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News and Announcements

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Items specific to any of the topics in the What We Know section of this site are displayed in the left sidebar of those pages. The same is true for our ScienceServ and Special Partnerships pages.

News and announcements related to environmental impacts on human health, collected from a multitude of sources, especially Environmental Health News. For additional items or to subscribe to this feed, visit healthandenvironment.org/CHE.xml.

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News stories linked to Healthy Aging

Call for comments: OAR Regulatory Reform.

April 19, 2017

The US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Air and Radiation (OAR), will host a public teleconference to obtain additional stakeholder feedback on air and radiation regulatory actions on Monday, April 24, 2017. Written public comments can also be submitted through May 15, 2017.

From bullets to poison: tales of toxic lead and what makes it so lethal.

April 13, 2017

The metal's curious chemistry and propensity to alter enzymes have disfigured royals, killed Romans and gained it notoriety for murders. The Guardian.

The effects of 50 Hz magnetic field exposure on DNA damage and cellular functions in various neurogenic cells.

April 12, 2017

Our data suggest that exposure to a 50 Hz MF at 2.0 mT did not elicit DNA damage effects or abnormal cellular functions in the neurogenic cells studied. Journal of Radiation Research.

Parkinson's disease and occupational exposures: a systematic literature review and meta-analyses.

April 12, 2017

Using an elaborated quality protocol, there is now strong evidence that exposure to any pesticide involves a ≥50% increased risk for developing Parkinson's disease. Studies on exposure to metals or electromagnetic fields did not show increased risk. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health.

Effects of avocado (Persea americana) on metabolic syndrome: a comprehensive systematic review.

April 12, 2017

In this review, we aimed to find out avocado's pharmacological effects on different components of MetS. Moreover, this review report is performed on the MetS effects of peel, seed, flesh, and leaves of avocado. Phytotherapy Research.

Why green spaces are good for grey matter.

April 10, 2017

"We found that older participants experienced beneficial effects of green space whilst walking between busy built urban environments and urban green space environments." ScienceDaily.
[See the study: Older people's experiences of mobility and mood in an urban environment: a mixed methods approach using electroencephalography (EEG) and interviews]

CardioBrief: pendulum swings further away from vitamin D supplements.

April 10, 2017

A new randomized controlled trial offers no support for the use of increasingly popular vitamin D supplements to prevent cardiovascular disease or reduce mortality. Medpage Today.
[See the study: Effect of monthly high-dose vitamin D supplementation on cardiovascular disease in the Vitamin D Assessment Study: a randomized clinical trial]

Programming the future: epigenetics in the context of DOHaD.

April 8, 2017

According to the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) hypothesis, environmental exposures during pre- and postnatal development can affect health years or even decades later. A potential bridge between these exposures and outcomes involves changes in, or reprogramming of, the epigenome. Environmental Health Perspectives.
[See the study: Small-magnitude effect sizes in epigenetic end points are important in children's environmental health studies: the Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center's Epigenetics Working Group]

Researchers raise concerns over health risks of popular herbicide.

April 3, 2017

Tanner is careful to call the Parkinson’s-paraquat relationship a correlation, not causation. But it’s one of many studies that suggests that correlation. Fresno Valley Public Radio, California.

Hepatitis B and C may be linked to increased risk of Parkinson’s disease.

March 31, 2017

"It's possible that the hepatitis virus itself or perhaps the treatment for the infection could play a role in triggering Parkinson's disease or it's possible that people who are susceptible to hepatitis infections are also more susceptible to Parkinson's disease." Newswise.
[See the study: Viral hepatitis and Parkinson disease: A national record-linkage study]

Vitamin D and cancer: still no clear answers.

March 31, 2017

Four years of supplemental vitamin D and calcium did not reduce the risk of cancer in healthy postmenopausal women, a randomized, placebo-controlled trial showed. Medpage Today.
[See the study: Effect of vitamin D and calcium supplementation on cancer incidence in older women: a randomized clinical trial]

Effect of 1.8 GHz radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation on novel object associative recognition memory in mice.

March 31, 2017

These results demonstrate that exposure to 1.8 GHz RF-EMR for 30 min can significantly increase recognition memory in mice, and can change dendritic-spine morphology and neuronal excitability in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Scientific Reports.

Walk, stretch or dance? Dancing may be best for the brain.

March 29, 2017

A new study that compared the neurological effects of country dancing with those of walking and other activities suggests that there may be something unique about learning a social dance. New York Times.
[See the study: White matter integrity declined over 6-months, but dance intervention improved integrity of the fornix of older adults]

Regular tea consumption reduces risk of neurocognitive disorders in older adults, study says.

March 18, 2017

Dr. Feng and his colleagues from the National University of Singapore found that regular consumption of tea lowers the risk of cognitive decline in the elderly by 50%, while carriers of the genetic variant APOE-e4—which puts them at higher risk for developing Alzheimer's disease—may experience a reduction in cognitive impairment risk by as much as 86%. Sci News.
[See the study: Tea consumption reduces the incidence of neurocognitive disorders: findings from the Singapore longitudinal aging study]

Probiotics may not always be a silver bullet for better health.

March 17, 2017

In rats fed on 'junk' diets, the probiotic medicine was able to significantly impact microbial composition in the gut and prevent memory loss. But for rats on a healthy diet, the probiotic did little to influence microbial composition and actually impaired memory function. ScienceDaily.
[See the study: Cafeteria diet and probiotic therapy: cross talk among memory, neuroplasticity, serotonin receptors and gut microbiota in the rat]

Older women taking statins face higher risk of diabetes.

March 17, 2017

Women over 75 faced a 33 percent higher chance of developing diabetes if they were taking statins, new Australian research shows. The risk increased to 51 percent for those on high doses. ScienceDaily.
[See the study: New-onset diabetes after statin exposure in elderly women: the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health]

Climate change impacts: Americans' health hurt by global warming, doctors say.

March 16, 2017

Climate change is already harming Americans' health, a report released Wednesday by the Medical Society Consortium on Climate & Health, which represents more than half of the country's doctors, found. International Business Times.
[See the report: Medical Alert! Climate Change Is Harming Our Health]

Changing climate could worsen foods' nutrition.

March 14, 2017

Climate change could shrink the mineral and protein content of wheat, rice and other staple crops, mounting evidence suggests. Science News.
[See the studies: Selenium deficiency risk predicted to increase under future climate change and Climate change and global food systems: potential impacts on food security and undernutrition]

Mercury contamination ongoing issue for First Nation communities.

March 14, 2017

A chemical plant in Dryden is still causing concerns for many First Nation residents as mercury is still leaking into the River. Sudbury Northern Life, Ontario.

Mayo Clinic discovers high-intensity aerobic training can reverse aging processes in adults.

March 13, 2017

All training types improved lean body mass and insulin sensitivity, but only high-intensity and combined training improved aerobic capacity and mitochondrial function for skeletal muscle. Mayo Clinic.
[See the study: Enhanced protein translation underlies improved metabolic and physical adaptations to different exercise training modes in young and old humans]

Warning: living in a city could seriously damage your health.

March 13, 2017

Learning to make cities livable will be one of the greatest public health challenges of this century. The Guardian, United Kingdom.

Blueberry concentrate improves brain function in older people.

March 8, 2017

In the study, healthy people aged 65-77 who drank concentrated blueberry juice every day showed improvements in cognitive function, blood flow to the brain and activation of the brain while carrying out cognitive tests. ScienceDaily.
[See the study: Enhanced task related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation]

Caffeine boosts enzyme that could protect against dementia.

March 8, 2017

Indiana University scientists have identified 24 compounds that increase the brain's production of the enzyme NMNAT2, which helps prevent the formation of these tangles associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. ScienceDaily.
[See the study: Screening with an NMNAT2-MSD platform identifies small molecules that modulate NMNAT2 levels in cortical neurons]

A path analysis of multiple neurotoxic chemicals and cognitive functioning in older US adults (NHANES 1999–2002).

March 7, 2017

This cross-sectional analysis which controlled for collinear exposure to several neurotoxic compounds demonstrated an association between non-dioxin like polychlorinated biphenyl exposure, specifically PCB 146, and lower cognitive functioning, in older adults. Lead exposure was also weakly associated with lower cognitive functioning. Environmental Health.

Blood mercury concentrations are associated with decline in liver function in an elderly population: a panel study.

March 7, 2017

Our results suggest that blood mercury levels are associated with elevated liver enzymes and interact with alcohol consumption for the association in the elderly. Environmental Health.

UN experts denounce 'myth' pesticides are necessary to feed the world.

March 7, 2017

The idea that pesticides are essential to feed a fast-growing global population is a myth, according to UN food and pollution experts. The Guardian.
[See the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food]

LA keeps building near freeways, even though living there makes people sick.

March 6, 2017

For more than a decade, California air quality officials have warned against building homes within 500 feet of freeways. And with good reason: People there suffer higher rates of asthma, heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer and pre-term births. Recent research has added more health risks to the list, including childhood obesity, autism and dementia. Los Angeles Times.

Link between microbiome in the gut, Parkinson's discovered.

March 6, 2017

There is growing evidence showing a connection between Parkinson's disease—a neurodegenerative condition—and the composition of the microbiome of the gut. A new study from researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham shows that Parkinson's disease, and medications to treat Parkinson's, have distinct effects on the composition of the trillions of bacteria that make up the gut microbiome. ScienceDaily.
[See the study: Parkinson's disease and Parkinson's disease medications have distinct signatures of the gut microbiome]

Sugar’s “tipping point” link to Alzheimer’s disease revealed.

February 24, 2017

By studying brain samples from people with and without Alzheimer’s using a sensitive technique to detect glycation, the team discovered that in the early stages of Alzheimer’s glycation damages an enzyme called MIF (macrophage migration inhibitory factor) which plays a role in immune response and insulin regulation. University of Bath News.
[See the study: Macrophage migration inhibitory factor is subjected to glucose modification and oxidation in Alzheimer's disease]

Mercury in fish, seafood may be linked to higher risk of ALS, study suggests.

February 21, 2017

The study found that among participants who ate fish and seafood regularly, those in the top 25 percent for estimated annual mercury intake were at double the risk for ALS compared to those with lower levels. CBC News.