Life Extension Magazine®

Issue: Feb 2015

Vinpocetine, brain shrinkage, brain injury and bioidentical hormones, Saccharomyces cerevisiae-derived peptides, and inhaled insulin

Vinpocetine, brain shrinkage, brain injury and bioidentical hormones, Saccharomyces cerevisiae-derived peptides, and inhaled insulin

By Life Extension.

Low cerebral blood flow is associated with lower memory function in metabolic syndrome.

BACKGROUND: Metabolic syndrome (MetS)--a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors--is linked with cognitive decline and dementia. However, the brain changes underlying this link are presently unknown. In this study, we tested the relationship between MetS, cerebral blood flow (CBF), white matter hyperintensity burden, and gray matter (GM) volume in cognitively healthy late middle-aged adults. Additionally, the extent to which MetS was associated with cognitive performance was assessed. DESIGN AND METHODS: Late middle-aged adults from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention (N = 69, mean age = 60.4 years) underwent a fasting blood draw, arterial spin labeling perfusion MRI, T1-weighted MRI, T2FLAIR MRI, and neuropsychological testing. MetS was defined as abnormalities on three or more factors, including abdominal obesity, triglycerides, HDL-cholesterol, blood pressure, and fasting glucose. RESULTS: Mean GM CBF was 15% lower in MetS compared to controls. Voxel-wise image analysis indicated that the MetS group had lower CBF across a large portion of the cortical surface, with the exception of medial and inferior parts of the occipital and temporal lobes. The MetS group also had lower immediate memory function; a mediation analysis indicated this relationship was partially mediated by CBF. Among the MetS factors, abdominal obesity and elevated triglycerides were most strongly associated with lower CBF. CONCLUSIONS: The results underscore the importance of reducing the number of cardiovascular risk factors for maintaining CBF and cognition in an aging population.

Obesity (Silver Spring) . 2013 Jul;21(7):1313-20

Reduced cerebral perfusion predicts greater depressive symptoms and cognitive dysfunction at a 1-year follow-up in patients with heart failure.

OBJECTIVE: Cerebral hypoperfusion is common in heart failure (HF) and believed to underlie poor neurocognitive outcomes in this population. Up to 42% of HF patients also exhibit depressive symptomatology that may stem from reduced cerebral blood flow. However, no study has examined this possibility or whether reduced brain perfusion increases risk for future cognitive dysfunction in older adults with HF. METHODS: One hundred HF patients underwent transcranial Doppler ultrasonagraphy to quantify global cerebral blood flow velocity (CBF-V) and were administered a cognitive test battery to assess global cognition, attention/executive function, and memory abilities. All participants then completed the Beck Depression Inventory-II to assess depressive symptomatology. These procedures were performed at baseline and at 12-month follow-up. RESULTS: Repeated measures revealed that CBF-V declined over the 12-month period. Regression analyses showed that reduced baseline CBF-V predicted worse performances in attention/executive function (p < 0.05 for all) and a trend for memory (p = 0.09) in addition to greater depressive symptomatology (p < 0.05) at the 12-month follow-up, even after controlling for baseline factors and medical and demographic variables. CONCLUSIONS: Cerebral perfusion declined over time and was associated with poorer cognitive function and greater depressive symptoms at a 1-year follow-up in HF. Prospective studies with long-term follow-ups that employ neuroimaging are needed to examine whether cognitive dysfunction and depression in HF stem from the adverse effects of cerebral hypoperfusion on the cerebral structure.

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2014 Apr;29(4):428-36

Independent and interactive effects of blood pressure and cardiac function on brain volume and white matter hyperintensities in heart failure.

BACKGROUND: Reduced systemic perfusion and comorbid medical conditions are key contributors to adverse brain changes in heart failure (HF). Hypertension, the most common co-occurring condition in HF, accelerates brain atrophy in aging populations. However, the independent and interactive effects of blood pressure and systemic perfusion on brain structure in HF have yet to be investigated. METHODS: Forty-eight older adults with HF underwent impedance cardiography to assess current systolic blood pressure status and cardiac index to quantify systemic perfusion. All participants underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging

to quantify total brain, total and subcortical gray matter volume, and white matter hyperintensities (WMH) volume. RESULTS: Regression analyses adjusting for medical and demographic factors showed decreased cardiac index was associated with smaller subcortical gray matter volume (P < .01), and higher systolic blood pressure predicted reduced total gray matter volume (P = .03). The combination of higher blood pressure and lower cardiac index exacerbated WMH (P = .048). CONCLUSIONS: Higher blood pressure and systemic hypoperfusion are associated with smaller brain volume, and these factors interact to exacerbate WMH in HF. Prospective studies are needed to clarify the effects of blood pressure on the brain in HF, including the role of long-term blood pressure fluctuations.

J Am Soc Hypertens. 2013 Sep-Oct;7(5):336-43

Inhibitory effects of vinpocetine on the progression of atherosclerosis are mediated by Akt/NF-kB dependent mechanisms in apoE-/- mice.

BACKGROUND: Recent studies have found additional roles for vinpocetine, a potent phosphodiesterase type I inhibitor, in anti-proliferation and anti-inflammation of vascular smooth muscle cells and cancer cells via different mechanisms. In this study, we attempted to investigate whether vinpocetine protected against atherosclerotic development in apoE(-/-) mice and explore the underlying anti-atherogenic mechanisms in macrophages. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Vinpocetine markedly decreased atherosclerotic lesion size in apoE(-/-) mice measured by oil red O. Masson’s trichrome staining and immunohistochemical analyses revealed that vinpocetine significantly increased the thickness of fibrous cap, reduced the size of lipid-rich necrotic core and attenuated inflammation. In vitro experiments exhibited a significant decrease in monocyte adhesion treated with vinpocetine. Further, active TNF-a, IL-6, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression induced by ox-LDL were attenuated by vinpocetine in a dose-dependent manner. Similarly, ox-LDL-induced reactive oxygen species were significantly repressed by vinpocetine. Both western blot and luciferase activity assay showed that vinpocetine inhibited the enhanced Akt, IKKa/b, IkBa phosphorylation and NF-kB activity induced by ox-LDL, and the inhibition of NF-kB activity was partly caused by Akt dephosphorylation. However, knockdown of PDE1B did not affect Akt, IKKa/b and IkBa phosphorylation. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that vinpocetine exerts anti-atherogenic effects through inhibition of monocyte adhesion, oxidative stress and inflammatory response, which are mediated by Akt/NF-kB dependent pathway but independent of PDE1 blockade in macrophages.

PLoS One. 2013 Dec 9;8(12):e82509

Vinpocetine attenuates neointimal hyperplasia in diabetic rat carotid arteries after balloon injury.

BACKGROUND: Diabetes exacerbates abnormal vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) accumulation in response to arterial wall injury. Vinpocetine has been shown to improve vascular remolding; however, little is known about the direct effects of vinpocetine on vascular complications mediated by diabetes. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of vinpocetine on hyperglycemia-facilitated neointimal hyperplasia and explore its possible mechanism. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Nondiabetic and diabetic rats were subjected to balloon injury of the carotid artery followed by 3-week treatment with either vinpocetine (10 mg/kg/day) or saline. Morphological analysis and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) immunostaining were performed on day 21. Rat VSMCs proliferation was determined with 5-ethynyl-20-deoxyuridine cell proliferation assays. Chemokinesis was monitored with scratch assays, and production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was assessed using a 2’,7’-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (H2DCFDA) flow cytometric assay. Apoptosis was detected by annexin V-FITC/PI flow cytometric assay. Cell signaling was assessed by immunblotting. RESULTS: Vinpocetine prevented intimal hyperplasia in carotid arteries in both normal (I/M ratio: 93.83 ± 26.45% versus 143.2 ± 38.18%, P<0.05) and diabetic animals (I/M ratio: 120.5 ± 42.55% versus 233.46 ± 33.98%, P<0.05) when compared to saline. The in vitro study demonstrated that vinpocetine significantly inhibited VSMCs proliferation and chemokinesis as well as ROS generation and apoptotic resistance, which was induced by high glucose (HG) treatment. Vinpocetine significantly abolished HG-induced phosphorylation of Akt and JNK1/2 without affecting their total levels. For downstream targets, HG-induced phosphorylation of IkBa was significantly inhibited by vinpocetine. Vinpocetine also attenuated HG-enhanced expression of PCNA, cyclin D1 and Bcl-2. CONCLUSIONS: Vinpocetine attenuated neointimal formation in diabetic rats and inhibited HG-induced VSMCs proliferation, chemokinesis and apoptotic resistance by preventing ROS activation and affecting MAPK, PI3K/Akt, and NF-kB signaling.

PLoS One . 2014 May 12;9(5):e96894

Vinpocetine attenuates lipid accumulation and atherosclerosis formation.

Atherosclerosis, the major cause of myocardial infarction and stroke, is a chronic arterial disease characterized by lipid deposition and inflammation in the vessel wall. Cholesterol, in low-density lipoprotein (LDL), plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Vinpocetine, a derivative of the alkaloid vincamine, has long been used as a cerebral blood flow enhancer for treating cognitive impairment. Recent study indicated that vinpocetine is a potent anti-inflammatory agent. However, its role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis remains unexplored. In the present study, we show that vinpocetine significantly reduced atherosclerotic lesion formation in ApoE knockout mice fed with a high-fat diet. In cultured murine macrophage RAW264.7 cells, vinpocetine markedly attenuated oxidized LDL (ox-LDL) uptake and foam cell formation. Moreover, vinpocetine greatly blocked the induction of ox-LDL receptor 1 (LOX-1) in cultured macrophages as well as in the LOX-1 level in atherosclerotic lesions. Taken together, our data reveal a novel role of vinpocetine in reduction of pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, at least partiallythrough suppressing LOX-1 signaling pathway. Given the excellent safety profile of vinpocetine, this study suggests vinpocetine may be a therapeutic candidate for treating atherosclerosis.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2013 May 10;434(3):439-43

Piracetam and vinpocetine ameliorate rotenone-induced Parkinsonism in rats.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the neuroprotective effect of the nootropic drugs, piracetam (PIR) and vinpocetine (VIN), in rotenone-induced Parkinsonism in rats. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Sixty male rats were divided into 6 groups of 10 rats each. The groups were administered vehicle, control (rotenone, 1.5 mg/kg/48 h/6 doses, s.c.), PIR (100 and 200 mg/kg/day, p.o.) and VIN (3 and 6 mg/kg/day, p.o.). The motor performance of the rats was evaluated by the open field and pole test. Striatal dopamine level, malondialdehyde (MDA), reduced glutathione (GSH) and tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-a) were assayed. Histopathological study of the substantia nigra was also done. RESULTS: Results showed that rotenone-treated rats exhibited bradykinesia and motor impairment in the open-field test. In addition, GSH level was decreased whereas MDA and TNF-a increased in striata of rotenone-treated rats as compared to vehicle-treated rats. Marked degeneration of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) neurons and depletion of striatal dopamine was also observed inthe rotenone-treated rats. Treatment with PIR or VIN significantly reversed the locomotor deficits and increased striatal dopamine level. Treatment with VIN significantly (P<0.05) reduced the striatal level of MDA and GSH in comparison to rotenone group whereas TNF-a production was found to be significantly decreased in PIR group (P<0.05). CONCLUSION: VIN and PIR exhibit neuroprotective activity in rotenone-induced Parkinsonism. Hence, these nootropic agents may be considered as possible candidates in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

Indian J Pharmacol. 2012 Nov-Dec;44(6):774-9.

Vinpocetine inhibits NF-kappaB-dependent inflammation via an IKK-dependent but PDE- independent mechanism.

Inflammation is a hallmark of many diseases, such as atherosclerosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, arthritis, infectious diseases, and cancer. Although steroids and cyclooxygenase inhibitors are effective anti-inflammatory therapeutical agents, they may cause serious side effects. Therefore, developing unique antiinflammatory agents without significant adverse effects is urgently needed. Vinpocetine, a derivative of the alkaloid vincamine, has long been used for cerebrovascular disorders and cognitive impairment. Its role in inhibiting inflammation, however, remains unexplored. Here, we show that vinpocetine acts as an antiinflammatory agent in vitro and in vivo. In particular, vinpocetine inhibits TNF-alpha-induced NF-kappaB activation and the subsequent induction of proinflammatory mediators in multiple cell types, including vascular smooth muscle cells, endothelial cells, macrophages, and epithelial cells. We also show that vinpocetine inhibits monocyte adhesion and chemotaxis, which are critical processes during inflammation. Moreover, vinpocetine potently inhibits TNF-alpha- or LPS-induced up-regulation of proinflammatory mediators, including TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, and macrophage inflammatory protein-2, and decreases interstitial infiltration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes in a mouse model of TNF-alpha- or LPS-induced lung inflammation. Interestingly, vinpocetine inhibits NF-kappaB-dependent inflammatory responses by directly targeting IKK, independent of its well-known inhibitory effects on phosphodiesterase and Ca(2+) regulation. These studies thus identify vinpocetine as a unique antiinflammatory agent that may be repositioned for the treatment of many inflammatory diseases.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 May 25;107(21):9795-800

Human brain changes across the life span: a review of 56 longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging studies.

There is consistent evidence that brain volume changes in early and late life. Most longitudinal studies usually only span a few years and include a limited number of participants. In this review, we integrate findings from 56 longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies on whole brain volume change in healthy individuals. The individual longitudinal MRI studies describe only the development in a limited age range. In total, 2,211 participants were included. Age at first measurement varied between 4 and 88 years of age. The studies included in this review were performed using a large range of methods (e.g., different scanner protocols and different acquisition parameters). We applied a weighted regression analysis to estimate the age dependency of the rate of relative annual brain volume change across studies. The results indicate that whole brain volume changes throughout the life span. A wave of growth occurs during childhood/adolescence, where around 9 years of age a 1% annual braingrowth is found which levels off until at age 13 a gradual volume decrease sets in. During young adulthood, between ∼18 and 35 years of age, possibly another wave of growth occurs or at least a period of no brain tissue loss. After age 35 years, a steady volume loss is found of 0.2% per year, which accelerates gradually to an annual brain volume loss of 0.5% at age 60. The brains of people over 60 years of age show a steady volume loss of more than 0.5%. Understanding the mechanisms underlying these plastic brain changes may contribute to distinguishing progressive brain changes in psychiatric and neurological diseases from healthy aging processes.

Hum Brain Mapp. 2012 Aug;33(8):1987-2002

Effects of resveratrol on memory performance, hippocampal functional connectivity, and glucose metabolism in healthy older adults.

Dietary habits such as caloric restriction or nutrients that mimic these effects may exert beneficial effects on brain aging. The plant-derived polyphenol resveratrol has been shown to increase memory performance in primates; however, interventional studies in older humans are lacking. Here, we tested whether supplementation of resveratrol would enhance memory performance in older adults and addressed potential mechanisms underlying this effect. Twenty-three healthy overweight older individuals that successfully completed 26 weeks of resveratrol intake (200 mg/d) were pairwise matched to 23 participants that received placebo (total n = 46, 18 females, 50-75 years). Before and after the intervention/control period, subjects underwent memory tasks and neuroimaging to assess volume, microstructure, and functional connectivity (FC) of the hippocampus, a key region implicated in memory functions. In addition, anthropometry, glucose and lipid metabolism, inflammation, neurotrophic factors, and vascular parameters were assayed. We observed a significant effect of resveratrol on retention of words over 30 min compared with placebo (p = 0.038). In addition, resveratrol led to significant increases in hippocampal FC, decreases in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and body fat, and increases in leptin compared with placebo (all p < 0.05). Increases in FC between the left posterior hippocampus and the medial prefrontal cortex correlated with increases in retention scores and with decreases in HbA1c (all p < 0.05). This study provides initial evidence that supplementary resveratrol improves memory performance in association with improved glucose metabolism and increased hippocampal FC in older adults. Our findings offer the basis for novel strategies to maintain brain health during aging.

J Neurosci. 2014 Jun 4;34(23):7862-70

Parahippocampal white matter volume predicts Alzheimer’s disease risk in cognitively normal old adults.

An in vivo marker of the underlying pathology in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is atrophy in select brain regions detected with quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Although gray matter changes have been documented to be predictive of cognitive decline culminating in AD among healthy older adults, very little attention has been given to alterations in white matter as a possible MRI biomarker predictive of AD. In this investigation, we examined parahippocampal white matter (PWM) volume derived from baseline MRI scans in 2 independent samples of 65 cognitively normal older adults, followed longitudinally, to determine if it was predictive of AD risk. The average follow-up period for the 2 samples was 8.5 years. Comparisons between the stable participants (N = 50) and those who declined to AD (N = 15) over time revealed a significant difference in baseline PWM volume (p < 0.001). Furthermore, baseline PWM volume was predictive not only of time to AD (hazard ratio = 3.1, p < 0.05), but also of baseline episodic memory performance (p = 0.041). These results demonstrate that PWM atrophy provides a sensitive MRI biomarker of AD dementia risk among those with normal cognitive function.

Neurobiol Aging. 2014 Aug;35(8):1855-61

Brain volumes and risk of cardiovascular events and mortality. The SMART-MR study.

Brain atrophy is a strong predictor for cognitive decline and dementia, and these are, in turn, associated with increased mortality in the general population. Patients with cardiovascular disease have more brain atrophy and a higher morbidity and mortality. We investigated if brain volumes on magnetic resonance imaging were associated with the risk of cardiovascular events and mortality in patients with manifest arterial disease (n = 1215; mean age 58 years). Automated brain segmentation was used to quantify intracranial volume, and volumes of total brain, sulcal cerebrospinal fluid, and ventricles. After a median follow-up of 8.3 years, 184 patients died, 49 patients had an ischemic stroke, and 100 patients had an ischemic cardiac complication. Smaller relative brain volumes increased the risk of all-cause death (hazard ratio [HR] per standard deviation decrease in total brain volume: 1.58, 95% confidence interval [95% CI]: 1.33-1.88), vascular death (HR 1.69, 95% CI: 1.35-2.13), and ischemic stroke (HR 1.96, 95% CI: 1.43-2.69), independent of cardiovascular risk factors. These results suggest that brain volumes are an important determinant of poor outcome in patients with high cardiovascular risk.

Neurobiol Aging . 2014 Jul;35(7):1624-31

Impact of brain aging and neurodegeneration on cognition: evidence from MRI.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: We present an overview of recent concepts in mechanisms underlying cognitive decline associated with brain aging and neurodegeneration from the perspective of MRI.RECENT FINDINGS: Recent findings challenge the established link between neuroimaging biomarkers of neurodegeneration and age-related or disease-related cognitive decline. Amyloid burden, white matter hyperintensities and local patterns of brain atrophy seem to have differential impact on cognition, particularly on episodic and working memory - the most vulnerable domains in ‘normal aging’ and Alzheimer’s disease. Studies suggesting that imaging biomarkers of neurodegeneration are independent of amyloid-b give rise to new hypothesis regarding the pathological cascade in Alzheimer’s disease. Findings in patients with autosomal-dominant Alzheimer’s disease confirm the notion of differential temporal trajectory of amyloid deposition and brain atrophy to add another layer of complexity on the basic mechanisms of cognitive aging and neurodegeneration. Finally, the concept of cognitive reserve in ‘supernormal aging’ is questioned by evidence for the preservation of neurochemical, structural and functional brain integrity in old age rather than recruitment of ‘reserves’ for maintaining cognitive abilities. SUMMARY: Recent advances in clinical neuroscience, brain imaging and genetics challenge pathophysiological hypothesis of neurodegeneration and cognitive aging dominating the field in the last decade and call for reconsidering the choice of therapeutic window for early intervention.

Curr Opin Neurol. 2013 Dec;26(6):640-5

Vascular risk factors and neurodegeneration in ageing related dementias: Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.

Age is the strongest risk factor for brain degeneration whether it results from vascular or neurodegenerative mechanisms or both. To evaluate the current views on the impact of vascular disease on the most common causes of dementia, most relevant articles to the selected subject headings were reviewed until November 2011 from the popularly used databases including Pubmed, Cochrane Database and Biological Abstracts. Within the past decade, there has been four-fold increased interest in the vascular basis of neurodegeneration and dementia. Vascular ageing involving arterial stiffness, endothelial changes and blood-brain barrier dysfunction affects neuronal survival by impairing several intracellular protective mechanisms leading to chronic hypoperfusion. Modifiable risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidaemia and adiposity linked to Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia promote the degeneration and reduce the regenerative capacity of the vascular system. These in tandem with accumulation of abnormal proteins such as amyloid b likely disrupt cerebral autoregulation, neurovascular coupling and perfusion of the deeper structures to variable degrees to produce white matter changes and selective brain atrophy. Brain pathological changes may be further modified by genetic factors such as the apoliopoprotein E e4 allele. Lifestyle measures that maintain or improve vascular health including consumption of healthy diets, moderate use of alcohol and implementing regular physical exercise in general appear effective for reducing dementia risk. Interventions that improve vascular function are important to sustain cognitive status even during ageing whereas preventative measures that reduce risk of vascular disease are predicted to lessen the burden of dementia in the long-term.

Curr Alzheimer Res. 2013 Jul;10(6):642-53

Association of homocysteine with ventricular dilatation and brain atrophy in Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients are treated with levodopa (L-dopa) to help stabilize their impaired motor abilities; however, L-dopa leads to increased homocysteine (Hcy) levels, which may have a deleterious effect on brain structure and function. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of increased Hcy concentration on global brain atrophy as determined by magnetic resonance imaging in PD patients and controls. The effect of high Hcy level on ventricular dilatation (percentage of intracranial volume [%ICV]) and total tissue volume (%ICV) was examined at baseline and longitudinally at 36 months. Age, sex, education, and L-dopa duration (in PD patients) were included as covariates. Elevated Hcy levels correlated positively with ventricular dilatation (%ICV) in the whole sample (P = 0.004) and in the PD group (P = 0.008). At baseline, adults with a high Hcy level (>14 µmol/L) had higher ventricular volume (%ICV) than adults with a low Hcy level (≤ 14 µmol/L) in the whole sample (P = 0.006) and in the PD group (P = 0.03), which persisted over 36 months in both the whole sample (P = 0.004) and the PD group (P = 0.03). PD patients with high Hcy concentrations had a greater rate of ventricular enlargement (%ICV) over time compared with those with low Hcy concentration (P = 0.02). Elevated Hcy concentration was associated with increased ventricular dilatation (%ICV) in PD patients. A larger sample with a broader age range and longer follow-up is needed to establish the consequences of high Hcy level, including interactions with genetic and environmental risk factors, in PD.

Mov Disord . 2014 Mar;29(3):368-74

Serum folate, homocysteine, brain atrophy, and auto-CM system: The Treviso Dementia (TREDEM) study.

BACKGROUND: The role of folate and homocysteine in brain atrophy associated with Alzheimer’s disease is not completely understood. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between

serum folate and homocysteine levels and the degree of cortical-subcortical and hippocampal atrophy in a first relatively preliminary sample of the Treviso Dementia (TREDEM) study using a potent data mining method. METHODS: Physiological data, biochemical parameters, clinical assessment data, brain atrophy severity assessed with CT scans, and neuropsycological and disability data were assessed in a group of 232 outpatients (93 men and 139 women, aged 40.2-100 years) enrolled in the TREDEM study carried out in Treviso (Italy). A semantic connectivity map obtained through the Auto-CM system, a fourth generation artificial neural network (ANN), was used to offer some insight regarding the complex biological connections between the studied variables and the degree of brain atrophy. RESULTS: Close associations between low serum folate levels and severe cortical-subcortical atrophy along with severe hippocampal atrophy measured by the width of the temporal horns of lateral ventricles were found. We also showed an association between high homocysteine levels and severe cortical-subcortical and hippocampal atrophy. CONCLUSION: The role of folate, which is inversely associated with the severity of brain atrophy, was confirmed. Our results also confirm the association between high homocysteine levels and severe cortical-subcortical and hippocampal atrophy. Auto-CM ANN is able to highlight associations sometimes visible only in longitudinal studies through intelligent data mining of a cross-sectional study.

J Alzheimers Dis . 2014;38(3):581-7

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy in a National Football League player.

OBJECTIVE: We present the results of the autopsy of a retired professional football player that revealed neuropathological changes consistent with long-term repetitive concussive brain injury. This case draws attention to the need for further studies in the cohort of retired National Football League players to elucidate the neuropathological sequelae of repeated mild traumatic brain injury in professional football. METHODS: The patient’s premortem medical history included symptoms of cognitive impairment, a mood disorder, and parkinsonian symptoms. There was no family history of Alzheimer’s disease or any other head trauma outside football. A complete autopsy with a comprehensive neuropathological examination was performed on the retired National Football League player approximately 12 years after retirement. He died suddenly as a result of coronary atherosclerotic disease. Studies included determination of apolipoprotein E genotype. RESULTS: Autopsy confirmed the presence of coronary atherosclerotic disease with dilated cardiomyopathy. The brain demonstrated no cortical atrophy, cortical contusion, hemorrhage, or infarcts. The substantia nigra revealed mild pallor with mild dropout of pigmented neurons. There was mild neuronal dropout in the frontal, parietal, and temporal neocortex. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy was evident with many diffuse amyloid plaques as well as sparse neurofibrillary tangles and tau-positive neuritic threads in neocortical areas. There were no neurofibrillary tangles or neuropil threads in the hippocampus or entorhinal cortex. Lewy bodies were absent. The apolipoprotein E genotype was E3/E3. CONCLUSION: This case highlights potential long-term neurodegenerative outcomes in retired professional National Football League players subjected to repeated mild traumatic brain injury. The prevalence and pathoetiological mechanisms of these possible adverse long-term outcomes and their relation to duration of years of playing football have not been sufficiently studied. We recommend comprehensive clinical and forensic approaches to understand and further elucidate this emergent professional sport hazard.

Neurosurgery . 2005 Jul;57(1):128-34

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in a National Football League Player: Case report and emerging medicolegal practice questions.

We present a case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in a retired National Football League (NFL) Player with autopsy findings, apolipoprotein E genotype, and brain tissue evidence of chronic brain damage. This 44-year-old retired NFL player manifested a premortem history of cognitive and neuropsychiatric impairment, which included in part, chronic depression, suicide attempts, insomnia, paranoia, and impaired memory before he finally committed suicide. A full autopsy was performed with Polymerase Chain Reaction-based analyses of his blood to determine the apolipoprotein genotype. Histochemical and immunohistochemical analyses were performed on topographical gross sections of the brain. Autopsy confirmed a fatal gunshot wound of the head. The apolipoprotein E genotype was E3/E3 and the brain tissue revealed diffuse cerebral taupathy (Neurofibrillary Tangles and Neuritic Threads). This will be the third case of CTE in a national football player, which has been reported in the medical literature. Omalu et al., reported the first two cases in 2005 and 2006. This case series manifested similar premortem history of neuropsychiatric impairment with autopsy evidence of cerebral taupathy without any neuritic amyloidopathy. For a definitive diagnosis of CTE to be made, and for medicolegal purposes, a full autopsy must be performed with histochemical and immunohistochemical analyses of the brain to identify the presence of Neurofibrillary Tangles (NFTs) and Neuritic Threads (NTs).IMPLICATIONS: Further longitudinal prospective studies are required to confirm the common denominators and epidemiology of CTE in professional American football players, which have been identified by this case series.

J Forensic Nurs. 2010 Spring;6(1):40-6

The mortality toll of estrogen avoidance: an analysis of excess deaths among hysterectomized women aged 50 to 59 years.

OBJECTIVES: We examined the effect of estrogen avoidance on mortality rates among hysterectomized women aged 50 to 59 years. METHODS: We derived a formula to relate the excess mortality among hysterectomized women aged 50 to 59 years assigned to placebo in the Women’s Health Initiative randomized controlled trial to the entire population of comparable women in the United States, incorporating the decline in estrogen use observed between 2002 and 2011. RESULTS: Over a 10-year span, starting in 2002, a minimum of 18 601 and as many as 91 610 postmenopausal women died prematurely because of the avoidance of estrogen therapy (ET). CONCLUSIONS: ET in younger postmenopausal women is associated with a decisive reduction in all-cause mortality, but estrogen use in this population is low and continuing to fall. Our data indicate an associated annual mortality toll in the thousands of women aged 50 to 59 years. Informed discussion between these women and their health care providers about the effects of ET is a matter of considerable urgency.

Am J Public Health. 2013 Sep;103(9):1583-8

The therapeutic effects of melatonin and nimodipine in rats after cerebral cortical injury.

AIM: Secondary brain injury starts after the initial traumatic impact and marked by an increase in the intracellular calcium concentrations.This cascadeeventually results in membrane lipid peroxidation and neuronal cell death. MATERIAL AND METHODS: We investigated the neuro-protective effects of nimodipine and melatonin in 38 rats after 6 hours of head trauma using the cortical impact injury model of Marmarou.RESULTS: Brain water in the melatonin-given group decreased significantly comparing to that of control group the brain water in the nimodipine given group increased significantly comparing to that of trauma group. Histopathologically, brain edema was significantly low in melatonin-administered group comparing to that of control group while there were no changes in brain edema in the nimodipine given group and in the group that both nimodipine and melatonin were administered in combination. MDA levels in the brain tissues were significantly lower in the melatonin and nimodipine groups comparing to those of trauma and control group however this difference was by far significant in melatonin group comparing to nimodipine group. CONCLUSION: Melatonin appears to have neuro-protective effects on the secondary brain damage while nimodipine and nimodipine plus melatonin combination did not show such neuro-protective effects on the secondary brain injury.

Turk Neurosurg . 2012;22(6):740-6

A combination therapy of nicotinamide and progesterone improves functional recovery following traumatic brain injury.

Neuroprotection, recovery of function, and gene expression were evaluated in an animal model of traumatic brain injury (TBI) after a combination treatment of nicotinamide (NAM) and progesterone (Prog). Animals received a cortical contusion injury over the sensorimotor cortex and were treated with either Vehicle, NAM, Prog or a NAM/Prog combination for 72 h and compared to a craniotomy only (Sham) group. Animals were assessed in a battery of behavioral (fine and gross motor and sensory) tasks or a histological assessment at 24 h post-injury assessing lesion cavity size, degenerating neurons, and reactive astrocytes. Microarray-based transcriptional profiling was used to determine treatment specific changes on gene expression. Our results confirm the beneficial effects of treatment with either NAM or Prog demonstrating significant improvements in recovery of function, and a reduction in lesion cavitation, degenerating neurons, and reactive astrocytes 24 h post-injury. The combination treatment of NAM and Prog led to a significant improvement in both neuroprotection at 24 h post-injury and recovery of function in sensorimotor related tasks when compared to individual treatments. The NAM/Prog-treated group was the only treatment group to show a significant reduction of cortical loss 24 h post-injury. The combination appears to affect inflammatory and immune processes, reducing expression of a significant number of genes in both pathways. Further preclinical trials using NAM and Prog as a combination treatment should be done to identify the window of opportunity, to determine the optimal duration of treatment and to evaluate the combination in other pre-clinical models of TBI.

Neurotrauma. 2014 Oct 14

Testosterone levels and cognition in elderly men: a review.

Average testosterone levels and many cognitive functions show a decline with age. There is evidence to suggest that this association is not just age related. Results from cell culture and animal studies provide convincing evidence that testosterone could have protective effects on brain function. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterised by brain pathology affecting cognitive function and AD prevalence increases with age. Testosterone levels are lower in AD cases compared to controls, and some studies have suggested that low free testosterone (FT) may precede AD onset. Men with AD may show accelerated endocrinological ageing, characterised by an earlier lowering of thyroid stimulating hormone, an earlier increase in sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), a subsequent earlier decrease in FT and an earlier increase in gonadotropin levels in response to this. Positive associations have been found between testosterone levels and global cognition, memory, executive functions and spatial performance in observational studies. However, non-significant associations were also reported. It may be that an optimal level of testosterone exists at which some cognitive functions are improved. This may be modified with an older age, with a shifting of the optimal testosterone curve to maintain cognition to the left and a lower optimal level thus needed to be beneficial for the brain. Genetic factors, such as APOE and CAG polymorphisms may further interact with testosterone levels in their effects on cognition. The roles of SHBG, gonadotropins, thyroid hormones and estrogens in maintaining cognitive function and preventing dementia in men are also not completely understood and should be investigated further. Hypogonadal men do not seem to benefit from testosterone supplementation but small scale, short term intervention studies in eugonadal men with and without cognitive impairments have shown promising results. Larger randomised, controlled trials are needed to further investigate testosterone treatment in protecting against cognitive decline and/or dementia.

Maturitas. 2011 Aug;69(4):322-37

Progesterone as a neuroprotective factor in traumatic and ischemic brain injury.

The search for a “magic bullet” drug targeting a single receptor for the treatment of stroke or traumatic brain injury (TBI) has failed thus far for a variety of reasons. The pathophysiology of ischemic brain injury and TBI involves a number of mechanisms leading to neuronal injury, including excitotoxicity, free radical damage, inflammation, necrosis, and apoptosis. Brain injury also triggers auto-protective mechanisms, including the up-regulation of anti-inflammatory cytokines and endogenous antioxidants. In these conditions an agent with pleiotropic consequences is more likely to provide effective neuroprotection and repair than one operating primarily on a single, or a small number of, injury mechanisms. There is growing evidence, including recently published clinical trials, that progesterone and perhaps its metabolite allopregnanolone exert neuroprotective effects on the injured central nervous system (CNS). Laboratories around the world have shown that progesterone and allopregnanolone act through numerous metabolic and physiological pathways that can affect the injury response in many different tissues and organ systems. Furthermore, progesterone is a natural hormone, synthesized in both males and females, that can act as a pro-drug for other metabolites with their own distinct mode of action in CNS repair. These properties make progesterone a unique and compelling natural agent to consider for testing in clinical trial for CNS injuries including TBI and stroke.

Prog Brain Res. 2009;175:219-37.

Hormone levels and cognitive function in postmenopausal midlife women.

Gonadal hormones may influence cognitive function. Postmenopausal midlife women in the population-based Melbourne Women’s Midlife Health Project cohort were administered a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tests on two occasions 2 years apart. Participants (n = 148, mean age 60 years) had undergone natural menopause and were not using hormone therapy. Estrone, total and free estradiol, and total and free testosterone levels were measured at time of the first testing. Principal-component analysis identified four cognitive factors. In multiple linear regression analyses, better semantic memory performance was associated with higher total (p = 0.02) and free (p = 0.03) estradiol levels and a lower ratio of testosterone to estradiol (p = 0.007). There were trends for associations between better verbal episodic memory and lower total testosterone (p = 0.08) and lower testosterone/estradiol ratio (p = 0.06). Lower free testosterone levels were associated with greater 2-year improvement on verbal episodic memory (p = 0.04); higher testosterone/estradiol predicted greater semantic memory improvement (p = 0.03). In postmenopausal midlife women, endogenous estradiol and testosterone levels and the testosterone/estradiol ratio are associated with semantic memory and verbal episodic memory abilities.

Neurobiol Aging. 2012 Mar;33(3):617

The Association Between Central Fat Distribution and Recurrent Cardiovascular Disease Events in Female Survivors of Nonfatal Myocardial Infarction.

BACKGROUND:: Visceral fat has been shown to be an important predictor of metabolic alterations that lead to increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, morbidity, and mortality. OBJECTIVE:: The aim of this study was to investigate the association between central fat distribution and the risk of recurrent coronary events among a cohort of female myocardial infarction (MI) survivors. METHODS:: Participants included 356 women (mean ± SD age, 55 ± 8.71 years) discharged alive after an incident MI from hospitals in Erie and Niagara (New York) counties between 1996 and 2004. A recurrent cardiovascular event was any nonfatal or fatal International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision-coded diagnosis between 390 and 450. The mean ± SD follow-up time was 4.01 ± 2.6 years. Interviews and self-administered follow-up surveys were used to collect pertinent information, and a search of the National Death Index Plus database was completed. RESULTS:: Eighty-five women experienced a recurrent cardiovascular event. Using Cox proportional hazards analyses, the crude model for body mass index suggested that after incident MI, women had a 39% risk of a recurrent CVD event (hazard ratio [HR], 1.39; confidence interval [CI], 0.76-2.54; P = .293), whereas crude models for waist circumference and sagittal abdominal distention showed the risk to be more than twice as high (HR, 2.12; CI, 1.08-4.16; P = .010; and HR, 2.16; CI, 1.09-4.28; P = .037, respectively). Both measures of central fat distribution appeared to be better predictors of recurrent cardiovascular events when compared with body mass index, whereas sagittal abdominal distention was the better predictor compared with waist circumference, even after multivariate adjustment. After adjusting for secondary prevention interventions-statin, aspirin, b-blocker use, and physical activity-the risk of recurrent event was observed to decrease by about 1%. CONCLUSIONS:: These results suggest that central fat distribution is positively associated with a recurrence of cardiovascular events after incident MI in women. The absence of decreased risk with secondary prevention interventions suggests that more investigation into the association of central abdominal fat and secondary prevention management is warranted.

J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2014 Mar 3

Obesity and fracture risk.

Obesity and osteoporosis are two common diseases with an increasing prevalence and a high impact on morbidity and mortality. Obese women have always been considered protected against osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures. However, several recent studies have challenged the widespread belief that obesity is protective against fracture and have suggested that obesity is a risk factor for certain fractures. Fat and bone are linked by many pathways, which ultimately serve the function of providing a skeleton appropriate to the mass of adipose tissue it is carrying. Leptin, adiponectin, adipocytic estrogens and insulin/amylin are involved in this connection. However, excessive body fat, and particularly abdominal fat, produces inflammatory cytokines which may stimulate bone resorption and reduce bone strength. This review aimed to examine the literature data on the relationships of BMI and fat mass with factures in adult and elderly subjects. Even though the more recent studies have shown conflicting results, there is growing evidence that obesity, and particularly severe obesity, may be related to an increased risk of fracture at different skeletal sites which is partially independent from BMD. Moreover, the relationship between obesity and fracture appears to be markedly influenced by ethnicity, gender and fat distribution. Even though the incidence and the pathogenesis of fracture in obese individuals has not yet been clearly defined, the growing evidence that obesity may be related to an increased risk of fracture has important public health implications and emphasizes the need to develop effective strategies to reduce fracture risk in obese subjects.

Clin Cases Miner Bone Metab. 2014 Jan;11(1):9-14

Yeast hydrolysate can reduce body weight and abdominal fat accumulation in obese adults.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the effect of yeast hydrolysate on the abdominal fat in obese humans. METHODS: We observed the effects of yeast hydrolysate that had a molecular weight below 10 kDa on the anti-abdominal fat accumulation in obese men and women ages 20 to 50 y for 10 wk. The abdominal fat mass was assessed by computed tomographic scans. RESULTS: By the sixth week, the reductions in energy intake in the yeast group (yeast hydrolysate 1 g/d) were significantly greater than those in the control group (placebo 1 g/d) (P < 0.05). The body weight and body mass index (BMI) were significantly reduced by week 10 compared with baseline in the yeast group, and these differences were significantly greater than those in the control group: body weight 0.83 kg versus -2.60 k g (P < 0.001), BMI 0.29 kg/m(2) versus -0.90 kg/m(2) (P < 0.001). Despite the increased loss of body weight in the yeastgroup, lean body mass did not significantly differ between the two groups. Body fat mass in the control group did not significantly change between baseline and week 10. However, the yeast group lost a significant amount of body fat mass after 10 wk of treatment (P < 0.01). The differences in abdominal fat thickness and abdominal circumference between the two groups were significant after 10 wk of treatment (P < 0.001). The total abdominal fat area in the yeast group was significantly lower than in the control group after 10 wk of treatment (-7.06 cm(2) versus -17.34 cm(2); P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Yeast hydrolysate can reduce body weight and the accumulation of abdominal fat without an adverse effect on lean body mass in obese adults, regardless of sex, via the reduction of energy intake.

Nutrition. 2014 Jan;30(1):25-32

Effects of yeast hydrolysate on hepatic lipid metabolism in high-fat-diet-induced obese mice: yeast hydrolysate suppresses body fat accumulation by attenuatingfatty acid synthesis.

AIMS: We observed whether the anti-obesity activity of yeast hydrolysate (YH) was due to the alteration of lipid-regulating enzyme activities. METHODS: Male ICR mice were divided into four groups: a normal diet group (ND; 4.2% fat), a high-fat diet group (HF; 27.7% fat), an HF group treated orally with 0.5% or 1% YH in the drinking water (HF+YH0.5; 27.7% fat and HF+YH1; 27.7% fat). RESULTS: After 5 weeks, the YH groups (HF+YH0.5=3.92±0.17 g/100 g BW and HF+YH1=3.76±0.13 g/100 g BW) had significantly lower levels of epididymal fats compared to the HF group (4.91±0.29 g/100 g BW; p<0.05). YH supplementation produced a decrease in serum triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations and body weight gain, and produced a dose-dependent significant increase in serum ghrelin compared with the HF group (p<0.05). Hepatic glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) activity was inhibited by YH supplementation compared with the HF group, and mice treated orally with 1% YH exhibited a significant decrease in hepatic malic enzyme (ME) activity compared to obese mice treated with the vehicle (HF=10.44±2.74 nmol/min/mg protein vs. HF+YH1=6.68±2.23 nmol/min/mg protein; p<0.05).CONCLUSIONS: YH supplementation suppressed body fat accumulation by attenuating fatty acid synthesis through the downregulation of hepatic G6PD and ME activities.

Ann Nutr Metab . 2012;61(2):89-94

Effects of yeast hydrolysate on neuropeptide Y (NPY) and tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) immunoreactivity in rats.

To investigate the appetite regulation mechanism of low and high molecular weight yeast hydrolysate, neuropeptide Y (NPY) and tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) expressions were analyzed in the brains on rats using immunohistochemical method; normal diet (control), 0.1 g/kg (BY-1) or 1.0 g/kg (BY-2) of yeast hydrolysate below 10 kDa, 0.1 g/kg (AY-1) or 1.0 g/kg (AY-2) of yeast hydrolysate of 10-30 kDa. Body weight gain was lower in the BY-2 (133.0 g) than in the control (150.1 g) (p < 0.05). Triacylglyceride, total cholesterol, and LDL-cholesterol levels were lower in the BY-2 as compared to control, BY-1 and AY-2 (p < 0.05). NPY staining intensities at paraventricular nucleus (PVN) were lower in the BY groups (BY-1: 96.1, BY-2: 88.6) as compared to the control (105.6) and AY groups (AY-1: 110.5, AY-2: 114.1) (p < 0.05). NPY expression at lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) was lower in the BY-2 (92.3) than in the control (98.9) (p < 0.05). The BY groups (BY-1: 143.9, BY-2: 154.6) had higher TPH staining intensities at dorsal raphe (DR) than the AY-2 (115.9) (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the results indicate that administering yeast hydrolysate of below 10 kDa to normal diet-fed rats reduced body weight gain and serum lipids by altering NPY and TPH expressions.

Phytother Res . 2009 May;23(5):619-23

Appetite suppressive effects of yeast hydrolysate on nitric oxide synthase (NOS) expression and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) immunoreactivity in hypothalamus.

To investigate the effects of yeast hydrolysate on appetite regulation mechanisms in the central nervous system, nitric oxide synthase (NOS) expression and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) immunoreactivity in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMH) of the hypothalamus were examined. Male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were assigned to five groups: control (normal diet), BY-1 and BY-2 (normal diet with oral administration of 0.1 g and 1.0 g of yeast hydrolysate <10 kDa/kg body weight, respectively), AY-1 and AY-2 (normal diet with oral administration of 0.1 g and 1.0 g of yeast hydrolysate 10-30 kDa/kg body weight, respectively). The body weight gain in the BY groups was less than that in the control. In particular, the weight gain of the BY-2 group (133.0 +/- 5.1 g) was significantly lower (p < 0.05) than that of the control group (150.1 +/- 3.7 g). Among the test groups, the BY-2 group was shown to have significantly lower triacylglycerol (TG) levels (p < 0.05) than the other groups. The staining intensities and optical densities of NOS neurons in the PVN of the AY group were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than in the control and BY groups. The staining intensities and optical densities of VIP immunoreactivity in the PVN and VMH of the BY groups were higher than those of the AY groups and the control. In conclusion, these results indicated that yeast hydrolysate of <10 kDa reduced the body weight gain and body fat in normal diet-fed rats and increased the lipid energy metabolism by altering the expression of NOS and VIP in neurons.

Phytother Res. 2008 Nov;22(11):1417-22

Mild weight loss reduces inflammatory cytokines, leukocyte count, and oxidative stress in overweight and moderately obese participants treated for 3 years with dietary modification.

Obesity-induced oxidative stress and inflammation are involved in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. We investigated whether diet-induced, long-term, mild weight loss improved proinflammatory cytokine levels, leukocyte count, and oxidative stress. Overweight/obese participants (25 ≤ body mass index < 34 kg/m(2), N = 122, 30-59 years) joined a 3-year-long clinical intervention involving daily 100-kcal calorie deficits. Successful weight loss was defined as a reduction in initial body weight equal to 2 kg after the clinical intervention period. Body weight in the successful mild weight loss group (SWL, n = 50) changed 5.4% (-4.16 ± 0.31 kg) compared to 0.05 ± 0.14 kg in the unsuccessful weight loss group (n = 49). After 3 years, SWL participants exhibited significantly reduced insulin, triglycerides, total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, free fatty acids, and leukocyte count (P = .030). Furthermore, in the SWL group, serum interleukin (IL)-1b, IL-6, and urinary 8-epi-prostaglandin (PG)F2a were significantly reduced (45%, 30%, and 14%, respectively). In contrast, the unsuccessful weight loss group exhibited significant increases in percentage of body fat, waist circumference, oxidized low-density lipoprotein, and tumor necrosis factor-α, as well as a significant decrease in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. After adjusting for baseline values, the 2 groups demonstrated significantly different percentage of body fat, waist circumference, leukocyte count (P = .018), insulin, IL-6 (P = .031), IL-1b (P < .001), and tumor necrosis factor-a (P < .001), as well as urinary 8-epi-PGF2a (P = .036). A positive correlation existed between IL-1b and urinary 8-epi-PGF2a (r = 0.435, P < .001) and between changes in IL-6 and urinary 8-epi-PGF2a (r = 0.393, P < .001). Long-term mild weight loss reduces inflammatory cytokine levels, leukocyte counts, and oxidative stress and may reverse the elevated oxidative stress induced by inflammatory mediators in the overweight and obese.

Nutr Res . 2013 Mar;33(3):195-203

Sagittal abdominal diameter is an independent predictor of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in incident peritoneal dialysis patients.

BACKGROUNDS AND AIMS: Visceral fat has a crucial role in the development and progression of cardiovascular disease, the major cause of death in end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Although sagittal abdominal diameter (SAD), as an index of visceral fat, significantly correlated with mortality in the general population, the impact of SAD on clinical outcomes has never been explored in ESRD patients. Therefore, we sought to elucidate the prognostic value of SAD in incident peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients. METHODS: We prospectively determined SAD by lateral abdominal X-ray at PD initiation, and evaluated the association of SAD with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in 418 incident PD patients. RESULTS: The mean SAD was 24.5 ± 4.3 cm, and during a mean follow-up of 39.4 months, 97 patients (23.2%) died, and 49.4% of them died due to cardiovascular disease. SAD was a significant independent predictor of all-cause [3rd versus 1st tertile, HR (hazard ratio): 3.333, 95% CI (confidence interval): 1.514-7.388, P = 0.01; per 1 cm increase, HR: 1.071, 95% CI: 1.005-1.141, P = 0.03] and cardiovascular mortality (3rd versus 1st tertile, HR: 8.021, 95% CI: 1.994-32.273, P = 0.01; per 1 cm increase, HR: 1.106, 95% CI: 1.007-1.214, P = 0.03). Multivariate fractional polynomial analysis also showed that all-cause and cardiovascular mortality risk increased steadily with higher SAD values. In addition, SAD provided higher predictive value for all-cause (AUC: 0.691 vs. 0.547, P<0.001) and cardiovascular mortality (AUC: 0.644 vs. 0.483, P<0.001) than body mass index (BMI). Subgroup analysis revealed higher SAD (≥ 24.2 cm) was significantly associated with all-cause mortality in men, women, younger patients (<65 years), and patients with lower BMI (<22.3 kg/m(2)). CONCLUSIONS: SAD determined by lateral abdominal X-ray at PD initiation was a significant independent predictor of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in incident PD patients. Estimating visceral fat by SAD could be useful to stratify mortality risk in these patients.

PLoS One. 2013 Oct 22;8(10):e77082

Role of adipokines and cytokines in obesity-associated breast cancer: therapeutic targets.

Obesity is the cause of a large proportion of breast cancer incidences and mortality in post-menopausal women. In obese people, elevated levels of various growth factors such as insulin and insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) are found. Elevated insulin level leads to increased secretion of estrogen by binding to the circulating sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). The increased estrogen-mediated downstream signaling favors breast carcinogenesis. Obesity leads to altered expression profiles of various adipokines and cytokines including leptin, adiponectin, IL-6, TNF-a and IL-1b. The increased levels of leptin and decreased adiponectin secretion are directly associated with breast cancer development. Increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines within the tumor microenvironment promote tumor development. Efficacy of available breast cancer drugs against obesity-associated breast cancer is yet to be confirmed. In this review, we will discuss different adipokine- and cytokine-mediated molecular signaling pathways involved in obesity-associated breast cancer, available therapeutic strategies and potential therapeutic targets for obesity-associated breast cancer.

Cytokine Growth Factor Rev . 2013 Dec;24(6):503-13

Association of metabolic risk factors with uncontrolled hypertension: comparison of the several definitions of metabolic syndrome.

AIMS: To evaluate the influence of metabolic syndrome in the effectiveness of antihypertensive treatment and to compare it using the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP-ATP III) (2001 and 2004), International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and American Heart Association/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (AHA-NHLBI) definitions. METHODS: The VALSIM (Estudo de Prevalência da Síndrome Metabólica) survey was designed as an observational cross-sectional study performed in a primary healthcare setting in Portugal. The first two adult patients scheduled for an appointment on a given day were invited to participate. The treatment effectiveness was evaluated by the occurrence of uncontrolled hypertension (≥140/90 mmHg) in patients taking antihypertensive drugs. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the association between uncontrolled hypertension and metabolic risk factors, with adjustments for age, sex, and pattern of antihypertensive treatment. RESULTS: Among the 16,856 individuals evaluated, 8925-treated hypertensive patients were identified. Only 35.8% of them had controlled hypertension. The risk of poor blood pressure control increased with age, waist circumference, serum levels of triglycerides and HDL-cholesterol. Among treatable risk factors, metabolic syndrome as defined by NCEP-ATP III 2001 diagnostic criteria was the strongest independent predictor of uncontrolled hypertension (odds ratio: 1.23; 95% CI: 1.08-1.41; P=0.002). In opposition, the IDF or AHA-NHLBI definitions of metabolic syndrome failed to identify patients at risk of poor blood pressure control. CONCLUSION: Metabolic syndrome is associated with lower effectiveness of antihypertensive therapy and the NCEP-ATP III 2001 definition of metabolic syndrome is the one that better identifies patients at risk of poor blood pressure control.

J Hypertens. 2013 Oct;31(10):1991-7

Current status of management, control, complications and psychosocial aspects of patients with diabetes in India: Results from the DiabCare India 2011 Study.

OBJECTIVES: DiabCare India 2011 was a cross-sectional study in patients with diabetes mellitus, undertaken to investigate the relationship between diabetes control, management and complications in a subset of urban Indian diabetes patients treated at referral diabetes care centres in India. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a cross-sectional, multicentre (330 centres) survey in 6168 diabetes patients treated at general hospitals, diabetes clinics and referral clinics across India. Patient data, including medical and clinical examination reports during the past year were collected during their routine visit. The patients’ and physicians’ perceptions about diabetes management were recorded using a questionnaire. RESULTS: A total of 6168 subjects with diabetes (95.8% type 2), mean age 51.9 ± 12.4 years and mean duration of diabetes, 6.9 ± 6.4 years were included. Mean HbA1c was 8.9 ± 2.1% and the mean fasting (FPG), post prandial (PPG) and random (RBG) plasma glucose levels were 148 ± 50 mg/dl 205 ± 66 mg/dl and 193 ± 68mg/dl

respectively. Neuropathy was the most common complication (41.4%); other complications were: Foot (32.7%), eye (19.7%), cardiovascular (6.8%) and nephropathy (6.2%). The number of diabetic complications increased with mean duration of diabetes. Most (93.2%) of the patients were on oral anti-diabetic drugs (OADs) and 35.2% were on insulin (±OADs). More than 15% physicians felt that the greatest barrier to insulin therapy from patient’s perspective were pain and fear of using injectable modality; 5.2% felt that the greatest barrier to insulin therapy from physician’s perspective was the treatment cost; 4.8% felt that the major barriers to achieve optimum diabetic care in practice was loss to follow-up followed by lack of counselling (3.9%) and treatment compliance (3.6%). CONCLUSION: DiabCare India 2011 has shown that type 2 diabetes sets in early in Indians and glycaemic control is often sub-optimal in these patients. These results indicate a need for more structured intervention at an early stage of the disease and need for increased awareness on benefits of good glycaemic control. It cannot be overemphasized that the status of diabetes care in India needs to be further improved.

Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2014 May;18(3):370-8

Inhaled insulin: take a deep breath, but how?

Inhalation of insulin is the first alternative route of insulin administration, which has been developed to such a mature status that the first product (Exubera, Pfizer) was made available to the market and subsequently withdrawn as of early 2008. In view of the relatively low bioavailability of inhaled insulin and the intraindividual variability of the metabolic effect induced (which is in the range of that of subcutaneously applied regular insulin), one wonders how to improve both aspects. Unfortunately, it appears as if the impact of the inhalation maneuver on insulin deposition in the deep lung has not been studied extensively. We present some thoughts and data from an alveolar model and propose an experimental procedure that might be helpful in the quantitative evaluation of the impact of the insulin inhalation maneuver.

J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2008 Mar;2(2):297-9

Inhaled insulin—does it become reality?

After more than 80 years of history the American and European Drug Agencies (FDA and EMEA) approved the first pulmonary delivered version of insulin (Exubera) from Pfizer/Nektar early 2006. However, in October 2007, Pfizer announced it would be taking Exubera off the market, citing that the drug had failed to gain market acceptance. Since 1924 various attempts have been made to get away from injectable insulin. Three alternative delivery methods where always discussed: Delivery to the upper nasal airways or the deep lungs, and through the stomach. From these, the delivery through the deep lungs is the most promising, because the physiological barriers for the uptake are the smallest, the inspired aerosol is deposited on a large area and the absorption into the blood happens through the extremely thin alveolar membrane. However, there is concern about the long-term effects of inhaling a growth protein into the lungs. It was assumed that the large surface area over which the insulin is spread out would minimize negative effects. But recent news indicates that, at least in smokers, the bronchial tumour rate under inhaled insulin seems to be increased. These findings, despite the fact that they are not yet statistical significant and in no case found in a non-smoker, give additional arguments to stop marketing this approach. Several companies worked on providing inhalable insulin and the insulin powder inhalation system Exubera was the most advanced technology. Treatment has been approved for adults only and patients with pulmonary diseases (e.g., asthma, emphysema, COPD) and smokers (current smokers and individuals who recently quitted smoking) were excluded from this therapy. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of Exubera are similar to those found with short-acting subcutaneous human insulin or insulin analogs. It is thus possible to use Exubera as a substitute for short-acting human insulin or insulin analogs. Typical side effects of inhaled insulin were coughing, shortness of breath, sore throat and dry mouth. Physical exercise increases the transport of inhaled insulin into the circulation and in consequence the likelihood of hypoglycemia. Other problems were the inability to deliver precise insulin doses, because the smallest blister pack available contained the equivalent of 3 U of regular insulin and this dose would make it difficult for many people using insulin to achieve accurate control, which is the real goal of any insulin therapy. For example, someone on 60 U of insulin per day would lower the blood glucose about 90 mg/dl (5 mmol) per 3 U pack, while someone on 30 U a day would drop 180 mg/dl (10 mmol) per pack. Precise control was not possible, especially compared with an insulin pump that can deliver one twentieth of a unit with precision. Another disadvantage was the size of the device. The Exubera inhaler, when closed, was about the size of a 200ml water glass. It opened to about twice the size for delivery. To our information also other companies (Eli Lilly in cooperation with ALKERMES, Novo Nordisk (AERx, Liquid), Andaris (Powder)) stopped further development and it is unclear whether an inhaled form of insulin will ever be marketed, because of the problems that have occurred. Only Mannkind (Technosphere, Powder) is still working on a Phase III trial. However, our review will briefly summarize the experience regarding inhalant administration of insulin and will describe potential future developments for this type of therapy focusing on the lung.

J Physiol Pharmacol. 2008 Dec;59 Suppl 6:81-113

Intensive therapy with inhaled insulin via the AERx insulin diabetes management system: a 12-week proof-of-concept trial in patients with type 2 diabetes.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the glycemic control of inhaled insulin via the AERx insulin diabetes management system (iDMS) with that of subcutaneous (SC) insulin, both combined with NPH insulin at bedtime, in patients with type 2 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: The AERx iDMS uses a liquid insulin formulation to achieve flexible precise mealtime dosing (with increments corresponding to 1 IU administered subcutaneously) and ensures insulin delivery only when the breathing technique is optimal. This trial in patients with type 2 diabetes compared the glycemic control (HbA(1c)) achieved by inhaled insulin administered via AERx iDMS with that using SC insulin. This was a randomized, 12-week, open-label, parallel, multicenter, multinational trial in 107 nonsmoking patients with type 2 diabetes (mean age 59 years, mean duration of diabetes 11.9 years). Patients were randomized to receive either inhaled fast-acting human insulin via AERx iDMS immediately before meals or SC fast-acting human insulin administered 30 min before meals, both in combination with evening NPH insulin. RESULTS: Baseline and demographic characteristics were similar between the two groups. There was no statistically significant difference in HbA(1c) between the AERx and SC groups after 12 weeks of treatment (7.84 +/- 0.77 vs. 7.76 +/- 0.77%, P = 0.60). Fasting serum glucose was significantly lower in the AERx group compared with the SC group by the end of the trial (8.9 +/- 3.8 vs. 10.8 +/- 3.7 mmol/l, P = 0.01) with a similar NPH dose in the two groups (0.23 vs. 0.23 IU/kg, P = 0.93). There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups in the intra-subject variability of fasting or prandial blood glucose increment. Adverse events were similar in the two groups. No major safety concerns were raised during the trial. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with type 2 diabetes, preprandial inhaled insulin via AERx iDMS is as effective as preprandial SC insulin injection in achieving glycemic control with similar tolerability.

Diabetes Care. 2004 Jan;27(1):162-7

Insulin therapies: Current and future trends at dawn.

Insulin is a key player in the control of hyperglycemia for type 1 diabetes patients and selective individuals in patients of type 2 diabetes. Insulin delivery systems that are currently available for the administration of insulin include insulin syringes, insulin infusion pumps, jet injectors and pens. The traditional and most predictable method for the administration of insulin is by subcutaneous injections. The major drawback of current forms of insulin therapy is their invasive nature. To decrease the suffering, the use of supersonic injectors, infusion pumps, sharp needles and pens has been adopted. Such invasive and intensive techniques have spurred the search for alternative, more acceptable methods for administering insulin. Several non-invasive approaches for insulin delivery are being pursued. The newer methods explored include the artificial pancreas with closed-loop system, transdermal insulin, and buccal, oral and pulmonary routes. This review focuses on the new concepts that are being explored for use in future.

World J Diabetes. 2013 Feb 15;4(1):1-7

Safety of antiobesity drugs.

Obesity is a major health problem worldwide. Although diet and physical activity are crucial in the management of obesity, the long-term success rate is low. Therefore antiobesity drugs are of great interest, especially when lifestyle modification has failed. As obesity is not an immediate life-threatening disease, these drugs are required to be safe. Antiobesity drugs that have been developed so far have limited efficacies and considerable adverse effects affecting tolerability and safety. Therefore, most antiobesity drugs have been withdrawn. Fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine were withdrawn because of the potential damage to heart valves. Sibutramine was associated with an increase in major adverse cardiovascular events in the Sibutramine Cardiovascular Outcomes (SCOUT) trial and it was withdrawn from the market in 2010. Rimonabant was withdrawn because of significant psychiatric adverse effects. Orlistat was approved in Europe and the United States for long-term treatment of obesity, but many patients cannot tolerate its gastrointestinal side effects. Phentermine and diethylpropion can only be used for less than 12 weeks because the long-term safety of these drugs is unknown. Ephedrine and caffeine are natural substances but the effects on weight reduction are modest. As a result there is a huge unmet need for effective and safe antiobesity drugs. Recently lorcaserin and topiramate plus phentermine have been approved for the treatment of obesity but long-term safety data are lacking.

Ther Adv Drug Saf . 2013 Aug;4(4):171-81

Prospective study of hyperglycemia and cancer risk.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether hyperglycemia is associated with increased cancer risk. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: In the Västerbotten Intervention Project of northern Sweden, fasting and postload plasma glucose concentrations were available for 33,293 women and 31,304 men and 2,478 incident cases of cancer were identified. Relative risk (RR) of cancer for levels of fasting and postload glucose was calculated with the use of Poisson models, with adjustment for age, year of recruitment, fasting time, and smoking status. Repeated measurements 10 years after baseline in almost 10,000 subjects were used to correct RRs for random error in glucose measurements. RESULTS: Total cancer risk in women increased with rising plasma levels of fasting and postload glucose, up to an RR for the top versus bottom quartile of 1.26 (95% CI 1.09-1.47) (P(trend) <0.001) and 1.31 (1.12-1.52) (P(trend) =0.001), respectively. Correction for random error in glucose measurements increased these risks up to 1.75 (1.32-2.36) and 1.63 (1.26-2.18), respectively. For men, corresponding uncorrected RR was 1.08 (0.92-1.27) (P(trend) = 0.25) and 0.98 (0.83-1.16) (P(trend) = 0.99), respectively. Risk of cancer of the pancreas, endometrium, urinary tract, and of malignant melanoma was statistically significantly associated with high fasting glucose with RRs of 2.49 (1.23-5.45) (P(trend) = 0.006), 1.86 (1.09-3.31) (P(trend) = 0.02), 1.69 (0.95-3.16) (P(trend) = 0.049), and 2.16 (1.14-4.35) (P(trend) = 0.01), respectively. Adjustment for BMI had no material effect on risk estimates. CONCLUSIONS: The association of hyperglycemia with total cancer risk in women and in women and men combined for several cancer sites, independently of obesity, provides further evidence for an association between abnormal glucose metabolism and cancer.

Diabetes Care . 2007 Mar;30(3):561-7