Study reveals childhood trauma could affect development, treatment of multiple sclerosis - The Daily Guardian
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Study reveals childhood trauma could affect development, treatment of multiple sclerosis

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Illinois [US], January 29 (ANI): Childhood trauma could affect the trajectory of multiple sclerosis development and response to treatment in adulthood, a new study in mice found.
Mice that had experienced stress when young were more likely to develop the autoimmune disorder and less likely to respond to common treatment, researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign found. However, a treatment that activated an immune-cell receptor mitigated the effects of childhood stress in the mice. The study was published in the journal Nature Communications.
Multiple sclerosis is a progressive autoimmune disease in which the body attacks and strips away the protective coating around neurons, resulting in a wide range of neurological symptoms. Both genetic and environmental factors play a role in MS development.
Previous work has shown that early-life trauma increases susceptibility to developing more severe MS, but researchers have not been able to determine how, said Makoto Inoue, a professor of comparative biosciences at Illinois. In the new study, Inoue’s group studied a mouse model of MS. The mice were genetically susceptible to experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, the model most widely used for studying MS.
The researchers watched the development and progression of EAE in mice that had been briefly separated from their mother and given a salene injection while young and compared it with mice that had not experienced the same stress.
“Mice that had early-life trauma were more susceptible to EAE disease development and suffered prolonged motor paralysis with severe neuronal damage in the central nervous system, which we found was caused by a heightened immune response,” said graduate student Yee Ming Khaw, the first author of the study.
The researchers traced the EAE triggers to the immune system – in particular, a receptor on immune cells that binds to the stress hormone norepinephrine. The researchers found that childhood stress in the mice triggered a prolonged release of norepinephrine. The receptor was activated for long periods of time, which led the cells to decrease its expression – leaving the immune system less equipped to respond to the stress and inflammation of EAE.
Importantly, mice that developed EAE after stress in their childhoods did not respond to treatment with interferon beta, one of the initial therapies most widely prescribed to individuals with MS. Meanwhile, the drug effectively prevented EAE progression in mice without childhood stress, Khaw said.
Next, the researchers treated the mice with a compound that boosts the receptor’s response. The treatment prevented paralysis and slowed damage to the spinal cord. In addition, mice that received the treatment responded to interferon beta treatment, though they had not responded before.
“This work suggests that individuals with experience of childhood trauma develop the autoimmune disease with symptoms and mechanisms that greatly differ from their peers with no history of childhood trauma, and may need different medical treatment,” Inoue said.
“This receptor activator may be a therapeutic drug for MS patients with a history of childhood trauma.”
Next, the researchers plan to verify the mechanisms of the receptor, and to perform translational studies to verify whether boosting the receptor in human patients with MS gives the same benefits as it did for the mice with EAE.
“We believe that the best approach to addressing autoimmune diseases in individuals with a history of childhood trauma or other risk factors is a comprehensive and personalized medicine approach that addresses the whole person,” Inoue said. (ANI)

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Sushmita Sen kickstarts shooting for ‘Aarya’ season 2

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New Delhi [India], February 25 (ANI): Former Miss Universe and Bollywood actor Sushmita Sen on Thursday announced that shooting has begun for the second season of her much-anticipated thriller drama series ‘Aarya’.
The ‘Main Hoon Na’ actor took to her official social media accounts to share the news. She posted an extreme close up picture of her eyes where are luscious locks are seen covering half of her face.
She went on to compliment the post with a short note dedicated to the film and its team and wrote, “She sees a storm coming…in the mirror!!! #Aarya #season2 ‘your wish is our command’ I love you guys!!! Let’s do this @madhvaniram @officialrmfilms @disneyplushotstarvip #TeamAarya #duggadugga.”

To which the director of the series, Ram Madhvani welcomed her by replying, “Welcome back Aarya” in the comments section.

Sen made her comeback with the Indian crime drama web television series ‘Aarya’ for which she had bagged the title ‘Best Actor in drama series’ by eminent entertainment award platforms like Filmfare, Dada Saheb Phalke, Film Critics Guild, Raj Kapoor Award.
Directed by Ram Madhvani, the series, apart from Sikandar Kher, Manish Chaudhari, and Namit Das, also featured actor Chandrachur Singh and Vinod Rawat in the first season. (ANI)

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Billie Eilish reveals she recorded new album in lockdown

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Washington (US), February 25 (ANI): American singer and songwriter Billie Eilish recently revealed during an interview with Stephen Colbert on “The Late Show” that she has recorded a new album in lockdown.
According to Variety, the ‘Bad Guy’ singer said that this new album is the result of her first prolonged period of not touring since her career began in 2016. Eilish said, “I don’t think I would’ve made the same album, or even the album at all, if it weren’t for Covid.”
She added, “That doesn’t mean it’s about Covid at all, it’s just that, when things are different in your life, you’re different. That’s just how it is. So, I have to thank Covid for that, and that’s about it.”
She also talked about the imminent release of her documentary, ‘The World’s a Little Blurry’, which captures her hectic life in the months leading up to last year’s Grammy Awards, where she and musical collaborator Finneas captured multiple awards, including Best Album, Song, Record, New Artist and Producer, among others.
As per Variety, the logistics of recording an album would have been easier for Eilish, her brother, and Finneas, as they famously recorded most of their previous releases, which included 2019’s ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’ and the ‘Don’t Smile at Me’ EP, in the Los Angeles home they grew up in. (ANI)

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David Fincher to helm Netflix’s ‘The Killer’

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Washington [US], February 25 (ANI): Oscar-nominated director David Fincher, who had recently partnered with Netflix for his acclaimed biopic ‘Mank’, has reunited with the streaming service for his next feature film titled ‘The Killer’.
As per Variety, Michael Fassbender is in talks to star in the upcoming assassin drama. Andrew Kevin Walker, who has collaborated with Fincher on ‘Se7en’, ‘Fight Club’ and ‘The Game’, is writing the script for the forthcoming film.
Cean Chaffin will serve as producer for the film, which will focus on a cold-blooded assassin who begins to develop a conscience, causing him to emotionally crack. The story is based on a graphic novel by Alexis Nolent.
In November, Fincher signed a four-year film deal with Netflix. ‘Mank’, a black-and-white drama that chronicles screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz’s efforts to finish the script for the Orson Welles classic ‘Citizen Kane’, was released late last year and has been widely considered an Oscars frontrunner.
‘Mank’ marked Fincher’s first feature directing effort since 2014’s psychological thriller ‘Gone Girl’. In between, Fincher executive produced and directed the Netflix TV series ‘Mindhunter’, an FBI crime drama starring Jonathan Groff. (ANI)

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‘I like me better when I’m with you’: Mira wishes Shahid Kapoor on 40th birthday

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New Delhi [India], February 25 (ANI): As Bollywood’s handsome hunk Shahid Kapoor rang in his 40th birthday on Thursday, his wife Mira penned an adorable note for him on social media.
Mira hopped on to Instagram and shared two pictures wishing the star on his special day. The first picture is a selfie snap that features her kissing the ‘Kabir Singh’ star. Alongside the delightful picture, she explained how special does she feels while being with him.
“Happy 40th to the love of my life. Any wiser and I’m in trouble. Lucky me you don’t look it and lucky you, I don’t show it. I love you baby,” she wrote in the caption.

To wish him further, the mother of two posted a monochrome picture of the birthday boy that captures him coming out of a pool. In the caption, she wrote, “Shine on. Be one with the Light.”

The couple had tied the knot in a personal wedding ceremony in New Delhi in 2015 following which they welcomed two children – Zain and Misha.
Earlier in the day, Sasha’s younger cousin brother and actor Ishaan Khatter also shared a heartwarming birthday wish for him with an unseen throwback picture to mark the special day on social media.
Meanwhile, on the work front, Shahid will next be seen in ‘Jersey’, which also features Mrunal Thakur and Pankaj Kapur. The actor will be essaying the role of a cricketer in the film. It is a remake of a Telugu movie of the same name. He is also working for an untitled OTT project helmed by Indian filmmaker Krishna DK that also features Rashi Khanna in the lead. (ANI)

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Study discusses correlation between allergy seasons, pollens

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Washington (US), February 25 (ANI): Researchers in Munich during a recent study discovered how the length of allergy seasons in Germany are affected by pollen travelling far distances.
Allergy sufferers are no strangers to problems with pollen. But now – due to climate change – the pollen season is lasting longer and starting earlier than ever before, meaning more days of itchy eyes and runny noses. Warmer temperatures cause flowers to bloom earlier, while higher CO2 levels cause more pollen to be produced.
The effects of climate change on the pollen season have been studied at length, and according to some scientists, has grown by as much as 20 days in the past 30 years, at least in the US and Canada. But one important element is often overlooked – “Pollen is meant to fly,” said Dr Annette Menzel, Professor of ecoclimatology at the Technical University of Munich. “Transport phenomena have to be taken into account.”
Along with her colleagues, she studied the transport of pollen in Bavaria, Germany, in order to better understand how the pollen season has changed over time. “The transport of pollen has important implications for the length, timing, and severity of the allergenic pollen season,” said Dr Ye Yuan, a coauthor on the study.
Menzel and her team focused on Bavaria – a state in southeast Germany – and used six pollen monitoring stations scattered around the region to analyse data. Their results were recently published in Frontiers in Allergy. They found that certain species of pollen, such as hazel shrubs and alder trees, advanced the start of their seasons by up to 2 days per year, over a period of 30 years (between 1987 and 2017). Other species, which tend to bloom later in the year, such as birch and ash trees, moved their seasons 0.5 days earlier on average each year, across that same time period.
Pollen can travel hundreds of kilometres and, with changing weather patterns and altered species distributions, it’s possible that people are becoming exposed to “new” pollen species – meaning pollen that our bodies are unaccustomed to encountering each year.
While it can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between local and transported pollen, the researchers focused on pre-season transports. So, for example, if pollen from birch trees was present at the monitoring station, but local birch trees would not flower for at least another 10 days, that pollen was considered to be transported from far away.
“We were surprised that pre-season pollen transport is a quite common phenomenon being observed in two-thirds of the cases,” said Menzel. As for why it’s important to understand how much pollen is from far away, Yuan said that: “Especially for light-weight allergenic [pollen], long-distance transport could seriously influence local human health.”
By examining another element besides simple pollen concentration, scientists can delve deeper into how exactly the pollen season is being affected by climate change. For example, Menzel said that the pollen season maybe even longer than estimated based on flowering observations by “taking into account pollen transport, as it has been done in our current study.”
While the Munich study did not track how far pollen was transported, and only differentiated between local and long-range transport (meaning pollen coming from outside Bavaria), it provides a crucial key in our understanding of annual pollen patterns. Yuan said that future studies should account for “climate change scenarios [and] land use/land cover changes.” He also added that citizen scientists may be able to contribute to pollen studies, who can help collect local observations and contribute to data collection.
It doesn’t look like the pollen season will shorten any time soon, but more research on the subject can provide a better understanding of global patterns and changes so that we can better address these issues in the future. (ANI)

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Ben Affleck reflects on playing an alcoholic in ‘The Way Back’

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Washington [US], February 25 (ANI): American actor Ben Affleck, who is a recovering alcoholic, recently opened up about playing the role of an alcoholic in the 2020 film ‘The Way Back’.
The actor played the role of Jack Cunningham, a former high school basketball star who walked away from the sport only to return to the game as coach of his alma mater’s team. Throughout the movie, viewers learn about the pain Jack has experienced from his battle with alcoholism, the end of his marriage, and the loss of his child.
Affleck recently reflected on the film and why it resonates with him. He said in a recent roundtable discussion with The Hollywood Reporter, “I’m a recovering alcoholic and I played an alcoholic in the movie.”
The actor added, “It’s really about grief and losing a child, which, thank God, I have not experienced, and is probably the worst thing you can experience. But also, a lot of it is about alcoholism.”
Affleck has publicly discussed his own battle with alcoholism and his sobriety journey in the past.
“Alcoholism, in and of itself, and compulsive behavior, are not inherently super interesting, but what is sometimes interesting is what you discover about yourself in the course of recovery and trying to figure out what went wrong, how to fix it, how you want your life to look and what kind of ethics you want to live by,” he continued.
Affleck said, “So yes, I’m an alcoholic. Yes, I had a relapse. Yes, I went into recovery again. And then I went and did that movie.”
Like his character, Affleck has also gone through a separation. In 2015, he and actor Jennifer Garner announced their decision to divorce. The former couple, who married in 2005 and share children Violet, Seraphina, and Samuel, officially filed it in 2017 and finalised their split in 2018.
The actor said, “But for me, the movie was much more about the fact that–whether it’s having lived enough years, having seen enough ups and downs, having had children and divorce–I’m at a point now in my life where I have sufficient life experience to bring to a role to make it really interesting for me.
He added, “I’m not good enough to just invent it from whole cloth, you know? I didn’t have to do research for the alcoholism aspect of the movie–that was covered. It was the Daniel Day-Lewis approach to that.”
In fact, Affleck, who has also written, directed, and produced a number of his own films, said it was an “easy adjustment” to return to acting in a movie made by someone else, in this case, director Gavin O’Connor and writer Brad Ingelsby.
Affleck said, “Although some things were hard about it, it was also kind of cathartic and reminded me why I love and started acting in the first place. Even with things that were emotional or upsetting in some way, I was thrilled and exhilarated at the end of the day.”
The actor is now putting extra thought into which projects he wants to pursue.
He said, “I’ll be 50 in two years. I have three children I want to spend time with, I have a life that I really enjoy, and I want to really love my work and tell these kinds of stories, with characters that are as rich as the ones that you all portrayed.”
The roundtable discussion also featured Sacha Baron Cohen, Delroy Lindo, John David Washington, Steven Yeun, and Gary Oldman. (ANI)

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