January 10, 2013 |
Retired NFL star Junior Seau had a degenerative brain disease when he committed suicide in May, according to a study by the National Institutes of Health. ABC News/ESPN reported Thursday that Seau's family was recently told of the findings, which determined the brain of the All-Pro linebacker showed abnormalities associated with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Seau died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest in his beachfront home in Oceanside. His family agreed to have his brain studied, to determine whether there could possibly be a link between the hits to the head he absorbed as a football player and his suicide.
January 7, 2013 |
Beta blockers, a venerable class of blood pressure drugs that has fallen from favor in recent years, may help protect the aging brain against changes linked to Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia that rob memory and mental function, new research indicates. In autopsies on the brains of 774 men after their deaths, scientists found that those who took beta blockers to help control hypertension had fewer of the brain lesions and less of the brain shrinkage seen in Alzheimer's than men who took other types of blood pressure medications and those who left the condition untreated.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 6, 2013 |
One by one, the diabetic patients reluctantly stepped on the scale in the basement of a South Los Angeles clinic. Nearby, a nurse scribbled numbers on a chart. Camara January, 31, her round face framed by a sparkly headband, held her breath. The number stopped at 245 pounds. "That's not good," January said. Tracy Donald, 45, stepped up. Just under 240 pounds. "That is wrong," she said. Ramon Marquez, 62, tall and clean-shaven, methodically took off his watch, his cap and his shoes.
January 2, 2013 |
After sparking widespread comeback chatter last year with his album "The Bravest Man in the Universe," soul singer Bobby Womack has announced that he's experiencing early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. "The doctor says, 'You have signs of Alzheimer's,' " Womack told the BBC's Gilles Peterson in an interview on the latter's Radio 6 program. "It's not bad yet, but it's gonna get worse. " Womack, 68, admitted that he's having trouble remembering things, including the name of Damon Albarn, who co-produced "The Bravest Man in the Universe" with XL Recordings chief Richard Russell.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 31, 2012 |
The human body begins as a single cell that proliferates into a few identical daughter cells which ultimately grow into billions of specialized body cells. Scientists and physicians have long recognized the pattern of this process, called differentiation, but how it works was a mystery. Then in the early 1950s, an Italian developmental biologist transplanted to the United States, Dr. Rita Levi-Montalcini, provided the first clue. Levi-Montalcini and her colleague, American biochemist Stanley Cohen, identified and ultimately isolated and purified nerve growth factor, a hormone that tells growing nerve cells where to go. The discovery was a seminal development in the understanding of the mechanisms that regulate cell and organ growth and established an entirely new field of biological study.
December 26, 2012 |
Poverty and disease often come together. That much is well understood. But how much does poverty foster disease? Or, how much can disease perpetuate poverty? And what's the role of nature, given that so many infectious diseases are spread by mosquitoes or spend part of their life cycle outside of the human body? A new study finds that certain types of infectious and parasitic diseases have a significant influence on economic development across the world and accounts for some of the differences in per-capita income between those who live in countries in the tropics or those in temperate latitudes.
December 15, 2012 |
ASSINGTON, England - Like a long-kept secret, the grove of ash trees sprang up unbidden out of soil left fallow after years of cultivation. An army of saplings now covers more than 30 acres of former farmland near this peaceful village, delighting the conservationists who bought the property less than a decade ago for use as a wildlife reserve. But what nature giveth, nature taketh away. Some of the 10-foot-tall seedlings here in the plot of land known as Hullback's Grove bear discolored bands of bark, a distressed-looking brown compared with the normal, healthy green.
December 13, 2012 |
YARUMAL, Colombia - The unusually high incidence of early-onset Alzheimer's disease in this isolated cattle town has thrust it to the forefront of global efforts to find a cure for the debilitating malady. Next spring, 100 residents of this region in northwestern Colombia who are known to carry a mutant gene linked to the disease will begin taking a therapeutic drug produced by the U.S. biotechnology firm Genentech. The five-year clinical trial, called the Alzheimer's Prevention Initiative, will cost $100 million.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 12, 2012 |
Dr. William F. House, a dentist-turned-ear specialist who 50 years ago defied the medical establishment and many advocates for the hearing impaired to champion an implantable device, now widely accepted, that made everyday sounds audible to the profoundly deaf, has died. He was 89. House, who led the venerable House Ear Institute in Los Angeles during much of the 1980s, died Friday of metastatic melanoma at his home in Aurora, Ore., said his daughter, Karen House. An innovator who seemed to relish bucking convention, House was responsible for a number of major medical advances, helping to pioneer microsurgery techniques and a new approach to removing acoustic tumors.
November 27, 2012 |
A biological medication already widely used to treat plaque psoriasis may be able to slow the accumulation of amyloid plaques in the brain that are the hallmark of Alzheimer's disease, a new study has found. The same study found that in older mice with established Alzheimer's, this treatment approach, which suppresses the brain's immune reaction to beta amyloid, brought a marked improvement in cognitive function and may even halt or reverse early signs of Alzheimer's. The new study was published this week in the journal Nature Medicine.