The Health News United Kingdom December 12 2017

  • Huntington’s disease patients have been offered new hope after a trial showed a groundbreaking genetic treatment appears to slow down the illness. But a small trial of forty six men and women showed that the new drug silences the genetic mutation which causes Huntington’s. It is an incurable degenerative disease caused by a single defect in the huntingtin gene which turns a usually helpful protein into a lethal brain cell killer. It affects around 10,000 people in Britain.
  • According to Kantar Media, 37% of adults (those over the age of15) in Britain consider their diets to be very healthy, a figure which has remained relatively consistent over recent years. Interestingly, those aged 65 and over are 28% more likely to agree with this statement than the average adult. Meanwhile, more and more adults say they always think about the calories in what they eat. This stood at 24% in 2011 and 26% in 2015 – it’s up to 29% today.
  • A study published in JAMA Pediatrics has found that offering shopping vouchers to new mothers can encourage them to breastfeed their babies.  About ten thousand new mothers in Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire were offered up to £200 in vouchers as an incentive. Breastfeeding rates increased in these areas, which typically have low uptake. The vouchers gave mums a “lift” and helped them feel part of a network. They could be used to buy food, household items, toys, clothes, books, DVDs or music in supermarkets and other shops.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 12th of December 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/12/11/huntingtons-breakthrough-early-trials-show-injection-may-stop/

Huntington’s disease patients have been offered new hope after a trial showed a groundbreaking genetic treatment appears to slow down the illness. Current medications only treat symptoms rather than treating the underlying condition which gradually eats away at the brain, robbing people of movement, speech and dignity.

But a small trial of forty six men and women showed that the new drug silences the genetic mutation which causes the disease. Professor Sarah Tabrizi, director of University College London’s Huntington’s Disease Centre who led the phase one trial, said the results were ‘beyond what I’d ever hoped,’ and said it eventually may be possible to stop the disease before irreversible damage to the brain had occurred.
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Huntington’s disease is an incurable disease caused by a single defect in the huntingtin gene which turns a usually helpful protein into a lethal brain cell killer. It affects around ten thousand people in Britain. The drug (Ionis-HTTRx) works by intercepting a messenger molecule and destroying it before the harmful protein can be made, dampening the effects of the mutant gene. It effectively stops Huntington’s in its tracks. Although the trial was too small, and not long enough, to show whether patients’ clinical symptoms improved,  it showed the drug was safe, well tolerated by patients and crucially it reduced the levels of huntingtin in the brain.

https://uk.kantar.com/business/health/2017/are-uk-consumers-as-healthy-as-they-think-they-are/

According to Kantar Media, thirty seven percent of adults (those over the age of fifteen) in Britain consider their diets to be very healthy, a figure which has remained relatively consistent over recent years. Interestingly, those aged sixty five and over are twenty eight percent more likely to agree with this statement than the average adult.

In terms of those who have started eating more healthily than they have in the past, this proportion is getting larger again (after a recent dip). Agreement with this attitude stood at fifty nine percent in two thousand nine, but had fallen to fifty two percent by two thousand thirteen, but has picked up again to fifty five percent today. This could be a legacy from the two thousand eight onwards economic downturn – people doing more comfort eating, which ended up becoming something of a habit.

Meanwhile, more and more adults say they always think about the calories in what they eat. This stood at twenty four percent in two thousand eleven and twenty six percent in two thousand fifteen – it’s up to twenty nine percent today.

More than twenty seven percent of all the food and drink UK shoppers consume are chosen for ‘health reasons’, versus twenty five percent in two thousand thirteen. And consumers over sixty five years old are sixteen percent more likely to consume with health in mind than an average adult.
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-42280444

A study published in JAMA Pediatrics has found that offering shopping vouchers to new mothers can encourage them to breastfeed their babies. About ten thousand new mothers in Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire were offered up to two hundred pounds in vouchers as an incentive. Breastfeeding rates increased in these areas, which typically have low uptake.
The vouchers gave mums a “lift” and helped them feel part of a network. They could be used to buy food, household items, toys, clothes, books, DVDs or music in supermarkets and other shops. Overall, forty six percent of all eligible mothers signed up to the scheme and more than forty percent claimed at least one voucher.

Breastfeeding reduces a baby’s chances of diarrhea and vomiting, chest and ear infections,  
becoming obese, sudden infant death syndrome, type two diabetes in later life,  childhood leukaemia, and cardiovascular disease in adulthood.
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Breastfeeding levels in the UK are some of the lowest in the world – in some areas only twelve percent of six to eight week-old babies are fed in this way. One of the study’s authors, Mary Renfrew, of the University of Dundee, said: “It can be particularly difficult for women to breastfeed without strong family and community support, because of strong societal barriers.”

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