News In Brief
A combination of pain self-management and close monitoring of antidepressant treatment shows promise in treatment of comorbid depression and pain in a recent study in JAMA. In a study of 248 people (median age 82.4), 11% experienced both dysphonia and hearing difficulties and also a higher incidence of depression. Watching a video showing people with dementia interacting with others including famly was found to influence end of life planning in elderly people.A study looking at the side-effects of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors has been published recently and the author recommends increased awareness to improve recognition of side effects. A study looking at parent and children’s eating habits using the healthy eating index, found that in general there was a small association between the two and that a number of other factors influenced children’s eating behaviour although there was demographic heterogeneity within these associations. Parental violence was associated with increased risk of depression and alcohol dependence in one study and although there are many possible confounders, the authors did control for a number of variables including social stressors. The authors of a meta-analysis of randomised-controlled trials of web-based or computer based software for smoking cessation found an approximate two-fold increase in smoking cessation compared to those that tried to stop smoking alone.
A study in nature provides evidence that the theta oscillations recorded from the hippocampus do not represent synchronous firing but instead a wave progressing through the hippocampus with the phases of the oscillations coding for spatial information also. Variations in the FOXP2 gene in mice have been associated with changes in the ultrasonic pitches generated by baby mice. The FOXP2 gene is thought to be involved in speech and language in humans. The action of BDNF in the ventral tegmental area has been causally associated with opiate dependence in one study published in Science.
A 3-year project referred to as Charm is looking more closely at how people’s decision making is influenced by knowing what other people are doing. There is recent evidence that the recession is impacting on research grants in the life sciences.
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