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Delirium could accelerate dementia-related mental decline

When hospitalised, people can become acutely confused and disorientated. This condition, known as delirium, affects a quarter of older patients and new research by UCL and University of Cambridge shows it may have long-lasting consequences, including accelerating the dementia process.

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Mapping movements of alien bird species

The global map of alien bird species has been produced for the first time by a UCL-led team of researchers. It shows that human activities are the main determinants of how many alien bird species live in an area but that alien species are most successful in areas already rich with native bird species.

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High-sugar diet programmes a short lifespan in flies

Flies with a history of eating a high sugar diet live shorter lives, even after their diet improves. This is because the unhealthy diet drives long-term reprogramming of gene expression, according to a UCL-led team of researchers.

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Light therapy effectively treats early prostate cancer

A new non-surgical treatment for low-risk prostate cancer can effectively kill cancer cells while preserving healthy tissue, reports a new UCL-led phase III clinical trial in 413 patients. The trial was funded by STEBA Biotech which holds the commercial license for the treatment.

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New £250m UK Dementia Research Institute to be led from UCL

UCL has been selected as the 'hub' of the new £250m UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI), to be led by Professor Bart De Strooper, current leader of the Laboratory for the Research of Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of Leuven and scientific director at VIB (Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie) in Belgium.

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Mother-child HIV transmission at all time low in UK and Ireland

The number of mothers passing the HIV virus to their babies has fallen to a new record low in the UK and Ireland thanks to the very high take-up of antenatal HIV screening and treatment which reduces virus levels in the pregnant women, according to research led by UCL.

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Women with dementia receive less medical attention

Women with dementia have fewer visits to the GP, receive less health monitoring and take more potentially harmful medication than men with dementia, new UCL research reveals.

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Pain sensors specialised for specific sensations

Many pain-sensing nerves in the body are thought to respond to all types of ‘painful events’, but new UCL research in mice reveals that in fact most are specialised to respond to specific types such as heat, cold or mechanical pain.

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Skipping breakfast and not enough sleep can make children overweight

Mothers smoking in pregnancy, children skipping breakfast and not having a regular bedtime or sufficient sleep all appear to be important factors in predicting whether a child will become overweight or obese, according to new research led by UCL.

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Blood vessels control brain growth

Blood vessels play a vital role in stem cell reproduction, enabling the brain to grow and develop in the womb, reveals new UCL research in mice.

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Older dogs better at learning new tricks

Older adolescents and adults can learn certain thinking skills including non-verbal reasoning more effectively than younger people, finds new UCL research.

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How lying takes our brains down a 'slippery slope’

Telling small lies desensitises our brains to the associated negative emotions and may encourage us to tell bigger lies in future, reveals new UCL research funded by Wellcome and the Center for Advanced Hindsight.

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Arousal exerts an unconscious influence on what we see

A new study from UCL researchers finds that subtle, unconscious increases in arousal – indicated by a faster heartbeat and dilated pupils – shape our confidence for visual experiences. 

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‘Middle England’ faces lowest psychosis risk

The risk of developing a psychotic disorder such as schizophrenia is highest for young people, men, ethnic minorities and people living in urban areas and poorer neighbourhoods, finds a new study by UCL and the University of Cambridge.

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