Daily digest August 28 2015

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

Blood test may help cancer relapse

Scientists say that a simple blood test can give earlier predictions about the return of breast cancer in patients who have had treatment.

The test shows up tumour cells that are still in the body that were previously undetected.

It can also be used to build up a picture of how the cancer is evolving over time, and help doctors choose the best form of treatment.

Institute of Cancer Research chief executive Paul Workman said: ‘This test could help us stay a step ahead of cancer by monitoring the way it is changing and picking the treatments that exploit the weakness of the particular tumour.’

Read more on the Guardian website

Forcing picky eaters to try food they do not like makes them anxious

Parents run the risk of raising the anxiety levels of their children if they force them to eat new foods they have not tried before, researchers say.

Some children could grow up with lower self-esteem if they are co-erced into eating foods they do not like.

The results emerged from a survey of 831 children. Study author Edurne Maiz said: ‘Parents should have a relaxed, pleasant atmosphere at mealtimes. Parents should allow children to participate in preparing the food and doing the shopping.’

Read more on the Daily Telegraph website 

Brain cells burn out in Parkinson's disease

Parkinson’s disease causing brain cells to die early through burning out, experts from the University of Montreal have said.

They came to this conclusion after investigating the effects of the disease on mice.

Louis-Eric Trudeau, who was involved in the work, said: ‘Like a motor constantly running at high speed the neurons in the body need to produce an incredible amount of energy to function when someone has Parkinson’s. They appear to exhaust themselves and die prematurely.’

Read more on BBC Online

Goths at risk of depression or self-harming, research says

Young people who describe themselves as ‘goths’ are more likely to self-harm and experience depression than other children.

Researchers found that children who identified with this culture – characterised by wearing dark clothing and listening to downbeat music – were three times more clinically depressed and five times more likely to self-harm by the time they reach 18 than other young people.

Read more on the Independent website

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