Researchers Review Proposed Diagnosis of Munchausen-by-Internet: News Roundup: February 2013 2nd Edition

The Schizophrenia Bulletin features a large meta-analysis of the relationship between childhood adversity and the subsequent development of psychosis and the article is open-access. The authors concluded that people who had developed psychosis were 2.72 times as likely to have experienced childhood adversity as controls. The authors combined different types of studies (e.g crosssectional and longitudinal). The issue of integrating different types of adverse events is complex. However there are many outcomes including non-psychotic disorders or healthy adaptations. These findings provide evidence to better characterise one of the possible outcomes.

Vaughan Bell at Mind Hacks reviews a paper on the proposed illness Munchausen-by-Internet in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. The writeup summarises a number of the findings of the authors of the paper.

At Psy Post there is an overview of Professor Blumstein’s research into treating aphasia. In Blumstein’s funcional Magnetic Resonance Imaging research she has identified networks of brain regions that encode meaning in words and these are organised according to similar sounding words and words of similar meaning replicating research findings elsewhere. The treatment approach involves people with Aphasia generating words under different conditions e.g singing words and then speaking them.

The Enteric Nervous System controls the gastrointestinal system and the incredible sophistication is often overlooked in comparison with the complexity of the CNS. There is a fascinating open-access review at ‘Nature Reviews of Gastroenterology and Hepatology’ including primary and secondary disorders of the Enteric Nervous System. In the latter category Parkinsons disease is discussed in detail. There is probably a great detail of insight to be gained from a consideration of the similarities and differences between the Central Nervous System and the Enteric Nervous System.


There is a short piece at Family Practice News on the anxiety disorders category that has been proposed. The big news is that PTSD (and related conditions) and OCD spectrum disorders would be moved to category distinct from the anxiety disorders (i.e Panic Disorders and Generalised Anxiety Disorder).


Researchers in one study have found evidence in mice of neurons that respond to stroking. These are distinct from neurons that would respond to other types of stimulation and may be relevant to behavioural traits related to group related behaviours.

There is an interesting website which features a group of artists who deprived themselves of sleep for a week and wrote up their experiences.

Researchers have reconstructed a language spoken 7000 years ago based on a software analysis of over 600 Australian-Pacific languages. The results were compared with the results of analysis completed by linguists and has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. There are various benefits of this type of research. For instance there have been recent findings of cultural adaptation according to population structures and geographic boundaries. These insights may offer a further understanding of the relationship between language and culture which in turn influence health and illness.

Evolutionary Psychiatry

John Hawks reviews a National Geographic article challenging the stereotypes of Bonobos which are our second nearest living relatives.


News Round-Up 2008-2011

News Round-Up 2012

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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