News Round-Up: October 2010 1st Edition

A small PET study (n=42) using 18F-FDG to assess brain metabolism compared people with amnestic mild cognitive impairment with or without awareness of amnesia. The researchers concluded that hypometabolism in the inferior parietal lobule, superior temporal gyrus and angular gyrus were associated with loss of awareness (anosognosia) of amnesia although it would be interesting to see replication with a larger sample.

A small structural imaging study recruited 11 people with PSEN1 mutation associated early Alzheimer’s Disease and compared with 18 controls. The researchers found that there was an increase in cortical thickness in the parietotemporal area and precuneus together with an increase in the caudate volume 9.9 years before the age at which onset was predicted. There followed a period of atrophy. This is a small sample but the study generates a very clear hypothesis.

Free and delayed recall were associated with atrophy in the CA1 subfield of the hippocampus in this cross-sectional structural MRI study in 35 people with Alzheimer’s Disease.

A post-mortem study compared a sample with Alzheimer’s Disease (n=10) with a control group (n=10) and the researchers found that when examining the microvasculature there was a significant association between increasing capillary length density (length per unit volume) in the temporal cortex and decreasing cortical diameter in this region. A longitudinal study is needed to investigate this further.

The authors of this paper make a number of suggestions about post-operative cognitive decline including a focus on codifying episodes.

A large prospective study (n=3824)  investigated the relationship of untreated and treated hypertension. The relative risk of dementia incidence with untreated hypertension was 1.9 compared to 1.5 in the drug treated group and relative to a control group who did not develop dementia.

There’s a write-up of a recent study which showed a strong correlation between biomarkers and scores on a family/carer rated questionnaire (AD8) for function in people with Alzheimer’s Disease.

There’s a write-up of some recent research which provides evidence that neurons form local and global networks through synchronous firing.

There’s a write-up of another interesting study here in which the researchers provided evidence that career choice is associated with the brain region that undergoes atrophy in people with fronto-temporal lobar degeneration. The inference is that career choice will determine the nature of the work that is undertaken which in turn will determine the brain region which is regularly used although this relationship is unlikely to be straightforward.

An fMRI study in 33 volunteers provided evidence that reduced activity in the dorsal striatum (associated with reward) in response to drinking a milkshake was associated with weight gain at six-month follow-up and the researchers hypothesise that overeating is associated with reduced pleasure from eating.

In a study investigating volition, stimulating the left side of the brain with transcranial magnetic stimulation in 33 volunteers was more likely to lead to them ‘choosing’ to use their left hand in choice tasks.

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.


  1. First Edition: October 7, 2010…

    Today’s headlines include stories on waivers given some companies that offer only minimal health insurance coverage, insurers’ political efforts during this campaign season and efforts in New York to bar the use of food stamps to purchas……


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