Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant says he guarantees that the struggling Lakers will make the playoffs and be a force to be reckoned with once they secure a playoff spot.“It’s not a question of if we make the playoffs. We will,” Bryant said in an interview with Sports Illustrated that was published on Thursday. “And when we get there, I have no fear of anyone — Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Denver … whoever. I have zero nervousness about that.”Bryant is highly confident despite the Lakers being in 10th spot in the Western Conference standings. The Lakers currently trail the Houston Rockets by 3½ games for the eighth spot. They are 26-29, but have won six of their last nine games, including a 113-99 victory over the Boston Celtics Wednesday night.After losing to the Miami Heat earlier this month 107-97, which most believed at the beginning of the season would be a preview of the NBA Finals, Bryant used the loss as a confidence booster to resurrect what has been a horrendous season.But Bryant acknowledged that the Lakers showed positive signs in their loss to the Heat.“And part of the reason I have that confidence is the Miami game,” Bryant said. “We had control of the game. That was no fluke. We were playing very, very well. We were reading the defense, making the pass.”Bryant quickly conceded that the Heat took control of the game due to the play of Lebron James and Dwayne Wade.“OK, they have two great players [James and Wade] who scored eight straight buckets and took control of the game,” Bryant said. “But we were right there. We can do it.”Despite Bryant saying he guarantees making the playoffs, he admitted that it will take a team effort for them to reach the playoffs and make a deep run.The Lakers will host the Portland Trail Blazers Friday night, hours after a private funeral will be held for former owner Jerry Buss, who died on Tuesday at the age of 80. They have a great opportunity to climb the standings as they begin an eight-game stretch in which five of their opponents have losing records. read more

John Isner became the top-ranked American male tennis player by playing his best tennis at home. He wins more than two-thirds of his matches in the U.S., but just half elsewhere. Tennis writers have portrayed Isner’s strength at home as a weakness abroad. But in his sport, where players set large parts of their own schedules, displaying a repeatable competitive advantage is an opportunity, not a liability.1Unlike, say, in the NBA, where an Eastern Conference team that struggles out west can’t replace trips to California with more home dates.Even as he’s pledged to solve his road woes, Isner has filled his calendar with U.S. events. His home-court advantage has helped him rise this month from the world’s No. 13 to No. 10. A couple of weeks ago at a tournament in Indian Wells, Calif., Isner reached the semifinals, where he took a set off No. 2 Novak Djokovic. This week in Miami, he reached the round of 16 but lost on Tuesday to No. 7 Tomas Berdych. In two weeks, Isner will seek to defend his title in Houston.These wouldn’t have passed for spectacular American results when Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras ruled the sport in the 1990s, or even when Andy Roddick and James Blake took up residence in the top 10 during the last decade. These days, though, pretty good is as good as it gets for American men in tennis. None of Isner’s peers got past the round of 64 at either tournament this month; he was the last American man at each by at least two rounds. And no other American man is ranked in the top 60 in the world. (There’s little reason to hope for better things from the next generation: No American ranks in the top 20 in either the under-20 or under-21 world rankings.)Isner is famous among casual fans for his role in the longest match ever played, which he won over Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon in 2010, with the basketball-like 70-68 score in the fifth set. But he’s done his best work at home. Fourteen of his 17 career finals and six of his eight career titles have come in the United States. He’s been an entirely average player at the tour level2This means matches that count towards a player’s official match record: matches at Grand Slam tournaments, in Davis Cup matches and at ATP World Tour events. away from the U.S., winning 51 percent of his matches. At American events, he’s won 69 percent.“I always play my best in the United States,” Isner said at a press conference in Indian Wells. “A lot of times, especially in Europe, I have ‑‑ you know, I haven’t had great results at all.” He was at a loss to explain why, offering perhaps a lack of toughness at overseas tournaments. “There is no reason I can’t have a result like this outside of the U.S.,” he said.The reasons for Isner’s home advantage are varied. The obvious suspects, like the surface he’s playing on and the strength of his opponents, don’t fully explain it. A lot of it comes down to Isner himself.It’s true that much of Isner’s home success has come against weak competition. He has thrived at smaller U.S. tournaments that are optional for top players, who mostly live in Europe and don’t bother to make the trip. These events account for all of his U.S. titles and all but two of his U.S. finals. Just 6 percent of his matches at those events have come against top 10 players, none ranked in the top four. The relative weakness of his competition thanks to these events can be seen in the median ranking of his opponents over the last year: just 64, making his the softest schedule of any player in the top 35 in the world rankings.Isner also gets to play on hard courts, his favorite surface, at most of the U.S. events where he chooses to play. Just two are played on other surfaces: Houston, on clay; and Newport, R.I., on grass.These factors alone don’t explain Isner’s U.S. success, though. I pulled his career match record and ran a logistic regression, controlling for surface,3Isner has played 32 matches on grass, 66 matches on clay and 256 matches on hard courts. I separately ran the regression with each surface and also combining hard and grass, since so few matches are played on grass. The results were essentially the same. the ranking of his opponent4Technically I used the logarithm of his opponent’s ranking, since there is a much wider gap between the No. 1 and No. 10 players in the world — and therefore the probability of beating each one — than there is between the No. 10 and No. 100 players. and the value of each match, in ranking points.5The goal was to check whether Isner plays better in higher-leverage matches, those that count for more — i.e. matches in big tournaments, or later rounds of smaller ones. If he does, this effect could be confused with a preference for home courts. That’s because many of his U.S. events have weak fields, pitting Isner against early-round opponents whom he’d likely beat anywhere. That gives him more high-stakes home matches, so if he thrives in high-stakes matches, it might help explain his home advantage.To calculate the leverage of each match, I took the number of ranking points Isner would receive if he lost the match and subtracted it from the number he would get if he won, then lost the subsequent match. The result is roughly the value of the match, as prize money rises with ranking points and the points also determine a player’s subsequent seedings and affect his earning potential. The calculation is complicated by the ATP’s change in ranking points in 2009, so it isn’t exact, but since most of Isner’s tour-level matches came after 2008, the effect is small. Even after controlling for these factors, Isner remains a homecoming king. Surface, it turns out, isn’t a statistically significant driver of his success. Nor is the value of winning the match. His opponent’s ranking is highly significant. But independent of these factors, a 50-50 match for Isner away from home becomes a match he’ll win two out of three times in the U.S.Tennis isn’t usually associated with strong home-court effects, because of its individual and international nature. Many events draw fans from across the globe, who cheer for players from countries other than their own. And most players get few chances to play at home outside of the Davis Cup, the partisan international team competition that provides a rare home-court advantage in tennis. A popular explanation for home advantage in many other sports — that officials are influenced by partisan crowds — doesn’t translate to tennis because electronic line-call review at the sport’s top levels has greatly reduced the potential influence of subjective calls on match outcomes.Perhaps Isner thrives so much at home because of his background in college tennis, a level of competition where the team is primary. Isner starred at the University of Georgia and loves college team sports, spending much of a press conference last Saturday in Miami breaking down his NCAA men’s basketball tournament bracket. Isner counts on support from American crowds, and was taken aback by U.S. Open fans’ cheers for his opponent, Frenchman Gael Monfils, last summer.Isner lamented his inconsistency away from home in that Indian Wells press conference, and he’d naturally rather do as well outside the U.S. as he does in it. But if he had to choose between his unbalanced current record and, say, maintaining the same win probability everywhere, he should opt for the status quo. Ranking points and prize money nearly double at each stage of a tournament, rewarding players who alternate finals with first-round exits over players who consistently lose in the second round.6We can illustrate this by imagining a simplified five-tournament sequence in which each tournament has 32 players and five rounds. Points and prize money double each round, from one point and $1 for a first-round exit up to 32 points and $32 for a title.Player A, with one title and four first-round losses, would pick up 32 points and $32 for the title, and an additional four points and $4 for the other four tournaments, for a total haul of 36 points and $36. His record would be 5-4.Player B, with five quarterfinal exits, would get four points and $4 in each tournament, for a total of 20 points and $20 — barely half the yield of Player A, despite a superior win-loss record of 10-5.So inconsistency in tennis is good. Even better is predictable inconsistency. A player who doesn’t know when he’ll thrive can’t plan around it. Someone who does best at clay-court events can schedule as many as he can fit in. A player who plays best at home ought to schedule as many home tournaments as possible. Isner has learned that lesson. He has reaped the benefits of a tournament calendar that still features a significant number of U.S. events, even as players from other countries have ascended in the rankings.In addition to the U.S. Open and the mandatory events in Indian Wells, Miami and Cincinnati, Isner had 10 ATP events in the U.S. to choose from in 2007 and 2008, his first two years on tour. That number declined to nine, then eight and then, this year, seven. But the decline in American men’s talent has been even steeper during that time, making ranking points at those events low-hanging fruit for Isner. Combine the easy fields with his home-court preference, and Isner finds lots of success in places such as Atlanta, Winston Salem, N.C., and Houston — even as events he played earlier in his career in Indianapolis, Las Vegas, San Jose, Calif., and New Haven, Conn., have vanished.Early in his career, Isner didn’t choose so well for himself. In his first two years on tour, he opted to play just three of his 10 non-mandatory events in the U.S. But from 2009 to 2013, he managed to play 29 of his 53 optional events in the U.S., even though only one-fifth of such events took place there. Last year, the U.S. hosted eight of these events, and Isner played in seven. He reached the semifinals of six and the finals of three, winning twice.Isner has taken advantage of his home-court preference more wisely than his peer and frequent doubles partner, Sam Querrey. I ran the same analysis on Querrey, the second-ranked American man today. For Querrey, too, surface and leverage weren’t significant. He also showed a significant home-court advantage, though the effect was smaller and less significant than for Isner.7A 50-50 match away from the U.S. for Querrey would turn into a match he’d win 62 percent of the time at home. Yet after playing almost exclusively at home in his rookie year on tour, Querrey has opted to play events away from the U.S. almost as often as home tournaments, averaging one more optional road trip per year than Isner.Perhaps many players would show a strong, significant home advantage if they had the chance. None of the world’s top five players gets more than two or three home events each year. Players from the other Grand Slam-hosting countries — the U.K., France and Australia — have a few more opportunities. But those countries combined have about the same number of tournaments as the U.S.Tennis’s general move away from the U.S., and Isner’s impending 29th birthday, might keep him from entering as many home events in the future. He’s compensating by making more of his opportunities and stepping up at the bigger U.S. events, such as this month’s strong runs and his finals in Cincinnati last year and in Indian Wells the year before that. If Isner can keep improving at the big U.S. events, he won’t have to worry about getting better away from home. read more

Our projections surmise that it will ultimately take about 44 victories to earn a spot in the Western Conference playoffs. In order to reach that win total, the Lakers would need to finish 14-6 against the NBA’s 10th-toughest remaining schedule — one that has 10 home games and 10 road ones. They still have to play the Denver Nuggets, Boston Celtics, Bucks again, Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder, among others.By contrast, the indestructible Spurs need to go only 10-9 to finish with 44 wins. They have an easier-than-average slate the rest of the way, with 11 of their last 19 games in San Antonio. The Clippers have it even better, needing a 9-9 finish to get to 44 victories, with 12 of their last 18 contests at home. (The young, fun Sacramento Kings are positioned in about the same spot as the Lakers in the standings, needing a 13-7 finish to reach 44 wins. But their remaining schedule is the third-easiest in the NBA, giving them some hope in an uphill battle.)James has faced late-season pressure to lift his team out of the doldrums each of the past few seasons. But this scenario with the Lakers stands apart, both because of how much time he missed with injury (one that now looks as if it will cost the team a playoff spot), and because of how the young supporting cast struggled to hold the rope during his absence, going 6-11. It’s one thing to coast into the postseason, the way James’s Miami and Cleveland clubs often did. But James himself hasn’t missed the playoffs in 14 years, not since the 2004-05 season.If there’s a bright side, it’s that the Lakers finally look engaged. They held Antetokounmpo to just 16 points, one of his lowest-scoring outputs in a dominant season. Youngster Brandon Ingram has showcased his scoring ability lately and was unstoppable Friday, finishing with 31 points.But the time to celebrate moral victories for this team has run out, unfortunately. A sixth-straight season of missing the playoffs — especially now, after adding one of the league’s all-time greats — would be disastrous. And after Friday’s loss, the Lakers are staring directly at that possibility. But a number of realities are setting in now. The Lakers are 4 games behind the Los Angeles Clippers for the seventh seed and 3.5 games back of the San Antonio Spurs, who own the head-to-head tiebreaker (meaning their lead is more like 4 games, since the Lakers would miss out on the postseason if they were to finish with the same record as San Antonio). Perhaps the most disheartening thing, aside from having a lot of ground to make up, is the fact that the other teams vying for the last two spots have much easier remaining schedules. UPDATE (March 3, 2019, 9:52 a.m.): The Lakers lost to the Suns on Saturday night, and have now hit a new low point, with only an 8 percent chance of making the playoffs. Barring a miracle turnaround, expect more new low points to come. On the one hand, the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night wasn’t the most surprising thing. After all, the Bucks — who staged a late run to earn the victory in Los Angeles — own the NBA’s best record and have a leading MVP candidate in Giannis Antetokounmpo.On the other hand, the Lakers surrendering a 15-2 run — and the lead — over the final three minutes of play may have put the team’s back against the wall in an entirely new way.With the defeat, LeBron James and the Lakers find themselves staring at just a 14 percent playoff probability in FiveThirtyEight’s NBA projection model, the lowest mark they’ve had all season, and a damning scenario given that there are only 20 games left in the campaign. That 14 percent figure is an enormous drop-off from even a week ago, when the club held 25 percent odds to get in. (Three weeks ago, the Lakers’ number was 41 percent.) read more

Michigan State redshirt senior quarterback Connor Cook (18) celebrates following the Spartans’ upset of the Buckeyes on Nov. 21 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Muyao Shen | Assistant Photo EditorAll good things must come to an end, which the Buckeye faithful learned painfully as the Michigan State Spartans hit a last-second field goal to end Ohio State’s 23-game winning streak.For the final home game of the season, OSU honored its winningest senior class in history (which now currently stands at 48-4), but the Spartans played spoiler and came away with a 17-14 victory in Columbus even without star redshirt senior quarterback Connor Cook.Right away, it was clear that Michigan State was playing with a chip on its shoulder as its defense smothered the Buckeyes. OSU limped to 75 yards of total offense in the first half, luckily tied with the Spartans at 7 after a fumble recovery led to a touchdown in the second quarter.The Buckeyes came into the game with the best offense in the Big Ten but barely managed more than a fourth of their normal yardage per game as they finished with a measly 132 yards and only five first downs.Momentum came at a premium throughout the cold and rainy night as both teams struggled to find a groove. OSU caught a major break when Michigan State fumbled a punt return, which led to another touchdown and a 14-7 lead heading into the fourth quarter. However, the Buckeye offense never threatened again as the Spartan rushing attack imposed its will on a beleaguered defense in the final 15 minutes of play.For the game, the Buckeyes were led by redshirt sophomore quarterback J.T. Barrett, who finished with 46 yards passing and a touchdown, as well as another 44 yards on the ground.  Junior running back Ezekiel Elliott, who came into the game with Heisman Trophy aspirations, only managed 33 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, of which only two came in the second half.However, despite the multiple miscues and shortcomings of OSU, Michigan State’s fantastic performance should not be overlooked. The Spartans had a simple gameplan and stuck to it: stop the Buckeye rushing attack, impose their will through their own rushing attack and own time of possession. Michigan State finished with 203 yards rushing for game, led by redshirt sophomore running back Gerald Holmes with 65 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Redshirt junior quarterback Tyler O’Connor stepped into the spot of Cook and also performed efficiently, passing for 89 yards and a touchdown on 7-of-12 passing with another 25 yards added on the ground.With the victory, Michigan State took control of first place in the Big Ten East, and will play in the Big Ten Championship Game as long as it defeats Penn State next week. OSU, meanwhile, can still play in the Big Ten Championship Game if the Spartans get upset and the Buckeyes are able to bounce back and take care of business against archrival Michigan next week in Ann Arbor. By the numbers:108,975: The number of fans who braved some brutal weather to cheer on the Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium, a new attendance record.48: The amount of wins by the senior class at OSU, the most in any four-year stretch in Buckeye history.4: The amount of losses suffered by Urban Meyer after four seasons at the helm of the Scarlet and Gray.2: Of those four losses, two have come at the hands of Mark Dantonio and the Michigan State Spartans.1: Urban Meyer finally suffered his first regular-season defeat in the Big Ten Conference after starting 30-0 as a Big Ten coach.2.93: The amount of yards OSU averaged per play on Saturday, the fewest it has since Meyer took over. 86: The total number of rushing yards the Buckeyes had against the Spartans. It is the lowest total OSU has registered inside Ohio Stadium since Oct. 1, 2011 against — Michigan State. read more

Trent Barter contributed to this story. The NCAA has formally notified Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee of its intent to obtain documents regarding the investigation of football coach Jim Tressel and six players for selling memorabilia, receiving improper benefits and failing to report the violations. The NCAA says the allegations are considered “potential major violations of NCAA legislation” and that the university may request that the major violations be considered secondary, with supporting evidence. The NCAA is requesting each allegation be confirmed or denied with supporting evidence. The university must compile all requested documents and respond to the allegations by July 5. Gee, Tressel and OSU athletic director Gene Smith are scheduled to meet with the NCAA Committee on Infractions on Aug. 12. John Bruno, faculty athletics representative, and Doug Archie, director of compliance, are also requested at the meeting. In the letter dated April 21, the committee wrote to Gee that it “is most interested in your presentation.” The athletic department said it has no further comment during the response phase. If the committee finds the alleged violations occurred, penalties will be assessed based on Bylaw 19.5.2. Sanctions could be as severe as vacating OSU’s wins from the 2010 season. However, the 2011 Sugar Bowl victory will not be vacated, as the NCAA reinstated the athletes for that game on the basis that the athletes “did not receive adequate rules education during the time period the violations occurred,” said Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice president of academic and membership affairs. Tressel could face termination of employment, and the program could suffer losses of scholarships and off-campus recruiting, according to the bylaw. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor, offensive lineman Mike Adams, running back Dan Herron, wide receiver DeVier Posey and defensive lineman Solomon Thomas are suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for selling game-worn memorabilia and awards and receiving free tattoos. Tressel will join them for the first five games of the season. He also faces a $250,000 fine. Josephine Potuto, a University of Nebraska professor in constitutional law, served on the NCAA Committee of Infractions from 2006–08 and chaired the committee in 2007 and 2008. “It’s very unusual for the infractions committee to reject the school’s penalties,” she said, “but in every infractions case I know of, the committee imposed further penalties.” read more

Lantern file photoOhio State student-athletes are showing their brain power in the Big Ten.A conference-high total of 74 Buckeyes from 28 sports were named to the 2013 Big Ten Distinguished Scholars list, as released by the Big Ten.To be named to the list, those letter winners in at least their second year at their respective school must post a minimum grade-point average of 3.7 or higher in the previous academic year.There were a total of nine Buckeyes who earned a 4.0 GPA last year including senior Derek Blevins (track and field), senior Aaron Craft (men’s basketball), then-senior Adam Homan (football), redshirt sophomore Randy Languis (wrestling), redshirt junior Michael Newburger (gymnastics), senior Melissa Rennie (softball), redshirt senior Max Stearns (fencing), sophomore Gavin Trebilcock (swimming and diving) and junior Tim Wetzel (baseball).Craft is one of two conference basketball players to be named distinguished scholar for the year. He also was named the 2013 Academic All-America of the Year in the sport. Homan is one of three Big Ten football players to post a 4.0 GPA.OSU’s women’s swimming and diving program held the most members of any squad with eight, and were followed by field hockey, men’s volleyball and men’s swimming and diving, who all had five. read more

Ohio State redshirt junior guard Kam Williams (15) and sophomore guard C.J. Jackson walk down the floor late in the second half against Nebraska on Feb. 18 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorExcitement and uncertainty. If there were two words to describe near-universal opinions from everyone about the Ohio State men’s basketball team, those two words would probably fit best.In addition to a coaching change with Chris Holtmann being hired as head coach, the roster has experienced a high degree of turnover. The Buckeyes lost three of their five starters from a season ago while adding three touted recruits and gaining a healthy redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop.The uncertainty starts in the head coach’s office as Holtmann said he knows who only two of his five starters will be when the team kicks off its season with an exhibition game against Wooster at 4 p.m. on Nov. 5 at the Schottenstein Center.“[Senior forward] Jae’Sean Tate is going to be in [the starting lineup], Keita Bates-Diop is going to be in it,” Holtmann said in an interview with The Lantern Wednesday. “After that, I’m still trying to figure out where to go from there.“I think we have multiple guys that can play and I think we’ll have a fairly fluid starting lineup throughout the year. That happens when you have eight to 10 guys that can potentially all start a game for you.”Ohio State then-sophomore guard C.J. Jackson attempts a shot over Indiana’s Thomas Bryant on March 4 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Mason Swires | Former Assistant Photo EditorThe only other position Holtmann would go so far as to name a favorite in was at point guard, where junior C.J. Jackson was called the “likely starter.” Jackson being the likely starter should come as no surprise as he is the only true point guard on the roster.  A heavy weight will be added to Jackson’s shoulders if he is asked to be the on-court leader at point guard. Though he appeared in all 32 games for the Buckeyes last season, he started only nine games and averaged just 5.6 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. Holtmann said he has seen steady improvements out of Jackson since hired in June, but said he still needs to learn how to keep a cool head even he is dealt with some struggles.“I’ve challenged [Jackson] to be a little more physical, to kind of grow in his areas of physicality and toughness and he’s embraced that,” Holtmann said. “Our biggest challenge with C.J. has been not to get too frustrated with himself because he’s going to have to play through mistakes this year because the ball’s going to be in his hands a lot, and he’s going to play an important role and he’s going to have to stay with the right approach.”Jackson being the only natural point guard is a clear sign of the dire lack of depth the team possesses at the position. Holtmann said he believes both Tate and redshirt senior Andrew Dakich could play at the one if called upon by the team. However, Tate is more of a wing and Dakich played just 203 collegiate minutes before transferring to Ohio State. And, in prior seasons, he was more of a bench player.The depth is not much more improved at the shooting guard position either. Freshman Musa Jallow and redshirt senior Kam Williams are natural shooting guards and are both unlikely to see much time at the point. Jallow is also a freshman playing college basketball in what would have been his senior year of high school — he reclassified over the summer and committed to Ohio State — and Williams was inconsistent last season.“We are thin in the backcourt, we know that,” Holtmann said. “I think that’s well documented right, everybody who knows our team knows that people reflect on the point guard position, but we’re thin at the two.”As for the roles of the trio of highly touted freshmen, Holtmann has yet to devise a full plan for what to do with them. The aforementioned Jallow will be able to play both shooting guard and small forward, while freshman Kaleb Wesson will provide the Buckeyes with a low-post player who could receive starting minutes at both center and power forward. Freshman Kyle Young is a big man who has the positional versatility to provide the Buckeyes with depth at both forward and potentially guard. The flexibility of the young players gives Holtmann options when examining ways to fit them into his lineup. “I think all three are going to play in every game,” Holtmann said. “I think they’ll all play significant roles. And when I say significant roles, I think they’re going to be in our top nine or 10 in our rotation, which is a significant role as a freshman. I think it’ll be varying degrees based on how guys develop and our needs for the relative to their position, but all three are ready to help us.”The starting five is made all the more uncertain by the fact the team is currently dealing with a handful of injuries. Though Bates-Diop was listed as one of the starters, Holtmann said he has a knee injury. Wesson and Young each are also dealing with ailments as the former has a sprained ankle and the latter had his tonsils removed. Holtmann added that all three “have missed significant days of practice.”“That slows you down a little bit, but you know, it’s nothing that is going to keep them out for a significant time and we’re all back and healthy right now,” Holtmann said.Though clouded with uncertainty, Holtmann’s squad has the first-year head coach excited to begin the season and see what players will step up. “We certainly have some new faces and some young people that we’ll need to grow into new roles,” Holtmann said. “But I’m excited about the potential of this group and I see those things.” read more

first_imgProstate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancerCredit:Alamy Prostate cancer treatment can involve hormone therapyCredit:Alamy Co-author Dr Kevin Nead, from the University of Pennsylvania, US, said: “I was surprised at how ubiquitous the effects on all types of dementia were, but I would definitely not alter clinical care based on our results.”He said more research was needed to look at the link between ADT and dementia and identify what kinds of patients might be most at risk.Male hormones are known to play a role in the health and growth of neurons, which may help explain the association, said the scientists.Another type of treatment blocks the action of testosterone on tumours rather than cutting off supplies of the hormone.There is no suggestion that taking these drugs, known as anti-androgens, increases the risk of dementia.Dr Matthew Hobbs, deputy director of research at the charity Prostate Cancer UK said: “Although this research suggests that there may be a link between hormone therapy and dementia, it’s very hard to draw clear cut conclusions from studies like these and further research is needed to confirm the findings.”Men having treatment for prostate cancer are likely to be living with other health problems which may also increase their risk of dementia. No man should stop taking hormone therapy based on these findings,” he said.Dr Laura Phipps of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “This study is part of an active area of research into the role that sex hormones like testosterone could be playing in the brain in dementia. Studies like this, which take advantage of the rich data held in medical records, can be very useful for highlighting trends and potential risk factors for further research.”While these results suggest a link between androgen deprivation therapy and an increased risk of dementia, they do not show that ADT is definitely causing this increased risk. We need to better understand the impact of sex hormones in the brain in diseases like Alzheimer’s to delve deeper into the possible reasons for this link.” Man prostate  Around 47,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year in the UK, about half of whom are caught at an early stage before the disease has spread.There is currently no screening for the disease, although men are entitled to a test if they ask for one.The study, published in the journal Jama Oncology, found that men aged 70 and older, and who had been on ADT for at least 12 months, were most at risk.The most common form of ADT used in the UK is a drug called goserelin, sold under the brand name Zoladex, which is injected.It interferes with signals from the brain that instruct the testicles to make testosterone.The scientists urged prostate cancer patients receiving ADT not to change their treatment without consulting their doctors. In absolute terms, the risk is still small. Of the 1,829 patients who underwent androgen deprivation, just 7.9 per cent developed dementia.This compared with 3.5 per cent of the group not treated with ADT.Lead researcher Dr Nigam Shah, from Stanford University in the US, said: “The risk is real, and depending on the prior dementia history of the patient, we may want to consider alternative treatment.” A common prostate cancer treatment that lowers testosterone could double the chances of men developing dementia, research suggests.Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT) shuts down the body’s main supply of the male hormone and is a less drastic alternative to physical castration.It is a standard treatment for men whose cancers have started to spread and cannot be eliminated by surgery or radiotherapy alone.But a new study suggests there may be a serious hidden danger associated with ADT – an increased risk of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.center_img Scientists who analysed the health records of more than 9,000 patients found that when men were given ADT their chances of having dementia within five years doubled. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. ‘Men having treatment for prostate cancer are likely to be living with other health problems which may also increase their risk of dementia. No man should stop taking hormone therapy based on these findings’Dr Matthew Hobbs, Prostate Cancer UK ‘The risk is real, and depending on the prior dementia history of the patient, we may want to consider alternative treatment’ Man and scanlast_img read more

first_imgEd Balls is ready to P.A.R.T.YCredit:BBC “The difference is that the contestants my age then go home and go to bed, and the young celebrities go down to Camden or Central London and I think go through to the morning.”Really sadly, they’ve not invited me. I don’t know what it is. “I mean, there’s like this awkward moment about midnight and people sort of slip out and I sort of stand there and nobody really says goodbye because they all want to leave without people noticing. It’s really tragic.” Tameka Empson with her dance partner Gorka Marquez Melvin Odoom and Janette ManraraCredit:BBC Melvin Odoom and Janette Manrara Strictly Come Dancing voting patterns could be the result of racism, Greg Rutherford has said, as he admits fears that ethnic minority contestants have been discriminated against cannot be ruled out. Fans of the show have previously cried foul over the elimination of Naga Munchetty, Martin Odoom and Tameka Empson, warning the voting public was failing to get behind the show’s black and minority ethnic celebrities.It follows years of suspicion over voting patterns, after non-white contestants appeared to be ejected from the show despite receiving higher marks than their rivals. Rumours of racism influencing the public Strictly vote have blighted the show for years, with an almost annual discussion of voting patterns in the early rounds.The BBC has previously pointed out that the show has featured a black or mixed race winner or runner-up in all but three of the 13 previous series.“Judges judge the dancing and the dancing alone, not anything else,” a spokesman has said.  Ed Balls would like to take his new dancing skills out on the townCredit:BBC  Greg Rutherford with dance partner Natalie LoweCredit:BBC He added hopefully:  “Maybe tomorrow night’s the night? I wouldn’t mind doing it once. I’m going to talk to them. Stop excluding me!”The former politician also disclosed he had scheduled in his first spray tan of the series, having previously vowed not to fall for the all-glittering Strictly outfits. Strictly Come Dancing is aired on BBC One on Saturday at 6.35pm. “I’d like to think the British public are better than that but I honestly don’t know.  It’s entertainment, and that’s just not my world.”In athletics it doesn’t matter what colour you are, it’s just how high you jump or fast you run.”But unless you bring in every single person who voted and ask them ‘Are you racist?’ you can’t rule it out.” Ed Balls would like to take his new dancing skills out on the town  Greg Rutherford with dance partner Natalie Lowe Pasha Kovalev and Naga Munchetty Rutherford, who remains in the competition, has now said it is impossible to rule out racism as a factor, as others call the row “ludicrous”.Rutherford, who remains in the competition, told the Mirror:  “I can’t say it’s not racism, but mainly because it’s not my world. Pasha Kovalev and Naga MunchettyCredit:BBC Contestants from the 2016 series were today engaged in interviews ahead of the Saturday night show, with Rutherford confessing he had struggled to take on a sport he does not naturally excel in.Ed Balls, meanwhile, appeared on the Radio 1 breakfast show to share his anxieties after being left out of nights out by his younger celebrity rivals. “You don’t finish [filming] until 11 o’clock at night, and luckily there’s a tent with a bar so you can finally chill out,” he told host Nick Grimshaw of the weekly schedule. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Bruno Tonioli, the show’s judge, has previously said: “The so-called ‘racism row’ over Melvin, then Tameka leaving is ludicrous.”This series is so competitive every vote makes a difference. If you don’t vote you can’t moan when someone you love leaves.”Gethin Jones, who is co-host of Strictly Come Dancing‘s spin-off It Takes Two, said of the row: “I think that’s all just a bit of madness that’s got out of hand.“You can’t blame the show because it’s a public vote.” Tameka Empson with her dance partner Gorka MarquezCredit:BBC Ed Balls is ready to P.A.R.T.Ylast_img read more

first_img“We should expect reciprocal deals for Britons living in European countries, but Britain should make the first move to demonstrate goodwill.”Just 3 per cent of European citizens living in Britain are unemployed, with 51 per cent classed as employees, 9 per cent self-employed, 4 per cent students and 7 per cent retired, while 17 per cent are children, according to the report.More than a quarter of the food and drink manufacturing workforce and about 15 per cent of academics are from other EU countries, it added.The panel called for the permanent residence system, which is underpinned by EU law, to be converted into the indefinite leave to remain status available to international migrants living in the UK. Any EU citizen travelling to the UK after Theresa May triggers Article 50 should not be allowed to permanently stay in the UK after Brexit, a major inquiry concludes today.Amid growing fears of a “surge” of EU migrants travelling to the UK to take advantage of an expected amnesty, a major report by British Future calls for a “cut-off date” to ensure people coming to the UK do not simply “expect to stay after Brexit”.The inquiry, which includes both Remain and Leave MPs, calls for the three million EU migrants already here to be given an amnesty and offered permanent residence with the same health, social and educational rights as British citizens. Theresa May has so far refused to guarantee the rights of EU citizens already living in the UK, insisting that she will not do so until she has agreement from European leaders that they will do the same for British ex-pats.Around 1.2 million British nationals live in other EU countries. The report found that setting the date that Article 50 is triggered as the cut-off point would be fair and legally watertight, but would not lead to a surge in migration from across the bloc and European Economic Area nations.Gisela Stuart, a Leave campaigner and Labour MP who chaired the inquiry, said: “We determined that the triggering of Article 50 should be the cut-off date, after which EU citizens moving to the UK would not be entitled to stay permanently after Brexit. This would limit any ‘pull factor’ for EU citizens not already in the UK.”Britain should make clear at the start of the Brexit negotiations that EU citizens already here before that date can stay. This would send a clear signal about the kind of country the UK will be after Brexit and the relationship we want with Europe. Ending this worry and uncertainty, both swiftly and fairly, is not only the humane thing to doSeamus Nevin, IoD Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. But the complex and expensive process should be streamlined and costs capped, it said.Seamus Nevin, head of employment and skills policy at the Institute of Directors, said: “Businesses throughout the UK are very clear that confirming the status of EU migrants resident here is the right thing to do.”The evidence the inquiry received showed that uncertainty from valued employees about what will happen to them is tangible in workplaces across the UK. Our members can’t plan for the future or give their employees the assurances they need until government sets out its plan.”Ending this worry and uncertainty, both swiftly and fairly, is not only the humane thing to do. It is also essential to avoid major disruptions to workforce planning and business development if British companies are to be able to prepare to succeed in life outside the EU.”last_img read more