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Will reduction in tau protein protect against Parkinson's and Lewy body dementias?

Will reduction in tau protein protect against Parkinsons and Lewy body dementias?
2021-06-18
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Will a reduction in tau protein in brain neurons protect against Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementias? A new study, published in the journal eNeuro, suggests the answer is no. If this is borne out, that result differs from Alzheimer's disease, where reducing endogenous tau levels in brain neurons is protective for multiple models of the disease -- which further suggests that the role of tau in the pathogenesis of Lewy body dementias is distinct from Alzheimer's disease. Both Parkinson's disease dementia and Lewy body dementia are characterized by intracellular aggregates of misfolded alpha-synuclein protein in brain neurons, and the two diseases together are the second most common cause of neurodegenerative dementia after ...

The end of Darwin's nightmare at Lake Victoria?

2021-06-18
Lake Victoria, which came under the spotlight in 2004 by the documentary "Darwin's nightmare", is not only suffering from the introduction and commercialisation of the Nile perch. A study lead researchers from the University of Liège (Belgium) has highlighted other worrying phenomena, particularly climatic ones, which have an equally important impact on the quality of the lake's waters. Located in East Africa, just south of the Equator, Lake Victoria is the source of the Nile and is the largest tropical lake in the world. With a surface area of 68,800 km² (twice the size of Belgium), it is considered to be one of the largest water and fishery resources in East Africa, supporting more than 47 million people in the three neighbor countries ...

Study: Men doing more family caregiving could lower their risk of suicide

2021-06-18
Colorado State University Professor of Psychology Silvia Sara Canetto has spent many years researching patterns and meanings of suicide by culture, trying to make sense of the variability in women's and men's suicide mortality around the world. Suicide rates are generally higher in men than in women, but not everywhere - which suggests cultural influences. Canetto and colleagues have completed a new study that provides insight into what may contribute to men's suicide vulnerability. The study tests Canetto's theory that men's suicide mortality ...

Researchers dig deeper into how cells transport their waste for recycling

Researchers dig deeper into how cells transport their waste for recycling
2021-06-18
Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys have gained a deeper insight into the intricacies of autophagy, the process in which cells degrade and recycle cellular components. The findings, published in Current Biology, describe how the "trash bags" in a cell--called autophagosomes--are tagged to direct their movement to the cellular "recycling plants" where waste is processed. The research opens new paths to understanding the relationship between autophagy and age-related diseases such as cancer and neurological disorders. "Our latest study identifies how a chemical modification (phosphate-related ...

Organic farming could feed Europe by 2050

Organic farming could feed Europe by 2050
2021-06-18
Food has become one of the major challenges of the 21st century. According to a study carried out by CNRS scientists1, an organic, sustainable, biodiversity-friendly agro-food system, could be implemented in Europe and would allow a balanced coexistence between agriculture and the environment. The scenario proposed is based on three levers. The first would involve a change in diet, with less consumption of animal products, making it possible to limit intensive livestock farming and eliminate feed imports. The second lever would require the application of the principles of agroecology, with the generalization of long, diversified crop rotation systems2 incorporating nitrogen-fixing legumes, making it possible to do without synthetic nitrogen fertilizers and ...

Assessing Racial, Ethnic disparities in access to COVID-19 vaccination sites

2021-06-18
What The Study Did: Researchers reviewed access to COVID-19 vaccination sites in Brooklyn, the most populated borough in New York, to better understand disparities in vaccination. Authors: Natasha Williams, Ed.D., M.P.H., of the New York University Grossman School of Medicine in New York, is the corresponding author. To access the embargoed study: Visit our For The Media website at this link https://media.jamanetwork.com/ (doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.13937) Editor's Note: The article includes funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, conflict of interest and financial disclosures, and funding and support. INFORMATION: Media advisory: The ...

COVID-19 in Spain

2021-06-18
What The Study Did: Researchers describe the local transmission pattern of SARS-CoV-2 in Valencia, the third most populated city in Spain. Authors: Carolina Romero García, M.D., Ph.D., of the University General Hospital, European University, in Valencia, Spain, is the corresponding author. To access the embargoed study: Visit our For The Media website at this link https://media.jamanetwork.com/ (doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.13818) Editor's Note: The article includes conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see ...

Pregnancy outcomes are affected by both maternal and paternal inflammatory disease

2021-06-18
Karin Hellgren and colleagues examined pregnancy outcomes in relation to disease activity and antirheumatic treatment strategies in women with RA. This matched cohort study from Sweden and Denmark explored the associations between maternal RA and pre-term birth (PTB), or delivering babies small for gestational age (SGA)in relation to the mother's disease activity and use of antirheumatic treatment before and during pregnancy. Using national medical birth registers and rheumatology registers, the authors looked at1739pregnancies in women with RA, and 17,390 control pregnancies in the general population. Overall, women with RA had an increased likelihood of having pre-term and small babies. High ...

Passive smoking and air pollution -- links to arthritis development and poor response to therapy

2021-06-18
RA is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. It can also cause fatigue, and the underlying inflammation may affect other body systems. It is more common in women than in men. To date, active smoking has been the most reproducibly reported risk factor for a type of RA called anti-citrullinated protein antibody (ACPA) positive RA-particularly in people who carry the HLA-DRB1-shared epitope alleles. Nguyen and colleagues set out to investigate the relationship between passive smoking and the risk of developing RA in a large prospective cohort of healthy French women. The E3N-EPIC (Etude Epidémiologique au prèsdes femmes de la Mutuelle générale de l'Education ...

Impact of a national tender system on biologic and targeted drug costs in Norway

2021-06-18
At the 2021 EULAR congress, Brkic and colleagues presented data from people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA)treated at Norwegian rheumatology outpatient clinics between 2010 and 2019. The project BioRheuma (BIOlogic treatment of patients suffering from inflammatory RHEUMAtic disorders in Norway) aimed to monitor people receiving b/tsDMARDs. Anonymized data files from10 participating centres were merged and analyzed over a 10-year period to show the annual total b/tsDMARD cost, as well as the mean cost per patient for all current users, for all those who started treatment, and for initiating patients naïve to b/tsDMARDs. The cost was calculated based on price offers given at the annual tender process for the different years. The number of registered RA patients in the databases increased ...

Treatment with tumor necrosis factor inhibitors may slow disease progression in people with spondyloarthritis

2021-06-18
Murat Torgutalp and colleagues investigated the longitudinal association between radiographic sacroiliitis progression and treatment with TNFi in patients with early axSpA in a long-term inception cohort. The results were shared in an oral session at the 2021 EULAR congress. Based on the availability of at least two sets of sacroiliac joint (SIJ radiographs), 166 people with non-radiographic axialspondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA), and135 with radiographic (r-axSpA), from the German Spondyloarthritis Inception Cohort (GESPIC) were included in the analysis. Two trained and calibrated ...

Decline in excess risk of dementia and heart failure in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

2021-06-18
RA is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. It can also cause fatigue, and the underlying inflammation may affect other body systems. Dementia is a symptom of damage to the brain, which can be caused by a number of different diseases - for example, Alzeimer's. Symptoms include memory loss, difficulty concentrating, confusion, and mood changes. It is not known what causes all types of dementia, but it is it thought that some of the damage could be caused by other underlying diseases. Heart failure happens when ...

Inflammation of the eye after drug withdrawal in children with arthritis

2021-06-18
Uveitis occurs in up to 20% of children with JIA, although this varies depending on the specific type of JIA that each child has. Jens Klotsche and colleagues shared new data at the 2021 EULAR congress analysing the risk of uveitis events after discontinuing disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD) in children with one of two JIA categories: extended oligoarthritis and rheumatoid factor (RF)-negative polyarthritis. The data for the analysis came from two ongoing biologic registers: the German Biologics in Pediatric Rheumatology (BiKeR) registry, and the Juvenile arthritis Methotrexate/Biologics long-term Observation (JuMBO) study. Adverse events and reports about uveitis events during treatment and after discontinuation of DMARDs were collected. ...

Evolution -- two routes to the same destination

2021-06-18
Fruit flies have found at least two solutions to the problem of sorting their sex chromosomes: a matter of life and death. Sex determination in animals often depends on the unequal segregation of specific chromosomes. Female cells generally possess two X chromosomes, while male cells contain one X and one Y chromosome. The latter, which is inherited from the male parent, has far fewer genes than the X. In the fruit fly Drosophila, male cells make up for the fact that they have only one X chromosome by boosting the level of expression of all of its genes by a factor of 2. This phenomenon, which is known as dosage compensation, requires that the X chromosome in males be regulated differently from all the others. A team of molecular biologists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) ...

Graphene drum: Researchers develop new phonon laser design

Graphene drum: Researchers develop new phonon laser design
2021-06-18
Professor Konstantin Arutyunov of the HSE Tikhonov Moscow Institute of Electronics and Mathematics (MIEM HSE), together with Chinese researchers, has developed a graphene-based mechanical resonator, in which coherent emission of sound energy quanta, or phonons, has been induced. Such devices, called phonon lasers, have wide potential for application in information processing, as well as classical and quantum sensing of materials. The study is published in the journal Optics Express. Using an analogy with photons, quanta of the electromagnetic spectrum, there are also particles of sound energy, phonons. In fact, these are artificially introduced objects in physics - quasi-particles, which correspond to vibrations ...

The Earth has a pulse -- a 27.5-million-year cycle of geological activity

The Earth has a pulse -- a 27.5-million-year cycle of geological activity
2021-06-18
Geologic activity on Earth appears to follow a 27.5-million-year cycle, giving the planet a "pulse," according to a new study published in the journal Geoscience Frontiers. "Many geologists believe that geological events are random over time. But our study provides statistical evidence for a common cycle, suggesting that these geologic events are correlated and not random," said Michael Rampino, a geologist and professor in New York University's Department of Biology, as well as the study's lead author. Over the past five decades, researchers have proposed cycles ...

VIMS study uncovers new cause for intensification of oyster disease

VIMS study uncovers new cause for intensification of oyster disease
2021-06-18
A new paper in Scientific Reports led by researchers at William & Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science challenges increased salinity and seawater temperatures as the established explanation for a decades-long increase in the prevalence and deadliness of a major oyster disease in the coastal waters of the mid-Atlantic. Dr. Ryan Carnegie, the paper's lead author, says "We present an entirely new lens through which we can view our last 35 years of oyster history in the Chesapeake Bay region. We now know the great intensification of Dermo disease in the 1980s wasn't simply due to drought. It was more fundamentally due to the emergence of a new and highly virulent form of Perkinsus marinus, the parasite that causes Dermo." In an unusual twist, the team's evidence ...

There is an unacceptable delay to diagnosis in axial spondyloarthritis

2021-06-18
The Axial Spondyloarthritis International Federation (ASIF) set out to coordinate a comprehensive evidence-based global review of the factors influencing the current diagnosis delay in axSpA, and to produce a definitive report that shines a light on these barriers, as well as providing a resource that can ultimately empower a range of international stakeholders to reduce this delay. At the 2021 EULAR congress, Wendy Gerhart and colleagues report the results of a full literature review and two virtual global forum events, involving patients and patient group ...

An increase in giant cell arteritis cases associated with peaks in COVID-19 prevalence

2021-06-18
Ben Mulhearn and colleagues estimated the incidence of GCA seen during the COVID-19 pandemic and compared it to data from 2019, before the pandemic hit. The two distinct peaks of COVID-19 reflected by UK hospital admissions of COVID-19-positive patients allowed the authors to investigate the relationship in time between COVID-19 and GCA incidence. At the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases in Bath, UK, there were 61 probable or definite GCA diagnoses made in 2020 compared to 28 in 2019- representing an excess of 33 cases in 2020, or an increase of 118%.Taking into account the fact that41% of the ...

COVID-19 morbidity and mortality in people with rheumatic diseases

2021-06-18
Arani Vivekanantham and colleagues investigated the association between RA and the risk of COVID-19 diagnosis, hospitalization with COVID-19,and COVID-19-related death. This population-based cohort study including all individuals registered in the Information System for Research in Primary Care (SIDIAP)- which covers over80% of the population of Catalonia, Spain. This information was linked to region-wide SARS-CoV-2 testing, hospital and mortality records. Outpatient diagnoses of COVID-19, hospitalizations and deaths with COVID-19 were identified between 1st March and 6th May 2020. A total of 5,586,565 ...

Two U of M Medical School studies provide new evidence to battle drug price increases

2021-06-18
MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (06/18/2021) -- Two recent studies led by researchers from the University of Minnesota Medical School add new evidence to the impact of how drug price increases affect U.S. patients and the overall cost of health care. The first study, published today in the JAMA Network Open, provides new data on how dramatic increases in anti-infective drug prices altered the overall cost of outpatient health care and decreased patient access to appropriate drug treatment. The study protocol was reviewed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and scanned ...

The true spread of SARS-CoV-2 infection is much greater than that observed by capturing only swab-diagnosed COVID-19 cases

2021-06-18
As part of the MAINSTREAM project, Favalli and colleagues conducted a seroprevalence cross-sectional study between 4th May and 16th June 2020toestimate the prevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in a large cohort of people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or spondyloarthritis (SpA) treated with biologic or targeted synthetic disease modifying anti rheumatic drugs (b/tsDMARDs) in a COVID-19 high-endemic area (Lombardy, Italy). Over this time, 300 people were tested for IgG, IgM and IgA antibodies against three viral antigens-nucleoprotein, spike protein, and the receptor-binding domain. These data were compared with those observed in the healthy population in the same period and region. Everyone taking part also completed a questionnaire to collect information about symptoms consistent ...

How childhood exercise could maintain and promote cognitive function in later life

How childhood exercise could maintain and promote cognitive function in later life
2021-06-18
A research group including Professor MATSUDA Tetsuya of Tamagawa University's Brain Science Institute (Machida City, Tokyo; Director: SAKAGAMI Masamichi) and Assistant Professor ISHIHARA Toru from Kobe University's Graduate School of Human Development and Environment has illuminated the changes in the brain's neural network and cortex structure that underlie the positive association between childhood exercise and the maintenance and promotion of cognitive function in later life. These results were published in the academic journal NeuroImage on May 23, 2021. Main Points The researchers showed that people who are physically active during childhood (up to 12 years of age) have ...

Apps 'valuable tool' for patients during pandemic

2021-06-18
That is the conclusion of new research published in the journal Geriatrics, which examined studies on several "telehealth" applications - smartphone apps used by patients and healthcare professionals to manage their condition. Researchers found that smartphone apps and telehealth initiatives have the potential to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of healthcare systems and patients' quality of life in relation to pain management The authors also emphasise that user involvement in development and construction of smartphone apps and telehealth initiatives is ...

Atomic-scale tailoring of graphene approaches macroscopic world

2021-06-18
Graphene consists of carbon atoms arranged in a chicken-wire like pattern. This one-atom-thick material is famous for its many extraordinary properties, such as extreme strength and remarkable capability to conduct electricity. Since its discovery, researchers have looked for ways to further tailor graphene through controlled manipulation of its atomic structure. However, until now, such modifications have been only confirmed locally, because of challenges in atomic-resolution imaging of large samples and analysis of large datasets. Now a team around Jani Kotakoski at the University of ...
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