Monthly Archives: June 2010

Review: Exercise and the Brain: Something to Chew On

Exercise

The article reviewed here is ‘Exercise and the Brain: Something to Chew On’ by Henriette van Praag and freely available here.

The issue of exercise and the brain has been covered in some detail in the very interesting book Spark which was reviewed in an earlier post (see here). Given the mention of the role of exercise in the NIH  consensus statement on prevention of dementia and cognitive decline (see here) as well as the evidence supporting the Seattle exercise protocols the role of exercise in promoting healthy cognitive aging is becoming more apparent. Perhaps the story will be a little more complex than is suggested at the current time but it is an exciting area of research given the accessibility of exercise and the potential benefits. Finally this paper was published in the journal ‘Trends in Neurosciences’ which publishes concise reviews allowing the reader to gain a rapid and contemporary overview of a subject area.

Moving onto the contents, this is a brief article which focuses on the synergistic benefits of exercise and diet on cognition. The article gets off to a flying start with a lot of really useful pieces of information. Quoting from the introduction

There is also increasing evidence that dietary supplements enhance learning and memory. Of interest are the omega fatty acids, certain spices, teas and fruits

The author further points out that there is an interplay between the benefits of diet and exercise. The remainder of the article is divided up into the effects of exercise on cognition in humans and rodents, the effects of diet on cognition and the mechanisms of action for these effects. This latter point of exactly how exercise and diet contribute to cognition os obviously the key to developing therapeutic interventions. I thought the discussion around these mechanisms was extremely interesting and it was quite remarkable to hear of the evidence for so many different effects of diet and exercise on the biology of the brain, ranging from neurotransmitter levels, to the mechanism of Long Term Potentiation, dendritic spine density and neurogenesis.

There were a few of particular interest. A central theme which ran through the article was that of the benefits of flavonols. On the basis of this article these compounds are certainly worth a closer look in terms of cognitive health benefits.

Another thought I had while reading the article was that there is some scope for selection of articles which support a main argument, at least in this style of article. Perhaps these reviews can be used in conjunction with meta-analyses or even by articles where the author holds a diametrically opposed view. In any case, I think having a central argument is very useful in being able to manage the vast amount of research material out there.  In comparison with the NIH article referred to above, I find this article slightly easier to get to grips with. As well as citing the evidence, the author proposes a very concrete theoretical model for how these effects might be mediated. By providing these molecular and cellular mechanisms, van Praag is able to take a vast array of evidence and begin to piece it together. Without consideration of neurogenesis, neuronal structural changes and the posited intracellular pathways, how is it otherwise possible to integrate the effects of exercise and diet in a meaningful way?

The only difficulty is that the model is so finely detailed that at this level there are a large number of other factors which will influence the causal chain. These factors range from circadian rhythms all the way through to hormonal changes and genetics. Perhaps the model features very strong relationships which are maintained despite the background fluctuations (noise) in these other factors. At least it is a starting point and the interested reader could return to this article to test this model with other evidence and refine it as appropriate. For example, the relationship between BDNF, exercise and neurogenesis is certainly gaining traction and is just one part of the model described here. I would be interested to return to a similar model in say five years time and I suspect that it would be rather complicated. If that is the case, then it may even impact on the type of advice given to those wanting to use exercise and diet to prevent decline in cognition but we will have to wait and see.

Acknowledgements

Diagram of the flavonol: Author: Yikrazuul. Permission. This has been released into the public domain. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Flavonol_num.svg

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.

Review: National Institute of Health State-of-the-Science Conference Statement: Preventing Alzheimer Disease and Cognitive Decline

This is a review of a consensus statement on prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease which is freely available here and in a slightly more detailed form here.

So firstly this is a National Institute of Health ‘State of the Science’ Conference statement – ‘Preventing Alzheimer Disease and Cognitive Decline’. There are 15 listed authors and the process by which the statement is arrived at is complex. Briefly stated and referring to the document this comprises

1. A systematic review of the literature

2. Presentations ‘during a 2-day public session’

3. ‘Questions and statements from conference attendees during open discussion periods that are part of the public session’

4. ‘Closed deliberations by the panel’

The consensus statement does not represent the NIH or government and is

an independent report of the panel

Before discussing the contents of the paper any further, its worth just pausing at this point and reflecting on the above. The question is a very significant one. An epidemic of dementia is predicted by the middle of the century and will occur in the context of aging demographics globally. So the issue of preventing dementia and cognitive decline is clearly very important and it’s good to see a very  creative approach to this problem. There is a difficulty with this approach however and that is the paper trail. From points 1-4 above you can see that much of the process by which the conclusions are arrived at are happening in the milieu of the conference and to some extent we are left with the end product of this process. However it is the process itself which would be very useful to look at.  If we consider the NICE guidelines, the lengthier documents contain details of the studies that have been examined. This makes it easier for the reader to cross-check with studies they think might have been useful to include. Here though it’s difficult to engage in the same type of analysis. We’re not presented with information on the presentations or the public sessions. This is a great opportunity for generating video footage and uploading to YouTube so that others can get a feel for the kind of discussions that were taking place and contextualising the end results. In terms of a paper trail, the systematic review could be published in the format of an article for closer inspection and systematic reviews themselves vary in quality.

Moving onto the contents – the summary paper divides up the discussion according to 6 questions.

Question 1 – ‘What factors are associated with the reduction of risk of Alzheimer’s Disease?

The consensus statement response here is non-specific. I would have preferred to have seen a point-by-point summary for the myriad risk factors that have been identified. The authors discuss the need for prospective studies (albeit much later in the article) but without further details it is difficult to know which of the many prospective studies have been discounted. Here for instance is a prospective longitudinal study showing a reduced prevalence of dementia associated with Mediterranean diet (it could be argued that they were interested more specifically in Alzheimer’s Disease however). In the News Round-Up from the end of last year, I included a number of references  for studies on dementia, more specifically Alzheimer’s Disease and cognitive decline and have included some of the relevant excerpts in the appendix below which can give the reader a flavour of the kind of interesting themes that might have been explored in such discussions. The authors point out that it is difficult to discriminate between cases with and without vascular involvement because of the complex interplay between vascular and Alzheimer’s Disease pathology but this is more a question of selection of studies with the relevant inclusion criteria (which would include for instance MRI exclusion of subjects with evidence of vascular pathology e.g. graded white matter hyperintensities).

Question 2 – ‘What factors are associated with the reduction of risk of cognitive decline in older adults?’

Although they identify hypertension as a strong risk factor for cognitive decline in older adults, I don’t think this is a particularly good question. It would make more sense to ask specific questions such as factors reducing the rate of decline in Mild Cognitive Impairment, healthy controls and the subtypes of dementia.

Question 3 – ‘What are the therapeutic and adverse effects of interventions to delay the onset of Alzheimer disease? Are there differences in outcomes among identifiable subgroups?

Again I think the first part o this question is just too broad although the second part is more sensible. The important point is about what the baseline characteristics of the sample population are. These would be expected to influence the likely benefits of interventions including antihypertensive medication, anticholinesterase inhibitors, exercise and so on. Unless the study is well powered, the heterogeneity of any baseline population implied by the question will likely dilute the valid effects.

Question 4 – ‘What are the therapeutic and adverse effects of interventions to improve or maintain cognitive ability or functions? Are there different outcomes in identifiable subgroups

There is an interesting story here which is around the ACE inhibitors and there are a number of studies coming up with interesting results with ongoing debate although some of the evidence presented has related to morbidity in Alzheimer’s Disease rather than cognitive decline per se. The authors consider the antihypertensives generically. I wasn’t entirely clear on what the authors meant when they referred to the anticholinesterase inhibitors as influencing the rate of cognitive decline is their  indication. The authors do refer to specific subgroups in places but again I think the entire question should be considered in terms of specific subgroups.

Question 5 – ‘What are the relationships between the factors that affect Alzheimer disease and the factors that affect cognitive decline?’

I thought this was a more useful question to ask in the context of the statement and which can be described in terms of qualitative relationships. Diet, exercise, APOE4 status and depression were among the risk factors that were important for both cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s Disease. It’s important to note here though that the question revolves around shared risk factors.

Question 6 – This question focuses on what  research needs to be done.

The authors talk about a need for large studies and tighter criteria for mild cognitive impairment etc. This kind of question has been tackled by other groups. I think it is more useful to produce very focused study designs for this type of question as it is perhaps readily apparent that studies with large numbers and epidemiological studies would be good to design. However they are very costly and labour intensive and there should ideally be a very concrete pathway from the consensus statement to the actuation of these study designs.

My Conclusions

I think that it is a great idea to get lots of people in the field involved in discussing how to prevent cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s Disease. However, I have a number of thoughts on this.

1. There should be some documentation of the ‘behind-the-scenes processes’ including the public debates. I refer to ‘behind the scenes’ as all of the action that we the readers are not privy too i.e. the events of the conference.

2. For similar reasons, I would argue that video footage at key points in the discussion would be very useful uploaded to a free hosting service such as YouTube for dissemination of conclusions and the process leading to those conclusions. I’m sure someone could bring their digital camcorder along!

3. A social media format for engagement of the public and global scientists would be useful

4. The statement would probably benefit from considering very restricted clinical questions where there is more likelihood of arriving at useful responses in this setting.

5. Some of the time in the process arriving at the statement should be spent on the actual process itself. For instance if this process is repeated in a year’s time why should the answer be any better? Indeed would the same panel come up with a worse answer? It’s difficult to know.

6. There should be commentary on the concrete consequences of this meeting. Were grants issued for studies on the recommendations in this statement? Were stakeholders from grant-issuing bodies present at the conference?

Appendix – Excerpts from News Round-Up 2009 of relevance

‘A prospective study looking at people with Alzheimer’s Disease found a significant association between the use of antihypertensive medications and a lower rate of cognitive decline and higher MMSE scores at baseline even after controlling for blood pressure’

‘A 32-year prospective study – the Prospective Population Study of Women in Gothenburg found an association between central adiposity in middle age and prevalence of subsequent dementia. They did not find the same relationship between BMI and subsequent dementia but the central adiposity was associated with an approximate doubling of the prevalence of subsequent dementia’

‘A prospective California study with 9000 subjects provided evidence of an association between higher levels of cholesterols in people aged in their 40’s and the subsequent prevalence of Alzheimer’s Disease in their 60’s to 80’s. The article is freely available here’.

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.

Review: The Medial Temporal Lobe and Recognition Memory

The paper reviewed here is ‘The Medial Temporal Lobe and Recognition Memory’ by Eichenbaum and Ranganath and freely available here.

Firstly the paper has been published in the ‘Annual Review of Neuroscience’. This is a journal with quite a high impact factor – for instance we can see here that the impact factor in 2003 was 30.17.  Of course, a journal can’t be judged by the impact factor alone which is influenced by a great many factors. For instance journals featuring a high number of review articles are said to have higher impact factors because review articles are more likely to be cited than original research articles. Additionally there should be some fluctuation in the quality of articles within a journal. Nevertheless it can be a useful marker for the popularity of the journal.

The authors here succeed in collecting together a vast amount of evidence from multiple areas – fMRI, neuropsychology, neuroanatomical and event-related potential studies to name just a few. Without going into too much detail, when I read the paper, coming away I found the central hypothesis about two streams of processing quite convincing. In essence what the authors argue is that there is a ‘what’ and a ‘where’ stream of processing in the Medial Temporal Lobe they integrate with the two distinct psychological phenomenon of recognition/familiarity and recollection. The ‘what’ stream relates to objects in the world and the ‘where’ contextualises these objects. The authors go on to argue that the parahippocampal gyrus is responsible for recognition and the hippocampus for recollection – by associating the ‘what’ information with information from cues. The model is a little bit more sophisticated than this however and the parahippocampal gyrus gets divided into anterior and posterior portions for the more subtle aspects of the model they present which also include the frontal and parietal cortices.

There is a lot of material here for reflection on and the MTL is an incredibly important structure for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). There is a great deal of research that shows that the MTL volume is a predictor of cognitive decline and useful for instance in discriminating between people with Mild Cognitive Impairment who might go on to develop Alzheimer’s Disease and those who do not. There are still great difficulties in making these kind of predictions but a number of studies repeatedly show that more specifically the volume of the hippocampus is a very powerful predictor of cognitive performance and conversion to AD.

So the next question is whether or not routine neuropsychological tests could be used to work out the ratio of parahippocampal/hippocampal involvement in pathology such as AD. Having such a ratio if possible might be useful in distinguishing between different forms of dementia – for instance Frontotemporal Dementia versus Frontal Variant AD although at this stage this is very speculative. What’s great about papers like this though is that they can provide a starting point for working out potentially useful clinical applications of contemporary theoretical understanding.

Another nice feature of this paper is the discussion of recognition and recollection. I hadn’t really thought about this too much until reading the paper. The authors have provided convincing evidence not just for a distinction between the two but also for the further division of these constructs into further categories. So the way I interpreted it was as follows. If I see a bus stop as i’m walking down the street, I will almost immediately recognise it. It will be familiar to me. However it should take me a little more time to associate it with waiting for a bus. It’s hard for me to imagine that the latter would not be instantaneous but the authors have convinced me that it would be. Further, the feeling of familiarity would result from activity within the parahippocampal gyrus.

This also raises another interesting question – where am I experiencing the ‘familiarity’? Do I really feel familiarity because of the parahippocampal gyrus activity?  Now this is a fairly interesting question because of another phenomenon which will surely be familiar to the reader (no pun intended) – ‘deja vu’ – the feeling of having had an experience before. Classically associated with temporal lobe epilepsy, can we extrapolate and suggest that this would be the experience of parahippocampal activity? In other words, what does it feel like when we have activity in the parahippocampal gyrus – it feels like deja vu? I’m afraid I don’t have the answer to this – it remains as speculation but another example of the kind of interesting clinical ramifications that arise out of a discussion of the MTL.

The latter point about the parahippocampal gyrus activity experience is related to a more subtle point. If the hippocampus stores memories, when we experience those memories are we experiencing them in the hippocampus or is it activating the memories in interconnected areas e.g. the visual association cortex. This is quite an old question but a very good one nonetheless and the upshot of this is to ask whether or not it is ever sensible to inquire about the experience of activity in one area without mention of the other areas involved in a well recognised brain circuit. This in turn leads back to the question of whether we can talk about ‘what’ and ‘where’ streams in the hippocampus and parahippocampal gyrus without also including the other connected brain regions which might also be doing some of the processing.

This is a nice paper, very well explained and guiding the reader through all of the material needed to understand the authors’ conclusions. The material covered in the paper is also useful for informing clinical research questions.

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.

News Round-Up: June 2010 4th Edition

In this edition of the news round-up, i’ve experimented by creating the piece in video format complete with music. Let me know if its a more useful format.

In the news round-up, there is evidence of health benefits from looking after an older adult spouse who is sick, an fMRI study that uses analysis of group combinations to make predictions about behaviour as well as an association between regional cerebral blood flow in the right inferior parietal lobe and anosognosia in Alzheimer’s Disease.

  1. Subscription review article on mutation database for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis http://bit.ly/al4CAx
  2. fMRI study showing evidence that people who are blind have similar brain regions involved in tool manipulation to people who are not blind http://bit.ly/bmMnAS
  3. Factors contributing towards improving relationships in older adults http://bit.ly/9y5nJz
  4. Most concussions estimated to deliver 95G’s http://bit.ly/cNVn3v
  5. REM sleep deprivation associated with chronic migraine http://bit.ly/915xVF
  6. Study suggests differing degrees of disfigurement may be associated with similar levels of distress http://bit.ly/9PcMGJ
  7. Caring for sick elderly spouse associated with well-being http://bit.ly/c6L7Ux
  8. Predicting behaviour using fMRI and analysis of group combinations identifies m.pfc cortex activity http://bit.ly/ahO5pe
  9. Subscription review suggesting that dopamine may be related to apathy in Alzheimer’s Disease http://bit.ly/9BCJJh
  10. Small 3T MRI study finds disinhibition associated with grey matter reduction in Bilateral Cingulus & R.M.F gyri, delusions with R.Hippocampus in Alzheimer’s Disease http://bit.ly/aFoHya
  11. 15 object test useful in discriminating MCI and AD and assoc with activity in bilat Posterior Cingulate & Right Temporal pole http://bit.ly/dgSWT6
  12. Small study (n=42) shows reduced regional cerebral blood flow in right inferior parietal lobe and anosognosia in Alzheimer’s Disease http://bit.ly/992OMj
  13. Subscription article – review of exercise and MCI and Alzheimer’s Disease http://bit.ly/aRZSEq
  14. Small short open label DPZ trial in Alz D shows 1.8 pt improvement in MMSE http://bit.ly/bUaHH9
  15. APOE4 status has higher assoc with memory dysfunction predominant form of Alz D than executive dysfunction type http://bit.ly/apkaU8
  16. ACHEI dose and level of functioning assoc with nursing home admission in people with Alzheimer’s Disease http://bit.ly/aHh6uI
  17. Case study of cerebral amyloid angiopathy and amyloid beta vacc http://bit.ly/9xvREW
  18. Subscription review article on gamma secretase inhibitors for alzheimer’s disease – still at phase III clinical trials http://bit.ly/cAkcuc
  19. Neuroinflammation and Parkinson’s Disease http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20571974?dopt=Abstract
  20. Resveratrol converts harmful forms of ABeta peptides in vitro http://bit.ly/9Ka9hT
  21. New radioisotope with longer half-life than PIB for use in Alzheimer’s Disease research http://bit.ly/9AN1pe
  22. Hyperploid neurons more likely to undergo cell death in Alzheimer’s Disease http://bit.ly/9oS1bU
  23. Association between Vitamin D status and cognitive function in older adults http://bit.ly/c71X1K

Evolutionary Psychiatry – Human Evolution

There was a study at Twycross zoo showing evidence that Orang-Utan gestures may signal intention http://bit.ly/dBpoMi. I visited Twycross Zoo earlier this year and took some footage of the Orang Utans. In the clip below, I would argue that the Orang-Utan is using a tool – in this case a hammock – to gain the other’s attention.

  1. 3.6 my old A Afarensis partial skeleton http://bit.ly/bSgmdI
  2. Computer simulation and teeth analysis suggest Neanderthal human divergence 1/2 million years earlier http://bit.ly/dk7elI
  3. Orang utan learning to swim http://bit.ly/aNbYp5
  4. Chimpanzees engage in territorial warfare http://bit.ly/bwcf04

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.

News Round-Up: June 2010 3rd Edition

In the news round-up this week, there has been a lot of media coverage around the installation of robots in a hospital in Scotland which will take on a number of roles (2). There are also studies looking at the associations of excess alpha synuclein (1), the limitations of classification software for discriminating mild cognitive impairment from Alzheimer’s Disease (7) as well as confirmation of the associations between the genes CR1, CLU and PICALM and Alzheimer’s Disease (8). There are interesting studies which have the potential to expand the concept of Mild Cognitive Impairment where difficulties with using technology (14) as well as semantic impairment (18) were found.

  1. Coverage of studies suggesting extra alpha-synuclein is pathological http://bit.ly/aB7aNW
  2. Robots used in hospital in Scotland http://bit.ly/aztYwx & appears to be from this company from acronym http://bit.ly/cbtu4n
  3. Subs article – Korean study on risk neuropsychiatric syndromes in AD http://bit.ly/9flcz9
  4. Subscription article – preliminary evidence of mitochondrial haplotype assoc with AD http://bit.ly/crf3iY
  5. Subscription article – MRI surface mapping study suggests right caudate atrophy in AD http://bit.ly/cuiHKA
  6. Subscription article – small study showing dissociation of cerebral atrophy and regional cerebral perfusion in MCI & AD http://bit.ly/9RzokN
  7. Subscription article – classification algorithms useful for AD v Controls but not AD v MCI from ADNI http://bit.ly/aVTD7C
  8. Subscription article – large cohort study confirms CR1, CLU, PICALM association with Alzheimer’s Disease http://bit.ly/ceiYWk
  9. Free paper on Portuguese cognitive impairment study – rural v urban prevalence http://bit.ly/bPu8o5
  10. Important free article on NIH consensus on preventing cognitive decline http://bit.ly/c9076g
  11. Subscription article – Evidence of slowed retinal response association with early AD http://bit.ly/b8Qa7t
  12. subs article – risk of cerebral microbleeds (mbs) in memory clinic assoc with baseline mbs + APOE epsilon genotype http://bit.ly/cdCIeN
  13. subs article – small study showing evidence of impaired dual task performance in VaD http://bit.ly/8Yq9Sh
  14. Subscription article – ability to manage technology impaired in mild cognitive impairment http://bit.ly/dAINgE
  15. Subscription article – Evidence of faster rate of cog decline in Alzheimer’s Disease when new vascular lesions http://bit.ly/aPSbkX
  16. Subscription article – prospective 24 week trial on Rivastigmine in Parkinson’s Disease with dementia http://bit.ly/bHwG9z
  17. Subscription article – pathological evidence of Lewy Body disease without clinical features http://bit.ly/aRjvjZ
  18. Subscription paper – semantic impairment in mild cognitive impairment http://bit.ly/cqruVO
  19. Subscription article – vocabulary and lobar atrophy interact to predict learning in MS http://bit.ly/9EMNYa
  20. Analysis of ADL’s in 6 x Donepezil studies which should be interpreted in terms of the excluded studies http://bit.ly/aKOCGV
  21. HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor use in early v late old age and AD http://bit.ly/awr3Zh
  22. Subscription article – preliminary study investigating use of default mode network in assessment of AD http://bit.ly/diC9Tx

Resources

  1. Subscription article – Review of epidemiology of dementia in Parkinson’s Disease http://bit.ly/b85XD5
  2. Subscription article – Review of interactions between NIDDM, depression, AD and PD http://bit.ly/bYAKxs
  3. Subscription article – review discussing lipid metabolism and Alzheimer’s Disease http://bit.ly/aMjnrI

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 Post Back Shortly

Blog Posts Back Shortly

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.

News Round-Up: June 2010

As the World Cup action is underway this week, I’ve added a medical(ish) section at the end on football which links to a number of papers in this area. There is a particularly interesting paper on watching stressful matches which emphasises some of the potential risks and the authors comment on the implications. There are also articles on dehydrated referees, headaches in footballers (literal not metaphorical) and a potential role of coaches as mental health advocates. In the main news there has been a recent paper on the genetics of autism which has been widely reported (3) and the mechanism underlying the action of the Presenilin 1 gene which leads to pre-senile Alzheimer’s Disease has been identified (1). Personal genomics is a fast emerging area with an ambitious plan to sequence 100,000 genomes (17). However there was a recent alleged mix-up in which the information on several people’s genomes were sent to the wrong recipients (13). Meanwhile the Frontier Psychiatrist reports on a recent conference in which recruitment into psychiatry was discussed.

  1. Mechanism of presenilin gene action in pre-senile Alzheimer’s Diseaes cracked http://bit.ly/9yVRwb.
  2. The Coalition against Major Diseases is setting up a database to share research on neurodegenerative diseases.
  3. Neat article on the genetics of autism http://bit.ly/bZIIFv.
  4. Study estimates more deaths at weekends in hospitals – suggests reason http://bit.ly/bH34M5.
  5. Cognitive decline in people with diabetes more rapid than control group in longitudinal study reported here.
  6. Free paper on insular cortex response to SSRI’s in healthy volunteers http://bit.ly/cb8wqo.
  7. Meta-analysis of monotherapy in bipolar disorder http://bit.ly/93k1vi.
  8. Free paper – small study showing association between reduced glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) in PFC and MDD http://bit.ly/c9oQii
  9. Good response to Lithium in Bipolar Disorder is associated with normal BDNF levels http://bit.ly/d6Yb0t
  10. PET study finds quetiapine binds preferentially at extrastriatal D2/3R’s similar to Clozapine http://bit.ly/aC7nZL
  11. BDNF Val66Met SNP rs6265 significantly associated with verbal memory in Swiss study n=333 http://bit.ly/aOMS7P
  12. Evidence suggesting that Ghrelin secreted in brain regulates cholesterol levels http://bit.ly/d0sHJp.
  13. Personal genomics data mix-up.
  14. Scientific American article describing evidence supporting the scanning hypothesis of REM sleep.
  15. A discussion of advances in computational visual neuroscience with a video interview.
  16. Brief article on integrating genomics into doctors visits.
  17. The plan to sequence 100,000 genomes.
  18. At least 2000 missing gene sequences in the reference human genome.
  19. Jumping genes vary between individuals http://bit.ly/9aAask.
  20. Cardio Trace Monitors used to assess arterial stiffness – might have widespread applications.

Resources –  Review Articles

  1. Free r/v article on the science of mediation http://bit.ly/cl5hAn.
  2. Subscription r/v article on ‘core’ social cognitive neuroscience processes http://bit.ly/aHv9K2.
  3. Subscription r/v article on cross-cultural organisational behaviour http://bit.ly/ciXB9Q.
  4. Subscription r/v article on cognition in organisations http://bit.ly/93gJfg.
  5. R/V article on the evolution of empathy http://bit.ly/9EaGvB.
  6. Subscription r/v article on grounded cognition http://bit.ly/dc4g6W.
  7. Subscription r/v article – the science of personnel selection http://bit.ly/a0yi6g.
  8. Subscription r/v article on the concept of short-term memory http://bit.ly/9ctM7K.
  9. Subscription r/v article on why the laws of memory haven’t stood the test of time http://bit.ly/97D5Tk.
  10. Free article on neuropsychological assessment of dementia http://bit.ly/b9k5nm.
  11. Free r/v article on children’s construction of concepts http://bit.ly/bnNcQQ.
  12. Subscription r/v article on theories of leadership http://bit.ly/a3gmHX.
  13. Subscription r/v article on relation between speech, reading and language disorders http://bit.ly/bzniwp.
  14. Free r/v article on emotions http://bit.ly/brgnun.
  15. Subscription r/v on comparative social cognition http://bit.ly/b5kxGJ.
  16. Subscription r/v article on evolution of intention and actions http://bit.ly/cEJ9N1.
  17. Subscription r/v article on research into close relationships http://bit.ly/dlMFry.
  18. Subscription r/v article on creativity http://bit.ly/adT933.
  19. R/V article on the empirical investigation of negotiation http://bit.ly/d8OkIR.
  20. Subscription r/v article on emotional and social aging http://bit.ly/dm2oFD.
  21. Subscription r/v article on cognitive neural prosthetics http://bit.ly/dujyl7.
  22. Subscription r/v article – concepts needed for investigating love http://bit.ly/cwxDEL.
  23. Subscription r/v article on possible role of hippocampus in imagination and prediction! http://bit.ly/ch7ajp.
  24. R/V article – ‘multidimensional’ odours http://bit.ly/cw3vOj.
  25. 2007 r/v article of copper and iron disorders of the brain http://bit.ly/bmtdUa.
  26. R/V article on ventral tegmental area and reward http://bit.ly/956PrK.
  27. R/V article of orbitofrontal cortex and decision-making.
  28. Free 2007 article on medial temporal lobe and recognition memory http://bit.ly/biEBzX.
  29. Free 2007 r/v article on glia in blood-brain barrier function http://bit.ly/btm22G.
  30. 2008 r/v article on cerebellum function http://bit.ly/bqzJBp.
  31. 2008 r/v article on place and grid cells http://bit.ly/9smB2A.
  32. Free r/v article on passive v active immunity tx for neurodegenerative disorders http://bit.ly/9loItY.
  33. Free r/v – mechanisms of face perception http://bit.ly/af0ipd.
  34. Free r/v article on primate auditory cortex http://bit.ly/aoK937.
  35. R/V of numbers in the brain – evidence that numbers represented in animals http://bit.ly/9EKbu9.
  36. R/V of diffuse tensor imaging and neuroanatomy http://bit.ly/9L8f52.
  37. R/V of serotonin and affect – asymmetry of reward & punishment http://bit.ly/ddM6sA.
  38. Free r/v article by Woolf on neuropathic pain http://bit.ly/d295ET.
  39. Free r/v article – monoamines and prefrontal cortex http://bit.ly/bp6K24.
  40. R/V cerebellum and non-motor function http://bit.ly/cWzN9s.
  41. Free article – advances in microscopy for neuroscience http://bit.ly/8X64Jb.
  42. Apparently subplate neurons may be particularly susceptible to injury in foetal development http://bit.ly/a6NPAN.
  43. R/V of subplate in neural development http://bit.ly/a6NPAN.
  44. R/V of emotion in amygdala and pfc http://bit.ly/cUu6LP.
  45. R/V of prefrontal cortex in moral judgement http://bit.ly/a3baUX.
  46. R/V of connectn between nervous & vascular systems http://bit.ly/9mQGEj.
  47. R/V molecular pathways in frontotemporal lobar degeneration http://bit.ly/9Tuh88.
  48. Article – why do we still have maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA? http://bit.ly/ceAkpG.
  49. Free article – r/v of chromatin structure and function http://bit.ly/9OEMMU.
  50. Free article – rv of p kinase degradation by ubiquitination http://bit.ly/ap45yf.
  51. Free article – super-resolution fluorescence microscopy http://bit.ly/dmR7dk.
  52. Cholesterol turnover in the brain – free article http://bit.ly/9NA845.
  53. R/V of zinc fingers and genome manipulation http://bit.ly/a8gLzE.
  54. Unnatural amino acids http://bit.ly/bi3CIx.
  55. R/V of Mitochondrial DNA mutation and aging http://bit.ly/94Sutw.
  56. Review of screening of genomes with RNA interference http://bit.ly/aHJoEo.

Psychiatry 2.0

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