Long daytime naps are 'warning sign' for type-2 diabetes
Napping for more than an hour during the day could be a warning sign for type-2 diabetes, Japanese researchers suggest. They found the link after analysing observational studies involving more than 300,000 people. UK experts said people with long-term illnesses and undiagnosed diabetes often felt tired during the day. But they said there was no evidence that napping caused or increased the risk of diabetes. The large study, carried out by scientists at the University of Tokyo, is being prese...E-cigarettes 'help more smokers quit'
The rise in popularity of e-cigarettes in the UK may have resulted in more successful attempts to quit smoking, according to UK researchers. The British Medical Journal work looked at trends in quit rates and support in England from 2006 to 2015. E-cigarettes seem to have had no effect on the number of people trying to quit, but more have actually managed to stop. The authors say vaping may have helped about 18,000 extra people in England successfully give up smoking in 2015. The team, from ...Malaria stopped with single dose of new compound
Scientists say they have found a new compound that stops malaria in animal studies with a single, low dose. Tests in mice showed the one-off treatment prevented infection for the full 30 days of the study. The chemical compound fought early infection in the liver, as well as malaria parasites that were circulating in the blood. The researchers hope their early work, published in the journal, Nature, could lead to new drugs for people. Malaria is spread to humans by the bites of infected fema...Oesophageal cancer tests raise hopes for earlier detection
Scientists are perfecting new methods to spot a difficult-to-diagnose cancer. Teams from the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute and Swansea University are working on separate diagnostic techniques to detect oesophageal or foodpipe cancer. Earlier detection could help save lives, as the disease is often picked up only when it is well advanced. One technique uses a light-emitting dye; the other involves a test for mutations in red blood cells. Both techniques still need considerable work b...Vitamin D 'significantly reduces severe asthma attacks'
Taking Vitamin D supplements in addition to asthma medication appears to cut the risk of severe asthma attacks, a review of evidence suggests. An independent review by the Cochrane research body of nine clinical trials found it also cut the rate of asthma attacks needing steroid treatment. But researchers say it is unclear whether it only helps patients who are vitamin D deficient. They say more studies are needed before they can give patients official advice. They recommend talking to a GP ...Brain radiotherapy 'no benefit' for lung cancer spread
Whole brain radiotherapy is of no benefit to people with lung cancer which has spread to the brain, says research in the Lancet. A trial of more than 500 patients found that it did not prolong or improve their quality of life any more than other forms of treatment. More than 45,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer every year in the UK. In a third of cases, the cancer will spread to the brain. Secondary brain tumours are usually treated with whole brain radiotherapy along with steroids a...Zika: Two billion at risk in Africa and Asia, study says
More than two billion people could be at risk from Zika virus outbreaks in parts of Africa and Asia, according to scientists writing in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. Populations in India, Indonesia and Nigeria are some of the most vulnerable to transmission, the researchers said. They used data on air traveller numbers to help model their predictions. However, they acknowledge that immunity to the virus could already exist in some areas and could reduce the risk. The research team, from th...Alzheimer's drug study gives 'tantalising' results
A drug that destroys the characteristic protein plaques that build up in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's is showing "tantalising" promise, scientists say. Experts are cautious because the drug, Aducanumab, is still in the early stages of development. But a study in Nature has shown it is safe and hinted that it halts memory decline. Larger studies are now under way to fully evaluate the drug's effects. The build-up of amyloid in the brain has been a treatment target for man...Parkinson's protein test could lead to earlier diagnosis
A test of how sticky a protein molecule is could help diagnose the early stages of Parkinson's disease, a study from the University of Edinburgh suggests. Scientists said early work on a small number of samples proved very accurate. Sticky clumps of the molecule are found in the brain cells of people with Parkinson's - and in those of some dementia sufferers. A Parkinson's disease charity said the results were "hugely promising" but larger studies were now needed. The study is published in t...Concerns raised over teenage pregnancy 'magic dolls'
Teenage pregnancy prevention programmes which use "magic dolls" to simulate the needs of a new baby do not work, according to a study in The Lancet. More than 1,000 teenage girls who took part in programmes in Western Australia were more likely to become pregnant than girls who did not take part, researchers found. The baby simulator cries when it needs to be fed, burped or changed. Similar programmes are used in schools in 89 countries, including the US. Girls enrolled in the Virtual I...Britons under-report calorie intake, study suggests
Britons are under-reporting their daily calorie consumption - potentially misleading policymakers attempting to curb obesity, research suggests. The Behavioural Insights Team points to scientific and economic data showing people eat 3,000 calories, compared to the 2,000 cited in official surveys. It says this could explain rising obesity levels, despite decades of surveys saying people are eating less. Government statisticians say the way calorie data is collated will change.Cancer gene tests 'reveal family link'
Scientists have discovered why some families are affected by many different types of cancer, thanks to genetic testing. In tests on 1,100 patients affected by a rare cancer called sarcoma, more than half were born with gene mutations known to increase cancer risk. The study, published in The Lancet Oncology, said the inherited mutations could become targets for treatments. And families affected by cancer could be offered screening and advice. Inherited mutations in genes linked to breast, ov...Women without appendix 'more fertile'
Women who have had their appendix or tonsils removed appear to be more fertile, a 15-year study suggests. The researchers, at the University of Dundee, analysed medical records from more than half a million British women. They argue the operations could directly affect fertility or there may be a "behavioural" explanation. Experts said the findings might lead to new treatments, but advised women not to have their tonsils and appendix taken out unnecessarily. The study found that for every 10...Cancer: Thousands surviving in UK decades after diagnosis
More than 170,000 people in the UK who were diagnosed with cancer up to 40 years ago are still alive, a report by Macmillan Cancer Support has suggested. People are twice as likely to survive for at least a decade after being diagnosed than they were at the start of the 1970s, the charity said. It said better treatments and speedier diagnoses are among the reasons. But cancer can leave a legacy of side effects such as depression and financial difficulties, it also warned. The report, called ...
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