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Health

The patch has a hundred tiny hair-like microneedles on its adhesive side that penetrate the skin's surface.

That should help more people get immunised, including those who are scared of injections, experts told the Lancet journal 

Unlike the standard flu jab, it doesn't need to be kept in the fridge, meaning pharmacies could easily stock it on their shelves for people to buy.

Experts say the patch could revolutionise how flu and other vaccines are given, although more clinical tests over the next few years are needed to get the patch system approved for widespread use.

Experts from Public Health England said it might also be good to use in young children, who tend not to like needles, although the UK has already introduced a nasal spray flu vaccine for them.

The patch can be thrown in the bin after it is used because the microneedles dissolve away. bbc.com
In a new systematic review in JAMA Neurology, Michigan Medicine researchers found reason to further explore the surprising effects of zolpidem that have been observed outside the scope of its primary Food and Drug Administration approval.

"We saw a dramatic effect in a small amount of patients with a variety of conditions," says Martin "Nick" Bomalaski, M.D., an outgoing resident physician in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.

Most of the patients who responded to zolpidem for noninsomnia neurological disorders had either a disorder of consciousness or a movement disorder, Bomalaski reports.

That includes those in comas and vegetative states, and others with Parkinson's disease and dystonia.

The response rate in the reviewed articles was between 5 and 7 percent for patients with disorders of consciousness, and up to 24 percent or even higher for patients with movement disorders.

Another topic for more research is to assess whether the effects of zolpidem depend on the part of the brain that's injured. sciencedaily.com
More than 1,700 people may have been harmed by an NHS contractor’s loss of almost 709,000 pieces of medical correspondence, including patient records and cancer test results, an investigation has found.

But the real total could be much higher, as almost a third of the documents have still to be assessed to see if long delays in analysing them damaged human health, according to a report by the National Audit Office (NAO) into what MPs have called “a colossal blunder”.

The NAO – Whitehall’s spending watchdog – launched its inquiry into the unprecedented loss of such a huge amount of sensitive and medically important correspondence after the Guardian revealed in February that it had occurred.

Its report is a critique of incompetence and dubious decision-making over years by NHS Shared Business Services (SBS), a private firm jointly owned by the Department of Health that delivered letters between hospitals and GP practices and also between GP surgeries.

It also highlights two key conflicts of interest faced by Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, over the scandal – and raises questions about whether he sought to cover up its true scale.

Although no cases of harm directly attributable to the blunders have yet been confirmed, “NHS England is still investigating the cases where potential harm has been identified”. theguardian.com
After 28 years  teaching and practicing critical care medicine, Dr. Paul Marik knows when a patient is at death’s door.

So in January 2016, when 53-year-old Valerie Hobbs came into his intensive care unit with a severe case of sepsis, he expected it would be for the last time.

Hobbs had been admitted to Virginia's Sentara Norfolk General Hospital for an infected gall-bladder that had led to septic shock.

Now, the confounding infection was causing her blood pressure to bottom out and her organs to fail. Marik’s best guess was that she would be dead by morning. smithsonianmag.com
Patients are ditching opioids and instead using cannabis to treat pain, anxiety, and depression mostly in states where pot is legal, according to a new study.

Published in the Journal of Pain Research, the results show that 46  percent of people who used cannabis at least once within the previous 90 days used it as a substitute for prescription drugs that treat pain, anxiety, and depression.

The investigators surveyed nearly 3,000 respondents from all over the United States (as well as participants from Canada and Europe).

The findings serve as the latest bit of news demonstrating a growing trend of medical cannabis use for conditions traditionally treated with prescription medications. saludmovil.com
The link between working at night and poor health has been known for several years, with those who work after dark more likely to suffer diabetes, obesity, poor fertility, heart attacks and tumours.

Dr Parveen Bhatti, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, USA, said if awake at night the body has "reduced capacity to repair and clear oxidative DNA damage."

The study tested 50 night shift workers for levels of 8-OH-dG - a chemical which is produced when DNA is repaired.

They then tested them again when they were working days, and found levels jumped by 300 per cent.

They believe that shift workers may need to take sleep hormone supplements to allow DNA to carry out repairs as they sleep in the day.

"If such effects are confirmed, melatonin supplementation should be explored as an intervention to reduce the occurrence of potentially carcinogenic DNA damage among shift workers," added Dr Bhatti. telegraph.co.uk
More than half the supermarket products marketed at kids are unhealthy, new obesity research has revealed.

The Obesity Policy Coalition surveyed 186 packaged foods with cartoons or characters designed to attract children.

They found 52 per cent were classified as unhealthy by the Food Standards Australia, New Zealand.

"It's extremely frustrating to see cartoons and animations being used to lure children and create pester power to push parents into buying unhealthy products for kids."

Kellogg's spokesman Derek Lau said the research insinuated that parents have less influence on their kids than a cartoon "which is hugely discrediting to what parents decide to choose or don't choose for their kids."

Lau said that cereals contribute 4 per cent of the total sugar intake for Kiwi kids and 75 per cent of Kelloggs cereals had four health stars or above. nzherald.co.nz
Ginger, as a supplement or an ingredient in food and drink, may protect against obesity and chronic disease, according to a new research review.

While experts can’t yet recommend a specific dosage for preventive purposes, they say that consuming more of the pungent spice is smart for several reasons.

The new review, published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, examined the findings of 60 studies, performed on cell cultures, lab animals and humans.

Overall, these studies “have built a consensus that ginger and its major constituents exert beneficial effects against obesity, diabetes, [cardiovascular diseases] and related disorders," wrote the authors from China Agricultural University.

The authors focused their research on the different aspects of metabolic syndrome, a combination of three or more risk factors for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Metabolic syndrome is a “growing health problem that has reached pandemic proportions,” they wrote, “as it now affects a quarter of the world’s population.” time.com