November 2010 4th Edition: A New Understanding of a Dementia Gene And A Controversial Take on Happiness

There has been some positive news in Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration (FTLD) research with two groups independently identifying the role of an FTLD related gene – progranulin in binding to a cell surface protein – Sortilin.

There has been a recent PNAS study involving researchers from several institutions looking at the effects of Metformin on Alzheimer’s Disease associated neurofibrillary tangles in mice. The researchers found some evidence that Metformin interfered with tau phosphorylation and that it might have a prophylactic effect against the development of tangles. However it will be interesting to see the results of clinical trials.

Ed Yong has another edition of ‘Missing Links‘ which includes a link to an intriguing piece on the pathologisation of happiness. The article in question quotes from the abstract of an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics. This seems like a curious suggestion as achieving happiness is one of the approaches (eudonic) in the positive psychology movement and is associated with wellbeing.

There is another edition of Spike Activity which includes a link to a short piece on synaesthesia.

There is an edition of ‘Quick Links‘ at Blog Around the Clock which includes a link to an article on the evolution of the social brain which includes a discussion of Dunbar’s number as well as cranial capacity in the late pleicostene.

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. Nice post! You truly have a wonderful way of writing which I find captivating! I will definitely be bookmarking you and returning to your blog. In fact, your post reminded me about a strange thing that happened to me the other day. I’ll tell you about that later…


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