News Round-up: April 2010 3rd Edition

Miscellaneous

  • A small PET study shows evidence of hypometabolism in the Superior Temporal Gyrus in people with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (TLE) with deja vu compared to healthy controls and people with TLE without deja vu
  • The authors of a paper in the open access journal Trials look at unpublished Stroke trial data which if published has the potential to influence practice

Research in Dementia

  • Donepezil in a 24-week placebo-controlled trial in Vascular Dementia with ADAS-cog primary outcome and differential effects according to hippocampal volume (n=974)
  • Negative finding of association between metabolic syndrome and risk of dementia (n=749)

Psychiatry 2.0

  • There is another episode of Spike Activity with links to an article on the relationship between dreams and memory and a podcast featuring interviews with artists explaining how they visualise their artwork.
  • At the Mental Nurse blog there are a number of interesting blog links  including a review of a BBC documentary on medication
  • Dr Shock reviews a study investigating the relationship between Facebook use and academic performance
  • At the Singularity Hub blog there is a discussion of a recent study suggesting that 15% of the variation in intelligence in Williams Syndrome is associated with a single gene – STX1A
  • At the Somatosphere blog there is a review of a recent book on the globalisation of mental health
  • At the ‘All in the Mind’ blog there is an article on a recent mock trial in which the role of neuroscience is examined
  • A the Citation Needed blog there is a review of a recent study with negative findings on ‘Brain Training’ programs

Evolutionary Psychiatry

Neanderthal Man

Did the Neanderthal contribute to modern human populations?

In a widely reported study (see here, here and here) presented at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, researchers looked at regions of DNA in the genomes of 1983 people from Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas and Oceania. These regions are known as microsatellite regions and vary between populations. By looking at the degree of variation, the researchers were able to produce a corresponding evolutionary timeline factoring in variables such as estimated mutation rates. The researchers predicted two time periods during which interbreeding with another species was necessary to account for their findings. These periods were 55,000 years ago for the Eastern Mediterranean and 45,000 years ago for Eastern Asia. The candidates for interbreeding include Homo Neanderthalensis and Homo Heidelbergensis. Such interbreeding could potentially explain the recent finding of a possibly previously unknown hominin – Denisova hominin – found in Siberia. The estimated periods of interbreeding also correspond approximately to the finding of pigmentation on clam-shells in Spain which are thought to have been used as body paint by Neanderthals. Needless to say if these findings are confirmed by a soon-to-be complete analysis of the Neanderthal genome then they would have wide ranging implications. The period of approximately 60,000 years ago corresponds to the lower limit of a hypothesised bottleneck of human evolution in which the human population may have been on the verge of extinction with only a few thousand members although this is a controversial hypothesis.

Call for Authors: If you are interested in writing an article or series of articles for this blog please write to the e-mail address below. Copyright can be retained. Index: An index of the site can be found here. The page contains links to all of the articles in the blog in chronological order. Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: 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). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: 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.

4 thoughts on “News Round-up: April 2010 3rd Edition

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention News Round-up: April 2010 3rd Edition « The Amazing World of Psychiatry: A Psychiatry Blog -- Topsy.com

  2. Pingback: News Round-Up: May 2010. Neanderthal Special. « The Amazing World of Psychiatry: A Psychiatry Blog

  3. Pingback: News Round-Up: July 2011 5th Edition. Neanderthals in the News and Producing Neurons from Skins Cells. « The Amazing World of Psychiatry: A Psychiatry Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s