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Drugs direct to the brain, surgeon ‘club culture’ criticism and the homemade cure which worked

By Laura Passi

Our roundup of the health news headlines on Monday 21 March.

Scientists in the UK have discovered a new way of administering drugs, making parts of the brain accessible for treatment, says the Telegraph. They have ‘successfully switched off a gene linked to Alzheimer's in the brains of mice by exploiting tiny particles naturally released by cells, called exosomes.' Researchers hope this could soon be used to treat those with Alzheimer's, motor neurone disease, Parkinson's and Huntington's, although more testing is required.

An inquiry led by economist Andrew Dilnot has estimated the average cost of care, ‘with almost one in five people who need residential care after the age of 65 facing a bill of more than £100,000', the Guardian reports today. The report shows the need for a new system in which those with property or savings don't need to pay the entire bill, we're told. Dilnot is expected to recommend ‘a ‘partnership' arrangement by which the state would pay more but the individual would be given incentives to take out insurance.

The Independent reports on a ‘scathing' account of the ‘club culture' among surgeons who are reportedly willing to accept poor performance from their colleagues due to a ‘misplaced sense of collegiality'. Death rates for each named cardiac surgeon are published yearly, however other specialties death rates are not. Andrew Lansley's ‘information revolution' will include an extra £1.2m to fund more data on doctors' performance, we're told.

And finally, a mother at her ‘wits end' has created a £100,000-a-year business out of her 'homemade eczema cure'. Natalie Balmond was desperate to cure her daughter's eczema and so concocted a cream out of soothing oils and herbs, which worked and is now available on the NHS.

Spotted a story we've missed? Let us know in the comments and we'll update the digest throughout the day...

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