• 09 DEC 16
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    Some psychotic episodes ‘may be triggered by immune disorders’

    "Sufferers of psychotic illnesses ‘may have treatable immune disorder’," The Independent reports. Researchers from Oxford University found around 9% of people presenting with psychotic symptoms also had signs of immune dysfunction. They found these people had antibodies in their blood linked to a condition called antibody-mediated encephalitis. In this condition, antibodies made by the immune

    • 07 JAN 17
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    Some babies should be given peanuts early say new US guidelines

    "Babies should be given peanut early – some at four months old – in order to reduce the risk of allergy, according to new US guidance," BBC News reports. The guidelines are based on UK-led research that found early exposure reduced allergy risk. The new US guidelines, which are informed by expert panel discussions and a

    • 07 NOV 16
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    Smoking causes hundreds of genetic mutations

    "Research quantifies genetic damage caused by smoking," the Mail reports, saying a pack a day causes 150 mutations in lung cells. This study analysed the DNA sequence of cells from more than 5,000 cancers. About half came from smokers and the rest from non-smokers, which allowed researchers to compare mutations between the two. Overall, the

    • 03 NOV 16
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    Smartphones and tablets ‘disrupt children’s sleep’

    "Streaming instead of dreaming: Using phones and tablets before bed stops kids from sleeping and can lead to health issues" is the rather poetic headline from the Mail Online. A review of previous data found significant links between media devices like smartphones and tablets, and disrupted sleep in children. Researchers looked at data from more

    • 10 NOV 16
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    Scouts and Guides ‘grow up to have better mental health’

    "Scouts and guides provide ‘mental health boost for life’," BBC News reports. A study of adults with a scouting or guiding background found they were less likely to be anxious or depressed in later life. But the difference in average mental health scores was quite small (2.2 points on a 1 to 100 scale). About

    • 25 NOV 16
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    Review questions recent official vitamin D guidance

    "Vitamin D pills branded ‘waste of time’ and could even be ‘harmful’ according to new research," The Sun reports. But, despite the headline, no new research has been done. The news comes from a review of existing evidence published in the peer-reviewed British Medical Journal (BMJ), which questioned recent government advice on vitamin D supplements. In July this

    • 28 OCT 16
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    Researchers discover the role of hormone in ‘creating fat’

    "Why stress can make you overweight: Hormones turn normal cells into dangerous fat," the Mail Online reports. The headline is prompted by research into the newly discovered role of the Adamts1 hormone in the formation of fat cells. Findings from the animal and laboratory study suggest the Adamts1 hormone can stimulate the development of fat

    • 09 JAN 17
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    Reports of a ‘wrinkle cure’ look a little saggy

    "Wrinkles could be a thing of the past as scientists find a way to regenerate fatty cells," The Daily Telegraph reports. Research involving mice suggests a protein called bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) could repair skin damaged by scarring or ageing by stimulating the production of fat cells (adipocytes). The research team wanted to investigate why

    • 10 DEC 16
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    Report looks at the health of the ‘baby boomer’ generation

    "Baby boomers should ‘stay in work to keep healthy’," reports BBC News, while The Daily Telegraph warns that "Swinging sixty-somethings see swell in sexually transmitted diseases". Both headlines are prompted by a new report commissioned (and partly written) by the Chief Medical Officer for England, Dame Sally Davies. The report assesses the health of adults

    • 13 OCT 16
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    Receptionists ‘putting people off’ seeing their GPs

    "Receptionists may ‘put people off’ seeing their GP by asking questions about symptoms," ITV News reports on a widely covered study carried out by Cancer Research UK. The study is part of an ongoing project looking at reasons why some people don’t seek advice for potential "early warning signs" for certain cancers, such as: a