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#GPnews: Magic mushrooms hope for incurable depression

16:50 Abortion statistics for 2015 has revealed ‘record’ numbers of women who have partners or are over 35 choosing to have a termination, the Telegraph reports.

The official figures for England and Wales showed that 70% of abortions were among women who were married or had a partner, compared to just 48% ten years ago.

And 54% of women choosing abortion previously had children, compared to 47% a decade earlier.

The total number of abortions was stable at 185,824 (+0.7%), but out of these a ‘record’ 29,471 were to women over 35.

Abortion care service Bpas suggested women were underestimating their fertility in their late 30s and 40s because of a public message warning women should not delay pregnancy because fertility declines with age.

16:10 Magic mushrooms may help ‘incurable’ depression and could feature in groundbreaking new antidepressant drugs, an Imperial College London study has concluded.

The researchers stressed this was merely a ‘feasibility’ study, but in a trial they found that 12 out of 12 patients were helped to some degree from treatment with psilocybin, the Class A active ingredient from magic mushrooms, reports the BBC and others.

The participants saw benefits ranging from weeks to several months, having previously not responded to an average of five different antidepressant treatments.

The £500,000 study - during which patients were carefully monitored by psycholgists - was funded by the Medical Research Council and the paper published in the Lancet Psychiatry.

It was welcomed by mental health experts as a breakthrough which could ‘revolutionise’ the treatment of depression, reports the Daily Mail, but came with a strict do-not-try-this-at-home warning.

15:25 In breaking news from Wales, one of the two GPs accused of manslaughter after a 12-year-old boy died from Addison’s disease has been cleared.

Read the full story here.

13:30 More than 300,000 doctors, nurses and public health professionals from 30 countries, including the UK, have signed a letter to the G7 nations urging them to save lives by speeding up the move away from coal power.

The letter says: ’Eliminating air pollution from coal-fired power plants provides immediate and significant air pollution-related health benefits and healthcare savings…

’On a global scale, outdoor air pollution is responsible for approximately 3.7 million premature deaths per year from heart disease, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and acute lower respiratory infections among children.’

The letter comes ahead of the next G7 meeting, to be hosted by Japan next week.

11:48 Almost half of heart attack sufferers do not realise they have had one, a study has suggested.

The US study looked at medical records for 9,500 middle-aged men and women between 1987 and 2013, finding that of the 7.4% who had heart attacks nine years into the study, 45% were of the ‘silent variety’, reports the Guardian.

Researchers said these patients thought they had strained a muscle or had indigestion, while other symptoms included unexplained fatigue and discomfort of the jaw, upper arm or back.

But they warned that silent heart attacks can cause just as much damage as those showing instantly recognisable symptoms and that, in fact, these patients were three times more likely to die of heart disease than others.

09:40 Our top story this morning: A survey of thousands of doctors, carried our by a GP registrar, has found half of junior doctors may quit the NHS if the contract imposition goes ahead, with many planning to move abroad.

Also, less than half of eligible junior doctors polled said they have applied for specialist core training (CT) or specialist registrar (SPR) training this August - with 20% specifically citing the proposed new contract as their reason for not applying.

Read the full story here.

Got a story? Let us know by tweeting the hashtag #GPnews or emailing newsdesk@pulsetoday.co.uk

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