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Acid Attacks and Corneal Grafts, Bowel Cancer Screening, Sports Prosthesis for Children

The UK has one of the highest recorded rates of acid attacks in the world, nearly 500 cases in 2016. Most of the victims are men and most have corrosive liquid, typically acid or bleach, squirted into their faces while they are being mugged for their phone, bag or car. Andrew Keene was attacked in London last year while he sat in his car, and blinded by a robber who then drove off in his car. He's had five operations, including two corneal grafts, to try to restore the sight in his right...


Ageing brain, Fish Oils, Adaptive Trials, Yoga

Deciding between healthy ageing and early dementia; how useful are modern imaging techniques in deciphering this difficult question that many families are grappling with. Margaret McCartney tries to make sense of conflicting research on the impact of fish oils on children's reading ability and memory - how can the same research group, in the same university run two trials and get completely opposite results? And recently Baroness Tessa Jowell called for more access to adaptive trials but...


Cardiac Rehab, Withdrawing from Antidepressants, Middle Ear Implant

There are many myths about recovery from a heart attack. The most dangerous is that exercise is too risky. The truth is that for most people, they should be doing much more exercise, not less. Patrick Doherty, Professor of Cardiovascular Health at York University and lead author for the National Audit of Cardiac Rehab tells Dr Mark Porter that 70,000 people who should be accessing life saving cardiac rehabilitation therapy are missing out. The answer? Don't blame the patients but improve...


Prostate Cancer

This week it has been hard to miss news on prostate cancer. The papers were full of a 'one stop shop' service for the diagnosis of the disease being rolled out in three hospitals in England. Plus celebrities have described their diagnosis and encouraged men to see their doctor for a PSA test. But just published today, the largest every study of prostate cancer over 10 years confirms that a single screening test of PSA does not save lives. With all these headlines this week is an ideal time...


Diabetes Tech, Antidepressants, Stem Cell Therapy and knees

First urine testing then finger pricking and now high-tech scanning. The monitoring of glucose levels is undergoing a revolution for patients with Type 1 Diabetes. Dr Margaret McCartney reports from Glasgow on the new sensing devices which allow for endless glucose scanning without the need for multiple finger prick blood tests. She talks to parents like Ben, who's paying for a continuous glucose monitor because the fingers of his young son George, were so sore from constant finger prick...


Medical Cannabis; Hidden Blood in the Urine; Ageing and Immunity

There are questions in Parliament following the story of 6 year old Alfie Dingley who was refused medical cannabis to help relieve his epileptic seizures. But what is the body of evidence for medical cannabis and does the reality live up to the hype? And age, immunity and the poor performance of this season's flu vaccine. Why do our defences decline as we get older and what can be done to improve vaccines that aim to protect the elderly against flu? Plus blood in your urine - pee the...


Rickets, Drug addiction recovery, Defibrillator support

Rickets was eradicated from the UK after World War Two but "The English Disease", as rickets has long been known, is back. Two children have died of this completely preventable disease in the past two years. Dr Mark Porter talks to paediatrician Dr Benjamin Jacobs at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore about the importance of Vitamin D supplementation and calcium for proper bone growth. He meets Zana, whose toddler son was diagnosed with rickets six months ago and talks to Dr...


Blood Clots, Iron Supplements, Doctor's Bag

Over half of all blood clots are acquired during hospitalisation, particularly for surgery, so prevention is key. Deep vein thromboses - DVTs - typically occur in the veins of the leg and central to prevention is the need to assess individual risk, while taking steps like special stockings, leg massagers and anticoagulant "blood thinning" drugs to mitigate them. But there are concerns in some quarters - particularly among orthopaedic surgeons - that the drive to protect patients against...


Microprocessor Knees, The 'Glasgow Effect', Mesothelioma

About six thousand people in the UK lose a leg every year from amputations due to vascular problems, trauma and disease. Others are born without limbs. Standard prosthetic knees often meant frequent falls and stumbles as well as the need to use two sticks. But microprocessor power is set to change all that. A new generation of intelligent joints is now available for the first time on the NHS in England - you can already get them in Scotland and Northern Ireland - and they adjust the knee...


Alzheimer's and Parkinson's research, HPV Vaccine, BRCA genes

News that the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has pulled out of research into Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease is casting doubt over the future of long promised breakthroughs in this area. Mark Porter hears from two leading experts who explain that due to the complexity of the disease the pharmaceutical industry's single agent 'magic bullet' approach needs to change. And while over the last 15 years nearly every trial into new treatments for Alzheimer's has ended in failure, lifestyle and...


The Future Heart

It's fifty years since the first human heart transplant but the number of donor organs - about 200 per year in the UK - remains dwarfed by demand. About 2,000 people under the age of 65 a year will die of heart failure without a transplant. Kevin Fong explores new ways that people with heart failure can be helped. He talks to Dr Doris Taylor, director of the Center for Cell and Organ Biotechnology, at the Texas Heart Institute, in Houston, about her research into growing hearts from stem...


Flu, Cow's milk allergy, Robotic pharmacy

What goes into our flu vaccine always has an element of guesswork. Usually the experts get it right but sometimes nature has other ideas and a new strain emerges. Dr John McCauley, Director of the Worldwide Influenza Centre at the Francis Crick Institute in London tells Dr Mark Porter about Aussie flu and how different flu strains pose risks to different groups of people. Cow's milk allergy is the most common food allergy among infants and it affects at least one in 50 babies, toddlers and...


Medical detection dogs

Can dogs smell cancer? Ever since Hippocrates the odour of disease has been used to aid diagnosis but has this simple technique been forgotten? Dr Mark Porter investigates the evidence for whether canine super noses can be used to accurately detect cancer. There have been plenty of anecdotes reported but what about hard science? Studies since 2004 from the Medical Detection Dogs Centre in Milton Keynes have shown convincing results and they've now teamed up with MIT in the US, specialists...


Antibiotics, Statins and Pneumonia, Neurosurgery for Epilepsy

The Chief Medical Officer has warned of a "post-antibiotic apocalypse" and "the end of modern medicine". As antibiotic resistance increases, the options to treat potentially deadly infections reduces. Inside Health's Dr Margaret McCartney discusses the latest campaign by Public Health England to remind us all not to take antibiotics when they're not needed. It's been over thirty years since there was a breakthrough in the treatment of pneumonia, but that could soon change....and from an...


Dr Google; Sexual orientation and the NHS; Hypermobility; Surgery for COPD

GPs have been told to ask about their patients' sexual orientation as NHS England plans to record this data for everyone using the service over the age of 16. Dr Google - are doctors' noses really being put out of joint by patients searching their symptoms on the internet to come up with their own diagnoses? Hypermobility is being double jointed and flexible and is often perceived as an asset, but for around 1 in 30 of the population it can be a problem that is often missed - and...


Vaginal mesh; alcohol and the heart

Vaginal mesh, used for the treatment of prolapse and incontinence, has hit the news recently as women pursue litigation after suffering serious complications. But there have been concerns ever since the first type of vaginal mesh was launched in the mid-nineties, only to be withdrawn a few years later. Carl Heneghan, Professor of Evidence Based Medicine at the University of Oxford, explains the 'shambolic' regulation of medical devices, Consultant gynaecologist Swati Jha, who has been...


Big Baby Birth Trial, Uveitis, Telephone Triage, Burns

Mention arthritis and most people think of older people with osteoarthritic hips or knees. But children get arthritis too, although it's an inflammatory condition where the child's immune system attacks the lining of the joints causing pain, swelling and stiffness. But the joints aren't the only part of the body affected. Around one in six of the 12,000 children in the UK with juvenile idiopathic arthritis also develop worrying inflammation in their eyes, uveitis. This is a silent,...


Scoliosis, Depression, Pets in Hospital, Eustachian Tubes

After Simon Cowell paid for a Britain's Got talent contestant to have surgery in the US for her curved spine we examine the state of therapy for scoliosis here in the UK. Recent headlines claimed that 1 in 4 teenage girls are depressed but were they accurate? And pets in hospital: the Royal College of Nursing has called for patients to have better access to animals, including their own. Plus Eustachian tubes: tips for what to do if you have blocked ears after your summer holiday.


Addiction services; Schizophrenia; Hearts and cancer

Inside Health reveals the poor state of addiction services in England with heroin and morphine related deaths the highest on record. Professor Colin Drummond raises concerns about a split in care between the NHS and Local Authorities since the 2012 Health and Social Care Act. And personal testimony is heard from Alison Bedford Russell whose son George died of a heroin overdose last year. The Care Quality Commission, who is responsible for inspections, has found that 2/3 residential drug...


Breast density; Health education; Switching outcomes

Breast Density - the major risk factor for breast cancer that you may have never heard of. Health Education - a long term approach to changing attitudes to illness by encouraging children to be less dependent on doctors and pills. Switching Outcomes - one reason why so few clinical trials result in real changes in practice that benefit patients.