June 18, 2021

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iNews-briefs217US customs arrests 10 illegal Caribbean migrants at Miami port

From Customs Today February 27, 2015

MIAMI: The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency says it has apprehended 10 Caribbean migrants in the waters off Miami.

CBP said that the migrants, whose nationalities were not identified, were nabbed after agents deployed warning shots and disabling fire to successfully interdict a vessel earlier.

It said law enforcement authorities had detected and tracked a suspicious vessel travelling westbound from the Bahamas without navigational lights.

“Training, skill and commitment of our agents allowed us to safely interdict these migrants attempting to enter the country illegally. Day and night we stand guard against illicit trafficking of people and contraband bound for the United States,” CBP said in a statement.

For more: http://customstoday.com.pk/us-customs-arrests-10-illegally-caribbean-migrants-at-miami-port/


Warning on use of melatonin for children’s sleep

By David Ellis From Medical Express

Sleep researchers at the University of Adelaide are warning doctors and parents not to provide the drug melatonin to children to help control their sleep problems.

Melatonin is a hormone produced in the body with the onset of darkness. It plays an important role in fine tuning people’s circadian rhythms, such as the timing of sleep onset, as well as other biological processes.

In a paper published in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, Professor David Kennaway, Head of the Circadian Physiology Laboratory at the University of Adelaide’s Robinson Research Institute, warns that providing melatonin supplements to children may

result in serious side effects when the children are older.

“The use of melatonin as a drug for the treatment of sleep disorders for children is increasing and this is rather alarming,” Professor Kennaway says.

“Melatonin is registered in Australia as a treatment for primary insomnia only for people aged 55 years and over, but it’s easily prescribed as an ‘off label’ treatment for sleep disorders for children.”

Professor Kennaway says there is extensive evidence from laboratory studies that melatonin causes changes in multiple physiological systems, including cardiovascular, immune and metabolic systems, as well as reproduction in animals.

“Melatonin is also a registered veterinary drug which is used for changing the seasonal patterns of sheep and goats, so they are more productive for industry. If doctors told parents that information before prescribing the drug to their children, I’m sure most parents would think twice about giving it to their child,” Professor Kennaway says.

“The word ‘safe’ is used very freely and loosely with this drug, but there have been no rigorous, long-term safety studies of the use of melatonin to treat sleep disorders in children and adolescents.

“There is also the potential for melatonin to interact with other drugs commonly prescribed for children, but it’s difficult to know without clinical trials assessing its safety.”

Professor Kennaway, who has been researching melatonin for the past 40 years, says these concerns have largely been ignored throughout the world.

“Considering the small advances melatonin provides to the timing of sleep, and considering what we know about how melatonin works in the body, it is not worth the risk to child and adolescent safety,” he says.

For more: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-02-melatonin-children.html?utm_source=nwletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=ctgr-item&utm_campaign=daily-nwletter


Cayman Islands dump catches fire ONCE MORE!

On Sunday (1) people living within a 5 mile radius of the Cayman Islands Goerge Town landfill, known as The Dump or ‘Mount Trashmore’ had to close the windows of their dwellings because of smoke – and lots of it. The dump caught fire once more just after 1pm.

Luckily fire crews soon had the blaze that was described as ‘sizeable’ under control.

By previous standards this blaze was small but it could happen anytime soon because of spontaneous combustion taking place underground.

No word yet when a proposal for the solution will be implemented.

If nothing is done very soon the dump won’t be the only ‘thing’ that will catch fire.

See also today’s iNews Cayman story: Fire under control at Cayman Islands GT Landfill


Airline sends med student to Brazil in travel mixup

By Megan Snedden, USA TODAY

In another escapade of destination mixups, medical student Emmanuel Akomanyi accidentally flew to Goiania, Brazil instead of his intended destination: Guyana. Oops!

In jest, a CNN reporter said: “Scholarship to study medicine, I sure hope his sense of hand-eye coordination is better than his sense of direction.”

There are probably worse places to be stuck than Brazil, but this situation does not seem fun. Akomanyi, who won a scholarship to medical school in the country on the Caribbean coast, is not alone in the realm of country confusion. Over the years, there have been other cases like his.

To a certain extent, it does make some sense when there’s a Memphis in both Tennessee and Egypt, and Antigua is both a country and a city in Guatemala. Modern technology exists to curtail these mix ups, though, so you’d think humanity would have these hiccups figured out by now.

This incident brings to mind the time Turkish Airlines sent a couple to Dhaka, Bangladesh when they intended to go to Dakar, Senegal. Then there was the time British Airways sent a passenger with cancer to Grenada in the Caribbean instead of the city of Granada, Spain. Also, a pair of Britswere sent to Sydney, Nova Scotia instead of Sydney, Australia.

The big issue is that airlines don’t always take responsibility for the mix-up, which has resulted in some pretty expensive mixups for travelers. In the past, some people have tried to sue or request free economy class vouchers to anywhere in the world, but didn’t receive any compensation.

As for Akomanyi, he spent a week in Brazil before the airline helped him get a new ticket to his intended destination.

For more: http://www.krem.com/story/travel/2015/02/28/airline-sends-med-student-on-detour-to-brazil-in-latest-destination-mixup/24185855/


Second successive winner of Cayman Islands ‘Off the Beaten Track’

David Lim is won the Off The Beaten Track (OTBT) last Sunday (1) after winning the 50K event for the second consecutive year.

The race was established on Grand Cayman in 2010 by ultra-marathon runner Kenneth Krys founder and executive chairman of KRyS Global.

OTBT has had a different course each year and 2015 was no different. It started as usual at the Public Beach but finished at the George Town Yacht Club.

Second was Andrew Keast and the fastest female was Helki Weber.


Lenovo laptops infected with malware at source


Lenovo Laptops Infected with Malware at Source In an era where every day the world is rocked by a new internet hack or cyber-crime story. Only die hard conspiracy theorists would not have been truly amazed to learn that the Chinese computer manufacturer knowingly infected their laptops with malware.

Initially, it was thought that the software only enabled the manufacturer to send pop-up ads to the browser. However more detailed investigations has found that the malware was more intrusive and tracked browser activity and opened up the computer to more malicious attacks which could compromise the identity of the computer user, leading to identity theft.

We contacted the local Lenovo agent in the Federation, TDC for a comment. Mr. Kelly the group’s CEO indicated that they did not receive any shipment of the affected laptops from Lenovo. He added that if customers are concerned they should contact the company. Contact details for TDC as well as the Lenovo models affected and can be found in the transcript of this news package.

For information on the Lenovo models affected click on this link from Lenovo, for more information, of affected Lenovo products. If you have concerns the your laptop is affected you can Contact TDC Business equipment at 464-2511 at extensions 1143 or 1594 for assistance.

For more: http://www.winnfm.com/news/local/11640-winn-fm-weekend-tech-round-up-for-weekend-of-feb-27th#sthash.AI4Q6FwH.dpuf


Cayman Island’s Tourism Association to elect new board

The Cayman Island’s Tourism Association (CTA) is seeking nominations for the 2015-2016 CITA Board of Directors. The polls open on 22nd April and the election will take place at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Association. All nominations are due by 4:00pm on 18th March. A total of 10 seats need to be filled out of the 14 seats on the CITA Board.

Tiffany Dixon-Ebanks, CITA Executive Director, said, “CITA looks forward to the receipt of nominations from without our membership to help us navigate and steer the future of tourism here in the Cayman Islands. In the end, we look forward to a team of Directors who will work tirelessly to champion the cause of this very valuable industry and efforts of the CITA.” She also adds, “With the fact that tourism contributes to so many other of the traditional sectors in the Cayman Island’s economy, it is hoped that we will see a full list of potential candidates poised to contribute.”

The election at the Association’s AGM will be from 3:00 – 5:00pm, followed by a cocktail reception.

The following board members will be serving their second term in 2015-2016, as they received the highest votes in the last election: Theresa Broderick (Condos/Villas); Brian Krug (Transportation); Steven Hayes (Restaurants); Ken Hydes (Cruise).


SPIRITUAL LIFE: Unexpected signs

By Suzette Martinez-Standring For The Patriot Ledger From The Herald News

I don’t expect guarantees, only encouragement

Call it serendipity or a divine message, but I pay attention to signs. In what way is the unexpected meant for me? However, there are times when I think, “Well, what’s that supposed to mean?” Like the two signs I rode past while on the Caribbean island of St. Martin recently. Just below “Skanki’s Bar” another one read, “Trust in the Lord.”

I asked my husband, “Do you think a church shares the same storefront with a bar?”

David said, “Or maybe it means if you hang out at Skanki’s you better trust in the Lord.”

In the West Indies, faith is as common as food. Of the 37 square miles that is St. Martin, even our cabbie said, “People opening churches and restaurants all the time.”

Faith permeates Caribbean society, and it is not limited to Sunday worship. For example, a poultry shop wall posted a scripture on repentance written on butcher paper. A handwritten sign on a shoe store window read, “Give thanks to the Lord always.”

Now what do flip-flops have to do with thanksgiving? To paraphrase the TV commercial about cotton, “It’s the fabric of their lives.”

Years ago phrases like “Praise God” or “Give it to Jesus” made me uncomfortable. Yet I accept people speak from personal belief or culture, so I refrained from criticisms to be polite.

Years later when I came back to faith, I discovered others had no such restraint. Now I was on the receiving end. When I offered to pray for a friend in hardship, she replied, “Well, you can pray if it makes you feel better.”

When something wonderful happened against all odds, I blurted out, “Wow. That was so God!” An eavesdropper corrected me, “You should call it luck or the universe.”

Once I said, “I’ll pray for clarity,” and someone quipped, “Yeah, and then you’ll hear angels sing.”

It’s a dousing with cold water, but I don’t want to stop being me.

Folks on the Caribbean have a sweet easiness with the spiritual, which puts me at ease, too. In Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see.”

Sometimes the certainty of others strengthens me. I don’t expect guarantees, only encouragement.

While on St. Martin, I saw a little odds-and-ends store that sported a banner, “Stay strong and be courageous in the Lord.”

An hour later, a close friend revealed a bad diagnosis. Who wouldn’t be scared at such news? Then I told her about the saying in the store window, and she took it as a mantra meant for her. Some store owner’s spiritual certainty arrived at the right moment to give us both a sorely needed boost. That’s how unexpected signs work.

For more: http://www.heraldnews.com/article/20150227/LIFESTYLE/150226682/2002/LIFESTYLE#sthash.Yp2HwiTA.dpuf


Cayman Islands authority says it did not get Caledonian beneficial owner’s name wrong

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) has refuted claims by OffshoreAlert they had named the wrong beneficial owner in the liquidation petition of the Caledonian Bank and Caledonian Securities. They said they were well aware of the allegations made by the Miami watchdog OffshreAlert and claimed the authority was well aware of the various parties.

OffshoreAlert published a report stating that Gordon Casey, a 39-year-old Curacao-based attorney, was not the beneficial owner, despite the court filings by CIMA.

Casey had told OffshoreAlert he was very shocked to read that he was named as the UBO in the petition,


Cuba’s designation as terrorism sponsor snarls negotiations with US

From Jamaica Gleaner

WASHINGTON, Mar. 1, CMC – Cuba’s spot on the American list of states that sponsor terrorism has emerged as a major sticking point in efforts to restore diplomatic ties with the United States and reopen embassies that have been closed for nearly five decades.

This was revealed on Friday during a meeting of Cuban and American officials for a second round of talks aimed at pursuing the pledge by the US to restore diplomatic relations.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said removing Cuba from the list was not part of the negotiations but, instead, an evaluation that the department must make based on congressionally-mandated criteria.

He said the department must determine whether Cuba, in the last six months, has been engaged in supporting international terrorist acts.

“That evaluation will be made appropriately, and nothing will be done with respect to the list until the evaluation is completed,” Kerry told reporters, without indicating how long that would take.

At the same time, Cuban officials said they could not envision opening a formal embassy in the United States while their country remains on the terror list. The only other countries listed are Iran, Sudan and Syria.

For more: http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/article/caribbean/20150301/cuba’s-designation-terrorism-sponsor-snarls-negotiations-us


Cayman Islands sets up Automatic Exchange of Information Portal for FATCA submissions

From EY tax Insights

The Cayman Islands Department for International Tax Cooperation (DITC) recently provided additional information related to the registration of Financial Institutions and the filing of US-Cayman Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) related reports. The DITC indicated that it is in the final stages of testing the AEOI (Automatic Exchange of Information) Portal that will be used for FATCA submissions. The AEOI portal, which will be used for conducting notifications (i.e., registration) and reporting by or on behalf of financial institutions, is expected to be opened in early March 2015.

A few other items to note related to the AEOI Portal:

The reporting format will be consistent with currently published Schemas by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding FATCA and by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), and will be in XML format.

Financial Institutions will have the option of submitting reports to DITC individually, by entering information manually on the website, or via bulk submission by uploading an XML file(s).

Financial Institutions that have registered as a sponsoring entity will have the ability to upload an XML file containing information for multiple Financial Institutions.

The notice indicated that Portal User Guidance Notes will be posted on the DITC website in due course.

The AEOI Portal site also announced that the Cayman Islands Cabinet has approved extending the Notification deadline from 31 March 2015 to 30 April 2015 (Notification – A Cayman Islands Financial Institution (FI) that has reporting obligations under US FATCA must notify the Tax Information Authority (TIA) of that fact and provide the following information: (i) The FI name; (ii) The FI categorization according to the US/Cayman IGA (e.g., Reporting Cayman Islands Financial Institution); and (iii) The FI GIIN, if the FI has registered with the IRS).

The following is a link to the Cayman Islands Competent Authority site that contains the update on the FATCA submission portal:


SOURCE: http://taxinsights.ey.com/archive/archive-news/cayman-islands-sets-up-automatic-exchange-of-information-portal-for-fatca-submissions.aspx



US firm offers to assist Jamaican cannabis market

From Jamaica Observer

DENVER, (CMC) – A communications and marketing firm here says it is ready to provide services to the “newly-minted” Jamaican cannabis market.

Cannabis Global Initiative (CGI) says it is now offering a “full suite of services” to assist companies wanting to be among the first to do legal cannabis business in the Caribbean, and has opened a second office in Jamaica’s capital – Kingston.

“We work with businesses, municipalities, policymakers, and other cannabis-related entities in local, national, and international markets,” CGI said.

“Our team is highly specialised in all aspects of cannabis and have expert inside knowledge and experience on the regulatory framework which can be customised for most municipalities,” it added.

Since 2009, CGI said it has worked to bring regulation, decriminalisation and retail sales to Colorado, and has been “at the forefront of creating the laws and regulation surrounding medicinal, edible and now legal cannabis”.

“With the opening of its second office and CGI’s longstanding relationships with the Jamaican Government, policy stakeholders and the growing community, CGI is prepared to advise companies with placing their products and/or services in the first Caribbean country to legalise marijuana for medicinal use,” the statement said.

TessMaria Leon, Director of Client Services for CGI’s Caribbean team, heads CGI’s Kingston office.

“We’ve created a robust offering to ensure the best companies are being represented and positioned correctly to do business in the Caribbean,” said CGI President Wanda James.

Last month, the Jamaican Parliament gave the green light to the amendments of the Dangerous Drugs Act to make possession of two ounces or less of marijuana a non-arrestable, ticketable offence that attracts no criminal record.

The Bill also provides for the creation of a Cannabis Licensing Authority, which will be responsible for developing the regulations governing the medical marijuana industry.

For more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/US-firm-offers-to-assist-Jamaican-cannabis-market


Several honoured at this year’s CNCF Awards

The 2015 Cayman Islands National Festival of the Arts Awards were Thursday night at the Harquail Theater. The event kicked off a series of events scheduled for Cayfest 2015.

The 21st Annual National Arts & Culture Awards recognize those who attain a level of merit in their artistic discipline, contribute to the arts, culture and heritage of the Cayman Islands and support the work of the Cayman National Cultural Foundation.

Meet this year’s winners:

Heritage Cross Gold – J.A. Roy Bodden, JP

Heritage Cross Silver – Deal Ebanks, Donna Myrie-Stephen

Star for Creativity in the Arts Gold – Darrell Dacres, Paul De Freitas, Conrad Martin, Allen Walton (Bunny) Myles, Raymond Scott, Selena Allimae Scott-Ebanks, Isaac Vernon (Smitty) Smith, Edward Lancelot (Sollie) Solomon

Star for Creativity in the Arts Silver – Starrie Scott, Greta Tatum

Creativity Certificates – Matt Brown, Hermes H. Solomon-Hydes

Chairman’s Award – Flowers Bottled Water, Foster’s Food Fair IGA, Funky Tang’s Limited

Sponsor of the Year – Walkers

Volunteer of the Year – Kathryn Rebecca Lloyd

Cayfests continues today with Dress For Culture. Red Sky at Night is tomorrow evening from 4pm until midnight at the Harquail Theater.


Crowd kills teenage girl suspected to be suicide bomber in Nigeria

By Shehu Saulawa From The World Post

BAUCHI, Nigeria (AP) — A crowd beat to death a teenage girl accused of planning to be a suicide bomber and then set her body ablaze Sunday, according to police and witnesses at a northeastern Nigerian market.

A second suspect, also a teenage girl, was arrested at Muda Lawal, the biggest market in Bauchi city.

A spate of suicide bombings has been blamed on Nigeria’s home-grown Boko Haram Islamic extremist group, which wants to enforce strict Islamic law across Nigeria. The group has threatened to disrupt Nigeria’s March 28 presidential and legislative elections, saying democracy is a corrupt Western concept.

In Bauchi, the two girls aroused suspicion by refusing to be searched when they arrived at the gate to the vegetable market, said yam vendor Mohd Adamu. People overpowered one girl and discovered she had two bottles strapped to her body, he said. They clubbed her to death, put a tire doused in fuel over her head and set it on fire, he said.

It seems doubtful the girl was actually a bomber as she did not detonate any explosives when she was attacked, said Police Deputy Superintendent Mohammad Haruna. He described her as the victim of “mob action carried out by an irate crowd.”

For more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/01/boko-haram-suicide_n_6779120.html?utm_hp_ref=world&ir=WorldPost


William Shatner explains absence from Leonard Nimoy’s funeral

iNews B Leonard-nimoy-william-shatnerBy Laura Vitto From Mashable


Although Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner remained close friends following the end of Star Trek, Shatner is getting flack for his inability to attend Nimoy’s funeral on Sunday in Los Angeles.

Shatner took to Twitter to explain his absence, saying that he was fulfilling a commitment to attend a Red Cross Ball in Florida, and that his daughters would attend the ceremony in his place. He starred as James T. Kirk in the original Star Trek series.

Nimoy, who played Spock, died on Friday after a long struggle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 83.

In lieu of attending the funeral, Shatner hosted a Twitter chat to remember Nimoy, and to answer fan questions about his relationship with the legendary actor.

For more: and to read Tweets: http://mashable.com/2015/03/01/william-shatner-leonard-nimoy/?utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mashable+%28Mashable%29&utm_cid=Mash-Prod-RSS-Feedburner-All-Partial&utm_medium=feed&utm_source=feedburner&utm_content=Google+Feedfetcher


Canadian banks struggling in the Caribbean

From Barbados Underground

One of Canada’s largest newspapers The Globe and Mail published an unflattering story last week titled Trouble in Paradise: Inside Canadian banks’ billion-dollar Caribbean struggle. It comes at a time the government of Barbados has been telling Barbadians the economy is on the bounce.

It is no secret the three sectors which drive the economy of Barbados are tourism, international business and foreign direct investment. Last week the government through its state agency the Barbados Tourism Marketing (BTMI) painted a rosy picture of tourism performance in January 2015 and for the immediate future. For the Barbados economy to fire we need inflows from foreign direct investment as well.

The Big 3 Canadian banks have operated in the English Caribbean for decades and many will say have been integral to the economic fortune of the region. For over 100 years Royal Bank and Bank of Nova Scotia have peddled financial services in the region. If the Globe and Mail report is to be taken seriously the three Canadian have taken a bearish position of late. An excerpt from the article suggest the reason is, …to stanch the bleeding, the banks have been restructuring their regional operations by shrinking their footprints and by leaning on specific countries, such as energy-rich Trinidad and Tobago, to drive growth…

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler has done the expected and delivered his “Utter rubbish” rebuttal but who do we think potential Canadian investors will be influenced by, Sinckler or Tim Kiladz’s report. Unlike local business journalists Kiladz’s credentials and profile recommend him highly. [Tim Kiladze is a business reporter with The Globe and Mail. Before crossing over to journalism, he worked in equity capital markets at National Bank Financial and in fixed-income sales and trading at RBC Dominion Securities. Tim graduated from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and also earned a Bachelor in Commerce in finance from McGill University]

Barbados is the domicile of a heavy concentration of Canadian offshore business. If there is a suspicion Canadians banks will continue to shrink operations in the Caribbean expect collateral damage. To the rational Barbadian the Kiladz report is not about the plunging economic fortune of Barbados but how three powerhouse Canadian banks by recent decisions have shown a lack of confidence in the economic future of the English speaking Caribbean.

How will the region respond?

For more: https://barbadosunderground.wordpress.com/2015/02/28/canadian-banks-struggling-in-the-caribbean/comment-page-1/

See related iNews Cayman story “Trouble in Paradise: Inside Canadian banks’ billion-dollar Caribbean struggle” at: http://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/trouble-in-paradise-inside-canadian-banks-billion-dollar-caribbean-struggle/


Delta upgrading in-flight Wi-Fi

By Kelly Yamanouchi, From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (TNS) |

ATLANTA —Delta Air Lines said it is expanding Wi-Fi coverage to flights to Latin America and the Caribbean and upgrading its existing in-flight Wi-Fi service.

The Atlanta-based airline will put satellite-based Wi-Fi on planes that fly long domestic routes and on planes that fly to Latin America and the Caribbean starting in 2016. It will also upgrade the technology on air-to-ground Wi-Fi systems on planes that fly short domestic routes.

Delta first launched its satellite-based Wi-Fi service last year on routes to Asia, and now has the technology on a third of its long-haul international planes. The installation has taken longer than expected, and Delta now expects to complete 85 percent of that fleet by the end of this year.

The carrier sells 24-hour in-flight Wi-Fi passes on its website for $16, while pricing varies when paying for Wi-Fi on board.

For more: http://www.valdostadailytimes.com/news/business/delta-upgrading-in-flight-wi-fi/article_4791c210-bdce-11e4-bc55-07d053c922f7.html?mode=jqm


Caricom committee to tackle ‘bad banking image’

From Trinidad Express

Caribbean Community (Caricom) leaders have agreed to establish a committee of finance ministers to work with the Caribbean Association of Banks to develop a plan to deal with the region being unjustly labelled as a high-risk area for financial services. “Because in many cases our indigenous banks cannot provide a high level of reward, correspondent banks are closing their relationships with them because of the claim that the Caribbean is a high risk area for financial services. “Unless this situation is addressed with urgency, the indigenous banks in each of our countries will be adversely affected in their operations,” Caricom chairman and The Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie said following the two-day inter-sessional summit that ended here on Friday. Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne, who described the banking situation as ‘this very vexing issue” noted that “corresponding banks in the United States as well as Europe have continued to implement a policy to sever corresponding relationships with several banks within the region”. He said the Caribbean Association of Banks had assets in excess of US$30 billion and members are a “very important part of the region’s system so that if they are unable to settle their transactions in the US, in Canada and Britain, clearly it has serious implications for the payment system within the Caribbean region and certainly for the economies of our respective countries. “It means therefore we will not be able to settle our trade transactions expeditiously. It also has implications for investments and we felt that rather than allowing these banks in these countries to deal with the issue on their own that there was a need to elevate it to the level of the regional Caricom governance and to have Caricom as a whole come together to address this issue with various others including the IMF (International Monetary Fund), the World Bank, the Organisation of American States and also to have dialogue with the corresponding banks,” he said. —CMC

For more: http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Caricom-committee-to-tackle-bad-banking-image-294531601.html?m=y&smobile=y


Skin test may shed new light on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases

From Medical Press

Scientists have discovered a skin test that may shed new light on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, according to a study released today will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 67th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., April 18 to 25, 2015.

The study showed that skin biopsies can be used to detect elevated levels of abnormal proteins found in the two diseases.

“Until now, pathological confirmation was not possible without a brain biopsy, so these diseases often go unrecognized until after the disease has progressed,” said study author Ildefonso Rodriguez-Leyva, MD, at Central Hospital at the University of San Luis Potosi in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. “We hypothesized that since skin has the same origin as brain tissue while in the embryo that they might also show the same abnormal proteins. This new test offers a potential biomarker that may allow doctors to identify and diagnose these diseases earlier on.”

For the study, researchers took skin biopsies from 20 people with Alzheimer’s disease, 16 with Parkinson’s disease and 17 with dementia caused by other conditions and compared them to 12 healthy people in the same age group. They tested these skin samples to see if specific types of altered proteins were found—ones that indicate a person has Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.

As compared to healthy patients and ones with dementia caused by other conditions, those with both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s had seven times higher levels of the tau protein. People with Parkinson’s also had an eight times higher level of alpha-synuclein protein than the healthy control group.

Alzheimer’s disease is ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and 5.4 million Americans are currently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Parkinson’s disease affects one million Americans, with at least 60,000 new cases reported annually each year.

“More research is needed to confirm these results, but the findings are exciting because we could potentially begin to use skin biopsies from living patients to study and learn more about these diseases. This also means tissue will be much more readily available for scientists to study,” said Rodriguez-Leyva. “This procedure could be used to study not only Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, but also other neurodegenerative diseases.”

For more: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-02-skin-alzheimer-parkinson-diseases.html#ajTabs


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