Tag Archives: cardiovascular disease

Memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s reversed for first time

Small trial by UCLA and Buck Institute succeeds using ‘systems approach’ to memory disorders

Patient 1 had two years of progressive memory loss. She was considering quitting her job, which involved analyzing data and writing reports, she got disoriented driving, and she mixed up the names of her pets.

Patient 2 kept forgetting once-familiar faces at work, forgot his gym locker combination and had to have his assistants constantly remind him of his work schedule. (more…)

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Boosting ‘cellular garbage disposal’ can delay the aging process, UCLA biologists report

UCLA life scientists have identified a gene previously implicated in Parkinson’s disease that can delay the onset of aging and extend the healthy life span of fruit flies. The research, they say, could have important implications for aging and disease in humans.

The gene, called parkin, serves at least two vital functions: It marks damaged proteins so that cells can discard them before they become toxic, and it is believed to play a key role in the removal of damaged mitochondria from cells. (more…)

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Bilirubin Can Prevent Damage from Cardiovascular Disease, MU Researchers Find

COLUMBIA, Mo. ­— Each year, about 610,000 Americans suffer their first heart attack, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart attacks and other symptoms of cardiovascular disease can be caused when blockage occurs in the arteries. In a new study from the University of Missouri, a scientist has discovered a natural defense against arterial blockage: bilirubin.

Bilirubin is typically something parents of newborns hear about when their children are diagnosed with jaundice. Generated during the body’s process to recycle worn-out red blood cells, bilirubin is metabolized by the liver and, usually, leaves the body harmlessly. (Many babies’ livers are not developed enough to metabolize the bilirubin, which results in the infants being diagnosed with jaundice, or high levels of bilirubin in their systems.) Now, MU scientists have found that bilirubin can be used to inhibit the clogging of arteries, and thus prevent the deadly consequences often experienced by individuals with cardiovascular disease. (more…)

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PTSD Consortium

Researchers seek better ways to diagnose, treat disorder

Tania Roth studies what happens to the brain when stress occurs early in life, seeking to pinpoint how those kinds of bad experiences can cause molecular changes to DNA.

Now, by participating in a national consortium of researchers, the assistant professor of psychology at the University of Delaware is hoping to use her expertise to contribute to a better understanding of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). (more…)

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Mystery of Nematode Pest-Resistant Soybeans Cracked by MU Scientists

Gene related to soybeans’ resistance to nematodes also correlates with human diseases

COLUMBIA, Mo. — For 50 years, the world’s soybean crop has depended on the use of cyst nematode resistant varieties of beans, but no one knew how these plants fought off the nematode pests. Now, the secrets of resistant soybean plants are finally coming to light. Surprisingly, one of the genes related to nematode resistance in soybeans also has been associated with human diseases including lymphocytic leukemia, spina bifida and cardiovascular disease, according to a team of University of Missouri researchers and their colleagues whose breakthrough was recently published in the journal Nature.

“Nine years ago, when I began investigating the molecular basis of soybean resistance to nematodes in an effort to identify the genes involved, I never imagined it would be this complex,” said Melissa Mitchum, co-author of the paper and associate professor of plant sciences at the University of Missouri’s Bond Life Sciences Center. “The gene responsible for nematode resistance was completely unexpected. The gene, called serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT), is common in nature and found in different kingdoms including both animals and plants. In humans, mutations in the SHMT gene can lead to a deficiency of folate, a B vitamin that is essential to the production and maintenance of cells, and this has been linked to a variety of diseases.” (more…)

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Football Scores a Health Hat Trick for Hypertensive Men

Playing football (soccer) could be the best way for people with high blood pressure, known as hypertension, to improve their fitness, normalise their blood pressure and reduce their risk of stroke, according to research published today (Monday 15 October 2012) in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.

Research from Universities of Exeter and Copenhagen, and Gentofte University Hospital in Denmark suggests football training prevents cardiovascular disease in middle-aged men with hypertension and is more effective than healthy lifestyle advice currently prescribed by GPs.

After six months of football training, three out of four men in this study had blood pressure within the normal, healthy range. (more…)

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Yoga Reduces Stress; Now It’s Known Why

UCLA study helps caregivers of people with dementia

Six months ago, researchers at UCLA published a study that showed using a specific type of yoga to engage in a brief, simple daily meditation reduced the stress levels of people who care for those stricken by Alzheimer’s and dementia. Now they know why.

As previously reported, practicing a certain form of chanting yogic meditation for just 12 minutes daily for eight weeks led to a reduction in the biological mechanisms responsible for an increase in the immune system’s inflammation response. Inflammation, if constantly activated, can contribute to a multitude of chronic health problems. (more…)

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Exercise and Healthy Eating Make a Difference Even Later in Life

ANN ARBOR, Mich.— Women in their 70s had a longer life expectancy when they exercised and regularly ate fruits and vegetables, a new University of Michigan study found.

“This is the first study to show that the combination of a healthy diet and greater physical activity predict greater survival and that the combination of both positive factors confers lower mortality risk than either factor alone,” said Emily Nicklett, U-M assistant professor of social work.

Nicklett and researchers at The Johns Hopkins University studied the results from 713 women ages 70 to 79 years who participated in the Women’s Health and Aging Studies. (more…)

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