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Learning curve

Phil always tries to enthuse when he hosts medical students, but, well, durr...

Phil always tries to enthuse when he hosts medical students, but, well, durr...

‘Cold cure nasal spray'

The Story A new nasal spray is the first ‘cure' for the common cold, the Daily Mail, Telegraph and Times report.

The Source Procter and Gamble launched a new nasal spray – Vicks First Defence – claiming it forms a layer of gel at the back of the nose that catches and disarms the virus.

The company conducted an unpublished trial of 400 patients, finding those who used the spray as soon as they experienced symptoms recovered within 6.1 days, compared with 7.2 days with placebo and 8.9 days without treatment.

Expert View Dr Anthony Harnden, a researcher on viral infections and senior lecturer at the University of Oxford, said: ‘Viruses are incredibly small and the thought of creating a barrier that would stop them from

entering the body seems a little far-fetched.

‘You would have to get the spray into the nasal cavity and then all the way up into the sinuses and you would have to get complete coverage for it to be effective.'

‘Don't forget green tea'

The Story Green tea could help protect against Alzheimer's disease, the Daily Mail and BBC News Online suggest.

The Source Researchers from the University of South Florida found a component in green tea – EGCG – could prevent Alzheimer's-like damage in the brains of mice bred to develop symptoms.

The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, found treating the mice with daily injections could cut ß-amyloid plaque formation by 54 per cent.

Expert View Dr Susanne Sorensen, head of research

at the Alzheimer's Society, said the scientists themselves had pointed out that other flavonoids in green tea blocked the action of EGCG, so drinking green tea would not have an effect.

She added: ‘It is valuable to identify any compound that may halt the development of amyloid plaques, but more research is needed.'

‘Farms a health-hazard'

The Story Exposure to pesticides is endangering people who live near farms, all the newpapers

report.

The Source

An official inquiry by the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution called for more research into the link between pesticides and ill-health and said an association was not implausible.

Expert View Professor Vyvyan Howard, professor of bioimaging at the University of Ulster, said: ‘Pesticides are toxic substances and are heavily regulated.

‘Because of that, all unnecessary exposure should be avoided.'

‘New osteoporosis pill'

The Story A once-a-month pill will help fight osteoporosis, The Times, Daily Mail and BBC News Online report.

The Source Drug companies Roche and GlaxoSmithKline jointly launched Bonviva (ibandronic acid), a new bisphosphonate and the first to be taken monthly.

A press release said the launch was intended to improve concordance.

Expert View Dr Peter Stott, a member of the

scientific advisory committee of the National Osteoporosis Society, said: ‘This once-a-month bisphosphonate offers patients equivalent efficacy

to current treatments with minimal medicalisation of their lives.

‘Bonviva is a new option which has been eagerly awaited.'

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