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Health - 14.06.2021
Home carers’ mental health worsened during lockdown
A new study has found the mental health of home-carers deteriorated more during lockdown than non-carers. The research - led by the University of Glasgow's MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit with colleagues at the University of Essex - found that unpaid carers who looked after another member of their household (home-carers) had poorer mental health than the general population before lockdown and that this worsened as lockdown continued.

Life Sciences - Health - 11.06.2021
Recreating a step in the evolution of viruses
Recreating a step in the evolution of viruses
An international team of researchers has shed new light on the way viruses evolved highly effective ways of spreading disease. The scientists, involving a team from the universities of Leeds and York, believe understanding that key moment in the natural history of viruses may eventually help with the design of novel delivery mechanisms for gene therapies, where viruses are used to repair faulty genes.

Health - 10.06.2021
England on track to achieve elimination of HIV transmission by 2030 as model shows sharp decrease in HIV incidence
England on track to achieve elimination of HIV transmission by 2030 as model shows sharp decrease in HIV incidence
The annual number of new HIV infections among men who have sex with men in England is likely to have fallen dramatically, from 2,770 in 2013 to 854 in 2018, showing elimination of HIV transmission by 2030 to be within reach - suggests work by researchers from the MRC Biostatistics Unit at the University of Cambridge and Public Health England, published in The Lancet HIV .

Health - Life Sciences - 09.06.2021
Scientists make DNA breakthrough which could identify why some people are more affected by Covid-19
Scientists from the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine at Oxford University have developed a method that allows them to see, with far greater accuracy, how DNA forms large scale structures within a cell nucleus. This breakthrough will improve understanding of how differences in DNA sequences can lead to increased risks of developing many different diseases.

Health - Pharmacology - 09.06.2021
Experts call for new standards for diagnostic tests to address testing problems during the COVID-19 pandemic
The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) has today published its review of the statistical evidence needed to assure the performance of future diagnostic tests, so we are better prepared for future pandemics. The RSS Working Group on Diagnostic Tests, which is co-chaired by University of Birmingham's Professor Jon Deeks , is calling on the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to review and revise the national licensing process for in vitro diagnostic tests, to ensure that reliable evidence about the performance of tests is available and public safety is protected.

Health - 09.06.2021
Injectable microspheres to repair failing hearts
Biodegradable microspheres can be used to deliver heart cells generated from stem cells to repair damaged hearts after a heart attack, according to new findings by UCL researchers. This type of cell therapy could one day cure debilitating heart failure, which affects an estimated 920,000 people in the UK and continues to rise as more people are surviving a heart attack than ever before.

Health - Pharmacology - 09.06.2021
Welsh study to transform UK brain tumour trials to find ’kinder’ therapies
A new Welsh study is aiming to revolutionise how clinical trials measure the impact of new brain tumour drugs on a patient's physical and emotional wellbeing, alongside assessment of their survival. Led by Professor Anthony Byrne from Cardiff University, and in collaboration with Professor Melanie Calvert from the University of Birmingham, the research will culminate in a consensus that will define the most important outcomes to measure, according to brain tumour patients, carers and professionals.

Health - Life Sciences - 08.06.2021
Scientists can predict which women will have serious pregnancy complications
Women who will develop potentially life-threatening disorders during pregnancy can be identified early when hormone levels in the placenta are tested, a new study has shown. This work provides new hope that a better understanding of the placenta will result in safer, healthier pregnancies for mothers and babies.

Health - 08.06.2021
Understanding the hidden causes of delays in discharging frail older people from hospital
Delays in discharging older people living with frailty from hospital are caused by a complex range of factors, but a key factor is how medical and social information about patients becomes fragmented during their stay. This is the conclusion of a study in two large NHS hospitals led by National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded researchers at the Universities of Bristol and Birmingham, published today [8 June] in Ageing & Society.

Health - Life Sciences - 08.06.2021
Iron deficiency anaemia in early pregnancy increases risk of heart defects, suggests new research
In animal models, iron deficient mothers had a greatly increased risk of having offspring with congenital heart disease (CHD). A team of University of Oxford researchers, funded by the British Heart Foundation, have identified an entirely new risk factor for congenital heart disease (CHD). Using an animal model system, researchers have shown that if the mother is severely iron deficient and anaemic during early pregnancy, this greatly increases the risk that her offspring will have heart defects.

Pharmacology - Health - 08.06.2021
Drug used to reduce blood sugar in diabetic patients can benefit hearts
Drug used to reduce blood sugar in diabetic patients can benefit hearts
A drug used to treat people living with Type 2 diabetes could also help improve their heart function, according to new research. An estimated 3.7 million people in the UK are diagnosed with the condition which can damage the walls of the arteries and lead to a heart attack or heart failure. Researchers at the University of Leeds' School of Medicine have discovered that Empagliflozin, which is typically prescribed to help reduce blood sugar levels in patients with Type 2, could also enhance the function of their hearts.

Health - Life Sciences - 08.06.2021
High caffeine consumption may be linked to increased glaucoma risk
Consuming large amounts of daily caffeine may increase glaucoma risk for those with a genetic predisposition to higher eye pressure, finds a new study involving a UCL researcher. The international, multi-centre study, led by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, US, is the first to demonstrate a link between diet and genes in glaucoma.

Health - Astronomy / Space Science - 06.06.2021
Astronomers apply their skills to cancer research
Astronomers apply their skills to cancer research
You might not think that studying the universe could benefit research into serious illnesses like cancer, but Durham's astronomers have joined forces with cancer researchers to improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients. We're working with the NHS, healthcare researchers and biotech experts on the 1million CUP-COMP project to improve outcomes for people with cancer of unknown primary (CUP).

Health - Psychology - 04.06.2021
Analysis: COVID-19’s impacts on the brain and mind are varied and common
COVID-19 is associated with a wide range of neurological and psychiatric symptoms, writes Dr Jonathan Rogers (UCL Psychiatry), who has authored a new review paper. Although COVID-19 was first described as a disease of the lungs, as its relentless march has continued we've realised that it has a far wider reach in the human body.

Health - Psychology - 04.06.2021
Neurological symptoms like fatigue common in mild Covid
Neurological symptoms like fatigue common in mild Covid
Neurological and psychiatric symptoms such as fatigue and depression are common among people with Covid-19 and may be just as likely in people with mild cases, according to a new review study led by a UCL researcher. By reviewing evidence from 215 studies of Covid-19, the meta-analysis published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry reports a wide range of ways that Covid-19 can affect mental health and the brain.

Health - Pharmacology - 04.06.2021
Many patients with COVID-19 produce immune responses against their body’s own tissues or organs, finds study
A University of Birmingham-led study funded by the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium has found that many patients with COVID-19 produce immune responses against their body's own tissues or organs. COVID-19 has been associated with a variety of unexpected symptoms, both at the time of infection and for many months afterwards.

Health - 04.06.2021
Prior Covid-19 infection reduces infection risk for up to 10 months
The risk of being infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, is substantially reduced for up to 10 months following a first infection, according to new findings from the Vivaldi study led by UCL researchers. For the study, published in Lancet Healthy Longevity , researchers looked at rates of Covid-19 infections between October and February among more than 2,000 care home residents and staff, comparing those who had evidence of a previous infection up to 10 months earlier, as determined by antibody testing, with those who had not been previously infected.

Health - Pharmacology - 03.06.2021
Study of UK dental professionals reveals extent of occupational risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection
A University of Birmingham-led study of over a thousand dental professionals has shown their increased occupational risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection during the first wave of the pandemic in the UK. The observational cohort study , published today (3 June 2021), in the Journal of Dental Research, involved 1,507 Midland dental care practitioners.

Health - Pharmacology - 02.06.2021
Opioid Agonist Therapy reduces mortality risk among people with opioid dependence
A new global review has found that receiving Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT) is associated with lower risk of multiple causes of death among people with opioid dependence. The review, published in JAMA today [2 June], found that people with opioid dependence were less likely to experience overdose-related, suicide, alcohol-related, cancer, and cardiovascular-related mortality while receiving OAT.

Health - Pharmacology - 02.06.2021
Kidney failure patients among worst affected during COVID-19
Kidney failure patients among worst affected during COVID-19
The main risk factors associated with the significantly higher numbers of COVID-19 infection in dialysis patients, have been revealed in a study led by UCL researchers. In the UK, around 30,000 people with kidney failure or disease must visit a medical centre several times a week for dialysis treatment, which helps filter waste products from the blood. Globally the figure is around two million. As a result, these patients have been unable to self-isolate during lockdown, leaving them far more exposed to COVID-19 infection.
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