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Experts say Senator McCain's cancer is aggressive, hard to treat

July 20, 2017, 7:06 AM


One-third of dementia cases could be prevented, report says

One-third of cases of dementia worldwide could potentially be prevented through better management of lifestyle factors such as smoking, hypertension, depression, and hearing loss over the course of a lifetime, according to a new report.

Across the globe, about 47 million people were living with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia in 2015. That number is projected to triple by the year 2050 as the population ages. Health care costs associated with dementia are enormous, with an estimated $818 billion price tag in 2015.

The new study, published in The Lancet and conducted by the first Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention and Care, brought together 24 international experts to review existing dementia research and provide recommendations for treating and preventing the devastating condition.

"Dementia is the greatest global challenge for health and social care in the 21st century," lead study author Professor Gill Livingston, of University College London, told CBS News. "The purpose of the commission was therefore to address it by consolidating the huge strides and emerging knowledge as to what we should do to prevent dementia and intervene and care for people with dementia."

There is currently no drug treatment to prevent or cure dementia. But the report highlights the impact of non-drug interventions and identifies nine modifiable risk factors through various stages of life — beginning in childhood — that affect the likelihood of developing dementia.

To reduce the risk, factors that make a difference include getting an education (staying in school until over the age of 15); reducing high blood pressure,  obesity  and diabetes; avoiding or treating hearing loss in mid-life; not  smoking ; getting physical exercise ; and reducing depression and  social isolation  later in life. About 35 percent of dementia cases are attributable to these factors, the analysis found. Removing them could then theoretically prevent 1 in 3 cases.

In contrast, finding a way to target the major genetic risk factor, a gene called the apolipoprotein E (ApoE) ε4 allele, would prevent less than 1 in 10 cases – or about 7 percent.

"There's been a great deal of focus on developing medicines to prevent dementia, including Alzheimer's disease," commission member Lon Schneider, M.D., a professor of psychiatry and the behavioral sciences at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, said in a statement. "But we can't lose sight of the real major advances we've already made in treating dementia, including preventive approaches." Schneider presented the findings at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) 2017.

Of the nine risk factors, the researchers identified the three most common ones that could be targeted for dementia prevention.

The first is increasing education in early life, which the report estimated could reduce the total number of dementia cases by 8 percent if all people worldwide continued their education until over the age of 15.

The researchers note that not completing secondary education could raise dementia risk by reducing what's referred to as "cognitive reserve." It's believed that education and other  mentally stimulating tasks help the brain strengthen


What is glioblastoma, the brain cancer John McCain has been diagnosed with?

Last Updated Jul 19, 2017 10:45 PM EDT


Sen. John McCain diagnosed with brain tumor

Last Updated Jul 19, 2017 9:02 PM EDT

Senator John McCain, R-Arizona, has been diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor, according to a statement released by his family and the Phoenix Mayo Clinic.

The statement says that following a procedure to remove a blood clot  the diagnosis was revealed.

"On Friday, July 14, Sen. John McCain underwent a procedure to remove a blood clot from above his left eye at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix," the statement read. "Subsequent tissue pathology revealed that a primary brain tumor known as a glioblastoma was associated with the blood clot."

The statement also added that the 80-year-old senator and his family are reviewing further treatment options.

"Treatment options may include a combination of chemotherapy and radiation," it added. "The Senator's doctors say he is recovering from his surgery 'amazingly well' and his underlying health is excellent."

Meanwhile, McCain's office released a statement in wake of the recent revelation.

"Senator McCain appreciates the outpouring of support he has received over the last few days. He is in good spirits as he continues to recover at home with his family in Arizona. He is grateful to the doctors and staff at Mayo Clinic for their outstanding care, and is confident that any future treatment will be effective. Further consultations with Senator McCain's Mayo Clinic care team will indicate when he will return to the United States Senate."

Late Wednesday, McCain's daughter Meghan released a statement on social media saying "the news of my father's illness has affected every one of us in the McCain family."

She goes on to write that her father is "the toughest person I know" and that her love for her father is boundless.

"My fears for him are overwhelmed by one thing above all: gratitude for our years together, and the years still to come," Meghan wrote. "He is my strength, my example, my refuge, my confidante, my teacher, my rock, my hero -- my dad."

CBS News' chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook spoke with CBSN on Wednesday night and said that McCain and his family are in for a battle.

"We're all hoping for the best for him and I would caution against trying to make any prognosis and statistics because everyone is different," LaPook said.

"A glioblastoma is a primary brain tumor which means it starts in the brain -- it didn't spread there from somewhere else -- and it's a very serious type of brain tumor and even though they have removed it so far as imaging ... the fear is that microscopic cells still remain and that's why they're [doctors] talking about further treatment."

Colleagues began to send their condolences about Sen. McCain, including  former President Barack Obama  who wrote "cancer doesn't know what it's up against. "Give it hell, John."  

On Friday,  McCain's surgeons performed a "minimally invasive craniotomy"  -- an incision through the skull -- to remove a "5-cm blood clot" above his left eye, according to a statement from McCain's office.


Newborn contracts fatal illness, likely from a visitor's kiss

Most parents know that babies are not born with fully developed immune systems, and as such, newborns are more susceptible to illnesses and infections than the adults around them. What many parents may not know, however, is that something as simple as a kiss can be the start of a devastating infection that can even threaten their baby's life.

It's called neonatal herpes and, sadly, it claimed the life of an 18-day-old baby girl named Mariana Sifrit in Iowa this week.

♡praying for a miracle♡

According to a series of Facebook posts by Mariana's mother, Nicole Sifrit, the baby girl was born on July 1 and discharged with a completely clean bill of health, only to be admitted to the NICU and placed on life support six days later. 

Her liver was failing. She was bleeding internally. Her blood wouldn't clot. And doctors quickly discovered that little Mariana had contracted viral meningitis from herpes simplex virus type 1, or HSV-1, a strain of the herpes virus likely transmitted by the kiss of an adult with a cold sore.

"Most adults are infected with HSV-1 and have HSV-1 in their mouths and saliva from time to time, but do not have any symptoms," the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene explains in a statement . "HSV-1 infection can spread when infected saliva touches a mucous membrane or a cut or break in the skin." 

Update on Princess Mariana: first of all from the bottom of my heart I can't thank everyone enough for the outpouring...

"While HSV-1 in adults can cause the common cold sore, HSV-1 infection in newborns is very serious," the statement adds.

Neonatal herpes is also at the root of the recent controversy surrounding ultra-Orthodox Jewish circumcisions in the New York area. The religious ritual involves a rabbi sucking a small amount of blood out of an infant's wound with his mouth after the baby's foreskin has been removed. This sort of oral suction circumcision has reportedly been in existence since biblical times, but since the year 2000, New York City health officials have linked it to more than 17 cases of infant herpes.

"Most of the children reported were hospitalized, some developed brain damage, and two died," city health officials said.

The most frightening aspect of herpes simplex virus type 1 may be that while it can be deadly in infants, it is extremely common and often lies dormant in adults. That means it's a silent killer you often cannot see. 

So, how can parents possibly hope to protect their babies?

One week ago today/Today

For starters, you can keep an eye out for the symptoms. A child getting sick may develop fever, lethargy, skin rashes, irritability and a reluctance to eat. You can also make sure that you and everyone who touches your baby thoroughly washes

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