News Round-Up: July 2011 4th Edition

A large prospective trial (n=660) of combination antidepressants versus monotherapy as a first-line treatment for depression provided evidence during the 7-month follow-up period that the two combination treatments were just as effective as monotherapy in this study. However only two combinations were examined and combination therapy is not usually considered as first-line treatment in various guidelines.

The Department of Health have published their action plan for implementing the National Dementia Strategy which is available here and also published their Dementia Commissioning pack which is available here.

In a moderately sized study (n=78) people with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and a cognitively intact control group were randomised to either a Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone analogue Tesamorelin (subcutaneously) or placebo over a 20-week period. The researchers found that the Tesamorelin group experienced  higher subjective cognitive improvement and higher scores on executive and verbal memory tasks than the placebo group. It will be interesting to see the results of further replication studies involving other populations and longer follow-up periods.

There is a very good article in the Independent on modifying lifestyle to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease based on a recent study examined this contribution in more detail.

The long-term consequences of Traumatic Brain Injury was discussed at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in the USA and research was presented associating TBI with subsequent dementia although the relationship is complex.

There is an interesting article on Medically Unexplained Symptoms illustrated with cases and diagnostic algorithms available here.

There is a write-up of preliminary findings with Leviteracetam in people with Alzheimer’s Disease but there will need to be larger replication studies.


The draft DSM-V criterion for a mixed depressive episode are being expanded to fit more closely with clinician’s experience and there are further details here.

 Evolutionary Psychiatry

A new analysis of the Laetoli footprints suggest that human ancestors started walking upright some 3.7 million years ago.

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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