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July 27, 2014

Beacon of hope for rare disease patients

Dara Gantly examines what the long-awaited National Rare Disease Plan promises for the estimated 270,000 to 380,000 people in Ireland with a rare condition, who are often denied diagnosis, treatment and the benefits of research.

Variety in HDL cholesterol subclasses shows each poses different MI risks

In secondary prevention, increased risk for long-term hard clinical events is associated with low HDL3-C, but not HDL2-C or HDL-C, highlighting the potential value of subclassifying HDL-C, new research in the European Heart Journal has suggested.

Potential shown for possible bone marrow transplantation in adults

Use of a lower intensity bone marrow transplantation method has shown promising results among 30 patients (16-65 years of age) with severe sickle cell disease, according to a study in the July 2 issue of JAMA.

Burst spinal artery aneurysm linked to ingestion of street drug Ecstasy

Taking the street drug Ecstasy could lead to a potentially fatal weakening and rupture of the spinal cord artery, doctors have warned in the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery.

Risk of adverse drug events in older patients who drink

More than half of all older Irish adults prescribed medications that have the potential to interact with alcohol still regularly consume alcohol during the course of their prescription, a new study from the RCSI’s School of Pharmacy has found. 

Premature newborn survival 30% higher in high volume centres

The survival of premature newborns in England is 30 per cent higher in specialist units treating large numbers of neonates, reveals an analysis of national data published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Half of cues on kids’ TV for ‘unhealthy’ foods

Unhealthy foods, such as sugary snacks and sweets, accounted for nearly half of all food-specific placements in kids’ TV programmes on RTÉ and the BBC, with sugar-sweetened drinks accounting for a quarter of all beverage-specific cues, researchers from Limerick have found.

Forewarnings of severe disease sought

The genes that increase rheumatoid arthritis risk are being mapped — with 101 currently identified. So too are genes linked to greater disease severity, Gary Culliton reports in his latest Clinical Update.

Clot-busting drugs reduce deaths from PE by nearly half, despite risk

A national team of researchers led by experts from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, US, has found that adding thrombolytics to conventional approaches when treating sudden-onset pulmonary embolism patients is associated with 47 per cent fewer deaths than using standard intravenous or under-the-skin anticoagulant medications alone.

UK look to adolescent booster vaccination for whooping cough

Whooping cough has been found in a fifth of UK school age children visiting their doctor with a persistent cough, even though most have been fully vaccinated, finds a study published on bmj.com.

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