Vaccine Could Protect Against Alzheimer’s

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University of New Mexico researchers have developed a Alzheimer’s vaccine that could prevent the formation of tau tangles and potentially prevent the cognitive decline seen in Alzheimer’s patients.

Typically a stabilizing structure inside of neurons, tau can accumulate in long tangles that disrupt the ability of neurons to communicate with one another.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive memory disorder that affects nearly one in ten Americans over age 65.

In a paper published in NPJ Vaccines, the research team reported it had engineered a vaccine using virus like particles that eliminated the tau tangles in mice bred to develop symptoms like those affecting human Alzheimer’s patients.

We’re excited by these findings because they seem to suggest that we can use the body’s own immune system to make antibodies against these tangles, and that these antibodies actually bind and clear these tau tangles,” said Nicole Maphis, a Ph.D. candidate in UNM’s Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program.

Clinical trials will be needed to determine the vaccine’s success in humans, and it will require FDA approval before it can be widely used.

Eco-therapy for Better Health

Eat your veggies, get plenty of exercise and spend at least two hours a week outdoors.

Researchers at the University of Exeter in the UK found that people who spend at least 120 minutes per week out in nature are much more likely to report good health and better mental well being than those that don’t.

The study published in Scientific Reports is based on interviews with 20,000 people living in England. It didn’t seem to matter if the time was split up or experienced all at once.

The thing that most surprised us was how consistent this was across nearly all the groups we looked at: young and old, male, female, urban and rural dwellers, those in deprived versus rich neighborhoods, but perhaps most importantly among those with long-standing  illnesses or disabilities,” says Mathew White of the University of Exeter Medical School, who led the study.

Sleep Patterns Influence Metabolic Health

A new study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, found that the habit of going to bed and waking up at the same time each day lowers one’s chance of developing risk factors for metabolic syndrome.

These factors, such as high blood pressure, obesity and high cholesterol, can increase one’s risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

The study looked at sleep patterns of over 2,000 people between ages 45 and 84.

Researchers found that for every hour of variation in bedtime or number of hours of sleep,
there was a 27% increased risk of developing metabolic disorders.

 

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