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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Super-surgeries of 40 GPs are in the pipeline

'Cure grown for Parkinson's'

The story

Brain cells grown in the laboratory could provide a cure for Parkinson's, epilepsy and Alzheimer's, report The Independent and Metro.

The source

US researchers reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they had

generated fully mature adult brain cells in the laboratory. So far the work has only been done with animal cells.

Expert view

Professor Chris Higgins, director of the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, said: 'These studies are often reported as breakthroughs but in reality there has been an accrual

of data. There's a lot of work being done but it will be five to 10 years before any treatments come on the market.'

'Chlamydia vaccine in a sniff'

The story

A vaccine that can be sniffed could protect against chlamydia infection, the Daily Mail claims.

The source

US researchers told delegates at the American Microbiology Society meeting in Atlanta that a nasal vaccine to protect against chlamydia led to the production of antibodies in animal tests. The vaccine comprises the chlamydia vaccine attached to a weakened form of flu.

Expert view

Dr William Ford-Young, RCGP sexual health spokesman, said: 'We'd welcome any development to reduce the transmission of STIs, but immunisation against one STI does not protect against the others. We would still need to think carefully about the risks we take with our sexual behaviour.'

'Chemicals ruining fertility'

The story

Chemicals and hormones could be to blame for falling male fertility, according to the Daily Mail.

The source

A feature in the newspaper discusses recent

studies linking a mother's exposure to chemicals with the fertility of offspring. Research suggests exposure can reduce sperm count in future generations.

Expert view

Dr Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in andrology at the University of Sheffield, said: 'We know today's men generally have lower sperm counts than their fathers, but a direct link with chemical

exposure is still largely lacking. Patients should be reassured

that a lower sperm count does

not necessarily mean lower fertility.'

'Diet prevents Alzheimer's'

The story

You can avoid Alzheimer's disease simply by changing your diet, the Daily Mail claims.

The source

The feature includes extracts fromThe Alzheimer's Prevention Plan by a nutritionist. It lists 14 contributing causes to Alzheimer's and claims everything except genetic predisposition can be prevented with a special diet.

Expert view

Professor Clive Ballard, director of research at the Alzheimer's Society, said: 'The evidence base for dietary changes affecting many of the factors mentioned is weak. GPs should advise patients that we do not know yet exactly what causes Alzheimer's, nor are there ways that we can reverse it, but as we carry out more research we would recommend leading a healthy lifestyle.'

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