Sunday, 29 November 2015

Brazil links fever to birth defects

The Brazilian health ministry confirms a link between a mosquito-borne virus from Africa, Zika Fever, and a high incidence of birth defects. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Sex – Is It All In the Brain?

There is no doubt that our sexual behavior is controlled by our brain. The brains of males and females are different and work differently when it comes to sex. But what exactly determines the difference in sexual behavior and traits between the genders?

Sigmund Freud believed that sex drive is the most powerful motivating force in our lives. Freud theorized that procreation of the species is an overriding priority for any organism. Human beings are driven to higher levels of growth and development due to sensual and sexual development. But where does our sex drive, which is such a powerful motivator of behavior, actually come from?

Sexual drive and desire is the result of an orchestration between our sensory systems (vision, hearing, taste, smell, and touch), the endocrine/hormonal system, and the autonomic nervous system, which is divided into two branches. The sympathetic system increases our physiological activity in response to an emergency and the parasympathetic system restores our physiological activity to normal level after an emergency has passed. Executive decision making processes are regulated by the right frontal lobe, the part of the brain behind the right side of the forehead.

Sex in regions of the brain

Sexual behavior is regulated in various part of the brain, including the hypothalamus. This structure is in our emotional control center which also regulates hunger, appetite, thirst, and body temperature. Basically, the hypothalamus is responsible for the short-term and long-term survival of our bodies, and thus the viability of the species. Without food or water, or without the ability to regulate our body temperature, we would not survive long. Without sex, there would be no procreation of our species. This area of the brain is associated with sexual desire.

The amygdala is near the hypothalamus, and is responsible for alerting us to changes in our environment detected by our senses. This part of the brain is also associated with sexual arousal. During sexual arousal, our bodies show the same signs as they would in a life-threatening emergency: muscle tension, increased heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration, perspiring, pupillary dilation, and tunnel vision.

The nucleus accumbens is the pleasure center of the brain. Anything that is pleasurable will activate the nucleus accumbens. Dopamine, a neurochemical messenger associated with pleasure, reward, and reinforcement, flows into this area, and gives this message: that was fun/ felt good/tasted good/smelled good, don’t forget, do it again. A similar mechanism has been found even in organisms as simple as nematodes, which will choose food over sex, and demonstrate the ability to remember past sexual encounters.

An individual can be sexually aroused by a variety of sensory input, such as seeing a beautiful member of opposite sex, the taste of their lover’s skin, the sound of their lover’s voice, a light touch, the smell of perfume, or experiencing these stimuli in one’s own imagination.

The sexual response cycle

The sexual response cycle is divided into four phases which correspond to various neurological processes:

  • Desire starts with sensory input or cognitive processes.
  • Excitement ensues, increasing activation of the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system.
  • Orgasm involves a peak activation of the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system
  • Resolution is activation of the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system.

In the desire phase, the amygdala has selected incoming sensory information as very critical and worth noticing. This leads to sympathetic nervous system activation, which peaks during orgasm. After orgasm, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, and slows us down to normal again. Throughout this process, the nucleus accumbens is receiving dopamine, and sending the message that this is great, keep going, and don’t forget how much fun this was. This provides reinforcement to repeat the behavior. If sex was not so reinforcing, we would not be so motivated to do it, and again, there would be no procreation, and also less bonding and attachment between couples.

Differences between the genders

It is apparent, sometimes painfully so, that men and women perceive the world differently, process information differently, and have very different emotional responses to the same stimuli. Part of the reason for this is the difference in the male brain and female brain, particularly in the hypothalamus.

The hypothalamus is composed of dense neural centers, or nuclei. Several hypothalamic nuclei are sexually dimorphic, meaning there are apparent differences in their structure and function between genders. Most of the differences are in the neural connections, and neurotransmitter and hormonal sensitivity in particular areas. These structural and functional differences are manifested behaviorally by differences in sexual behaviors in men and women.

Men prefer the scent and appearance of women over other men, which is the start of male desire and initiating sexual behavior. If the sexually dimorphic nucleus is damaged, this sexual preference for females by men is reduced.

Researchers found an association between sexual orientation in males and a part of the hypothalamus called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). The suprachiasmatic nucleus in homosexual men is larger than in heterosexual men. Hypertrophied or enlarged SCN resulted in bisexual behavior in male rats as well. The part of the sexually dimorphic nucleus (SDN) known as the Third Interstitial Nucleus of the Anterior Hypothalamus (INAH 3) is nearly two times larger in heterosexual men than in homosexual men and heterosexual women.

Using Positron Emission Tomography (PET), scientists observed how hypothalamus responds to the scent of the hormone testosterone in male sweat, and the scent of the hormone estrogen in female urine. These studies showed that the hypothalamus of heterosexual men and homosexual women both activated in response to estrogen, while the hypothalamus of both homosexual men and heterosexual women activate in response to testosterone.

Sexual behaviors do not originate in the genitals or other erogenous parts. The signals that lead to arousal start there, but their destination is the brain.The male and female brains have small but critical differences in structure and function, which determine our individual sexuality.


Sammut, M., Cook, S., Nguyen, K., Felton, T., Hall, D., Emmons, S., Poole, R., & Barrios, A. (2015). Glia-derived neurons are required for sex-specific learning in C. elegans Nature, 526 (7573), 385-390 DOI: 10.1038/nature15700

Savic, I., Berglund, H., & Lindstrom, P. (2005). Brain response to putative pheromones in homosexual men Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 102 (20), 7356-7361 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0407998102

Stahl, S. (2010). Circuits of Sexual Desire in Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 71 (05), 518-519 DOI: 10.4088/JCP.10bs06115whi

Swaab DF, & Hofman MA (1990). An enlarged suprachiasmatic nucleus in homosexual men. Brain research, 537 (1-2), 141-8 PMID: 2085769

Swaab DF, Slob AK, Houtsmuller EJ, Brand T, & Zhou JN (1995). Increased number of vasopressin neurons in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of ‘bisexual’ adult male rats following perinatal treatment with the aromatase blocker ATD. Brain research. Developmental brain research, 85 (2), 273-9 PMID: 7600674

Image via LuckyKeeper / Shutterstock.

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Friday, 27 November 2015

Frequent Heartburn May Signal More Serious Digestive Problem

Could be gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and treatments can help, expert says

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Probiotics May Not Shield 'Preemies' from Serious Illness

More research on individual strains of these good bacteria may be needed

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Progesterone May Not Help Prevent Repeat Miscarriage

Findings likely to disappoint many couples, researcher says
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Those in Their 50s Now Largest Group Battling Addiction to Narcotics

Big jump also seen in those aged 60 and older needing treatment for painkiller, heroin abuse

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Advanced Ebola Is Riskiest Stage for Caregivers, Study Shows

Transmission requires close contact with a known case, researchers find

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FDA Approves First Flu Shot with Added Ingredient to Boost Immune Response

Vaccine can be used in seniors, who are often hit hardest by illness

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Mosquito-Borne Virus May Cause Fatal Brain Infection

Chikungunya outbreak on Reunion Island finds encephalitis more common than previously believed

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Related MedlinePlus Pages: Encephalitis, Traveler's Health, Viral Infections via MedlinePlus Health News Read More Here..

Smog Raises Heart Risks in Those with Diabetes

Long-term study showed prolonged exposure linked to heart disease, stroke

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Drug Helps Those with Tough-to-Treat Schizophrenia

Clozapine already approved for use after other antipsychotics don't work

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New Treatment for Type 1 Diabetes Shows Early Promise

Trial finds that immune-based therapy is safe; further trial on effectiveness is planned

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Obesity in Youth May Harm the Heart Long-Term, Even After Weight Loss

Risk of sudden cardiac death was still higher, decades after women had lost the pounds, study found

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Post-Op Bacterial Infection Raises Odds for Complications, Death

Clostridium difficile can be devastating to patients recovering from surgery, experts say
Source: HealthDay
Related MedlinePlus Pages: After Surgery, Clostridium Difficile Infections, Infection Control via MedlinePlus Health News Read More Here..

Retail Prices of Dermatology Drugs Skyrocket

Study reveals quintupling of prices over six years

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Constant Traffic Noise May Boost Depression Risk

Vulnerability is higher among those with a low education and income, researchers report

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Blood gushes from virtual leg injury to help train combat medics

Researchers have created the first detailed simulation of a serious leg injury by solving equations to show how blood really flows

via New Scientist - Health Read More Here..

Good communication makes our work interesting, richer and deeper

Good communication makes our work interesting, richer and deeper. But empathy may dry up over time, hence the need to refresh/recharge periodically.

The most open question is "How are you?" The direction a patient chooses offers valuable information during this first "golden" minute in which you are silent.

Share management plans: "What can we do about this"? Unless you become patient-centered, your patient may never be satisfied with you, or fully cooperative.

Every hospital has a department of reflection. It exists in your mind, don't forget to visit there from time to time.

These are excerpts from the Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine. Read more on page 4, Asking questions:

Here is the famous Cleveland Clinic video "Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care: Patient care is more than just healing -- it's building a connection that encompasses mind, body and soul. If you could stand in someone else's shoes . . . hear what they hear. See what they see. Feel what they feel. Would you treat them differently?"

via CasesBlog - Medical and Health Blog More READ

'Skunk' cannabis may cause brain damage

Researchers find changes in the corpus callosum which links both sides of the brain

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London Ambulance Service placed in special measures

Inspectors found slow response times, poor training and 'culture of bullying'
via OnMedica News Read More Here..

One in five children obese by Year 6

Child obesity levels 'unacceptably high' and even worse in poor areas

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Most severely obese children have cardiovascular risks
Doctors demand more action against child obesity
GPs back campaign for sugar tax
Put families at heart of helping obese children
Obesity programme improved children’s BMI
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A&E waits worsening

Waiting times, cancelled electives and delayed transfers rife says report

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Don’t ignore explosion in pressure on GPs as A&E problems mount
Doctors demand end to A&E game-playing
Waiting times in A&E show signs of improvement
Four hour waiting targets are distorting priorities in A&E
Just 1% of £700m winter funds spent on A&E
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Flu jab uptake 'encouraging'

But experts say not enough people with long-term conditions are being vaccinated

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National uptake of childhood flu jab below 40% for 2 and 4 year olds
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On The Pulse - 27th November 2015

Flu vaccination is safe in pregnancy
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Thursday, 26 November 2015

Best & Worst in Psychology & Psychiatry – October 2015

Usually, we provide the top 5 best and top 5 worst findings coming from topical psychology and psychiatry research publications. However, this October there was an overwhelming number of good news findings worth shouting about. So this month’s roundup is a little different. Below there are 7 best findings. The bad news, for once, is taking the back seat.

WORST: Side-Effects of Antidepressents Disrupt Multimodal Treatment for Child OCD

Activation syndrome (AS) is a suicide-promoting side-effect of antidepressants that includes symptoms of irritability, mania, self-harm and disinhibition. In a double-blind randomized-controlled trial of 56 children and adolescents with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), the relationship between antidepressant-induced AS and CBT treatment effects were investigated. Results suggest that high levels of AS symptoms interfered with CBT treatment and explained 18% of the variance in OCD symptoms during treatment.

WORST: Religion Makes Children Less Generous

Previous research demonstrated that religious people aren’t more likely to do good than their nonreligious counterparts, with this research now extended to children. The new study involved 1,100 children between the ages of five and twelve from the US, Canada, Jordan, Turkey, South Africa and China, playing a game about sharing stickers in a test of altruism— most of the children identified as Christian, Muslim or not religious.

Researchers concluded that a child’s religious rearing environment fundamentally shapes their altruistic tendencies, with more-religious children showing less generosity. Additionally, the data also showed that religious children judged interpersonal harm as being meaner and deserving of harsher punishment than did children from non-religious households.

This may partly be due to “moral licensing,” a phenomenon in which doing something “good”, such as practicing a religion, can result in less concern about the consequences of immoral behavior—a timely reminder that religion and morality are not one and the same.

WORST: Rates of Mental Health Problems to Increase In Months After UK Troops Return From Afghanistan

According to research coming from the King’s Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR), King’s College London, mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety are likely to increase in UK military personnel within the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and Royal Air Force, during the months after returning from Afghanistan.

While the researchers had expected to find an improvement in symptoms between baseline measurements taken at decompression and follow-ups taken three and six months later, PTSD symptoms in particular increased to a statistically significant extent. This highlights the pressing need to provide greater psychological support for troops as they transition from operational deployment overseas to civilian life back home.

BEST: Being Depression Symptom Free Reduces Risk of Relapse

There is a high risk of depression relapse for those who have had an episode of major depression. Research published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry has found that the risk of recurrence is significantly lower for people with complete, rather than partial depressive symptom resolution. Specifically, the researchers found that four consecutive weeks at the asymptomatic status was virtually as strong an indicator of stable recovery as eight weeks.

The profound significance of the results is that there is a need to mark full symptom recovery as the end of a major depressive episode, and that changes in the management of depression to this endpoint could effectively bring an end to the all-too-common depression relapse and “recovery” cycle.

BEST: CBT Helps Chronic Pain Sufferers Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Meta-analysis research published in the journal Sleep indicates that CBT was either moderately or strongly effective in tackling insomnia in patients with long-term pain. What’s more is that they didn’t just benefit from improved sleep but also experienced a wider positive impact on pain, fatigue and depression. Although, when delivered electronically by phone or via the internet, CBT was found to be less effective in benefitting insomniacs with long-term pain.

BEST: Online CBT Benefits for Depression and Anxiety

A review of high quality studies on smartphone and tablet applications delivering CBT for the treatment of psychiatric illness states that CBT combined with clinical care has been shown to benefit people with depression, anxiety and emotional distress from illness, such as cancer and multiple sclerosis. Some studies showed that patients using internet-delivered CBT had better outcomes than placebo controls and equal or better outcomes than those with traditional in-person CBT.

BEST: Women Drive Better if NOT Stereotyped

It is a commonly held stereotype endorsed by women and girls well before they take their driving licence that women are poor drivers, despite statistics suggesting they drive safer and are involved in less accidents than men.

By making the stereotype that women are poorer drivers more salient prior to participating in a driving simulation, two seperate experiments confirmed that women doubled the number of mistakes when stereotyped. The take home message is that by not stereotyping women as poor drivers they will more likely perform better, making less mistakes, which ultimately could save lives.

BEST: Regular Physical Activity Protects Against Depression after Heart Attack

Researchers investigated whether the pattern of leisure time physical activity among 189 patients prior to being hospitalized with their first heart attack was associated with level of depressive symptoms after the initial heart attack.

The research suggests that those performing regular physical activity over 10 years prior to their first heart attack had almost 20% less odds of being depressed compared to their counterparts being inactive during the same period. Moreover, those who changed from being inactive to becoming physical active prior to their first heart attack had greater protection against depression compared to those that changed from being physical active to inactive.

BEST: Purpose in Life Protects Against Negative Effects of Stress

In a study including 985 adults, greater life purpose predicted lower levels of allostatic load at 10-year follow-up. Allostatic load is the “wear and tear” on the body in response to stress that is measured by dysregulation across multiple physiological systems, which in this instance included cardiovascular, lipid, glucose metabolism, inflammation, sympathetic nervous system, parasympathetic nervous system and hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis analysis.

Greater life purpose was also a strong predictor of having strong beliefs about being able to control their own health (i.e. self-health locus of control), which, in turn, partially mediated the association between purpose and allostatic load.

BEST: Men’s Testosterone Levels Can Determine Parenting Skills, Empathy and Marital Quality

175 men whose partner was pregnant with their second child participated with their first child in a videotaped experiment. The children were isolated from their father briefly as the father watched their child being recorded getting increasingly upset from the separation. For some fathers, a drop in testosterone levels upon viewing their distressed child predicted the father’s positive parenting behaviors during a subsequent father–infant interaction, as well as measures of paternal involvement, including empathy and marital quality.

Worst: CBT, AS and Children:
Worst: religion-
Worst: doi:10.1136/jramc-2015-000425
Best: CBT and pain:
Best: Online CBT doi: 10.1503/cmaj.150007
Best: Women and driving and stereotypes: PMID: 26457739 doi:10.1016/j.aap.2015.09.021
Best: Physical activity: DOI:
Best: Purpose in life: DOI:
Best: Being Depression free and relapse: 10.4088/JCP.14m09268
Best: Men’s testosterone and empathy: DOI: 10.1002/dev.21370

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Reports of an 'end to daily diabetes jabs' are premature

"The daily trial of insulin injections could soon be over for hundreds of thousands of people with type-1 diabetes," is the overoptimistic headline in The Times.

A small study involving immune "T-reg cells" proved safe for participants, but it is far too early to talk about an end to daily injections.

In type 1 diabetes the body's immune cells attack the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Without the hormone insulin, people with type 1 diabetes can't control the levels of sugar in their blood.

High levels of sugar (hyperglycaemia) can damage the blood vessels and nerves, while low levels (hypoglycaemia) can cause unconsciousness. Most people with type 1 diabetes need to inject insulin regularly.

It was already known that people with type 1 diabetes have fewer cells called T-regulators (T-regs), which are involved in stopping the immune system attacking healthy cells such as beta cells. Now a group of scientists has found a way to take T-regs from people's blood, filter out any defective cells, and expand the numbers of healthy T-regs so they can inject them back.

This study was to test whether the technique is safe, rather than effective. The researchers say they can't tell from the varied responses of the 14 people in the study whether the treatment actually helped preserve insulin production, let alone restore it. 

Where did the story come from?

The study was carried out by researchers from the University of California, Benaroya Research Institute in Seattle, Yale University and KineMed Inc.

It was funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, the Brehm Coalition, the Immune Tolerance Network, BD Biosciences and Caladrius Biosciences. 

The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Science Translational Medicine. Unsurprisingly, several of the study authors hold patents for the therapy or have been paid by companies interested in providing it.

The reporting in both The Times and The Daily Telegraph made it sound as if the treatment had been shown to work and was ready to be rolled out, when this is far from the case.

The coverage in The Independent and Mail Online was more cautious, sticking mainly to the facts about the study.  

What kind of research was this?

This was a phase 1 dose-escalation safety trial. Phase 1 trials are designed to look at safety, not effectiveness.

In this case, the trial was carried out to see whether patients with diabetes could tolerate the treatment without it causing severe side effects. Larger efficacy trials are done after safety trials to limit the number of people affected if they do find dangerous side effects.  

What did the research involve?

Researchers recruited 16 adults who had recently been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and took a large sample of blood from them.

They separated out the T-reg cells, removed defective cells, and treated the T-regs to expand their numbers. They then infused the T-reg cells back into the bloodstream, and followed these people up to see what happened.

Two of the recruits did not have their cells transfused back into their bodies, as when researchers tested the samples, they failed to meet pre-set safety criteria. The researchers tested the function of the T-regs before they infused them back into the 14 remaining people. 

The treatments were done in stages, one group of people at a time, with the first group receiving the smallest dose of T-regs. The researchers waited at least 13 weeks to see if anyone in the first group got serious side effects before moving on to give a bigger dose to the second group, and then repeating the process.

People had weekly follow-up visits to check for side effects for the first four weeks, then every 13 weeks for the first year, with regular checks until five years after treatment. They also had a number of tests before and after treatment to see whether they were producing insulin.  

What were the basic results?

Nobody in the study had serious side effects the researchers thought had been caused by the treatment. This is important, because immune cell therapy could potentially cause problems, such as a severe reaction to the infusion.

There is also the potential risk of a cytokine release, when T-cells produce proteins called cytokines that cause severe inflammation, similar to that of a bad infection.

Nobody in the study had either of these problems, and none of the participants suffered from an increase in infections, which was also a potential side effect if there are more cells that dampen the immune response.

The main adverse events experienced by people in the study were episodes of very high or very low blood sugar, which happens in people with diabetes when blood sugar is uncontrolled. The researchers say these were unlikely to be linked to the therapy.

Follow-up studies showed some of the T-reg cells remained in the bloodstream for a year after infusion, although most of the cells (about 75%) could no longer be found 90 days after treatment.

Studies of the treated T-regs in the laboratory, before they were infused back into people, showed the cells seemed to have recovered their ability to prevent the body from wrongly attacking beta cells. However, we don't know if this ability persisted after they had been injected.

Tests of a protein called C-peptide, which can indicate whether people are producing insulin, showed a range of results. In some people, the levels remained about the same as before treatment, when you would normally expect them to decline over time.

In other people, the levels of C-peptide dropped off to nearly zero after a year. The researchers say that, given the small numbers of people in the study and the fact they'd been treated at different times in the progression of the disease, it was impossible to tell whether the treatment had made any difference to these results.  

How did the researchers interpret the results?

The researchers concluded that their results "support the development of a phase 2 trial to test efficacy of the T-reg therapy".

They say their therapy, when combined with other treatments being developed, "may lead to durable remission and tolerance in this disease setting".


These early-stage results show work is underway to find a long-term treatment for type 1 diabetes, which could one day mean people do not have to inject insulin.

However, that day is a long way off. Headlines suggesting an end to daily injections can unfairly raise people's hopes, leading to disappointment when no such treatment emerges.

Bringing a new treatment into use requires at least three stages of trials, from the phase 1 safety trials, to phase 2 studies of efficacy, to larger-scale phase 3 clinical trials, where the treatment is given to large groups of people who may be followed-up for some time.

This is usually done with a comparison group to see whether the new treatment performs better than placebo or the established treatment. Many treatments get no further than phase 1.

The results from this study are encouraging for the researchers, as they allow them to move on to the next phase of study. However, it doesn't mean there are no safety concerns. 

We need to see whether the treatment is safe and effective when given to large groups of people. Only after successful phase 3 trials can people with type 1 diabetes start to hope for an injection-free future.  

Links To The Headlines

Blood therapy heralds end of insulin jabs for diabetics. The Times, November 26 2015

End of daily injections for diabetes as scientists restore insulin production. The Daily Telegraph, November 25 2015

New treatment could free type-1 diabetics from 'daily grind' of insulin injections. The Independent, November 25 2015

Could this be the end of daily injections for people with Type 1 diabetes? 'Game-changing' treatment restores production of insulin. Mail Online, November 26 2015

Links To Science

Bluestone JA, Buckner JH, Fitch M, et al. Type 1 diabetes immunotherapy using polyclonal regulatory T cells. Science Translational Medicine. Published online November 25 2015

via NHS Choices: Behind the headlines More READ

Being overweight in early life increase risk of cardiac death

Later weight loss doesn't completely mitigate risk of elevated BMI in young adulthood, study shows

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British getting fatter younger
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Bowel cancer risk for obese teenage boys
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Health spending set to fall in some areas after Spending Review

Budgets for training, public health and capital projects likely to see future cuts

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NHS deficit hits £1.6 billion
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Highest number of excess winter deaths this millennium last year

43,900 excess deaths occurred in England and Wales last winter – the highest number since 1999/00

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Hospital admissions soar as temperatures plunge
Just 1% of £700m winter funds spent on A&E
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Flu jab linked to fewer hospitalisations
via OnMedica News Read More Here..

The surprising value of viewing traumatic experiences

Against all expectations, trauma can be harnessed to give us valuable insights and even create beauty from pain

via New Scientist - Health Read More Here..

Patient deaths do not increase during doctor strikes, research shows

But action must be organised in such a way that patient safety is not compromised, US experts say

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Statement on the Seventh IHR Emergency Committee meeting regarding the international spread of poliovirus

The seventh meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) regarding the international spread of poliovirus was convened via teleconference by the Director-General on 10 November 2015. The Director General of WHO had noted the concerns expressed by the Emergency Committee in its August 2015 report with respect to circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPV). In response, she convened this meeting of the Emergency Committee with broader terms than was previously the case to also look at outbreaks of cVDPV. During the current polio endgame cVDPVs reflect serious gaps in immunity to poliovirus due to weaknesses in routine immunization coverage in otherwise polio-free countries. Moreover, there is a particular urgency to stopping type 2 cVDPV in advance of the globally synchronized withdrawal of type 2 OPV in April 2016.

The following IHR States Parties submitted an update on the implementation of the Temporary Recommendations since the Committee last met on 4 August 2015: Afghanistan and Pakistan. The following IHR State Parties were invited to present their views to the committee and all except South Sudan submitted reports on measures and plans to stop circulating vaccine derived poliovirus: Nigeria, Guinea, Madagascar, Ukraine and Lao People’s Democratic Republic. via WHO news Read More Here..

Junior doctor dispute to go to talks at Acas

Government agrees to talks at conciliation service as first strike date looms

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Hunt pledge: ‘no junior doctors will lose out’
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Poll overwhelmingly backs juniors’ concerns over contract proposals
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Junior doctors may stage full walk out
via OnMedica News Read More Here..

17th century plot to use plague hats as bioweapons revealed

The Venetian empire hoped to break the world's longest siege by selling fezzes painted with bubonic plague fluids to Ottoman troops

via New Scientist - Health Read More Here..

Heart-healthy Holiday Tips

Source: HealthDay - Video
Related MedlinePlus Page: Nutrition via MedlinePlus Health News Read More Here..

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

WHO launches toolkit to help countries respond to sexual violence

On 25 November, WHO joins partners in calling for the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls to ensure their health, well-being and human rights.

“WHO strongly condemns violence against women and girls and supports partners and countries’ efforts towards the de-normalization of this type of violence. Ensuring equality between women and men is a crucial part of these efforts,” said Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO. via WHO news Read More Here..

First images of live blood vessels in unprecedented clarity

Scientists have produced the clearest images yet of tiny blood vessels using gas-filled microbubbles and ultrasound

via New Scientist - Health Read More Here..