What is fibromyalgia and what exactly what does exercise have to do with the treatment and long-term outcome of the condition?  A recent study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise is helpful in understanding the relationship between fibromyalgia and exercise and how clinicians (and patients) might find better strategies for treatment. Fibromyalgia is a clinically defined pain syndrome estimated to affect about 5 per cent of the general population with criteria for ...

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One of the problems with understanding the natural history of autism is the lack of well-designed outcome studies in the disorder.  Outcome studies tend to be expensive and grant agencies commonly do not fund studies longer than a few years. However, given the increased interest and funding in autism, I suspect there will be more research in this area. An example of how outcome studies help in understanding the natural ...

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My Google Reader accidentally picked up an intriguing abstract that examined a research study of resources that medical students use in solving diagnostic cases. The abstract was picked up because it contained the word “exercise” that is one of my PubMed filter queries.  Although we often think that most diagnostic decision-making occurs from learned information stored in physician’s brains, information resources can ...

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The role of stressful life events in suicide attempts and completed suicides has been a key area of study in the epidemiology of mental disorders.  Although suicidal behavior often occurs in the context of acute and chronic stressor, this does not prove a causal link.  We all could probably report serious life stressors throughout out lives and these could be interpreted as a reason for suicidal behavior.  So these associations ...

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Temperament is generally defined as innate early emotional and behavioral characteristics that precede puberty and adult development.  Felt to have significant genetic components, temperament is also potentially influenced by environmental factors. There are a variety of temperament domains that have received significant attention in childhood, adolescent and adult populations. Some of the most commonly studied domains include:

  • neuroticism
  • harm avoidance
  • novelty seeking
  • reward dependence
  • perfectionism (subdomains have included: concern about mistakes, personal standards, doubts about actions, organization
The ...

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Parkinson's disease (PD) commonly includes a variety of behavioral disturbances related to impulsivity.  Impulse control problems noted in PD includes hypersexuality, compulsive shopping, compulsive eating and pathological gambling. These behavioral problems may be related to the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease.  However, drugs commonly used in Parkinson's disease appear to increase the risk for impulsive behavioral problems. Clinicians face a dilemma in drug-induced behavioral disturbances.  The drugs that may be effective for treating ...

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The Alzheimer's Association sponsors a journal titled Alzheimer's & Dementia.  In the March 2010 issue, they provide a report on facts and figures related to Alzheimer's disease (AD). I'm a sucker for data so I spent some time going through the manuscript and here are some of the things that stood out to me: Ninety (90) drugs are under investigation using human volunteers in the U.S. to slow or stop the ...

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I've been interested in the role of testosterone in physical performance, depression and aging for many years. While at the University of Iowa, I was involved in research to detect testosterone doping, the psychological effects of testosterone and the potential for testosterone to alleviate depression in older men. One of the difficult questions facing clinicians is when is testosterone too low in older men. One problem with answering this question is the ...

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Social and language issues dominate most of the discussion about the features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A neglected area of study are the physical feature characteristics that have been known to be associated with ASD. Unlike some of the diagnostic physical changes in disorders such as Down Syndrome, physical features found in ASD are often subtle and missed by most clinicians. Ozgen and colleagues from the Netherlands, UCLA and the UK ...

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Regular exercise has been shown to be helpful in the prevention and management of a variety of clinical neuroscience conditions including: Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, major depression and anxiety disorders. However, motivating people to get involved in a regular exercise program is a significant challenge. Wii Sports and Wii Fit Plus may provide the motivation edge for some patients to start and maintain an exercise program. The Wii video game system ...

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