Month: September 2019

Can fasting or pseudo-diabetes have a positive effect on aging and health?

Courtesy of Oregon State University As I discuss extensively in my recently published review paper in Cell Death & Disease, starvation-induced pseudo-diabetes is associated with lifespan extension and better health. Although the state of pseudo-diabetes has several of the hallmarks of diabetes, it is not true diabetes and does not cause diabetic complications. For this reason, I introduced the term benevolent pseudo-diabetes, or benevolent glucose intolerance (coincidentally, my last name is translated in English as ‘benevolent’). Furthermore, rapamycin, a drug which mimics many of the effects of starvation, prevents diabetic nephropathy and was shown to have activity against atherosclerosis,...

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Highlights from European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress 2019

ESC Congress 2019 Together with World Congress of Cardiology took place in Paris, France. Re-purposing of diabetic drugs to treat cardiovascular disorders Four new ESC guidelines were released at the ESC Congress. One, released in collaboration with the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), details the management and prevention of CVD in patients with diabetes or prediabetes. These recommendations come after recent positive findings from large outcome trials with new classes of diabetes drugs, which demonstrated improvements in cardiovascular health independent of metabolic outcomes. These glucose-lowering compounds include the sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1)...

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Big step towards predicting West Nile virus transmission risk by combining citizen science and phylogenetic imputation

In 2015, I gave a presentation at the Society for Vector Ecology, lamenting the difficulties of predicting West Nile virus transmission risk at fine spatial and temporal scale. Up to now, there is no widely used and commonly accepted method to predict transmission risk of this most prevalent arbovirus in North America, with probably the best being the Vector Index used in the State of California. One of the many difficulties of predicting West Nile virus is due to the complexity of its ecology, in particular the variety of bird species that can act as hosts for this virus....

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World Alzheimer’s Month: Let’s talk about dementia to end the stigma

“My mother has Alzheimer’s and so do her two sisters, but I had never imagined that this would happen to me. And then suddenly, I started to forget things, to forget my friends’ names, and the things I had to do. I also misplaced objects that I would find days later. I felt frustrated, got mad at myself many times, and wondered what was going wrong with me. At first, my husband Eduardo was angry too. He also could not understand what was going on.” This quote is from a lady called Andrea from Brazil. Her story is, unfortunately,...

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Geomagnetic Disturbances and Cardiovascular Mortality Risk

© AndreAnita / Getty Images / iStock Daily geomagnetic disturbances, or geomagnetic storms, are temporary distortions in the Earth’s magnetic field caused by solar wind shock waves that strike the magnetic field hours after a solar event. These geomagnetic storms are the cause of the aurora at the earth’s poles, and have been found to affect the physiology, standard metabolism and behavior pattern of humans and other species (e.g. birds, whales, reptile, insects, and bacteria). High geomagnetic disturbances are usually associated with solar flares and solar coronal mass ejections, in which billion tons of high energy magnetic plasma from...

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