Can Young Blood Help Old Brains?
Recent research in which blood from younger mice helped fight cognitive decline in older animals may offer promise for treating Alzheimer’s disease in humans one day.
A study published in JAMA Neurology reports that the blood from young mice appeared to increase brain cell generation and slow memory loss in older animals.
Researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine connected blood vessels of young and old mice to establish a shared blood supply. Older mice connected to younger mice more easily repaired their muscle and bone after an injury, compared to older mice not connected to younger mice. More experiments revealed older mice connected to younger mice experienced an increase in production of new brain cells, particularly in the area of the brain involved with memory. These results supported previous findings from a 2014 study that revealed injecting blood plasma from young mice into older mice improved learning and memory.
Young blood contains more compounds involved with tissue and muscle repair compared to older blood. Researchers also hypothesize that the “messengers” in blood, such as hormones and growth factors, may explain the rejuvenating effects.
More research is needed to see if the effects seen in mice can also occur in humans. One concern is that increasing cell generation has the potential to cause cancer.
NEXT: FDA Approves Gastric Balloon to Treat Obesity
Sourced from: livescience.com, Can Young Blood Improve Old Brains?
Published On: Aug 4, 2015
FDA Approves Gastric Balloon to Treat Obesity
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the ReShape Integrated Dual Balloon System as a weight-loss treatment option for obesity. Those who qualify for the treatment are obese adults with a BMI in the range of 30 to 40, who have not seen successful weight-loss results by modifying their lifestyle. Its use also would be limited to people with one or more obesity-related conditions, such as high blood pressure.
The Dual Balloon comprises two balloons that are inserted into the stomach and inflated. Surgery is not needed; the insertion is completed instead as an outpatient visit while the patient is mildly sedated. The doctor inserts the device using an endoscopic tube. Once properly placed, the Dual Balloon is inflated using a sterile salt solution. The Dual Balloon is meant as a temporary treatment and should be removed after six months.
While the Dual Balloon does not change the anatomy or size of the stomach, it is intended to work by making patients feel fuller faster. Patients must also adhere to a medically supervised diet and exercise regimen in addition to using the Dual Balloon—both throughout the course of the six-month treatment and after it’s removed.
The FDA approved the device after reviewing a clinical trial of 326 obese patients from ages 22 to 60 whose BMI was in the range of 30 to 40 and who had at least one obesity-related condition. Some randomly received the Dual Balloon and others acted as a constant. After six months, the 187 patients who received the Dual Balloon lost 14.3 pounds on average, or 6.8 percent of their body weight. The control group, by comparison, lost an average of 7.2 pounds. Six months following the device removal, people who used the Dual Balloon were able to keep off 9.9 pounds.
As with all medical devices, there are potential side effects, including nausea, vomiting, feelings of indigestion, abdominal pain and stomach ulcers. The Dual Balloon is not suitable for IBD patients, pregnant women, or people with active H. pylori infection, among others.
NEXT: Picky Eating Tied to Anxiety
Sourced from: medicalnewstoday.com, FDA approve dual gastric balloon for treatment of obesity
Published On: Aug 4, 2015
Americans Say They're Drinking Less Soda
A recent Gallup poll suggests that Americans aren’t drinking as much soda as they did a decade ago.
Results from the survey suggest that soda and diet soda are the top two things people are trying to remove from their diets, with 62 percent saying they avoid diet soda and 61 percent avoiding regular soda. This is a significant increase compared to a decade ago–in a 2002 Gallup poll, only 41 percent of people said they avoided soda.
More than 50 percent of people polled said they are attempting to avoid sugar in their diet. Of the 11 items listed in the survey, sugar and soda garnered negative responses from more than half the participants. Other dietary staples people said they’re trying to avoid included fat (47 percent), salt (39 percent), and carbohydrates (25 percent). Interestingly, about one-fifth (21 percent) said they now avoid gluten.
On the other hand, fruits (90 percent), vegetables (93 percent) and poultry (83 percent) were the menu items least likely to be avoided. Other foods that people said they actively try to include in their diet included red meat (63 percent), dairy products (68 percent), grains (70 percent), seafood (76 percent).
NEXT: Can Young Blood Help Old Brains?
Sourced from: livescience.com, Soda Fizzles: US Appetite for Sugary Drinks Wanes
Published On: Aug 4, 2015