News Round-Up: September 2009 3rd Edition

News In Brief

In analysis of data from the Maastricht Aging Study, 35 healthy older adults without cognitive decline were compared with 30 older adults who displayed cognitive decline (using thresholds on several outcome measures) and in the latter group there was found to be a significant reduction in grey matter volume in the hippocampus, hippocampal gyrus, frontal and cingulate cortices. A meta-analysis of prospective studies of people with cancer and comorbid depression found that depression was associated with a significant increase in mortality and the paper is freely available here at the time of writing as well as being reported on here. A PET study of 53 people with ADHD compared to 44 healthy controls provided evidence for reduced dopamine receptors in the Nucleus Accumbens.

An emergency mobile text message system for people unable to use their voices in calls is being trialled by a number of UK telecommunication companies. A study looking at twitter provided evidence that 20% of twitters  involve exchanging information about ‘products’. Epi Collect Software on mobile devices has been piloted which enables ‘citizen scientists’ to gather data for science projects incorporating their location within the data. There is evidence from a small Japanese study (n=48) that male teenage young offenders are more likely to misinterpret disgust as anger than male teenage non-offenders. A team looking into the extinction of Neanderthals have found the remains of late ice age animals in a cave in Torquay and the remains include what could be a 25,000 year old Hyena.

Blog News

Dr Shock reports on a new resource for accessing research papers in this article. Frontier psychiatrist reveals his identity after writing an article in the Guardian. Dinah writes about the release of Jung’s new (old) book – the Red Book. Dr Jeff and Dr Tanya report on a new study showing a beneficial effect of exercise on depression in pregnancy and provide their typically high standard of useful resources at the end of the article. The Mouse Trap has returned after a brief hiatus (and is now up on Twitter). Following the debate around an earlier neuroimaging paper, Mind Hacks reports on a new paper (or rather poster) originally reported on by the Neuroskeptic titled

“Neural correlates of interspecies perspective taking in the post-mortem Atlantic Salmon: An argument for multiple comparisons correction”

The interested reader is directed to the links above but in this ‘study’ the researchers subjected a dead salmon to an fMRI scan. They were ‘surprised’ to find areas of activation (supported with a colourful image) in the salmon’s brain when it was presented with photographs of human faces. While there is more than one interpretation of this data (e.g. the salmon is not dead), the most ‘appropriate’ one relates to a debate about statistical methods in the data analysis – the need to correct for multiple comparisons. Mind Hacks also has a useful round up here.


You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link


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).


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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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