Monday March 18, 2019

Researchers Suggest Childbirth at The Age of 50 Safe

Besides pregnancy complications, the team also examined if the newborn suffered from poor physical condition, mortality or distress during labour

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Pregnant Women
Lady with her baby. Pixabay

It is as safe to give birth at the age of 50 as at 40 and it would not endanger the mother or the baby, suggest Israeli researchers.

The study, led by a team from Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Soroka University Medical Centre, found that owing to medical and technological advancements – including extracellular fertilisation and egg donation – the age at which a woman can give birth has gradually increased.

“It turns out that 50 is the new 40 when it comes to childbirth,” according to Eyal Sheiner, Director at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Soroka.

“There is no doubt that medical teams will need to handle increasing numbers of birth for women over the age of 50,” Sheiner added.

Complications, such as premature births, gestational diabetes, hypertension and cesarean sections, were found higher among women over 40 who gave birth to children compared to those who gave birth below that age.

Epilepsy is likely due to the higher doses of topiramate when used for controlling seizures. Wikimedia Commons
Childbirth at 50 could be safe: Study. Wikimedia Commons

However, there was no escalation of these complications in women over the age of 50, compared to women who gave birth between the age of 40 and 50, according to the study presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) 39th Annual Meeting on Pregnancy.

But Sheiner still advised to treat the pregnancies of women over the age of 40 as high-risk ones, even more so in case of pregnancies of women over the age of 50.

Special emphasis should be placed on tracking fasting glucose and pregnant blood pressure for early detection of complications, he said.

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The study included 242,771 deliveries at Soroka, of which 234,824 (96.7 per cent) occurred in women younger than 40 years and the rest occurred in women between the age group of 40 and 50 and older.

Besides pregnancy complications, the team also examined if the newborn suffered from poor physical condition, mortality or distress during labour. (IANS)

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Researchers Identify New Mechanism to Prevent Alzheimer’s

The team next plans to test this approach in additional animal studies and eventually in human trials using small molecule inhibitors targeting eEF2K

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In Alzheimer's disease, patients start losing memory. Pixabay

Researchers have identified a novel mechanism and a potential new therapeutic target for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), says a new study on mice.

Alzheimer’s is characterised by profound memory loss and synaptic failure. Although the exact cause of the disease remains unclear, it is well established that maintaining memory and synaptic plasticity requires protein synthesis.

The function of the synapse is to transfer electric activity (information) from one cell to another.

“Alzheimer’s is such a devastating disease and currently there is no cure or effective therapy for it,” said Tao Ma, Assistant Professor at Wake Forest School of Medicine in the US.

A lady suffering from Alzheimer’s. Flickr

“All completed clinical trials of new drugs have failed, so there is clearly a need for novel therapeutic targets for potential treatments.”

For the study, the team has shown that AD-associated activation of a signaling molecule termed eEF2K leads to inhibition of protein synthesis.

Further, they wanted to determine if suppression of eEF2K could improve protein synthesis capacity, consequently alleviating the cognitive and synaptic impairments associated with the disease.

They used a genetic approach to repress the activity of eEF2K in Alzheimer’s mouse models.

Cognitive Impairment
Alzheimer’s disease patient Isidora Tomaz, 82, sits in an armchair in her house in Lisbon, Portugal. VOA

The findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, showed that genetic suppression of eEF2K prevented memory loss in those animal models and significantly improved synaptic function.

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“These findings are encouraging and provide a new pathway for further research,” said Ma.

The team next plans to test this approach in additional animal studies and eventually in human trials using small molecule inhibitors targeting eEF2K. (IANS)