- According to scientists at the University of Texas, a handheld device called the MasSpec Pen can identify cancerous tissue in ten seconds. They say it could make surgery to remove a tumour quicker, safer and more precise.
- Millions of people in their 20s and 30s should be offered statins, scientists have said as a major study proved the drug cuts heart disease deaths.
- Researchers have revealed that mental health problems including psychotic experiences could in part be down to a lack of sleep. A team of researchers from institutions across the UK describe how they examined the link between sleep and mental health using online surveys to quiz students from 26 universities up and down the country.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 10th of September 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News
According to scientists at the University of Texas, a handheld device can identify cancerous tissue in ten seconds. They say it could make surgery to remove a tumour quicker, safer and more precise. And they hope it would avoid the “heartbreak” of leaving any of the cancer behind.Tests, published in Science Translational Medicine, suggest the technology is accurate ninety six percent of the time. The MasSpec Pen takes advantage of the unique metabolism of cancer cells. Their furious drive to grow and spread means their internal chemistry is very different to that of healthy tissue. The pen is touched on to a suspected cancer and releases a tiny droplet of water. Chemicals inside the living cells move into the droplet, which is then sucked back up the pen for analysis.
In some tumours it is obvious, but in others the boundary between healthy and diseased tissue can be blurred. The pen should help doctors ensure none of the cancer is left behind.
Remove too little tissue, and any remaining cancerous cells will grow into another tumour. But take too much, and you can cause damage, particularly in organs such as the brain.
The MasSpec Pen is the latest attempt to improve the accuracy of surgery. A team at Imperial College London have developed a knife that “smells” the tissue it cuts to determine whether it is removing cancer.
Millions of people in their twenties and thirties should be offered statins, scientists have said as a major study proved the drug cuts heart disease deaths. The findings by Imperial College London challenge current guidelines which make it difficult for younger patients to obtain the five p-a-day pills, even if they have high cholesterol.The new research is the most detailed of its kind, focusing purely on the relationship between cholesterol, statins, and mortality.
According to the authors, the results demonstrate that even modest reductions in low-density lipoprotein or LDL, or “bad” cholesterol yields a “significant” survival benefit. The research involved participants aged forty five to sixty four. However, the strength of the relationship between statins and improved survival – twenty eight per cent – shows the drugs should be considered for all patients with high-cholesterol, regardless of their age, the scientists said.
Experts have criticised the rules decreed by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence as placing too much weight on the patient’s age, instead of their cholesterol levels. Last month a study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that statins were unnecessarily “doled out to millions” simply by virtue of their age. Professor Kausik Ray, who led the new research, said between five and ten percent of people in their twenties and thirties – more than one point six million, could have dangerously high cholesterol.
Researchers have revealed that mental health problems including psychotic experiences could be caused by a lack of sleep. A new study found that people who had undertaken a course of cognitive behavioural therapy or CBT designed specifically to treat insomnia not only found their sleep improved, but also experienced reduced paranoia and fewer hallucinations – both psychotic experiences – as well as improvements in depression and anxiety. “The dominant view is that sleep [problems are] either a symptom of several mental health problems or it is a secondary consequence,” said Daniel Freeman, co-author of the research from the University of Oxford. “Really, sleep is one of the contributing causes.”
A team of researchers from institutions across the UK describe how they examined the link between sleep and mental health using online surveys to quiz students from twenty six universities up and down the country. Individuals were invited to take part in the study if they were found to have insomnia after answering a web-based questionnaire. In total more than three thousand seven hundred students signed up to the study, with participants randomly split between two groups – those who were offered an online course of six twenty-minute sessions of CBT directed at tackling insomnia, and those who received no treatment. Both groups undertook online assessments at the start of the study and after three weeks, ten weeks and twenty two weeks.The results reveal improvements in both sleep and mental health were greater for members of the CBT group.