News Article | April 18, 2017
The commonly used antibiotic azithromycin is not linked to an increased risk of ventricular arrhythmia, an often life-threatening rapid, irregular heartbeat, according to a large study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). Azithromycin is an antibiotic commonly used to treat bacterial infections -- mostly respiratory and urinary tract infections -- in people of all ages. It belongs to a class of drugs known as macrolides, of which at least one other drug, erythromycin, is known to disrupt the heart's normal rhythm, leading to a condition known as ventricular arrhythmia. Several recent studies have reported conflicting results over whether azithromycin is linked to an increased risk of death from ventricular arrhythmia in people taking the antibiotic. To provide clarity among these conflicting findings, a team of European researchers looked at data on nearly 29 million people in health care databases from Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark to determine if there is a link between azithromycin and ventricular arrhythmia. Of the more than 14 million new antibiotic users, 0.1% (12 874) people developed ventricular arrhythmia, of whom 30 were new users of azithromycin. When compared to amoxicillin, another commonly used antibiotic, from the penicillin class of drugs, there was no increased risk of this heart condition in people using azithromycin. However, there was an increased risk of ventricular arrhythmia in people taking azithromycin compared to people not using antibiotics at all. "This finding suggests that the risk of ventricular arrhythmia is more likely to be due to a person's poor health and caused by their infection, rather than to azithromycin itself," says Dr. Gianluca Trifirò, Department of Biomedical and Dental Sciences and Morpho-functional Imaging, University of Messina, Italy. "This finding was confirmed in several sensitivity analyses and replicated in single databases participating in the study." The authors note these findings may not be applied in hospital settings as the health of patients and use of antibiotics is quite different in community settings, from which the data were drawn. "Current azithromycin use was associated with an increased risk of ventricular arrhythmia when compared with nonuse of antibiotics, but not when compared with current amoxicillin use. The decreased risk with an active comparator suggests significant confounding by indication," the authors conclude. The study was conducted by researchers from Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands; University of Messina, Messina, Italy; Italian College of General Practitioners, Florence, Italy; PHARMO Institute for Drug Outcomes Research, Utrecht, Netherlands; Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology - BIPS Gmbh, Bremen, Germany; University of Bologna, Italy; Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark; and King's College, London, United Kingdom.
News Article | February 22, 2017
-- Despite living in strong and supportive families for over 20 years, many children exposed to severe early deprivation in Romanian institutions aged 0-3 experience a range of mental health problems in early adulthood. Experiencing severe deprivation and neglect in childhood can have a lasting psychological impact into early adulthood, according to a unique study which has followed the mental health of a group of children adopted from Romanian institutions to UK families in the 1990s. Published in The Lancet, this is the first large-scale study to follow a group of children who were subjected to extreme deprivation into adulthood, tracking how their mental health and cognition has developed as a result. The English and Romanian Adoptees study began shortly after the fall of the communist regime in Romania. Children living in institutions were subjected to extremely poor hygiene, insufficient food, little personalised care and no social or cognitive stimulation. The study, running since 1990, analyses the mental health of 165 children who spent time in Romanian institutions and who were adopted by families in the UK between the ages of two weeks and 43 months. In the UK, they joined socioeconomically advantaged, stable, caring and supportive families. Comparing against 52 children adopted within the UK, the study has followed them throughout their childhood using questionnaires, IQ tests and interviews with the children and their parents to analyse social, emotional and cognitive outcomes at ages 6, 11 and 15. The latest part of the study followed the adoptees to ages 22 to 25 years old. It includes around three-quarters of the original adoptees - 39 UK adoptees, 50 Romanian adoptees who had spent less than six months in an institution as children and 72 who had spent over six months. The researchers found that the amount of time spent in a Romanian institution was an important marker of children's future mental health. Romanian adoptees who had spent less than six months had similar rates of mental health symptoms as UK adoptees. However, adoptees who had spent more time in the institutions had higher rates of social, emotional and cognitive problems throughout their lives. People who had lived in Romanian institutions for more than six months as children had higher rates of social problems including autistic features, difficulties engaging with others, inattention and overactivity which persisted from childhood into adulthood. They were also three to four times more likely to experience emotional problems as adults, and had lower educational attainment and employment rates than the other UK and Romanian adoptees. This all despite living in strong and supportive families for over 20 years. As children, more adoptees who lived in Romanian institutions for over six months had an IQ of less than 80, but this recovered within normal levels (an IQ of 90 or above) by early adulthood, suggesting developmental delays but no permanent impact on general cognitive abilities. Additionally, one in five (21%, 15 children) adoptees who spent over six months in Romanian institutions did not experience any mental health problems throughout their lives. The next steps of the research will involve an in-depth genetic analysis of the most exposed adoptees who did not develop mental health problems to distinguish whether genetic and epigenetic differences contribute to resilience. "Being exposed to very severe conditions in childhood can be associated with lasting and deep-seated social, emotional and cognitive problems, which are complex and vary over time," said lead author Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke, King's College London, UK, who conducted the follow-up study while at the University of Southampton. "This highlights the importance of assessing patients from deprived backgrounds when providing mental health support and carefully planning care when these patients transfer from child to adult mental health care. Although focussed on children adopted from Romanian institutions in the early 1990s, our findings may also be relevant to large numbers of children who are still exposed to abusive or neglectful conditions around the world."  Because the children were different ages when they entered institutions and lived there for different amounts of time, the study could not determine whether there is a window during childhood development when children may be more or less likely to be affected by deprivation. In addition, it cannot control for other early risk factors affecting the child's mental health, such as maternal smoking or substance abuse during pregnancy, but the authors argue that there are unlikely to be significant differences among the two groups of Romanian adoptees. Writing in a linked Comment, Professor Frank Verhulst, Erasmus University Medical Centre, The Netherlands, said: "Whatever the underlying mechanisms, the findings of Sonuga-Barke and colleagues' study elegantly support the rule of the earlier the better for improving the caregiving environment for young children whose basic needs are profoundly violated. This finding is true for millions of children around the world who are exposed to war, terrorism, violence, or mass migration. As a consequence, many young children face trauma, displacement, homelessness, or family disruption." From its beginning the study was funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council, the UK Medical Research Council, the UK Department of Health, the Jacobs Foundation and the Nuffield Foundation. It was conducted by scientists from the University of Southampton, King's College London, Ruhr University Bochum, The Amy Winehouse Foundation and the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics.  Quote direct from author and cannot be found in the text of the Article. IF YOU WISH TO PROVIDE A LINK FOR YOUR READERS, PLEASE USE THE FOLLOWING, WHICH WILL GO LIVE AT THE TIME THE EMBARGO LIFTS: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(17)30045-4/fulltext
News Article | November 24, 2016
ROTTERDAM, 24-Nov-2016 — /EuropaWire/ — When does the creation of a digital workplace benefit not just the individual employee, but the company as a whole? Research by MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research and Nick van der Meulen of Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) demonstrates that the best-performing companies not only have cleverly designed digital workplaces that facilitate flexible working; they are also run by managers who trust employees to work autonomously and dare to learn from mistakes. Being able to work flexibly, either away from the office or in flexible zones in the office, has become the norm in many companies. At the same time, companies like HP, Best Buy and Yahoo have rescinded some of these practices, claiming that flexible working hurts collaboration and impedes innovation. PhD Researcher Nick van der Meulen wanted to find out if the assumed benefits of having employees working in one location, such as improved knowledge sharing and better collaboration, could be reconciled with employees’ needs to be flexible and autonomous. In particular, he set out to reveal which elements of a digital workplace actually contribute to better company performance. The digital workplace The first part of this study, taking stock of existing digital workplace initiatives, was conducted with Kristine Dery and Ina Sebastian of MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research (CISR). The researchers there interviewed 63 managers at 27 large global corporations about their digital workplace practices. They discovered that companies have six ‘levers’ to pull when they design and optimise their digital workplace. Four of the levers relate to actual design, the other two are management and leadership practices. Workplace design The study showed that many companies reorganise their physical and virtual workplaces to stimulate employee flexibility, for example by creating open-plan floors and enabling teleworking. Others will also invest in software and digital support systems that let people work securely wherever they are. But many companies realise increased employee flexibility comes at a cost. Teleworkers have fewer informal conversations by the coffee machine; as a result, there will be fewer exchanges of ideas. To counter this, some companies invest in ‘enterprise social media’. These are closed-off digital environments in which employees and management can freely discuss new ideas to boost innovations and competitiveness. Finally, the researchers noticed that some companies run branding campaigns and create symbols to embed the new, digital way of working firmly into the company’s culture. Some companies went as far as changing their logo to show long-term commitment to the new ways of working, the researchers found. Management Van der Meulen studied 113 companies, comparing use of design levers to the overall company performance, using indicators like revenue growth, profit growth, and growth in market share. He found that changes to workplace design helped to improve company performance to some extent. But his results also showed that the most successful companies went one step further, adopting a more facilitative, leadership style in which managers trust their employees to work autonomously and let them decide when, where, and how best to work. Systemic learning High-performing companies also have a more open corporate culture that is geared towards ‘systemic learning’, van der Meulen discovered. Management in these firms typically encourages employees to share mistakes and failures in a digital working environment, but is also interested in their innovative ideas. Under this type of leadership, a digital workplace allows employees to be flexible, while enabling the entire organisation to learn, innovate and remain competitive, van der Meulen concludes.
News Article | September 19, 2016
A pilot study from a group of Dutch scientists implies that being told that an image is an artwork automatically changes our response, both on a neural and behavioral level. This may mean that our brains automatically up or down-regulate emotional response according to the whether they think something should be understood at face value, or whether it should be interpreted as art. This tends to lend support to an over 200 year old theory of art, first put forward by the philosopher Immanuel Kant in his Critique of Judgement. Most people understand that we will show a different conscious emotional response to a work of fiction or art, than we will to an equivalent real-life image. Now, a team from Erasmus University in Rotterdam has tested how the unconscious brain responds to art and other types of images. In two related experiments, twenty-four student volunteers were asked to evaluate a series of picture while brain activity was measured via an EEG. Half of the pictures were pleasant and the other half unpleasant. They were either told that the pictures were works of art or photographs of real events. At the end of the trial they were asked to rate each image according to likeability and, attractiveness. The researchers concentrated on a brain signal called the LPP (Late Positive Potential), which is a measurement of the level of electromagnetic activity of the cortex between 0.6 and 0.9 seconds after the appearance of a stimulus. They were able to show that the amplitude of this stimulus was much greater when participants had been told that the picture was real, as against when they were told it was a work of art. When questioned, works of art were also rated as being more likable than were real pictures. “This work suggests that when we expect to be dealing with an artwork, our brain responds differently than when we expect to be dealing with reality,” said lead researcher Noah van Dongen. “When we think we are not dealing with reality, our emotional response appears to be subdued on a neural level. This may be because of a tendency to ‘distance’ ourselves from the image, to be able to appreciate or scrutinize its shapes, colors, and composition instead of just its content. We know that our brains may have evolved with ‘hard-wired’ mechanisms that allow us to adjust our response to objects depending on the situation. What this work indicates is that Kant’s two-century-old theory of aesthetics, where he proposed that we need to emotionally distance ourselves from the artwork in order to be able to properly appreciate it, might have a neurological basis and that art could useful in our quest to understand our brain, emotions, and maybe our cognition.” In a second experiment, the research group added a third condition. Again, 24 student volunteers judged pleasant and unpleasant pictures, only this time they were presented as pictures of real events, works of art, and scenes from movies or documentaries. The neurological effect on emotional response vanished with the added third condition. “The results of this modified experiment indicate that the effect of context is more complex than it might seem. It might be that too much or too ambiguous information reduces the neurological effect. We are just beginning to understand our automatic emotion regulation and more research is necessary to bring its nuances to light,” said Noah van Dongen.
News Article | October 26, 2016
People with Icelandic heritage are more likely to carry a novel rare mutation in the TM2D3 gene, which leads to greater risk for Alzheimer's disease, based on a new study published October 14th, 2016 in PLOS Genetics by Johanna Jakobsdottir of the Icelandic Heart Association, Sven van der Lee of Erasmus University in Rotterdam, and colleagues. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting about 30% of adults above the age of 85. While scientists have already identified many common genetic variants that contribute to the disease, rare mutations with significant effects in the population have been more difficult to discover, except in rather isolated families. To find such rare variations, a collaboration of Alzheimer's researchers throughout the U.S. and Europe performed an analysis covering more than 11,000 genes in 1,393 late-onset Alzheimer's disease patients. They identified a variant in the TM2D3 gene that is associated with both a higher risk and earlier age of onset of Alzheimer's disease. Interestingly, the TM2D3 genetic variant is about 10 times more common in Icelanders compared to the European population in general. Nevertheless, the variant remains quite rare and is present in fewer than 1% of the Icelandic population, and the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease in Iceland is comparable to that seen elsewhere in the world. The researchers also performed experiments in a fruit fly model, in which human TM2D3 was substituted for an equivalent fly gene, demonstrating that the discovered variant interferes with the Notch signaling pathway. Other Notch signaling factors have previously been shown to participate in the generation of amyloid plaque brain pathology in Alzheimer's disease. Jakobsdottir, van der Lee and colleagues have identified a rare genetic variant associated with Alzheimer's risk, and propose a possible function to explain its role in the disease. The TM2D3 gene has not previously been linked to Alzheimer's, and thus may have importance for understanding the mechanisms that contribute to the late-onset form of the disease. Johanna adds "We have found a rare variant in the TM2D3 gene that correlates with risk of late-onset Alzheimer's disease and showed that it likely interferes with the Notch signaling pathway, which has relevance for Alzheimer's disease as other Notch signaling factors play a role in amyloid plaque pathology. However, we have not proven causality and further study is needed, including additional experiments in the fly, DNA sequencing to identify additional variants, and RNA sequencing to study effects on gene expression." In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available article in PLOS Genetics: http://dx. Citation: Jakobsdottir J, van der Lee SJ, Bis JC, Chouraki V, Li-Kroeger D, Yamamoto S, et al. (2016) Rare Functional Variant in TM2D3 is Associated with Late-Onset Alzheimer's Disease. PLoS Genet 12(10): e1006327. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1006327 Funding: Infrastructure for the CHARGE Consortium is supported in part by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI, http://www. ) grant HL105756. Funding support for the CHARGE Consortium Exome Chip analyses is provided in part by the NHLBI grant HL120393. Support for centralized calling of the exome chip was provided by Building on GWAS for NHLBI-diseases: the U.S. CHARGE consortium through the National Institutes of Health (NIH, https:/ ) American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) (5RC2HL102419). The CHARGE consortium is a founding component of the Alzheimer's Disease Sequencing Project, and receives sequencing and analysis support through the grants from NIH: U01-AG049506, U01-AG049505, and U54-HG003273. AGES study is supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA, https:/ ) contracts N01-AG-12100 and HHSN271201200022C with contributions from the National Eye Institute (NEI, https:/ ), National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD, https:/ ), NHLBI, the NIA Intramural Research Program, Hjartavernd (the Icelandic Heart Association), and the Althingi (the Icelandic Parliament). JMS was supported by grants from the NIH/NIA (R01-AG033193, R01-AG050631, C06-RR029965), the Alzheimer's Association, the American Federation for Aging Research, Huffington Foundation, Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children's Hospital, and a Career Award for Medical Scientists from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. The work was additionally supported by U54HD083092 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development. SY was supported by the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children's Hospital and the Alzheimer's Association. HJB is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and also received support from the Robert and Renee Belfer Family Foundation, the Huffington Foundation, and Target ALS. JS is supported by NIH GMR2556929. Detailed funding information for all studies that contributed to this work are provided in S1 Text Funding section. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
News Article | December 19, 2016
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. & SHANGHAI & ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Harbour BioMed, a recently established Shanghai-based company, today announced it has acquired Harbour Antibodies BV for cash and an equity interest in Harbour BioMed to create a new, global oncology-focused biotechnology company. The new company plans to leverage Harbour Antibodies' patented transgenic mouse platforms to build an internal portfolio of next generation therapeutic antibodies for cancer, expand the range of partnerships and licenses around Harbour's platforms, and capitalize on the Harbour BioMed management team's extensive worldwide drug discovery and development expertise. The acquisition was financed by Harbour BioMed investors, Advantech Capital and Legend Capital, two leading China-focused investors with a particular emphasis on life sciences. Harbour Antibodies’ existing shareholders, including Atlas Venture, are retaining an interest in Harbour BioMed to participate in its continued growth and value creation. “Over the last five years, Harbour Antibodies’ two transgenic mouse platforms have emerged as industry leading, world class discovery engines for next generation human antibody therapeutics, with over 30 partners,” said Peter Barrett, PhD, Partner at Atlas Venture and Chairman of Harbour Antibodies. “Atlas Venture is proud to have supported the Harbour Antibodies team in bringing their important transgenic mouse platforms to labs and companies around the world. We look forward to Harbour’s technology transforming therapeutics for cancer patients under the leadership of the Harbour BioMed team.” Harbour BioMed is led by Jingsong Wang, MD, PhD, CEO, and Liang Schweizer, PhD, CSO and other founding members. Prior to co-founding the company, Dr. Wang was at Sanofi, serving as Head of China R&D and Head of Translational Medicine, Asia Pacific. Prior to Sanofi, he served at Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he held multiple roles with increasing responsibilities, including Director of Discovery Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology and Global Program Lead for multiple preclinical and clinical assets. Dr. Schweizer was previously Head of Sanofi Asia Cancer Research. Before that, she was at Bristol-Myers Squibb as a Director of Leads Discovery and Optimization. Collectively, the founding team at Harbour BioMed has overseen the transition of more than 30 compounds into clinical trials worldwide and has been instrumental in the development of more than 10 globally marketed drugs and another 40 marketed in China. Harbour BioMed also has a world-renowned Scientific Advisory Board that includes: “Our initial focus is on building an innovative therapeutic portfolio in immuno-oncology, an area of enormous promise which is transforming cancer therapy,” said Dr. Wang. “The Harbour transgenic platforms present significant opportunities for discovering and developing novel human antibody therapeutics against established and emerging targets. We expect to build our therapeutic pipeline through internal discovery and development, collaborative alliances with companies and leading academic institutions, and selective asset acquisitions where we can capitalize on our development and regulatory expertise in China and other regional markets.” Dr. Wang noted that Harbour BioMed will continue licensing Harbour Antibodies’ transgenic platforms and investing in the platforms’ continued development. To date, the platforms have been licensed to more than 30 companies and academic institutions. Harbour Antibodies will remain a subsidiary of Harbour BioMed and will continue to manage the licensing operations. Harbour BioMed was established in 2016 with an initial financing of US $50 million from Advantech Capital, Legend Capital and the Harbour BioMed founding team. The company is headquartered with R&D operations in Shanghai, business operations in Cambridge, MA, and antibody platform innovation operations in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The company plans to expand its presence in the Boston area by establishing a drug discovery innovation center. Harbour has two advanced transgenic mouse platforms, HCAb and H2L2, for the discovery of fully human antibodies. Many therapeutic discovery and development programs based on the platforms are ongoing at the company’s licensees, with the first wave of antibodies expected to enter clinical trials in 2017. The HCAb platform for generating heavy chain only antibodies uniquely enables the development of differentiated, next generation molecules, including bi- and multi-specific antibodies and antibody fragment-based therapeutics. The H2L2 platform generates conventional, full-length human antibodies. Both Harbour platforms eliminate the need for humanization steps and additional affinity maturation for product candidates, thereby reducing the time and cost of discovery. Harbour Antibodies was founded by researchers at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and Dr. Roger Craig. Harbour BioMed is a global biotechnology company discovering and developing innovative therapeutics for cancer with a focus on immuno-oncology. The company’s discovery and development programs are built around its two patented transgenic mouse platforms for human antibody discovery. The company is building its proprietary pipeline internally, through collaborations with co-development partners, and selective preclinical and clinical stage asset in-licensing. Harbour BioMed also licenses the platforms to companies and academic institutions through its Harbour Antibodies subsidiary. Learn more at: http://www.harbourbiomed.com.
News Article | February 16, 2017
HOUSTON, Feb. 16, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TPC Group today announced the appointment of Bart de Jong as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Company. In this role, Mr. de Jong will oversee the finance, accounting and investor relations functions, in addition to a renewed corporate development function. A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/fb6c1743-3e76-42b4-9c8a-520984f6be5b Mr. de Jong has been working with the Company for the past 10 months on a consulting basis, leading corporate development efforts, including the recent divestiture of our Baytown, Texas nonene and tetramer facility and manufacturing site along with the development of the Company’s current long range plan. Mr. de Jong began his career in auditing with KPMG, then held various accounting and internal audit positions at ExxonMobil. He spent the majority of his career with LyondellBasell and predecessor companies, with a wide range of experiences and responsibilities in strategic planning, finance, corporate development and human resources. During his time at LyondellBasell, Mr. de Jong served as President of a number of divisions, including inorganic chemicals and fuels, as well as leading LyondellBasell’s Americas businesses and operations. Early in his career, he also served as CFO of a startup technology company. “We are very pleased to have someone with the breadth and depth of experience Bart brings to TPC,” said Chairman and CEO, Ed Dineen. “In this broader function of CFO, Bart and his team will play a key role in delivering and accelerating the value creation and debt reduction identified in our long range plan. We are happy we have been able to make this and a series of other organizational moves to enhance value and alignment, while providing new employee development opportunities and lowering our SG&A costs.” “This is an exciting time to join TPC Group, and I’m proud to have the opportunity to help the organization with the execution of a sound long range plan,” said Mr. de Jong. Mr. de Jong has a master of science degree in economics from Erasmus University and is a Certified Public Accountant in The Netherlands. About TPC Group TPC Group is a leading producer of value-added products derived from petrochemical raw materials such as C4 hydrocarbons, and provider of critical infrastructure and logistics services along the Gulf Coast region. The Company sells its products into a wide range of performance, specialty and intermediate segments, including synthetic rubber, fuels, lubricant additives, plastics and surfactants. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, with an operating history of over 70 years, TPC Group has manufacturing facilities in the industrial corridor adjacent to the Houston Ship Channel and Port Neches, Texas, and operates a product terminal in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
News Article | December 27, 2016
BROOKLYN, NY, December 27, 2016-- Wassila Hachchi is a former politician and military who is now an author and a social entrepreneur. She created the platform Dialogue Digital because she believes that the power of dialogue is necessary for effecting social change.According to Wassila, "We have to keep going forward. I think we did make some progress. If you look back, we now have social media. The internet is nothing but an instrument. You can use it for the force of good, and you can use it for bad. It's basically a mirror if we complain about the internet like saying it's been hi-jacked by the culture of hate, it means we as humans are not using it for something positive. We are in charge. We have to use the instrument in a way that it serves us."In her book "Listen. Think. Speak." she shared her journey from her life in politics to being a social entrepreneur. Know more about what Dialogue Digital is and how Wassila came up with this powerful communication tool."In the 21st century we need to create conscious conversations that make a difference in the world. Wassila has created the answers for that. Powerful dialogue changes communities, families, and relationships. This book should be in every business and every family home." Lisa Nichols, CEO Motivating the Masses"We need to embrace the power of technology to our communication, and we need to learn how to use it effectively. We need to know how to continue to have dialogue with one another not just on the surface but a heart to heart interaction. I love Wassila's openness to talk about and help drive better communication to the world." Steve Kidd, host Thriving Entrepreneur Radio Show - Hear the whole interview at WeHelpYouTHRIVE.com/radio"Listen. Think. Speak" is available on Amazon at http://www.amzn.com/B01NCI87ID Wassila Hachchi was born in Rotterdam, Netherlands on January 6th, 1980 as the daughter of first-generation Moroccan immigrants.She studied at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and graduated with a Master's degree in Business Administration in Business Administration with a focus in Strategic Management. With her diploma in her pocket, she chose to work at the Royal Dutch Navy as a military officer.After four years Wassila took off her uniform and worked at the Ministry of Economic Affairs. In January 2008 she received the award Young Official of the Year 2007, for outstanding performance in public service. The Ministry of Defense offered her a new position in early 2009, not long after that she made the switch to politics.On June 17, 2010, she was sworn in as Member of Parliament (MP). After almost six years as a Dutch MP, she resigned to support Hillary Clinton in her run for President of the United States where she gained valuable insight into American politics and the 2016 presidential election.During her time as MP, she started Dialogue Digital - a tech-enabled platform to make an impact on the world. Dialogue Digital is a safe online space for intelligent conversations to drive social change. In 2015 she shared her story at TEDx Amsterdam Women and led a successful crowd funding campaign. As a social entrepreneur, Wassila is one of today's disruptors and tomorrow's brightest stars.
News Article | March 2, 2017
The positive effects of exercise outweigh the impacts of obesity on heart disease among the elderly, a new study revealed. Experts from the Netherlands discovered that physical activity may effectively reduce the risk of stroke or cardiovascular diseases regardless of the person's body mass index. The findings emphasize that physical activity is crucial in the heart health of middle-aged adults and the elderly, researchers said. Led by Dr. Klodian Dhana, researchers from Erasmus University in Rotterdam followed 5,344 people who were 55 years old to 97 years old. The group collected the participants' physical activity, BMI, alcohol use, smoking habits, diet, family history of heart attack, and education. Study participants were separated into three weight categories: normal, obese, and overweight. They were then divided by high or low level of physical activity. Dhana and his colleagues found that 16 percent of participants experienced a cardiovascular event during the 15-year study. Physical activity was related to a decrease in risk for developing heart disease, regardless of the person's BMI. There was also no link between heart disease and BMI alone. What's more, participants who were obese or overweight did not have a higher risk of developing heart disease compared to participants with normal weight. Instead, those who were overweight or obese with low levels of exercise and physical activity had a 1.3 percent chance of developing cardiovascular disease compared to those who had high levels of exercise. "In the overall population, we found that physical activity was protective for cardiovascular risk," said Dhana. However, Dhana said the research does not refute the risk linked to obesity in the general population, but it suggests that BMI may not be the most effective way to measure adiposity among the elderly. Dhana said obesity has been associated with a higher risk for cardiovascular disease. What the team now recommends is for patients to lose weight. In the elderly, weight loss is slightly different. Unintentional weight loss has been linked to muscle loss and death, said Dhana. Being obese or overweight can contribute to the negative effects through the adipose tissue, which speeds up the atherosclerotic process and ups chances of heart disease. Performing sufficient amounts of exercise, however, can decrease the effects of obesity on the heart by reducing plaque on blood vessels, as well as the oxygen demands of the person's heart. Dhana suggests biking, walking, and housework are all helpful ways to keep your physical activity high. About 150 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity per week is highly recommended. Details of the new study are issued in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
News Article | March 1, 2017
Sophia Antipolis, March 1, 2017: The benefits of physical activity may outweigh the impact of overweight and obesity on cardiovascular disease in middle-aged and elderly people, according to research published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.1 The observational study was conducted in more than 5,000 people aged 55 years and older who were followed-up for 15 years. "Overweight and obesity is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and it is recommended to lose weight," said author Dr Klodian Dhana, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. "But in the elderly this is slightly different because weight loss, especially unintentional, is associated with muscle loss and death." "Physical activity is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease regardless of age," he continued. "We investigated the combined impact of body mass index (BMI) and physical activity on cardiovascular disease in the middle age to elderly population." The study included 5,344 individuals aged 55 to 97 years of age (average 70 years) who participated in the Rotterdam Study and were free of cardiovascular disease at baseline. Information about BMI, physical activity, smoking, alcohol use, diet, education, and family history of premature heart attack was collected during the enrolment period in 1997 to 2001. Participants were categorised by BMI: normal weight (18.5-24.9 kg/m2), overweight (25-29.9 kg/m2) and obese (>30 kg/m2); and physical activity (low/high) which was below and above the median in the study population. The group was followed from 1997 to 2012 for cardiovascular events (heart attack and stroke). During the 15 year follow-up, 16% of participants had a cardiovascular event. When analysed alone, physical activity was associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease regardless of BMI category. There was no association between BMI alone and cardiovascular disease. "In the overall population we found that physical activity was protective for cardiovascular risk," said Dr Dhana. "Overweight and obese participants were not at increased cardiovascular risk compared to those of normal weight. We do not refute the risk associated with obesity in the general population even though we did not find it in this older group. BMI may not be the best way to measure adiposity risk in the elderly." The researchers analysed the joint effect of physical activity and BMI. Compared to normal weight people with high physical activity levels (the ideal), overweight or obese individuals with high levels of physical activity were not at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, but overweight or obese people with low levels of physical activity had 1.33 and 1.35 times higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease, respectively. "Our results show that physical activity plays a crucial role in the health of middle age to elderly people," said Dr Dhana. "Those who are overweight and obese without adequate physical activity are at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease." Overweight and obesity exert harmful effects through adipose tissue which accelerates the atherosclerotic process and increases cardiovascular risk. Physical activity lowers the harmful effects of atherosclerosis by reducing the stabilisation of plaques on blood vessels and reducing the heart's oxygen demand. "People who engage in high levels of physical activity are protected from the harmful effects of adipose tissue on cardiovascular disease," said Dr Dhana. "This may be why we found that the beneficial impact of physical activity on cardiovascular disease outweighs the negative impact of BMI." The Rotterdam Study was an active population, with the 'low' and 'high' groups doing two and four hours of daily activity. This included biking and walking to the shops and housework. Dr Dhana said the important point was that the study compared the two groups and found that more activity was better for health. "Any physical activity is positive for cardiovascular health and in elderly people of all weights walking, biking and housework are good ways to keep moving," said Dr Dhana. "European guidelines recommend 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity physical activity to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease."2