Round-Up of Global News In Health and Complementary Medicine

Monthly Archive

Week Beginning 24 June 2002

Mental Health Insight

Research suggests that unemployment and early separation from both parents may be key factors behind the high rates of schizophrenia in African-Caribbeans in the UK. This group has up to twice the incidence found in other populations. A study by the Centre for Caribbean Medicine at King’s College London suggests the main reasons may be social, with the schizophrenia rate much higher among African-Caribbeans in the UK than in Trinidad or Barbados. Dr Rosemarie Mallet says the research highlights the significance of social disadvantage as a cause of severe mental illness.

The Times

Early Signs Of 'Mad Cow'

Researchers from the National CJD Surveillance Unit in Edinburgh have put together a profile of symptoms of the human form of 'mad cow' disease that may help catch more cases sooner. They say in its early stages the brain wasting condition, known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), is characterised by anxiety, depression and other psychiatric symptoms. However, in some cases, nervous system problems may precede or accompany such mood symptoms and these combinations of features may help pinpoint the condition, according to the scientists. The research is published in the British Medical Journal.

The Times

Dementia Beaten By Hobbies

Older people who lead active lives may be protecting themselves from mental decline, according to researchers from the Stockholm Gerontology Research Center in Sweden. A study of adults aged 75 and older indicates that those who socialise regularly, have hobbies or exercise their minds with crossword puzzles and other activities are less likely to develop dementia over the next six years. The findings are published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The Daily Express

Too Many Drugs Used In The West

A United Nations drug expert, speaking at the annual meeting of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, in Cardiff, has said that doctors in developed countries are over-prescribing drugs like painkillers, anti-depressants and sedatives, some of which can be addictive. Professor Hamid Ghodse, president of the UN’s International Narcotics Control Board, says such drugs are being used to counter social problems, sometimes without solid medical justification. Prof Ghodse says that in some countries as many as 35 per cent of patients prescribed drugs that affect mental function are not diagnosed as having a mental disorder, and that children who are prescribed drugs for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder are often not ill.

The Daily Mail

Good News For New Organs

Researchers in the US have developed a technique to keep organs healthy in donors whose hearts have stopped. In most cases of organ donation, the donor has been declared dead due to complete loss of brain function, although the heart continues to beat and supply organs with blood and oxygen. However, in a small number of cases, the heart has stopped before the organs are extracted, and these may not function as well than those taken from a brain-dead donor with a beating heart. Scientists at the University of Michigan have developed a procedure, known as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, that allows the donor’s blood to run through a machine where it picks up oxygen and is then pumped back into the body.

The Daily Telegraph


Monthly Archive

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