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Scientists Find Molecular Trigger That Helps Prevent Aging And Disease

Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine set out to address a question that has been challenging scientists for years: How do dietary restriction-and the reverse, overconsumption-produce protective effects against aging and disease? An answer lies in a two-part study led by Charles Mobbs, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience and of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, published in the November 17 edition of the journal Public Library of Science Biology. The study, titled "Role of CBP and SATB-1 in Aging, Dietary Restriction, and Insulin-Like Signaling, " examines how dietary restriction and a high-caloric diet influence biochemical responses.

Epiphany Announces Positive Results From Its Phase 2b Trial In Shingles

Epiphany Biosciences announced results from its Phase 2b dose-ranging study of EPB-348 (valomaciclovir) in patients with shingles (herpes zoster) infection. The study's primary endpoint was non-inferiority of once-daily valomaciclovir compared to thrice-daily valacyclovir in terms of time to complete crusting of the shingles rash. The double-blinded study enrolled 373 patients, randomized into 3 arms: 1 gram of once-daily EPB-348, 2 grams of once-daily EPB-348, thrice-daily valacyclovir (1 gram, three times per day). Eighteen patients also received 3 grams of once-daily EPB-348. Once-daily EPB-348 at two grams met its primary endpoint of non-inferiority to valacyclovir.

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An Overactive Immune Response Linked To Viral Infections Among Elderly

Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have found that exaggerated responses of the immune system explain why the elderly succumb to viral infections more readily than younger people. Published in the November 19 Cell Host & Microbe, the study bucks the general belief that declining immune responses are to blame for susceptibility to viral infections. Illness and death caused by viral infections tend to increase with age, indicating that aging impairs immunity, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. To understand how aging modifies inflammatory response to viral infection, a research team led by Daniel R. Goldstein, M.D., associate professor of internal medicine and cardiology at Yale School of Medicine, infected young (2-4 months), middle-aged (8-10 months), and aged (18-20 months) mice with the herpes virus.

Seniors Struggle With Drug Costs While Congress Debates Medicare 'Doughnut Hole

Minnesota Public Radio reports: "Since 2006, senior citizens have been able to choose plans for Medicare prescription drug coverage, but that coverage contains a gap known as the 'doughnut hole, ' a gap that health care reform plans being debated in Congress would address." "Under the House health care bill, Medicare would eliminate the gap within a decade. The House bill would also require the Health and Human Services Secretary to negotiate prices directly with drug companies. There are no such provisions in the Senate proposals but a final Senate bill isn't written yet. ... Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found about 15 percent of senior citizens who fell into the gap stopped taking their medicines, particularly if they were name-brand drugs.

Seniors Worry About Impact Of Reform Proposals On Medicare

"Turns out you can fear a government takeover of health care even if the government already took over your health care, " The Associated Press reports. "The trepidation that's taken hold among the elderly over Obama's drive to remake the nation's health care system is turning into one more political headache for Democrats.... Older Americans, who vote at a higher rate than other age groups, also hold deeper concerns than others about proposed health care changes, surveys have shown. ... Republicans are moving to exploit those concerns, producing a 'Seniors' Health Care Bill of Rights' this week that touches on sensitive points, including protecting Medicare and ensuring government doesn't come between patients and doctors.

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Secretary Sebelius Releases New Report: America's Seniors And Health Insurance Reform: Protecting Coverage And Strengthening Medicare

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today issued a new report, America's Seniors and Health Insurance Reform: Protecting Coverage and Strengthening Medicare. The report highlights the problems with the status quo that leave seniors paying escalating costs for their health care while outlining how health insurance reform will strengthen Medicare and protect coverage for seniors. The report is available at "Senior citizens have seen their premiums and out-of-pocket drug costs rise and without reform, many seniors on Medicare could lose access to the doctor they know and trust, " Secretary Sebelius said. "Health insurance reform will protect the coverage seniors depend on, improve the quality of care and help make Medicare strong.

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