The Health News United Kingdom December 18 2017

  • British doctors say they have achieved “mind-blowing” results in an attempt to rid people of haemophilia A. Patients are born with a genetic defect that means they do not produce a protein needed to stop bleeding. Thirteen patients given the gene therapy at Barts Health NHS Trust are now off treatment with 11 producing near-normal levels of the protein. Gene therapies are likely to be spectacularly expensive. However, the current cost of regular factor VIII injections is about £100,000 a patient per year for life.
  • Parkinson’s UK has teamed up with Our Mobile Health to create a library of apps and devices to support those living with the condition. In response to increasing demand for technology, the charity wanted to curate a library which listed safe apps and devices. Our Mobile Health’s role will be to source the apps from developers with Parkinson’s UK setting up a user panel which will test and evaluate the new digital tools, and give advice to other users.
  • Researchers warn that parents could be storing up problems for their children by introducing them to alcohol too young and ordering takeaways too often.  Two universities found that one in six parents gives their children alcohol by the age of 14 , when their body and brain are not yet fully developed. Experts said that many parents may believe they are acting responsibly – but that’s not backed up by research.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 18th of December 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-42337396

British doctors say they have achieved “mind-blowing” results in an attempt to rid people of haemophilia A. Patients are born with a genetic defect that means they do not produce a protein needed to stop bleeding. Thirteen patients given the gene therapy at Barts Health NHS Trust are now off treatment with eleven producing near-normal levels of the protein.
….
The virus is used like a postman to deliver the genetic instructions to the liver, which then starts producing factor eight. In the first trials, low doses of gene therapy had no effect. Of the thirteen patients given higher doses, all are off their haemophilia medication a year on and eleven are producing near-normal levels of factor VIII. Professor John Pasi, who led the trials at Barts and Queen Mary University of London, said: “This is huge. It’s ground-breaking because the option to think about normalising levels in patients with severe haemophilia is absolutely mind-blowing.”

An analysis of the first nine patients on the trial was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Larger trials are now imminent to see if the therapy can truly transform the lives of patients. It is also uncertain how long the gene therapy will be effective. Liz Carroll, the chief executive of The Haemophilia Society, said: “Gene therapy is a potentially game-changing treatment.”
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Gene therapies are likely to be extremely expensive. However, the current cost of regular factor eight injections is about one hundred thousand pounds a patient per year for life.

https://www.digitalhealth.net/2017/12/parkinsons-uk-one-mobile-health-apps/

Parkinson’s UK has teamed up with Our Mobile Health to create a library of apps and devices to support those living with the condition. In response to increasing demand for technology, the charity wanted to curate a library which listed safe apps and devices. Our Mobile Health’s role will be to source the apps from developers with Parkinson’s UK setting up a user panel which will test and evaluate the new digital tools, and give advice to other users. Emma Lawton, devices and apps strategist at Parkinson’s UK, told Digital Health News that the ‘crux’ of the library was to help sort out which apps and devices were the best.
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The library will contain a variety of apps and devices which help track symptoms and help manage the condition. Apps which promote self-management make up the majority available to those who have Parkinson’s, according to Lawton. She also added that they can help those suffering with the condition as they keep track of how they are feeling and any symptoms they may be experiencing.

Lawton, who will help launch the library in January, said as well as helping reviewing apps, she hopes the library will highlight what technology is missing for those living with Parkinson’s.
On Our Mobile Health’s side, reviewers will look at a range of areas such as patient safety and data security.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-42353206

Researchers warn that parents could be storing up problems for their children by introducing them to alcohol too young and ordering takeaways too often. Two universities found that one in six parents gives their children alcohol by the age of fourteen, when their body and brain are not yet fully developed. Experts said that many parents may believe they are acting responsibly – but that’s not backed up by research. A separate study said regular takeaways were a risk to the heart.

A team of researchers from Saint George’s, University of London, surveyed nearly two thousand nine and ten-year-olds on their diets and found that one in four ate takeaways at least once a week. This group had higher body fat composition from consuming too many calories, and lower levels of vitamins and minerals than children who ate food cooked at home. Continuing on this kind of diet could increase the risk of heart disease and other health problems later in life, the research team warned, saying takeaways should be “actively discouraged”. Research published in the Journal of Adolescent Health suggests that when it comes to giving adolescents a taste of alcohol, well-educated parents of white children are the main culprits.  But very few ethnic minority parents said they allowed early drinking – only two percent.

Using data on ten thousand children from the Millennium Cohort Study, researchers from University College London and Pennsylvania State University found that light or moderate-drinking parents were just as likely to let their children drink alcohol as heavy-drinking parents. Professor Jennifer Maggs, lead study author, said: “Parents of socially advantaged children may believe that allowing children to drink will teach them responsible use or may in fact inoculate them against dangerous drinking.

Official medical advice recommends that children don’t drink alcohol until they are at least fifteen. In the survey, fourteen-year-olds themselves were asked whether they had ever tried more than a few sips of alcohol, with almost half saying yes. When they were eleven, about fourteen had done so.

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