Eating too much salt can trigger an adaptive immune response in the gut, detecting cancer with an early blood test and can early puberty be a sign of heart disease?

Eating Too Much Salt Leads to Dementia in Mice

(GEN News, 1/17/18)

Our Eureka Blog has talked a lot about how the brain has a direct effect on the stomach. It’s not surprise that a new gut-brain connection has been revealed in a study from scientists at Weill Cornell Medicine. The research found that mice fed a high-salt diet directly led to cognitive impairment, dementia, and reduced blood flow in regions of the brain commonly associated with learning and memory. The study examined mice administered diets with food containing either four or eight percent salt, which equated to between eight and 16 times more salt than a normal healthy diet. These are extremely high levels of salt and only comparable to an extraordinarily high level of human consumption.

Reproductive Factors in Women Tied to Heart Disease and Stroke Risk

(NY Times, 1/18/2018, Nicholas Bakalar)

British researchers are reporting that girls who start menstruating before they’re 12 years old may have a greater risk of heart disease and stroke later in life than their peers who go through puberty later. For the study, researchers examined data on more than 500,000 middle-aged adults who didn’t have a history of heart disease, including more than 267,000 women. Researchers followed half of the participants for at least seven years, and during that time about 9,000 men and women developed heart disease or experienced a heart attack or stroke.

‘Liquid biopsy’ promises early detection for cancer

(Science Magazine, 1/18/2018, Jocelyn Kaiser)

A team of researchers has taken a major step toward one of the hottest goals in cancer research: a blood test that can detect tumors early. Their new test, which examines cancer-related DNA and proteins in the blood, yielded a positive result about 70% of the time across eight common cancer types in more than 1000 patients whose tumors had not yet spread—among the best performances yet for a universal cancer blood test. It also narrowed down the form of cancer, which previously published pan-cancer blood tests have not.

 

 —Compiled by Social Media Specialist Jillian Scola