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Thursday 06, May 2010

  Sparrow brain cell death can offer clues in human age-related diseases

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Sparrow brain cell death can offer clues in human age-related diseasesResearchers are expecting to develop treatments for treating age-related degenerative diseases of the brain such as Parkinson’s and dementia by working on the concept of remarkable changes in the brains of tiny songbirds every year.

Researchers from the University of Washington and the University of California, Berkeley reported a striking shrinkage in size of the brain regions controlling singing behavior of Gambel’s white-crowned sparrows.

Christopher Thompson, lead author of the study and a UW doctoral student in neurobiology and behavior termed the changes are substantial. The co-authors of this study were Eliot Brenowitz, a UW professor of psychology and biology, and George Bentley, a former UW postdoctoral researcher who is now a UC Berkeley assistant professor of integrative biology.

Thursday 25, Dec 2008

  Deceased MMA fighter Justin Levens was addicted to painkillers not steroids

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levens-steroidsUFC mixed martial arts fighter Justin Levens was found dead along with his wife in their Laguna Niguel condominium in California. Authorities believed it was a case of murder-suicide although investigation is still ongoing to determine exactly the nature of the crime.

“Nothing has been ruled out,” said Orange Country Sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino.

The bodies of Levens, 28 and his wife Sara McLean-Levens, 25, were discovered around 2:30 pm Wednesday by the mother of McLean-Levens, saying she got worried when she had not heard from her daughter for five days. When she saw the bodies, the woman dialed 911 for help. The bodies were believed to be in the home for at least a few days.

Orange County Superior Court records indicated that Levens was convicted in 2003 of spousal injury.

His last fight was scheduled July this year, but he was banned before the fight for testing positive for oxymorphone, an opioid analgesic.

This case has spawned suspicions that the crime was caused by roid rage, a term used to refer to aggressive and violent behavior of anabolic steroid users. However, there has been no concrete indication that Levens was abusing steroids.

According to the report of LA Times, no suicide note was found but authorities recovered a handgun at the scene. Police also found huge amounts of pain killers and anti-depressants at the condo but not anabolic steroids.

It has been compared with the Chris Benoit double murder-suicide which was alleged to have been caused also by roid rage. However, people who are involved in the case, including Benoit’s father, linked the wrestler’s murderous behavior to dementia which was believed to be caused by repetitive head concussions