Friday, 1 July 2016

Gut bacteria spotted eating brain chemicals for the first time

The discovery of gut bacteria that need the calming chemical GABA to survive could explain why bacteria seem to influence our mood via New Scientist - Health Read More Here..

Johnson seeks to calm scientists’ Brexit fears

The minister promises to act if scientists are discriminated against in projects while UK remains in the EU

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via OnMedica News Read More Here..

3 Treatments Seem to Help Combat Binge-Eating Disorder

Review finds these methods may aid those with the most common eating disorder in the U.S.
Source: HealthDay
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Handle Fireworks with Care on the Fourth

Take steps to avoid injury while celebrating independence
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E-Cigs May Damage Cells in Mouth

Findings suggest a possible increase in the risk of oral disease, researchers say

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Jobs with the Highest Suicide Rates

Farmers, fishermen and foresters have more than 5 times the average odds, CDC says

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Memory Loss: Normal or a Sign of Trouble?

Everyone experiences some forgetfulness, but the FDA explains when to be concerned

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FDA Approves Eye Implant for Aging Boomers

Tiny lens reshapes cornea to improve focus on small print, objects close to you

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Hundreds of U.S. Clinics Sell Unapproved Stem Cell 'Therapies'

Study identifies hot spots around the country

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Why Some Seniors Don't Take Their Meds

Age, failing memory play a role, but gender might matter, too, study finds

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Gene Tied to Breast Cancer Raises Uterine Cancer Risk Too

Women with BRCA1 may want to consider preventive removal of uterus, researcher says
Source: HealthDay
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Malaria Vaccine Protection Short-Lived in Young Children

Kids in study were given 3 doses, but manufacturer now says 4 doses needed

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Inherited Cholesterol Disorder Significantly Boosts Heart Risks

Untreated, the condition also makes arteries age decades faster, study reports

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Men Face Greater Risk of Cardiac Arrest

Heart disease tends to develop earlier than it does in women, researchers say

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Uncle Sam Wants You ... Slimmer

Obesity affects 1 in 5 military members, study finds
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Video May Aid End-of-Life Decision-Making

Brief film helped heart failure patients understand their options, study says

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Melanoma diagnoses hit 10,000 a year for over 55s

Rates rising much faster in over 55s than in younger people

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Guidance aims to iron out wide variations in melanoma management
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BRCA1 gene mutation increases risk of deadly uterine cancer

The gene mutation was already known to increase risk of cancer of the breast and ovary

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Virtual reality lets you stroll around a breast cancer cell

Medical researchers are using virtual reality to create accurate, explorable versions of our insides. Alice Klein goes for a walk via New Scientist - Health Read More Here..

Deaths from alcohol-related diseases rise by 4% in a year

The number of alcohol-related deaths have risen by 13% in a decade, official figures show

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Database of pharmaceutical industry payments to doctors goes live

70% of health professionals have consented to being named on the database

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'Civil war' in immune system can fight disease

The immune system can be trained to attack itself to reverse a devastating autoimmune disease, in animals. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Gene editing could destroy herpes viruses living inside you

The CRISPR technique is a new weapon against dormant herpes viruses in the body, which cause cold sores and can be implicated in blindness and cancer via New Scientist - Health Read More Here..

Huge newfound deposit of helium will keep MRI scanners running

Helium prospectors have uncovered a massive source of the vanishing gas, vital for MRI scanners, the Large Hadron Collider, NASA rocket fuel… and balloons via New Scientist - Health Read More Here..

Can Antibiotics Stop The Growth of New Brain Cells?

The discovery of penicillin in 1928 by Alexander Fleming was one of the greatest revolutions in the history of medicine. Since then, multiple molecules with antibiotic properties have been identified and the use of antibiotics has become generalized. But even though they can certainly save lives, antibiotics can also have serious adverse effects.

Most of those side-effects are widely known: allergic reactions, fever, nausea, or diarrhea, for example, the latter resulting from a disruption of the bacterial composition of the intestinal flora. The gut microbiota is an obvious secondary target of antibiotics, and the gut microbiota has been increasingly recognized as an important regulator of brain functions through the gut-brain axis, having been associated with the development of a number of neurological and mental diseases.

Therefore, it is possible that antibiotics, by unbalancing the gut microbiota, may also have an indirect impact on brain function, since a link between neurodegenerative diseases, neuropsychiatric disorders, neuroinflammation, and gut microbiota dysregulation has been established.

Adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus is also a key process for a regular function of the brain. It has an essential role in brain plasticity and cognitive function, particularly in memory and learning. The hippocampus is involved in many neurological and mental diseases, with decreased neurogenesis being a key element in many pathologies. Decreases in hippocampal neurogenesis can be induced by such factors as social isolation or chronic stress, for example, leading to mental disorders or neurodegenerative diseases. An improvement in neurogenesis, on the other hand, can be achieved through physical or cognitive activity.

But is there a connection between these processes? Can the gut microbiota influence neurogenesis in the hippocampus? If so, can antibiotics also affect neurogenesis though their effects on the gut microbiota? The answer to these questions is what a study recently published in Cell Reports set out to find.

Antibiotics, the gut microbiota and the brain

The gut microbiota has an important influence on the immune system and in our body’s response to infection or inflammation. This effect is not restricted to the gut – immune responses in other organs, namely in the brain, can also be regulated by the gut microbiota. Using mice treated with antibiotics, the authors of this work aimed to determine the impact of gut flora dysregulation on hippocampal neurogenesis. Results showed that antibiotic treatment could indeed decrease neurogenesis in the hippocampus, leading to deficits in memory retention.

Aiming to determine whether those deficits were reversible, and since exercise is known to potentiate neurogenesis, the effects of exercise on mice treated with antibiotics were evaluated. Furthermore, and given that the administration of probiotics can balance gut microbiota composition, treatment with probiotics was also tested.

Interestingly, when the normal content of the gut flora was restored, the deficits in neurogenesis were not completely reversed unless the mice also engaged in physical activity in a running wheel or received probiotics. Since the restoration of a normal intestinal flora per se was unable to restore neurogenesis levels, it is most likely not exclusively the lack of gut flora that determines neurogenesis levels; additional factors may also come into play. But the fact that probiotics can have a similar effect to that of exercise is a clear indication of the importance of the gut microbiota in the modulation of neurogenesis.

This study also investigated the potential role of Ly6Chi monocytes, a type of cell of the immune system, as messengers between the gut and the brain, as well as the effect of antibiotic-induced dysregulation of the gut microbiota on these cells. Antibiotics did indeed decrease the levels of monocytes. Furthermore, the elimination of these cells decreased neurogenesis. But the replenishment of monocytes to these mice was able to restore neurogenesis after antibiotic treatment. Importantly, both exercise and probiotic administration led to an increase in Ly6Chi monocytes in the brain, indicating that these cells may serve as a communication system between the gut and the brain, contributing to the stimulation of neurogenesis induced by probiotics in antibiotic-treated mice.

Nevertheless, these effects in mice treated with antibiotics can be driven by other mechanisms besides the levels of Ly6Chi monocytes. Neuronal progenitor cells may receive additional signals involving other mediators or other types of cells, including glial cells or neurons. Still, data indicates that Ly6Chi may have a crucial involvement in hippocampal neurogenesis. This establishes a new messaging system between the gut and the brain through the immune system, and again underlines the importance of the gut in brain function.

This study also highlights the detrimental effects that antibiotics can have on the brain. On the bright side, probiotic supplementation and exercise can counteract the devastating side effects of prolonged antibiotic treatment, which is actually good news.

References

Bercik P, & Collins SM (2014). The effects of inflammation, infection and antibiotics on the microbiota-gut-brain axis. Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 817, 279-89 PMID: 24997039

Deng, W., Aimone, J., & Gage, F. (2010). New neurons and new memories: how does adult hippocampal neurogenesis affect learning and memory? Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 11 (5), 339-350 DOI: 10.1038/nrn2822

Möhle, L., Mattei, D., Heimesaat, M., Bereswill, S., Fischer, A., Alutis, M., French, T., Hambardzumyan, D., Matzinger, P., Dunay, I., & Wolf, S. (2016). Ly6Chi Monocytes Provide a Link between Antibiotic-Induced Changes in Gut Microbiota and Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis Cell Reports, 15 (9), 1945-1956 DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.04.074

Petra, A., Panagiotidou, S., Hatziagelaki, E., Stewart, J., Conti, P., & Theoharides, T. (2015). Gut-Microbiota-Brain Axis and Its Effect on Neuropsychiatric Disorders With Suspected Immune Dysregulation Clinical Therapeutics, 37 (5), 984-995 DOI: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2015.04.002

Schwartz, M., Kipnis, J., Rivest, S., & Prat, A. (2013). How Do Immune Cells Support and Shape the Brain in Health, Disease, and Aging? Journal of Neuroscience, 33 (45), 17587-17596 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3241-13.2013

Spalding, K., Bergmann, O., Alkass, K., Bernard, S., Salehpour, M., Huttner, H., Boström, E., Westerlund, I., Vial, C., Buchholz, B., Possnert, G., Mash, D., Druid, H., & Frisén, J. (2013). Dynamics of Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Adult Humans Cell, 153 (6), 1219-1227 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.05.002

van Praag, H. (2008). Neurogenesis and Exercise: Past and Future Directions NeuroMolecular Medicine, 10 (2), 128-140 DOI: 10.1007/s12017-008-8028-z

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Documentary follows autistic boy obsessed with Disney

A new documentary explores how Disney cartoons helped an autistic boy to communicate with his family. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Zika Brain Damage May Occur in Babies with Normal-Sized Heads

Study suggests microcephaly birth defect isn't always present; cases may be underreported

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New Drug Shows Promise for Rare Blood Cancers

Organ damage improved in 60 percent of patients with advanced systemic mastocytosis

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Reassessing the Annual Pelvic Exam

Independent panel of U.S. experts finds 'insufficient' evidence of worth

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Stem Cells Deemed Safe for ALS Patients

But further research needed to see if injections into spine would provide any benefit, researchers say

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Testosterone Therapy May Boost Older Men's Sex Lives

Gel hormone treatment led to improved libido and sexual function, study finds

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Has Butter Gotten a Bad Rap?

Study finds little added health danger for those who love the spread, but some nutritionists remain wary

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Religion a Buffer Against Suicide for Women, Study Suggests

Going to services at least once a week seemed to reduce the odds fivefold

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Stay Alert for Child Drowning Dangers This Summer

More than half of victims are under 5, but older kids and teens still at risk

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For Better Skin Cancer Checks, Partner Up

Melanoma survivors benefited when they and a loved one got training in spotting malignancies, study found

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Progress Against Heart Deaths Starting to Wane

Obesity, diabetes epidemics may be to blame, doctors say

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Allergists: Daily Bath OK for Kids with Eczema

The key is immediately following tub time with moisturizer
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Concussions Strike 1 in 3 Water Polo Players

Average was just over 2 per person, and study found they were more common among females

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New life form discovered in saliva is linked to human disease

Bacteria that parasitise other bacteria have been found for the first time, and are linked to gum disease, cystic fibrosis and antimicrobial resistance via New Scientist - Health Read More Here..

NHS faces unpredictable outcomes following Brexit vote

EU has subtle and far-reaching effects on health sector, beyond purely economic factors

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RCGP offers GP returners a year’s free membership

College aims to encourage more GPs into return to practice schemes across the UK

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Signage increased share of spending on fruit and veg

People spent same overall, but more on fruit and veg, when arrows directed them around store

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Brexit 'will make NHS staff shortages worse'

The vote to leave the EU risks making staffing shortages in the NHS worse, health leaders are warning. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Zika-damaged babies could appear normal, says study

Babies with brain abnormalities caused by the Zika virus could still appear normal, according to the largest study of affected babies. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Benefits of exercise training in women with fatty liver disease

Aerobic exercise cut waist size, improved cholesterol and cardiopulmonary performance

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Persistent HPV raises risk of anal and genital cancers

Anogenital cancer risk can remain elevated even 20 years or more after HPV infection

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Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Nurofen TV ad is banned for being ‘misleading’

Advertising watchdog says the ad misleads suggests that the drug targets back and joint pain

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Opioid or muscle relaxant no extra benefit for back pain
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Non-beneficial procedures being given to patients at the end of their life

Patients are receiving surgery, medical treatments and unnecessary diagnostic tests, global review finds

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First UK hospital gives baby boxes to parents

A hospital in London is giving out baby boxes, containing a starter kit of clothes, nappies and toys, to all new parents. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Preventive surgery for ovarian cancer should be offered to more women

Threshold for surgery for removal of ovaries should be lowered, study suggests

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