smaller medium larger Could Oral Contraceptives Help Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Saturday, September 05, 2015
Oral contraceptives -- also known as birth control pills -- may ease pain and improve functioning in women with rheumatoid arthritis, a small German study suggests.

"Women with inflammatory arthritis who were currently using oral contraceptives or who had used them in the past, presented with better patient-reported outcomes within the first two years of arthritis," the study authors wrote.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which the body's immune system attacks the joints, resulting in pain and swelling. About 1.3 million people in the United States have rheumatoid arthritis, and of these, nearly 75 percent are women, according to the American College of Rheumatology.

Dr. Waseem Mir, a rheumatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, noted, "We have to take the findings of the study with great caution." Mir was not involved in the current study, but reviewed its findings.

One reason he cited for the note of caution is that all of the data were self-reported by patients, so it's not clear that all the participants in the study actually had rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers only saw an association, not a cause-and-effect link, between birth control pill use and lessened rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

Mir also pointed out the potential risks of oral contraceptives. "Certain patients with inflammatory arthritis may increase their risk of blood clots by going on oral contraceptives," Mir said.

The report was published Aug. 20 in Arthritis Care & Research.

The researchers, led by Dr. Katinka Albrecht from the German Rheumatism Research Centre in Berlin, reviewed data on 273 women with rheumatoid arthritis. The women were between 18 and 60 years old, the study said.

The researchers found that 18 percent had never used the birth control pill, 63 percent had used it in the past, and 19 percent were taking it at the time of the study. None of the women had taken hormone replacement therapy, the study noted.

The progression of the disease was not affected by birth control use, the study found. But women who had used or were using the pill had better scores on standard measures of rheumatoid arthritis than women who had never used the pill, the researchers said.

Albrecht's group also found that women who had used or were using oral contraceptives -- especially those with impaired function -- relied less on steroid treatment than women who hadn't used the pill.

The researchers speculated that the beneficial effect of oral contraceptives may be due to increasing the levels of estrogen, which may have a positive effect on mood. Whether boosting estrogen levels also helps reduce the inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis isn't clear, they said.


Diabetes drug may help in leukaemia

Saturday, September 05, 2015

A drug used to treat diabetes could help in the fight against blood cancer, early research in the journal Nature suggests.

An international team of scientists gave the drug to patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia, alongside standard treatment.

Those who received the combination therapy were more likely to be free of the disease for longer.

Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) is a rare blood cancer.

Boosting treatment

About 600 people are diagnosed with the condition each year in the UK.

Though a number of successful treatments exist, they do not help every patient and some become resistant to conventional therapy.

In this study, scientists gave a combination of the anti-diabetic drug pioglitazone and standard treatment to 24 patients whose CML remained active despite receiving conventional drugs.

After 12 months, more than 50% of the patients given the combination treatment were in remission.

And the first three patients to be given the drug had no reoccurrences of cancer in the five years that followed.

Scientists hope this combination therapy approach may prove helpful for other similar cancers.

Patients with untreated CML make excessive numbers of abnormal white blood cells.

Over time, these can crowd out the normal white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets a person has, making it harder for patients to mount a defence against infections and causing some people to bleed more easily.

The current standard treatment includes therapies such as imatinib.

Prof Peter Johnson, Cancer Research UK's chief clinician, said: "The outlook for people with chronic myeloid leukaemia has improved dramatically since the introduction of drugs like imatinib.

"But for some patients these drugs aren't always effective. This study is an interesting example of how understanding the biology of cancer stem cells could help improve treatment for these patients.

"However, this is early stage research and only a small number of patients have been studied. It will be interesting to see if this combination is also successful in larger clinical trials."

Other experts add that the side-effects of pioglitazone would also have to be taken into account if this treatment were to be offered in routine care.


Cure for mitochondrial diseases steps closer with stem cell breakthrough

Saturday, September 05, 2015

A large group of scientists - including teams from Oregon Health & Science University in Portland and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA - has successfully converted skin cells from patients with mitochondrial diseases into disease-free stem cells.

In the journal Nature, they describe how they developed and tested two different but complementary cell reprogramming methods to generate mutation-free lines of stem cells from human patients with mitochondrial diseases.

The idea is that the stem cells can then be used to generate disease-free heart, brain, muscle and eye cells.

However, until stem cell technology is safe enough for transplanting into patients, in the short term, the methods are likely to be confined to research.

Senior author Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a professor in Salk's Gene Expression Laboratory, says the methods will be a great boon to basic research. They will help scientists examine more closely the difference between cells with mitochondrial mutations and healthy cells.

Estimates suggest around 1 in 4,000 people has mitochondrial disease, a group of inherited, chronic illnesses that arise from any one of 200 mutations in mitochondrial DNA that are passed on from mother to child. The diseases can be present at birth or develop later in life.

Mitochondria are tiny enclosures inside cells that produce energy from food. They have their own DNA that is separate from the main DNA in the cell nucleus, and unlike nuclear DNA, comes only from the egg (not the sperm).

Mutations in mitochondrial DNA leave cells without enough energy to develop and function properly. This leads to progressive, severe physical, developmental, and cognitive disabilities, with symptoms ranging from poor growth, muscle weakness, pain and loss of coordination, to seizures, blindness, hearing loss, learning difficulties and organ failure.

Treatments that can ease some of the symptoms or slow the progression of mitochondrial diseases do exist, but as yet, none can cure them.

Earlier this year, the UK took the decision to allow the creation of embryos from three people. But, while that would prevent children being born with mitochondrial disease, it does not help people who already have the condition.


More men with breast cancer are opting for double mastectomy

Thursday, September 03, 2015

The number of men with invasive cancer in one breast who undergo surgery to remove both breasts is on the rise, according to a new report published in JAMA Surgery.

The report, written by researchers from the American Cancer Society and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, is the first to establish this trend, which mirrors a rise in the amount of U.S women also having the surgery for unilateral breast cancer over the last 20 years. However, researchers say there is a lack of evidence to support any survival benefit as a result of having both the affected and unaffected breasts removed.

Previous studies have shown a significant increase in the number of contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM) procedures to remove both breasts in cases where women have invasive cancer in one breast. In 1998, about 2.2% of these women underwent the surgery, but this figure rose to 11% in 2011. However, it is unknown whether the use of CPM to treat male breast cancer, which accounts for around 1% of all breast cancer cases, is also increasing.

To explore whether this is the case, Jemal and colleagues looked into the treatment received by 6,332 men who underwent surgery for unilateral invasive breast cancer between 2004 and 2011. The team used nationwide data from the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries to examine the temporal trends in and factors associated with the use of CPM among the study population.

The results showed that the rates of CPM almost doubled between 2004 and 2011, from 3.0% to 5.6%. Further analysis showed that the sociodemographic factors associated with the increase were being white, younger age and having private insurance – the same factors that are linked to an increased use of CPM among women.

Study links brain tangles and diabetes independently of Alzheimer's

Thursday, September 03, 2015

The study was based on data from the US Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. It looked at the relationship between type 2 diabetes and the loss of brain cells and their connections, the levels of beta-amyloid and tangles of protein in the spinal fluid of the participants.

Beta-amyloid are plaques on the brain that are a principal feature of Alzheimer's disease, while tangles are the abnormal twisting of the cellular filaments that hold the neuron in its proper shape. These tangles are caused by an aberrant form of a protein known as tau.

Study author Dr. Velandai Srikanth, an associate professor and specialist senior geriatrician within neurosciences at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, says that "evidence shows that people with type 2 diabetes have double the risk of developing dementia."

The study aimed to understand how diseases like diabetes may directly or indirectly affect brain cell death. It involved 816 people of an average age of 74.

Of those included in the study, 397 had mild cognitive impairment (MCI), 191 had Alzheimer's disease, 228 had no memory and thinking problems and 124 had diabetes.

The buildup of tangles may contribute to loss of brain tissue

The study finds that greater levels of tau in spinal fluid may reflect a greater build-up of these tangles.

On average, those in the study with diabetes had 16 picograms per milliliter greater levels of the tau protein in the spinal and brain fluid regardless of whether they had been diagnosed with dementia. It is these tangles, according to Dr. Srikanth, that may eventually contribute to the development of dementia.

The study also found that a reduced thickness of the cortex - the layer of the brain with most nerve cells - was also associated with diabetes. Regardless of the presence of thinking and memory problems, MCI or dementia as a result of Alzheimer's, people with diabetes had cortical tissue that was an average of 0.03 millimeters less than those who did not have the condition.

Dr. Srikanath adds that a cause-and-effect relationship between diabetes and brain tangles is not determined as the study looked at participants' data at only one point in time.

High Glucose Levels Raise Colon Cancer Risk in Women

Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Older women who have high levels of serum glucose are at increased risk for colorectal cancer, a longitudinal study found.

Compared with postmenopausal women whose glucose levels were in the lowest tertile, those in the highest tertile had a multivariable adjusted hazard ratio for colorectal cancer of 1.74 (95% CI 0.97 to 3.15, P for trend=0.06), according to Geoffrey C. Kabat, MD, of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and colleagues.

And the risk was even higher when the analysis was specifically for colon cancer (HR 2.25, 95% CI 1.12 to 4.51, P for trend=0.02), they reported online in the British Journal of Cancer.
Action Points  
  • In this study, older women who had high levels of serum glucose were at increased risk for colorectal cancer.

  • Note that unlike glucose, baseline levels of insulin and the insulin resistance index were not associated with an increased risk of colorectal or colon cancer.

Although obesity and related conditions such as diabetes and the metabolic syndrome have been linked with colorectal cancer, it has not been known whether the risk relates to levels of circulating insulin or glucose.

Insulin theoretically could contribute in that it is anti-apoptotic and mitogenic, whereas glucose might increase the risk by providing an energy source for malignant cells, the researchers explained.

But the results of epidemiologic studies looking at a possible link between insulin and glucose levels have had inconsistent findings, possibly because of differences in types of study as well as in populations and risk factors.

So to examine this prospectively, Kabat and colleagues analyzed data from a subset of women participating in the Women's Health Initiative who had baseline and serial follow-up measurements of fasting serum glucose and insulin.

Covariates in the analysis included age, body mass index (BMI), alcohol consumption, physical activity, ethnicity, and family history of colorectal cancer.

During a median of 11.9 years, there were 81 cases of colorectal cancer among the cohort of 4,902 women.

A total of 65 of the cases were colon cancer, in six the malignancy was the rectosigmoid junction, and in 10 the cancer was rectal.

Compared with women who did not develop colorectal cancer, those who did were older by about two years, were more often white, and were less likely to be physically active.

Unlike glucose, which had a "robust" association, baseline levels of insulin and the insulin resistance index were not associated with an increased risk of colorectal or colon cancer, according to the researchers.

After mutual adjustment for glucose and insulin, the hazard ratio for the highest tertile of glucose versus the lowest was 1.72 (95% CI 0.94 to 3.15, P for trend=0.07), while the hazard ratio for insulin was 0.88 (95% CI 0.47 to 1.65, P for trend=0.70).

The hazard ratio for each 1 mg/dL−1 of glucose was 1.031 (95% CI 1.009 to 1.054, P for trend=0.0066).

The risk for both colorectal and colon cancer with higher levels of glucose was seen in patients whose BMI was 27.76 or higher, with a hazard ratio per mg/dL−1 of 1.029 (95% CI 0.997 to 1.062, P=0.08), and also for those whose BMI was lower (HR 1.031, 95% CI 1.001 to 1.063, P=0.04).

Here, too, the baseline insulin and the insulin resistance index were not associated with cancer risk.

The researchers also did the analysis excluding patients whose cancer developed within two years of study entry to eliminate possible cases of subclinical disease, and found similar results, with a hazard ratio for the highest versus lowest tertile of glucose of 1.81 (95% CI 0.93 to 3.51, P for trend 0.07).

"In conclusion," the researchers wrote, "in this cohort study of postmenopausal women, elevated fasting serum glucose, but not insulin or [the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance] was associated with roughly a twofold increased risk of colorectal cancer."

A limitation of the study was the small number of cancer cases identified and the researchers' resulting inability to more thoroughly analyze subsets of cases according to cancer sites and variables.

Men Fuel Rebound In Cosmetic Surgery

Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Statistics released today by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) show that more men are going under the knife. Overall cosmetic plastic surgery procedures in men were up 2 percent in 2010 compared to 2009. However, many male surgical procedures increased significantly. Facelifts for men rose 14 percent in 2010 while male liposuction increased 7 percent.

2010 ASPS statistics show that men underwent more than 1.1 million cosmetic procedures, both minimally-invasive and surgical. The majority of the the Men's Top 10 fastest-growing cosmetic procedures are surgical, which bucks the previous trend of growth in minimally-invasive treatments.

"The growth in cosmetic surgical procedures for men may be a product of our aging baby boomers who are now ready to have plastic surgery," said ASPS President Phillip Haeck, MD. "Minimally-invasive procedures such as Botox® and soft tissue fillers work to a point. However, as you age and gravity takes over, surgical procedures that lift the skin are necessary in order to show significant improvement."

Men's Top Ten: Fastest-Growing Male Cosmetic Procedures (by percentage increase)

The list is comprised of the fastest-growing surgical and minimally-invasive procedures from 2009 to 2010. Criteria for inclusion: Procedure performed on at least 1,000 men in 2010. (Surgical procedures are denoted by *).

1) Facelift* - 14% Increase
2) Ear Surgery* (Otoplasty) - 11% Increase
3) Soft Tissue Fillers - 10% Increase
4) Botulinum Toxin Type A - 9% Increase
5) Liposuction* - 7% Increase
6) Breast Reduction in Men* - 6% Increase
7) Eyelid Surgery* - 4% Increase
8) Dermabrasion* - 4% Increase
9) Laser Hair Removal - 4% Increase
10) Laser Treatment of Leg Veins - 4% Increase

Plastic surgeons say that another trend they see in male plastic surgery is the type of patient seeking their services.

"Typically people think of celebrities and high profile men going under the knife," said Stephen Baker, MD, an ASPS Member Surgeon based in Washington DC. "And while that may be true, the typical male cosmetic surgery patient that I see is an average guy who wants to look as good as he feels. Most of my patients are 'men's men,' the kind of guy you might not think would have plastic surgery."

Dr. Baker said that baby boomers who are now reaching retirement age are the new face of the male plastic surgery trend. "They want to look good. So when they have the financial means to do it, they are ready to do it now," said Dr. Baker.

In fact, one of Dr. Baker's patients is an "average Joe" named Joe Marek. Joe recently underwent a facelift and eyelid surgery. The 57-year old said, "I didn't feel that old. I felt young. I was working out. I was pretty active and I wanted to look like I felt inside."

Joe also said his 52-year-old girlfriend supported his decision to have plastic surgery.

Men's Top Ten: Most Popular Male Cosmetic Procedures (by volume)

This list is comprised of the top five surgical and top five minimally-invasive procedures by volume in 2010:

2010 Top Five Male Cosmetic Surgical Procedures:

1) Nose Reshaping (64,000)
2) Eyelid Surgery (31,000)
3) Liposuction (24,000)
4) Breast Reduction in Men (18,000)
5) Hair Transplantation (13,000)

2010 Top Five Male Cosmetic Minimally-Invasive Procedures:
1) Botulinum Toxin Type A (337,000)
2) Laser Hair Removal (165,000)
3) Microdermabrasion (158,000)
4) Chemical Peel (90,000)
5) Soft Tissue Fillers (78,000)

For more statistics released today on trends in plastic surgery including gender, age, regional, national average fees, and other breakouts, visit the ASPS Report of the 2010 Plastic Surgery Statistics here. (Stats on this site will be updated with the specific demographics and trends when embargo lifts on 3/21/11). Visitors can also find information about procedures and referrals to ASPS Member Surgeons.

American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)

Choline may help protect the brain from effects of ageing

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Choline is an essential nutrient that is utilized by the body to manufacture neurotransmitters and cell membrane constituents.  Choline is found in green leafy vegetables, fish, peanuts, organ meat, soybeans, yeast, wheat germ, and lecithin.  Rhoda Au, from Boston University School of Medicine (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues analyzed population data from the Framingham study, involving 1400 adults, ages 36 to 83 years, who completed a food survey and then underwent tests of memory and other cognitive abilities, including MRI brain imaging. The subjects who reported high choline intake performed better on the memory tasks, as compared to those reporting lower intake. Additionally, the researchers found that study participants with higher choline intake were less likely to show areas of white matter hyperintensity – an indicator of blood vessel disease in the brain. The study authors conclude that: “In this community-based population …  higher concurrent choline intake was related to better cognitive performance.”

Read more

Anti-Aging Hormone Klotho May Prevent Complications In Chronic Kidney Disease

Monday, September 19, 2011
Low levels of the anti-aging hormone Klotho may serve as an early warning sign of the presence of kidney disease and its deadly cardiovascular complications, according to findings by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers.

Using mice, investigators found that soft-tissue calcification, a common and serious side effect of chronic kidney disease (CKD), improves when Klotho hormone levels are restored. The study is available online in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

The essential Klotho protein, which is produced by the kidneys, often plummets in CKD. This may explain why supplementing Klotho levels helps counteract a major side-effect associated with the disease, said Dr. Orson Moe, director of the Charles & Jane Pak Center for Mineral Metabolism and Clinical Research at UT Southwestern and the senior author of the study.

Mice with chronic kidney disease exhibit low levels of Klotho in their kidneys, blood and urine, indicating that CKD is a state of systemic Klotho deficiency, Dr. Moe said. In the study, researchers also tested urine from 53 human participants, including 40 CKD patients, and found that they also had low levels of the essential protein.

"It can be a vicious cycle, where CKD begets low Klotho and low Klotho accelerates CKD," Dr. Moe said. "Chronic kidney disease appears to go hand-in-hand with chronic Klotho deficiency. Animal studies have shown that a dangerous consequence of inadequate Klotho is soft-tissue calcification, which can interfere with normal organ function."

In the current study, UT Southwestern researchers decreased Klotho levels in mice by genetically engineering them to produce inadequate levels of the protein. Restoring adequate Klotho levels to the rodents with CKD markedly improved renal function and blood chemistry and reduced vascular calcification.

In contrast, mice with CKD that were genetically engineered to have abnormally low levels of Klotho had worse kidney function and severe calcification. The beneficial effect of proper Klotho levels on vascular calcification goes beyond the hormone's effect on kidney function, suggesting a direct protective effect of Klotho on the vasculature, Dr. Moe said.

According to the research, Klotho lessens vascular calcification by enhancing the urine's phosphate excretions (essential for building and repairing bones and teeth, helping nerve function and making muscles contract, but it can be toxic when levels are high); and preserving kidney fluid filtration. Most importantly, Klotho also appears to inhibit vascular smooth-muscle phosphate uptake and calcification, a complication of CKD that can significantly increase risk of death.

"We tested three hypotheses," Dr. Moe said. "The first was that CKD is a state of Klotho deficiency; the second, that Klotho is an early marker of CKD; and the third, that Klotho deficiency contributes to vascular calcification and Klotho replacement ameliorates CKD via multiple mechanisms. The data we collected seem to bear out all three."

The study's findings also suggest that Klotho replacement therapy may eventually prove to be effective in battling CKD as well as in preventing and reversing its complications.

"It is our hope that this and future research will ultimately lead to better ways to retard the progression of CKD and avoid the dire consequences associated with the disease," Dr. Moe said.

Other UT Southwestern researchers involved in the study were Dr. Ming-Chang Hu, instructor of internal medicine and lead author; Dr. Makoto Kuro-o, associate professor of pathology who discovered Klotho more than a decade ago; Mingjun Shi, research associate in internal medicine; Dr. Jianning Zhang, research scientist in internal medicine; Dr. Henry Quinones, assistant professor of internal medicine; and Carolyn Griffith, senior research nurse in mineral metabolism.

Primary funding for the study was provided by the Simmons Family Foundation. Other support was given by the National Institutes of Health, the George M. O'Brien Kidney Research Core Center at UT Southwestern, the American Heart Association, the Eisai Research Fund, Ellison Medical Foundation, Ted Nash Long Life Foundation, and the Charles & Jane Pak Center for Mineral Metabolism and Clinical Research.

Source: UT Southwestern Medical Center 

Chronic Depression Linked To Accelerated Immune Cell Aging

Friday, May 13, 2011
Certain cases of major depression are associated with premature aging of immune cells, which may make people more susceptible to other serious illness, according to findings from a new UCSF-led study. 

The findings indicate that accelerated cell aging does not occur in all depressed individuals, but is dependent upon how long someone is depressed, particularly if that depression goes untreated. The study was published online in March 2011 by the journal PLoS One. 

"There's a lot more to depression than feeling blue," said first author Owen Wolkowitz, MD, a professor of psychiatry at UCSF. "As if feeling depressed is not bad enough, we are finding that long-term depression may be associated with damage to cells in the body, and this may predispose patients to certain physical diseases." 

Previously considered a mental illness affecting only the brain, major depressive disorder, or MDD, now is believed to be tied to significant physical damage outside the brain, explained Wolkowitz. For example, depressed individuals are more likely to develop the diseases of advanced age, including diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, stroke and dementia. 

In probing the links between depression and physical disease, the research team explored aging of the immune system as measured by the shortening of telomeres in immune cells taken from the blood. 

Telomeres are tiny units of DNA-protein complexes that seal off and protect the ends of chromosomes and act as a biological clock controlling a cell's life. Telomere shortening predicts earlier onset of several major age-related diseases and earlier mortality, and may serve as one index of human longevity. 

The researchers compared the length of telomeres in 18 individuals with MDD not currently receiving antidepressant medications to the length of telomeres in 17 healthy controls. Overall, telomeres of the depressed group did not differ from those of the healthy group; however, individuals with nine or more years of untreated chronic depression showed significant telomere shortening, even after accounting for chronological age. The degree of shortening in this subset of the depressed group corresponded to about seven years of "accelerated cell aging." 

Telomere shortening also was associated with higher levels of inflammation and oxidativestress in patients, both linked to cell damage and premature aging. Oxidative stress is an imbalance between destructive "free radical" molecules and the body's ability to neutralize them with antioxidants. The authors suggest that telomere shortening in very chronic depression may reflect an individual's cumulative exposure to biochemical stressors that promote cell death and increase the likelihood of physical disease. 

"While this finding itself might seem depressing, there is yet good news: many lifestyle factors like exercise and aspects of diet have been linked to longer telomeres," said co-author Elissa Epel, PhD, an associate professor in the UCSF Department of Psychiatry. "So while our personal history matters, it is possible that what we do today may matter even more, in terms of protecting our telomeres." 

Epel and co-author Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD, UCSF professor of biochemistry and biophysics, pioneered research on the impact of psychological stress on several biological markers of cell aging. Blackburn shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her telomere research and co-discovery of the cellular enzyme telomerase. Telomerase helps repair and restore telomeres, protecting cells from damage related to premature aging. 

In related work, the research team recently reported in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, available here, that individuals with MDD show increased activity of the telomerase enzyme. Depressed individuals with the lowest telomerase activity before antidepressant treatment, and those with the greatest increase in activity during treatment, showed the strongest antidepressant responses. These findings suggest that the seemingly paradoxical increase of telomerase in untreated depressed individuals indicates their bodies are attempting to compensate for the damage to their telomeres. Increases during treatment, on the other hand, may represent true improvement in depression. 

"We speculate that telomerase may provide a biological marker for antidepressant responses," Wolkowitz said. "Once we better understand these systems, we will be in a stronger position to treat depression and possibly prevent some of its associated physical illnesses." 

As a next step, UCSF researchers plan to replicate these preliminary findings in a larger sample of depressed individuals in order to explain why certain people develop shortened telomeres and physical disease, and how that process can be combated. Depressed individuals not taking antidepressants are currently being enrolled for this ongoing study, and interested participants may visit Additional UCSF co-authors are Synthia Mellon, PhD; Jue Lin, PhD; Victor Reus, MD; Rebecca Rosser; Heather Burke, PhD; Eve Kupferman, PhD; Mariana Compagnone, MD; and J. Craig Nelson, MD. Co-authors from other institutions are Firdaus Dhabhar, PhD, of Stanford and Yali Su, PhD, of Kronos Science Laboratory. 

The studies were funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the O'Shaughnessy Foundation, the Bernard and Barbro Osher Foundation, and UCSF. Additionally, Blackburn, Epel and Lin are co-founders of a new company called Telome Health, Inc., which is developing applications of telomere biology to identify disease risk and to improve wellness. 

Kate Vidinsky
University of California - San Francisco

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