Advance toward an imaging agent for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease

ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters

Scientists are reporting development and initial laboratory tests of an imaging agent that shows promise for detecting the tell-tale signs of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in the brain — signs that now can’t confirm a diagnosis until after patients have died. Their report appears in the journal ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters.

Masahiro Ono and colleagues explain that no proven laboratory test or medical scan now exists for AD, which is claiming an increasingly heavy toll with the graying of the world’s population. Patients now get a diagnosis of AD based on their medical history and symptoms, and symptoms like memory loss often are identical to those of normal aging. Currently, the only definitive way to diagnose AD involves an autopsy with examination of brain samples for the presence of the clumps and tangles of abnormal protein that occur in the disease.

The scientists describe the synthesis and lab testing of a new imaging agent (called FPPDB), which bound tightly to ß-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles — signs of AD — in human brain samples. In normal laboratory mice, which served as stand-ins for humans, FPPDB stayed in the body long enough for a PET scan (a sophisticated medical imaging technique). With further development, the imaging agent may allow early AD diagnosis in humans, the scientists indicate.

The authors acknowledge funding from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan.

Masahiro Ono, Ph.D.
Department of Patho-Functional Bioanalysis
Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Kyoto University
Kyoto, Japan

Handheld device for doing blood tests moves closer to medical use

Analytical Chemistry

Scientists are reporting a key advance in efforts to develop a handheld device that could revolutionize the complete blood cell count (CBC), one of the most frequently performed blood tests used to diagnose and treat disease. In a report in ACS’ journal Analytical Chemistry, they describe adding a key feature to their “blood lab-on-a-chip” that allows it to count white blood cells more accurately.

Hywel Morgan, Cees van Berkel and colleagues explain that current CBC technology requires expensive equipment housed in central laboratories, which can take several days to process tests. The CBC test measures levels of the different components of human blood, including red and white blood cells. High or low levels of certain components can indicate a variety of conditions, ranging from infections and anemia to certain forms of cancer. Hoping to make those diagnoses faster and easier, Morgan and van Berkel have been working on a handheld device similar to the blood sugar tests used by people with diabetes.

In their latest advance, the scientists describe successfully adding a new feature to the chip, which sends a blood sample through channels only a few times as wide as a human hair to an electrode that counts blood cells as they pass. The feature breaks down red blood cells in a way that allows the chip to count white blood cells more accurately. Tests on blood samples from patients produced results comparable to those from tests performed on the same samples by a full-scale hematology lab.

The authors acknowledge funding from the Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

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Device might spark memories in some with Alzheimer’s

By Andrew M. Seaman

The results do not signal the device could someday cure the disease, but that it may restore some measure of activity in areas of the brain whose decline is linked to Alzheimer’s symptoms like memory loss, depression and agitation.

“What we can say is that the changes in brain activity are encouraging, but before we can make any sort of comments about the potential of the treatment we really have to study it in more individuals,” said Gwenn Smith, the study’s lead author, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.

The implant, which delivers continuous electrical impulses into the brain, is already commonly used in patients with Parkinson’s disease and tremors to help control their movements.

Although the new research is only in its beginning stages, it’s a promising avenue to explore since available Alzheimer’s treatments “aren’t that great,” said Dr. Bryan Klassen, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who was not involved in the study.

Smith, who was part of a team that did the initial research while at the University of Toronto, said they are just starting to look into what this could mean for Alzheimer’s patients.

The researchers, who published their findings in the Archives of Neurology, came to the idea of testing the device in Alzheimer’s patients after using it in a study of brain pathways involved in appetite, and found that memory improvement was an unexpected side effect of the brain stimulation.

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Bipolar symptoms may begin in teen years

By Kerry Grens

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – The number of teenagers who have experienced mania — a hallmark of bipolar disorder — is close to the number of adults estimated to have the mood disorder, suggesting that for many the condition begins during adolescence, according to a new study.

“The traditional wisdom has been that mania begins in your 20s and 30s,” said Kathleen Ries Merikangas, the study’s lead author and chief of the genetic epidemiology branch at the National Institute of Mental Health.

“I think the important thing is for people to recognize that mania does occur in adolescents,” she said.

Mania is a mood disorder characterized by excessive energy, a lack of sleep and sometimes risky and impulsive behaviors.

The most common diagnostic definition of bipolar disorder includes alternate cycles of mania and depression, though one type of bipolar diagnosis involves mania alone.

Merikangas said there have been smaller studies estimating how common mania is among children, and she and her colleagues sought to get a better handle on national rates of the disorder in kids.

The study included more than 10,000 teenagers who went through extensive interviews about their moods and behavior.

The research team found that 2.5 percent met the criteria for having had mania and depression, and 2.2 percent of teens had experienced it within the last 12 months.

Also within the year preceding the survey, 1.3 percent of the kids had mania alone and 5.7 percent had depression.

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Holistic Health

Use these natural remedies to fight and overcome superbugs

By Sarka-Jonae Miller, 
(NaturalNews) Nearly half of the meat sold in the United States has been found to contain methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MSRA), a strain that causes a staph infection but is resistant to antibiotic drugs. Antibiotic resistance caused by overusing antibiotics in people and animals creates superbugs, germs that cannot be killed with regular antibiotics. To combat antibiotic resistance, doctors try stronger meds. However, essential oils, garlic and vinegar can work as a natural MRSA treatment…

Natural remedies for migraine headaches

By Willow Tohi, 
(NaturalNews) More than thirty million people in the U.S. suffer from migraine headaches. That means that there is a migraine sufferer in twenty five percent of households, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders. Traditionally, sufferers use prescription drugs – 2.5 times more than the amount non-sufferers use – to help them get through it. However, even with the prescriptions, most experience an inability to function normally while having a migraine. The American Academy of…

Powdered coffee ‘creamer’ isn’t food, it’s processed chemicals

By Ethan A. Huff, 
(NaturalNews) Every day, millions of Americans add powdered coffee “creamer” products to their morning cups of joe because they falsely believe that these substances are somehow healthier than real cream. But little do they know that most coffee creamer products contain no actual cream, or food for that matter, as they are really nothing more than a crafty blend of toxic chemicals. When powdered coffee creamers first came onto the scene back in the 1950s, they actually contained real dehydrated…

The Measles Lie, and the ongoing ad campaign disguised as news

By D Holt, 
(NaturalNews) An article in the Daily Mail UK, has reported that there has been the highest rate of measles infection since 1988. It goes on to say that 214 cases have been reported in the Mersey-side area alone. In a blatant advert for the MMR vaccination, Dr Roberto Vivancos from the Health Protection Agency, said “It is obvious from these statistics that people who are not fully vaccinated are not just at risk themselves, but they pose an infection risk to others.” He is also quoted as saying…
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Pet Health

Give That Dog (or Cat) a Bone!

By Dr. Becker
>In order to be optimally healthy, your pet’s body requires nutrients — specifically calcium and phosphorus — provided by bones derived primarily from beef, pork, lamb, chicken and turkey.

Nutritional Components of Bone

In order to understand the nutrition bones provide to pets, it’s first necessary to nail down exactly what we’re talking about when it comes to bones.

Raw bones contain marrow.

However, marrow isn’t bone.

It’s comprised primarily of fat and blood components, which are high quality nutrients – just not nutrients provided by the bone itself.

There is also cartilage attached to raw bones.

Cartilage also isn’t bone.

It is connective tissue composed of about 50 percent collagen and mucopolysaccharides (chains of glucose molecules combined with mucous).

Collagen is fibrous connective tissue that is poorly digested by pets.

According to Miller’s Anatomy Of The Dog, 2nd Editioni:
“Bone is about one third organic and two thirds inorganic material. The inorganic matrix of bone has a microcrystalline structure composed principally of calcium phosphate.”
So bone is composed primarily of calcium phosphate. Calcium and phosphorus ratios and total amounts in a pet’s diet are important. This is especially true for large breed puppies with unique nutritional requirements (0.8 percent calcium and 0.67 percent phosphorus is considered the ideal ratio for these pups).

The ideal total amount of calcium in dog food is 1.0 to 1.8 percent of the dry weight of the food. Many inexpensive, poor quality dog foods contain higher amounts of calcium – sometimes twice the recommended percentage. This is because large quantities of ground bone wind up in meat, poultry and fish meal pet food ingredients. Any pet food with “meat and bone meal” at or near the top of the ingredient list probably has an excessive amount of calcium, which can be detrimental for growing animals.

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The Myth of the Alpha Dog

By Dr. Becker
>Most behavior problems in dogs involve either normal canine behaviors owners don’t like or understand, or undesirable behaviors rooted in anxiety.

In order to improve any type of dog behavior issue, the steps must always include:

    • Learning what ‘normal’ means in the canine world
    • Identifying and minimizing risks associated with the behavior
    • Effectively communicating with the dog
    • Learning to read the dog’s signals
    • Meeting the dog’s needs

Unfortunately dog trainers, veterinarians and other canine experts have been conditioned over the years to believe ‘bad’ behavior is driven by a dog’s desire to be dominant over his humans.

So owners receive the message that exerting control over their dog – showing him who’s ‘boss’ – is the key to improving behavior.

This is an anthropocentric focus on the relationship between people and dogs which considers only the needs of the human.

The Merriam-Webster definition of anthropocentrici:

  1. considering human beings as the most significant entity of the universe
  2. interpreting or regarding the world in terms of human values and experiences

According to Dr. Karen Overall of the University of Pennsylvania, an Applied Animal Behaviorist,
“The entire concept of dominance as applied to pet dogs is almost always based on a profound misunderstanding of the shared history of dogs and humans.”

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PhantomHD – Kitten in Slow Motion

Uploaded by on Jan 11, 2011

Check out our newest video:
We would like to present you, a relaxing video of an adorable little kitten playing in the garden. It’s filmed entirely on the Phantom HD with framerates ranging from 400 to 800 frames per second.
A gallery of the kitten is available @
Footage shot by: Michael Szymczak
Editing: Arek Arciszewski
Music “Serengetti Bliss” composer Papa J, publisher: Extreme Music / SM Publishing Poland


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