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Could shift work lead to more severe strokes?


Many workers don’t fall into the traditional nine-to-five category; millions of us work shifts with some people working late into the evening, or even throughout the night. While it’s already known that shift workers who work the so-called graveyard shift are more at risk of obesity and heart attacks, scientists are also keen to find out about the effect it ...

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How current screening methods miss mild cognitive impairment


Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System have found that the screening tools currently used to identify mild cognitive impairment (MCI) often give a false-negative. This means that people who are likely to go on to develop Alzheimer’s may not be getting the timely care that they need. MCI ...

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How laxatives can tell us more about Parkinson’s


Researchers from King’s College London have just undertaken a retrospective study to review laxative use among 79 patients with Parkinson’s disease. Each of the patients had been part of a gut-brain clinic that ran between August 2002 and July 2014. The results of the analysis showed that a combination of gut factors are linked to the disease mechanisms of Parkinson’s. ...

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Why it’s impossible to tickle yourself


Most of us love to be tickled, although some of us may be more ticklish than others. However, one thing is for sure, we can’t tickle ourselves. But why is that so? Well, it’s all down to how we see, and how we perceive movement. Try this for starters. Close one of your eyes, then carefully push against the side ...

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Scientists find new ways to grow blood vessels in the lab


Scientists from the University of Bath’s Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology have found a new way to produce 3D-networks of blood vessels. This means that it could be easier to grow tissues and organs for transplantation into patients, in the lab. These blood vessel networks are vital to ensure the survival of the tissues and yet so far being able ...

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Mouse study indicates that heart medication could help treat Alzheimer’s


A new study carried out by researchers at Örebro University in Sweden has shown that giving mice heart medication helps to reduce the build up of amyloid-beta protein. If this can be replicated in humans, then scientists could be one step closer to developing a treatment for Alzheimer’s. The Swedish researchers worked in collaboration with German and Italian colleagues to ...

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Why you still feel pain long after an injury has gone

sprained ankle

Scientists from King’s College London have revealed why chronic pain can persist long after the injury that caused it has healed. While the research is still in its infancy, it goes a long way to explain how seemingly innocuous injuries can leave ‘footprints’ at a molecular level, which ultimately lead to more lasting damage and long-term pain. Chronic pain is ...

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New research suggests dementia may be caused by auto-inflammation


New research published this month by the University of Adelaide has suggested that auto-inflammation may be a cause of dementia. This suggestion means that scientists may have to change their current thinking. This new theory developed by the Adelaide researchers puts forward the idea that an out-of-control immune system could be a cause for both dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases. ...

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REM sleep important for creating memories – in mice


While some scientists have always suspected that we form our memories during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, until now there hasn’t been any direct proof. However a team of researchers from McGill University have recently carried out a study which has shown that REM sleep, the part of sleep when we’re most likely to dream, is important for creating memories ...

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New trial of robotic legs help patients to walk again

Robotic legs could allow paralysed people to walk again

In recent months there have been many reports of research teams and engineers developing pioneering techniques to enable people who have lost the use of their legs to walk again. Now a team from the School of Engineering and Digital Arts at the University of Kent are about to carry out the first clinical trials of a new set of ...

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