Artists' Brushstrokes May Offer First Hints of Brain Disease

News Picture: Artists' Brushstrokes May Offer First Hints of Brain Disease

Latest Alzheimers News

THURSDAY, Dec. 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) — An artist’s work may reveal early signs of progressive brain disease, a new study suggests.

Researchers examined the brushstrokes in nearly 2,100 paintings from seven famous artists.

Two (Salvador Dali and Norval Morrisseau) had Parkinson’s disease, two (James Brooks and Willem de Kooning) had Alzheimer’s disease, and three (Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet) had no known neurodegenerative disorders.

The results showed clear patterns of change in the works of the artists with neurodegenerative disorders, compared to those with no brain diseases.

What Else is in the 21st Century Cures Act?

WASHINGTON — When most people think about the 21st Century Cures Act, they think about curing cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, and curbing the nation’s opioid epidemic. But the nearly 1,000-page healthcare spending bill, which President Obama signed in mid-December, also aims to reform the nation’s fragmented mental health system, improve access to electronic health data, and ensure that underrepresented individuals are included in important health research.

Mental Health

Approximately 13 million people in the U.S. have a serious mental illness or substance use disorder, according to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), which applauded the 21st Century Cures Act, calling its reforms to mental health a “huge step forward.”

Longer Survival with Androgen Therapy in AML

Action Points

  • Note that this randomized trial of norethandrolone maintenance therapy among older individuals treated with chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) found that the androgenic agent successfully prolonged disease-free survival.
  • There were no cases of prostate cancer reported in either arm of the study.

Androgen maintenance therapy for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) led to significantly longer survival in older patients, a randomized trial showed.

Among patients in complete remission 1 year after chemotherapy induction, those assigned to androgen maintenance therapy had a twofold improvement in disease-free survival (DFS) at 5 years as compared with no maintenance therapy (P=0.002). The 5-year overall survival also was significantly higher in patients who received either of two doses of norethandrolone for 2 years after achieving remission (P=0.008).

Antipsychotic Drugs May Up Risk of Early Death in Alzheimer's Patients

News Picture: Antipsychotic Drugs May Up Risk of Early Death in Alzheimer's Patients

Latest Alzheimers News

TUESDAY, Dec. 27, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Taking antipsychotic drugs significantly increases the risk of premature death among Alzheimer’s patients, a new study indicates.

Researchers analyzed data from almost 58,000 people in Finland diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease between 2005 and 2011.

Slightly more than a quarter of the Alzheimer’s patients took antipsychotic drugs. The study found they had a 60 percent higher risk of death than those who didn’t take the drugs.

The risk of death was highest when patients first started taking antipsychotics, but the increased risk persisted with long-term use of the drugs.

TSRI scientists develop new approach for understanding diverse effects of endocrine-disruptors

Breast cancer researchers from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have developed a novel approach for identifying how chemicals in the environment–called environmental estrogens–can produce infertility, abnormal reproductive development, including “precocious puberty,” and promote breast cancer.

Environmental estrogens work by binding to the estrogen receptor, a protein in cells that guides sexual maturation and reproduction. The new research shows how high-resolution imaging techniques could give scientists a window into how exposure to these chemicals may impact public health.

This research method could also be used to speed up the discovery of new drugs for breast cancer and many other diseases, added study senior author Kendall Nettles, associate professor at TSRI.

A new strategy to fight prostate cancer

A new study led by scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) sheds light on a signaling circuit in cells that drives therapy resistance in prostate cancer. The researchers found that targeting the components of this circuit suppresses advanced prostate cancer development.

The study, led by TSRI Associate Professor Jun-Li Luo, was published online ahead of print in the journal Molecular Cell.

A New Strategy to Fight Prostate Cancer

Burger King, Tim Hortons to curb antibiotics used in chicken

By Tom Polansek and Lisa Baertlein

Restaurant chains Burger King and Tim Hortons plan to switch to chicken raised without antibiotics considered “critically important” to human medicine, their owner said on Wednesday, making it the latest company to ditch the drugs over health concerns.

Restaurant Brands International Inc, which owns both chains, said it aims to make the change in U.S. stores in 2017 and in Canada in 2018.

An estimated 70 percent of antibiotics that are important to fighting human infections and ensuring the safety of invasive procedures such as surgeries are sold for use in meat and dairy production.

Slovakia reports outbreak of severe bird flu: OIE

Slovakia has confirmed an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5 bird flu virus, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Thursday, citing a report from the country’s agriculture ministry.

The disease was detected among laying hens in a backyard in the capital Bratislava. It killed 64 out of 65 birds exposed to the virus, with the remaining animal slaughtered, the report posted by the OIE said.

The report did not indicate what strain of H5 bird flu was found.