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  • March 13, 2017
  • 11:38 AM
  • 241 views

Earliest Brain Changes in Alzheimer's Disease

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Amyloid brain plaques are well-known pathological changes associated with Alzheimer's disease. Changes preceding amyloid plaque build up are less well studied and understood. Some of this relates to limitations to current imaging technology.Klementieva and colleagues from Sweden and Spain recently published an important reserach topic in this area.Their studied used a rat model of Alzheimer's disease and imaging techniques that included infrared microspectroscopy and gel electrophoresis.The........ Read more »

Klementieva, O., Willén, K., Martinsson, I., Israelsson, B., Engdahl, A., Cladera, J., Uvdal, P., & Gouras, G. (2017) Pre-plaque conformational changes in Alzheimer’s disease-linked Aβ and APP. Nature Communications, 14726. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14726  

  • August 24, 2016
  • 03:05 AM
  • 550 views

Keeping Your “Ion” The Ball – Salts and Life

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Lost at sea is no way to go to your everlasting reward. Sit in the sunshine too long and you lose your salts and all your functions go bonkers. Drink seawater and you end up with too much sodium and potassium and go nuts. Either way your dead, and it all has to do with your body’s tipping point and the kidney’s function in maintaining an osmotic potential. What is weirder - licorice can cause just about the same problem. ... Read more »

Räikkönen, K., Seckl, J., Heinonen, K., Pyhälä, R., Feldt, K., Jones, A., Pesonen, A., Phillips, D., Lahti, J., Järvenpää, A.... (2010) Maternal prenatal licorice consumption alters hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenocortical axis function in children. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 35(10), 1587-1593. DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2010.04.010  

  • August 11, 2016
  • 08:30 PM
  • 578 views

Acupuncture vs intravenous morphine in the management of acute pain in the ED

by Rogue Medic in Rogue Medic

Should we have people providing "fake" acupuncture in the Emergency Department?

If so, how should we do this?

Since it is not the acupuncture, but the patient's reaction to the "ceremony of the placebo" that appears to be providing the pain relief, how many different ways might we vary the "treatment" to improve the placebo effect?... Read more »

Grissa, M., Baccouche, H., Boubaker, H., Beltaief, K., Bzeouich, N., Fredj, N., Msolli, M., Boukef, R., Bouida, W., & Nouira, S. (2016) Acupuncture vs intravenous morphine in the management of acute pain in the ED. The American Journal of Emergency Medicine. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajem.2016.07.028  

Espay, A., Norris, M., Eliassen, J., Dwivedi, A., Smith, M., Banks, C., Allendorfer, J., Lang, A., Fleck, D., Linke, M.... (2015) Placebo effect of medication cost in Parkinson disease: A randomized double-blind study. Neurology, 84(8), 794-802. DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000001282  

Ee, C., Xue, C., Chondros, P., Myers, S., French, S., Teede, H., & Pirotta, M. (2016) Acupuncture for Menopausal Hot Flashes. Annals of Internal Medicine, 164(3), 146. DOI: 10.7326/M15-1380  

Cherkin, D., Sherman, K., Avins, A., Erro, J., Ichikawa, L., Barlow, W., Delaney, K., Hawkes, R., Hamilton, L., Pressman, A.... (2009) A Randomized Trial Comparing Acupuncture, Simulated Acupuncture, and Usual Care for Chronic Low Back Pain. Archives of Internal Medicine, 169(9), 858. DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2009.65  

Goldman, R., Stason, W., Park, S., Kim, R., Schnyer, R., Davis, R., Legedza, A., & Kaptchuk, T. (2008) Acupuncture for Treatment of Persistent Arm Pain Due to Repetitive Use. The Clinical Journal of Pain, 24(3), 211-218. DOI: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e31815ec20f  

  • August 8, 2016
  • 03:38 PM
  • 537 views

World's worst hickeys: Cupping is weird and potentially dangerous

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

In an effort to reduce pain or fix other health problems, some people will submit to having suction temporarily applied to various regions of their skin, usually the neck, shoulders, and back, via a collection of plastic or glass cups. This is known as cupping, and is a great way to embrace your inner Polkaroo.... Read more »

Lin CW, Wang JT, Choy CS, & Tung HH. (2009) Iatrogenic bullae following cupping therapy. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 15(11), 1243-1245. PMID: 19922257  

  • August 5, 2016
  • 07:00 AM
  • 675 views

Friday Fellow: Beggar’s tick

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll What if the cure for cancer has been living in your garden all this time and you have been trying to get rid of it because it is an annoying weed? I cannot assure you that … Continue reading →... Read more »

Chiang, L., Chang, J., Chen, C., Ng, L., & Lin, C. (2003) Anti-Herpes Simplex Virus Activity of Bidens pilosa and Houttuynia cordata. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 31(03), 355-362. DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X03001090  

Kviecinski, M., Felipe, K., Schoenfelder, T., de Lemos Wiese, L., Rossi, M., Gonçalez, E., Felicio, J., Filho, D., & Pedrosa, R. (2008) Study of the antitumor potential of Bidens pilosa (Asteraceae) used in Brazilian folk medicine. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 117(1), 69-75. DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2008.01.017  

  • July 27, 2016
  • 07:20 AM
  • 576 views

The Nature of Science of Nature

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

One the tenets of science is that hypotheses can't be proved, only disproved. But medical journals do not publish negative data, even though this is often helpful to scientists and physicians. A recent TED Talk by Ben Goldacre illustrates this point in the context of drug studies. In a bigger sense – is this really the only way to do science; to follow this one scientific method?... Read more »

Ben Goldacre. (2012) What doctors don't know about the drugs they prescribe. TED MED. info:/

  • June 21, 2016
  • 08:17 AM
  • 740 views

Weird stuff found in recreational drugs: Opioid edition

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

This is the third post in a series on strange substances accidentally or intentionally added to street drugs. When you're done here, check out the posts on alcohol and meth.Opioids are drugs that affect the human body by binding to a group of related proteins conveniently known as opioid receptors. By connecting to these receptors in a certain manner, they convince receptor-bearing cells in the brain, spinal cord, and intestine to do useful things like reduce the sensation of pain (while making ........ Read more »

Brett M, Hallas G, & Mpamugo O. (2004) Wound botulism in the UK and Ireland. . Journal of Medical Microbiology, 53(6), 555-561. DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.05379-0  

  • June 15, 2016
  • 08:05 AM
  • 719 views

Tricky Little Buggers

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Evolution brings wisdom with age – and bacteria are ancient. Bacteria have evolved defenses ranging from evasion or inhibition of immune systems to protecting crucial functions from environmental injury. New studies have identified spring-loaded spikes that can be assembled and disassembled for puncturing other bacteria and delivering toxins, while other work is focused on using those same toxins to kill antibiotic resistant organisms, with E. coli have been engineered to produce toxins ag........ Read more »

Basler, M., Pilhofer, M., Henderson, G., Jensen, G., & Mekalanos, J. (2012) Type VI secretion requires a dynamic contractile phage tail-like structure. Nature, 483(7388), 182-186. DOI: 10.1038/nature10846  

Saeidi, N., Wong, C., Lo, T., Nguyen, H., Ling, H., Leong, S., Poh, C., & Chang, M. (2011) Engineering microbes to sense and eradicate Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a human pathogen. Molecular Systems Biology. DOI: 10.1038/msb.2011.55  

  • June 1, 2016
  • 08:10 AM
  • 645 views

The Dirt On Staying Healthy

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Triclosan is the active ingredient in many anti-bacterial products, but does it make our environment too clean? The hygiene hypothesis states that early childhood exposure to certain antigens can help to balance and control the immune system, and therefore result in lower levels of food and seasonal allergies. One particularly important antigen seems to be arabinogalactan, a fiber/sugar molecule found on farms – maybe that’s why farmers’ kids have lower levels of food and other........ Read more »

Gennady Cherednichenkoa, Rui Zhanga, Roger A. Bannisterb,Valeriy Timofeyevc, Ning Lic, Erika B. Fritscha, Wei Fenga, Genaro C. Barrientosa, Nils H. Schebbd, Bruce D. Hammockd, Kurt G. Beame, Nipavan Chiamvimonvatc, and Isaac N. Pessaha. (2012) Triclosan impairs excitation–contraction coupling and Ca2 dynamics in striated muscle. PNAS. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1211314109  

  • May 30, 2016
  • 08:17 AM
  • 538 views

Identifying infections by their stench?

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

Bacteria tend to smell. A classic example is the geosmin-producing Streptomyces species responsible for the nice earthy scent of freshly dug up soil. In general, though, bacteria have unpleasant odours. Just think of cheese, armpits, and poop. Lots of bacteria in or on all of those things. Some of the stinkiest bacteria are ones capable of infecting us. The distinctiveness of their disgusting bouquets may provide a means of identifying them. Hippocrates apparently diagnosed tuberculosis (caused ........ Read more »

  • May 25, 2016
  • 07:45 AM
  • 640 views

Don't Be So Sensitive

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Just like some people have a tendency to go overboard, so do some immune systems. Here’s all the ways that your immune system can get it wrong and leave you with allergies – and how some allergies can save your life.... Read more »

Calboli FC, Cox DG, Buring JE, Gaziano JM, Ma J, Stampfer M, Willett WC, Tworoger SS, Hunter DJ, Camargo CA Jr, Michaud DS. (2011) Prediagnostic plasma IgE levels and risk of adult glioma in four prospective cohort studies. J Natl Cancer Inst. . DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djr361  

  • April 28, 2016
  • 09:33 AM
  • 786 views

Breathing Bordeaux is entirely different from drinking it!

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

It was the summer of 1882, and grape farmers in the Médoc region of southwest France (north of Bordeaux, on the Atlantic coast) had a problem.Schoolchildren (or university students, or just anyone travelling the roads along which the grapevines grew, depending on what source you're reading) were pilfering their grapes. To try and ward them off, some farmers decided to dissolve some slaked lime and copper sulfate in water and spray it on their grapevines closest to the roads. The idea was... Read more »

  • April 27, 2016
  • 08:35 AM
  • 896 views

Your Body Has A Photographic Memory

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

For the first time anywhere - an easy explanation of your immune system in 1500 words! For the low, low price of zero dollars you can find out how your body protects you better the second time you are exposed to a disease. Special bonus offer – we’ll throw in how vaccines work and why you need one every year for the flu, although your old flu vaccines might still be helping you. ... Read more »

  • April 26, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 578 views

Gently frying your eyeballs at work

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

When I was a kid, I got thwacked in the face with a golf club. It was totally my fault. I was goofing around with my cousins (as one does) and failed to notice one of them winding up for a swing. Ended up with four stitches, the first one just half an inch from my left eye.... Read more »

  • April 20, 2016
  • 09:30 AM
  • 881 views

Lucky For Me, I'm Diseased

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

When people are sick we isolate, we feel sorry for them, we avoid them. But we don’t think about the many times that being sick is actually good for your health. One example – vaccines. Many vaccines give you disease to prevent disease. Unfortunately, too many people are foregoing vaccination for their children based on fraudulent data. Think anti-vaxxers don’t affect you because you and your kids are vaccinated? Read on and learn better.... Read more »

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2012) Pertussis epidemic - washington, 2012. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, 517-22. PMID: 22810264  

  • March 31, 2016
  • 10:40 AM
  • 895 views

Extracting goo from corpses to better understand them

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

It's goo week here at Rosin Cerate. So far we've looked at forms of natural springtime goo. For today's post, it's on to a much darker and less life-affirming goo. We're going to take a peek at the viscous fluids you can extract from a corpse to determine where/when/how it became a corpse and other useful forensic information.... Read more »

Deking J, Hargrove VM, & Molina DK. (2014) Synovial fluid: An alternative toxicologic specimen?. The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, 35(2), 154-6. PMID: 24781403  

  • March 9, 2016
  • 10:55 AM
  • 1,026 views

Look Who's Talking

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Would you believe that the anatomy of your ribs is why you can sing and an ape can’t, or that one of the same reasons you can speak is the same reason you are likely to choke to death on a hotdog? Biology is weird, and you can tell it I said so.... Read more »

  • March 8, 2016
  • 04:15 PM
  • 805 views

What do you do when a patient wakes up during CPR?

by Rogue Medic in Rogue Medic

The return of consciousness without the return of a pulse is still rare, but may be more common with our increased focus on high quality chest compressions. There is still no evidence that interrupting chest compressions, for anything other than defibrillation, improves outcomes.

Is this due to the consistency of the machine? Maybe. Maybe not. We do not have enough evidence to draw that conclusion.

Is this growing population really growing? Maybe. Maybe not. We do not have enough evidence ........ Read more »

  • March 1, 2016
  • 12:26 PM
  • 836 views

How bacteria and fungi can poison the air

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

One of the main reasons we study how bacteria and fungi work is to minimize their negative effects on our health. These effects usually stem from being munched on (in other words, an infection) and/or being damaged by a toxic substance (being poisoned). While poisonings due to bacteria and fungi predominantly occur either in association with infections (e.g. diphtheria and tetanus) or via eating contaminated food (e.g. botulinum toxin and aflatoxins) or a misidentified mushroom (e.g. amatoxins),........ Read more »

Nogué S, Pou R, Fernández J, & Sanz-Gallén P. (2011) Fatal hydrogen sulphide poisoning in unconfined spaces. Occupational Medicine, 61(3), 212-214. PMID: 21467246  

  • February 13, 2016
  • 06:18 PM
  • 769 views

Virus factories and hijacked proteins: How could Zika cause microcephaly?

by Megan Cartwright in Science-Based Writing

There’s something missing from all the coverage of Zika virus, the mosquito-spread flavivirus that’s spread across 26 countries in the Americas since May 2015. While Zika usually doesn’t cause symptoms in adults, the outbreak coincided with a 20- to 40-fold … Continue reading →... Read more »

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