AML Healthcare to visit the BDTA Conference

The UK’s premier dental exhibition showcase will be held at the NEC between 20 and 22nd October and AML Healthcare will be there. Members of the AML Healthcare team will be visiting the show and will be delighted to meet with other delegates or exhibitors who are interested in our innovative Healthcare tax planning service.

Nine in ten European city residents inhale polluted air

In spite of huge reductions in the emissions of chemical pollutions, over ninety per cent of European city inhabitants are exposed to dangerous levels of air pollution. The New Scientist reports that the most important pollutants in Europe are known as PM2.5. Between 91 and 96 per cent of the aforementioned inhabitants are exposed to levels of PM2.5 which is higher that the European guidelines- which is not as strict as those recommended by the World Health Organisation.

This study can be directly related to an epidemiological study, published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, which suggested that air pollution harms foetuses. A higher exposure of pregnant women to PM2.5 was associated with lower birth rates, which is a measure of how well the foetus was able to grow in the womb. Naturally, healthcare professionals are concerned.

The findings strengthen the case for the EU to tighten its air quality targets to bring them into line with the WHO’s recommendations.

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Miniature brains grown in the laboratory for the first time

Traditionally scientists have relied on mouse brains to understand the human’s most complex organ. However healthcare professional Knoblich has succeeded in growing small brains, which include parts of the cortex, hippocampus and retinas.

The model has provided new insights into the way the brain develops, reports the New Scientist. For example, in order to understand why a fetal brain sometimes fails to reach full size, a condition known as microcephaly, the researchers were able to use cells derived from a person with the condition. By studying the model, the team discovered that the period of stem cell multiplication was shorter than usual – not enough stem cells were available to turn into neurons, resulting in a smaller brain overall.

Larger brains could offer insights into conditions such as schizophrenia and autism. However, whilst providing a good structural model, the brains are not able to become conscious, as activities for higher brain function cannot be reproduced.

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Should hospitals be more like supermarkets?

It has been highlighted that the NHS is too inflexible in terms of meeting patients’ demands and could learn from the way that supermarkets tailor activities to customer activity. Healthcare professional Keith Willett states that hospitals need to pay more attention to variations in what care is needed rather than trying to fit patients into a rigid system. Supermarkets use weather forecasts to predict what items shoppers will purchase and similar flexibility could ease the burden on emergency units.

Willett claims that having GPs in ambulance control rooms to provide telephone advice to paramedics could allow more patients to be treated at the scene. In addition, allowing patients to book appointments at urgent care centres would reduce the number who visit A&E, reports the Telegraph.

Seasonal variation, predictive modelling and reduction of misconceptions, such as older people falling outside – in reality they fall indoors far more often, could lead to vast improvements in hospital management.

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Healthcare study reveals sugary drinks alter the vital proteins in the brain

Sugary drinks are known to lead to weight gain, but recent studies involving rats have revealed that they can cause changes in the brain which have been linked to Alzheimer’s and cancer.

The connection between sugary drinks and cardiovascular problems, diabetes and weight gain has been well established. However, research into the brain activity is a relatively new phenomenon. The study revealed hyperactivity in rats after being given sugary drinks and healthcare professional Jane Franklin says: “Hyperactivity is a physical sign that something unusual is happening in the brain.”

The New Scientist revealed that thirty per cent of the changed proteins are linked to conditions such as cancer, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s. Whilst this study does not categorically claim that these protein changes are causing associated diseases, it is sign that the link needs to be examined more closely.

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Contract Placements Remain Steady in February

According to March’s Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC)/KPMG ‘Report on Jobs’ recruiters saw billings for temporary/contract rise at the same pace as January, which was at the time the slowest pace in four months.

The report, based on a survey of more than 600 employers carried out in January, also showed a further increase in the pace of growth of permanent placements in February.

Availability of staff for both permanent and temporary/contract roles continued to decline in February. However, rates of decline eased in each case to the slowest in at least two years.

The Midlands saw the fastest rise in permanent and temporary placements for short-term billings, while nursing/medical/care was the most in-demand category for permanent staff and temporary staff during February.