London, June 27 (IANS) Men -- more often than women -- need passion to succeed at things. It is because they secrete more dopamine, often called the "happy hormone", suggests a study.At the same time, the hormone may also be responsible for increased incidences of autism spectrum in boys than girls.Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is released in the brain. It can contribute to a feeling of satisfaction. The effects of dopamine are linked to learning, attention and our ability to focus."This is interesting. Research shows a more active dopamine system in most men" than in women, said Hermundur Sigmundsson, Professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology's (NTNU) Department of Psychology.The study, published in the journal New Ideas in Psychology, tested 917 people (502 women and 415 men) aged 14 to 77, to understand men and women's differing activity in the dopamine system."We looked at gender differences around passion, self-discipline and positive attitude," Sigmundsson said. The study refers to these qualities as passion, grit and mindset.The results for the women, however, are somewhat more ambiguous than men's strong need to burn for something, and this study found no such gender difference, the researchers said.While the dopamine system has earlier been associated with different conditions, such as ADHD, psychoses, manias and Parkinson's disease, the new study found it may be also linked to a certain form of autistic behaviour.Some individuals with autism may become very interested in certain topics, which can be a bit unusual, or even strange, for most people. People on the autism spectrum can focus intensely on these topics or pursuits, at least for a while. Dopamine may play a role."Other research in neuroscience has shown hyperactivity in the dopamine system in individuals with autism, and boys make up four out of five children on the autism spectrum. This, and dopamine's relationship to passion, might be a mechanism that helps to explain this behaviour," Sigmundsson noted.--IANSrvt/sdr/
New York, April 19 (IANS) Gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT) was associated with blood pressure changes in both transgender men and women, according to new research.Although doctors have prescribed gender-affirming hormone therapy to transgender men and women for more than 25 years, researchers and health care professionals know little about rates of hypertension and how the effects on blood pressure change over time.A"There are many important gaps in our knowledge about the effects of hormone therapy for transgender people. This study examined the time course and magnitude of the effects of gender-affirming hormones on blood pressure," said Michael S Irwig, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard University's Medical School in the US.AThe study found that within two to four months of beginning hormone therapy, transgender women had an average decrease of 4.0 mm Hg in their systolic blood pressure, but transgender men saw an average increase of 2.6 mm Hg.The prevalence of stage-II hypertension (at least 140/90 mm Hg) dropped from 19 per cent to 10 per cent in the transfeminine group within two to four months of beginning hormone therapy.The use of testosterone in transgender men was found to lead to an increased risk for heart attack or stroke if they also have untreated high blood pressure.For the study, published in the journal Hypertension, the researchers followed 470 patients who began GAHT at a medical centre in the Washington, DC area from 2007 to 2015. Participants were all at least 17 years old and non-cisgender. Of the 470 patients, 247 were transfeminine and 223 were transmasculine.AA--IANSrvt/arm
New York - One key gut hormone, released a few hours after eating, turns off fat production by regulating gene expression in the liver and this regulation is abnormal in obesity, according to a new study.
The researchers from University of Illinois (UI) found that the gut hormone FGF15 in mice and its human counterpart FGF19 turn off fat-producing genes in the liver.
The hormones are released a few hours after eating, when the body transitions from feeding to fasting.
FGF15/19 activates regulatory molecules to enter the nucleus, the centre of the cell where DNA is stored, and inhibits gene expression, reports Xinhua news agency.
"This gut hormone actually acts as a breaker of insulin action, and specifically inhibits lipogenesis in the liver so that it is tightly regulated," said UI molecular and integrative physiology Professor Jongsook Kim Kemper in the study published in the journal Nature Communications.
"For example, with the holidays coming up, if you eat some cookies, the body will release insulin, which promotes lipogenesis. If lipogenesis is not reduced later when the body enters the fasting state, excess fat will accumulate in the liver, so the FGF19 hormone puts the brakes on fat production."
Furthermore, in experiments involving mice with obesity and human patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, the researchers found that the pathway for turning off fat production was dysregulated.
The genes that the gut hormone regulates were highly active, the FGF15/19-activated regulatory molecules did not even enter the cell's nucleus and the suppression markers were not added to the genes.
"This study could be very important for understanding this pathway and investigating how it is abnormal in obesity and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease," Kemper said.
"It adds to our understanding of obesity, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and other metabolic disorders. It also could have implications for other diseases such as diabetes or certain cancers, for which obesity is a risk factor.
"Based on this study, we potentially could search for therapeutic treatment options to target this pathway and increase regulatory function." (IANS)
London, Sep 8 (IANS) Researchers have found that the hormone, ghrelin, may help protect the elderly population from muscle loss, The study, presented at e-ECE 2020 online conference on Tuesday, found that administering a particular form of ghrelin to older mice helped to restore muscle mass and strength."As muscle-related diseases are a serious health concern in the elderly population, these findings suggest a potential new treatment strategy for muscle loss to enable the ageing population to remain fit and healthy," said study author from University of Piemonte Orientale in Italy.Ghrelin is a hormone involved in metabolic regulation and energy balance through activation of appetite, but also plays an important role in protecting against muscle wasting. According to the researchers, both acylated (AG) and unacylated (UnAG) forms are present in the body, but UnAG does not bind to the AG receptor (GHSR-1a), so does not increase appetite. A growing body of evidence indicates that UnAG is acting at an unidentified receptor, which also mediates some common AG and UnAG biological activities, including a strikingly protective effect against muscle wasting. "Ghrelin levels decline as we age and may be involved in the development of sarcopenia, but the role of AG versus UnAG in this process has not been investigated previously," the team wrote.For the current study, the research team investigated how unAG affected the age-related decline of muscle mass and function, by either deleting the ghrelin gene in mice or overexpressing unAG. Muscle function as they aged was assessed through a wire hanging test, during which "falling" and "reaching" scores were recorded, to assess whole-body strength and endurance. Both the deletion of the ghrelin gene and the lifelong overexpression of UnAG reduced age-associated decline in muscle mass and function.Despite both groups of animals displaying similar ageing tendencies in body weight and muscle mass, the mice overexpressing UnAG maintained better muscle structure, performance and metabolism, more typical of muscle in younger mice.The study indicates that UnAG, or possibly drugs that mimic it, can preserve muscle function and reduce the risk of age-related sarcopenia, without causing weight gain and obesity.The research team now plans to identify the receptor mediating UnAG biological activities. This will help better define the molecular pathways involved in AG/UnAG actions and to design treatments that may reduce the loss of muscle mass in sarcopenia and other similar conditions.--IANSbu/sdr/
New York- Joining the growing list of studies on obesity and its link with coronavirus, researchers have stumbled upon a hormone that connects the body's metabolism and immune response system and can explain why Covid-19 is so dangerous for people with obesity.
The hormone leptin regulates appetite and metabolism. It also regulates the cells that fight infection.
Leptin is produced by fat cells and, to a lesser extent, by tissues in the lungs. The more fat a person has, the more leptin circulates in their body.
"The problem for people with obesity is that their leptin levels are always high, and that can affect the response to a Covid-19 infection," said Candida Rebello, lead author of a new paper that traces the link between obesity and the virus.
Elevated leptin levels hamper the body's ability to fight off infections, in the lungs and elsewhere.
High leptin levels promote a low-grade systemic inflammatory state.
"If you have obesity, there are a number of underlying health issues that make it more difficult for you to fight off a Covid-19 infection," said John Kirwan, Executive Director at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana and a co-author of the review published in the International Journal of Obesity.
Your entire body, including your lungs, may be inflamed. Your immune response is likely compromised, and your lung capacity reduced.
"Add in a virus that further weakens the body's ability to fight infection, that can limit the body's ability to control lung inflammation, and you have the recipe for disaster," warned Kirwan.
Covid-19 vaccine developers should take the immune-compromised state resulting from obesity into consideration, in much the same way they would advancing age.
The researchers said the role of leptin in Covid-19's development bears investigation along with the viral proteins that alter the immune systems of people with obesity.
One potential avenue of treatment may be a drug that prevents inflammatory responses to the virus.
"Another potential avenue of investigation includes examining how proinflammatory fat tissue in people with obesity might contribute to activating fewer infection-fighting cells and why those cells die more quickly".
Researchers last week found that the risk of greater Covid-19 severity and death is higher in people with any obese body mass index (BMI).
The findings, published in the European Journal of Endocrinology, showed that BMI over 30 was associated with a significantly higher risk of respiratory failure, admission to intensive care and death in Covid-19 patients, regardless of age, gender and other associated diseases. (IANS)
Researchers have showcased a clear link between the stress hormone cortisol and higher blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Previous research has shown that stress and depression are two of the major causes of a flatter cortisol profile.
"In healthy people, cortisol fluctuates naturally throughout the day, spiking in the morning and falling at night," said study researcher Joshua J Joseph from the Ohio State University.
"But in participants with type 2 diabetes, cortisol profiles that were flatter throughout the day had higher glucose levels," Joseph said in a paper published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.
These sustained levels of cortisol make it much more difficult to control blood sugar and manage the disease, which is why it is so important for those with type 2 diabetes to find ways to reduce stress.
"We have begun a new trial to examine if mindfulness practices can lower blood sugar in those with type 2 diabetes," said Joseph.
"But this isn't the only effective form of stress relief. It's important to find something you enjoy and make it a part of your everyday routine," he added.
The relationship of cortisol with glucose levels was only observed in those with diabetes.
However, the research team believe the stress hormone likely plays an important role in diabetes prevention and they continue to research the connection between cortisol and the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
With type 2 diabetes, your body doesn't use insulin properly.
Some people can manage their blood sugar levels with healthy eating and exercise, while others may need medication or insulin to help manage it.
"Most people with Type 2 diabetes know the importance of exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and getting plenty of rest. But stress relief is a crucial and often forgotten component of diabetes management," Joseph said.
"Whether it's a yoga class, taking a walk or reading a book, finding ways to lower your stress levels is important to everyone's overall health, especially for those with type 2 diabetes," the authors wrote.