Monthly Archives: May 2010

News Round-Up: May 2010 – 4th Edition

Technology has been used in a variety of innovative ways to improve patient care in different settings. For people with schizophrenia, text messaging to the person helped them to achieve more of their goals in one study (15). In another study, the use of kinematic data collected while people were completing the clock drawing test was helpful in disease categorisation (69). A Chinese study showed benefits for virtual reality cognitive training in  older adults with schizophrenia (18). Also the US Heart Association has approved the use of video games (47). There has also been a call for a discussion of the ethical issues involved in using surveillance technology in homes for people with dementia (71). Other findings of interest included an estimated age of 76 for accelerated hippocampal atrophy in those without dementia (72), the importance of the Hippocampal subfields in PTSD (57), Alzheimer’s Disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment (8) (which is a marker for just how much the resolution of imaging technology is improving), the benefits of cognitive enhancers in reducing grey matter loss in people with schizophrenia, an increase in hippocampal volume after a period of exercise in people with schizophrenia (61), apathy was associated with both functional decline at 13 year follow-up in the Baltimore ECA Longitudinal study (66) and also with risk of cardiovascular events (52). A useful finding was that greater purpose in life was associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s Disease at 7-year follow-up (56). An increasing prevalence of dementia is being found in the oldest old (38).  Brain capillaries have been found to clear debris (29). The RedUSE study found benefits from a pharmacist led program in examining prescribing for residents in care homes (73).

The benefits of brushing the teeth on cardiovascular health were identified in one study (45) and this might perhaps be relevant to another study in which there was a high prevalence of dental health problems in community dwelling older adults with mental illnesses compared to a control group (68). There was a finding that I was surprised by – that although grey matter reduces with weight in Anorexia Nervosa, it increases with an increase in weight and it will certainly be interesting to see if these findings are replicated and then to investigate the underlying physiology (26). There is a useful chemistry news resource identified by David Bradley – Chem voice while over at PLOS One there is a paper on how imaging figures are presented in the medical literature. Mind Hacks has another Spike Activity in which VB looks at a recent debate on Dangerous Severe Personality Disorder, as well as looking at ancient Egyptian neuroscience in this article and Inca neuroscience in this article.

A reinterpretation of Mesoamerican civilisation is being brought about by the finding that while Mesoamericans were producing rubber 3600 years ago  they had developed further chemical processes to refine the rubber at this time. They used the rubber in shoes among other applications. There is also an ongoing debate about Ardi (13) – the ‘find of the century’ – around the issue of whether he was more man than ape and whether he was living in woodland or savannah. There is good coverage here. Also an ambitious scientist is attempting to detail the wiring of the brain in what is referred to as the connectome project.

  1. Lit review comparing memantine and ACHEI’s tolerability data
  2. Planning ability predicts cortical thickness in memory-type mild cognitive impairment
  3. EEG + Statistical pattern recognition helpful in identifying Alz D more res needed
  4. Delayed memory index not other tests helpful in distinguishing Alz D and SVasc Dem
  5. Squirrel monkeys develop senile plaques but NE enzyme distribution now characterised
  6. Diffuse Tensor Imaging findings predict risk of Alzheimer’s Disease in small study
  7. cardiovascular risk associated with memory in elderly women
  8. Fascinating – prediction of AD and MCI using hippocampal subdivisions
  9. Genetics and neuroimaging predict memory in Alzheimer’s Disease
  10. Predicting cognitive scores from MRI – ADNI
  11. Automated hippocampal measurement ADNI
  12. Benefits of understanding evolution
  13. Oldest human ancestor or not?
  14. Von Economo cells enable connections with multiple brain regions Small study finds Von Economo neuron density reduced in ACC in early onset schizophrenia compared to controls http://bit.ly/bTyGKu
  15. service SMS txt messgs improve goals achieved for people with schizophrenia in small trial n=62 http://bit.ly/cWu7zv
  16. case-control study – schizophrenia associated with thinner entorhinal cortex http://bit.ly/96glq5
  17. Review of gamma-osciallations, NMDA and schizophrenia http://bit.ly/aRGyrI
  18. small chinese study shows benefit of virtual reality cognitive training in older adults with schizophrenia http://bit.ly/dB1ZBZ
  19. 17% of consecutive outpatients in Co Tyrone study prescribed multiple antipsychotics http://bit.ly/9TIPbl
  20. Diabetes and patterns of antipsychotic prescribing in Japan http://bit.ly/bZYXdH
  21. Spanish study on prevalence of smoking in Schizophrenia and cardiovascular risk (n=1704)
  22. Venkatasubramanian study – case control corpus callosum body/genu smaller in schizophrenia http://bit.ly/br7YCt
  23. rating voices for male dominance http://bit.ly/aNEpiv
  24. complex results of experience in driving for detecting hazards http://bit.ly/aWFy9X
  25. software – Powerpoint – has democratised strategy suggests one researcher http://bit.ly/cHg600
  26. Intriguing! Grey matter volume decreases and increases with weight in this study of Anorexia Nervosa http://bit.ly/aYHJmM
  27. GGA3 protein prevents build up of Alzheimer D related enzyme BACE http://bit.ly/cRwzJj
  28. small study with continuous arterial spin labelling shows reduced frontal + parietal flow in pple with schizophrenia http://bit.ly/cO78zf
  29. murine study suggests that brain capillaries clear debris http://bit.ly/dBOZjd
  30. Nature study reveals new cell involved in neurodevelopment + possibly big human evolution role http://bit.ly/9Y9fxa
  31. ‘Neuron’ study suggests that ‘Junk’ EEG data holds big secrets http://bit.ly/cthEET
  32. German researchers turn astrocytes into neurons http://bit.ly/dakH1z
  33. Amyloid imaging conference http://bit.ly/aZaKjw
  34. Memory stored in DNA via methylation – Nat Neurosci http://bit.ly/9uE2K4
  35. Different causes of psychomotor slowing in Alz D and Lewy Body Dementia http://bit.ly/dgDaoC
  36. 35-year longitudinal study – Assoc between psychological stress in midlife females and later dementia http://bit.ly/aOL78N
  37. small (1)H magnetic resonance spectroscopy imaging suggests involvement of hippocampus in panic disorder http://bit.ly/cEpJP1
  38. Date from 90+ study suggests increasing prevalence of dementia in oldest old http://bit.ly/axowwB
  39. cortical ACh low in PD, MSA- PD and SNP subcortical ACh lower in MSA-PD and PSP http://bit.ly/auKc2C
  40. study suggests more autopsy studies needed to assess FDG-PET in antemortem dementia diagnosis http://bit.ly/cwXPbe
  41. upper + lower extremity performance related to functional performance in Alz D (n=371) http://bit.ly/d2OlcS
  42. comparison of progression in Lewy Body Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease http://bit.ly/9df8Z6
  43. Kaplan-Meier analysis in Dementia using MMSE scores http://bit.ly/bJt5IQ
  44. Very small study (n=4) shows evidence of benefits of spaced-retrieval on name-face-occupation in ppl with Alz D http://bit.ly/bcxR4S
  45. Brushing teeth and cardiovascular risk http://bit.ly/djFx0b
  46. Should health policy focus on exercise rather than obesity BMJ commentary http://bit.ly/c2g4fH
  47. US heart association approves video games http://bit.ly/bUJgdc
  48. preventing falls in the community BMJ full article http://bit.ly/bCnnJh
  49. Small study finds reduced grey matter loss over 2 years in ppl with schizophrenia on cognitive enhancers http://bit.ly/92buEe
  50. War in Balkans associated with mood disorders http://bit.ly/bgRiwn but not substance misuse.
  51. TMS v Sham. Benefit of TMS in depression (n=199) http://bit.ly/9MRcgT
  52. Is anhedonia another risk factor for cardiac events? http://bit.ly/asZL5u
  53. Facebook group aims to collect 100,000 samples from oil spill http://bit.ly/beHaC5
  54. Evidence for Mild cognitive impairment prodrome in subj mem imp – I suspect there will be many false +ve’s http://bit.ly/99vafk
  55. IOP study grey matter and vulnerability for psychopathy traits http://bit.ly/dkxkkl
  56. Greater purpose in life associated with reduced risk of Alz Dis in 7 year f/u study http://bit.ly/9tluWZ
  57. MRI study shows hippocampus subfield deficits in PTSD http://bit.ly/ddnsOC
  58. Vascular depression hypothesis supported by study – categorisation by wm hyperintensities and neuropsych http://bit.ly/d7vyTS
  59. Frontal striatal and visual systems altered activity in fMRI study of body dysmorphic disorder http://bit.ly/cT8b93
  60. Small placebo-controlled trial – escit assoc with increased cog function post-cva http://bit.ly/b26Byz
  61. Hippocampal volume increase in ppl with schizophrenai after exercise http://bit.ly/cQQX5C
  62. Comparing salaries assoc with less contentment http://bit.ly/bWXoL2
  63. Psychiatrist visit to confused Gorilla in Zoo http://bit.ly/aqTCaU
  64. Higher prevalence of apathy & depression in Alz D than Mild Cog Imp in this study (n=245) http://bit.ly/avSHzo
  65. Brazilian community older adult study (n=15491), prev: Dep – 7%, clin sig dep sx 26%, sig assoc both with cv dis http://bit.ly/czOyeX
  66. Baltimore ECA Long Study – Apathy sig assoc with functional decline at 13-y f/u http://bit.ly/9eookK
  67. Replication needed but systemic rv suggests persistent delirium assoc with hypoxia, del severity among others http://bit.ly/aEXsiw
  68. UK study finds increased dental problems associated with mental illness in community-living older adults http://bit.ly/bODtIk
  69. Kinematic data during clock drawing helpful in classifying disease in older adults http://bit.ly/aNFwkU
  70. Homocysteine assoc with hippocampal atrophy in older adults with hypertension (n=80) http://bit.ly/cs7BXT
  71. Call for discussion of ethical implications of using surveillance technologies in res homes for ppl with dementia http://bit.ly/d9cScU
  72. Age at which hippocampal atrophy accelerates estimated in ppl without dementia (n=544) http://bit.ly/dD2DHq
  73. Australian pharmacist-led RedUse project shows reduction in benzo and antipsych use in nursing homes http://bit.ly/af9NQw
  74. ceiling and floor effects of MMSE explored in Mexican study http://bit.ly/b5vzqc
  75. Systematic review concludes that clock drawing test should not be used as screening tool for mild cog impairment http://bit.ly/beKKVM
  76. Educational theories and older adult liaison psychiatry training provision http://bit.ly/8YQBPN
  77. Interruption of doctors impact on tasks detailed http://bit.ly/cINch6
  78. study looking at supported employment efficacy – free full text http://bit.ly/baO2JC
  79. study shows benefit of early intervention in panic disorder http://bit.ly/9vdj0K
  80. study finds significant differences between psychiatric and non-psychiatric drug adverts in two journals http://bit.ly/aaaca2


Call for Authors: If you are interested in writing an article or series of articles for this blog please write to the e-mail address below. Copyright can be retained. Index: An index of the site can be found here. The page contains links to all of the articles in the blog in chronological order. Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

Dunbar’s Theory on Grooming, Language, Laughter and Music in Human Evolution

I made this short video centred around Professor Dunbar’s very interesting theories on the evolution of language, laughter and music.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCMXS-ZKf1A]

Call for Authors: If you are interested in writing an article or series of articles for this blog please write to the e-mail address below. Copyright can be retained. Index: An index of the site can be found here. The page contains links to all of the articles in the blog in chronological order. Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

Blog Review: Neuroskeptic

The blog reviewed here is the ‘Neuroskeptic‘ blog. In the About section, we learn that the Neuroskeptic is a male neuroscientist in the Uk who describes the blog thus:-

A neuroscientist takes a skeptical look at his own field, and beyond

Appearance and Design

There is a dark/light blue striped background with a central white pane featuring the articles. The title pane lists the blog title in white font on a dark blue background. The articles are titled, dated, comment enabled, tagged and featuring an e-mail option as well as a research blogging icon. The blog can be navigated using the options on the right side of the central pane – chronological archived links and label links. There is an RSS subscription option and external links. Articles are generously and aesthetically illustrated and the overall site design is simple and effective.

Content

There are 250 articles at the time of writing. The Neuroskeptic typically reports on studies in an accessible and engaging style. Here are some of my favourites

Serotonin: Interesting evidence about the effects of a presumed absence of Serotonin from a Plos One paper.

Critiquing Neuroscience explanations: Looking at a study investigating perceptions of psychological and neuroscience explanations.

Voodoo Correlations: I’ve covered this elsewhere but this is part of a classic neuroscience blogosphere episode. I’ve missed of the updates but they’re well worth a look as well.

Ephebiphobia: Worth reading for the 6000 year old comment alone.

The Neuroscience of Niceness: Positive neuroscience.

Salmon fMRI: Reviewing a recent study by Bennett who reports on the fMRI findings in a dead salmon.

Placebo coffee: Self-explanatory.

No more interesting: Umm interesting to note that haven’t been as successful!

Armchair Neuropathologists: Sharing neuropathology data

More on Serotonin deficits.

How I Write. Tips on blogging.

New approach to analysing fMRI: New approach using overlapping areas of functional activation in groups of subjects.

Conclusions

The Neuroskeptic is a well established neuroscience blogger who as the title suggests, takes a skeptical view of the neuroscience research for the purposes of the blog and produces some very interesting engaging posts. The posts above are the ones I found interesting but there are a number of other categories which look at more controversial areas within (clinical) neuroscience and which initiate a lot of discussion. Well worth a look.

Call for Authors: If you are interested in writing an article or series of articles for this blog please write to the e-mail address below. Copyright can be retained. Index: An index of the site can be found here. The page contains links to all of the articles in the blog in chronological order. Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.