BPA exposure by infants may increase later risk of food intolerance

If it seems like more people are allergic to, or intolerant of, more and
different kinds of foods than ever before, there might be a reason why.
A new research published in November 2014 issue of The FASEB Journal,
scientists show, for the first time, that there is a link between
perinatal exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA) at low doses and the risk to
develop food intolerance in later life. This research involving rats
suggests that early life exposure at a dose significantly below the
current human safety limit set by the FDA affects developing immune
systems, predisposing offspring to food intolerance in adulthood.

Study finds brain abnormalities in chronic fatigue patients

An imaging study by Stanford University School of Medicine investigators
has found distinct differences between the brains of patients with
chronic fatigue syndrome and those of healthy people.

Chlorovirus ATCV-1 is part of the human oropharyngeal virome and is associated with changes in cognitive functions in humans and mice

Algae Virus Found in Healthy Human Throats

 Scientists from Johns Hopkins and the University of Nebraska have
discovered an algae virus never before seen in the throats of healthy
people that may subtly alter a range of cognitive functions including
visual processing and spatial orientation in those who harbor it. A
report on the team’s findings is published online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
Yolken and colleagues stumbled upon the algae virus unexpectedly
while analyzing the microbial population of the throats of healthy
humans for a non-related study. Investigators obtained throat swabs and
performed DNA analysis designed to detect the genetic footprints of
viruses and bacteria. To their surprise, the researchers say, they
discovered DNA matching that of Acanthocystis turfacea Chlorella virus
1, or ATCV-1, known to infect green algae. Green algae include more than
7,000 water-dwelling organisms that resemble plants but belong to a
separate biologic kingdom. They are commonly found in aquatic
environments like ponds, lakes and the ocean.
 Forty of 92 participants in the study tested positive for the algae
virus. The group that harbored the virus performed worse overall on a
set of tasks to measure the speed and accuracy of visual processing.
While their performance was not drastically poorer, it was measurably
lower, the researchers said. For example, people who harbored the virus
scored, on average, nearly nine points lower on a test that measured how
quickly they could draw a line between sequentially numbered circles on
a piece of paper. Viral carriers also scored seven points lower, on
average, on tests measuring attention.
To further elucidate the effects of the virus, the investigators
infected a group of mice and analyzed their performance on a set of
tests designed to measure the rodent equivalent of human cognitive
function. Animals infected with the virus exhibited deficits similar to
those observed in humans. Infected animals had worse recognition memory
and spatial orientation than uninfected mice. 

Molecular Psychiatry -An anemia of Alzheimer's disease

Lower hemoglobin is associated with cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's
disease (AD). Since brain iron homeostasis is perturbed in AD, we
investigated whether this is peripherally reflected in the hematological
and related blood chemistry values from the Australian Imaging
Biomarker and Lifestyle (AIBL) study (a community-based, cross-sectional
cohort comprising 768 healthy controls (HC), 133 participants with mild
cognitive impairment (MCI) and 211 participants with AD). We found that
individuals with AD had significantly lower hemoglobin, mean cell
hemoglobin concentrations, packed cell volume and higher erythrocyte
sedimentation rates (adjusted for age, gender, APOE-ε4
and site). In AD, plasma iron, transferrin, transferrin saturation and
red cell folate levels exhibited a significant distortion of their
customary relationship to hemoglobin levels. There was a strong
association between anemia and AD (adjusted odds ratio (OR)=2.43,
confidence interval (CI) (1.31, 4.54)). Moreover, AD emerged as a
strong risk factor for anemia on step-down regression, even when
controlling for all other available explanations for anemia (adjusted OR=3.41, 95% CI (1.68, 6.92)). These data indicated that AD is complicated by anemia, which may itself contribute to cognitive decline.

Hand blenders used for cooking can emit persistent chemicals -- ScienceDaily

Eight out of twelve tested models of hand blenders are leaking chlorinated paraffins
when used according to the suppliers' instructions. This is revealed in a
report from Stockholm University where researchers analyzed a selection
of hand blenders which are available on the Swedish market. Chlorinated
paraffins are included in the subject group of persistent organic
pollutants which humans and animals should be protected from.

The tested hand blenders were bought in stores in Sweden and analyzed
in order to determine if they leak chlorinated paraffins to food under
normal use.

"The results showed that eight of the twelve tested hand blenders
emit chlorinated paraffins during normal household use. In five of them,
the levels are high in our opinion," says Åke Bergman, Professor at the
Department of Materials and Environment Chemistry, Stockholm
University, and Head of Swetox. We have reported the discovery to the
Swedish Chemicals Agency and the Swedish National Food Administration
and informed the suppliers of the tested hand blenders.

Analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs may have an impact on depression - Medical News Today

Ordinary over the counter painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs
purchased from pharmacies may also be effective in the treatment of
people suffering of depression.
This is shown by the largest ever meta-analysis that has just been
published by a research group from Aarhus University in the American
scientific journal JAMA Psychiatry. The meta-analysis is based on 14
international studies with a total 6,262 patients who either suffered
from depression or had individual symptoms of depression.

Here's the paper:-

Effect of Anti-inflammatory Treatment on Depression, Depressive Symptoms, and Adverse Effects: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials

Herbal medicines could contain dangerous levels of toxic mold -- ScienceDaily

Herbal medicines such as licorice, Indian rennet and opium poppy, are at
risk of contamination with toxic mold, according to a new study. The
authors of the study say it's time for regulators to control mold
contamination. An estimated 64% of people use medicinal plants to treat
illnesses and relieve pain. The herbal medicine market is worth $60
billion globally, and growing fast. Despite the increasing popularity of
herbal medicine, the sale of medicinal plants is mostly unregulated.
The new study analyzes toxic mold found on common medicinal plants in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, where the majority of people use herbal medicine. They found that around 43% of the plants were naturally contaminated with toxins, produced by molds that could be harmful to human health. 30% of the samples contained aflatoxins, which are carcinogenic and linked to liver cancer, and around 26% were contaminated with ochratoxin A, which is toxic to the liver and kidneys, and can suppress the immune system..

Does toxic air raise a child's risk for autism? - Futurity

Researchers performed a population-based study of families with and
without ASD living in six southwestern Pennsylvania counties. Results
show links between increased levels of chromium and styrene and
childhood autism spectrum disorder, a condition that affects one in 68

Cold sores increase risk of dementia, research suggests -- ScienceDaily

Hugo Lövheim and Fredrik Elgh, professor at the Department of Virology,
have now confirmed this link in two large epidemiological studies. In
one study, which is based on the Betula project, a study on aging,
memory and dementia, the researchers show that a reactivated herpes
infection doubled the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. This study
had 3,432 participants who were followed for 11.3 years on average. In
another study, samples donated to the Medical Biobank at Umeå University
from 360 people with Alzheimer's disease were examined and as many
matched people who had not developed dementia. The samples were taken on
average 9.6 years before diagnosis. This study showed an approximately
doubled risk of developing Alzheimer's disease if the person was a
carrier of the herpes virus.

Children who have had enterovirus infection are around 50 percent more likely to have type 1 diabetes -- ScienceDaily

Children who have been infected with enterovirus are 48 percent more
likely to have developed type 1 diabetes, a study shows. "Type 1
diabetes is considered to be caused by complex interaction between
genetic susceptibility, the immune system, and environmental factors,"
say the authors. "Though the cue for genetic predisposition has been
elucidated, evidence also points to involvement of enterovirus (EV)
infection, including viruses such as poliovirus, Coxsackievirus A,
Coxsackievirus B, and echovirus."

Research reveals likelihood, onset of multiple sclerosis diagnosis among patients with inflammatory eye disease -- ScienceDaily

The results of the largest retrospective study of multiple sclerosis
(MS) in uveitis patients has revealed that nearly 60 percent of patients
with both diseases were diagnosed with each within a five-year span.
While it has long been known that there is an association between the
eye condition and MS, this is the first study to provide a detailed
description of the relative onset of uveitis and MS and to calculate the
likelihood of an MS diagnosis among uveitis patients.
Based on the prevalence of MS in American and European populations, the researchers found that MS is 18 times and 21 times more likely in an American and European population with uveitis, respectively, relative to the general population. The study found that MS was diagnosed before uveitis in 28 (29 percent) of patients, simultaneously in 15 (15 percent) of patients and after uveitis diagnosis in 54 (56 percent) of patients.


Major breakthrough could help detoxify pollutants -- ScienceDaily

Scientists at The University of Manchester hope a major breakthrough could lead to
more effective methods for detoxifying dangerous pollutants like PCBs
and dioxins. The result is a culmination of 15 years of research and has
been published in Nature. It details how certain organisms manage to lower the toxicity of pollutants.
The team at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology were
investigating how some natural organisms manage to lower the level of
toxicity and shorten the life span of several notorious pollutants.

Professor David Leys explains the research: "We already know that
some of the most toxic pollutants contain halogen atoms and that most
biological systems simply don't know how to deal with these molecules.
However, there are some organisms that can remove these halogen atoms
using vitamin B12. Our research has identified that they use vitamin B12
in a very different way to how we currently understand it."

Oncogenic induction of cellular high CpG methylation by Epstein-Barr virus in malignant epithelial cells.

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a well-known human herpesvirus associated
with virtually all nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) and ~10% of gastric
cancer (GC) worldwide. Increasing evidence shows that acquired genetic
and epigenetic alterations lead to the initiation and progression of NPC
and GC. However, even deep whole exome sequencing studies showed a
relatively low frequency of gene mutations in NPC and EBV-associated GC
(EBVaGC), suggesting a predominant role of epigenetic abnormities,
especially promoter CpG methylation, in the pathogenesis of NPC and
EBVaGC. High frequencies of promoter methylation of tumor suppressor
genes (TSGs) have been frequently reported in NPC and EBVaGC, with
several EBV-induced methylated TSGs identified. Further characterization
of the epigenomes (genome-wide CpG methylation profile -- methylome) of
NPC and EBVaGC shows that these EBV-associated tumors display a unique
high CpG methylation epigenotype with more extensive gene methylation
accumulation, indicating that EBV acts as a direct epigenetic driver for
these cancers. Mechanistically, oncogenic modulation of cellular CpG
methylation machinery, such as DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs), by
EBV-encoded viral proteins accounts for the EBV-induced high CpG
methylation epigenotype in NPC and EBVaGC. Thus, uncovering the
EBV-associated unique epigenotype of NPC and EBVaGC would provide new
insight into the molecular pathogenesis of these unique EBV-associated
tumors and further help to develop pharmacologic strategies targeting
cellular methylation machinery in these malignancies.

How gut bacteria ensures a healthy brain – and could play a role in treating depression

How gut bacteria ensures a healthy brain – and could play a role in treating depression

Scientists prove link between viral infection (cytomegalovirus) and autoimmune disease

Published in the leading journal Immunity, the Australian
research found that chronic cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection could lead
to the development of Sjogren's (SHOW-grins) syndrome.

CMV - a member of the herpes family - is a common viral infection
that causes mild flu-like symptoms in healthy people but can lead to
more serious illness in those with compromised immune systems.

Between 50 and 80 per cent of people in developed countries are
infected with CMV.  Although normally innocuous, given the right genetic
background, chronic viral infection with CMV can trigger autoimmunity.

"Sjogren's syndrome (SS) is the second most common autoimmune disease
in humans, affecting up to three per cent of the population or more
than four million people in the United States alone," Professor
Degli-Esposti said.

Energy drinks may pose danger to public health, researchers warn -- ScienceDaily

Increased consumption of energy drinks may pose danger to public health, especially among young
people, warns a team of researchers. Energy drinks are non-alcoholic
beverages that contain caffeine, vitamins, and sometimes other
ingredients such as taurine, ginseng, and guarana. They are typically
marketed as boosting energy and increasing physical and mental

Researcher adds to evidence linking autism to air pollutants -- ScienceDaily

A researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) has added to a growing body of evidence that links autism to air pollutants such as those generated by cars and trucks.

Amy Kalkbrenner's study, published this week online at the journal Epidemiology, showed that pollution's impact on autism rates in North Carolina is similar to results of pollution-autism studies in California -- despite weather and climate differences between the two states.

In addition, the work of Kalkbrenner and her colleagues, building on previous studies, showed that women in the third trimester of pregnancy were more susceptible to the damaging effects of air pollution on their unborn child.

Hospital contacts with infection and risk of schizophrenia: a population-based cohort study with linkage of danish national registers.

Infections and immune responses have been suggested to play an important role in the etiology of schizophrenia. Several studies have reported associations between maternal infections during pregnancy and the child's risk of schizophrenia; however, infection during childhood and adolescence unrelated to maternal infection during pregnancy has not been studied to nearly the same extent and the results are far from conclusive. Data were drawn from 2 population-based registers, the Danish Psychiatric Central Register and the Danish National Hospital Register.
We used a historical population-based cohort design and selected all individuals born in Denmark between 1981 and 1996 (n = 843 390). We identified all individuals with a first-time hospital contact with schizophrenia from 1991 through 2010. Out of the 3409 individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia, a total of 1549 individuals had had a hospital contact with infection before their schizophrenia diagnosis (45%). Our results indicate that individuals who have had a hospital contact with infection are more likely to develop schizophrenia (relative risk [RR] = 1.41; 95% CI: 1.32-1.51) than individuals who had not had such a hospital contact. Bacterial infection was the type of infection that was associated with the highest risk of schizophrenia (RR = 1.63; 95% CI: 1.47-1.82). Our study does not exclude that a certain type of infection may have a specific effect; yet, it does suggest that schizophrenia is associated with a wide range of infections. This association may be due to inflammatory responses affecting the brain or genetic and environmental risk factors aggregating in families.