13:15 Three new specalised treatments have been approved by NHS England. The treatments – estimated to affect only 145 patients a year – are:
- Second allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplants – estimated to cover around 15 patients a year who suffer a relapse following a first transplant.
- Eculizumab for the treatment of the kidney condition C3 glomerulopathy, also known as Dense Deposit Disease – estimated to benefit up to 5 patients a year who suffer a relapse following a kidney transplant.
- Riociguat for pulmonary arterial hypertension – estimated to benefit around 90-125 patients a year for whom other treatments have failed, subject to confirmation of a commercially in confidence discounted price offered by the manufacturer.
12:00 Clever kids with ‘curious’ minds are more likely to smoke cannabis and drink alcohol later in their teenage years, with patterns persisting into adulthood, a University College London study has found.
The Telegraph reports that the smarter childen, who were high academic achievers at age 11, were twice as likely to regularly smoke cannabis as teenagers, despite having initially expressed a more cautious attitude.
‘High childhood academic at age 11 is associated with a reduced risk of cigarette smoking but an increased risk of drinking alcohol regularly and cannabis use,’ the researchers wrote.
Dr James Williams at UCL Medical School said: ‘These risky health behaviours present a large problem in terms of public health as substance use is a risk factor for immediate and long-term health problems, as well as negative non-health outcomes such as poor educational and employment outcomes.
‘The outcomes of cannabis use were found to be worsened by early onset and increased frequency of use.
‘Understanding the risk factors for adolescent substance use can inform public health policymaking and help target interventions for those in high-risk groups.’
09:35 An on-off diet could reverse the effects of type-2 diabetes, according to a new US study.
According to the BBC’s report, intermittently keeping to a low calorie, low protein, low carbohydrate but high unsaturated-fat diet for five days, then eating what they want for 25 days, could ‘reboot’ the pancreas in diabetic patients. As yet, this has only been tested on mouse patients however.
Dr Valter Longo, from the University of Southern California, said: ‘Our conclusion is that by pushing the mice into an extreme state and then bringing them back – by starving them and then feeding them again – the cells in the pancreas are triggered to use some kind of developmental reprogramming that rebuilds the part of the organ that’s no longer functioning.’