Category: Medical Discoveries


 

Alzheimer’s Disease—Yes, It’s Preventable!

May 22, 2014

 

By Dr. Mercola

An estimated 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, a severe form of dementia,1 and hundreds of thousands more may suffer from an often misdiagnosed subtype called “hippocampal sparing” Alzheimer’s, according to recent findings.2

The most recent data3, 4 suggests that well over half a million Americans die from Alzheimer’s disease each year, making it the third leading cause of death in the US, right behind heart disease and cancer.

As discussed by Dr. Danielle Ofri in a recent New York Times blog,5 losing your mind, and with it, much of your personality and dignity, is a terrifying proposition. Making matters worse, many doctors shy away from addressing dementia—both with colleagues and their patients.

The reasons are many. Dr. Ofri suggests Alzheimer’s strikes at the emotional heart of many clinicians, whose careers depend on the stability and functioning of their own minds and intelligence. In short, it frightens them too much to talk about it.

However, I strongly disagree with her commentary on the lack of strategies to prevent or modify the course of Alzheimer’s.

“I suspect… that our reticence stems from deeper issues,” Dr. Ofri writes. “All the top 10 killers in America are potentially preventable, or at least modifiable — all except dementia… We have tests to screen for many cancers, and treatments that prolong life… But there’s nothing, really, that we can do about dementia.

There aren’t any screening tests that can pick up the disease before symptoms appear. And even if there were, there aren’t any treatments that make a substantial difference.

For doctors, this is profoundly frustrating. No wonder dementia gets pushed onto the back burner. In the dishearteningly limited time of a medical visit, we’re forced to focus on the diseases we can treat.”

On the contrary, while early diagnostic tests are in short supply and successful treatments are virtually nonexistent, the evidence shows there’s plenty of hope when it comes to prevention!

This is exactly why doctors need to get with the program and start directing their patients toward healthier lifestyles rather than fall into the trap of thinking the situation is hopeless and their patients are helpless victims.

Heart Disease May Increase Your Odds of Developing Alzheimer’s

I firmly believe that since there’s no conventional cure, now or in the foreseeable future, the issue of prevention is absolutely critical if you want to avoid becoming an Alzheimer’s statistic.

Ideally, doctors would begin counseling patients who are in their 20s and 30s on lifestyle strategies that promote heart and brain health throughout life. Then we would probably see a major shift in Alzheimer’s statistics for that generation.

As it stands, the evidence points to lifestyle factors, primarily diet, as the driving forces of dementia. There are also many connections between Alzheimer’s and other dietary-related diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, suggesting that ALL of these diseases are preventable through identical means.

For example, previous research suggests diabetics have a doubled risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease was even tentatively dubbed “type 3 diabetes” in 2005, when researchers discovered that your brain produces insulin that is necessary for the survival of your brain cells.

They found that a toxic protein called ADDL removes insulin receptors from nerve cells, thereby rendering those neurons insulin resistant, and as ADDLs accumulate, your memory begins to deteriorate. Recent research also points out that heart disease increases your odds of developing Alzheimer’s. As reported by MedicineNet.com:6

“Researchers found that artery stiffness — a condition called atherosclerosis — is associated with the buildup of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.”

‘This is more than just another example of how heart health relates to brain health. It is a signal that the process of vascular aging may predispose the brain to increased amyloid plaque buildup,’ said lead researcher Timothy Hughes…

Plaque builds with age and appears to worsen in those with stiffer arteries, he said. ‘Finding and preventing the causes of plaque buildup is going to be an essential factor in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and extending brain health throughout life,’ Hughes added.”

Subtype of Alzheimer’s Disease Is Often Misdiagnosed


In related news, research7, 8 presented at the 2014 American Academy of Neurology’s meeting in Pennsylvania sheds new light on Alzheimer’s cases that are often misdiagnosed. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic believe they have identified a variant of the disease, referred to as “hippocampal sparing” Alzheimer’s, which is thought to affect an estimated 600,000 Americans. As explained by Medical News Today:9

“All subtypes of Alzheimer’s have two specific hallmarks in the brain. Amyloid beta is responsible for the formation of brain plaques, while tau produces tangles in the brain. In order to classify each subtype, the team used tangle counts to create a mathematical algorithm.

They found that while all Alzheimer’s subtypes had the same amount of amyloid beta, the hippocampal sparing variant showed tau tangles in unequal areas of the hippocampus. They discovered that in patients with this subtype, tau specifically damages neurons in areas of the brain associated with behavior, motor recognition and awareness, and use of speech and vision.”

Of the more than 1,800 Alzheimer’s patients included in the study, 11 percent were found to have hippocampal sparing Alzheimer’s, which does not destroy memory to the degree typically associated with Alzheimer’s. Instead, this subtype of the disease tends to alter behavior, causing uncontrollable anger, visual impairments, speech problems, and the feeling that your limbs do not belong to you. Hippocampal sparing appears to affect more men than women, and the disease tends to set in much earlier than traditional Alzheimer’s. Patients with hippocampal sparing also tend to deteriorate at a fast pace.

Misdiagnosis is common, as this subtype spares your memory. Quite often these patients end up being diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia or corticobasal syndrome10 instead. The former is associated with personality changes, while the latter is a progressive neurological disorder that can involve your motor system, cognition, or both, but patients typically present language problems first, followed by motor symptoms.

While the researchers believe that currently available Alzheimer’s medications may be more effective for those with hippocampal sparing Alzheimer’s than those with more traditional dementia, I firmly believe that drugs are not the answer to any of these conditions. Clearly, at the heart of it all is insulin and leptin resistance, fueled by a diet too high in refined sugars, processed fructose, and grains, combined with far too little healthful fats.

 

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Dr. Mercola and Dr. Perlmutter on Alzheimer’s Prevention (Full Interview)

 

Published on Sep 26, 2013

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/art… Natural health physician and Mercola.com founder Dr. Joseph Mercola interviews Dr. David Perlmutter on how to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

 

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The active form of vitamin D essentially shuts down cancer cells by several mechanisms which inhibit proteins involved in metastases. Now Chinese researchers have found breast and colorectalcancer patients with higher levels of vitamin D at the time of diagnosis may have better chances of survival and remain in remission longer those who are deficient, according to a scientific review.

 

For the past several years, there has been considerable interest in the role vitamin D plays in improving health and preventing disease. Previous finding show that low levels of vitamin D have been directly associated with various forms of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Stephen B. Kritchevsky, PhD, Professor of Internal Medicine and Transitional Science at the Wake Forest School of Medicine found a signficant correlation.”We observed vitamin D insufficiency (defined as blood levels <20 ng/ml), in one third of our study participants. This was associated with nearly a 50 percent increase in the mortality rate in older adults,” said Kritchevsky. “Our findings suggest that low levels of vitamin D may be a substantial public health concern for our nation’s older adults.”

Although vitamin D can be obtained from limited dietary sources and directly from exposure to the sun during the spring and summer months, the combination of poor dietary intake and sun avoidance has created vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency in large proportions of many populations worldwide. It is known that vitamin D has a wide range of physiological effects and that correlations exist between insufficient amounts of vitamin D and an increased incidence of a number of cancers. These correlations are particularly strong for cancers of the digestive tract, including colon cancer, and certain forms of leukemia.

“Almost every disease decreases in frequency and duration as we move towards equatorial populations, and the data shows that there is a minimum of a 1000 percent increase for many diseases in countries furthest from the equator, however we have obtained the same results based on data through populations and vitamin D supplementation,” said Dr. Anthony Petaku who studies the effects of Vitamin D2 and D3 on mutating cells.

“Physicians need to pay close attention to vitamin D levels in people who have been diagnosed with cancer,” say Chinese researchers.

Better Chances of Survival

In a recent study, author Dr Hui Wang, said: “The results suggest vitamin D may influence the prognosis for people with breast cancer, colorectal cancer and lymphoma, in particular.”

The meta-analysis, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, included 25 studies and 17,332 cancer patients. In the majority of the research included the patients were tested for vitamin D levels before undergoing any cancer treatment. The researchers from Shanghai’s Institute for Nutritional Sciences and other Chinese universities and institutions found a ten nanomole/liter (nmol/L) increase in vitamin D levels correlated with an increased survival rate of 4%.

Significant associations

In another study in Anticancer Research, breast cancer patients with high levels of vitamin D in their blood are twice as likely to survive the disease as those with lower levels, new research has suggested.

A study by Dr. William Grant, Ph.D., internationally recognized research scientist and vitamin D expert, found that about 30 percent of cancer deaths — which amounts to 2 million worldwide and 200,000 in the United States — could be prevented each year with higher levels of vitamin D.

Higher vitamin D (25(OH)D) levels were “significantly associated” with reduced cancer-specific mortality for patients with colorectal cancer and lymphoma, while improved disease-free survival for patients with breast cancer or lymphoma was observed.
Meanwhile the researchers found less evidence of a connection in people with lung cancer, gastric cancer, prostate cancer, leukemia, melanoma or Merkel cell carcinoma, but said the data available was positive.

The paper speculated that cancer patients with higher vitamin D levels had an improved overall survival because of better general health status. “Due to the limited data of randomized controlled trials, it is unclear whether vitamin D status is causally related to diseases or if circulating 25(OH)D merely acts as a biomarker for health status of patients,” the researchers wrote.

No significant difference in levels was found for patients with early or later stages of the diseases.

Supplementation

“Considering that vitamin D deficiency is a widespread issue all over the world, it is important to ensure that everyone has sufficient levels of this important nutrient,” Dr Wang said. “Physicians need to pay close attention to vitamin D levels in people who have been diagnosed with cancer.”

Professional recommendations for supplementation are made for groups at risk of deficiency including pregnant and breastfeeding women, children under the age of five not fed infant formula, people over 65 and those not exposed to much sun. It says supplementation should not exceed 25 micrograms (0.025mg) a day, as it “could be harmful”.

It said taking too many vitamin D supplements over a long period of time could cause more calcium to be absorbed than can be excreted, which could lead to kidney damage and softened and weakened bones.

For this reason it’s very important to take a high quality calcium and magensium supplement with vitamin D such as Life Choice Opti-Cal/Mag Complex which also contains Vitamin K2 which in itself also has been found to prevent cancer and also improve bone, cardiovascular, skin, brain, and now prostate health.

Sources:
endocrine.org

Mae Chan holds degrees in both physiology and nutritional sciences. She is also blogger and and technology enthusiast with a passion for disseminating information about health.

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Prevent Disease

 

April 29, 2014 by MARTINO CANDIOSO

High-Protein Breakfasts Help Maintain Glucose and Insulin Control

Eating breakfast is a valuable strategy to control appetite and regulate food intake. Your choice of foods can either increase or decrease your appetite throughout the day. Researchers have found that when women consume high-protein breakfasts, they maintain better glucose and insulin control than they did with lower-protein or no-protein meals.

Compared to breakfast skipping, a protein breakfast leads to increased fullness and reductions in hunger throughout morning. fMRI results have shown that brain activation in regions controlling food motivation and reward was reduced prior to lunch time when breakfast was consumed in the morning. Additionally, the higher protein breakfast led to even greater changes in appetite, satiety and reward-driven eating behavior compared to the normal protein breakfast.

In healthy individuals, the amount of glucose, or sugar, in the blood increases after eating. When glucose increases, levels of insulin increase to carry the glucose to the rest of the body. Previous research has shown that extreme increases in glucose and insulin in the blood can lead to poor glucose control and increase an individual’s risk of developing diabetes over time. The University of Missouri research has found that when women consumed high-protein breakfasts, they maintained better glucose and insulin control than they did with lower-protein or no-protein meals.

Breakfast skipping has been strongly associated with unhealthy snacking, overeating (especially at night), weight gain and obesity. Approximately 60 percent of adolescents skip breakfast on a daily basis.

Health experts at the University of Ulster said memory and attention tests found boys did better when they were a little hungry while girls were best after a satisfying morning meal.

“For women, eating more protein in the morning can beneficially affect their glucose and insulin levels,” said Heather Leidy, an assistant professor of nutrition and exercise physiology. “If you eat healthy now and consume foods that help you control your glucose levels, you may be protecting yourself from developing diabetes in the future.”

Consuming 30 grams of protein at breakfast can increases the rate of muscle protein synthesis by 50 percent in young and older adults.

Kevin Maki, of Biofortis Clinical Research, completed the study in collaboration with Leidy. They studied women aged 18-55 years old who consumed one of three different meals or only water on four consecutive days. The tested meals were less than 300 calories per serving and had similar fat and fiber contents. However, the meals varied in amount of protein: a pancake meal with three grams of protein; a sausage and egg breakfast skillet with 30 grams of protein; or a sausage and egg breakfast skillet with 39 grams protein. Researchers monitored the amount of glucose and insulin in the participants’ blood for four hours after they ate breakfast. The point was not to assess the health of the meals but rather the protein content.

Although levels of fats and sugars have been shown to influence the desire to eat, protein molecules regulate appetite.

“Both protein-rich breakfasts led to lower spikes in glucose and insulin after meals compared to the low-protein, high-carb breakfast,” Maki said. “Additionally, the higher-protein breakfast containing 39 grams of protein led to lower post-meal spikes compared to the high-protein breakfast with 30 grams of protein.”

These findings suggest that, for healthy women, the consumption of protein-rich breakfasts leads to better glucose control throughout the morning than the consumption of low-protein options, Leidy said.

“Since most American women consume only about 10-15 grams of protein during breakfast, the 30-39 grams might seem like a challenging dietary change,” Leidy said. “However, one potential strategy to assist with this change might include the incorporation of prepared convenience meals, such as those included in this study.”

“Incorporating a healthy breakfast containing protein-rich foods can be a simple strategy for people to stay satisfied longer, and therefore, be less prone to snacking,” Leidy said. “People reach for convenient snack foods to satisfy their hunger between meals, but these foods are almost always high in sugar and fat and add a substantial amount of calories to the diet. These findings suggest that a protein-rich breakfast might be an effective strategy to improve appetite control and prevent overeating in young people.”

Leidy said the study provides a good model to initially examine the effect of higher-protein breakfasts on glucose and insulin responses since only healthy, non-diabetic women with appropriate glucose control were included in the study. Based on the study’s findings, the researchers are hopeful that the consumption of protein-rich breakfasts also would benefit individuals with pre-diabetes, although future research is needed to confirm.

The research, “Acute Effects of Higher Protein, Sausage and Egg-based Convenience Breakfast Meals on Postprandial Glucose Homeostasis in Healthy, Premenopausal Women,” will be presented at the 2014 Experimental Biology meeting this week in San Diego, Calif.

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File:Connectome.jpg

“Why we are the way we are: the Internet of our brains. These are axonal nerve fibers in the real brain as determined by the measured anisotropy (directionality) of water molecules inside them. 3T 30 channel GRAPPA DTI scan protocol, deterministic tractography performed using TrackVis/FACT algorithm. You might know the subject :-)”

jgmarcelino from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Wikimedia . org

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LiveScience

Disaster Survivors: How Stress Changes the Brain

How well a person recovers from traumatic events may depend  in part on their self-esteem, according to researchers who examined the effects of a major earthquake on the survivors’ brains.

The researchers had conducted brain scans of university students for a study before the Great East Japan Earthquake struck in 2011. After the earthquake, they repeated the scans on 37 of the same people, and tracked stress-induced changes in their brains in the following months.

“Most importantly, what these findings show, is that the brain is dynamic — that it’s responding to things that are going on in our environment, or things that are part of our personality,” said Rajita Sinha, professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, who wasn’t involved in the study. [Top 10 Mysteries of the Mind]

In the brain scans taken immediately after the incident, the researchers found a decrease in the volume of two brain regions, the hippocampus and orbitofrontal cortex, compared with the scans taken before the incident.

One year later, the researchers repeated the scans and found that the hippocampus continued to shrink, and people’s levels of depression and anxiety had not improved.

 

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Japan Quake Shows How Stress Alters the Brain

HealthDay April 29, 2014 SHARE

TUESDAY, April 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) — A small study of people who experienced the devastating 2011 earthquake in Japan shows that although traumatic events can shrink parts of the brain, some of those regions can rebound once a person’s self-esteem returns.

“Higher self-esteem is one of the most important traits of resilience in the context of stressful life events,” said study author Atsushi Sekiguchi, who noted that these latest findings also illustrate that brain changes are dynamic and fluid over time.

Sekiguchi’s prior research had already demonstrated that people with lower self-esteem following a traumatic event are likely to experience a quick, short-term drop in the size of their orbitofrontal cortex and hippocampus. The first brain region is involved in decision-making and emotions, while the second area is involved in memory.

But by tracking the same individuals over time, Sekiguchi’s team observed that the “part of the brain volume which had decreased soon after a stressful life event [ultimately] increased, especially in individuals with [renewed] high self-esteem.”

Sekiguchi, from the division of medical neuroimage analysis at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, and his team report the findings in the April 29 online edition of Molecular Psychiatry.

To gain insight into how the 2011 earthquake — and ensuing tsunami that heavily damaged several nuclear reactors in northern Japan — affected its victims, the researchers focused on 37 men and women who were about 21 at the time.

All had MRI brain scans right after the earthquake, and then again one year later.

At the same time, the earthquake victims were given psychological assessments to gauge anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and other characteristics of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Investigators concluded that none of the patients ever developed full-blown PTSD.

Yet, the group did experience a big dip in self-esteem immediately following the earthquake. And by comparing their brain scans with those of 11 other people taken before the earthquake, the team determined that the loss of self-esteem was accompanied by a downsizing of the brain’s orbitofrontal cortex.

 

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Soaking meats in beer makes them safer to eat from the grill

Monday, April 21, 2014 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

beer

(NaturalNews) While word continues to spread about the carcinogenic effects of eating grilled meat, a new study published in the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry may have come up with a simple solution. Researchers from southern Europe found that simply marinating meat in beer prior to grilling it helps block the formation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, which have been linked to causing cancer.

Isabel Ferreira from the University of Porto in Portugal and her colleagues arrived at this conclusion after testing grilled meat samples marinated in one of three types of beer — Pilsner beer (PB), nonalcoholic Pilsner beer (P0B) and black beer (BB). The anti-free-radical activity of these three marinades was evaluated using charcoal-grilled pork and compared to the typical free radical activity of an unmarinated charcoal-grilled pork control.

In the end, all the meat samples were found to contain some level of eight different PAHs, collectively dubbed PAH8, which the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has previously classified as indicators of carcinogenic potency. But those meats that were marinated in beer prior to being cooked exhibited the lowest levels of these eight carcinogens, presumably due to certain compounds in beer that guard against damaging oxidation.

“BB exhibited the strongest scavenging activity (68.0%), followed by P0B (36.5%) and PB (29.5%),” wrote the authors about the initial assay of the three beer marinades. “BB showed the highest inhibitory effect in the formation of PAH8 (53%), followed by P0B (25%) and PB (13%).”

The full text of the study can be accessed at the following link:
http://pubs.acs.org.

 

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ScienceDaily: Your source for the latest research news

Hepatitis C treatment cures over 90 percent of patients who also have cirrhosis

Date:
April 12, 2014
Source:
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Summary:
Twelve weeks of an investigational oral therapy cured hepatitis C infection in more than 90 percent of patients with liver cirrhosis and was well tolerated by these patients, according to a new study.

Twelve weeks of an investigational oral therapy cured hepatitis C infection in more than 90 percent of patients with liver cirrhosis and was well tolerated by these patients, according to an international study that included researchers from UT Medicine San Antonio and the Texas Liver Institute. Historically, hepatitis C cure rates in patients with cirrhosis (liver scarring) have been lower than 50 percent and the treatment was not safe for many of these patients.

Hepatitis C virus is the No. 1 driver of cirrhosis, liver transplants and liver cancer in the United States, noted Fred Poordad, M.D., lead author on the study, which was released Saturday by The New England Journal of Medicine in conjunction with Dr. Poordad’s presentation of the data at the International Liver Congress in London. UT Medicine is the clinical practice of the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, where Dr. Poordad is a professor of medicine. He is vice president of the Texas Liver Institute in San Antonio.

Interferon previously was the only agent to show effectiveness against hepatitis C, but patients often relapsed and the therapy caused multiple side effects. The new regimen is interferon-free and consists of several agents — ABT-450/ritonavir, ombitasvir, dasabuvir and ribavirin. Twelve weeks after the last dose, no hepatitis C virus was detected in the bloodstream of 91.8 percent of patients who took the pills for 12 weeks. Among patients treated for 24 weeks, 95.9 percent were virus-free 12 weeks after the end of therapy.

 

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 Combination Drug Therapy Amazingly Effective In Tackling Hepatitis C

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ScienceDaily: Your source for the latest research news

 

New combination drug therapy proves very effective in hepatitis C treatments

Date:
April 12, 2014
Source:
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Summary:
Treatment options for the 170 million people worldwide with chronic Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) are evolving rapidly, although the available regimens often come with significant side effects. Two multi-center clinical trials show promise for a new option that could help lead to both an increase in patients cured with a much more simple and tolerable all oral therapy.

Treatment options for the 170 million people worldwide with chronic Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) are evolving rapidly, although the available regimens often come with significant side effects. Two multi-center clinical trials led by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center show promise for a new option that could help lead to both an increase in patients cured with a much more simple and tolerable all oral therapy.

A new 12-week single tablet regimen of ledipasvir and sofosbuvir have proven to be highly effective in treating a broad range of patients with HCV genotype 1, a form of the virus found in up to 75 percent of infections, according to results unveiled today at the European Association for the Study of the Liver and published simultaneously online by the New England Journal of Medicine.

Between 94 percent and 99 percent of patients were cured of hepatitis C and results were similar in patients who have never been treated and for those who had previously been treated with a combination of peginterferon and ribavirin, the current course that carries sometimes significant side effects.

“Eliminating interferon and ribavirin from treatment regimens is expected to reduce the incidence and severity of adverse events, to simplify the treatment of patients with HCV infection and to provide an option for patients who are ineligible for the current interferon-based treatments,” said Nezam Afdhal, MD, the senior author of the studies, Director of the Liver Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Hepatitis C is an infectious disease primarily affecting the liver and which can lead to scarring and cirrhosis and is transmitted primarily through blood transfusions (prior to 1991), intravenous drug use, poorly sterilized medical equipment and sexual transmission.. After exposure 80 percent of patients develop a chronic hepatitis which can lead to cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer and hepatitis C is the most common cause for liver transplantation in the US.

Prior treatments have been with interferon which is an injectable cytokine released in response to viral infections. Interferon is combined with other antiviral agents and needs to be used for up to 48 weeks to cure hepatitis C. but is associated with number of side effects, including influenza-like symptoms depression and anemia. Many patients are ineligible for these interferon-based therapies.

“The real advances seen in the Ion trials is that the sofosbuvir-ledipasvir combination tablet enables us to treat almost all genotype 1 patients with a short duration of 8-12 weeks of treatment expanding the treatment pool and increasing the overall cure rate,” said Afdhal.

Recent recommendations by the CDC and endorsed by the USPHS Task force have recommended screening of baby boomers (persons born between 1945 and 1965) for hepatitis C since up to3 percent may have silent infection without symptoms.
“Screening for HCV needs to be associated with a safe and effective treatment for these “baby boomers” with newly identified HCV and the ION trials clearly give an exciting new option for these patients” stated Afdhal.

 

 

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Drawing by Gonneke and released into public domain on Wikimedia Commons

 

The Cornucopia Institute logo and header

April 9th, 2014

Sustainable Pulse

  • Urine testing shows glyphosate levels over 10 times higher than in Europe
  • Initial testing shows Monsanto and Global regulatory bodies are wrong regarding bio-accumulation of glyphosate, leading to serious public health concerns
  • Testing commissioners urge USDA and EPA to place temporary ban on all use of Glyphosate-based herbicides to protect public health, until further more comprehensive testing of glyphosate in breast milk is completed.

In the first ever testing on glyphosate herbicide in the breast milk of American women, Moms Across America and Sustainable Pulse have found ‘high’ levels in 3 out of the 10 samples tested. The shocking results point to glyphosate levels building up in women’s bodies over a period of time, which has until now been refuted by both global regulatory authorities and the biotech industry.

The levels found in the breast milk testing of 76 ug/l to 166 ug/l are 760 to 1600 times higher than the European Drinking Water Directive allows for individual pesticides. They are however less than the 700 ug/l maximum contaminant level (MCL) for glyphosate in the U.S., which was decided upon by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) based on the now seemingly false premise that glyphosate was not bio-accumulative.

 

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This Is Your Brain On Aspartame

This Is Your Brain On Aspartame

Controversy continues to rage over the artificial sweetener aspartame.  Since it was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1981, aspartame has made its way into more than 6,000 food items.

 

The FDA claims aspartame is safe but has set an acceptable daily intake of no more than 50 mg per kilogram of body weight.  In other words, an adult weighing 165 pounds should consume no more than 3,750 mg of aspartame a day.  A can of diet soda typically contains about 180 mg of the chemical.  That means the FDA’s “safe” limit equates to about 21 cans of diet soda per day.

But is any level of aspartame really safe?

For decades researchers have claimed aspartame is responsible for headache, memory loss, mood changes, and depression.  Consumer complaints back them up.  Over 75% of adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA concern aspartame. Reported problems include headaches, migraines, vision problems, tinnitus, depression, joint pain, insomnia, heart palpitations, and muscle spasms.

Recently researchers from the University of North Dakota wanted to test the safe limits of aspartame over a short period of time.  They found that at just one half of the FDA’s “safe” acceptable daily intake, aspartame caused serious neurobehavioral changes including cognitive impairment, irritable moods, and depression.[i]

 

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Mercola.com

Sleep Loss May Cause Brain Damage and Accelerate Onset of Alzheimer’s, Two New Studies Show

 

By Dr. Mercola

Could poor sleeping habits cause brain damage and even accelerate onset of Alzheimer’s disease? According to recent research, the answer is yes on both accounts.

According to neuroscientist Dr. Sigrid Veasey, associate professor of Medicine and a member of the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology at the Perelman School of Medicine, this is the first time they’ve been able to show that sleep loss actually results in the loss of neurons.

A second study also suggests that if you sleep poorly, you’re at increased risk for earlier onset of severe dementia.

Sleep Loss Linked to ‘Massive Brain Damage’

The first study in question, published in the Journal of Neuroscience,1, 2, 3 found that sleep is necessary for maintaining metabolic homeostasis in your brain. Wakefulness is associated with mitochondrial stress, and without sufficient sleep, neuron degeneration sets in.

The research also showed that catching up on “sleep debt” on the weekend will not prevent this damage. To reach their conclusion, the researchers submitted mice to an irregular sleep schedule similar to that of shift workers.

Inconsistent, intermittent sleep resulted in a remarkably considerable, and irreversible, brain damage—the mice actually lost 25 percent of the neurons located in their locus coeruleus,4 a nucleus in the brainstem associated with arousal, wakefulness, and certain cognitive processes. As reported by Time magazine:5

“The scientists believe that when the mice slept inconsistently, their newer cells would create more sirtuin type 3, a protein meant to energize and protect the mice. But after several days of missing sleep, as a shift worker might, the protein creation fell off and cells began to die off at a faster pace.”

Chronic Sleep Disruption May Trigger Alzheimer’s Onset

In a similar vein, research published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging6 suggests that people with chronic sleep problems may develop Alzheimer’s disease sooner than those who sleep well. According to lead author Domenico Praticò, professor of pharmacology and microbiology/immunology in the university’s School of Medicine:7

“The big biological question that we tried to address in this study is whether sleep disturbance is a risk factor to develop Alzheimer’s or is it something that manifests with the disease.”

Using mice bred to develop Alzheimer’s, the researchers exposed one group of mice to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness, while another group was exposed to 20 hours of light and only four hours of darkness. This lack of darkness significantly reduced the amount of time the mice slept.

At the end of the eight-week long study, the mice that slept less were found to have significantly poorer memory. Their ability to learn new things was also impaired—despite the fact that the two groups of mice had about the same amount of amyloid plaque (a hallmark of Alzheimer’s) in their brains. According to Dr. Praticò:

“[W]e did observe that the sleep disturbance group had a significant increase in the amount of tau protein that became phosphorylated and formed the tangles inside the brain’s neuronal cells…

Because of the tau’s abnormal phosphorylation, the sleep-deprived mice had a huge disruption of this synaptic connection. This disruption will eventually impair the brain’s ability for learning, forming new memory and other cognitive functions, and contributes to Alzheimer’s disease.”

Since both groups of mice were bred to develop Alzheimer’s but the sleep deprived group developed these dementia-related problems sooner than the others, the researchers believe that poor sleep acts as a trigger of pathological processes that accelerate the disease. The researchers concluded that “chronic sleep disturbance is an environmental risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.”

Previous research, published in the journal Science,8 has also revealed your brain removes toxic waste during sleep through what has been dubbed “the glymphatic system.”9, 10, 11, 12, 13 This system ramps up its activity during sleep, thereby allowing your brain to clear out toxins, including harmful proteins linked to brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s.

By pumping cerebral spinal fluid through your brain’s tissues, the glymphatic system flushes the waste, from your brain, back into your body’s circulatory system. From there, the waste eventually reaches your liver, where it’s ultimately eliminated. So it’s quite likely that sleep affects your brain function and your risk of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s in more ways than one.

Elderly Women Are Twice as Likely to Develop Alzheimer’s Than Breast Cancer

Being aware of the links between sleep and Alzheimer’s onset may be particularly important for women, as they are at greatest risk for the disease.14 According to the 2014 Facts and Figures report issued by the Alzheimer’s Association,15 women over the age or 60 have a one-in-six chance of developing Alzheimer’s—nearly double the risk of men, who have a one-in-11 chance. Even more disturbing, a woman’s chance of developing Alzheimer’s is twice as great as her risk of developing breast cancer!

Since there’s no cure, and no truly effective treatments, taking steps to prevent Alzheimer’s becomes paramount. And it seems clear that sleeping properly is one important factor to take into consideration. For more information about Alzheimer’s prevention, please see my previous article “How to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease—A Neurologist Speaks Out.”

 

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