Increased inflammatory response in cytomegalovirus seropositive patients with Alzheimer's disease. - PubMed - NCBI

Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been associated with increased local inflammation in the affected brain regions, and in some studies also with elevated levels of proinflammatory cytokines in peripheral blood. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is known to promote a more effector-oriented phenotype in the T-cell compartment, increasing with age. The aim of this study was to investigate the inflammatory response of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from AD patients and non-demented (ND) controls. Using a multiplex Luminex xMAP assay targeting GM-CSF, IFN-γ, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-8, IP-10 and TNF-α, cytokine profiles from PBMCs were analysed after stimulation with anti-CD3/CD28 beads, CMV pp65 peptide mix or amyloid β (Aβ) protofibrils, respectively. CMV seropositive AD subjects presented with higher IFN-γ levels after anti-CD3/CD28 and CMV pp65 but not after Aβ stimulation, compared to CMV seropositive ND controls. When analysing IFN-γ response to anti-CD3/CD28 stimulation on a subgroup level, CMV seropositive AD subjects presented with higher levels compared to both CMV seronegative AD and CMV seropositive ND subjects. Taken together, our data from patients with clinically manifest AD suggest a possible role of CMV as an inflammatory promoter in AD immunology. Further studies of AD patients at earlier stages of disease, could provide better insight into the pathophysiology.

Exposure to common flame retardants may contribute to attention problems in children -- ScienceDaily

"Prenatal exposure to some flame retardants that have been widely-used in consumer products is associated with attention problems in young children. A new study is the first to show the effects of prenatal exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers on children's development at ages 3, 4, and 7 years. Children with the highest exposure to certain PBDEs had approximately twice the number of maternally-reported attention problems compared to the other children in the study. PBDEs are found in textiles, plastics, wiring, and furniture containing polyurethane foam to reduce flammability."

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Chemical exposure linked to rising diabetes, obesity risk

Chemical exposure linked to rising diabetes, obesity risk: "Emerging evidence ties endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure to two of the biggest public health threats facing society - diabetes and obesity, according to the executive summary of an upcoming Scientific Statement issued today by the Endocrine Society."

Lead exposure in mothers can affect future generations -- ScienceDaily

It's a known fact that babies in the womb can be affected by low levels of lead exposure. If a pregnant woman is exposed to lead, the lead passes through the placenta into the baby's developing bones and other organs. Pregnant women with a past exposure to lead can also affect the unborn child's brain, causing developmental problems later in life. Previous research studies have suggested that exposure to heavy metal toxicants can influence a person's global DNA methylation profile.
In the recent Wayne State study led by Douglas Ruden, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and the Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, director of epigenomics, and program leader in the Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors, he and his research team revealed that lead exposure can cause specific changes in DNA methylation, which can be detected in dried blood spots beyond one generation. The neonatal blood spots from both the mothers and children in this study were obtained from the Michigan Neonatal Biobank, a unique resource that has most of the neonatal dried blood spots from children born in Michigan since 1984.

International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics opinion on reproductive health impacts of exposure to toxic environmental chemicals - International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics

"Exposure to toxic environmental chemicals during pregnancy and breastfeeding is ubiquitous and is a threat to healthy human reproduction. There are tens of thousands of chemicals in global commerce, and even small exposures to toxic chemicals during pregnancy can trigger adverse health consequences. Exposure to toxic environmental chemicals and related health outcomes are inequitably distributed within and between countries; universally, the consequences of exposure are disproportionately borne by people with low incomes. Discrimination, other social factors, economic factors, and occupation impact risk of exposure and harm. Documented links between prenatal exposure to environmental chemicals and adverse health outcomes span the life course and include impacts on fertility and pregnancy, neurodevelopment, and cancer. The global health and economic burden related to toxic environmental chemicals is in excess of millions of deaths and billions of dollars every year. On the basis of accumulating robust evidence of exposures and adverse health impacts related to toxic environmental chemicals, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) joins other leading reproductive health professional societies in calling for timely action to prevent harm. FIGO recommends that reproductive and other health professionals advocate for policies to prevent exposure to toxic environmental chemicals, work to ensure a healthy food system for all, make environmental health part of health care, and champion environmental justice."

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β-Amyloid peptides display protective activity against the human Alzheimer's disease-associated herpes simplex virus-1.

Amyloid plaques, the hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD), contain fibrillar β-amyloid (Aβ) 1-40 and 1-42 peptides. Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) has been implicated as a risk factor for AD and found to co-localize within amyloid plaques. Aβ 1-40 and Aβ 1-42 display anti-bacterial, anti-yeast and anti-viral activities. Here, fibroblast, epithelial and neuronal cell lines were exposed to Aβ 1-40 or Aβ 1-42 and challenged with HSV-1. Quantitative analysis revealed that Aβ 1-40 and Aβ 1-42 inhibited HSV-1 replication when added 2 h prior to or concomitantly with virus challenge, but not when added 2 or 6 h after virus addition. In contrast, Aβ 1-40 and Aβ 1-42 did not prevent replication of the non-enveloped human adenovirus. In comparison, antimicrobial peptide LL-37 prevented HSV-1 infection independently of its sequence of addition. Our findings showed also that Aβ 1-40 and Aβ 1-42 acted directly on HSV-1 in a cell-free system and prevented viral entry into cells. The sequence homology between Aβ and a proximal transmembrane region of HSV-1 glycoprotein B suggested that Aβ interference with HSV-1 replication could involve its insertion into the HSV-1 envelope. Our data suggest that Aβ peptides represent a novel class of antimicrobial peptides that protect against neurotropic enveloped virus infections such as HSV-1. Overproduction of Aβ peptide to protect against latent herpes viruses and eventually against other infections, may contribute to amyloid plaque formation, and partially explain why brain infections play a pathogenic role in the progression of the sporadic form of AD.

Dormant viral genes may awaken to cause ALS

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health discovered that reactivation of ancient viral genes embedded in the human genome may cause the destruction of neurons in some forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The results, published in Science Translational Medicine, suggest a link between human endogenous retroviral genes (HERVs) and ALS. The findings also raise the question of whether antiretroviral drugs, similar to those used for suppressing HIV, may help some ALS patients.
For generations, humans have been passing on genetic remnants of HERV infections that may have happened millions of years ago. Although nearly eight percent of the normal human genome is made up of these genes, very little is known about their role in health and disease.

Test detects all viruses that infect you and your pet - Futurity

A new test called ViroCap can detect thousands of viruses that make people and animals sick.
The test is as sensitive as the gold-standard laboratory tests—called polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays. However, even the most expansive PCR assays can only screen for up to about 20 similar viruses at the same time. ViroCap looks for everything.
“With this test, you don’t have to know what you’re looking for,” says Gregory Storch, a professor of pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “It casts a broad net and can efficiently detect viruses that are present at very low levels. We think the test will be especially useful in situations where a diagnosis remains elusive after standard testing or in situations in which the cause of a disease outbreak is unknown.”
Here's the paper:-

Enhanced virome sequencing through solution-based capture enrichment

Alzheimer's Awareness - Facts about Alzheimer's

Facts about Alzheimer’s – World Alzheimer’s Day - An Infographic from Bluebird Care
Embedded from Bluebird Care

Biofilms Alive in Alzheimer's Disease Plaques on Vimeo

New research exposes the health risks of fructose and sugary drinks

"There is compelling evidence that drinking too many sugar-sweetened beverages, which contain added sugars in the form of high fructose corn syrup or table sugar (sucrose), can lead to excess weight gain and a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to a new review paper published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology."

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Chemical exposure linked to rising diabetes, obesity risk

Emerging evidence ties endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) exposure to two of the biggest public health threats facing society - diabetes and obesity, according to the executive summary of an upcoming Scientific Statement issued today by the Endocrine Society.

EDCs contribute to health problems by mimicking, blocking or otherwise interfering with the body's natural hormones. By hijacking the body's chemical messengers, EDCs can alter the way cells develop and grow.
Known EDCs include bisphenol A (BPA) found in food can linings and cash register receipts, phthalates found in plastics and cosmetics, flame retardants and pesticides. The chemicals are so common that nearly every person on Earth has been exposed to one or more. An economic analysis published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism in March estimated that EDC exposure likely costs the European Union €157 billion ($209 billion) a year in actual  and lost earning potential.

Environmental factors may contribute to autism development and male bias: Effects of fragrances on developing neurons.

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are developmental
conditions characterized by deficits in social interaction, impairments in
verbal and nonverbal communication, and stereotyped patterns of behavior.
Previous studies have implicated environmental factors in the development of
ASD. Although no reliable neurophysiological network is associated with ASD,
low levels of plasma oxytocin (OXY) and arginine vasopressin (AVP) have been
reported. The "twin" nonapeptides OXY and AVP are mainly produced in
the brain of mammals, and dysregulation of these neuropeptides has been
associated with changes in behavior, especially social interactions.

Previously, we analyzed 91 commonly used fragrances and
reported significant mutagenic, neurocytotoxic, and stimulatory effects on
fetal neuroblastoma cell lines (NBC). In this study, we analyzed the
neuromodifications of three selected fragrances on male and female human fetal
brain neurons, utilizing immunohistochemistry.

We show that exposure to femtomolar concentrations of
fragrances results in morphological changes by light microscopy in the NBC.
Importantly, these fragrances significantly reduced the OXY- and AVP-receptor positive (OXYR+ and AVPR+) neurons in male NBC but not in female NBC, possibly contributing to the development of male bias in ASD.


This study is the first to show a potential link between fragrance exposure, depletion of OXYR+ and AVPR+ neurons, and a male bias in autism.

Epigenetic Programming by Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals

The ‘developmental origins of adult health and disease’ (DOHaD) hypothesis postulates that adverse influences early in development can program the risks for adverse health outcomes in adult life. In modern societies, exposure to man-made environmental contaminants is a potential risk factor for developmental programming of chronic disease. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are of specific concern. EDCs act by mimicking or inhibiting the actions of endogenous hormones, and can have estrogenic, anti-estrogenic, or even anti-androgenic activity. Most EDCs are synthetic chemicals that enter the environment and persist for long periods of time. Among them are many substances that are in widespread use, including dioxin, plastic-softening chemicals, agricultural pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, industrial solvents, and pharmaceuticals. Some evidence suggest that exposure to EDCs during early development can cause long-term health outcomes via mechanisms of epigenetic memory.

Study adds to evidence that viruses are alive -- ScienceDaily

Can oral infection be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a scourge of longevity that will drain enormous resources from public health budgets in the future. Currently, there is no diagnostic biomarker and/or treatment for this most common form of dementia in humans. AD can be of early familial-onset or sporadic with a late-onset. Apart from the two main hallmarks, amyloid-beta and neurofibrillary tangles, inflammation is a characteristic feature of AD neuropathology. Inflammation may be caused by a local central nervous system insult and/or by peripheral infections. Numerous microorganisms are suspected in AD brains ranging from bacteria (mainly oral and non-oral Treponema species), viruses (herpes simplex type I), and yeasts (Candida species). A causal relationship between periodontal pathogens and non-oral Treponema species of bacteria has been proposed via the amyloid-beta and inflammatory links. Periodontitis constitutes a peripheral oral infection that can provide the brain with intact bacteria and virulence factors and inflammatory mediators due to daily, transient bacteremias. If and when genetic risk factors meet environmental risk factors in the brain, disease is expressed, in which neurocognition may be impacted, leading to the development of dementia. To achieve the goal of finding a diagnostic biomarker and possible prophylactic treatment for AD, there is an initial need to solve the etiological puzzle contributing to its pathogenesis. This review therefore addresses oral infection as the plausible etiology of late-onset AD (LOAD).

Analysis of 21 studies shows exposure to pesticides is associated with increased risk of developing diabetes -- ScienceDaily

A meta-analysis of 21 studies presented at this year's annual meeting the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) shows that exposure to pesticides is associated with increased risk of developing diabetes by 61%, with different types of pesticides showing varying levels of risk. The study is by Giorgos Ntritsos, University of Ioannina, Greece, and Dr Ioanna Tzoulaki and Dr Evangelos Evangelou, Imperial College London, UK, and colleagues.

PLOS ONE: Exposure to Bovine Leukemia Virus Is Associated with Breast Cancer: A Case-Control Study

Age, reproductive history, hormones, genetics, and lifestyle are known risk factors for breast cancer, but the agents that initiate cellular changes from normal to malignant are not understood. We previously detected bovine leukemia virus (BLV), a common oncogenic virus of cattle, in the breast epithelium of humans. The objective of this study was to determine whether the presence of BLV DNA in human mammary epithelium is associated with breast cancer.


This was a case-control study of archival formalin fixed paraffin embedded breast tissues from 239 donors, received 2002–2008 from the Cooperative Human Tissue Network. Case definition as breast cancer versus normal (women with no history of breast cancer) was established through medical records and examination of tissues by an anatomical pathologist. Breast exposure to BLV was determined by in situ-PCR detection of a biomarker, BLV DNA, localized within mammary epithelium.


The frequency of BLV DNA in mammary epithelium from women with breast cancer (59%) was significantly higher than in normal controls (29%) (multiply- adjusted odds ratio = 3.07, confidence interval = 1.66–5.69, p = .0004, attributable risk = 37%). In women with premalignant breast changes the frequency of BLV DNA was intermediate (38%) between that of women with breast cancer and normal controls (p for trend < .001).


Among the specimens in this study, the presence of amplified BLV DNA was significantly associated with breast cancer. The odds ratio magnitude was comparable to those of well-established breast cancer risk factors related to reproductive history, hormones, and lifestyle and was exceeded only by risk factors related to genetics (familial breast cancer), high dose ionizing radiation, and age. These findings have the potential for primary and secondary prevention of breast cancer.