• Study Suggests New Strategy for Treating Rare Neurodegenerative Disorder Menkes Disease:  Menkes disease arises from dysfunction in ATP7A, a protein that transports copper to cells, leading to brain development complications. Introducing working versions of ATP7A in the brain is considered the most direct therapeutic approach. However, a new study in AJP-Cell suggests that functioning ATP7A located elsewhere in the body, not necessarily the entire brain, can help treat the disorder. This research is highlighted as one of this month’s “best of the best” as part of the American Physiological Society’s APSselect program.
  • When Exercise Is Unhealthy for the Heart: Researchers Describe How Heart Problems and Sudden Cardiac Death Occur with Endurance Exercise:  Endurance exercise accelerates the development of heart problems in individuals with a particular genetic mutation, a new study finds. In mice with a mutated version of desmoplakin, a protein that maintains the heart wall, exercise made the heart walls come apart sooner. The findings offer insight into how to best manage exercise in individuals with the mutation.
  • New Biomarker Predicts Development of Preeclampsia at Six Weeks of Pregnancy:  Preeclampsia is generally diagnosed later in pregnancy, but new research reports that the protein copeptin can predict the development of preeclampsia as early as six weeks of gestation. The findings could lead to diagnosis of the disorder in the first trimester, improving care and potentially leading to the development of preventative measures.
  • Children Born to Women after Bariatric Surgery at Higher Risk of Obesity, Diabetes:  Weight-loss surgery can boost fertility in women and reduce the risk of pregnancy complications that commonly occur in obese women. However, a new study in rats suggests that weight-loss surgery alters mothers’ hormone and chemical balance, which harms offspring during gestation and later in life.
  • Sex Reassignment Surgery May Be Better for Transgender Women’s Health than Hormones Only:  Transgender women may be at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes compared with men and women in the general population. New research finds that transgender women who received only hormone therapy had poorer metabolic health than transgender women who underwent sex reassignment surgery in addition to receiving hormone therapy, suggesting that sex reassignment surgery may be metabolically protective.
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