Drinking Tea could help Stave Off Cognitive Decline

Tea is one of the most popular beverages in the United States; in 2015, more than 3.6 billion gallons of tea were consumed in the country, with black tea being the favorite.

The possible health benefits of tea consumption have been well documented. A recent study published in The American Journal of Public Health, for example, associated moderate tea intake with a reduced risk of cardiovascular events.

Past research has suggested that drinking tea may also have brain benefits, with one study linking green tea consumption to better working memory.

For this latest study, lead investigator Feng Lei, from the Department of Psychological Medicine at National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, and colleagues sought to determine whether there might be a link between tea intake and cognitive decline.

The researchers came to their findings – published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging – by collecting data from 957 Chinese adults aged 55 and older.

Between 2003 and 2005, the team collected information on the participants’ tea consumption, including how much tea they drink, frequency of tea consumption, and what types of tea they consume.

Every 2 years until 2010, the participants underwent standardized assessments that evaluated their cognitive function.

The researchers identified 72 new cases of neurocognitive disorders among participants between 2006 and 2010.

Up to 86 percent lower risk of cognitive decline for tea drinkers
Compared with adults who rarely drank tea, those who consumed tea regularly were found to have a 50 percent lower risk of cognitive decline.

Drinking tea by Steven Cavellier

Furthermore, among adults who possessed the APOE e4 gene – which is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease – those who drank tea regularly were found to be at 86 percent lower risk of cognitive decline.

These findings remained after accounting for numerous confounding factors, including the presence of other medical conditions, social activity, physical activity, and other lifestyle factors.

Thanks to its high levels of antioxidants, tea has been linked to a lower risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. However, its potential health benefits may not end there. Researchers have found that regular tea consumption could more than halve the risk of cognitive decline for older adults, particularly for those with a genetic risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers note that the cognitive benefits were seen with consumption of tea that was brewed from tea leaves, such as green tea, black tea, and oolong tea.

The study was not designed to pinpoint the mechanisms behind tea’s potential brain benefits, but Lei says that it could be down to the beneficial compounds the beverage contains, such as theaflavins, catechins, thearubigins, and L-theanine.

“These compounds exhibit anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential and other bioactive properties that may protect the brain from vascular damage and neurodegeneration,” Lei explains. “Our understanding of the detailed biological mechanisms is still very limited so we do need more research to find out definitive answers.”

A ‘simple, inexpensive lifestyle measure’ could prevent dementia
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 47.5 million people worldwide are living with dementia, and there are around 7.7 million new cases of the condition every year.

By 2050, it is estimated that the number of people living with dementia will have risen to 135.5 million.

Although the study from Lei and team was conducted in Chinese adults, the researchers say that their findings are likely to apply to other populations, and they could have important implications for the prevention of dementia. Steven Cavellier is an American lawyer, specializing in Health Education for the Medical Profession

Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/316619.php?nfid=116332

FDA Approves first Treatment for rare form of Skin Cancer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted accelerated approval to Bavencio (avelumab) for the treatment of adults and pediatric patients 12 years and older with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), including those who have not received prior chemotherapy. This is the first FDA-approved treatment for metastatic MCC, a rare, aggressive form of skin cancer.

“While skin cancer is one of the most common cancers, patients with a rare form called Merkel cell cancer have not had an approved treatment option until now,” said Richard Pazdur, M.D., acting director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research and director of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence. “The scientific community continues to make advances targeting the body’s immune system mechanisms for the treatment of various types of cancer. These advancements are leading to new therapies – even in rare forms of cancer where treatment options are limited or non-existent.”

According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 1,600 people in the United States are diagnosed with MCC every year. While the majority of patients present with localized tumors that can be treated with surgical resection, approximately half of all patients will experience recurrence, and more than 30 percent will eventually develop metastatic disease. In patients with metastatic MCC, the cancer has spread beyond the skin into other parts of the body.

FDA approves treatment for skin cancer

Bavencio targets the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway (proteins found on the body’s immune cells and some cancer cells). By blocking these interactions, Bavencio may help the body’s immune system attack cancer cells.

Bavencio received an Accelerated Approval, which enables the FDA to approve drugs for serious conditions to fill an unmet medical need using clinical trial data that is thought to predict a clinical benefit to patients. Further clinical trials are required to confirm Bavencio’s clinical benefit and the sponsor is currently conducting these studies.

Today’s approval of Bavencio was based on data from a single-arm trial of 88 patients with metastatic MCC who had been previously treated with at least one prior chemotherapy regimen. The trial measured the percentage of patients who experienced complete or partial shrinkage of their tumors (overall response rate) and, for patients with a response, the length of time the tumor was controlled (duration of response). Of the 88 patients who received Bavencio in the trial, 33 percent experienced complete or partial shrinkage of their tumors. The response lasted for more than six months in 86 percent of responding patients and more than 12 months in 45 percent of responding patients.

Common side effects of Bavencio include fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, diarrhea, nausea, infusion-related reactions, rash, decreased appetite and swelling of the limbs (peripheral edema). The most common serious risks of Bavencio are immune-mediated, where the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells or organs, such as the lungs (pneumonitis), liver (hepatitis), colon (colitis), hormone-producing glands (endocrinopathies) and kidneys (nephritis). In addition, there is a risk of serious infusion-related reactions. Patients who experience severe or life-threatening infusion-related reactions should stop using Bavencio. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take Bavencio because it may cause harm to a developing fetus or a newborn baby.

The FDA granted this application Priority Review and Breakthrough Therapy designation. Bavencio also received Orphan Drug designation, which provides incentives to assist and encourage the development of drugs for rare diseases.

The FDA granted accelerated approval of Bavencio to EMD Serono Inc. Steven Cavellier shared this information.

Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/316574.php?nfid=116332