Statement From HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

Americans’ thoughts and prayers are with the people suffering as a result of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. As part of an integrated U.S government response, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services stands ready to support the medical and public health needs of the Haitian people.

Doctors, nurses, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, and other medical personnel in our National Disaster Medical System and U.S. Public Health Service are preparing to travel to Haiti to provide immediate medical care to the injured. Public health experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are on hand to help Haitian officials assess the scope of the earthquake’s damage to water and food supplies. Our on-the-ground medical teams will be traveling with medicine, medical supplies, and equipment to help save lives during the critical post-earthquake timeframe.

Source
HHS

New $26 Million Study Of Alzheimer’s Disease And Cognitive Decline

The University of Mississippi Medical Center and four collaborating academic medical centers have received $26 million from the National Institutes of Health to identify risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of cognitive decline, said Dr. Thomas Mosley, UMMC professor of geriatric medicine and one of the new study’s lead investigators.

The new funding will pay for the ARIC Neurocognitive Study, a comprehensive examination of thousands of patients, which will include detailed neurocognitive testing and brain imaging. The project builds on the influential Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, a large epidemiologic investigation of the risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

Using the new exam data and the wealth of information collected during ARIC’s 20-plus years, the ARIC Neurocognitive Study is expected to further illuminate causes of dementia, giving researchers a unique window into early physiological changes that eventually culminate in Alzheimer’s.

Of particular interest is the role that vascular risk factors – including hypertension, diabetes and lifestyle – experienced during middle age play in Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline later in life.

“The new ARIC Neurocognitive Study will be one for the most comprehensive investigations to date into the role of vascular and related mid-life risk factors in Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline,” Mosley said.

He believes Alzheimer’s disease likely isn’t caused by a single factor, but rather by a complex process involving multiple factors interacting and accumulating over decades.

“Understanding the risk factors involved in this complex process may lead to new targets for treatment,” he said. “It could also allow us to intervene at an earlier point with people who are at high risk for dementia, a time when preventative treatments may be most effective.”

Researchers at UMMC will work with four collaborating primary study sites Johns Hopkins University, receiving about $4.6 million, Wake Forest University, receiving about $3.6 million, the University of Minnesota, receiving about $4.3 million, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill receiving about $4.6 million.

Funded under UMMC’s $9 million portion of the grant, Mosley’s team includes scientists from the Mayo Clinic, Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Texas at Houston, Boston University and Erasmus University in the Netherlands.

The ARIC study has followed a group of roughly 16,000 participants for more than 20 years, from middle age into late life. Participants were initially recruited from four communities around the U.S., including approximately 4,000 African Americans from Jackson, Miss. Through a series of medical examinations over the years, ARIC participants have been extensively evaluated for diseases and factors including heart disease, hypertension and cognitive function.

Recent research has found African Americans may have a twofold or greater risk for Alzheimer’s compared to whites. With one of the largest and most extensively evaluated African American study subgroups, the ARIC Neurocognitive Study will help illuminate the role of ethnic differences in relative risk for dementia.

Previous work by Mosley and ARIC colleagues has pointed to the importance of vascular risk factors in predicting decline in cognitive functions such as memory and processing speed. Using brain imaging, Mosley and colleagues have also shown brain changes, such as atrophy and silent strokes, are surprisingly common, even in middle-age adults and that these brain abnormalities begin to affect cognitive functions as early as middle age.

“A key question is whether brain changes we find in mid life predict dementia later in life and, if so, whether they are caused by potentially modifiable conditions, such as hypertension,” Mosley said.

The ARIC Neurocognitive Study will also bring together state-of-the-art brain imaging and new genetic technology, powerful tools in the search for the causes of dementia.

“Rapidly advancing technology helps us address fundamental questions about how and why the brain ages,” Mosley said. “We’ve put together a world-class team of leading experts representing a range of disciplines, including brain imaging, genetics, epidemiology, and neurology, to illuminate factors that increase risk as well as those that may protect against dementia.”

In light of the aging U.S. population and a strong association between age and dementia risk, Mosley said it’s paramount to improve clinical care and decode the factors that contribute to and protect against dementia.

“They represent some of the greatest challenges facing our medical system over the next 50 years,” he said.

The ARIC Neurocognitive Study is the foundational study of UMMC’s Memory Impairment and Neurodegenerative Dementia (MIND) Center, which Mosley directs.

A separate capital campaign at UMMC is under way to raise $8.9 million for the MIND Center. As the center develops, Mosley plans to recruit additional investigators to expand research in brain aging and dementia.

Due to the grant’s scope, the ARIC Neurocognitive Study is co-funded by three NIH institutes: lead sponsor National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; and the National Eye Institute.

Source:
Jack Mazurak

University of Mississippi Medical Center

Identification Of Role For Proteins In Children’s Muscle Disease Could Open Up New Treatment Options

A study presented by Mrs. Elisabeth Elst today shows for the first time that a protein – heat shock protein 60 (HSP60) – that is present in chronic inflammations, triggers a response by T-cells (a type of white blood cells that plays a part in the body’s own immune response) in children with juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM).

The specific response has earlier been observed in juvenile idiopathic arthritis, but to date, little is known about the role of HSP60 in inflammatory myositis. Inflammatory myositis (IM) is the name given to a group of diseases that cause inflammation in the muscles of the body, which is mediated by the immune system of the body. The main symptoms are pain and weakness and can cause patient disability because of damage to the muscles. The main types of IM are dermatomyositis and polymyositis.

For children, the conditions of myositis are complex and are characterized by muscle damage due to an inflammatory process of the blood vessels that lie under the skin and muscles. Some of the symptoms include skin changes around the eyelids and over the knuckles and finger joints, as well as weakness in muscles, mainly affecting the large muscles around the hips and shoulders resulting in increased difficulty with walking, climbing stairs, getting up from the floor and lifting the arms. The children also often become uncharacteristically miserable and fractious and they may complain of tummy pain.

Heat shock proteins (HSP) are a group of proteins whose expression is increased when the cells are exposed to elevated temperatures. Production of high levels of heat shock proteins can also be triggered by exposure to different kinds of environmental stress conditions, such as infection, inflammation, exposure of the cell to toxins (e.g. ethanol, arsenic, and ultraviolet light), or water deprivation.

Mrs. Elst, pediatric immunologist at the University Medical Centre Utrecht, said, “We have shown for the first time that HSP60 plays an active part in the control of the inflammatory process in JDM. Thus, therapy aimed at the expansion of T-cells with regulatory capacities reacting to HSP60 could contribute to disease remission in patients with JDM. This conclusion opens up new perspectives for the understanding and approach for antigens in immunotherapy.”

Jim Baxter – Onsite tel: +44 (0) 7900 605652
Jo Spadaccino – Onsite tel: +44 (0) 7773 271930
Mia Gannedahl – Office tel: +44 (0) 20 7331 2325

Abstract number: OP0060

About EULAR

* The European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) is the organization which represents the patient, health professional and scientific societies of rheumatology of all the European nations.
* The aims of EULAR are to reduce the burden of rheumatic diseases on the individual and society and to improve the treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal diseases. To this end, EULAR fosters excellence in education and research in the field of rheumatology. It promotes the translation of research advances into daily care and fights for the recognition of the needs of people with musculoskeletal diseases by the governing bodies in Europe.
* Diseases of bones and joints, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis cause disability in 4 – 5 % of the adult population and are predicted to rise as people live longer.
* As new treatments emerge and cellular mechanisms are discovered, the 7th Annual European Congress of Rheumatology in Amsterdam (EULAR 2006) brings together more than 10,000 experts – scientists, clinicians, healthcare workers, pharmaceutical companies and patients – to share their knowledge in a global endeavour to challenge the pain and disability caused by musculo-skeletal disorders.
* To find out more information about the activities of EULAR, visit: eular/.

Contact: Mia Gannedahl
European League Against Rheumatism

Athletes With Asthma Need More Help From Their Team Trainers

Very few athletic trainers associated with National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) programs said that they were following best practice standards for managing asthma among their athletes, according to a new study.

For athletes with asthma, the dangers of the condition can be as mild as impacting athletic performance or so severe to be incapacitating, or deadly. The lead report is published in the American College of Sports Medicine’s journal, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

“We wanted to see how well asthma is being managed in athletes competing at the NCAA level,” says Jonathan Parsons, clinical assistant professor of internal medicine at Ohio State University. “Evidence has shown that outcomes are better when an athlete has an asthma attack and the proper help is available.”

“Since it’s impossible to predict an asthma attack, we need to be prepared for when it happens,” adds Parsons, who also is lead author of the study and a pulmonologist, critical care specialist and associate director of the Asthma Center at the Ohio State University Medical Center.

Pulmonary and sports medicine researchers sent electronic surveys, with questions related to the diagnosis and management of exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB), to 3,200 athletic trainers in NCAA sports medicine programs. More than one-fifth of the 541 responses indicated that they had an asthma management protocol at their institution. Slightly more reported having a pulmonologist on staff.

Approximately 17 percent reported screening athletes for EIB, 39 percent indicated a rescue inhaler does not have to be available at all practices and 41 percent say an inhaler does not have to be present at all games.

The results suggest an overwhelming majority of NCAA sports medicine programs are not adhering to national asthma guidelines, established by the National Institutes of Health, which emphasize education, management protocols and medical professional involvement for their athletes with asthma.

“Research data supports testing athletes for asthma when it’s suspected, having inhalers immediately on-hand and asthma specialists as part of their care,” says Parsons.

Exercise-induced asthma occurs when airflow to the lungs is reduced due to narrowing and closing of the airways in association with exercise. This airway obstruction usually occurs just after exercise and is much more common in college athletes than in the general population. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

According to Parsons, athletes often ignore symptoms of EIB, perceiving the condition as an indication of poor performance or simply being out of shape.

Exercise is one of the most common triggers of bronchospasm in patients with chronic asthma, with exercise-induced asthma occurring in approximately 80 percent to 90 percent of individuals with known asthma. Ten percent of the general population has an unrecognized history of chronic asthma and only experiences symptoms of asthma during exercise.

Parsons says that costs associated with inhalers, staff pulmonologists and compliance should be viewed as minimal in comparison to protecting the health of our student-athletes.

Along with Parsons, other Ohio State researchers who participated in the study were Vincent Pestritto, Gary Phillips, Christopher Kaeding, Thomas Best, Gail Wadley and John Mastronarde.

Funding from the National Center for Research Resources supported this research.

Source: Ohio State University

Ibuprofen Can Enhance Longevity And Quality Of Life For Children With Cystic Fibrosis By Slowing Rate Of Decline In Lung Function, Canadian Study

The results of a clinical trial, published in late August in the Journal of Pediatrics, indicates that, when used as part of routine therapy, high-dose ibuprofen is safe, and effective in slowing down lung disease in children with cystic fibrosis (CF).

Headed by Dr. Larry Lands, Director of Pediatric Respiratory Medicine at Montreal Children’s Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre, the multi-centre study monitored 142 children aged six to 18 with mild lung disease over two years.

Children given high-dose ibuprofen twice a day showed a significant reduction in the rate of decline in lung function, and had fewer and shorter hospital stays.

“Slowing the rate of the decline of lung function will result in enhanced longevity and quality of life for patients with CF,” said Dr. Larry Lands.

“Many treatments for cystic fibrosis can be a financial hardship for families,” said Cathleen Morrison, Chief Executive Officer at the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. “News that ibuprofen – a relatively inexpensive treatment compared to other therapies for CF – is effective, is very exciting.”

“We are delighted to share this great news. The findings of this study show that through research and innovation, a simple inexpensive treatment can have a profound impact on the lives of children affected by CF and their families,” said Dr. Peter Liu, Scientific Director of CIHR’s Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health.

The study was funded by the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

About CF and the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Cystic fibrosis, which affects the lungs and the digestive system, is the most common, fatal, genetic disease affecting Canadian children and young adults. In the digestive tract, CF blocks the absorption of adequate nutrients from food. In the lungs, the effects of the disease are most devastating; and with time, respiratory problems become increasingly severe. Ultimately, most CF deaths are due to lung disease.

The Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is a Canada-wide health charity, with 50 volunteer chapters, that funds CF research and care. In 2007, the Foundation is supporting more than 50 research projects, which are exploring all aspects of the CF puzzle; from investigating new methods of fighting infection and inflammation in the lungs, to finding new therapies that target the basic defect at a cellular level. For more information, visit cysticfibrosis.

About The Montreal Children’s Hospital

The Montreal Children’s Hospital is the pediatric teaching hospital of the McGill University Health Centre. This institution is a leader in the care and treatment of sick infants, children, and adolescents from across Quebec. The Montreal Children’s Hospital provides a high level and broad scope of health care services, and provides ultra specialized care in many fields including: cardiology and cardiac surgery; neurology and neurosurgery, traumatology; genetic research; psychiatry and child development and musculoskeletal conditions, including orthopedics and rheumatology. Fully bilingual and multicultural, the institution respectfully serves an increasingly diverse community in more than 50 languages.

About the Canadian Institute of Health Research

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada’s agency for health research. CIHR’s mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to catalyze its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health-care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 11,000 health researchers and trainees across Canada.

For more information, please contact:

Sagal Ali
Media Relations Officer
Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
cysticfibrosis

Isabelle Kling
Communications Coordinator (research)
MUHC Public Relations and Communications
muhc/

Source:
Isabelle Kling
McGill University Health Centre

UPS And The American Red Cross Team Up To Send Relief Flight To American Samoa

UPS is delivering 70 tons of food and relief supplies to communities affected by the earthquake and tsunami in American Samoa, as a UPS relief flight has delivered the first payload to assist the ongoing recovery efforts, with additional supplies scheduled to arrive in November by ocean freight.

The shipments by UPS, which is a member of the Annual Disaster Giving Program of the American Red Cross, are supporting the ongoing relief efforts of the Red Cross in American Samoa in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that struck on September 29. When disaster strikes, the Red Cross mobilizes volunteers and supplies into affected areas to shelter, feed and provide mental health counseling to disaster victims and emergency personnel.

“Thanks to the generosity of our Annual Disaster Giving Program members, we are able to mobilize human and material resources at a moments notice to provide lifesaving services,” said Jeffrey Towers, chief development officer at the American Red Cross. “These funds, coupled with the support of the American public, are critical during hurricane season and enable the Red Cross to rush immediate relief to disaster victims before the first donation has been given.”

Since the Annual Disaster Giving Program’s inception in 1997, members have pledged donations to the Red Cross in advance of major disasters to ensure an immediate response will meet the needs of people who are affected by disasters of all sizes, at no cost and regardless of income. This year’s members provided more than $20 million in funding for the Disaster Relief Fund.

“In addition to our annual contribution, one of the strengths UPS brings is using our network to position needed supplies to support local recovery efforts,” said Ken Sternad, president of The UPS Foundation. “By donating funds, coordinating volunteer activities and moving supplies, UPS has been able to help provide some relief to those in need.”

Individuals can join forces with companies who are members of the Annual Disaster Giving Program and help provide food, shelter, counseling and other assistance to the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like the recent earthquake and tsunami in American Samoa. Log-on to RedCross or call 1-800- RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make a donation.

Other members of the Annual Disaster Giving Program include Altria Group, Inc., American Express, AXA Foundation, ConAgra Foods, FedEx Corporation, GE Foundation, The Home Depot Foundation, John Deere Foundation, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Merck & Co., Inc., Morgan Stanley, Nationwide Insurance Foundation, Raytheon, Ryder Charitable Foundation, State Farm, State Street Foundation, Target, The TJX Companies, Inc. and UnitedHealthcare.

About The UPS Foundation

Founded in 1951 and based in Atlanta, Ga., The UPS Foundation’s major initiatives include programs that support community safety, nonprofit effectiveness, economic and global literacy, environmental sustainability and diversity. The UPS Foundation pursues these initiatives by identifying specific projects where its support can help produce a measurable social impact. In 2008, The UPS Foundation donated $46.9 million to charitable organizations worldwide. Visit community.ups for more information about UPS’s community involvement.

Source
American Red Cross

33,902 Swine Flu A(H1N1) Cases Including 170 Deaths In USA

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) informed in its weekly update on Friday evening, 3rd July, 2009, that the total number of confirmed human cases of swine flu A(H1N1) infection stands at 33,902, including 170 deaths.

In a Swine Flu conference held today in Cancun, Mexico, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the virus’ spread is now “unstoppable”. The WHO added that swine flu infection cases are mostly mild, with the vast majority of people recovering unaided.

Health authorities in the UK predict that British infection numbers should exceed 100,000 by the end of this summer.

Total confirmed human cases of Swine Flu A(H1N1) infection, and total deaths, 3rd July, 2009 (Source CDC)

Alabama – 330 cases, 0 deaths
Alaska – 60 cases – 0 deaths
Arkansas – 42 cases – 0 deaths
Arizona – 761 cases – 10 deaths
California – 1985 cases – 21 deaths
Colorado – 136 cases – 0 deaths
Connecticut – 1247 cases – 6 deaths
Delaware – 316 cases – 0 deaths
Florida – 1302 cases – 5 deaths
Georgia – 118 cases – 0 deaths
Hawaii – 616 cases – 0 deaths
Idaho – 92 cases – 0 deaths
Illinois – 3166 cases – 13 deaths
Indiana – 267 cases – 0 deaths
Iowa – 92 cases – 0 deaths
Kansas – 117 cases – 0 deaths
Kentucky – 130 cases – 0 deaths
Louisiana – 183 cases – 0 deaths
Maine – 82 cases – 0 deaths
Maryland – 591 cases – 1 death
Massachusetts – 1308 cases – 3 deaths
Michigan – 484 cases – 7 deaths
Minnesota – 576 – 1 death
Mississippi – 161 cases – 0 deaths
Missouri – 65 cases – 1 death
Montana – 67 cases – 0 deaths
Nebraska – 111 cases – 0 deaths
Nevada – 301 cases – 0 deaths
New Hampshire – 224 cases – 0 deaths
New Jersey – 1159 cases – 9 deaths
New Mexico – 232 cases – 0 deaths
New York – 2499 cases – 44 deaths
North Carolina – 255 cases – 2 deaths
North Dakota – 57 cases – 0 deaths
Ohio – 120 cases – 1 death
Oklahoma – 128 cases – 1 death
Oregon – 366 cases – 4 deaths
Pennsylvania – 1748 cases – 4 deaths
Rhode Island – 158 cases – 1 death
South Carolina – 160 cases – 0 deaths
South Dakota – 29 cases – 0 deaths
Tennessee – 174 cases – 0 deaths
Texas – 3991 cases – 17 deaths
Utah – 920 cases – 10 deaths
Vermont – 49 cases – 0 deaths
Virginia – 191 cases – 1 death
Washington – 588 cases – 4 deaths
Washington, D.C. – 33 cases – 0 deaths
West Virginia – 154 cases – 0 deaths
Wisconsin – 5861 cases – 4 death
Wyoming – 81 cases – 0 deaths
Territories
Puerto Rico – 18 cases – 0 deaths
Virgin Islands – 1 case – 0 deaths
TOTAL – 33,902 cases – 170 deaths

Basil Plants Have Anti-Arthritic Properties

Two varieties of Basil that are widely used in Ayurvedic medicine have been scientifically shown to reduce inflammation and swelling, suggesting that they could have potential in arthritis treatment.

At the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s annual event, the British Pharmaceutical Conference in Manchester, Mr Vaibhav Shinde from Poona Collage of Pharmacy, Pune, India, presented results of studies on the varieties Ocimum tenuiflorum Linn and Ocimum americanum Linn, which are used in Ayurvedic treatment of bronchitis, bronchial asthma, skin diseases, arthritis, inflammation and fever.

Extracts of O. tenuiflorum were shown to reduce swelling by up to 73%, 24 hours after treatment, and similar results were seen with O. americanum. Results for both plants were similar to those seen with diclofenac – an anti-inflammatory drug that is widely used in the treatment of arthritis.

“Our results supported the use of these traditional treatments in inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis, and we will now carry out more detailed evaluation of the plants for active compounds which could be developed into new medicines,” said Mr Shinde.

Results of the current study add to previous research supporting the medicinal properties of Basil plants1.

References

1 Prakash P, Gupta N. Therapeutic uses of Ocimum sanctum Linn (Tulsi) with a note on eugenol and its pharmacological actions: a short review. Indian Journal Physiol. Pharmacol 2005; 49: 125-131

About Ayurvedic medicine

Ayurvedic medicine originated in India over 2000 years ago and is widely practised in India and SE Asia. It aims to balance body, mind and spirit to help prevent illness and promote wellness. It uses a variety of products, including herbs, proteins, minerals and vitamins, and techniques, such as massage, exercise and meditation, to cleanse the body and restore balance.

Source
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain

Mitochondria Is Potential Target For Therapeutic Strategy For Alzheimer’s

A study in the Sept. 21 on-line edition of Nature Medicine describes the function and interaction of a critical molecule involved in cell death in Alzheimer’s disease patients. These new findings reveal that blocking this molecule, called Cyclophilin D (CypD), and development of surrounding mitochondrial targets may be viable therapeutic strategies for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, according to Shi Du Yan, Ph.D., professor of clinical pathology in the Department’s of Pathology and Surgery and in the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain at Columbia University Medical Center, who led the multi-center research.

This paper strengthens the concept that mitochondrial permeability pores may be central in mitochondrial and neuronal malfunction relevant to Alzheimer disease. Dr. Yan and her colleagues offer new insights into the mechanism underlying amyloid beta (A??)-mediated mitochondrial stress through an interaction with CypD, which is linked to synaptic plasticity and learning/memory. Importantly, these findings may help explain the mechanism of action of a medication already in use in clinical trials.

Mitochondria, the microscopic parts found outside the nucleus of the cell that produce a cell’s energy, are central players in mediating neuronal stress relevant to the pathogenesis or development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Mitochondrial dysfunction, or a problem with the cellular exchange of energy, is an early event observed in Alzheimer’s disease. Recent studies have provided substantial evidence that mitochondria serve as direct targets for amyloid beta (A??) protein mediated neuronal toxicity. The observations that A?? progressively accumulates in cortical mitochondria from Alzheimer’s disease patients and in brains from transgenic Alzheimer’s disease type mouse models suggest the role of mitochondrial A?? in the pathogenesis or development of the disease. This Nature Medicine study describes how this mitochondrial process may be linked to synaptic failure in Alzheimer’s disease.

The study provides new insights into the mechanism underlying mitochondrial A??-mediated and synaptic stress that links to the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP), an opening that leads to cell death for those with Alzheimer’s. Mitochondrial permeability transition pore causes mitochondrial swelling, outer membrane rupture and release of cell death mediators and enhances production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Cyclophilin D (CypD), a type of enzyme called a prolyl isomerase that is located within the mitochondrial matrix, is an integral part in the formation of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP), leading to cell death. Up until now, however, the role of CypD in Alzheimer’s disease has not been elucidated.

In this paper, Dr. Yan and colleagues demonstrate that CypD interacts with A?? peptide within the mitochondria of Alzheimer’s disease patients and a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. The cortical mitochondria isolated from Alzheimer’s disease mice lacking CypD are resistant to A??- and Ca2+-induced mitochondria swelling and permeability transition, increase calcium buffering capacity, and attenuate generation of mitochondrial ROS. Furthermore, CypD-deficient neurons protect against A??- and oxidative stress-induced cell death. Importantly, deficiency of CycD greatly improved the learning, memory, and synaptic function of an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model and alleviated A??-mediated reduction of long term potentiation (LTP). Thus, the CypD/A??-mediated mitochondrial permeability transition pore directly links to the cellular and synaptic perturbation relevant to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease.

The Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain at Columbia University Medical Center is a multidisciplinary group that has forged links between researchers and clinicians to uncover the causes of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other age-related brain diseases and discover ways to prevent and cure these diseases. It has partnered with the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center at Columbia University Medical Center which was established by an endowment in 1977 to focus on diseases of the nervous system. The Center integrates traditional epidemiology with genetic analysis and clinical investigation to explore all phases of diseases of the nervous system. For more information about these centers visit:
cumclumbia/dept/taub/
cumclumbia/dept/sergievsky/

Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, pre-clinical and clinical research, in medical and health sciences education, and in patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians & Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Established in 1767, Columbia’s College of Physicians & Surgeons was the first institution in the country to grant the M.D. degree and is among the most selective medical schools in the country. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and state and one of the largest in the United States.

Columbia University Medical Center

Lilly Sends Relief To Haiti Earthquake Victims

Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) announced that it will provide donations of medicines and money for victims of the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti on January 12.

“The current situation in Haiti is a profound human tragedy,” said Robert L. Smith, president of the Lilly Foundation. “The significant number of casualties and widespread property damage require an urgent and compassionate response. We hope Lilly’s contributions will help ease some of the suffering, and aid in the recovery efforts.”

Lilly has initially pledged $250,000 in direct cash contributions. Half of this amount will be for short-term relief, with the balance donated over the next 12 months in support of the longer-term rebuilding efforts. The company will also match contributions of its U.S. employees, up to a total of $250,000. In addition, Lilly will work with non-governmental organization partners working in Haiti on appropriate donations of medicines.

About Eli Lilly and Company

Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation, is developing a growing portfolio of pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answers – through medicines and information – for some of the world’s most urgent medical needs.

Lilly’s philanthropic giving in 2008 was about $350 million, nearly $6 million each week toward improving the health of communities around the world.

Source: Eli Lilly