Researchers to Figure Out Mechanism of Aging Process to Find Ways to Help People Stay Healthy for Longer

"We are not trying to cheat death, but help people be healthy and disease-free in their final years," said Linda Partridge, a professor

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Researchers, Mechanism, Aging
A fruit fly is seen in a laboratory at the Bar-Ilan University, in Ramat Gan, Israel, May 1, 2018. VOA

Scientists who gave fruit flies a triple drug combination treatment and found that it extended their lives by almost 50% say their work offers clues on how to fight aging in people. Researchers.

The researchers said their aim is not to find the secret of eternal life, but to figure out the mechanism of the aging process to find ways to help people stay healthy for longer.

“We are not trying to cheat death, but help people be healthy and disease-free in their final years,” said Linda Partridge, a professor at University College London’s Institute of Healthy Ageing and the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing who co-led the work.

The three drugs – the mood stabilizer lithium, a cancer treatment called trametinib and an immune regulator called rapamycin – target different cellular processes and had a “quite remarkable” impact on the flies’ lifespans, the scientists said.

Researchers, Mechanism, Aging
The researchers said their aim is not to find the secret of eternal life, but to figure out the mechanism of the aging process to find ways to help people stay healthy for longer. Pixabay

And since the three drugs are all already in use as medical treatments, they are known to be safe to use in people, we have found that a combination drug treatment … may be an effective way to slow down the aging process,” said Jorge Castillo-Quan, who co-led the research.

Partridge said the findings add to growing evidence that so-called polypills — pills that combine low doses of multiple drugs — could one day help prevent age-related diseases.

“This may be possible by combining the drugs we’re investigating with other promising drugs, but there is a long way to go,” she said.

This research adds to previous studies finding that individually, lithium, trametinib and rapamycin can each extend lifespan in fruit flies. That evidence has also been supported by further studies in mice and worms, the scientists said.

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In this study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, Castillo-Quan’s team gave fruit flies doses of the three drugs separately and in combination.

Each drug individually extended lifespan by an average of 11%, they found, and pairing two drugs extended lifespan by around 30%. But when all three were combined, the fruit flies lived 48% longer than flies that did not get the treatment.

“We found it was quite remarkable that this drug combination enabled them to live 48% longer,” said Castillo-Quan, who now works at Harvard Medical School in the United States.

The researchers said they plan to conduct more studies to try to decipher exactly how the drugs work in combination with each other. They hope to move on to experiments in more complex animals, such as mice, to gauge the effects on the entire body before eventually progressing to human trials. (VOA)

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60% Decrease in Pediatric Fractures During Pandemic: Study

There is a significant decline in sports-related fractures among kids during lockdown

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fractures
Children are reporting less sports fractures and injuries during the lockdown, says a recent study. Pixabay

By Siddhi Jain

COVID-19 social distancing measures, including the closure of schools and parks and the indefinite cancellation of team sports, has led to nearly 60 percent decrease in overall in pediatric fractures, according to a new study?.

The study also revealed an increase in the proportion of fractures sustained by children at home. Researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) found that although the overall rate of fractures is down significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, the proportion due to bicycle and trampoline injuries has gone up substantially?

The findings, published in the ‘Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics’, suggest a need for increased awareness of at-home safety measures.

“It is important to remind parents about the importance of basic safety precautions with bicycles and trampolines, as many children are substituting these activities in place of organised sports and school activities,” said Apurva Shah, MD, MBA, an orthopaedic surgeon in CHOP’s Division of Orthopaedics and senior author of the study.

fractures
Researchers found a nearly 2.5-fold decrease in the daily incidence of fractures during the pandemic compared to the pre-pandemic period. Pixabay

The research team gathered data on 1,735 patients who presented at CHOP with acute fractures between March 15 and April 15 and compared that information with patients who presented with fractures during the same timeframe in 2018 and 2019. The researchers found a nearly 2.5-fold decrease in the daily incidence of fracture cases during the pandemic compared to the pre-pandemic period.

Sports-related fractures saw a particularly dramatic decline, accounting for only 7.2 percent of fracture cases during the pandemic versus 26 percent of all fracture cases in the same month in 2018 and 2019.

Despite these significant declines, the researchers found an increase of more than 25 percent in fractures occurring at home, which was accompanied by a 12 percent increase in fractures caused by high-energy falls, like those resulting from trampoline injuries, and bicycle injuries. With families spending more time at home due to social distancing guidelines, the researchers suggest this shift in injury location is a natural result of families finding alternative recreational activities for their children.

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fractures
Patients aged 12 and over saw a five-fold reduction in the monthly number of fractures. Pixabay

The decline in fracture incidence was bigger for some age groups than others. Patients aged 12 and over saw a five-fold reduction in the monthly number of fracture cases, whereas children aged 5 and under saw only a 1.5-fold decrease.

The researchers surmise this is due to younger children substituting other active pursuits for pre-pandemic activities, like playground outings and other outdoor activities, whereas adolescents, who are more likely to play team sports, are making fewer of those substitutions. (IANS)

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Every 4 in 10 Adults Suffer From Gastrointestinal Disorders Globally: Researchers

Mostly people find it embarrassing to talk about stomach and bowel symptoms

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gastrointestinal disorders
For every ten adults in the world, four suffer from functional gastrointestinal disorders. Pixabay

For every ten adults in the world, four suffer from functional gastrointestinal disorders of varying severity, say Researchers, adding that people think it’s embarrassing to talk about stomach and bowel symptoms.

Functional gastrointestinal disorders, FGIDs, is a collective term for chronic disorders in the gastrointestinal tract. The symptoms may arise throughout the gastrointestinal tract. From the upper part, the esophagus and stomach, they can include heartburn, acid reflux and indigestion (dyspepsia).For the lower parts (the intestines), chronic constipation, abdominal distension or bloating, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are among the complaints.

The current study, published in the journal Gastroenterology, gives an overall picture of the global prevalence of FGIDs. Data of more than 73,000 people in 33 countries were collected by means of web-based questionnaires and face-to-face (household) interviews.

“It’s striking how similar the findings are between countries. We can see some variations but, in general, these disorders are equally common whatever the country or continent,” said study author Magnus Simren from University of Gothenburg in Sweden.Web-based questionnaires were used in most of the countries in the study.

gastrointestinal disorders
The findings showed that the prevalence of FGIDs was higher in women than in men. Piaxbay

In some countries, instead, the respondents were asked to reply to the questions when an interviewer read them aloud.The questions posed to the respondents were based on the diagnostic criteria for IBS and other FGIDs. Particulars of other diseases and symptoms, living conditions, quality of life, healthcare consumption, etc. were also requested.

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The findings showed that the prevalence of FGIDs was higher in women than in men, and clearly associated with lower quality of life. According to the questionnaire responses, 49 per cent of the women and 37 per cent of the men met the diagnostic criteria for at least one FGID. The severity of the disorders varied, from mild discomfort to symptoms that adversely affected the quality of life to a high degree.

The prevalence of FGIDs was also strongly associated with high consumption of healthcare, such as visits to the doctor and use of medication, but also surgery, the study said. (IANS)

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Bullying a Common Factor Leading to LGBTQ Youth Suicides: Researchers

LGBTQ youth are more likely to be bullied than non-LGBTQ youth

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bullying
LGBTQ youth suicides are mainly caused because of bullying. Pixabay

Researchers have found that death records of LGBTQ youth who committed suicide were substantially more likely to mention bullying as a factor than their non-LGBTQ peers.

For the findings, published in the journal ‘JAMA Pediatrics’, the research team reviewed nearly 10,000 death records of youth aged from 10 to 19 years who died by suicide in the US from 2003 to 2017.

While LGBTQ youth are more likely to be bullied and to report suicidal thoughts and behaviours than non-LGBTQ youth, this is believed to be the first study showing that bullying is a more common precursor to suicide among LGBTQ youth than among their peers.

bullying
bullying is a more common precursor to suicide among LGBTQ youth than among their peers. Pixabay

“We expected that bullying might be a more common factor, but we were surprised by the size of the disparity,” said study lead author Kirsty Clark from the Yale University.

“These findings strongly suggest that additional steps need to be taken to protect the LGBTQ youth — and others — against the insidious threat of bullying,” Clark added.

The research team used data from the National Violent Death Reporting System, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-led database that collects information on violent deaths, including suicides, from death certificates, law enforcement reports, and medical examiner and coroner records.

Death records in the database include narrative summaries from law enforcement reports and medical examiner and coroner records regarding the details of the youth’s suicide as reported by family or friends, the youth’s diary, social media posts, and text or email messages, as well as any suicide note.

Bullying
Among 10 to 13-year-olds, over two-thirds of LGBTQ youth’ death records mentioned that they had been bullied. Pixabay

The team searched these narratives for words and phrases that suggested whether the individual was LGBTQ. They followed a similar process to identify death records mentioning bullying. The study found that death records from LGBTQ youth were about five times more likely to mention bullying than non-LGBTQ youth’ death records.

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Among 10 to 13-year-olds, over two-thirds of LGBTQ youth’ death records mentioned that they had been bullied.

Bullying is a major public health problem among the youth, and it is especially pronounced among the LGBTQ youth, said the researchers.

“By showing that bullying is also associated with the life itself for the LGBTQ youth, this study urgently calls for interventions that foster safety, belonging and esteem for all young people,” said study researcher John Pachankis. (IANS)