Alzheimer’s Drug May Help Treat TBI

Summary: A new study published in The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology reveals a drug currently used to treat dementia may be helpful in the treatment of traumatic brain injury.

Source: Wiley.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of disability and death globally, but medications have generally failed to benefit patients. A new study found that memantine, a drug that is used to treat dementia associated with Alzheimer’s disease, may be a promising therapy.

The study examined the effect of memantine on blood levels of neuron-specific enolase (NSE), a marker of neuronal damage, and the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) in patients with moderate TBI. The GCS is the most common scoring system used to describe the level of consciousness in a person following a TBI.

Patients with moderate TBI who received memantine had significantly reduced blood levels of NSE by day 7 and marked improvements in their GCS scores on day 3 of the study.

About this neuroscience research article

Source: Penny Smith – Wiley
Image Source: NeuroscienceNews.com image is adapted from the Wiley news release.
Original Research: Abstract for “Effect of Memantine on Serum Levels of Neuron-Specific Enolase and on the Glasgow Coma Scale in Patients With Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury” by Majid Mokhtari MD, FCCP, Hossein Nayeb-Aghaei MD, Mehran Kouchek MD, Mir Mohammad Miri MD, Reza Goharani MD, Arash Amoozandeh MD, Sina Akhavan Salamat PharmD and Mohammad Sistanizad PharmD, PhD in The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. Published online July 19 2017 doi:10.1002/jcph.980

Cite This NeuroscienceNews.com Article

Wiley “Alzheimer’s Drug May Help Treat TBI.” NeuroscienceNews. NeuroscienceNews, 22 July 2017.
<http://neurosciencenews.com/tbi-alzheimers-drug-7148/>.

Wiley (2017, July 22). Alzheimer’s Drug May Help Treat TBI. NeuroscienceNew. Retrieved July 22, 2017 from http://neurosciencenews.com/tbi-alzheimers-drug-7148/

Wiley “Alzheimer’s Drug May Help Treat TBI.” http://neurosciencenews.com/tbi-alzheimers-drug-7148/ (accessed July 22, 2017).


Abstract

Effect of Memantine on Serum Levels of Neuron-Specific Enolase and on the Glasgow Coma Scale in Patients With Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of disability and death globally. Despite significant progress in neuromonitoring and neuroprotection, pharmacological interventions have failed to generate favorable results. We examined the effect of memantine on serum levels of neuron-specific enolase (NSE), a marker of neuronal damage, and the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) in patients with moderate TBI. Patients were randomly assigned to the control group (who received standard TBI management) and the treatment group (who, alongside their standard management, received enteral memantine 30 mg twice daily for 7 days). Patients’ clinical data, GCS, findings of head computed tomography, and serum NSE levels were collected during the study. Forty-one patients were randomized into the control and treatment groups, 19 and 22 patients respectively. Baseline characteristics and serum NSE levels were not significantly different between the 2 groups. The mean serum NSE levels for the memantine and the control groups on day 3 were 7.95 ± 2.86 and 12.33 ± 7.09 ng/mL, respectively (P = .05), and on day 7 were 5.03 ± 3.25 and 10.04 ± 5.72 ng/mL, respectively (P = .003). The mean GCS on day 3 was 12.3 ± 2.0 and 10.9 ± 1.9 in the memantine and control groups, respectively (P = .03). Serum NSE levels and GCS changes were negatively correlated (r = −0.368, P = .02). Patients with moderate TBI who received memantine had significantly reduced serum NSE levels by day 7 and marked improvement in their GCS scores on day 3 of the study.

“Effect of Memantine on Serum Levels of Neuron-Specific Enolase and on the Glasgow Coma Scale in Patients With Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury” by Majid Mokhtari MD, FCCP, Hossein Nayeb-Aghaei MD, Mehran Kouchek MD, Mir Mohammad Miri MD, Reza Goharani MD, Arash Amoozandeh MD, Sina Akhavan Salamat PharmD and Mohammad Sistanizad PharmD, PhD in The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. Published online July 19 2017 doi:10.1002/jcph.980

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Ottawa University gains psychology faculty member

Ottawa University has a new face in the psychology department.

This week, OU announced the hiring of Pilar Galiana Abal, PhD, as an assistant professor of psychology in the School of Arts and Sciences, according to a news release. Abal has experience teaching abnormal psychology, personality theories, multicultural psychology, psychology of criminal behavior and cognitive and behavior disorders, the release said.

For the past two years, Abal taught at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, located in Corpus Christi, Texas. Prior to that, she was an instructor in Paris, France, where she focused on psychology classes in nursing, medical and social work schools, in addition to the University of Paris X-Nanterre.

While in France, she was also licensed as a forensic psychologist and appointed to the court of Paris as an expert witness in 2011, the release said. She maintained a private practice in Paris where she served the population of adults, adolescents and children with psychological, psychiatric and identity disorders.

Abal has doctorate degrees in clinical psychology and psychopathology from the Université Vincennes-Saint Denis, France, as well as in social Anthropology and ethnology from École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, France. She has master’s degrees in clinical psychology and psychopathology from the Université Vincennes-Saint Denis, France, and in anthropology and ethnology from the Université Denis Diderot, France. Her bachelor’s degrees include general psychology, Japanese language and culture, Thai language and culture and Lao language and literature.

What I’m really thinking: the burned-out businessman

‘I sailed on, hitting target after target, until one day I couldn’t do it any more’

Everyone told me to be careful. “Watch out: you’re burning the candle at both ends.” “Maybe you could do with some support?” And I would wave them away dismissively. Of course I could cope. They hadn’t seen anything yet. So I sailed on, hitting target after target, making my company more successful than it had ever been until suddenly I couldn’t do it any more. I couldn’t get out of bed some days, and when I did, I couldn’t stand up, walk in a straight line or talk sense. I felt physically sick in the presence of colleagues; I couldn’t make decisions, take notes or sit in meetings.

Thank goodness I had someone to support me through it all. My partner quietly gave me space to get well, encouraged me to see a psychotherapist and never judged. “Welcome to the mainstream!” said my doctor, who told me my body was simply shutting down until I could get my head straight.

Related: What I’m really thinking: the woman who is grateful for her abortion

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Two of TV’s richest players have North Texas ties

Forbes likes its lists. The business magazine just released its 2017 ranking of the world’s top-earning TV entertainers (based on annual income), and two people with Texas ties are on the list.

It’s worth noting that while the category is for TV entertainers, the stars’ earnings can come from a variety of sources in addition to TV, including endorsements and merchandise sales.

The top person on the list, with earnings of $79 million, is Dr. Phil McGraw. He’s also the first Texan on the list. His masters degree in experimental psychology and his doctorate in clinical psychology came from The University of North Texas. In 2003 he told the university’s alumni magazine, The North Texan, that “Denton in general, and North Texas in particular, are among my wife Robin’s and my fondest memories. We loved everywhere we lived — loved all the little restaurants. Really, we just loved the culture there. And North Texas is such a music giant and we love music, so we really partook of all those opportunities.”

Steve Harvey talks to the audience during a taping of his show in Chicago, Illinois, on April 23, 2013. Harvey, one of Forbes’ top 10 richest TV players, has ties to North Texas. 

TNS

Rounding out the top 10, and bookending the list with Texans, is Steve Harvey, with annual earnings of $42.5 million. The host and comedian keeps a lot of Dallas ties, including his annual mentoring camp for young men. Last year, he helped a young Dallas girl plan her birthday party. The theme? Steve Harvey.

The full Forbes list, pulled from the Associated Press:

1. Dr. Phil McGraw, $79 million (talk-show host, personality, producer).

2. Ellen DeGeneres, $77 million (talk-show host, personality, producer).

3. Jerry Seinfeld, $69 million (comedian, sitcom star).

4. Gordon Ramsay, $60 million (personality, celebrity chef).

5. Ryan Seacrest, $58 million (personality, radio host, producer).

6. Louis C.K., $52 million (sitcom star, comedian, producer).

7. Judy Sheindlin, $47 million (courtroom-show host, personality).

8. Kim Kardashian West, $45.5 million (reality show star, personality).

9. Simon Cowell, $43.5 million (TV personality, producer).

10. Steve Harvey, $42.5 million (TV host, comedian).

FEATURE IMAGE: Talk Show host and author Dr. Phil McGraw speaks at the University of North Texas master’s and doctoral commencement ceremony on May 13, 2011.  Dr. Phil, as he is known, came to fame after appearing weekly on the “Oprah Winfrey Show” in 1998 and has been the host of his own day-time talk show “Dr. Phil” since 2002. McGraw is a University of North Texas alumnus, earning his master’s degree in experimental psychology in 1976 and his doctorate in clinical psychology in 1979.  McCraw made Forbes top 10 most wealthy television figures. File photo by David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle.

Depression Changes Structure of the Brain

Summary: White matter integrity appears to be reduced in people with major depressive disorders, a new Scientific Reports study reveals.

Source: University of Edinburgh.

Changes in the brain’s structure that could be the result of depression have been identified in a major scanning study.

Alterations were found in parts of the brain known as white matter, which contains fibre tracts that enable brain cells to communicate with one another by electrical signals.

White matter is a key component of the brain’s wiring and its disruption has been linked to problems with emotion processing and thinking skills.

The study of more than 3000 people – the largest of its type to date – sheds light on the biology of depression and could help in the search for better diagnosis and treatment.

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh used a cutting-edge technique known as diffusion tensor imaging to map the structure of white matter.

A quality of the matter – known as white matter integrity – was reduced in people who reported symptoms indicative of depression. The same changes were not seen in people who were unaffected.

Depression is the world’s leading cause of disability, affecting around a fifth of UK adults over a lifetime. Symptoms include low mood, exhaustion and feelings of emptiness.

Experts say the large number of people included in the sample – 3461 – means that the study findings are very robust.

Participants were drawn from UK Biobank, a national research resource with health data available from 500,000 volunteers.

The study forms part of a Wellcome Trust initiative called Stratifying Resilience and Depression Longitudinally (STRADL), which aims to classify subtypes of depression and identify risk factors.

Heather Whalley, Senior Research Fellow in the University of Edinburgh’s Division of Psychiatry, said: “This study uses data from the largest single sample published to date and shows that people with depression have changes in the white matter wiring of their brain.

“There is an urgent need to provide treatment for depression and an improved understanding of it mechanisms will give us a better chance of developing new and more effective methods of treatment. Our next steps will be to look at how the absence of changes in the brain relates to better protection from distress and low mood.”

About this neuroscience research article

The work – published in Scientific Reports – was carried out in collaboration with the University of Glasgow.

Funding: Support for the study was provided by the Wellcome Trust.

The authors report no financial or other conflicts of interest.

Source: Kate McAllister – University of Edinburgh
Image Source: NeuroscienceNews.com image is credited to Whalley et al./Scientific Reports.
Original Research: Full open access research for “Subcortical volume and white matter integrity abnormalities in major depressive disorder: findings from UK Biobank imaging data” by Xueyi Shen, Lianne M. Reus, Simon R. Cox, Mark J. Adams, David C. Liewald, Mark E. Bastin, Daniel J. Smith, Ian J. Deary, Heather C. Whalley & Andrew M. McIntosh in Scientific Reports. Published online March 21 2017 doi:10.1038/s41598-017-05507-6

Cite This NeuroscienceNews.com Article

University of Edinburgh “Depression Changes Structure of the Brain.” NeuroscienceNews. NeuroscienceNews, 21 July 2017.
<http://neurosciencenews.com/depression-brain-structure-7143/>.

University of Edinburgh (2017, July 21). Depression Changes Structure of the Brain. NeuroscienceNew. Re