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CCBAR Newsletter – April, 2010

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau


CCBAR members, Drs. Stacy Tessler Lindau and Natalia Gavrilova, took part in the Genomics Workshop organized by Demography of Aging Centers Biomarker Network (Teresa Seeman, Steven Cole, Eileen Crimmins). Dr. Steven Cole (UCLA), the main presenter at the Workshop, provided information on the following topics related to the collection and analysis of genetic materials in population-based surveys: (1) Tactical aspects of study administration and sample capture/storage; (2) Biological overview of genetics & functional genomics; (3) Strategic aspects of study design and data analysis; (4) Perspectives on the state of the field. Researchers working with the Health and Retirement Study, The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, Social Environment and Biomarkers of Aging Study (SEBAS) in Taiwan and others shared their experience in collecting genetic data. More information on Genomics Workshop including Power Point presentations can be found here:

Natalia Gavrilova also participated in the annual meeting of the Population Association of America (Dallas, TX). This meeting had interesting sessions on biomarkers. The first session (Chair - Noreen Goldman), called "Biodemographic influences on health and mortality," featured presentations by Arbeev, Crimmins, Macinnis and Rosero-Bixby. For more details on this session please click here. The second session was chaired by Maxine Weinstein (please click here for details). Of particular interest was also a session on diverging mortality organized by Eileen Crimmins. The session featured renown specialists from the NRC Panel on Diverging Mortality who addressed the current pattern of slow progress in life expectancy improvement in the United States. The experts came to conclusion that past smoking behavior in the U.S. population contributes to the current lack of progress in mortality improvement.

News from the NEJM, Nature Journals, Science, BMJ, PNAS and JAMA

Lessons on longevity from budding yeast

Coronary artery disease: Biological ageing - a potentially modifiable risk fact...
Research conducted in patients with coronary heart disease suggests that increasing dietary intake of marine omega-3 fatty acids could slow cellular ageing. The longitudinal study by Ramin Farzaneh-Far from the University of California, San Francisco, USA and colleagues was published in the Journal ...

Salt reductions to save lives and $$$
Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo and colleagues have shown that reducing dietary salt intake by 3 g per day would substantially reduce mortality and new cases of coronary heart disease, stroke, and myocardial infarction, and save more than $10 billion per year in the US. The cardiovascular benefits would

Nutrition: Soy food intake and breast cancer
Consumption of soy foods is safe for patients with breast cancer and may have beneficial effects on recurrence of breast cancer and mortality rates, according to a new study published in JAMA.Soy foods are the main dietary source of isoflavones, a major group

Alzheimer disease: Cancer link to Alzheimer disease, but not vascular dementia
A team led by Cathy Roe at Washington University School of Medicine has found an association between Alzheimer disease (AD) and cancer risk, with the presence of one condition reducing the chances of subsequent diagnosis of the other. Common neurodegenerative mechanisms underlying cancer and AD

Cerebrospinal fluid and plasma biomarkers in Alzheimer disease
Intense multidisciplinary research has provided detailed knowledge of the molecular pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (AD). This knowledge has been translated into new therapeutic strategies with putative disease-modifying effects. Several of the most promising approaches, such as amyloid-beta immunoth...

Chipping away at the genetics of smoking behavior
Three large consortia present comprehensive analyses that identify genetic factors influencing smoking initiation, intensity and cessation. The genetic architecture of these three phases of smoking behavior appears to be largely distinct.

Cooperative behavior cascades in human social networks [Social_Sciences]
Theoretical models suggest that social networks influence the evolution of cooperation, but to date there have been few experimental studies....

Trajectories of Disability in the Last Year of Life
This longitudinal study involving older adults identified five trajectories during the last year of life: no disability, catastrophic disability, accelerated disability, progressive disability, and persistently severe disability. Most of the subjects who died suddenly had no disability, and most of ...

Intelligence, education, and mortality

Caloric Sweetener Consumption and Dyslipidemia Among US Adults [Original Cont...
Dietary carbohydrates have been associated with dyslipidemia, a lipid profile known to increase cardiovascular disease risk. Added sugars (caloric sweeteners used as ingredients in processed or prepared foods) are an increasing and potentially modifiable component in the US diet. No kn...

Erectile dysfunction and CVD
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is inextricably linked with abnormal functioning of the endothelial progenitor cells involved in vascular repair, which has been postulated to be an early mechanism of atherosclerosis. Several studies have identified an association between ED and the presence of cardiovascu...

Aspirin for Prevention of Cardiovascular Events in a General Population Scree...
A low ankle brachial index (ABI) indicates atherosclerosis and an increased risk of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events. Screening for a low ABI can identify an asymptomatic higher risk group potentially amenable to preventive treatments.

Taking DNA from the dead
Using cadaveric specimens in genome research presents many benefits: investigators can study multiple organs from one individual, including those impossible to collect from living donors (for example, brains), and health risks are minimized as the individual is deceased. Several genomic research ini...

Dried Blood Spot Real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction Assays to Screen Newborn...
Reliable methods to screen newborns for congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection are needed for identification of infants at increased risk of hearing loss. Since dried blood spots (DBS) are routinely collected for metabolic screening from all newborns in the United States, there has...

Integrating high-throughput technologies in the quest for effective biomarker...
Despite widespread interest, few serum biomarkers have been introduced to the clinic over the past 20 years. Each approach to ovarian cancer biomarker discovery has its own advantages and disadvantages and it seems likely that a global biomarker discovery platform that mines all possible sources

Chemotherapy: Biomarkers of chemotherapy response in breast cancer
Profiling tumors for two important target-based biomarkers can help to accurately predict the response to anthracycline-containing chemotherapy in patients with breast cancer, according to a recent study. Lead investigator Bent Ejlertsen commented that by combining the biomarkers topoisomerase II al...

Association of Maternal Stature With Offspring Mortality, Underweight, and St...
Context  Although maternal stature has been associated with offspring mortality and health, the extent to which this association is universal across developing countries is unclear.
Objective  To examine the association between maternal stature and offspring mortality, underweight, stuntin...

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

Study: Chocolate could reduce heart risk
The Easter Bunny might lower your chances of having a heart problem. According to a new study, small doses of chocolate every day could decrease your risk of having a heart attack or stroke by nearly 40 percent....
New type of ultrasound might lessen need for some biopsies
Every year in the United States, more than 5 million biopsies are performed on suspicious tissue from all parts of the body, primarily to detect cancer. Biopsies are most commonly done by taking a tissue sample for lab analysis using a needle, and remain the best test for diagnosing and staging c...
Biological link between stress, anxiety and depression identified
Scientists have discovered the biological link between stress, anxiety and depression. By identifying the connecting mechanism in the brain, the researchers show exactly how stress and anxiety could lead to depression. The study also reveals a small molecule inhibitor developed by Ferguson, which may provide a new and better way to treat anxiety and depression.
Facial aging is more than skin deep
Facelifts and other wrinkle-reducing procedures have long been sought by people wanting to ward off the signs of aging, but new research suggests that it takes more than tightening loose skin to restore a youthful look. A new study indicates that significant changes in facial bones -- particularly the jaw bone -- occur as people age and contribute to an aging appearance.
Many grow happier with the years, experts say
Mounting evidence suggests aging may be a key to happiness. There is conflicting research on the subject, however, and experts say it may all boil down to this: Attitude is everything.
7 ways the mind and body change with age
The poster child of aging seems to be a wrinkly-faced, forgetful, grumpy old man. But science is painting another, more in-depth picture of aging Americans.
Power up with disease-fighting superfoods
A recent surge in clinical research reveals a new crop of superfoods that can help lower your risks of everything from cancer and heart disease to macular degeneration and osteoporosis.
Overactive Thyroid May Raise Early Stroke Risk
Hyperthyroidism was linked to a 44% increase in stroke risk among adults under age 45 in a newly reported study.
Multivitamins Linked to Breast Cancer Risk
Taking multivitamins may be linked to an increased risk for breast cancer, a study shows.
Multivitamins May Cut Breast Cancer Risk
Multivitamins and calcium supplements may help protect women against breast cancer, new research suggests.
Breast cancer risk tied to grandmother's diet
Eating too much fat in pregnancy may be an indulgence that has a less-than-beneficial effect on generations to come, say researchers. Their unique study in rats shows that pregnant females that ate a high fat diet not only increased breast cancer risk in their female daughters but also in that daughter's offspring -- the "granddaughters."
Quick new screening exam could save thousands of people from bowel cancer
A five-minute screening test could cut the risk of developing bowel cancer by a third and save thousands of lives from what is the UK's second biggest cancer killer, according to new research.
Breakthrough method predicts risk of invasive breast cancer
For the first time, scientists have discovered a way to predict whether women with ductal carcinoma in situ -- the most common form of non-invasive breast cancer -- are at risk of developing more invasive tumors in later years  
Endocrine disruptors: Babies absorb the most bisphenol A
The hormonally active substance bisphenol A is contained in many synthetic and packaging materials. As a result, the substance can find its way into the food chain and the human organism. Just who is exposed and to what extent is shown in a new study: babies who are fed with polycarbonate bottles are especially at risk.
Exposure to three classes of common chemicals may affect female development, ...
Researchers have found that exposure to three common chemical classes -- phenols, phthalates and phytoestrogens -- in young girls may disrupt the timing of pubertal development, and put girls at risk for health complications later in life. The study is the first to examine the effects of these chemicals on pubertal development.
Why steaks may be healthier rare not well done
Eating lots of meat, especially if it is overcooked, increases the risk of bladder cancer, say experts.
Simple carbs bad for women's hearts
A diet rich in carbohydrates that are quickly transformed into sugar in the blood raises the risk of heart disease for women, ...
Vital Signs: Aging: Diet May Be Linked to Lower Alzheimer's Risk in Older People
A study showed that people who mostly ate foods low in saturated fat and rich in nutrients were at one-third lower risk of the disease than those who ate more higher-fat foods.
Study: CT scans may help the healthy gauge heart risk
A new study suggests that CT heart scans may help millions of seemingly healthy people get a better fix on their heart risk.
What women eat may affect kids, grandkids
Eating a high-fat diet during pregnancy can increase the risk of cancer in future children and grandchildren ? even if they eat well ? a new study conducted in rats suggests.
Baby Boomers May Outlive Their Kids
Thanks to rising obesity rates among the younger generation, more and more baby boomers may end up outliving their children.
Brisk Walking Reduces Stroke Risk
Women who walk two or more hours per week or who walk at a brisk pace can significantly reduce their risk of suffering a stroke, new research indicates.
Obesity associated with increased risk of fibromyalgia
Researchers in Norway have found an association between the level of leisure time physical exercise and a future risk of developing fibromyalgia. The research team also identified BMI as an independent risk factor for fibromyalgia.
WATCH: CDC Report: Americans at Risk of Heart Disease
CDC report says 45 percent of adults have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, putting them at risk for heart attack.

NIH Press Releases

NIH Study Offers Hope to Patients with Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis
A daily dose of a specific form of vitamin E significantly improved the liver disease, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), according to a study funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health. Results were published April 28 online in the New England Journal of Medicine. In addition, Actos (pioglitazone), a drug used to treat diabetes, also improved many features of NASH but was associated with weight gain.
Statement of NIH Director on Federal Funding for Embryonic Stem Cell Lines
National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., announced today that 13 additional human embryonic stem cell lines have been approved for federal funding and added to the NIH Stem Cell Registry.
Independent Panel Finds Insufficient Evidence to Support Preventive Measures ...
Many preventive measures for cognitive decline and for preventing Alzheimer's disease mental stimulation, exercise, and a variety of dietary supplements -- have been studied over the years. However, an independent panel convened this week by the National Institutes of Health determined that the value of these strategies for delaying the onset and/or reducing the severity of decline or disease hasn't been demonstrated in rigorous studies.
Adding Coronary Calcium Score to Traditional Risk Factors Improves Risk Asses...
Including a coronary artery calcium score in a risk assessment for future heart disease events, such as heart attacks, provides a better estimate in some populations than a standard coronary risk factors assessment, according to research supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Impaired Brain Connections Traced to Schizophrenia Mutation
The strongest known recurrent genetic cause of schizophrenia impairs communications between the brain's decision-making and memory hubs, resulting in working memory deficits, according to a study in mice.
Independent Panel to Present Alzheimer's Disease and Cognitive Decline Preven...
For many older adults, cognitive health and performance remain stable, with only a gradual and slight decline in short-term memory and reaction times. Others, however, progress into a more serious state of cognitive impairment or into various forms of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.
Traditional 'Heel Stick' Test Is Not an Effective Screening Tool for CMV in N...
A routine screening test for several metabolic and genetic disorders in newborns, the heel-stick procedure, is not effective in screening for cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, a leading cause of hearing loss in children, according to research published in the April 14 online issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Additional Genes Associated with Age-Related Macular Degeneration Identified
A large genetic study of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has identified three new genes associated with this blinding eye disease -- two involved in the cholesterol pathway. Results of this large-scale collaborative study, supported by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, were published online April 12 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Targeting the Blood-Brain Barrier May Delay Progression of Alzheimer's Disease
Researchers may be one step closer to slowing the onset and progression of Alzheimer's disease. An animal study supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health, shows that by targeting the blood-brain barrier, researchers are able to slow the accumulation of a protein associated with the progression of the illness. The blood-brain barrier separates the brain from circulating blood, and it protects the brain by removing toxic metabolites and proteins formed in the brain and preventing entry of toxic chemicals from the blood.
Sleep Apnea Tied to Increased Risk of Stroke
Obstructive sleep apnea is associated with an increased risk of stroke in middle-aged and older adults, especially men, according to new results from a landmark study supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health. Overall, sleep apnea more than doubles the risk of stroke in men. Obstructive sleep apnea is a common disorder in which the upper airway is intermittently narrowed or blocked, disrupting sleep and breathing during sleep.
Vitamin C and E Supplements Do Not Reduce Risk for Blood Pressure Disorders o...
Taking vitamin C and E supplements starting in early pregnancy does not reduce the risk for the hypertensive disorders and their complications that occur during pregnancy, according to a study by a National Institutes of Health research network.

NIH Announcements

Restructured Application Forms and Instructions for Submissions for FY2011 Fu...
Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
Change in Application Submission Package and Clarification of Research Strate...
Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts

Aging Studies in the Pulmonary System (R01)
Enhancing Peer Review: Clarification of Resubmission Policy and Determination of New Application Status
Notice Number: NOT-OD-10-080
Diet Composition and Energy Balance (R01)
Expiration Date: May 8, 2013
Social Network Analysis and Health (R01)
Expiration Date: May 12, 2012
Behavioral and Social Science Research on Understanding and Reducing Health Disparities (R01)
Expiration Date: May 12, 2013

Obesity Policy Research: Evaluation and Measures (R01)
Program Announcement from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
Obesity Policy Research: Evaluation and Measures (R21)
Program Announcement from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
Obesity Policy Research: Evaluation and Measures (R03)
Program Announcement from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts



2010 American Geriatrics Society Annual Scientific Meeting, May 12 - 15, 2010 Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel Orlando, FL

The 22nd REVES meeting on health expectancy will be held in La Habana, Cuba, from May 19th to May 21st 2010

The National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with the McKnight Brain Research Foundation and the Foundation for NIH, will be holding the Second Cognitive Aging Summit to take place in Washington, DC, on October 4-5, 2010. Online registration for the meeting is now open, and you can register by following this link:  Cognitive Aging Summit 2010 – Registration

Gerontological Society of America's 63rd Annual Scientific Meeting, November 19-23, 2010, Hilton, New Orleans Riverside, New Orleans, LA.
Abstracts Deadline: March 15, 2010

This Newsletter  is supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health (Grant No. 5 P30 AG012857)

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