Stroke is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and while there are obvious environmental factors such as diet, exercise and behavior, many lines of evidence suggest that the risk of stroke is heritable. Yet until now, only a small number of genes associated with stroke have been identified. 

A new study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation identifies two genes that underlie cerebral small-vessel disease (CSVD), a risk factor for stroke.

Ordan Lehmann and colleagues at the University of Alberta analyzed genome-wide association data from individuals that received brain MRI scans as part of the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) study.

In the developed world, people are having fewer children and living longer and that has led to a population that is older than in the past.

On average, life expectancy in developed countries has risen at a pace of three months per year, and fertility has fallen below replacement rate in the majority of Europe and some other developed countries. Most academic discussion of this trend has so far focused on potential problems - when social security was young there were over 20 workers per retiree and now there are 3 - and that is without the entire Baby Boom being retired and incurring healthcare costs.

Good nose. Credit:  Lowjumpingfrog, CC BY

By Joao Pedro de Magalhaes, University of Liverpool

Biologists have found that increasing the amount of the gene
that can slow the aging process throughout the entire body when activated remotely in key organ systems.

Reducing hyperactivity in kids may be as simple as getting them out to play.

Kids are full of energy so having them trapped in a classroom all day from a young age isn't easy. For some, it is bordering on impossible and many of those have been saddled with the  Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) label. Rather than putting kids on expensive - and in the case of Ritalin, dangerous - medications, the solution may be as simple as some play time before school starts.

With age, our cells gradually lose their capacity to repair damage, even from normal wear and tear. A new paper discusses why this decline occurs in our skeletal muscle. 

A team led by Dr. Michael Rudnicki, senior scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and professor of medicine at the University of Ottawa, found that as muscle stem cells age, their reduced function is a result of a progressive increase in the activation of a specific signaling pathway. Such pathways transmit information to a cell from the surrounding tissue. The particular culprit identified by Dr. Rudnicki and his team is called the JAK/STAT signalling pathway.

Postmenopausal women who eat foods higher in potassium, like bananas, are less likely to have strokes and die than women who eat less potassium-rich foods, according to new research in Stroke.

For patients with advanced Parkinson disease who have involuntary movements, deep brain stimulation has been found to be an effective treatment for reducing motor disability and improving quality of life. 

Some recent studies suggest that
deep brain stimulation
plus medical therapy is better than medical therapy alone for patients with  Parkinson disease and early motor complications. Most clinical studies have excluded patients older than 75 years of age, although no specific age cutoff has been set. 

Children learn many skills simply by watching people around them. Without any explicit instructions, youngsters figure out how to do things like press a button to operate the television and twist a knob to open a door.

Scholars have taken this further and found that children as young as age 2 intuitively use mathematical concepts such as probability to help make sense of the world around them.