How bacteria behind serious childhood disease evolve to evade vaccines

Genetics has provided surprising insights into why vaccines used in both the UK and US to combat serious childhood infections can eventually fail. The study, recently published in Nature Genetics, which investigates how bacteria change their disguise to evade the vaccines, has implications for how future vaccines can be made more effective.
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A glass of milk a day could benefit your brain

Pouring at least one glass of milk each day could not only boost your intake of much-needed key nutrients, but it could also positively impact your brain and mental performance, according to a recent study in the International Dairy Journal. Researchers found that adults with higher intakes of milk and milk products scored significantly higher on memory and other brain function tests than those who drank little to no milk. Milk drinkers were five times less likely to "fail" the test, compared to non milk drinkers.

A Large-Scale Twin Study Aims to Elucidate Common Disease | Genome Technology | Sequencing | GenomeWeb

A large-scale epigenetic study of common diseases in twins, particularly those discordant for a disease, may provide new targets for therapy.
"Identical twins and epigenetics are the ideal partners because we know there's both genetic effects and environmental effects," says Timothy Spector of King's College London. "In non-twin populations, you'd have to do studies that were perhaps 10 to 20 times as large to find the same results."
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Genetic regulation of metabolomic biomarkers: Paths to cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes

In a study to the genetic variance of human metabolism, researchers have identified thirty one regions of the genome that were associated with levels of circulating metabolites, i.e., small molecules that take part in various chemical reactions of human body. Many of the studied metabolites are biomarkers for cardiovascular disease or related disorders, thus the loci uncovered may provide valuable insight into the biological processes leading to common diseases.
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Body clock receptor linked to diabetes in new genetic study

A study recently published in Nature Genetics has found new evidence for a link between the body clock hormone melatonin and type 2 diabetes. The study found that people who carry rare genetic mutations in the receptor for melatonin have a much higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
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Immuno-microbiota cross and talk: The new paradigm of metabolic diseases.

Over the last decades the rising occurrence of metabolic diseases throughout the world points to the failure of preventive and therapeutic strategies and of the corresponding molecular and physiological concepts. Therefore, a new paradigm needs to be elucidated. Very recently the intimate cross talk of the intestinal microbiota with the host immune system has opened new avenues. The large diversity of the intestinal microbes' genome, i.e. the metagenome, and the extreme plasticity of the immune system provide a unique balance which, when finely tuned, maintains a steady homeostasis. The discovery that a new microbiota repertoire is one of the causes responsible for the onset of metabolic disease suggests that the relationship with the immune system is impaired. Therefore, we here review the recent arguments that support the view that an alteration in the microbiota to host immune system balance leads to an increased translocation of bacterial antigens towards metabolically active tissues, and could result in a chronic inflammatory state and consequently impaired metabolic functions such as insulin resistance, hepatic fat deposition, insulin unresponsiveness, and excessive adipose tissue development. This imbalance could be at the onset of metabolic diseas, and therefore the early treatment of the microbiota dysbiosis or immunomodulatory strategies should prevent and slow down the epidemic of metabolic diseases and hence the corresponding lethal cardiovascular consequences.
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Microbiota in autoimmunity and tolerance.

The composition of a host's intestinal microbiota directs the type of mucosal and systemic immune responses by affecting the proportion and number of functionally distinct T cell subsets. In particular, the microbiota composition affects the differentiation of intestinal Th17 cells and Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells, both of which play critical roles in maintaining mucosal barrier functions and in controlling immunological homeostasis. In this review, we discuss the recent advances in our understanding of how the intestinal microbiota affects T cell differentiation and host susceptibility to autoimmune disease.
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Expression of HERV-Fc1, a human endogenous retrovirus, is increased in patients with active Multiple Sclerosis.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is considered to be an autoimmune disease with unknown cause and with immune system dysregulation. Among environmental factors, viruses are most often connected with the etiology of MS.Human Endogenous Retroviruses (HERVs) constitute 5-8% of human genomic DNA and have been detected as transcripts and proteins in the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral blood, frequently in the context of neuroinflammation. The HERV-Fc1, which belongs to the HERV-H/F family, has received our attention largely because of the genetic association with MS.The authors studied the expression of a capsid (Gag) protein of HERV-H/F origin by flow cytometry in PBMCs from healthy controls and from MS patients with non-active or active disease. There was a significant increase in HERV-H/F Gag expression in CD4+ (P<0.001***) and CD8+ T lymphocytes (P<0.001***), and in monocytes (P=0.0356*) in PBMCs from MS patients with active disease. Furthermore, we have undertaken the first rigorous SYBR green-based absolute Q-PCR evaluation approach to quantify extracellular HERV-Fc1 RNA viral loads in plasma from MS patients and healthy controls. We have found a 4 fold increase in extracellular HERV-Fc1 RNA titers in patients with active MS as compared with healthy controls (P<0.001***). These findings strengthen the link between HERV-Fc1 and the pathology of MS. The cause and biological consequences of these differential expressions will be the subject of further investigation. HERV-Fc1 biology could be a compelling area for understanding the pathology of MS and possibly other autoimmune disorders.
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Antiviral CD8(+) T cells cause an experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis-like disease in naive mice.

Major histocompatibility complex class I-restricted CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes are involved in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS) and both autoimmune, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, and viral, Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV) infection, animal models of MS. Following TMEV infection, certain T cell hybridomas, generated from cloned TMEV-induced CD8(+) T cells, were able to produce clinical signs of disease (flaccid hind limb paralysis) upon adoptive transfer into naive mice. Dual T cell receptors (TCR) are present on the surface of these cells as both Vβ3 and Vβ6 were detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) screening and flow cytometry and multiple Vα mRNAs were detected by PCR screening. This is the first demonstration of antiviral CD8(+) T cells having more than one TCR initiating an autoimmune disease in the natural host of the virus. We hypothesize that this is a potential mechanism for virus-induced autoimmune disease initiated by CD8(+) T cells.

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Increased ventricular lactate in chronic fatigue syndrome. III. Relationships to cortical glutathione and clinical symptoms implicate oxidative stress

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complex illness, which is often misdiagnosed as a psychiatric illness. In two previous reports, using (1) H MRSI, we found significantly higher levels of ventricular cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) lactate in patients with CFS relative to those with generalized anxiety disorder and healthy volunteers (HV), but not relative to those with major depressive disorder (MDD). In this third independent cross-sectional neuroimaging study, we investigated a pathophysiological model which postulated that elevations of CSF lactate in patients with CFS might be caused by increased oxidative stress, cerebral hypoperfusion and/or secondary mitochondrial dysfunction. Fifteen patients with CFS, 15 with MDD and 13 HVs were studied using the following modalities: (i) (1) H MRSI to measure CSF lactate; (ii) single-voxel (1) H MRS to measure levels of cortical glutathione (GSH) as a marker of antioxidant capacity; (iii) arterial spin labeling (ASL) MRI to measure regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF); and (iv) (31) P MRSI to measure brain high-energy phosphates as objective indices of mitochondrial dysfunction. We found elevated ventricular lactate and decreased GSH in patients with CFS and MDD relative to HVs. GSH did not differ significantly between the two patient groups. In addition, we found lower rCBF in the left anterior cingulate cortex and the right lingual gyrus in patients with CFS relative to HVs, but rCBF did not differ between those with CFS and MDD. We found no differences between the three groups in terms of any high-energy phosphate metabolites. In exploratory correlation analyses, we found that levels of ventricular lactate and cortical GSH were inversely correlated, and significantly associated with several key indices of physical health and disability. Collectively, the results of this third independent study support a pathophysiological model of CFS in which increased oxidative stress may play a key role in CFS etiopathophysiology. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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PLoS Pathogens: The Circadian Clock Protein Timeless Regulates Phagocytosis of Bacteria in Drosophila

Survival of bacterial infection is the result of complex host-pathogen interactions. An often-overlooked aspect of these interactions is the circadian state of the host. Previously, we demonstrated that Drosophila mutants lacking the circadian regulatory proteins Timeless (Tim) and Period (Per) are sensitive to infection by S. pneumoniae. Sensitivity to infection can be mediated either by changes in resistance (control of microbial load) or tolerance (endurance of the pathogenic effects of infection). Here we show that Tim regulates resistance against both S. pneumoniae and S. marcescens. We set out to characterize and identify the underlying mechanism of resistance that is circadian-regulated. Using S. pneumoniae, we found that resistance oscillates daily in adult wild-type flies and that these oscillations are absent in Tim mutants. Drosophila have at least three main resistance mechanisms to kill high levels of bacteria in their hemolymph: melanization, antimicrobial peptides, and phagocytosis. We found that melanization is not circadian-regulated. We further found that basal levels of AMP gene expression exhibit time-of-day oscillations but that these are Tim-independent; moreover, infection-induced AMP gene expression is not circadian-regulated. We then show that phagocytosis is circadian-regulated. Wild-type flies exhibit up-regulated phagocytic activity at night; Tim mutants have normal phagocytic activity during the day but lack this night-time peak. Tim appears to regulate an upstream event in phagocytosis, such as bacterial recognition or activation of phagocytic hemocytes. Interestingly, inhibition of phagocytosis in wild type flies results in survival kinetics similar to Tim mutants after infection with S. pneumoniae. Taken together, these results suggest that loss of circadian oscillation of a specific immune function (phagocytosis) can have significant effects on long-term survival of infection.
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Commensal microbiota and myelin autoantigen cooperate to trigger autoimmune demyelination.

Commensal gut flora-in the absence of pathogenic agents-is essential in triggering immune processes, leading to a relapsing-remitting autoimmune disease driven by myelin-specific CD4(+) T cells.
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MicrobeWorld - Viruses con bacteria into working for them

These viruses are carrying genetic material taken from their previous bacterial hosts that tricks the new host into using its own machinery to activate the genes:

IgM-mediated autoimmune responses directed against multiple neoepitopes in depression: new pathways in inflammatory and neuroprogressive pathology

Depression is characterized by IgM-related autoimmune responses directed against a) neoepitopes that are normally not detected by the immune system but that due to damage by oxidative and nitrosative stress have become immunogenic; and b) anchorage epitopes, i.e. palmitic and myristic acids, and S-farnesyl-L-cysteine. These autoimmune responses play a role in the inflammatory and oxidative and nitrosative stress pathophysiology of depression and may mediate the cellular dysfunctions that contribute to neuroprogression, e.g. aberrations in signal transduction, cellular differentiation and apoptosis.
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Measles IgG antibody index correlates with t2 lesion load on MRI in patients with early multiple sclerosis.

B cells and humoral immune responses play an important role in the pathogenesis and diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS). A characteristic finding in patients with MS is a polyspecific intrathecal B cell response against neurotropic viruses, specifically against measles virus, rubella virus, and varicella zoster virus, also known as an MRZ reaction (MRZR). Here, we correlated from the routine clinical diagnostics individual IgG antibody indices (AIs) of MRZR with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in patients with first MS diagnosis.
Multiple sclerosis
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How viruses evolve, and in some cases, become deadly

Researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) have demonstrated how a new virus evolves, shedding light on how easy it can be for diseases to gain dangerous mutations. The findings appear in the current issue of the journal Science.

Scientists map one of life's molecular mysteries: Visualisation of the molecular gateway across and into cellular membranes

All living organisms are made up of cells, behind these intricate life forms lie complex cellular processes that allow our bodies to function. Researchers working on protein secretion -- a fundamental process in biology -- have revealed how protein channels in the membrane are activated by special signals contained in proteins destined for secretion. The results help explain the underlying mechanism responsible for the release of proteins such as hormones and antibodies into the blood stream.
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De novo CNV analysis implicates specific abnormalities of postsynaptic signalling complexes in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia

In an analysis of 18492 subjects (7907 cases and 10585 controls), case copy number variations were enriched for members of the NMDAR complex (P=0.0015) but not ARC (P=0.14). Our data indicate that defects in NMDAR postsynaptic signalling and, possibly, neuronal activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (ARC) complexes, which are known to be important in synaptic plasticity and cognition, play a significant role in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia.

Mutation drives viral sensors to initiate autoimmune disease

A new study uses a mouse model of a human autoimmune disease to reveal how abnormal regulation of the intracellular sensors that detect invading viruses can lead to autoimmune pathology. The research, published online on January 26th in the journal Immunity by Cell Press, provides key insight into mechanisms that underlie the development of autoimmune disease and may lead to more effective strategies for therapeutic intervention.
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Elevated risk factors linked to major cardiovascular disease events across a lifetime, January 25, 2012 News Release - National Institutes of Health (NIH)

This National Institutes of Health-supported study used health data from 257,384 people and was the first to look simultaneously at multiple risk factors for cardiovascular disese across age, sex, race, and birth generation.The risk equates to a summation of effects, many of which are avoidable.
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Survey of pet dogs indicates Lyme disease risk much greater than previous estimates suggest

Ticks infected with the bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi) that cause Lyme disease may be considerably more prevalent in the UK than expected, according to new research from the University of Bristol that used pet dogs as ‘sentinels’ for human disease risk.
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The common immunogenic etiology of chronic fatigue syndrome: from infections to vaccines via adjuvants to the ASIA syndrome.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is characterized by unexplained fatigue that lasts for at least 6 months with a constellation of other symptoms. Most cases start suddenly, and are usually accompanied by a flu-like illness. It is a symptom-based diagnosis of exclusion, the pathogenesis of which is unknown. Studies have examined and hypothesized about the possible biomedical and epidemiologic characteristics of the disease, including genetic predisposition, infections, endocrine abnormalities, and immune dysfunction and psychological and psychosocial factors. Recently, the AISA (autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants) syndrome was recognized, indicating the possible contribution of adjuvants and vaccines to the development of autoimmunity.
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Brown Fat Burns Ordinary Fat, Study Finds - NYTimes.com

Tecido adiposo multilocular brown adipose tissue
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Brown Fat, Triggered by Cold or Exercise, May Yield a Key to Weight Control (or excercise in a cold room !)

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Manufacturing chemicals may damage the immune system : Nature News & Comment

Perfluorinated compounds are used in food packaging and industrial manufacturing. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association now shows that elevated levels of these chemicals in human blood are associated with a threefold increase in the risk of vaccines failing to protect against diseases such as tetanus
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Diabetes Mystery: Why Are Type 1 Cases Surging?: Scientific American

For reasons that are completely mysterious, however, the incidence of type 1 diabetes has been increasing throughout the globe at rates that range from 3 to 5 percent a year. Although the second trend is less well publicized, it is still deeply troubling, because this form of the illness has the potential to disable or kill people so much earlier in their lives.
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Entry point for hepatitis C infection identified

A molecule embedded in the membrane of human liver cells that aids in cholesterol absorption also allows the entry of hepatitis C virus, the first step in hepatitis C infection, according to research at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. knocking down or blocking access to the NPC1L1 receptor prevented the virus from entering and infecting cells. This receptor (Niemann-Pick disease, type C1, gene)-like 1) is involved in cholesterol/lipoprotein physiology and also takes up Vitamin E.
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High animal fat diet increases gestational diabetes risk, study finds

Women who consumed a diet high in animal fat and cholesterol before pregnancy were at higher risk for gestational diabetes than women whose diets were lower in animal fat and cholesterol, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health and Harvard University.
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Genetic variation increases risk of metabolic side effects in children on some antipsychotics

The variant was in MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase)
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High levels of fructose consumption by adolescents may put them at cardiovascular risk, evidence suggests

Evidence of cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk is present in the blood of adolescents who consume a lot of fructose, a scenario that worsens in the face of excess belly fat, researchers report.
Childhood obesity risk factors
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Food fried in olive or sunflower oil is not linked to heart disease, Spanish study finds

Eating food fried in olive or sunflower oil is not linked to heart disease or premature death, finds a paper published in the British Medical Journal online

Gut inflammation can boost horizontal gene transfer between pathogenic and commensal Enterobacteriaceae

The mammalian gut harbors a dense microbial community interacting in multiple ways, including horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Pangenome analyses established particularly high levels of genetic flux between Gram-negative Enterobacteriaceae. However, the mechanisms fostering intraenterobacterial HGT are incompletely understood. Using a mouse colitis model, we found that Salmonella-inflicted enteropathy elicits parallel blooms of the pathogen and of resident commensal Escherichia coli. These blooms boosted conjugative HGT of the colicin-plasmid p2 from Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium to E. coli. Transconjugation efficiencies of ∼100% in vivo were attributable to high intrinsic p2-transfer rates. Plasmid-encoded fitness benefits contributed little. Under normal conditions, HGT was blocked by the commensal microbiota inhibiting contact-dependent conjugation between Enterobacteriaceae. Our data show that pathogen-driven inflammatory responses in the gut can generate transient enterobacterial blooms in which conjugative transfer occurs at unprecedented rates. These blooms may favor reassortment of plasmid-encoded genes between pathogens and commensals fostering the spread of fitness-, virulence-, and antibiotic-resistance determinants.
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Alzheimer's: French scientists focus on key target

French scientists said on Tuesday that lack of a key brain protein was linked to Alzheimer's, a finding that threw up a tempting target for drugs to fight the disease.What we've found is a weapon for controlling and modifying tau," said Etienne-Emile Baulieu of France's National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm), referring to a culprit involved in Alzheimer's.
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Cumulative Genetic Risk and Prefrontal Activity in Patients With Schizophrenia.

The lack of consistency of genetic associations in highly heritable mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, remains a challenge in molecular psychiatry. Because clinical phenotypes for psychiatric disorders are often ill defined, considerable effort has been made to relate genetic polymorphisms to underlying physiological aspects of schizophrenia (so called intermediate phenotypes), that may be more reliable. Given the polygenic etiology of schizophrenia, the aim of this work was to form a measure of cumulative genetic risk and study its effect on neural activity during working memory (WM) using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Neural activity during the Sternberg Item Recognition Paradigm was measured in 79 schizophrenia patients and 99 healthy controls. Participants were genotyped, and a genetic risk score (GRS), which combined the additive effects of 41 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 34 risk genes for schizophrenia, was calculated. These risk SNPs were chosen according to the continuously updated meta-analysis of genetic studies on available at www.schizophreniaresearchforum.org. We found a positive relationship between GRS and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex inefficiency during WM processing. GRS was not correlated with age, performance, intelligence, or medication effects and did not differ between acquisition sites, gender, or diagnostic groups. Our study suggests that cumulative genetic risk, combining the impact of many genes with small effects, is associated with a known brain-based intermediate phenotype for schizophrenia. The GRS approach could provide an advantage over studying single genes in studies focusing on the genetic basis of polygenic conditions such as neuropsychiatric disorders.
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Magic Mushrooms Could Treat Depression : Discovery News

  • Psilocybin, the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms, shuts down parts of the brain that are responsible for regulating a sense of self.
  • In controlled settings, the drug may be a useful therapeutic tool for treating depression, anxiety and other psychiatric problems.
  • In the study, the rush of the first 10 to 30 seconds induced some fear, he added, but positive feelings then immediately swept over them.
Depression risk factors and pathways
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How cells dispose of their waste

"Cellular waste disposal" – the 26S proteasome – plays an important role in protein degradation. First, misfolded and potentially dangerous proteins are tagged with molecules called ubiquitin. The 26S proteasome detects the tagged proteins and breaks them down into small fragments, which are then recycled. Scientists in the team of Wolfgang Baumeister, head of the research department "Molecular Structural Biology" at the MPI of Biochemistry, have now been able to reveal its structure.

Lifelong brain-stimulating habits linked to lower Alzheimer's protein levels

Brain scans revealed that people with no symptoms of Alzheimer's who engaged in cognitively stimulating activities throughout their lives had fewer deposits of beta-amyloid, a destructive protein that is the hallmark of the disease.
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Researchers look at effects of two common sweeteners on the body

With growing concern that excessive levels of fructose may pose a great health risk – causing high blood pressure, kidney disease and diabetes – researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, along with their colleagues at the University of Florida, set out to see if two common sweeteners in western diets differ in their effects on the body in the first few hours after ingestion. The study, recently published in the journal Metabolism, took a closer look at high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and table sugar (sucrose) and was led by Dr MyPhuong Le (now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Colorado) and Dr Julie Johnson, a Professor of Pharmacogenomics at the University of Florida.
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Eating smart: Researcher studies foods, dietary supplements that may reduce risk of prostate cancer

A Kansas State University professor is turning to nutrition to tackle prostate cancer.Lindshield is studying different dietary supplements that affect prostate cancer risk. He is focusing on extract from saw palmetto, a type of shrub that looks similar to a palm tree. Many men take saw palmetto extract because it is believed to benefit prostatic health and inhibit the same enzymes as finasteride and . But a lack of regulation and research surrounding saw palmetto has not provided clear insight into whether taking the extract is beneficial.
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Immunological characterization and transcription profiling of peripheral blood (PB) monocytes in children with autism

There exists a small subset of children with autismspectrum disorders (ASD) characterized by fluctuating behavioral symptoms and cognitive skills following insults. Some of these children also exhibit specific polysaccharide antibody deficiency (SPAD), resulting in frequent infection caused by encapsulated organisms, and they often require supplemental intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) (ASD/SPAD). This study assessed whether these ASD/SPAD children have distinct immunological findings in comparison with ASD/non-SPAD or non-ASD/SPAD children. Case description: We describe 8 ASD/SPAD children with worsening behavioral symptoms/cognitive skills that are triggered by insults. These ASD/SPAD children exhibited delayed type food allergy (5/8), treatment-resistant seizure disorders (4/8), and chronic gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms (5/8) at high frequencies. Control subjects included ASD children without SPAD (N=39), normal controls (N=37), and non-ASD children with SPAD (N=12). Discussion and Evaluation: We assessed their innate and adaptive responses, by measuring the production of pro-inflammatory and counter-regulatory cytokines by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in responses to agonists of toll like receptors (TLR), stimuli of innate immunity, and T cell stimulants. Transcription profiling of PB monocytes was also assessed. ASD/SPAD PBMCs produced less proinflammatory cytokines with agonists of TLR7/8 (IL-6, IL-23), TLR2/6 (IL-6), TLR4 (IL-12p40), and without stimuli (IL-1beta, IL-6, and TNF-alpha) than normal controls. In addition, cytokine production of ASD/SPAD PBMCs in response to T cell mitogens (IFN-gamma, IL-17, and IL-12p40) and candida antigen (Ag) (IL-10, IL-12p40) were less than normal controls. ASD/non-SPAD PBMDs revealed similar results as normal controls, while non-ASD/SPAD PBMCs revealed lower production of IL-6, IL-10 and IL-23 with a TLR4 agonist. Only common features observed between ASD/SPAD and non-ASD/SPAD children is lower IL-10 production in the absence of stimuli. Transcription profiling of PB monocytes revealed over a 2-fold up (830 and 1250) and down (653 and 1235) regulation of genes in ASD/SPAD children, as compared to normal and ASD/non-SPAD  controls, respectively. Enriched gene expression of TGFBR, Notch  and EGFR1  pathways was found in the ASD/SPAD monocytes as compared to ASD/non-SPAD controls. CONCLUSIONS: The Immunological findings in the ASD/SPAD children who exhibit fluctuating behavioral symptoms and cognitive skills cannot be solely attributed to SPAD. Instead, these findings may be more specific for ASD/SPAD children with the above-described clinical characteristics, indicating a possible role of these immune abnormalities in their neuropsychiatric symptoms.
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Are Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis and Epstein-Barr virus triggers of multiple sclerosis in Sardinia?

Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosisand Epstein Barr DNA were detected in 27.5% and 17.3%, respectively, of the Multiple Sclerosis patients
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Study identifies a new way brain cells die in Alzheimer's disease

(Medical Xpress) -- A new study challenges conventional thinking about how brain cells die in Alzheimer’s disease. The findings demonstrate a previously unknown mechanism by which the cells die and will help lead researchers in new directions for treating the degenerative brain disease. The study by scientists at the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute is published this week in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).They found that the NMDA receptor is strongly regulated by copper. If copper is prevented from regulating this key receptor, such as in Alzheimer’s disease, brain cells become over stimulated; with time they become sick and ultimately die.
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Single dose of antibiotic leaves mice highly vulnerable to intestinal infection

Yet another study adds to the growing evidence that antibiotics can disrupt the balance of the intestinal flora, with negative effects on health. A team of researchers from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, has shown in mouse models that a single dose of the commonly used antibiotic, clindamycin, wiped out nearly 90 percent of bacterial taxa, leaving the mice unusually susceptible to infection by Clostridium difficile, a bacterial pathogen that is innocuous for most health people but that can cause severe diarrhea in individuals following antibiotic treatment. Their research appears in the January issue of the journal Infection and Immunity.
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Saturated fatty acids lead to mitochondrial dysfunction and insulin resistance

Excessive levels of certain saturated fatty acids cause mitochondria to fragment, leading to insulin resistance in skeletal muscle, a precursor of type 2 diabetes, according to a paper in the January issue of the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology. This is the first time mitochondrial fragmentation has been implicated in insulin resistance, says corresponding author Yau-Sheng Tsai, of the College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan, Republic of China.
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Vulnerability of dopamine circuit development to cytokines from the periphery: implication in schizophrenia

The development of the midbrain dopamine system is vulnerable to circulating cytokines at perinatal and/or prenatal stages and potentially influences schizophrenia risk or neuropathology.
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Herpes simplex virus type 1 induces nuclear accumulation of hyperphosphorylated tau in neuronal cells.

Herpes simplex life cycle

Association analysis of 94 candidate genes and schizophrenia-related endophenotypes.

Different genes may be associated with different endophenotypes in schizophrenia - with the important genes (neuregulin and ERBB4) covering several of these parameters. 
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Disrupted body clock may prime you for schizophrenia - health - 19 January 2012 - New Scientist

Schizophrenia could be a profound form of jetlag in which the brain's central clock runs out of kilter with peripheral clocks around the rest of the body.

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Why your lack of sleep can be lethal

People with insomnia are more than five times as likely to experience anxiety and depression, are at more than double the risk of developing congestive heart failure and diabetes, and are at a higher risk of premature death
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Another clue in the mystery of autism

A new study in twins, with and without autism,  suggests that low birth weight is an important environmental factor contributing to the risk of autism spectrum disorder
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Study tests new treatments for the winter blues

English: A 30 kHz bright light therapy lamp (I...
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If winter's long nights and cold weather have you feeling depressed, a new research study could lift your spirits. The study, lead by Janis Anderson, PH.D., an associate psychologist in the Brigham and Women's Hospital Department of Psychiatry, aims to help adult (ages 21-64) men and women with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) by comparing two new types of light technologies to determine which one works better.
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Internal Medicine - Neurology Article | Association of Incident Dementia With Hospitalizations

The plant sterol brassicasterol as additional CSF biomarker in Alzheimer's disease.

Comparison of lipid parameters per diagnosis based on relevant predictors revealed significantly lower concentrations of brassicasterol in the CSF of patients with Alzheimer's patients: Brassicasterol is synthesised by several unicellular algae (phytoplankton) and some terrestrial plants, e.g., oilseed rape.
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Implication of the env gene of the human endogenous retrovirus W family in the expression of BDNF and DRD3 and development of schizophrenia

Overexpression of HERV-w env in human U251 glioma cells upregulated brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), an important schizophrenia-associated gene, neurotrophic tyrosine kinase receptor type 2 (NTRK2, also called TrkB), and dopamine receptor D3 and increased the phosphorylation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate response element-binding (CREB) protein
Thw data revealed that the transcriptional activation of HERV is associated with the development of schizophrenia in some patients and indicated that HERV-W env regulates the expression of schizophrenia-associated genes.
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HHMI News: Exercise Triggers Beneficial Cellular Recycling

Everyone knows exercise is good for you. We’re told time spent on the treadmill can reduce our risk of diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disorders. But exactly how exercise provides this protection is a bit of a mystery. A new study finds that exercise prompts cells to break down unwanted proteins and other cellular junk to produce more energy. The process, called autophagy, may explain how exercise fends off metabolic disorders like diabetes and protects against other diseases.
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Ulcer-causing bacteria baffled by mucus: Researchers discover impact of viscoelasticity on collective behavior of swimming microorganisms

A new study by engineering researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute demonstrates how introducing certain polymers -- like those found in human mucus and saliva -- into the environment makes it significantly more difficult for H. pylori and other microorganisms to coordinate.

New gene discovery unlocks mystery to epilepsy in infants

Benign familial infantile epilepsy (BFIE) has been recognised for some time as infantile seizures, without fever, that run in families but the cause has so far eluded researchers. Families with this condition have now been found to carry a variation in the PRRT2 gene (aka interferon induced transmembrane protein domain containing 1) , which may cause the protein the gene encodes to form incorrectly.

The Toxoplasma Blog: Toxoplasma gondii: Protective immunity against toxoplasmosis with recombinant actin depolymerizing factor protein in BALB/c mice

T. gondii constructing daughter scaffolds with...
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Toxoplasmosis is one of the most world-wide spread zoonosis representing a very serious clinical and veterinary problem. There is still need for vaccines for toxoplasmosis. In the present study, we evaluated the protective efficacy of a recombinant actin depolymerizing factor (ADF) subunit vaccine against Toxoplasma gondii infection in BALB/c mice: It worked -  although not by 100%..
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