Monday, December 31, 2018

African Folk Remedy's for Seizures Molecular Mechanism discovered

  The leaf extract from the shrub Malotus oppositifolius helps to control seizures. Now researchers at UC Irvine have identified two components from the leaf extract activate KCNQ2/3, a potassium channel essential for controlling electrical activity in the brain.   These two components together are highly effective at activating these potassium ion channels and preventing seizures.
  Isovaleric acid, a component of valerian root is one of these active compounds in this African folk remedy.
Nat Comun. 2018;9(1):3845

Stiff Aorta Predicts Dementia

  From the Cardiovascular Health Study, researchers found that individuals with high carotid-femoral pulse wave velocities (consistent with increased aortic stiffness) were 60% more likely to develop dementia during the following 15 years.
J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;66(1):297-306

High Cortisol Associated with Impaired Memory

  From the Framingham heart study, researchers found that middle-aged individuals with high levels of cortisol in their blood have impaired memory compared to those with normal cortisol.
  Hmm...stay tuned.
Neurology. 2018 Oct 24

Good Sleep Quality to Improve Sport-related Concussion in the Young

  From researchers out of Texas, young athletes with good sleep quality after a sports-related concussion are more likely to recover within two weeks compared to those with poor quality sleep.
  Guide to parent's to improve their child's sleep: avoid electronics one hour before bedtime, establish a regular sleep schedule and encourage 8-10 hours of sleep each night.
American Academy of Pediatrics 2018 Annual Conference

Migraine Prevention in Pregnancy

  A review of the literature from researchers at UCSF indicate that only amitriptyline and LOW DOSE propanolol (ie, 30-40mg per day) have sufficient data to classify them as compatible during pregnancy. Higher doses of propanolol may cause intra-uterine growth retardation.

Contact Lawmakers to Support Brain Research !

  From researchers in the Netherlands, half of all women and one-third of all men will develop dementia, stroke or Parkinsonism.
  Please support the American Academy of Neurology's (and this neurologist's) advocacy efforts to continue funding of the BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) initiative by contacting your representatives in congress and the senate.

Sing to Feel and Move Better with Parkinson's !

  From kinesiology researchers at Iowa State, singing improves motor symptoms, mood and decreases physiologic indicators of stress in patient's with Parkinson's disease. Also improved were swallowing and respiratory control. 
  The mechanism is unkown.
Society for Neuroscience 2018

Saturday, December 29, 2018

How Often are Staring Spells in Kids due to Seizures ?

   Staring spells are not uncommon in kids. From researchers at Emory, 2,818 patients were reviewed that presented to the new onset pediatric seizure clinic for evaluation of staring spells.
  About half were found to have epilepsy.
Annual Meeting of Child Neurology 2018

Stuttering: Major Breakthrough in Treatment !

  From researchers in Houston, nine patients that had stuttering speech aged 18 to 80 were treated for 10 days using noninvasive magnetic brain stimulation (TRPMS, invented at Weill Cornell in New York). All study participants significantly improved in fluency. In other words, it works.
  Next will be followup studies looking at functional MRI changes in treated individuals and an assessment of best treatment frequency.
ANA Annual Meeting 2018
More info at Seraya Medical Systems

Tremor in PD? Skip the Knife

  From neuropsychologists at the U of Virginia, focused ultrasound thalamotomy (that strategically makes a hole deep in the brain) improves the quality of life in patient's with drug resistant tremor associated with Parkinson's disease.
Neurology 2018. 91(14):e1275-e1284

Concussion or Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Increases Risk of Suicide

  From a review of the literature from 1963 to 2017, researchers in Toronto found that experiencing a concussion or mild traumatic brain injury was associated with a twofold higher risk of suicide as well as suicide attempts and suicidal ideation.
JAMA Neurol. 2018 Nov 12

Appendectomy to Decrease Risk of Parkinson's Disease ? Maybe...Stay Tuned

  The vermiform appendix was once considered to be a vestigial (left over, no longer used) organ. There is now evidence that the appendix plays a major role in the regulation of the immune system especially regulation of gut bacteria.
  From the largest of these epidemiologic related studies that reviewed the health records of 1.6 million Swedes that the incidence of PD was 19.3% lower in those that had their appendix removed.
  This data suggests that the appendix may be a reservoir of alpha-synuclein (the protein that accumulates in excess in the brain's of Parkinson's and related conditions (DLB).
  Since only 1% of the population gets PD it has been postulated that some, as yet unknown, confluence of events (such as an environmental trigger) that alters the gut microbiome decades before the disease is evident that mediates the risk of Parkinson's.
Sci Transl Med. 2018;10(465)

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Cause Found for Polio-like Acute Flacid Myelitis in Children

  Sporadic outbreaks of Enterovirus (EV) type A71 cause several syndromes, mostly affecting children less than 5 years of age and occur in spring to fall months in North America.
  Syndromes include : pharyngitis, gastroenteritis, exanthems such as the so-called hand/foot/and mouth disease and the severe neurologic syndromes including meningitis, encephalitis, and AFM with flaccid paralysis.
  EV-A71 was identified in nasopharyngeal or rectal specimens BUT very Rarely from spinal fluid.
MMWR Morb Wkly Rep 2018 Sep 14;67:107

Prevalence of Low Back Pain has Increased 100% in the Last Decade

  Low back pain is a major cause of disability and is a major public health issue.
  Occupational exposure that includes hard work, frequent standing, sitting, bending, twisting and concentration demands are risk factors for low back pain (Occup Environ Med 1997;54:742). 
The prevalence of low back pain has increased 100% in the last decade (F1000Research 2016;5:1530)
  The finding of this study provides significant evidence Lumbosacral Radiculopathy can be considered a work related disease especially those jobs that depend on exposure to bending of the trunk, carrying and lifting.
  Of note, there was NOT an association between professional driving or sitting and LRS.
Neurology 2018 Sep 18;91:558

TAI CHI Most Effective For Fall Prevention

  Researchers in Oregon studied elders at high risk for falls. Tai ji quan (better known as Tai Chi) was found to be superior at decreasing risk of falls in this population compared to previously emphasized mutimodal exercise : (strengthening, aerobic training, balance training and flexibility exercises) and stretching.
JAMA INT MED 2018 Sep 10

Friday, October 19, 2018

Areas in Brain Actually Identified that are Associated with Analgesia In Nerve Pain with CANNABIS. WOW.

  The anterior cingulate gyrus (ACC) and dorsolateral pre-frontal cortex (DLPC) are functionally involved in THC-induced analgesia in chronic neuropathic pain.
 Neurology. 2018;91:e1285-e1294

Light Exposure may Improve Agitation, Mood and Sleep in Dementia

  LED table lights and individual room lights were placed where patients spent most of their waking hours. The lights were turned on when folks woke up and remained on until 6 PM.
  Exposure to light stimulates the circadian system early in the day significantly decreasing scores for sleep disturbances, agitation and depression compared with placebo.
Sleep Health. 2017;3(3):204-215

Cardiovascular Risk Increases with Binge Drinking in Men

  Higher blood pressure, higher blood sugar, and higher cholesterol are associated with young men that binge drank as many as 12 times per year compared with non-binge drinkers.
  Binge drinking women did not have affected systolic blood pressures or total cholesterol.
J Am Heart Assoc. 2018;7(13)

Eye Conditions Affect Alzheimer's Risk

  People with recent diagnoses of diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma as well as well established age-related macular degeneration may have an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease.
  Cataract diagnosis was not a risk factor for AD.
Alzheimers Dement. 2018 Aug 2

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

New Treatment for Early Memory Troubles ?

  There is a clinical trial in phase 3 led by a researcher at Wake Forest which found earlier that participants that took a long-acting intranasal insulin demonstrated improved cognition in adults with mild cognitive impairment.
  Results will be made  public in 12 months. Fingers crossed for some kind of breakthrough.
  MCI (mild cognitive impairment) is a neurological disorder that occurs in older adults which manifests as cognitive impairment BUT NOT impairment in activities of daily living.
First reported in J Alzheimers Dis 2015;44(30:897-906 20

Monday, September 3, 2018

Low Fasting Insulin Doubles the Risk of Dementia

  A recent study confirmed a shocking finding of 14 years ago (which studied 2,568 Japanese American men) that low fasting insulin in middle age doubles the risk of dementia in later years.
  Insulin deficiency itself is one of the key components of Alzheimer's and that low levels of insulin or insulin resistance are associated with poor brain function.
  These researchers concluded that low insulin must involve a new pathway to dementia different from the well-known metabolic pathway in diabetes.
  Reduced brain metabolism may not be the factor linking low insulin to dementia but rather it may be the role of insulin as a growth factor maintaining the function of neurons that may be vital.
Neurology 2018:Epub 2018 Jul 11

Sunday, September 2, 2018

ADHD Drugs BAD for Healthy College Students

  Neuroscience researchers at Brown U and URI found that healthy students taking 30 mg of Adderall daily did improve in attention and focus (as expected in those taking a stimulant) but that effect failed to translate to enhanced performance on a battery of neurocognitive tasks that measured reading comprehension and fluency as well as short-term memory.
  The investigators concluded that not only are individuals taking stimulants not benefitting from it academically but in fact they could be negatively affecting their performance.
Pharmacy (Basel). 2018;6(3).

Increased Risk of Multiple Sclerosis Relapse in Women with Abortion

  Elective or spontaneous abortion seems to be associated with radiologic and clinical inflammatory relapse in women with Multiple Sclerosis according to data from eight Italian MS centers.
  Elective abortion was associated with the higher relapse rate at 70% compared to 47% for miscarriages.
  Higher stress was suggested as a factor in the elective abortion group.
  The hypothesis for these findings suggests up-regulation of pro-inflammatory mechanisms usually occurring in the first trimester.
  Women should be informed of the risks for disease reactivation.
J Neurol Neurosg Psychiatry 2018;Epub 2018 Jul 3

Want a Large Family ? There May be an Increased Risk of Alzheimer's in Women

  According to researchers in South Korea, women who have given birth to more than five children have a much higher risk of having Alzheimer's disease compared to those with fewer children or no children.
  Women who had five or more complete pregnancies demonstrated a 1.7-fold greater risk of AD than those that completed one to four completed pregnancies or no completed pregnancies.
  High levels of estrogen during pregnancy and the abrupt withdrawal of estrogen after childbirth may be harmful to neurons and decrease cognitive reserve.
  Based on this result, researchers are planning to develop pulse hormone replacement therapy that can induce similar hormonal changes to those in the first trimester of pregnancy to evaluate it's effectiveness in reducing the risk of Alzheimer's in women.
  This reviewer does not advocate having fewer or no children as a consequence of this study.
Neurology 2018 Epub July 18

Monday, August 27, 2018

Excessive Drooling ? New Treatment Approved by FDA

  Xeomin (incobotulinumtoxinA) for the treatment of chronic sialorrhea in adults (ages 20-80) such as that seen in Parkinson's disease. Also those adults with cerebral palsy, MSA, PSP.
  100 units is injected into 4 sites in submandibular glands bilaterally.
  NB! Exclusionary criteria: patients on coumadin, + history of Myesthenia Gravis, Lambert-Eaton syndrome, ongoing substance abuse, cognitive impairment < 23/30 on Mini Mental Status exam.
  I use atropine opthalmic drops under the tongue with great success in select patients in my practice. ID : NCTO1653132

Minor Stroke ? Opt NO for t-PA

  Patients with mild ischemic stroke did not benefit from treatment with the clot busting agent alteplase at 90 days compared to aspirin (325 mg) alone according to the PRISMS Trial phase IIb.
JAMA. 2018 Jul 10;320(20):156-166

Maybe Bad News or Male Truckers

  According to a study presented at the 70th AAN annual meeting, people with consistently high occupational exposure to diesel exhaust may have a higher risk of ALS.
  Men with any diesel exhaust at jobs held for at least 10 years were 20% more likely to develop ALS than men with no exposure.
  For men with a 50% likelihood of diesel exhaust exposure due to their occupation, the link was stronger ie. 45% more likely to develop ALS.
  NO association was observed with women with such exposure.
AAN 70th Annual Meeting 2018

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Fact: It's Harder to get a Good Night's Sleep When we're Older

  According to an animal study, disruption in sleep patterns and it's consequent threat to their well-being occurs in mammals because advancing age impairs the ability of the circadian clock to reset itself when exposed to light.
  Further, age results in a dramatic reduction in sensitivity to light in the suoprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), the part of the brain that controls circadian rhythms.
  In one SCN pathway studied in mice, a glutamate receptor (NMDA) which is used to transmit light information became less effective in resetting the circadian clock and exhibited a markedly decreased presence as a part of the aging process.
Neurobiol Aging. 2018 Feb 20

Women's Fertility Not Affected by Epilepsy

  According to researchers who examined data from the Women with Epilepsy: Pregnancy Outcomes Study and compared fertility rates between women with and without epilepsy, women's fertility was not adversely affected by epilepsy.
  In women without a history of infertility, the likelihoodof conceiving and having a live birth was no different between women with epilepsy and those without.
JAMA Neuro. 2018 Apr 30

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Insulin Resistant Diabetic ? Make the Bedroom DARKER !

  According to research presented at the APSS annual meeting in Baltimore in June a single night of light exposure during sleep may acutely affect insulin resistance.
  Even healthy adults who slept with an overhead light on had significantly greater insulin resistance the next morning.
  These results are given added significance given the increasingly widespread use of artificial light exposure, especially at night.
  Recall my previous comments about the adverse effects of a dysmetabolic states, such as diabetes are associated with an increased risk of dementing illness and Parkinson's later in life, not to mention end organ disease: brain, nerve, eyes, kidneys, etc.
ASPSS 32nd annual meeting 2018 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Promising New Test for Parkinson's Disease ?

  According to a preliminary study presented at the 70th American Academy of Neurology annual meeting certain proteins in tears may be useful biomarkers.
  Researchers at USC found the levels of total alpha-synuclein to be decreased in patients with Parkinson's disease compared to healthy controls.
  But levels of oligomeric alpha-synuclein were increased in those with Parkinson's disease compared to controls.
  It has been a longstanding challenge to differentiate patient's with Parkinsonism related to another illness from those with Parkinson's disease early on. This may help neurologist's make a diagnosis sooner as we anxiously await a cure.
AAN Annual Meeting Los Angeles 2018

Headache: A Significant Health Problem

  Head pain accounts for 3.0% of all emergency department visits and was the 5th leading cause for such.
  Headache is the 12th most common diagnosis among emergency docs (1.8% of all visits).
  In 2014, there were 4 million ER visits for headache.
  Women of childbearing age made up more than half of the ER visits for headache.
  Interestingly, native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders have the highest prevalence of migraine.
Headache. 2018 March 12

Worsened Parkinson's Disease with Low B 12

   Folks with early untreated Parkinson's disease with low vitamin B12 (less than 157 pmol/L) were found to have greater worsening of mobility and cognitive decline over time.
  Further, elevated homocysteine predicted greater cognitive decline.
Mov Disord. 2018 Mar 6

Ambien and Alzheimer's Linked

  Cumulative doses of Zolpidem (Ambien), a common sleep drug, are associated with a greater risk for developing Alzheimer's in elderly patients (65 and older) according to a retrospective study.
J Am Geriatr Soc, doi:10.111/jgs.15018

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Two Drugs Better Than One to Prevent New Stroke or Heart Attack

  Results from an international clinical trial of more than 4,880 people (POINT trial) reveal that taking PLAVIX (clopidogrel) with aspirin following a small stroke or TIA decreases the risk of a new stroke, heart attack or other ischemic event.
NEJM 2018;379:215-225

Us Old People need our Sleep Too ! Not TOO Much Not TOO Little

  Researchers in Japan followed 1,517 adults without dementia for 10 years.
  Incident rates of dementia and all-cause mortality were significantly greater in subjects who slept less than 5 hours per day or 10 or more hours per day.
  Therefore, short AND long daily sleep duration are risk factors for dementia and death in adults age 60 and older.
J Am Geriatr Soc. 2018 June 6

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Eat Fish to Reduce the risk of Multiple Sclerosis

  Researchers at USC in LA reviewed the diets of 1,153 people, and found that eating fish at least once weekly in addition to taking daily fish oil supplements may be associated with a reduced risk of MS.
  Those with high fish intake as described above was found to be associated with a 45% reduced risk of MS.
AAN Annual Meeting 2018

Want to Decrease your Risk of Stroke and Heart attack ? Get/Stay Married !

  In a pooled analysis of more than two million people, those who were never married, divorced or widowed persons had an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease by 42% and coronary heart disease by 16%.
  Not being married was also associated with an increased risk of dying from coronary heart disease by 42% and stroke by 55%. 
  Divorce was associated with a 35% increased risk of developing heart disease for both men and women. Widowers were 16% more likely to have a stroke.
  There was a higher risk of death following a heart attack among those that have never married.
Heart. 2018 June 18

Friday, July 20, 2018

Detecting Subconcussive Head Trauma Using Blood

  Blood biomarkers can identify neurologic injury that is associated with repetitive subconcussive head trauma.  
Researchers studied the blood of NCAA football players and found that serum concentrations of neurofilament light increased.
Neurosurg. 2018may 29

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Want to Reduce Risk of MS...Move to Florida

  During childhood and the years before onset of multiple sclerosis, living in areas with high ambient levels of ultraviolet-B light is associated with a lower MS risk in women.
  Women who lived in sunnier climates had a 45% reduced risk of developing MS compared to those living in areas with lower UV-B exposure.
Neurology. 2018 Mar 7

Yet Another Reason to Let kids Rest

  Delaying school start time just from 7:15 to 8:30 was shown to have lasting benefits including improved daytime alertness and mental well-being.
Sleep. 2018 Apr 10

Another Reason Young People Need Their Rest

  In infants, children and adolescents, short sleep duration was associated with an increased risk of obesity according to researchers that reviewed the results of 42 population studies. Short sleepers were defined as having less sleep for their reference category for their age.
  At all ages, short sleepers gained more weight and were 58% more likely to become obese or overweight.
Sleep. 2018 Feb 1 

Saturday, June 30, 2018

A More Efficient Brain: Speaking Another Language or Learning Music

  Bilinguals and musicians use fewer brain resources when completing a working memory task.
  Using brain functional imagery, musicians remembered the type of sound presented to them faster than non-musicians, while bilinguals and musicians performed better on locating the source of a sound.
  Bilinguals performed about the same as individuals who spoke only one language and were not musicians on remembering the sound, but they showed less brain activity when completing the task.
Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2018 May 17

Increased Risk of Dementia with Multisensory Impairment

  Sensory impairments in older persons is common but this is the first study to look at the number of sensory impairments (visual, hearing, smell, touch) as risk factors for dementia.
  One sensory impairment was associated with a 50% greater risk of dementia, two impairments with a twofold greater risk, and three or four impairments was associated with a 2.8-fold greater risk of dementia.
  The lead researcher stated that it is possible that sensory impairment, particularly multiple impairments could limit an older person's engagement in protective lifestyle factors such as physical, cognitive, and social activity, thereby increasing dementia risk.
  Further studies are needed to determine whether multisensory impairment is a risk factor for dementia or an indicator of neurodegeneration.
Brenowitz, W et al UCSF 2018 April 26
But also reported in a recent syudy in China : J Am Geriatr Soc. 2018 Mar;66(3):480-486

Midlife Risk Factors for Alzheimer's Revisited

  A recent review indicates that lifestyle and demographic factors in midlife could potentially modify the risk of dementia in late adulthood.
  As expected, advancing age was strongly associated with dementia. But the study also identified widowed status, lower BMI, and less sleep at midlife as risk factors for dementia.
J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;63(3):1119-1127

Friday, June 29, 2018

SAUNA Baths For Everyone !

  I previously reported the decreased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease with frequent sauna bathing (Age Aging 2016 Dec 7) now comes a new study that reports that frequent sauna bathing is associated with a decreased risk of stroke.
  In a study of 1,628  Finnish adults without a known history of stroke, compared with people that took one sauna bath per week, the risk of stroke was 14% lower in people with 2 to 3 sessions and a whopping 61% lower risk of stroke among folks with 4 to 7 sessions per week.
Neurology. 2018 May 2

APOE4 Re-visited : Greater Role in Women than Men

  Researchers studying biomarkers in the spinal fluid of 1,798 patients found a statistically significant interaction between APOE-e4 and sex on CSF total tau and phosphorylated tau.
  Meaning there is a stronger association between APOE-e4 and spinal fluid tau levels among women than among men.
  Alzheimer's disease is associated with increased total tau and phosphorylated tau in spinal fluid.
  Therefore, having one copy of the genetic mutation APOE-e4 is associated with 3 times the risk of developing Alzheimer's in women compared to the general population whereas one copy in men have a risk similar to the general population. Two copies of APOE-e4 is associated with 15 times the risk of developing AD.
JAMA Neurol. 2018 May 7

New Non-Drug Treatment of Essential Tremor

  Cala Health, based in California has received FDA approval (April 2018) for a wearable device to treat the inherited tremor called essential tremor.
  The Cala ONE device includes electrodes worn on the wrist to stimulate median and radial nerves.
  The device captures 20 seconds of a patient's postural tremor and delivers a stimulation pattern based on a patient's peak tremor frequency.

Increased Risk of Parkinson's in mild TBI

  Mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) among military veterans is associated with a 56% increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease.
  42 million people worldwide sustain mild TBI. It is common among athletes and military personnel and is now a known growing epidemic among the elderly.
Neurology. April 2018

Monday, May 7, 2018

Nutrition in a Child's First 1,000 Days Critical for Proper Brain Development

  The most active period of neural development is from conception to age 2. During this time structures and processes develop that influence behavior and provide a basis for later-developing structures such as the visual and auditory systems, myelination and social development brain circuits.
  The American Academy of Pediatrics has released a policy statement with 10 recommendations emphasizing the importance of early proper nutrition.
  In these recommendations,  proper macronutrition (diets that are high-calorie, high-protein) and micronutrition (vitamins B12, D, B6, A and minerals such as zinc, folate, iodine, iron, choline as well as long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids ) is emphasized. 
  An important source of micronutrients is human breast milk. Previous studies have shown that babies that are fed breast milk have improved cognitive performance compared to those fed formula milk. The AAP recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months then continued as a supplement to food for the first year.
Pediatrics. 2018;141(2). pii: e20173716

Sunday, May 6, 2018

GENIUS: Managing Blood Pressure in Barbershops to Decrease Stroke and Heart Attack

  African American men are more likely than other groups to have high blood pressure that is not adequately controlled and tend to have less contact with the health care system.
  In a stroke of true genius that if scaled up could save millions of lives and prevent many strokes and heart attacks.
  African American men who received medical intervention aimed at controlling their blood pressure at their monthly barbershop visits showed a marked reduction in their systolic blood pressure by 21 mm Hg or more. Amazing.
NEJM 2018;378:1291-1301

Brain Structure is Different in Noise Sensitive Folks

  Larger grey matter volume has been found in a study of noise sensitive individuals in their amygdala and hippocampal brain regions by MRI analyses.
  People with higher noise sensitivity enjoy music as much as others, however, they prefer NOT to have music in the background.
  This new physiologic finding with an anatomic correlate is important as noise sensitivity is a recognized risk factor for heart disease and disturbed sleep.
Neuroimage. 2018;167:309-315 

Pollution Affects Brain Structure in the Unborn

  Exposure to fine pollutant particles during fetal life was found to be associated with brain abnormalities (thinner cortex in several brain regions). These affected brain regions were found to be associated with impaired inhibitory control in these children.
  Researchers further identified these relationships despite the fact that the levels of particulate pollutant particles found in this study are at levels considered to be "safe"!
  It was further suggested that we cannot accept current "safe" levels of pollution in or cities to truly be safe.
Biol Psychiatry . 2018 Jan 31

Think POSITIVE, CHILL OUT: Decrease Dementia Risk !

  Older people who hold positive beliefs about old age from their culture are less likely to develop dementia. Further, people with APOE4 (associated with a genetic increased risk of Alzheimer's) with positive age beliefs are 49.8% less likely to develop dementia than those with negative cultural beliefs. 
  Therefore, positive age beliefs (a modifiable thing) reduces stress and can be neuro-protective.
PLoS One. 2018 Feb 7;13(2):e0191004

Migraine: A potent Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Disease

  Previous studies have suggested migraine is a risk factor for ischemic stroke and ischemic heart disease. Two new studies support migraine as an important risk factor for ischemic stroke, myocardial infarction, hemorrhagic stroke, venous thromboembolism, atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter.
  Strategies to reduce cardiovascular risk factors in migraine sufferers is therefore critical.
  Further study is necessary to determine if decreasing the frequency and severity of migraine is associated with less cardiovascular risk.
BMJ 2018;360:k96

MEMORY : New Science to Improve Memory in Older Folks !

  Researchers at UC Irvine have discovered the ability to create lasting memories is linked to a newly discovered process: an enzyme blocking the release of of a gene called Period1 in the hippocampus of our brains. When we're young, turning this gene on is easy but as we get older this becomes harder.
  In each cell in our body there is 6 feet of DNA. As we age this spooled up length of DNA becomes less flexible (like our joints, eh?). This stiffness in our DNA is due to a "molecular brake pad" called HDAC3 that has become over-active in the aged brain and is compacting DNA too much and blocks the release of Period1.
  Removing the HDCA3 restores the flexibility and allows internal cell machinery to access Period1 to begin to form new memories.
  New drugs that target HDCA3 could allow older persons to improve memory formation