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September 5, 2015

No cognitive improvements from exercise or supplements

Engaging in moderate-intensity physical activity does not result in better global or domain-specific cognition, nor does taking supplements appear to have any statistically significant differences in change of measures of cognitive function, according to two studies in JAMA.

Researchers identify specific genetic mechanism driving major weight gain

A specific gene region has long been suspected of contributing to obesity in humans, but the precise mechanisms behind this were previously unclear.

Obesity rates may be boosted by gradual decline in family size

Firstborn women are more likely to be overweight or obese as adults than their second-born sisters, finds the largest study of its kind in women, and published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Trans, not saturated fats, linked to CHD risk

Saturated fats are not associated with an increased risk of death, heart disease, stroke, or type 2 (T2) diabetes, according to a recent study published in The BMJ. However, trans fats are associated with greater risk of death and coronary heart disease (CHD).

Same technique throughout public system

In prostate brachytherapy, the radiation source is placed close to the tumour, Gary Culliton reports in his latest Clinical Update. In essence, brachytherapy is the oldest form of radiation treatment and the technique now used in Ireland was pioneered 40 years ago in the American north west. 

New treatment option is an ‘important milestone’

Abiraterone acetate is now reimbursed on the high-tech drug scheme for men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) post-androgen deprivation therapy (ADT).

Link with obesity probed

“It is known that men who have prostate cancer are more likely to die of their disease if they are overweight or obese than if they are of a healthy weight,” according to Dr Stephen Finn, Associate Professor in Histopathology and Morbid Anatomy in Trinity College Dublin and Consultant Pathologist at St James’s Hospital.

Learning from the best in skin surgery and procedural practice

Dr Niall Maguire, Chair of the Primary Care Surgical Association, looks ahead at some of the topics to be addressed through a mix of theoretical and skills-based learning at the upcoming Annual Scientific Meeting of the PCSA in Dublin.

AIs and bisphosphonates can help improve breast cancer survival

Two new studies, both published in The Lancet, suggest that two different classes of drugs, aromatase inhibitors (AIs) and bisphosphonates, can each improve survival prospects for postmenopausal women with early breast cancer.

Rise in day surgery good for patients and budgets

The rising proportion of operations carried out as day cases over the past few decades has been good for patients and a much more efficient use of health resources, according to the Chief Economist at the British independent charity the King’s Fund, in a databriefing for The BMJ.

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