News Round-Up: April 2011 1st Edition

  • A small MRI study looked at the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease. The researchers found that more complex models factoring in data on multiple areas in the brain were better correlated with diagnosis than simpler models looking at the Medial Temporal Lobe and it will be interesting to see these results replicated with a larger sample size.
  • There is a paper on Late Onset Alzheimers Disease (LOAD) outlining three new potential pathways in the disease independent of the amyloid pathways and based on Genome Wide Association Studies.
  • A moderately sized study (n=234) showed a significant positive correlation between early response to medication in acute mania in the first week and treatment outcome
  • There has been a recent consultation on the differences between well-being and happiness which will be useful for the ‘mental health and wellbeing’ movement
  • A small (n=43) multicomponent cognitive intervention program showed benefit in people with amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment but not Alzheimer’s Disease in this study
  • There was no correlation between baseline cortisol levels and subsequent Alzheimer’s Disease in the large prospective Rotterdam study

Evolutionary Psychiatry

  • The common understanding of the origins of language have been challenged by a recent paper. Chomsky suggested that humans have an inbuilt brain mechanism for generating the grammar of a language. A new study involved running simulations on language generation using likely geographical locations for the origins of language as well as data on commonly used terms and phonemes. The simulations suggested that language is likely to have originated in central Africa and that grammatical rules are likely to have arisen through cultural rather than innate biological mechanisms and it will be interesting to follow the subsequent debate. There is a write-up here.
  • There is preliminary evidence of hominids in Central Asia using stone throwing to hunt prey 1.9 million years ago.

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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