15:50 A small study has suggested there could be a link between poor sleeping patterns and the onset of Alzheimer’s, the Independent reports.
The scientists tested people with family history or genetic predisposition to the disease, finding that those who slept less well had more biological markers for Alzheimer’s than the rest.
Lead scientist Dr Barbara Bendlin, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US, said that ‘disrupted sleep or lack of sleep may lead to amyloid plaque build-up because the brain’s clearance system kicks into action during sleep’.
She added that more research was required to establish a definitive link.
14:30 NHS England London has appointed a GP to oversee an overhaul of general practice in the capital, as well as new IT developments.
It said Dr Jonty Heaversedge will ‘provide clinical leadership for primary care transformation and the digital agenda in the NHS in London’, in the (somewhat woolly) words of NHS England.
Dr Heaversedge said: ‘I am passionate about the need for high quality, sustainable primary care in London, and recognise the value it brings to local health and care systems. It is essential that vibrant primary care services are at the heart of the new models of care currently emerging across the capital.”
‘Digital technology is a key enabler of this transformation and I am incredibly excited about the opportunity this new role offers, which is about using information to support both the direct provision of accessible high quality care, and enhanced planning so that services can continuously improve and better reflect the needs of our diverse communities.’
He will start on 1 August but also continue in his role as NHS Southwark CCG chair over the next year for the sake of continuity, NHS England said.
10:00 New research today suggests more than 1.2 million people are expected to be living with dementia in England and Wales by 2040, up from almost 800,000 today.
The Guardian reports the predicted rise in the prevalence of dementia is largely down to people living longer, but add that the study, published in the BMJ, also shows that the risk of developing dementia for each age group is falling – a finding they say suggests that preventive strategies are having an impact.
‘The growth in numbers of cases of dementia is not as large as we once anticipated,’ said Sara Ahmadi-Abhari, an epidemiologist and co-author of the research from University College, London. ’But, nonetheless, the growth in the number of people with dementia is substantial.’
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