Mapping the Brain’s Language Comprehension Functions News Round-Up November 2013 4th Edition

A German research group have developed a method for comparing scores on 11 self-reporting Depression questionnaires and state that their findings can inform the use of questionnaires across settings as well as being useful in the research setting.

The authors of a meta-analysis looking at mental health websites found a statistically significant relationship between the source of funding of the website and the focus on biological versus psychosocial causes of illness and treatment.

In a meta-analysis of pre-operative alcohol use and post-operative surgical complications, researchers found a statistically significant relationship between high alcohol use preoperatively and risk of post-operative mortality (relative risk 2.68 (95% CI 1.5-4.78)). Premorbid alcohol use was associated with an increased risk of postoperative general infections (relative risk 1.73 (95% CI 1.32-2.28) amongst other findings.

In a meta-analysis looking at Zinc levels in people with Depression, researchers included 17 studies (n=2447) and found statistically significant lower Zinc levels in subjects with Depression compared to controls (95% confidence interval of -2.51 to -1.19 µmol/L, p < .00001). Curiously the effect size for the difference was larger in inpatient versus community settings.

In a meta-analysis of the effects of an antihistamine on cognition, researchers looked at 5 RCT’s and reported a finding for only one of several cognitive scores (NPI) in studies investigating Dementia in Alzheimer’s Disease.

There is an updated Cochrane review looks at the research studies investigating an atypical antipsychotic treatment in Schizophrenia and recommends further research amongst other findings.

There is a brief write-up here of an RCT of cognitive rehabilitation in Multiple Sclerosis.

The Mental Elf blog features

– A look at research studies investigating complementary and alternative therapy in antenatal depression (the review comments on the lack of evidence and looks at some of the methodological difficulties that need to be addressed)

– A review of a study on the use of MRI scanning for diagnosis of Autism in infants (this is a fascinating study which looks at findings on developing brain volume in the sample population)

– A look at a Cochrane review of evidence for psychosocial interventions in people with severe mental illness and substance misuse (in the review it is suggested that harm reduction can be a useful outcome and there is a need to address methodological difficulties in future studies)

– A look at the evidence for Depression screening in chronic illness in a cross-sectional PLOS One study (the review highlights recommendations on stratifying risk groups within populations with chronic illness as well as methodological limitations e.g. a need to focus on psychological therapies)

– A review of a cohort study on early exposure to intimate partner violence (in parents) and parental self-reported depressive symptoms (the review picks up on confounders such as peer interactions as well as highlighting associations found with ADHD)


brain.1This write-up looks at a study in which researchers investigate discourse comprehension (the ability to understand spoken and written language)  by examining function in people with damage to certain parts of the brain. The researchers concluded that Frontal and Parietal regions are needed for the executive functions necessary for discourse comprehension.

This write-up looks at an important study finding that intracellular calcium was not necessary for adaptation to sounds.

There is a write-up here of a study looking at cognition and the number of recessions a person has lived through.

There is a write-up here of a study looking at features of sleep (including non-restorative sleep and initial insomnia) and mortality.


Evolutionary PsychiatryThis write-up looks  at a study in which researchers found that mutations in the FOXP2 gene are associated with impaired singing in adult Zebrafinches.


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. Conflicts of Interest: For potential conflicts of interest please see the About section.

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