News Roundup: January 2012 4th Edition

In a study at Princeton, researchers surveyed 1,100 students and found that having a family history of psychiatry conditions had a significant correlation with a student’s choice of studies (Benjamin et al, 2012). The researchers found that a student of the humanities was twice as likely to report having a family member with a history of a mood disorder while a student of science or a technical subject were three times more likely to report a sibling with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

In one study looking at a model of Rett Syndrome, an X-linked neurodevelopment condition affecting girls researchers found that Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) was markedly reduced in the brainstem. Since BDNF is needed for maintenance and growth of neurons, the researchers suggest this may be a significant factor in the development of Rett Syndrome. However further research will be needed to test this hypothesis.

There is a very interesting scheme in the West Midlands to raise awareness of Dementia. Dr Kaarim Saad, Clinical and Social Care Lead for Dementia at NHS West Midlands unveiled a series of videos designed as a training tool to help teachers in the West Midlands raise awareness of Dementia in schools. More details can be found at the site above including the videos and presentations.

New guidelines on the neuropathological assessment of Alzheimer’s Disease (Bradley et al, 2012) have been published and are freely available here.

In a longitudinal study published in Neurology, the researchers followed up 1450 older adults over 3 years and found that 72/1000 men developed Mild Cognitive Impairment over this period compared to 56/1000 women (Roberts R et al 2012).


Benjamin C. Campbell, Samuel S.-H. Wang. Familial Linkage between Neuropsychiatric Disorders and Intellectual Interests. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (1): e30405 DOI:

Bradley T. Hyman et al. National Institute on Aging–Alzheimer’s Association guidelines for the neuropathologic assessment of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. Volume 8, Issue 1 , Pages 1-13, January 2012.

Roberts R et al. The incidence of MCI differs by subtype and is higher in men: The Mayo Clinic Study of Aging. Neurology published ahead of print January 25, 2012,

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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