Study confirms long-term effects of ‘chemobrain’ in mice

first_img“Quality of life after chemotherapy is critically important, and chemobrain is significant in these survivors,” Helferich said.Patient complaints and clinical observations after chemotherapy spurred an interest in chemobrain. While many researchers have examined these effects in humans as well as animals, most such studies do not assess long-term effects. The physical toll of chemotherapy is great and accounts for the short-term cognitive impairments, Rhodes said.“The question is, after they completely recover from the acute assault of chemotherapy, many months or years later, do they still have cognitive impairments?” he said.Drugs can be developed to address these cognitive impairments, but side effects and negative interactions of these drugs with the chemotherapy medications could cause patients to suffer even more, Rhodes said. The researchers hope to find nonpharmaceutical interventions that are widely available and have fewer complications.“A dietary intervention that could improve cognitive function after chemotherapy could benefit a lot of cancer patients,” Rendeiro said.The researchers used female mice bred to mimic post-menopausal women, the group most affected by breast cancer.“We wanted a model that represents the human population so we have the best chance of having results that translate to humans,” Rhodes said.The team’s first goal was to confirm that chemobrain was a long-lasting phenomenon. They assessed the long-term effects of chemotherapy on learning and memory, as well as the formation of new neurons in the hippocampus, a brain region known to contribute to those abilities.“We need to have good animal models of these long-term cognitive problems following chemotherapy to understand what is going on and how to treat it,” Rendeiro said.The researchers tested learning and memory using the Morris Water Maze, which trains mice to find a hidden platform in a maze. The mice that had received the chemotherapy regimen took longer to find the platform and were slower to learn the task compared with the control group. The chemotherapy group also had 26 percent fewer surviving hippocampal neurons born during the chemotherapy treatment and generated 14 percent fewer hippocampal neurons in the three months following chemotherapy. Three months for a mouse corresponds to about ten human years, Rhodes said. Together, these results show long-term detriments to both the brain and behavior of the chemotherapy-treated mice.The researchers also were interested in the efficacy of a diet enhanced with omega-3 fatty acids in reversing these cognitive impairments. However, they found no beneficial effect of the supplemented diet on mitigating chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairments.This study provides one of the first animal models to demonstrate the long-term cognitive deficits resulting from a chemotherapeutic treatment used in treating humans for breast cancer. Although the omega-3 diet did not improve cognitive outcomes in the mice, the researchers expect their model will be useful for studying alternative lifestyle interventions to ameliorate the chemobrain phenomenon. LinkedIn Pinterest Share on Twitter Sharecenter_img Email Women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer have long complained of lingering cognitive impairments after treatment. These effects are referred to as “chemobrain,” a feeling of mental fogginess. A new study from the University of Illinois reports long-lasting cognitive impairments in mice when they are administered a chemotherapy regimen used to treat breast cancer in humans.The results are published in the journal Behavioural Brain Research.“Cancer survival rates have increased substantially and continue to improve due to both earlier detection and better medical treatments,” said Catarina Rendeiro, a postdoctoral scholar at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. The study’s lead author, Rendeiro collaborated with an interdisciplinary group at Illinois, including Justin Rhodes, a professor of psychology and a Beckman Institute affiliate; and William Helferich, a professor of nutrition in the department of food science and human nutrition. Share on Facebooklast_img read more

H7N9 cases ebb in China as CDC creates vaccine virus

first_imgThe number of new H7N9 avian flu cases in China declined again this week, which if sustained would fit the pattern of a lull over the summer months. In US developments, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it has created a candidate vaccine virus.Nine new cases in ChinaNine cases were reported in China, eight of which involved contact with poultry or their environments, according to a regular update today from Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP). The weekly total is down from 16 reported the previous week.All the patients are men, ranging in age from 36 to 74. They hail from seven different provinces across a broad part of the country. The report didn’t say if any of the illnesses were fatal.China is in its fifth and biggest H7N9 wave, and the new cases push the number of infections this season to at least 713, at least 205 of them fatal.Meanwhile, in H7N9 agricultural developments, H7N9 was detected for the first time in live-bird markets in Inner Mongolia province, part of an ongoing northward spread of the virus, according to a May 24 update from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).Positive poultry and environmental samples were from three different cities. So far no human cases have been reported in the province. Inner Mongolia mainly borders Mongolia, with a small part abutting Russia.Candidate vaccine virusMeanwhile, the US CDC said in a May 23 update on China’s H7N9 developments that it has completed work on a new H7N9 candidate vaccine virus that matches a new lineage of the virus that has recently emerged in China.Most of the recent H7N9 viruses from China belong to the Yangtze River Delta lineage, which shows reduced cross-reactivity to earlier candidate vaccine viruses, suggesting that stockpiled vaccines made with the earlier virus might not protect against the newly circulating viruses. The CDC is now coordinating shipment of the new candidate vaccine virus to manufacturers.At a March meeting, World Health Organization advisors said two existing H7N9 vaccine strains didn’t seem to protect against the new lineage, and they proposed the development of a new one.Also, the CDC said an analysis of publicly available genetic data shows that about 10% of viruses from China’s fifth wave have markers suggesting resistance to one or more neuraminidase inhibitors. In February, Taiwanese health officials reported resistance markers in a sample from a patient who contracted an infection in China.See also:May 26 CHP statementMay 24 FAO updateMay 23 CDC updatelast_img read more

DDA notes importance of ServSafe training

first_imgLocalNews DDA notes importance of ServSafe training by: Dominica Vibes News – March 23, 2016 Share Sharing is caring! Share 241 Views   no discussionscenter_img Share Product Promotions Manager at the Discover Dominica Authority, Kathleen Cuffy Jno JulesA Servsafe Food Protection and Training Workshop for people involved in the food industry has been hailed as critical for the tourism sector.The three-day certification workshop, which will assist thirty (30) food service managers and supervisors to ensure that all foods offered for consumption are safe and wholesome, commenced at the Fort Young Hotel on Monday 21 March 2016.Speaking at the opening ceremony, Product Promotions Manager at the Discover Dominica Authority, Kathleen Cuffy-Jno Jules congratulated the Environmental Health Department of the Ministry of Health for hosting this important training and certification workshop.“In today’s competitive world of travel, food always plays an increasingly important role. People do not only seek new food experiences, but they continue to demand greater levels of food safety,” she noted.Mrs. Jno Jules stated that whilst food safety cannot assure destination success, food illnesses can help determine its failure.“Therefore we think this training is very timely and we want to commend the efforts of the Environmental Health Department.Mrs. Jno Jules noted that since the establishment of the Discover Dominica Authority, there have not been any outbreaks of food borne illness among visitors.“We believe that this is due to the diligent effort and competence of the Environmental Health Department and as such we commend their efforts.”She added that the Discover Dominica Authority will continue to collaborate with the Environmental Health Department in various ways to ensure food safety in the tourism industry. “We would like to initiate food safety awareness campaigns with them to ensure that persons are informed and educated in terms of food safety, particularly those persons who serve our visitors while on island.”Chief Environmental Health Officer, Anthony ScotlandMeanwhile, Chief Environmental Health Officer, Anthony Scotland, who also viewed the training as critical, said the availability of food safety improves people’s health and is a basic human right. “Safe foods contribute to health and productivity and create an effective platform for development of poverty alleviation”.Mr Scotland also noted that consumers are becoming more conscious about the health risk posed by microbial pathogens and potential hazardous chemicals in food, and that the training is essential as “up to one third of the population of developing countries are affected by food borne illness each year”. Tweetlast_img read more