Larry King accidentally rearended JFK

first_imgLarry King is a well-known figure in today’s media. In his 60-odd year career, he has worked in television and on the radio. According to Biography, he was born November 19, 1933, as Lawrence Harvey Zeiger. A chance meeting with a CBS announcer started his career when the announcer told him to go to Florida because they were hiring inexperienced broadcasters.Larry King in March 2017. Photo by Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 3.0He went to Miami and got hired at WAHR, doing odd jobs around the station until one of their male announcers quit, and young Zeiger took the job.Just minutes before his first broadcast the station manager decided he needed a new name, since Zeiger sounded too “ethnic.” The station manager chose King, after seeing an ad for King’s Wholesale Liquor, and Larry King was off and running.King’s mugshot from 1971 arrest in Miami.In his career, King did announcing and newspaper work before starting a nightly coast-to-coast talk show in 1978. His reputation grew, and Ted Turner hired King to do the first international talk show for the just-beginning Cable News Network (CNN).He stayed there for 25 years, stepping down as host in 2010. King also appeared in several television shows and movies as himself and did voice work for a couple of animated films.King was known for two quirks of his personal life: his wives, and his driving.King during a recording of his Larry King Live program at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, in 2006.King has had a total of eight marriages to seven different women. His first marriage was to his high school sweetheart at the age of 18, according to People magazine.It was allegedly annulled by her parents the following year, as they didn’t approve. He married Alene Akins, a playboy bunny, twice; during the first, King adopted Alene’s son from her first marriage.King with wife Shawn Southwick at a Beverly Hills gala, 2014. Photo by Neon Tommy CC BY-SA 2.0The next time they wed they had a daughter together. Most of his marriages have been relatively brief, seven years or less, but he has been married to his current wife, Shawn, since 1997.5 things you didn’t know about TV legend Larry KingIn September of 2017, King was involved in a car accident in Beverly Hills. According to TMZ, the then 83-year-old King was seen assessing the damage to his Lincoln MK and to the Mercedes-Benz that was the other vehicle involved.Although both drivers were looked over by paramedics as soon as they arrived, it was determined that neither driver was injured.Larry King at the 70th Annual Peabody Awards. Photo by 70th Annual Peabody Awards CC By 2.0Police said it was unclear who was at fault and didn’t issue a citation to either driver, although witnesses did say that King hit the other vehicle.That wasn’t the first such accident that King was involved in. The first time Larry King was in a collision was in 1958. King told the story to Jimmy Kimmel in 2010.Larry King. Photo by Thor Nielsen / NTNU CC BY-SA 2.0King was a young disc jockey living in Miami. He and three of his friends decided to drive to Palm Beach, which none of them had seen before.While gawking at the scenery, King accidentally rear-ended another car while coming up on a red light. What makes this story remarkable is that the driver of the other car was Senator John F. Kennedy. Kennedy got out of the car and asked “How could you hit me? It’s 10:30 on a Sunday morning, there are only two cars on the road. How could you hit me?”Deborah Tannen and Larry King at an ASAE event at the Kennedy Center, taken on January 5, 2013 by DB KingKing apologized and offered to exchange insurance information with Kennedy, but instead, Senator Kennedy had them raise their hands and swear that King and his companions would vote for him when he made his presidential run. When Kimmel asked King if he did, King said: “Of course I did!”Read another story from us: “Stone Face” Buster Keaton – King of Early Stunts who Broke his Neck without even KnowingIn 2008 King and his then-wife, Shawn, were involved in another accident, but King wasn’t driving the vehicle. After finding out who he was, the people in the other car sued King for $50,000, claiming severe injury; but Kings wife strongly refuted that assertion, and said it was a frivolous lawsuit to get money from a celebrity.last_img read more

New European Union Timeline to handover

first_img Best Of Express P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies european union, new european union, eu timeline, new eu timeline, eu elections, brussels, eu election news, eu parliament news, new eu parliament, world news, brexit, brexit deal, indian express European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Union Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier speak during a plenary session of the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. (Source: REUTERS/File)European Union leaders meet in Brussels on Tuesday, two days after an election to the European Parliament returned a more fragmented pro-EU centre and stronger nationalist groups. December 1: Tusk’s successor due to take office at the Council. Related News Advertising Post Comment(s) Aegean lessons Advertising Advertising October 31: Britain is due to leave, deal or no deal — though a further delay to Brexit is also possible.November 1: The Commission is due to take office. If it has not been confirmed by Parliament, Juncker’s team would carry on. Draghi’s successor is due to take over the ECB in Frankfurt. Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 UK’s Boris Johnson declines to comment on plan to facilitate a no-deal Brexit UK economy probably shrank for first time in seven years More Explained Taking stock of monsoon rain From 1600 GMT, the 28 leaders, including outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May, meet over dinner to debate jobs.June: Parliamentary groups will negotiate among themselves and with Tusk, seeking to defend the legislature’s demand that government chiefs nominate a party candidate to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the executive European Commission. Many national leaders — foremost among them the powerful Macron — are resisting that idea.June 20-21: Leaders aim to agree on Juncker’s successor and that of European Central Bank President Mario Draghi. They may also agree who will succeed Tusk himself as president of the European Council and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.July 2-4: New Parliament convenes in Strasbourg. It should choose its own president to succeed Antonio Tajani on July 3 — another job in the mix for the bargaining over key EU posts. July 16-18: Parliament sits again in Strasbourg. This is the earliest it could endorse a new Commission president.July-August: If a Commission president is agreed, he or she would then build an executive team, taking one commissioner from each member state and giving them portfolios. If there is no deal on a successor, then more summits may be needed. In 2014, Tusk and Mogherini were nominated at a summit in late August.September: New commissioners face hearings in Parliament. Some, notably those nominated by eurosceptic governments in the likes of Italy, Hungary or Poland, could hit resistance but MEPs can only block the Commission as a whole, not individuals.October 22-24: Parliament due to vote in Strasbourg to confirm the new Commission as whole. It can withhold its endorsement. By Reuters |Brussels | Updated: May 28, 2019 3:26:13 pm They will discuss the succession to key EU jobs over the coming months. Here is a timeline to change at the top:May 28: Leaders party groups in the newly elected Parliament meet at 0800 GMT and hold news conference at 1000 GMT. They are expected to endorse a call for national leaders to nominate a lead candidate, or Spitzenkandidat, from a winning party to run the executive European Commission. The first placed centre-right EPP wants Manfred Weber, the centre-left Frans Timmermans. So far, four pro-EU parties seem to have struggled to adopt a common position.This afternoon, various national leaders are holding private talks. For example, liberal French President Emmanuel Macron and Socialist Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez lunch with the liberal Belgian and Dutch leaders and Portugal’s Socialist premier. Centre-right leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel will also meet together. EU summit chair Donald Tusk, who will run negotiations on jobs, will also have several meetings.last_img read more

Hong Kongs retreat chips away at Xi Jinpings iron image

first_img Hong Kong democracy protests dissipate “Pragmatic leaders adjust their policies when they become too costly,” she said.Still, the controversy over the legislation has hardened views around the world toward Xi’s China, particularly regarding the lack of judicial independence or basic rights for defendants plunged into the Chinese judicial system.The idea of a law that would allow transfers of criminal suspects into the Communist Party-controlled system provoked fear among Hong Kong’s 7 million residents, including business executives, consultants and investors who have made the city a global hub of finance, trade and transportation.“The proposed law, the protests and the Hong Kong government’s response has heightened international awareness of the repressive policies of the Xi era,” said Anne-Marie Brady, a professor at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, adding that China was not living up to its pledge to honor Hong Kong’s autonomy for 50 years after the 1997 takeover.During Xi’s four-day trip for previously scheduled summit meetings in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, the events in Hong Kong were portrayed in China’s state media not as a retreat but as a well-considered move receiving Beijing’s full support.Read | Hong Kong protestors earn praise after parting to allow an ambulance through“Sometimes we have to be on duty on our birthday,” Putin told Xi in a carefully choreographed exchange at a hotel in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, even as Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, prepared to announce the suspension of the legislation.Putin presented the man he has taken to calling a dear friend with a decorative vase, a cake and an entire box of ice cream that Xi had previously pronounced as the most delicious in the world.China, Xi Jinping, Hong Kong, Hong Kong protests, Hong Kong demonstrations, Carrie Lam, Russia, Vladimir Putin, Putin, Comminist party of China,US China, US china Trade war, Trump, Trump-Xi, International relations, World news, Indian Express news, Latest news During Xi’s four-day trip for previously scheduled summit meetings in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, the events in Hong Kong were portrayed in China’s state media not as a retreat but as a well-considered move receiving Beijing’s full support. (New York Times)Putin’s party for Xi was broadcast on China’s state television network, which had not even mentioned the protests in Hong Kong — some of the largest since Britain handed over the territory in 1997 — until Friday night. It described them as riots sponsored by foreign actors.Both men are of similar age and temperament, sharing an abiding fear of foreign efforts to undermine their rule. Both have experienced the simmering fury of constituents nonetheless, suggesting that popular sentiment still plays a role in the era of strongman leaders. Putin, too, had to bow to public pressure in the past week following protests over a false arrest of a prominent investigative journalist, Ivan Golunov.In the end, Beijing and Hong Kong decided that they already faced enough challenges with the economic headwinds and trade tensions with the United States heading into the Group of 20 summit in Japan this month, according to a person in Hong Kong with detailed knowledge of local policymaking, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the political sensitivities inflamed by the protests.President Donald Trump and Xi are expected to meet in less than two weeks at the summit, in Osaka, although formal trade talks between them have not yet been confirmed.Read | The murder case that lit the fuse in Hong KongXi has never publicly commented on the Hong Kong matter, but two of the seven members of the governing Politburo Standing Committee that he presides over — Wang Yang and Han Zheng — expressed their support for the legislation.On Friday, a vice foreign minister in Beijing summoned the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy to complain about a congressional bill, drawn up in support of the protesters, that called for a broad review of Washington’s relationship with Hong Kong.China, Xi Jinping, Hong Kong, Hong Kong protests, Hong Kong demonstrations, Carrie Lam, Russia, Vladimir Putin, Putin, Comminist party of China,US China, US china Trade war, Trump, Trump-Xi, International relations, World news, Indian Express news, Latest news Xi has never publicly commented on the Hong Kong matter, but two of the seven members of the governing Politburo Standing Committee that he presides over — Wang Yang and Han Zheng — expressed their support for the legislation. (New York Times)The suspension of the legislation in Hong Kong — which stopped short of dropping it altogether — has fueled concerns that Lam’s retreat was a tactical one, probably endorsed at least tacitly by Beijing. She met with senior Chinese officials Friday before announcing her decision the following day, a person with knowledge of the government’s policymaking said. She declined to comment Saturday on any private meetings she might have had.Xi is not prone to concession or compromise, especially when under threat, as Trump has learned during his public efforts to negotiate an end to the trade war between the United States and China. This latest setback, analysts said, could be merely temporary. “This further chips away at the image of Xi as an all-powerful, omnicompetent and visionary leader,” Blanchette added.The demonstrations also made clear that after 22 years, Beijing has had minimal success in weaving Hong Kong into the country’s central political, economic and security systems, all dominated by the Communist Party. But if Xi and his cadres want to proceed more forcefully to bind Hong Kong to the mainland, they must also see how that could invite new waves of protest.“This is an important time to see whether Xi is a rigid ideologue like Mao, or the pragmatist that previous Chinese leaders like Deng, Jiang and Hu were,” said Susan Shirk, chairwoman of the 21st Century China Program at the University of California, San Diego, referring to Xi’s predecessors.As evidence of a pragmatic tinge, she cited recent adjustments that Xi made — at least cosmetically — to his signature “One Belt, One Road” international infrastructure initiative following criticism that it was ensnaring countries in indebtedness to Beijing. Advertising I won’t quit, says Hong Kong’s hounded chief More Explained Hong Kong crisis: UK says 1984 rights treaty with China is ‘as valid as ever’ China’s leader, Xi Jinping, was in Tajikistan on Saturday, celebrating his 66th birthday with Russian President Vladimir Putin when the political crisis in Hong Kong took a dramatic turn with an unexpected retreat in the face of mass protests.Xi’s trip fortuitously gave him some distance from the events in Hong Kong, where the leadership Saturday suspended its push for legislation to allow extraditions to mainland China. But the measure had been backed by Beijing, and there was no mistaking that the reversal was a stinging setback for him.The move, the biggest concession to public pressure during Xi’s nearly seven years as China’s paramount leader, suggests that there are still limits to his power, especially involving events outside the mainland, even as he has governed with an increasingly authoritarian grip. Related News Best Of Express Taking stock of monsoon rain Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach “Postponement is not withdrawal,” said Ryan Hass, a fellow at the Brookings Institution who served as director for China at the National Security Council during the Obama administration, in an email. “Beijing likely will be willing to let Lam take heat for mismanaging the process of securing passage of the bill, bide its time, and wait for the next opportunity to advance the legislation.” After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Post Comment(s) Advertising “This is a defeat for Xi, even if Beijing frames this as a tactical retreat,” said Jude Blanchette, a consultant and author of a new book on the revival of revolutionary ideology in the country, “China’s New Red Guards.”On Sunday, hundreds of thousands of people marched again in Hong Kong despite the government’s concession a day before, insisting that the legislation be withdrawn while making new demands, including for an investigation into the use of excessive force by police in clashes with protesters. The large turnout was a surprise, and it means the crisis is not over for Xi. Given how he has consolidated power in China, he might find it increasingly difficult to avoid blame.The risk for Xi is not limited to Hong Kong. Though he has no visible rivals, he could face criticism in the leadership. And the mainland government’s censors, at least, are clearly concerned that the extraordinary events might inspire Xi’s beleaguered critics in mainland China, and they have been working vigorously to block the news from spreading.In Pictures | Hundreds of thousands take to streets in renewed Hong Kong protests Advertising By New York Times |Beijing | Updated: June 17, 2019 1:31:50 pm China, Xi Jinping, Hong Kong, Hong Kong protests, Hong Kong demonstrations, Carrie Lam, Russia, Vladimir Putin, Putin, Comminist party of China,US China, US china Trade war, Trump, Trump-Xi, International relations, World news, Indian Express news, Latest news Demonstrators durin­g a prote­st against a government proposal that could allow extraditions to mainland China, in Hong Kong on June 16, 2019. (The New York Times)(Written by: Steven Lee Myers) LiveKarnataka floor test: Will Kumaraswamy’s 14-month-old govt survive? last_img read more

As Gurgaon resident drove traveler his Aadhaar bailed out accused in 16

first_imgWritten by Sofi Ahsan | Chandigarh | Published: July 14, 2019 8:46:01 am Gurgaon man stabs wife, two children to death, hangs himself, leaves note behind Advertising “A total of 16 FIRs have been registered against the accused persons in this regard,” reads the affidavit filed by Akil, adding one accused Deepak Nair, a Delhi resident, has been arrested in 11 cases and another accused, Ravi Kumar, was arrested in April 2017 in an FIR but was released later on bail. Yet another accused, Om Prakash, who is alleged to have prepared the documents has not been arrested, the police commissioner said further.The police commissioner, in the affidavit, suggested to the court that an online verification of Aadhaar cards be ensured before accepting the surety bond and also prior police verification be asked for in suspicious cases. The High Court on July 3 disposed of Gulab Singh’s plea after an assurance from the State counsel that the SIT “would go to the root of the matter and take suitable action required under law”.It was in August 2016 that Gulab Singh received summons for the first time from a Gurgaon court. When he apprised the court regarding the fraud, an inquiry was conducted on orders of the District and Sessions Judge, which revealed that the RC was a genuine document but the Aadhaar card was forged. An FIR was ordered to be registered and soon other cases, where his RC and purported Aadhaar card had been used to bail out the accused, came to forth. The accused persons would use Gulab Singh’s name and address but change the photo and Aadhaar number everytime. Related News Haryana: Sacked employee among three held for murder of doctor in Karnal Sonipat boy fakes abduction, demands Rs 5 crore from dad His documents, including forged versions of his Aadhaar card, were used as surety in 16 criminal cases since 2016 to bail out the accused persons. Haryana Police has informed Punjab and Haryana High Court that a Special Investigation Team has been constituted to probe the matter and 16 FIRs have been registered till date.Gulab Singh, a tempo traveler driver from Sancholi village of Sohna in Gurgaon, in May approached the High Court through his counsel Atul Yadav seeking directions to the police and lower courts at Sohna, Pataudi and Gurgaon to not summon him in the criminal cases as an enquiry has already been conducted by judicial officer Kavita Yadav in which it was found that that his documents were forged and given as surety or guarantee. Stating that he is a “poor person”, Gulab Singh’s plea said that he is unable to afford to reach the different courts in pursuance to the summons to provide the same answer.In May, the High Court directed Commissioner of Gurgaon Police to apprise it regarding the action he proposes to take against the guilty and to prevent such frauds. Commissioner Mohd Akil has informed the High Court in a reply that a special investigation team (SIT) under ACP Pataudi has been constituted and it has found that Gulab’s name was misused by the accused persons by submitting false surety bonds and bail bonds in the courts by misusing his Aadhaar and RC and by preparing a false Jamabandi in his name. haryana police, gurgaon police, punjab and haryana high court, high court of punjab and haryana, high court of punjab, high court of haryana, india news, Indian Express Haryana Police has informed Punjab and Haryana High Court that a Special Investigation Team has been constitutedThree years back when 47-year-old Gulab Singh gave a photocopy of his Aadhaar card and the registration certificate (RC) of his vehicle to an agent for payment of road tax, little did he know that soon he would receive back-to-back summons from the courts in Gurgaon. Advertising Post Comment(s)last_img read more

Interstate gang of opium smugglers busted kingpin among 2 held

first_img Advertising Moga man suspected of reporting power theft chained, assaulted; FIR against five Bargari sacrilege case: Villagers say, ‘Enough clashes in past….we don’t want to be part of politics anymore’ By Express News Service |Jalandhar | Published: July 15, 2019 4:44:24 am Advertising Jalandhar, Jalandhar news, drug smugglers arrested in jalandhar, punjab drugs, drugs in punjab, punjab drug problem, punjab drug addiction The SSP said that the youths were identified as Punjab Singh (25) and Daljeet Singh (25) from Patti Palla village in Amritsar. He said that both had hidden the opium in a ‘spine support type belt’. (Representative Image)The Jalandhar Rural Police on Sunday busted an interstate gang of drug smugglers, arresting two of its members including the kingpin and seizing 16 kg opium. Related News Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Navjot Singh Mahal said on the basis of a tip-off, the CIA staff Jalandhar was checking vehicles at Mallian Mod under Kartarpur police station Saturday night. They stopped an I-20 car that was approaching the check post at high speed. However, Mahal said that instead of stopping the car, two youths seated in it tried to drive away, but were stopped with the help of barricades.The SSP said that the youths were identified as Punjab Singh (25) and Daljeet Singh (25) from Patti Palla village in Amritsar. He said that both had hidden the opium in a ‘spine support type belt’.Some of the opium was also recovered from the hardboard of the rear doors of the car. Punjab: Dera suffered in fight between 2 parties, says its political wing head Mahal also claimed that Punjab Singh, who was now involved in “narco-terrorism”, belongs to a family which was “actively involved in terrorist activities during the black days” in the state.He also said that Punjab Singh had earlier been arrested with 800 grams of opium and was out on bail, and was heading the gang that smuggled opium from Bihar into the state. Post Comment(s)last_img read more

Could November elections scramble a controversial US mission to a frozen moon

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe By Paul VoosenSep. 12, 2018 , 5:35 PM Could November elections scramble a controversial U.S. mission to a frozen moon? Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/AP Images “The science goals of the Europa lander do not follow from our current knowledge of Europa,” said Chris McKay, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. Although there is abundant ice for a lander to sample on Europa, he suggested, there is no concrete evidence of other ingredients necessary for life, such as carbon, nitrogen, biologically useful energy, or organic molecules. But given that the lander is already receiving money, he concluded in an about-face, scientists should support it. “A bad life detection mission is better than no life detection mission,” he said.Others had a different view. It’s premature to design and build a lander before the Europa Clipper, which will orbit Jupiter while observing Europa, has had time to scout and map its surface and interior ocean in more detail, said Louise Prockter, director of the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) in Houston, Texas. (She noted that her views did not represent LPI’s stance.) And the lander’s existence, based on the desires of a single congressman, make it fragile, she added. “The issue for the lander is that congressional support is coming from a single point. We don’t like single-point failures in our missions,” she said. “If that congressional support goes away, we are then locked in to a very large, very complex, very long mission.”A Culberson loss wouldn’t pose a big risk to the project, countered Scott Bolton, principal investigator of NASA’s Juno mission around Jupiter and a planetary scientist at the Southwest Research Institute who works in Boulder, Colorado. “Even if Culberson loses, we know who’s going to come in, and he supports it,” Bolton said, apparently referring the lawmaker who could take Culberson’s place as the head of the spending panel that oversees NASA. (It could be a Democrat, if Republicans lose their House majority.)At this point, Linda Spilker, project scientist of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s (JPL’s) Cassini mission, tried to steer the conversation away from politics. But Bolton didn’t go along. “We’re trying to figure out what to do with the lander,” he said, “and the lander is in there because of the politics.”At the meeting, scientists developing plans for the lander, who are largely based at JPL in Pasadena, relayed their newest design. Their efforts responded to a push, begun last year by NASA headquarters, to keep costs low. The plan, which would cost several billion dollars, calls for using three spacecraft to ferry the lander its destination. It would then land using a modified version of the sky crane that NASA has previously deployed on Mars. The battery-powered robot would dig a single trench into Europa’s surface with a robotic arm, exposing samples to a large suite of scientific instruments, while operating for more than 3 weeks. And it would focus on detecting biosignatures, rather than direct detection of life.Scientists should not lose sight of how the Europa lander could excite the public, added Alfred McEwen, a planetary geologist at The University of Arizona in Tuscon. “This would be tremendously exciting mission for the general public,” he said, much more so than simply a series of flybys that will come from the Europa Clipper. And any mission that lands on Europa, even if it is not perfect or as complex as hoped, will produce fantastic science, added Cynthia Phillips, a planetary geologist at JPL. Though, she added, “maybe it’s not landing on Enceladus,” the water-spewing saturnian moon that, for many scientists, has supplanted Europa as a top target for detecting life.Scientists at the meeting universally lauded the design work done by the lander team. As designed, the mission could yield great insights on the geology and chemistry of frozen ocean worlds. But what if, as one researcher said during a comment period, the most interesting thing about Europa seen by the Clipper is found on a cliff face? “We’re making a lot of assumptions in the design of the lander that we’ll live to regret once we get the Clipper data.”There was no resolution to this debate, and the final outcome could depend on the results of the 2018 elections. Many scientists are looking for the next decadal assessment of NASA’s planetary science to consider the Europa mission, but by then NASA might have already invested a great deal of money. “And the fact is that Congress is excited about this,” said Kevin Hand, the astrobiologist at JPL who has helped develop the lander concept. “I think this is exactly the kind of mission, the kind of exploration, and potential big discovery, that NASA is chartered to undertake.”*Correction, 18 September, 5:47 p.m.: A previous version of this story stated that the Europa Clipper would orbit Europa; to avoid harsh radiation, the spacecraft will instead orbit Jupiter and fly by Europa for many multiple views. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Earlier this year, planetary scientists got a pleasant surprise: a big boost in NASA’s budget, instituted at the direction of Representative John Culberson (R–TX), a leading member of the House of Representatives spending panel. But some of that money—$195 million, to be exact—came with a catch. It had to be spent on a robotic mission to land on Europa, Jupiter’s frozen moon, to search for signs of life.Culberson’s lander has been somewhat controversial among scientists because it hasn’t gone through NASA’s traditional selection and vetting process. And today, researchers at an agency advisory meeting debated whether the congressional elections in November could bring a new lander-related headache: the defeat of Culberson, who is facing a tough re-election contest. If Culberson loses, NASA risks becoming “locked in” to an expensive and complicated project that lacks a key champion in Congress, one researcher worried.By Culberson’s mandate, NASA had already begun to lay out plans for the Europa lander, which could launch by 2026. But at a panel session today at NASA’s Outer Planets Assessment Group, held in Pasadena, California, planetary scientists grappled with whether, and how aggressively, the agency should support the mission. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Representative John Culberson (R–TX), who has been a key player in providing funding for a NASA mission to Europa, is facing a tough re-election battle. Emaillast_img read more

Indonesian vaccine fatwa sends measles immunization rates plummeting

first_img Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country By Dyna Rochmyaningsih Nov. 7, 2018 , 3:05 PM But the rollout to the rest of the country, originally scheduled for August and September of this year, ran into trouble. Just before it began, the Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI) of the Riau Islands, a provincial Islamic body, raised concerns that the new MR vaccine had not been certified as “halal,” or lawful, by the central MUI in Jakarta, the highest authority in such matters. The letter asked for vaccinations to be postponed. The news quickly spread throughout the country, stoking distrust among parents.To salvage the campaign, the health ministry in August lobbied the central MUI to issue a fatwa—a ruling under Islamic law—declaring the vaccine halal. Instead, the council declared the MR vaccine haram, based on its ingredients and manufacturing process. Like many vaccines, it is made using several porcine components. Trypsin, an enzyme, helps separate the cells in which the vaccine viruses are grown from their glass container. Gelatin derived from pigs’ skin serves as a stabilizer, protecting vaccine viruses as they are freeze-dried.MUI took pains not to block the vaccination campaign. It ruled that parents could still have their children vaccinated, given the need to protect public health. “Trusted experts have explained the dangers posed by not being immunized,” MUI said, a message it reiterated at a public consultation with Health Minister Nila Moeloek on 18 September.But local clerics and confused parents have drawn their own conclusions. In contrast to the success on Java, coverage of children on other islands has reached only 68% so far, according to the health ministry, which did not respond to interview requests. In some regions it is far worse—just 8% in Aceh, for example, a province ruled by sharia law.A spokesperson for WHO’s country office in Jakarta notes that Indonesia is hardly the only country where trust in vaccination has eroded and says WHO remains optimistic about the campaign. Although the fatwa “has caused some confusion at local levels, it is in fact clear in its directive and ultimately supportive” of vaccination, the spokesperson wrote in an email. WHO is working with the Indonesian government, which has extended the catch-up campaign until December, to expand the coverage.Failure could be a major setback for public health. Measles can cause deafness, blindness, seizures, permanent brain damage, and even death; vaccination coverage needs to be at 95% to reach herd immunity, in which even nonvaccinated people are protected. That threshold is about 80% for rubella. At lower levels, a paradoxical effect can occur: Some women who would otherwise have an innocuous infection early in life now catch the virus while pregnant, raising their risk of miscarriage or giving birth to babies with congenital rubella syndrome—whose symptoms include blindness, deafness, heart defects, and mental disabilities. “We can’t play” with the MR vaccine, says Elizabeth Jane Soepardi, an independent public health expert who until January was director of disease surveillance and quarantine at the health ministry. Low vaccination rates “could mean a boomerang for us,” she says.There is no ready alternative; no MR vaccines have been certified as halal anywhere. (Indonesia’s previous measles vaccine didn’t have a halal certificate either, which has not hampered its use.) Arifianto Apin, a Muslim pediatrician in Jakarta who advocates for vaccination within the Indonesian Pediatric Society, says education may help. Clerics in many Muslim countries have concluded that gelatin in vaccines is halal because it has undergone hydrolysis, a chemical transformation that purifies it under an Islamic legal concept called istihalah. And in 2013, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore declared a rotavirus vaccine halal despite the use of trypsin; it ruled that the enzyme had been made pure by dilution and the addition of other pure compounds, which is known as istihlak. If Muslim parents learn about the diverse legal views within Islam, Apin says, “they won’t hesitate to vaccinate their children.”If that doesn’t happen, the only solution is to develop a halal vaccine as soon as possible, says Art Reingold, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Berkeley. Neni Nurainy, the lead scientist at Indonesia’s state-owned vaccine company, Bio Farma, in Bandung notes that nonporcine vaccine stabilizers exist, for instance; the company plans to start to investigate bovine gelatin as a replacement. But development and clinical trials could take 6 to 10 years, she says. “In the meantime, many will be made ill and some may die avoidable deaths,” Reingold says.WHO, however, is steering clear of the religious debate and won’t recommend the development of a halal vaccine. “WHO works with regulatory authorities and manufacturers to ensure vaccines have the highest standards of safety and efficacy,” the spokesperson says. “We don’t assess vaccines on other criteria.” Children are immunized against measles and rubella at a school in Aceh in Indonesia, where coverage so far is only 8%. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img As the bell rang on a recent morning at an elementary school here and pupils filled the classrooms, anxious adults crowded the corridors outside. It was vaccination day, but many parents in this North Sumatra village did not want their children immunized with a new measles-rubella (MR) vaccine. Some told the teacher their children were at home, not feeling well. Others were there to make sure their kids didn’t get the jab. They whispered the reason with disgust: The vaccine “contains elements of pork.” By the time the vaccination team left, only six out of 38 students had been immunized.Millions of parents around Indonesia have eschewed the vaccine in recent months, after Islamic clerics declared the MR vaccine “haram,” or forbidden under Islamic law because pig components are used in its manufacturing. Vaccine coverage has plummeted as a result, alarming public health experts who worry that the world’s largest Muslim-majority country could see new waves of measles and more miscarriages and birth defects resulting from rubella infections during pregnancy.Indonesia has long used a locally produced measles vaccine as part of its childhood vaccination scheme, but coverage has been patchy, and until recently, the country had one of the highest measles burdens in the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Last year, as part of a WHO-led plan to eliminate measles and rubella globally by 2020, Indonesia switched to a combined MR vaccine, produced by the Serum Institute of India in Mumbai. The Ministry of Health launched an ambitious catchup campaign targeting 67 million children aged 9 months to 15 years. The first phase, in 2017 on the island of Java, was a success; all six provinces reached the 95% coverage target, and measles and rubella cases dropped by more than 90%. 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LYNPARZA Phase III SOLO1 results show improved outcome for patients with advanced

first_img Source: Oct 22 2018AstraZeneca and Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., (Merck: known as MSD outside the US and Canada) today announced detailed results from the Phase III SOLO-1 trial testing LYNPARZA® (olaparib) 300 mg tablets twice-daily as a maintenance treatment for patients with newly diagnosed advanced BRCA-mutated (BRCAm) ovarian cancer who were in complete or partial response following 1st-line standard platinum-based chemotherapy.Results of the trial confirm the statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) for LYNPARZA compared to placebo, reducing the risk of disease progression or death by 70% (HR 0.30 [95% CI 0.23-0.41], P<0.001). With median 41 months of follow-up, the median PFS for patients treated with LYNPARZA was not reached compared to 13.8 months for patients treated with placebo. Of those receiving LYNPARZA, 60% remained progression-free at 36 months, compared to 27% of women in the placebo arm. The data were presented at the Presidential Symposium of the ESMO 2018 Congress (European Society for Medical Oncology) in Munich, Germany, and published simultaneously online in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).Sean Bohen, Executive Vice President, Global Medicines Development and Chief Medical Officer, AstraZeneca said: "There is currently a significant unmet need in the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer because 70% of women relapse within the first three years after their initial treatment. The remarkable results of the SOLO-1 trial, which showed that 60% of women with newly diagnosed, advanced BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer remained progression-free at three years, highlight the potential of LYNPARZA as a maintenance therapy in the 1st-line setting."Roy Baynes, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Clinical Development, Chief Medical Officer, Merck Research Laboratories, said: "Our collective goal in oncology research is to improve long-term outcomes for people living with cancer. Based on the SOLO-1 trial results, LYNPARZA is the only PARP inhibitor to have demonstrated a significant and clinically meaningful improvement in reducing the risk of progression for newly diagnosed patients with advanced BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer following platinum-based chemotherapy. We are working with regulatory authorities as quickly as possible to seek approval of LYNPARZA for these patients."Kathleen Moore, Co-Principal Investigator of the SOLO-1 trial and Associate Director for Clinical Research, Stephenson Cancer Center at The University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, said: "Women with ovarian cancer are often diagnosed with advanced disease, which unfortunately is associated with poor long-term survival rates. The newly diagnosed setting is our best opportunity to achieve a sustained remission, since once a patient's ovarian cancer recurs, it is typically incurable. The SOLO-1 results demonstrate the potential of LYNPARZA maintenance therapy earlier in the treatment pathway and reinforce the importance of identifying a patient's BRCA mutation status at the time of diagnosis—these results could change the way we treat women with advanced BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer."Related StoriesStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessaryNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyThe SOLO-1 safety profile was in line with that observed in prior clinical trials. The most common adverse events (AEs) ≥20% in patients taking LYNPARZA in the trial were nausea (77%), fatigue/asthenia (63%), vomiting (40%), anemia (39%), diarrhea (34%), constipation (28%), dysgeusia (26%), arthralgia (25%), abdominal pain (25%), neutropenia (23%), headache (23%), dizziness (20%) and decreased appetite (20%). The most common Grade ≥3 adverse reactions were anemia (22%) and neutropenia (9%). Seventy-two percent of patients on LYNPARZA remained on the recommended starting dose. Additionally, 88% of patients on LYNPARZA continued treatment without an AE-related discontinuation. Further, 48% of patients on LYNPARZA did not have a dose interruption as a result of an AE.Per SOLO-1 protocol guidelines, patients who demonstrated a complete response (no radiological evidence of disease) at 2 years stopped treatment with LYNPARZA; patients who demonstrated a partial response and who in the opinion of the treating physician can derive further benefit from continuous treatment, were treated beyond 2 years.AstraZeneca and Merck are exploring additional trials in ovarian cancer, including the ongoing GINECO/ENGOTov25 Phase III trial, PAOLA-1. This trial is testing the effect of LYNPARZA in combination with bevacizumab as a maintenance treatment for patients with newly diagnosed advanced ovarian cancer, regardless of their BRCA status. Results are expected during the second half of 2019.LYNPARZA is a first-in-class poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor approved in the US since 2014. LYNPARZA has a broad clinical-development program and AstraZeneca and Merck are working together to deliver LYNPARZA as quickly as possible to more patients across multiple cancer types, including prostate and pancreatic cancers.LYNPARZA is not currently FDA-approved for advanced BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer treatment in the first-line maintenance setting. LYNPARZA is indicated for the maintenance treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer in response to platinum-based chemotherapy regardless of BRCA mutation status, and for the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer patients with a germline BRCA-mutation previously treated with three or more lines of chemotherapy. Physicians should select advanced ovarian cancer patients for therapy based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic. Please see complete indications below.last_img read more

Experts in Parkinsons research propose roadmap for drug trials targeting alphasynuclein

first_img Source: Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 20 2018Issued in conjunction with The Michael J. Fox Foundation, important consensus guidelines for running proof of concept preclinical and clinical trials of drugs targeting alpha-synuclein to slow or arrest the progression of the disease published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease A recently discovered protein, alpha-synuclein, has become one of the most attractive targets for developing new drugs with the potential to slow down or arrest the progression of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Experts in the field of Parkinson’s research have now proposed a roadmap for preclinical and clinical trials investigating compounds targeting alpha-synuclein. Their consensus white paper is published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.Alpha-synuclein is of key interest to PD researchers because it is a major constituent of Lewy bodies, protein clumps that are the pathological hallmark of PD, and mutations in the gene that encodes alpha-synuclein cause PD. Not surprisingly, intensive efforts have been underway to study the normal and pathological role of alpha-synuclein as well as its potential as a target for neuroprotective therapies. There are at least five alpha-synuclein–targeted therapeutics currently under investigation. These have the potential to slow or arrest the progression of PD and other synucleinopathies, such as Dementia with Lewy Bodies, Multiple System Atrophy and Pure Autonomic Failure.”With alpha-synuclein undoubtedly playing some role in PD pathogenesis, and there being such a diverse portfolio of experimental therapies that target the protein, one can be optimistic and hope that one of the approaches will eventually be successful in slowing disease progression,” says Patrik Brundin, MD, PhD, Associate Director of Research, Professor and Director of the Center for Neurodegenerative Science, Van Andel Research Institute, Grand Rapids, MI, and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.In 2017, The Michael J. Fox Foundation convened the Alpha Synuclein Clinical Path Working Group comprised of PD research leaders from across academia and industry. This group was tasked to develop a strategic consensus and make recommendations in preclinical and clinical research directed at alpha-synuclein–targeted therapies for PD.Related StoriesMice cured of HIV in an experiment sparks new hopeScientists discover how resistance to the chemotherapy drug 5-fluorouracil arisesAntibiotic combination effective against drug-resistant PseudomonasIn this consensus white paper, experts provide a translational framework of de-risking the development of alpha-synuclein–targeted therapies. Specifically, the paper discusses the use of fit-for purpose animal models, biomarkers that inform clinical trial design, such as doses and dosing regimen, as well as patient enrichment strategies. Finally, the authors discuss considerations for the design of clinical proof of concept trials that integrate not only pathophysiologic endpoints, but also the emerging technology of wearable devices to monitor clinical outcomes.”Multiple therapeutics have recently entered clinical trials, and critical human data that will inform all alpha-synuclein–based therapeutic development programs are on the horizon,” says lead author Kalpana M. Merchant, PhD, of Vincere Biosciences, Inc. and the Department of Neurology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL. “Although these efforts face many profound challenges, including the lack of key tools such as an alpha-synuclein–based imaging agent and the inherent difficulty of demonstrating clinical efficacy in slowly progressive neurodegenerative diseases, we remain optimistic that meaningful strides toward the ultimate identification and approval of alpha-synuclein–based disease-modifying therapeutics will be made in the near future.”PD is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, affecting approximately 1.2 percent of the world population over the age of 70. Although several new therapies that address motor or non-motor symptoms of PD have been approved, none of these are able to slow disease progression. In the US alone, an estimated 630,000 people had PD in 2010. With anticipated demographic changes due to an aging population, and if no disease-modifying treatment is found, the prevalence is expected to reach 930,000 by 2020 and 1.24 million 40 by 2030.last_img read more

Tactile and proprioceptive stimulation improves effects of perinatal brain injuries in mice

first_img Source: Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 5 2019A research conducted by the INc-UAB shows that the same perinatal brain injury caused by hypoxia and ischemia have differentiated effects on each gender, but can be improved through tactile and proprioceptive stimuli. Petting and massaging the mice in the first stages of their life provided neurological protection in their adult life, especially in male mice in which the injury was reduced by half.Perinatal brain injuries hinder neurological capabilities throughout life, causing anything from fine motor problems to severe cognitive limitations. At the same time, therapy treatments currently available are very limited. That is why other types of interventions to help counter these effects are being explored.Now, a new study by researchers from the Institute of Neuroscience of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (INc-UAB), led by Dr Lydia Giménez-Llort, demonstrates that tactile and proprioceptive stimulation -related to the tactile perception and that of the body’s own position, muscle bone, balance and coordination of movements- improves the effects of perinatal hypoxic and ischemic brain injuries throughout the life of the mice. This improvement mainly benefits male mice, in which the neurological damage is reduced by half.The study, published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, was conducted with mouse models of preterm birth. “We currently know that the immature brain of preterm infants, equivalent to that of mice when born, is at a larger risk for hypoxic-ischemic damage, and male newborns are more susceptible and respond worse to protective and therapeutic interventions”, co-author of the study Mireia Recasens points out. “Our work provides important information on this serious health problem with a damage of 1-3.5 and 6 of every thousand births in developed and developing countries, respectively”.Sensory stimulation was applied from before the injury occurred until the final stages of infancy, a period in preterm infants equivalent to being born at seven months until two years. The manipulation consisted in tactile and propioceptive stroking and massaging of the mice three times within an eight-minute period, twice a day.The results revealed that this intervention had a notable neurological protection on both genders throughout their lives, but researchers highlight that the effects were especially positive among males. The histopathological analysis in males demonstrated 50% less brain damage compared to the non-stimulated mice. There was a 30% decrease among female mice. The neurological protection in both genders was correlated to the improvement of functional capacities, reflexes, and an improvement in memory results.In relation to brain areas, the region involved with motor control and learning and memory (caudate/putamen) was the one to register the largest difference in males, with 80% less damage. In females, the main improvement was a 66% reduction in atrophy to the corpus callosum, a nerve tract connecting the left and right brain hemispheres.Related StoriesStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to help”The study illustrates the preventive and therapeutic potential of these types of stimulations in newborns with brain injuries, in a short yet very intense period at levels of brain development and plasticity. It also gives support to the different scientific approaches advocating for the transcendence of perinatal conditions – from sensory stimulation to maternal contact and a warm and protective environment – and its role as an adjuvant to current therapies”, highlights Dr Giménez-Llort, who is also a member of the International Gender Medicine (IGM) and the ISNA, an international association of sensory stimulation and snoezelen, which studies its effects.One same injury with different effects according to genderThe research also analyzed for the first time the impact of perinatal hypoxic and ischemic brain injuries, demonstrating that although the same degree of neuropathological severity exists, the damage affects each gender’s functional, neurological, cognitive and emotional capacities differently depending on the stage of life and task undertaken.”During the infant stage, the damage affects balance, particularly among females, and prehension in males, but both aspects improve as they grow and only reflexes remain damaged. Male mice showed to have infantile hyperactivity, which normalizes as they became adults. In contrast, the anxiety and emotional traits of these injuries lasted throughout their lives. Both genders showed poorer learning processes at short and long terms, but there was more damage to memory among the males”, explains Aida Muntsant, PhD student at the INc-UAB and first author of the paper. The functional evaluations were correlated with the degree of severity of the affected brain areas: hippocampus, caudate/putamen, thalamus, neocortex and corpus callosum.Rehabilitation targets”As a whole, the study shows the different neuronal substrates needed to satisfy functional demands and points to the most resilient neuroanatomical targets to repair these functions through postnatal stimulation”, points out Dr Kalpana Shrisvastava, specialist in neuroimmunology and co-first author of the paper.”Despite the obvious differences between rodents and humans, the study shows the complex relationship between different regions of the brain, risk factors, vulnerability and resilience, and all dependant on gender and age. It also provides new data on behavioral neuroscience within the field of neonatology and the area of pediatric functional rehabilitation, defining a translational scenario in which to study the underlying mechanisms of the functional and neuropathological correlates found”, concludes Dr Lydia Giménez-Llort.last_img read more

Daily consumption of nutritional supplements does not prevent depression

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Mar 5 2019MooDFOOD, the largest randomized clinical trial to study the effects of nutritional strategies on the prevention of major depressive disorder concludes that daily intake of nutritional supplements cannot prevent depression.Over 1000 participants who were overweight or had obesity and were identified as being at elevated risk for depression but who were not currently depressed, from four European countries -the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain, took part in the study. Participants were randomized to either take nutritional supplements containing folic acid, vitamin D, zinc, selenium or to a pill placebo, and half of participants also received a behavioral lifestyle intervention intended to change dietary behaviors and patterns.Researcher Mariska Bot from Amsterdam UMC reported: “Daily intake of nutritional supplements over a year does not effectively prevent the onset of a major depressive episode in this sample. Nutritional supplements were not better than placebo. Therapeutic sessions aimed at making changes towards a healthy dietary behavior did also not convincingly prevent depression”. Dr. Bot is first author of a paper showing these results in today’s issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).Depression is a common disorderMore than 40 million Europeans experience a major depressive disorder. One in ten men and one in five women suffer from clinical depression at least once during their lifetime. Depression is one of the most prevalent and disabling disorders in the EU.Given the increasing prevalence of depression, more people are actively searching for ways to decrease their risk through lifestyle modification, but are often overwhelmed by confusing and contradictory information. To help European citizens the MooDFOOD project has developed evidence-based nutritional strategies to help prevent depression.Prevention of depression through a healthy dietThe MooDFOOD prevention trial formed a crucial part of the five year MooDFOOD project, which investigated the relationship between nutrition and depression. MooDFOOD was funded by the European Commission and led by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.Related StoriesPesticide exposure may increase risk of depression in adolescentsNutritional supplements offer no protection against cardiovascular diseases, say researchersCaregiver depression linked to increased emergency department visits for patients with dementiaAlthough the behavioral therapy to encourage a healthy dietary behavior and improve diet was not effective at preventing depression overall, there was some evidence that it prevented depressive episodes in those participants who attended a recommended number of sessions. This may suggest the food behavioral therapy only works if the participants get sufficient exposure and are able to sufficiently improve their diet and dietary behavior.MooDFOOD project coordinators professor Marjolein Visser and professor Ingeborg Brouwer of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam said:”Several studies within, and outside the five year MooDFOOD project show that consuming a healthy dietary pattern is important for European citizens, not only for physical health, but it may also help to prevent depressive symptoms. ” Based on a large number of studies and careful analysis, MooDFOOD researchers have come to three important conclusions at the end of their project. First, a healthy dietary pattern, typified by a Mediterranean style diet high in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, fish, pulses and olive oil, and low in red meat and full-fat dairy products, may reduce the risk of developing depression. Second, in people with obesity, weight loss can lead to a reduction in depressive symptoms. Third, current evidence does not support the use of nutritional supplements in order to prevent depression.Practical toolsThese recent results have important implications for all Europeans. The MooDFOOD team has translated these findings into tools for the general population, health professionals (GPs, dieticians and psychologists), researchers and policy makers. Citizens and health professionals can find these tools, together with the MooDFOOD project results and conclusions on the prevention of depression through nutrition on the MooDFOOD project website: Source: read more

Escalating workplace violence rocks hospitals

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 21 2019Across the country, many doctors, nurses and other health care workers have remained silent about what is being called an epidemic of violence against them.The violent outbursts come from patients and patients’ families. And for years, it has been considered part of the job.When you visit the Cleveland Clinic emergency department — whether as a patient, family member or friend — a large sign directs you toward a metal detector.An officer inspects all bags and then instructs you to walk through the metal detector. In some cases, a metal wand is used — even on patients who come in on stretchers. Cleveland Clinic officials say they confiscate thousands of weapons like knives, pepper spray and guns each year. The metal detectors were installed in response to what CEO Tom Mihaljevic calls an epidemic.“There is a very fundamental problem in U.S. health care that very few people speak about,” he said, “and that’s the violence against health care workers. Daily — literally, daily — we are exposed to violent outbursts, in particular in emergency rooms.”Many health care workers say the physical and verbal abuse come primarily from patients, some of whom are disoriented because of illness or from medication. Sometimes nurses and doctors are abused by family members who are on edge because their loved one is so ill.Cleveland Clinic has introduced other safety measures — such as wireless panic buttons incorporated into ID badges and more safety cameras and plainclothes officers in ERs.But these incidents aren’t limited to emergency rooms.Allysha Shin works as a registered nurse in neuroscience intensive care at the University of Southern California’s Keck Hospital in Los Angeles. One of the most violent incidents she has experienced happened when she was caring for a patient who was bleeding inside her brain.The woman had already lashed out at other staff, so she had been tied to the bed, Shin said. She broke free of the restraints and then kicked and punched Shin in the chest — before throwing a punch at her face.“There was this one point where she swung, and she had just glanced off the side of my chin. If I hadn’t dodged that punch, she could have knocked me out,” Shin said. “And she very well could have killed me.”The encounter left Shin shaken and anxious when she returned to work days later. She still has flashbacks.She used to be afraid to speak about these types of attacks, she said, because of what she calls a culture of accepting violence in most hospitals. “It is expected that you are going to get beat up from time to time,” Shin said.According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, incidents of serious workplace violence are four times more common in health care than in private industry. And a poll conducted by the American College of Emergency Physicians in August found nearly half of emergency physician respondents reported having been physically assaulted. More than 60% of them said the assault occurred within the previous year.Related StoriesHome-based support network helps stroke patients adjust after hospital dischargeStudy: Two-thirds of pneumonia patients receive more antibiotics than they probably need’Traffic light’ food labels associated with reduction in calories purchased by hospital employeesGroups representing doctors and nurses say that, while the voluntary safety improvements that some hospitals have enacted are a good first step, more needs to be done.There is still a code of silence in health care, said Michelle Mahon, a representative of the labor group National Nurses United. “What happens if they do report it?” she said. “In some cases, unfortunately, they are treated as if they are the ones who don’t know how to do their job. Or that it’s their fault that this happened.”“There’s a lot of focus on de-escalation techniques,” Mahon added. “Those are helpful tools, but oftentimes they are used to blame workers.”In California, the nurses’ labor union pushed for a law giving OSHA more authority to monitor hospital safety. The group is now backing a national effort to do the same thing. “The standard that we are recommending federally holds the employer responsible,” Mahon said. “It mandates reporting of incidents and transparency.”The Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, introduced last fall in Congress, would require hospitals to implement plans to prevent violence. And any hospital could face fines for not reporting incidents to OSHA, Mahon said.The goal of the legislation — and of the union — is to hold administrators more accountable for acts of violence in their hospitals.This story is part of a partnership that includes Ideastream, NPR and Kaiser Health News. This article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.last_img read more

Why your perception of old changes as you age

first_img This article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 11 2019My perception of old age is inextricably linked to my grandmother. When I was a kid, I thought this 65-year-old, white-haired woman whose entire body wobbled when she walked was very old. Now that I’m 66, my personal perception — or perhaps, misperception — of old age has changed. I suspect I’ve got lots of company.Many of us are convinced that while everyone else is aging, that person we see in the mirror every morning is magically aging at a somehow slower pace. The age confusion can start early. A 2018 Michigan State University online survey of respondents ages 10 to 89 revealed that most think middle age begins at 30 — and that old age begins at, OMG, 50.Another study, from the University of Zurich, published in 2011, determined that older adults often try to avoid the negative stereotypes of their age group by distancing themselves from their age group. Yet another study, from Columbia University, in 2018 found considerable evidence that when confronted with negative age stereotypes, older adults tend to distance and dissociate themselves from this negative stereotype.Call it what you will, but this gray-haired group of boomers and beyond — myself included — is having a hard time accepting the realities of aging. Yes, we are mortal, but we’re not quite believing it. The great irony, say experts on aging, is that this flirtation with a slightly different reality from our aging peers may, in fact, be a healthy thing.”Baby boomers are redefining what aging is and what old age looks like,” said Jennifer Ailshire, assistant professor at the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California. William Chopik, assistant professor of psychology and principal investigator of the Michigan State study, knows this better than most of us.”People — particularly older people — usually say they feel younger than they are,” said Chopik. “People who report feeling younger actually tend to live longer and healthier lives — and they don’t tend to have as much of a pattern of decline.”In most cases, people say they feel about 20% younger than they really are, according to the Michigan State study of more than 500,000 people. This keeps ramping up as folks age, he said. Beginning at age 50, he said, many say they feel about 10 years younger.The fact we’re generally living longer than we used to also plays a role, experts say. “As our life spans get longer, so does our view of old age,” said Chopik. “How we view ourselves changes constantly as we age.”For me, it’s been more like a sentence to self-motivate. At age 66, when I look in the mirror, I may not see a 46-year-old staring back at me — but, perhaps, someone closer to 56. Maybe it’s because I’m so lousy at sitting still. I’m out walking my dog at 6:15 a.m., lifting weights in the gym by 7:30 a.m. and swimming laps in the pool before 9 a.m. five days a week. Welcome to my nonstop world that seems to somehow keep old age partially in check.While it might not sound like your world, consider Theresa Paulus — the mother-in-law of USC’s Ailshire — who seems to be constantly in motion, too.The 63-year-old Tempe, Ariz., resident’s morning bicycle workout, alone, makes my daily workout schedule look lame. She’s typically up by 5 a.m. and quickly out on her Trek bike for the next hour — or more — on a 10-mile-long excursion. If the weather is lousy, she’ll instead find her way to the spinning class at the local gym before heading to the weight room.Related StoriesCombining aerobic exercise and resistance training helps obese older adults preserve muscle massResearchers identify molecular pathway underpinning exercise and improved motor learningImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patients”I honestly feel like I’m in my 40s,” said the full-time nursing home caregiver, who three years ago, at age 60, got her degree in health service management from Arizona State University. “I haven’t slowed down one bit from the exercise routine I did at 40.”In fact, she may have upped it a bit. Not the distance, mind you, but every day she tries to challenge herself a bit. “Each time I ask myself, can I get there and back just a little bit faster?” she said. She may be passing it along to the next generation, too, as she has taught her two granddaughters how to ride bikes.Paulus’ ability to rebound from injuries is legendary among friends and family. On a recent walking tour of Ireland’s Cliffs of Moher, she twisted her ankle but continued days of walking — only to discover when she got home that she’d broken her foot. Back in 1969, while training on her bike, she was hit by a car — but escaped without so much as one broken bone. And after a moped accident in 2010, she crushed her leg and was advised by her doctor that she’d always walk with a limp — and a cane. She proved the doctor wrong and was soon racing bikes again.Her daughter-in-law, USC’s Ailshire, isn’t surprised by any of this. After all, she said, some baby boomers’ bodies can perform as if they are between two and 15 years younger than their actual age.Paola Sebastiani, 55, is living proof. She barely qualifies as a baby boomer, but when asked how old she feels, the professor of biostatistics at Boston University said she doesn’t even feel 40.Perhaps that’s because she walks 2 miles (in Birkenstock sandals, no less) to and from work every weekday. Or maybe it’s because she’s adamant about eating no red meat and tries to eat avocado daily. Or perhaps it’s her who-gives-a-flip attitude. “My mom would have never worn jeans at my age — but I wear them all the time,” she said. Her point: Folks with a positive attitude toward aging often age more slowly.Which brings us back to my dear grandmother. The most familiar smell from her kitchen was that of the fried chicken crackling on the front burner every Friday evening. I can’t remember even once seeing her exercise. Action, in her world, was a game of cards. And, as was all too common in her day, she thought her smoking habit helped her to relax.Is it any wonder she was old at 65?So, at 66, I’ve given up on most fried foods. I’ve never smoked. I don’t sit around much playing cards or watching TV. And all the time I spent walking our dog, lifting weights and swimming laps this morning I view as an invisible shield that protects me from looking into the mirror and seeing an old man staring back.Instead, I still see me.last_img read more

UVA launches Fibrosis Initiative to fight the growing cause of death

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 21 2019Fibrosis is often associated with many of the fatal diseases that pervade our globe, riddling organs with stiff tissue that diminishes their flexibility and leads to their failure. The World Health Organization estimates that fibrosis is directly implicated in, or responsible for, as many as 40 percent of all deaths across the globe. The University of Virginia School of Engineering, in conjunction with the UVA School of Medicine, launched a dedicated Fibrosis Initiative to address this increasingly prevalent threat, drawing from university-wide expertise in extracellular, computational, and quantitative biology. In many ways, fibrosis is as significant a problem as cancer, but we have no reliable approaches for early detection or effective treatment.Through this initiative, we can leverage the collective expertise of UVA researchers that are conducting fibrosis related studies to establish those groundbreaking approaches.”Thomas Barker, professor of biomedical engineering at UVA Engineering and director at the Fibrosis Initiative UVA is taking a significant step forward in shaping those groundbreaking approaches, hosting a first-of-its kind, dedicated forum on fibroblasts from June 23-35. The American Society for Matrix Biology will co-host the event.To date, the biomedical field has not firmly established a definition for fibroblasts, often viewing them as a single, catch-all cell type. However, this international meeting aims to help shape this definition–and shed light on the impact fibroblasts have on the formation of scar tissue, proper repair of wounds, and modeling of complex systems.The meeting, sponsored by Bristol Meyers Squibb, the National Institutes of Health, UVA Fibrosis Initiative and the University of Nebraska Medical Center, will convene more than 100 world leaders and investigators who have contributed to this area of work. Sessions, led by moderators from across the country, will focus on a variety of topics relating to fibroblasts, including their origins and lineages; pathology; imaging; and role in shaping signaling networks.Over the course of three days, speakers will also share insights from both published and unpublished cutting-edge studies. Jeffrey Holmes, professor of biomedical engineering and medicine and director of the Center for Engineering in Medicine at the University of Virginia, as well as Boris Hinz, distinguished professor of tissue repair and regeneration at the University of Toronto, will deliver keynote addresses.As the Fibrosis Initiative continues to promote national and international collaborations around fibroblasts, it will also focus on supporting related research at UVA, launching an initial cohort of multi-investigator “seed grants” in the interest of securing a National Institutes of Health “Center of Excellence” designation. Post-doctoral fellows will have the opportunity to shape the next wave of research on fibroblasts, and fibrosis more generally, with these funding supports.Related StoriesNew gene-editing protocol allows perfect mutation-effect matchingSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedCurrent projects include:Stemming the Tide of Lung Transplant Rejections: While lung transplants have transformed the prospects of patients with end-stage lung failure, the overall five- to 10-year survival rate still lags significantly behind patients with other types of organ transplants such as livers and kidneys; the result of a condition known as chronic lung allograft dysfunction (CLAD). With the support of Barker and Dr. Alexander Krupnick, a thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon at UVA Health System, initial research has shown how the loss of expression of Thy-1, an important glycoprotein that defines unique subtypes of fibroblasts, may increase the likelihood of CLAD during lung transplants.Positioning Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts to Combat Tumor Growth: While cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), which are prominent in the tumor stroma, can inhibit the progress of tumors, others can also curtail the impact of critical therapies and drugs. The principal investigator, Andrew Dudley, associate professor of microbiology, immunology and cancer biology at the UVA School of Medicine, is leveraging a seed grant to develop cutting-edge tools and approaches that identify the different molecular compositions of CAFs; explore how blocking damaging CAFs could delay the progress of tumors; and inform strategies that improve how we treat cancer.Biomedical engineers, scientists, and clinicians across UVA will continue to come together to lead similar projects, all of which strive to identify the causes of pathological cell behaviors, explore how fibrosis affects the well-being of specific organ systems, and pinpoint new techniques to detect, monitor, and treat this condition.Over the next several years, the Fibrosis Initiative also aims to launch additional, dedicated meetings and research opportunities (both internally and nationally) around fibroblasts, maintaining the momentum from this convening and related projects.”Through the upcoming ASMB meeting and our own groundbreaking seed grant projects, we have the opportunity to lead an increasingly imperative global conversation on fibroblasts and fibrosis more generally,” said Barker.”If we are successful, we can make significant strides in the worldwide fight to diagnose and treat a growing cause of death that affects all communities.” Source:University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Sciencelast_img read more

Research examines the impact of social drinking among older adults

first_imgIt is estimated that approximately 20 percent of the US population will be 65 or older by 2030. National data indicate that during the last 15 years, the proportion of current drinkers has increased disproportionally among respondents over the age of 45. Thus, we have a growing population of aging adults who continue to consume alcohol. While most of the research on acute alcohol effects focuses on doses that achieve … legal intoxication, many if not most adults – particularly those in a ‘middle-aged’ range – do not drink to intoxication.”Sara Jo Nixon, professor and director of the Center for Addiction Research &Education at the University of Florida Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 25 2019Nearly half of Americans older than 65 years of age self-report as current drinkers. Most do not develop alcohol use disorders; however, it remains unclear if growing older entails greater vulnerability to alcohol’s effects. Research on the impact of “social” drinking – comparable to a glass or two of wine with dinner – among older adults has found a notable impact on daily activities such as the ability to operate a car. These results and others will be shared at the 42ndannual scientific meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) in Minneapolis June 22-26. Related StoriesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairExcess grey matter in the brain can predict escalating drinking behavior in teensOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchNixon’s research is instead designed to examine the impact of typical drinking among older adults, roughly equivalent to a drink or two with a meal. Shewill discuss findings at the RSA meeting on Monday, June 24.”In studies to date, we have compared healthy, current drinkers who are either 25 to 35 or 55 to 70 years of age,” said Nixon. “Dose responses vary. For example, on a simple working memory task, the younger group showed no alcohol effects. However, the older group that received a low dose of alcohol actually performed better than the non-alcohol control group. When we examined performance on a driving simulator, younger adults were relatively unaffected by alcohol while older adults showed greater variability in steering and speed control with increased alcohol doses.”Nixon added that the older-adult group was comprised of particularly healthy individuals. “If different responses were observed among these exceptionally healthy participants, it could be expected that the impact would be larger among older adults with common conditions. We need to better understand what underlying neurobehavioral processes are compromised in order to expand our understanding of moderate drinking effects, drinking and neurocognitive decline, and necessary interventions such as those designed to maintain driving skills,” she said.”From a public health perspective, we need a systematic study of moderate drinking,” said Nixon, “that includes a study of the acute effects of socially relevant doses of alcohol. This line of research would be valuable for the health and well-being of older adults, as well as the lives of their families and friends.” Source:Research Society on Alcoholismlast_img read more

A short bout of exercise improves brain function study reveals

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 3 2019Most people know that regular exercise is good for your health. New research shows it may make you smarter, too.Neuroscientists at OHSU in Portland, Oregon, working with mice, have discovered that a short burst of exercise directly boosts the function of a gene that increases connections between neurons in the hippocampus, the region of the brain associated with learning and memory.The research is published online in the journal eLife. Related StoriesAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to helpDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustPrevious research in animals and in people shows that regular exercise promotes general brain health. However, it’s hard to untangle the overall benefits of exercise to the heart, liver and muscles from the specific effect on the brain. For example, a healthy heart oxygenates the whole body, including the brain.”Previous studies of exercise almost all focus on sustained exercise,” Westbrook said. “As neuroscientists, it’s not that we don’t care about the benefits on the heart and muscles but we wanted to know the brain-specific benefit of exercise.”So the scientists designed a study in mice that specifically measured the brain’s response to single bouts of exercise in otherwise sedentary mice that were placed for short periods on running wheels. The mice ran a few kilometers in two hours.The study found that short-term bursts of exercise – the human equivalent of a weekly game of pickup basketball, or 4,000 steps – promoted an increase in synapses in the hippocampus. Scientists made the key discovery by analyzing genes that were increased in single neurons activated during exercise.One particular gene stood out: Mtss1L. This gene had been largely ignored in prior studies in the brain.”That was the most exciting thing,” said co-lead author Christina Chatzi, Ph.D.The Mtss1L gene encodes a protein that causes bending of the cell membrane. Researchers discovered that when this gene is activated by short bursts of exercise, it promotes small growths on neurons known as dendritic spines – the site at which synapses form.In effect, the study showed that an acute burst of exercise is enough to prime the brain for learning.In the next stage of research, scientists plan to pair acute bouts of exercise with learning tasks to better understand the impact on learning and memory. Source:Oregon Health & Science UniversityJournal reference:Chatzi, C. et al. (2019) Exercise-induced enhancement of synaptic function triggered by the inverse BAR protein, Mtss1L. eLife. Exercise is cheap, and you don’t necessarily need a fancy gym membership or have to run 10 miles a day.”Co-senior author Gary Westbrook, M.D., senior scientist at the OHSU Vollum Institute and Dixon Professor of Neurology in the OHSU School of Medicinelast_img read more

Rush University Medical Center offers new FDAapproved treatment for brain aneurysms

first_imgAn aneurysm is an enlarged, weakened area of an artery that is bulging or ballooned. If left untreated, it may rupture, often resulting in severe disability, cognitive loss or death.An estimated six million people in the United States have an unruptured brain aneurysm.Wide-necked bifurcation aneurysms occur at a point in an artery where it branches into two arteries and account for 35 percent of all brain aneurysms.The WEB device is made from ultra-fine wires braided together to form a flexible, self-expanding mesh that effectively plugs the aneurysm.During the WEB system procedure, a small catheter is threaded through a tiny incision in the groin area and threaded through the patient’s arteries to the aneurysm site.Using fluoroscopy imaging, the surgeon deploys the WEB device into the sac of the aneurysm where the flexible mesh conforms to the aneurysm walls, minimizing blood flow inside the aneurysm. In comparison to the current mainstay of endovascular treatment in which multiple coils are placed inside the aneurysm, only one WEB is required for an aneurysm.Related StoriesMercy Medical Center adds O-arm imaging system to improve spinal surgery resultsNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to helpStudy offers clues about how to prevent brain inflammation in Alzheimer’sIn most cases, over time, the body seals off the neck of the aneurysm, essentially curing it.”If we can fix the aneurysm before it ruptures, then the threat of this aneurysm bursting and the patient dying from it essentially goes away,” said Crowley.The WEB device allows doctors to treat wide-necked aneurysms without the need for placing stents in the brain, which keeps patients off of post-procedure blood thinning medications, such as Plavix, that are used for stents. The new device also shortens endovascular procedure time in treating aneurysms compared to alternative therapies.In clinical testing, the WEB system was shown to be highly effective and safer than other options.The minimally invasive nature of the procedure means most patients are able to go home the next day.In addition to unruptured aneurysms, the WEB system may be used in some cases in which the aneurysm has already ruptured, potentially providing more desirable options for treatment.”Before this device was available, ruptured wide-necked aneurysms often required open-brain surgery to clip the aneurysm as a stent is not ideal in those patients because of the need for blood thinners,” said Crowley. “This device will let us endovascularly treat a much larger number of aneurysms than we ever have before, and fewer patients may need surgical clipping of their aneurysm”. Source:Rush University Medical Center This new device is a game changer for patients with complex brain aneurysms. Prior to this major advent in endovascular therapy, treatment was often more risky and difficult for a substantial number of those patients.”Dr. Webster Crowley, chief of cerebrovascular and endovascular neurosurgery at Rush Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 12 2019Rush University Medical Center is offering a newly FDA-approved treatment for brain aneurysms that is safer for patients and has a shorter recovery period than other treatments.Rush is the first academic medical center in Illinois and the first comprehensive stroke center in the state to offer the Woven EndoBridge (WEB) Aneurysm Embolization System, a minimally invasive option for treating wide-neck bifurcation aneurysms in certain areas of the brain.last_img read more

Neural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to help

first_imgIf we are able to vividly imagine helping someone, then we think we’re more likely to actually do it. Imagining the scenery surrounding the situation can also prompt people to take the perspective of the people in the situation who need help, which in turn prompts prosocial action.”Liane Young, Associate Professor of Psychology, director of the Morality Lab, Boston College Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jul 12 2019In those split seconds when people witness others in distress, neural pathways in the brain support the drive to help through facets of imagination that allow people to see the episode as it unfolds and envision how to aid those in need, according to a team of Boston College researchers.The underlying process at work is referred to as episodic simulation, essentially the ability of individuals to re-organize memories from the past into a newly-imagined event simulated in the mind.Neuroimaging helped the researchers identify multiple neural pathways that explain the relationship between imagination and the willingness to help others, researchers from Boston College and the University of Albany, SUNY, reported recently in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.The team explored two separate brain regions with different functions: the right temporoparietal junction (RTPJ), a key brain region thought to be involved in representing the minds of other people, also known as “perspective-taking”; and the medial temporal lobe (MTL) subsystem, a set of brain regions that support the simulation of imagined scenes.The study discovered evidence for the direct impact of scene imagery on willingness to help, according to Boston College Associate Professor of Psychology Liane Young, a co-author and the principal investigator on the project. While study participants imagined helping scenes, neural activity in MTL predicted overall willingness to help the person in need, according to the article, “A role for the medial temporal lobe subsystem in guiding prosociality: the effect of episodic processes on willingness to help others,” which was published in the journal’s April 14 edition. This may be because of a phenomenon known as imagination inflation, where humans use the vividness of their imagination as a kind of cue to estimate the likelihood of an event, according to the co-authors, which also included former BC postdoctoral researcher Brendan Gaesser, now an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Albany, SUNY, research assistants Joshua Hirschfeld-Kroen and Emily A. Wasserman, and undergraduate research assistant Mary Horn.Related StoriesPosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research showsRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaThe team set out to learn how the capacity to simulate imagined and remembered scenes of helping motivate individuals to form more altruistic intentions. The goal was to uncover the cognitive and neural mechanisms that explain the relationship between episodic simulation and the enhanced willingness to help those in need.In the first experiment, which allowed the team to look at both brain regions, the researchers collected functional brain images as people imagined and remembered helping others in hypothetical scenarios. In the second experiment, while people were imagining helping another person, the team used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to disrupt activity in their right temporoparietal junction (RTPJ), a key brain region thought to be involved in representing the minds of other people.Neuroimaging revealed that the willingness to help was also predicted by activity in the RTPJ, a critical node that’s involved in taking the perspective of other people, according to the researchers. However, in the second experiment, when the team used TMS to temporarily inhibit activity in the RTPJ, they found that the altruistic effect of vividly imagining helping remained significant, suggesting that this effect doesn’t depend exclusively on perspective-taking.”We had initially expected that higher neural activity in the medial temporal lobe subsystem would be associated with a greater willingness to help,” the team reported. “Surprisingly, we found the opposite: the more activity a person had in their MTL subsystem while they were imagining helping scenes, the less willing they were to help the person in need.”This contradiction may be explained by lower MTL activity reflecting greater ease of imagining episodes, and that ease of imagination means that participants are more willing to help. Consistent with this account, the team found that when participants reported finding it easier to imagine or remember helping episodes, they also tended to report being more willing to help the person in need.Young and Gaesser recently found in a separate study, led by BC postdoctoral researcher Jaclyn Ford and Professor Elizabeth Kensinger, that vividly remembering helping was associated with making more generous donations in the wake of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Next steps in the research will further connect the lab’s neuroimaging approach with measures of real-world altruistic behavior. Source:Boston CollegeJournal reference:Gaesser, B. et al. (2019) A role for the medial temporal lobe subsystem in guiding prosociality: the effect of episodic processes on willingness to help others. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. read more

Study finds sexspecific differences in risk and progression of Alzheimers disease

first_imgIt’s kind of like reconstructing a crime scene after a crime. You weren’t there when it happened, but you can determine where an intruder entered a house and what room they entered next. The graph analysis does something similar to show how tau spreads from one region to another.”Sepi Shokouhi, PhD, assistant professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and lead investigator for the study Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jul 16 2019The abnormal accumulation of proteins in the brain is a biological marker for Alzheimer’s disease, but the ways in which these proteins spread may help explain why the prevalence of Alzheimer’s is higher in women than in men.A recent study by researchers from the Center for Cognitive Medicine (CCI) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center identified differences in the spread of a protein called tau — which is linked to cognitive impairment — between men and women, with women showing a larger brain-wide accumulation of tau than men due to an accelerated brain-wide spread.The findings were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference July 14-18 in Los Angeles.Related StoriesResearchers discover new therapeutic target for treatment of Alzheimer’s diseaseSex plays major role in Alzheimer’s disease risk’Food for special medical purposes’ can benefit patients with earliest stages of Alzheimer’s diseaseAccumulating evidence suggests that tau spreads through brain tissue like an infection, traveling from neuron to neuron and turning other proteins into abnormal tangles, subsequently killing brain cells. Using data from positron emission tomography (PET) scans of healthy individuals and patients with mild cognitive impairment who were enrolled in the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) database, CCI researchers constructed in vivo networks modeling tau spread using graph theory analysis. The results of the analysis showed the architecture of tau networks is different in men and women, with women having a larger number of “bridging regions” that connect various communities in the brain. This difference may allow tau to spread more easily between regions, boosting the speed at which it accumulates and putting women at greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.If proven, an accelerated spread of tau in women may indicate a need for sex-specific approaches for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, including earlier therapies, lifestyle interventions and/or cognitive remediation. More studies are needed to validate the accelerated tau spread model in women.”Understanding how different biological processes influence our memory is a really important topic. Sex-specific differences in the brain’s pathological, neuroanatomical and functional organization may map into differences at a neurobehavioral and cognitive level, thus explaining differences in the prevalence of neurodegenerative disorders and helping us develop appropriate treatments,” said Shokouhi. Source:Vanderbilt University Medical Centerlast_img read more

US pickups craze all about toughness luxury

The truck’s creative team adjusted the top of the hood so that it would bulge out more where the engine is, like a bodybuilder’s chest. GM also added an inch of height and more curves throughout the vehicle to give it more muscle.The goal was a “brutal look,” said exterior design manager Tim Kozub, adding that the prior version was “too sweet for a truck, maybe too sports car.”The revamped Silverado—a larger pickup typical of those geared almost exclusively to the US market – was just one of an army of pickups unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show this week as automakers race to meet runaway demand for the quintessentially American vehicles. Strong sales of the elongated giants, which are actually less weighty than their predecessors due to lighter materials, have been a cornerstone for Detroit in recent years amid a period of cheaper gas prices. The top three selling vehicles in the US in 2017 were all pickups, and the group’s share of the overall US vehicle market grew to 16.4 percent, up from 13.4 percent in 2012, according to Cox Automotive data. Some even see a political dimension to the trend, with pickups the top-selling vehicle in rural areas that voted for Donald Trump. A map by Cox Automotive with pickup-loving counties in red and car-buying regions in blue had more than a little resemblance to the 2016 election map.”You can say that the heartland of America is also pickup truck country,” said Jonathan Smoke, an economist at Cox Automotive.”It’s also an important reminder for the automotive industry that America is more like what’s in the middle than what we focus on on the coasts, and that’s why the truck market is a solid consistent part of the market.”Rough-and-tumble landscapePickups have long been a mainstay in the US, a logical fit in a vast and varied landscape that includes mountains, farms and swamps. In a nod to the appeal of a rough-and-tumble look in the US, Ford tweaked its Ranger mid-sized pickup for North America compared with the version sold in other regions Citation: US pickups craze all about toughness, luxury (2018, January 16) retrieved 18 July 2019 from They are also popular for recreational use such as hunting or hauling a boat.In a nod to the appeal of a rough-and-tumble look in the US, Ford tweaked its Ranger mid-sized pickup compared with the version sold in Australasia, South America and other regions.Ford is positioning the Ranger, which has been absent on the US market since 2011, as a recreational vehicle ideal for weekend activities such as camping or snowboarding.Some of the changes included giving the sides a boxy look instead of the more rounded style overseas “to give it a tougher feeling,” said Todd Willing, who designed the exterior for Ford.Still, the Ranger is much smaller than Ford’s other pickups, including the market-leading F-Series, and communicates an “athleticism probably where it separates itself from the image of the F-150,” Willing said. Serving the ‘high-end rancher’Other new vehicles fit into the fast-growing “luxury pickup” category that can sell for $70,000 or more. The Ram Limited, one of a series of new larger pickups unveiled Monday by Fiat Chrysler, includes a grill bar with an elaborate, worked-over geometric design, soft seats and a tablet-like 12-inch screen that includes the navigation system and switches for climate control, radio volume and other systems.GM is also seeking to capitalize on the growing luxury market, revamping its Chevrolet Silverado High Country with more bells and whistles designed to appeal to a customer that might be thought of as as “high-end rancher,” in the words of Kozub.The High Country “is meant to be brute but then also have all these luxury appointments and detail,” Kozub said. “So it can have the bulging chest and be macho, but then you can dress it up in a fine suit.”Designers have been struggling to keep up with demand for even more amenities, said GM interior design manager Craig Sass.”They want more features, they want more luxury, they want real leather appointments everywhere, so it’s not just soft, it’s really leather,” Sass said. “Every time we think we’ve done something that’s really what everybody thinks they want, they want more.” The vehicles, which are replaced less frequently than other types of autos and are known to enjoy unusually strong brand loyalty, are widely used in some industries, such as construction, the oilfield and agriculture. © 2018 AFP Explore further Honda, Volvo, Ford scoop awards at Detroit auto show The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado is unveiled during the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan When it came time to revamp the Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck, designers at General Motors knew they needed to beef up the look of the vehicle. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more