Wander into creativity?

This 2019 US study investigated the context of creative ideas: “Creative inspiration routinely occurs during moments of mind wandering. Approximately 20% of ideas occurred in this manner. Although ideas that occurred while participants were both on task and mind wandering did not differ in overall quality, there were several dimensions on which they did consistently … Continue reading Wander into creativity?

The epigenetics of perinatal stress

This 2019 McGill review discussed long-lasting effects of perinatal stress: “Epigenetic processes are involved in embedding the impact of early-life experience in the genome and mediating between social environments and later behavioral phenotypes. Since these phenotypes are apparent a long time after the early experience, the changes in gene expression programming must be stable. Although … Continue reading The epigenetics of perinatal stress

Using oxytocin receptor gene methylation to pursue an agenda

A pair of 2019 Virginia studies involved human mother/infant subjects: “We show that OXTRm [oxytocin receptor gene DNA methylation] in infancy and its change is predicted by maternal engagement and reflective of behavioral temperament.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6795517 “Epigenetic dynamics in infancy and the impact of maternal engagement” “Infants with higher OXTRm show enhanced responses to anger and … Continue reading Using oxytocin receptor gene methylation to pursue an agenda

Prenatal stress heightened adult chronic pain

This 2019 McGill rodent study found: “Prenatal stress exacerbates pain after injury. Analysis of mRNA expression of genes related to epigenetic regulation and stress responses in the frontal cortex and hippocampus, brain structures implicated in chronic pain, showed distinct sex and region-specific patterns of dysregulation. In general, mRNA expression was most frequently altered in the … Continue reading Prenatal stress heightened adult chronic pain

A transgenerational view of the rise in obesity

This 2019 Washington State University rodent study found epigenetically inherited transgenerational effects in great-grand offspring due to their great-grandmothers’ toxicant exposures during pregnancy: “Previous studies found an increased susceptibility to obesity in F3 generation rats ancestrally exposed to the pesticide DDT, and an increase in a lean phenotype in the F3 generation rats ancestrally exposed … Continue reading A transgenerational view of the rise in obesity

Too cheap for clinical trials

Let’s compare and contrast a 2019 meta-analysis and a 2017 review of using acetyl-L-carnitine to treat diabetic neuropathy. A 2019 Brazilian meta-analysis Acetyl‐L‐carnitine for the treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy of four previous trials stated: “The risk of bias was high in both trials of different ALC doses and low in the other two trials. … Continue reading Too cheap for clinical trials

Perinatal stress and sex differences in circadian activity

This 2019 French/Italian rodent study used the PRS model to investigate its effects on circadian activity: “The aim of this study was to explore the influence of PRS on the circadian oscillations of gene expression in the SCN [suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus] and on circadian locomotor behavior, in a sex-dependent manner. Research on transcriptional … Continue reading Perinatal stress and sex differences in circadian activity

A drug that countered effects of a traumatizing mother

This 2019 US rodent study concerned transmitting poor maternal care to the next generation: “The quality of parental care received during development profoundly influences an individual’s phenotype, including that of maternal behavior. Infant experiences with a caregiver have lifelong behavioral consequences. Maternal behavior is a complex behavior requiring the recruitment of multiple brain regions including … Continue reading A drug that countered effects of a traumatizing mother