Daily digest April 15 2015

Missed the news? Read our summary of the latest health stories here

New study moves a step closer to Alzheimer's cure

Scientists have broken new ground in the search for an Alzheimer’s cure, discovering a new potential cause of the disease, which it may be possible to target with drug treatments.

Experts said the findings, from Duke University in North Carolina, USA, could 'open new doors' in the increasingly frustrated global hunt for a dementia therapy.

Researchers announced that their studies of Alzheimer's in mice had shown immune cells that normally protect the brain instead begin to consume a vital nutrient called arginine.

By blocking this process with a drug, they were able to prevent the formation of ‘plaques’ in the brain that are characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease, and also halted memory loss in the mice.

Read more on the Independent website: click here

One in three family doctors plans to quit in next five years

A third of GPs in the UK plan to retire in the next five years because of high stress levels, unmanageable workloads and too little time with patients.

If this happens, it means the existing difficulty of getting an appointment would be further exacerbated.

A poll of 15,560 GPs by the British Medical Association (BMA) has found that 34% intend to stop working by 2020, with many others going part-time, moving abroad or even abandoning medicine altogether.

The findings thrust the issue of GP numbers into the election spotlight as the BMA accused the political parties of making 'absurd' promises to tackle what it called a 'crisis' and of ignoring the reasons why NHS general practice is facing a worsening shortage of medics.

Read more on the Guardian website: click here

Paracetamol 'numbs your feelings as well as pain'

Painkillers not only dull physical pain, but they can also dull your emotions, according to a new study.

Researchers at Ohio State University claim acetaminophen (paracetamol) - the main ingredient in the over-the-counter pain reliever Tylenol and paracetamol - has the ability to weaken feelings of happiness and sadness.

Acetaminophen has been in use for more than 70 years, but this is the first time that this side effect has been discovered.

Read more on the Daily Mail website: click here

Schools reopen after ebola cases fall

Almost two million children began trickling back to school in Sierra Leone yesterday more than eight months after their classrooms were closed in an effort to halt the spread of ebola.

Aid workers hailed the return as a major step towards the resumption of normal life after the worst outbreak of the fever, which killed more than 10,000 people mostly in West Africa.

Sierra Leone, which suffered almost half of the 25,000 cases, was the last of the three worst-affected countries to reopen schools. Neighbouring Guinea, which lost 2,333 people, reopened them in January, and Liberia, with at least 4,408 deaths, reopened schools last month.

(£) Read more on the Times website: click here

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