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News and Announcements

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Topic-specific News

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

Combustion-derived nanoparticles, the neuroenteric system, cervical vagus, hyperphosphorylated alpha synuclein and tau in young Mexico City residents

August 16, 2017

This work highlights the potential role of combustion-derived nanoparticles in the neuroenteric hyperphosphorylated ɑ-Syn and tau pathology as seen in Parkinson and Alzheimer's diseases. Environmental Research.

Aspartame: decades of science point to serious health risks.

August 15, 2017

While many studies, some of them industry-sponsored, have reported no problems with aspartame, dozens of independent studies conducted over decades have linked aspartame to a long list of health problems including cancer, weight gain and obesity, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular events, stroke, dementia, seizures, behavioral and cognitive problems, headache, kidney function decline, preterm delivery and other reproductive system irregularities. US Right to Know.

Call for comments: Healthy People 2030 Proposed Framework.

July 30, 2017

This framework includes the Healthy People 2030 vision, mission, foundational principles, plan of action, and overarching goals. The public is invited to submit specific comments on individual sections or a general comment on the entire framework.

110 NFL brains.

July 27, 2017

Of the 202 players, 111 of them played in the NFL—and 110 of those were found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, the degenerative disease believed to be caused by repeated blows to the head. New York Times.

Air pollution and Parkinson’s disease—evidence and future directions.

July 26, 2017

This review provides an overview of recent advances in the epidemiology of air pollution and PD, including evidence of the effects of various pollutants (ozone, PM10, PM2.5, PM2.5−10, NOx, NO2, CO, traffic air pollution, second-hand smoking) on PD risk. Reviews on Environmental Health.

Mediterranean-style diets linked to better brain function in older adults.

July 25, 2017

Older people who ate a Mediterranean-style diet had 35% lower risk of scoring poorly on cognitive tests. Even those who ate a moderate Mediterranean-style diet had 15% lower risk of doing poorly on cognitive tests. The researchers noted similar results for people who ate MIND-style diets. ScienceDaily.

Cigarette smoking and telomere length: a systematic review of 84 studies and meta-analysis.

July 24, 2017

Shorter telomeres among ever smokers compared to those who never smoked may imply mechanisms linking tobacco smoke exposure to ageing-related disease. Environmental Research.

Pesticide use and age-related macular degeneration in the Agricultural Health Study.

July 24, 2017

Age-related macular degeneration was associated with ever use of organochlorine and organophosphate insecticides and phenoxyacetate herbicides. Environmental Health Perspectives.

Swine flu linked to Parkinson's-like brain changes.

July 24, 2017

Mice who fully recovered from infection with the H1N1 influenza virus—the same virus responsible for the swine flu—were later more susceptible to chemical toxins known to trigger Parkinson's in the lab. Invisiverse.
[See the study: Synergistic effects of influenza and 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) can be eliminated by the use of influenza therapeutics: experimental evidence for the multi-hit hypothesis]

How to prevent dementia: managing smoking, hearing loss and depression can ward off condition.

July 20, 2017

An international team of scientists found that up to a third of dementia cases across the globe could be prevented through non-pharmacological interventions, such as exercise, social contact and weight management. Newsweek.

Stress and poverty may explain high rates of dementia in African-Americans.

July 17, 2017

Harsh life experiences appear to leave African-Americans vulnerable to Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, researchers reported Sunday at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in London. Weekend Edition, NPR.

Mortality from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease among different occupation groups—United States, 1985–2011.

July 16, 2017

This study identified higher ALS and Parkinson's disease mortality among workers in higher socioeconomic status occupations, but was unable to identify occupational or nonoccupational factors that might explain these findings. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

How diet may affect age-related macular degeneration.

July 14, 2017

Switching mice from a high glycemic diet to a low glycemic diet stopped the development of certain signs of age-related macular degeneration. National Institutes of Health Research Matters.

How babies' environments lead to poor health later.

July 6, 2017

New research underscores how environmental conditions early in development can cause inflammation in adulthood—an important risk factor for a wide range of diseases of aging, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, autoimmune diseases and dementia. ScienceDaily.

Extreme events conference highlights risks to the elderly.

July 6, 2017

At the Trans-Federal Workshop on Extreme Events, Environmental Health, and the Elderly, top researchers joined representatives of elder groups and community organizations to focus on research, cultural impacts, and sustainable solutions to protecting health in extreme events. NIEHS Environmental Factor.

Why tiny particles of pollution increase the risk of premature death in older Americans.

July 5, 2017

Long-term exposure to certain kinds of air pollution increases the risk of premature death in Americans over 65 years old. That finding holds true even at levels of air pollution below national standards. Environment Report.
[See the study: Air pollution and mortality in the Medicare population]

Cocoa and chocolate are not just treats—they are good for your cognition.

July 5, 2017

Cognitive performance was improved by a daily intake of cocoa flavanols. Factors such as attention, processing speed, working memory, and verbal fluency were greatly affected. These effects were, however, most pronounced in older adults with a starting memory decline or other mild cognitive impairments. ScienceDaily.
[See the study: Enhancing human cognition with cocoa flavonoids]

Call for proposals: Health Disparities and Alzheimer's Disease.

July 5, 2017

Health-disparities research related to AD should include the study of biological, behavioral, sociocultural, and environmental factors that influence population level health differences. Research approaches of interest include 1) improving recruitment and retention of populations underrepresented in AD research; 2) identifying priority factors or locating pathways and mechanisms that create and sustain AD health disparities; 3) addressing the challenges faced by informal/family caregivers from diverse racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds that are associated with the growing population of individuals with Alzheimer's Disease; and 4) understanding the disparities in access to and utilization of formal long-term supports and services for those with dementia. The next application deadline is October 5th.

Smart kids live longer.

June 30, 2017

Lower scores on childhood intelligence tests were associated with death from heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, lung and stomach cancers, digestive diseases, injury, and dementia. New York Times.

New report: Preventing Cognitive Decline and Dementia: A Way Forward.

June 22, 2017

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) initiated this study with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to take stock of the current state of knowledge on interventions for preventing cognitive decline and dementia, to help shape the messages NIA conveys to the broader public about these conditions, and to inform future actions and research in this area.

Extra-virgin olive oil preserves memory, protects brain against Alzheimer's.

June 21, 2017

In a new study, researchers show that consumption of extra-virgin olive oil protects memory and learning ability and reduces the formation of amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain—classic markers of Alzheimer's disease. ScienceDaily.

Western diet increases Alzheimer's pathology in genetically predisposed mice.

June 12, 2017

The authors found that APOE4-carrying mice fed a Western-like diet high in saturated fat and sugars for 12 weeks had increased deposits of β-amyloid protein as well a greater number of glial cells, characteristic of Alzheimer's disease (AD). These changes were not observed in mice carrying APOE3, which could mean that carriers of APOE4 are more susceptible to the effects of obesity on AD. ScienceDaily.
[See the study: Obesity accelerates Alzheimer-related pathology in APOE4 but not APOE3 mice]

Does consuming low-fat dairy increase the risk of Parkinson's disease?

June 11, 2017

Consuming at least three servings of low-fat dairy a day is associated with a greater risk of developing Parkinson's disease compared to consuming less than one serving a day, according to a large study. ScienceDaily.
[See the study: Intake of dairy foods and risk of Parkinson disease]

Dementia rates might be declining, new study finds.

May 29, 2017

More years of education was associated with a lower risk for dementia, and average years of education increased significantly from 2000 to 2017. And while obesity, a lack of exercise and poor diet can all raise the risk of Alzheimer's, rates went down as more people got heavier, developed high blood pressure and diabetes, Langa's team found. NBC News.
[See the study: A comparison of the prevalence of dementia in the United States in 2000 and 2012]

Healthy brain aging linked to omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the blood.

May 22, 2017

Study results suggest that different patterns of polyunsaturated fats promote specific aspects of cognition by strengthening the underlying neural circuits that are vulnerable to disease and age-related decline. ScienceDaily.
[See the studies: Determinants of fluid intelligence in healthy aging: Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid status and frontoparietal cortex structure and Predictors of memory in healthy aging: polyunsaturated fatty acid balance and fornix white matter integrity]

Can omega-3 help prevent Alzheimer's disease? Brain SPECT imaging shows possible link.

May 22, 2017

Researchers have found that for patients with high omega-3 levels, blood flow in specific areas of the brain is increased. ScienceDaily.
[See the study: Quantitative erythrocyte omega-3 EPA plus DHA levels are related to higher regional cerebral blood flow on brain SPECT]

New report: Nutrition Across the Lifespan for Healthy Aging: Proceedings of a Workshop.

May 19, 2017

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Food Forum convened a workshop with five objectives: 1) to examine trends and patterns in aging and factors related to healthy aging in the United States with a focus on nutrition; 2) to examine how nutrition can sustain and promote healthy aging, not only in late adulthood, but beginning in pregnancy and early childhood and extending throughout the lifespan; 3) to highlight the role of nutrition in the aging process at various stages in life; to discuss changes in organ systems over the lifespan, including the skeletal, muscular, and cardiovascular systems, and changes that occur with age related to cognitive, brain, and mental health; 4) diet-related sensory preferences, oral health, and the microbiome; and 5) to explore opportunities to move forward in promoting healthy aging in the United States.

Sugar- and artificially sweetened beverages and the risks of incident stroke and dementia: a prospective cohort study.

May 14, 2017

Higher recent and higher cumulative intake of artificially sweetened soft drinks were associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke, all-cause dementia, and Alzheimer's disease dementia. Sugar-sweetened beverages were not associated with stroke or dementia. Stroke.

Job opening: Albany, New York.

May 13, 2017

Clean and Healthy New York (CHNY) seeks an articulate, enthusiastic, detail-oriented Development and Communications Coordinator to join their team, promote positive public image among CHNY's various audiences and advance their fundraising capacity. Applications will be accepted until May 31, 2017.

Yogurt consumption in older Irish adults linked with better bone health.

May 10, 2017

The largest observational study to date of dairy intakes and bone and frailty measurements in older adults has found that increased yogurt consumption was associated with a higher hip bone density and a significantly reduced risk of osteoporosis in older women and men on the island of Ireland, after taking into account traditional risk factors. ScienceDaily.
[See the study: Greater yogurt consumption is associated with increased bone mineral density and physical function in older adults]