The Health News United Kingdom March 9 2018

  • Four dementia scientists have shared this year’s 1 million brain prize for pivotal work that has changed our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease. Professors John Hardy, Bart De Strooper, Michel Goedert, based in the UK, and Professor Christian Haass, from Germany, unpicked key protein changes that lead to this most common type of dementia. On getting the award, Professor Hardy said he hoped new treatments could be found. He is donating some of his prize money to care for Alzheimer’s patients. Much of the drug discovery research that’s done today builds on their pioneering work, looking for ways to stop the build-up of damaging proteins, such as amyloid and tau.
  • Millions of baby boomers are being urged to cut their alcohol intake well below current recommended limits, amid warnings of soaring deaths linked to drinking and drugs. A report warns that the number of deaths linked to alcohol among over 50s has risen 45% in a decade, while drug deaths among such groups have risen by more than 100%. GPs are being urged to question all older drinkers about their drinking habits, with extra checks when patients have gone through major events, such as death or divorce.
  • Obesity is becoming ‘the norm’ in Britain. Public Health England say people are eating the equivalent of an entire extra meal a day in calories. And while a challenge has been set to the food industry to cut calories in products by 20%- households also need to take charge by limiting the amount of calories on our plates. PHE says that some overweight or obese boys are consuming up to 500 additional calories a day compared to their normal weight peers. Experts found that for girls this is almost 300 calories.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 9th of March 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-43300185

Four dementia scientists have shared this year’s one million Euro brain prize for pivotal work that has changed our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease. Professors John Hardy, Bart De Strooper, Michel Goedert, based in the UK, and Professor Christian Haass, from Germany, unpicked key protein changes that lead to this most common type of dementia.

On getting the award, Professor Hardy said he hoped new treatments could be found. He is donating some of his prize money to care for Alzheimer’s patients. Much of the drug discovery research that’s done today builds on their pioneering work, looking for ways to stop the build-up of damaging proteins, such as amyloid and tau. Alzheimer’s and other dementias affect fifty million people around the world, and none of the treatments currently available can stop the disease.
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Professor Goedert’s research at Cambridge University, meanwhile, revealed the importance of another damaging protein, called tau, while Professor De Stooper, who is the new director of the UK Dementia Research Institute at UCL, discovered how genetic errors that alter the activity of proteins called secretases can lead to Alzheimer’s processes.
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Professor Hardy said he would be donating around five thousand euros of his share of the 1m euros from the Lundbeck Foundation to help campaigns to keep Britain in the EU, and called Brexit a “unmitigated disaster” for scientific research.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/07/baby-boomers-told-drink-much-less-official-limits/

Millions of baby boomers are being urged to cut their alcohol intake well below current recommended limits, amid warnings of soaring deaths linked to drinking and drugs. A report warns that the number of deaths linked to alcohol among over fifties has risen forty five percent in a decade, while drug deaths among such groups have risen by more than one hundred percent. General practitioners are being urged to question all older drinkers about their drinking habits, with extra checks when patients have gone through major events, such as death or divorce.

Experts said the baby boomer generation was fast becoming the “highest risk group” across all age groups, with men and women in their sixties and seventies suffering the results of decades of excess. Current Government advice suggests a limit of fourteen units of alcohol a week for men and women. But the Royal College of Psychiatrists said older drinkers should approach this far more cautiously, especially the millions suffering from medical conditions or taking daily medication. Its authors said that in such cases, a limit of around eleven units a week was more sensible.

The report warns of a generation of “invisible addicts,” with older people increasingly turning to drink, drugs, and other addictions such as gambling. UK statistics show a twenty percent rise in the number of people aged sixty five and over drinking above recommended drinking limits, in the last decade, with older drinkers the only group to see a continued rise. Doctor Tony Rao, from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, one of the report’s editors, said: “Young people are decreasing their use of alcohol and drugs, leaving older people fast becoming the highest risk group, across all types of misuse.”

In terms of lives lost to disability in England, alcohol is now the fifth highest risk factor among people aged fifty to sixty nine – a rise from sixteen place in nineteen ninety. Doctor Rao said said millions of older drinkers should cut their drinking, because common medications and health problems meant alcohol could hit their health much harder.

https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/health/how-many-calories-to-eat-1301982

Obesity is becoming ‘the norm’ in Britain. Public Health England say people are eating the equivalent of an entire extra meal a day in calories. And while a challenge has been set to the food industry to cut calories in products by twenty percent – households also need to take charge by limiting the amount of calories on our plates.

PHE says that some overweight or obese boys are consuming up to five hundred additional calories a day compared to their normal weight peers. Experts found that for girls this is almost three hundred calories. It has also launched a new tool to help people make healthier choices about their calorie intake.

Duncan Selbie, chief executive at PHE, said: “Britain needs to go on a diet.The simple truth is on average we need to eat less. Children and adults routinely eat too many calories and it’s why so many are overweight or obese.”
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Foods in the spotlight include pizzas, savoury snacks, ready meals including ready-made sandwiches, some meat products, cooking sauces, chips and crisps and “composite salads” such as hummus or coleslaw.

PHE’s chief nutritionist Doctor Alison Tedstone said that these food groups had the “lion’s share” of calories. She added that obesity was a “burden” on the NHS – costing the health service around six point one billion dollars spent on treating obesity-related illness – and also increasing social care costs.

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But PHE said that if the twenty percent target is met within five years, then over the next twenty five years more than thirty five thousand premature deaths could be prevented and the NHS and social care sector could save around nine billion pounds.

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