Is The Placebo Response Overestimated And What Is The Relationship Between Trauma and Psychosis? News Round-Up May 2012 3rd Edition

A considerable piece of work has gone into the elucidation of the relationship between adult psychosis and trauma in childhood and adolescence (more specifically before the age of 16). Researchers in Liverpool and at the University of Maastrict in the Netherlands undertook a review of 27,000 papers and concluded that if trauma is experienced before the age of 16, there is 3-fold increase in the risk of adult psychosis compared to randomly selected members of the general population.

There is an argument that the placebo response is possibly overestimated in some studies and the author suggests a solution in this paper.

Treatment guidelines for NMDA-receptor antibody mediated Encephalitis were presented at a Neurology conference and the researchers concluded that early treatment were associated with improved treatment outcome measures.

Researchers who conducted a telephone survey of people with Tinnitus concluded that sleep disturbance exacerbates Tinnitus. The results were presented at a conference.

There’s an interesting discussion of the Amyloid Hypothesis of Alzheimer’s Disease at Dementia Today and there is also a freely available paper here.

A new Positron Emission Tomography method for visualising plaques in Alzheimer’s Disease using F-AV45  helps clarify an unusual case of Alzheimer’s Disease with onset of visual symptoms and Posterior Cortical involvement.

In one moderately sized study, researchers looked at the integrity of the Fornix and Hippocampus in healthy controls as well as people with Alzheimer’s Disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment (paper freely available here). The researchers found that the integrity of the Fornix was reduced in people with Alzheimer’s Disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment. This was measured using a Diffuse Tensor Imaging indication of damage – fractional anistropy. The researchers also found that reduced integrity of the Fornix was associated with reduced Hippocampal volume.

The researchers in a small but interesting study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that people with Lewy Body Dementia manifested altered activity (using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) in higher visual cortical areas compared to a control group when performing visual tasks. The researchers also looked at perfusion using arterial spin labelling MRI and found reduced perfusion in the higher visual cortical areas in the people with Lewy Body Dementia compared to the control group.

In a study published in the Journal Neurology, researchers looked at self-reported measures of engagement in cognitive activity in older adults. They found that global cognitive functioning was not predictive of self-reported levels of cognitive activities, but that higher levels of self-reported cognitive activities were associated with significantly improved global cognitive function as well as more specific components including semantic and episodic memory.

There is a case report in which commencement of Memantine was associated with an improvement in apathy in Frontotemporal Dementia although it will be interesting to see if there are any clinical trials to further investigate this finding.

There’s an interesting piece on the impact of Thomas Kuhn’s ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolutions’ on popular culture in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

There’s an interesting piece here on why people like watching slow motion videos and there are some examples included.

There’s an interesting piece on one musician’s cultural dialogue through music.


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.


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