October 28, 2023
Light at the end of the tunnel for as migraine sufferers as new potential treatment discovered
A major international study may have uncovered crucial new information which could lead to the curing of migraines. Around one in five Women, one in 16 men, and one in 11 children have regular migraines - with attacks three times more prevalent in women. Now, an international study of the genetics of migraine has provided new insights into the biology behind the attacks, according to the Mirror . Scientists say it will enable detection of rare variants protecting against migraine, opening an avenue for the potential development of new drugs to treat the problem. An international team of researchers, led by deCODE Genetics in Iceland, analysed genetic data from more than 1.3 million participants of which 80,000 had migraine. The scientists focused on detecting sequence variants associated with the the two main subtypes of migraine - migraine with aura, often referred to as "classical migraine", and migraine without aura. The results highlight several genes that affect one of the migraine subtypes over the other, and point to new biological pathways that could be targeted for therapeutic developments. Although recent advances have been made in studies of the genetics and underlying biology of migraine and new treatments recently developed that are effective for many migraine sufferers, they do not work for all types of migraine. The new study, published in the journal Nature Genetics, discovered associations with 44 variants, 12 of which are new. Professor Kari Stefansson said: "Four novel migraine with aura associations were revealed and 13 variants associated primarily with migraine without aura. Of particular interest were three rare variants with large effects pointing to distinct pathologies underlying different types of migraine. "Thus, a rare frameshift variant in the PRRT2 gene confers a large risk of migraine with aura and with another brain disease, epilepsy, but not of migraine without aura." In SCN11A, a gene known to play a key role in pain sensation, the scientists detected several rare loss-of-function variants associated with protection effects against migraine, while a common missense variant in the same gene is associated with a modest risk of migraine. And a rare variant pointing to the KCNK5 gene, confers large protection against severe migraines and brain aneurysms, either identifying a common pathway between the two diseases or suggesting that some cases of early brain aneurysms may be misclassified as migraines. Prof Stefansson CEO of deCODE genetics, added: "What makes our study unique is that it includes large datasets from sequenced individuals enabling detection of rare variants protecting against migraine, potentially opening an avenue for development of novel drug targets." Last month, we reported that the first oral drug to tackle the cause of migraines is being rolled out as a treatment on the NHS . The regulator said its approval of Rimegepant - taken as a wafer on the tongue - marks a "step-change in treatment" for the "invisible disability that affects all aspects of life". Draft guidance by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) means the drug made by Pfizer will initially be offered to 13,000 patients hospitalised due to acute migraines in England. Helen Knight, NICE medicines director, said: "This is the first and only NICE-recommended medicine that can help alleviate the misery of acute migraines, and may be considered a step-change in treatment. " Migraine is a condition described in comments to NICE from carers and people with migraine as an invisible disability that affects all aspects of life including work, education, finances, mental health, social activities, and family. Today's final draft guidance addresses the high unmet need for treatment options for acute migraine, once again demonstrating our ability to ensure clinically and cost-effective medicines are available to those who need them as quickly as possible." Prof Peter Goadsby, top neurologist at King's College London, said: "Migraine can have a debilitating impact on those living with it. Today's decision, to offer a treatment which can be used at the onset of a migraine is a welcome step to help expand the options available to eligible patients." It is estimated that up to 43 million workdays are lost each year in the UK to migraine-related absenteeism.
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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