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Patients with learning difficulties given too many anti-psychotics, a pill that ‘zaps the munchies’, and the effectiveness of standing on one leg



The BBC is reporting that hospital or care home residents with learning disabilities are being given large quantities of anti-psychotic drugs.

The Learning Disability Survey, compiled by the Health and Social Care Information Centre show almost two-thirds of residents are given the drugs on a regular basis, rather than when required.

Anti-psychotic drugs are meant to be used only when required, but the survey found that of those being prescribed the drugs, just 4.8% were being given them solely on an ‘as needed’ basis.

Elsewhere, the Daily Mail reports on the discovery of a molecule that ‘zaps the munchies’.

The chemical, acetate, is found in dietary fibre and could combat the dangerously bulging waistlines of many Britons.

Researchers are currently looking at the possibilities for developing a pill.

Professor Gary Frost, of Imperial College London, said: ‘The major challenge is to develop an approach that will deliver the amount of acetate needed to suppress  appetite but in a form that is acceptable and safe for humans.

‘Acetate is only active for a short amount of time in the body, so if we focused on a purely acetate-based product we would need to find a way to drip feed it and mimic its slow release in the gut.

Finally, the Telegraph reports on a new study that has found effective ways of predicting later health problems – including standing on one leg and repeatedly standing up from a chair.

The study, by the Medical Research Council, found that men aged 53 years old who could balance on one leg for more than ten seconds and stand up and sit down in a chair more than 37 times in a minute were found to be least at risk of dying early by the researchers.

Women of the same age who could stand up and sit down more than 35 times in a minute and stand on one leg for more than ten seconds were also at the lowest risk compared to those who performed less well.