14 August 2018

Wearable Devices and Mobile Health Technology: One Step Towards Better Health

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 0
www.trendsnowdays.com
With increasing efforts being made to address the current global obesity epidemic, wearable devices and mobile health ("mHealth") technology have emerged as promising tools for promoting physical activity. However, current literature seems to indicate that these new technologies may serve best as part of a larger overall health plan, rather than working alone to encourage weight loss.

In a review for this week's Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity, Nicole Spartano, PhD, research assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, comments that recent literature shows that self-monitoring behavior has a role in encouraging weight loss, but may not be enough to keep people healthy when used without thought to behavioral strategies. "There is not sufficient evidence that wearable devices can promote sustained behavior change and long-term weight maintenance on their own." She cites one study in which a game-based intervention produced significant improvement in step counts compared to a group of individuals using a fitness tracker without an incentive program, concluding that "using social or financial incentives and techniques like gamification may support motivation of behavior change."



Spartano also has concern about groups being left behind with wearable device and mobile health technology-based weight loss studies. "Strategies for research study recruitment and, more importantly, for implementing wearable and mHealth technology into a clinical setting or community public health program (in schools, workplace, church or other community-setting) require extra thought and cultural sensitivity to ensure the equity in potential public resources and opportunities."

Ultimately, she is optimistic about the role these technologies may play in developing weight loss and overall health strategies between patients and their primary care providers. "Integration of mHealth technology and wearable devices in primary care settings presents an opportunity to capitalize on the routine relationship that patients and providers have."

Story Source:
Materials provided by Boston University School of Medicine. Note: Content emay be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:
Kaitlyn M. Riffenburg, Nicole L. Spartano. Physical activity and weight maintenance. Current Opinion in Endocrinology & Diabetes and Obesity, 2018; 1 DOI: 10.1097/MED.0000000000000433

Cite This Page:
Boston University School of Medicine. "Wearable devices and mobile health technology: One step towards better health." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 August 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180813120731.htm>.

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13 August 2018

Young Drinkers Beware: Binge Drinking May Cause Stroke, Heart Risks

Monday, August 13, 2018 0
You might want to think before you go out drinking again tonight.

Research by Mariann Piano, senior associate dean of research at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, has found that young adults who frequently binge drink were more likely to have specific cardiovascular risk factors such as higher blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar at a younger age than non-binge drinkers.

In a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers found that binge drinking by young men was associated with higher systolic blood pressure (the force on blood vessels when the heart beats) and that frequent binge drinking had additional effects on cholesterol, both factors in contributing to cardiovascular disease. Female binge drinkers had higher blood glucose levels than abstainers.

In reporting her findings, Piano, PhD, FAAN, the Nancy and Hilliard Travis Professor at Vanderbilt, said that young adults need to be aware that repeated binge drinking may have consequences beyond the immediate.

"The risk extends beyond poor school performance and increased risk for accidental injury," she said.

Current evidence suggests that development of high blood pressure before age 45 is associated with significantly higher risks of cardiovascular death later in life.

The study also found differences in how binge drinking affected young men and women. Young men who reported that they repeatedly binge drink had higher systolic blood pressure and total cholesterol while young women who repeatedly binge drink had higher blood sugar levels compared to non-binge drinkers.


Piano and her co-authors examined high blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and other cardiovascular risks in 4,710 adults ages 18-45 who responded to the 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Participants were classified as non-drinkers, binge drinkers 12 times or less a year, and high-frequency binge drinkers (more than 12 times a year).

High-frequency binge drinking was reported by 25.1 percent of men and 11.8 percent of women. Binge drinking 12 times a year or less was reported by 29.0 percent of men and 25.1 percent of women.

Binge drinking rates are at an all-time high, Piano said. One in five college-age students reports three or more binge drinking episodes in the prior two weeks. More students drink to get drunk, then black out. They consume six to seven drinks per binge drinking episode. Compared to previous generations, the pervasiveness, regularity and intensity of binge drinking may place today's youth at greater risk for alcohol-related harm.

The study's co-authors are Larisa Burke, MPH; Minkyung Kang, PhD; and Shane A. Phillips, PhD, MPT.

National Institutes of Health grant #AA024535 funded the study. Journal of the American Heart Association is the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.


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Materials provided by Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:
Mariann R. Piano, Larisa Burke, Minkyung Kang, Shane A. Phillips. Effects of Repeated Binge Drinking on Blood Pressure Levels and Other Cardiovascular Health Metrics in Young Adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2011‐2014. Journal of the American Heart Association, 2018; 7 (13): e008733 DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.118.008733


Cite This Page:
Vanderbilt University Medical Center. "Young drinkers beware: Binge drinking may cause stroke, heart risks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 August 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180809175102.htm>.


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New Theory May Explain Cause of Depression and Improve Treatments

Monday, August 13, 2018 0
www.trendsnowdays.com
A new area in depression research suggests dysfunction in mitochondria -- the main source of energy for cells -- could lead to major depression. Published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, this new insight to long-held theories on the causes of depression could lead to the development of novel and more effective antidepressant drugs.

Depression is a highly prevalent disorder affecting up to 20% of the population. It is commonly thought to be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, yet the specific biological mechanisms which lead to depression are not fully understood.

"Until now, most theories about the biological causes of depression have focused on the idea that depression is caused by an imbalance in neurotransmitters like serotonin," says Dr Lisa E. Kalynchuk, co-author of the review from the University of Victoria, Canada.

"However, antidepressants can increase serotonin levels almost immediately, yet take weeks to have a therapeutic effect on the symptoms of depression. This suggests serotonin is unlikely to be the root cause of depression."

Most antidepressant drugs used today are the same as those developed more than 50 years ago. In addition to the delayed onset of effective symptom relief, antidepressants only work in around half of patients -- and often have adverse side effects.

The team recognized the necessity for new and more effective treatments for depression. However, before new drugs can be developed, it is necessary to first understand the cellular causes of depression.

"Despite extensive research efforts, there is still a fundamental lack of understanding about the specific biological changes that give rise to depressive symptoms," explains Kalynchuk.

To better understand how depression arises, the researchers looked for specific causes within the brain cells. This led them to a small organelle found within brain cells called mitochondria. Mitochondria are the main source of energy for cells, but they also help to regulate brain function.



"Animal models showed that depression is associated with the decreased generation of new cells in the hippocampus -- a region of the adult brain known to regulate emotion, mood, cognition and stress," says Kalynchuk.

"As these are all implicated in depression, this originally led us to think that depression was caused by the deficiency in new cell generation. However, this theory does not explain all the research findings because depressive symptoms can occur in the absence of this deficiency.

"What we do know that this process is metabolically demanding and requires a lot of energy. This led us to suspect mitochondria as the root cause of depression, as they provide energy for cells."

The researchers believe the dysfunction of mitochondria can lead to a cascade of effects which result in depression. This idea offers new opportunity for the development of new antidepressant drugs which can normalize mitochondria function.

"This would be a completely novel approach that has little to do with what current anti-depressants are doing," says Kalynchuk. "It will take time to fully explore these ideas, but we hope it will open doors to new areas of research in the depression field and lead to the development of more effective antidepressant medication."

The research is part of a special article collection on mitochondrial dysfunction and neurodegeneration (www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/6047/mitochondrial-dysfunction-and-neurodegeneration).

Story Source:
Materials provided by Frontiers. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:
Josh Allen, Raquel Romay-Tallon, Kyle J. Brymer, Hector J. Caruncho, Lisa E. Kalynchuk. Mitochondria and Mood: Mitochondrial Dysfunction as a Key Player in the Manifestation of Depression. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 2018; 12 DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2018.00386

Cite This Page:
Frontiers. "New theory may explain cause of depression and improve treatments." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 August 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180809112438.htm>.

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09 August 2018

Pathways Ebola Virus Uses to Enter Cells

Thursday, August 09, 2018 0
Knowledge may be useful in treating other conditions

www.trendsnowdays.com
A new study at Texas Biomedical Research Institute is shedding light on the role of specific proteins that trigger a mechanism allowing Ebola virus to enter cells to establish replication. The work, published in a supplement to The Journal of Infectious Diseases, was led by Staff Scientist Olena Shtanko, Ph.D., in Texas Biomed's Biosafety Level 4 laboratory. The BSL4 is a high-containment facility that houses research on diseases for which there are no approved vaccines or cures.

The new outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus declared just last week in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is believed to have claimed more than 30 victims so far, highlighting the continued urgency to find a way to stop the pathogen from killing the people it infects.

The cellular pathway under study is called autophagy, a word that literally means "self-eating." This ancient mechanism is switched on by cells to destroy invading foreign material or consume its own organelles and protein complexes in order to recycle nutrients and survive. Autophagy generally takes place inside the cell. Conducting in vitro work using live Ebola virus, Dr. Shtanko found that, surprisingly, this mechanism was clearly active near the surface of the cells and plays an essential role in facilitating virus uptake.



Ebola virus invades cells though macropinocytosis, a poorly understood process in which the cell surface remodels to form membrane extensions around virions (virus particles), eventually closing to bring them into the interior of the cell. "We were stunned to find that Ebola virus is using autophagy regulators right at the surface of the cell," Shtanko said. "Knowing that these mechanisms work together, we can start finding ways to regulate them."

The interplay between these two cellular processes could have implications for treatment of health conditions other than viruses. Shtanko believes that regulation of the autophagy proteins with a drug could help combat complex diseases where macropinocytosis is dysregulated such as in cancer and certain neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's.

"The work is a great example of serendipity," said Scientist Rob Davey, a co-author on the study. "Few would have thought that working on Ebola virus would reveal something truly new about how the cell works."


Story Source:

Materials provided by Texas Biomedical Research Institute. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:
Olena Shtanko, Ann N Reyes, William T Jackson, Robert A Davey. Autophagy-Associated Proteins Control Ebola Virus Internalization Into Host Cells. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 2018; DOI: 10.1093/infdis/jiy294


Cite This Page:
Texas Biomedical Research Institute. "Pathways Ebola virus uses to enter cells: Knowledge may be useful in treating other conditions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 August 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180808075247.htm>.

Women and Men Experience Different Benefits from Low-calorie Diets

Thursday, August 09, 2018 0
www.trendsnowdays.com
A low-calorie diet causes different metabolic effects in women than in men, a new Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism study suggests.

In the study of more than 2,000 overweight individuals with pre-diabetes who followed a low-calorie diet for 8 weeks, men lost significantly more body weight than women, and they had larger reductions in a metabolic syndrome score, a diabetes indicator, fat mass, and heart rate. Women had larger reductions in HDL-cholesterol, hip circumference, lean body mass (or fat free mass), and pulse pressure than men.

"Despite adjusting for the differences in weight loss, it appears that men benefitted more from the intervention than women. Whether differences between genders persist in the long-term and whether we will need to design different interventions depending on gender will be interesting to follow," said lead author Dr. Pia Christensen, of the University of Copenhagen, in Denmark. "However, the 8-week low-energy diet in individuals with pre-diabetes did result in the initial 10% weight loss needed to achieve major metabolic improvement in the first phase of a diabetes prevention programme."

Story Source:
Materials provided by Wiley. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:
Pia Christensen, Thomas Meinert Larsen, Margriet Westerterp-Plantenga, Ian Macdonald, J. Alfredo Martinez, Svetoslav Handjiev, Sally Poppitt, Sylvia Hansen, Christian Ritz, Arne Astrup, Laura Pastor-Sanz, Finn Sandø-Pedersen, Kirsi H. Pietiläinen, Jouko Sundvall, Mathijs Drummen, Moira A. Taylor, Santiago Navas-Carretero, Teodora Handjieva-Darlenska, Shannon Brodie, Marta P. Silvestre, Maija Huttunen-Lenz, Jennie Brand-Miller, Mikael Fogelholm, Anne Raben. Men and women respond differently to rapid weight loss: Metabolic outcomes of a multi-centre intervention study after a low-energy diet in 2500 overweight, individuals with pre-diabetes (PREVIEW). Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, 2018; DOI: 10.1111/dom.13466

Cite This Page:
Wiley. "Women and men experience different benefits from low-calorie diets." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 August 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180808075419.htm>.

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08 August 2018

Most Popular Vitamin and Mineral Supplements Provide No Health Benefit, Study Finds

Wednesday, August 08, 2018 0
www.trendsnowdays.com
The most commonly consumed vitamin and mineral supplements provide no consistent health benefit or harm, suggests a new study led by researchers at St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto.

Published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the systematic review of existing data and single randomized control trials published in English from January 2012 to October 2017 found that multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium and vitamin C -- the most common supplements -- showed no advantage or added risk in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke or premature death. Generally, vitamin and mineral supplements are taken to add to nutrients that are found in food.

"We were surprised to find so few positive effects of the most common supplements that people consume," said Dr. David Jenkins*, the study's lead author. "Our review found that if you want to use multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium or vitamin C, it does no harm -- but there is no apparent advantage either."

The study found folic acid alone and B-vitamins with folic acid may reduce cardiovascular disease and stroke. Meanwhile, niacin and antioxidants showed a very small effect that might signify an increased risk of death from any cause.

"These findings suggest that people should be conscious of the supplements they're taking and ensure they're applicable to the specific vitamin or mineral deficiencies they have been advised of by their healthcare provider," Dr. Jenkins said.

His team reviewed supplement data that included A, B1, B2, B3 (niacin), B6, B9 (folic acid), C, D and E; and ?-carotene; calcium; iron; zinc; magnesium; and selenium. The term 'multivitamin' in this review was used to describe supplements that include most vitamins and minerals, rather than a select few.


"In the absence of significant positive data -- apart from folic acid's potential reduction in the risk of stroke and heart disease -- it's most beneficial to rely on a healthy diet to get your fill of vitamins and minerals," Dr. Jenkins said. "So far, no research on supplements has shown us anything better than healthy servings of less processed plant foods including vegetables, fruits and nuts."

Story Source:
Materials provided by St. Michael's Hospital. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:
David J.A. Jenkins, J. David Spence, Edward L. Giovannucci, Young-in Kim, Robert Josse, Reinhold Vieth, Sonia Blanco Mejia, Effie Viguiliouk, Stephanie Nishi, Sandhya Sahye-Pudaruth, Melanie Paquette, Darshna Patel, Sandy Mitchell, Meaghan Kavanagh, Tom Tsirakis, Lina Bachiri, Atherai Maran, Narmada Umatheva, Taylor McKay, Gelaine Trinidad, Daniel Bernstein, Awad Chowdhury, Julieta Correa-Betanzo, Gabriella Del Principe, Anisa Hajizadeh, Rohit Jayaraman, Amy Jenkins, Wendy Jenkins, Ruben Kalaichandran, Geithayini Kirupaharan, Preveena Manisekaran, Tina Qutta, Ramsha Shahid, Alexis Silver, Cleo Villegas, Jessica White, Cyril W.C. Kendall, Sathish C. Pichika, John L. Sievenpiper. Supplemental Vitamins and Minerals for CVD Prevention and Treatment. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2018; 71 (22): 2570 DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2018.04.020

Cite This Page:
St. Michael's Hospital. "Most popular vitamin and mineral supplements provide no health benefit, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 May 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180528171511.htm>.

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