News Round-Up: July 2011 3rd Edition

Researchers looked at 65 people with ICD-10 diagnoses of schizophrenia and found that that those with OCD symptoms were more likely to manifest subtle difficulties on motor coordination tests than those without OCD symptoms (freely available here). Furthermore scores on the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale were more likely to correlate with score on the motor coordination tests in the former group.

There is a pilot study of Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for negative and cognitive symptoms in Schizophrenia (n=15) and on the basis of the results the researchers recommend further research in this area.

In a review of studies looking at Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and eye movements the researchers found that there was an association with a subtle impairment in smooth pursuit eye movements but this was not correlated with symptom severity.

There is a write-up of the new American guidelines for genetic counselling at the Alzheimer’s Forum here. The guidelines were issued by the American College of Medical Genetics and the National Society of Genetic Counsellors differentiate between susceptibility genes and genes associated with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Separately an American survey of 276 first degree relatives of people with Alzheimer’s Disease showed that 60% of participants would undergo testing which included APOE4 testing even if it was paid for privately.

Also at the Alzheimer’s Forum the team draw attention to a supplement in the journal Nature focusing on Alzheimer’s Disease and freely available here.

In a 2-year prospective study including 211 patients with Alzheimer’s Disease the researchers found a number of factors associated with more rapid decline including higher CDR score at baseline and this is a modestly sized study.

There is a case report on REM sleep behaviour disorder in a person with Frontotemporal Dementia and the authors suggest that this may be a generalisable feature not just of synucleopathies but of degenerative conditions affecting the relevant cortical centres.

A small pilot study (n=8) showed evidence that heart rate could be reduced during exercise following a 6-month exercise program in people with Alzheimer’s Disease although the researchers call for randomised controlled trials.

The elasticity of brain tissue was investigated in a group of people with Alzheimer’s Disease and compared with cognitive intact people who were both positive and negative for Pitsburgh B compound (an important marker of Alzheimer’s Disease that can be identified before the disease manifests). The researchers used a technique known as Magnetic Resonance Elastography and found that brain stiffness was increased in the people with Alzheimer’s Disease compared to the cognitively intact control groups.

Appendix

News Roundup 2008

News Roundup 2009

News Roundup 2010

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 justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. 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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