Understanding Fatigue and a New Dementia Guide Published News Round-Up August 2013 3rd Edition

The rate of atrophy of the Hippocampus was examined in this study (n=277). The researchers compared the atrophy rate in mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s Disease and controls. The researchers found a greater rate of atrophy in people with Alzheimer’s Disease. Although the size of the Hippocampus is more likely to be reduced in Alzheimer’s Disease compared to the other two groups knowing about differences in the rate of atrophy between groups is helpful.

The Hippocampus

Researchers in a Japanese study looks at central fatigue. Physical fatigue which can be divided into peripheral fatigue and central fatigue. Peripheral fatigue may involve muscles, the nerves supplying those muscles or the neuromuscular junction. In contrast central fatigue involves areas proximal to the peripheral nerves. In this study, researchers wanted to see what areas of the brain might be involved in central fatigue mechanisms. They used a technique known as magnetoencephalography (MEG) to investigate this phenomenon. A proxy marker of fatigue was used – a subjective feeling of fatigue. The researchers found a correlation between this proxy marker of fatigue and activity in the Posterior Cingulate Cortex and they suggest that the relationship was mediated through classical conditioning. There are various conditions which involve fatigue and this research may be relevant.

A Video by Assistant Professor Alexandre Gramfort Illustrating Analysis of an MEG Dataset

A recent Meta-analysis suggests that in people at high clinical risk of conversion to Schizophrenia, working memory and visual learning were significantly correlated with risk of conversion (n=593) and it will be interesting to see further research in this area.

A new tool for assessing Delirium has been published. The AWOL tool for Delirium allows risk stratification by utilising four risk factors: (A) age > 80, (W) results on a specific cognitive subtest (O) orientation and (L) nursing assessment of illness severity. There are a number of tools for assessing Delirium and this multidisciplinary assessment tool has the potential to support clinical decision making.

The Alzheimer’s Society has launched a new Dementia guide for people diagnosed with Dementia.

One study failed to find a significant relationship between telomere length and physical parameters of aging. Telomeres are nucleotide sequences at the end of Chromatids. An extensive line of research has shown that longer Telomeres are associated with longer survival rates of cell lineages. In light of these cellular findings it has been suggested that Telomere length might be associated with longevity. However this study argues against a simple relationship between Telomere length and physical parameters such as grip strength.

Researchers have transform microscopes with light emitting diodes and computers increasing captured information 100 fold through a combination of increased resolution whilst retaining field view. This has the potential for many biomedical applications.

There is an interesting piece about new 3D scanners which probably have significant and abundant potential medical applications.

The Dutch Eindhoven region has been identified as the world’s most inventive region with many patents including medical innovations.

Neuroscience

brain.1Does a network involving the lateral prefrontal cortex & the Posterior Parietal Cortex account for human cognitive success?

Neuroscientist Professor Dorothy Bishop takes a critical look at neuroscience on her blog. In this article she undertakes an interesting analysis of a study investigating a possible link between the Arcuate Fasciculus and word learning.  Bishop discusses species differences in the Arcuate Fasciculus as well as individual variation before contextualising the present study and interpreting the findings. The research discussed here is important to the broader understanding of the relationship of the Arcuate Fasciculus to language.

Evolutionary Psychiatry, Evolution & Culture

Evolutionary PsychiatryThe oldest identified ancestor of rats, Rugosodon Eurasiaticus has been identified in China. Other younger specimens have been identified in Europe. The mammal would have climbed trees and had sharp teeth. This specimen is estimated to be 160 million years old.

Events

Calendar

There is a coaching event in London on September 7th which includes a CBT perspective.

Appendix

News Round-Up 2008-2011

News Round-Up 2012

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here 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.

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