News Round-Up: October 2011 5th Edition

Researchers used EEG and fMRI to investigate lucid dreamers. The lucid dreamers were scanned whilst asleep and signalled that they were dreaming of clenching their fists by moving their eyes horizontally several times. Only two episodes were captured but they displayed similar activity to hand clenching. However these results should be viewed with caution as only two episodes were captured and it will be interesting to see the results of replication studies.

The Picalm gene product which has been linked to Alzheimer’s Disease has been investigated in one study where the researchers found evidence that it disrupted the ability of Amyloid to interfere with endocytosis which could inform further research in this area.

Psychiatry 2.0

There’s an interesting open letter regarding the use of blogs in research in which the authors compare the use of blogs with the traditional peer review process (via @EvoMRI).

Evolutionary Psychiatry

In research published in the Open Access journal ‘Mobile DNA’ , the researchers compared human and Chimpanzee DNA and found that the main differences resulted from the so-called junk DNA. The researchers conclude that this is consistent with the theory that the genetic differences between Chimpanzees and humans are mainly differences of gene regulation rather than gene differences.

In a post-mortem study in which researchers used 49000 gene probes in 269 brains across the lifespan, researchers obtained over a trillion pieces of information and found evidence that the expression of genes in the prefrontal cortex peaks just after birth. Following this a number of genes switch off and reduce towards middle age. In older adults the genes are increasingly expressed. The write-up covers a number of other studies with complex but very interesting results. In one study using 1.4 million probes to examine 57 human brains, the researchers found evidence that the brain location and timing influenced gene expression more significantly than individual variation.


News Roundup 2008

News Roundup 2009

News Roundup 2010

Psychiatry 2.0



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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