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Living Near Busy Roads Could Increase Risk of Dementia

10/01/2017

People who live near busy roads have higher rates of dementia, suggesting that traffic can have an impact on our mental health, according to research recently published in the Lancet. In fact, the research suggests that as many as 11% of dementia cases in people living within 50 metres of a busy road could be down to traffic. For the study, the researchers followed 2 million people in the Canadian province of Ontario over an 11-year period. They found that both noisy traffic and air pollution could be contributing to people's brain decline. UK dementia experts have called the findings "plausible", but also said more research is needed to further investigate any potential link. Over the course of the study, 243,611 cases of dementia were diagnosed. However, the risk was greater for those living near major roads. Compared with people living 300m away from a major road the risk was: 7% higher within 50m 4% higher between 50-100m 2% higher between 101-200m Dr Hong Chen, from Public Health Ontario and one of the report authors, said: "Increasing population growth and urbanisation have placed many people close to heavy traffic, and with widespread exposure to traffic and growing rates of dementia, even a modest effect from near-road exposure could pose a large public health burden." Dementia is thought to affect around 50 million people worldwide. However, its causes are still not understood.

Dopamine could be to blame for people's reduced motivation to exercise

05/01/2017

The New Year is here and for many of you that will mean a new exercise regime designed to get you into shape and improve your overall health. For some people, though, sticking to a disciplined program of physical exercise is one of the hardest resolutions they can make because a lack of motivation gets in the way. But now new research sheds some light on why many people, despite understanding the benefits of regular exercise, find it hard in practice to stay physically active. Researchers from the Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Obesity Branch at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), led by Alexxai V. Kravitz, focused on why obese animals also have a hard time carrying out physical activity. They found that a dysfunction in obese rodents' dopamine systems might help explain why. Mice fed on a high-fat diet started gaining significantly more weight than mice fed on a normal diet. They were also observed to have fewer movements; spend less time moving; and were slower when they did move, compared with the lean mice. Most interesting of all was that the overweight mice's changes in movements did not correlate with body weight gain. Instead, the researchers found that a deficit in striatal D2R explained the obese mice's lack of activity. "In many cases, willpower is invoked as a way to modify behavior. But if we don't understand the underlying physical basis for that behavior, it is difficult to say that willpower alone can solve it," said Kravitz.

Joint Pain May be 'Hangover' from Evolution, say Scientists

03/01/2017

Ever wondered why us humans get so much shoulder, hip and knee pain? Scientists from Oxford University say it's due to a hangover from evolution. More worrying is that the same scientists say future generations could be at even greater risk, if this trend continues. The scientists studied more than 300 specimens from different species spanning 400 million years to see how bones changed over extremely long periods of time. Apparently, the changes occurred when man began standing up straight on two legs. Dr Paul Monk, of the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, Oxford University, who led the research, wanted to discover why patients in his clinic came in with similar orthopaedic complaints. "We see certain things very commonly in hospital clinics - pain in the shoulder with reaching overhead, pain in the front of the knee, arthritis of the hip, and in younger people we see some joints that have a tendency to pop out," he said. By analysing detailed CT scans of 300 ancient specimens housed at the Natural History Museum in London and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, the team was able to create a library of 3D models and identify changes to the shapes of single bones over millennia. One particular example is how the so-called 'neck' of the human thigh bone grew broader to support the extra weight as humans started walking upright. Studies have shown that the thicker the neck of the thigh bone, the more likely it is to be affected by arthritis. Scientists say this is one potential reason why humans are susceptible to so much hip pain.

Laser Prostate Cancer Treatment Hailed as 'Truly Transformative'

30/12/2016

A new treatment for early stage prostate cancer has been described as "truly transformative" by surgeons. The approach, which has been tested across Europe, uses lasers and a drug made from deep sea bacteria to eliminate tumours, without any severe side effects. The results of clinical trials on some 413 men, which were published in The Lancet Oncology, showed nearly half of them had no remaining trace of cancer. One of the biggest issues for men with early stage prostate cancer is that treatment often leads to lifelong impotence and incontinence. That's why many men choose the "wait and see" approach when they are diagnosed in the early stages and only opt for treatment if their cancer starts growing aggressively. These new findings turn that approach on its head and "change everything," according to Prof Mark Emberton, who tested the technique at University College London. The bacteria that the drug is made from live in total darkness and become toxic when exposed to light. This is how the new treatment works. Fibre optic lasers are inserted through the perineum (the gap between the anus and the testes) and into the cancerous prostate gland. When they are activated the drug kills the cancer and leaves the healthy prostate behind. While the fact that 49% of patients went into complete remission is remarkable in itself, the additional finding that impact on sexual activity and urination lasted for no more than three months makes the treatment even more amazing. Even though more research is needed, the findings of the study are being hailed as "truly transformative" for prostate cancer patients.

Is It Time to Consider Shoulder Surgery?

28/12/2016

All of us experience a little pain from time to time. It's not unusual and can usually be treated with over the counter pain remedies. But if said pain and discomfort lingers; becomes too much to cope with; and interferes with your day-to-day life, it's time to consider your options. Many shoulder pains are the result of a breakdown of soft tissues in the joint, which can often happen to people who have jobs that involve lots of manual labour and people who play certain sports. Rotator cuff tears, tendonitis and arthritis are all typical causes of shoulder pain. Surgery becomes an option when the pain and discomfort you experience becomes too much to bear, and when it comes to shoulder pain you (usually) have several surgical options: Arthroscopic surgery - Where a tiny camera (arthroscope) is inserted through a small incision in your skin and used to examine or repair the shoulder joint tissues. Shoulder stabilisation surgery - Carried out to improve the stability and function of the shoulder joint and prevent recurring dislocations. Total shoulder replacement - Surgeons replace the ends of the damaged upper arm bone (humerus) and usually the shoulder bone (scapula) or cap them with artificial surfaces lined with plastic or metal and plastic. Reverse total shoulder replacement - In standard total shoulder replacement surgery, a metal ball is used to replace the head of the humerus. The socket of the shoulder is replaced with a high-strength plastic implant. With reverse total shoulder replacement surgery, the positions of the new ball and socket are 'reversed' and on the opposite sides of a normal shoulder. Advances in replacement parts mean that most will last a lifetime, but on average artificial joints have a lifespan of 10 to 20 years.

Man Born Without a Hand Undergoes 'World First' Surgery to Have New Limb Attached

26/12/2016

A 32-year-old man who was born without a left hand has received one from a deceased donor, in an operation that surgeons claim is a world first. The man, who is known as Piotr, was born with a congenital birth defect which caused him to be missing the limb, but following the 13-hour procedure in Poland he now has a left hand for the first time in his life. At present, Piotr only has the ability to move his fingers, but doctors are confident that this will improve over time. Adam Domanasiewicz, who headed up the operation at Wroclaw Medical University, Poland, said: "It is the first graft in the world of an upper limb onto an adult with this congenital defect. "We are talking about a man who lived 32 years without this member." Domanasiewicz added that the operation could open up exciting new possibilities to hundreds of thousands of people in the world born without limbs, whose only option up until now has been prostheses. Bones are joined using titanium plates and screws, in much the same way as broken bones are fixed. They should eventually heal together, but the plates remain in place to ensure stability. Key tendons and muscles are then connected before the blood vessels are finally joined. With time and expert after care, the donor hand will move with strength and dexterity, and will even feel warm to touch and heal itself when injured.   While hand transplants have been previously performed on patients whose own limbs have been amputated, Piotr's operation is the first involving a person with a congenital birth defect resulting in a missing limb.

Testimonials

21/12/2016

TESTIMONIALS Mr Philipp D.C.     Mr Peter A.   Dear Carine Thank you so much for calling!  We saw your card that you had dropped in. William is very happy with everything . Some ordinance documentation was dropped off with William . It was for the anti coagulation injection for the nurse . William had told me you were going to send him some post op instructions. We were not able to send emails from the hospital. He had sent you one when he arrived but was not able to go through. Many thanks for all your assistance. Your organisation has been superb . The hospital and staff have been exemplary. Best wishes Denny H.  December, 2016             Hello Carine,         Thank you so much for all you have done for us these past two weeks. Our trip has            been spectacular.         We do love Toulouse and are looking forward to coming back for our future                        medical needs. We really liked both Drs De Chevigne and Bournazou.           You are really remarkable and we so thank you for your professionalism,                        dedication and kindness.           Best wishes to you ,          Joyce and Bruce  May, 2016 Dear Carine,    I would like to say thank you SO very much for getting me an appointment with Dr. Delepine!    He was fantastic and he really made my situation so much better!    Without you that wouldn't have been possible. I really appreciate that you were helping me out.    I have now returned to the US and if things go accordingly to Dr. Delepine, I will be walking on my leg within a month and surgery thankfully won't be necessary.    Again, THANK YOU so much for everything.    Best,    Julia.    June, 2016   Thank you for your e-mail which is very kind and most appreciated. We are glad that France Surgery is doing well as you all deserve it by being genuine people with a caring attitude which is rare in these times. many thanks Deborah S.   The support you have given me during my medical stay in France was exceptional ! la Sauvegarde Clinic in Lyon is very professional and the medical staff was extremely helpful and comprehensive. Je suis tres impressionee! I want to thank you for your exceptional service and your attention always so punctual. Bien cordialement, Valerie S.   Going into hospital for an operation major or minor can be stressful but going into a hospital for an operation in a country where the language is not the same as your own can be even worse. Therefore when I learnt that I needed a cataract operation in March 2011, in France, I approached the process with some trepidation. However I took a deep intake of breathe and I attempted to get myself sorted out but the best I could achieve was an operation in September 2011. As I could barely see anything out of may left eye, my husband and I resorted to the internet to see if there xas an alternative and this was where encountered a company called France Surgery. They specialise in looking after people coming to France from overseas for operations/treatments and also nationals from other countries living in France. There is obviously a charge for their services but for us it was worth every centime. From the moment we made contact they were able to book me into a clinic for the operation before the end of April 2011 and accompanied me every stage of the way. 1. They attended all the initial consultations 2. They dealt with all the administration including invoices from the hospital 3 They booked my room for the operation and ensured that the nurses who would deal me spoke English 4. They checked with the surgeon after the operation that all gone okay and rang me to reassure me that all was well 5. They attended the post operative consultation and checked me out of the clinic 6. They also attended the final check-up with the consultant and finally provided me with all the follow-up paperwork and the invoices information. I would not hesitate to recommend this organisation to others Claudia D.   Dear Carine, It is with great pleasure that I take this opportunity to write to you to express my thanks for the very professional way that my operation for Carpal Tunnel Release was arranged and completed. Barry B. Likewise, I was very impressed with the Post Operation help given to me in collating all the necessary paper work from the Hospital, to enable me to follow up my claim with my Medical Insurers. I personally would not hesitate in using France Surgery in the future and would most definitely recommend your services to my family and friends. Kind regards Barry B.     Hi Carine Thanks for your e-mail and Dr Giraud's report. Many thanks also for your support before and during our stay here, I do not know how we would have managed without you. Denise is leaving the Clinic tomorrow after lunch and we have decided to leave Montauban and head for home. Best wishes to you and France Surgery in the future. Thanks again Graham H.     Hi Carine ...Bernard & Dr Aebi, I am writing to thankyou for your help and the overall Surgery Package.You all gave me the the very best attention..seeing to my every requirement. the Hospital and nursing staff were excellent as was the Physiotherapist. I couldn't have had a kinder... more encouraging and kind Surgeon than Dr Aebi, he came to see me, usually at least once..sometimes two or three times each day,always showing me more that I could achieve every day ! I am walking very well...a little discomfort...not a problem though.I am pleased with my progress and see improvement on a weekly basis now. Many Thanks, Paul M.     Hello Carine, I am now back at Callac and I have to say a massive thank you for organising the treatment. Compared to England it was exceptional and with some careful planning I consider you could develop a really successful business. The Doctor gave me his medical opinion and referred me back to my own doctor in England for the correct medical (cf. surgical) treatment. He sent a message and the report has been posted to England, Many Thanks Rod D.     This E Mail is to confirm that I recently had a new Knee replacement at Clinique du Pont de Chaume. I have a house in France and wanted the surgery here as I believe the Hospitals cleaner and medicine better than in the UK. Carine at France Surgery took over all the paper work to ensure the proceedure was paid for by EHIC and I was required to pay only for France Suregery fees and cost of Private faciilities in the Hospital. I was met at the Hospital and was releived to be cared for by France Surgery who took me around from Anaesthetist to X ray and finally to my appointment with the surgeon Dr G. The Hospital was clean and Dr G. was an exceedinglky competent man who gave me full confidence. I was met again at the Hospital when i was admitted and France Surgery helped me find my room and presented me with some essentials for my stay. The Proceedure went perfectlly and I was able to leave Hospital 5 days later. France Surgery had arranged for me to have Physiotherapy and I went along some 20 times. I went back 1 month later for X rays and to be re checked by Dr G. I am very happy with France Surgery and would be delighted to use them again should I need further Surgery in France, I would be happy to talk to anyone wishing to talk aout my experience with France Surgery/the proceedure Kind regards Anthony E   La contencion y el acompañamiento fueron muy importante porque nos hicieron sentir en familia. El gerente del hotel puso el hotel a nueztra disposicion mostrando buen añimo en todo momento. Tiene ademas un trato excellente y hâbla 4 idiomas. La cercania del hotel tambien fue importante. En la clinica tanto la cama del paciente, como la del acompañante be desarmaron en dos oportunidades. Es necesariomas profesionales de haber hispana o inglesa. Por el equipo France SURGERY y el equipo médico, apartir de ahora los consideramos parte de nuestra familia ¡ Marcos S.   Estimada Carine: Al saludarte, quería informarte que el regreso fue muy bueno, la asistencia en los aeropuertos fue muy puntual y eficaz.durante el vuelo de Amsterdam a San Pablo me dieron la primera fila con lo cual no tuve problemas con mi pierna, el servicio a bordo de KLM es excelente, mi recuperación va progresando No me resta sino agradecer tus servicios en Francia, los cuales fueron de la más alta calidad profesional sin olvidar la calidez humana fundamental en estos casos. Cualquier cosa en la que pueda serte de utilidad estoy a tu disposición Hasta pronto Carlos A.

Low-carb diets better for weight loss than low-fat diets, at least in the short-term

20/12/2016

It is something many people will be considering in the New Year, but the plethora of diet advice available out there can be confusing and contradictory. That's why the Mayo Clinic in Arizona set out to see which of the so-called 'low-carb' diets in the weight loss market is the most effective and, more importantly, how safe they all are. They published the results of their study in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. Their analysis of some 41 trials that evaluated the weight loss effects of low-carb diets found that individuals lost between 2.5-9 more pounds than individuals who followed a low-fat diet. Dr. Heather Fields, an internal medicine physician at Mayo Clinic and lead researcher on the study, said that adhering to low-carb diets in the short-term appears to be safe and promotes weight reduction. "However, that weight loss is small and of questionable clinical significance in comparison to low-fat diets. We encourage patients to eat real food and avoid highly processed foods, especially processed meats, such as bacon, sausage, deli meats, hot dogs, and ham when following any particular diet," she added. This is the biggest warning to come out of the research and it's because when people are following low-carb diets they tend to eat more meat, and this could increase their risk of death from all causes, including cancer - especially if they consume a lot of processed meat. Nevertheless, the studies showed that compared with many other diets, low-carb ones were effective for weight loss without adverse effects on blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol.

France Surgery Partner, La Clinique Turin, Installs New da Vinci Xi Surgical Robot

14/12/2016

La Clinique Turin, one of France Surgery's partners, becomes one of the first private establishments in the Paris region to install the new da Vinci Xi surgical robot. Dr. Olivier Dumonceau , a urologist surgeon of the La Clinique Turin in Paris, performed the first prostatectomy procedure in a private center in the Paris region using the new da Vinci Xi robot. This new generation of the da Vinci robotic surgical system allows for even more precise gestures for patient safety and helps obtain better intervention results. Surgeons benefit from improved 3D vision and increased movement accuracy with this new generation of surgical robot. Dr Olivier Dumonceau said: "This new generation of surgical robot marks an additional step of technology for the patient and surgeon. Our gestures are even safer, the patient can benefit from more precise surgery. We are now developing ambulatory robotic surgery for interventions that previously required several days of hospitalisation. Patient recovers faster and can leave the hospital quickly and safely. " Dr. Perrine Goyer, a digestive surgeon at the La Clinique Turin, added: "Robotic surgery offers today opportunities for minimally invasive surgery in new areas such as obesity surgery and digestive cancer for the most complex cases." Dr. Ludovic Friederich, gynecologist surgeon at the La Clinique Turin, said: "With this latest generation of machines, robotic surgery opens new perspectives for the treatment of endometriosis in very short stay with lightened suites. In particular, there is a reduction in postoperative pain." "Our development towards minimally invasive surgery and shorter hospital stays is strategic. The replacement of our previous robot with this new technology is a huge step forward. "The possibilities for interventions are now extended to pathologies as diverse as Prostatectomy, endometriosis or digestive surgery with an even higher level of result. The treatment can be performed on an outpatient basis without compromising the quality," said Stéphane Lievain, director of La Clinique Turin. La Clinique Turin carries out some 25,000 interventions per year. It features: 150 practitioners and offers complete care in surgery, medicine, dialysis and imaging (scanner, MRI and interventional radiology). Main specialties: urology, digestive, maxillofacial surgery, cardiology, ENT, orthopedics, vascular, plastic, gastroenterology, gynecology, nephrology. With a leading technical platform, it has 216 beds and places, 16 operating rooms as well as an intensive care unit in cardiology and a monitoring unit in the heart of Paris. It is regularly quoted in the health charts of the press.

Tiny-Armed Robot Could Revolutionise Surgical Procedures

13/12/2016

A tiny robot equipped with equally tiny tentacle-like instruments could soon revolutionise the way in which surgery is performed on people's eyes. Developed by UK-based Cambridge Consultants, the prototype Axsis robot will be able to provide a more accurate, minimally invasive way to conduct eye surgeries. The company behind the prototype has now released a video highlighting just how the delicate instrument can perform one of the world's most common surgical procedures: cataract surgery. Amazingly, the robot's movements are controlled using cables that are about the same width as a human hair, yet stronger by comparison than steel and Kevlar. Advanced sensing algorithms also minimise the risk of human error during operation. "By having a computer in the loop between when the surgeon’s moving their hands, and the robot moving, that computer can recognize when the surgeon is about to go outside and actually puncture the lens, for example, and stop that motion," said Chris Wagner, head of advanced surgical systems at Cambridge Consultants. It is thought that robots such as Axsis can improve treatments for both the surgeon and the patient. Check out Axsis in action in this amazing YouTube video.

The implant that reattaches the ears in 15 minutes

08/12/2016

                    The implant "Earfold" was tested on 7 year-old children, without any complication A new procedure to "reattach" certain ears, less invasive than conventional surgeries, is now available in France. If having peeled ears has no medical gravity, the people concerned can be the victims of mockery and afflicted with derogatory nicknames that can affect their psychological balance. Since last June, a metal implant created by Dr. Norbert Kang, an English surgeon, to correct this aesthetic defect, has been implemented in the French reconstructive surgery clinics. "An innovative technique" “Earfold”, the implant in question, is introduced under the skin thanks to a small incision in the anti-helix fold (cartilage that borders the hollow of the ear). The thin metal band made of nickel-titanium alloy (Nitinol), an elastic material used in vascular prostheses and unbreakable glasses frames, clings to the cartilage and immediately adopts its predefined shape by recreating the anti-helix crease which, when it does not exist, is responsible for some "peeling" of the ears. All people who can have a local anesthesia can benefit from this technique. It was tested on children of 7 year-old without any complication. On the other hand, it works only in individuals whose deformation is due to the absence or underdevelopment of the anti-helix fold. Individuals in whom detachment is caused by a deep shell (ear cavity) should go through more conventional and more complicated otoplasty procedures (ear surgery). In total, it is estimated that about 5% of the population is affected by detached ears, from all causes. "This technique is very innovative," says Dr. Michel Corniglion, a surgeon at the Saint-Charles Clinic in Lyon who carried out the first operation of this kind in France last June. "It has the advantage of being minimally invasive and the potential risks, such as hematomas and infections, are easily preventable if the surgeon meets the necessary hygiene conditions."

5 of the Best Christmas Markets in France this December

01/12/2016

December is here (believe it or not) and that means many people will frequent the numerous Christmas markets found all across France. In fact, France has the second most Christmas markets in Europe, which is why you need to know which ones are must visits. Here are five of the best: 1. PARIS: L’Arche de Noël à la Défense (until Dec. 27) The largest and certainly one of the merriest Christmas markets in the whole of Paris, L’Arche de Noël à la Défense boasts over 350 stalls which are all packed with festive goodies. Located in the bustling business district, L’Arche de Noël à la Défense makes for a nice change in an area that's dominated by skyscrapers. 2. STRASBOURG (until Dec. 24) Dating back to the 16th century, Strasbourg is the oldest "marché de Noël" in France. With over 300 stalls, it's also one of the largest and the heart of the festivities take place in front of the beautiful, gothic Strasbourg Cathedral. 3. LILLE (until Dec. 30) Despite having only around 100 stalls, Lille Christmas market attracts more than 900,000 visitors each year, making it one of the most popular in the whole of France. A 50-metre high ferris wheel offers visitors unrivalled views over Lille’s Flemish-Renaissance architecture, which is suitably decorated with sparkling Christmas lights. 4. BORDEAUX (from Nov. 25) The Christmas market in Bordeaux has become something of a holiday tradition in the region, with more than 150 exhibitors from all over the world selling their unique wares. 5. REIMS (until Dec. 24) Set in the Champagne region of France, Reims Christmas market oozes pure festive joy and Christmas cheer. As well as jazz bands, jugglers and organ grinders, there's also winter sports held at the dry ski slope. Expect lots and lots of champagne.

Eating Sweeteners While Pregnant Could Affect Baby's Weight: Study

29/11/2016

A Canadian study has questioned how a pregnant mother's consumption of beverages containing sweeteners might affect the weight of their unborn child. According to the authors, the risk of a mother's unborn child being overweight could be increased among those mothers who consume sweeteners on a daily basis. Dr. Meghan Azad, of the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada), and her staff questioned more than 3,000 women to learn about their eating habits during pregnancy. In addition, the body mass index (BMI) of their children was also measured at the age of one. The researchers made two main findings: 1. 5.1% of the young children at the age of one were already overweight. 2. Mothers who consumed one or more artificially sweetened drinks each day during their pregnancies doubled the risk of their unborn children being overweight by the time they were one. In conclusion, the researchers admit that their work includes some limitations such as the mothers reporting their eating habits via questionnaire. They point out, however, that "to their knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the potential effect of consuming artificial sweeteners during pregnancy and infant weight gain." In January 2015, the National Agency for Food Safety (ANSES) was less convinced. According to them, "the available data do not make it possible to identify any benefit or conclude on the risk associated with the consumption of intense sweeteners during pregnancy, whether it is maternal health, obstetric parameters, or health of the newborn."

Predatory Bacteria Can Devastate Superbug Populations

24/11/2016

The fight against superbugs could have a new ally in predatory bacteria, according to researchers in the UK. Animal studies, the results of which were published in the journal Current Biology, showed that an injection of Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus acted like a "living antibiotic" to help clear an otherwise lethal infection. The studies also showed that there would be no side effects. Experts said the "unusual" approach should not be overlooked. Bdellovibrio is a fast-swimming bacterium that finds its way inside other bacteria and eats their insides, causing it to swell in size. Once it has finished gorging, Bdellovibrio replicates and bursts out of its now dead host. The research teams from Imperial College London and the University of Nottingham tested to see what impact Bdellovibrio would have on Shigella, a common cause of food poisoning which more than a million people each year die from. Their laboratory tests showed that Bdellovibrio devastated the population of superbug Shigella 4,000-fold. Commenting on the research, Dr Serge Mostowy, from Imperial College London, said: "It is definitely a creative approach and what is special is the inability of the host to develop resistance." Scientists continue to look for alternatives to antibiotics because of the growing levels of bacteria that are becoming resistant to them and to reduce our over reliance on them.

Yo-Yo Dieting Increases Heart Attack Risk in Older Women

22/11/2016

Millions of people all over the world struggle with their waistlines. A constant battle that sees them diet, lose weight and then put it all back on again - sometimes more than they had originally. It's a pattern known as "yo-yo dieting", and a new study suggests that it can be hard on the hearts of older women. According to study leader Dr. Somwail Rasla, who's an internal medicine resident at the Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island in Pawtucket (US), "Women with a normal [weight] who experience yo-yo dieting throughout their adult life are at increased risk of sudden cardiac death and coronary heart disease death". Last week's American Heart Association conference in New Orleans heard that older women who are not necessarily overweight, but continue to strive for that so-called "perfect figure", increase their risk of sudden cardiac death by as much as 66%, which is 3.5 times higher than women who maintain a stable weight. It's long been known that being overweight as you reach middle age is linked with a higher risk of mortality due to heart disease, but the risks associated with yo-yo dieting have had much less research. For the study led by Rasla, the weight histories of 158,000 older, postmenopausal women were analysed. The women who were deemed to be yo-yo dieters - characterised as a cycle of gaining and losing 10 pounds or more - were also found to have a greater risk of coronary heart disease. Until further research is conducted, the message for now from Rasla is that "maintaining a stable body weight is best for overall health."

Beaujolais Nouveau Released Today

17/11/2016

It's the third Thursday in November and that means only one thing here in France: Beaujolais Nouveau. Today traditionally marks the end of the grape harvest in France and since 1201 am people will have been able to get their hands on the first Beaujolais Nouveau of the year. The timestamp is significant as there's actually a law in France preventing Beaujolais Nouveau from being sold any earlier. It's an occasion that's traditionally accompanied by huge parties all over France, and this year is sure to be no different. In fact, Beaujolais Nouveau Day, as it's known, is celebrated worldwide. Many stores and restaurants in the US, UK and other countries will be scrabbling to arrange their stocks of this year's wine, which they'll have taken delivery of prior to today's launch. Beaujolais Nouveau (pronounced bow-jah-lay new-vo), as its name suggests, comes from the Beaujolais region of France. It's a typically sweet and fruity wine made from the Gamay grape, and unlike most wines, it's meant to be consumed not long after it's been produced. People also prefer it to be a little cooler than other wines. Fans of the wine in Japan have even been known to bathe in it, as you can see from the picture at the top of this post. If that's not a ringing endorsement then we don't know what is...

A Brief Guide to Hip Replacement Surgery

15/11/2016

Hip replacement surgery is a surgical procedure in which a surgeon removes portions of the hip joint that are arthritic or worn out and replaces them with artificial parts, often made from metal and plastic. It is a procedure that is often undertaken when other treatment options have failed to provide a satisfactory outcome. The result of hip replacement surgery is that the patient benefits from improved mobility, hip joint function and reduced/eliminated pain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some 332,000 total hip replacements are performed in the United States every year, highlighting that it is now a common procedure. Anyone who is experiencing debilitating hip pain and a loss of movement is a potential candidate for hip replacement surgery, but as with any medical intervention, the procedure may be unsuitable for some individuals. The really good news is that hip replacement surgery is now minimally invasive, meaning a surgeon can perform it with reduced pain; less muscle trauma; minimal scarring; and a smaller incision - all of which benefit the patient and afford a speedier recovery. You can find out more information about the hip replacement surgery options we can facilitate, including some of our partner clinics specialising in this procedure, on our website.

Being a Scout or Guide Benefits Kids Mentally Later in Life

10/11/2016

Being a scout or guide as a child could improve your mental health in later life, a study has found. According to the analysis of some 10,000 people conducted by researchers from the universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, ex-scouts and guides were 15% less likely to suffer anxiety or mood disorders at the age of 50. It's thought that the lessons learned in resilience and resolve that organisations like the scouts and guides offer could have a lasting positive impact. The findings indicate that programmes which help children develop self-reliance and teamwork skills, and encourage outdoor activity, may have benefits for life. Talking about the findings of the research, Prof Chris Dibben, lead researcher, from the University of Edinburgh's School of Geosciences, said: "It is quite startling that this benefit is found in people so many years after they have attended guides or scouts. "We expect the same principles would apply to the scouts and guides of today and so, given the high costs of mental ill-health to individuals and society, a focus on voluntary youth programmes such as the guides and scouts might be very sensible." Chief Scout and TV survival specialist Bear Grylls said: "I am really proud that scouting provides young people with an opportunity to develop the skills they need to be resilient and deal with what life throws at them."

Exercise Could Cancel the Harm Associated with a Week's Overeating

08/11/2016

Christmas is just around the corner and for many people that means gorging themselves on all manner of delicious food and drinks. But all that festive feasting can play havoc with people's waistlines, which is why so many individuals make dieting one of their New Year's resolutions. However, the effects of overeating might not be as disastrous for a person's health as we may think, as long as people keep exercising. That's the findings of research presented at the American Physiological Society (APS) Integrative Biology of Exercise VII meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. For their study, researchers from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, wanted to find out what would happen to people's fatty tissue if they continued to exercise while undertaking a week-long food blowout. The researchers got study participants to consume 30% more calories over the course of a week than they would usually. The participants also exercised for at least two and a half hours spread over at least 6 days of the week. What the study team found was that the participants' fatty tissue showed no signs of inflammation and no change was witnessed in their glucose tolerance or chemical breakdown of fat. In people who do not exercise, the markers of inflammation in fat tissue would normally increase after a week of overeating.

Arthritic Knees? Surgery Could be the Answer

03/11/2016

Many people have arthritis in their knees and the pain they experience makes walking even short distances a massive struggle. Furthermore, the pain can also occur even when they're not walking, which can make getting a good night's sleep almost impossible. And while some individuals get relief in the form of cortisone shots, lubricant shots and physical therapy, many others do not. It gets to the point, quite simply, where their knees need replacing. For people who have severe bone-on-bone arthritis and have tried and failed to relieve it using non-surgical methods, there's only one next step to take: knee-replacement surgery. The bottom line is that despite them offering some relief, techniques like bracing and PRP injections or stem-cell injections are unlikely to provide benefits in the long-term. The good news is that the technology used for knee-replacement surgery has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, and this has enabled less-invasive techniques to be utilised. In addition, surgeons are able to achieve better knee alignments and the knee implants themselves have a greater lifespan. When the pain becomes no longer bearable, most people turn to surgery for the answer. In our experience, the vast majority of knee-replacement surgery patients have significant pain relief and better function post-surgery. The key to recovery lies in the patient's motivation to work with their physiotherapist and their determination to regain both motion and strength in their knee(s). To find out how France Surgery can assist you with knee-replacement surgery in France, contact us today.

What's on in France this November?

31/10/2016

Christmas is literally just around the corner, but before we enter the festive season and stuff ourselves silly, there's the month of November to navigate first. Here are a few of the excellent food-focused events you can attend in France this month: Les Sarmentelles de Beaujeu, Rhône, November 16-20 Every year, on the third Thursday in November, at 12:01 a.m., Beaujolais Nouveau is released in France and over 100 related parties and festivals kick off. The most famous of these - Les Sarmentelles - is held in the town of Beaujeu, the capital of the Beaujolais region. Chocolate Fair, Lyon, November 11-13 Chocolate lovers rejoice! The sixth edition of the Lyon chocolate fair this year, held at the Cité Internationale, will feature culinary demos, cooking workshops and the famous parade of chocolate dresses. Festival of the Herring - Fête du Hareng Roi - Throughout November Not a huge fan of chocolate? How about herring? Throughout November, the people of Normandy celebrate their favourite fish, the herring. Different parts of the region celebrate at different times and the main activity is eating herring in many wonderfully delicious forms. Christmas Market Colmar - November 25-December 30 What better way to get you into the Christmas spirit than a Christmas market in November! Despite seeming a little early, the picturesque town of Colmar in the Alsace region hosts a beautiful Christmas market at the end of November. The city is illuminated and decorated like something out of a fairytale, and you can try Alsatian specialties with a cup of mulled wine.

A Quick Guide to Cataract Surgery

27/10/2016

A cataract is a clouding of the eye's normally clear lens which can lead to diminished vision. And while the condition more commonly affects older individuals, people of all ages can get them. The good news, though, is that cataract surgery is a common procedure nowadays and statistics show that there is a high success rate of healthy vision post-surgery. In fact, uncomplicated cataract surgery can take just 10 minutes in some instances and patients can find themselves going home as quickly as 30 minutes after the procedure has been completed. Of course, as with most types of surgery, you'll need a friend or relative to help take you home afterwards as you'll be unable to drive. You'll also need to put drops in your eyes to prevent infection and may be advised to wear an eye shield to protect it while you sleep. Post-surgery patients are also told to avoid strenuous activities and not put their heads below their waistlines until the eye is completely healed. This takes around 8 weeks or so, after which time you'll be able to live a normal life once more - except with the benefit of rejuvenated vision. You can find out more about cataract surgery and see the clinics France Surgery utilises that specialise in the procedure here.

Gastric Surgery Should be Offered Regardless of Weight, Says Leading UK Surgeon

25/10/2016

A leading bariatric surgeon in the UK has urged the government to offer gastric surgery to patients regardless of their weight. According to Professor Francesco Rubino, the Chair of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery at Kings College, thousands of type-2 diabetes patients in the UK are missing out on vital weight loss surgery because they do not meet the NHS's guidelines when it comes to weight. That's because, at present, only type-2 diabetes patients who have a BMI of over 30 are currently eligible for bariatric surgery. Rubino says that weight loss surgery is "the closest thing to a cure" and should be used more often. In the UK, there are around 3.6 million people with type-2 diabetes, which costs the NHS up to £10 billion a year to treat. However, approximately 15% of sufferers are "normal weight" and so don't qualify for weight loss surgery under the NHS's current guidelines. "The biggest barrier we have is primarily one of stigma against obesity. The vast majority of the public believes this is a cosmetic intervention and unfortunately many physicians think the same way," said Rubino. Rubino also highlighted that weight loss surgeries, which manipulate the stomach or small intestine, do not just help people lose weight, but actually influence insulin production by altering hormones in the person's gut. "More than 50% of people with type 2 diabetes can enjoy long term remission. Another 30 or 40% enjoy a major improvement," he added.

Obese Mothers Risk Shortening the Lives of Their Children

20/10/2016

Babies whose mothers are obese or overweight are at risk of living considerably shorter lives, according to new research from Belgium. In fact, mothers who are overweight or obese risk shortening the lives of their babies by as much as 17 years. The researchers analysed information from 743 mothers aged between 17 and 44, and their newborn babies, using samples of blood from their umbilical cords immediately after delivery. Focusing on the length of the babies' telomeres, which are the caps on the end of chromosomes that protect them from damage, the researchers discovered a strong link between the Body Mass Index (BMI) of mothers and the length of their babies' telomeres. Specifically, they found that for every increase in the mother's BMI point above a normal level, the baby's telomeres were approximately 50 base pairs shorter. That's the equivalent of being 1.1 to 1.6 years older. The length of a person's telomeres is used as a good indicator of their biological age as they naturally shorten as people get older. The telomeres of babies whose mothers had a BMI of 40 suggested they were 17 years older biologically, placing them at higher risk of illness and premature death. In a statement accompanying the findings of the research, study co-author Tim Nawrot, a professor of environmental epidemiology at Hasselt University in Belgium, said: "Our results add to the growing body of evidence that high maternal BMI impacts fetal [DNA] programming, which could lead to altered fetal development and later life diseases."

WHO Backs Tax on Sugary Foods and Drinks

18/10/2016

A report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows that the global body has added its support to countries that place a "sugar tax" on soft drinks. It's the first time the WHO has thrown its support behind taxation. Previously, it had stopped short, simply advising a lower sugar intake. Several countries, including Mexico and Hungary, already tax added sugar products, and South Africa is introducing a sugar tax next year - the only country in Africa to do so. The WHO said that incidences of obesity, diabetes and tooth decay can be lowered if people lower their consumption of "free sugars". Free sugars are all the different types of sugar people eat, except for the ones found naturally in milk and fruit. Dr Francesco Branca, nutrition director for the WHO, said that people should keep their sugar intake below 10% of their total calorie intake, and below 5% if possible. "Nutritionally, people don't need any sugar in their diet," he said. The WHO report found that raising prices by 20% or more leads to lower consumption and "improved nutrition". It also noted that government subsidies for fruit and vegetables, which inevitably lead to lower prices, can have a positive impact on the amount people consume.

Study Finds Bariatric Surgery Decrease Gout Risk

13/10/2016

A study in Sweden has found that obese individuals who underwent bariatric surgery had a 34% less likelihood of developing gout - a condition that is often associated with and aggravated by being overweight. For the study, researchers analysed two groups of individuals: one which had undergone bariatric surgery and one which had followed intensive lifestyle modifications, including advice on food choices, energy intake and exercise. They found that over 26 years of follow-ups, there were 138 new cases of gout in the group that had undergone the surgery and 201 new cases in the matched, non-surgery group. Interestingly, the patients in the surgery group had higher body mass indexes; larger waist circumferences; and worse glucose and cholesterol levels. Speaking about their findings, the team, which was headed up by Lena M.S. Carlsson, MD, of the University of Gothenburg, said: "The beneficial effects of bariatric surgery are not limited to weight loss, but they extend to improvement in metabolic parameters and to lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer." Other studies have previously suggested that bariatric surgery can lead to lower serum uric acid levels, which are the primary cause of gout.

Immunotherapy Cancer Drug a Potential 'Game-Changer'

11/10/2016

The European Cancer Congress has heard that an immunotherapy drug is a potential "game-changer" for cancer patients; especially those suffering with head and neck cancer. In one study of head and neck cancer, more patients taking immunotherapy drug nivolumab survived for longer compared with counterparts who were treated with chemotherapy. Another study found that when combined with another drug, nivolumab reduced the size of tumours in advanced kidney cancer patients. The findings of the studies are welcome news in the battle against head and neck cancer, which historically has a very poor survival rate. In a trial of more than 350 patients, the results of which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 36% of patients treated with nivolumab were still alive after one year, compared to 17% of chemotherapy patients. The immunotherapy patients also experienced far fewer side effects. However, the benefits of nivolumab were even more pronounced for patients whose tumours had tested positive for HPV (human papillomavirus). These individuals survived for 9.1 months on average, compared to 4.4 months for patients treated with chemotherapy. Professor Kevin Harrington of the Institute of Cancer Research and consultant at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, who led the head and neck cancer trial, said immunotherapy drug nivolumab could be a real "game changer" for patients with advanced head and neck cancer. "This trial found that it can greatly extend life among a group of patients who have no existing treatment options, without worsening quality of life," he said.

The Zika virus detected in the sperm

07/10/2016

                  A collaborative research team from Inserm, CNRS, University III Paul Sabatier of Toulouse and the University Hospital Center of Toulouse (CHU Toulouse) reveal today the presence of the Zika virus within the sperm. This reveal is the result of a real case study realized on Julien, a young man aged 32, recently returned from the French Guiana, who arrives at the CHU Toulouse, manifesting the representative symptoms of the Zika infection. Julien has moderate fever, rash, muscle and joint pain. Two days later, the Zika virus is detected in the plasma and urine of Julien. Eleven samples of sperm, ten of blood and five of urine are then collected and analyzed over a total period of 141 days. After analysis, it appears that Zika virus is found in all the samples up to the 37th day. After that, the virus is only found in semen, where it remains until more than 130 days, while the patient is doing well. The result was confirmed on two other patients to whom the virus has persisted from 69 to 115 days in their semen.   "We have detected the presence of the Zika virus within about 3.5% of the sperm of this patient" explains Guillaume Martin-Blondel, researcher and doctor in the service of Infectious and Tropical Diseases of the University Hospital of Toulouse. The discovery has already agitated the circles acting for the prevention of sexual transmission. "These observations, added Inserm, also raise many questions about the need to include the search for Zika virus when checking sperm donations in fertility centers." They also encourage the basic rule in case of sexual intercourse: protection first.   Source: La Dépêche   

Reasons to Choose France Surgery as your Treatment Partner

06/10/2016

France has the highest rated healthcare service in the world? (As rated by the World Health Organisation) Yet healthcare costs are often 4 times cheaper than similar services in the USA, Canada or other 1st world countries France is a welcoming, beautiful country and officially the most visited place on Earth As featured on CBS, Healthcare Elsewhere and the Medical Tourism Magazine We can open the doors to the highest level of healthcare for your company and your clients, whilst saving you money too! As our video shows, all of our services are delivered in fluent English and our client care begins right from the moment they touch down in France to the moment they board to fly back home again. Our treatment centers are especially selected from the high quality available across France to ensure your clients are treated only in the very best of our French treatment centers and by our top consultants. Our accommodation is always of a very high standard and, subject to medical agreement, we will ensure your clients enjoy their time in France and see some of our wonderful country too. If you would like to explore France as a treatment destination for your clients, please contact me on any of the options below. I'll be happy to introduce you to the very high standards of treatment we have access to and to the savings we can offer your company. Bien à vous ! Carine HILAIRE France SURGERY 22, Rue St Joseph 31400 TOULOUSE - FRANCE Office : +33 (0)9 53 02 03 09

Could Going On Holiday Boost Our Immune Systems?

05/10/2016

A holiday, some music or a change of scenery could potentially boost the body's immune system and help it fight infection, according to new research. Scientists from the Queen Mary University of London found that if they spruced up the living spaces of mice, by adding things like running wheels, toys and colourful boxes, the mice's T-cells received a boost. These cells are crucial for the animals' immunity and help protect against disease. For the study, the researchers placed some mice in enriched environments with lots of stimulation, while others were housed in plain, old cages with sawdust. The scientists found that the mice in the more luxurious surroundings had higher levels of molecules that are good at responding to infections. As a result, these mice were better prepared for fighting infections. Talking about the findings of the study, Prof Fulvio D'Acquisto, lead researcher from the Queen Mary University of London, said: "This effect is remarkable because we haven't given them any drugs. All we've done is change their housing conditions. "You could say that we've just put them in their equivalent of a holiday resort for two weeks and let them enjoy their new and stimulating surroundings." Additional research is now being called for to see whether the same results are witnessed in humans. It could be that a walk on the beach; a more comfortable hospital bed; or listening to a piece of music may boost the human body's immune system.

France Surgery Attends WMTC 2016

29/09/2016

The 9th World Medical Tourism and Global Healthcare Congress in Washington D.C. drew to a close yesterday and what an event it was! A small team from France Surgery made the long journey over to the US. You may have seen France Surgery CEO and co-founder Carine Hilaire's Facebook post live from the event. The largest medical tourism event in the world, the World Medical Tourism and Global Healthcare Congress this year featured over 3,000 participants, 10,000+ networking meetings and up to 200 qualified buyers of healthcare, as well as industry forums and executive summits. Among the excellent keynote speakers at this year's congress was President and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington. Next year's World Medical Tourism and Global Healthcare Congress - the 10th of its kind - will be held October 2-4 2017, in Los Angeles, California. You can be sure that France Surgery will once again be there promoting all the benefits of the excellent French healthcare service. You can find out more about this year's event and get information ahead of next year's over on the World Medical Tourism and Medical Healthcare Congress website.

Deloitte: UK Adults 'Addicted to Smartphones'

27/09/2016

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night and reached straight for your smartphone? If you have, it seems you're not alone. According to a report from professional services firm Deloitte, people in the UK have never been so addicted to their smartphones, with one in three adults admitting they check their phones at night. Some individuals have attributed their addiction to FOMO (the fear of missing out) and it's a situation that causes rows between them and their partners. Here are some key findings from the Deloitte report: One in three UK adults has fallen out with their partners because they use their smartphones too much. Rows most common between couples aged 25-34. One in three UK adults checks their smartphones in the middle of the night. This increases to one in tow (half) of 18-24 year olds. One third use their smartphones while watching TV or socialising with friends One tenth say they use their smartphones "always" or "very often" while eating in restaurants. Commenting on the findings of Deloitte's sixth annual Mobile Consumer Survey, Paul Lee, head of technology, media and telecommunications research at the firm, said: "What smartphones enable people to do is to keep tags of what's happening, what people are saying, what people are posting. You can do that throughout the day and what smartphones are encouraging people to do is to do that at night." Deloitte says that four out of five UK adults now have a smartphone - equivalent to 37 million people. However, they also say that the market is reaching saturation point.

Study Finds No Proof that Fitness Trackers Promote Weight Loss

22/09/2016

The results of a two-year long study by the University of Pittsburgh published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggest that fitness trackers, such as devices that count how many steps people have taken, do not appear to improve the chances of losing weight. For the study, researchers tracked the weight loss progress of some 500 overweight individuals who were asked to diet and do more exercise. Half of the volunteers were given a fitness tracker to help them keep tabs on their progress throughout, while the other half weren't. At the end of the study, the group without the fitness trackers had lost more weight than their gadget-wielding counterparts. The study authors say that while people should not ditch their fitness trackers altogether in the first instance, they should also not put as much faith in them as they do for weight loss. However, device manufacturers say that their own research suggests fitness trackers can aid weight loss when used in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise. They also say that their technology has moved on since the University of Pittsburgh study was conducted. Nevertheless, Lead researcher Dr John Jakicic said that he did not think this would alter the findings of the study, even though he acknowledged that the technology had moved on. "What these devices tell us and how we use the information has not changed," he said.

Laughter Boosts Seniors' Motivation to Exercise

20/09/2016

Researchers have found that laughter may really be the best medicine when it comes to a person's health in later life. And, according to the study led by Georgia State University, when laughter is combined with moderate exercise, not only is the mental health of older individuals improved, but also their motivation to undertake physical activity. Prior to their research, lead author Celeste Greene, from Georgia State, and colleagues noted that many seniors are reluctant to carry out physical activity because they lack motivation due mainly to the fact they don't find exercise enjoyable. That's why Greene's team set out to investigate whether combining laughter with physical activity would increase the amount of enjoyment older people get while exercising, thus increasing the likelihood of them doing more and reaping the associated health benefits. For older people, regular physical activity can improve heart health; reduce the risk of diabetes; aid weight control; improve bone health; and maintain and boost muscle strength. Greene and her team created LaughActive, a unique laughter-based exercise programme, which combines moderate-intensity physical activity with simulated laughter techniques. The research team enrolled 27 older adults in the LaughActive programme, who were all required to attend two 45-minute sessions every week for a period of 6 weeks. What they found at the end of the 6-week programme was that 96.2% of participants said that laughter was an enjoyable addition to physical activity and boosted their motivation to take part. In addition, the programme was associated with significant improvements in the mental health and aerobic endurance of the participants.

Daytime Naps Could Be Warning Sign for Type-2 Diabetes

15/09/2016

Long naps of more than an hour during the day could be a warning sign for type-2 diabetes, according to a new study by Japanese researchers. The link was discovered by the researchers at the University of Tokyo while analysing observational studies involving more than 300,000 people. Their findings will be presented at a meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Munich. Specifically, their research found that people who napped for more than an hour during the day had a 45% greater risk of type-2 diabetes than those who didn't take daytime naps. Interestingly, no link was found with naps of less than 40 minutes. UK experts have said that individuals with undiagnosed diabetes and other long-term illnesses often feel tired during the day. However, they also said there is no evidence at present to suggest that napping during the day increases a person's risk of developing diabetes. One possible explanation is that sleep deprivation, caused by busy work schedules and/or social commitments, potentially leads to increased appetite, which in turn could increase the risk of type-2 diabetes. Commenting on the researchers' findings, Naveed Sattar, a professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow, said: "It's likely that risk factors which lead to diabetes also cause napping. This could include slightly high sugar levels, meaning napping may be an early warning sign of diabetes."

Tiny Pump Enables Heart Surgery on High-Risk Patients

13/09/2016

In December 2014, Port Arthur resident, Mattie Warren, 71, needed to undergo heart surgery. Her heart was failing fast, but because of blockages in her arteries which made her heart weak, she was deemed a 'high-risk' patient. Her physician, Dr. Kunal Sarkar, and cardiologist Dr. Murlidhar Amin had to find another solution. So rather than performing conventional open heart surgery, Sarkar decided instead to give Warren a protected percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) using an Impella pump to relieve the pressure on her heart while he inserted a metal stent to clear the blockages in her arteries. Despite being on the market for more than 10 years, Sarkar said he only started using the Impella pump on high-risk patients when he arrived at the Medical Center of Southeast Texas around two years ago. Since then, Sarkar has successfully performed about 15 surgeries on high-risk patients using the pump. Smaller in width than a pencil, the Impella pump can be inserted via a small hole in the patient's leg and up through the aorta into the left ventricle. Now, two years later, Warren says she has the energy to work in her yard - something she could only dream of doing prior to her surgery. "Before the surgery, I would only climb my stairs every four months, and I would sweep my floor sitting down," said Warren.

iSkin App Enables People to Track Moles and Lower Their Skin Cancer Risk

08/09/2016

Almost everyone has a mole of some size somewhere on their bodies. Most of the time, we don't pay much attention to them. However, if they change shape and/or colour, we tend to take more notice. That's because abnormal moles can develop into melanoma skin cancer, which is the most dangerous form of the disease, accounting for over 10,000 deaths in the US alone annually. The good news, though, is that if diagnosed and treated early, melanoma is almost always curable. To address the fact that some people don't give their abnormal moles enough attention, the Institut Gustave Roussy in South Paris, France, launched the new iSkin application in May this year. Created by the collective "Ensemble contre le melanome", the app encourages users to take periodic photographs of their moles and skin spots, and essentially create a 'map' to track their development. This map can then be used to monitor the person's skin over time and help identify any potentially dangerous changes. The so-called maps will be safely stored on a web host approved by the government and will go some way to improving doctor-patient relationships. Patients also benefit from the app's geolocation capabilities, which tag the closest dermatologists. Eventually, the team behind the app hopes to develop a a platform for patients and specialists to exchange information so they can interact without having to wait on a waiting list or make an appointment. It should be noted, however, that the iSkin app does not replace a medical diagnosis, and anyone with any skin concerns should seek the advice of a medical professional.

Bariatric Surgery Best for Long-Term Weight Loss

05/09/2016

The benefits of weight loss surgery for obese and overweight individuals have been known for a long time. However, a new study now shows that the results of bariatric surgery are not just short-term, and much of the weight appears to stay off for at least 10 years. In fact, the study goes on to state that bariatric surgery is more effective than other surgical procedures and non-surgical techniques when it comes to weight loss and long-term weight management. Published in the journal JAMA Surgery, the findings are notable because they include the results of a decade-long follow-up, in addition to two separate areas of study. Lead author of the study Matt Maciejewski, who is a professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, in Durham, N.C., said: “This study suggests that patients interested in bariatric surgery, especially gastric bypass surgery, should be able to lose a significant amount of weight and keep that weight off for a very long time." For the study, the researchers first compared thousands of veterans who had received bariatric surgery to another group that hadn't. After a year, the bariatric surgery group had lost 31% of their starting weight, while the other group had lost just 1%. After 10 years, the bariatric surgery group had managed to maintain a nearly 21% greater weight loss than their non-surgical counterparts, highlighting the long-term benefits that weight loss surgery can have. The researchers then looked into how effective different types of weight loss surgery are. They found that after four years, patients who had undergone a gastric bypass had lost nearly 28% of their starting weight, while those who a had sleeve gastrectomy lost about 18% and those with gastric banding lost about 11%.

Game-Changing New Alzheimer's Drug Shows Promise

01/09/2016

A new drug that could stop Alzheimer's disease from ever developing in people is showing "tantalising" promise, scientists say. The breakthrough has been hailed as a "game-changer" in the fight against Alzheimer's and the "best news" in dementia research for 25 years. However, experts are remaining cautious as the drug, aducanumab, is still in the early stages of development. Nevertheless, it produced "unprecedented" results in a clinical trial, the findings of which were recently published in the journal Nature. During the trial, patients who were given the highest dose of aducanumab experienced an almost complete clearance of the characteristic protein plaques, known as amyloid plaques, which cause dementia. A new phase of research will now involve two separate studies, with early-stage Alzheimer's patients from North America, Europe and Asia, to fully test the drug's effects. If further trials show aducanumab to be effective and safe, we could see the first dementia prevention drug made available within just a few years. Dr David Reynolds, chief scientific officer at Alzheimer's Research UK, said: "These results provide tantalising evidence that a new class of drug to treat the disease may be on the horizon." At present, it is thought that there are 850,000 people living with Alzheimer's in Britain alone, and this number is expected to rise to one million by 2025.

iPads, Tablets Keep Kids Calm Before Surgery

30/08/2016

When it comes to lowering a child's anxiety before surgery, iPads and tablets can have as much effect as sedatives, according to preliminary research presented at the World Congress of Anaesthesiologists in Hong Kong this week. The French team behind the research conducted a simple experiment with more than 100 children (aged 4-10) and their parents. Prior to undergoing an outpatient surgical procedure that required a general anaesthetic, half of the children were given the sedative midazolam, while the other half were allowed to play games on an iPad. All patients and their families reported similar levels of anxiety relief ahead of the surgery. However, the parents in the iPad group said they were happier with how the anaesthesia process went. This sentiment was echoed by the nurses involved in the procedures. "Our study showed that child and parental anxiety before anaesthesia are equally blunted by midazolam or use of the iPad," said Dr. Dominique Chassard, study author and an anaesthesiologist at the Hospices Civils de Lyon in France. "However, the quality of induction of anaesthesia, as well as parental satisfaction, were judged better in the iPad group," he added. The French researchers did not offer any reasons for why playing games on a tablet was so helpful, but possible reasons range from them being a simple distraction to allowing the child to have an experience that feels less medical and, therefore, less threatening.

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