Monthly Archives: January 2018

Weighing up the costs of type 2 diabetes prevention programs

Diabetes prevention image

With diabetes costing the UK NHS a staggering £8.8 billion a year, finding cost effective measures to prevent type 2 diabetes is of paramount importance. Lifestyle programs can act as effective prevention methods but policy makers are faced with a decision over which type to offer. Intensive programs are highly effective but expensive whereas low intensity programs are less expensive but also less effective. New research published in BMC Medicine explores this issue by using an economic model to weigh up the options.

Health Medicine

The phoenix of HIV treatment


During the last 30 years, over 15 million people have received AZT: an antiretroviral used to prevent HIV/AIDS. While it has now been replaced with other drugs in high income countries, it is still used widely in low-to-middle-income countries; this poses issues due to difficulties in detecting resistance to the drug and the side effects it carries. In this blog, author of a paper published in Infectious Disease of Poverty, Eric J. Arts, discusses his career long connection to AZT and the issues with AZT-based treatments in sub-Saharan Africa.

Developing World Health Medicine

Screening newborns for Tyrosinemia type 1, a rare genetic disorder

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Tyrosinemia type 1 (TYR1) is an autosomal recessive disorder and sadly without treatment, death in childhood is common. Screening newborns allows for earlier identification of TYR1 but there is uncertainty over the accuracy of the test. In this blog we talk to Sian Taylor-Phillips and Chris Stinton, authors of a review published in Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases examining the accuracy TYR1 screening.


Introducing ‘Current Treatment Algorithms’

Futuristic flowchart

A new year brings a new series for Blood Cancer Journal, an open-access journal published by Springer Nature. January 2018 sees the launch of a new article type called ‘Current Treatment Algorithms’. In this blog, Dr Ayalew Tefferi and Dr S. Vincent Rajkumar introduce the concept of this new article type and discuss its relevance in the vast field of hematological cancers.

Medical Evidence Medicine

Using physics, math and models to fight cancer drug resistance


Despite the increasing effectiveness of breast cancer treatments over the last 50 years, tumors often become resistent to the drugs used. While drug combinations could be part of the solution to this problem, their development is very challenging. In this blog post Jorge Zanudo explains how it is possible to combine physical and mathemathical models with clinical and biological data to determine which drug combinations would be most effective in breast cancer therapy.


Endurance training as a treatment approach for Huntington’s disease


Huntington’s disease is a rare, inherited neurodegenerative disorder that progressively impairs motor and cognitive functions. It was previously thought that exercise might act as a stressor, accelerating disease progression; but now increased knowledge of the underlying mechanisms of the disease has led to new research suggesting that endurance exercise may actually have therapeutic potential for rare diseases like Huntington’s.

Health Medicine