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Latest Human Wellbeing News

PROUD study shows Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis is highly protective against HIV infection

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PROUD study logo

Researchers from the Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit (MRC CTU) at UCL and Public Health England have presented results at a conference in Seattle, Washington, indicating that pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is highly protective against HIV for gay and other men who have sex with men in England.

Diabetes and depression predict dementia risk in people with slowing minds

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Old woman waiting at bus stop

People with mild cognitive impairment are at higher risk of developing dementia if they have diabetes or psychiatric symptoms such as depression, finds a new review led by UCL researchers.

UCL awarded £10m to develop new dementia treatments

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Examining embryos under the microscope

Alzheimer’s Research UK today announced a £30m Drug Discovery Alliance, launching three flagship Drug Discovery Institutes at UCL, the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford. The Drug Discovery Institutes will see 90 new research scientists employed in state-of-the-art facilities to fast-track the development of new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Cancer fear can impact screening uptake

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Colorectal cancer tumour

People who worry about cancer are more likely to want to get screened for colon cancer, but feeling uncomfortable at the thought of cancer makes them less likely to actually go for the test, finds new UCL-led research.

Having a romantic partner present can make pain feel worse

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Image of a similar experiment where the hand was stimulated by 'pinprick' laser pain pulses

The support of a romantic partner is often advised for painful medical procedures, but new research from UCL, King’s College London and the University of Hertfordshire finds that this can actually make the pain feel worse.

Bloomsbury Research Institute awarded £7.5 million

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A technician inspects cells under the microscope

UCL and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have been awarded a grant of £7.5 million from the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s (HEFCE) Catalyst Fund to develop the Bloomsbury Research Institute, a partnership dedicated to addressing the global challenge of infectious disease.

UCL rated top UK university by research strength in the REF2014

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UCL number 1 REF

UCL is the top-rated university in the UK for research strength in the new Research Excellence Framework 2014 published today, by a measure of average research score multiplied by staff numbers submitted. 

Feeling younger than actual age meant lower death rate for older people

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Older person

A UCL study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that older people who felt three or more years younger than their chronological age had a lower death rate compared with those who felt their age or who felt more than one year older than their actual age.

Poor diet links obese mothers and stunted children

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Education fair in Egypt

Malnutrition is a major cause of stunted growth in children, but new UCL research on mothers and children in Egypt suggests that the problem is not just about quantity of food but also quality.

Half of English women are taking prescribed medicines

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Statins

Results published today in the latest Health Survey for England show that 50% of women and 43% of men reported taking at least one prescribed medicine in the past week. 22% of men and 24% of women reported taking at least three prescribed medicines in the past week. These figures exclude smoking cessation products and contraception.

£14M to develop HIV self-testing in southern Africa

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Clinic

A partnership involving UCL has been awarded £14M to accelerate access to simple self-tests in African countries. Self-testing for HIV using rapid diagnostic kits is becoming increasingly widely used, allowing high-risk people to test their own HIV status in private.

Family history screening misses people at high risk of cancer

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Eve Appeal

UCL research into the BRCA gene mutation in the Jewish population show that only assessing family history misses half of the people with the mutation.

Secret of tetanus toxicity offers new way to treat motor neuron disease

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Image showing how tetanus neurotoxin (red) binds to areas rich in nidogen-2 (green)

The way that tetanus neurotoxin enters nerve cells has been discovered by UCL scientists, who showed that this process can be blocked, offering a potential therapeutic intervention for tetanus. This newly-discovered pathway could be exploited to deliver therapies to the nervous system, opening up a whole new way to treat neurological disorders such as motor neuron disease and peripheral neuropathies.

Improving the lives of dementia carers

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Dementia patient

A psychological intervention that provides stress relief and emotional support for people caring for relatives with dementia can reduce depression and anxiety and improve wellbeing at no extra cost to standard care, finds new UCL research published in Lancet Psychiatry.

One in ten British men say they have paid for sex

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Red light district

11% of men in Britain report ever paying for sex and 3.6% report paying for sex in the past five years, finds a UCL-led study funded by the Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council.

Most people would rather harm themselves than others for profit

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Example choice presented to participants

A UCL-led experiment on 80 pairs of adults found that people were willing to sacrifice on average twice as much money to spare a stranger pain than to spare themselves, despite the decision being secret.

Drug tests on mothers’ hair links recreational drug use to birth defects

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Hair sampling diagram

Drug tests on 517 mothers in English inner city hospitals found that nearly 15% had taken recreational drugs during pregnancy and that mothers of babies with birth defects of the brain were significantly more likely to have taken drugs than mothers with normal babies. The study found no significant links between recreational drug use and any other type of birth defect.

UCL-Lancet Commission argues that “health is as much about caring as it is about curing”

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As part of the Ebola sensitization, UNICEF asked community members to repeat what they have learned about Ebola

The systematic neglect of culture is the single biggest barrier to advancing the highest attainable standard of health worldwide, say the authors of a major new report on culture and health, led by Professor David Napier, a leading medical anthropologist from UCL and published in The Lancet.

Scientists identify potential cause for 40% of pre-term births

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Ultrasound scan of foetus

Scientists from UCL and Queen Mary University of London have identified what they believe could be a cause of pre-term premature rupture of the fetal membrane (PPROM) which accounts for 40 per cent of pre-term births, the main reason for infant death world-wide.

UCL awarded £13.5 million to advance medical research facilities

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UCL Quad

As part of the Clinical Research Infrastructure Initiative, UCL has been awarded £13.5 million for a number of projects to help advance clinical research.

Interactive website helps lower-income smokers to stop smoking

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No smoking

People with lower incomes attempting to quit smoking are 36% more likely to succeed if they use a new interactive website called ‘StopAdvisor’ than if they use a static information website, finds a randomised controlled trial led by UCL researchers.

Modest effect of statins on diabetes risk and bodyweight related to mechanism of action

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Statins

The mechanism by which statins increase the risk of type 2 diabetes has been investigated in a large-scale analysis from an international team led by researchers from UCL and the University of Glasgow, using information from genetic studies and clinical trials.

Gene variant that dramatically reduces ‘bad’ lipids

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DNA helix

Research using data collected from around 4,000 healthy people in the UK has enabled scientists from UCL, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the University of Bristol  to identify a rare genetic variant that dramatically reduces levels of certain types of lipids in the blood.

Dental and nutrition experts call for radical rethink on free sugars intake

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A spoonful of sugar

Sugars in the diet should make up no more than 3% of total energy intake to reduce the significant financial and social burdens of tooth decay, finds new research from UCL and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

‘Fat shaming’ doesn’t encourage weight loss

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Man on scales

Discrimination against overweight and obese people does not help them to lose weight, finds new UCL research funded by Cancer Research UK.

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