News Round-Up: January 2008 – 4th Edition

In the 4th Edition, there is an autosomal dominant condition with similar features to Frontotemporal Dementia as well as a number of interesting pieces of miscellaneous research.

Research in Dementia

In a 6-year Swedish cohort study looking at risk of dementia and the traits of neuroticism and extraversion, there was found to be an increased risk of dementia in those with high neuroticism and high extraversion compared to those with low neuroticism and low extraversion (Hazards Ratio 0.51 (CI 95% 0.28-0.94) (STT4). An autosomal dominant condition similar to leukodystrophy has been suggested to account for a presentation similar to Frontotemporal Dementia after a series of autopsies were undertaken in affected people. What is interesting about this condition is that it sometimes doesn’t present till the eighth decade of life (STT2). After cells have differentiated, recent research suggests that the nuclear pore complex deteriorates in an age-dependent manner allowing leakage of proteins into the surrounding cytoplasm (and also the reverse). If this were found to be relevant as a contributor to dementia processes, then it would require a novel theoretical approach as the majority of nuclear pore complexes are not changed through the life of the cell and interventions would need to take place intracellularly (STT5).

Research In Psychosis

There was a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine, looking at both typical and atypical antipsychotics and finding an increased risk of cardiovascular events which was dose dependent (STT3).


There is a technique developed which saves a considerable number of lives in surgery. In the World Health Organization’s Safe Surgery Saves Lives program, a 19-point surgery checklist reduced rate of death from 1.5% to 0.8% in 3733 non-cardiac surgical operations before the checklist was introduced and 3955 operations after the introduction of the checklist. Whilst not directly related to psychiatry (except in the case of psychosurgical operations) this research shows the important benefits of process (STT2). Ethicists are joining ward rounds over in the United States where they contribute to the decision making processes in complex cases. Also an ancient brain from approximately 6000 years ago has been discovered in a cave (it was preserved due to the dry conditions) in Armenia with evidence of intact surface vessels. Such a find is potentially very interesting as even in the space of tens of thousands of years there is evidence of evolutionary changes in the brain (STT6).


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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