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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Is it feasible to cure prodromal Alzheimer's disease with a peptide nasal spray?


Abstract (as presented by the authors of the scientific work):

"Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease. Imbalance between the production and clearance of amyloid β (Aβ) peptides is considered to be the primary mechanism of AD pathogenesis. This amyloid hypothesis is supported by the recent success of the human anti-amyloid antibody aducanumab, in clearing plaque and slowing clinical impairment in prodromal or mild patients in a phase Ib trial. Here, a peptide combining polyarginines (polyR) (for charge repulsion) and a segment derived from the core region of Aβ amyloid (for sequence recognition) was designed. The efficacy of the designed peptide, R8-Aβ(25-35), on amyloid reduction and the improvement of cognitive functions were evaluated using APP/PS1 double transgenic mice. Daily intranasal administration of PEI-conjugated R8-Aβ(25-35) peptide significantly reduced Aβ amyloid accumulation and ameliorated the memory deficits of the transgenic mice. Intranasal administration is a feasible route for peptide delivery. The modular design combining polyR and aggregate-forming segments produced a desirable therapeutic effect and could be easily adopted to design therapeutic peptides for other proteinaceous aggregate-associated diseases."


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Cure prodromal Alzheimer's disease with a peptide nasal spray self-made word-cloud


Monday, May 29, 2017

Health benefits of bananas supported by scientific findings


Guest post by Leo Tat.

Bananas are among the most commonly consumed fruits in the world.
In the United States, people eat more fresh bananas than any other fruit, including apples and oranges, in the course of a year (1).
The reason for their popularity boils down to their great taste, convenience as a snack and overall health benefits.
Below are the top 15 benefits of bananas that are proven by scientific evidence.



Sunday, May 28, 2017

What are the effects of ketogenic diet on cardiovascular health?


Abstract (as presented by the authors of the scientific work):

"The treatment of obesity and cardiovascular diseases is one of the most difficult and important challenges nowadays. Weight loss is frequently offered as a therapy and is aimed at improving some of the components of the metabolic syndrome. Among various diets, ketogenic diets, which are very low in carbohydrates and usually high in fats and/or proteins, have gained in popularity. Results regarding the impact of such diets on cardiovascular risk factors are controversial, both in animals and humans, but some improvements notably in obesity and type 2 diabetes have been described. Unfortunately, these effects seem to be limited in time. Moreover, these diets are not totally safe and can be associated with some adverse events. Notably, in rodents, development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and insulin resistance have been described. The aim of this review is to discuss the role of ketogenic diets on different cardiovascular risk factors in both animals and humans based on available evidence."


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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Gut microbiota and autism: what is the connection?


Abstract (as presented by the authors of the scientific work):

"Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are a common comorbidity in patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Many studies have shown alterations in the composition of the fecal flora and metabolic products of the gut microbiome in patients with ASD. The gut microbiota influences brain development and behaviors through the neuroendocrine, neuroimmune and autonomic nervous systems. In addition, an abnormal gut microbiota is associated with several diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), ASD and mood disorders. Here, we review the bidirectional interactions between the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract (brain-gut axis) and the role of the gut microbiota in the central nervous system (CNS) and ASD. Microbiome-mediated therapies might be a safe and effective treatment for ASD."


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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Are ancient grains nutritionally better?


Guest post by Sudhir Ahluwalia.

The four major grains in use in the world—wheat, rice, corn and sorghum—come from a common ancestor that grew 65 million years ago. Wild cereal grains were discovered from Ohalo II site in Israel. These dated as far back as 23,500 years ago. (Nature. 2004 Aug 5;430(7000):670-3). Agriculture likely began in the dying years of the Ice Age about 11,700 years ago. Evidence of use of sickles to harvest wild barley has been unearthed from the Levant region, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Complementary and integrative medicine for headache: a review


Abstract (as presented by the authors of the scientific work):

"Headaches, including primary headaches such as migraine and tension-type headache, are a common clinical problem. Complementary and integrative medicine (CIM), formerly known as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), uses evidence informed modalities to assist in the health and healing of patients. CIM commonly includes the use of nutrition, movement practices, manual therapy, traditional Chinese medicine, and mind-body strategies. This review summarizes the literature on the use of CIM for primary headache and is based on five meta-analyses, seven systematic reviews, and 34 randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The overall quality of the evidence for CIM in headache management is generally low and occasionally moderate. Available evidence suggests that traditional Chinese medicine including acupuncture, massage, yoga, biofeedback, and meditation have a positive effect on migraine and tension headaches. Spinal manipulation, chiropractic care, some supplements and botanicals, diet alteration, and hydrotherapy may also be beneficial in migraine headache. CIM has not been studied or it is not effective for cluster headache. Further research is needed to determine the most effective role for CIM in patients with headache."


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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Precision nutrition in obesity and weight loss: the significance of gene-diet interactions


Abstract (as presented by the authors of the scientific work):

"The rapid rise of obesity during the past decades has coincided with a profound shift of our living environment, including unhealthy dietary patterns, a sedentary lifestyle, and physical inactivity. Genetic predisposition to obesity may have interacted with such an obesogenic environment in determining the obesity epidemic. Growing studies have found that changes in adiposity and metabolic response to low-calorie weight loss diets might be modified by genetic variants related to obesity, metabolic status and preference to nutrients. This review summarized data from recent studies of gene-diet interactions, and discussed integration of research of metabolomics and gut microbiome, as well as potential application of the findings in precision nutrition."


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Self-made word-cloud on precisionmedicine in obesity and weight loss


Thursday, May 18, 2017

3D-printed artificial ovaries display restoration of fertility in a new study


Abstract (as presented by the authors of the scientific work):

"Emerging additive manufacturing techniques enable investigation of the effects of pore geometry on cell behavior and function. Here, we 3D print microporous hydrogel scaffolds to test how varying pore geometry, accomplished by manipulating the advancing angle between printed layers, affects the survival of ovarian follicles. 30° and 60° scaffolds provide corners that surround follicles on multiple sides while 90° scaffolds have an open porosity that limits follicle-scaffold interaction. As the amount of scaffold interaction increases, follicle spreading is limited and survival increases. Follicle-seeded scaffolds become highly vascularized and ovarian function is fully restored when implanted in surgically sterilized mice. Moreover, pups are born through natural mating and thrive through maternal lactation. These findings present an in vivo functional ovarian implant designed with 3D printing, and indicate that scaffold pore architecture is a critical variable in additively manufactured scaffold design for functional tissue engineering."


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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Probiotics to combat diabetes in pregnancy


Abstract (as presented by the authors of the scientific work):

"The metabolic effects of probiotic administration in women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is unknown. The objective of this review was to investigate the effect of probiotics on fasting plasma glucose (FPG), insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and LDL-cholesterol levels in pregnant women diagnosed with GDM. Seven electronic databases were searched for RCTs published in English between 2001 and 2017 investigating the metabolic effects of a 6-8 week dietary probiotic intervention in pregnant women following diagnosis with GDM. Eligible studies were assessed for risk of bias and subjected to qualitative and quantitative synthesis using a random effects model meta-analyses. Four high quality RCTs involving 288 participants were included in the review. Probiotic supplementation was not effective in decreasing FBG (Mean Difference = -0.13; 95% CI -0.32, 0.06, p = 0.18) or LDL-cholesterol (-0.16; 95% CI -0.45, 0.13, p = 0.67) in women with GDM. However, a significant reduction in HOMA-IR was observed following probiotic supplementation (-0.69; 95% CI -1.24, -0.14, p = 0.01). There were no significant differences in gestational weight gain, delivery method or neonatal outcomes between experimental and control groups, and no adverse effects of the probiotics were reported. Probiotic supplementation for 6-8 weeks resulted in a significant reduction in insulin resistance in pregnant women diagnosed with GDM. The use of probiotic supplementation is promising as a potential therapy to assist in the metabolic management of GDM. Further high quality studies of longer duration are required to determine the safety, optimal dose and ideal bacterial composition of probiotics before their routine use can be recommended in this patient group."


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Sunday, May 7, 2017

Ketogenic diet: highly cited open access scientific publications


I have aimed to compile a list of open access scientific works examining ketogenic diet, which have provoked most interest in the scientific community up to know (quantified by the number of received citations in Scopus). The identified works are listed below.



Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Ketogenic diet and its effects in mental disorders


Abstract (as presented by the authors of the scientific work):

"BACKGROUND:
The ketogenic diet (KD) has been used in treatment-resistant epilepsy since the 1920s. It has been researched in a variety of neurological conditions in both animal models and human trials. The aim of this review is to clarify the potential role of KD in psychiatry.
METHODS:
Narrative review of electronic databases PubMED, PsychINFO, and Scopus.
RESULTS:
The search yielded 15 studies that related the use of KD in mental disorders including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These studies comprised nine animal models, four case studies, and two open-label studies in humans. In anxiety, exogenous ketone supplementation reduced anxiety-related behaviors in a rat model. In depression, KD significantly reduced depression-like behaviors in rat and mice models in two controlled studies. In bipolar disorder, one case study reported a reduction in symptomatology, while a second case study reported no improvement. In schizophrenia, an open-label study in female patients (n = 10) reported reduced symptoms after 2 weeks of KD, a single case study reported no improvement. In a brief report, 3 weeks of KD in a mouse model normalized pathological behaviors. In ASD, an open-label study in children (n = 30) reported no significant improvement; one case study reported a pronounced and sustained response to KD. In ASD, in four controlled animal studies, KD significantly reduced ASD-related behaviors in mice and rats. In ADHD, in one controlled trial of KD in dogs with comorbid epilepsy, both conditions significantly improved.
CONCLUSION:
Despite its long history in neurology, the role of KD in mental disorders is unclear. Half of the published studies are based on animal models of mental disorders with limited generalizability to the analog conditions in humans. The review lists some major limitations including the lack of measuring ketone levels in four studies and the issue of compliance to the rigid diet in humans. Currently, there is insufficient evidence for the use of KD in mental disorders, and it is not a recommended treatment option. Future research should include long-term, prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover dietary trials to examine the effect of KD in various mental disorders."


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