Early menopause may raise risk of dementia later in life — ScienceDaily


Girls who enter menopause very early, earlier than age 40, had been discovered to be extra prone to develop dementia of any sort later in life in comparison with ladies who start menopause on the common menopause-onset age of fifty to 51 years, in keeping with preliminary analysis to be introduced on the American Coronary heart Affiliation’s Epidemiology, Prevention, Life-style & Cardiometabolic Well being Convention 2022. The assembly will probably be held in-person in Chicago and nearly Tuesday, March 1 — Friday, March 4, 2022,.

“Our examine discovered that girls who enter menopause very early had been at better danger of growing dementia later in life,” stated Wenting Hao, M.D., a Ph.D. candidate at Shandong College in Jinan, China. “Being conscious of this elevated danger may help ladies observe methods to stop dementia and to work with their physicians to intently monitor their cognitive standing as they age.”

Dementia entails severe modifications within the mind that impair an individual’s capacity to recollect, make choices and use language. Alzheimer’s illness is the commonest sort of dementia, whereas the second commonest is vascular dementia, which is the results of disruptions in blood movement to mind cells brought on by strokes or plaque build-up in arteries supplying blood to the mind. Each of most of these dementia are extra frequent with age. Illnesses affecting particular components of the mind may result in dementia, and an individual can have dementia as a consequence of multiple illness course of.

Within the present examine, the researchers analyzed the potential relationship between age at menopause onset and the prognosis of dementia from any trigger. Well being information was examined for 153,291 ladies who had been a median age of 60 years once they grew to become members within the UK Biobank (between 2006 and 2010) had been examined. The UK Biobank is a big biomedical database that features genetic and well being info on a half million folks residing in the UK.

The investigators recognized the prognosis of all kinds of dementia together with Alzheimer’s illness, vascular dementia and dementias from different causes. They calculated danger of prevalence when it comes to the age at which the ladies reported having entered menopause, in contrast with the ladies who started menopause at common age of menopause onset, which is 50-51 years (51 years is the typical age for menopause onset amongst ladies within the U.S.). The outcomes had been adjusted for components together with age eventually examination, race, instructional degree, cigarette and alcohol use, physique mass index, heart problems, diabetes, earnings and leisure and bodily actions.

The evaluation discovered:

  • Girls who entered menopause earlier than the age of 40 had been 35% extra prone to have been identified with dementia.
  • Girls who entered menopause earlier than the age of 45 had been 1.3 occasions extra prone to have been identified with dementia earlier than they had been 65 years outdated (referred to as presenile or early-onset dementia).
  • Girls who entered menopause at age 52 or older had comparable charges of dementia to these ladies who entered menopause at common age of menopause onset, which is the age of 50-51 years.

Though post-menopausal ladies are at better danger of stroke than pre-menopausal ladies, and stroke can disrupt blood movement to the mind and should lead to vascular dementia, on this examine the researchers didn’t discover an affiliation between age at menopause and the chance of vascular dementia.

“Dementia might be prevented, and there are a variety of the way ladies who expertise early menopause might be able to cut back their danger of dementia. This consists of routine train, participation in leisure and academic actions, not smoking and never consuming alcohol, sustaining a wholesome weight, getting sufficient vitamin D and, if really helpful by their doctor, presumably taking calcium dietary supplements,” Hao stated.

The researchers recommend that lowered estrogen ranges could also be an element within the doable connection between early menopause and dementia.

“We all know that the shortage of estrogen over the long run enhances oxidative stress, which can improve mind getting older and result in cognitive impairment,” Hao stated.

Well being care clinicians who care for ladies ought to pay attention to a girl’s age at menopause onset and intently monitor for cognitive decline in those that reached menopause earlier than age 45.

“Additional analysis is required to evaluate the added worth of together with the timing of menopause as a predictor in current dementia fashions,” Hao stated. “This will present clinicians with a extra correct strategy to assess a girl’s danger for dementia.”

The examine has a number of limitations. Researchers relied on ladies’s self-reported details about their age at menopause onset. As well as, the researchers didn’t analyze dementia charges in ladies who had a naturally occurring early menopause separate from the ladies with menopause induced by surgical procedure to take away the ovaries, which can have an effect on the outcomes. The information used for this examine included largely white ladies residing within the U.Okay. and should not generalize to different populations.

Fitbit recalls over one million Ionic smartwatches over burn injury risk


Fitbit has recalled greater than one million Ionic smartwatches following studies that overheating batteries precipitated burn accidents, the U.S. CPSC stated Wednesday. (Brendan McDermid, Reuters)

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WASHINGTON — Google-owned Fitbit has recalled greater than one million of its Ionic smartwatches following studies that overheating batteries had precipitated burn accidents, the united statesConsumer Product Security Fee stated on Wednesday.

The regulator stated Fitbit had obtained at the least 115 studies in america and 59 from abroad, together with circumstances the place the overheating led to third- and second-degree burns.

The overall studies within the CPSC announcement represented lower than 0.01% of the items offered, in keeping with Fitbit.

“These incidents are very uncommon and this voluntary recall doesn’t influence different Fitbit smartwatches or trackers,” the health tracker maker stated in a press release.

Of the recalled smartwatches, about 1 million had been offered within the U.S. and round 693,000 had been offered internationally.

Priced at $299, the Ionic tracks exercise, coronary heart charge and sleep. Fitbit stopped manufacturing of the watch in 2020.

The watches had been offered at shops operated by corporations corresponding to Kohl’s and Goal and on-line on Amazon.com and Fitbit.com from September 2017 by means of December 2021, the CPSC stated.

The regulator has requested customers to cease utilizing the gadget and stated they’d obtain a refund, in addition to a reduction provide, from Fitbit on returning the product.

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Clinical trial shows promising results for patients with intermediate risk — ScienceDaily


A College of Cincinnati medical trial that added an immunotherapy drug to plain of care therapy regimens has proven elevated survival charges for head and neck most cancers sufferers with intermediate threat options.

Trisha Smart-Draper, MD, led the trial and was the lead creator on a paper detailing its findings that was just lately printed in Scientific Most cancers Analysis, a journal of the American Affiliation for Most cancers Analysis.

Focusing on the immune checkpoint

Smart-Draper mentioned the trial targeted on including a drug, pembrolizumab, to sufferers’ typical customary care of therapies. Pembrolizumab, offered beneath the model identify Keytruda, is an antibody utilized in most cancers immunotherapy that treats quite a lot of cancers, together with head and neck. The drug targets a pair of receptors that normally work to show off the human immune system when the immune system has completed a job of combating off a international substance that causes illness.

“As soon as the virus or an infection is cleared, it’s a must to have a solution to flip your individual immune system off, to inform it that the an infection is gone and it is time to relax,” defined Smart-Draper, affiliate professor of drugs within the Division of Hematology/Oncology in UC’s School of Medication, Head and Neck Heart of Excellence co-leader, medical director of the College of Cincinnati Most cancers Heart Scientific Trials Workplace and Lab and a UC Well being doctor.

Tumor cells have realized to kick the receptors that shut the immune system system off into overdrive, which blocks immune cells from recognizing that tumor cells are international objects that the physique ought to assault. Pembrolizumab, nonetheless, blocks the interplay and retains immune cells working, which in flip results in the immune cells attacking cancerous cells like they’re purported to.

The drug has been developed as a therapy for a number of cancers, and Smart-Draper mentioned it has proven early success as a therapy for head and neck cancers which have unfold or returned after preliminary therapy, with early research reporting effectiveness for about 20% of sufferers handled.

“And though we’re cautious to say remedy, it does lead to what is named ‘sturdy responses,'” she mentioned, explaining which means sufferers have a great response to therapy for much longer than anticipated, generally for years, “which was an enormous development over chemotherapy the place they might have solely been efficient for say 9 to 10 months at most,” Smart-Draper mentioned.

The speculation

With the early knowledge wanting promising, the UC medical trial was looking for to search out if the drug would work as an preliminary therapy that may forestall the most cancers from recurring. Sufferers with head and neck most cancers — which might be handled with the usual surgical procedure, radiation and doubtlessly chemotherapy if threat components warrant it — usually see the cancers return about 30%-50% of the time, Smart-Draper mentioned.

“So as a substitute of ready for them to return again, might we attempt to forestall them from coming again? If the most cancers got here again, they had been a lot more durable to remedy the second time and had numerous failure in that group,” she mentioned. “So we requested if we might add this immunotherapy, the pembrolizumab, and reduce that threat of most cancers coming again.”

Smart-Draper mentioned the trial was additionally designed to look at why some sufferers reply to pembrolizumab whereas others don’t. To perform this purpose, tissue and blood samples had been collected earlier than and after administering the drug to investigate components that contributed to sufferers responding to the therapy.

The trial

Sufferers enrolled within the trial got one dose of the drug earlier than surgical procedure and had been evaluated for threat standing and grouped into intermediate- and high-risk groupings after surgical procedure. A affected person is taken into account excessive threat if a part of the tumor continues to be left behind after surgical procedure or is just not contained in a lymph node.

All sufferers continued to obtain the suitable customary of care (radiation alone for intermediate threat or radiation and chemotherapy for top threat), with six extra doses of pembrolizumab additionally administered after surgical procedure.

Smart-Draper mentioned the drug prompted tumors to start to die earlier than surgical procedure in almost 50% of sufferers, a greater price than what was discovered when the drug was given for metastatic or recurrent head and neck most cancers.

“We might see that numerous these tumors had been dying even after that first dose of pembrolizumab,” Smart-Draper mentioned. “That was fairly thrilling, as a result of that was larger than we anticipated.”

Lower than 70% of sufferers within the intermediate group who had been handled with radiation alone after surgical procedure had been usually illness free one 12 months following therapy, however greater than 95% of sufferers within the trial reported one-year disease-free survival when handled with each radiation and pembrolizumab.

“We had an enormous enchancment in that, so we noticed that pembrolizumab was undoubtedly rising their probability of survival, not less than in comparison with historic controls,” Smart-Draper mentioned.

Within the group of sufferers the place the drug started to kill the tumor previous to surgical procedure, 100% reported one-year disease-free survival.

“It was a very sturdy predictor of sufferers who’re going to do nicely on this therapy,” Smart-Draper mentioned. “Hopefully that’s going to assist us design trials to raised perceive who’s going to reply and who is just not.”

A dependable predictor for sufferers that can doubtless do nicely on the therapy may even assist decide how therapies could be adjusted for sufferers who obtain surgical procedure, pembrolizumab, chemotherapy and radiation and don’t reply nicely to the therapy.

“That is actually the place the analysis goes now could be attempting to know what are these biomarkers between the responders versus the nonresponders and the way we are able to develop new and higher focused therapies,” Smart-Draper mentioned. “We now have a few recognized markers that can assist us going ahead, however we’re nonetheless doing numerous analysis in that space.”

Subsequent steps

Harvard College researchers have carried out a examine just like UC’s that confirmed related success, and the profitable findings of those trials present {that a} randomized Section III medical trial is value pursuing. Pharmaceutical firm Merck is within the technique of conducting a randomized trial evaluating sufferers who obtain pembrolizumab along with their customary of care versus sufferers who obtain the usual of care solely.

“That might be a a lot bigger examine that can assist present if pembrolizumab actually advantages these teams,” Smart-Draper mentioned of the Merck examine.

Analysis at UC into pembrolizumab as a head and neck most cancers therapy is ongoing, with a subsequent spherical of analysis being designed to find out how therapies could be extra personalised to every affected person. Tumor traits and biomarkers that may assist predict whether or not a affected person will reply to a sure therapy could be analyzed earlier than surgical procedure, with extra particular therapy plans hopefully main to raised outcomes.

“It has been extraordinarily thrilling to see sufferers do nicely on this examine and seeing their survival enhance realizing what the historic charges had been, in addition to simply with the ability to have a profitable examine on the whole is fairly thrilling,” Smart-Draper mentioned. “Numerous these developments I did not anticipate to occur so rapidly in my profession, so it is actually been an thrilling course of for all of us. Hopefully there’s extra to return.”

If the drug continues to show secure and efficient, Smart-Draper mentioned it would mark a “big enchancment” in comparison with the present customary of care that may nonetheless result in a 50% recurrence price. There’s even a chance that sufferers wouldn’t want their therapy plan to incorporate surgical procedure, she mentioned.

“If now we have a therapy that’s much less poisonous, perhaps we are able to reduce down on the morbidity of surgical procedure and radiation in addition to the chemotherapy,” Smart-Draper mentioned.

Physical fitness linked to lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease — ScienceDaily


People who find themselves extra bodily match are much less prone to develop Alzheimer’s illness than people who find themselves much less bodily match, in accordance with a preliminary examine launched as we speak, February 27, 2022, that will probably be introduced on the American Academy of Neurology’s 74th Annual Assembly being held in individual in Seattle, April 2 to 7, 2022 and nearly, April 24 to 26, 2022.

“One thrilling discovering of this examine is that as individuals’s health improved, their threat of Alzheimer’s illness decreased — it was not an all-or-nothing proposition,” mentioned examine creator Edward Zamrini, MD, of the Washington VA Medical Heart in Washington, D.C., and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “So individuals can work towards making incremental adjustments and enhancements of their bodily health and hopefully that will probably be related to a associated lower of their threat of Alzheimer’s years later.”

The examine concerned 649,605 army veterans within the Veterans Well being Administration database with a mean age of 61 who have been adopted for a mean of 9 years. They didn’t have Alzheimer’s illness firstly of the examine.

Researchers decided individuals’ cardiorespiratory health. Cardiorespiratory health is a measure of how effectively your physique transports oxygen to your muscular tissues, and the way effectively your muscular tissues are in a position to take in oxygen throughout train.

The individuals have been divided into 5 teams, from least match to most match. Health ranges have been decided by how effectively individuals did on a treadmill check. This check measures train capability, the very best quantity of bodily exertion an individual can maintain. For people who find themselves middle-aged and older, the very best stage of health might be achieved by strolling briskly most days of the week, for 2 and a half hours or extra per week.

The group with the bottom stage of health developed Alzheimer’s at a price of 9.5 circumstances per 1,000 person-years, in comparison with 6.4 circumstances per 1,000 person-years for probably the most match group. Individual-years keep in mind the variety of individuals in a examine in addition to the period of time spent within the examine. The case price decreased as the extent of health elevated, with a price of 8.5 for the second least match group, 7.4 for the center group and seven.2 for the second most match group.

When researchers adjusted for different components that might have an effect on threat of Alzheimer’s illness, they discovered that the individuals in probably the most match group have been 33% much less prone to develop Alzheimer’s illness than these within the least match group. The second most match group was 26% much less prone to develop the illness, whereas the center group was 20% much less possible and people within the second least match group have been 13% much less prone to develop the illness than these within the least match group.

“The thought which you could scale back your threat for Alzheimer’s illness by merely growing your exercise may be very promising, particularly since there aren’t any enough therapies to stop or cease the development of the illness,” Zamrini mentioned. “We hope to develop a easy scale that may be individualized so individuals can see the advantages that even incremental enhancements in health can ship.”

A limitation of the examine was individuals have been largely white males so outcomes will not be generalizable to different populations.

The examine was supported by the Nationwide Institute on Ageing, the Nationwide Institutes of Well being, the U.S. Division of Veterans Affairs, the Washington D.C. VA Medical Heart and George Washington College.

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Higher levels of biodiversity appear to reduce extinction risk in birds — ScienceDaily


A brand new College of Michigan examine has discovered that larger ranges of biodiversity — the large number of life on Earth and the species, traits and evolutionary historical past they symbolize — seem to cut back extinction danger in birds.

Prior analysis has established that biodiversity is related to predictable outcomes within the brief time period: numerous programs are much less vulnerable to invasion, have extra secure productiveness, and may be extra illness resistant.

The brand new examine, printed on-line Feb. 24 in Ecology Letters and led by evolutionary biologist and ornithologist Brian Weeks of the U-M College for Setting and Sustainability, has revealed yet one more constructive final result in doubtlessly diminished extinction charges.

The examine utilized a brand new dataset collected by researchers utilizing pure historical past museum specimens that covers greater than 99% of all species of birds on this planet. Whereas the apply of utilizing pure historical past museum specimens is widespread, that is the primary time that there was a complete dataset of the practical traits of all birds.

The researchers used the info to measure the variety of birds all over the world, together with the species present in a neighborhood, their evolutionary relationships and their practical traits. They then used structural equation modeling to characterize the connection between variety and extinction danger.

Based on the examine, variety is related to decrease ranges of up to date extinction danger in birds. The examine attributes this to numerous communities offering a secure harbor for species which can be liable to extinction. Attributes of species (e.g., massive physique dimension, poor dispersal means or small vary dimension) could make them extra more likely to go extinct. Nevertheless, it seems that the advantages afforded by residing in a various neighborhood shield these extinction-prone species, permitting extra of them to persist.

The findings reveal the significance of defending variety, in response to the authors.

“Whereas we all know that biodiversity impacts the functioning of ecosystems in predictable methods, it’s much less clear how these biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships impression extinction danger throughout longer timescales,” Weeks mentioned. “Our findings recommend that the conservation of biodiversity just isn’t solely a aim of conservation however can also be possible a crucial element to efficient conservation interventions.”

The researchers additionally concluded that the upkeep of biodiverse communities could possibly be a cheaper strategy to stopping extinction since single-species conservation interventions are costly.

The examine’s different authors are Shahid Naeem of Columbia College, Jesse Lasky of Pennsylvania State College and Joseph Tobias of Imperial Faculty London. Chook trait information assortment was supported by the UK Pure Setting Analysis Council.

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Infection with the Epstein-Barr virus could increase the risk of developing multiple sclerosis | NOVA



Physique + MindPhysique & Mind

The underlying reason for a number of sclerosis isn’t but recognized, however Epstein-Barr virus is a doable offender, Harvard researchers say.

An individual within the first phases of a number of sclerosis could have hassle gripping objects or expertise dizziness, fatigue, and imaginative and prescient issues. Signs could get progressively worse. Picture Credit score: © Minerva Studio/Shutterstock

A number of sclerosis (MS) is an incurable autoimmune illness that afflicts 2.8 million individuals worldwide. Individuals identified with MS expertise progressive injury to their central nervous system and may lose about seven years of their life expectancy, in line with the Nationwide A number of Sclerosis Society. 

Now, utilizing knowledge from greater than 10 million U.S. navy recruits monitored over a 20-year interval, researchers on the Harvard T.H. Chan Faculty of Public Well being decided that the largest danger issue for contracting the illness could also be earlier an infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). The crew printed its findings on January 13 within the journal Science.

Whereas there are practically 1,000 genetic precursors for MS, together with intercourse, “no danger issue stands out like Epstein-Barr infections,” epidemiologist and Principal Investigator of the examine Alberto Ascherio advised The New York Occasions. In reality, practically each case of MS noticed by Ascherio and his crew was preceded by an infection with EBV, a standard pressure of herpes unfold by saliva and different bodily fluids. Of the ten million navy personnel concerned within the examine, 955 have been identified with MS throughout their service. Threat of MS elevated 32-fold after an infection with EBV, researchers discovered, a correlation not seen with some other viruses that the topics contracted throughout their service. Moreover, different medical biomarkers of MS elevated solely after EBV antibodies have been detected within the sufferers’ blood.

Researchers say the findings recommend that EBV is the main contributor to the event of MS. However how EBV results in MS stays “unknown and elusive,” two Stanford College immunologists who weren’t concerned within the examine advised Scientific American.

In response to the CDC, most individuals shall be contaminated with EBV in some unspecified time in the future of their lives. The virus additionally causes mononucleosis, generally known as “mono,” which greater than 3 million individuals fall unwell with yearly within the U.S. Preliminary EBV infections trigger few signs, however as soon as EBV will get into the physique’s immune cells, “it lurks in them completely,” Michael Le Web page writes for New Scientist.

However contracting EBV is not going to essentially lead somebody to develop MS, the examine authors warning. “Most individuals contaminated with this widespread virus don’t develop a number of sclerosis,” the crew reviews in its paper. Nonetheless, like many different widespread viruses, EBV’s potential to wreak havoc on the physique by reactivation is trigger for investigation. There’s at the moment no vaccine for EBV. Its standing as a “non life-threatening” sickness has led to a “lack of funding” in making a vaccine, Michael Wilson, a neurologist on the College of California San Francisco advised STAT Information. A preventative vaccine towards EBV—very similar to the one launched for human papillomavirus (HPV), a standard virus that in uncommon circumstances may cause most cancers—could scale back the incidence of MS. “Research like this recommend we must be pushing tougher on growing a vaccine towards EBV,” Wilson advised STAT Information.

MS is identified with an MRI of an individual’s mind, normally between the ages of 20 and 50. In MS sufferers, a mind scan reveals small lesions, that are lifeless networks of 1000’s or hundreds of thousands of neurons. Individuals who develop MS are inclined to have overactive immune programs, Gina Kolata writes for The New York Occasions. Sufferers could report “by no means getting a chilly,” as a result of their immune programs so rapidly struggle off viruses. 

Neurons are insulated by myelin sheaths, which not solely defend the cells but in addition facilitate communication from the mind to the remainder of the physique. In MS sufferers, the immune system eats away at these myelin sheaths. With out the flexibility to ship messages from the mind to the physique, an individual within the first phases of MS could have hassle gripping objects or expertise dizziness, fatigue, and imaginative and prescient issues. As a affected person’s immune system continues to assault their myelin sheaths, their signs could get progressively worse.  “However what triggers the immune system to activate itself,” Megan Molteni writes for STAT Information, “continues to be a thriller.” 

The connection between EBV and MS helps demystify a few of the questions across the debilitating persistent illness and accelerating vaccine growth. Each Moderna, one of many first firms to supply an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, and the Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Illnesses are wanting into manufacturing an EBV vaccine. This month, Moderna launched its first part trial for an mRNA vaccine towards EBV. If profitable, Lydia Denworth reviews for Scientific American, the vaccines may scale back the incidence of mono, some EBV-associated cancers, and doubtlessly MS.