BUSO performs Shostakovich and Beethoven at Symphony Hall on November 20,
8 p.m.

Vol. IV No. 14   ·   17 November 2000   

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In The News

After the dramatic turn of events election night, political junkies and ordinary voters alike went to work the following day wondering who won and when it would all be over. With so many people staying up late to watch the returns and making the election the discussion topic of the year, the excitement seems to have helped rejuvenate a period of low political interest. CAS History Professor Robert Dallek says in a November 8 Associated Press story, "The country is at peace and has prosperity, and people don’t see the presidency as important as they used to. But this was like the World Series. It’s exciting and has created a political theater."

The presidential election race received most of the country’s attention, but Massachusetts voters also made an impact through the ballot questions, which will have far-reaching effects on policy, politics, and pocketbooks. Six of the eight ballot questions have fiscal implications for state residents. Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly favored a state tax rollback -- the largest tax cut in Massachusetts history. "It’s the only story in Massachusetts," says COM Professor Tobe Berkovitz in the Boston Herald November 7. "The ballot questions really mean more about democracy and public policy than anything else." Other referendum questions, including a ban on greyhound racing and taking away the right of prison inmates in Massachusetts to vote, echoed strong emotional sentiments among voters.

According to research conducted by the BU School of Medicine, older people can greatly reduce the risk of dementia if they take drugs to lower cholesterol or other fats in the blood. The study, which assessed 284 British people, aged 50 to 89, with dementia, found that those who took drugs called statins had a 70 percent lower risk of developing dementia. MED Associate Professor Hershel Jick told the Agence France-Presse on November 9, "These findings suggest that the use of statins could substantially reduce the risk of dementia in the elderly. Statins either delay its onset, or oppose specific or general age-related changes that result in cognitive impairment." Previous studies have found that lipids, which are fatty molecules inside the body, line the arterial walls and clog up blood circulation to the brain, inflicting a series of minor strokes that destroy brain cells by depriving them of oxygen. Similar exploration is being performed regarding the link between lipids and Alzheimer’s disease, a dementia-causing disorder in which sheets of protein proliferate in the brain, destroying its cells.

"In the News" is compiled by Mark Toth in the Office of Public Relations.


17 November 2000
Boston University
Office of University Relations