Breakthrough may lead to heart attack treatment
Researchers from Temple University have found a way to potentially limit the damage to heart cells during and after a heart attack. In a study using mice, they inhibited a specific heart protein, and that both reduced damage during a heart attack and protected the heart afterwards.
The study, published in Science Translational Medicine, used mice in a way that mimicked a human clinical scenario with a blockage of an artery to induce a heart attack. The researchers then administered a protein inhibitor, which improved the cardiac function in the mice. They also found that the protein is elevated in patients suffering from heart failure, which can occur in the years after a heart attack. So the researchers engineered one group of mice to over-express that protein, known as TNNI3K, and created a second set of engineered mice without the protein.
When over-expressed, the protein promoted injury to the heart tissue through the stopping and starting of blood flow through the heart during and after a heart attack. In mice that didn’t have the protein, injury to the heart was limited, and there were reductions in heart dysfunction and hardening of the heart tissue.
Then, researchers teamed up with the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline to find compounds capable of blocking TNNI3K. The treatment of non-engineered mice with the compounds following heart attack produced similar results to those of the mice engineered without the protein.
Researchers hope they can develop a TNNI3K inhibitor that could be used in humans.
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Sourced from: Science Daily, Breakthrough Could Lead to New Treatment for Heart Attack
Childhood music lessons boost brain
Learning a musical instrument as a child gives the brain a boost that lasts into adulthood, according to research published in The Journal of Neuroscience. Researchers say that even if adults haven’t played an instrument in decades, they still tend to have a faster brain response to speech sounds.
The more years of practice, the faster the brain responded, according to the study. For the research, scientists analyzed 44 people in their 50s, 60s and 70s. Volunteers listened to a synthesized speech syllable, while researchers measured electrical activity in the brain that processes sound information.
None of the participants had played an instrument in almost 40 years, but, those who had completed between four and 14 years of music training early in their life had a faster response to speech sound, compared to those who had never been taught music.
As people get older, they experience changes in the brain that compromise hearing, such as slower response to fast-changing sounds, which is important to understand speech. Music training early in life may offset this.
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Sourced from: BBC, Childhood music lessons ‘leave lasting brain boost’
Eating disorders more common in boys than thought
Body image issues and eating disorders are assumed to mostly affect women; however, a new study reveals eating disorders are more prevalent in the male population than previously thought.
The research by doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital and published in _JAMA Pediatrics, _found that 17.9 percent of adolescent boys were extremely worried about their weight and physique. This concern was linked to a higher rate of risky behavior, such as drug use and binge drinking.
From 1999 to 2010, researchers had 5,527 teenage males complete questionnaires as part of the Growing Up Today Study every 12 to 36 months. Overall, boys are more concerned about muscularity than being thin: 9.2 percent had high concerns over muscularity, 2.5 percent were concerned about thinness, and 6.3 percent were concerned about both.
Some males who were worried about their muscularity used possible unhealthy supplements, such as growth hormone and steroids. These males were twice as likely to binge drink and use drugs as their peers. Boys worried about being thin were more likely to develop symptoms of depression.
In total, 2.9 percent of all participants had some binge-eating disorder habits, and nearly one-third had infrequent binge eating, purging or overeating.
The study results may help shed light on how to better address boys’ physical perceptions.
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Sourced from: sciencedaily.com, Eating Disorders More Common in Males Than Realized