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

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

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

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

French carmaker PSA boosts outlook after historic year

first_imgThe six-percent goal had previously only been a target for the Peugeot, Citroen and DS brands but now includes Opel and British-based Vauxhall, both of which PSA acquired from General Motors in 2017.After the group acquired the two brands, they returned to profitability in less than 18 months following 20 years of losses.Tavares said the forecasts were valid even in the most pessimistic scenarios—including the possibility of Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal— but “that will not prevent us from doing better if we can”.PSA said that without the Opel contribution, 2018 sales would have been down 12 percent due to the impact of fresh sanctions imposed on Iran by US President Donald Trump as well as a slump in China.The company sold 3.88 million vehicles last year, up 6.8 percent from 2017. Eighty percent of those sales were in Europe, compared to 65 percent in 2017, due to the popularity of its Peugeot and Citroen SUVs.Tavares spoke of ambitions to grow sales outside Europe by 50 percent, including a Peugeot push in the United States announced in 2016.But, he said, the company is waiting for clarity from the US on tariffs for the cars, which would be imported from factories in Europe and China.Peugeot shares lost more than two percent in the Paris CAC 40 exhange in morning trading. However the stock remains nearly 20 percent higher over the last 12 months. Ranked the second largest carmaker in Europe after Germany’s Volkswagen, Paris-based Groupe PSA said its net profit rose 47 percent to a record 2.83 billion euros ($3.21 billion) in 2018, while recurring operating income soared 43 percent to 5.69 billion euros, also a new high.The company said in a statement that it also posted a new record for revenue, which was up 18.9 percent to 74 billion euros, as well as for volume of sales.PSA chairman Carlos Tavares hailed the “historic results” despite an “extremely chaotic 2018” for the car market.But at a press conference on Tuesday he warned that the industry faced “even stronger headwinds”.The car industry is dealing with a series of challenges, including a slowing global economy, uncertainty over Brexit and new strict European Union emissions standards.Because of the positive results, Tavares told Franceinfo radio that French employees who earn less than twice the minimum wage would receive a bonus of 3,810 euros, up 43 percent from last year.PSA also said shareholders would be offered an increased dividend of 78 euro cents per share, a rise of 47 percent. The group also announced a target operating margin of more than six percent by 2021 for its automotive activities, and a total of 4.5 percent in 2019-2021. French auto giant PSA, which produces the Citroen and Peugeot brands, said Tuesday it had boosted its profit outlook after recording a “historic year” in 2018 despite the car industry facing “strong headwinds”. French carmaker PSA, which produces the Peugeot brand, had a banner year in 2018, it announced on Tuesday Citation: French carmaker PSA boosts outlook after ‘historic year’ (2019, February 26) retrieved 17 July 2019 from Explore furthercenter_img © 2019 AFP Opel helps France’s PSA buck China, Iran auto downturn 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. PSA chairman Carlos Tavares hailed the “historic results” despite an “extremely chaotic 2018” for the car marketlast_img read more

Florida law to allow autonomous cars—when theyre ready

first_imgSelf-driving vehicles with no humans on board will be able to operate in Florida—once they’re finally ready for prime time—under a bill signed Thursday by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Waymo bringing self-driving trucks to Phoenix area freeways The finalized prototype of Google self-driving car. Explore further © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.center_img 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. Citation: Florida law to allow autonomous cars—when they’re ready (2019, June 13) retrieved 17 July 2019 from DeSantis said he hopes to use the law to lure companies that test and build the cars. The measure, which takes effect July 1, also opens the door for on-demand ride companies such as Lyft and Uber to eventually deploy fleets of the vehicles in Florida. That does not mean, however, that such cars will appear on public streets around the state anytime soon. Self-driving vehicles without a human operator are largely still in the testing stage.DeSantis and state lawmakers said they want to show that Florida will be ready when the cars are.”As soon as companies are ready to roll them out, they’ll be able to get onto our roadways,” said Republican state Rep. Jason Fischer, who sponsored the bill. Fischer called the legislation “the best law in the country.””This will allow ultimate flexibility for companies,” he said.As of March, the most recent month for which information is available, 29 states had passed laws related to autonomous vehicles, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. They range from authorizing testing to allowing the vehicles to operate without humans. Two other states besides Florida that allow people-free vehicles are Michigan and Texas.It may be quite some time before any state sees its streets populated by cars driven with no human help. Waymo, an offshoot of Google, had operated a very limited program using autonomous vehicles with no drivers in the Phoenix area, but now requires a human behind the wheel to take control of its robotaxis in emergencies. Las Vegas and other cities have used autonomous vehicles with human “safety drivers” in case of a vehicle malfunction.Florida’s new law will allow self-driving cars without humans on all of the state’s roads as long as the vehicles meet insurance and safety requirements outlined in the legislation. It requires that owners of autonomous vehicles have a minimum of $1 million in insurance coverage, regardless of whether the vehicles are for personal or commercial use. The law also requires that the owner immediately report crashes to law enforcement or that the vehicles have a system in place to report them.Florida is hoping to siphon high-paying technology jobs away from California, where dozens of companies have already been testing autonomous vehicles with backup drivers on public roads for several years.”With this bill, Florida officially has an open-door policy to autonomous vehicle companies and I encourage them to relocate from California to Florida,” DeSantis said before signing the legislation at a state-run autonomous vehicle test track in the central Florida city of Auburndale.”This helps chart a course to a bolder, brighter and smarter future in transportation and embraces the innovation revolution that will bring high-paying jobs to the state while making our roads safer.”last_img read more

Maharashtra plastic ban Industry stares at loss of ₹15000 cr and 3

first_img Tamil Nadu to ban use of plastic items from 2019 Plastics ban in Gujarat may kill over 2000 SMEs: GPMA RELATED environmental pollution Plastic ban comes into effect in Maharashtra COMMENT June 24, 2018 plastics and syntheticscenter_img  The state-wide plastic ban, including carry-bags and thermocol by the Devendra Fadanvis government, will result in a loss of up to ₹15,000 crore and nearly 3 lakh jobs, says the plastic manufacturing industry.“The ban imposed by Maharashtra from Saturday has hit the industry very hard and the plastic industry is staring at a loss of ₹15,000 crore, leaving nearly 3 lakh people jobless overnight,” Plastic Bags Manufacturers Association of India general secretary Neemit Punamiya told PTI today.Nearly 2,500 members of the association are left with no option but to shut shop following the ban, he added and termed the ban as “discriminatory“.On March 23, the State announced a ban on manufacture, use, sale, distribution and storage of plastic materials such as one-time-use bags, spoons, plates, PET and PETE bottles and thermocol items. The government had given three months time to dispose of the existing stocks, which ended on June 23.Industry insiders have said the job losses from the ban will impact the state’s GDP, and also increase banks’ bad loans from the plastic sector.While retailers across the megapolis have said heavy fines for violating the ban will make them financially unviable and force them to turn away many customers, consumers have complained of inconvenience, and wondered whether the ban makes any sense.The civic authorities have imposed a fine of ₹5,000 for the first-time offenders and ₹10,000 for the second-time offenders. Those who violate the ban for the third time will face a fine of ₹25,000, along with a three-month imprisonment. Published on COMMENTS SHARE SHARE EMAIL SHARE Retailers across the megapolis have said heavy fines for violating the ban will make them financially unviable and force them to turn away many customers while consumers have complained of inconvenience.last_img read more

Kulbhushan Jadhav case On Day 1 India flays Pakistan for flouting Vienna

first_imgPakistan Published on The first day of oral arguments in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice in The Hague concluded with India accusing Pakistan of “knowingly, wilfully and brazenly” flouting the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. India also attacked the “farcical” military trial of Jadhav, who was found guilty and sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in 2017. It requested the court to annul the verdict of the military court, and direct Pakistan to set Jadhav free on the basis of the “review and reconsideration” process that would be available to him in that country. The hearing took place without former Pakistani Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, who was taken ill before the proceedings commenced and before he could be sworn in as an ad hoc ICJ judge. He is expected to take part in proceedings on Tuesday. Speaking outside the court following the proceedings, Harish Salve, India’s Counsel on the case, expressed his optimism that “justice will be done,” at the ICJ. However, Pakistan’s lead counsel Khawar Qureshi QC said he had been “disappointed” by India’s arguments, insisting there was “nothing new,” in them, and that “fundamental questions” remained unanswered.Domestic propagandaThe case stripped of “irrelevances’ put forward by Pakistan boiled down to these two main issues around the military court proceedings and consular access, Salve told the Monday morning hearing. He said that the 2017 provisional measures introduced by the ICJ that required Pakistan to not execute Jadhav until the full proceedings could take place had saved “the imminent threat of life to an innocent Indian national” and had given “hope” to the whole country. He rejected Pakistan’s contentions that the circumstances of the case — and the fact that Jadhav is accused of espionage and the case relates to national security — made those consular access requirements redundant, and repeatedly accused Pakistan of using the case of Jadhav for domestic propaganda purposes. India also maintains that it is the 1963 Convention on consular relations rather than the 2008 bilateral agreement on consular relations that applies to the case, putting the case firmly in the jurisdiction of the court. The lack of consular access had been the prime focus of the 2017 hearing at which India had successfully sought provisional measures from the court requiring Pakistan to stay the execution of Jadhav pending the main hearings. On Monday, Salve also focussed on the military court system in Pakistan, attacking the increased use of such courts to try civilians, in “opaque and secret” proceedings. 274 civilians — including “possibly children” had been convicted in Pakistan’s military courts over the past couple of years, he said, contrasting it with India which had “never considered amending,” the Army Act to cover civilians. In a detailed account of the events that had unfolded since March 3 2016, when Pakistan said it had arrested Jadhav in Balochistan, Salve noted not only the repeated lack of consular access, despite repeated requests from India but also the lack of information provided to it on the specifics of the trial process and charges against Jadhav. Instead, he accused Pakistan of engaging in repeated propaganda, and of using the case to build a narrative against India. “We have not seen the evidence against Jadhav, we have seen the doctored confession “over and over again,” he said.Unexpected developmentThe high rate of “confessions” from those civilians who had been found guilty by military courts raised questions about the adequacy of safeguards within the military courts, including raising the possibility of torture being used to extract confessions, and the “high risk of mistreatment,” he said.Rather than pushing for the court to order a review of the case in Pakistan, Salve argued that the evidence suggested that the review and relief mechanisms available to Jadhav and India were “highly inadequate.” Pakistan’s “military courts cannot command the confidence of this court and should not be sanctified,” he told the court, during the opening session that took nearly the entire three hours allocated to the proceedings.The proceedings commenced with an unexpected development, as the former Chief Justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jillani was taken ill ahead of the proceedings and left the court’s grounds by ambulance. He was therefore not sworn in as an ad hoc judge in the case as had been planned. It meant that the proceedings took place before the 15 ICJ judges, including former Indian Supreme Court Judge Dalveer Bhandari. However, at the start of the proceedings the President of the Court, Somalian judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf left open the possibility of him taking part in subsequent proceedings, telling the court at the start of the hearing simply that he “will not be sitting today.”On Tuesday, Pakistan will respond with its opening oral arguments, also set over a three-hour time period. This will be followed by two one and a half hour sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, where India and Pakistan will present their concluding arguments. There is no set time period for a judgement to be made, though typically such cases take around six months to be considered. Judgements are based on a simple majority decision, and in the case of a tie, the President has the casting vote. The decisions of the court are binding, final and non-appealable, though in exceptional circumstances certain recourses are available to parties, including requests for interpretation of the judgement.The ICJ is the main judicial arm of the UN, established in 1945 to deal with “contentious” cases submitted to it by member states and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it, but is not a criminal court.The case is only the fourth one involving a death sentence to be heard by the ICJ since the first in 1999, and the first that does not involve the US. (Those involved Germany, Mexico and Paraguay.While the Pulwama terrorist attack on February 14 was not specifically mentioned by India during the proceedings, Salve attacked Pakistan’s “feeble” attempts at tackling cross border terrorism.. Ahead of the proceedings, Pakistan attacked India’s response to the terrorist attack and accusations of Pakistani involvement, alleging a “clear dichotomy” in India’s position by denying “when confronted with voluntary confessions and acceptance of responsibility by its serving Naval commander Jadav for perpetrating terrorist violence in Pakistan.” crime, law and justice SHARE RELATED SHARE SHARE EMAIL India urges ICJ to annul Pakistan military court verdictcenter_img India slams Pakistan for making charges on Jadhav’s wife’s shoes India February 18, 2019 COMMENT Indian Lawyer Harish Salve, Dr. V. D. Sharma and Deepak Mittal, Joint Secretaries, Indian Ministry of External Affairs at the International Court of Justice during the final hearing of the Kulbhushan Jadhav case in The Hague, Netherlands.   –  REUTERS COMMENTSlast_img read more