Gay people have worse experience of GP services, MS research can desensitise immune system, and cannabis addictive to adolescents
A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines
The Guardian reports that gay people are up to 50% more likely to report having a negative experience of their GP services than heterosexual patients, and report worse communication and lower overall trust.
A Department of Health funded study evaluated responses from 27,000 patients who identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual in the 2009-10 GP survey, it also found they were more likely to report poor physical and mental health.
Prof Martin Roland, director of the Cambridge Centre for Health Services Research said: ‘We need to ensure both that doctors recognise the needs of sexual minorities, and also that sexual minorities have the same experience of care as other patients. ‘
Promising news for MS sufferers as a team from Bristol University have demonstrated it’s possible to retrain the immune system not to attack patient’s own nervous system, the Telegraph reports.
By synthesising the myelin sheath forming proteins – which MS sufferer’s immune systems attack – in vitro and injecting them into the bloodstream in increasing doses, the immune system can be desensitised.
Lead author Dr Bronwen Burton said: ‘What we have found is that by synthesising those proteins in a soluble form we can desensitise the immune system by giving an escalating dose.’
A study of 90 cannabis users, to be published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, found that 40% showed symptoms of withdrawal when they stopped taking the drug – the same participants were also categorised as cannabis dependent.