Case studies

  • Integrating population health data for better interventions 19 October 2017 An EBI-funded study to improve health and social outcomes for children in care could be an important first step towards developing a ‘digital population health laboratory’ to boost the health and wellbeing of people in Bristol.
  • Can opioids make pain worse by disturbing sleep? 19 October 2017 One in four of us will suffer chronic pain in our lifetime. Opioids such as morphine can sometimes help. However, deaths relating to opioid use have trebled in the last 20 years. Greater understanding of the risks and benefits of opioids could result in better and safer management of chronic pain.
  • Novel pacemaker technology could transform treatment of heart failure 19 October 2017 Implantable devices to restore heart rhythm (eg pacemakers) are commonly used to treat heart failure and cardiovascular diseases. Groundbreaking technology, developed by academics at Bristol and Bath and supported by the EBI, promises to revolutionise the therapeutic potential of these implants.
  • Brain imaging offers novel insights into appetite control 16 October 2017 It’s one of the biggest public health problems facing society today: one in three adults and three in ten children worldwide are overweight or obese. Why do some people seem to ignore their body’s internal satiety (fullness) signals and continue eating high-calorie foods in the face of weight gain? Brain imaging could shed new light on what goes wrong.
  • A new avenue for synthetic bone grafts 2 October 2017 Bone grafts are the second most commonly transplanted tissue after blood transfusions. The use of synthetic bone graft substitutes is increasing, but the challenge is to make them as ‘clever’ as their natural counterparts in stimulating fusion with the host bone. Bristol researchers believe a tiny lipid molecule could provide the answer.
  • Helping frail older people stay out of hospital 8 June 2017 Our ageing population, with an associated rise in the number of people living with frailty, is increasing pressure on hospital services in a financially squeezed NHS. If support for these more vulnerable patients were given earlier, fewer might be hospitalised. However, community assessment is still relatively untried and untested.
  • Reducing heart risk from fluid overload in children on dialysis 8 June 2017 Teenagers on kidney dialysis have a high a risk of heart disease – as high as people 50 years older in the general population. One major problem is that there has been no reliable method of measuring fluid overload, a condition that can cause heart damage. A novel use of ultrasound could address this, and lead to more accurate dialysis prescriptions and improvements in children’s long-term cardiovascular health.
  • Novel targeting of disease causing cells could transform treatment of autoimmune diseases 12 May 2017 There is a problem with the traditional treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. Steroid therapy doesn’t always work, and immunosuppressant drugs can have toxic side effects. Bristol researchers, with the help of an award from the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute, are working to overcome this using novel ways of targeting disease causing cells.
  • Bristol researchers lead the way for next generation of hip implants 11 May 2017 Total hip replacements are one of medicine’s success stories – but they eventually wear out, and sometimes complications develop that require further surgery. Now pioneering research in biomaterials at the University of Bristol could herald a new generation of biomimetic implants that could last a lifetime of use
  • Prehabilitation: boosting patients’ powers of recovery before surgery 6 April 2017 Improving patients’ health and fitness before a major operation can reduce the risk of complications and help recovery. Yet its potential has not been sufficiently explored. Researchers at Bristol aim to improve surgical outcomes in cancer patients by boosting health in the vital weeks before surgery.
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