Posts

July 23, 2014

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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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July 21, 2014

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7:24 AM | Autism and asthma yet again
"Asthma is approximately 35 % more common in autistic children".Pipe down @ Wikipedia That was the finding reported by Stanley Kotey and colleagues [1] based on their analysis of the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH) dataset, a resource looking at "the physical and emotional health of children ages 0-17 years of age" resident in the United States. I don't intend to dwell too much on the Kotey findings aside from pointing out: (a) the reported prevalence of autism […]

Kotey, S., Ertel, K. & Whitcomb, B. (2014). Co-occurrence of Autism and Asthma in a Nationally-Representative Sample of Children in the United States, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, DOI: 10.1007/s10803-014-2174-y

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July 16, 2014

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4:00 PM | Itching to Understand Dynorphin
Bzzzzzz!  Splat!  Ugh!  Anyone who has ever been around a campfire during the summer months is familiar with this progression of noises.  Mosquito bites and the resulting welts provide unwelcome souvenirs of time spent outdoors.  We all know we shouldn’t scratch.  Itch like pain is an aversive stimulus that alerts us to threats to the … Continue reading →

July 11, 2014

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8:48 AM | Maternal C-Reactive Protein (CRP) and offspring schizophrenia
A big quote to start this post: "This finding provides the most robust evidence to date that maternal inflammation may play a significant role in schizophrenia, with possible implications for identifying preventive strategies and pathogenic mechanisms in schizophrenia and other neurodevelopmental disorders".Ophelia @ Wikipedia The source for this quote was the paper by Sarah Canetta and colleagues [1] based on an analysis of serum samples from mums for C-reactive protein (CRP) as […]

Canetta, S., Sourander, A., Surcel, H., Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki, S., Leiviskä, J., Kellendonk, C., McKeague, I. & Brown, A. (2014). Elevated Maternal C-Reactive Protein and Increased Risk of Schizophrenia in a National Birth Cohort, American Journal of Psychiatry, DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2014.13121579

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July 01, 2014

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11:20 AM | The Stress of Aging
How do I knock off thirty years from my age? Faust, the protagonist in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s famous play, poses this question to Mephistopheles in the chapter Hexenküche (Witches’ kitchen). Mephistopheles provides some pretty good advice – considering that he the devil and this fictitious exchange takes place in the dark Middle Ages: Begib […]

June 24, 2014

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4:43 PM | Turning Off Inflammation: A Novel Anti-Inflammatory Switch in Macrophages
[Note: This is a guest post by Tauseef (@CellSpell), an excellent immunologist and one of my faculty colleagues at the University of Illinois, who is quite excited about science outreach and science blogging.] Macrophages are important immune cells which regulate inflammation, host defense and also act as a 'clean-up crew'. They recognize, kill and engulf bacteria as well as cellular debris, which is generated during an acute infection or inflammation. As such, they are present in nearly all […]
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4:43 PM | Turning Off Inflammation: A Novel Anti-Inflammatory Switch in Macrophages
[Note: This is a guest post by Tauseef (@CellSpell), an excellent immunologist and one of my faculty colleagues at the University of Illinois, who is quite excited about science outreach and science blogging.] Macrophages are important immune cells which regulate inflammation, host defense and also act as a 'clean-up crew'. They recognize, kill and engulf bacteria as well as cellular debris, which is generated during an acute infection or inflammation. As such, they are present in nearly all […]
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