MinervaBMJ 2006; 332 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7551.1222 (Published 18 May 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:1222
Not getting enough sleep is a risk factor for high blood pressure, according to an analysis of the first national health and nutrition examination survey in the US (Hypertension 2006;47: 833-9). Sleeping less than five hours a night was associated with a significantly increased risk of hypertension in people aged between 32 and 59, a relation only partially attenuated by adjustment for potential confounding factors such as obesity and diabetes.
Vasopressin (anti-diuretic hormone), administered intranasally, has different effects on social communication skills in men and women. Men perceived the faces of unfamiliar men as being less friendly, but women perceived the faces of unfamiliar women as more friendly. Vasopressin also seems to have a role in evoking autonomic responses when we encounter threatening faces, and in increasing anxiety (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 8 May 2006; doi: 10.1073/pnas.0600406103).
A study of 14 aphasic patients enabled researchers to describe how the brain zones for language are reorganised after stroke. Three phases seem to be involved in patients who had an infarction of the left middle cerebral artery: an initial acute phase wherein the remaining language areas in the left hemisphere show reduced activation; a subacute phase of greatly increased activation of language networks in both hemispheres, particularly on the right; and a chronic …