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

Cognitive decline, mortality, and organophosphorus exposure in aging Mexican Americans.

October 14, 2017

Our study provides support for the involvement of OP pesticides in cognitive decline and mortality among older Mexican Americans, possibly through biologic pathways involving adiponectin. Environmental Research.

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

October 11, 2017

From the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Health and Medicine Division, this video features several members of the committee that produced a report earlier this year on research in preventing cognitive decline. The video highlights the report's conclusions and recommendations.

Call for proposals: 2017 Community Change Grants.

October 2, 2017

This program will award grantees up to $1,500.00 in community stipends for projects related to creating healthy, active, and engaged places to live, work, and play. The deadline is November 10th.

Alzheimer's prevention: a summary of what we know.

September 24, 2017

Risk-factor prevention should target diabetes mellitus and insulin resistance, obesity, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, cerebrovascular disease, depression, psychological and physiologic stress, traumatic brain injury, sleep-disordered breathing, smoking, alcohol abuse, high blood pressure, renal disease, alcohol and tobacco use, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, sedentary life style, and diet. These potentially modifiable risk factors, when combined, account for more than 50% of AD risk, based on observational studies. Medscape.

The list of diseases linked to air pollution is growing.

September 19, 2017

Researchers are now finding that more than the lungs are at risk, as dirty air may in fact be an accomplice to some of the greatest threats to public health, including diabetes, obesity and even dementia. Science News.

Patterns of sedentary behavior and mortality in US middle-aged and older adults: a national cohort study.

September 12, 2017

Both the total volume of sedentary time and its accrual in prolonged, uninterrupted bouts are associated with all-cause mortality, suggestive that physical activity guidelines should target reducing and interrupting sedentary time to reduce risk for death. Annals of Internal Medicine.

Nutrition has benefits for brain network organization.

September 10, 2017

A new study found that monounsaturated fatty acids—a class of nutrients found in olive oils, nuts and avocados—are linked to general intelligence, and that this relationship is driven by the correlation between MUFAs and the organization of the brain's attention network. ScienceDailiy.

Eat fat, live longer?

September 10, 2017

In addition to significantly increasing the median life span of mice in the study, the ketogenic diet increased memory and motor function (strength and coordination), and prevented an increase in age-related markers of inflammation. It had an impact on the incidence of tumors as well. ScienceDaily.

Promoting seniors’ health with home care aides: a pilot.

September 10, 2017

Clients’ daily activity function and health outcomes (physical fitness, self-rated health, pain interference, and fear of falling) improved significantly. The Gerontologist.

Association of lithium in drinking water with the incidence of dementia.

August 30, 2017

Long-term increased lithium exposure in drinking water may be associated with a lower incidence of dementia in a nonlinear way; however, confounding from other factors associated with municipality of residence cannot be excluded. JAMA Psychiatry.

Air pollution and risk of Parkinson’s disease in a large prospective study of men.

August 22, 2017

In this study, we found no evidence that exposure to air pollution is a risk factor for PD in men. Environmental Health Perspectives.

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.