Gonzalez-Santillan, E., & Monod, L. (2015) Phylogenomic resolution of scorpions reveals multilevel discordance with morphological phylogenetic signal. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282(1804), 20142953-20142953. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.2953  

  • November 22, 2016
  • 03:01 AM
  • 384 views

Probiotics and 'subclincial' psychological symptoms: meta-analysed

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I'm gonna be fairly brief today and draw your attention to yet another systematic review and meta-analysis this time looking at how "probiotic supplementation can have a positive effect on mood and psychological symptoms such as depression and anxiety." [1] Probiotics by the way, include a variety of bacteria and related lifeforms that are thought to confer some health advantage.The review/re-analysis by Jennifer McKean and colleagues found 7 studies on this topic in the peer-reviewed resea........ Read more »

  • November 21, 2016
  • 04:48 AM
  • 375 views

On C-reactive protein and bipolar disorder

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"CRP [C-reactive protein] concentrations are increased in bipolar disorder regardless of mood state, but are higher during mania than in depression and euthymia, suggesting an increased inflammatory burden in mania."So said the systematic review and meta-analysis published by Brisa Fernandes and colleagues [1] who surveyed the peer-reviewed literature on the topic of "measured serum and plasma CRP concentrations in adult patients with bipolar disorder (as defined by DSM-IV-TR) and........ Read more »

Fernandes BS, Steiner J, Molendijk ML, Dodd S, Nardin P, Gonçalves CA, Jacka F, Köhler CA, Karmakar C, Carvalho AF.... (2016) C-reactive protein concentrations across the mood spectrum in bipolar disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The lancet. Psychiatry. PMID: 27838212  

  • November 19, 2016
  • 04:13 AM
  • 422 views

Low gestational age is associated with risk for autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The results published by Robert Joseph and colleagues [1] provide some blogging fodder today, observing that as part of the ELGAN (Extremely Low Gestational Age Newborns) Research Study, gestational age might matter when it comes to offspring risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).Gestational age is a measure of how far along a pregnancy is but in the context of the Joseph study refers to premature birth or those "born at least 3 months early." Researchers included data for nearly 1000........ Read more »

  • November 18, 2016
  • 10:30 AM
  • 377 views

Who is afraid of IBS?

by Aurametrix team in Aurametrix Blog

I don’t mean to brag, but I’ve got irritable bowel syndrome, says a character of a sitcom.
Irritable bowel syndrome used to be a rare condition, but became a problem of epidemic proportions, until the disease "came out of the closet". Then Internet searches and doctor visits started to dwindle down and less than halved compared to earlier decades.
Is IBS no longer a problem? [...]... Read more »

  • November 18, 2016
  • 08:31 AM
  • 572 views

Is anybody out there? Talking to the Galactic Zookeepers

by gdw in FictionalFieldwork

The Zoo Hypothesis Hello? Anybody out there in the starry skies? If there are extra-terrestrial civilizations, why haven’t we heard from them yet? The sheer magnitude of the universe with its billions upon billions of stars has led many to suggest that life must have arisen more than once in the cosmos. Some have gone […]... Read more »

  • November 18, 2016
  • 07:25 AM
  • 347 views

Mutated mTOR regulator RRAGC proteins decrease interactions with FLCN

by Joana Guedes in BHD Research Blog

Follicular lymphoma is a B-cell lymphoma that remains incurable with conventional therapies. Ying et al. (2016) present a new study exploring the biological and genetic features of follicular lymphoma and identifying potential new therapeutic targets. The authors identified recurrent mutations in the mTOR regulator RRAGC, a small G-protein, in approximately 10% of follicular lymphoma cases. Mutations in RRAGC localized to one protein surface area surrounding the GTP/GDP–binding sites. In s........ Read more »

Ying ZX, Jin M, Peterson LF, Bernard D, Saiya-Cork K, Yildiz M, Wang S, Kaminski MS, Chang AE, Klionsky DJ.... (2016) Recurrent Mutations in the MTOR Regulator RRAGC in Follicular Lymphoma. Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, 22(21), 5383-5393. PMID: 27267853  

  • November 18, 2016
  • 04:40 AM
  • 348 views

Acute psychosis and urinary tract infection (again)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Consider this short blog post an extension of some previous discussions (see here and see here) on a rather peculiar 'association' between urinary tract infections (UTIs) and psychosis. UTIs basically refer to an infection in any part of the urinary system (kidneys, bladder, etc) typically treated with antibiotics. Psychosis is a state that causes a person to perceive or interpret things around them in an atypical way, usually accompanied by delusions or hallucinations. For a while now........ Read more »

  • November 17, 2016
  • 06:06 PM
  • 557 views

Breeding Made Dogs Less Athletic

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



Is your dog a natural athlete or a couch pup-tato? The answer might depend on how far removed it is from its wild ancestors. Dogs that are more similar to wolves have kept more of their natural athleticism, while breeding has rendered other types of dogs a little...less impressive.

Caleb Bryce, a PhD candidate at UC Santa Cruz, says his study of canine athletes came about serendipitously. "We were just hoping to calibrate a new wildlife collar we’ve developed," he says; he planned to te........ Read more »

  • November 17, 2016
  • 11:00 AM
  • 366 views

DNA damage and repair permanently change the chromatin and DNA: Mechanisms of DNA methylation polymorphism

by Enrico Avvedimento in EpiBeat

DNA methylation is a biological clock that ticks with age, and numerous studies have been able to construct age-prediction models based on methylation status. However in somatic cells, DNA methylation is highly polymorphic – though this is not always appreciated in genome wide studies because coverage is often limited and variants below 10% usually escape detection. In an effort to clarify the origin of somatic DNA methylation heterogeneity and the impact it has on chromatin domains and ge........ Read more »

Cuozzo, C., Porcellini, A., Angrisano, T., Morano, A., Lee, B., Pardo, A., Messina, S., Iuliano, R., Fusco, A., Santillo, M.... (2007) DNA Damage, Homology-Directed Repair, and DNA Methylation. PLoS Genetics, 3(7). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.0030110  

Morano, A., Angrisano, T., Russo, G., Landi, R., Pezone, A., Bartollino, S., Zuchegna, C., Babbio, F., Bonapace, I., Allen, B.... (2013) Targeted DNA methylation by homology-directed repair in mammalian cells. Transcription reshapes methylation on the repaired gene. Nucleic Acids Research, 42(2), 804-821. DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkt920  

Landan, G., Cohen, N., Mukamel, Z., Bar, A., Molchadsky, A., Brosh, R., Horn-Saban, S., Zalcenstein, D., Goldfinger, N., Zundelevich, A.... (2012) Epigenetic polymorphism and the stochastic formation of differentially methylated regions in normal and cancerous tissues. Nature Genetics, 44(11), 1207-1214. DOI: 10.1038/ng.2442  

  • November 17, 2016
  • 02:57 AM
  • 360 views

Caring for the carer: what the science suggests

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Papers such as the one published by Nikko Da Paz & Jan Wallander [1] I think represent one of the most important areas of autism research and practice when it comes to the practical translation of science to real-life. Tackling a very important topic - caring for the carers - the authors provide a "narrative review" of the peer-reviewed science literature looking at how "treatments that directly target parents' psychological well-being" in the context of autism are doing so far.Personally, I........ Read more »

  • November 16, 2016
  • 02:58 AM
  • 331 views

PACE-gate!

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

With all rights reserved for Keith Geraghty and his publication in the Journal of Health Psychology [1] (open-access) I want to reproduce his abstract relevant to the PACE trial commenting on the ups-and-downs of this study looking at the use of CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) and GET (graded exercise therapy) for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) (also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, ME):"Science is not always plain sailing and sometimes the voyage is across an angry sea. A recent ........ Read more »

  • November 15, 2016
  • 02:56 AM
  • 331 views

Autism, ESSENCE and the question of reassessment

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I talked about ESSENCE - Early Symptomatic Syndromes Eliciting Neurodevelopmental Clinical Examinations - only yesterday (see here) and here I am covering the topic again on this blog. There is good reason however that this concept appears once more, as I draw your attention to the paper by Anne-Katrin Kantzer and colleagues [1] and the specific observation that: "Co-existence with other conditions was the rule" when it comes to the diagnosis of autism.OK, it's nothing new to say that the l........ Read more »

  • November 14, 2016
  • 03:13 AM
  • 387 views

ESSENCE meets connective tissue disorders?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

ESSENCE referred to in the title of this post concerns 'Early Symptomatic Syndromes Eliciting Neurodevelopmental Clinical Examinations', a concept championed by the ever-intrepid Prof. Christopher Gillberg and colleagues. Combined with some rather important discussions about the research validity of the concept of a singular 'autism' (see here) [part of the ESSENCE issues described] I'm drawn to quite a few of the proposals put forward by this research group it has to be said.It is with ESSENCE ........ Read more »

Baeza-Velasco C, Grahame R, & Bravo JF. (2016) A connective tissue disorder may underlie ESSENCE problems in childhood. Research in developmental disabilities. PMID: 27802895  

  • November 12, 2016
  • 05:53 PM
  • 348 views

Neutralizing and non-neutralizing antibodies: Zika Virus and antibody dependent enhancement of infection

by thelonevirologist in Virology Tidbits

the infection of both mice and non-human primates with various ZIKV strains including the original ZIKV MR766 strain as well as strains from Asia (ZIKV FSS13025), Oceania (ZIKV H/PF/2013) and the Americas (ZIKV Paraiba 2015) as well as the infection of human placenta explants (ZIKV MR766 and ZIKV Nica-1/-2 2016) suggest that ZIKV can cross the placenta probably by infecting maternal cytotrophoblast cells (CTB) and maternal decidual fibroblast cells combined with placental injury due to the relea........ Read more »

Panyasrivanit M, Greenwood MP, Murphy D, Isidoro C, Auewarakul P, & Smith DR. (2011) Induced autophagy reduces virus output in dengue infected monocytic cells. Virology, 418(1), 74-84. PMID: 21813150  

Dejnirattisai W, Supasa P, Wongwiwat W, Rouvinski A, Barba-Spaeth G, Duangchinda T, Sakuntabhai A, Cao-Lormeau VM, Malasit P, Rey FA.... (2016) Dengue virus sero-cross-reactivity drives antibody-dependent enhancement of infection with zika virus. Nature immunology, 17(9), 1102-8. PMID: 27339099  

Sapparapu G, Fernandez E, Kose N, Cao B, Fox JM, Bombardi RG, Zhao H, Nelson CA, Bryan AL, Barnes T.... (2016) Neutralizing human antibodies prevent Zika virus replication and fetal disease in mice. Nature. PMID: 27819683  

Savidis G, Perreira JM, Portmann JM, Meraner P, Guo Z, Green S, & Brass AL. (2016) The IFITMs Inhibit Zika Virus Replication. Cell reports, 15(11), 2323-30. PMID: 27268505  

  • November 12, 2016
  • 04:17 AM
  • 378 views

Bifidobacterium longum 1714 attenuates stress?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

It's been quite a week hasn't it? Indeed for quite a few people it's been a stressful few days so perhaps timely that I'm talking about the 'attenuation of stress' in today's post.Despite the relatively small sample size included in the paper by by AP Allen and colleagues [1] there is something rather tantalising about their results suggesting that in healthy volunteers "consumption of B. longum [Bifidobacterium longum 1714] 1714 is associated with reduced stress and improved memo........ Read more »

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