News Round-Up: May 2010 – 4th Edition

Technology has been used in a variety of innovative ways to improve patient care in different settings. For people with schizophrenia, text messaging to the person helped them to achieve more of their goals in one study (15). In another study, the use of kinematic data collected while people were completing the clock drawing test was helpful in disease categorisation (69). A Chinese study showed benefits for virtual reality cognitive training in  older adults with schizophrenia (18). Also the US Heart Association has approved the use of video games (47). There has also been a call for a discussion of the ethical issues involved in using surveillance technology in homes for people with dementia (71). Other findings of interest included an estimated age of 76 for accelerated hippocampal atrophy in those without dementia (72), the importance of the Hippocampal subfields in PTSD (57), Alzheimer’s Disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment (8) (which is a marker for just how much the resolution of imaging technology is improving), the benefits of cognitive enhancers in reducing grey matter loss in people with schizophrenia, an increase in hippocampal volume after a period of exercise in people with schizophrenia (61), apathy was associated with both functional decline at 13 year follow-up in the Baltimore ECA Longitudinal study (66) and also with risk of cardiovascular events (52). A useful finding was that greater purpose in life was associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s Disease at 7-year follow-up (56). An increasing prevalence of dementia is being found in the oldest old (38).  Brain capillaries have been found to clear debris (29). The RedUSE study found benefits from a pharmacist led program in examining prescribing for residents in care homes (73).

The benefits of brushing the teeth on cardiovascular health were identified in one study (45) and this might perhaps be relevant to another study in which there was a high prevalence of dental health problems in community dwelling older adults with mental illnesses compared to a control group (68). There was a finding that I was surprised by – that although grey matter reduces with weight in Anorexia Nervosa, it increases with an increase in weight and it will certainly be interesting to see if these findings are replicated and then to investigate the underlying physiology (26). There is a useful chemistry news resource identified by David Bradley – Chem voice while over at PLOS One there is a paper on how imaging figures are presented in the medical literature. Mind Hacks has another Spike Activity in which VB looks at a recent debate on Dangerous Severe Personality Disorder, as well as looking at ancient Egyptian neuroscience in this article and Inca neuroscience in this article.

A reinterpretation of Mesoamerican civilisation is being brought about by the finding that while Mesoamericans were producing rubber 3600 years ago  they had developed further chemical processes to refine the rubber at this time. They used the rubber in shoes among other applications. There is also an ongoing debate about Ardi (13) – the ‘find of the century’ – around the issue of whether he was more man than ape and whether he was living in woodland or savannah. There is good coverage here. Also an ambitious scientist is attempting to detail the wiring of the brain in what is referred to as the connectome project.

  1. Lit review comparing memantine and ACHEI’s tolerability data
  2. Planning ability predicts cortical thickness in memory-type mild cognitive impairment
  3. EEG + Statistical pattern recognition helpful in identifying Alz D more res needed
  4. Delayed memory index not other tests helpful in distinguishing Alz D and SVasc Dem
  5. Squirrel monkeys develop senile plaques but NE enzyme distribution now characterised
  6. Diffuse Tensor Imaging findings predict risk of Alzheimer’s Disease in small study
  7. cardiovascular risk associated with memory in elderly women
  8. Fascinating – prediction of AD and MCI using hippocampal subdivisions
  9. Genetics and neuroimaging predict memory in Alzheimer’s Disease
  10. Predicting cognitive scores from MRI – ADNI
  11. Automated hippocampal measurement ADNI
  12. Benefits of understanding evolution
  13. Oldest human ancestor or not?
  14. Von Economo cells enable connections with multiple brain regions Small study finds Von Economo neuron density reduced in ACC in early onset schizophrenia compared to controls
  15. service SMS txt messgs improve goals achieved for people with schizophrenia in small trial n=62
  16. case-control study – schizophrenia associated with thinner entorhinal cortex
  17. Review of gamma-osciallations, NMDA and schizophrenia
  18. small chinese study shows benefit of virtual reality cognitive training in older adults with schizophrenia
  19. 17% of consecutive outpatients in Co Tyrone study prescribed multiple antipsychotics
  20. Diabetes and patterns of antipsychotic prescribing in Japan
  21. Spanish study on prevalence of smoking in Schizophrenia and cardiovascular risk (n=1704)
  22. Venkatasubramanian study – case control corpus callosum body/genu smaller in schizophrenia
  23. rating voices for male dominance
  24. complex results of experience in driving for detecting hazards
  25. software – Powerpoint – has democratised strategy suggests one researcher
  26. Intriguing! Grey matter volume decreases and increases with weight in this study of Anorexia Nervosa
  27. GGA3 protein prevents build up of Alzheimer D related enzyme BACE
  28. small study with continuous arterial spin labelling shows reduced frontal + parietal flow in pple with schizophrenia
  29. murine study suggests that brain capillaries clear debris
  30. Nature study reveals new cell involved in neurodevelopment + possibly big human evolution role
  31. ‘Neuron’ study suggests that ‘Junk’ EEG data holds big secrets
  32. German researchers turn astrocytes into neurons
  33. Amyloid imaging conference
  34. Memory stored in DNA via methylation – Nat Neurosci
  35. Different causes of psychomotor slowing in Alz D and Lewy Body Dementia
  36. 35-year longitudinal study – Assoc between psychological stress in midlife females and later dementia
  37. small (1)H magnetic resonance spectroscopy imaging suggests involvement of hippocampus in panic disorder
  38. Date from 90+ study suggests increasing prevalence of dementia in oldest old
  39. cortical ACh low in PD, MSA- PD and SNP subcortical ACh lower in MSA-PD and PSP
  40. study suggests more autopsy studies needed to assess FDG-PET in antemortem dementia diagnosis
  41. upper + lower extremity performance related to functional performance in Alz D (n=371)
  42. comparison of progression in Lewy Body Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
  43. Kaplan-Meier analysis in Dementia using MMSE scores
  44. Very small study (n=4) shows evidence of benefits of spaced-retrieval on name-face-occupation in ppl with Alz D
  45. Brushing teeth and cardiovascular risk
  46. Should health policy focus on exercise rather than obesity BMJ commentary
  47. US heart association approves video games
  48. preventing falls in the community BMJ full article
  49. Small study finds reduced grey matter loss over 2 years in ppl with schizophrenia on cognitive enhancers
  50. War in Balkans associated with mood disorders but not substance misuse.
  51. TMS v Sham. Benefit of TMS in depression (n=199)
  52. Is anhedonia another risk factor for cardiac events?
  53. Facebook group aims to collect 100,000 samples from oil spill
  54. Evidence for Mild cognitive impairment prodrome in subj mem imp – I suspect there will be many false +ve’s
  55. IOP study grey matter and vulnerability for psychopathy traits
  56. Greater purpose in life associated with reduced risk of Alz Dis in 7 year f/u study
  57. MRI study shows hippocampus subfield deficits in PTSD
  58. Vascular depression hypothesis supported by study – categorisation by wm hyperintensities and neuropsych
  59. Frontal striatal and visual systems altered activity in fMRI study of body dysmorphic disorder
  60. Small placebo-controlled trial – escit assoc with increased cog function post-cva
  61. Hippocampal volume increase in ppl with schizophrenai after exercise
  62. Comparing salaries assoc with less contentment
  63. Psychiatrist visit to confused Gorilla in Zoo
  64. Higher prevalence of apathy & depression in Alz D than Mild Cog Imp in this study (n=245)
  65. Brazilian community older adult study (n=15491), prev: Dep – 7%, clin sig dep sx 26%, sig assoc both with cv dis
  66. Baltimore ECA Long Study – Apathy sig assoc with functional decline at 13-y f/u
  67. Replication needed but systemic rv suggests persistent delirium assoc with hypoxia, del severity among others
  68. UK study finds increased dental problems associated with mental illness in community-living older adults
  69. Kinematic data during clock drawing helpful in classifying disease in older adults
  70. Homocysteine assoc with hippocampal atrophy in older adults with hypertension (n=80)
  71. Call for discussion of ethical implications of using surveillance technologies in res homes for ppl with dementia
  72. Age at which hippocampal atrophy accelerates estimated in ppl without dementia (n=544)
  73. Australian pharmacist-led RedUse project shows reduction in benzo and antipsych use in nursing homes
  74. ceiling and floor effects of MMSE explored in Mexican study
  75. Systematic review concludes that clock drawing test should not be used as screening tool for mild cog impairment
  76. Educational theories and older adult liaison psychiatry training provision
  77. Interruption of doctors impact on tasks detailed
  78. study looking at supported employment efficacy – free full text
  79. study shows benefit of early intervention in panic disorder
  80. study finds significant differences between psychiatric and non-psychiatric drug adverts in two journals

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