The Health News United Kingdom November 3 2017

  • Fertility Network UK says very little is known about how men cope with infertility – men are often reluctant to share their experiences. Forty-one men responded to its online questionnaire, designed with researchers from Leeds Beckett University. On average, men who responded had been trying for a baby for five years and most had suffered directly from male infertility.
  • The NHS will ban patients from surgery indefinitely unless they lose weight or quit smoking, under controversial plans drawn up in Hertfordshire. The restrictions – thought to be the most extreme yet to be introduced by health services – immediately came under attack from the Royal College of Surgeons. Its vice president called for an “urgent rethink” of policies which he said were “discriminatory” and went against the fundamental principles of the NHS.
  • Researchers in Cambridge may be on the verge of a major breakthrough in the battle against Multiple Sclerosis. A team at the Cambridge Centre for Myelin Repair believe they might be able to reprogram cells to make them young again. That could slow up the progress of the disease, or halt it completely. The promising work has prompted the MS Society to give the medical centre a cash injection of one hundred ten thousand pounds to back further research. The society supports people with MS and funds research into the condition, which affects more than £110,000 people in the UK, and can leave sufferers with serious movement problems.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 3rd of November 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-41820347

Male infertility care can be insensitive and one-sided, says charity Fertility Network UK which has surveyed men seeking help to become fathers. Men can feel excluded, with female partners being the main focus of attention in clinics, it found. The charity says men’s needs are too often ignored, which must change.
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Fertility Network UK says very little is known about how men cope with infertility – men are often reluctant to share their experiences. Forty-one men responded to its online questionnaire, designed with researchers from Leeds Beckett University. On average, men who responded had been trying for a baby for five years and most had suffered directly from male infertility.
Nearly all the men said fertility problems had affected their wellbeing, with many saying they felt worthless or “less of a man”. Many felt excluded or marginalised. A lack of emotional support for men going through treatment for infertility was another common complaint.
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Susan Seenan, chief executive of Fertility Network UK, urged men to speak out and said clinics should pay extra attention to the care needs of the men they see and treat. She said: “Men are half of the fertility equation; when they cannot create the family they long for without medical help they suffer and struggle physically and mentally just as women do.”

There are many reasons why men can be infertile. The most common cause is poor quality semen, the fluid containing sperm, either because there is a low sperm count, the sperm isn’t moving properly or it is abnormal. Damaged testicles, ejaculation disorders and low levels of testosterone – the male sex hormone – can also cause infertility. However, twenty five percent of cases of infertility are unexplained in the UK. Tests to find out the causes of male infertility include semen analysis and a urine test.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/10/17/nhs-provokes-fury-indefinite-surgery-ban-smokers-obese/

The NHS will ban patients from surgery indefinitely unless they lose weight or quit smoking, under controversial plans drawn up in Hertfordshire. The restrictions – thought to be the most extreme yet to be introduced by health services – immediately came under attack from the Royal College of Surgeons. Its vice president called for an “urgent rethink” of policies which he said were “discriminatory” and went against the fundamental principles of the NHS.

In recent years, a number of areas have introduced delays for such patients – with some told operations will be put back for months, during which time they are expected to try to lose weight or stop smoking. But the new rules, drawn up by clinical commissioning groups in Hertfordshire, say that obese patients “will not get non-urgent surgery until they reduce their weight” at all, unless the circumstances are exceptional. The criteria also mean smokers will only be referred for operations if they have stopped smoking for at least eight weeks, with such patients breathalysed before referral.

The new rules increase the amount of weight the heaviest patients must lose –  and crucially, they mean those who fail to lose weight or give up smoking could wait indefinitely. The restrictions mean those with a Body Mass Index of thirty or more will be set targets to reduce their weight by ten percent over nine months, with those with a BMI over forty will be told to cut their weight by fifteen percent. Around fifteen per cent of their population smoke, while twenty two percent of adults are obese, the report estimates.
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The CCGs said the decisions had not been taken lightly, and that there had been public backing for most of the changes, during a public consultation.

http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/business/business-news/cambridge-researchers-brink-amazing-new-13836661

Researchers in Cambridge may be on the verge of a major breakthrough in the battle against Multiple Sclerosis. A team at the Cambridge Centre for Myelin Repair believe they might be able to reprogram cells to make them young again. That could slow up the progress of the disease, or halt it completely. The promising work has prompted the MS Society to give the medical centre a cash injection of one hundred ten thousand pounds to back further research. The society supports people with MS and funds research into the condition, which affects more than one hundred thousand people in the UK, and can leave sufferers with serious movement problems.

The Cambridge centre, led by Professor Robin Franklin, says it is “at a critical juncture” in its research work, the society has revealed. The experts are trying to find out if re-programming cells can boost myelin repair in rodents. Myelin is the protective coating that surrounds our nerves, which is damaged in people with MS. An MS Society spokeswoman said: “By pushing cells back to their younger state, disease progression could be slowed down or even stopped altogether.Professor Franklin said: “We believe we are at a critical juncture in MS, and that there is a genuine prospect to revolutionise its treatment.
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The MS Society has announced it is committed to raising more than two million pounds in research funding “towards vital new projects in MS”.

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