Resolvin D-1 limits kidney damage after heart attacks

A heart attack triggers an acute inflammatory response at the damaged portion of the heart’s left ventricle. If the inflammation lingers, it can lead heart failure. The inflammation can also claim another victim — the kidneys. New research shows that a bioactive compound called resolvin D-1, injected as a therapeutic dose, is able to limit this collateral damage in the kidneys, as tested in an animal model. This suggests potential application to the clinical setting.

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Largest study of its kind finds alcohol use biggest risk factor for dementia

Alcohol use disorders are the most important preventable risk factors for the onset of all types of dementia, especially early-onset dementia. This according to a nationwide observational study of over one million adults diagnosed with dementia in France.

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Protein levels in spinal fluid correlate to posture and gait difficulty in Parkinson’s

Levels of a protein found in the brain called alpha-synuclein are significantly lower than normal in cerebrospinal fluid collected in Parkinson’s disease patients suffering from postural instability and gait difficulty, a study has found.

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Years of Infertility and Miscarriages Sent Me Into a Spiral of Depression

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From the time she was small, Jessica Dolan wanted to be a mom. So not long after she and her boyfriend of nine years got married, they began trying to get pregnant. A year later, with no success, Jessica’s doctor sent her to a fertility clinic for help. Feeling hopeful, the couple began the intense process of in vitro fertilization, with every-other-day visits to the clinic for blood tests, exams, imaging, and injections of hormone-bolstering medications.

Then, in the summer of 2012, they received the news they’d been waiting for: Jessica was pregnant. “I was 37, and we were thrilled to be starting a family,” she recalls.

When she was six weeks along, Jessica started having menstrual-like cramps and feeling lightheaded. At first, she chalked it up to pregnancy, but when the symptoms persisted for several days, she went to her doctor. An ultrasound revealed that the fertilized egg had implanted in her fallopian tubes instead of her uterus—what’s known as an ectopic pregnancy—which meant it wouldn’t survive.

“I was crushed,” says Jessica. “The clock was ticking because of my age, but I dreaded starting the whole process over again.”

More heartbreak

Shell-shocked and in mourning, they took a year-and-a-half break to regroup, but by December 2013 they felt ready to try again. “My fertility doctor assured us that he’d never seen a woman have two ectopic pregnancies, and he was confident we’d be successful,” says Jessica. Indeed, in January 2014, she learned she was pregnant again.

At five weeks, however, she started having cramping again—and discovered that lightning can strike twice. This pregnancy, too, was ectopic. “Everyone at the fertility clinic was shocked, and I felt defective, like there was something terribly wrong with me if my body couldn’t do what it was supposed to do.”

With one frozen embryo left, Jessica and her husband decided to give it one final try. A month later, she had a positive pregnancy test—but at the following week’s office visit, a second test came back negative. “That false positive marked the end of our dreams,” says Jessica. “But giving up triggered a painful identity crisis. If I couldn’t have a child, who was I? What would I be if not a mom?”

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Rock bottom

Jessica spiraled into a dark, lonely place. She could barely get out of bed in the morning and began eating anything that made her feel better in the moment—pizza, ice cream, cookies. Over the next year she gained 30 pounds. “I was too depressed to work, and every morning I woke up and thought, ‘F**k, here goes another day.’ I couldn’t imagine what was going to become of my life.”

Still, there were fleeting moments when she felt more positive, and in one of those she downloaded the 7 Minute Workout app and pushed herself to start doing it. “I’d exercised off and on throughout my life, and even though I was ridiculously out of shape I figured I could do seven minutes,” she says.

WATCH THE VIDEO: Kayla Itsines’ Seven-Minute Full-Body Workout

After a few months, she started running on her treadmill and gradually built her endurance to 10 minutes, then 15, then 20. “Instead of beating myself up for doing so little, I told myself that every minute was a win,” she says. The more she exercised the better she felt—less anxious, more positive, more confident and capable. By early 2015 she had started a new career and began re-engaging with life.

Last June, ready to take her routine to the next level, Jessica hired a personal trainer. “He keeps me accountable and pushes me farther than I thought I could go. Now when he tells me to do 50 push-ups I don’t think, ‘Are you crazy?’ I just do it,” she says.

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Her weekly routine is intense. She gets up at 4 a.m. two mornings for a bootcamp class, does personal training two days, runs at least three miles every weekend, and takes hip-hop or ballroom dancing a few nights a week.

“The fog has lifted and I’m feeling great. I’ve lost weight, and I’m energized by life again,” says Jessica. “Without exercise I would have been lost. It shifted my thinking from negative to positive. It helped me embrace every day instead of dread it. All my life, exercise seemed like a chore, like something I should do but didn’t really want to do. Now I look forward to it, because I know it keeps my mind as healthy as my body. And it all started with a few minutes a day. That’s how powerful it is.”

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U.S. Skater Couple Competed Through a ‘Kind of Traumatic’ Moment Just Before Taking the Ice

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American ice dancers Evan Bates and Madison Chock skated to a season’s best on Monday (Sunday night stateside) in their first routine at the 2018 Winter Olympics, ending in seventh place to advance to the event’s second half on Tuesday.

It was, all things considered, an energetic performance to be proud of, Bates later told reporters — in addition to everything else because Chock has for months been dealing with a foot injury that flared up again during their warmup, minutes before they took the ice.

“We just had a weird moment” when Bates was lifting Chock, she said afterward. “It was the exact same thing that we did that originally injured my foot, and so that was just kind of traumatic.”

“I think considering everything, considering the stumble in the warmup and the pain that Maddie’s competed in, it’s incredible,” Bates, 28, said of their 75.45 result, which trailed American teammates Zach Donohue and Madison Hubbell and Alex and Maia Shibutani.

“We’ll definitely take that performance and that score and look for a special performance tomorrow,” he said.

Her injury, Chock, 25, explained to a group of reporters following their short dance, is an “osteochondral lesion in my foot.”

Basically: “There’s a loose bone fragment that’s in the joint that just is being held in by the cartilage right now,” she said. “And so when that happens [the moment in the warmup], it kind of just jostles it more and it just doesn’t feel very good.”

“But I’ve been dealing with it all season so it’s really no different,” she said. “I’m going to continue doing what I’m doing, just maybe a little extra ice and PT today.”

Chock, who has reportedly been dating Bates for about two years, stressed that the discussion of her foot injury — which had been largely kept private — was not and would not become their focus. But she conceded to reporters that she was in pain after competing on Monday.

“This is bad to say, but I guess I’m used to it at this point,” she tells PEOPLE after being asked how much pain she felt while in the rink.

“Really before it happened, like, I’ve been feeling pretty good, haven’t been hurting,” Chock says. “But I have a feeling it’ll be very sore a little bit later today.”

As Bates recalled, Chock first was hurt last summer “right before” a training camp.

“We did exactly the same movement [that they later did at the Olympic warmup] and Maddie suffered the injury,” he said. “And at the time we weren’t even sure if we were going to be able to do the Grand Prixs,” referring to an international series of competitions.

But Chock “taped it up every day, she’s gotten cortisone shots and she’s been really quiet about it and just been so tough and so resilient and skating so well,” Bates said. “And then we literally did it [the move that caused the injury] with 10 seconds left on the five-minute warmup at the Olympics, and it’s just one of those things you can’t even write or imagine.”

Even so, backstage before they competed, “I just knew Maddie was going to skate well, and she did, and that’s just a testament to her character,” Bates said.

He did not know during their short dance that Chock was hurting — something she effectively concealed both from the cameras and the audience.

“We didn’t want anything to take away from our programs this season,” Chock told reporters of why they have previously not discussed her injury.

“It’s an Olympic year, we didn’t want that to be a focus,” she said. “We knew it would probably surface eventually, as it has, but it definitely isn’t the focus. I mean, still, it won’t be the focus because I’ve been dealing with it all season and nothing will change. We’ll still skate a good free program and be ready to go. [I have] a great team around me and a great support system right next to me, so it’ll be fine.”

Bates and Chock certainly had other things to discuss, including a color-streaked feathered costume she wore that she said was inspired by the red and blue macaw. “It’s such a lively theme [in the ice dancing event] and we really wanted to embody that in the way we felt and in our costumes,” she said.

Yes, Chock said, she was in a “little bit” of pain after competing, while speaking with the press. “But it’s okay,” she said. “It’ll be fine.”

They had another day of competition — the free dance — to think about.

“It feels really good,” Chock said of returning to the Winter Games, where they competed in 2014. “It feels great to be on Olympic ice.”

The 2018 Winter Olympics are airing live on NBC. To learn more, visit teamusa.org.

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In living color: Brightly-colored bacteria could be used to ‘grow’ paints and coatings

Researchers have unlocked the genetic code behind some of the brightest and most vibrant colors in nature. The article is the first study of the genetics of structural color — as seen in butterfly wings and peacock feathers — and paves the way for genetic research in a variety of structurally colored organisms.

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