Posts Tagged ‘research’

Alzheimers-Here today. Gone tomorrow. Good News.

Sunday, November 19th, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Dale Bredesen is internationally recognized as an expert in the mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. He graduated from Caltech, then earned his MD from Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC. He served as Chief Resident in Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) before joining Nobel laureate Stanley Prusiner’s laboratory at UCSF as an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow. He held faculty positions at UCSF, UCLA and the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Bredesen directed the Program on Aging at the Burnham Institute before coming to the Buck Institute in 1998 as its founding President and CEO.  Dr Bredesen has mentored many, many physicians and PhD learners in his lab, presented over 300 papers, written over 200 peer reviewed papers written numerous book chapters and abstracts,, written several books including his recent the End of Alzheimer’s: The first program to prevent and reverse cognitive decline, received numerous patents and honors. In addition, recently he has been interviewed on many television  and radio shows including Dr Oz. You can see his curriculum vitae at: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/1a2e49_f0a51bffa9a341dca2ab7af9b6fd0c3d.pdf

The uniform failure of recent drug trials in Alzheimer’s disease has highlighted the critical need for a more accurate understanding of the fundamental nature of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Bredesen’s research has led to new insight that explains the erosion of memory seen in Alzheimer’s disease, and has opened the door to a new therapeutic approach. He has found evidence that Alzheimer’s disease stems from an imbalance in nerve cell signaling: in the normal brain, specific signals foster nerve connections and memory making, while balancing signals support memory breaking, allowing irrelevant information to be forgotten. But in Alzheimer’s disease, the balance of these opposing signals is disturbed, nerve connections are suppressed, and memories are lost. This model is contrary to popular dogma that Alzheimer’s is a disease of toxicity, caused by the accumulation of sticky plaques in the brain. Bredesen believes the amyloid beta peptide, the source of the plaques, has a normal function in the brain — promoting signals that allow some of the nerve connections to lapse. Thus the increase in the peptide that occurs in Alzheimer’s disease shifts the memory-making vs. memory-breaking balance in favor of memory loss. This work has led to the identification of several new therapeutic candidates that are currently in pre-clinical trials.

Dr. Bredesen’s novel insights into the fundamental nature of Alzheimer’s disease recently attracted an investment of $3.5 million toward a $10 million goal for initial clinical trials of these new therapeutics. This generous support came from the private venture capitalist Douglas Rosenberg, who is helping to fund the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Network, centered at the Buck Institute. The unit is screening drug candidates to find those that can preserve a healthy balance in the signaling pathways that support memory. Dr. Bredesen’s work on nerve cell signaling is also the focus of a collaboration between the Buck Institute and BioMarin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which is seeking treatments for a rare form of Alzheimer’s disease, early onset Familial Alzheimer’s Disease (eFAD), which may develop in people as young as 30 years of age.

Listen to the Interview below:

 

 

Nutritional absorption is enhanced by a spoonful of oil on vegetables.

Friday, November 10th, 2017

A new study published in  the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that adding a spoonful of oil or fat to vegetables increases their ability to be absorbed.  Specifically adding soybean oil promoters the absorption  of eight different nutrients that promote health. Conversely, eating the same vegetables without the oil increases the likelihood that they will not be absorbed. Salad vegetables included  four carotenoids–alpha and beta carotene, luetin and lycopene—two forms of vitamin E and K,  The oil also promotes the absorption of vitamin A-the 8th nutrient studied. Better absorption is important to promote health including preventing cancer, and eyesight preservation. Researchers also found that the more oil the better the absorption,. The researcher warned that oils should still be limited to the 2 tablespoon daily recommendation

The study included 12 college-age women who consumed salads with varying amounts of soy bean oil. Maximum absorption occurred at a little more than 2 tablespoons ( at  32 grams of fat) but there was some variation among women. The researchers recommended salad oil on salads.

Health Elderly have Same Gut Microbes as Healthy 30 Year Olds

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

A new study published in the journal Sphere showed that the overall microbiota composition of the healthy elderly population was similar to that of healthy people in their 30’s and the gut microbiota differed little between individuals from the age of 30 to over 100.  The study was carried out between Western University, Lawson Health Research Institute and Tianyi Health Science Institute in Zhenjiang Jiangsu, China and studied gut bacteria in a cohort of more than 1,000 Chinese people in ages ranging from 3 to over 100 years who were self selected to be extremely healthy with no known health issues or family disease.  The results showed a direct correlation between health and the microbes in the intestine. Authors concluded that if you are extremely healthy and 90 years old, your gut microbiota is not that different from a healthy 30 year old in the same population. Although researchers did not know if this is a cause or effect, the study pointed out that it is the diversity of the gut microbiota that remains the same in their study. They concluded that “this demonstrates that maintaining diversity of your gut as you age is a biomarker of healthy aging, just like the low-cholesterol is a biomarker of a healthy circulatory system,  ……suggest that resetting an elderly microbiota to that of a 30-year-old might help promote health.

Intermittent fasting can help fight obesity.

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

 

Intermittent fast for up to sixteen weeks without making other changes helps fight obesity and other metabolic disorders .  according to a new study published in in the journal Cell Research  Researchers found that intermittent fasting of mice kick started their metabolism and burning fat by generating heat. Groups of mice were exposed to sixteen weeks of intermittent fasting consisting of being fed for two days followed by one day without anything to eat. Their calorie intake was not adjusted otherwise. After four months the mice in the fasting group had lost more weight than those in the control group who continued to eat the same amount of calories. Weight loss in the fasting group was not the only change. There was a decrease in the build up of white fat by increasing the brown-like fat (involved in burning energy and producing body heat) and their insulin and glucose systems remained more stable. In addition,m these changes were seen after 6 weeks.  This was found to be a result of changes in pathways in the immune system and the bodies reaction to inflammation in which a type of white blood cells that play a role in fighting inflammation is triggered. This leads to stimulation of fat cells to burn stored fat or lipids by generating heat. The authors concluded that “intermittent fasting without a reduction of caloric intake can be a preventive and therapeutic approach against obesity and metabolic diseases.”.

Exercise—Any Physical Activity Saves Lives

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Physical activity of any kind can raise the heart rate, prevent heart disease and death and help people meet the current guidelines of 30 minutes  a day or 150 minutes a week according to a new study published in the Lancet. The study involved more than 130,000 people in 17 countries. People from low and middle income countries who often do not participate in leisure time physical activities were included. Researchers said “By including low and middle income countries in this study, we were able to determine the benefits of activities such as active commuting,. having an active job, or even doing housework. ” He also said one in four people worldwide do not meet the current activity guidelines and that number is nearly three in four in Canada.

Using the new criteria of activity influenced the death rates of all diseases and and heart disease 28% and 20%. They also found that those who had brisk walking 750 minutes a week reduced their risk of death by 36%They also found that less than 3% of the people achieved that level with leisure activities but 38% did with activities such as commuting, being active at work, and doing housework. They concluded that if people could be active for at least 150 minutes a week, a total of 8% of deaths could be prevented..

Increased Breast Cancer risk in Women Related to Night Lights

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

 

A new study published in Environmental Health Perspectives concluded that women who live in areas with higher levels of outdoor lights at night may be at a greater risk of breast cancer than women in areas of lower light,  The link was stronger among women who worked nights  Previous studies have found that exposure to light at night may lead to decreased levels of the hormone melatonin that can effect our circadian rhythms and lead to breast cancer.

In the study nearly 110,000 women enrolled in the Nurses Health Study II between 1989 and 2013 were evaluated. Data on night satellite images of earth residential addresses were linked to for each participant and also considered night work or not. Data on health and socioeconomic factors were also considered.  Women exposed to the upper level of light at night (the top fifth) had an estimated 14% increase in breast cancer during the study period than those in the lowest fifth.  As the light increased outside so did the risk of breast cancer.

This relationship was found only among women who were premenopausal and those who were current or past smokers. In addition, the link was stronger among women who worked nights. The researchers said further research is needed.

 

New Cervical Cancer Diagnostic Test has Minimal Discomfort.

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

 

A new diagnostic test for cervical cancer that could replace the colposcope (usually used following an abnormal pap smear) is less painful and minimizes discomfort according to new research published in Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease .In the colposcope a metal instrument is used  to obtain a small sampling of cells inside the cervix that is often painful for the patient and does not always provide good results.

An alternate device called the fabric -based endocervical curettage used a fabric hook similar to that found on the rough side of Velcro to do the sampling instead of the metal scraping. The hook simultaneously biopsies, traps, and stores the tissue for transport to the lab. Researchers said “We have found that the new fabric device has significantly fewer  “inadequate” specimens—meaning patients did not need to return for repeat biopsies. ” “This new device means patients will get better results, with fewer patients needing repeat biopsies, which can increase patient satisfaction.”

A sample of 81 physicians and nurse colposcopists who switched from the old metal version (January, 2010 to July 2011)  to the new fabric version (Sept 2011 to October, 2013) were included. The researchers looked at pathology lab results for the two periods. They found the new device is not sharp and removes the appropriate amount of cells with minimal discomfort. “Because the biopsy gets more tissue, it is able to find more precancerous cells. This could be the difference between intervening early before someone develops cancer and waiting until it has grown larger.”

Green Tea may Improve Memory Impairment, and Reduce Brain Insulin Resistance, and Obesity.

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

Green tea components may alleviate high-fat and high-fructose (HFFD)-induced insulin resistance and cognitive impairment.according to a new study published in The FASEB Journal. Previous studies identified the potential of EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) to treat a variety of human diseases but none recognized the impact on insulin resistance According to researchers “Green tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water, and is grown in at least 30 countries.” “The ancient habit of drinking green tea may be a more acceptable alternative to medicine when it comes to combating obesity, insulin resistance, and memory impairment.”

Three month old male mice  C57BL/6J were divided into 3 groups based upon diet:1) a control group fed with a standard diet: 2) a group fed with a  high fat and high fructose diet (HFFD) and 3) a group fed with an HFFD and 2 grams of EGCG per liter of drinking water.  Mice were monitored for 16 weeks and researchers found that those fed with HFFD had a higher final body weight than the HFFD+EGCG micIn performing a Morris water maze test, the mice in the HFFTD took longer to find the platform than the mice in the control group. The HFFD+EGCG group had a significantly lower  escape latency and escape distance than the HFFD group on each test day. When the hiden platform was removed to perform a probe trial, HFFD treated mice spent less time in the target quadrant compared to the control group, with fewer platfrorm crossings. The HFFD+EGCG group exhibited a significant increase in the average time spent in the target quadrant and had greater numbers of platform crossings, showing that EGCG could improve HFFD-induced memory impairment. .

Dementia: Are Some Cases Preventable.

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

Recent research published in Lancet and reported by the first Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention and Care stated that managing lifestyle factors such as hearing loss, smoking, hypertension, and depression could prevent one-third of the world’s dementia cases. They also said nonpharmacological interventions such as social contact and exercise for people with dementia are beneficial. Researchers said “There’s been a great deal of focus on developing medicines to prevent dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.” ” But we can’t lose sight of the real major advances we’ve already made in treating dementia, including preventive approaches.”

Twenty four international experts were brought together to systematically review existing research and provide evidence=based recommendations for treating and preventing dementia. Nine risk factors were identified in early, mid and late life that increase the likelihood of developing dementia. They said by increasing education in early life and addressing hearing loss, hypertension, and obesity dementia could be reduced by up to 20 percent. In late life stopping smoking, treating depression, increasing physical activity, increasing social activities, and managing diabetes could reduce dementia by another 15 percent. Evaluating medications they said “Antipsychotic drugs are commonly used to treat agitation and aggression. but there are substantial concern about these drugs because of an increased risk of death, cardiovascular adverse events and infections, not to mention excessive sedation.”

Colorectal Cancer Impacted by High Fat Diets

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Cancer stem cell growth in the colon is enhanced by a high fat western diet according to new research in Stem Cell Research. It has been known that 80% of colorectal cancers are associated with poor diet but until now the mechanism was unknown. In their pre-clinical model the cancer stem cell growth in the colon, believed to be partially responsible for the spread and recurrence of cancer, was enhanced by a high-fat Western diet  when researchers blocked the JAK2-STAT3 cellular signaling pathway, a pathway known to promote tumor growth, the spike in cancer stem cell growth caused by the high fat diet declined.

Researchers said “We have known the influence of diet on colorectal cancer. However, these new findings are the first to show the connection between high-fat intake and colon cancer via a specific molecular pathway.” “We can now build upon this knowledge to develop new treatments aimed at blocking this pathway and reducing the negative impact of a high-fat diet on colon cancer risk.”