Category Archives: Health & Wellbeing News

New non-hormonal treatment for hot flushes in development

The distress of hot flushes and night sweats affects many menopausal women.   Research into a new non-hormonal treatment is underway with promising early results.

Menopausal hot flushes and night sweats affect around 80% of older women who are in the menopause and can cause significant distress, lasting many years.  While hormone replacement therapy is still the first line treatment, it is not suitable or desirable for everyone, especially women who have suffered or are at risk of certain types of cancer.

While there are plenty of non-hormonal treatments, there is no hard evidence of effectiveness.

Recent research reported by website Menopause Matters has shown that a chemical pathway in the body called Neurokinin B is involved in the development of hot flushes.  As Estrogen levels fall, this chemical reacts with an area of the brain to cause the sensation of extreme heat.

A possible treatment to reduce the impact of Nerokinin B has been identified and in a randomised, controlled trial over 12 weeks with menopausal women, significant improvements were seen in hot flush frequency, mood and quality of sleep, with no negative effects.

Further studies are required and are underway, but the possibility of an effective, safe non-hormonal treatment is a positive prospect for the future.

Read the full report.

 

 

NHS launches new online support for people with diabetes

Three new NHS services will allow people living with diabetes to manage their condition online during the coronavirus pandemic.

Recent findings show that people with diabetes, face a significantly higher risk of dying with COVID-19, but better management of the condition can help improve control and lead to better outcomes.

NHS investment in the technology means that patients, many of whom are older, will be offered advice on treatment and care, as well as training to adopt healthy behaviours on diet and exercise with a range of online videos and training available on each app.

This remote support will complement patients’ appointments, many of which have been going ahead throughout the pandemic, through video consultations or via telephone, and more recently in COVID protected areas.

People living with Type 1 diabetes can access the following technology now:

  • Digibete: Children and young people with Type 1 diabetes and their families will be able to use the DigiBete App and website for a wide range of awareness, education, training and support resources.
  • MyType1Diabetes: Adults with Type 1 diabetes can access the service directly by visiting myType1diabetes.nhs.uk, it includes videos and eLearning courses, to help people understand more about their Type 1 diabetes and increase their confidence in how to manage it.

People with Type 2 will be able to access the following from later this year:

  • Healthy Living for people with Type 2 diabetes: The platform provides users with the skills and knowledge to manage their Type 2 diabetes effectively, including advice on emotional and mental wellbeing, and helps users adopt and maintain healthy behaviours around diet and exercise.
  • Online appointments, routine discussions with GPs and a dedicated helpline for those treated with insulin are among a range of measures that the NHS has already adopted so that diabetes care can go ahead as normal. The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is also being delivered remotely using platforms such as Microsoft Teams to continue to help those at risk of Type 2 diabetes to reduce their risk.

The NHS Long Term Plan set out a range of action for the treatment and care of diabetes, including expanding the world-leading Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Programme so that 200,000 people a year could benefit and rolling out freestyle libre for people with Type 1.

Macular Society reports on groundbreaking stem cell treatment

Patients’ sight maintained five years after groundbreaking stem cell treatment reports the Macular Society in their June newsletter.

Patients who were the first to receive a new treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) derived from stem cells in 2015 have maintained improvements in their vision five years on. Read more

More news from the Macular Society

People going blind as they are ‘too scared’ to see a doctor or optician
Clinicians have warned that attendance rates have dropped dramatically for those needing urgent treatment for macular disease, as people are too scared to attend: Read more

‘Our macular group feels like a huge family’
At a time when many people are feeling more lonely and isolated than ever before, our volunteers are continuing to make a huge difference to the lives of those with macular disease: Read story

‘Having that familiar voice on the end of the phone does make a big difference’
Since late 2018, Joan Carr has been receiving a regular telephone call from a Macular Society telephone befriender. She talks about what a difference it has made: Read story

‘Being able to talk to people who understand is a lifeline’
The National Lottery is helping to give a lifeline to hundreds of thousands of people across the UK – including those with macular disease: Read story

New patient website – have your say
Macular Society members are being encouraged to review a new website by pharmaceutical company Novartis, which aims to empower people living with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and their caregivers: Visit the site

TV advert
Later this month we will be launching our first-ever TV advert to raise awareness of macular disease and the work that we do. The advert will launch on 17 June on a selection of channels. Look out for more details in the next enewsletter.

Join us and Beat Macular Disease
Would you like to be part of our wonderful community of members, helping to Beat Macular Disease? Membership is free for the first six months – we’d love you to join us: Join us for free now!

Macular Society Advice and Information Service  0300 3030 111

Alzheimer’s Society update: Dementia Directory

The Alzheimer’s Society has updated their online support services directory for anyone affected by dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Dementia directory is Alzheimer’s Society’s comprehensive, easy-to-use online support services directory for anyone affected by dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

The following services are available to support people through the coronavirus pandemic.

• Live virtual activity groups, such as singing groups, exercise groups specifically for people affected by dementia and mindfulness

• Self-isolation support groups, such as online peer support groups

• Telephone befriending and companionship services

• Home delivery services through established schemes

• Advocacy

• Information and advice (such as telephone helplines)

• Live online information programmes (such as falls prevention schemes and dementia information programmes)

• Online support specifically for people affected by dementia, including websites where the service offer is clear, and the content does not cover information already provided on Alzheimer’s Society’s websites

• Courses for people affected by dementia where the course relates to their condition or caring role and is not a one-off event

• Online or telephone services that support people living with mild cognitive impairment

• Online or telephone services relating to comorbidities that are specific to dementia and the other comorbidities (for example, a service that is specific to dementia and Parkinson’s) or a service specifically catering for people with disabilities

Access the directory.

 

Information for organisations

If you are an organisation with an event to promote, we accept listings from all the following:

• Public and statutory bodies

• Private organisations

• Registered charities

• Social enterprises

• Community interest companies

• Individual social group leaders/facilitators registered with appropriate regulatory bodies

Send a listing

If you are unsure about whether you can list your service, please contact our Dementia Directory team dementia.directory@alzheimers.org.uk.

INFO: Supporting older people & those with dementia during COVID-19

The Division of Clinical Psychology’s Faculty for the Psychology of Older People has produced a document laying out considerations for meeting the needs of older people during the coronavirus outbreak.

Older people and those with dementia are likely to be some of the hardest hit by the current crisis, being most at risk of severe disease if they contract the virus and in many cases advised to stringently self-isolate for the foreseeable future.

This document includes guidance for older people on self-isolation, including on how to remain connected and stay active as much as possible during the pandemic.

There is also a specific section on the needs of people living with dementia and memory problems, particularly on how to help them to understand and follow Covid-19 advice.

View/Download Document

INFO: Coronavirus myths – what you need to know

The coronavirus (now known as COVID-19) has now spread from Wuhan, China, to every continent on Earth except Antarctica.  According to Medical News Today some of the most common stories that are currently circulating on social media and beyond are just myths.  Here we cover a few that we think you should know about.

Spraying chlorine or alcohol on skin kills viruses in the body

Applying alcohol or chlorine to the body can cause harm, especially if it enters the eyes or mouth. Although people can use these chemicals to disinfect surfaces, they should not use them on skin.

These products cannot kill viruses within the body.

Cats and dogs spread coronavirus

Currently, there is little evidence that the coronavirus can infect cats and dogs. However, in Hong Kong, a Pomeranian whose owner had COVID-19 became infected. The dog did not display any symptoms.

Scientists are debating the importance of this case to the epidemic. For instance, Prof. Jonathan Ball, Professor of Molecular Virology at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, says:

“We have to differentiate between real infection and just detecting the presence of the virus. I still think it’s questionable how relevant it is to the human outbreak, as most of the global outbreak has been driven by human-to-human transmission.”

He continues: “We need to find out more, but we don’t need to panic — I doubt it could spread to another dog or a human because of the low levels of the virus. The real driver of the outbreak is humans.”

You have to be with someone for 10 minutes to catch the virus

The longer someone is with an infected person, the more likely they are to catch the virus, but it is still possible to catch it in less than 10 minutes.

The virus will die off when temperatures rise

Some viruses, such as cold and flu viruses, do spread more easily in the colder months, but that does not mean that they stop entirely when conditions become milder. As it stands, scientists do not know how temperature changes will influence the behavior of COVID-19.

If in doubt, don’t forget to check the official sources of advice and information:

NHS’s key advice on coronavirus – NHS Website

Calderdale Council – Advice and support

Government – Coronavirus FAQ’s