News Article | May 12, 2017
As part of their shared commitment to bringing the knowledge and expertise of geriatrics to fellow healthcare professionals and the public, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) and the AGS Health in Aging Foundation this week congratulated two distinguished scholars who are the first recipients of the Thomas and Catherine Yoshikawa Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement in Clinical Investigation and the Jeffrey H. Silverstein Memorial Award for Emerging Investigators in the Surgical and Related Medical Specialties. The awards will be presented to Sei Lee, MD, MAS, a geriatrician, and Anne M. Suskind, MD, MS, a urologist, respectively, at the AGS 2017 Annual Scientific Meeting (#AGS17) in San Antonio, Texas, May 18-20. "We established these awards to recognize the many contributions that Thomas and Catherine Yoshikawa and the late Jeffrey Silverstein made to advancing research in health and aging," said Nancy Lundebjerg, Chief Executive Officer of the AGS and the Health in Aging Foundation. "Tom has worked tirelessly on behalf of the field of geriatrics for his entire career, and he and his wife, Catherine, were a formidable duo in insuring that the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society continued to serve as the premier forum for researchers on aging. Jeff, a geriatric anesthesiologist, was an early champion for increasing the geriatrics expertise of surgical and related medical specialists. He was a champion and mentor for the Jahnigen Career Development Awards and its successor program at the National Institute on Aging (NIA): GEMSSTAR. I am delighted at the outpouring of contributions for both these awards and pleased to see Dr. Lee and Dr. Suskind recognized as the inaugural recipients." Sei Lee, MD, MAS: Thomas and Catherine Yoshikawa Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement in Clinical Investigation Associate Professor in the Division of Geriatrics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Dr. Lee--the inaugural recipient of the Yoshikawa Award--is a Senior Scholar with the San Francisco VA Quality Scholars fellowship and rising research leader in targeting health care for older adults. Dr. Lee's presentation at #AGS17 focuses on individualizing preventive care for older men and women, and represents more than 10 years of work examining how the status of our personal health can be used to maximize benefits and minimize harms. Among other highlights, Dr. Lee's groundbreaking contributions started with a 2006 publication in JAMA describing a mortality prediction index, now widely known as the "Lee Index," for measuring function among older adults. Announced at the 2016 AGS Annual Scientific Meeting, the Thomas and Catherine Yoshikawa Award honors will support an annual awardee through 2033, specifically recognizing the research accomplishments of mid-career clinician-investigators directly involved in the care of older adults. "We believe it's so important to nurture geriatrics investigators and are delighted that the Yoshikawa Award does just that by recognizing exceptional accomplishments from colleagues like Dr. Lee, who is working to shape the future of geriatrics," noted Dr. Yoshikawa speaking on behalf of himself and his wife. "Dr. Lee is a skilled clinician and recognized scholar--a model for the type of leadership we hope to inspire at the AGS." Anne M. Suskind, MD, MS: Jeffrey H. Silverstein Memorial Award for Emerging Investigators in the Surgical and Related Medical Specialties An Assistant Professor of Urology at UCSF, Dr. Suskind will present findings at #AGS17 from a study of more than 37,600 individuals residing in nursing homes who underwent minor urologic surgery. Dr. Suskind and her team found that the majority of these older surgical candidates experienced functional declines and high rates of mortality in the year following surgery. Their work highlights the often overlooked importance of weighing risks and benefits of any type of surgery, no matter how small, in vulnerable populations like older adults. Dr. Suskind's clinical interests include urinary incontinence, vaginal mesh complications, urinary fistulas, interstitial cystitis, overactive bladder, neurourology, bladder dysfunction due to neurologic disease, and other forms of lower urinary tract dysfunction. Her clinical approach integrates surgical and nonsurgical management of these conditions, particularly when caring for older adults--a hallmark of the AGS's long-standing Geriatrics-for-Specialists Initiative (AGS GSI) and the Silverstein Award. Open to junior and mid-career investigators from a variety of surgical and related medical specialties, the Silverstein Award recognizes emerging investigators whose research is focused on the role of geriatrics expertise in their specialties, and who are committed to careers in aging research. "Ensuring that health professionals across all specialties embrace geriatrics was critical to how Jeff approached his work with the AGS GSI and how he mentored young scholars," said George W. Drach, MD, Emeritus Professor of Surgery at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. "Dr. Suskind's work is a perfect example of fusing specialist expertise in a field like urology with the high-quality, person-centered principles of geriatrics to promote health, independence, and quality of life." Founded in 1942, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) is a nationwide, not-for-profit society of geriatrics healthcare professionals that has--for 75 years--worked to improve the health, independence, and quality of life of older people. Its nearly 6,000 members include geriatricians, geriatric nurses, social workers, family practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, and internists. The Society provides leadership to healthcare professionals, policymakers, and the public by implementing and advocating for programs in patient care, research, professional and public education, and public policy. For more information, visit AmericanGeriatrics.org. The Health in Aging Foundation is a national non-profit established in 1999 by the American Geriatrics Society to bring the knowledge and expertise of geriatrics healthcare professionals to the public. We are committed to ensuring that people are empowered to advocate for high-quality care by providing them with trustworthy information and reliable resources. Last year, we reached nearly 1 million people with our resources through HealthinAging.org. We also help nurture current and future geriatrics leaders by supporting opportunities to attend educational events and increase exposure to principles of excellence on caring for older adults. For more information or to support the Foundation's work, visit HealthinAgingFoundation.org. The AGS Annual Scientific Meeting is the premier educational event in geriatrics, providing the latest information on clinical care, research on aging, and innovative models of care delivery. More than 2,500 nurses, pharmacists, physicians, physician assistants, social workers, long-term care and managed care providers, healthcare administrators, and others will convene May 18-20, 2017 (pre-conference program on May 17), at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas, to advance geriatrics knowledge and skills through state-of-the-art educational sessions and research presentations. For more information, visit AmericanGeriatrics.org.
News Article | February 21, 2017
PHILADELPHIA -- It is commonly known that testosterone levels decrease as men age, but until last year, little was known about the effects of testosterone treatment in older men with low testosterone. Today, in a group of papers published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers found that testosterone treatment improved bone density and anemia for men over 65 with unequivocally low testosterone. However, testosterone treatment did not improve cognitive function, and it increased the amount of plaque buildup in participants' coronary arteries. A team of researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and twelve other medical centers in the United States, in partnership with the National Institute on Aging, conducted The Testosterone Trials (TTrials), a coordinated group of seven trials, which studied the effects of testosterone treatment for one year as compared to placebo for men 65 and older with low testosterone. The first paper, which reported that testosterone treatment improved sexual function and mood, was published in February 2016. Today's publications of the Bone, Anemia, Cognition and Cardiovascular Trials conclude the primary results of the study. Researchers found that testosterone treatment improved bone density and estimated bone strength, as determined by quantitative computed tomography (CT). The treatment also increased hemoglobin concentrations, corrected the anemia of men who had no other identifiable cause of anemia and corrected the anemia of men who had an identifiable cause, such as iron deficiency. While these conclusions proved testosterone to be beneficial to the participants, testosterone treatment did not improve memory or any other measure of cognitive function. "The paper reporting the results of the first three trials published last year was the first to show there were advantages to giving testosterone treatment to older men with low testosterone levels, and the bone and anemia trial results further support a benefit," said the principal investigator Peter J. Snyder, MD, a professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. "However, the increase of plaque buildup in the coronary artery shows that this treatment may also have some risk" In the cardiovascular trial, researchers assessed coronary artery plaque buildup by CT angiography. That assessment showed more plaque buildup in men treated with testosterone than in men treated with placebo. Nonetheless, in all 788 men in the TTrials, the number of major adverse cardiovascular events was similar in the men treated with testosterone as in the men treated with placebo. However, Snyder added, "treating 788 men for one year is far too few to draw conclusions about the clinical significance of the increase in coronary artery plaque volume and the cardiovascular risk of testosterone treatment." The TTrials are now the largest trials to examine the efficacy of testosterone treatment in men 65 and older whose testosterone levels are low due seemingly to age alone. TTrials researchers screened 51,085 men to find 790 who qualified with a sufficiently low testosterone level and who met other criteria. The men enrolled were randomized into two groups: one to take a daily testosterone gel and the other a daily placebo gel, for one year. Efficacy was then evaluated at months three, six, nine and 12. "Final decisions about testosterone treatment for older men will depend on balancing the results from these seven TTrials with the results from a much larger and longer term trial designed to assess cardiovascular and prostate risk in the future," said Snyder. The TTrials were conducted at 12 additional medical centers across the country including Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Puget Sound Health Care System, University of California at San Diego School of Medicine, University of Florida School of Medicine, University of Minnesota School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health, and Yale School of Medicine. The Testosterone Trials were supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Institutes of Health (U01 AG030644). The TTrials were also supplemented by funds from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. AbbVie (formerly Solvay and Abbott Laboratories) also provided funding, AndroGel, and placebo gel. Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise. The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year. The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine. Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.
News Article | February 15, 2017
ANN ARBOR, MI - The number of older Americans who take three or more medicines that affect their brains has more than doubled in just a decade, a new study finds. The sharpest rise occurred in seniors living in rural areas, where the rate of doctor visits by seniors taking combinations of such drugs - opioids, antidepressants, tranquilizers and antipsychotics - more than tripled. This "polypharmacy" of drugs that act on the central nervous system is concerning, the researchers say, because of the special risks to older adults that come with combining multiple such medications. Falls - and the injuries that can result from them - are the chief concern, along with problems with driving, memory and thinking. Combining opioid painkillers with certain other brain-affecting drugs such as benzodiazepine tranquilizers is of particular concern, recently receiving the strongest possible warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration due to an increased risk of death from combined use. Publishing in JAMA Internal Medicine, the team from the University of Michigan and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System reports findings from their analysis of data collected from a representative sample of doctors' offices between 2004 and 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While only 0.6 percent of doctor visits by people over the age of 65 involved three or more CNS-affecting drugs in 2004, the number had risen to 1.4 percent in 2013. If that percentage is applied to the entire U.S. senior population, that means 3.68 million doctor visits a year involve seniors taking three or more CNS drugs. "The rise we saw in these data may reflect the increased willingness of seniors to seek help and accept medication for mental health conditions - but it's also concerning because of the risks of combining these medications," says Donovan Maust, M.D., M.S., the study's lead author and a geriatric psychiatrist at Michigan Medicine, the U-M academic medical center. Also concerning: nearly half of seniors taking these drug combinations did not appear to have a formal diagnosis of a mental health condition, insomnia or pain condition - the three chief types of issues they're usually prescribed for. "We hope that the newer prescribing guidelines for older adults encourage providers and patients to reconsider the potential risks and benefits from these combinations," he says. In 2015, the American Geriatrics Society updated its guideline for the use of prescription drugs in older people, called the 2015 Beers Criteria. Some of the CNS medication groups have been on the Beers Criteria since it was first published in 1997, but this update is the first to raise concern about CNS polypharmacy as potentially inappropriate. Other work on CNS drugs alone or in combination Maust, who is an assistant professor of psychiatry at the U-M Medical School, also recently published two other papers on the use of CNS drugs in older people with colleagues from U-M and VAAHS. In the December issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, they reported that 5.6 percent of doctor visits by people aged 65 or older included a prescription for a benzodiazepine tranquilizer in 2010. More than a quarter of those visits also included a prescription for an antidepressant, and 10 percent included a prescription for an opioid drug. Only 16 percent of those who were continuing to receive a benzodiazepine prescription had a diagnosis of a mental health condition. Almost none were referred to psychotherapy. The data for this study came from the same source as the JAMA Internal Medicine study, the CDC's National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, though it focused on the years 2007 through 2010. "Prescribing of benzodiazepines to older adults continues despite decades of evidence showing safety concerns, effective alternative treatments, and effective methods for tapering even chronic users," says Maust. Meanwhile, in a paper published online-first in Psychiatric Services in January, they report that more than half of 231 older patients who had been prescribed an antidepressant for depression by their primary care doctor for depression (as opposed to off-label use for sleep, for example) did not actually meet the criteria for Major Depressive Disorder. The patients were participating in a randomized controlled trial aimed at improving depression outcomes and are not considered a representative sample of older Americans, but Maust and his colleagues note that their findings could indicate an over-prescribing trend. Maust and his colleague Helen Kales, M.D. also wrote an invited commentary in JAMA Internal Medicine in January, about the use of CNS drugs to "medicate distress" in older people. In addition to Maust and Kales, the authors of the JAMA Internal Medicine research letter are Lauren B. Gerlach, D.O., Anastasia Gibson, and Frederic Blow, Ph.D. of U-M, and Mark Olfson, M.D., M.P.H. of Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Ilse Wiechers, M.D., M.P.P., M.H.S., of Yale University co-authored the benzodiazepine study. Maust, Kales and Blow are members of the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation and the VA Center for Clinical Management Research. Blow is the director of the U-M Addiction Center and Kales directs the Program for Positive Aging. The study was supported by a National Institute on Aging Beeson Career Development Award (NIA K08AG048321, AFAR, The John A. Hartford Foundation, and The Atlantic Philanthropies)
News Article | February 15, 2017
NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Feb 13, 2017) - The New IP Agency (NIA), the not-for-profit independent initiative that provides information, education, analysis, community services and testing to support and accelerate the development of a global economy based on open, advanced, virtualized IP networks, is a 2017 Platinum AVA Digital Award Winner in the Non-Profit Category. The AVA Digital Awards is an international competition that recognizes excellence by creative professionals responsible for the planning, concept, direction, design and production of digital communication. Work ranges from digital engagement campaigns, audio and video production, website development, social media interaction and mobile marketing. "We are thrilled that the NIA is being recognized for its success within its first year of operation," says Steve Vogelsang, CTO of IP and Optical Networks at Nokia and the President of the NIA. "The NIA has lots of exciting initiatives planned for 2017. The organization continues to grow and now includes more than 35 participating companies." The NIA was launched in January 2016 and has conducted 20 VNF interoperability evaluations for more than 15 member companies. It also hosted a successful live interoperability demo at Light Reading's Big Communications Event in Austin, Texas, with 14 companies of the organization. Service provider members of the organization include Boingo Wireless, Bright House Networks, Colt, Cox Communications, Hibernia Networks, Deutsche Telekom, Laser Light Communications, Orange, Time Warner Cable and XO Communications. To learn more about the New IP Agency, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. About the New IP Agency The New IP Agency (NIA) (www.newipagency.com) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) (pending IRS approval) independent initiative providing information, education, analysis, community services and testing to support and accelerate the development of a global economy based on open, advanced, virtualized IP networks. Light Reading (www.lightreading.com) combines its research-led online communities and targeted events portfolio to help those in the global communications industry make informed decisions. Lightreading.com is the ultimate source for telecom analysis for more than 350,000 subscribers each month, leading the media sector in terms of traffic, content and reputation. Light Reading produces targeted communications events and focused one-day conferences each year for cable, mobile and wireline executives across five continents.
News Article | February 23, 2017
Leading vendor joins industry effort to advance and accelerate the development and benefits of network virtualization NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Feb 23, 2017) - Today the New IP Agency (NIA) welcomed Ericsson AB as its newest member. The New IP Agency (NIA) is an international non-profit organization that provides information, education, analysis, community services and independent testing to support and accelerate the development of a global economy based on open, advanced, virtualized New IP networks. The NIA's community of virtualization professionals is dedicated to working with today's standards to create proven methodologies that will reduce or eliminate the need for costly, time-consuming and repetitive tests. Currently, service providers duplicate interoperability tests, often for the same technologies and functions -- a process that takes up invaluable resources; adds to the sales cycle; and may reduce service providers' interest in better, newer offerings. Through the NIA's Technical Advisory Committee, Ericsson will help steer NIA's focus areas, including how service providers and vendors can work toward interoperability between the more than three-dozen standards currently operating within the virtualization ecosystem. "Ericsson is proud to join the NIA and help drive its independent work in accelerating the global development of telecoms. The new paradigm of innovative and open virtualized networks requires new ways of working with dimensioning, commissioning and support, and we are delighted to share our expertise and experience in these areas," says Martin Bäckström, vice president of the CTO Office and head of IT strategy at Ericsson AB. "Ericsson's decision to join NIA is a historic moment for our organization. Together with Cisco, Huawei and Nokia, we now count all four of the leading NFV solution providers as members, accelerating the NIA's ability to move quickly to resolve the virtualization industry's most challenging interoperability issues," said Stephen Saunders, CEO of Light Reading. Founded in 2016, NIA works with service provider and developer members on interoperability concerns amongst more than three-dozen standards and industry groups addressing virtualization. Through independent testing via partner EANTC and marketing with partner Light Reading, NIA members share knowledge and customer insight to improve product integration, performance and profitability. Ericsson joins other leading developers, including Brocade, Cisco, Dell, ECI, Huawei, Juniper, Nokia, Mitel and ZTE. A full list of the NIA's membership may be found here. For information about NIA, please contact Info@NewIPAgency.com. ABOUT THE NEW IP AGENCY The New IP Agency (NIA) (www.newipagency.com) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) (pending IRS approval) independent initiative providing information, education, analysis, community services and testing to support and accelerate the development of a global economy based on open, advanced, virtualized IP networks.
News Article | March 2, 2017
(Boston)--To better predict, study and diagnose small vessel disease in the brain and its role in vascular contributions to cognitive impairment and dementia (VCID), Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) has been selected to participate in MarkVCID, a consortium designed to accelerate the development of new and existing biomarkers for small vessel VCID. The five-year program, developed by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), in collaboration with the National Institute on Aging (NIA), includes seven research groups across the country collaborating to develop and validate candidate biomarkers for cerebral small vessel disease. BUSM will receive more than $5 million over the course of this project. Covert small vessel disease (SVD) of the brain increases the risk of stroke, dementia and death while impairing quality of life by affecting mood and gait. Currently there is no prevention or treatment methods aimed specifically at the disease, beyond controlling for hypertension. Under the direction of BUSM Principal Investigator Sudha Seshadri, MD, the researchers plan to measure two circulating biomarkers of microglial (cells in the brain and spinal cord) inflammation (sCD-14 and YKL-40) and a marker of astroglial (star shaped brain cells) injury (GFAP) in approximately 17,000 persons enrolled in the Framingham Heart Study as well as four other cohorts that are members of the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) consortium. They will then assess the additional value of the new biomarkers over previously established clinical, circulating and vascular risk factors. "The team-based approach taken by the consortium allows us to study candidate biomarkers across different clinical settings at multiple institutions," said Roderick Corriveau, PhD, program director, NINDS. "Ultimately, we hope to develop a gold standard to identify cerebral small vessel disease early enough to intervene with treatment." The second phase of the project is expected to begin in approximately two years and will involve the dissemination of those biomarkers showing the greatest potential to all consortium sites. The goal is to deliver small vessel VCID biomarkers that are ready for phase II and phase III clinical trials. Boston University School of Medicine began as the New England Women's Medical College in 1848 and was incorporated as Boston University School of Medicine in 1873. A leading academic and research institution with an enrollment of approximately 700 medical-degree students and 950 graduate students pursuing master's and doctoral degrees, the school has approximately 1,240 full- and part-time faculty members. One of the major biomedical research institutions in the United States, it is renowned for its programs in cardiovascular disease, cancer, pulmonary and infectious diseases, dermatology, arthritis, pediatrics and geriatrics, among others. In the vanguard of research activities, BUSM faculty contribute to more than 950 active grants and contracts, and provide clinical leadership for the Framingham Heart Study, the largest epidemiological study in the world. Its teaching affiliates include Boston Medical Center, the Boston VA Healthcare System, Kaiser Permanente in northern California and Roger Williams Medical Center in Rhode Island. For more information, please visit http://www.
News Article | February 21, 2017
LOS ANGELES -- Research published today found testosterone treatment improved bone density and anemia for men over 65 with low testosterone. But the treatment didn't improve patients' cognitive function, and it increased the amount of plaque buildup in participants' coronary arteries, according to four studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and JAMA Internal Medicine. A team of researchers from LA BioMed and 12 other medical centers in the U.S., in partnership with the National Institute on Aging, conducted The Testosterone Trials (TTrials), a coordinated group of seven trials, which studied the effects of testosterone treatment for one year as compared to placebo for men 65 and older with low testosterone. Four of those studies were published today. "While we have long known that testosterone levels decrease as men age, very little was known about the effects of testosterone treatment in older men with low testosterone until last year," said Ronald S. Swerdloff, MD, an LA BioMed researcher and co-author of the four studies. "Our first published research last year found benefits to testosterone treatment, and this latest series of studies finds further benefits in terms of improving bone density and anemia. However, the cardiovascular study showed that the testosterone treatment group had increased plaque buildup in coronary arteries, suggesting a possible risk factor." In the cardiovascular trial, researchers assessed coronary artery plaque buildup by CT angiography. That assessment showed more plaque buildup in men treated with testosterone than in men treated with placebo. Nonetheless, in all 788 men in the TTrials, the number of major adverse cardiovascular events was similar in the men treated with testosterone as in the men treated with placebo. "We want to emphasize that this study was exploratory and emphasizes the need for a large-scale, well-controlled, long-term safety trial to determine if there is an increased risk of heart damage or death," Dr. Swerdloff said. "As with all medications the physician and patient need to balance the benefits and risks of treatment." Dr. Christina Wang, an LA BioMed researcher and co-author of the four studies, noted that the researchers also found that testosterone treatment improved bone density and estimated bone strength, as determined by CT. "After one year of treatment, older men with low testosterone significantly increased bone density and estimated bone strength compared to those on placebo," said Dr. Wang. "A larger and longer trial would be needed to determine if testosterone treatment reduces fracture risk." Testosterone treatment also increased hemoglobin concentrations, corrected the anemia of men who had no other identifiable cause of anemia and corrected the anemia of men who had an identifiable cause, such as iron deficiency. While these conclusions proved testosterone to be beneficial to the participants, testosterone treatment did not improve memory or any other measure of cognitive function. "As a result of these findings, physicians may wish to consider measuring testosterone in men age 65 and older who have unexplained anemia and symptoms suggestive of low testosterone levels," said Dr. Swerdloff. The TTrials are now the largest trials to examine the efficacy of testosterone treatment in men 65 and older whose testosterone levels are low due seemingly to age alone. TTrials researchers screened 51,085 men to find 790 who qualified with a sufficiently low testosterone level and who met other criteria. The men enrolled were randomized into two groups: one to take a daily testosterone gel and the other a daily placebo gel, for one year. Efficacy was then evaluated at months three, six, nine and 12. "Final decisions about testosterone treatment for older men will depend on balancing the results from these seven TTrials with the results from a much larger and longer term trial designed to assess cardiovascular and prostate risk in the future," said principal investigator Peter J. Snyder, MD, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. In addition to LA BioMed and University of Pennsylvania, the TTrials were conducted at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Puget Sound Health Care System, University of California at San Diego School of Medicine, University of Florida School of Medicine, University of Minnesota School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health and Yale School of Medicine. The Testosterone Trials were supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Institutes of Health (U01 AG030644). The TTrials were also supplemented by funds from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. AbbVie (formerly Solvay and Abbott Laboratories) also provided funding, AndroGel, and placebo gel. Founded in 1952, LA BioMed is one of the country's leading nonprofit independent biomedical research institutes. It has approximately 100 principal researchers conducting studies into improved treatments and therapies for cancer, inherited diseases, infectious diseases, illnesses caused by environmental factors and more. It also educates young scientists and provides community services, including prenatal counseling and childhood nutrition programs. LA BioMed is academically affiliated with the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and located on the campus of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. For more information, please visit http://www.
News Article | February 15, 2017
Put down the cake. Going on a permanent diet could make you live longer, if findings from monkeys hold true for people. A long-running trial in macaques has found that calorie restriction makes them live about three years longer than normal, which would translate to about nine years in people. Such a strict diet might not be for everyone, but understanding the mechanisms behind any benefits of calorie restriction may one day lead to anti-ageing medicines, says Julie Mattison at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) in Baltimore, Maryland. “The goal is to improve human health,” she says. Many studies have shown that calorie restriction extends lifespan for lab organisms, from yeast through to worms, flies and mice. This has prompted a few thousand people to choose to restrict their calories to between 1500 to 1800 kcal a day (women and men are usually advised to consume 2000 and 2500 kcal, respectively). Their hope is it will give them longer and healthier lives, and there’s some evidence that such people have better blood cholesterol and glucose levels. But it’s unclear if the approach can really lengthen the lives of long-lived animals like us. Two trials of calorie restriction in macaques, which live around 26 years in captivity, have until now produced conflicting results. The trials were set up in the late 1980s, and not all the monkeys have died yet. But an interim report from one group, based at the University of Wisconsin, previously found that the monkeys on a restricted diet were indeed living longer than the control group. However, the second study, run by the NIA, found there was no difference in the survival rates of their animals, which cast doubt on the entire premise. Now the teams have compared their most recent results and their analysis backs the earlier trial that had positive findings. The NIA study, on the other hand, had several problems, including issues with some of the control monkeys eating fewer calories than expected, and some of the animals beginning their restricted diet as juveniles – which reduces lifespan. Even so, in the NIA trial, four of the monkeys that began the diet as adults lived to be over 40, breaking all known records for macaques – an observation which may cheer those who practise calorie restriction. However, picking out single results like this from a larger study isn’t good evidence, says Mattison. In the Wisconsin trial, animals did live significantly longer than controls – calorie-restricted males lived about two years longer, while calorie-restricted females lived about six years longer. There were also lower rates of heart disease and cancer in these monkeys. These are the major causes of death in people, lending support to the idea that the results apply to humans, says Luigi Fontana of the University of Brescia in Italy. However, Brian Delaney, who is president of the Calorie Restriction Society, an organisation that supports the practice in people, says some who follow this diet are disappointed by the relatively modest benefits in monkeys compared with mice, which have lived up to 50 per cent longer than normal. “Is it worth it?” asks Delaney. “My choice is to do it. But I’m so used to the diet that it really isn’t very difficult for me anymore.” Delaney has been practising calorie restriction for 24 years. Until someone is used to it, the diet involves planning every meal with precision, and side effects can include feeling cold and reduced libido.
News Article | January 21, 2017
The practice of restricting calories has often been wrapped in controversy — and now a new set of findings reveal that it helps monkeys live healthier, longer lives. A long-running monkey trial concluded that calorie restriction made them live around three years longer than usual, translating to about nine years in humans. While a calorie-restricted diet may not be the right fit for everyone, better understanding the mechanisms behind its potential benefits may lead to anti-aging solutions in the future, according to Julie Mattison of the National Institute on Aging. “The goal is to improve human health,” said Mattison in a New Scientist report. Previous research has demonstrated how calorie restriction extends lab organisms’ lifespan, from mice to worms. Many individuals have tried keeping their daily count from 1,500 to 1,800 kilocalories, whereas the usual recommendations are 2,500 kcal for men and 2,000 for women. Two trials on the controversial matter had stood out. The studies on nearly 200 macaques, which usually live up to 26 years in captivity, were established in the late 1980s and yielded seemingly conflicting results. The group from University of Wisconsin-Madison reported in 2009 that the monkeys on a restricted intake were living longer than the control group and having significant reductions in cancer, heart disease, and insulin resistance, while the NIA team found in 2012 the same trend toward better health but no difference in the animals’ survival rates. “These conflicting outcomes had cast a shadow of doubt on the translatability of the caloric-restriction paradigm as a means to understand aging and what creates age-related disease vulnerability,” said study author and UW-Madison associate professor of medicine Rozalyn Anderson. The two teams recently compared their conflicting results and previous analyses, and now the positive findings emerged stronger. The NIA research, for one, faced several issues: some control monkeys eating fewer-than-expected calories, and some creatures started their calorie restriction as youngsters, therefore facing reduced lifespan. In the NIA trial, too, it is worth noting that four of the monkeys that started the diet during adulthood exceeded age 40 and broke longevity records in their species. A previous study, this time conducted in humans, showed that non-obese individuals have better mood and overall health with 25 percent calorie restriction. Studying 218 human subjects, a Pennington Biomedical Research Center team found that the calorie-restricted group shed 15.2 percent of body weight at the end of the first year. After two years, the researchers compared results with their baseline data and saw that the same group had an average weight loss of 16.7 pounds, while the control group lost only less than a pound. The calorie-restricted group also showed better mood and sleep, sexual drive, and overall health. The new findings may not yet be the final word on whether the diet indeed makes one live longer. Luigi Fontana from Italy’s University of Brescia pointed to the calorie-restricted monkeys’ lower rates of cancer and heart disease — the major causes of death in humans — as the one actually lending support to the idea that the benefits also apply to people. Brian Delaney, who chairs the Calorie Restriction Society and practicing calorie restriction for over two decades now, said the dietary restriction already comes easy for him. For others, however, it could mean very precise planning of meals, and it may not necessarily be all that helpful. “I’m not at all certain that people who are a healthy body weight should restrict to some emaciation level. Life might seem longer, but it wouldn’t necessarily be longer,” explained aging expert Steve Austad from the University of Alabama. Researchers of the report, discussing their findings in the journal Nature Communications, delved on the seeming promise of the diet on slowing aging. “[I]t puts emphasis now on the idea of aging itself being a druggable target,” Anderson added. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
News Article | January 19, 2017
"Eat modestly and live longer" seems to be the message from a new study that tracked the food habits and linkages of rhesus monkeys with regard to their healthy life and longevity. In the collaborative study, teams from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and National Institute on Aging worked together to resolve the controversial aspect of aging research. The joint effort came after the two groups had a varied conclusion on the same topic in the past. In the new study, the competing groups showed that the less the monkeys ate, the more they lived. The main takeaway from the study was the importance of caloric restriction in bringing about positive consequences on aging and health. At the same time, it noted that in primates like monkeys, other factors like age, diet and sex also matter in optimizing the benefits of lower caloric intake. Commenting on the findings of the study, one of the authors clarified that cutting food is not a life style recommendation. "It's a research tool, not a lifestyle recommendation. We are not studying it so people can go out and do it, but to delve into the underlying causes of age-related disease susceptibility," said Rozalyn Anderson, an assistant professor who was part of the study. The underlying cause is only looking at how a restricted diet alters the metabolism and energy in the body. The UW-Madison has been engaged in the study for more than two decades to trace the links between food calories and aging-related disease susceptibilities. The university had been keeping a group of rhesus monkeys under observation in which half of them were allowed to eat whatever they want. In the other group, restrictions were clamped and the animals were fed nutritious food but calories were slashed by almost 30 percent compared with the other group. The new report has come out 25 years after the study started and found that monkeys on unrestricted diets posed three times greater risk of age-related death and diseases than those on regulated calories. Over the years, many monkeys died and the scientists documented how each one of them died and their food patterns. Out of the 38 monkeys that died, 28 were from the unrestricted diet on age-related causes compared with just 10 from the restricted group. The diseases ranged from cardiovascular, diabetes, cancer, brain atrophy, sarcopenia and bone loss. The UW-Madison study in 2009 reported tangible benefits in survival and reductions in cancer and other disorders for monkeys that ate frugally, compared with their gluttonous peers. However, the NIA study in 2012 took a different stand and noted there was no significant improvement in survival from restricted intake though a trend toward improved health could be noticed. Commenting on the erstwhile polarized views, one of the corresponding authors said the variation was the result of not touching other variables that impinged on aging and calorie-related discourse on primates. In the new study, those areas have been touched. "These conflicting outcomes had cast a shadow of doubt on the translatability of the caloric restriction paradigm as a means to understand aging and what creates age-related disease vulnerability," said Anderson, one of the corresponding authors. While working together, the teams analyzed data from many years including those of 200 monkeys from both studies. The broad analysis convinced the scientists the reason why the studies had different results. The role of caloric restriction in aging and disease was unmistakable. Yet, the effects of the same on primates also depended on factors like diet, age and sex. The findings of the study on rhesus monkeys also have a bearing on the long debate on caloric restriction and its spillover on humans. In the 1930s, tests on lab rats showed that longer lives and a decrease in disease are rooted in a few calories. Those findings were further buttressed by studies on worms, yeast, flies and mice showing the potential for longer life expectancy with regulated food practices. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.