Mistletoe – not just for Christmas21 November 2023Mistletoe has been a feature of Christmas for hundreds of years. But this semi-parasitic plant has some rather surprising properties: in mainland Europe, it has been used alongside chemotherapy to support cancer patients for more than a century.
Smart technology and mental health – how modern gadgets might help31 August 2023Mental health problems can have a wide range of causes, such as issues in childhood, a long term health condition, or bereavement among many others. Lifestyle factors, such as diet, work, alcohol use can all play an important part, and unravelling the potential interactions of the manifold causative influences can be hugely challenging.
UNSEEN heatwave mortality10 August 2023In the UK in summer of 2022, there were around 3,000 deaths beyond the average in the 65+ age group. Assessing possible heatwave events and the resulting mortality in our current climate conditions is critical to preparing our population and the National Health Service (NHS) for health-impacting heat events.
Hydro-epidemiological modelling to understand Leptospira transmission risk and interventions9 August 2023Leptospirosis is caused by an infection from rat urine and is commonly associated with flooding. With flooding events becoming more common due to climate change, the occurrence of leptospirosis is expected to increase. This research will improve our understanding of how the bacteria causing this disease (Leptospira) moves through the environment, to inform interventions to reduce transmission risks.
Towards an understanding the genetic basis of depression in Alzheimer’s Disease25 July 2023Depression is much more common in individuals with dementia than in other people of the same age. Antidepressant treatments often don’t work, and as a result there are large numbers of people who need treatment who don’t receive it. However, because of the nature of dementia, understanding the differences in people who also have depression is a challenge.
Dr Sophia Hamilton – a better doctor27 June 2023Dr Sophia Hamilton (previously Muschik) is an anaesthetist at the Royal United Hospital in Bath. She has recently completed a Clinical Primer Scheme from the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute, looking at the feasibility – and acceptability - of data collection from conversations between patients, their clinicians and their families, about decisions regarding high-risk emergency interventions. We sat down with her to chat, and to find out why she thinks that such vital health research makes her a better doctor.
Raising menopause awareness21 June 2023The menopause is the time in a woman’s life when menstrual periods stop, and she is no longer able to bear children. It typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. Despite the menopause being a natural stage of life with treatable symptoms, rather than a disease or a disorder, it is considered a somewhat taboo subject. Research is helping to improve people's understanding of menopause and open up conversations.
Post pandemic props – supporting early career researchers7 June 2023When conducting randomised controlled trials, researchers need to be impartial to be ethical. When relaying information about treatments, they must prevent themselves from communicating any bias to the patient, whether consciously or unconsciously. This balanced informing is known as equipoise. Doctor Lucy Beasant is a Senior Research Associate at the University of Bristol. In her doctoral research, she explored the way in which treatment preference and equipoise can impact recruitment of patients to paediatric Randomised Control Trials.