Castle Journal

Castle Journal


Cholesterol-lowering drugs: Statins reduce brown adipose tissue....

Taking cholesterol-lowering drugs can help reduce the risk of heart disease. However, these drugs also increase the risk of certain conditions like diabetes. And as researchers have now found, statins also reduce the beneficial for the health brown adipose tissue.

Nutrition change and medication

About every third German citizen, the cholesterol is too high. An elevated cholesterol level can lead to diseases of the vessels, with possible consequences such as a heart attack or stroke. In order to lower the cholesterol, a diet change is usually recommended. Often also cholesterol-lowering drugs are used. However, medical specialists criticize the fact that such preparations are prescribed too often and in many cases do more harm than good as they can, among other things, cause muscle problems and increase the risk of diabetes. In addition, researchers have now found that reducing cholesterol also reduces the beneficial for the health of brown adipose tissue.

Adults have brown adipose tissue in addition to white

According to experts, humans possess not only white but also brown adipose tissue. The latter helps to convert sugar and fat into heat.

Those with brown adipose tissue can better regulate their body heat in winter and suffer less from obesity and diabetes.

An international team of researchers led by Christian Wolfrum Professor of the Translational Nutritional Biology Unit at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) has now discovered that the drug class of statins reduces the formation of brown adipose tissue.

Statins lower blood cholesterol levels and help reduce heart attack risk prescribed. According to a statement from ETH Zurich, these preparations are among the most widely used medications worldwide.


Statins reduce activity of brown adipose tissue


Wolfrum and his colleagues have been researching brown adipose tissue for years. Scientists explored how the "bad" white fat cells that make up the known fat deposits produce "good" brown fat cells.

In cell culture experiments, they have now discovered that the pathway responsible for producing cholesterol plays a central role in this transformation.

The key molecule that regulates the transformation was identified by the researchers as the metabolite geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate.

As known from previous studies, the cholesterol pathway is also central to the action of statins , Among other things, statins lead to a reduced formation of geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate.

Therefore, the researchers wanted to know whether statins also influence the formation of brown adipose tissue. They are indeed doing that, as the scientists have now shown in studies in mice and humans.

Among other things, the experts evaluated positron emission tomography images of around 8,500 patients at the University Hospital in Zurich. In these pictures, the scientists were able to detect whether the persons possess brown adipose tissue.

In addition, the patients knew whether they had to take statins. The evaluation showed that among those who did not need to take such medication, six percent had brown adipose tissue. Only one percent of those taking statins had such tissue.

In an independent 16-person clinical study at the University Hospitals in Basel and Zurich, researchers were able to show that statins reduce the activity of brown adipose tissue.


Cholesterol-lowering drugs save millions of lives


Although the study reveals a negative effect of statins, the ETH Zurich professor warns against misinterpreting them.  "One must also weigh in the balance that statins are incredibly important for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. These medicines save many millions of people worldwide and are prescribed for good reasons, "said Wolfrum.

However, there is another negative effect of statins: taken high doses, they increase the risk of developing diabetes in certain people, such as from other studies.

"These two effects – the reduction of brown adipose tissue and the slightly increased risk of diabetes – may be related," says Wolfrum. However, this must first be examined in more detail.

But even if such a connection were to prove true, it would not be a matter of demonizing statins, emphasizes the ETH professor.


Rather, one would have to investigate the mechanisms of action in further research investigate which patients are affected by the negative effects.

It may be possible to continue to recommend statins with personalized medicine approaches in the majority of patients but would suggest alternative therapies to a small group of patients. (Ad)

Source link -newsbeezer


Admissibility of pathological amyloid-beta proteins confirmed.....

Alzheimer's disease is a dreaded neurodegenerative disease affecting mainly elderly people, whose prevalence has increased dramatically in recent decades. As early as 2015, researchers from University College London had suggested that the disease could be transmissible via the misfolded amyloid proteins. In laboratory experiments on mice they now confirmed the suspicion.

Alzheimer's disease is considered a non-communicable disease. It threatens no infection in the ordinary contact with stakeholders, emphasize the British scientists. However, a 2015 study has already shown that the pathological amyloid beta proteins may be transmitted from human to human as part of medical treatment. In their current study, researchers at University College London have confirmed this. Their findings have been published in the journal Nature.

Hormone therapy transmission?

"Our previous study found that some individuals who had Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease many years after treatment with pituitary growth hormone also developed Deposits in the brain of an abnormal protein that is characteristic of Alzheimer's disease, "says lead author of the study, Professor John Collinge, from the starting point of the current study. The reason suspected the researchers in the transmission of the misfolded protein structures with the growth hormones. In their current research, they have now shown that the pituitary growth hormone actually contained the corresponding amyloid beta proteins.

Growth Hormone Contamination Detected

"The findings support the hypothesis that amyloid beta has undergone this long-discontinued medical treatment accidentally transmitted to patients, "explain the scientists in a press release. Human growth hormone – made from human tissue prior to 1985 – actually contained Alzheimer's disease amyloid beta protein deposits. In the next step, the research team examined whether the growth hormone protein contaminants also lead to the development of the amyloid deposits typical of Alzheimer's disease.

Mouse Experiments

The researchers injected the contaminated growth hormone into the brain and genetically manipulated mice found that after less than twelve months, "a clear seeding of the amyloid pathology in their brain" already took place. The same was observed in mice injected with tissue from patients with typical Alzheimer's disease. In contrast, mice injected with synthetic growth hormone or normal brain tissue did not show such patterns.


Amyloid beta pathology is transmittable

"We have now presented experimental evidence to support our hypothesis that amyloid beta Pathology can be transferred from contaminated materials to humans, "said Professor Collinge. However, it is not yet clear whether or not Alzheimer's disease can be caused or transmitted to humans through medical or surgical interventions. "It will be important to review the risks of transmitting amyloid pathology in other medical procedures that are still in use today – including brain surgery tools," said the expert.

Contraindications to contact with Alzheimer's disease [19659002] The current study provides new insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying the role of amyloid in Alzheimer's disease, but the researchers explicitly emphasized that there is currently no evidence of Alzheimer's between humans. The study gives no indication that you can get Alzheimer's disease through contact with a sick person. (Fp)

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New test detects a meat allergy more clearly

The bite into a juicy steak – for many people the epitome of a delicious meal, for some, however, the meat consumption can be a health horror trip. The so-called alpha-gal syndrome describes an allergic reaction that occurs two to six hours after eating red meat. Not much is known about the causes of this puzzling allergy. Researchers report, however, that the meat allergy develops mainly after strong inflammatory reactions due to a tick bite. A German-Luxembourg research team recently developed a test to diagnose alpha-gal syndrome.


Those who suffer from alpha-gal syndrome develop after eating red meats such as beef, pork, lamb, or venison severe allergic reactions that can range from redness, shortness of breath or allergic circulatory shock. Since the symptoms do not appear until two to six hours after consumption, it is difficult to associate the suffering with the consumption of meat. Researchers at the Luxembourg Institute of Health have now developed a test that can better identify this rare allergy. The study results were recently presented in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

The meat allergy has only been known for several years

The existence of meat allergy was first demonstrated in 2009 by US scientists. Even then, the researchers suspected that the alpha-gal syndrome develops mainly as a result of tick bites. The immediate triggers for this food allergy, according to the researchers special sugars that sit on the surface of cells of mammals. These sugars are called galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose, or Alpha-Gal for short. Human cells do not possess these alpha-gal sugars.

Animal sugars trigger allergic reactions

According to the research team, these animal sugars can cause allergic reactions in some people if they enter the bloodstream as a result of a meat meal. So far, this food intolerance could only be demonstrated by the subjects undergo a complex and dangerous oral provocation test: "The affected people ate under medical supervision meat in ever larger quantities until it came to an allergic reaction," says project manager. Christiane Hilger. Because of the time delay, the test is very complex and not without risks.


Blood test replaces dangerous provocation test

The German-Luxembourg research team has now succeeded in largely replacing this provocation test with a blood test. In the new blood test, the blood of those affected is stimulated with artificial allergens. "A strong response of the basophils (white blood cells) to the lowest allergen levels is a clear indication of the alpha-gal syndrome," the researchers wrote in a press release on the study results.

Does tick saliva trigger rare meat allergy?

" We know very little about the causes and the immunological foundations of alpha-gal syndrome, "summarizes Hilger. So far, it has been observed that especially humans develop a meat allergy, which previously showed a strong inflammatory response to a tick bite. Which substances in the saliva of the ticks trigger this reaction and what exactly happens in the immune system, should now be clarified in further research.

Basophils for the diagnosis of allergies

The research team also showed that the behavior of the basophils in the blood is suitable for determining allergies. The team points to further studies that have shown that these cells are interesting for further allergological diagnostics, as they also react strongly to other allergenic substances. (Vb)

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Vienna -(APA / red.)

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) demanded significantly more European investment in Africa at the beginning of the EU-Africa Forum on Tuesday in Vienna. "We must not leave the African continent to the Chinese," said Kurz before starting talks with African and European leaders and numerous entrepreneurs in the Vienna Austria Center.

The EU-Africa Forum should "be a bit of a paradigm shift", In order to focus more on economic cooperation and investment alongside traditional development aid, Kurz said. The EU is the largest donor in the world in terms of development cooperation (DC), accounting for more than 50% of global DCA

"But there is room for improvement in terms of investment," Kurz said The event will be co-chaired by the current African Union (AU) President and President Rwanda's Paul Kagame. It needs profits on both sides, said the: "Africa wins, Europe wins and together we all benefit".


Similarly, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: So far, the "donor-recipient relationship" has been predominant. But now it must go to a "partnership equality" of both continents. Asked whether the EU is not late in comparison to China, Juncker said: "Yes, but we will make it better."

Mahr: "Right Hope Market"

Given the strong population growth in Africa – by 2050 When more than two billion people live on the continent, there is a need for strong economic growth, Kurz said. Investment would create training and jobs.

Chamber of Commerce President Harald Mahrer described Africa as a "real hope market". Within the framework of the forum, there is the opportunity to network around 1,000 companies from both continents. Austrian exports of Africa have almost doubled since 1995, according to WKÖ, but at around EUR 1.7 billion in volume they are only roughly equivalent to those in Sweden. The share of African exports in total Austrian exports is about 1.2 percent.

Education Minister Heinz-Fassmann also wants to cut a slice of the cake and strengthen scientific cooperation between universities in Austria and Africa. For this purpose, more funds than previously provided and a network of Austrian and African universities and research institutions will be established. At the same time, the entire field of development research is to be put on a new footing.

>>> The bearers of hope in Africa's politics. [premium]

"Wish that it is not just about migration"

Officially, the theme of flight and migration is not on the forum's agenda, even though the forum was originally on the topic on-site summit "- to combat the causes of flight – had been announced. There is a desire on the part of African politicians "that if we talk to them, it is not just about migration" and "we are not just trying to educate them" and telling them what they should do, but a "dialogue Kurz commented on this.

In its policy on Africa, the EU has repeatedly put the issue on the wall in recent months – be it through migration partnerships, "disembarkation platforms" or the Africa Trust Fund The financing of the Libyan Coastguard training is also being financed.

(APA / red.)

Wednesday, 19 December 2018 01:12

Video|3D heart muscle bred from skin cells

Hamburg / Berlin

Researchers from the German Center for Cardiovascular Research and the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) have bred a beating human heart muscle tissue of the atria from skin cells. The study published in "Stem Cell Reports" could lead to the personalized treatment of heart diseases such as atrial fibrillation and reduce animal experiments.

Retinoic acid makes it possible

The team of scientists from Hamburg has the atrial cells with the Technology of induced pluripotent stem cells produced from donated skin cells. This method had previously been used to grow cells of the lower chambers of the heart. In the current study, researchers modified the technique by adding a chemical called retinoic acid. As a result, the cells acquired similar properties as atrial cells.

When the cells are grown three-dimensionally, stripes of the atrial cardiac muscle appear that behave like a true atrial muscle. This could greatly facilitate the development of atrial fibrillation drugs, say the experts. The heart muscle from the lab "beats", conducts electricity and responds to certain medications as well as the human atrial muscle. As a next step, the team wants to perfect the artificial heart muscle and make him behave like a "diseased" heart muscle. In this way, drugs could be tested outside the human body.

Some skin cells are sufficient

The heart muscle is patient-specific. This makes it possible to test drugs on cardiac tissue that comes from a particular person to treat exactly the atrial disease that this person has. "The idea that we can test drugs on a heart muscle that has been bred for a specific patient sounds fantastic, and our research shows that this is now a reality, we only need some skin cells for it." Our study may help reduce animal testing or even completely avoided, "said Marta Lemme of the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology of the UKE and first author of the study.


Reported by|Mostafa Khalil

Two young Scandinavian women have been killed and found their bodies at the foot of Mount Toubkal, which is popular with hikers in Morocco.
The two students are from Norway and Denmark. The bodies reported stab wounds. After further possible perpetrators will be searched. While the police said that they have arrested a suspect on Tuesday who seemed of being responsible for the deaths of women.

The bodies were found in a remote area near the town Imlil, said the Interior Ministry in Morocco. The city is for many hikers and climbers starting point for tours in the Atlas Mountains. The 4,1

67 meter high Toubkal is the highest mountain in North Africa, located about 70 kilometers south of Marrakech.
The two women, aged 24 and 28, studied at the University of South-East Norway. The university was shocked by the news from Morocco and set the flags at half-mast. As the university announced, the two women were only on the weekend to Morocco. There, they wanted to stay there for a month. Among other things, the two women studied culture and nature leadership in Norway.

The Norwegian's mother said on Norwegian radio that safety was her daughter's top priority. "The two young women took all precautionary measures before they left," she told NRK.

The Foreign Office warns Morocco against touring off the beaten track. Tours in more remote areas should only be undertaken in groups and with Moroccan leaders.



The Krntner diocese Gurk is almost 1000 years old, due to the estate and real estate, the diocese is one of the richest in Austria. Until July, Bishop Alois Schwarz was in office there for 17 years, before moving to St. Plten as successor to Klaus Kng.

There has been a long history of allegations against Schwarz. He is said to have entrusted his close associate Andrea Enzinger with the education center and the adjoining hotel and covered financial shortages.

His interim successor, cathedral provost Engelbert Guggenberger, now published the "System Schwarz". Schwarz had been in a dependency relationship with Enzinger. He was determined by her goodness and her moods. "Thus, the office and the church was harmed for years, which has burdened especially priests and staff very much," said Guggenberger, which combines a long-standing opposition with black.

Through his life, the bishop was impaired in his administration and because of had been extortionable to his Zlibatsverpflicht reported Guggenberger. When anonymous letters appeared, the bishop reportedly hired an ex-secret service chief to find the authors.

In recent years, the diocese has written losses, and in 2017 it was almost two million euros. Finally, auditors were used. The result should have been published in the previous week, but the church harbored the mantle of silence: The Bishops' Congregation in Rome prohibited a publication by directives. Schwarz then explained that the result of the examiners was absolved of all charges.

For Guggenberger, the limit had been exceeded. He feels obligated to his conscience, he said yesterday, exposing the report. According to this, the educational center under Enzinger's leadership wrote red numbers. The dazugehrende hotel was not even 50 percent busy. On the other hand, the cost of employees in the hotel increased by 25 percent and in the education center by 60 percent within two years. This is partly due to a high turnover of staff due to the poisoned working environment. Under Enzinger fear and bullying prevailed, she was unpredictable and incompetent, says the report. Attendance numbers are said to have been faked.


Schwarz changed the statutes as bishop. The balance sheet was no longer controlled by accountants. The advisory board did not have to be brought in as before at 100,000 euros, but only in the event of revocations or loans of one million euros.

All these changes were made by Guggenberger now back again. Compensation claims against Black are made. Against Enzinger, which has already been terminated, a complaint was filed on suspicion of unfaithfulness. There was no reaction from Schwarz and the top of the church

Scandals in the Catholic Church

Former disciples of Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer (1986-1995 at the head of the Archdiocese of Vienna) reported being sexually abused or abused by him , In August 1995, Groer resigned.

In 2004, the St. Plötner Bishop Kurt Krenn was dismissed from office. The allegations related to child pornography in his area of ​​responsibility, the St. Pltener seminary. In 2010, numerous allegations of abuse were known, which mainly concerned the private grammar school of the monastery Mehrerau.

In Upper Austria there was a massive protest in 2009 against the appointment of Gerhard Wagner as auxiliary bishop. Wagner then did not accept the post.

Source |Newsbeezer

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