Posts

July 24, 2014

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8:14 AM | Prenatal valproate exposure and brains
The paper by Amanda Wood and colleagues [1] (open-access) makes a potentially very important contribution to the growing literature looking at how prenatal exposure to sodium valproate (VPA) may affect some children. Authors reported on: "regional structural cortical brain changes in humans exposed to VPA in utero" and specifically, increased cortical thickness in the left inferior frontal gyrus.Lightning and lava @ Oliver Spalt @ Wikipedia In case you need any background on the […]

Wood, A., Chen, J., Barton, S., Nadebaum, C., Anderson, V., Catroppa, C., Reutens, D., O'Brien, T. & Vajda, F. (2014). Altered cortical thickness following prenatal sodium valproate exposure, Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, DOI: 10.1002/acn3.74

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July 23, 2014

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11:07 PM | What do you know about MD/JD's, have you ever come across one? Do you think there's a major intersection between the fields of law and medicine? I'm determined to pursue medicine but law has always intrigued me too and I can't help but think there is some kind of relationship between the two. Thoughts? Thank you!
Hey, this is a really good question! There definitely is an overlap between the two disciplines in the field of health law — so looking at the regulation of the health industry, representing patients/providers, and developing health policy. UCLA offers a law/public health concurrent degree and UC San Diego offers a Health Law degree.  It may be worth reaching out to these programs (or the faculty who teach there) and seeing if they can tell you more about what you could do at the […]
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7:26 PM | Physicians face difficult choices when treating patients with bipolar and obsessive compulsive disorders
New research suggests patients with both bipolar disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder should receive treatments for bipolar disorder alone.1 Bipolar and obsessive compulsive disorder therapies taken together can cause worsening of disease symptoms, making it difficult for physicians to treat both conditions. This is a concern as over 1 in 5 patients with bipolar disorder […]

Pacchiarotti I, Bond DJ, Baldessarini RJ & et al. (2013). The International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) task force report on antidepressant use in bipolar disorders., The American journal of psychiatry, 170 (11) 1249-62. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24030475

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7:26 PM | Physicians face difficult choices when treating patients with bipolar and obsessive compulsive disorders
New research suggests patients with both bipolar disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder should receive treatments for bipolar disorder alone.1 Bipolar and obsessive compulsive disorder therapies taken together can cause worsening of disease symptoms, making it difficult for physicians to treat both conditions. This is a concern as over 1 in 5 patients with bipolar disorder […]

Pacchiarotti I, Bond DJ, Baldessarini RJ & et al. (2013). The International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) task force report on antidepressant use in bipolar disorders., The American journal of psychiatry, 170 (11) 1249-62. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24030475

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5:13 PM | Preregistration for All Medical Animal Research
Writing in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation, three Dutch researchers say that All preclinical trials should be registered in advance in an online registry Citing the fact that all clinical trials are (in theory) already registered, authors Jansen of Lorkeers et al say that the system should be extended to cover preclinical medical research, […]The post Preregistration for All Medical Animal Research appeared first on Neuroskeptic.

Jansen of Lorkeers, S., Doevendans, P. & Chamuleau, S. (2014). All preclinical trials should be registered in advance in an online registry, European Journal of Clinical Investigation, DOI: 10.1111/eci.12299

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12:40 PM | Legal thuggery directed at Steve Novella and Science-Based Medicine
If there’s one characteristic of supporters of dubious medicine, it’s that they hate criticism. Whereas your average skeptic might not like criticism—sensitivity to criticism being a human trait and all—science- and evidence-based criticism tends to drive dubious medical practitioners and promoters of pseudoscience into paroxysms of anger. Frequently, because they can’t refute such criticisms with…
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10:29 AM | Gene editing eradicates HIV-1
More than three decades after the discovery of HIV, AIDS remains a major public health problem affecting greater than 35.3 million people worldwide. Current antiretroviral therapy fails to eradicate HIV infection, partly due to the persistence of virus reservoirs. A … Continue reading →
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7:46 AM | Trauma and PTSD raise risk of autoimmune disorders?
I admit to some head scratching when I first read the paper by Aoife O’Donovan and colleagues [1] reporting that among war veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns, "trauma exposure and PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] may increase risk of autoimmune disorders".It wasn't that I didn't believe the results, but rather that the idea that a physical event with a psychological consequence could impact on a somatic condition with an autoimmune element to it seemed to […]

O’Donovan, A., Cohen, B., Seal, K., Bertenthal, D., Margaretten, M., Nishimi, K. & Neylan, T. (2014). Elevated Risk For Autoimmune Disorders In Iraq And Afghanistan Veterans With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Biological Psychiatry, DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.06.015

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1:00 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews Nathalia Holt
Special thanks to Nathalia Holt for answering 5 questions about her recently featured book – Cured: How the Berlin Patients Defeated HIV and Forever Changed Medical Science Nathalia Holt is an award-winning research scientist specializing in HIV […]
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12:59 AM | China Seals Off 30,000 People After A Man Dies of Bubonic Plague
The Chinese government has sealed off about 30,000 residents in parts of Yumen, a city in northeast China. The move comes a week after a 38-year-old man died from the bubonic plague (also known as the black death). The man is said to have contracted the disease after coming in contact with a marmot- a rodent similar […]

July 22, 2014

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10:47 PM | When Crazy becomes a Crime
My friend has a glass eye, you would never notice and unless you knew the story you might not think anything of it. His older brother did it. Yes, you […]

Dana Goldman,, John Fastenau,, Riad Dirani,, Eric Hellend,, Geoff Joyce,, Ryan Conrad, & Darius Lakdawalla, (2014). Medicaid Prior Authorization Policies and Imprisonment Among Patients With Schizophrenia, The American Journal of Managed Care, 20 (7) Other:

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10:47 PM | When Crazy becomes a Crime
My friend has a glass eye, you would never notice and unless you knew the story you might not think anything of it. His older brother did it. Yes, you […]

Dana Goldman,, John Fastenau,, Riad Dirani,, Eric Hellend,, Geoff Joyce,, Ryan Conrad, & Darius Lakdawalla, (2014). Medicaid Prior Authorization Policies and Imprisonment Among Patients With Schizophrenia, The American Journal of Managed Care, 20 (7) Other:

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10:47 PM | When Crazy becomes a Crime
My friend has a glass eye, you would never notice and unless you knew the story you might not think anything of it. His older brother did it. Yes, you […]

Dana Goldman,, John Fastenau,, Riad Dirani,, Eric Hellend,, Geoff Joyce,, Ryan Conrad, & Darius Lakdawalla, (2014). Medicaid Prior Authorization Policies and Imprisonment Among Patients With Schizophrenia, The American Journal of Managed Care, 20 (7) Other:

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10:47 PM | When Crazy becomes a Crime
My friend has a glass eye, you would never notice and unless you knew the story you might not think anything of it. His older brother did it. Yes, you […]

Dana Goldman,, John Fastenau,, Riad Dirani,, Eric Hellend,, Geoff Joyce,, Ryan Conrad, & Darius Lakdawalla, (2014). Medicaid Prior Authorization Policies and Imprisonment Among Patients With Schizophrenia, The American Journal of Managed Care, 20 (7) Other:

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6:48 PM | Fasting Improves Recovery of Bone Marrow Stem Cells after Chemotherapy
[Note: This is a guest post by Tauseef (@CellSpell)] Fasting is defined as either completely abstaining from or minimizing food intake for a defined period time - ranging from about 12 hours to even a few weeks. Calorie restriction, on the other hand, refers to an overall reduction in the daily calorie intake by about 20%-40% without necessarily reducing the meal intake frequency. Although calorie restriction is well-suited for weight loss and thus also reduces the risk of chronic diseases... […]

Cheng, C., Adams, G., Perin, L., Wei, M., Zhou, X., Lam, B., Da Sacco, S., Mirisola, M., Quinn, D., Dorff, T. & Kopchick, J. (2014). Prolonged Fasting Reduces IGF-1/PKA to Promote Hematopoietic-Stem-Cell-Based Regeneration and Reverse Immunosuppression, Cell Stem Cell, 14 (6) 810-823. DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2014.04.014

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6:48 PM | Fasting Improves Recovery of Bone Marrow Stem Cells after Chemotherapy
[Note: This is a guest post by Tauseef (@CellSpell)] Fasting is defined as either completely abstaining from or minimizing food intake for a defined period time - ranging from about 12 hours to even a few weeks. Calorie restriction, on the other hand, refers to an overall reduction in the daily calorie intake by about 20%-40% without necessarily reducing the meal intake frequency. Although calorie restriction is well-suited for weight loss and thus also reduces the risk of chronic diseases... […]

Cheng, C., Adams, G., Perin, L., Wei, M., Zhou, X., Lam, B., Da Sacco, S., Mirisola, M., Quinn, D., Dorff, T. & Kopchick, J. (2014). Prolonged Fasting Reduces IGF-1/PKA to Promote Hematopoietic-Stem-Cell-Based Regeneration and Reverse Immunosuppression, Cell Stem Cell, 14 (6) 810-823. DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2014.04.014

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6:29 PM | The World Health Organization Wants to Legalize Sex Work and Drugs
Earlier this month, the World Health Organization (WHO) released guidelines for helping to prevent the spread of HIV in key populations. The group, which also monitors the globe for pandemic outbreaks, says we have to decriminalize sex work and drugs if we want to stop HIV.Read more...
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3:35 PM | Bacterial antivirus system repurposed to attack HIV where it’s hiding
Cuts up copies of HIV that have inserted themselves into the genome.
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2:41 PM | Living with malaria
Everyone in India, at some point in their lives, may have been infected with malaria. Now this may sound a little out there, but may not be something far away from reality. Just recently, Times of India reported that 67 people died in Tripura of malaria in the last month alone, and 55 among them, were children. The north eastern state of our country is amongst one of the most gravely hit
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1:30 PM | Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.: Still an antivaccine crank after all these years
Only really long time readers will remember this, but back in the day (June 2005, to be exact), I discovered Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and his antivaccine nuttery when he published his epically bad piece of antivaccine conspiracy mongering, Deadly Immunity, both in Salon.com and Rolling Stone (the latter of which doubled down on it…
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1:24 PM | Why the New 'Anti-HIV' Pill Isn't for Everyone
The new pill Truvada might seem like the closest thing to an actual HIV vaccine, but not so fast, says Trace Dominguez. The CDC isn't even recommending it to the general public.
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12:37 PM | Biology is a hard problem
New genetic disorders pop up all the time — each one represents a child who may face incredible challenges, or even be doomed to death. A child named Bertrand exhibited some serious symptoms — profound developmental disabilities — shortly after he was born, and no one could figure out what was wrong with him. So…
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12:00 PM | Our Microbiomes: In Sickness and in Health
Last week, we took a look at the amazing diversity of microbes (bacteria, fungi, and others) that live on, and inside of, our bodies. This week we’ll dig deeper into our microbiomes and explore what’s known about how they help keep us healthy, and why they sometimes make us sick. Shown here are Lactobacillus bacteria … Continue reading »
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8:32 AM | Common variation and the genetics of autism
The paper by Trent Gaugler and colleagues [1] reporting that the genetic architecture of the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) seems in the most part to be due to "common variation" over and above "rare variants or spontaneous glitches" adds to the quite voluminous literature in this area.Everything in proportion? @ Wikipedia Based on an analysis of "a unique epidemiological sample from Sweden" researchers looked at DNA variations in some 3000 individuals with autism and asymptomatic […]

Gaugler T, Klei L, Sanders SJ, Bodea CA, Goldberg AP, Lee AB, Mahajan M, Manaa D, Pawitan Y, Reichert J & Ripke S (2014). Most genetic risk for autism resides with common variation., Nature genetics, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25038753

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7:28 AM | Peter Agre: “Malaria is my new adventure!”
Peter Agre devotes one third of his year to field work in Southern Africa, the rest of his time he spends in the lab to combat malaria. After winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2003, Peter Agre returned to his former passion haematology: He has been director of the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute […]

July 21, 2014

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8:23 PM | Why Do We Have Blood Types?
More than a century after their discovery, we still don't really know what blood types are for. Do they really matter? Reporter Carl Zimmer investigates.Read more...
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5:48 PM | New study suggests HIV seeds early as virus returns in ‘cured’ baby
The "Mississippi baby" - a child who generated a great deal of excitement last year after being seemingly cured of HIV - now has detectable levels of HIV in the blood, according to doctors and health officials. Descrier - news and culture magazine
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5:27 PM | Autism and Parents: Reducing stress
Raising an autistic child can be a gift. Unfortunately it can also be challenging and stressful. Let’s be real, it’s stressful just being a parent, throw in a disability that […]

Dykens E.M. & Fisher M.H. (2014). Reducing Distress in Mothers of Children With Autism and Other Disabilities: A Randomized Trial, Pediatrics , DOI: doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-3164

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5:27 PM | Autism and Parents: Reducing stress
Raising an autistic child can be a gift. Unfortunately it can also be challenging and stressful. Let’s be real, it’s stressful just being a parent, throw in a disability that […]

Dykens E.M. & Fisher M.H. (2014). Reducing Distress in Mothers of Children With Autism and Other Disabilities: A Randomized Trial, Pediatrics , DOI: doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-3164

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5:27 PM | Autism and Parents: Reducing stress
Raising an autistic child can be a gift. Unfortunately it can also be challenging and stressful. Let’s be real, it’s stressful just being a parent, throw in a disability that […]

Dykens E.M. & Fisher M.H. (2014). Reducing Distress in Mothers of Children With Autism and Other Disabilities: A Randomized Trial, Pediatrics , DOI: doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-3164

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