news 2021



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Health - Pharmacology - 22.04.2021
Study outlines mechanism behind rare blood clots linked to COVID-19 vaccine
New research carried out in collaboration with the University of Birmingham has characterised a rare COVID-19 vaccine-induced syndrome which causes blood clots. The research has identified fundamental laboratory and clinical characteristics, ensuring that patients are given the correct treatment approach.

Health - 21.04.2021
Simple oral hygiene could help reduce COVID-19 severity - study
COVID-19 could pass into people's lungs from saliva with the virus moving directly from mouth to bloodstream - particularly if individuals are suffering from gum disease, according to new research. Evidence shows that blood vessels of the lungs, rather than airways, are affected initially in COVID-19 lung disease with high concentrations of the virus in saliva and periodontitis associated with increased risk of death.

Health - Psychology - 21.04.2021
People with disabilities more likely to be depressed, anxious and lonely during pandemic
Older people in England with physical disabilities were more likely to have worse mental health and to feel lonelier during the Covid-19 pandemic than able bodied people - with more support required to address this during and after the pandemic - according to a new UCL study. Research published today in The  Lancet Public Health found that those with a disability experienced greater increases in depression and anxiety than people without a disability, as well as poorer psychological wellbeing, quality of life and sleep, in addition to lower levels of social contact.

Health - Life Sciences - 20.04.2021
Simple treatment during pregnancy can protect baby from memory problems in later life, study in rats suggests
Simple treatment during pregnancy can protect baby from memory problems in later life, study in rats suggests
A new study in laboratory rats has discovered a direct link between low oxygen in the womb and impaired memory function in the adult offspring. It also finds that anti-oxidant supplements during pregnancy may protect against this. This study shows that we can use preventative medicine even before birth to protect long term brain health.

Health - Pharmacology - 20.04.2021
Covid-19: Clinicians uncover rare blood clotting syndrome
A team led by a UCL clinical academic has outlined the mechanism behind rare cases of blood clots and low platelets seen in patients who have had the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. The new study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine , highlights the importance of rapidly spotting this new syndrome, known as vaccine-induced thrombosis and thrombocytopenia (VITT), as it requires a very different treatment from what is typically recommended for thrombosis.

Pharmacology - Health - 20.04.2021
Genetic changes in tumours could predict patients' immunotherapy response
Genetic changes in tumours could predict patients’ immunotherapy response
Scientists at UCL, the Francis Crick Institute, and the Cancer Research UK Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence, have identified genetic changes in tumours which could be used to predict if immunotherapy drugs would be effective in individual patients. Immunotherapies have led to huge progress treating certain types of cancer, but only a subset of patients respond, and hence a challenge for doctors and researchers is understanding why they work in some people and not others, and predicting who will respond well to treatment.

Health - 20.04.2021
Lack of sleep in middle age linked to dementia risk
People who sleep six hours or less each night in their 50s and 60s appear to be more likely to develop dementia later in life, according to a new study led by UCL and INSERM researchers. Those who persistently slept six hours or less per night were roughly 30% more likely to develop dementia, compared to those with normal sleep duration, according to the findings published.

Health - Pharmacology - 19.04.2021
Accumulation of infected red blood cells key to development of cerebral malaria
White adipose tissue (WAT), or white fat, plays a fundamental role in the development of cerebral malaria in mouse models and humans, according to a new study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health scientists in collaboration with the University of Glasgow and an international team of researchers.

Health - 19.04.2021
Human challenge trial launches to study immune response to COVID-19
Though the COVID-19 pandemic has now been active for a year, not much is known about what happens when people who have already had COVID-19 are infected for a second time. Researchers at the University of Oxford have launched a human challenge trial to look at what kind of immune response can stop people from becoming re-infected.

Health - 19.04.2021
Price of food may influence decision to buy alcohol, new UK research suggests
People consume less alcohol as the price of food increases, suggesting this may influence the decision to buy it, a new study led by Cardiff University has found. The research, which is the first to look at the link between alcohol consumption and cost of food, found a 1% increase in food price led to a 1% decrease in alcohol consumption.

Health - Life Sciences - 16.04.2021
Age-related diseases can be linked by genetics
Seemingly unrelated diseases that typically begin at similar ages appear to have genetic similarities, according to a new study involving UCL researchers. In a research paper published in Nature Aging , the team reports using a novel approach to provide the first data-driven classification of multiple diseases obtained using human genetic and medical data freely available from the UK Biobank.

Health - 15.04.2021
Artificial intelligence could be used to triage patients suspected at risk of early stage oesophageal cancer
Artificial intelligence 'deep learning' techniques can be used to triage suspected cases of Barrett oesophagus, a precursor to oesophageal cancer, potentially leading to faster and earlier diagnoses, say researchers at the University of Cambridge. We've shown that it's possible to use computer-aided tools to streamline identification of people at risk of Barrett oesophagus...

Health - Physics - 15.04.2021
Understanding the growth of disease-causing protein fibres
Researchers have developed a method to directly measure the growth rate of 'amyloid' fibrils linked to Parkinson's and other diseases. Last updated on Monday 19 April 2021 Amyloid fibrils are deposits of proteins in the body that join together to form microscopic fibres. Their formation has been linked to many serious human diseases including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Type 2 diabetes.

Health - 14.04.2021
Reluctance to be vaccinated against COVID-19 among social media users is explained by conspiracy suspicions and general attitudes to vaccination
Reluctance to be vaccinated against COVID-19 among social media users is explained by conspiracy suspicions and general attitudes to vaccination
New research has found that the most reliable indicators of willingness to be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, are rejection of conspiracy suspicions about COVID-19 and a positive attitude towards vaccines in general. The study by King's College London and the University of Bristol is published in the leading peer-reviewed journal Psychological Medicine.

Health - Life Sciences - 14.04.2021
Worm infections leave African women more vulnerable to STIs
Worm infections leave African women more vulnerable to STIs
Intestinal worm infections can leave women in sub-Saharan Africa more vulnerable to sexually-transmitted viral infections, a new study reveals. The rate and severity of sexually-transmitted viral infections (STI) in the region are very high, as are those of worm infections, which when caught in the intestine can change immunity in other parts of the body.

Health - Pharmacology - 14.04.2021
UofG to investigate the effects of COVID-19 on blood vessels and blood pressure
A project at the University of Glasgow that is aiming to better understand the effects that COVID-19 infection has on blood vessels and blood pressure has received a grant of £250,000 from national charity Heart Research UK. Research has shown that people who are older, obese, male or those who have other medical problems including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or chronic lung conditions, have a higher risk of developing severe COVID-19.

Social Sciences - Health - 14.04.2021
Call for urgent action on energy drinks as new UK research reveals daily use among young people
A consistent number of young people are having energy drinks daily, despite an overall drop in the consumption of sugary beverages over time, new research has found. Academics at Cardiff University analysed the responses of more than 176,000 secondary school children aged 11 to 16. They found between 2013 to 2017, when their use began to be recorded, the proportion of young people consuming energy drinks daily remained stable (6%), while weekly consumption decreased from 23% to 15%.

Health - Life Sciences - 14.04.2021
Half of children with inflammatory syndrome after COVID-19 have neurologic symptoms
Half of children with inflammatory syndrome after COVID-19 have neurologic symptoms
Half of young people who developed the rare but serious multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19 had neurologic symptoms or signs when they entered the hospital, according to preliminary research led by UCL academics. Those symptoms included headaches, encephalopathy and hallucinations.

Social Sciences - Health - 13.04.2021
No evidence of a significant increase in risk of suicide in first months of the pandemic, but continued monitoring needed
A new observational study is the first to examine suicides occurring during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in multiple countries and finds that suicide numbers largely remained unchanged or declined in the pandemic's early months. The study, led by an international team including University of Bristol researchers, is published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal.

Health - Pharmacology - 13.04.2021
UK variant, B.1.1.7, does not increase disease severity in hospitalised patients
UK variant, B.1.1.7, does not increase disease severity in hospitalised patients
The B.1.1.7 variant of Covid-19 - otherwise known as the UK or Kent variant - is not associated with more severe illness and death in hospitalised patients, but appears to lead to higher virus load, suggests a new study led by UCL researchers. As part of the observational study, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, researchers assessed 341 Covid-19 patients admitted to University College London Hospital and North Middlesex University Hospital (NMUH), between 9 November and 20 December 2020.
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