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#GPnews: Diabetes drug may halt progression of Parkinson’s

Top headlines

Stress of training forces four in ten trainees to consider quitting

New GPSIs in gender dysphoria could take on prescribing of hormone therapy

16:22 The UK has pledged £100m between now and 2020 to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) fight to eradicate polio worldwide.

As the BBC reports, the infectious viral disease was wiped out from the UK in the 1980s due to the childhood immunisation programme.

However, it still paralyses one in 200 affected children in some countries around the world, including Afghanistan and Pakistan.

14:30 The drug exenatide, currently used to treat type 2 diabetes, has been found to improve movement-related issues in patients with Parkinson’s.

As the Guardian reports, researchers now think is might also slow the progression of the debilitating disease.

It says this comes as recent studies have suggested that problems with insulin signalling in the brain could be linked to neurodegenerative disorders.

Professor Thomas Foltynie, professor of neurology at University College London and co-author of the study, said: ‘If we can replicate these findings in a multicentre trial, especially with longer follow-up, then this can change the face of our approach to treating Parkinson’s.’

‘I think it is a really exciting step forward,’ said Dr Heather Mortiboys, an expert in neurodegenerative diseases at the University of Sheffield.

11:50 An NHS Engand director has said the NHS doesn’t ‘deserve’ more funding until it ‘puts its house in order’, report the Times and the Guardian.

Professor Tim Briggs, the national director of clinical quality and efficiency, said: ‘I do not think at the moment we deserve more money until we put our house in order and we actually make the changes that will improve the quality of care.

‘If you could get the infection rate across the country down to 0.2% just in hip and knee replacements, you’d save the NHS every year £250m-£300m just by improving the quality of care.’

9:30 Our top story today is a Pulse survey that reveals four in ten GP trainees have considered quitting training in the past 12 months due to stress, bureaucracy and disillusionment with secondary care placements.

It also revealed that 80% of the 280 trainees who answered the question had experienced denigration of the profession at medical school, while almost 70% said they experienced denigration at least once or twice a month. 

One trainee told Pulse: ‘I was complemented on how good I was and asked why I wanted to be a GP and told that “it is a waste”. Another time, one of the consultants said to me “I am sorry for you, you are going to join a truly horrible group of people”. I was hurt and it made me doubt the path I chose.’

This follows a landmark review last year that found medical students were being deterred from general practice by tutors who see it as a ‘low status’ option.


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