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​#GPnews: Antibiotic ‘helps treat PTSD’, find scientists

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15:40 A common antibiotic could act as a ‘cure’ for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a new study.

University College London researchers have identified ‘matrix enzymes’ which help form memories, that can be targeted with a course of doxycycline to reduce the fear response by up to 60%, reports the Telegraph.

Currently, NHS only offers psychotherapy to PTSD sufferers but study authors said their discovery could mean a whole new treatment option.

Professor Dominik Bach, lead author at UCL, said: ‘We have demonstrated a proof-of-principle for an entirely new treatment strategy for PTSD.’

12:50 Doctors have been paying tribute to a junior doctor and NHS champion who was found dead at her home in Plymouth.

32-year-old A&E and emergency services doctor Dr Rebecca Ovenden was found after concerns were raised for her wefare, reports the Plymouth Herald. The police said her death was not being treated as suspicious.

In 2015, a Facebook post written by the young doctor was shared by 38,000 people, focusing on how patients should be thankful for the NHS, while they have it.

It said: ‘Please don’t complain in earshot of your health care professional about waiting four hours to be seen in the middle of the night, free of charge by a doctor, with a smile on their face who has not been rude to you, who has reassured you, when the reason it took four hours to see you was because they were trying to save the life of an elderly man who had not wanted to make a fuss about a cold when he was dying of a raging chest infection.

‘Be thankful of the service you get at the moment, no matter how crappy you might think it is. You never know when you or a loved one might need it.

‘It may not be around in its current form for much longer. Then what would you say?’

Anne Hicks, consultant in emergency medicine at Derriford Hospital said: ‘Becky worked in the Emergency Department for 18 months and was a much-loved member of our team.

‘She will be very sadly missed. Our thoughts are with her family and loved ones.’

Helena Holt, CEO of Devon Air Ambulance, said: ‘On behalf of everyone at Devon Air Ambulance we send our thoughts and condolences to Becky’s family, friends and work colleagues at this difficult time.’

09:40 Firefighters are at greater risk of suffering a deadly heart attack on duty than any other emergency staff, reports the Daily Mail.

University of Edinburgh researchers, which used volunteers and mock fire rescue operations to study the link, say this is because physical activity becomes more dangerous in high temperatires, with the blood becoming more ‘sticky’ and likely to clot.

Professor Nick Mills, who led the research, said: ‘Our study has shown a direct link between the heat and physical activity levels encountered by firefighters during the course of their duties and their risk of suffering a heart attack.

‘However, we’ve also found that there are simple measures, such as staying well-hydrated, that firefighters can take to reduce this risk.’

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