News Round-Up: April 2010 3rd Edition


  • A new gene association with late-onset Alzheimer’s Disease has been found using a GWAS (genome wide association study). The gene is MTHFD1L and is located on chromosome 6.
  • A small phase II trial (n=24) of intravenous Gamma Globulin has shown evidence of reduced ventricular enlargement and brain atrophy in people with Alzheimer’s Disease compared to the control group. It will be interesting to see the results of the Phase III study when completed.
  • Loss of muscle mass was associated with Alzheimer’s Disease in one study and a suggested explanation was an association with reduced activity
  • In another study there was found to be a strong association between ABeta oligomers in the CSF and performance on memory tasks in people with Alzheimer’s Disease
  • A prospective study (n=2148) looked at risk of Alzheimer’s Disease according to dietary patterns and identified one diet associated with a clinically and statistically significant reduced risk. See here for further details.


  • A widely reported neuroimaging study provided evidence of frontal cortex activity being divided between hemispheres for two tasks compared to one. Additionally the authors concluded that there was a deterioration in allocation of resources for more than two tasks.

Psychiatry 2.0

  • At PsychCentral there is an article on the complex relationship between marriage and health.
  • Zivkovic has a useful post linking to some of his favourite articles on science journalism and blogging at ‘A Blog Around the Clock’. I found this one on twittering quite interesting as Zivkovic differentiates between two twittering approaches which he refers to as life casting and mindcasting (social networking versus dissemination of information).
  • In another edition of Spike activity at Mind Hacks, evidence of reduced racial bias in people with Williams Syndrome as well as the effects of Botulinum Toxin on emotional experience are just some of the topics discussed.
  • There is an archived interview with Elisabeth Kubler-Ross over at ‘All in the Mind’.
  • At Nou Stuff, there is a discussion of a case study looking at the effects of resection of the right inferior dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.
  • Over at the Mouse Trap there is an interesting review of a paper about energy usage in the brain and reflexive versus intrinsic functions based around the default mode network.
  • Dr D has a funny post on buying a book for her child and finding that the plot of Little Red Riding Hood has been completely rewritten.

Evolutionary Psychiatry

  • In an podcast/article at the Guardian there is a look at a new book looking at the inner lives of animals. There is a brief description of tree snagging – the tendency of orang-utans to jump from a falling tree at the last moment which has been likened to ‘thrill-seeking’.

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  1. I REALLY liked your post and blog! It took me a minute bit to find your site…but I bookmarked it. Would you mind if I posted a link back to your post?


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