The Health News United Kingdom September 21 2017

Overview

  • The charity Rethink Mental Illness said a survey of 1,500 people showed that the condition is widely misunderstood – 1 in 100 people is affected by schizophrenia, 45% of those surveyed thought the illness was common.
  • Due to the shortage of paramedics and rising demand, the NHS spends almost £80m a year hiring private ambulances to answer 999 calls and take patients to hospital for appointments, record shows.
  • Alzheimer’s disease really can be avoided by following a healthy lifestyle – exercising, monitoring blood pressure and watching less TV are the 3 key factors that will help build brain resilience and keep the disease at bay.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 21st of  September 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-41282282

Schizophrenia does not mean you have a split personality or automatically become violent, a mental health charity has warned. Rethink Mental Illness said a survey of one thousand five hundred people showed that the condition is widely misunderstood. Schizophrenia commonly causes hallucinations, such as hearing voices, or delusions and can make people lose interest in life. One in one hundred people is affected by schizophrenia during their life, but forty five percent of those surveyed thought the illness was much more common. Half mistakenly thought the illness was defined by a split personality and a quarter believed it definitely led to violent behaviour. It is not true that “someone with schizophrenia can appear perfectly normal at one moment, and change into a different person the next”, the Royal College of Psychiatrists says on its website. And although there is a higher risk of violent behaviour if you have schizophrenia, it does not necessarily make people dangerous. Actually drugs and alcohol cause far more violence.

People with schizophrenia are far more likely to be harmed by other people than other people are to be harmed by them, the psychiatrists say. Schizophrenia can affect the way individuals think, feel and behave. Experiencing hallucinations is common and people often hear voices, which can sound very real and be critical and abusive, although they are all in the mind.
Other symptoms can include depression, loss of concentration and feeling uncomfortable around other people. Some people also have painful feelings in their body.

The Rethink Schizophrenia campaign said the illness can affect other aspects of life too – for example people with schizophrenia die fifteen to twenty years earlier than the rest of the population on average. And only eighteen percent of those with the illness who want to work are currently employed.The charity said this is because physical health problems are often missed or attributed to mental illness, and the side-effects of medication can cause complications.
Brian Dow, director of external affairs at Rethink Mental Illness, said: “Schizophrenia can be treated and managed, just like many other illnesses. It’s not a dirty word or, worse, a term of abuse.”

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/sep/19/nhs-spends-80m-on-private-ambulances-a-year-data-shows

New figures show that the NHS is spending almost eighty million pounds a year hiring private ambulances to answer nine nine nine calls and take patients to hospital for appointments.
Widespread shortages of paramedics and rising demand forced England’s ten NHS ambulance trusts to spend seventy eight point four million pounds in two thousand sixteen and two thousand seventeen on help from non-NHS providers to supplement their own services. South Central ambulance service spent the most on private services last year – sixteen point three million pounds, up from its thirteen point six million pound outlay the year before and twelve point three million pounds in two thousand fourteen and two thousand fifteen.

The East of England ambulance service spent the second-largest amount: fourteen million pounds, more than double the six point six million pounds it paid to non-NHS providers the year before. The South East Coast ambulance service spent eleven point one million pounds.
A spokesman for the Independent Ambulance Association (IAA) said the main reasons for a rise in private ambulance use in the last two years were “staff shortages in NHS ambulance trusts, combined with continued increases in demand”.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4895426/Don-t-want-dementia-Turn-TV.html

Alzheimer’s disease really can be avoided by following a healthy lifestyle – even if you’re predisposed to get it, the largest study of its kind has revealed.  Exercising, monitoring blood pressure and watching less TV are the three key factors that will help build brain resilience and keep the disease at bay.  Researchers at the University of California in Irvine began the ‘Ninety plus Study’ in two thousand three. Tests were carried out on the one thousand seven hundred participants every six months to monitor their cognitive ability. Post-mortems were conducted upon their death. Surprisingly half of the dementia-free patients had the hallmark brain plaques – which lead to memory loss and dementia – when they died. Meanwhile half of the dementia patients did develop symptoms of memory loss – even without having these build-ups in their brain. Professor Claudia Kawas, lead researcher, suggested the reason for such ‘cognitive resilience’ in those who should have developed dementia but remained free of it was down to a healthy lifestyle.

Binge-watching Game of Thrones could lead you to an early grave from dementia, Parkinson’s disease or diabetes, MailOnline reported this week. Sitting on a sofa to watch two hour-long episodes each day increases the risk of an inflammatory-related death by fifty four per cent. Physical activity – or the lack of – was identified as one of the risk factors that has the greatest effect on dementia. Officials estimate there to be around forty seven million dementia sufferers across the world, with nearly ten million new cases reported each year. In the US, the devastating disease, which is currently incurable, affects more than five million, while eight hundred fifty thousand suffer in the UK.  

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