All posts tagged: Disease

Jeremy Paxman’s take on Parkinson’s disease is far too bleak | Parkinson’s disease

Jeremy Paxman’s take on Parkinson’s disease is far too bleak | Parkinson’s disease

I fully support Jeremy Paxman’s position in presenting the government with the Parky Charter and its five recommendations (Jeremy Paxman says Parkinson’s ‘makes you wish you hadn’t been born’, 11 April). I also agree with him that the charter will have “no effect whatsoever” on this cold and uncaring government (my words). But I’m surprised and appalled by his statement that Parkinson’s disease “makes you wish you hadn’t been born”. I was diagnosed with the condition six years ago, and from what I’ve seen of Paxman (in his excellent documentary about Parkinson’s last year), I’m probably at a similar stage to him as the disease worsens. I could never make such a bleak statement, nor have I ever heard that said by others with Parkinson’s. To say that would ignore a pretty good life before diagnosis, which on average happens in your 60s. Getting Parkinson’s is not a death sentence; it is a sentence to continued deterioration, although there are drugs to help. But like all neurological or degenerative diseases, the pace of it worsening varies considerably …

‘Pregnancy is not a disease’: why do so many women die giving birth in Nigeria? | Global development

‘Pregnancy is not a disease’: why do so many women die giving birth in Nigeria? | Global development

Despite having the largest economy in Africa, Nigeria also loses more women to death in childbirth than most other countries in the world. In 2020, about 82,000 Nigerian women died due to pregnancy-related complications, a slight improvement on the previous year, but an increase on previous decades. The causes of death included severe haemorrhage, high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia and eclampsia), unsafe abortion and obstructed labour. Doctors and activists say high maternal mortality rates reflect a lack of trust in a broken public healthcare system and little political will to fix it. The World Health Organization recommendation for a functioning healthcare system is one doctor for every 600 people; in Nigeria, the ratio is one for every 4,000-5,000 patients. The federal budget for healthcare in 2024 is 5% , a record high, but far short of the 15% suggested by the UN. Most Nigerians live in areas without well-equipped medical centres or have to pay upfront for treatment. During pregnancy, women skip prenatal check-ups, choose traditional healers and often don’t resort to seeking professional medical help …

Parkinson’s disease progression slowed by antibody infusions

Parkinson’s disease progression slowed by antibody infusions

Aggregated clumps of the protein alpha-synuclein (brown) and antibodies (green) BIOLUTION GMBH/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY A drug that targets a build-up of proteins linked to Parkinson’s disease could slow the progression of motor symptoms in people with advanced forms of the condition. Although this shows promise to be a disease-modifying treatment for Parkinson’s, it is unclear whether the drug actually clears the proteins from the brain. The accumulation of a misfolded protein called alpha-synuclein in the brain has long been considered the underlying cause of Parkinson’s. This leads to the loss of neurons that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is involved in motor control. While some existing treatments aim to ease these symptoms by improving dopamine levels in the brain, their long-term effects are limited. So far, there are no approved disease-modifying therapies that halt or slow the progression of Parkinson’s. In an effort to combat this, Gennaro Pagano at Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche and his colleagues recruited 316 people who were thought to have early-stage Parkinson’s disease. Of these individuals, 105 received intravenous infusions of …

Royal allergies: Coeliac disease, animals & more affecting Kate Middleton, Queen Camilla and co

Royal allergies: Coeliac disease, animals & more affecting Kate Middleton, Queen Camilla and co

Allergies are things that everybody suffers with – even if you are a royal! Prince William famously joked that he was “allergic to selfies” back in 2018 during an outing in Olso, but there several of his royal family members suffer from genuine health conditions. © Cameron SmithPrince William taking a selfie Whether it’s seasonal changes such as hay fever or autoimmune diseases, allergies are one way that the royal family are just like us.  Keep scrolling to see which members of the royal household suffer and what allergy they suffer from… Queen Elizabeth  II © GettyQueen Elizabeth II considered her corgis to be like family The late Queen Elizabeth II was a big dog lover but her adoration for corgis isn’t the only reason dogs were kept during her reign.  According to Country Life, Her late Majesty suffered from an allergy to cats. Whilst the former monarch never discussed the reported health woe publicly, it would make sense as to why she always opted to surround herself with dogs. The Duchess of York now looks after …

Scientists Believe That Some Dementia Cases Could Actually Be This Disease

Scientists Believe That Some Dementia Cases Could Actually Be This Disease

In a recent study of US veterans, researchers found that 10% of those that had been diagnosed with dementia actually were suffering from a liver condition called hepatic encephalopathy (HE) – a treatable condition. According to the British Liver Trust, some of the early symptoms of HE mimic those that are often present in dementia, including confusion, forgetfulness, personality or mood changes and poor concentration. Ashwin Dhanda, Associate Professor of Hepatology at the University of Plymouth explained: “The liver can be damaged by several things, including alcohol, fatty deposits and hepatitis viruses. When the damage continues over several years, the liver becomes scarred (known as cirrhosis) and, at a certain point, can no longer perform one of its critical tasks: detoxifying the blood. “Toxins (mainly ammonia) can build up and get into the brain, interfering with brain function. This is HE.” Why hepatic encephalopathy is often missed Dhanda explained that HE is easier to identify and treat if doctors are aware that the patient has cirrhosis. However, cirrhosis is often a silent condition until it …

Climate change could cause spike in ticks – and drive up Lyme disease cases | UK News

Climate change could cause spike in ticks – and drive up Lyme disease cases | UK News

Climate change is “likely” to increase the activity and distribution of ticks in the UK, which could lead to a rise in Lyme disease cases, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). A potentially warmer and more humid climate is expected to result in ticks – which can infect humans with Lyme disease – being more active. In most, but not all cases, a circular or oval “bullseye” shaped rash can be an early symptom of the bacterial infection, usually appearing within one to four weeks. Reported cases have been rising, with a nearly 40% increase in acute cases of Lyme disease last summer. The UKHSA says warmer, more humid temperatures are creating “favourable conditions” for ticks to thrive. It’s expected that mild winters and warmer springs will lengthen the period that ticks are active – increasing the likelihood of tick bites. The latest UKHSA data shows that in England, there were 882 acute cases of the disease between April and September last year, when ticks are most active. That’s compared to 635 cases …

Memory self-test via smartphone shows promise in early detection of Alzheimer’s disease

Memory self-test via smartphone shows promise in early detection of Alzheimer’s disease

Have you ever wondered if the minor forgetfulness you experience is a normal part of aging, or perhaps an early sign of something more serious, like Alzheimer’s disease? A new study published in npj Digital Medicine offers hope for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease through memory self-tests conducted on smartphones. Researchers have developed a dedicated app that can accurately identify mild cognitive impairment, a precursor to Alzheimer’s. This research, a collaborative effort by scientists from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Magdeburg-based company neotiv, presents a promising step forward in the use of digital tools for the advancement of Alzheimer’s research, clinical trials, and routine medical care. Memory issues are among the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s disease, significantly impacting diagnosis and research. Traditionally, memory assessment has been a hands-on process, requiring direct interaction with healthcare professionals and often involving complex tasks that are difficult to administer outside of a clinical setting. This approach, while thorough, has limitations, particularly in terms of accessibility and the …

Treating gum disease may ward off an irregular heartbeat

Treating gum disease may ward off an irregular heartbeat

Regular dental check-ups can prevent gum disease Alexander Shelegov/Getty Images Treating gum disease after a procedure to correct an irregular and abnormally fast heart rate may lower the risk of the cardiac condition reoccurring. The disorder, known as atrial fibrillation, involves an irregular heartbeat and can increase the risk of stroke and even heart failure. In advanced cases, it can be treated via catheter ablation, a procedure that very carefully destroys a damaged area of the heart that is interrupting its electrical circuits. Now, Shunsuke Miyauchi at Hiroshima University in Japan and his colleagues have shown that gum disease may be a risk factor for atrial fibrillation. The team enrolled 288 people who all had gum disease and underwent ablation to treat atrial fibrillation. Of these, 97 received treatment for their gum disease up to three months later. In a follow-up period lasting up to two years, 24 per cent of the participants experienced atrial fibrillation again, but this was 61 per cent less likely to occur among those whose gum disease was treated after …

Fatty liver disease: Why you may have this stealthy condition and what to do about it

Fatty liver disease: Why you may have this stealthy condition and what to do about it

When I was at school, I contracted viral hepatitis, despite never having done any of the things – sharing needles, getting tattooed or having multiple sexual partners – that are the usual risk factors for the disease. My biology teacher took one look at my sick and jaundiced face and told me, sagely, that “the life depends on the liver”. All I knew at the time was that life with a malfunctioning liver was pretty miserable. That, unfortunately, might now be the fate of an increasing number of people around the world. Liver diseases in general are on the rise, but one in particular is causing concern for doctors and researchers alike – and you have probably never even heard of it. More than a third of adults and around 13 per cent of children and adolescents are thought to have a condition known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), among other names – a condition that, if undiagnosed and untreated, puts them on a trajectory towards liver failure and a host of other conditions. …

Most people with heart disease consume too much salt, study finds

Most people with heart disease consume too much salt, study finds

People with heart disease, who could benefit the most from a low-sodium diet, often consume more than double the recommended daily amount. (CREDIT: iStock Photos) A recent study presented at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session reveals that individuals with heart disease, who could benefit the most from a low-sodium diet, often consume more than double the recommended daily sodium intake. Sodium, while essential, can pose health risks when consumed excessively, including elevated blood pressure, which strains blood vessels and the heart. Excess sodium can also lead to fluid retention, worsening conditions like heart failure. Table Salt Consumption The U.S. Dietary Guidelines suggest limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg/day for most adults, equivalent to about a teaspoon of table salt. However, individuals with cardiovascular diseases are advised to further restrict their intake to 1,500 mg/day. This study examined data from over 3,100 people diagnosed with heart disease, revealing that 89% consumed more than the recommended maximum of 1,500 mg of sodium daily, with an average intake of over twice that amount. …