Roundup: Could Novel Vaccine Prevent or Reduce Alzheimer’s Impact? Brief Bursts of Intense Exercise May Help Lower Cancer Risk; and More News
5 min. read
Written By: John Fernandez
Published: August 4, 2023
Written By: John Fernandez
Published: August 4, 2023
Researchers Encouraged by Early Results of Novel Vaccine that Could Reduce or Prevent Alzheimer’s
Could a novel vaccine that targets inflamed brain cells linked to Alzheimer’s disease potentially prevent or modify the course of the disease? Possibly, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Scientific Sessions 2023 held in Boston this week.
The novel vaccine which is still under research in mice is known as Senescence-Associated Glycoprotein, or SAGP. Researcher say it could significantly reduce amyloid deposits in brain tissue of the cerebral cortex region, which is responsible for language processing, attention and problem solving. Amyloid plaques are deposits of the amyloid beta protein primarily in the grey matter of the brain. Large quantities of amyloid plaques represent a major feature of Alzheimer's disease.
“Alzheimer’s disease now accounts for 50 percent to 70 percent of dementia patients worldwide," stated lead study author Chieh-Lun Hsiao, Ph.D., a post-doctoral fellow in the department of cardiovascular biology and medicine at Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine in Tokyo, in a press release by the American Heart Association (AHA). "Our study’s novel vaccine test in mice points to a potential way to prevent or modify the disease. The future challenge will be to achieve similar results in humans.”
Researchers created an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model that mimics a human brain and simulates amyloid-beta-induced Alzheimer’s disease pathology.
The AHA stated that a behavior test with a maze-type device on the mice at six-months-old found that those mice that received the SAGP vaccine responded significantly better to their environment than those who received the placebo vaccine. "The SAGP-vaccinated mice tended to behave like normal healthy mice and exhibited more awareness of their surroundings," the AHA said.
“If the vaccine could prove to be successful in humans, it would be a big step forward towards delaying disease progression or even prevention of this disease," stated study lead author Dr. Hsiao.
Vigorous, Sporadic Physical Activity of Just 2 Minutes Daily Could Lower Your Risk of Cancer, Study Finds
Previous studies have shown that regular physical activity, especially when combined with weight management, is associated with a decrease in the development of many types of cancer. The latest study finds that even “brief and sporadic” vigorous physical activity of up to two minutes a day can lower your risk of developing cancer.
These bouts of vigorous activity during daily living can include bursts of very fast walking or stair climbing, the study states.
Researchers in the , published in JAMA Oncology, reviewed data on 22,398 participants who had never been diagnosed with cancer and did not take part in any structured exercise routine.
About 55 percent of participants were female, with an average age of 62. Participants wore wrist activity trackers for a week. Such trackers monitor activity levels continuously. The participants' level of activity and other information were then linked to future cancer registrations, and other cancer-related health records for the next seven years. Other potentially cancer-causing factors were taken into account, such as age, smoking, diet, and alcohol habits.
About 94 percent of participants registered short bursts of vigorous activity, with most of the movements each lasting about one minute. A minimum of about 3.5 minutes each day of thee bursts represented about an 18 percent reduction in total cancer risk, compared with not doing any activity. Half the participants did at least 4.5 minutes a day, which was linked to a 20 to 21 percent reduction in total cancer risk.
For cancers that included breast, lung, and colorectal cancers, the results were even better with more intense bouts of a movements daily.
“The association between physical activity intensity and certain cancer sites, such as breast and colon cancers, is dose dependent and has a greater risk reduction associated with vigorous physical activity, compared with lower intensities,” the study concludes.
Overall, up to five minutes of vigorous intermittent physical activity produced the best results in this study.
The study’s authors conclude: “As few as 4 to 5 min of VILPA (vigorous intermittent lifestyle physical activity) daily was associated with a substantially lower cancer risk. Long-term trials with cancer-related biomarker outcomes, and well-designed cohort studies with wearable devices, should further explore the potential of VILPA as a cancer prevention intervention …”
Link Between Higher Cardiovascular Risk and Obstructive Sleep Apnea Determined in NIH-Funded Study
Reduced blood oxygen levels, which are mostly caused by constricted airways, stand out as a leading factor for obstructive sleep apnea, according to a new study partially funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is marked by episodes of a complete or partial collapse of the upper airway, with an associated decrease in oxygen saturation or arousal from sleep. OSA has long been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular issues, including heart attack, stroke, and death.
But the findings from this new study, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, shows the mechanism mostly responsible for that link, the NIH states.
“These findings will help better characterize high-risk versions of obstructive sleep apnea,” said Ali Azarbarzin, Ph.D., a study author and director of the Sleep Apnea Health Outcomes Research Group at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston. “We think that including a higher-risk version of obstructive sleep apnea in a randomized clinical trial would hopefully show that treating sleep apnea could help prevent future cardiovascular outcomes.”
Researchers reviewed data from more than 4,500 middle-aged and older adults who took part in the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study (MrOS) and the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Their goal was to determine the features of OSA that could explain why some people were more likely than others to develop cardiovascular disease or related death.
In the MrOS data, 2,627 men, with an average age of 76, were followed for about nine to 12 years. MESA included data from 1,973 men and women, with an average age of 67, who were followed for about seven years. During this time, participants completed medical check-ins and sleep assessments, and they provided information about their health. About, 110 participants in MESA and 382 in MrOS experienced a primary cardiovascular event.
The findings: For every measure of observed reduction in blood oxygen levels, or hypoxic burden, a person in MESA had a 45 percent increased associated risk for having a primary cardiovascular event. In MrOS, the observed increased risk was 13 percent. Airway obstruction -- a full or partial closing of the airways -- accounted for 38 percent of observed risks in MESA and for 12 percent in MrOS.
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