Archive | August, 2019

University of Amsterdam study: MRI scans show how ADHD medication affects brain structure in children

19 Aug

The National Institute of Mental Health defined ADHD:

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Overview
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a brain disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.
• Inattention means a person wanders off task, lacks persistence, has difficulty sustaining focus, and is disorganized; and these problems are not due to defiance or lack of comprehension.
• Hyperactivity means a person seems to move about constantly, including in situations in which it is not appropriate; or excessively fidgets, taps, or talks. In adults, it may be extreme restlessness or wearing others out with constant activity.
• Impulsivity means a person makes hasty actions that occur in the moment without first thinking about them and that may have high potential for harm; or a desire for immediate rewards or inability to delay gratification. An impulsive person may be socially intrusive and excessively interrupt others or make important decisions without considering the long-term consequences.
Signs and Symptoms
Inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity are the key behaviors of ADHD. Some people with ADHD only have problems with one of the behaviors, while others have both inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity. Most children have the combined type of ADHD.
In preschool, the most common ADHD symptom is hyperactivity.
It is normal to have some inattention, unfocused motor activity and impulsivity, but for people with ADHD, these behaviors:
• are more severe
• occur more often
• interfere with or reduce the quality of how they functions socially, at school, or in a job…. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/index.shtml

Resources:

What Is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?                                         https://wb.md/2NvF1Dx

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/index.shtml#part_145450

What Is ADHD?                                                                                   https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/adhd/what-is-adhd

What is ADHD? https://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Resource_Centers/ADHD_Resource_Center/ADHD_A_Guide_for_Families/What_is_ADHD.aspx

Lois Zoppi, BA Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor) reported in the Medical Life Sciences News article, MRI scans show how ADHD medication affects brain structure in children:

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects an increasing number of people worldwide, with an estimated 6.1 million children were living with ADHD in 2016, according to the National Survey of Children’s Health.
Now, MRI scans have revealed that children taking the common medication methylphenidate experience alterations in the distribution of white matter in the brain. This has led to the researchers warning doctors not to over-prescribe the medication and only use it when it is absolutely necessary, as the long-term effects of the medication are not yet known.
Methylphenidate is a stimulant medication commonly prescribed for ADHD and works by blocking norepinephrine and dopamine transporters. Deficits in the prefrontal cortex are associated with ADHD symptoms, and increased dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the prefrontal cortex may have beneficial effects on the condition.
White matter is tissue found in the deepest part of the brain and facilitates quick thinking, learning, co-ordination between different parts of the brain, and the ability to walk and balance. The effects of methylphenidate on white matter, and by extension brain development, is not fully understood….
To chart any changes seen in the participants’ brains, they all underwent an MRI scan one week before their treatment began, and one week after their treatment stopped. Changes were found in the left hemisphere of the brain, with approximately double the rate of fractional anisotropy (nerve fiber density, size, and myelination).
The results suggest that the brain is susceptible to structural changes while it is still developing during childhood and adolescence, with the authors writing:
“The adolescent brain is a rapidly developing system maintaining high levels of plasticity. For instance, the maturation and development of white matter continues well into adulthood.”
“The results show that ADHD medications can have different effects on the development of brain structure in children versus adults. In adult men with ADHD, and both boys and adult men receiving placebo, changes in FA [fractional anisotropy] measures were not present, suggesting that the effects of methyphenidate on brain white matter are modulated by age,” Reneman said.
Reneman warned that they “do not yet know whether these effects are reversible or not and whether they are related to functional or behavioral changes over a longer period of time.”
“What our data already underscores is that the use of ADHD medications in children must be carefully considered until more is known about the long-term consequences of prescribing methylphenidate at a young age,” she said.
The study highlights the key results it produced through its experiments.
“In boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), four months of treatment with methylphenidate (MPH) was associated with increased white matter fractional anisotropy (FA) after 16 weeks.
“In adult men with ADHD and in both boys and adult men receiving placebo, changes in FA measures were not present, suggesting that the effects of MPH on brain white matter are modulated by age….” https://www.news-medical.net/news/20190815/MRI-scans-show-how-ADHD-medication-affects-brain-structure-in-children.aspx

Citation

Journal reference:
Bouziane, C., et al. (2019). White Matter by Diffusion MRI Following Methylphenidate Treatment: A Randomized Control Trial in Males with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. RSNA Radiology. https://doi.org/10.1148/radiol.2019182528.

Here is the abstract and key results:

Original ResearchFree Access
Neuroradiology
White Matter by Diffusion MRI Following Methylphenidate Treatment: A Randomized Control Trial in Males with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Cheima Bouziane*, Olena G. Filatova*, Anouk Schrantee, Matthan W. A. Caan, Frans M. Vos, Liesbeth Reneman
* C.B. and O.G.F. contributed equally to this work.
Author Affiliations
Published Online:Aug 13 2019https://doi.org/10.1148/radiol.2019182528
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Abstract
Background
Methylphenidate (MPH) is highly effective in treating attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, not much is known about its effect on the development of human brain white matter (WM).
Purpose
To determine whether MPH modulates WM microstructure in an age-dependent fashion in a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial (Effects of Psychotropic Medication on Brain Development–Methylphenidate, or ePOD-MPH) among ADHD referral centers between October 13, 2011, and June 15, 2015, by using diffusion-tensor imaging (DTI).
Materials and Methods
In this prospective study (NTR3103 and NL34509.000.10), 50 stimulant treatment–naive boys and 49 young adult men diagnosed with ADHD (all types) according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition criteria were randomized to undergo treatment with MPH or placebo for 16 weeks. Before and 1 week after treatment cessation, study participants underwent MRI, including DTI. The outcome measure was change in fractional anisotropy (FA), which was assessed in three regions of interest (ROIs), as well as in a voxel-based analysis in brain WM. Data were analyzed by using intention-to-treat linear mixed models for ROI analysis and a permutation-based method for voxel-based analysis with family-wise error correction.
Results
Fifty boys (n = 25 MPH group, n = 25 placebo group; age range, 10–12 years) and 48 men (n = 24 MPH group, n = 24 placebo group; age range, 23–40 years) were included. ROI analysis of FA yielded no main effect of time in any of the conditions. However, voxel-based analysis revealed significant (P < .05) time-by-medication-by-age interaction effects in several association tracts of the left hemisphere, as well as in the lateral aspect of the truncus of the corpus callosum, due to greater increase in FA (standardized effect size, 5.25) in MPH-treated boys. Similar changes were not present in boys receiving a placebo, nor in adult men.
Conclusion
Four months of treatment with methylphenidate affects specific tracts in brain white matter in boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. These effects seem to be age dependent, because they were not observed in adults treated with methylphenidate.
© RSNA, 2019
Online supplemental material is available for this article.
Download as PowerPointOpen in Image Viewer
Summary
This randomized clinical trial on the influence of methylphenidate on brain development using diffusion-tensor MRI found fractional anisotropy to increase in specific brain areas of boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder but not in young adult men or boys receiving a placebo.
Key Results
• ■ In boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), 4 months of treatment with methylphenidate (MPH) was associated with increased white matter fractional anisotropy (FA) after 16 weeks (standardized effect size of 5.25 at whole-brain voxel-based analysis)
• ■ In adult men with ADHD and in both boys and adult men receiving placebo, changes in FA measures were not present, suggesting that the effects of MPH on brain white matter are modulated by age.
https://pubs.rsna.org/doi/10.1148/radiol.2019182528

If you suspect that your child might have ADHD, you should seek an evaluation from a competent professional who has knowledge of this specialized area of medical practice.

Reference Links:

Edge Foundation ADHD Coaching Study Executive Summary
http://edgefoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Edge-Foundation-ADHD-Coaching-Research-Report.pdf

Edge Foundation ADHD Coaching Study Full Report
http://edgefoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Edge-Foundation-ADHD-Coaching-Research-Report.pdf

ADHD and College Success: A free guide
http://www.edgefoundation.org/howedgehelps/add-2.html

ADHD and Executive Functioning
http://edgefoundation.org/blog/2010/10/08/the-role-of-adhd-and-your-brains-executive-functions/

Executive Function, ADHD and Academic Outcomes
http://www.helpforld.com/efacoutcomes.pdf

Related:
Louisiana study: Fit children score higher on standardized tests
https://drwilda.com/2012/05/08/louisiana-study-fit-children-score-higher-on-standardized-tests/

Studies: ADHD drugs don’t necessarily improve academic performance
https://drwilda.com/2013/07/14/studies-adhd-drugs-dont-necessarily-improve-academic-performance/

ADHD coaching to improve a child’s education outcome
https://drwilda.com/2012/03/31/adhd-coaching-to-improve-a-childs-education-outcome/

An ADHD related disorder: ‘Sluggish Cognitive Tempo’
https://drwilda.com/2014/04/12/an-adhd-related-disorder-sluggish-cognitive-tempo/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

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Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
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http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine study: Scientists can now manipulate brain cells using smartphone

11 Aug

The staff of Mayo Clinic wrote an excellent synopsis about Deep brain stimulation:

Overview
Deep brain stimulation involves implanting electrodes within certain areas of your brain. These electrodes produce electrical impulses that regulate abnormal impulses. Or the electrical impulses can affect certain cells and chemicals within the brain.
The amount of stimulation in deep brain stimulation is controlled by a pacemaker-like device placed under the skin in your upper chest. A wire that travels under your skin connects this device to the electrodes in your brain.
Deep brain stimulation is approved to treat a number of conditions, such as:
• Dystonia
• Epilepsy
• Essential tremor
• Obsessive-compulsive disorder
• Parkinson’s disease
Deep brain stimulation is also being studied as a potential treatment for:
• Addiction
• Chronic pain
• Cluster headache
• Dementia
• Depression (major)
• Huntington’s disease
• Multiple sclerosis
• Stroke recovery
• Tourette syndrome
• Traumatic brain injury
Why it’s done
Deep brain stimulation is an established treatment for people with movement disorders, such as essential tremor, Parkinson’s disease and dystonia, and psychiatric conditions, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder. It’s also approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration to reduce seizures in difficult-to-treat epilepsy.
This treatment is reserved for people who aren’t able to get control of their symptoms with medications…. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/deep-brain-stimulation/about/pac-20384562

Resources:

What is deep brain stimulation?                 https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/deep-brain-stimulation

Wireless communication with implanted medical devices using the conductive properties of the body https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4156009/

Science Daily reported the University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine study, Scientists can now manipulate brain cells using smartphone:

A team of scientists in Korea and the United States have invented a device that can control neural circuits using a tiny brain implant controlled by a smartphone.
Researchers, publishing in Nature Biomedical Engineering, believe the device can speed up efforts to uncover brain diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, addiction, depression, and pain.
The device, using Lego-like replaceable drug cartridges and powerful bluetooth low-energy, can target specific neurons of interest using drug and light for prolonged periods.
“The wireless neural device enables chronic chemical and optical neuromodulation that has never been achieved before,” said lead author Raza Qazi, a researcher with the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and University of Colorado Boulder.
Qazi said this technology significantly overshadows conventional methods used by neuroscientists, which usually involve rigid metal tubes and optical fibers to deliver drugs and light. Apart from limiting the subject’s movement due to the physical connections with bulky equipment, their relatively rigid structure causes lesion in soft brain tissue over time, therefore making them not suitable for long-term implantation. Though some efforts have been put to partly mitigate adverse tissue response by incorporating soft probes and wireless platforms, the previous solutions were limited by their inability to deliver drugs for long periods of time as well as their bulky and complex control setups.
To achieve chronic wireless drug delivery, scientists had to solve the critical challenge of exhaustion and evaporation of drugs. Researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and the University of Washington in Seattle collaborated to invent a neural device with a replaceable drug cartridge, which could allow neuroscientists to study the same brain circuits for several months without worrying about running out of drugs.
These ‘plug-n-play’ drug cartridges were assembled into a brain implant for mice with a soft and ultrathin probe (thickness of a human hair), which consisted of microfluidic channels and tiny LEDs (smaller than a grain of salt), for unlimited drug doses and light delivery.
Controlled with an elegant and simple user interface on a smartphone, neuroscientists can easily trigger any specific combination or precise sequencing of light and drug deliveries in any implanted target animal without need to be physically inside the laboratory. Using these wireless neural devices, researchers could also easily setup fully automated animal studies where behaviour of one animal could positively or negatively affect behaviour in other animals by conditional triggering of light and/or drug delivery.
“This revolutionary device is the fruit of advanced electronics design and powerful micro and nanoscale engineering,” said Jae-Woong Jeong, a professor of electrical engineering at KAIST. “We are interested in further developing this technology to make a brain implant for clinical applications.”
Michael Bruchas, a professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine and pharmacology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, said this technology will help researchers in many ways.
“It allows us to better dissect the neural circuit basis of behaviour, and how specific neuromodulators in the brain tune behaviour in various ways,” he said. “We are also eager to use the device for complex pharmacological studies, which could help us develop new therapeutics for pain, addiction, and emotional disorders….” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190805143525.htm

Citation:

Scientists can now manipulate brain cells using smartphone
Date: August 5, 2019
Source: University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine
Summary:
A team of scientists have invented a device that can control neural circuits using a tiny brain implant controlled by a smartphone. The device could speed up efforts to uncover brain diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, addiction, depression, and pain.

Journal Reference:
Raza Qazi, Adrian M. Gomez, Daniel C. Castro, Zhanan Zou, Joo Yong Sim, Yanyu Xiong, Jonas Abdo, Choong Yeon Kim, Avery Anderson, Frederik Lohner, Sang-Hyuk Byun, Byung Chul Lee, Kyung-In Jang, Jianliang Xiao, Michael R. Bruchas, Jae-Woong Jeong. Wireless optofluidic brain probes for chronic neuropharmacology and photostimulation. Nature Biomedical Engineering, 2019; DOI: 10.1038/s41551-019-0432-1

Here is the press release from the University of Washington:

NEWS RELEASE

August 5, 2019

For immediate release

Scientists manipulate brain cells using a smartphone

A soft neural implant, capable of delivering multiple drugs and color lights, might speed research on diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, addiction, depression and pain.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Bobbi Nodell, bnodell@uw.edu, 206.543.7129
Email Facebook Twitter Share

A team of scientists in South Korea and the United States have invented a device that can control neural circuits by using a tiny brain implant managedby a smartphone.
Publishing in Nature Biomedical Engineering, the researchers said the soft neural implant is the first wireless neural device capable of delivering multiple drugs and color lights. The device could speed up efforts to uncover brain diseases, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, addiction, depression, and pain.
“The wireless neural device enables chronic chemical and optical neuromodulation that has never been achieved before,” said lead author Raza Qazi, a researcher with the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and University of Colorado Boulder.
Co-author Michael Bruchas, a professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine and pharmacology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, said this technology will help researchers in many ways.
“It allows us to better dissect the neural circuit basis of behavior, and how specific neuromodulators in the brain tune behavior in various ways,” he said. “We are also eager to use the device for complex pharmacological studies, which could help us develop new therapeutics for pain, addiction and emotional disorders.”
The device uses Lego-like replaceable drug cartridges and powerful bluetooth low-energy to deliver drugs and light to specific neurons of interest.
Resarchers said this technology significantly overshadows conventional neuroscience methods, which usually involve rigid metal tubes and optical fibers. Apart from limiting the subject’s movement due to the physical connections with bulky equipment, their relatively rigid structure causes lesion in soft brain tissue over time, therefore making them not suitable for long-term implantation. Though some efforts have partly mitigate adverse tissue response by incorporating soft probes and wireless platforms, the previous solutions were limited by their inability to deliver drugs for long periods of time as well as their bulky and complex control setups.
To achieve chronic wireless drug delivery, scientists had to solve the critical challenge of exhaustion and evaporation of drugs. The researchers collaborated to invent the neural device, which could allow neuroscientists to study the same brain circuits for several months without worrying about running out of drugs.
These “plug and play” drug cartridges were assembled into a brain implant for mice with a soft and ultrathin probe, the thickness of a human hair, which consisted of microfluidic channels and tiny LEDs, smaller than a grain of salt, for unlimited drug doses and light delivery.
Controlled with an elegant, simple user interface on a smartphone, the device can easily trigger any specific combination or precise sequencing of light and drug deliveries in any implanted target animal without need to be inside the laboratory. Using these wireless neural devices, researchers could also easily setup fully automated animal studies where behavior of one animal could positively or negatively affect behaviour in other animals by conditional triggering of light and/or drug delivery.
“This revolutionary device is the fruit of advanced electronics design and powerful micro and nanoscale engineering,” said Jae-Woong Jeong, a professor of electrical engineering at KAIST. “We are interested in further developing this technology to make a brain implant for clinical applications.”
The researchers at the Jeong group at KAIST, South Korea, develop soft electronics for wearable and implantable devices. The neuroscientists at the Bruchas Lab in Seattle study brain circuits that control stress, depression, addiction, pain and other neuropsychiatric disorders. This collaborative effort among engineers and neuroscientists over three years and tens of design iterations led to the successful validation of this brain implant in freely moving mice.
This work was supported by grants from the National Research Foundation of Korea, the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse, and Mallinckrodt Professorship.

Resources:

Deep Brain Stimulation                                                   https://www.aans.org/Patients/Neurosurgical-Conditions-and-Treatments/Deep-Brain-Stimulation

Ethical Issues in Deep Brain Stimulation https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3096836/

Deep Brain Stimulation for Mental Illnesses Raises Ethical Concerns https://leapsmag.com/deep-brain-stimulation-mental-illnesses-raises-ethical-concerns/

Ethical Considerations in Deep Brain Stimulation Treatment https://pjb.mycpanel2.princeton.edu/wp/index.php/2016/03/09/ethical-considerations-in-deep-brain-stimulation-treatment/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

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COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
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Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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University of Massachusetts – Amherst study: New process discovered to completely degrade flame retardant in the environment

8 Aug

Science Direct reported in Tetrabromobisphenol A:

Abstract
Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) is one of the most prevalent flame retardants, and is used in plastic paints, synthetic textiles, and electrical devices. Despite the fact that TBBPA is excreted quickly from the body, it is detected in human plasma and milk. Owing to the structural resemblance to thyroid hormones (THs), the thyroid disruption activities of TBBPA have been investigated over the past two decades. Possible action sites are plasma TH binding protein and TH receptors. In experimental animal models, TBBPA exposure induces a decrease in plasma TH levels and a delay of TH-induced metamorphosis in animals. In studies using cell lines, TBBPA shows weak agonist and antagonist activities. These in vitro and in vivo bioassays may be powerful tools for detecting the thyroid system disruption activity of TBBPA. Although recent findings suggest diverse biological effects of TBBPA on the thyroid, reproductive, and immune systems, there is still controversy regarding these effects…. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science/tetrabromobisphenol-a and https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B978012801028000249X
Scientists are researching the effects of Tetrabromobisphenol A.

Green Sciences Policy Institute provided an overview of retardants:

Flame retardant chemicals are used in commercial and consumer products (like furniture and building insulation) to meet flammability standards. Not all flame retardants present concerns, but the following types often do:
• Halogenated flame retardants (also known as organohalogen flame retardants) containing chlorine or bromine bonded to carbon.
• Organophosphorous flame retardants containing phosphorous bonded to carbon.
For these types of flame retardants:
• Some are associated with health and environmental concerns
• Many are inadequately tested for safety
• They provide questionable fire safety benefits as used in some products
Major uses
The major uses of flame retardant chemicals by volume in the U.S. are:
• Electronics
• Building insulation
• Polyurethane foam
• Wire and cable
Properties of Concern
Organohalogen and organophosphorous flame retardants often have one or more of the following properties of concern. Chemicals with all these properties are considered Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and present significant risks to human health and environment. https://greensciencepolicy.org/topics/flame-retardants/

University of Massachusetts Amherst reported a process to degrade flame retardant.

Science Daily reported in New process discovered to completely degrade flame retardant in the environment:

A team of environmental scientists from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and China has for the first time used a dynamic, two-step process to completely degrade a common flame-retardant chemical, rendering the persistent global pollutant nontoxic.
This new process breaks down tetrabromobisohenol A (TBBPA) to harmless carbon dioxide and water. The discovery highlights the potential of using a special material, sulfidated nanoscale zerovalent iron (S-nZVI), in water treatment systems and in the natural environment to break down not only TBBPA but other organic refractory compounds that are difficult to degrade, says Jun Wu, a visiting Ph.D. student at UMass Amherst’s Stockbridge College of Agriculture and lead author of the paper published in Environmental Science & Technology….
“This research can lead to a decrease in the potential risk of TBBPA to the environment and human health,” says Wu, who began the research at the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei. At UMass Amherst, Wu works in the pioneering lab of Baoshan Xing, professor of environmental and soil chemistry, corresponding author of the new study and one of the world’s most highly cited researchers….
Among the most common flame retardants that hinder combustion and slow the spread of fire, TBBPA is added to manufactured materials, including computer circuit boards and other electrical devices, papers, textiles and plastics.
Associated with a variety of health concerns, including cancer and hormone disruption, TBBPA has been widely detected in the environment, as well as in animals and human milk and plasma.
Although Wu and Xing’s research breaks new ground in the efforts to develop safe and effective processes to remediate groundwater and soil contaminated with TBBPA, they say more research is needed to learn how to best apply the process.
Their research was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Hatch Program. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190808115102.htm

Citation:

New process discovered to completely degrade flame retardant in the environment
New research has potential application to remediate other difficult-to-degrade pollutants
Date: August 8, 2019
Source: University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Summary:
A team of environmental scientists has for the first time used a dynamic, two-step process to completely degrade a common flame-retardant chemical, rendering the persistent global pollutant nontoxic.

Journal Reference:
Jun Wu, Jian Zhao, Jun Hou, Raymond Jianxiong Zeng, Baoshan Xing. Degradation of Tetrabromobisphenol A by Sulfidated Nanoscale Zerovalent Iron in a Dynamic Two-Step Anoxic/Oxic Process. Environmental Science & Technology, 2019; 53 (14): 8105 DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.8b06834

Here is the press release from UMass Amherst:

New Process Discovered to Completely Degrade Flame Retardant in the Environment
UMass Amherst research has potential application to remediate other difficult-to-degrade pollutants
August 8, 2019
Contact: Jun Wu 413-210-2729
AMHERST, Mass. – A team of environmental scientists from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and China has for the first time used a dynamic, two-step process to completely degrade a common flame-retardant chemical, rendering the persistent global pollutant nontoxic.
This new process breaks down tetrabromobisophenol A (TBBPA) to harmless carbon dioxide and water. The discovery highlights the potential of using a special material, sulfidated nanoscale zerovalent iron (S-nZVI), in water treatment systems and in the natural environment to break down not only TBBPA but other organic refractory compounds that are difficult to degrade,says Jun Wu, a visiting Ph.D. student at UMass Amherst’s Stockbridge College of Agriculture and lead author of the paper published in Environmental Science & Technology.
“This is the first research about this dynamic, oxic/anoxic process,” Wu says. “Usually, reduction or oxidation alone is used to remove TBBPA, facilitated by S-nZVI. We combined reduction and oxidation together to degrade it completely.”
Wu emphasizes that “the technique is technically simple and environmentally friendly. That is a key point to its application.”
The research is featured on the cover of ES&T, which is widely respected for publishing papers in the environmental disciplines that are both significant and original.
“This research can lead to a decrease in the potential risk of TBBPA to the environment and human health,” says Wu, who began the research at the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei. At UMass Amherst, Wu works in the pioneering lab of Baoshan Xing, professor of environmental and soil chemistry, corresponding author of the new study and one of the world’s most highly cited researchers.
“Our research shows a feasible and environmentally friendly process to completely degrade refractory brominated flame retardants in a combined oxic and anoxic system,” Xing says. “This is important for getting rid of these harmful compounds from the environment, thus reducing the exposure and risk.”
Among the most common flame retardants that hinder combustion and slow the spread of fire, TBBPA is added to manufactured materials, including computer circuit boards and other electrical devices, papers, textiles and plastics.
Associated with a variety of health concerns, including cancer and hormone disruption, TBBPA has been widely detected in the environment, as well as in animals and human milk and plasma.
Although Wu and Xing’s research breaks new ground in the efforts to develop safe and effective processes to remediate groundwater and soil contaminated with TBBPA, they say more research is needed to learn how to best apply the process.
Their research was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Hatch Program.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists risks in Fact Sheet: Assessing Risks from Flame Retardants https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/fact-sheet-assessing-risks-flame-retardants

Resources:
COMPOUND SUMMARY – Tetrabromobisphenol A https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Tetrabromobisphenol-A

Is the flame retardant, tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA), a reproductive or developmental toxicant?
Date:
February 18, 2015
Source:
Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment
Summary:
Two studies examined the effects of tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) at oral doses of 10,100 or 1000 mg/kg bw/day over the course of 2 generations on growth as well as behavioral, neurological and neuropathologic functions in offspring. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/02/150218092044.htm

Global Tetrabromobisphenol-A Market is Evolving with Chemicals and Materials Industry in 2019 | Get Strategic Insights. https://theindustryforecast.com/2019/07/24/global-tetrabromobisphenol-a-insights-market-sp/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

University College London study: People who eat dark chocolate less likely to be depressed

3 Aug

Harvard Health wrote in Chocolate: Pros and cons of this sweet treat:

The reality is that ingredients in cocoa can be healthy, but the high-calorie chocolate bars that contain it aren’t necessarily good for you. Cocoa comes from roasted cacao seeds. It’s high in plant compounds called cocoa flavonoids, which have been shown in studies to have beneficial effects on heart disease risks, as well as on blood flow to the brain. Chocolate is the candy that’s made by adding sugar, milk, and other ingredients to cocoa powder. Those ingredients also add fat and sugar, which counteract some of cocoa’s health benefits.
Cocoa and heart health
The flavonoids in cocoa—specifically catechin, epicatechin, and procyanidins—are thought to help the cardiovascular system by lowering cholesterol, reducing inflammation, and preventing blood clots. When Dr. Ding and his colleagues analyzed the results of 24 studies on the effects of cocoa flavonoids on heart risks, they found that flavonoids reduced blood pressure and unhealthy LDL cholesterol, increased healthy HDL cholesterol, improved blood flow, and lowered insulin resistance (a condition in which the body doesn’t use insulin effectively, which is associated with type 2 diabetes and heart disease).
So far, researchers have only confirmed cocoa’s short-term benefits on heart risks—not the outcomes of lowering those risks. In other words, cocoa flavonoids may counteract the high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other factors that contribute to a heart attack, but whether they actually prevent one from happening isn’t yet known. “In terms of actual direct heart attack prevention, the jury’s still out,” Dr. Ding says.
Cocoa on the brain
Scientists are also discovering that cocoa may be healthy for the brain. Another team of researchers at Harvard Medical School found that older adults who drank two cups of cocoa a day for 30 days had improved blood flow to parts of their brain needed for memory and thinking.
Another study, this one published in the journal Hypertension in 2012, offers even more direct evidence of cocoa flavonoids’ effects on the brain. Researchers in Italy found that older adults with mild cognitive impairment (mild problems with memory and thinking skills that increase the risk for dementia) who drank high-flavonoid cocoa performed better on tests of mental function and speaking ability than those who drank low-flavonoid cocoa. These studies don’t prove that cocoa can prevent dementia or other kinds of mental decline, but it does appear to play some brain-protective role.
Best cocoa sources
The average dose of flavonoids in the studies Dr. Ding reviewed was 400 milligrams a day. “The problem is, that’s about the equivalent of eight bars of dark chocolate or 30 bars of milk chocolate,” he says. “When you eat these actual chocolate bars, all the calories and sugar come with them.”
To get the health advantages of cocoa flavonoids without the fat and calories, you can buy a more concentrated cocoa product. Some cocoa supplements on the market contain up to 250 milligrams of cocoa flavonoids per serving…. https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/chocolate-pros-and-cons-of-this-sweet-treat

University College London published a study about the effects of dark chocolate on those suffering depression.

Science Daily reported in People who eat dark chocolate less likely to be depressed:

Eating dark chocolate may positively affect mood and relieve depressive symptoms, finds a new UCL-led study looking at whether different types of chocolate are associated with mood disorders.
The study, published in Depression and Anxiety, is the first to examine the association with depression according to the type of chocolate consumed.
Researchers from UCL worked in collaboration with scientists from the University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services Canada and assessed data from 13,626 adults from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Participants’ chocolate consumption was assessed against their scores on the Patient Health Questionnaire, which assesses depressive symptoms.
In the cross-sectional study, a range of other factors including height, weight, marital status, ethnicity, education, household income, physical activity, smoking and chronic health problems were also taken into account to ensure the study only measured chocolate’s effect on depressive symptoms.
After adjusting for these factors, it was found that individuals who reported eating any dark chocolate in two 24-hour periods had 70 per cent lower odds of reporting clinically relevant depressive symptoms than those who reported not eating chocolate at all. The 25 per cent of chocolate consumers who ate the most chocolate (of any kind, not just dark) were also less likely to report depressive symptoms than those who didn’t eat chocolate at all. However researchers found no significant link between any non‐dark chocolate consumption and clinically relevant depressive symptoms.
Depression affects more than 300 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation, and is the leading global cause of disability.
Lead author Dr Sarah Jackson (UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care) said: “This study provides some evidence that consumption of chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, may be associated with reduced odds of clinically relevant depressive symptoms…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190802145458.htm

Citation:

People who eat dark chocolate less likely to be depressed
Date: August 2, 2019
Source: University College London
Summary:
Eating dark chocolate may positively affect mood and relieve depressive symptoms, finds a new study looking at whether different types of chocolate are associated with mood disorders.
Journal Reference:
Sarah E. Jackson, Lee Smith, Joseph Firth, Igor Grabovac, Pinar Soysal, Ai Koyanagi, Liang Hu, Brendon Stubbs, Jacopo Demurtas, Nicola Veronese, Xiangzhu Zhu, Lin Yang. Is there a relationship between chocolate consumption and symptoms of depression? A cross‐sectional survey of 13,626 US adults. Depression and Anxiety, 2019; DOI: 10.1002/da.22950

Here is the press release from University College London:

People who eat dark chocolate less likely to be depressed
2 August 2019
Eating dark chocolate may positively affect mood and relieve depressive symptoms, finds a new UCL-led study looking at whether different types of chocolate are associated with mood disorders.
The study, published in Depression and Anxiety, is the first to examine the association with depression according to the type of chocolate consumed.
Researchers from UCL worked in collaboration with scientists from the University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services Canada and assessed data from 13,626 adults from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Participants’ chocolate consumption was assessed against their scores on the Patient Health Questionnaire, which assesses depressive symptoms.
In the cross-sectional study, a range of other factors including height, weight, marital status, ethnicity, education, household income, physical activity, smoking and chronic health problems were also taken into account to ensure the study only measured chocolate’s effect on depressive symptoms.
After adjusting for these factors, it was found that individuals who reported eating any dark chocolate in two 24-hour periods had 70 per cent lower odds of reporting clinically relevant depressive symptoms than those who reported not eating chocolate at all. The 25 per cent of chocolate consumers who ate the most chocolate (of any kind, not just dark) were also less likely to report depressive symptoms than those who didn’t eat chocolate at all. However researchers found no significant link between any non‐dark chocolate consumption and clinically relevant depressive symptoms.
Depression affects more than 300 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation, and is the leading global cause of disability.
Lead author Dr Sarah Jackson (UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care) said: “This study provides some evidence that consumption of chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, may be associated with reduced odds of clinically relevant depressive symptoms.
“However further research is required to clarify the direction of causation – it could be the case that depression causes people to lose their interest in eating chocolate, or there could be other factors that make people both less likely to eat dark chocolate and to be depressed.
“Should a causal relationship demonstrating a protective effect of chocolate consumption on depressive symptoms be established, the biological mechanism needs to be understood to determine the type and amount of chocolate consumption for optimal depression prevention and management.”
Chocolate is widely reported to have mood‐enhancing properties and several mechanisms for a relationship between chocolate and mood have been proposed.
Principally, chocolate contains a number of psychoactive ingredients which produce a feeling of euphoria similar to that of cannabinoid, found in cannabis. It also contains phenylethylamine, a neuromodulator which is believed to be important for regulating people’s moods.
Experimental evidence also suggests that mood improvements only take place if the chocolate is palatable and pleasant to eat, which suggests that the experience of enjoying chocolate is an important factor, not just the ingredients present.
While the above is true of all types of chocolate, dark chocolate has a higher concentration of flavonoids, antioxidant chemicals which have been shown to improve inflammatory profiles, which have been shown to play a role in the onset of depression.
Links
• The full paper in Depression and Anxiety
• Dr Sarah Jackson’s academic profile
• UCL Behavioural Science and Health
• UCL Epidemiology & Health Care
• UCL Population Health Sciences
• UCL School of Life and Medical Sciences
• Media coverage
Image
Photo by LongitudeLatitude from Flickr
Media contact
Jake Hawkes
Tel: +44 (0)20 3108 8581
Email: j.hawkes [at] ucl.ac.uk
https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/2019/aug/people-who-eat-dark-chocolate-less-likely-be-depressed

Dr. Richard Foxx, MD wrote in Can There Really Be Too Much of a Good Thing?

Believe it or not, it is possible to have too much of a good thing—even when it comes to healthy lifestyle choices. Some of the pillars of health, including diet and exercise, can create health problems if they’re overdone. Yes, you really can exercise too much and eat too much of a good thing!
The truth is that we’re always learning more and more about what’s good for us and what isn’t. Furthermore, science is constantly pulling things back and forth in the realm of health. For example, one day,you hear that coffee and eggs are bad for you; the next day, they’re good for your health. But at the end of the day, both coffee and eggs are good for you—if they’re consumed in moderation. Once again, the old adage rings true: “everything in moderation…”

When it comes to health, remember the importance of moderation. Enjoy life, be sensible, and you’ll be rewarded! https://www.doctorshealthpress.com/general-health/healthy-lifestyle-tips-moderation-key-to-healthy-living/

Everything in moderation opines Dr. Wilda.

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