Effects of Quicker Biological Aging Show Up By Middle Age

For people whose bodies age more quickly than others, the cumulative effects show up as early as midlife, when signs of dementia and physical frailty begin to emerge, a study led by Duke researchers found. The results of the study1 suggests that identifying and treating the diseases of old age should begin by the time people celebrate their 45th birthday, before the problems escalate, degrade quality of life, and impose huge personal and societal costs.

Dementia Mortality Risk Elevated In Socioeconomically Deprived

A significant share of dementia deaths in England and Wales may be because of socioeconomic deprivation, new research led by Queen Mary University of London suggests. The study1 also found that socioeconomic deprivation was linked with younger age at death with dementia, and poorer access to accurate diagnosis. The research looked at mortality data from the Office for National Statistics for England and Wales and found that in 2017, 14,837 excess dementia deaths were attributable to deprivation, equating to 21.

Zinc Finger Gene Therapy Could Help Treat Alzheimer's

A genetic engineering strategy has been utilized to reduce levels of tau protein in an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease, say investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Sangamo Therapeutics Inc. The results could lead to a potentially promising treatment for patients with this devastating illness. The strategy, as described in the study1, involves a gene regulation technology called zinc finger protein transcription factors (ZFP-TFs), which are DNA-binding proteins that can be harnessed to target and affect the expression of specified genes.

Augmenting MRI-based Alzheimer’s Disease Classification With AI

Using a generative adversarial network, an advanced artificial intelligence framework based on game theory, researchers at Boston University School of Medicine processed brain images to generate a model that was able to classify Alzheimer’s disease with improved accuracy. Improving the diagnostic accuracy of Alzheimer’s disease is an important clinical goal. If we are able to increase the diagnostic accuracy of the models in ways that can leverage existing data such as MRI scans, then that can be hugely beneficial,

EGFL8 Signaling Molecule Stops Malignant Neuroblastoma Tumors

The uncontrolled growth of benign neuroblastomas is stopped by a signal molecule produced by Schwann cells present within these tumors, new research has found. This naturally occuring “brake” also works on malignant neuroblastoma cultures, according to scientists at St. Anna Children’s Cancer Research Institute. Together with colleagues from the Medical University of Vienna and the University of Vienna (Faculty of Chemistry), they authored the study1 describing for the first time the function of this signal molecule —not only in tumors, but also in injured nerve fibers.

What Is Calicheamicin?

The calicheamicins are a class of enediyne antitumor antibiotics derived from the bacterium Micromonospora echinospora, with calicheamicin γ1 being the most notable. It was isolated originally in the mid-1980s from the chalky soil, or “caliche pits”, located in Kerrville, Texas. The sample was collected by a scientist employed by Lederle Labs (now part of Pfizer) while on vacation1. Calicheamicin γ1 is extremely toxic to all cells and, in 2000, a CD33 antigen-targeted immunoconjugate N-acetyl dimethyl hydrazide calicheamicin was developed and marketed as targeted therapy against the non-solid tumor cancer acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Toddlers With Erratic Sleep Patterns Have Higher Body Mass Index

New research from University of Delaware links inconsistent sleep times to higher body mass index (BMI) percentiles. The findings suggest sleep may help explain the association between household poverty and BMI. We’ve known for a while that physical activity and diet quality are very strong predictors of weight and BMI. I think it’s really highlighting that sleep may be playing a bigger role here than it’s been given credit for,

Prolonged Medically Induced Coma Alters Brain Connectivity

Prolonged anesthesia significantly alters the synaptic architecture of the brain regardless of age, according to new research. Prolonged anesthesia, also known as medically induced coma, is a life-saving procedure carried out across the globe on millions of patients in intensive medical care units every year. Unfortunately, after this type of coma, which takes the brain to a state of unconsciousness deeper than short-term anesthesia for surgical procedures, it is common for family members to report that after hospital discharge their loved ones were not quite the same.