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CCBAR Newsletter – May, 2013

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau  


CCBAR Announces its 2013 Annual Research Meeting
Biosocial Study of Health and Aging in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and HIV-Affected Populations 
Date: Thursday, October 17, 2013
Time: 7:30 AM-3:30 PM
Location: The University Club of Chicago, Downtown Chicago
Karen Fredricksen-Goldsen, PhD, Director of the Institute for Multigenerational Health at the School of Social Work, University of Washington will give the keynote lecture. Researchers from Add Health, the National Health Interview Study, the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project, Indiana University Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Fenway Institute, Knowledge Networks, Women's Interagency HIV Study, and others are confirmed as speakers.  Andy Chen, a graphic design artist will display an exhibit of and discuss his work on Imaging Intimacy: Stereotypes surrounding aging and sexuality. Mr. Chen conducted this work as a Fulbright Scholar at the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the Royal College of Art in London, England  with mentorship from CCBAR researchers.

If you would like to participate, please contact Lori Garibay, MPH at

REVES Network 2013
Natalia Gavrilova participated on behalf of CCBAR in the REVES Network on Health Expectancy annual meeting held on May 27-29, 2013 in Austin, TX. This meeting covered various aspects of measuring health and disability. Some presentations were devoted to the link between biomeasures and health (by Rosero-Bixby and Eileen Crimmins).  Linda Martin (RAND Corporation) gave the annual George Myers Lecture entitled "Revisiting the Disablement Process: What Do We Mean by Healthy Life?"  Meeting program and abstracts can be found on the REVES meeting website:

Power point presentations of meeting participants will be posted online soon.

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

Physiology: Inflammation links ageing to the brain
by Dana Gabuzda, Bruce A. Yankner
Inflammation-activated signalling pathways in the brain's hypothalamus control the production of ageing-related hormones. This finding provides a link between inflammation, stress responses and systemic ageing. See Article p.211
Hypothalamic programming of systemic ageing involving IKK, NF-B and GnRH
by Guo Zhang, Juxue Li, Sudarshana Purkayastha, Yizhe Tang, Hai Zhang, Ye Yin, Bo Li, Gang Liu, Dongsheng Cai
Ageing is a result of gradual and overall functional deteriorations across the body; however, it is unknown whether an individual tissue primarily works to mediate the ageing progress and control lifespan. Here we show that the hypothalamus is important for the development of whole-body ageing
Breaking the Brain Barrier
by Jeneen Interlandi
A new understanding of the blood-brain barrier as a living, mutable organ may revolutionize the treatment of diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's
Drug development for progeria yields insights into normal aging
by Kevin Jiang
The single biggest risk factor for the vast majority of chronic diseases is old age. For many diseases, in fact, a person's birth date is a larger red flag than all other known risk factors combined. But for too long, physicians thought that the aging process was impossible to modify or slow down. L...
Frailty research strengthens with biomarker and treatment leads
by Sarah CP Williams
Old mice require new experimental tricks to study aging process
by Elie Dolgin
Establish good genomic practice to guide medicine forward
by Richard W Barker, David A Brindley, Anna Schuh
Genomic advances, including next-generation sequencing, offer substantial opportunities and challenges for stratified and personalized medicines. However, the lack of standardization in genomic diagnostics translates into a major risk of error introduction. To ensure the integrity of such data and t...
Meat-metabolizing bacteria in atherosclerosis
by Fredrik Bäckhed
L-Carnitine is a common food supplement and naturally occurs in red meat. This nutrient is metabolized into trimethyl metabolites by the gut microbiota and is associated with an elevated risk for cardiovascular disease. A recent study provides new insights into this link by e...
A gut-heart connection in cardiometabolic regulation
by Alessia Buglioni, John C Burnett
A new study establishes a link between glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) release from the gut and the cardiac hormone atrial natriuretic peptide, which lowers blood pressure. As GLP-1 receptor agonists are used to control glycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes, this new gut-...
Neuroendocrinology: Hypothalamic self-tuning to stress
by Leonie Welberg
Stress induces a metaplastic signal at GABA synapses in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus that can account for both the early sensitization and the delayed inhibition of responses to subsequent stressors.
Chimpanzees still rational maximizers [Social Sciences]
by Jensen, K., Call, J., Tomasello, M.
The ultimatum game (1) is a powerful and widely used test of bargaining behavior that has only recently been applied to nonhuman animals. The key feature of this game is the power the responder has; the threat of rejections - the ultimatum - typically induces proposers to be more generous than the...
What equitable offers mean [Social Sciences]
by Proctor, D., Williamson, R. A., de Waal, F. B. M., Brosnan, S. F.
When playing the ultimatum game, chimpanzees and children shifted their behavior from selfish offers in the preference test to more equitable ones in the ultimatum game (1). Why did they do so? All that we can measure is behavior, not motivations. Nonetheless, in human studies equitable outcomes are...
Model comparison approach to fertility decline [Anthropology]
by Shenk, M. K., Towner, M. C., Kress, H. C., Alam, N.
The demographic transition is an ongoing global phenomenon in which high fertility and mortality rates are replaced by low fertility and mortality. Despite intense interest in the causes of the transition, especially with respect to decreasing fertility rates, the underlying mechanisms motivating it...
Neural predictors of math learning in children [Neuroscience]
by Supekar, K., Swigart, A. G., Tenison, C., Jolles, D. D., Rosenberg-Lee, M., Fuchs, L., Menon, V.
Now, more than ever, the ability to acquire mathematical skills efficiently is critical for academic and professional success, yet little is known about the behavioral and neural mechanisms that drive some children to acquire these skills faster than others. Here we investigate the behavioral and ne...
Distinct PTSD biology after childhood maltreatment [Psychological and Cogniti...
by Mehta, D., Klengel, T., Conneely, K. N., Smith, A. K., Altmann, A., Pace, T. W., Rex–Haffner, M., Loeschner, A., Gonik, M., Mercer, K. B., Bradley, B., Muller–Myhsok, B., Ressler, K. J., Binder, E. B.
Childhood maltreatment is likely to influence fundamental biological processes and engrave long-lasting epigenetic marks, leading to adverse health outcomes in adulthood. We aimed to elucidate the impact of different early environment on disease-related genome-wide gene expression and DNA methylatio...
[Perspectives] The Gracefully Aging Immune System
by Boraschi, D., Aguado, M. T., Dutel, C., Goronzy, J., Louis, J., Grubeck-Loebenstein, B., Rappuoli, R., Del Giudice, G.
Prolonged life expectancy in the 20th century has been one of humankind’s greatest triumphs. However, the substantial increase in the human life span has ushered in a new concern: healthy aging. Because infectious diseases prominently contribute to morbidity in the particularly vulnerable elde...
Mental disorders common among US children, CDC says
by McCarthy, M.
As many as one in five US children suffers from a mental disorder in a given year, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).The article, 'Mental health surveillance among children --United States, 2005-2011', which was published as a supplement of the 17 M...
Addressing the Social Determinants of Health Within the Patient-Centered Medi...
by Garg A, Jack B, Zuckerman B.
Socioeconomic disparities in health continue to exist, despite advances in medicine. Since the classic Whitehall studies, it has been well known that the social context in which an individual lives and works influences health. Mitigating the harmful consequences of social factors that contribute to ...
Hypertension Increasing Among US Adults
The prevalence of US adults with hypertension as well as those who take antihypertensive medication has increased in recent years, according to telephone surveys carried out by state health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Not as sunny as advertised
by Nicola McCarthy
Several recent reports in the popular press have indicated that the benefits of exposure to sunlight might outweigh the risks of developing skin cancer.
US Infant Mortality Decreases but Still Ranks High Worldwide
After significant decreases throughout the 20th century, the US infant mortality rate plateaued from 2000 to 2005 and now is declining again. However, the US infant mortality rate still ranks 27th among the 34 countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

Obese kids have different breath than skinny ones, study says
"Breathprints" may contain information on risks for conditions like diabetes, fatty liver disease
Genes May Boost Woman's Risk of Postpartum Depression
Test found specific changes to two genes predicted problem with 85 percent accuracy
Weekend 'Catch-Up' Sleep May Cut Young Drivers' Crash Risk
Study found 21 percent higher chance of accident among those who slept less than 6 hours a night
ADHD in Childhood May Raise Risk for Obesity in Adulthood
Study found boys with the disorder were twice as likely to have a higher body-mass index when they were men
Depression May Boost Stroke Risk in Middle-Aged Women, Too
Although risk is still low, Australian study found it nearly doubled for depressed women in their 40s and 50s
Sugary Sodas, Fruit Punches May Raise Kidney Stone Risk: Study
It's important to stay hydrated, but water may be your best choice, experts say
Hysterectomy May Not Raise Heart Risks After All: Study
Finding might reassure women considering the procedure, researcher says
Healthy Lifestyle May Offset Job Stress, Study Finds
Risk for heart disease rises when workers drink, smoke or overeat
Estrogen Levels Tied to Risk for Sudden Cardiac Death in Study
Tests reveal higher concentration of the sex hormone in women and men
Child maltreatment increases risk of adult obesity
Children who have suffered maltreatment are 36 percent more likely to be obese in adulthood compared to non-maltreated children, according to a new study. The authors estimate that the prevention or effective treatment of seven cases of child maltreatment could avoid one case of adult obesity.
Women who smoke during pregnancy increase the risk of both obesity and gestat...
Women who smoke during pregnancy increase the risk of both obesity and gestational diabetes, in their daughters.
Mediterranean diet seems to boost aging brain power
A Mediterranean diet with added extra virgin olive oil or mixed nuts seems to improve the brain power of older people better than advising them to follow a low-fat diet, according to new research.
Elusive search for biomarkers in Huntington's disease
While Huntington's disease (HD) is currently incurable, the HD research community anticipates that new disease-modifying therapies in development may slow or minimize disease progression. The success of HD research depends upon the identification of reliable and sensitive biomarkers to track disease and evaluate therapies, and these biomarkers may eventually be used as outcome measures in clinical trials. Biomarkers could be especially helpful to monitor changes during the time prior to diagnosi...
Prenatal exposure to traffic is associated with respiratory infection in youn...
Living near a major roadway during the prenatal period is associated with an increased risk of respiratory infection developing in children by the age of 3, according to a new study.
Air pollution and noise pollution increase cardiovascular risk
Both fine-particle air pollution and noise pollution may increase a person's risk of developing cardiovascular disease, according to new research.
Do Men's and Women's Hearts Burn Fuel Differently?
Gender specific shifts in cardiac metabolism under stress may shed light on heart disease.
New HIV guidelines make screening even more routine
Guidelines call for screening adolescents and adults ages 15 to 65 who are not known to be at increased risk for HIV infection.
When disaster strikes, it's survival of the sociable
In the drive to climate-proof cities, we can't just focus on buildings. Social infrastructure is just as important, says sociologist Robert Sampson    
Sleep Apnea And Alzheimer's Disease Connected, Study Finds
An examination of sleep-disordered breathing and biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease shows that the two may be related, especially among lean people.
The Top 10 Reasons Why Sex Is Good For You
A healthy sex life can pay huge dividends, from keeping you feel young at heart to actually lowering your risk for health problems in the future.
Where do morals come from?
Being nice to others and cooperating with them aren't uniquely human traits. Our close primate relatives also demonstrate these behaviors.
Personal Health: Shaking Off Loneliness
Social isolation can adversely affect health, undermining the ability to self-regulate, raising stress and increasing inflammation, studies show.    
Pets a Boon for the Human Heart, Cardiologists Say
American Heart Association cites stress-busting, dog-walking benefits of companion animals
Eating Peppers Tied to Lower Parkinson's Risk, Study Finds
Vegetables that contain nicotine may offer some protection, research suggests
Common painkillers 'pose heart risk'
Some common painkillers, including ibuprofen and diclofenac, may slightly increase the risk of heart problems if taken in high doses for a long time, data suggests.
Uneducated White Women In US Have 66% Higher Mortality Rate
Due to socio-economic circumstances, the life expectancy for less educated white women is much shorter than it is for the well-educated.
Microbleeding in Brain May Be Behind Senior Moments
Study suggests that stiffening arteries and burst blood vessels slow down older brains
Migraine, Chronic Back Pain Tied to Higher Suicide Risk
Hopelessness, disability may play a role in feelings of despair, study finds
Fish Oil Pills Might Cut Diabetes Risk, Researchers Say
Higher blood levels of a beneficial hormone seen in those who took the omega-3 supplements
Why Donating Blood Is Good For Your Health
Blood donors who donate regularly lower their risk of developing life-threatening illnesses.
Elder Abuse: An Impending National Crisis?
With the aging of the baby boom, the incidence of maltreatment among senior citizens has increased.
Men and Women Lie About Sexual Behavior to Meet Cultural Expectations
When faced with a lie detector test, both males and females spoke more honestly about their sexual relations than when the lie detector wasn't attached.
Children Of Long-Lived Parents Less Likely To Get Cancer And Other Diseases
The risk of developing cancer and other diseases associated with aging drops for every 10 years that at least one parent lives past 65, a study finds.

NIH Press Releases

NIH scientists discover molecule triggers sensation of itch
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health report they have discovered in mouse studies that a small molecule released in the spinal cord triggers a process that is later experienced in the brain as the sensation of itch.
A molecular explanation for age-related fertility decline in women
Scientists supported by the National Institutes of Health have a new theory as to why a woman's fertility declines after her mid-30s. They also suggest an approach that might help slow the process, enhancing and prolonging fertility.
Flu in pregnancy may quadruple child's risk for bipolar disorder
Pregnant mothers' exposure to the flu was associated with a nearly fourfold increased risk that their child would develop bipolar disorder in adulthood, in a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. The findings add to mounting evidence of possible shared underlying causes and illness processes with schizophrenia, which some studies have also linked to prenatal exposure to influenza.
Women's, Men's brains respond differently to hungry infant's cries
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have uncovered firm evidence for what many mothers have long suspected: women's brains appear to be hard-wired to respond to the cries of a hungry infant.
Type 1 diabetes network expands reach with online sign-up, nationwide testing
People with a family history of type 1 diabetes can now conveniently participate in free screening to help find ways to delay or prevent the disease, even if they live far from a study site. This alternative to site-based initial screening comes as modern technology enables more secure online registration for medical research.
NIH study provides clarity on supplements for protection against blinding eye...
Adding omega-3 fatty acids did not improve a combination of nutritional supplements commonly recommended for treating age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a major cause of vision loss among older Americans, according to a study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The plant-derived antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin also had no overall effect on AMD when added to the combination; however, they were safer than the related antioxidant beta-carotene, according to the study published online today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
NIH study uses Botox to find new wrinkle in brain communication
National Institutes of Health researchers used the popular anti-wrinkle agent Botox to discover a new and important role for a group of molecules that nerve cells use to quickly send messages. This novel role for the molecules, called SNARES, may be a missing piece that scientists have been searching for to fully understand how brain cells communicate under normal and disease conditions.
Brain patterns may help predict relapse risk for alcoholism
Distinct patterns of brain activity are linked to greater rates of relapse among alcohol dependent patients in early recovery, a study has found. The research, supported by the National Institutes of Health, may give clues about which people in recovery from alcoholism are most likely to return to drinking.
NIH awards $40 million in grants to reduce stroke disparities in the U.S.
Four research centers will develop high-impact culturally tailored interventions aimed at lowering stroke risk among racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. Together the centers are expected to receive $40 million in funding over five years, contingent on the availability of funds from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health.

NIH Announcements

Chronic Inflammation and Age-related Disease (R01)
Funding Opportunity PAR-13-233 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. The participating NIH Institutes and Centers invite applications to address both the origins and the effects of low level chronic inflammation in the onset and progression of age-related diseases and conditions. Chronic inflammation, as defined by elevated levels of both local and systemic cytokines and other pro-inflammatory factors, is a hallmark of aging in virtually all higher animals including humans and is recognized as a major risk factor for developing age-associated diseases. The spectra of phenotypes capable of generating low-level chronic inflammation and their defining mediators are not clear. Further, a clear understanding of how chronic inflammation compromises the integrity of cells or tissues leading to disease progression is lacking. The role of dietary supplements and/or nutritional status in chronic inflammation in age-related disease is also poorly studied. Thus, there is a critical need to establish the knowledge base that will allow a better understanding of the complex interplay between inflammation and age-related diseases. Applications submitted to this FOA should aim to clarify the molecular and cellular basis for the increase in circulating inflammatory factors with aging, and/or shed light on the cause-effect relationship between inflammation and disease, using pre-clinical (animal or cellular based) models.
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



The 20th IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics, June 23-27, 2013, Seoul, Korea
Abstract deadline was 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 was January 9, 2013 at 3:00pm EST.

XXVII IUSSP International Population Conference
26 to 31 August 2013. Busan, Republic of Korea
Abstract deadline was 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 was March 15, 2013    

2014 Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America 
Marriott Copley Place, Boston, MA, May 1-3, 2014
Abstract deadline: to be announced

2014 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Geriatrics Society (AGS), May 15 - 17, 2014
Orlando, Florida
Abstract deadline: to be announced

The 26th REVES meeting on health expectancy
Edinburgh, UK, May 28-30, 2014
Abstract submission deadline: to be announced


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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