News Roundup: October (3rd Edition)

Mood Disorders

There is the suggestion that Bipolar Disorder may be a disease affecting ‘mood-stabilising neurons, perhaps resulting from mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum dysfunction (STT4). A complex relationship has been found between the dosage of an antipsychotic and adherence to medication, with adherence varying according to time after initiation of medication and also between antipsychotics (STT2).


There is an open access article on neurodevelopment in childhood-onset schizophrenia showing a 2% slower rate of growth in the right hemisphere compared to controls. This is interesting in the context of a paper by Crow and colleagues which was reviewed earlier in the week on this blog (STT3). There is evidence that activation in the brain does not change with age during learning in schizophrenia which contrasts with findings in a control group in this fMRI study (STT4). An Australian study has found no difference between CBT for psychosis and treatment as usual in a group of 94 people with psychosis randomised to either group. The authors give a number of reasons why this might be so (STT3).


A study of 3303 brains has shown that in 53% of cases, dementia consists of mixed pathology. The authors conclude that synucleopathies uncommonly occur alone (STT1).

Learning Disability

Bloom Syndrome is a cause of learning disability. The Bloom gene codes for a DNA helicase, a type of enzyme which separates nucleic acid strands. Two studies characterise a new part of the complex that the enzyme forms which is thought to reduce errors in DNA replication (STT3).

Substance Misuse

Evidence is reported for reduced prefrontal cortical thickness in cocaine dependence which was correlated with reduced behavioural repertoire. There was also reduced cortical thickness heterogeneity and evidence of a neuroanatomical differences that may contribute to predisposition to dependence (STT3).


There is a discussion of planar cell polarity genes which determine the morphology of neurons and influence developmental trajectories (STT4). There have been a number of cases of transcranial magnetic stimulation being used with some degree of success in coma (STT2).


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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