• 15 NOV 16
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    Testing sense of smell may give early warning of Alzheimer’s risk

    "A new four-point test has fine-tuned smell exams to check for Alzheimer’s," the Mail Online reports. The testing is based on recognising and then recalling certain distinct smells, such as lemon or menthol. Some people who scored badly on the test were later found to have early signs associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Previous research has

    • 10 NOV 16
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    Teen vapers ‘more likely to take up smoking’

    "Vaping raises likelihood of teenagers starting to smoke, study suggests," The Guardian reports. A study of US teens found those who regularly vaped were more likely to progress to tobacco smoking than their non-vaping peers. The study used questionnaires to assess e-cigarette and cigarette use in 3,000 adolescents aged 15. The teenagers completed questionnaires twice: at

    • 01 SEP 16
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    Targeting ‘addiction switch’ may help combat alcoholism

    "Alcoholics are missing ‘vital chemical in their brain’ that helps control addiction," the Daily Express reports. Research carried out on rats suggests that low levels of the PRDM2 enzyme could trigger self-destructive addictive behaviour associated with alcohol dependency; leading people to continue to drink even though it is causing them physical and mental stress. The studies showed

    • 22 OCT 16
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    Sweetened drinks, including diet drinks, may raise diabetes risk

    "Drinking more than two sugary or artificially sweetened soft drinks per day greatly increases the risk of diabetes, research has shown," The Guardian reports. The research was a Swedish cohort study of sweetened drink consumption over the past year for people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. They also looked at people with an uncommon form of

    • 17 DEC 16
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    Sugar tax would ‘cut childhood obesity’

    "Sugary drinks tax ‘will benefit children most’," BBC News reports. A new study, where researchers tried to estimate the impact of a sugar tax on soft drinks, found that it would help combat child obesity as well as tooth decay. A proposed UK sugar tax on soft drinks is expected to be introduced in 2018.

    • 22 DEC 16
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    Sugar guidelines unreliable says study funded by sugar industry

    "A study … challenged recommendations by public health officials for people to cut sugar consumption," the Mail Online reports. The study has been criticised as it is funded by companies who sell sugary products, including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and McDonald’s. This systematic review assessed guidelines from all over the world, including those produced by Public Health

    • 12 JAN 17
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    Study reveals how alcohol shifts brain into ‘starvation mode’

    "Alcohol switches the brain into starvation mode, increasing hunger and appetite, scientists have discovered," BBC News reports. Research in mice found alcohol increased activity in a set of brain cells used to regulate appetite. Scientists have long been puzzled about why people often eat more when they’ve been drinking alcohol, despite the high number of

    • 27 OCT 16
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    Study recommends screening toddlers for heart disease risk

    "Toddlers should be screened for an inherited form of heart disease … experts suggest," BBC News reports. A new study looked at the feasibility of screening for familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH), an inherited condition that affects around 1 to 2 in every 250 people in the UK. It can cause abnormally high cholesterol levels. It doesn’t

    • 16 NOV 16
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    Study looks at nursing assistants’ effect on patient outcomes

    "Patients are a fifth more likely to die on wards where nurses have been replaced by untrained staff, a major study has found," the Daily Mail reports. This latest research into 243 hospitals across Europe found those with more professional nurses, compared to nursing assistants, had lower death rates after surgery and were rated more highly

    • 10 SEP 16
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    Statins are ‘safe, effective and should be used more widely’

    "The benefits of statins are hugely underestimated and far outweigh any harm," the Daily Mail reports. A major review also argues that the risks of statins have been exaggerated by both the media and some sections of the medical profession. The review in question explored a variety of evidence to weigh up the benefits and