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Christianson M.S.,Johns Hopkins University | Mensah V.A.,Brown Alpert Medical School | Shen W.,Johns Hopkins University

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune demyelinating and neurodegenerative condition of the central nervous system that preferentially afflicts women more than men. Low estrogen states such as menopause and the postpartum period favor exacerbations of multiple sclerosis in women with the disease. Existing and emerging evidence suggests a role for estrogen in the alleviation of symptoms and reversal of pathology associated with MS. While clinical evidence is sparse regarding the benefit of estrogen therapy for women at risk for MS exacerbations, scientific data demonstrates that estrogen potentiates numerous neuroprotective effects on the central nervous system (CNS). Estrogens play a wide range of roles involved in MS disease pathophysiology, including increasing antiinflammatory cytokines, decreasing demyelination, and enhancing oxidative and energy producing processes in CNS cells. © 2014 Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Source

Allen M.H.,University of Colorado at Denver | Abar B.W.,Brown Alpert Medical School | McCormick M.,Kaiser Permanente | Barnes D.H.,Howard University | And 4 more authors.
Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior

Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goal 15 calls for organizations "to identify patients at risk for suicide." Overt suicidal behavior accounts for 0.6% of emergency department (ED) visits, but incidental suicidal ideation is found in 3%-11.6%. This is the first multicenter study of suicide screening in EDs. Of 2,243 patients in six diverse emergency settings, 1,068 (47.7%) were screened with a brief instrument. Depression was endorsed by 369 (34.5%); passive suicidal ideation by 79 (7.3%); and active suicidal ideation by 24 (2.3%). One hundred thirty-seven (12.8%) reported prior attempts, including 35 (3.3%) with current suicidal ideation. Almost half of those with current ideation had a prior attempt (43.8%) versus those without current ideation, 10.3%, χ2 (1) = 75.59, p <.001. Twenty cases (25%) were admitted to medical services, but only 10 (12.5%) received mental health assessment; none were admitted directly to a psychiatry service. The prevalence of suicidal ideation here is similar to previous studies but the frequency of prior attempts has not been reported. The 35 cases with current ideation and prior attempt are at risk. As they did not present psychiatrically, they would likely have gone undetected. Despite reporting these cases to clinical staff, few received risk assessment. © 2013 The American Association of Suicidology. Source

Sacchet M.D.,Stanford University | LaPlante R.A.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Wan Q.,Harvard University | Pritchett D.L.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Neuroscience

The right inferior frontal cortex (rIFC) is specifically associated with attentional control via the inhibition of behaviorally irrelevant stimuli and motor responses. Similarly, recent evidence has shown that alpha (7–14 Hz) and beta (15–29 Hz) oscillations in primary sensory neocortical areas are enhanced in the representation of non-attended stimuli, leading to the hypothesis that allocation of these rhythms plays an active role in optimal inattention. Here, we tested the hypothesis that selective synchronization between rIFC and primary sensory neocortex occurs in these frequency bands during inattention. We used magnetoencephalography to investigate phase synchrony between primary somatosensory (SI) and rIFC regions during a cued-attention tactile detection task that required suppression of response to uncertain distractor stimuli. Attentional modulation of synchrony between SI and rIFC was found in both the alpha and beta frequency bands. This synchrony manifested as an increase in the alpha-band early after cue between non-attended SI representations and rIFC, and as a subsequent increase in beta-band synchrony closer to stimulus processing. Differences in phase synchrony were not found in several proximal control regions. These results are the first to reveal distinct interactions between primary sensory cortex and rIFC in humans and suggest that synchrony between rIFC and primary sensory representations plays a role in the inhibition of irrelevant sensory stimuli and motor responses. © 2015 the authors. Source

Chai N.C.,Johns Hopkins University | Scher A.I.,USUHS | Moghekar A.,Johns Hopkins University | Bond D.S.,Brown Alpert Medical School | Peterlin B.L.,Johns Hopkins University

Individually, both obesity and headache are conditions associated with a substantial personal and societal impact. Recent data support that obesity is comorbid with headache in general and migraine specifically, as well as with certain secondary headache conditions such as idiopathic intracranial hypertension. In the current manuscript, we first briefly review the epidemiology of obesity and common primary and secondary headache disorders individually. This is followed by a systematic review of the general population data evaluating the association between obesity and headache in general, and then obesity and migraine and tension-type headache disorders. Finally, we briefly discuss the data on the association between obesity and a common secondary headache disorder that is associated with obesity, idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Taken together, these data suggest that it is important for clinicians and patients to be aware of the headache/migraine- obesity association, given that it is potentially modifiable. Hypotheses for mechanisms of the obesity-migraine association and treatment considerations for overweight and obese headache sufferers are discussed in the companion manuscript, as part II of this topic. © 2014 American Headache Society. Source

A very small tripeptide amide L-pyroglutamyl-L-histidyl-L-prolineamide (L-PHP, Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone, TRH), was first identified in the brain hypothalamus area. Further studies found that L-PHP was expressed in pancreas. The biological role of pancreatic L-PHP is still not clear. Growing evidence indicates that L-PHP expression in the pancreas may play a pivotal role for pancreatic development in the early prenatal period. However, the role of L-PHP in adult pancreas still needs to be explored. L-PHP activation of pancreatic β cell Ca2+ flow and stimulation of β-cell insulin synthesis and release suggest that L-PHP involved in glucose metabolism may directly act on the β cell separate from any effects via the central nervous system (CNS). Knockout L-PHP animal models have shown that loss of L-PHP expression causes hyperglycemia, which cannot be reversed by administration of thyroid hormone, suggesting that the absence of L-PHP itself is the cause. L-PHP receptor type-1 has been identified in pancreas which provides a possibility for L-PHP autocrine and paracrine regulation in pancreatic function. During pancreatic damage in adult pancreas, L-PHP may protect beta cell from apoptosis and initiate its regeneration through signal pathways of growth hormone in β cells. L-PHP has recently been discovered to affect a broad array of gene expression in the pancreas including growth factor genes. Signal pathways linked between L-PHP and EGF receptor phosphorylation suggest that L-PHP may be an important factor for adult β - cell regeneration, which could involve adult stem cell differentiation. These effects suggest that L-PHP may benefit pancreatic β cells and diabetic therapy in clinic.© 2013 Bentham Science Publishers. Source

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