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CCBAR Newsletter – January, 2013

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau  


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

Genomics: Gene linked to Alzheimer's
Two studies have identified a rare genetic mutation that boosts the risk of Alzheimer's disease.Kári Stefánsson of deCODE Genetics in Reykjavik and his group analysed the genomes of 2,261 Icelanders and uncovered a mutation in the TREM2 gene that increased the risk of
The Myth of Antioxidants
by Melinda Wenner Moyer
The hallowed notion that oxidative damage causes aging and that vitamins might preserve our youth is now in doubt
The nature of feelings: evolutionary and neurobiological origins
by Antonio Damasio, Gil B. Carvalho
Feelings are mental experiences of body states. They signify physiological need (for example, hunger), tissue injury (for example, pain), optimal function (for example, well-being), threats to the organism (for example, fear or anger) or specific social interactions (for example, compassion, gratitu...
50-Year Trends in Smoking-Related Mortality in the United States
by Michael J. Thun et al
New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 368, Issue 4, Page 351-364, January 2013.
mTOR is a key modulator of ageing and age-related disease
by Simon C. Johnson, Peter S. Rabinovitch, Matt Kaeberlein
Many experts in the biology of ageing believe that pharmacological interventions to slow ageing are a matter of 'when' rather than 'if'. A leading target for such interventions is the nutrient response pathway defined by the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR). Inhibition of this pathway
Efficacy of vitamin and antioxidant supplements in prevention of cardiovascul...
by Myung, S.-K., Ju, W., Cho, B., Oh, S.-W., Park, S. M., Koo, B.-K., Park, B.-J.
Objective To assess the efficacy of vitamin and antioxidant supplements in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.Design Meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.Data sources and study...
Aspirin in the Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease
by Anand K. Parekh et al
New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 368, Issue 3, Page 204-205, January 2013.
Animal behaviour: Bisexuality boosts attractiveness
Female fish find some males more attractive if they have seen the males engaging in mating behaviour, even when such behaviour was with other males.David Bierbach and his colleagues at the University of Frankfurt in Germany assessed the preferences of female Atlantic mollies (
Stem cells: Immune cells rejuvenated
Two groups in Japan have reprogrammed cells that fight HIV and cancer, boosting the number and lifespan of the cells.The body's immune system makes T cells that target viruses and cancer, but the pool of these cells quickly becomes exhausted. Shin Kaneko and Hiromitsu
Physical Activity and Structured Exercise for Patients With Stable Ischemic H...
by Boden WE, Franklin BA, Wenger NK.
Exercise was recently described as - a miracle drug - that can benefit every part of the body and substantially extend lifespan. The authors suggested that the cardioprotective and systemic health benefits of regular exercise are underestimated by many clinicians, who often fail to emphasize the impo...
Altered urate and dopaminergic neuron degeneration [Medical Sciences]
by Chen, X., Burdett, T. C., Desjardins, C. A., Logan, R., Cipriani, S., Xu, Y., Schwarzschild, M. A.
Urate is the end product of purine metabolism in humans, owing to the evolutionary disruption of the gene encoding urate oxidase (UOx). Elevated urate can cause gout and urolithiasis and is associated with cardiovascular and other diseases. However, urate also possesses antioxidant and neuroprotecti...
C-Reactive Protein, Fibrinogen, and Cardiovascular Risk
New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 368, Issue 1, Page 84-86, January 2013.
Effects of Fructose vs Glucose on Regional Cerebral Blood Flow in Brain Regio...
by Page KA, Chan O, Arora J, et al.
Increases in fructose consumption have paralleled the increasing prevalence of obesity, and high-fructose diets are thought to promote weight gain and insulin resistance. Fructose ingestion produces smaller increases in circulating satiety hormones compared with glucose ingestion, and cent...
Association of All-Cause Mortality With Overweight and Obesity Using Standard...
by Flegal KM, Kit BK, Orpana H, et al.
ImportanceEstimates of the relative mortality risks associated with normal weight, overweight, and obesity may help to inform decision making in the clinical setting.Objective: To perform a systematic review of reported hazard ratios (HRs) of all-cause mortality for overweight and obesity relative to ...
Does Body Mass Index Adequately Convey a Patient's Mortality Risk?
by Heymsfield SB, Cefalu WT.
What adult weight best advances health, minimizes the risk of chronic disease, and promotes longevity? This question has engaged the interest of the public, health care professionals, and a wide range of clinical investigators. The consequences of answering this question have profound health, social...

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

Older fathers: what's behind the trend?
Why are so many over 30s men becoming dads?
Americans Sicker Compared to Other Wealthy Nations
Americans die younger and have higher rates of many types of diseases and injuries than people in other high-income countries, a new report shows.
Healthy Neighborhood Trees Lower Risk of Heart, Respiratory Illnesses
The health of trees in your neighborhood can affect your risk for developing cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses.
Aging America: Elder abuse on the rise
As the number of elderly Americans rises, so too, does the abuse of many elderly people. And it's not just financial abuse. Many flee to shelters to escape mistreatment at the hands of relatives and other caregivers.
Hearing Loss Linked to Mental Decline in Elderly
Hearing loss and mental decline are two common conditions of aging, and now a new study finds that they may be related.
Depression in Elderly May Predict Dementia
A new study suggests that rather than being a cause of memory decline, depression in older people may be an early symptom of dementia.
Observatory: Older Brain Is Willing, but Too Full for New Memories
Studies in modified mice suggest that it is harder to make new long-term memories as we age because the brain is full of old ones that are hard to erase.
Bilingual Seniors Have More Flexible Minds
A new study found that older adults who have spoken two languages all their lives score higher on cognitive flexibility tasks than those who only spoke one language.
Diet may not impact certain health outcomes in older persons
Eating diets high in sugar and fat may not affect the health outcomes of older adults ages 75 and up, suggesting that placing people of such advanced age on overly restrictive diets to treat their excess weight or other conditions may have little benefit, according to researchers.
Eating Meat May Boost Risk of Obesity and Contamination
There may be a link between antibiotic use in livestock and obesity in the people who eat them.
Being a Little Overweight May Lower the Risk of Early Death
Obesity may lead to an early death, but being a little overweight is associated with a lower risk of death.
Obesity Raises Death Risk in Car Crashes
Being obese can raise the risk of dying after a car crash by up to 80 percent when compared to the risk faced by a person of healthy weight, a new study has found. Researchers say that the risk maybe lowered by incorporating new designs that take the drivers' weight into account.
Overlooked ugly cholesterol causes heart disease, study suggests
The risk of ischaemic heart disease is three times higher in persons with high levels of the so-called "ugly" cholesterol. This is the finding of a new study which is shedding light on a long debate on this topic.
Blood-based biomarkers may lead to earlier diagnosis of Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurological condition. At present, it is usually diagnosed only when motor features are present. Hence, there is a need to develop objective and measurable biomarkers to improve PD diagnostics during its earlier stage, prior to its motor onset. In this pilot study, researchers identified and tested the first blood-based circulating microRNA (miRNA) biomarkers for PD.
Researchers Develop Blood Test that Predicts Breast Cancer Relapse Risk
Researchers from Canada have developed a kind of blood test that can predict whether or a not a woman, who has undergone breast cancer treatment, have a relapse, reported Mail Online.
Costly breast cancer screenings don't add up to better outcomes, study finds
Even though U.S. Medicare spends over $1 billion per year on breast cancer screenings such as a mammography, there is no evidence that higher spending benefits older women, researchers have found.
Cardiac disease linked to higher risk of mental impairment
Cardiac disease is associated with increased risk of mild cognitive impairment such as problems with language, thinking and judgment -- particularly among women with heart disease, a new study shows.
Aspirin Use Raises Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
A new study has found that long-term aspirin use can lead to a condition known as neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Loneliness Disrupts Immune System: Study Says
Being lonely can have significant effect on a person's immune response which in turn can lead to a risk of vulnerabilities to many health complications, says a new study.
Teenage Stress Can Alter Genes and Lead to Severe Mental Illness in Adulthood
Teenage stress is serious, according to a new study that found a link between adolescent stress and genetic changes that can lead to severe adult mental illness.
ADHD Rises By Almost 25% In 1 Decade
ADHD is one of the most common childhood neurobehavioral disorders.
Depressed Dads Affect Their Kids Even Before Born
Children whose dads were depressed during the pregnancy are more likely to exhibit emotional and behavioral problems at age 3, new research suggests.
Sweetened Drinks Linked to Depression Risk
Drinking sweetened beverages -- either sugar-sweetened or diet -- may be linked with a slightly higher depression risk, while drinking coffee may slightly lower the risk.
Berry Habit May Help Women Avoid Heart Attacks
Young and middle-aged women who eat blueberries and strawberries regularly may help lower their risk of a heart attack later.
Early menopause may occur in women with BRCA gene
Women with harmful mutations in the BRCA gene, which put them at higher risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer, tend to undergo menopause significantly sooner than other women, allowing them an even briefer reproductive window and possibly a higher risk of infertility, according to a new study.
Early surgical menopause linked to declines in memory and thinking skills
Women who undergo surgical menopause at an earlier age may have an increased risk of decline in memory and thinking skills, according to a new study. Early surgical menopause is the removal of both ovaries before natural menopause and often accompanies a hysterectomy.
If we go over the fiscal cliff, will people spend or save? Childhood environm...
In the face of hard times, which strategy gives us the best shot at survival: saving for the future or spending resources on immediate gains? The answer may depend on the economic conditions we faced in childhood, according to new research.
Social networks may inflate self-esteem, reduce self-control
Researchers have obtained evidence on Facebook behavior and how it relates to users' self-control, body-mass indexes, and credit-card debt.
Italian Immigrants Live Longer, but Their Children Are Not so Lucky
Migrants to European countries were reported to have lower overall mortality rates than the respective local population.
China's 'Little Emperor' generation fits stereotypes, study finds
A study comparing people born before and after China's 'one child' policy in 1979 finds the younger group to be not as trusting, conscientious or inclined to compete or cooperate with others.
China's "Little Emperors" — the generations of only-children born under the government's rigid "one child" policy — are living up to their name.
Quitting smoking prolongs life at any age
Kicking the smoking habit can add years of life even in one's 60s, new research in the New England Journal of Medicine shows. Younger smokers can gain a whole decade by quitting.
It's never too late to quit smoking, and researchers have new data to prove it. Even at the age of 64, kicking the habit can add four years to a person's life, while quitting by age 34 can increase life expectancy by a decade, according to a study published online Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine.
Why are there redheads? Birds might hold the clues
Biologists examined the survival rates and chestnut feather coloration of barn swallows and other species of birds, to unearth factors favoring the evolution of pheomelanin in spite of its costs. They found that under conditions of low stress, birds with larger amounts of pheomelanin survived better, suggesting the pigment may serve a beneficial role.
Profiles in Science | Hopi E. Hoekstra: Tracing the Roots of Behavior in DNA
Studying how deer mice build their burrows, a team at Harvard led by Hopi Hoekstra is getting closer to understanding how genes control complicated behavior.
New findings on mortality of individuals with schizophrenia
A new study shows that the average life expectancy of men and women with schizophrenia is 15 years and 12 years shorter respectively than for those who do not suffer from the disease.
Why Dating Women With Slim Waists Lowers Men's Risk for Erectile Dysfunction
Researchers found that the slimmer a woman's waist, the more satisfied her partner and the less likely he is to suffer impotence in the bedroom.
Pear Shapes' Risk for Heart Disease, Diabetes May Be Equal to Apple Shapes
A study has found that the protective benefits of a 'pear shape' have been overstated. In fact, they are more myth than reality.
Marriage Can Cut the Risk of Early Death
A study showed that not being in a stable relationship through midlife might pose as a risk factor for early death in this group of people.
Are Crows Mind Readers ... Or Just Stressed Out?
New study suggests that the birds can indeed read each others thoughts
ScienceShot: A Butterfly's Secret to Long Life
High metabolism surprisingly extends lifespan in one species

NIH Press Releases

Prenatal inflammation linked to autism risk
Maternal inflammation during early pregnancy may be related to an increased risk of autism in children, according to new findings supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health. Researchers found this in children of mothers with elevated C-reactive protein (CRP), a well-established marker of systemic inflammation.
Panel recommends changing name of common disorder in women
An independent panel convened by the National Institutes of Health has concluded that the name of a common hormone disorder in women, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), causes confusion and is a barrier to research progress and effective patient care.
NIH launches blog on behavioral and social sciences research
NIH?s Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) launches The Connector, a new blog featuring OBSSR Director Dr. Robert M. Kaplan's commentary, Director Connection.
H1N1 flu shots are safe for pregnant women
Norwegian pregnant women who received a vaccine against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus showed no increased risk of pregnancy loss, while pregnant women who experienced influenza during pregnancy had an increased risk of miscarriages and still births, a study has found. The study suggests that influenza infection may increase the risk of fetal loss.
Study documents that some children lose autism diagnosis
Some children who are accurately diagnosed in early childhood with autism lose the symptoms and the diagnosis as they grow older, a study supported by the National Institutes of Health has confirmed. The research team made the finding by carefully documenting a prior diagnosis of autism in a small group of school-age children and young adults with no current symptoms of the disorder.
Dr. Franziska B. Grieder appointed as Director of the Office of Research Infr...
The National Institutes of Health announced today the appointment of Franziska B. Grieder, D.V.M., Ph.D., as director of the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP) in the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives. Dr. Grieder's appointment was effective Jan. 13, 2013.
NIH launches collaborative effort to find biomarkers for Parkinson's
A new initiative aims to accelerate the search for biomarkers -- changes in the body that can be used to predict, diagnose or monitor a disease -- in Parkinson?s disease, in part by improving collaboration among researchers and helping patients get involved in clinical studies.
NIH-supported Alzheimer's studies to focus on innovative treatments
With new research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the nation's premier Alzheimer's disease study network will undertake four major studies aimed at finding new treatments for the disease. The award supports the latest projects of the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study(ADCS), a national consortium of academic medical centers and clinics set up by NIH in 1991 to collaborate on the development of Alzheimer's treatments and diagnostic tools.
Coordinated care can address disabled adults' high rates of emergency departm...
Working-age adults with disabilities account for a disproportionately high amount of annual emergency department visitors, reports a comparison study from National Institutes of Health researchers. As emergency department care may not be the best to address non-urgent concerns and is higher in cost, finding a way to decrease these visits is of interest to many stakeholders.

NIH Announcements

Limited Competition: Revisions for DNA Collection from Existing Longitudinal ...
Funding Opportunity RFA-AG-13-018 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. The purpose of this limited competition FOA is to support revision applications proposing to collect DNA from older adult (age 50+) participants involved in longitudinal surveys that include behavioral and social phenotypes in developing countries, and that have archived and shared their data in ways that facilitate their use by qualified researchers. These studies include the World Health Organization surveys "Study on global AGEing and Adult Health" (SAGE), the International Network for the Demographic Evaluation of Populations and their Health in Developing Countries (INDEPTH), and other NIA-supported longitudinal studies with appropriate data-sharing plans in Africa. The importance of timely DNA collection is to ensure that specimens are available for future analysis or genotyping from a sample that is as close to the original sampling frame as possible. Because attrition is often selective and data from the study would not be missing at random, failure to collect DNA early in such studies can compromise the interpretability of future analyses.
Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health (R01)
Funding Number: PAR-13-055
Expiration Date: January 8, 2016
Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health (R21)
Funding Number: PAR-13-054
Expiration Date: January 8, 2016
Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health (R03)
Funding Number: PAR-13-056
Expiration Date: January 8, 2016
Secondary Analyses and Archiving of Social and Behavioral Datasets in Aging (R03)
Funding Number: RFA-AG-13-009
Expiration Date: February 15, 2013
Time-Sensitive Obesity Policy and Program Evaluation (R01)
Expiration Date: September 11, 2015
PAR-12-186  DBSR  Macroeconomic Aspects of Population Aging (R01)
Expiration date:  10/04/2014 
Secondary Analyses in Obesity, Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (R21)
Funding Number: PA-12-125
Expiration Date: May 8, 2015
Biodemography of Aging (R21), Funding Number: PAR-12-079
Expiration Date: March 4, 2014
Biodemography of Aging (R03), Funding Number: PAR-12-080
Expiration Date: March 4, 2014
Biodemography of Aging (R01), Funding Number: PAR-12-078
Expiration Date: March 4, 2014



NIH Videocasts:

Demystifying Medicine 2013-Preventing Aging    
Air date:  Tuesday, February 19, 2013, 4:00:00 PM (ET)

Using risk models for breast cancer prevention
Air date:  Wednesday, February 27, 2013, 3:00:00 PM (ET)


Population Association of America Annual meeting, New Orleans, LA.
The 2013 Annual Meeting will be held April 11-13 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel
Abstract deadline:  September 21, 2012 

2013 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Geriatrics Society (AGS), May 3 - 5, 2013
Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, TX
Abstract deadline: December 3, 2012

The 25th REVES meeting on health expectancy
The University of Texas at Austin (TX), May 27-29, 2013
Abstract submission deadline: February 15, 2013

The 20th IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics, June 23-27, 2013, Seoul, Korea
Abstract deadline: October 31, 2012

108th Annual meeting of the American Sociological Association
August 10-13, Hilton New York & Sheraton New York
The deadline for paper submission is January 9, 2013 at 3:00pm EST.

XXVII IUSSP International Population Conference
26 to 31 August 2013. Busan, Republic of Korea
Abstract deadline: November 7, 2012

66th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, Wednesday, 11/20 to Sunday, 11/24, 2013
Sheraton New Orleans - New Orleans Marriott, New Orleans, Louisiana
Deadline for abstract submissions is March 15, 2013


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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