A new test developed by neuroscientists at the University of Pittsburgh can detect signs of Alzheimer’s disease in a blood sample more accurately than previous tests, by spotting an elusive sign of the disease.
The test works by detecting a novel biomarker of Alzheimer’s called brain-derived tau, according to a study by the team published in the medical journal Brain on Monday.
Tau is a protein that supports neurons, or nerve cells, in the brain. The abnormal accumulation of tau, especially in tangles of the protein, is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. While tau is associated mostly with brain cells, cells outside the body can produce a variation the study calls “big tau.”
By figuring out how to detect brain-derived tau in blood, the team has created a method for diagnosing Alzheimer’s that is more accessible than existing methods.
“At present, diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease requires neuroimaging,” senior author Thomas Karikari said in a media release issued on Monday. “Those tests are expensive and take a long time to schedule, and a lot of patients, even in the U.S., don’t have access to MRI and PET scanners.”
The current framework for detecting Alzheimer’s, set by the U.S. National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association, is called the amyloid, tau and neurodegeneration (ATN) method.
This method requires scientists to detect three components, or biomarkers, of Alzheimer’s disease – amyloid plaques, tau tangles and neurodegeneration – in the brain. It can be achieved either through imaging or by analyzing cerebrospinal fluid samples, but Karikari said these methods are costly and require a lot of resources.
Thomas Karikari is an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh and lead author of a study out of the university outlining a new method for detecting markers of Alzheimer’s disease in blood. (Thomas Karikari)
So Karikari’s team set out to develop a simple, minimally-invasive and cost-effective blood test that could detect the same biomarkers.
“The most important utility of blood biomarkers is to make people’s lives better and to improve clinical confidence and risk prediction in Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis,” Karikari said.
Up until now, blood diagnostic methods have been able to detect two out of three of the biomarkers needed to diagnose Alzheimer’s – amyloid and a version of tau. However, they’ve struggled to detect the third component – neurodegeneration markers specific to Alzheimer’s. So the team developed a technique to distinguish brain-derived tau in blood from free-floating big tau using a special antibody that selectively binds to brain-derived tau.
Karikari and his team hope this new, more accessible blood diagnostic technique can improve clinical trial design and expand trial enrolment to include patients from populations that have historically been overlooked by such trials. To that end, they are planning to conduct large-scale clinical blood screening for brain-derived tau in a wide range of participants from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, memory clinics and the community.
“There is a huge need for diversity in clinical research, not just by skin colour but also by socioeconomic background,” Karikari said.
“To develop better drugs, trials need to enrol people from varied backgrounds and not just those who live close to academic medical centres. A blood test is cheaper, safer and easier to administer, and it can improve clinical confidence in diagnosing Alzheimer’s and selecting participants for clinical trial and disease monitoring.”
BlackburnNews.com – Outbreak declared at local hospital – BlackburnNews.com
Outbreak declared at local hospital
January 30, 2023 5:41am
A COVID-19 Outbreak has been declared on the Inpatient Unit at Seaforth Community Hospital.
Quality, Patient Safety & Infection Control Manager Erica Jensen explains what an outbreak means.
“An outbreak refers to two or more COVID positive cases. So one of our control measures in response to outbreaks is that we restrict the family and caregiver presence on the unit to essential need only, so that is for palliative patients,” Jensen stated.
Jensen adds, the restrictions will be in place until, in collaboration with the local health unit, they can determine that no ongoing transmission is occurring within the outbreak unit.
“Definitely call ahead if you’re wanting to visit someone at the Seaforth Hospital. I know that the staff there are working diligently to contact family and caregivers who do have loved ones in the hospital right now,” Jensen added.
Jensen also points out, as much as COVID cases have gone down recently, testing is still quite limited, so it’s difficult to know exactly what the situation is and COVID is still present, so the outbreak wasn’t a complete surprise. She advises people to continue to take precautions like washing their hands, wearing a mask in public places and get vaccinated.
Many good health reasons to eat an apple every day – Delta Optimist
Apples are one of the oldest cultivated fruit, dating back at least 6,500 years, and have some of the greatest health benefits. There is truth behind the old adage “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
They are high in soluble fibre, low calorie, low on the glycemic index, and contain beneficial vitamins like Vitamin C, quercetin, pectin and potassium. They are a good antioxidant (especially the peel) and are the number one fruit to help prevent diabetes, cancer and heart disease. They help lower cholesterol as the soluble fibre in apples binds with saturated fat (preventing it from entering the bloodstream).
To aid weight loss, it is beneficial to eat an apple prior to a meal, as they curb your appetite. Apples encourage more saliva production, which protects your teeth. Some studies show mental health benefits of increased intellectual capabilities and a slowing down of mental aging and Parkinson’s (due to their antioxidant properties). The fibre and quercetin (a plant polyphenol) builds immunity to combat virus and bacteria, especially when one is stressed. The antioxidant properties help regulate ocular muscles and nerves, helping to preserve one’s eyesight.
Apples also speed up liver regeneration. The pectin in apples binds with heavy metals in the gut (aluminum and lead) and helps eliminate them. Heavy metal poisoning is one of the leading causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Apples are also proven to reduce anxiety when eaten regularly. The soluble fibre pectin aids IBS symptoms and ulcerative colitis.
Apple cider vinegar (fermented apple juice) has become a health rage and has its own set of health benefits including aiding digestion and weight loss, lowering inflammation and boosting energy.
Consuming it before a meal is said to help reduce blood sugar spikes afterward. It also helps with the absorption of the following nutrients: protein, calcium, iron, carbohydrates, fats, Vitamins A,B,C and E and magnesium. Apple cider vinegar is an antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral helps with absorption of calcium and other minerals. Even though it is acidic, once absorbed in the gut it is slightly alkaline. As it is acidic before digestion, it shouldn’t sit on the teeth as it may soften enamel. It is best to drink apple cider vinegar through a straw or rinse your mouth out afterwards with water.
These are some (proven and unproven) folk remedies using apple cider vinegar. Here are several but not all: removes age spots, as a soak for arthritic hands and feet or for athlete’s foot, soften foot corns, prevents asthma, heals bruises, fights cancer, helps prevent cataracts, eliminates cold sores, soothes a sore throat, eliminates cramping, treats dandruff, lowers blood sugars, kills diarrhea causing bacteria, soothes eczema and itching due to rashes, bites or stings, eliminates fatigue, increases stomach acid for those with gallbladder issues (associated with low stomach acid), aids hay fever, reduces headaches, dissolves the glue that holds nits (head lice eggs) onto the hair, treats hiccups, lowers blood pressure, aids osteoporosis by aiding calcium absorption, stops nose bleeds, aids absorption of all vitamins and minerals, treats smelly feet and warts.
As with any alternative remedy, it is important to talk to your naturopath and doctor beforehand to make sure there are no contra-indications with existing medicines, but there doesn’t seem to be any doubt that apples and apple cider vinegar contribute to healthy living. There are also many beauty aids but space prevents me from covering them in this article.
I personally use apple cider vinegar in a wonderful salad dressing with our Lemon-Honey Elixir, crushed garlic, avocado oil and a pinch of dried mustard.
Claire Nielsen is a health coach, author, public speaker and founder of www.elixirforlife.ca. The information provided in the above article is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional health and medical advice. Please consult a doctor or healthcare provider if you’re seeking medical advice, diagnoses and/or treatment.
Hospitalizations fall at North Vancouver’s Lions Gate – North Shore News
COVID-19 infections haven’t gone away on the North Shore.
But serious illnesses from respiratory diseases of all types are on the decline.
That’s the latest information this week that can be teased from statistics from both B.C.’s Centre for Disease Control and the Ministry of Health.
One of the biggest indicators of serious illness – hospitalizations – are thankfully on the decline.
Number of people in Lions Gate Hospital drops over 7%
Between Jan. 6, when Health Minister Adrian Dix first raised the alarm about high numbers of hospitalizations, the number of people in hospital at Lions Gate on the North Shore has fallen 7.2 per cent, according to the Ministry of Health. The number of people in hospital at Lions Gate went from 319 on Jan. 6 to 296 on Jan. 26.
A similar trend was seen at most major hospitals in B.C.
In Vancouver Coastal Health, hospitalizations fell 10.6 per cent in Richmond, 6.5 per cent at St. Paul’s and 4.2 per cent at Vancouver General. The only hospital where that didn’t happen was B.C. Children’s, where numbers remained stable.
As of Jan. 26, there were 42 people hospitalized who had tested positive for COVID-19 in VCH, two of those in critical care. There were also three new deaths in VCH among people who recently tested positive for COVID-19.
According to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, flu – which peaked early in November – has now fallen to low levels. RSV infections – which have hit children hardest – remain high but have continued to decline. COVID cases have remained relatively stable.
North Shore sewage plant data shows small COVID uptick
According to recent data from wastewater sampling, levels of COVID-19 measured on the North Shore rose slightly from early January, although levels of virus being shed in sewage water were still not as high as they were over the Christmas period. Levels of the virus in most other Lower Mainland plants had declined as of Jan. 16.
Numbers of people vaccinated haven’t changed much on the North Shore. Between 92 and 95 per cent of adults 18 and over received at least two doses of the vaccine. But those numbers fell with each subsequent booster shot. Only 47 per cent of adults on the North Shore have received two boosters. There is also a relatively small uptake for children. Between 52 and 64 per cent of children age five to 11 have received two doses of vaccine, while under 20 per cent of the youngest children have received two doses.
Monday marks the third anniversary of the World Health Organization declaring COVID-19 as a global public health emergency.
On Friday, a committee of WHO voted on whether to maintain that designation. A final decision will be announced on Monday, but it isn’t expected to change anything in practical terms in Canada.
Cat Suit Mario, Donkey Kong Make An Appearance In New Super Mario Bros. Movie Teaser – Game Informer
BlackburnNews.com – Outbreak declared at local hospital – BlackburnNews.com
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