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Monthly Archives: December 2013

Cholesterol linked to Alzheimer’s protein, unclear why

By Shereen Jegtvig

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Patterns of “good” and “bad” cholesterol usually associated with heart risks also predicted the levels of Alzheimer’s-related beta amyloid protein seen in the brains of study participants.

“One of the important themes emerging from dementia research over the past 15 years is that there are intriguing connections between vascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease,” Bruce Reed, who led the research, told Reuters Health by email.

Reed is a professor and associate director of the University of California Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.

“It has become increasingly clear that what have been traditionally thought of as vascular risk factors – things like hypertension, diabetes and elevated cholesterol – are also risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease,” Reed said.

In previous work, Reed and his colleagues found a connection between overall vascular risk and levels of brain amyloid.

“Amyloid deposition is important because it is widely believed by scientists to be a key event that initiates a chain of events that eventually, years later, results in the dementia of Alzheimer’s disease,” Reed said.

“There was also previous work in cell cultures and with animals that suggested that cholesterol plays an important role in promoting the deposition of amyloid in the brain,” Reed said.

For the new study, published in JAMA Neurology, the researchers examined the cholesterol levels of 74 elderly people who had normal to mildly impaired cognitive function. Researchers also measured brain deposits of beta amyloid protein with positron emission tomography (PET scanning).

They found that […]

By |December 31st, 2013|blogs|0 Comments

Cancer-Linked Flame Retardants Eased Out of Furniture in 2014

Man Feared Dead After Going Overboard on Royal Caribbean Cruise

It’s unlikely that the Canadian man who went overboard near the Puerto Rican coast while on a Royal Caribbean cruise is still alive, authorities said today. Tien Phuoc Nguyen, 26, was with his family aboard the ship Adventures of the Seas Saturday, en route to…

By |December 31st, 2013|blogs|0 Comments

Lung cancer scans urged for some smokers, not all

WASHINGTON (AP) — Certain current or former heavy smokers should start getting yearly scans for lung cancer to cut their risk of death from the nation’s top cancer killer, government advisers said Monday — even as they stressed that the tests aren’t for everyone.

The long-anticipated decision by the influential U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says these CT scans of the lungs should be offered only to people at especially high risk: those who smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years or an equivalent amount, such as two packs a day for 15 years — and who are between the ages of 55 and 80.

That’s roughly 10 million people, but not all of them qualify for screening, said task force vice chairman Dr. Michael LeFevre, a University of Missouri family physician. Even those high-risk people shouldn’t be scanned if they’re not healthy enough to withstand cancer treatment, or if they kicked the habit more than 15 years ago.

Lung cancer kills nearly 160,000 Americans each year. Smoking is the biggest risk factor, and the more and longer people smoke, the higher their risk. Usually, lung cancer is diagnosed too late for treatment to succeed, but until now there hasn’t been a good means of early detection.

The newly recommended screening could prevent as many as 20,000 deaths a year, LeFevre said — if it’s used correctly.

That estimate assumes good candidates seek the scans. There’s no way to know if people at the highest risk will, or if instead the overly anxious […]

By |December 31st, 2013|blogs|0 Comments

"Angelina Jolie Effect" Leaves Public With Inaccurate Knowledge of Breast Cancer Risk

‘Duck Dynasty’: Will ‘I Stand With Phil’ petition work?

Will Phil Robertson be back on “Duck Dynasty” after all? The suggestion by the bearded Louisiana duck-call entrepreneur that gays are akin to swindlers, drunkards, and adulterers – and the subsequent decision by A&E, partly owned by Disney, to put Mr. Robertson on hiatus – has generated lots of…

By |December 27th, 2013|blogs|0 Comments

Hong Kong confirms first death from H7N9 bird flu

HONG KONG (Reuters) – An 80-year-old man infected with the H7N9 bird flu virus has died in Hong Kong, the government said on Thursday, in the first such death in the city after the virus surfaced in early December.

The man, the second person in Hong Kong to be diagnosed with the virus strain, lived in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen and had eaten poultry there, media reported.

The H7N9 strain was first reported in humans in February in mainland China, and has infected at least 139 people in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, killing more than 40.

Experts say there is no evidence of any easy or sustained human-to-human transmission of H7N9, and so far all people who came into contact with the man had tested negative for the strain, authorities said.

(Reporting by Twinnie Siu and James Pomfret; Editing by Nick Macfie)

By |December 26th, 2013|blogs|0 Comments