Tag Archive: Alzheimer


First version of this article was originally published on 11 July, 2012

MessageToEagle.com – Scientists have made an unexpected and unsettling discovery – a large number of new and previously unseen mutations have been detected among humans.

There are those who suggest that there will soon be fantastic X-men among humans. These super earthlings do not come out of secret laboratories, as in famous blockbuster movies, but are born naturally. Other scientists are less optimistic and consider the unforeseen development can to lead to unknown changes in the human body.

This unexpected and terrifying discovery is a result of a study conducted by scientists from Cornell University (USA) and University of California.

When they examined genes of several thousands of people from around the world, it turned out that mankind has acquired over the past few years new, previously unseen mutations.

Is a new human race being born?

The scientist studied 202 genes in 14,002 people. The human genome contains some 3 billion base pairs; the scientists studied 864,000 of these pairs. While this is only a small part of the genome, the sample size of 14,002 people is one of the largest ever in a sequencing study in humans.

This project led by John Novembre of the University of California Los Angeles and Vincent Mooser of UK-based drug company GlaxoSmithKline, reports that more than 95% of variants found by sequencing 202 genes in 14,002 people were rare, and that 74% of the variants were carried by only one or two people in the study.


“I knew there would be rare variation but had no idea there would be so much of it!” said the senior author of the research, John Novembre, an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and of bioinformatics at UCLA.In the study, 10,621 people had one of 12 diseases, including coronary artery disease, multiple sclerosis, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, osteoarthritis and Alzheimer’s disease; 3,381 did not have any of the diseases.

“The large sample size allows us to see patterns with more clarity than ever before,” Novembre said.

“If rare variants are like distant stars, this kind of large sample size is like having the Hubble Telescope; it’s allowing us to see more than before.


We see a ton of rare variation, and these rare variants more often make changes to proteins than not. In that way, this study has important implications for the genetic basis of disease in humans. It’s consistent with the idea that many diseases may be partly caused by rare variants.”

“Research carried out fifty years ago, showed that the mutant gene had only one man among a thousand, and now five people”, explained John Novembre.

What is causing the mutations?

Previously it was thought that genetic abnormalities are caused by of radiation, viruses, transposons and mutagenic chemicals, but now scientists have identified yet another factor that results in mutations – overpopulation!

Human population growth helps to explain the large number of genetic variants, the scientists said.

Mutations can cause unknown changes in the human body.


Read Full Article Here


Health And Wellness Report


Vitamin D Tied to Women’s Cognitive Performance


Higher vitamin D dietary intake is associated with a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to research conducted by a team led by Cedric Annweiler, MD, PhD, at the Angers University Hospital in France.

Similarly, investigators led by Yelena Slinin, MD, MS, at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis found that low vitamin D levels among older women are associated with higher odds of global cognitive impairment and a higher risk of global cognitive decline.

Slinin’s group based its analysis on 6,257 community-dwelling older women who had vitamin D levels measured during the Study of Osteopathic Fractures and whose cognitive function was tested by the Mini-Mental State Examination and/or Trail Making Test Part B.

Very low levels of vitamin D (less than 10 nanograms per milliliter of blood serum) among older women were associated with higher odds of global cognitive impairment at baseline, and low vitamin D levels (less than 20 nanograms per milliliter) among cognitively-impaired women were associated with a higher risk of incident global cognitive decline, as measured by performance on the Mini-Mental State Examination.

Annweieler’s team’s findings were based on data from 498 community-dwelling women who participated in the Toulouse cohort of the Epidemiology of Osteoporosis study.

Among this population, women who developed Alzheimer’s disease had lower baseline vitamin D intakes (an average of 50.3 micrograms per week) than those who developed other dementias (an average of 63.6 micrograms per week) or no dementia at all (an average of 59.0 micrograms per week).

These reports follow an article published in the Journals of Gerontology Series A earlier this year that found that both men and women who don’t get enough vitamin D — either from diet, supplements, or sun exposure — may be at increased risk of developing mobility limitations and disability.


Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided by The Gerontological Society of America.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

Journal References:

  1. D. K. Houston, R. H. Neiberg, J. A. Tooze, D. B. Hausman, M. A. Johnson, J. A. Cauley, D. C. Bauer, M. K. Shea, G. G. Schwartz, J. D. Williamson, T. B. Harris, S. B. Kritchevsky. Low 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Predicts the Onset of Mobility Limitation and Disability in Community-Dwelling Older Adults: The Health ABC Study. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 2012; DOI: 10.1093/gerona/gls136
  2. C. Annweiler, Y. Rolland, A. M. Schott, H. Blain, B. Vellas, F. R. Herrmann, O. Beauchet. Higher Vitamin D Dietary Intake Is Associated With Lower Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease: A 7-Year Follow-up. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 2012; 67 (11): 1205 DOI: 10.1093/gerona/gls107
  3. Y. Slinin, M. Paudel, B. C. Taylor, A. Ishani, R. Rossom, K. Yaffe, T. Blackwell, L.-Y. Lui, M. Hochberg, K. E. Ensrud. Association Between Serum 25(OH) Vitamin D and the Risk of Cognitive Decline in Older Women. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 2012; 67 (10): 1092 DOI: 10.1093/gerona/gls075

Health And Wellness Report

Mutation of immune system has possible links to Alzheimer’s

Gina Kolata
The New York Times

© New York Times
Amyloid plaques build up in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s researchers and drug companies have for years concentrated on one hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease: the production of toxic shards of a protein that accumulate in plaques on the brain.

But now, in a surprising coincidence, two groups of researchers working from entirely different starting points have converged on a mutated gene involved in another aspect of Alzheimer’s disease: the immune system’s role in protecting against the disease. The mutation is suspected of interfering with the brain’s ability to prevent the buildup of plaque.

The discovery, researchers say, provides clues to how and why the disease progresses. The gene, known as TREM2, is only the second found to increase Alzheimer’s risk substantially in older people.

“It points very specifically to a potential metabolic pathway that you could intervene in to change the course of Alzheimer’s disease,” said William Thies, chief medical and scientific officer of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Much work remains to be done before scientists understand precisely how the newly discovered gene mutation leads to Alzheimer’s, but already there are some indications from studies in mice. When the gene is not mutated, white blood cells in the brain spring into action, gobbling up and eliminating the plaque-forming toxic protein, beta amyloid. As a result, Alzheimer’s can be staved off or averted.

But when the gene is mutated, the brain’s white blood cells are hobbled, making them less effective in their attack on beta amyloid.

People with the mutated gene have a threefold to fivefold increase in the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease in old age.

The intact gene, says John Hardy of University College London, “is a safety net.” And those with the mutation, he adds, “are living life without a safety net.” Dr. Hardy is lead author of one of the papers.

The discovery also suggests that a new type of drug could be developed to enhance the gene’s activity, perhaps allowing the brain’s white blood cells to do their work.

“The field is in desperate need of new therapeutic agents,” said Alison Goate, an Alzheimer’s researcher at Washington University in St. Louis who contributed data to Dr. Hardy’s study. “This will give us an alternative approach.”

The fact that two research groups converged on the same gene gives experts confidence in the findings. Both studies were published online Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine. “Together they make a good case that this really is an Alzheimer’s gene,” said Gerard Schellenberg, an Alzheimer’s researcher at the University of Pennsylvania who was not involved with the work.

The other gene found to raise the odds that a person will get Alzheimer’s, ApoE4, is much more common and confers about the same risk as the mutated version of TREM2. But it is still not clear why ApoE4, discovered in 1993, makes Alzheimer’s more likely.

Because the mutations in the newly discovered gene are rare, occurring in no more than 2 percent of Alzheimer’s patients, it makes no sense to start screening people for them, Dr. Thies said. Instead, the discovery provides new clues to the workings of Alzheimer’s disease.

To find the gene, a research group led by Dr. Kari Stefansson of deCODE Genetics of Iceland started with a simple question.

“We asked, ‘Can we find anything in the genome that separates those who are admitted to nursing homes before the age of 75 and those who are still living at home at 85?’ ” he said.

Scientists searched the genomes of 2,261 Icelanders and zeroed in on TREM2. Mutations in that gene were more common among people with Alzheimer’s, as well as those who did not have an Alzheimer’s diagnosis but who had memory problems and might be on their way to developing Alzheimer’s.

The researchers confirmed their results by looking for the gene in people with and without Alzheimer’s in populations studied at Emory University, as well as in Norway, the Netherlands and Germany.

The TREM2 connection surprised Dr. Stefansson. Although researchers have long noticed that the brain is inflamed in Alzheimer’s patients, he had dismissed inflammation as a major factor in the disease.

“I was of the opinion that the immune system would play a fairly small role, if any, in Alzheimer’s disease,” Dr. Stefansson said. “This discovery cured me of that bias.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Hardy and Rita Guerreiro at University College London, along with Andrew Singleton at the National Institute on Aging, were intrigued by a strange, rare disease. Only a few patients had been identified, but their symptoms were striking. They had crumbling bones and an unusual dementia, sclerosing leukoencephalopathy.

“It’s a weird disease,” Dr. Hardy said.

He saw one patient in her 30s whose brain disease manifested in sexually inappropriate behavior. Also, her bones kept breaking. The disease was caused by mutations that disabled both the copy of TREM2 that she had inherited from her mother and the one from her father.

Eventually the researchers searched for people who had a mutation in just one copy of TREM2. To their surprise, it turned out that these people were likely to have Alzheimer’s disease.

They then asked researchers around the world who had genetic data from people with and without Alzheimer’s to look for TREM2 mutations.

“Sure enough, they had good evidence,” Dr. Hardy said. The mutations occurred in one-half of 1 percent of the general population but in 1 to 2 percent of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

“That is a big effect,” Dr. Hardy said.

Researchers Use Nanotech to Make Cancer 3 Million Times More Detectable

By Sharon Gaudin, Computerworld

Scientists at Princeton University say they have used nanotechnology to make tests to detect diseases, like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, 3 million times more sensitive.

That means what researchers are calling a breakthrough in nanotechnology and medicine could enable doctors to detect these illnesses at much earlier stages, when they are more treatable.

“This advance opens many new and exciting opportunities … in disease early detection and treatment,” said Stephen Chou, a Princeton engineering professor, who led the research team. “You can have very early detection with our approach.”

Princeton researchers used nanotechnology to improve a biological test called an immunoassay, which measures the concentration of a substance in a body fluid sample, and is used to find markers for cancers and Alzheimer’s, in patients. The test produces a fluorescent glow when the disease is detected. The stronger the presence of the disease, the brighter the test glows.

However, if only faint, early-stage, traces of the disease are present, the glow can’t be detected and the disease could be missed.

The Princeton researchers used nanotechnology to amplify the fluorescence, which gave them a 3-million-fold improvement in detection. It means the test now can detect disease with 3 million times fewer disease biomarkers present.

The earlier a cancer can be detected, the sooner treatment can begin, and the better chance a patient has of survival.

The key to the breakthrough, according to Princeton’s researchers, lies in a new nanomaterial they call D2PA. The nanomaterial, which was developed in Chou’s lab, consists of a thin layer of gold nanostructures surrounded by glass pillars that are 60 nanometers in diameter. About 1,000 of the pillars can be laid side-by-side and still only be as wide as a human hair.

Each pillar, spaced 200 nanometers apart, is capped with a gold disk. Each pillar also is speckled with even smaller gold dots. The pillars boost the collection and transmission of light by a billion-fold, Princeton said.

The university noted that Chou is focused on using the new technology to detect early-stage breast and prostate cancers. He also is working with researchers at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York to develop tests to detect proteins associated with early stage Alzheimer’s disease.

Late in 2008, researchers at Stanford University used nanotechnology in a blood scanner to detect early stage cancers.

“The earlier you can detect a cancer, the better chance you have to kill it,” Shan Wang, a Stanford professor of materials science and electrical engineering, said at the time. “This could be especially helpful for lung cancer, ovarian cancer and pancreatic cancer, because those cancers are hidden in the body.”

In the fall of 2009, a team of Stanford researchers used nanotechnology and magnetics to create a biosensor that they said should be able to detect cancer in its early stages.

The sensor, which sits on a microchip, is 1,000 times more sensitive than cancer detectors used at the time and were shown to be effective in finding early-stage tumors in mice.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin or subscribe to Sharon’s RSS feed. Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

Read more about emerging technologies in Computerworld’s Emerging Technologies Topic Center.


Drugmakers Have Paid $8 Billion in Fraud Fines

By Kelly Kennedy

The nation’s largest drugmakers have paid at least $8 billion in fines for repeatedly defrauding Medicare and Medicaid over the past decade, but they remain in business.


LSD ‘helps alcoholics to give up drinking’

One dose of the hallucinogenic drug LSD could help alcoholics give up drinking, according to an analysis of studies performed in the 1960s.

A study, presented in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, looked at data from six trials and more than 500 patients.

It said there was a “significant beneficial effect” on alcohol abuse, which lasted several months after the drug was taken.


South Africa apologies to Nigeria over yellow fever row

South Africa has apologised for the deportation last week of 125 Nigerians over suspicions that their yellow fever certificates were fake.

The action quickly turned into a diplomatic spat – with Nigeria refusing South Africans entry and the foreign minister branding Pretoria xenophobic.

South Africa has rejected that claim – and promised new procedures to avoid a repeat of the “regrettable incident”.


Religious TV host Pat Robertson wants pot legalised

Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson has expressed support for the legalisation of marijuana in the US, citing failure in the nation’s war on drugs.

In an interview with the New York Times, Mr Robertson said the US should “treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol”.

He says he has never smoked marijuana, but objects to the cost of imprisoning people for possession of the drug.

Measures to repeal marijuana laws are on the ballot in two states this year.


Alzheimer’s patients ‘should stay on drugs for longer’

Thousands of patients with advanced Alzheimer’s disease could benefit from drugs, research suggests.

A study in the the New England Journal of Medicine found that patients who stayed on the dementia drug Aricept had a slower decline in their memory.

The drug tends not to be prescribed once sufferers progress beyond moderate symptoms.

Medicines regulator NICE said its guidelines supported continuing treatment where there were benefits.


Feds stop funding Texas women’s health program over abortion dispute

AUSTIN, Texas — The federal government will withdraw funding for a Texas program providing more than 100,000 poor women with birth control and other health services because Planned Parenthood clinics are not allowed to participate, a U.S. Health and Human Services spokeswoman said on Friday.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the decision in Houston on Friday, prompting a furious response from Texas Governor Rick Perry, who called it an “egregious federal overreach.”


Infant dies after contracting herpes during Jewish circumcision ritual at hospital

By Ethan A. Huff,

(NaturalNews) A two-week old boy died recently at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, after undergoing a rarely-practiced, and highly controversial, Jewish circumcision ritual known as metzitzah b’peh. According to the New York Daily News (NYDN), the unidentified young boy contracted herpes simplex virus Type 1 from the Rockland County rabbi that performed the ritual on him, and died shortly thereafter. The practice, which involves a rabbi literally sucking the blood from the circumcised…


Holistic Health

Coenzyme Q10 can prevent and treat heart disease by attacking multiple metabolic pathways

By John Phillip,

(NaturalNews) Coenzyme Q 10 (CoQ10) is well known as a critical compound required by the body to facilitate normal breakdown of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) within cells into energy we need for metabolism and life itself. It should come as no surprise that this vital natural enzyme complex may hold the key to theprevention and reversal of many potentially life-threatening forms of cardiovascular disease. Several research studies reveal that CoQ10 works at a cellular level to protect delicate DNA…


Foods rich in antioxidants proven to reduce stroke risk levels in women

By Michelle Bosmier,

(NaturalNews) Health related to heart disease continues to be at the forefront of women’s issues, and some studies reveal that prevention is a measure that is not necessarily guided by the pharmaceutical industry, but rather by what can be found in the fridge. An expansive Swedish survey that was coordinated among women at Karolinska Institute led to a conclusion that diets that are comprised with foods rich in antioxidants result in lower risk levels of stroke. Women who have been diagnosed with…


8 natural remedies to overcome erectile dysfunction and impotence

By JB Bardot,

(NaturalNews) The pharmaceutical industry thought they were on to something really big when they developed drugs like Viagra to overcome erectile dysfunction. However,the truth is that holistic healthcare practitioners like homeopaths, herbalists and acupuncturists have been successfully treating impotence in men with natural remedies for thousands of years. Conventional drugs carry a long list of unpleasant side effects whereas alternative approaches are often less likely to cause any — such as…


Aspartame danger – urgent warning about tumors and seizures

By Aurora Geib, March 9 2012
(NaturalNews) The laws governing the sale of drugs and food additives require substances be safe for human consumption. The artificial sweetener aspartame primarily consumed in beverages and as a popular sugar substitute has consistently been found to cause tumors and brain seizures in animal subjects. In 2005, a European Cancer Research Center, the Ramazzini Foundation, called for an urgent re-examination of aspartame in food and beverages to protect children. This call is made in the face of the…


Ventura county District Attorney’s office wages campaign of personal revenge against raw milk farmers; resorts to tactics resembling North Korea

By Mike Adams,

(NaturalNews) NaturalNews can now report that James Stewart and Sharon Palmer are victims of an outrageous, almost unprecedented campaign of government terrorism against private citizens that’s playing out across two counties today: Ventura County and Los Angeles County. There, officials have secretly made a pact to “destroy” James and Sharon, regardless of what laws and rights have to be broken in the process. As you will see below, the DA’s offices in these two counties now harbor rogue, criminal…



Infant Formula Recalled Due to ‘Off Odor’

by Julia Thomas

Some Gerber Good Start Gentle powdered infant formula is being recalled, not because it poses a health or safety risk according to the Gerber Products Company, but because it might have an unpleasant odor.

The company says it has received complaints that the product’s “off odor” has caused infants to spit up or have gastrointestinal issues.


Salmonella Concerns Prompt Curry Recall

By Julia Thomas

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and G. Dion Foods are warning the public not to consume certain Dion brand curry powder because it may be contaminated with Salmonella.There have been no illnesses reported.G. Dion Foods of Saint-Jerome, Quebec, is recalling…


Goat Feed Recalled for Labeling Error

By Julia Thomas

Cargill Animal Nutrition is recalling 50 lb. bags of Nutrena NatureWise Goat Pellets distributed in 5 states because of an error in labeling.The recalled bags of goat feed should have indicated that the feed included Decoquinate, a medicated article for…