Swedish furniture giant Ikea has recalled a line of safety gates following reports that children have fallen down stairs after they opened unexpectedly.
The number of scouts in Ely has risen yet again, with there now being over 650 boys, girls and volunteers involved in the city.
Father of 20-year-old man killed in accident on Branch Bank, Littleport, brands lack of action on road as ‘ridiculous’
The father of a man killed near Littleport has slammed the county council for not carrying out improvements to the road.
A couple who turned a three bedroom farmhouse into a six-bedroomed detached house - without getting planning permission- have lost an appeal to keep it.
After weeks of argument, claim and counter-claim, voters go to the polls on Thursday to decide the outcome of the referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.
“Whatever the outcome of the EU Referendum, it is vital that the voice of business is heard loud and clear in order for this country to have a clear pathway for further prosperity.
"Drugs prescribed to treat diabetes could cure Alzheimer's disease" is the significantly over-hyped headline in The Daily Telegraph.
What this new research actually found is that there seem to be shared biological processes between Alzheimer's and diabetes. But the study concerned did not look at treatments for the disease, never mind any possible cures.
The report highlights a study in genetically engineered mice concerning a human enzyme (BACE1) that is closely linked to the development of Alzheimer's disease in humans, and which recent studies have also shown could be linked to type 2 diabetes. This study supported this concept, finding that mice bred to produce BACE1 showed signs of poor glucose control when compared with "normal" mice.
Research has previously linked diabetes with the risk of getting Alzheimer's disease. Researchers now suspect the link also works the other way round, so people with Alzheimer's disease may be more likely to get diabetes after getting dementia.
This animal study therefore looked at potential mechanisms that might affect the development of both diseases. However, the findings may not necessarily translate to humans. It has not tested the effects of diabetes drugs on the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's, or vice versa.
Much more research is needed. Talk of a treatment or cure for Alzheimer's is premature and risks getting people's hopes up unfairly.
Maintaining a healthy weight and eating a nutritious diet can reduce both the risks of type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer's, but as of yet, there is no guaranteed method to prevent Alzheimer's disease.
Where did the story come from?
The study was carried out by researchers from the University of Aberdeen and the University of the Highlands and Islands, and was funded by a variety of grants and fellowships from organisations including Romex Oilfield Chemicals, Scottish Alzheimer's Research UK, the University of Aberdeen, the British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK and Study of Diabetes/Lilly.
The UK media seems to have jumped the gun, from a study that looks at complex metabolic pathways in genetically modified mice, to reports that diabetes drugs could cure Alzheimer's disease. The Daily Mail probably did the best job of covering it, although the first mention that the study was on mice came some way down the story.
The Daily Telegraph did a poorer job, with a headline that was entirely inappropriate for the implications of the study.
What kind of research was this?
This was an observational laboratory study of mice bred to produce a human enzyme called BACE1. The researchers compared the mice with wild-type ("normal") mice, looking at their glucose control, lipids (fats) and other indicators of diabetes. They wanted to see whether mice bred to produce BACE1 were more likely to show signs of diabetes.
BACE1 is linked to the production of amyloid protein in the brain, which is characteristic of Alzheimer's disease. Recent studies have also shown that a lack of this enzyme could protect against obesity and diabetes, suggesting it may have an influence on glucose regulation in the body.
Animal studies are useful ways of carrying out experiments that cannot be done on humans, but it is not certain that results in animals translate to results in humans or lead to new treatment approaches.
What did the research involve?
Researchers took two groups of mice – one group similar to mice found in the wild, and the other bred to express a human enzyme called BACE1 in their brain cells. They monitored and tested them at three, four, five and eight months of age. They compared the results between the two groups.
The mice had a range of tests, including for glucose tolerance and insulin production, CT scans to look at the amount of fat they had, and tests for a range of markers, including leptin (a hormone linked to hunger), glycogen (the form in which the liver stores glucose) and types of lipids.
The researchers used statistical analysis to compare results between the two groups of mice, taking account of their initial body weight and food consumption.
What were the basic results?
Mice with BACE1 had results similar to wild-type mice until they were about four months old. After that, their weight went down, but the amount of fat in their bodies went up.
Blood tests after four months showed raised glucose levels and progressive raised glucose intolerance, altered levels of hormones and lipids, impaired ability of the liver to store glucose as glycogen, and reduced metabolism of glucose in the brain. All of these results suggest the BACE1 mice were unable to control their glucose levels, which is the major sign of diabetes.
The researchers said their previous research had shown that BACE1 mice begin to show signs of dementia at four to six months of age. They added: "Our current findings therefore indicate that neuronal BACE1 induces global metabolic dysregulation, along with brain inflammation and amyloidosis-related cognitive decline." They say the study "pinpoints neuronal BACE1" as the major driver of the inability to regulate glucose.
How did the researchers interpret the results?
The researchers say they have demonstrated that "neuronal expression of human BACE1 causes systemic diabetic complications."
They say their work "provides insight into the complex mechanistic interactions between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease" and shows that not only does diabetes increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease, but that the reverse may also apply.
Both Alzheimer's disease and diabetes seem to have become more common in recent years, causing illness and putting strain on the health service. News that the two illnesses may have a common cause raises hopes that drugs which help with one disease may also be of use in treating another.
Trials of a diabetes drug on people with Alzheimer's disease are reported to be underway, although no results have been published yet. This study, suggesting a mechanism which may be involved in the early stages of both diseases, may increase the likelihood that common treatments will be useful.
The study's main limitation is that it was carried out on mice, and studies in animals do not always translate directly to people. It's important to realise the study was not looking at ways to cure either diabetes or Alzheimer's disease, but only at an enzyme which may be implicated in the development of both. We don't know exactly what effect it has on humans, or how many people with raised levels of BACE1 get diabetes or Alzheimer's.
Studies like these, carried out on laboratory animals, can play an important role in helping us discover more about diseases and their causes. But we won't know whether this insight will help to find a treatment for Alzheimer's disease until there have been human trials.
If you had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, then sticking to your recommended treatment plan, in terms of diet and medication, should help reduce your Alzheimer's risk. Read more about Alzheimer's disease prevention.
Links To The Headlines
Drugs used to treat diabetes could cure Alzheimer's, experts say. The Daily Telegraph, June 21 2016
The diabetes drug that can also be used to fight off dementia. Daily Mirror, June 21 2016
Links To Science
Plucińska K, Dekeryte R, Koss D, et al. Neuronal human BACE1 knockin induces systemic diabetes in mice. Diabetologia. Published online May 2 2016
"Hundreds of thousands of pregnant women with morning sickness should be given drugs to ease their symptoms," the Daily Mirror reports.
The recommendation comes from a set of new guidelines that also say ginger and acupuncture can play a useful role in treating nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, better known as morning sickness.
Health professionals prefer to call it nausea and vomiting in pregnancy as it can occur at any time, not just in the morning.
Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy is very common in early pregnancy, affecting the majority of women in their first trimester.
It's unpleasant, but doesn't place the pregnancy at any increased risk and usually clears up by weeks 16 to 20 of pregnancy.Hyperemesis gravidarum
The guidelines also discuss hyperemesis gravidarum, where women experience excessive nausea and vomiting.
They might be sick many times a day – some women report being sick up to 50 times a day – and be unable to keep food or drink down.
This is far less common than nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, affecting around 1 in every 100 women.
The Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, reportedly suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum during her first pregnancy.What are the main recommendations?
The main recommendations of the guidelines are outlined below.Self care
Most women with nausea and vomiting in pregnancy can manage their symptoms themselves using self care techniques.
- eating small amounts of food often, rather than having several large meals – but don't stop eating
- eating cold meals, rather than hot ones, as they don't give off the smell that hot meals often do, which may make you feel sick
- avoiding foods or smells that make you feel sick
The guidelines mention there is some evidence that ginger supplements may help reduce nausea and vomiting.
To date, there have not been any reports of adverse effects being caused by taking ginger during pregnancy.
However, ginger products are unlicensed in the UK, so buy them from a reputable source, such as a pharmacy or supermarket. Check with your pharmacist before you use ginger supplements.
Similarly, acupressure on the wrist may also be effective in reducing symptoms of nausea in pregnancy.
Acupressure, similar to acupuncture, involves wearing a special band or bracelet on your forearm.
The guidelines do not recommend the use of hypnotherapy, as there is no evidence it is effective.Medication
If symptoms fail to respond to these approaches, medication is recommended, which can be prescribed by your GP.
Anti-sickness medications (antiemetics) known to be safe during pregnancy, such as cyclizine, are usually recommended.
Some antihistamines, often used to treat allergies such as hay fever, also work as antiemetics.Admission to hospital
Admission to hospital may be recommended if you:
- are dehydrated
- have severe vomiting and are unable to tolerate any fluids
- have abnormal blood tests
- have lost weight
- have a medical condition, such as a heart or kidney problem, or diabetes
You will be given the fluids you need though a drip in your arm. This will be continued until you are able to drink fluids without vomiting.
You should be offered anti-sickness medication and a B vitamin called thiamine. Both of these can be given through the drip in your arm if you are unable to keep tablets down.
Compression stockings and medications may be used to help prevent blood clots. Being dehydrated and not being mobile increases blood clot risks.
You should be discharged from hospital once your symptoms improve.
Links To The Headlines
Pregnant women with morning sickness should be given drugs to ease symptoms, say doctors. Daily Mirror, June 22 2016
Ginger and acupressure 'options for morning sickness'. BBC News, June 22 2016
All pregnant women suffering morning sickness to be offered drugs rather than 'suffer in silence'. Daily Mail, June 22 2016
Use drugs to help women beat morning sickness, GPs urged. The Times, June 22 2016 (subscription required)
Links To Science
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. The Management of Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy and Hyperemesis Gravidarum (Green-top Guideline No.69). June 2016
An hour-long programme of English choral music will be performed at Peterborough Cathedral on July 1.
Applications for grants from West Suffolk’s Community Chest are now being invited.
A pet food manufacturer has issued a further recall of cat food owing to a risk of illness in pets.
Mesh mini slings cause “serious complications” and research into their use is “disappointing” says report by NICE
A mesh sling surgically implanted to cure women suffering embarrassing leaks, usually caused by pregnancy, has been criticised for causing serious complications, pain and discomfort.
An ex school teacher ‘systematically groomed and sexually abused’ children in his care while working at a former Suffolk School, a jury has heard.
‘Hope not fear’ the message of Iain Duncan Smith as he brings his Brexit campaign to Chatteris and Wisbech
Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith stood outside the parish church in Chatteris today to preach his message of “hope not fear”
More than 100 string orchestra members – made up of seven and eight-year-olds - put on a “quite remarkable” concert at Ely Cathedral on Monday.
A man has been jailed for 12 months after being found in possession of drugs.
"Almost half the adult population is living with chronic pain," the Daily Mail reports. A major new review suggests that around 28 million adults in the UK are affected by some type of chronic pain (pain that lasts for more than three months).
The researchers used data from 19 studies that included almost 140,000 adults. They extrapolated the results to come up with the estimate that around 43% of people in the UK experience chronic pain. More adults aged 75 or over (62%) experienced pain than those aged 18 to 25 (14.3%).
There are limitations to this study that affect the reliability, the main one being that this type of review can only be as good as the included studies. In this case, there weren't many good-quality studies and there was a lot of variation in their findings.
With an ageing population, it is likely that the prevalence of chronic pain will increase and the need for pain management and relief will grow.
A case could be made that health services across the world need to do more to meet the needs of people with chronic pain. While it may not be life-threatening, chronic pain can cause considerable distress and adversely affect mental health.
Current advice for chronic pain is to use a combination of physical exercise and painkillers to relieve pain. Psychological therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, can also help people cope better with quality of life issues.
Where did the story come from?
The study was carried out by researchers from Imperial College London, Arthritis Research UK and the University of Aberdeen. Funding was provided by the British Pain Society and Arthritis Research UK.
Conflict of interest was declared by one of the researchers who had received fees from pharmaceutical companies including Grunenthal, Napp/Mundipharma, Pfizer, Astrazeneca, BioQuiddity and The Medicines Co, outside the submitted work.
This has been reported widely by the UK media, which generally provided an accurate account of the research findings. However, limitations of the included studies that might reduce reliability were not mentioned.
What kind of research was this?
This was a systematic review and meta-analysis which aimed to combine existing data on the prevalence of chronic pain in the general population. The researchers investigated various definitions of chronic pain to attempt to provide national estimates.
A systematic review is the best way of combining all available data on a health issue. However, the limitation is that it can only be as reliable as the included studies – if these are of poor quality, then the findings of a systematic review should be interpreted with caution.
Similarly, the results of a meta-analysis may be subject to question if there was a great deal of difference (heterogeneity) between individual studies.
What did the research involve?
The review team searched two medical databases, Medline and Embase, for articles reporting on the prevalence of chronic pain in the general UK population. All study types were included, providing they reported prevalence estimates for the following:
- chronic pain – pain in one or more locations in the body
- chronic widespread pain – using the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) definition (1990) of pain in the head or spine and two limbs on opposite side of the body
- fibromyalgia – ACR criteria (1990 or 2010) of widespread pain and tenderness in many different parts of the body, along with other symptoms of the condition (e.g. lethargy)
- nerve pain (neuropathic pain) – pain in one or more body locations with nerve features, such as numbness or tingling
Each definition of pain was to be present for at least three months.
The researchers excluded studies containing data prior to 1990, or if it was not representative of the UK population, or it was not possible to retrieve UK-specific estimates. They also excluded studies investigating specific pain sites only (e.g. prevalence of lower back pain only), or studies in specific populations who wouldn't represent the general population (e.g. chronic pain prevalence in people with diabetes).
Two researchers reviewed search results, selected studies which met their criteria, and collected prevalence data.
All included studies were assessed using a risk of bias tool. Studies that had a very high risk of bias were not included in the analysis.
Statistical methods were used to combine the findings of individual studies.
What were the basic results?
The database searches found 1,737 potentially relevant studies. On further examination, only 19 met their inclusion criteria, presenting data from 139,933 adults in the UK. Most of these (13) were cross-sectional studies, and the remainder were cohort studies.
The review found that 43.5% of people experienced chronic pain of some kind (pooled results from seven studies). Prevalence ranged from 35% to 51% in the individual studies. The prevalence of moderate to severely disabling chronic pain was lower and ranged from 10.4% to 14.3% (based on four studies).
The researchers split estimates for chronic pain into age groups and, as you might expect, found a theme for increasing prevalence with increasing age. This ranged from 14.3% in younger adults (18 to 25 years old), to 62% for those over 75 years of age.
Findings using the three other pain definitions were:
- chronic widespread pain – 14.2% (pooled result from five studies)
- chronic neuropathic pain – 8.2% to 8.9% (results in two studies)
- fibromyalgia – 5.4% (one study)
The researchers conclude: "Chronic pain affects between one-third and one-half of the population of the UK, corresponding to just under 28 million adults, based on data from the best available published studies. This figure is likely to increase further in line with an ageing population."
This systematic review aimed to combine available data on the prevalence of chronic pain in the UK adult population.
The 19 identified studies suggested that 43% of people in the UK experience chronic pain. However, there are both strengths and limitations to this review that may affect the reliability of this finding.
The review has strengths in the careful search methods which aimed to identify only studies relevant to the general population. The researchers also did their best to provide the most reliable estimate by performing a quality assessment of studies and excluding those at particularly high risk of bias.
The main limitation is that a systematic review can only be as good as the included studies, and in this case there were few high-quality studies and a lot of variation in their findings. The included studies mainly collected data using questionnaires, which are subject to various sources of bias.
The response rate ranged from 36.3% to 89.7% and it is possible that those who respond are more likely to be experiencing pain than those who aren't. If this was the case, then this could be an overestimate of prevalence. We also cannot tell from these findings what the cause of pain was, and whether people were receiving the appropriate management for it.
Whether the prevalence found in this review is accurate or not, living with chronic pain has a negative impact on quality of life. It can affect mobility and limit daily activity, affect employment, social and personal life, and affect mental health (e.g. depression). With an ageing population, it is likely that the prevalence will increase and the need for pain management and relief will grow.
There are a number of treatment options available on the NHS for people struggling with chronic pain, such as physiotherapy, pain management courses, and counselling.
Read more on how to get NHS help for your pain.
Links To The Headlines
Up to half of UK people living in pain. BBC News, June 21 2016
'Silent epidemic' of chronic pain affects nearly 28 million in UK, study suggests. The Guardian, June 21 2016
Nearly half of Britons suffer from chronic pain, study finds. The Daily Telegraph, June 20 2016
Up to 28 million Britons live with chronic pain. The Times, June 21 2016
Links To Science
Fayaz A, Croft P, Langford RM, et al. Prevalence of chronic pain in the UK: a systematic review and meta-analysis of population studies. BMJ Open. Published online June 20 2016
A man from kentford has been handed a suspended prison sentence after being found with three kilograms of illegal drugs.
A 28-year-old man has been arrested after two men were assaulted in Burton End in Haverhill on Sunday.