Monthly Archives: June 2013

Mental Health Staff Join Police in Pilot News Round-Up June 2013 5th Edition

Devon and Cornwall police are trialling a mental health project. Mental health clinicians accompany police in the community and are able to triage people with mental health needs where appropriate.

In a Cochrane review, researchers looked at psychosocial family interventions in the management of Schizophrenia. High expressed emotions in the family have been identified as a risk factor for relapse in Schizophrenia. Researchers looked at psychosocial interventions and suggested that further research was needed to reach firm conclusions on which are most effective.

A Meta-analysis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after Stroke studies suggests 1 in 4 people with Stroke or Transient Ischaemic Attacks will experience PTSD (n=1138).

Stroke symptoms were associated with cognitive impairment in the REGARDS study (n=23830). There were 7223 subjects with stroke symptoms.

An MRI study suggests that Narcissistic Personality Disorder is associated with reduced Insular Cortical Thickness (n=34)

A recent White House conference looked at mental health issues including stigma.

One study found no relationship between ApoE ε4/ε4 alleles and the prevalence of Parkinson’s Disease.

One Diffuse Tensor Imaging study suggests that amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease can be differentiated by Splenium mean diffusivity values.

An interesting study suggests that many of the causes of cognitive decline remain to be elucidated.

A small study showed cognitive benefits of repeated cognitive training in people with Alzheimer’s Disease also treated with Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors.

The ZARADEMP study (n=4803) provided evidence of a relationship between severe Depression and incident Alzheimer’s Disease (incidence rate ratio: 3.59 [95% confidence interval: 1.30-9.94] which will be helpful in informing management and preventative studies.

The authors of a comparison of 15 antipsychotics suggests that 1st and 2nd generation antipsychotics was not a useful categorisation. This was based on a meta-analysis of studies with 43049 people in total and which was published in the Lancet. The researchers looked at the side-effect profile for the antipsychotics using odds ratios and found that there wasn’t a straightforward relationship between the side-effects and the dichotomous categorisation.

Researchers stratified people with Alzheimer’s Disease according to language and memory difficulties and identified different gene associations.

There is a write-up of a study investigating the use of Memantine for cognitive dysfunction in Bipolar Disorder.

There is an interesting Smithsonian piece looking a series of studies investigating memory including interference, losing teeth and predicting behaviours

An American program called Timeslips has been effective in helping medical students to understand the creative skills of people with Dementia.

There is an interesting paper looking at musicophilia – a craving for music – in Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration.

An American expert panel is convening to consider diagnostic criteria for Mild Cognitive Impairment in Parkinson’s Disease.

One study looked at the relationship between saturated fat in the diet and CSF AB42 and ApoE which are associated with the pathology of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Traumatic brain injury was associated with a neuronal damage signal (reduced fractional anisotropy) in the Auditory Cortex using diffuse tensor imaging in this study.

 

Neuroscience

brain.1

There is an interesting write-up of a yet to be published fMRI study in which language areas of the brain appeared to be involved in Jazz playing.

There is a write-up of a study here looking at the disorganised firing of place cells in the Hippocampus in a model of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Researchers have developed experimental apparatus to investigate handwriting during brain scans.

One study suggests impressionists use their Insular Cortex and Inferior Frontal Gyrus.

There are new insights into Hubel and Wiesel’s classic work on development in the visual cortex. The new research suggests that Thalamic input not just genetics is necessary for ocular dominance columns.

There is an online brain database at the Montreal Neurological Institute.

An fMRI study used artificial intelligence to analyse the patterns of activity. Emotions were divided into 9 categories and there were found to be distinct differences between positive and negative emotions. The patterns were also distributed throughout the brain rather than in circumscribed areas traditionally associated with emotions.

Researchers found evidence that there is the perception that time passes more slowly with the practice of mindfulness meditation in this study.

A recent study suggests that SIRT1 not only related to aging but also to circadian rhythm. There may be a relationship between these two roles.

Open Science

Is data sharing a form of publication?

Evolutionary Psychiatry/Culture

Evolutionary PsychiatryNational Geographic features an article about the recently discovered archaic Hominins – the Denisovans which have contributed to the modern human genome.

There is evidence that plants are able to pace the rate of starch consumption overnight suggesting that they have mechanisms for calculations. These calculations are subtle and likely arise from the plant’s biochemistry. This research may be relevant to the phenomenon of Circadian rhythms.

The oldest sample of DNA for sequencing has been obtained from a horse recovered from Canadian permafrost and is over 700,000 years old.

A Mayan city was recently discovered in the Mexican jungle giving insights into the spread of civilisation.

There is a write-up here of research looking at 6000 year old North American cave art which is interpreted in terms of mythology.

Appendix

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 justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. 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.

A New Perspective on Sitting?

In this TEDx video, inventor Kep Taiz talks about the health risks associated with prolonged sitting. I don’t agree with the title of the video but his very creative solutions to enable movement got me smiling and then asking myself if he was onto something. He discusses some of the mortality figures associated with prolonged sitting. There is an emerging evidence base about the potential health associations of this type of behaviour (e.g see Appendix).

There is a suggestion that with the rise of civilisation, hunter gathering and agricultural roles have been taken over by specialised segments of society and with the rise of office based environments, automated transport and home based entertainment an increased proportion of time is spent sitting. Has the genome had time to adapt to this environmental modification in the last 12,000 years? If there hasn’t been time to adapt then perhaps there is a need for further environmental modification to more closely resemble the properties of the environment we are optimally adapted to.

Could enabling aerobic exercise during workflow be health promoting? I remember reading about an imaging study in which there was found to be reduced blood flow to the frontal lobes during running (although studies such as this show that the relationship might be more complicated). This might be expected to impair some types of cognitive abilities during the running activity although that would require further testing.

There is certainly a case for seeing whether these types of solutions are effective and utilising them in research studies to investigate the effects on metabolic parameters as well as on medium term health outcomes. However the use of these types of solutions might also need a cultural shift but the population benefits could be promising.

Appendix – Other Resources on this Site

Possible dangers of sitting: A short film.

The possible dangers of prolonged sitting

Another paper on the possible dangers of sitting

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 justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. 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.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Reviewed in 8.5 Minutes

In this video I’ve reviewed Thomas Kuhn’s ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolutions’ in just over 8 and a half minutes. There are other reviews on this blog and the YouTube Channel. This is a tricky book to review as it can’t be easily summarised and can be interpreted in many ways. Reviewing the book in 8.5 minutes can therefore be seen to miss the point. However the review does address a number of the themes developed in the book and can be used for those already familiar with the book or as an aid for those intending to read it.

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 justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. 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.

Chapter Published in ‘What is the Impact of Twitter?’

It is a great privilege to have contributed a chapter to ‘What is the Impact of Twitter?’ in the At Issue series by Gale Publishing (Part of CENGAGE learning).

Reference

At Issue. What is the Impact of Twitter? Editor Roman Espejo. Gale Publishing. 2013

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 justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. 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.

Depth Illusions As Street Art

The talented artist Edgar Mueller demonstrates the use of paint to transform a pavement into a cliff face. The time-lapse photography shows how passers-by know how they are supposed to relate to the image by avoiding walking in some areas and standing carefully in other areas.

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 justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. 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.

Another Recap. Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 15

Slide2

In the previous posts we looked at the possibility that GABA receptors are linked to anxiety through an ancient evolutionary mechanism which facilitates movement. More precisely the GABA receptors in a distant relative – the Nematode worm (C.Elegans) relax opposing muscles enabling the worm to move in the necessary direction.

In prior posts we looked at various models of the emotions as shown in the diagram below.

A Model of the Insular Cortex

The intention in building a model of the Insular Cortex is to suggest realistically how the neurobiology of the Insular Cortex can play a role in emotional experiences. To do this it is necessary to integrate a theoretical understanding of emotions with the neurobiology of the Insular Cortex and validate this with our intuitive understanding of emotional experiences.

Craig has given a very good account of how the Insular Cortex might play a role both in conscious awareness and in emotional experience and I intend to revisit his work. However it is also necessary to contextualise this in the broader understanding of emotions which I have not yet examined in any detail.

Although the emotions are understood intuitively there is a significant body of theory knowledge also. For instance ‘The Handbook of Emotional Regulation’ (Gross, 2007) is over 650 pages in length and significant research findings continue to emerge each month. Clearly there is a practical limit to how much knowledge can be incorporated into a model and therefore decisions around what to exclude are just as important as the model itself.

In summarising the material to date, the Insular Cortex receives interoceptive information (i.e information about the body’s internal state). This may be important in helping us to feel an awareness of our body. This awareness may be key to our conscious experience and more specifically to some of our emotional states.

This occurs in a wider context of other models of emotions. The Limbic circuit is a brain circuit with ancient evolutionary connections to the sense of smell. The Limbic circuit has been long thought of as being a key brain circuit for emotions. What is likely is that the Limbic circuit and the Insular Cortex play distinct roles in emotional experience and associated phenomenon (e.g. blood pressure changes in response to emotions). It is this level of detail which will be most appropriate for developing a model with practical utility.

The discussion about GABA receptors and movement emphasises another aspect of the model. With sufficient detail it should be possible to identify psychopharmacological correlates of emotions and brain circuits for these emotions. There is a great deal of work that has been done in the clinical area in identifying mood related neurotransmitters. These different approaches offer different perspectives on emotion related phenomena.

References

Handbook of Emotional Regulation. Edited by James J Gross. The Guildford Press. 2007.

Related Resources on this Site

Developing a Model of the Insular Cortex and Emotional Regulation: Part 1

Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 2: Reviewing a Model by Craig – Part 1

Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 3: Reviewing a Model by Craig – Part 2

Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 4: Reviewing a Model by Craig – Part 3

Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 5: The Evolution of the Insular Cortex

Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 6: A Recap

Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 7: The James-Lange Theory

Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 8: The Cannon-Bard Thalamic Theory of Emotions

Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 9: Charles Darwin on the Expression of the Emotions

Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 10: The Limbic System

Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 11: A Second Recap

Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 12: GABA receptors and Emotions

Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 13: GABA receptors and Nematode Worms

Building a Model of the Insular Cortex – Part 14: Are GABA Receptors Related to Anxiety in Humans Because Worms Wriggle?

What does the Insular Cortex Do Again?

Insular Cortex Infarction in Acute Middle Cerebral Artery Territory Stroke

The Insular Cortex and Neuropsychiatric Disorders

The Relationship of Blood Pressure to Subcortical Lesions

Pathobiology of Visceral Pain

Interoception and the Insular Cortex

A Case of Neurogenic T-Wave Inversion

Video Presentations on a Model of the Insular Cortex

MR Visualisations of the Insula

The Subjective Experience of Pain

How Do You Feel? Interoception: The Sense of the Physiological Condition of the Body

How Do You Feel – Now? The Anterior Insula and Human Awareness

Role of the Insular Cortex in the Modulation of Pain

The Insular Cortex and Frontotemporal Dementia

A Case of Infarct Connecting the Insular Cortex and the Heart

The Insular Cortex: Part of the Brain that Connects Smell and Taste?

Stuttered Swallowing and the Insular Cortex

YouTubing the Insular Cortex (Brodmann Areas 13, 14 and 52)

New Version of Video on Insular Cortex Uploaded

Contributors to the Model (links are to the posts in which contributions were made – these links may contain further links directly to the contributors)

Ann Nonimous

The Neurocritic

Psico-logica

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 justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. 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.

Finger Tapping and Self-Control News Round-Up June 2013 4th Edition

Researchers have clarified the function of the MECP-2 gene, a gene involved in Rett Syndrome, a neurodegenerative condition. The researchers found evidence that mutations at two key locations in the gene produce Rett Syndrome.

There is a call to publish trials in the BMJ. The authors look at issues such as publication bias and discuss solutions.

Researchers have characterised the Magnetic Resonance Imaging findings for a C9ORF72 variant of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. They distinguished these MRI findings from those in people with the C9O4F72 variant of Frontotemporal Dementia.

Neuroscience

brain.1Andrew Ng has published a template for neural networks, a form of artificial intelligence using hardware costing $20,000 – a cost which can be achieved within many global research settings. Ng foresees this template being used to understand the functioning of human vision.

Neuroscientist Chris Chambers reports on research which suggests finger tapping can facilitate self-control under experimental conditions.

This write-up looks at research investigating the relationship between sleep quality and external noise.

Researchers publishing in Science have produced a 3-dimensional representation of the brain of a 65 year old woman for use by neuroscientists.

Evolutionary Psychiatry

Evolutionary PsychiatryResearchers have used data on snail genes to hypothesise that Ireland was first inhabited by southern Europeans approximately 8000 years ago.

Researchers have found evidence that the forerunner of the mammal may have survived the Permian-Triassic extinction event through hibernating in burrows 250 million years ago. The research took place in South Africa but which 250 million years ago was part of Gondwana.

Appendix

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 justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. 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.