Alzheimer’s could be spotted 20 years before the first symptoms appear.


Changes in the brain can give an early indication that Alzheimers's will develop

Spotting the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s Disease could lead to new treatments for preventing the onset of dementia, scientists believe

Alzheimer’s could be spotted in people 20 years before the first symptoms appear, scientists have found.

Researchers at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute and the Uppsala University discovered that inflammation occurs in the brain decades before the condition shows any other signs.

It means that in future doctors could predict which people will go on to develop Alzheimer’s disease when there is still time to make lifestyle changes or take drugs to slow down the condition.

Treatments which can put the brakes on dementia are currently undergoing trials and could be available within a few years, so tests which can pick up the disease early are likely to be crucial in future care.

Researchers followed families who were known to carry genes which made them more susceptible toAlzheimer’s. Most of them will develop the condition by the time they are in their mid-50s.

All participants underwent memory tests and brain scans.

The mutation carriers were found to have inflammatory changes – known as astrocyte activation – almost twenty years before the estimated debut of memory problems. Astrocytes are a type of brain cell which increase following an injury to aid repair.

Pensioner having dinner

The researchers also found a crucial window, around seventeen years before symptoms develop, where the sticky amyloid plaques which cause dementia began to increase.

“Inflammatory changes in the form of higher levels of brain astrocytes are thought to be a very early indicator of disease onset,” explains principal investigator Professor Agneta Nordberg at the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Centre for Alzheimer Research at the Karolinska Institute.

“Astrocyte activation peaks roughly twenty years before the expected symptoms and then goes into decline, in contrast to the accumulation of amyloid plaques, which increases constantly over time until clinical symptoms show.”

There are currently 850,000 people living with dementia in Britain, most of whom have Alzheimer’s disease. That number is due to rise to one million by 2020 and two million by 2050.

Sir Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld novels

“Our research aims at understanding especially the earliest phases of the disease”
Dr Elena Rodriguez-Vieitez, Karolinska Institute

The researchers say that targeting the initial cause of inflammationcould prevent amyloid plaques ever forming.

“As of today, no therapeutic strategy has succeeded at changing the course of the disease,” said first author Dr Elena Rodriguez-Vieitez.

“The current therapies are only symptomatic, that is, they mitigate symptoms but they don’t change the course of the disease. So, an early diagnosis today would not help prevent dementia using with the currently available drugs.

“Our research aims at understanding especially the earliest phases of the disease. Clinical trials aimed at clearing amyloid plaques have not yet succeeded at curing the disease, and therefore it is necessary to find new therapeutic targets.”

The research was published in the journal Brain.

It comes as a second study appears to confirm the possibility that Alzheimer’s can be transmitted from person to person.

In September, a landmark study by scientists at University College Londonfound Alzheimer’s disease may be transmissible through blood transfusions and medical accidents in the same way as Creuzfeldt Jakob Disease (CJD).

Now a study – published in in the Swiss Medical Weekly – by researchers in Switzerland and Austria have reported autopsy results that suggest Alzheimer’s disease might occasionally be transmitted to people during certain medical treatments

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This new equation might finally unite the two biggest theories in physics, physicist claims.


Linking general relativity and quantum mechanics with wormholes.

One of the most stubborn problems in physics today is the fact that our two best theories to explain the Universe – general relativity and quantum mechanics – function perfectly well on their own, but as soon as you try to combine them, the maths just doesn’t work out.

But a Stanford theoretical physicist has just come up with a new equation that suggests the key to finally connecting the two could be found in bizarre spacetime tunnels called wormholes.

The equation is deceptively simple: ER = EPR.

It’s not made up of numerical values, but instead represents the names of some key players in theoretical physics.

On the left side of the equation, the ER stands for Einstein and Nathan Rosen,and refers to a 1935 paper they wrote together describing wormholes, known technically as Einstein-Rosen bridges.

On the right side of the equation, EPR stands for Einstein, Rosen and Boris Podolsky, who co-wrote another paper that year describing quantum entanglement.

Back in 2013, physicist Leonard Susskind from Stanford University and Juan Maldacena from the Institute for Advance Study at Princeton suggested that the two papers could be describing pretty much the same thing – something that no one else in the field had previously considered, including Einstein himself.

Now Susskind is back to discuss the implications if he’s in fact right.

But first, let’s look at the individual parts of this equation.

First implied by Einstein’s theory of general relativity, wormholes are like tunnels between two places in the Universe.

In theory, if you fell in one side of a wormhole, you’d appear on the other side almost instantaneously, even if it happened to be on the exact opposite side of the Universe.

But wormholes aren’t just portals to another place in the Universe, they’re portals between two times in the Universe. Like Carl Sagan once said, “You might emerge somewhere else in space, some when-else in time.”

Quantum entanglement, on the other hand, describes the way that two particles can interact in such a way that they become inexorably linked, and essentially ‘share’ an existence.

This means that whatever happens to one particle will directly and instantaneously affect the other – even if it’s light-years away.

Okay, now let’s combine the two.

In his new paper, Susskind proposes a scenario where hypothetical Alice and Bob each take a bunch of entangled particles – Alice takes one member of each pair, and Bob takes the other, and they fly off in opposite directions of the Universe in their hypothetical hypersonic jets.

Once in their separate positions, Alice and Bob smash their particles together with such great force, they create two separate black holes.

The result, says Susskind, is two entangled black holes on opposite sides of the Universe, linked in the middle by a giant wormhole.

“If ER = EPR is right, a wormhole will link those black holes; entanglement, therefore, can be described using the geometry of wormholes,” says Tom Siegfried over at Science News.

“Even more remarkable … is the possibility that two entangled subatomic particles alone are themselves somehow connected by a sort of quantum wormhole,” Siegfried adds.

“Since wormholes are contortions of spacetime geometry – described by Einstein’s gravitational equations – identifying them with quantum entanglement would forge a link between gravity and quantum mechanics.”

Is Susskind right? It’s impossible to say just yet, because while he’s published his paper on pre-press website arXiv.org to be openly scrutinised by his peers, it’s yet to go through the formal peer-review process.

But, as Siegfried reports, Susskind isn’t the only one going down this path. Earlier this year, a team of Caltech physicists came up with a similar hypothesis when they attempted to show how changes in quantum states can be linked to curves in spacetime geometry.

In a blog post describing the hypothesis, one of the team, Sean M. Carroll, says the most natural relationship between energy and spacetime curvature in this scenario is given by Einstein’s equation for general relativity.

“The claim, in its most dramatic-sounding form, is that gravity (spacetime curvature caused by energy/momentum) isn’t hard to obtain in quantum mechanics – it’s automatic! Or at least, the most natural thing to expect,” he says.

We’ll have to wait and see if ER = EPR or something closely related bears out, but it’s certainly food for thought, and Susskind for one thinks he’s on to something here.

“To me it seems obvious that if ER = EPR is true, it is a very big deal, and it must affect the foundations and interpretation of quantum mechanics,” he writes, adding that if he’s right, “quantum mechanics and gravity are far more tightly related than we (or at least I) had ever imagined”.

Deficiency of this Vitamin Causes Migraines and Headaches.


 

Migraines are really bad. They are horrible. You can’t do anything when a migraine is in full force.

You would do anything to get pass them. You can’t deal with them anymore. The pain became immune on the pills you take.

There could be a solution to this.

migraines

Have you ever heard that your headaches could be a result of vitamin deficiency?

Yep, if you have Vitamin B deficiency there are higher chances your headache won’t stop.

Studies show how Vitamin B deficiency leads to the higher occurrence of migraines. It comes slowly and it takes time to be developed. The symptoms come really slow and you often say it’s nothing.

Like this study here that comes from Harvard.

All these symptoms often result with a headache. This means that taking pills for a headache was wrong all the time. Even though they work, periodically.

Another study tested 52 people who regularly get migraines. It showed that people who were given vitamin supplements noticed a migraine reduction.

The others who were given placebos did not notice reductions at all.

For this study, Professor Griffiths said:

“The success of our trail has shown that safe, inexpensive vitamin supplements can treat migraine patients.”

Migraines are not just a common pain in your head. There are other symptoms, too. Some of them include nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to sound and light, anxiety, etc.

If Vitamin B deficiency is what causes your migraines, you need to keep that vitamin B level up at all cost.

You can do that by taking supplements or foods rich with this vitamin.

Here is a list of foods you need to consume:

  •      Broccoli
  •      Spinach
  •      Asparagus
  •      Fresh and Dried Fruit
  •      Vegetables
  •      Liver
  •      Chicken
  •      Peanuts
  •      Potatoes
  •      Milk
  •      Fish
  •      Rice

If you don’t suffer from migraines, you probably know someone who is. Share this with them. They could finally find the cure.

Children of long-lived parents may also live longer: Study


The longer your parents live, the more likely you are to remain healthy in your sixties and seventies.

Are your parents in their eighties and going strong? Chances are you too will live long. According to a new study, having longer-lived parents means you are more likely to stay healthy in your sixties and seventies.

The study involving 190,000 participants found that our chances of survival increase by 17 per cent for each decade that at least one parent lives beyond the age of 70.

Researchers found evidence showing for the first time that knowing the age at which your parents died could help predict your risk not only of heart disease, but many aspects of heart and circulatory health.

“To our knowledge, this is the largest study to show that the longer your parents live, the more likely you are to remain healthy in your sixties and seventies,” said Janice Atkins from University of Exeter in the UK.

“Asking about parents’ longevity could help us predict our likelihood of ageing well and developing conditions such as heart disease, in order to identify patients at higher or lower risk in time to treat them appropriately,” said Atkins.

Researchers used data on the health of 186,000 middle-aged offspring, aged 55 to 73 years, followed over a period of up to eight years.

For the study, researchers involved 190,000 participants and found that the chances of survival increase by 17 per cent for each decade that at least one parent lives beyond the age of 70. (Shutterstock)

They found that those with longer lived parents had lower incidence of multiple circulatory conditions including heart disease, heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and atrial fibrillation.

For example, the risk of death from heart disease was 20 per cent lower for each decade that at least one parent lived beyond the age of 70 years.

In addition, those with longer lived parents also had reduced risk of cancer; seven per cent reduced likelihood of cancer in the follow-up per longer-lived parent.

The study built on previous findings which established a genetic link between parents’ longevity and heart disease risk.

Former NASA Physicist Disputes Einstein’s Relativity Theory


In Beyond Science, Epoch Times explores research and accounts related to phenomena and theories that challenge our current knowledge. We delve into ideas that stimulate the imagination and open up new possibilities. Share your thoughts with us on these sometimes controversial topics in the comments section below.

Dr. Edward Dowdye Jr. (Courtesy of Dr. Dowdye); Background image of space via Shutterstock*

Dr. Edward Dowdye Jr. challenges Albert Einstein’s fundamental theories as they are widely taught in schools today.

“I believe if Einstein were alive today, he would take advantage of the modern techniques and the modern instruments we have and he would wind up disproving his own theory,” said Dr. Dowdye, a physicist and laser optics engineer who retired from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. He is an independent researcher and founder of Pure Classical Physics Research and he is a member of The American Physics Society.

Dowdye said he is part of a community of scientists who are questioning the relativity theory. He said he has gained the respect of a number of renowned physicists who agree with his stance. To name a few, Dr. Chandrasekhar Roychoudhuri, professor of physics at the University of Connecticut; Dr. Charles W. Lucas Jr., theoretical physicist and founder of Common Sense Science; and Dr. Edgar Kaucher, former member of the Institute for Applied Mathematics at the Karlsruher Institute for Technology, Germany.
Many observations made by astronomers show that a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing does not take place as described by relativity theory, according to Dowdye. If relativity theory fails here, its legs are essentially knocked out from under it.

First, here’s a simple explanation of how relativity theory describes gravitational lensing:

Gravitational Lensing

Gravitational Lensing
A diagram depicting gravitational lensing, a phenomenon by which light bends around some objects in space. (NASA, ESA; J. Richard, CRAL; and J.-P. Kneib, LAM)

-The gravitational field of massive objects, such as stars and planets, bend rays of light that pass by them.
-Relativity theory includes the idea of space-time, a theory that states that time and space are interconnected.
-The object’s gravitational field is said to alter space-time, causing the light we observe near the object to bend.

That’s not what actually happens, said Dowdye.

Instead, it works kind of like a mirage in the desert. When people have an illusion and think that they see water that isn’t actually there on the desert, it’s because of the way light is being bent, or refracted, in the hot desert air.

A temperature gradient exists, meaning over a given distance the air temperature varies. The hottest air is less dense, the coolest air is most dense. The photons (light particles) take a curved path between the sun and the viewer’s eye, because they take the clearest path through the air.

We assume light travels in a straight line, but it actually takes whatever path will take the least amount of time. This is why the air seems to wave or ripple like water in the desert.

So how does this work in terms of gravitational lensing?

A gravitational gradient exists, more intense near the surface of a massive object, such as our sun, where light bending is seen to occur. This means the gravitational field varies in strength over a given distance causing a gradient profile to act on the plasma atmosphere of the sun.

Whereas the temperature gradient on Earth affects air density to create mirages, the gravitational gradient affects the plasma found around the surface of the sun, explained Dowdye. The light bends through the plasma, following its ideal path along the gravitational gradient.

Dowdye said the gravitational gradient is too often overlooked when gravitational lensing is taught to physics students. Another important point is that lensing only appears to happen in plasma.

This substance, plasma, was virtually unknown in Einstein’s day. We have not seen evidence of light bending around massive objects in deep space that do not have plasma around them.

Gravitational lensing isn’t about the gravitational field bending space-time, as relativity describes it, said Dowdye. It’s about the gravitational field affecting plasma along a gradient; the plasma in turn affects the path light takes.

“The scientists who support relativity are either unaware of this phenomenon or they don’t want you to know about this. This is bad news for them,” said Dowdye. “According to relativity, light bending should be everywhere you have gravitation.” If gravitation exists around an object that doesn’t have plasma around it, the light should still bend, according to relativity theory. This doesn’t happen, said Dowdye.

Alternative Framework
In his book, “Extinction Shift Principle,” he gives an alternative framework. He uses physics principles formulated using Galilean transformations. Galilean transformations were formulated using pre-relativity physics.

Dowdye has published his alternative theory of gravitation in his book and he has also previewed it on his website.

He hopes science education will become more fluid, open to the ever-changing understanding of fundamentals reached by scientists, and that textbooks will soon be changed to provide our youth with a more accurate view of the universe.

“When the students are properly introduced to the fundamentals, you allow the students to think intuitively for themselves,” Dowdye said. “I think some of the textbooks are much too structural. … You’re doing the same thing over and over and over again. Textbooks have a lot of stuff in them that is far too much establishment-driven.”

Einstein’s special relativity theory displaced the ether theory that was thought to correctly explain the behavior of light. Dowdye feels that he himself is actually on the cusp of the next major shift in the correct understanding of our universe, a frontier scientist forging into new, exciting territory.

Watch the video discussion. URL:https://youtu.be/CnvOybT2WwU

A new ‘Einstein’ equation suggests wormholes hold key to quantum gravity 


There’s a new equation floating around the world of physics these days that would make Einstein proud.

illustration of a wormhole

Wormholes, tunnels through the fabric of spacetime that connect widely separated locations, are predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity. Some physicists think that wormholes could connect black holes in space, possibly providing a clue to the mysteries of quantum entanglement and how to merge general relativity with quantum mechanics.

It’s pretty easy to remember: ER=EPR.

You might suspect that to make this equation work, P must be equal to 1. But the symbols in this equation stand not for numbers, but for names. E, you probably guessed, stands for Einstein. R and P are initials — for collaborators on two of Einstein’s most intriguing papers. Combined in this equation, these letters express a possible path to reconciling Einstein’s general relativity with quantum mechanics.

Quantum mechanics and general relativity are both spectacularly successful theories. Both predict bizarre phenomena that defy traditional conceptions of reality. Yet when put to the test, nature always complies with each theory’s requirements. Since both theories describe nature so well, it’s hard to explain why they’ve resisted all efforts to mathematically merge them. Somehow, everybody believes, they must fit together in the end. But so far nature has kept the form of their connection a secret.

ER=EPR, however, suggests that key to their connection can be found in the spacetime tunnels known as wormholes. These tunnels, implied by Einstein’s general relativity, would be like subspace shortcuts physically linking distant locations. It seems that such tunnels may be the alter ego of the mysterious link between subatomic particles known as quantum entanglement.

For the last 90 years or so, physicists have pursued two main quantum issues separately: one, how to interpret the quantum math to make sense of its weirdness (such as entanglement), and two, how to marry quantum mechanics to gravity. It turns out, if ER=EPR is right, that both questions have the same answer: Quantum weirdness can be understood only if you understand its connection to gravity. Wormholes may forge that link.

Wormholes are technically known as Einstein-Rosen bridges (the “ER” part of the equation). Nathan Rosen collaborated with Einstein on a paper describing them in 1935. EPR refers to another paper Einstein published with Rosen in 1935, along with Boris Podolsky. That one articulated quantum entanglement’s paradoxical puzzles about the nature of reality. For decades nobody seriously considered the possibility that the two papers had anything to do with one another. But in 2013, physicists Juan Maldacena and Leonard Susskind proposed that in some sense, wormholes and entanglement describe the same thing.

In a recent paper, Susskind has spelled out some of the implications of this realization. Among them: understanding the wormhole-entanglement equality could be the key to merging quantum mechanics and general relativity, that details of the merger would explain the mystery of entanglement, that spacetime itself could emerge from quantum entanglement, and that the controversies over how to interpret quantum mechanics could be resolved in the process.

“ER=EPR tells us that the immensely complicated network of entangled subsystems that comprises the universe is also an immensely complicated (and technically complex) network of Einstein-Rosen bridges,” Susskind writes. “To me it seems obvious that if ER=EPR is true it is a very big deal, and it must affect the foundations and interpretation of quantum mechanics.”

Entanglement poses one of the biggest impediments to understanding quantum physics. It happens, for instance, when two particles are emitted from a common source. A quantum description of such a particle pair tells you the odds that a measurement of one of the particles (say, its spin) will give a particular result (say, counterclockwise). But once one member of the pair has been measured, you instantly know what the result will be when you make the same measurement on the other, no matter how far away it is. Einstein balked at this realization, insisting that a measurement at one place could not affect a distant experiment (invoking his famous condemnation of “spooky action at a distance”). But many actual experiments have confirmed entanglement’s power to defy Einstein’s preference. Even though (as Einstein insisted) no information can be sent instantaneously from one particle to another, one of them nevertheless seems to “know” what happened to its entangled partner.

Ordinarily, physicists speak of entanglement between two particles. But that’s just the simplest example. Susskind points out that quantum fields — the stuff that particles are made from — can also be entangled. “In the vacuum of a quantum field theory the quantum fields in disjoint regions of space are entangled,” he writes. It has to do with the well-known (if bizarre) appearance of “virtual” particles that constantly pop in and out of existence in the vacuum. These particles appear in pairs literally out of nowhere; their common origin ensures that they are entangled. In their brief lifetimes they sometimes collide with real particles, which then become entangled themselves.

Now suppose Alice and Bob, universally acknowledged to be the most capable quantum experimenters ever imagined, start collecting these real entangled particles in the vacuum. Alice takes one member of each pair and Bob takes the other. They fly away separately to distant realms of space and then each smushes their particles so densely that they become a black hole. Because of the entanglement these particles started with, Alice and Bob have now created two entangled black holes. If ER=EPR is right, a wormhole will link those black holes; entanglement, therefore, can be described using the geometry of wormholes. “This is a remarkable claim whose impact has yet to be appreciated,” Susskind writes.

Even more remarkable, he suggests, is the possibility that two entangled subatomic particles alone are themselves somehow connected by a sort of quantum wormhole. Since wormholes are contortions of spacetime geometry — described by Einstein’s gravitational equations — identifying them with quantum entanglement would forge a link between gravity and quantum mechanics.

In any event, these developments certainly emphasize the importance of entanglement for understanding reality. In particular, ER=EPR illuminates the contentious debates about how quantum mechanics should be interpreted. Standard quantum wisdom (the Copenhagen interpretation) emphasizes the role of an observer, who when making a measurement “collapses” multiple quantum possibilities into one definite result. But the competing Everett (or “many worlds”) interpretation says that the multiple possibilities all occur — any observer just happens to experience only one consistent branching chain of the multiple possible events.

In the Everett picture, collapse of the cloud of possibilities (the wave function) never happens. Interactions (that is, measurements) just cause the interacting entities to become entangled. Reality, then, becomes “a complicated network of entanglements.” In principle, all those entangling events could be reversed, so nothing ever actually collapses — or at least it would be misleading to say that the collapse is irreversible. Still, the standard view of irreversible collapse works pretty well in practice. It’s never feasible to undo the multitude of complex interactions that occur in real life. In other words, Susskind says, ER=EPR suggests that the two views of quantum reality are “complementary.”

Susskind goes on to explore in technical detail how entanglement functions with multiple participants and describes the implications for considering entanglement to be equivalent to a wormhole. It remains certain, for instance, that wormholes cannot be used to send a signal through space faster than light. Alice and Bob cannot, for instance, send messages to each other through the wormhole connecting their black holes. If they really want to talk, though, they could each jump into their black hole and meet in the middle of the wormhole. Such a meeting would provide strong confirmation for the ER=EPR idea, although Alice and Bob would have trouble getting their paper about it published.

In the meantime, a great many papers are appearing about ER=EPR and other work relating gravity — the geometry of spacetime — to quantum entanglement. In one recent paper, Caltech physicists ChunJun Cao, Sean M. Carroll and Spyridon Michalakis attempt to show how spacetime can be “built” from the vast network of quantum entanglement in the vacuum. “In this paper we take steps toward deriving the existence and properties of space itself from an intrinsically quantum description using entanglement,” they write. They show how changes in “quantum states” — the purely quantum descriptions of reality — can be linked to changes in spacetime geometry. “In this sense,” they say, “gravity appears to arise from quantum mechanics in a natural way.”

Cao, Carroll and Michalakis acknowledge that their approach remains incomplete, containing assumptions that will need to be verified later. “What we’ve done here is extremely preliminary and conjectural,” Carroll writes in a recent blog post. “We don’t have a full theory of anything, and even what we do have involves a great deal of speculating and not yet enough rigorous calculating.”

Nevertheless there is a clear sense among many physicists that a path to unifying quantum mechanics and gravity has apparently opened. If it’s the right path, Carroll notes, then it turns out not at all to be hard to get gravity from quantum mechanics — it’s “automatic.” And Susskind believes that the path to quantum gravity — through the wormhole — demonstrates that the unity of the two theories is deeper than scientists suspected. The implication of ER=EPR, he says, is that “quantum mechanics and gravity are far more tightly related than we (or at least I) had ever imagined.”

A dog’s heart beats in sync with its owner’s, says new study


Bulldog puppy

Here’s more proof that our dogs love us – scientists have found that their hearts beat in sync with ours.

The bond between man and his dog is so strong that our heartbeats sync up.

Australian researchers separated three dogs from their owners, strapped  heart monitors on them and then watched what happened when they were reunited.

They found that despite beating at different rates, their heartbeats followed the same pattern.

Each dog’s heart rose and fell with its master’s.

Researcher Mia Cobb, of Melbourne’s Monash University, told the Huffington Post: “I was impressed at how much they came together.

“The fact that they shared patterns do closely surprised me.

“This kind of effect of experiencing a lowered heart rate makes a significant difference to our overall wellbeing.

“If we can decrease our heart rate by hanging out with our animals, that’s something that can really benefit the community.”

Fellow researcher Dr Craig Duncan said: “Stress is a major killer in today’s society and, as we get busier and busier, it is something that is really important for us to try to help with.

“The Hearts Aligned project aims to show how pet ownership can help us positively deal with the stressors of everyday life.”

The study, which was sponsored by dog food company Pedigree, pointed towards the fact having  a dog is good for stress, and perhaps even good for the heart.

This is backed up by other scientific work, including a study by the American Heart Association, which suggested that pet owners have healthier hearts than other people.

Dog owners in particular felt the benefit – and this is perhaps partly because people who have dogs have to go on walks with them.