Saturday, October 30, 2004

In The Weeklies

Here are some relevant highlights from this week’s major scientific and medical weeklies:

New England Journal of Medicine
28 October 2004

This week’s issue includes several papers of interest, two on the topic on bacterial meningitis and the third is a case study of a patient with a frontal lobe lesion: Bacterial Meningitis — A View of the Past 90 Years by M. N. Swartz; Clinical Features and Prognostic Factors in Adults with Bacterial Meningitis by D. van de Beek and colleagues; and Case 33-2004 — A 34-Year-Old Man with a Seizure and a Frontal-Lobe Brain Lesion by E. N. Eskandar and colleagues.

Science
29 October 2004

This week’s issue includes a research study that has been reported in quite a few public media outlets over the past few days in terms of the relation between stress and forgetfulness. Here is the abstract:
Birnbaum SG, Yuan PX, Wang M, Vijayraghavan S, Bloom AK, Davis DJ, Gobeske KT, Sweatt JD, Manji HK, Arnsten AF. Protein kinase C overactivity impairs prefrontal cortical regulation of working memory. Science. 2004 Oct 29; 306(5697): 882-4.

Department of Neurobiology, Yale Medical School, 333 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT 06520-8001, USA.

The prefrontal cortex is a higher brain region that regulates thought, behavior, and emotion using representational knowledge, operations often referred to as working memory. We tested the influence of protein kinase C (PKC) intracellular signaling on prefrontal cortical cognitive function and showed that high levels of PKC activity in prefrontal cortex, as seen for example during stress exposure, markedly impair behavioral and electrophysiological measures of working memory. These data suggest that excessive PKC activation can disrupt prefrontal cortical regulation of behavior and thought, possibly contributing to signs of prefrontal cortical dysfunction such as distractibility, impaired judgment, impulsivity, and thought disorder.

PMID: 15514161 [PubMed - in process]

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