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National Association of Primary Care - Members
NAPC News 26 July 2012
Imperial Innovations, a technology company has invested £17 million in Cell Medica, the London-based medical research business, developing cell-based products to boost the immune system and treat cancer.
NHS Braced For Third Year Of Cuts
The NHS is set for a third year of cuts. Spending will fall from £106 billion this year to £105.9 billion in 2013/14, Treasury data has indicated.
International aid, however, will rise from £8 billion to £10.5 billion, although all other government departments face cuts.
Physiotherapists To Prescribe Drugs
Physiotherapists and podiatrists will be able to prescribe painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs under plans announced earlier this week.
Lord Howe, Health Minister, will propose that after a four month period of training, healthcare professionals should be able to prescribe drugs related to their field. Physiotherapists would be able to prescribe medicines for chronic pain and to help respiratory diseases, while podiatrists would be able to prescribe medication for patients with diabetic foot ulcers and arthritic disorders.
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy said the plans would make UK physiotherapists the first in the world to be allowed to prescribed medicines independently.
Cards Help Patients Opt Out Of Death Pathway
Patients approaching the end of their lives are being issued with cards informing doctors that they do not want to be placed on a controversial ‘death pathway’, as concerns increase about the practices becoming routine.
The ‘advance refusal’ notices operate like an organ donor card, enabling patients at the end of their lives to make their wishes clear while they still have the capacity to do so.
Hospital Assault Files Go To Prosecutors
The Metropolitan Police have said that claims that three NHS staff assaulted vulnerable patients at Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone have been passed to prosecutors.
Baldness Drug Dangers
A software engineer has alleged that a drug to cure baldness ‘gave him a woman’s body’.
After taking the generic drug, finasteride, William McKee, aged 39, left his wife and is considering a sex change.
Merck, the company which makes the proprietary version, said the drug had not been shown to cause sexual dysfunction.
New Treatment Could Halt Spread of Drug Resistant TB
A study led by Dr Andreas Diacon of Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, has concluded successful tests of a new tuberculosis treatment that consists of three drugs given in combination.
Dr Giovanni Battista Migliori of the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases has said the study’s results were very promising, but also warned that new drug regimes would need to be used very carefully if healthcare providers were to avoid allowing resistance to develop, as they had in the past.
Obese Children At Risk Of Heart Disease By The Age Of 12More than half of severely obese children suffer from high blood pressure and cholesterol problems, leaving them at risk of heart conditions later in life, researchers have said.
Almost two thirds of severely obese children under 12 already had at least one risk factor for heart disease, Dutch scientists reported.
Toxic Response To Mutant Mosquito Sci-fi Experiment
Residents of America’s southernmost city fear they may become ‘guinea pigs in sci-fi experiment’ after officials announced plans to deploy an army of British created ‘Franken- mosquitoes’ to help fight a public health threat.
The proposed release of up to six million laboratory raised mosquitoes, genetically engineered by scientists at the University of Oxford to breed offspring that self-destruct, has provoked an outcry from some of the residents of Key West.
Cheeses Slashes Risk Of Diabetes
Research has shown that regularly snacking on chees can reduce the chances of getting type 2 diabetes by 12 per cent.
Scientists now believe that, although cheese is high in saturated fats, which is linked to diabetes and heart disease, it may be rich in specific types of fat that could be good for the body.
The European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition study is examining how eating habits can affect a variety of diseases. When the results were averaged out across all diary products, researchers could find no reduction in the risk of diabetes among those consuming large amounts. However, when they looked at individual items, they found cheese did seem to protect against diabetes. Cheese lovers were about 12 per cent less likely to become ill than those who rarely ate it.
One possible explanation is that the fermentation of chees triggers some kind of reaction, which protects against diabetes. Researchers said: ‘The role of cheese in chronic disease deserves more study.
Sports Supplements May Cause Organ Failure
Illegal sports supplements could cause kidney failure, seizures and heart problems, according to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
The MHRA has launched a campaign warning people not to buy illegal sports supplements after it found 84 products for sale that contained dangerous ingredients such as steroids, stimulants and hormones. It has also asked major suppliers to submit their supplements for review, especially those containing Ephedrine, Synephrine and Yohimibine, which have been linked to side effects usch as kidney failure and heart complications.
A New Life For The Heart
Researchers have discovered how ‘to turn back the clock’ on ageing heart tissue, giving it a new lease of life. The discovery could lead to new treatments for heart failure, which often follows a heart attack.
Because the heart cannot repair itself, nothing can be done to prevent its deterioration once it is damaged. But now experts in California have found a way to reverse this damage. Using stem cells, they have succeeded in resetting a molecular mechanism that determines the rate at which cells age.
Dr Sadia Mohsin, one of the study authors, whose research is published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, said: ‘Since patients with heart failure are normally elderly, their cardiac stem cells aren’t very healthy. We modified these biopsied stem cells and made them healthier. It is like turning back the clock so these cells can thrive gain.’
Why Autumn Babies Are Likely To Live Longer
Children born in autumn are more likely to live to 100 than those born at other times of the year, researchers have found.
University of Chicago scientists found significantly more centenarians were born in the period September to November, with the fewest between March and July. They gathered birth and death data of more 1,500 centenarians born in America between 1880 and 1895. No clear reason was given, but Leonid Gavrilov, a research associate at the University’s Centre for Ageing, said: ‘The most popular hypothesis is that seasonal infections in early life are creating long-lasting damage to human health’.
Skin Cancer Cases Triple For The Seventies Sun Generation
According to Cancer Research UK, the number of over-50s being diagnosed with the deadliest form of skin cancer has trebled in 30 years.
Yinka Ebo, a senior health information officer at Cancer Research UK, added: ‘The increased rates we’re seeing are most likely a reflection of past tanning behaviour.’
Professor Jonathan Rees, a skin specialist at the Edinburgh University, said: ‘Over the past 40 to 50 years, people’s exposure to the sun has probably increased, but it is very difficult to prove. If you were to go back to the middle of the last century, people did not tend to lie on the beach for hours as they do now.’
New research claims that the long term use of heartburn drugs, known as proton pump inhibitors, could increase the risks of infection, cancer and heart disease, as well as a dangerous deficiency of some vital minerals and vitamins.
Vitamins Cut Risk Of Pancreatic Cancer
University of East Anglia research indicates that a high-selenium diet could reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer.
The study examined data from almost 24,000 men and women aged between 40 and 74.