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RoundUp - 1st Week of February 2024 






Reversing Alzheimer’s Dementia



KIBRA, a unique protein so-named as it occurs in both the kidneys and brain, is an essential co-factor in the normal synaptic functions of neurons and the formation of memories.  KIBRA diminishes as Alzheimer’s progresses, and its replacement appears to capably restore cognitive function.  


This the conclusion of pre-clinical studies carried out at California’s Buck Institute for Research on Aging, affiliated with the University of Southern California. The Buck research team, using a mouse Alzheimer’s model and a synthetic form of KIBRA, found that replacement of this protein reverses the animals’ memory impairment.


While most Alzheimer’s therapy focuses on the reduction of toxic tau and amyloid protein accumulations and the cessation of dementia progression, replacement of KIBRA is a fresh approach that promises a restoration of higher brain functions.


#alzheimers #dementia #KIBRA #tau #amyloid #buck

alzheimers, dementia, KIBRA, tau, amyloid, buck



Predicting Women’s Stroke  Risk



One in every 5 women will suffer a stroke between the ages of 55 and 75. In fact, American women have a 32% higher average risk of developing a stroke than men.  Knowing the multiple factors that increase or decrease that risk can help keep a woman in optimal health.


A woman’s stroke risk increases during pregnancy, after menopause, and, in general, with advancing age.  Knowing this, it is critical that women do all they can to control other factors and thereby lessen risk.


Blood pressure elevation is a key factor.  For every 10 mmHg systolic pressure elevation above 120, the risk of stroke escalates some 25%.  Blood sugar levels and the development of diabetes is also critical.  Compared with women enjoying fasting sugar levels of 100 mg/dL or less, those with sugar levels greater or equal to 150 have a 59% higher risk of stroke.  Those women with diabetes who need medication for its control have a 61% higher risk of stroke compared with non-diabetic women.


So ladies….The two keys to avoiding debilitating strokes are: keeping your blood pressure and your blood sugar levels under control particularly during pregnancy and then during menopause and beyond.  The single best route to doing both is keeping your weight at a normal level for your height.  Since blood pressure elevation is the most dangerous, monitoring your pressures as often as possible using an inexpensive home unit costing as little as $30-40 can be your key to avoiding a devastating stroke.


#stroke #bloodpressure #sugar #diabetes #pregnancy #menopause

stroke, bloodpressure, sugar, diabetes, pregnancy, menopause



Genes Control Your CoVid Risk



Two-thirds of your susceptibility to the CoVid virus is controlled by your genetic makeup while one-third is determined by environmental factors.   This the conclusion of a study by Columbia University biostatisticians following their study of 12, 764 patients with positive or negative CoVid PCR tests.


Their data demonstrated that, at the onset of the CoVid pandemic in 2020, environmental factors appeared to correlate with both the incidence and the severity of CoVid infections in about 57% of cases.  Heritability only explained about 43% of cases.


Such environmental factors include sick household members, community levels of disease, and measures taken to avoid disease spread including masking, social distancing, and quarantine.  By the end of 2021, heritability-genetic factors had become 1.5-times more important as environmental issues became less important with the advent of vaccine and infection-driven immunity.


Having reported these relationships, the researchers do point out that little is known to date about the actual genetics of CoVid infectibility.  One gene link association that is documented is that of CoVid susceptibility and ABO blood groups.  Those having type 0 blood groups are nearly 30% less likely to develop infection while those having type A blood groups were more than 30% more likely to develop infections.


#CoVid #genetics #environmental #vaccination #masking #distancing

CoVid, genetics, environmental, vaccination, masking, distancing



Brain Implant Reduces Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior



Implantation of a programmable neurostimulation system in her brain has brought remarkable relief to a 34 year old woman suffering from both epileptic seizures and obsessive-compulsive disorder, OCD.  This first-of-its-kind- surgery, completed at the Oregon Health & Science University using techniques developed by University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University neuroscientists, involved the implantation of electrodes into the patient’s brain, measurement of her brain’s electrical discharges associated with both her seizures and obsessive behaviors, , destruction of her seizure trigger zone, and programming of a portable microprocessor to deliver deep brain stimulation to block her obsessive-compulsive behaviors.


The patient’s long history of OCD impaired her daily life with fears of social interactions, environmental contamination, and possible physical harm from intruders.  Psychological and drug therapy yielded little relief.


Even with deep brain stimulation, the patient’s improvement occurred slowly.  As the months wore on, the time she spent performing compulsive actions diminished from 8 hours to 30 minutes.  She now is able to eat in public, arrive at work on time, and live independently.


#ocd #obsessions #compulsions #epilepsy #deepbrainstimulation #upenn #stanford

ocd, obsessions, compulsions, epilepsy, deepbrainstimulation, upenn, stanford



New Immunotherapy For Nasty Cancers



Pancreatic and bowel cancers are two of the most difficult to treat, but they often sport a unique marker that can serve as a target for killer T cells.  Oncologists at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Texas’ MD Andersons Cancer Center have led a collaborative study showing that the KRAS gene marker which appears in 93% of pancreatic cancers and 50% of colorectal cancers can serve as the basis for new vaccine against these cancers.


In a human phase 1 study, 20 patients with pancreatic cancer and 5 patients with bowel cancer unresponsive to other therapies received an anti-KRAS protein vaccine without undesirable side effects.  84% of the treated group developed detectable T cell immunity against the KRAS gene and that same percentage had measurable reduction in circulating KRAS tumor antigen.  24% of patients had complete elimination of these KRAS biomarkers. Those patients with the best anti-KRAS immune responses were still living longer than the 16 month median while those with the lowest responses had median survivals of only 4 months.


Most current cancer vaccines are personal vaccines created using time-consuming and expensive techniques from a patient’s own tumor cells only work for that patient.  This anti-KRAS vaccination technique for cancers like pancreatic and colon offers the possibility of developing a more universal vaccine.


#cancer #vaccine #pancreatic #colorectal #KRAS #tcells

cancer, vaccine, pancreatic, colorectal, KRAS, tcells



New Approach To Stopping Diabetic Blood Vessel Damage



A novel approach to preventing diabetic eye and kidney disease employs an enzyme inhibitor that prevents damage to the linings of the tiniest blood vessels.  

Research nephrologists at the UK’s University of Bristol have developed a heparanase inhibitor drug, OVZ/HS-1638, that prevents enzymatic damage to blood vessel linings, the so-called endothelial glycocalyx.  Using a mouse model, the investigators show that this agent can effectively prevent heparan sulfate damage in the glycocalyx and the development of retinal and renal vessel damage.


Over 8% of the world’s population suffers from diabetes and the most devastating aspect of this disease is damage to small vessels in not only the eyes and kidneys but also in the cardiovascular system. Such damage causes blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.  This enzyme inhibitor and others like it that protect the delicate blood vessel linings could be a powerful weapon in the fight to control the ravages of diabetes.


#diabetes #eye #kidney #endothelial #heparanase #glycocalyx #ubristol

diabetes, eye, kidney, endothelial, heparanase, glycocalyx, ubristol






3D Printing Brain Tissue



Neuroscientists at The University of Wisconsin-Madison announce the successful 3D printing of functional brain tissue.  Brain cells, neurons, are generated from stem cells and “printed” with a bio-ink gel into a thin layer.  Once nourished with nutrients and oxygen, these neurons are able to connect with one another in order to send and receive the electrical signals that characterize brain activity.  Others have tried this feat, but the British researchers ascribe their success to a printing technique modification.  Rather than printing horizontal layers, they printed the cell-laden gel in vertical layers.  It’s a heavy lift, but hopefully it will be possible to replace damaged sections of our brains…..someday soon.


#3dprinting #brain #bioink #uwisconsin 

3dprinting, brain, bioink, uwisconsin 



Halting Aging With Immunotherapy



All of us age as the cells that make up our bodies age.  Now, biologists at New York’s Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center have discovered a method to retrain T killer lymphocytes, those that attack cancers and viruses, to destroy aging cells in our bodies.  When that happens, the body’s aging process stops and, in some cases, reverses.


The researchers created so called CAR-T cells, T cells trained to hone in on cells with the aging protein urokinase plasminogen activator receptor or uPAR and destroy these cells.  Employing this therapy in aging mice improved that animals’ exercise capacities, metabolism, and overall vitality.


This method for eliminating aging cells and stopping or even reversing aging is an exciting development in the search for the the ever-elusive fountain of youth.  

We can only hope that  CAR-T therapy or other ways to eliminate uPAR will be available to make all of us feel and perhaps actually be younger…..someday soon.


#aging #CART #immunotherapy #uPAR #coldspringharbor #memorialsloankettering

aging, CART, immunotherapy, uPAR, coldspringharbor, memorialsloankettering







Vibrating Belt Fights Osteoporosis



A belt that delivers calibrated vibrations to a woman’s lower spine and hips can reduce loss of bone strength by 83%.  This the conclusion of Stanford University endocrinologists who tested the device in a double blinded, sham-controlled trial of 126 post-menopausal women.  The women randomized to use the vibrating belt at least 3 times a week compared with the group wearing a similar but non-vibrating belt also enjoyed a significant 1.68% preservation of vertebral bone density.  The device, called the Osteoboost Vibration Belt, has received an FDA breakthrough device designation and clearance for marketing by the Bone Health Technologies company.


#osteoporosis #vibrations #osteoboost #belt #stanford #bonestrength #bonedensity

osteoporosis, vibrations, osteoboost, belt, stanford, bonestrength, bonedensity




HPV Home Test For Cervical Cancer Risk



Women can now screen at home for cervical cancer risk by testing for the presence of a dangerous Human Papilloma Virus or HPV.  HPV is actually a family of more than 100 viruses of various types some of which can cause cancers including cervical cancer.  The two types most often associated with cancer include HPV 16 and HPV 18, but 12 types in all are known to be cancer-related.


HPV can be spread via sexual activity, and the CDC reports that nearly ALL sexually-active persons are infected with HPV.  Half of these HPV infections involve high-cancer-risk HPV types.  Most HPV infections are eliminated by the immune system but some persist.  If an HPV infection by a high-risk HPV type persists, it can trigger cancer.


HPV vaccination is recommended for all boys and girls at age 11 but can be given to anyone under the age of 45.  Most persons have been infected by HPV by age 27 making the vaccine less useful.  The Gardasil 9 vaccine protects against the 7 HPV types that trigger most HPV-related cancers and they are 16,18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58.


It is possible to self-test for an HPV infection at home using a test kit that may be purchased on or at  The test kit includes a vaginal swab that is used to obtain a secretion sample and mailed in.  Thereafter, you will receive a lab report telling you if a worrisome HPV infection is present.  If so, you notify your medical team for appropriate therapy.  This self-test is not available in some states including NY, NJ, RI, and MD.  If the kit is not available, your medical team can conduct an office HPV test.  All those who may be sexually active with multiple partners should have periodic HPV tests.


#hpv #hometesting #cervicalcancer #gardasil #std

hpv, hometesting, cervicalcancer, gardasil, std

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