New Gene Discovery for Sleeping Disorder. News Round-Up May 2012 1st Edition

The Neuroskeptic reviews an interesting paper on how people can often rate their own mood according to how they perceive mood in other people.

Researchers have found a new Narcolepsy gene association – DNTM1 (paper freely available here).

The Pulvinar Nucleus, Gray’s Anatomy, 20th Edition, 1918, Public Domain

The authors of a meta-analysis of fMRI studies in depression in the American Journal of Psychiatry have developed an elegant hypothesis. On the basis of their analysis they suggest that people with Depression have higher baseline activity in the Pulvinar nuclei in the Thalamus. These nuclei are thought to be involved in attention. Thus the authors argue that people with Depression will be more likely to attend to negative stimuli. They then argue that a depletion in Dopamine levels interferes with the Cortical-Striatal-Pallidal-Thalamic circuit to the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex. In the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex, negative stimuli could be reevaluated. Thus in this model people with Depression would be more likely to attend to negative stimuli and less able to reappraise and contextualise the negative stimuli. This clear hypothesis easily allows for further testing.

There’s an interesting write-up by Ed Yong in Discover Magazine about a gene SRGAP2 which has been duplicated during human evolution. As SRGAP2 is involved in brain development, this duplication may be a critical event in human evolution and possibly took place during the transition from Austrolopithecus to later species. What is also interesting is that this duplication was missing from the Human Reference Genome possibly due to difficulties in the assembly of genomes (see here also).

Dr Barbara Oakley has an interesting piece on the Occupy movement at Psychology Today and discusses whether well-intentioned movements can have unexpected effects.

The 165th American Psychiatric Association’s conference is underway and the BMJ website has a new look.


2008-2011 News Round-Up

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here 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.

One comment

  1. Hypopnea can occur during sleep. In this case it may turn into a serious sleeping disorder. Sleep hypopnea can be characterized by person’s repetitive stops of breathing or low breathing for short periods of time during sleep. Speaking in anatomical terms, there is intermittent collapse of the upper airway and reductions in blood oxygen levels during sleep. Thus, a sleeping person becomes incapable to breathe normally and awakens with each collapse. Quantity and quality of sleep is lowered, what results in sleep deprivation and excessive daytime sleepiness. The most usual physiological consequences of hypopnea are cognitive disfunction, coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, hypertension, memory loss, heart attack, stroke, impotence, psychiatric problems. People suffering from sleep hypopnea increase considerably the overall number of traffic accidents. Their productivity is diminished and they have constant emotional problems and strains. `

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