Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 2 2019Research at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has identified a genomic risk factor associated with stroke in childhood cancer survivors. The findings were announced today at a press conference as part of the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in Atlanta.This investigation draws on whole genome sequencing and other data gathered longitudinally through the St. Jude Lifetime Cohort (SJLIFE) study. The purpose of SJLIFE is to learn about the health of adult survivors of childhood cancer and to reduce the late effects of childhood cancer treatments.”Long-term survivors of childhood cancer are known to be at an increased risk of stroke, which is often attributed to their prior cancer treatment,” said first author Yadav Sapkota, Ph.D., of the St. Jude Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Control. “But we observed variation in risk that suggested there may be an underlying genetic component.”To study the risk of stroke, Sapkota and his colleagues focused on 686 childhood cancer survivors in the cohort treated with cranial radiation therapy. Higher doses of radiation have been previously correlated with risk of stroke. However, the researchers wanted to understand why some patients treated with high doses do not experience a stroke, while other patients do even when they are treated at lower doses.”This is one of the first studies to evaluate the genomic underpinnings of stroke in such a robust cohort,” Sapkota said. “Ultimately our findings help determine who is at a greater risk so we can intervene on modifiable lifestyle and other factors that are known to affect the risk of stroke.”The genomic data generated through this research is freely available to researchers on the St. Jude Cloud platform, a data-sharing resource pioneered by St. Jude and available to the global research community. St. Jude Cloud is one of the world’s largest repositories of pediatric genomics data and offers a suite of unique analysis tools and visualizations.Related StoriesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskKey findings from the study include: In addition to the dose level of cranial radiation therapy that increases stroke risk up to 11 fold, variants on a chromosomal region called 5p15.33 increase risk approximately three-fold overall. This result suggests that testing for variants of 5p15.33 may be useful for identifying patients who, when treated with cranial radiation therapy, will be at a high risk of stroke as adults. This is the first study to link the chromosomal region with an increased risk of stroke. These variants in 5p15.33 are found to elevate stroke risk approximately five-fold among childhood cancer survivors treated with intermediate dose (25-50 Gray) of cranial radiation therapy. This suggests that among those treated with cranial radiation therapy, 5p15.33 may modify the effect of the treatment on stroke risk. The researchers replicated the finding in two independent groups of survivors from SJLIFE, consisting of survivors of African ancestry who received cranial radiation therapy and survivors of European descent who did not receive cranial radiation therapy. Results of the replication analysis suggest that a combination of cranial radiation therapy and genetic factors can greatly increase childhood cancer survivors’ risk for developing stroke. Source:https://www.stjude.org/media-resources/news-releases/2019-medicine-science-news/aacr-genetic-study-identifies-risk-factor-for-stroke-among-cancer-survivors.html This research is included in a poster session to be held Wednesday, April 3, 2019, as part of the AACR meeting. Additionally, SJLIFE is one of the projects for which the St. Jude Survivorship Research Team was awarded the 2019 AACR Team Science Award. To date, through SJLIFE, more than 4,300 survivors and 580 control cases have undergone comprehensive evaluations of cardiac, reproductive, neuromuscular, neurocognitive and psychosocial functions.
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 15 2019In a study of healthy volunteers, National Institutes of Health researchers found that our brains may solidify the memories of new skills we just practiced a few seconds earlier by taking a short rest. The results highlight the critically important role rest may play in learning.”Everyone thinks you need to ‘practice, practice, practice’ when learning something new. Instead, we found that resting, early and often, may be just as critical to learning as practice,” said Leonardo G. Cohen, M.D., Ph.D., senior investigator at NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and a senior author of the paper published in the journal Current Biology. “Our ultimate hope is that the results of our experiments will help patients recover from the paralyzing effects caused by strokes and other neurological injuries by informing the strategies they use to ‘relearn’ lost skills.”The study was led by Marlene Bönstrup, M.D., a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Cohen’s lab. Like many scientists, she held the general belief that our brains needed long periods of rest, such as a good night’s sleep, to strengthen the memories formed while practicing a newly learned skill. But after looking at brain waves recorded from healthy volunteers in learning and memory experiments at the NIH Clinical Center, she started to question the idea.The waves were recorded from right-handed volunteers with a highly sensitive scanning technique called magnetoencephalography. The subjects sat in a chair facing a computer screen and under a long cone-shaped brain scanning cap. The experiment began when they were shown a series of numbers on a screen and asked to type the numbers as many times as possible with their left hands for 10 seconds; take a 10 second break; and then repeat this trial cycle of alternating practice and rest 35 more times. This strategy is typically used to reduce any complications that could arise from fatigue or other factors.As expected, the volunteers’ speed at which they correctly typed the numbers improved dramatically during the first few trials and then leveled off around the 11th cycle. When Dr. Bönstrup looked at the volunteers’ brain waves she observed something interesting.Related StoriesNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to helpNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with aging”I noticed that participants’ brain waves seemed to change much more during the rest periods than during the typing sessions,” said Dr. Bönstrup. “This gave me the idea to look much more closely for when learning was actually happening. Was it during practice or rest?”By reanalyzing the data, she and her colleagues made two key findings. First, they found that the volunteers’ performance improved primarily during the short rests, and not during typing. The improvements made during the rest periods added up to the overall gains the volunteers made that day. Moreover, these gains were much greater than the ones seen after the volunteers returned the next day to try again, suggesting that the early breaks played as critical a role in learning as the practicing itself.Second, by looking at the brain waves, Dr. Bönstrup found activity patterns that suggested the volunteers’ brains were consolidating, or solidifying, memories during the rest periods. Specifically, they found that the changes in the size of brain waves, called beta rhythms, correlated with the improvements the volunteers made during the rests.Further analysis suggested that the changes in beta oscillations primarily happened in the right hemispheres of the volunteers’ brains and along neural networks connecting the frontal and parietal lobes that are known to help control the planning of movements. These changes only happened during the breaks and were the only brain wave patterns that correlated with performance.”Our results suggest that it may be important to optimize the timing and configuration of rest intervals when implementing rehabilitative treatments in stroke patients or when learning to play the piano in normal volunteers,” said Dr. Cohen. “Whether these results apply to other forms of learning and memory formation remains an open question.”Dr. Cohen’s team plans to explore, in greater detail, the role of these early resting periods in learning and memory.Source: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/News-Events/News-and-Press-Releases/Press-Releases/Want-learn-new-skill-Take-some-short-breaks read more
Bihar: Man commits suicide in Nalanda police custodyAn investigation has been initiated to ascertain the reason behind his death. advertisement Asian News International NalandaJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 13:59 IST Picture for representationA man allegedly committed suicide in police custody in Nalanda Police station on Thursday.The man was brought to the police station for questioning in a kidnapping case.AK Singh, Assistant Sub-Inspector, Nalanda Police station, said, “We brought him for questioning with regard to the kidnapping of a girl and after interrogation, we would have set him free. But he committed suicide by hanging himself. We immediately rushed him to the hospital for medical assistance but the doctor declared him dead.”An investigation has been initiated to ascertain the reason behind his death.Also read: Cricket fan dies in Bihar while watching thrilling IND vs NZ matchALSO WATCH| Nobody can win 100 out of 100 matches: Sachin Tendulkar after India crash out of World CupFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byIram Ara Ibrahim Next read more
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