Do you crave music like you crave a cookie?

Imagine there is a cookie sitting in front of you. You are hungry. You have been on a diet for months. If you have to look at one more raw, paleo, gluten free snack you are going to scream. And the cookie looks good. It smells good. Without putting it in your mouth, you can […]

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Low muscle tone and autistic traits

“This large study showed a prospective association of infant muscle tone with autistic traits in childhood.” So said the findings reported by Fadila Serdarevic and colleagues who, looking at nearly 3000 children, were able to assess early motor development and muscle tone “between ages 2 and 5 months” and later parental ratings of autistic traits […]

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1 in 5 children “met criteria for low language at 7 years”

Although primarily looking at the potential predictors of language outcome, the study results published by Cristina McKean and colleagues revealed the rather important title heading this blog entry: “Almost 19% of children (22/1204;18.9%) met criteria for low language at 7 years.” The source of the finding was a cohort of some 1900 infants “recruited at […]

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Irresistible: Emotions affect choice of breed despite welfare issues

Knowing a breed of dog may have health problems does not stop people from wanting one, because emotions get in the way. A new Danish study by Peter S Sandøe (University of Copenhagen) et al investigates the reasons why people acquire particular small breeds of dog and how attached the owners feel to their pet. […]

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Say my name

“At 9 months of age, infants developing ASD [autism spectrum disorder] were more likely to fail to orient to their names, persisting through 24 months.” So said the findings reported by Meghan Miller and colleagues investigating an often over-looked but typically informative question relevant to childhood autism screening and assessment: the response to name. Anyone who knows a […]

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“Autoimmune epilepsy is an underrecognized condition…”

“Among adult patients with epilepsy of unknown etiology, a significant minority had detectable serum Abs [autoantibodies] suggesting an autoimmune etiology.” So said the findings reported by Divyanshu Dubey and colleagues continuing a research theme on how epilepsy / seizure-type disorder(s) for some might have more to do with immune function than many people might think. OK, a brief […]

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History of bipolar disorder = elevated risk of dementia: is vitamin D important?

“History of BD [bipolar disorder] is associated with significantly higher risk of dementia in older adults.” So said the systematic review and meta-analysis published by Breno Diniz and colleagues taking in the accumulated peer-reviewed literature on this topic. Including data for some 3000 individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder and nearly 200,000 controls (without bipolar disorder), authors calculated something […]

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Do twitter or facebook activity influence scientific impact?

Are scientists smart when they promote their work on social media? Isn’t this a waste of time, time which could better be spent in the lab running experiments? No. An analysis of all available articles published by PLoS journals suggests otherwise. My own twitter activity might best be thought of as learning about science (in […]

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Neuropsychiatric disorder onset “temporally related to prior vaccinations”?

“Given the modest magnitude of these findings in contrast to the clear public health benefits of the timely administration of vaccines in preventing mortality and morbidity in childhood infectious diseases, we encourage families to maintain vaccination schedules according to CDC guidelines.” The quote opening this post comes from the paper published by Douglas Leslie and […]

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The Science of the Rorschach Blots

When the psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach blotted ink onto paper to produce a series of abstract patterns, could he have known that nearly 100 years later, the Rorschach test would be a household name? Although the use of the Rorschach to diagnose mental illness is mostly a thing of the past, research on the test continues. […]

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