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CCBAR Newsletter – March, 2013

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau  


Stacy Lindau attended the Workshop on Positive Psychobiology hosted by the NIA-funded Roybal Center for Health and Well-Being in Miami, FL March 12-13, 2013, held adjacent to the American Psychosomatic Society annual meeting. The Workshop convened experts across disciplines to provide wide and deep review of the state of knowledge about psychobiology and to stimulate brainstorming about new directions. "What interventions can be imagined to promote positive psychobiological processes?" "What biological measures might hold promise for deepening our understanding of the mechanisms through which positive psychological functioning affects health?" "What kinds of study designs and methods are needed to advance this field of knowledge?" These questions provoked rich discussion, including concepts from eastern philosophy such as "open-heartedness," and consideration of epistemological challenges to growth of the field. Biomeasures discussed by speakers included immune, neuropeptide, metabolic, and physiologic measures. Workshop organizers included Julia Boehm, PhD, Harvard; Laura Kubzansky, PhD, Harvard; Lis Nielsen, PhD, NIA; Suzanne Segerstrom, PhD, U Kentucky; Arthur Stone, PhD, Stony Brook and Princeton.

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

Risk factors: High calcium intake linked to cardiac death
by Anna L. Pouncey
Calcium supplementation is widely used by elderly individuals in Western countries to protect against osteoporosis. However, the effect of excess calcium on extraskeletal systems, such as the heart and vasculature, is largely unknown. Xiao et al. now report that a high intake of
Evolution: Tracking down human adaptations
by Mary Muers
Candidate regions of the human genome that may have been involved in the adaptation of our species can be identified using methods that detect signals of positive selection. However, few human adaptive traits have been characterized because of the difficulties in pinpointing adaptive mutations and
Oxidative stress and the ageing endocrine system
by Giovanni Vitale, Stefano Salvioli, Claudio Franceschi
Ageing is a process characterized by a progressive decline in cellular function, organismal fitness and increased risk of age-related diseases and death. Several hundred theories have attempted to explain this phenomenon. One of the most popular is the 'oxidative stress theory', originally termed th...
Neurosteroids as regenerative agents in the brain: therapeutic implications
by Roberta D. Brinton
Regenerative therapeutics hold the promise of self-renewal and repair. Ageing and age-associated neurodegenerative diseases are marked by a decline in self-renewal and repair, but a capacity for regeneration is retained. The challenge faced by researchers developing molecular therapeutics to promote...
Sleep loss and the human blood transcriptome [Medical Sciences]
by Moller–Levet, C. S., Archer, S. N., Bucca, G., Laing, E. E., Slak, A., Kabil&jnodot;o, R., Lo, J. C. Y., Santhi, N., von Schantz, M., Smith, C. P., Di&jnodot;k, D.–J.
Insufficient sleep and circadian rhythm disruption are associated with negative health outcomes, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cognitive impairment, but the mechanisms involved remain largely unexplored. Twenty-six participants were exposed to 1 wk of insufficient sleep (sleep-restr...
Quantification of excess risk for diabetes [Medical Sciences]
by Thurner, S., Klimek, P., Szell, M., Duftschmid, G., Endel, G., Kautzky-Willer, A., Kasper, D. C.
Based on a unique dataset comprising all 325,000 Austrian patients that were under pharmaceutical treatment for diabetes during 2006 and 2007, we measured the excess risk of developing diabetes triggered by undernourishment in early life. We studied the percentage of all diabetes patients in the tot...
Omega-3 fatty acids and BK channels [Physiology]
by Hoshi, T., Wissuwa, B., Tian, Y., Tajima, N., Xu, R., Bauer, M., Heinemann, S. H., Hou, S.
Long-chain polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), found abundantly in oily fish, may have diverse health-promoting effects, potentially protecting the immune, nervous, and cardiovascular systems. However, the mechanisms underlying the purported health-promoting effec...
Coronary artery calcium score prediction of all cause mortality and cardiovas...
by Kramer, C. K., Zinman, B., Gross, J. L., Canani, L. H., Rodrigues, T. C., Azevedo, M. J., Retnakaran, R.
Objective To investigate the association of coronary artery calcium score with all cause mortality and cardiovascular events in people with type 2 diabetes.Design Systematic review and meta-analysis...
Can Accountable Care Organizations Improve Population Health? Should They Try...
by Noble DJ, Casalino LP.
The number of accountable care organizations (ACOs) increased rapidly during 2012. There are now more than 250. This increase is likely to accelerate: commercial health insurers are signing ACO-like contracts with health care organizations, and the return of President Obama to the White House, as we...
Health Services Innovation The Time Is Now Health Services Innovation
by Zuckerman B, Margolis PA, Mate KS.
Biomedical innovation has improved prevention, diagnosis, and treatment resulting in reduction in mortality for most diseases. However, health and health care disparities remain across the lifespan because these advances have not been matched by advances in delivering care, patient engagement, adher...
Serotonin genes and punishment-induced cooperation [Economic Sciences]
by Schroeder, K. B., McElreath, R., Nettle, D.
Punishment of free-riding has been implicated in the evolution of cooperation in humans, and yet mechanisms for punishment avoidance remain largely uninvestigated. Individual variation in these mechanisms may stem from variation in the serotonergic system, which modulates processing of aversive stim...
Stress increases aversive prediction errors [Psychological and Cognitive Scie...
by Robinson, O. J., Overstreet, C., Charney, D. R., Vytal, K., Grillon, C.
From job interviews to the heat of battle, it is evident that people think and learn differently when stressed. In fact, learning under stress may have long-term consequences; stress facilitates aversive conditioning and associations learned during extreme stress may result in debilitating emotional...
More healthcare, same outcomes
by Davies, E.
Last week the BMJ launched its Too Much Medicine campaign ( The campaign aims to highlight the 'threat to human health posed by overdiagnosis and the waste of resources on unnecessary care.'To illustrate the point, this week's BMJ podcast includes an interview with Jac...
Murine models poorly mimic human diseases [Medical Sciences]
by Seok, J., Warren, H. S., Cuenca, A. G., Mindrinos, M. N., Baker, H. V., Xu, W., Richards, D. R., McDonald–Smith, G. P., Gao, H., Hennessy, L., Finnerty, C. C., Lopez, C. M., Honari, S., Moore, E. E., Minei, J. P., Cuschieri, J., Bankey, P. E., Johnson, J. L., Sperry, J., Nathens, A. B., Billiar, T. R., West, M. A., Jeschke, M. G., Klein, M. B., Gamelli, R. L., Gibran, N. S., Brownstein, B. H., Miller–Graziano, C., Calvano, S. E., Mason, P. H., Cobb, J. P., Rahme, L. G., Lowry, S. F., Maier, R. V., Moldawer, L. L., Herndon, D. N., Davis, R. W., Xiao, W., Tompkins, R. G., the Inflammation and Host Response to In&jnodot;ury, Large Scale Collaborative Research Program
A cornerstone of modern biomedical research is the use of mouse models to explore basic pathophysiological mechanisms, evaluate new therapeutic approaches, and make go or no-go decisions to carry new drug candidates forward into clinical trials. Systematic studies evaluating how well murine models m...

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

Social isolation 'ups death risk'
Social isolation is linked with a higher risk of death in older people, research suggests.
Mammogram Scare May Cause Long-Term Distress
Even after three years, some women with a false positive mammogram test result displayed higher levels of distress than those with normal findings.
Toenail clippings may reveal toxicity in N.J. town
Scientists are testing toenail clippings to see if carcinogenic metal may be putting about 3,600 residents at risk
Breath Test Might Predict Obesity Risk
It works by measuring bacteria balance in the gut, researchers say
Colonoscopy Cuts Advanced Cancer Risk by 70 Percent: Study
Expert says annual fecal blood test is equally effective
Could Herpes Virus Affect Memory in Older Adults?
Chronic infection with cold sores may affect thinking, especially in sedentary folks, study suggests
Most of World's Adults Consume Too Much Salt, Study Finds
Majority taking in double the recommended amount, increasing their health risks
Grandad's hip fracture a risk factor for Osteoporosis
Has your paternal or maternal grandfather broken their hip on any occasion? In that case there is a greater risk that your own bones are more fragile as an adult. This has been demonstrated in a study of over 1,000 young adults, which identified those factors increasing the risk of bone fragility in men.
Having Older Grandfather May Raise Child's Autism Risk: Study
Men who became dads at age 50 or older had higher odds for a grandchild with the disorder
Study: More children being diagnosed with some form of autism as they get older
Two percent of U.S. schoolkids - or about a million children - have been diagnosed with some sort of autism, according to the latest government report released on Wednesday -- or at least their parents say they have. It's a large increase since the last report but experts stress it doesn't necessarily mean more children are developing autism.Instead, the numbers suggests that more children are bei...
High Blood Pressure May Add to Alzheimer's Risk, Study Finds
People with a genetic mutation plus hypertension have more brain plaque, researchers find
You don't 'own' your own genes: Researchers raise alarm about loss of individ...
Humans don't "own" their own genes, the cellular chemicals that define who they are and what diseases they might be at risk for. Through more than 40,000 patents on DNA molecules, companies have essentially claimed the entire human genome for profit, report two researchers who analyzed the patents on human DNA. Their study raises an alarm about the loss of individual "genomic liberty."
Soybean Oil Peptides Linked To Lower Cancer Risk, Study Suggests
A study conducted at the University of Arkansas suggests peptides found in soybeans can fight against colon, lung and liver cancer.
Easter Bunny: Chocolate May Cut Risk Of Stroke
In a press release straight from the Easter Bunny, researchers in Britain announced that eating just one chocolate bar has a singular effect on the brain and may reduce the risk of stroke.
Does Exercise Help Everyone?
While exercise might provide some good functional benefits for some, it would not stop the loss of muscle in others. The researchers found no simple link between exercise and retarding of the muscle aging process.
Statins Put Millions At Risk For Kidney Failure
Dosages that were too high increased the likelihood of kidney failure and hospital admission significantly says a new report.
Aging Americans Turning To Plastic Surgery
A poll of Americans showed that most people are overwhelmingly concerned about aging, with regard to health, sexuality, career mojo and ... death. The national poll of 2,000 American adults found that 90 percent of respondents believe women face greater pressures to look younger than men, with men getting a five-year advantage in the aging process.
Brazilian Waxing STDs: Does Removing Pubic Hair Raise Infection Risk?
Removing pubic hair with Brazilian waxing can make people more likely to contract STDs like molluscum contagiosum, suggests a new study.
Gay Men Who Marry Now Living Longer, Study Says
Better HIV/AIDS treatment accounts for improved longevity, researchers note
Skim milk may not lower obesity risk
Got milk? It turns out that low-fat versions may not be the answer to helping kids maintain a healthy weight.
Processed Meat May Play a Part in Early Death: Study
It found those who ate the most increased their risk of dying prematurely by 44 percent
Report: 1 in 3 seniors dies with, not of, dementia
A staggering 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia, says a new report that highlights the impact the mind-destroying disease is having on the rapidly aging population....
Did evolution give us inflammatory disease?
Researchers demonstrate that some variants in our genes which could put a person at risk for inflammatory diseases -- such as multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease or rheumatoid arthritis -- have been the target of natural selection over the course of human history.
Night Shift Linked To Ovarian Cancer
Women who worked through the night had a significantly higher risk for ovarian cancer, echoing previous research which showed similar findings for breast cancer risk.
Study Links Stressful Thoughts To Health Problems, Disease
Scientists find that negative thoughts not only affect mood but other aspects of physical health, increasing levels of inflammation in the body associated with a number of disorders and conditions. "More and more, chronic inflammation is being associated with various disorders and conditions, says Dr. Peggy Zoccola, lead investigator and an assistant professor at the Ohio University in the United States.
Resveratrol does provide anti-aging benefits, study shows
Scientists prove resveratrol provides anti-aging benefits by activating a serum that speeds up cell energy production
Cholesterol Levels May Vary By Season
Brazilian study doesn't necessarily mean that heart attack or stroke risk rises in winter
Tooth Loss Associated With Higher Risk for Heart Disease
Reason for link between teeth, gums and heart health is still unclear, researcher says
When Good Deeds Cause Bad Behavior: Are You a Moral Cheater?
A new psychology study looks at moral balancing, the mindset behind cheating.
Potential of large studies for building genetic risk prediction models
Scientists have developed a new paradigm to assess hereditary risk prediction in common diseases, such as prostate cancer.

NIH Press Releases

Delay in shifting gaze linked to early brain development in autism
At 7 months of age, children who are later diagnosed with autism take a split second longer to shift their gaze during a task measuring eye movements and visual attention than do typically developing infants of the same age, according to researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health.
NIH study shows people with serious mental illnesses can lose weight
People with serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression can lose weight and keep it off through a modified lifestyle intervention program, a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-funded study reported online today in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Wireless, implanted sensor broadens range of brain research
A compact, self-contained sensor recorded and transmitted brain activity data wirelessly for more than a year in early stage animal tests, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. In addition to allowing for more natural studies of brain activity in moving subjects, this implantable device represents a potential major step toward cord-free control of advanced prosthetics that move with the power of thought. The report is in the April 2013 issue of the Journal of Neural Engineering.
Backwards signals appear to sensitize brain cells, rat study shows
When the mind is at rest, the electrical signals by which brain cells communicate appear to travel in reverse, wiping out unimportant information in the process, but sensitizing the cells for future sensory learning, according to a study of rats conducted by researchers at the National Institutes of Health.
NIH highlights lifelong impact of acute kidney injury
In observance of World Kidney Day on March 14, the National Institutes of Health is raising awareness of the long term effects of acute kidney injury (AKI) -- a sudden loss of kidney function. Research funded by the NIH's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) suggests survivors of AKI have a lifelong increased risk for developing permanent kidney damage, resulting in decreased kidney function.
Benefits of quitting smoking outpace risk of modest weight gain
The improvement in cardiovascular health that results from quitting smoking far outweighs the limited risks to cardiovascular health from the modest amount of weight gained after quitting, reports a National Institutes of Health-funded community study. The study found that former smokers without diabetes had about half as much risk of developing cardiovascular disease as current smokers, and this risk level did not change when post-cessation weight gain was accounted for in the analysis.
NIH study sheds light on role of climate in influenza transmission
Two types of environmental conditions -- cold-dry and humid-rainy -- are associated with seasonal influenza epidemics, according to an epidemiological study led by researchers at the National Institutes of Health?s Fogarty International Center. The paper, published in PLoS Pathogens, presents a simple climate-based model that maps influenza activity globally and accounts for the diverse range of seasonal patterns observed across temperate, subtropical and tropical regions.
Daily-use HIV prevention approaches prove ineffective among women in NIH study
Three antiretroviral-based strategies intended to prevent HIV infection among women did not prove effective in a major clinical trial in Africa. For reasons that are unclear, a majority of study participants -- particularly young, single women -- were unable to use their assigned approaches daily as directed, according to findings presented today by one of the study's co-leaders at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Atlanta.
First grade math skills set foundation for later math ability
Children who failed to acquire a basic math skill in first grade scored far behind their peers by seventh grade on a test of the mathematical abilities needed to function in adult life, according to researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health.

NIH Announcements

Plan To Include All Parkinson's Disease Biomarkers Projects in the NINDS Park...
Notice NOT-NS-13-020 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
Regional and International Differences in Health and Longevity at Older Ages (R03) PA-13-123
Expiration Date September 8, 2016
Regional and International Differences in Health and Longevity at Older Ages (R21) PA-13-124
Expiration Date September 8, 2016
Regional and International Differences in Health and Longevity at Older Ages (R01) PA-13-125
Expiration Date September 8, 2016
Obesity Policy Evaluation Research (R01) PA-13-110
Expiration Date: May 8, 2016
PAR-12-186  DBSR  Macroeconomic Aspects of Population Aging (R01)
Expiration date:  10/04/2014 
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:

Alzheimer's Disease-Related Dementias: Research Challenges and Opportunities (Day 1)    
Air date:  Wednesday, May 01, 2013, 8:00:00 AM (ET)

Alzheimer's Disease-Related Dementias: Research Challenges and Opportunities (Day 2)    
Air date:  Thursday, May 02, 2013, 8:30:00 AM (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 AmericaWednesday, 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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