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


Girls who enter menopause very early, earlier than age 40, have 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 line with preliminary analysis to be introduced on the American Coronary heart Affiliation’s Epidemiology, Prevention, Life-style & Cardiometabolic Well being Convention 2022. The assembly shall be held in-person in Chicago and nearly Tuesday, March 1 — Friday, March 4, 2022,.

“Our examine discovered that ladies who enter menopause very early have been at larger 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 will help ladies follow methods to stop dementia and to work with their physicians to carefully monitor their cognitive standing as they age.”

Dementia includes 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 attributable to strokes or plaque build-up in arteries supplying blood to the mind. Each of these kind of dementia are extra frequent with age. Ailments affecting particular components of the mind also can result in dementia, and an individual can have dementia on account of multiple illness course of.

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

The investigators recognized the analysis of all varieties of dementia together with Alzheimer’s illness, vascular dementia and dementias from different causes. They calculated danger of incidence 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 common age for menopause onset amongst ladies within the U.S.). The outcomes have been adjusted for elements together with age finally examination, race, academic degree, cigarette and alcohol use, physique mass index, heart problems, diabetes, revenue and leisure and bodily actions.

The evaluation discovered:

  • Girls who entered menopause earlier than the age of 40 have been 35% extra prone to have been recognized with dementia.
  • Girls who entered menopause earlier than the age of 45 have been 1.3 occasions extra prone to have been recognized with dementia earlier than they have been 65 years outdated (known 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 larger 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 danger of vascular dementia.

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

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

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

Well being care clinicians who care for girls ought to concentrate on a lady’s age at menopause onset and carefully 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 approach to assess a lady’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 info used for this examine included largely white ladies residing within the U.Okay. and should not generalize to different populations.

Fitbit recalls over 1 million Ionic smartwatches over burn injury risk


Fitbit has recalled greater than 1,000,000 Ionic smartwatches following reviews that overheating batteries brought on burn accidents, the U.S. CPSC stated Wednesday. (Brendan McDermid, Reuters)

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WASHINGTON — Google-owned Fitbit has recalled greater than 1,000,000 of its Ionic smartwatches following reviews that overheating batteries had brought on burn accidents, the usConsumer Product Security Fee stated on Wednesday.

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

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

“These incidents are very uncommon and this voluntary recall doesn’t affect 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 comparable to Kohl’s and Goal and on-line on Amazon.com and Fitbit.com from September 2017 by December 2021, the CPSC stated.

The regulator has requested customers to cease utilizing the system and stated they might obtain a refund, in addition to a reduction supply, 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 Sensible-Draper, MD, led the trial and was the lead creator on a paper detailing its findings that was not too long ago printed in Scientific Most cancers Analysis, a journal of the American Affiliation for Most cancers Analysis.

Concentrating on the immune checkpoint

Sensible-Draper stated the trial centered on including a drug, pembrolizumab, to sufferers’ typical customary care of remedies. Pembrolizumab, bought underneath the model identify Keytruda, is an antibody utilized in most cancers immunotherapy that treats a wide range of cancers, together with head and neck. The drug targets a pair of receptors that often work to show off the human immune system when the immune system has completed a job of preventing off a international substance that causes illness.

“As soon as the virus or an infection is cleared, you need to have a technique to flip your individual immune system off, to inform it that the an infection is gone and it is time to settle down,” defined Sensible-Draper, affiliate professor of medication 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 discovered 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, nevertheless, blocks the interplay and retains immune cells working, which in flip results in the immune cells attacking cancerous cells like they’re alleged to.

The drug has been developed as a therapy for a number of cancers, and Sensible-Draper stated 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 stated, explaining which means sufferers have a very good response to therapy for much longer than anticipated, typically 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,” Sensible-Draper stated.

The speculation

With the early knowledge trying promising, the UC medical trial was in search of to search out if the drug would work as an preliminary therapy that might stop the most cancers from recurring. Sufferers with head and neck most cancers — which can be handled with the usual surgical procedure, radiation and probably chemotherapy if threat components warrant it — sometimes see the cancers return about 30%-50% of the time, Sensible-Draper stated.

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

Sensible-Draper stated 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 remains 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 prime threat), with six extra doses of pembrolizumab additionally administered after surgical procedure.

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

“We may see that plenty of these tumors had been dying even after that first dose of pembrolizumab,” Sensible-Draper stated. “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 sometimes 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 positively rising their probability of survival, no less than in comparison with historic controls,” Sensible-Draper stated.

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 properly on this therapy,” Sensible-Draper stated. “Hopefully that’s going to assist us design trials to higher perceive who’s going to reply and who is just not.”

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

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

Subsequent steps

Harvard College researchers have carried out a research just like UC’s that confirmed related success, and the profitable findings of those trials present {that a} randomized Section III medical trial is price pursuing. Pharmaceutical firm Merck is within the means 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 research that can assist present if pembrolizumab really advantages these teams,” Sensible-Draper stated of the Merck research.

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

“It has been extraordinarily thrilling to see sufferers do properly on this research and seeing their survival improve realizing what the historic charges had been, in addition to simply with the ability to have a profitable research generally is fairly thrilling,” Sensible-Draper stated. “A whole lot of these developments I did not anticipate to occur so shortly 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, Sensible-Draper stated it’s going to mark a “big enchancment” in comparison with the present customary of care that may nonetheless result in a 50% recurrence charge. There’s even a chance that sufferers wouldn’t want their therapy plan to incorporate surgical procedure, she stated.

“If we have now 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,” Sensible-Draper stated.

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 right now, February 27, 2022, that will likely be introduced on the American Academy of Neurology’s 74th Annual Assembly being held in individual in Seattle, April 2 to 7, 2022 and just about, 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 writer 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 likely 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 median age of 61 who had been adopted for a median of 9 years. They didn’t have Alzheimer’s illness at first of the examine.

Researchers decided members’ cardiorespiratory health. Cardiorespiratory health is a measure of how nicely your physique transports oxygen to your muscle groups, and the way nicely your muscle groups are in a position to take up oxygen throughout train.

The members had been divided into 5 teams, from least match to most match. Health ranges had been decided by how nicely members did on a treadmill take a look at. This take a look at 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 could 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. Particular person-years take note of 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 had 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 seemingly and people within the second least match group had been 13% much less prone to develop the illness than these within the least match group.

“The thought that you would be able to scale back your threat for Alzheimer’s illness by merely rising your exercise could be very promising, particularly since there aren’t any enough remedies 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 members had been principally white males so outcomes will not be generalizable to different populations.

The examine was supported by the Nationwide Institute on Growing older, 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 research has discovered that larger ranges of biodiversity — the large number of life on Earth and the species, traits and evolutionary historical past they characterize — seem to cut back extinction threat in birds.

Prior analysis has established that biodiversity is related to predictable outcomes within the brief time period: various techniques are much less susceptible to invasion, have extra steady productiveness, and could be extra illness resistant.

The brand new research, printed on-line Feb. 24 in Ecology Letters and led by evolutionary biologist and ornithologist Brian Weeks of the U-M Faculty for Setting and Sustainability, has revealed one more optimistic end result in probably lowered extinction charges.

The research 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 the planet. Whereas the observe of utilizing pure historical past museum specimens is widespread, that is the primary time that there was a complete dataset of the purposeful traits of all birds.

The researchers used the information to measure the range of birds world wide, together with the species present in a neighborhood, their evolutionary relationships and their purposeful traits. They then used structural equation modeling to characterize the connection between variety and extinction threat.

In line with the research, variety is related to decrease ranges of up to date extinction threat in birds. The research attributes this to various communities offering a secure harbor for species which might be vulnerable to extinction. Attributes of species (e.g., massive physique measurement, poor dispersal capacity or small vary measurement) could make them extra more likely to go extinct. Nevertheless, it seems that the advantages afforded by dwelling in a various neighborhood shield these extinction-prone species, permitting extra of them to persist.

The findings reveal the significance of defending variety, based on 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 threat throughout longer timescales,” Weeks stated. “Our findings counsel that the conservation of biodiversity shouldn’t be solely a aim of conservation however can also be possible a obligatory element to efficient conservation interventions.”

The researchers additionally concluded that the upkeep of biodiverse communities may very well be a less expensive method to stopping extinction since single-species conservation interventions are costly.

The research’s different authors are Shahid Naeem of Columbia College, Jesse Lasky of Pennsylvania State College and Joseph Tobias of Imperial Faculty London. Chicken trait knowledge 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 is just not but identified, however Epstein-Barr virus is a doable offender, Harvard researchers say.

An individual within the first levels 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 recognized with MS expertise progressive harm to their central nervous system and may lose about seven years of their life expectancy, in keeping with the Nationwide A number of Sclerosis Society. 

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

Whereas there are almost 1,000 genetic precursors for MS, together with intercourse, “no threat issue stands out like Epstein-Barr infections,” epidemiologist and Principal Investigator of the research Alberto Ascherio advised The New York Occasions. In truth, almost each case of MS noticed by Ascherio and his staff was preceded by an infection with EBV, a standard pressure of herpes unfold via saliva and different bodily fluids. Of the ten million army personnel concerned within the research, 955 have been recognized with MS throughout their service. Danger of MS elevated 32-fold after an infection with EBV, researchers discovered, a correlation not seen with every other viruses that the themes 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 research advised Scientific American.

In keeping with the CDC, most individuals will likely be contaminated with EBV sooner or later of their lives. The virus additionally causes mononucleosis, generally referred to 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 research authors warning. “Most individuals contaminated with this widespread virus don’t develop a number of sclerosis,” the staff experiences in its paper. Nonetheless, like many different widespread viruses, EBV’s potential to wreak havoc on the physique via reactivation is trigger for investigation. There may be at present 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 could cause most cancers—could scale back the incidence of MS. “Research like this recommend we must be pushing more durable on creating a vaccine towards EBV,” Wilson advised STAT Information.

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

Neurons are insulated by myelin sheaths, which not solely shield the cells but additionally 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 levels 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 continual illness and accelerating vaccine improvement. Each Moderna, one of many first corporations to provide an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, and the Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Ailments are trying into manufacturing an EBV vaccine. This month, Moderna launched its first section trial for an mRNA vaccine towards EBV. If profitable, Lydia Denworth experiences for Scientific American, the vaccines might scale back the incidence of mono, some EBV-associated cancers, and doubtlessly MS.