New Study Links Exercise and Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor News Round-Up October 2013 2nd Edition

In this study, researchers found evidence for the efficacy of the Observational Scale of Level of Arousal in detecting Delirium.

Researchers in this study found that severe white matter hyperintensities on MRI scans were a significant predictor of postoperative Delirium in Cardiac surgery (OR: 3.9; 95% CI: 1.2-12.5) and that this information could be clinically useful.

Researchers looked at auditory verbal hallucinations in older adults with Schizophrenia (n=198) and found that compared to younger adults with Schizophrenia in previous reports. The researchers findings included that in older adults with Schizophrenia auditory verbal hallucinations were more likely to be associated with depressive symptoms.

In this study researchers found that detecting the smell of Peanut Butter through the left nostril was impaired in people with Alzheimer’s Disease. Smell can also be affected in Lewy Body Dementia but an important confounder is the history of smoking which can also lead to an impairment in smell.

Study investigating smell detection of Peanut Butter in people with Alzheimer’s Disease



Researchers in this study identified the protein FNDC5 as a possible link between exercise and brain health. The expression of PGC-1α is increased in muscles after exercise in a murine model and this in turn was associated with an increase in FNDC5 which in turn is associated with an increase in expression of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Growth Factor.


awarenessOctober is Down Syndrome Awareness Month.

October 14th-20th is OCD Awareness Week.

Evolutionary Psychiatry, Evolution & Culture

Evolutionary PsychiatryProfessor Byrne has found evidence that African elephants understand human gesturing even when they have not previously encountered this. Elephants and humans shared a common ancestor approximately 100 million years ago. Professor Byrne will investigate whether the Elephant uses the trunk for gesturing.

Researchers have combined multiple lines of evidence including brain imaging data and fossil records to hypothesise that human ancestors developed hand dexterity before agility in the feet. The human brain has a special representation of the toe and of the fingers which is not found in monkeys – the former is needed for walking. The researchers also drew conclusions from analysis of Ardipithecus Ramidus.

The authors of this paper propose the evolution of conscious experience over 500 million years ago with vertebrates during the Cambrian period. The basis for the proposition is that conscious experience would result from the development of multiple levels of somatic representation beginning in the simplest vertebrates. One of the simplest extant vertebrates is the Lamprey (although the earliest Lamprey fossil records are from the Carboniferous period.

Crayfish and Brook Lamprey


News Round-Up 2008-2011

News Round-Up 2012

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