In the news
Good quality sleep could help increase a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant. Researchers from the Hanabusa Women’s Clinic in Kobe, Japan, questioned 208 women who had undergone assisted reproductive technology treatment — which can include IVF — and found poor-quality sleep had a negative impact on fertilisation rates. The eggs of women who had no difficulty sleeping were around 20% more likely to be fertilised than those of women who slept badly, the research showed. The team concluded: “Good sleep patterns can be one of the important daily habits for patients to improve their response to fertility treatments and increase their chances of pregnancy.” The results of the trial were published on the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s website.
Alzheimer’s disease may originate outside the brain, new research suggests. Scientists believe a rogue protein strongly linked to the disorder may appear elsewhere in the body before breaking through the brain’s natural defences. If the theory is right, it could have huge implications for diagnosing and treating the disease. New therapies could target the amyloid-beta protein and clear it from the body before it spreads to the brain. The protein accumulates in sticky clumps, or plaques, in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients but can also be present in blood platelets, blood vessels, and muscles. The research is reported in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.
One in three adults would not be concerned if they were suffering from key symptoms of pancreatic cancer. In a survey of more than British 4,000 adults, many were unaware of the poor survival rates and one in five believed that typical patients live for at least five years after diagnosis. According to Pancreatic Cancer UK, common symptoms of the disease include: tummy and back pain, unexplained weight loss, indigestion, and changes to bowel habits including floating poo. Other symptoms include loss of appetite, jaundice (yellow skin or eyes) or itchy skin, feeling and being sick, difficulty swallowing and recently diagnosed diabetes.