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#GPnews: Long-winded rambling identified as early dementia warning

13:35 Rambling on and becoming more long winded when speaking could be an early sign of developing dementia, according to reports.

Researcher Janet Cohen Sherman, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and her team assessed groups of healthy people, young and old, and a group of people with mild cognitive impairment, finding that there was a ‘very significant’ difference in language between the groups, reports the Mirror.

Dr Cohen said: ‘Their speech was very different, they were much less concise in conveying information. The sentences they produced were much longer, they had a hard time staying on point and I guess you could say they were much more roundabout in getting their point across.

‘They had difficulty integrating meaning with structure of speech, using sentences in an effective way to convey meaning.

‘The healthy older individuals could give us a very concise sentence with the three words, and so could the healthy young, but the individuals with mild cognitive impairment struggled.’

12:05 The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh is inviting doctors who have come to the UK as refugees to become members and gain access to its education programme free of charge.

It said the move reflects the college’s commitment to support refugees.

RCP Edinburgh president Professor Derek Bell said: ‘We are keen to support refugee doctors who have come to the UK to offer them assistance and opportunities as they settle into their new country.

‘By opening up our education programme to refugees who have studied or practised medicine in their home country, they will be able to continue to develop the essential skills that they have, as well as developing a network of colleagues who can offer support and advice.’

The move comes after Pulse reported last week that the Scottish Government is targeting refugee doctors, from countries including Iraq and Syria, for a new NHS retraining programme that will expose participants to general practice.

Professor Bell added: ‘We hope that alongside other initiatives such as the New Refugee Doctors Project and reduced fees for the MRCP(UK) exam, we can play our part in ensuring those seeking refuge in Scotland and the UK can maintain their specialist skills and assist them in gaining employment in the NHS.’

11:20 English NHS trusts are nearly £900m in deficit, about to miss the target of £580m by the financial year end, according to NHS Improvement figures.

The figures showed 135 out of 238 trusts were in deficit three quarters into 2016/17, with hospitals pointing towards unrelenting pressure on urgent and emergency care services, reports the Independent.

NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson said: ‘Despite doing everything they possibly can, NHS trusts are £300m behind the target of reducing the provider sector deficit to £580m by the end of March. This is largely because of winter pressures.’

09:45 Fitness apps, which typically recommend people take 10,000 steps a day, could be doing more harm than good, reports the Daily Mail.

The paper says the target stems from recommendations for men in 1960s Japan, but trying to do 10,000 steps could be harmful for the elderly, and too easy for people with short legs. 

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