Genes and Mental Illness News Roundup: April 2013 4th Edition

One research group suggests that a protein CD33 may be involved in the development of Late Onset Alzheimer’s Disease through an action on the brain’s support cells – the microglia  . The talk below covers CD33 amongst many other associations with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Alzheimer’s Disease – From Genes to Novel Therapeutics

Researchers compared two measures of non-motor Parkinson’s Disease symptoms – the MDS-UPDRS Part 1 and the Non-Motor Symptoms Scale NMSS. The researchers found that the scales had good convergent validity generally but not in cases where the non-motor symptoms were severe (Martinez-Martin et al, 2013).

The Journal of Molecular Psychiatry recently started up. There is an editorial here.

There is an interesting write-up at the Schizophrenia Research Forum on the psychosis prodrome from the 2013 International Prodromal Research Network Meeting in Florida.

Researchers in one study found evidence that people with Alzheimer’s Disease may experience difficulties in recognising changes in affect in themselves* (Verhülsdonk S et al, 2013).

There is a look at  Tetracyclines and Amyloidosis in this paper (Stoilova et al, 2013).

Researchers in Japan suggest that there may be subtypes of Alzheimer’s Disease determined by comorbidity on the basis of their neuroimaging findings (Fukazawa et al, 2013).

There is a look at the evidence supporting a relationship between Lithium and neuroprotection in this paper (available at Pubmed Central). The authors recommend further long-term studies to further investigate this relationship.

Researchers in this study used a novel approach for assessing medial frontal lobe function – a test of object alternation (Freedman et al, 2013). The researchers found that performance on an object alternation task was correlated with medial frontal lobe grey matter volume in people with Frontotemporal Dementia.

The researchers in this study find a possible relationship between bradycardia and Frontotemporal Dementia but recommend further research to confirm this relationship (Robles et al, 2013).

Researchers in this study identified differences in visual motion event related potentials between people with Alzheimer’s Disease and healthy controls (Fernandez et al, 2013).

There is a look at subjective cognitive impairment in this paper which is available at Neurologia (Garcia-Ptacek et al, 2013).

News Roundup Elsewhere

Vaughan Bell interviews psychiatrist Professor Michael Owen about the relationship between genes and mental illness.

Psychiatry 2.0

Psychiatry 2

There is an interesting piece on open access science at Ars Technica.



Kelly Tyrell looks at how science and journalism are coming closer together with the field of data journalism.

Charles Fernyhough looks at neuroscience in fiction in this piece.

New Scientist covers software developed by an Australian group that assesses emotions in photographs in this piece.


Fernandez R, Monacelli A, Duffy CJ.J Alzheimers Dis. 2013 Apr 17. [Epub ahead of print] Visual Motion Event Related Potentials Distinguish Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Fukazawa R, Hanyu H, Sato T, Shimizu S, Koyama S, Kanetaka H, Sakurai H, Iwamoto T.Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2013 Apr 13;35(5-6):280-290. [Epub ahead of print] Subgroups of Alzheimer’s Disease Associated with Diabetes Mellitus Based on Brain Imaging.

Garcia-Ptacek S, Eriksdotter M, Jelic V, Porta-Etessam J, Kåreholt I, Manzano Palomo S.Neurologia. 2013 Apr 16. pii: S0213-4853(13)00052-2. doi: 10.1016/j.nrl.2013.02.007. [Epub ahead of print] Subjective cognitive impairment: Towards early identification of Alzheimer disease.

Martinez-Martin P, Chaudhuri KR, Rojo-Abuin JM, Rodriguez-Blazquez C, Alvarez-Sanchez M, Arakaki T, Bergareche-Yarza A, Chade A, Garretto N, Gershanik O, Kurtis MM, Martinez-Castrillo JC, Mendoza-Rodriguez A, Moore HP, Rodriguez-Violante M, Singer C, Tilley BC, Huang J, Stebbins GT, Goetz CG. Eur J Neurol. 2013 Apr 22. doi: 10.1111/ene.12165. [Epub ahead of print] Assessing the non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease: MDS-UPDRS and NMS Scale.

Robles Bayón A, Gude Sampedro F, Torregrosa Quesada JM.Neurologia. 2013 Apr 16. pii: S0213-4853(13)00055-8. doi: 10.1016/j.nrl.2013.02.010. [Epub ahead of print] Bradycardia in frontotemporal dementia.

Stoilova T, Colombo L, Forloni G, Tagliavini F, Salmona M.J Med Chem. 2013 Apr 23. [Epub ahead of print] A New Face for Old Antibiotics: Tetracyclines in Treatment of Amyloidosis.

Verhülsdonk S, Quack R, Höft B, Lange-Asschenfeldt C, Supprian T.Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2013 Apr 15. pii: S0167-4943(13)00045-9. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2013.03.012. [Epub ahead of print] Anosognosia and depression in patients with Alzheimer’s dementia.

* This may be related to alexithymia although in this paper the researchers refer to ‘anosognosia for affect’.


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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