Yo-yo dieting alters brain's response to stress: study - Yahoo! News UK

Tiny blood vessels show pollution, heart disease link - Yahoo! News UK

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Hospitalizations For Eating Disorders Among Young Kids Rose 119% In 7 Years

More startling epidemiological figures from the US, this time related to childhood eating disorders.

Cells' 'power plants' damaged in some autistic kids | Reuters

Mitochondrial inefficiency may contribute to autism. This type of effect is common to many diseases including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia RSS feed

Mitochondria posts 

Diabetes may clamp down on cholesterol the brain needs

This is interesting: Despite the fact that too much peripheral cholesterol can cause Alzheimer's like pathology in mice, the brain needs cholesterol to function efficiently. It contains more cholesterol than any other organ , which it synthesises itself. This synthesis is impaired in diabetes models.

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Vitamin D And Bone Health, Cancer And Diabetes Prevention, Plus Hypertension Reduction

More on the wonders of Vitamin D, together with details on the recommended dietary allowance

Vitamin D posts
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A systematic screen for protein–lipid interactions in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Many lipids including diverse phosphatidylinositol phosphates and sphingolipids are signalling molecules in cascades evoked by numerous transmitters or growth factors. This paper describes a lipidomics/proteomics approach to define which proteins bind to which lipids in yeast, and identified many potential and novel signalling networks
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Age-related Degeneration Reversed In Mice For The First Time

Animation of the structure of a section of DNA...Image via Wikipedia
Telomeres , at the ends of chromosomes,  are like the caps on the end of shoelaces and similarly prevent DNA unravelling, which has been associated with ageing. They are controlled by telomerase and switching on telomerase had dramatic effects on ageing processes in this research.
Three identical shoelaces tipped with three di...Image via Wikipedia

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Sharing Pathogenetic Mechanisms between Acute Myocardial Infarction and Alzheimer's Disease as Shown by Partially Overlapping of Gene Variant Profiles

Myocardial infarction  commonly known as heart attack

One of the many puzzling things about late-onset  Alzheimer's disease is that one could argue that it in fact  protects against a number of other diseases. After all, Alzheimer's disease patients are generally old and have survived to this age without succumbing to heart attacks, strokes or other fatalities.  Could some of the genes identified be protective ?

Atherosclerosis /Alzheiemers genes Pubmed

Shared atherosclerosis and Alzheimer's genes
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Can Aspirin Treat And Prevent Depression?

Using a retrospective analysis. this group found that women taking aspirin or statins (yet again) were less susceptible to depression, supporting the idea that immune and inflammatory mechanisms may contribute to major depresive disorders. 
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Superantigens could be behind several illnesses

Superantigens could be behind several illnesses

Being Too Clean Can Make People Sick

This is in line with the hygiene hypothesis which states that exposure to mivcrobes can have beneficial effects on the efficiency of the immune system, and that excessive cleanliness can lead to autoimmune problems: This study showed that Bisphenol , a common ingredient of plastic, or tha antimicrobial  triclosan can affect cytomegalovirus infection
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Virology Journal: Metagenomic analysis of the turkey gut RNA virus community

We know that bacteria infest our intestines: This paper shows that a large number of viruses also inhabit our guts (or in this case Turkeys): This markedly extends the microbiome .

Danish experts cook up high-protein anti-obesity diet - Yahoo! News UK

It is not the calories that matter: It's what is in the food. We need some of everything to sustain our diverse biological needs, and this group have worked out a new diet that takes this into account.

Memory restorative role of statins in experimental dementia: an evidence of their cholesterol dependent and independent actions.

More data suggesting that you can induce dementia (in mice) with dietary factors, this time a high fat diet that increases cholesterol levels: Pitavastatin and simvastatin (lipophilic statins) and  fluvastatin all  had beneficial effects on the memory loss and all lowered serum cholesterol. However fluvastatin did not affect the brain biochemical changes, suggesting effects unrelated to cholesterol lowering may be at work. Very interesting.
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Associations of impaired behaviors with elevated plasma chemokines in autism spectrum disorders.

First New Treatment for Lupus In 50 Years | Biology | Discoveries and Breakthroughs Inside Science

First New Treatment for Lupus: The drug is a monoclonal antibody Benlysta
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Pomegranate Juice Does a Body Good | Medical News and Health Information

Pomegranate Juice Does a Body Good


Chronic High Cholesterol Diet Produces Brain Damage

A high Cholesterol diet in rats produces most of the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease including memory loss, cholinergic dysfunction, inflammation, beta-amyloid deposition and tau phosphorylation.

These environmental risk factors thus appear to be much more important than the genes, although these evidently define our susceptibility to factors such as hypercholesterolemia. Another risk factor, herpes simplex also causes entorhinal cortex and hippocampal damage along with memory loss in mice Armien et al, 2010 : We can't do anything about our genes, but the risk factors can be attacked.
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cholesterol diet

Regulation of immune-modulatory genes in left superior temporal cortex of schizophrenia patients: a genome-wide microarray study.

These data confirm an important role for the immune system in schizophrenia
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Loss of Clusterin Limits Atherosclerosis in Apolipoprotein E-deficient Mice via Reduced Expression of Egr-1 and TNF-α

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Cannabis Compounds Found To Trigger Unique Immune Cells Which Promote Cancer Growth

This may be very relevant to the reported benefits of cannabis in multiple sclerosis
  • delta-9 tetahydrocannabinol THC
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Bacteria and Asthma: Untangling the Links | Science/AAAS

Promising Data Presented On Novel Approach In Multiple Sclerosis

Olesoxime (TRO19622) from Trophos promotes remyelination and oligodendrocyte growth in cell and animal models
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WikiGenes - Evolutionary Knowledge

Wikigenes is a science and gene Wiki that anyone can edit after registering at the site. It has a very simple editing system that can link to genes and pubmed articles. The idea is that anyone with useful information on a gene, disease or biological pathway can input data, eventually resulting in a very useful digest. It only takes a few minutes to input data, and the site creates collaborative links between groups with similar interests.

 For example DISC1

The editor of Nature Genetics has also commissioned a collaborative standards paper on Genome Wide Association Studies to be culled from this Wikigenes page

Why not try it ?

Collection: Integrative Biology

A collection of open access articles on Integrative Biology from Nature

Microbiology: The new germ theory : Nature News

We are not alone , and the bacteria that infest us form an integrated part of our biology. Studies of the microbiome are nicely illustrated in this review.
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PharmaLive: Chimerix's Broad-Spectrum Antiviral CMX001 Shown in Animal Model to be a Potent Inhibitor of Herpes Simplex Viruses

This is good news, particularly as this drug is able to rid the brain of the virus (in animal studies)

Findings Suggest New Cause, Possible Treatment For Multiple Sclerosis

This study suggested that acrolein, a very common envirinmental polluant might be responsible for demyelination, in mice. These effects can be blocked by hydralazine

Something Else May Be Causing Obesity Epidemic, Apart From Diet And Lack Of Exercise

According to the authors, this something else could be a virus or  other pathogen , a toxin or environmental contaminant. The epidemic as apparently also affecting animals as well.

Schizophrenia is associated with an increase in cortical microRNA biogenesis

The  microRNA species involved target many interesting pathways relevant to schizophrenia including those involved in synaptic plasticity . Very interesting and more to add to the puzzle.
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Depression May Be Both Consequence Of And Risk Factor For Diabetes

Write text here...
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Top 7 immunology papers - The Scientist - Magazine of the Life Sciences

Top 7 immunology papers - The Scientist - Magazine of the Life Sciences

Majority Of Americans Will Have Diabetes Or Pre-Diabetes By 2020 - With Huge Financial Costs

There are some startling figures coming from the USA; 1 in 5 with mental illness,  a 22 % increase in ADHD and now a prediction that over half of America will soon suffer from diabetes. Our genes are not changing at this speed and it is surely time to focus on the environmental risk factors that could be responsible for these figures. 

Reading the Signs: Plants and Animals Found Common Ground in Response to Microbial Threats « Berkeley Lab News Center

The microbial defensive measures of plants and animals are more closely related than previously thought, suggesting that studies of either may be of use to both.

Diabetes drug may help Alzheimer's - Yahoo! News UK

Diabetes metformin
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Vytorin Protects Chronic Kidney Disease Patients From Major Vascular Events

This may be indirectly related to the previous post on albumin; High levels are a symptom of  kidney disease

Protein In The Urine: A Warning Sign For Cognitive Decline

Higher levels of albumin  (albuminuria )predicted cognitive decline in this study . This is a routine test that could be used to suggest diets and therapy to ward off the effects of ageing - presumably Alzheimer's disease included.
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Functional amino acids regulate key metabolic pathways

Amino acids are not there just to make proteins, and many have important effects on signalling networks, and metabolic pathways , or in the life of the cell, for example arginine as a nitric oxide precursor, or glutathione as an antioxidant. This area of research in general is apparently neglected.
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Gene links to anorexia identified: Largest genetic study of the eating disorder detects common and rare variants

Gene links to anorexia identified: Largest genetic study of the eating disorder detects common and rare variants

Why DNA Doesn't Always Predict Disease - Newsweek

GWAS may not be the way forward - as this article discusses

Scientists Discover That Bacteria Use 'Toxic Darts' To Disable Each Other

A sort of host-pathogen interaction, but this time betwen the pathogens themselves. Do these darts also aim at the mammalian hosts ?

Kegg pathways traced out by schizophrenia susceptibility genes

Over 600 genes have been implicated in schizophrenia, and GWAS studies have continued to subscribe to the idea of multiple genes of small effect. Kegg pathway analysis of these genes highlights some well known pathways that have already been described , including long term potentiation and oxidative stress refs dopamine pathways refs neuregulin and growth pathways refs and adhesion pathways refs among others, as might be expected in the context of schizophrenia pathology. A large number of immune-related  pathways are covered by the these genes again in agreement with prior data refs. In addition, several pathogen entry pathways are highly represented with toxoplasmosis  refs heading the list. Viral entry pathways are also prominent refs , supporting the idea that genes and pathogens are interdependent refs. Many pathways thus contribute to different endophenotypes and pathological processes in schizophrenia.

Other pathways

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Videolectures category: Science

This is a very useful site of free video lectures in many areas of science

The Pericyte Becomes A Player In Alzheimer's, Other Neurodegenerative Diseases

Pericytes were found to be key regulators of cerebral blood flow in these experiments - an adequate supply of blood is crucial to neuronal function and survival, and this is highly relevant to Alzheimer's disease and other degenerative disorders.
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Novel immune response to gluten in individuals with schizophrenia

Gluten antibodies are also elevated in schizophrenia , supporting reported links between celiac disease and schizophrenia
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Markers of gluten sensitivity and celiac disease in recent-onset psychosis and multi-episode schizophrenia.

This study reported the presence of increased antibodies to gliadin in patients with recent onset psychosis. Gliadin is present in wheat and other cereals and is involved in gluten formation
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The cell biology of hepatitis C virus...

A useful open access review on the Hepatitis C life cycle
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Early Events in XMRV infection of wild-derived mouse, Mus pahari.

This model should allow testing of the chronic fatigue and prostate cancer links
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Promising new multiple sclerosis treatment under development

The drug concerned is ATL313 (RSS feed) an A2A adenosine receptor agonist
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E. coli infection linked to long-term health problems

E. coli infection can lead to problems occuring much later than the infection itself. These include increased risk of hypertension, renal impairment, heart attack or stroke
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PLoS Genetics: Endogenous Viral Elements in Animal Genomes

This is an important paper. What is also important is that viral proteins contain sequences that match those in our own proteins . Upon infection they can therefore seed havoc by acting as dummy ligands and decoy receptors or enzymes, or by intercalating with protein interactome networks. This is illustrated at this site
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Deletion of CD14 Attenuates Alzheimer's Disease Pathology by Influencing the Brain's Inflammatory Milieu.

CD14 is a pattern recognition receptor for bacterial lipopolysaccharide
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Olive Oil Protects Liver | Medical News and Health Information

Olive oil is part of the Mediterranean diet. In this study virgin olive oil partially protected liver damage in rats fed the herbicide 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid
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APP Processing Induced by Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV-1) Yields Several APP Fragments in Human and Rat Neuronal Cells.

 HSV-1 infection of neuronal cell lines induces APP cleavage and the generation of toxic amyloid species. More evidence for a cardinal role of viral infection in Alzheimer's disease .

Database of genetic studies of bipolar disorder.

This useful database from the University of Chicago can be accessed here

Positive Bipolar disorder gene association studies are also available at the PolygenicPathways site


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γ-Secretase Gene Mutations in Familial Acne Inversa | Science/AAAS

Mutations in any of presenilin enhancer 2 ( PSENEN ), presenilin or nicastrin , all components of the gamma secretase complex are responsible for acne inversa

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Novel approach shows promise for cystic fibrosis

Information on VX-770 from the cystic fibrosis foundation

Vitamin C: A potential life-saving treatment for sepsis

A simple remedy for a common hospital problem

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1 in 5 had mental illness in 2009 - Health - Mental health - msnbc.com

This is a huge figure, but one that testifies to the scourge of mental illness.
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New drug targets vitamin D receptors in hormone resistant prostate cancers

More on the seemingly miraculous effects of Vitamin D (see posts) this time in prostate cancer therapy.

This drug is a potent agonist at vitamin D receptors

JAMA -Infection With Transmissible Strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Clinical Outcomes in Adults With Cystic Fibrosis

Bacterial and fungal, as well as viral  infection (database)  is a serious problem in cystic fibrosis and contributes to the pathology of the disease.

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Why estrogen makes you smarter

Neuronal dendrite formationImage by TheJCB via Flickr
Oestrogen has beneficial effects on dendritic spine development. Dendritic spines are poorly developed in schizophrenia and other conditions and harnessing this effect could be useful refs  
However oestrogen also increases cancer,  stroke and other risks, and specificity is currently a problem.
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Scientists Identify Antivirus System

Scientists Identify Antivirus System

Chemicals In Cigarette Smoke, Auto Exhaust And French Fries Accelerate The Development Of Alzheimer's Disease

These are type 2 alkenes that can cause synaptic damage  . Their effects can be blocked by curcumin, resveratrol and  phloretin. These compounds, derived from curry , wine and fruit are relevant to the delaying effects of certain diets in relation to Alzheimer's disease (see database)

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Clock affects RNA splicing - The Scientist - Magazine of the Life Sciences

More on the importance of CLOCK genes and circadian rhythms as well as epigenetics . The clock regulates the expression of protein arginine methyl transferase 5 ( PRMT5 ) which then goes on to affect the splicing machinery related to other genes.
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Rat dad's diet affects pups - The Scientist - Magazine of the Life Sciences

This is  a first , suggesting that epigenetic changes in a father's genes, due to diet can affect the gene expression and beghaviour of the offspring, in this case leading to diabetes like changes. 
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Cholesterol drug 'kills bacteria' - Yahoo! News UK

This is a very useful side-effect of statins. In fact, given the implication of bacteria in atherosclerosis refs and Alzheimer's disease refs , perhaps this contributes to their clinical effects.

Increasing Prevalence of Parent-Reported Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Among Children --- United States, 2003 and 2007

This CDC study reports a 21.8% increase in parent-reported cases of ADHD in America in 2007, a startling figure. There must surely be an environmental influence at work, in a disease that is reaching epidemic proportions.
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Acute Inhibition of PKA Activity at Old Ages Ameliorates Age-Related Memory Impairment in Drosophila -- Yamazaki et al. 30 (46): 15573 -- Journal of Neuroscience

A drug for old age related memory loss in the pipeline? Well in Drosophila at least,  but this may lead to higher things.
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Immune system involved in depression, animal study suggests

This study suggests that cytokine antogonists , in this instance interleukin-6 could perhaps be used as antidepressants. It also shows how immune activation can lead to behavioural changes.
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Obesity gene leads to overeating - life - 16 November 2010 - New Scientist

The gene is  FTO  which triggers overeating in mice

Researchers link cerebral malaria to epilepsy, behavior disorders

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