December 2011 1st Edition

In an American study looking at older adults admitted to hospital and followed up 3 months after discharge the researchers found that at follow-up 81% of those that were depressed had been depressed on admission to hospital. The researchers interpreted this to mean that most of the cases of depression at follow-up represented persistent depression rather than new onset of depression during the course of the admission.

In a study of 56 people with DSM-IV diagnoses of Major Depressive Disorder with psychotic features, 41% had revised diagnosis within 2 years including Bipolar Disorder.

At the Alzheimer’s Research Forum there is an interesting write-up of a small research study which combined functional and structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) findings. The study provided evidence of increased activity in the hippocampus being correlated with a reduction in cortical volume in a network which has been associated with changes in Alzheimer’s Disease. It will be interesting to see the results of further replication studies.

In a 10-year prospective cohort study, 163 people without cognitive impairment were assessed on their dietary habits at baseline and grey matter volume  was assessed 10-years later (using MRI) together with neuropsychological assessments. The researchers found evidence of a significant association between consumption of boiled or baked fish and improved working memory as well as preservation of grey matter volume of 10 years later. The researchers were careful to control for a number of well-known confounders.

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