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Frog-inspired medicine, a call to review antipsychotic prescriptions and other health stories



Our round-up of the health headlines on Thursday 9 June.

You may not have heard of the Waxy Monkey Frog – but it could hold the secret to new medicines. According to researchers from Queen’s University, Belfast, quoted in the Daily Mail, secretions from the frog’s skin could inhibit the growth of blood vessels and thus stop tumours from growing. In contrast, the Giant Fire-bellied Toad secretes substances that could stimulate blood vessel growth.

All prescriptions for ‘chemical cosh’ in older people should be reviewed by the end of March next year. That’s the call from the Dementia Action Alliance (whose members include the Department of Health) reported on the BBC . Around 180,000 people with dementia in the UK are thought to be prescribed antipsychotic drugs and up to 80% of these prescriptions may be inappropriate.

A hospital has apologised to the family of a patient who died in a hospital corridor, The Independent reports . Peter Thompson arrived intoxicated at Edale House mental health unit in Manchester and was found lifeless on the floor ten hours after being left there by staff.

Researchers from University College London have been reported by the BBC as claiming that that a drug could help ‘prime’ the heart to repair itself following a heart attack. So far the drug, thymosin beta 4, has only been tested in mice.

Spotted a story we’ve missed? Let us know, and we’ll update the digest throughout the day…

Daily Digest