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​#GPnews: Former health secretary Andy Burnham to step down as MP

15:20 Researchers think they may have found treatments that could halt neurodegenerative brain diseases.

The BBC, which reports this includes dementia, said two drugs have been identified that are safe to use in people and should stop brain cells dying.

‘It’s really exciting,’ said Prof Giovanna Mallucci, from the MRC Toxicology Unit in Leicester, who is keen to begin human clinical trials on dementia patients soon.

11:15 Former health secretary Andy Burnham will not be seeking re-election as the MP for Leigh in the general election on 8 June, he has confirmed.

Mr Burnham said he has made the decision to focus on his bid to become the first elected mayor of Greater Manchester.

He wrote in a message to his constituents: ‘It is with the heaviest of hearts that I confirm that, after 16 years as the Member of Parliament for Leigh, I will not be seeking to stand at the forthcoming General Election…

‘I believe the arrival of devolution in England represents the best chance we will ever get to secure a more equal country and make politics work better for people. That is why I have decided to devote myself to it.

‘In standing to be the first elected Mayor of Greater Manchester, I am of course still seeking to represent Leigh on the national stage, alongside the other towns and cities of Greater Manchester.’

For a look back at Mr Burnham’s last Big Interview with Pulse, as shadow health secretary preparing for the 2015 election, click here

10:40 Former RCGP chair Professor Clare Gerada has moved to clarify her position on the future of GP partnerships, in a tweet responding to a Pulse letter.

This followed our news yesterday that current RCGP chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard found that her comments to the Lords committee on NHS sustainability had been over-interpreted.

Professor Gerada told the same committee about how her Hurley Group practice in London is organised around a very small number of partners, while most of the GPs are salaried.

But Professor Gerada said what she is really championing is the idea of a ‘mixed economy’ of models.

09:30 People who cycle to work reduce their risk of developing cancer or having a heart attack by almost half, reports ITV News and many other news outlets this morning.

Researchers from the University of Glasgow found a bicycle commute reduced the risk of cancer by 45% and cardiovascular disease by 46%.

Walking was also good, but not as good, with a 27% reduction in cardiovascular disease – which the researchers said was probably due to the walkers spending less time on their commute and it being a lower-intensity form of exercise.

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