Contribution of inappropriate complementary foods to the salt intake of 8-month-old infants.

It seems that many of our ills are self-induced . The salt intake of very young infants is way too high and this can lead to problems in later life (obesity etc): This study concludes "Clear and practical education is needed on complementary feeding practice for mothers highlighting what foods to introduce and when. Manufacturers have a responsibility to reduce the sodium content of food products "
I would add that governments have a duty to ensure that they do.


Fats encourage overeating - via endocannabinoid release

Soothing the inflamed brain: effect of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs on Alzheimer's disease pathology.

Risk factors: Alzheimer's :

Inflammation in psychotic disorders: A population-based study.

Aberrant immune responses in a mouse with behavioral disorders. (autism-like)

"Autistic mice", it seems, also have problems with their immune system  showing high levels of serum immunoglobulins (IgG and IgE) andof IgG anti-brain antibodies , increased expression of brain cytokines, especially IL-33 IL-18, and IL-1β, and an increased proportion of MHC class II-expressing microglia.

Autism genes risk factora and pathways

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The Parkinsonian Mimetic, MPP+, Specifically Impairs Mitochondrial Transport in Dopamine Axons

MPP+ effects on Dopaminergic mitochondria were completely blocked by the thiol-anti-oxidant N-acetyl-cysteine or membrane-permeable glutathione.
Parkinson's disease risk factors

Parkinson's disease gene KEGG pathways including glutathione
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Utah scientist suspects pond scum triggers brain diseases in certain people | Deseret News

Anti-ATP Synthase Autoantibodies from Patients with Alzheimer's Disease Reduce Extracellular HDL Level.

These antibodies block ATP synthase, an effect that would compromise energy supply

McDonald's CEO Defends Kids' Marketing -

Childhood obesity risk factors:


REM sleep behavior disorder is a risk factor for Parkinson's disease

Parkinson's disease genes risk factors and pathways

Impaired Cardiac Function in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome measured using Magnetic Resonance Cardiac Tagging.

This study shows clear changes in cardiac function in chronic fatigue: Basically, the heart pumps less blood per beat.
Chronic fatigue genes and risk factors

In the mind or in the brain? Scientific evidence for hyperalgesia in chronic fatigue

Chronic fatigue is often dismissed as a psychosomatic illness: however, two recent review show clear cut physiological differences in CFS patients. This one deals for evidence of increased sensitivity to pain. Chronic fatigue genes and risk factors

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One antibody to bind them all : Nature News

This concerns the influenza virus, which mutates very often: However, a small part of the influenza's haemagglutinin protein.relatively buried on the surface, does not, and is common to many viral strains. Antibodies to this region work against many influenza strains, althogh vaccination has yet to be tested.

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A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of simvastatin to treat Alzheimer disease.

Although statins have been shown to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease in some studies see Alzheimer''s risk factors , simvastatin was ineffective in patients already afflicted  with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, despite lowering cholesterol levels: 

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UK laws that encourage healthier lifestyles protect lives in England and Wales, study finds

Risk factors: Alzheimer's : Autism : Bipolar disorder : Childhood obesity: Chronic fatigue: Multiple sclerosis Parkinson's disease Schizophrenia Kegg pathways Alzheimer's Parkinson's Schizophrenia Herpes simplex infection Cystic fibrosis CFTR interactome

Fructose consumption increases risk factors for heart disease

A recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) found that adults who consumed high fructose corn syrup for two weeks as 25 percent of their daily calorie requirement had increased blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, which have been shown to be indicators of increased risk for heart disease.
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'Brain cap' technology turns thought into motion; Mind-machine interface could lead to new life-changing technologies for millions of people

Growing up on livestock farm linked to increased risk of blood cancers

As unhealthy food outlets multiply, teens eat more junk / UCLA Newsroom

Childhood obesity risk factors:

Increased risk of Parkinson's disease in methamphetamine users, study finds

Methamphetamine use was linked to a greater risk of developing Parkinsonism in this study: the compound releases dopamine and is able to kill dopaminergic neurones, so perhaps not too surprising.

New Treatment for Obesity ? | Medical News and Health Information

Well,  not yet, but a transcription factor normally asociated with cancer ( hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)) also appears to be involved in sensing glucose in the hypothalamus , and in whole body energy balance. Increasing hypothalamic HIF activity made mice resistant to obesity despite nutritional excess
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New study sheds light on role of genetics in recovering from eating disorders

Anorexia genes and risk factors

Is the parasite Toxoplasma gondii linked to brain cancer?

The long-term effects of prenatal development on growth and metabolism : prenatal gene methylation affects later obesity:.

Methylation of nitric oxide synthase (NOS3) or retinoid receptor(RXRA) genes was associated with the subsequent development of adiposity.
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Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution | USDA Petition | Jamie Oliver (US)

Incentives such as these could have a massive impact on childhood obesity problems.

Vascular Contributions to Cognitive Impairment and Dementia

The vascular input to Alzheimer's disease includes carotid artery atherosclerosis Silvestrini and others , which diminishes blood flow to the brain, and also atherosclerosis of the leptomeningeal arteries or of the circle of Willis Roher and others. Reduced cerebral blood flow, hypoxia, hypoglycaemia or ischaemia can all induce beta-amyloid deposition. Review
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Probiotic Microbes: The Scientific Basis, June 2006

This report details how beneficial microbes could represent the future of medicine, with the potential to treat a variety of diseases in humans and animals from diarrhea and eczema to gum disease and autoimmune disorders.
The microbiome: Viruses and pathogens implicated in disease

Over Half of Alzheimer's Cases May Be Preventable, Say Researchers |

Prevention is better than cure, and a concerted attack on the many preventable risk factors that together cause Alzheimer's disease could drastically cut the incidence of this curse. This is up to general practitioners and government agencies.

Alzheimer's genes risk factors and pathways

Regulatory T cell induction during Plasmodium chabaudi infection modifies the clinical course of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.

While certain infections may be dangerous, others can be protective. In this study, malaria infection in mice increases the number of regulatory T cells (Tregs) and is able to reduce the effects of Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis , an animal model of multiple sclerosis.
While not a recommended therapy, perhaps these types of effect could be harnessed in the clinic. 
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Rising UK cancer trends examined - Health News - NHS Choices

PLoS ONE: Metabolomics in Early Alzheimer's Disease: Identification of Altered Plasma Sphingolipidome Using Shotgun Lipidomics

Experimental drug raises 'good' cholesterol, may help control diabetes

The drug is a cholesteryl transfer protein (CETP inhibitor): this molecule transfers triglycerides and cholesteryl esters between lipoproteins.
See slides at LipidsonLine
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Research illuminating long-term non-progression suggests novel vaccination strategy for HIV

Study shows new evidence of age-related decline in the brain's master circadian clock / UCLA Newsroom

Extensive viral mimicry of 22 AIDS related autoantigens by HIV-1 proteins and pathway analysis of 561 viral/human homologues suggest an initial treatable autoimmune component of AIDS.

The autoantibodies seen in HIV-1/AIDS target many members of the immune network and the autoantigens are homologous to viral proteins: Antibodies raised to the virus may target the immune system because of this mimicry.
Genes and other pathogens affecting the progression of AIDS
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A cluster of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in New ... [Amyotroph Lateral Scler. 2009] - PubMed result

Knome Assists Canadian Team Identify Parkinson’s Disease Gene - Bio-IT World

The gene involved, isolated from a family with a form of inherited Parkinson's  disease, is VPS35 which is involved in the retrograde transport of proteins from endosomes to the trans-Golgi network and is a component of the retromer

Parkinson's disease genes, risk factors and pathways 

Being healthy wards off dementia and Alzheimer's:

There are many risk factors associated with dementia; Singly they might not look very impressive, but each adds an element of jeopardy and they can act together to accumulate risk. Similarly, protective agents might chip away at segments of these risk factors and a multifactorial approach to prevention -basically a healthy lifestyle avoiding the bad and favouring the good - could have a large effect.

Alzheimer's disease genes, risk factors and pathways
Vitamin A deficiency, herpes simplex reactivation and other causes of Alzheimer's disease (other infections, cholesterol, homocysteine, saturated fat and diet, diabetes, low cerebral blood flow, etc.)

European society of Cardiology:Our mission: to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease | Prevention & Rehabilitation

This site contains a number of useful webcasts relavant to cardiovascular problems, but also to obesity and degenerative disorders

Newly discovered molecule essential to resetting 'body clocks'

Promoting Public Health Toward new medication for chronic brain diseases

A robotic arm used in high-throughput screenin...Image via Wikipedia
With current technology, it is now possible to rapidly screen hundreds of thousands of molecules in bioassays in a relatively short period: The American Chemical Society has used this approach to identify small moleculed that block cholesterol synthesis in the brain, which might be useful in a number of degenerative conditions (although cholesterol is essential for brain function).
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Bodyguard for the brain: Researchers identify mechanism that seems to protect brain from aging

Knocking out the cannabis receptor CB1 makes brains age faster, with signs of memory loss and degeneration, Perhaps this is linked to the beneficial effects of cannabis in multiple sclerosis. The same receptor is also responsible for the effects of marijuana, so it is not yet a realistic target for drug development, but interesting nevertheless.
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Half of patients with Parkinson's disease and psychosis treated with antipsychotic agents, including drugs that may worsen Parkinson symptoms

Eating nuts daily could help control Type 2 diabetes and prevent complications, study suggests

The Fox and the Rabbits—Environmental Variables and Population Genetics (1) Replication Problems in Association Studies and the Untapped Power of GWAS (2) Vitamin A Deficiency, Herpes Simplex Reactivation and Other Causes of Alzheimer's Disease

Classical population genetics shows that varying permutations of genes and risk factors permit or disallow the effects of causative agents, depending on circumstance. For example, genes and environment determine whether a fox kills black or white rabbits on snow or black ash covered islands. Risk promoting effects are different on each island, but obscured by meta-analysis or GWAS data from both islands, unless partitioned by different contributory factors. In Alzheimer's disease, the foxes appear to be herpes, borrelia or chlamydial infection, hypercholesterolemia, hyperhomocysteinaemia, diabetes, cerebral hypoperfusion, oestrogen depletion, or vitamin A deficiency, all of which promote beta-amyloid deposition in animal models—without the aid of gene variants. All relate to risk factors and subsets of susceptibility genes, which condition their effects. All are less prevalent in convents, where nuns appear less susceptible to the ravages of ageing. Antagonism of the antimicrobial properties of beta-amyloid by Abeta autoantibodies in the ageing population, likely generated by antibodies raised to beta-amyloid/pathogen protein homologues, may play a role in this scenario. These agents are treatable by diet and drugs, vitamin supplementation, pathogen detection and elimination, and autoantibody removal, although again, the beneficial effects of individual treatments may be tempered by genes and environment.
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Chlamydia pneumoniae seropositivity in adults with acute ischemic stroke: A case-control study Rai NK, Choudhary R, Bhatia R, Singh MB, Tripathi M, Prasad K, Padma MV - Ann Indian Acad Neurol

New genetic clues for schizophrenia; De novo mutations more frequent, study finds

The Connection Between ADHD and Organophosphates | Psych Central

Managing ADHD with Diet | Psych Central

ADHD genes and risk factors

Mucosal Immunology - Adaptive immunity in the host-microbiota dialog

Fats Stimulate Binge Eating - Science News

This effect is mediated via cannabinoid receptors (cannabis gives you the munchies - or so I am told): This effect was mediated in the gut, so the development of cannabinoid antagonists that do not enter the brain is a possibility.
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PLoS Genetics: Genetics Meets Metabolomics: A Genome-Wide Association Study of Metabolite Profiles in Human Serum

Contact allergies may trigger immune system defences to ward off cancer

Contact allergies include those to metals such as nickel and chemicals. Other allergies to dust mites and pollen have also been linked to lower cancer rates.
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A database of antimicrobial drugs and compounds

Small Things Considered: Viruses that Infect Parasites that Infect Us: The Matryoshka Dolls of Human Pathogens

A Classic Instinct -- Salt Appetite -- Is Linked to Drug Addiction -

Cough Syrup (Dextromethorphan) Treats MS? | The Scientist

Dextromethorphan is primarily a glutamate (NMDA) receptor channel blocker: Glutamate can damage oligodendrocytes via receptor mediated toxicity Matute, 2011: dextromethorphan is relatively well tolerated, and it remains to be seen whether this will work in the clinic.
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Bifidobacteria can protect from enteropathogenic infection through production of acetate. - F1000

Activation of PKR Causes Amyloid ß-Peptide Accumulation via De-Repression of BACE1 Expression

PKR is a kinase activated by double stranded DNA from a number of viruses including herpes simplex.This study showed that PKR activation activates the beta secretase, BACE , resulting in beta-amyloid accumulation and adds to growing evidence for a role of herpes simplex as a cause of Alzheimer's disease.
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Parkinson’s: Thinking Outside the Brain’s Black Box - AlzForum Alzheimer Research News

This is a nice review of  Braak and Del Tredici's work suggesting that Parkinson's disease is likely to have a viral or pathogenic origin, starting in the periphery  - rendered all the more likely by the knowledge that both influenza (Jang et al, 2009)  and helicobacter pylori infection can kill substantia nigra neurones.

Parkinson's disease genes risk factors and pathways 

Gene therapy stimulates protein that blocks immune attack and prevents Type 1 diabetes in mice

Prenatal immune challenge compromises the normal course of neurogenesis during development of the mouse cerebral cortex.

Cheap, common drug could dramatically reduce malaria transmission in Africa

Epstein Barr virus-encoded microRNAs (in exosomes)

These viral miRNA's may play a role in controlling human genes related to cancer and the immune system and are relevant to the viruse's role in cancer and in multiple sclerosis.
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Celecoxib May Prevent Lung Cancer in Former Smokers

Exosome Explosion | The Scientist

Exosomes are vesicles secreted from mammalian cells: They help to get rid of intracellular rubbish (and pathogens' proteins) but also play a role in intercellular signalling and contain microRNA (sometimes from viruses) . They play an important role in the immune system, but also in many other tissues and cell types
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Genetics and the environment (Vitamin D) converge to dysregulate N-glycosylation in multiple sclerosis : Nature Communications : Nature Publishing Group

Susceptibility genes (IL2RAIL7RA and CTLA4 ) and the protective environmental factor, Vitamin D3, pivot around a see-saw that  controls the activity  of a glycosylation enzyme, MGAT1 , whose increased activity decreases the risk of developing multiple sclerosis , with decreased activity increasing risk.
MGAT1 regulates autoimmunity via T cell modulation Grigorian et al, 2007 and other mechanisms are discussed in this key paper

Multiple sclerosis genes risk factors and pathways 

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Stressed Out | the epigenetic effects of stress passed on through generations

The paper in CELL  "Inheritance of Stress-Induced, ATF-2-Dependent Epigenetic Change" by Seong et al, showed that an epigenetic change ( heterochromatin disruption following stress) can be passed on to the next generation. This is very important as it shows a link between environmental risk factors and genetics - polymorphisms, mutations, deletions or copy number variations are not the only way of  inheriting risk.
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Maternal nutrition: What impact does it have on gene expression?

Common Diseases Are Found to Vary by Continent -

Child sweet eating and body weight - Health news- NHS Choices

Prenatal exposure to certain antidepressants may modestly increase risk of autism spectrum disorders, study suggests

The antidepressants involved were the serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRI's) and mothers prescribed for a SSRI's were more than twice as likely to have a child later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.. This association was less evident for non-SSRI's

Other autism genes and risk factors
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Pregnancy and birth environment may affect development of autism in twins, study finds

Autism genes risk factors and pathways

Effects of artificial sweeteners on body weight, food and drink intake.

Far from benefiting body weight, long term treatment with  saccharin, cyclamate or  acesulfame-K based sweeteners, and aspartame increased body weight in mice.
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Energy Density, Portion Size, and Eating Occasions: Contributions to Increased Energy Intake in the United States, 1977–2006

One third of all US adults (over 72 million people) are now classified as obese :  The number of daily meals and snacks consumed by U.S. adults rose from 3.8 in 1977 to 4.8 in 2006. The Medcape today byline is simple "Study Finds Americans Are Eating More" . In simple terms, they eat too much .

Other recent posts suggest that saturated fat as well a toxins in sugar-free drinks are also able to kill hypothalamic neurones in appetite control centres.

These combined effects are not just about obesity: The associated medical conditions (diabetes, heart disease, atherosclosis, liver failure, Alzheimer's and probably many more) are killing people - unnecessarily, -  and the problem is being exported to other countries by the expansion of western "culture".

 Childhood obesity risk factors
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The Power Of Vitamin D - Science News

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a host of infections and diseases and many are aruing for much higher daily reccomended intakes.
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The oral metagenome in health and disease. [ISME J. 2011]

The oral  microbiome in this study differed in those with and without dental caries, and a number of extracts from those with healthy teeth inhibited the growth of bacteria associated with caries : A bacterial toothbrush.
The microbiome in health and disease

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Childhood overweight after establishment of the gut microbiota:the role of delivery mode, pre-pregnancy weight and early administration of antibiotics

Maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index and antibiotics in infancy affect the the risk of being overweight in later childhood: The antibiotic effect may perhaps be related to the microbiome . 
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Are Toxins in Seafood Causing ALS, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's? | Mental Health | DISCOVER Magazine

The original ALS paper was published some time ago in 2009

A cluster of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in New Hampshire: A possible role for toxic cyanobacteria blooms Caller et al, 2009
ß-methylamino-L-alanine is a neurotoxin, also found in cycad plants, that has also been  linked to Parkinson's disease and dementia

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Gastric bacterium Helicobacter pylori protects against asthma

Pathogens can have both beneficial and dangerous effects: H.Pylori causes peptic ulcers and gastric cancer and has also been implicated in Alzheimer's and Parkionson's disease - : About 50% of the world's population are infected with H.Pylori - (but not all develop ulcers): The authors relate the effects on asthma to the hygiene hypothesis: Bugs and dirt in small doses at an early age correctly affect the immune system and this is good - but if the immune system has not been correctly primed, infections at a later age can be dangerous.

Pre-pregnancy diet affects the health of future offspring, mouse study suggests

It is known that events during pregnancy can markedly affect the development of the offspring and also the risks of developing diseases much later in life, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This study ( in mice) showed that poor diet prior to conception (even when the diet was normal in pregnancy) also had effects on the offspring , including altered insulin sensitivity. This is likely to go even further - for example famines have been associated with an increased incidence of both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder at later dates.
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FDA Drug Safety Communication: Children born to mothers who took Valproate products while pregnant may have impaired cognitive development

Depakote or sodium valproate are histone deacetylase inhibitors. The reasons for their undeniable effectiveness in epilepsy or bipolar disorder are not clearly understood, but histones play a crucial role in DNA packaging and this would explain the teratogenic and longer term effects of these compounds.

Bipolar disorder genes risk factors and pathways :
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Nutrition and Alzheimer's disease: the detrimental role of a high carbohydrate diet.

High intakes of sugar, particularly fructose, could well be implicated in Alzheimer's disease according to this review. Alzheimer's disease genes risk factors and pathways