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MRI can identify risk of Alzheimer’s 

MRI can effectively and non-invasively screen patients for Alzheimer’s disease or Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration (FTLD), according to a new study. Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that using an MRI-based algorithm effectively differentiated cases 75 per cent of the time.

The non-invasive approach reported in this study can track disease progression over time more easily and cost-effectively than other tests, particularly in clinical trials testing new therapies. Researchers used the MRIs to predict the ratio of two biomarkers for the diseases - the proteins total tau and beta-amyloid - in the cerebrospinal fluid.

Cerebrospinal fluid analyses remain the most accurate method for predicting the disease cause, but requires a more invasive lumbar puncture. “Using this novel method, we obtain a single biologically meaningful value from analyzing MRI data in this manner and then we can derive a probabilistic estimate of the likelihood of Alzheimer’s or FTLD,” said the study’s lead author, Corey McMillan, PhD, of the Perelman School of Medicine and Frontotemporal Degeneration Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

 Using the MRI prediction method was 75 percent accurate at identifying the correct diagnosis in both patients with pre-confirmed disease diagnoses and those with biomarker levels confirmed by lumbar punctures, which shows comparable overlap between accuracy of the MRI and lumbar puncture methods.

Mental health related to domestic violence vulnerability

People with mental health disorders, across all diagnoses, are more likely to have experienced domestic violence than the general population.

 This is according to new research from King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, in collaboration with the University of Bristol.

 Previous studies into the link between domestic violence and mental health problems have mainly focused on depression, but this is the first study to look at a wide range of mental health problems in both male and female victims.

In this study, researchers reviewed data from 41 studies worldwide. Compared to women without mental health problems, women with depressive disorders were around 2 and a ½ times more likely to have experienced domestic violence over their adult lifetime; women with anxiety disorders were over 3 and a ½ times more likely; and women with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were around 7 times more likely.

Women with other disorders including obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), eating disorders, common mental health problems, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder were also at an increased risk of domestic violence compared to women without mental health problems. Men with all types of mental disorders were also at an increased risk of domestic violence.
 
Lack of food not behind  Saber-toothed cat extinction

Saber-toothed cats and American lions were not driven to extinction by lack of food, a new study has revealed.

When prey is scarce, large carnivores may gnaw prey to the bone, wearing their teeth down in the process.

A new analysis of the teeth of saber-toothed cats and American lions found that they did not resort to this behaviour just before extinction, suggesting that lack of prey was probably not the main reason these large cats became extinct.

Larisa DeSantis of Vanderbilt University and colleagues compared tooth wear patterns from the fossil cats that roamed California 12,000 to 30,000 years ago.

The saber-toothed cat and American lion were among the largest terrestrial carnivores that lived during their time, and went extinct along with other large animals approximately 12,000 years ago.

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