Friday, July 6, 2018

"weak evidence that EIBI may be an effective behavioral treatment for some children with ASD"

Questioning Answers: Today I bring to your attention the 'Cochrane does...' findings reported by Brian Reichow and colleagues [1] which concluded that: "There is weak evidence that EIBI [early intensive behavioral intervention] may be an effective behavioral treatment for some children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder]."

How eating less can slow the aging process

Brigham Young: There’s a multi-billion-dollar industry devoted to products that fight signs of aging, but moisturizers only go skin deep. Aging occurs deeper — at a cellular level — and scientists have found that eating less can slow this cellular process. Recent research published in Molecular & Cellular Proteomics offers one glimpse into how cutting calories impacts aging inside a cell. The researchers found that when ribosomes — the cell’s protein makers — slow down, the aging process slows too. The decreased speed lowers production but gives ribosomes extra time to repair themselves.

Stopping a tiny - and deadly - fly in its tracks

Brigham Young: “The unique thing about the T. brucei parasite is that it relies on host glucose for survival,” said Christensen, whose study was recently published in top-ranked journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. “We know that if you could deprive the parasites in the blood stream of glucose, the parasite will die.” Sixty million people in sub-Saharan Africa live at risk of African sleeping sickness, a disease caused by parasites transmitted through the tsetse fly. In the late stage of the disease, when the parasite crosses the blood-brain barrier, the results are oftentimes fatal.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Sulforaphane and autism continued: metabolomics wades in..

QuestioningAnswers: "We identified 77 urinary metabolites that were correlated with changes in symptoms, and they clustered into pathways of oxidative stress, amino acid/gut microbiome, neurotransmitters, hormones, and sphingomyelin metabolism."
So said the findings reported by Stephen Bent and colleagues [1] continuing a theme in autism research circles examining the use of a compound called sulforaphane - "a supplement with indirect antioxidant effects that are derived from broccoli sprouts and seeds" - in the context of [some] autism . Once again, I'm sure that there may be people out there with brows furrowing when it comes to talk of a 'broccoli chemical' potentially impacting on the presentation of autism. But peer-reviewed science (placebo-controlled) is peer-reviewed science [2] and not just to be 'put to one side' because it doesn't follow the trends or [research] fashions of the day.

Extreme stress in childhood is toxic to your DNA

TheConversation: The real danger of separating children from parents is not the psychological stress – it’s the biological time bomb. The screaming and crying, the anguish and desolation is gut-wrenching. But the fallout pales in comparison to the less visible long-term effects that are more sinister and dangerous. Separating children from their parents, in a strange land, among strangers, causes the most extreme life stress a child can experience. And it causes profound and irreversible changes in how their DNA is packaged and which genes are turned on and off in the cells of the body, in organs like the pancreas, the lungs, heart and brain – leading to lifelong changes in its structure and function.

Link between autoimmune disorders and psychosis confirmed in new study

TheConversation: People with autoimmune disorders, a collection of diseases where the body’s immune system attacks its own cells, are more likely to have psychosis, according to our latest research. Previous research found that rates of rheumatoid arthritis were lower in people with psychosis than would be expected in the general population. But later studies showed that other autoimmune disorders, such as coeliac disease and autoimmune thyroid disorders, were more common in people with psychosis. This led scientists to the view that there is a connection between autoimmune disorders and psychosis. But conflicting findings meant that it was difficult to reach any conclusions about the relationship.

Antibiotics before birth and in early life can affect long-term health

TheConversation: Half of Australian infants have received at least one course of antibiotics by their first birthday. This is one of the highest rates of antibiotic use in the world. Although antibiotics are effective and potentially life-saving for bacterial infections in children, they are often prescribed for viral infections, for which they are ineffective. Unnecessary antibiotics expose individual children to potential side effects, including diarrhoea, vomiting, rashes and allergic reactions. The overuse of antibiotics also increases the risk of bacterial resistance in the wider community. This is when commonly used antibiotics become ineffective against some bacteria, making it difficult, or even impossible, to treat some infections.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Recombinant Polio Vaccine Improved Survival Rate Among Some With Aggressive Recurrent Brain Tumor

MedicalResearch: The poliovirus receptor (CD155) is an onco-fetal cell adhesion molecule with widespread expression in all solid tumors and particularly in primary CNS tumors (adult and pediatric). Recombinant nonpathogenic polio–rhinovirus chimera (PVSRIPO) was generated by replacing a critical piece of the genetic information from the Sabin type 1 polio vaccine, making PVSRIPO incapable of harming or killing normal brain cells, but toxic/lethal in cancer cells. In preclinical models, it has been demonstrated that the infection of tumor cells, leads to the release of danger signals, which triggers a recruitment of dendritic/CD4/CD8 T cells and a destruction of tumor cells by anti-tumor T cells.

Can you catch germs from a public toilet seat?

TheConversation: We’ve all been there, you’re desperate for the loo, and frantically hunting for a toilet, only to find when you get there, that the seat is covered with “droplets” from the previous user. So what should you do – carry on regardless, or try and squat while you do your business? The world is in many ways a microbial planet and, as its inhabitants, we carry within us our own microscopic rain forests – which we exchange with the environment and each other all the time. Microbes are abundant throughout the human body, including the skin, mouth, eyes, urinary and genital organs and gastrointestinal tracts. Most people carry up to a kilogram of microorganisms. These are largely within the gut and comprise bacteria, fungi, yeast, viruses and sometimes parasites.

Why do some people with autism have restricted interests and repetitive movements?

TheConversation: As a society, we’ve come a long way in our understanding of the challenges people with autism face with social communication. But there is a large gap in our understanding of another cluster of behaviours that form part of an autism diagnosis: restrictive and repetitive behaviours and interests (RRBs). These behaviours and interests appear to be made up of two dimensions. The first is a pattern of overly regulated thinking: obsessions and intense interests; a strong preference for maintaining sameness; and ritualistic or habitual patterns of behaviour, such as fiddling, or motor tics like blinking or throat clearing.

Are e-cigarettes tobacco products?

Nicotine and Tobacco Research: Should e-cigarettes should be classified as tobacco products? In 2014 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US concluded that they are (1), and we regularly receive submissions describing e-cigarettes as tobacco products. However, this judgement is the product of policy developments around the role of the FDA and their ability to provide regulative guidance and authority relating to a range of products. Products that contain nicotine derived from tobacco fall within a court-endorsed legal framework for FDA regulation. To date, Nicotine & Tobacco Research has not had an explicit policy on how e-cigarettes should be described.

Graphic Warning Labels Linked to Reduced Sugary Drink Purchases

APS: Warning labels that include photos linking sugary drink consumption with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and tooth decay may reduce purchases of the drinks, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. In a field study conducted in a hospital cafeteria, researchers found that graphic warning labels reduced sugary beverage purchases by 14.8%, while text warning labels and calorie labels had no effect.

Hundreds of smart genes found

Scimex: Hundreds of genes linked to intelligence have been found by Australian and international researchers. The scientists looked at the DNA of more than 250,000 people and found more than 900 new genes linked to intelligence. They say their works suggests that increased intelligence may protect against both Alzheimer’s disease and ADHD. A second study also identified over 500 genes linked to neuroticism.

Bigger ladies may have lower breast cancer risk

Scimex: Women with higher body mass index (BMI), especially in early adulthood, may be at a lower risk of developing breast cancer prior to menopause, according to Australian and international research. The research looked at 19 different studies, including Australian data, covering more than 750,000 women. It found that for women aged 18 to 54, breast cancer risk went down as BMI went up. This link was strongest for women aged 18 to 24. The study authors say that they are not advocating weight gain as a way to reduce breast cancer risk but that understanding this link might help to identify risk factors that might be modified.

Kids at higher risk of autism if mum has diabetes

Scimex: Kids of mums who have any of the three main types of diabetes during pregnancy are at higher risk of developing autism, according to US research. The study showed that type 1 and type 2 diabetes, as well as gestational, or pregnancy related diabetes, diagnosed before 26 weeks were all linked to an increased risk of having a child with autism spectrum disorder. The authors say that, while the study cannot show that diabetes causes autism, it does suggest the severity of the mother's diabetes and the timing of exposure (early vs late in pregnancy) may be linked with the risk of children developing autism.

Are There Long-Term Health Risks After Having Tonsils or Adenoids Removed in Childhood?

JAMA: Removing tonsils and adenoids in children in Denmark was associated with increased long-term risk of respiratory, infectious and allergic diseases.
Why The Research Is Interesting: Tonsils and adenoids are commonly removed in childhood to treat conditions such as chronic ear infections and obstructed breathing. They are part of the immune system and are usually removed at ages when the development of the immune system is sensitive. Not much is known about the long-term impact of those surgeries.

Association of Food Allergy, Other Allergies With Autism Spectrum Disorder

JAMA: Food and other types of allergies are more likely to be reported in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than in children without ASD but the underlying reasons for this association aren’t clear.
Why The Research Is Interesting: A diagnosis of ASD has become more common among U.S. children but it isn’t clear why or what causes ASD. Some studies have suggested immune system dysfunction may potentially play a role. Allergies are common medical conditions of immune dysfunction in children.

Are Portable Music Players Associated With Hearing Loss in Children?

JAMA: The effect of portable music players on the hearing of children is unclear. A new study found that about 1 in 7 children (9 to 11 years of age) showed signs of noise-induced hearing impairment, prior to exposure to known noise hazards such as club and concert attendance. Portable music players, used by 40 percent of 2,075 children in the study from the Netherlands, were associated with high-frequency hearing loss. Repeated measurements are needed to confirm this association.

Having Stress-Related Disorder Associated With Increased Risk of Developing Autoimmune Disease

JAMA: Stress-related disorders brought on by traumatic or stressful life events were associated with increased risk of developing an autoimmune disease.
Why The Research Is Interesting: Development of stress-related disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may influence multiple bodily systems, including immune function. Whether this contributes to risk for autoimmune disease remains unclear.

Botulinum toxin injections for preventing migraine in adults

Cochrane: People with chronic (persisting) migraine treated with botulinum toxin injections had two fewer migraine days per month than people treated with placebo (fake treatment). It is unclear if this improvement was large enough to make a meaningful difference to their lives. More work is needed to show whether botulinum toxin is better than oral treatments (treatments that are swallowed), that prevent migraine. The evidence for botulinum toxin for people with episodic (occasional) migraine was uncertain. Treatment with botulinum toxin did not cause many side effects.