The rate of atrophy of the Hippocampus was examined in this study (n=277). The researchers compared the atrophy rate in mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s Disease and controls. The researchers found a greater rate of atrophy in people with Alzheimer’s Disease. Although the size of the Hippocampus is more likely to be reduced in Alzheimer’s Disease compared to the other two groups knowing about differences in the rate of atrophy between groups is helpful.
Researchers in a Japanese study looks at central fatigue. Physical fatigue which can be divided into peripheral fatigue and central fatigue. Peripheral fatigue may involve muscles, the nerves supplying those muscles or the neuromuscular junction. In contrast central fatigue involves areas proximal to the peripheral nerves. In this study, researchers wanted to see what areas of the brain might be involved in central fatigue mechanisms. They used a technique known as magnetoencephalography (MEG) to investigate this phenomenon. A proxy marker of fatigue was used – a subjective feeling of fatigue. The researchers found a correlation between this proxy marker of fatigue and activity in the Posterior Cingulate Cortex and they suggest that the relationship was mediated through classical conditioning. There are various conditions which involve fatigue and this research may be relevant.
A Video by Assistant Professor Alexandre Gramfort Illustrating Analysis of an MEG Dataset
A recent Meta-analysis suggests that in people at high clinical risk of conversion to Schizophrenia, working memory and visual learning were significantly correlated with risk of conversion (n=593) and it will be interesting to see further research in this area.
A new tool for assessing Delirium has been published. The AWOL tool for Delirium allows risk stratification by utilising four risk factors: (A) age > 80, (W) results on a specific cognitive subtest (O) orientation and (L) nursing assessment of illness severity. There are a number of tools for assessing Delirium and this multidisciplinary assessment tool has the potential to support clinical decision making.
The Alzheimer’s Society has launched a new Dementia guide for people diagnosed with Dementia.
One study failed to find a significant relationship between telomere length and physical parameters of aging. Telomeres are nucleotide sequences at the end of Chromatids. An extensive line of research has shown that longer Telomeres are associated with longer survival rates of cell lineages. In light of these cellular findings it has been suggested that Telomere length might be associated with longevity. However this study argues against a simple relationship between Telomere length and physical parameters such as grip strength.
Researchers have transform microscopes with light emitting diodes and computers increasing captured information 100 fold through a combination of increased resolution whilst retaining field view. This has the potential for many biomedical applications.
There is an interesting piece about new 3D scanners which probably have significant and abundant potential medical applications.
The Dutch Eindhoven region has been identified as the world’s most inventive region with many patents including medical innovations.
Does a network involving the lateral prefrontal cortex & the Posterior Parietal Cortex account for human cognitive success?
Neuroscientist Professor Dorothy Bishop takes a critical look at neuroscience on her blog. In this article she undertakes an interesting analysis of a study investigating a possible link between the Arcuate Fasciculus and word learning. Bishop discusses species differences in the Arcuate Fasciculus as well as individual variation before contextualising the present study and interpreting the findings. The research discussed here is important to the broader understanding of the relationship of the Arcuate Fasciculus to language.
Evolutionary Psychiatry, Evolution & Culture
The oldest identified ancestor of rats, Rugosodon Eurasiaticus has been identified in China. Other younger specimens have been identified in Europe. The mammal would have climbed trees and had sharp teeth. This specimen is estimated to be 160 million years old.
There is a coaching event in London on September 7th which includes a CBT perspective.
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