News Round-Up: September 2010 4th Edition

  • There is a small 6-week  study (n=54) in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry examining the use of valproic acid in people with Bipolar Disorder I or II depression. This is a double-blind randomised placebo controlled trial with the valproic acid group associated with 38.5% v 10.7% (placebo) of subjects meeting response criteria (p=0.017 0.17). Depression was assessed using the MADRS although the difference in remission rates (rather than response criteria) has a p-value of 0.208.
  • Current Directions in Psychological Sciences have an open access edition focusing on Schizophrenia here while there is an open-access review of Aripiprazole in the treatment of late-onset schizophrenia here.
  • Percentage thickness changes in the inferior temporal and right fusiform cortices at six-months were associated with reduction in memory performance in this relatively small study (n=142) of older adults.
  • There is a review article here on the three newly classified variants of primary progressive aphasia.
  • Diffuse Tensor Imaging was useful in discriminating between amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and non-amnestic MCI in this moderately sized study (n=418).
  • A structural 3T MRI study (n=50) examining age associated changes in the hippocampus identified these changes in the subiculum but found no evidence  in other subfields.
  • CSF levels of Beta-Amyloid were inversely associated with years of education in this study which recruited 70 people with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Links between DISC1 and APP gene products were identified in this study. The write-up is very good and essentially this research suggests a link between genes associated with Schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s Disease respectively. The functional links were identified in a neurodevelopmental model and involve interactions of the gene products during migration of neurons. On the basis of their findings the researchers hypothesise that the Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP) acts as a scaffold that interacts with the DISC-1 protein to facilitate migration. The role of the APP in Alzheimer’s Disease is different and so this study is not suggesting a link between the diseases although it is becoming clear that these two proteins have important biological functions.
  • Mind Hacks has another round-up of Spike Activity here and also has a book in the pipeline which I’m sure will be well worth looking out for.

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 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.

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