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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

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.

A hot cup of attention tempered with chocolate, please.

March 6, 2017

Deep down, we always knew it, but science is proving that cocoa and caffeine are indeed the best marriage ever. Researchers examined the acute effects of brewed cocoa consumption on attention, motivation to perform cognitive work and feelings of anxiety, energy and fatigue. ScienceDaily.

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.

Increase of urinary malondialdehyde level by bisphenol A exposure: a longitudinal panel study.

February 15, 2017

The results of our study suggest a strong association of BPA with oxidative stress, not related with sex and oxidative stress-related gene polymorphisms. Environmental Health.

A case study: tapping the Bioinitiative website.

February 15, 2017

This post will introduce our readers to the BioInitiative website, which makes publications on electromagnetic fields (EMF) and radiofrequency radiation (RF) on health topics accessible. CHE Blog.

Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D has a modest positive association with leukocyte telomere length in middle-aged US adults.

February 13, 2017

In a nationally representative population of adults, serum 25(OH)D was positively associated with leukocyte telomere length in middle-aged participants (aged 40–59 y), independently of other factors. Journal of Nutrition.

Reduction of Abeta amyloid pathology in APPPS1 transgenic mice in the absence of gut microbiota.

February 13, 2017

Our results indicate a microbial involvement in the development of Abeta amyloid pathology, and suggest that microbiota may contribute to the development of neurodegenerative diseases. Scientific Reports.

All of Us Research Program announces funding opportunity for community partners.

February 1, 2017

This NIH funding opportunity, open to national and regional organizations, as well as local community groups, will support activities to promote enrollment and retention in the All of Us Research Program across diverse communities. All of Us will serve as a national research resource to inform thousands of studies, covering a wide variety of health conditions.

The surprising link between air pollution and Alzheimer’s disease.

February 1, 2017

In a nationwide study that tracked the cognitive health of women between the ages of 65 and 79 for 10 years, those who had the APOE-e4 variant were nearly three times more likely to develop dementia if they were exposed to high levels of air pollution than APOE-e4 carriers who were not. Los Angeles Times.
[See the study: Particulate air pollutants, APOE alleles and their contributions to cognitive impairment in older women and to amyloidogenesis in experimental models]

Long-term exposure to 835 MHz RF-EMF induces hyperactivity, autophagy and demyelination in the cortical neurons of mice.

January 27, 2017

RF-EMF exposure led to myelin sheath damage and mice displayed hyperactivity-like behaviour. The data suggest that autophagy may act as a protective pathway for the neuronal cell bodies in the cerebral cortex during radiofrequency exposure. The observations that neuronal cell bodies remained structurally stable but demyelination was induced in cortical neurons following prolonged RF-EMF suggests a potential cause of neurological or neurobehavioural disorders. Science Reports.

Effect of low level subchronic microwave radiation on rat brain.

January 27, 2017

The results of the present study suggest that low level microwave exposure at frequencies 900, 1800, and 2450 MHz may lead to hazardous effects on brain. Biomedical and Environmental Sciences.

Brain pollution: evidence builds that dirty air causes Alzheimer's, dementia.

January 26, 2017

The microscopic particles sifting from freeways and power plants don't just harm your heart and lungs. They may also attack your brain. Science.

Running may be good for your knees.

January 18, 2017

Knees of runners showed substantially lower levels of two types of cells that can contribute to inflammation and promote arthritis. New York Times.
[See the study: Running decreases knee intra-articular cytokine and cartilage oligomeric matrix concentrations: a pilot study]

Cities of the old.

January 15, 2017

These distinct and unplanned neighborhoods of senior citizens have a nickname—NORCs, or naturally occurring retirement communities—and as America becomes a grayer nation, they’re going to present greater challenges for the health care system and for local governments. But as NORCs proliferate, they’re also creating opportunities for rethinking just how to care for people as they age. The Agenda.

New report: Dangerous by Design 2016.

January 15, 2017

The fourth edition from Smart Growth America once again examines the metro areas that are the most dangerous for people walking. It also includes a racial and income-based examination of the people who are most at risk, and for the first time also ranks states by their danger to pedestrians.