Study: Ibuprofen cuts Parkinson’s risk

first_imgA new study by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers shows that adults who regularly take ibuprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), reduce their risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by about one-third compared with nonusers.“There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, so the possibility that ibuprofen, an existing and relatively nontoxic drug, could help protect against the disease is captivating,” said senior author Alberto Ascherio, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at HSPH.The study will be published online March 2 in Neurology and is scheduled to appear in the March 8 print issue.Parkinson’s disease, a progressive central nervous system disease occurring generally after age 50, affects at least half a million Americans, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. About 50,000 new cases are reported each year, with the number expected to increase as the U.S. population ages. It is hypothesized that ibuprofen may reduce inflammation in the brain that may contribute to the disease. Prior studies showed a reduced Parkinson’s disease risk among NSAIDS users, but most did not differentiate between ibuprofen and other nonaspirin NSAIDs.In the new study, Ascherio, lead author Xiang Gao, research scientist at HSPH and associate epidemiologist in the Channing Laboratory at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and colleagues analyzed data from nearly 99,000 women enrolled in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital-based Nurses’ Health Study and more than 37,000 men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. The researchers identified 291 cases (156 men and 135 women) of Parkinson’s disease during their six-year follow-up study (1998-2004 in women; 2000-2006 in men). Based on questionnaires, the researchers analyzed the patients’ use of ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin, Nuprin), aspirin or aspirin-containing products, other anti-inflammatory pain relievers (e.g., Aleve, Naprosyn), and acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol). (Although not an NSAID, acetaminophen was included because it’s similarly used to treat pain.) Age, smoking, diet, caffeine, and other variables also were considered.“We observed that men and women who used ibuprofen two or more times per week were about 38 percent less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than those who regularly used aspirin, acetaminophen, or other NSAIDs,” Gao said. “Our findings suggest that ibuprofen could be a potential neuroprotective agent against Parkinson’s disease, however, the exact mechanism is unknown.”These findings raise hope that a readily available, inexpensive drug could help to treat Parkinson’s disease. “Because the loss of brain cells that leads to Parkinson’s disease occurs over a decade or more, a possible explanation of our findings is that use of ibuprofen protects these cells. If so, use of ibuprofen could help slow the disease’s progression,” Gao said.The findings do not mean that people who already have Parkinson’s disease should begin taking ibuprofen, Ascherio said. “Although generally perceived as safe, ibuprofen can have side effects, such as increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. Whether this risk is compensated by a slowing of the disease progression should be investigated under rigorous supervision in a randomized clinical trial,” he said.Support for the study was provided by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the Intramural Research Program of NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.last_img read more

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Professor explores media, censorship in China

first_imgIn a lecture Tuesday titled “Journalism and the Coercive Power of the Chinese State,” associate professor Timothy Weston of the University of Colorado Boulder discussed the status of the press in modern China.Weston, who serves as associate director of the Center for Asian Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, said recent protests in Hong Kong reveal a deep-rooted tension between the paternalistic actions of the Chinese government and the press.“The Beijing government’s approach to the press, as seen in the Hong Kong case but also in a myriad others in contemporary times, comes to be seen as the latest iteration of a longstanding feature of Chinese political culture rather than an expression of a sharp moment of communist censorship, pure and simple,” he said.Despite the government’s censorship of the media, the ideal of a free press is alive in China today, he said.“Article 35 of the Chinese constitution states clearly that ‘Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly of association, of procession and of demonstration,’” he said. “The normative ideal of press freedom is enshrined in China’s highest legal document.”However, he said, tension exists between the stated ideal of freedom of the press and the practices of the government — namely, censorship of events and “routine arrests of journalists in China, often on trumped-up charges.”Weston said the government’s censorship of the media arises from a distinct understanding of the nature of free press. The government does not condemn freedom of press, he said, but rather takes a paternalistic approach in regarding the press as a means of molding society.“No modern state is going to take a stand against the idea of press freedom any more than it will take a stand against the idea of human rights,” he said.He said the recent events in Hong Kong have prompted the government to adopt an offensive and defensive approach, consisting both of censoring the press and presenting an “alternative narrative” of events to Chinese citizens.This alternative narrative, he said, depicts the protesters in Hong Kong as “petty criminals engaging in illegal behavior.”Weston said the government has not been entirely successful in its efforts to suppress the dissemination of reports of protest in Hong Kong.“In the digital age it is impossible to enforce a total information embargo,” he said.Nevertheless, he said, the average Chinese citizen is unable to view internationally popularized images legally, such as the one of a protester holding an umbrella to shield himself from tear gas.He said the government’s treatment of the events in Hong Kong has focused international attention on the ‘Umbrella Revolution’ — so christened because of the image of the protester with the umbrella. The response of the Chinese government to the international spotlight has been to accuse foreign agents such as the United States of manipulating naïve students to incite rebellion, Weston said.“Blaming conspiring foreign agents also has the complicit effect of treating the Hong Kong protesters — of which there were tens of thousands in the early stages of the movement — as gullible children,” he said.Weston said although China maintains the ideal of a free press, the actions of the government undermine its realization.“The logic of the paternalistic state with regard to question of freedom of the press then is that the people are free to know everything, except when they are not,” Weston said.Tags: censorship, China, Journalism, Kellogg Institutelast_img read more

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U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Appeal of Coal Exec Convicted in 29 Miner Deaths

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Charleston (W.V.) Gazette:The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship’s appeal of his criminal mine safety conviction, the court announced Tuesday.Justices turned down Blankenship’s petition, including it on a weekly order list of more than 200 cases in which a request for a “writ of certiorari” — the type of order in which the Supreme Court agrees to hear a case — was denied without any reason given or further comment offered.In doing so, the court allowed to stand Blankenship’s conviction for conspiracy to violate federal mine safety and health standards at Massey’s Upper Big Branch Mine, where 29 miners died in an April 5, 2010 explosion.“We are pleased with but not surprised by the Supreme Court’s decision to deny the Blankenship petition,” said U.S. Attorney Carol Casto. “Now, hopefully, the families of those lost and others impacted by the UBB explosion and long history of safety violations can find some closure and begin the long and difficult process of healing.”Two years ago this month, jurors in U.S. District Court in Charleston began hearing testimony against Blankenship in the high-profile case involving charges against a coal executive who was once one of the region’s most powerful figures in a trial that focused on the rampant safety violations at Upper Big Branch in the months leading up to West Virginia’s worst coal-mining disaster in a generation.Blankenship, 67, was convicted of conspiracy to violate safety rules and then sentenced by U.S. District Judge Irene C. Berger to pay a $250,000 fine and spend one year in prison, both the maximum allowed under current federal law that classifies criminal mine safety violations as misdemeanors. Blankenship completed his one-year prison sentence in early May, and is currently serving his one year of supervised release. Berger recently modified the terms of Blankenship’s supervised release so that he could report to probation officials in Las Vegas, where he now lives.Earlier this year, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond affirmed Blankenship’s conviction.Blankenship had argued on appeal that Berger incorrectly instructed the trial jury that Blankenship’s ”reckless disregard” of federal mine safety standards amounted to the criminal willfulness needed for a conviction and that Berger was wrong to deny the defense the chance for a second cross-examination of former Massey official Chris Blanchard, a major government witness. Coal industry lobby groups from West Virginia, Ohio and Illinois had warned that Blankenship’s conviction would pave the way for coal executives to be prosecuted for making “tough decisions” necessary to “operate a successful company.”More: US Supreme Court won’t hear Don Blankenship’s appeal U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Appeal of Coal Exec Convicted in 29 Miner Deathslast_img read more

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Sing with One Voice

first_imgGood Old War. Good Old War is reviving the power of harmony. The increasingly popular indie folk trio sings unified multi-part vocals with the familiar pop-driven force of icons from the ‘60s. It makes sense then that, when the band started playing bar gigs around their home city of Philadelphia, sets were largely filled with covers of Simon and Garfunkel and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.“That’s how we learned we could sing together,” says band member Keith Goodwin. “With only three of us, we used the harmonies to get a bigger sound. For us, it took a lot of practice. In the beginning we were singing together for five or six hours a day.”The group formed in 2008 after Goodwin’s and drummer Tim Arnold’s former rock band Days Away decided to call it quits. Before breaking up, Days Away had a tour booked with singer-songwriter Anthony Green. Instead of dropping their slot, Goodwin and Arnold decided to add guitarist Dan Schwartz and play as an acoustic act. Thanks to good chemistry, Good Old War was born.“At first we were writing songs on the way to shows,” Goodwin adds. “We would work them out in the van and play them that night. When we started getting good reactions we realized this was something we should really take seriously.”Thus came the aforementioned intense practice sessions, as well as voice lessons from Arnold’s sister, an opera singer. The band also quickly went into the studio, releasing a debut album, Only Way to Be Alone, in 2008 and a self-titled follow-up in 2010. Just last month, the group unveiled Come Back as Rain. The new effort is the band’s most tightly focused statement, recorded at Another Recording Company, the studio owned by Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes.While past albums were very DIY, this time the band enlisted help from producer Jason Cupp (Maps & Atlases) and utilized the tools of a real studio. It helped accentuate the band’s sunny melodies and uplifting textured harmonies. In sound and lyrical content the trio unearths the bright side of dark times with infectious hooks and strummy, sing-along optimism, especially on the bouncy comeback anthem “Better Weather” and the ex-lover sendoff “Calling me Names.”Broadly akin to yesteryear anthems like the “Sound of Silence,” the band delivers hand-on-the-shoulder comfort with vocal chemistry.“The attitude between the three of us is optimistic and upbeat, so that’s how we like to keep the lyrics and the melodies,” Goodwin says.As a harmony-based acoustic act, the band has surprisingly been able to adapt to a variety of stages. In the past couple years, the group has opened for a diverse lot, including bluegrass songstress Alison Krauss, new school punk rockers Gaslight Anthem, and one-man jammer Xavier Rudd. While they will spend more time in the headlining position this year, the members have enjoyed the chance to turn on a variety of audiences.“When we’re in a rock club, we’ll add some longer solos and instrumental breaks, but when we open up for someone like Alison Krauss we’ll include more of the vocal-driven, country-sounding songs,” Goodwin explains. “We’ve learned to adapt our live style to the setting. This band can play in front of a lot of different types of crowds.”Need a MiracleSouthern Deadheads were bummed last summer when Grateful Dead troubadour and rhythm guitarist Bob Weir canceled his solo appearances in the region. Fortunately for fans, Weir has rescheduled and is slated to bring selections from his portion of the Dead’s massive catalog to the Bijou Theatre in Knoxville, Tenn., on April 24, and the Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville, Va., on April 26. Unfortunately for the ticket-less, both shows are sold out, so stick your finger in the air and hope for a miracle.Fishin’ and Pickin’Ace Appalachian guitarist Larry Keel loves to fish almost as much as he loves to pick bluegrass tunes. It makes sense, then, that the Virginia-based underground hero is combining his two passions. In mid-May, Keel will host Trout and Tunes, a long weekend of fishing and music workshops at the Elk River Inn in Slatyfork, W.Va. Nestled in the Monongahela National Forest, along the Elk River’s world-class trout waters, the event (May 17-20) will feature a fly fishing class, as well as daily group casts. On the music side, aspiring players can get guitar, mandolin, banjo, and bass instruction, while also enjoying nightly picking sessions and intimate concerts by Keel and his band Natural Bridge. larrykeel.comlast_img read more

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Spiedie Fest could still happen this year

first_imgTOWN OF DICKINSON (WBNG) — There may still be hope for holding Spiedie Fest in 2020. Organizers of the balloon and food festival told 12 News they haven’t ruled out the possibility of holding the event in October this year. They say some changes would have to be made, such as limiting attendance to less than 5,000 people and eliminating things like certain kids rides that would increase risk of viral transmission. Dave Pessagno, the main organizer, said he meets with the festival board often to plan for the possibility of holding Spiedie Fest this fall. He said it’s important to him to hold the event because of how much support he’s received from the community. “I’m not a quitter so and again this is a unique situation,” Pessagno said. “If I wasn’t getting so many phone calls from people who aren’t even vendors or food vendors or businesses, these are people who are coming to our festival.”center_img Pessagno told 12 News the board hopes to make a final decision regarding the festival’s viability on August 15. He said the event would take on more of an Oktoberfest theme rather than its typical summer feel, and social distancing in groups would be strictly enforced. The event has taken place for 37 consecutive years.last_img read more

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Istria achieved a historically record June

first_imgThe Tourist Board of the Istrian County is especially proud to announce that Istria will realize more than 4 million overnight stays for the first time in June. Last year, Istria realized 3 million overnight stays in June, so that this year’s result in June will be almost 37 percent stronger, which in concrete figures means more than a million overnight stays for the month of June alone.With such figures before and after the season they look much better and after many years of systematic work, excellent cooperation between the private and public sector, joint work of all stakeholders in preparing the tourist season and constantly improving the living conditions of our guests, we obviously return the effort. – point out from the Tourist Board of the Istrian CountyIstria thus proves that it is a well-organized and organized tourist destination, and a large role in the whole story is played by the private sector which has designed a very high quality offer with the affected price and invested significantly in raising the quality of accommodation and organizing large TOP events such as: Swatch Beach Volleyball Major Series, Open Air Festival, Beach Polo in Rovinj, Sea Star Festival in Umag, Rise Up Festival in Porec and many others that in the pre- and post-season become a motive for the arrival of many guests and generate quality content in tourist destinations.last_img read more

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F1 can welcome up to 20,000 at Germany’s Nurburgring

first_imgGermany’s Nurburgring can welcome up to 20,000 fans next month when it hosts Formula One, organizers said Monday, after local authorities gave it the go-ahead alongside stringent health measures.Spectators have been conspicuously absent from motorsport’s top competition this year due to restrictions to combat the coronavirus pandemic, but races later in the calendar have started to open up. The previous event at Tuscany’s Mugello circuit held around 2,000 fans, and the organizers of this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix in Sochi are hoping for an audience of 30,000. Ticket sales will take place in several stages depending on how the virus situation develops, with the final allocation of seats not being sold until organizers can be sure of virus infection rates.The maximum number of spectators allowed will also be just 20 percent of the 100,000 top capacity of the circuit.Other measures to protect fans include designated seats and a “visitor guidance system” to ensures that spectators from different grandstands don’t meet.Coronavirus cases continue to tick up in Germany, with daily infection numbers on Saturday reaching the highest level since April.The race on Oct.11 marks the return of the Nuerburgring to Formula One after an absence of seven years, when Germany’s four-time champion Sebastian Vettel won in 2013.Topics :last_img read more

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Michael Owen’s Europa League predictions for Arsenal v Napoli and Slavia Prague v Chelsea

first_imgEden Hazard is set to be Chelsea’s star man once again (Getty Images)Slavia Prague have scored 10 times in their last two games in domestic football, but they are likely to find Chelsea a different proposition.This is a big week for the Blues who travel to Anfield on Sunday in the Premier League and they had Eden Hazard to thank for three points against West Ham on Monday following a virtuoso performance from the Belgian magician.Slavia produced the shock of the round in the last 16 when they eliminated Spanish giants Sevilla 6-5 on aggregate courtesy of a 119th minute winner.They clearly have goals in their ranks, but I expect Maurizio Sarri’s side to get a draw and score an important away goal.Michael’s prediction: Slavia Prague 1-1 ChelseaMichael Owen is a brand ambassador for BetVictor. For more tips from Michael read his column here.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Comment Michael OwenWednesday 10 Apr 2019 2:00 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link Michael Owen’s Europa League predictions for Arsenal v Napoli and Slavia Prague v Chelsea Michael Owen gives his thoughts on Arsenal and Chelsea’s Europe League chances (Getty/REX)The Europa League is back again as the first leg of the quarter-finals take place on Thursday with two Premier League sides still remaining in the competition.Arsenal face a tough test at home to Napoli, who currently sit second in Serie A under Carlo Ancelotti.Chelsea also made it through to the last eight and they are away for their first leg against Slavia Prague, who pulled off a shock upset to knock out Sevilla in the previous round.Once again our Brand Ambassador Michael Owen shared his thoughts ahead of the action with BetVictor.ADVERTISEMENTARSENAL VS NAPOLIcenter_img Can Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fire Arsenal past Napoli? (Getty Images)This is the third game between the teams in European competition with the home side winning the two previous encounters in the group stages of the Champions League back in the 2013-14 season.AdvertisementAdvertisementNapoli have never won in England in European competition in eight previous visits, but I expect the Serie A side to score at the Emirates in what promises to be an entertaining tie.The Gunners have won their last three home games in all competitions without conceding a goal, but I think it will be honours even and all to play for back in Naples next week.Michael’s prediction: Arsenal 1-1 NapoliSLAVIA PRAGUE VS CHELSEA Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

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Netherlands to raise bar for cross-border pension transfers

first_imgDuring a debate in the Dutch parliament last night, Koolmees said the issue was one of the reasons that had triggered the government amendment.However, the minister acknowledged that there could be legitimate reasons for cross-border value transfers, for example if multinational companies wanted to centralise pensions provision for their staff in a single country.Aon’s UnitedPensions vehicle, domiciled in Belgium, has been one of the most active cross-border pension offerings, having signed up clients including chemicals giant Dow and pharmaceuticals company AbbVie.According to Koolmees, the number of cross-border transfers of pensions had been limited so far, but he added that “the issue must remain a focal point to us all”.The details of the government amendment were unclear, however, as it had yet to set a minimum number of participants that must respond to a proposal for a cross-border transfer.In addition, the amendment did not include a reference to the role of a pension fund’s accountability body in approving a value transfer. The Dutch government wants to set additional conditions for pension funds moving assets out of the Netherlands to access more flexible regulatory environments abroad.In an amendment to the implementation bill for the EU directive IORP II, social affairs minister Wouter Koolmees stipulated that a two-thirds majority of participants and pensioners must approve a cross-border collective value transfer.The government also wanted to have the option of setting additional conditions through an implementation order if the cross-border transfer was aimed at accessing more flexible supervisory regime.Last month, Dutch MP Pieter Omtzigt raised concerns about cross-border transfers after it emerged that Aon Hewitt Netherlands’ pension scheme had seen its funding ratio improve by 11 percentage points following its move to Belgium. He claimed the move was “supervisory arbitrage”.last_img read more

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Gold Coast home offers backyard Bali retreat

first_imgThere’s plenty of space for entertaining. The bathroom has modern fixtures and fittings.Most of the wood used throughout the home has also been recycled.For example, some of the home’s beams came from an old bridge in Tenterfield.It has an open kitchen, living and dining area that flows onto the entertainment balcony, which doubles as the entry.The master bedroom has an ensuite and entry onto the rear entertainment deck while the remaining two bedrooms have built-in wardrobes and share a bathroom with floating bath.There is a large storage area and workshop underneath the house, which also has space for one car.“We use it as a bit of a gym and for storage,” Mr May said.DJ Stringer Property Services principal David Stringer described it in his listing as a “character filled home”. The home is almost hidden behind its tropical garden.“A truly divine property glowing with its attention to detail that feels as though it has been hand plucked from a village in Ubud, minus the rice fields, and delicately inserted within our own cultural setting,” he said.“If you are looking for a character filled home that greets you with a warm personality, then this is one property where Bali can be enjoyed without the need of a passport.” The perfect spot to watch the world go by.ESCAPE to a Balinese retreat in your own backyard. This Coolangatta property resembles a tropical oasis with lush plants and Buddha statues surrounding it.Its relaxed vibe is what made owners John and Maria May fall in love with the three-bedroom home.“(It was) the Bali style of it, it’s a real beach house,” Mr May said.“We were looking for a small house rather than a bigger house too.”They have been living in the property for the past 12 years. The kitchen has a view over the balcony. But it’s also the perfect escape.Mr May said they spent a lot of time outside, especially on the front entertainment balcony, which has a thatched ceiling.“We just sit out the front all the time, it’s got a really nice balcony,” he said.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa16 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago“The yard is very private, nobody can see in.”There is also an entertainment deck at the back of the property, which leads to a raised grass area and open firepit.It also has a plunge pool and barbecue area in the front yard.Mr May said despite how it may appear, the garden mostly took care of itself.“It’s really easy to maintain,” he said.“All the plants are easy to maintain and there’s only a little bit of mowing (required).”The home is filled with features that give it character, including timber flooring and French doors. The home is surrounded by tropical trees. Take a dip in the plunge pool. You could get lost in this tropical garden.last_img read more

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