May 06, 2007

Study: Brain causes high blood pressure, not heart

Brain, not heart, causes high blood pressure: researchers - April 14, 2007
...scientists said that hypertension, which can lead to heart attacks, strokes and kidney damage, is an inflammatory vascular disease of the brain rather than the heart, as previously thought.

They discovered that a protein located in the brain, JAM-1, trapped white blood cells, which can then cause inflammation and obstruct blood flow, leading to poor oxygen supply to the brain.
. . .
The associate medical director of the British Heart Foundation, Professor Jeremy Pearson, said: "This exciting study is important because it suggests there are unexpected causes of high blood pressure related to blood supply to the brain.
. . .
The findings are to be published in the next edition of medical journal Hypertension.

Reverse Alzheimer's memory loss?

Reversing Alzheimer's memory loss may be possible
By Will Durnham (for Reuters, April 30, 2007)
. . . Neuroscientist Li-Huei Tsai of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said
[in a phone interview], "We show, I believe, the first evidence that even if the brain suffered some very severe neurodegeneration and the individual exhibits very severe learning impairment and memory loss, there is still the possibility to improve learning ability and recover to a certain extent lost long-term memories."
. . .
Tsai and colleagues reported in the journal Nature, the memories probably remained in storage but could not be accessed or retrieved due to the brain damage
. . .
Previous research has shown that regular mental stimulation such as reading or playing a musical instrument may reduce one's risk for Alzheimer's. And a stimulating environment also has been shown to improve learning in mice.
. . .
After exploring the biological mechanism behind the improvement in mice placed in [an] enriched environment, the researchers tested on the mice a class of drugs called histone deacetylase, or HDAC, inhibitors.

Memory and learning improved in the mice, similar to improvements caused by environmental stimulation, the researchers said. They said this indicated such drugs represent a potential way to treat people with conditions like Alzheimer's.

. . .

Debunked: Cell phone effect and Einstein quote re disappearing bees

Seth Borenstein clears the air of bad buzz on cell phones and imaginary Einstein quote.
(For some basic info on bees, here is a bit more than most will want to know, but I found it interesting since I once had a bee colony in the walls of my home.)

AP - Associated Press May 4, 2007 update

. . . [there were] erroneous reports blaming cell phones for the honeybee die-off, which scientists are calling Colony Collapse Disorder.
. . .
The scientist who wrote the paper, Stefan Kimmel, e-mailed The Associated Press to say that there is "no link between our tiny little study and the CCD-phenomenon ... anything else said or written is a lie."

. . .
[ Re the Einstein quote ]
First, Einstein probably never said it, according to Alice Calaprice, author of "The Quotable Einstein" and five other
books on the physicist. . . .

Jeff Pettis, at U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, points out he can't get a cell phone signal in the remote areas where hives are generally held, and he points out that some food is wind-pollinated, so there'd be food left.

BUT, just TWO days earlier, Seth Borenstein's AP story of May 2
started off with this:

"Unless someone or something stops it soon,
the mysterious killer that is wiping out many of the nation's honeybees could have a devastating effect on America's dinner plate, perhaps even reducing us to a glorified bread-and-water diet."
Here's a radio discussion, by several university researchers, of the vanishing bees dilemma.

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