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CCBAR Newsletter – October, 2010

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau

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

Long-running German panel survey shows that personal and economic choices, no...
Psychologists and economists take contradictory approaches to research on what psychologists call happiness or subjective well-being, and economists call subjective utility. A direct test of the most widely accepted psychological theory, set-point theory, shows it to be flawed. Results are then give...
Why Women Live Longer
Stress alone does not explain the longevity gap
Hope in translation
An increasing number of biomedical researchers are testing their ideas on people. The early-phase clinical-trial results are a promising sign of greater cooperation between scientists and clinicians.
Chimps' fate ignites debate
Decision to relocate colony of ageing research chimpanzees becomes political.
Dying to Eat
Ever fatter Americans risk much higher rates of disease and death
Rapid weight gain after birth predicts life history and reproductive strategy...
Ecological cues during prenatal and postnatal development may allow organisms to adjust reproductive strategy. The hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis is a prime candidate for adaptive plasticity as a result of its critical period of birth to 6 mo (B6M) in humans and the role of testosterone i...
Longitudinally mapping the influence of sex and androgen signaling on the dyn...
Humans have systematic sex differences in brain-related behavior, cognition, and pattern of mental illness risk. Many of these differences emerge during adolescence, a developmental period of intense neurostructural and endocrine change. Here, by creating "movies" of sexually dimorphic brain develop...
From the Cover: Prenatal undernutrition and cognitive function in late adulth...
At the end of World War II, a severe 5-mo famine struck the cities in the western part of The Netherlands. At its peak, the rations dropped to as low as 400 calories per day. In 1972, cognitive performance in 19-y-old male conscripts was reported not to have been affected by exposure to the famine b...
Stress and the epigenetic landscape: a link to the pathobiology of human dise...
Accumulating evidence points to a major role for chronic stress of cell renewal systems in the pathogenesis of important human diseases, including cancer, atherosclerosis and diabetes. Here we discuss emerging evidence that epigenetic abnormalities may make substantial contributions to these stress-...
Metabolism: Spotlight on aerobic glycolysis
Regional variations in aerobic glycolysis in young adults correlate spatially with amyloid deposition in older individuals.
Stroke: Trial results fail to support a role for B vitamins in the prevention...
The first randomized, placebo-controlled trial of B vitamin therapy for the prevention of major vascular events in patients with a history of stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) has been unable to show any benefit from such treatment. The take-home message was that B vitamins
Effects of Diet and Physical Activity Interventions on Weight Loss and Cardio...
The prevalence of severe obesity is increasing markedly, as is prevalence of comorbid conditions such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes mellitus; however, apart from bariatric surgery and pharmacotherapy, few clinical trials have evaluated the treatment of severe obesity.
Effect of DHA Supplementation During Pregnancy on Maternal Depression and Neu...
Uncertainty about the benefits of dietary docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) for pregnant women and their children exists, despite international recommendations that pregnant women increase their DHA intakes.
Risk factors: Anxiety and risk of cardiac events
Anxiety has been shown to have prognostic importance in the development of coronary heart disease in initially healthy adults. This finding highlights the need of future research that includes representative samples of women and minorities, and uses precise assessment tools and careful ascertainment...
Prevention: B vitamins and CVD, failure to find a simple solution
The hope that a simple, affordable, and safe homocysteine-lowering intervention with folic acid and vitamin B12 would improve outcomes for patients with established cardiovascular or renal disease has been crushed by the null results from large B-vitamin treatment trials completed to date.
Hypertension: BP reduction in patients with diabetes' uncertainties remain
Patients with diabetes mellitus and hypertension are at high cardiovascular risk and treatment guidelines recommend aggressive blood pressure (BP) control. However, a reanalysis of data from the previously published INVEST trial indicates that achieving systolic BPs ...
Cardiovascular endocrinology: Lipids and cardiovascular disease risk: genetic...
Two multicenter teams have used data from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to unravel the link between cardiovascular disease risk and variation in blood lipid levels.Cardiovascular disease risk is heavily influenced by the levels of lipids - LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides - in...
Aspirin for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in diabetes mellitus
Aspirin is effective for the prevention of cardiovascular events in patients with a history of vascular disease, as so-called secondary prevention. In general populations with no history of previous myocardial infarction or stroke, aspirin also seems useful for primary prevention of cardiovascular e...
Reproductive endocrinology: Low testosterone increases risk of cardiovascular...
Low levels of testosterone are associated with increased all-cause mortality and cardiovascular events in a cohort of German women, according to a study by Caroline Sievers (Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany) and colleagues.Men have a higher risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mo...
Nutrition: High isoflavone intake delays puberty onset and may reduce breast ...
High consumption of dietary isoflavones is associated with a marked delay in pubertal timing in girls, which could potentially reduce the risk of breast cancer later in life, say the authors of a report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. A second
[News of the Week] China Census: 1.3 Billion Divided by 6.5 Million, and Watc...
China's unique solution to getting a handle on a swelling migrant, or "floating," population in this year's census?adding presumed residents to an actual head count?unsettles some demographers.
Understanding the effect of ethnic density on mental health: multi-level inve...
Objectives To determine if living in areas where higher proportions of people of the same ethnicity reside is protective for common mental disorders, and associated with a reduced exposure to... ...

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

Survey documents teen condom use and U.S. sexual habits
In one of the largest studies on sexual behavior in America, Indiana University investigators have found that more teens than adults use condoms -- and that sexual activity in the U.S. involves much more than the missionary position.
Gene test aims for better heart disease detection
It's not a perfect test. Yet researchers report a key step for the first gene test aimed at reducing unnecessary angiograms - expensive and somewhat risky procedures that hundreds of thousands of Americans have each year to check for clogged arteries. Most of these exams, done in hospital cardiac catheterization labs, turn out negative....
Walnuts, walnut oil, improve reaction to stress
A diet rich in walnuts and walnut oil may prepare the body to deal better with stress, according to a researchers who looked at how these foods, which contain polyunsaturated fats, influence blood pressure at rest and under stress.
Study: Vitamin B12 may help ward off Alzheimer's
People who consume lots of foods rich in vitamin B12 -- such as fish and fortified cereals -- may be at lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease than people who take in less of the vitamin, a small study conducted in Finland suggests.
From Taft to Obama, Victrola to DVD: Secrets of the Centenarians
Centenarians alive today are older than the Titanic, crossword puzzles and Mickey Mouse. Not surprisingly, the question they hear most often is - What is the secret to a long life??
Aging: Longer Life Expectancy Seen for Hispanics
Despite high rates of poverty, obesity and diabetes and relatively low rates of health insurance, Hispanics in the United States tend to outlive African-Americans and non-Hispanic whites.
Dental work can give you a heart attack
A new study finds that invasive dental procedures may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, especially in individuals who have already suffered from them.
Low Testosterone Raises Heart Death Risk
Men with heart disease die sooner if their testosterone levels are low, a U.K. study finds.
Smoking Raises Surgery Risks
Smoking and surgery risks are linked, with smokers who undergo surgery more likely to have complications or die shortly after surgical procedures than nonsmokers, according to a new study.
Heavy smoking 'ups dementia risk'
Heavy smokers face a much higher risk of two common forms of dementia, one of the biggest studies to date shows.
New theory links depression to chronic brain inflammation
Chronic depression is an adaptive, reparative neurobiological process gone wrong, say researchers, positing in a new theory that the debilitating mental state originates from more ancient mechanisms used by the body to deal with physical injury, such as pain, tissue repair and convalescent behavior.
Old bees' memory fades; Mirrors recall of humans and other mammals
Humans aren't the only ones whose memory fades with age. Scientists examined how aging impacts the ability of honey bees to find their way home. While bees are typically impressive navigators, able to wend their way home through complex landscapes after visits to flowers far removed from their nests, aging impairs the bees' ability to extinguish the memory of an unsuitable nest site even after the colony has settled in a new home.
Older people advised that taking an afternoon nap can lead to more active lives
Older people should not feel guilty about napping during the day if it allows them to keep active and busy when they are feeling less tired, new research reveals.
New mothers grow bigger brains within months of giving birth: Warmer feelings...
Motherhood may actually cause the brain to grow, not turn it into mush, as some have claimed. Exploratory research has found that the brains of new mothers bulked up in areas linked to motivation and behavior, and that mothers who gushed the most about their babies showed the greatest growth in key parts of the mid-brain.
Women 'miss father health clues'
Women at risk of breast cancer miss out on tests because a history of the disease in their father's family is disregarded, suggests a study.
Study: Low-dose aspirin may cut colon cancer risk
A new analysis suggests that taking a low dose of aspirin may modestly reduce the risk of developing colon cancer or dying of the disease....
Skin cancer fears may lead to lack of vitamin D
People with a genetic predisposition to basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer, may trade one health risk for another, a study ...
Coffee, Tea Linked to Lower Brain Cancer Risk
Drinking about a half cup or more of coffee or tea per day is associated with a 34% reduction in the risk for glioma, a type of brain tumor, researchers report.
Breast Cancer Seen as Riskier With Hormone
Hormone replacement therapy after menopause, which increases breast cancer risk, also makes the cancer worse.
Exercise Fights Breast Cancer
Exercise reduces the risk of post-menopausal African-American women of developing breast cancer, new research indicates.
Blood pressure checks performed by barbers improve hypertension control in Af...
Neighborhood barbers, by conducting a monitoring, education and physician-referral program, can help their African-American customers better control high blood pressure problems that pose special health risks for them, a new study shows.
CDC: 1/3 of Adults Could Have Diabetes by 2050
Says Percentage of Diabetic Americans Could Triple if Current Trends Continue, Mortality Rates Improve

NIH Press Releases

Improving mothers' literacy skills may be best way to boost children's achiev...
Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health concluded that programs to boost the academic achievement of children from low income neighborhoods might be more successful if they also provided adult literacy education to parents.

Succimer found ineffective for removing mercury
Succimer, a drug used for treating lead poisoning, does not effectively remove mercury from the body, according to research supported by the National Institutes of Health. Some families have turned to succimer as an alternative therapy for treating autism.

Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative enters next phase of research
The National Institutes of Health is expanding the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), a groundbreaking study that will recruit hundreds of new volunteers to help define the subtle changes that may take place in the brains of older people many years before overt symptoms of Alzheimer's disease appear. ADNI is the largest public-private partnership to date in Alzheimer's disease research. It is led by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at NIH, through a grant to the non-profit Northern California Institute for Research and Education (NCIRE), with private sector support provided through the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH).

NHLBI launches body cooling treatment study for pediatric cardiac arrest
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, has launched the first large-scale, multicenter study to investigate the effectiveness of body cooling treatment in infants and children who have had cardiac arrest. The Therapeutic Hypothermia after Pediatric Cardiac Arrest (THAPCA) trials total more than $21 million over six years.

HHS agencies partner with PEPFAR to transform African medical education
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is partnering with the U.S. President?s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) with a plan to invest $130 million over five years to transform African medical education and dramatically increase the number of health care workers.

NIH launches Genotype-Tissue Expression project
The National Institutes of Health today announced awards to support an initiative to understand how genetic variation may control gene activity and its relationship to disease. Launched as a pilot phase, the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project will create a resource researchers can use to study inherited susceptibility to illness and will establish a tissue bank for future biological studies.

NIH blood pressure trial expands to include more older adults
The National Institutes of Health plans to add about 1,750 participants over the age of 75 to its upcoming Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) to determine whether a lower blood pressure range in older adults will reduce cardiovascular and kidney diseases, age-related cognitive decline, and dementia.

Children, males and blacks are at increased risk for food allergies
A new study estimates that 2.5 percent of the United States population, or about 7.6 million Americans, have food allergies. Food allergy rates were found to be higher for children, non-Hispanic blacks, and males, according to the researchers. The odds of male black children having food allergies were 4.4 times higher than others in the general population.

Gene variations that alter key enzyme linked to prostate cancer
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have found that variations in a gene for an enzyme involved in cell energy metabolism appear to increase the risk for prostate cancer.

Lifestyle intervention improves risk factors in type 2 diabetes
An intensive lifestyle intervention program designed to achieve and maintain weight loss improves diabetes control and cardiovascular disease risk factors in overweight and obese individuals with type 2 diabetes, according to four-year results of the Look AHEAD study, funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The results are published in the Sept. 27, 2010, issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

NCBI launches the Database of Genomic Structural Variations
The National Institutes of Health today announces the launch of a new resource, called the Database of Genomic Structural Variation, or dbVar, to help scientists understand how differences in DNA contribute to human health and disease.

NIH Announcements

New Time Limit for NIH Resubmission Applications
National Institute on Aging: Revision Requests for Active Program Projects (P01)
Program Announcement from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
NIH Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunity Network (OppNet) Short-term Interdisciplinary Research Education Program for New Investigators (R25)
Request for Applications (RFA) Number: RFA-NR-11-002
Expiration Date: January 7, 2011
Scientific Meetings for Creating Interdisciplinary Research Teams in Basic Behavioral and Social Science Research (R13)

Psychosocial Stress and Behavior: Integration of Behavioral and Physiological...
Request for Applications from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
Development of Comprehensive and Conceptually-based Measures of Psychosocial ...
Request for Applications from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
Basic Mechanisms Influencing Behavioral Maintenance (R01)
Request for Applications from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
Chronic, Non-Communicable Diseases and Disorders Across the Lifespan: Fogarty...
Program Announcement from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
Participation of NIGMS on PAR-10-235, Climate Change and Health: Assessing an...
Effects of the Social Environment on Health: Measurement, Methods and Mechani...
Request for Applications from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
NICHD Program Project Grant (P01)
Program Announcement from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
NICHDs Scientific Vision: The Next Decade

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


A new book on biomeasures published:

Conducting Biosocial Surveys: Collecting, Storing, Accessing, and Protecting Biospecimens and Biodata.
Editors: Robert M. Hauser, Maxine Weinstein, Robert Pool, and Barney Cohen
The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2010.


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

4th National Conference on Genomics and Public Health: Using Genomic Information to Improve Health Now and in the Future.
Date: Wednesday, December 8 - Friday, December 10, 2010. Location: Bethesda North Marriott in Bethesda, Maryland

Population Association of America Annual Meeting.
The 2011 Annual Meeting will be held March 31-April 2 at the Marriott Wardman Hotel, Washington, DC.
(Note:  The Welcome Mixer is on Wednesday, March 30, 8:30 p.m.)

2011 American Geriatrics Society Annual Meeting, May 11-14, 2011. Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, National Harbor, MD.

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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