Well, here we are and Christmas is over once more and now we are heading towards the end of 2015.
I am looking forward to Jan 2016 so I can embark on my final weight loss challenge.
I am starting a re-boot on the 4th Jan so watch this space.
Happy New Year when it comes...
31 January 2015: After research in the United States linked some
over-the-counter (OTC) medicines to dementia, the Daily Mail asked “if
other over-the-counter medicines are as safe as we presume?”. Royal
Pharmaceutical Society president Ash Soni was interviewed by the
newspaper. The Daily Mail looked at examples of OTC medicines, including eczema
creams such as Hc45 hydrocortisone. Ash said: “The main side effect is
skin-thinning if used for more than four weeks. Thinner skin is more
prone to ageing and your eczema is also more likely to flare up. So
hydrocortisone creams shouldn’t be used on the face unless prescribed by
a doctor. In fact, you should always have eczema properly diagnosed
before buying these products as hydrocortisone can make other skin
conditions — such as acne, rosacea and impetigo — worse.”
For me, sausages need to be grain free - yet most sausages
contain rusk (breadcrumbs). However, many supermarkets now sell gluten free
sausages - although you often have to look on the label to check for oats or
rice as most people believe these to be gluten free which is incorrect as all
grains contain glutens of one sort or another. My favourite sausages are the
Duchy chipolatas at Waitrose with the 'rosemary and honey' flavouring. These
are entirely grain free (though do have some potato starch in), organic,
quicker cooking than fat sausages, and taste great, especially when cooked
HUNDREDS of people in Scotland are to play a major role in a
groundbreaking international project which aims to stop the onset of
Experts at Edinburgh University are leading a 64 million Euro study
which it is hoped will transform the way the NHS treats Alzheimer's
The research will investigate evidence that the disease starts in the
brain decades before symptoms such as confusion and memory loss appear.
It will also treat those who appear to be at risk of dementia with
drugs to help identify therapies which work to prevent these problems.
Professor Craig Ritchie, an expert in the psychiatry of ageing at
Edinburgh University, said there is emerging evidence that people who
suffer from dementia have had signs of disease in their brain for 30 or
He compared the illness to a heart attack which results from
cholesterol deposits - known as plaques - slowly building in the blood
Professor Ritchie said: "You do not just have a heart attack, you have 30 to 40 years of build up of plaque in your arteries.
"There is exactly the same paradigm with Alzheimer's - so brain
health in mature life is one of the things we are interested in
understanding in more detail."
Alzheimer's patients have been found to have abnormal amounts of
protein - known as amyloid plaques - and fibres - known as tau tangles
-along with a chemical called acetylcholine in the brain.
Those who volunteer for the new study, which is aiming to recruit
6000 people over the age of 60 across Europe, will have images taken of
their brain. They will also need to give blood samples for very detailed
testing and undertake cognitive tests which assess skills such as their
memory, planning, judgement and language use.
Everyone will be tracked for at least five years and those thought to
be at highest risk of developing dementia will be put into drug trials.
Professor Ritchie said: "If some of the drugs are not proving to be
effective people will be taken off them and put on those which are seen
to be effective."
It is hoped giving treatment before dementia sets in, will produce
better results. Professor Ritchie said: "By the time you get dementia
you are at end stage brain failure. There is so much going on in the
brain... that giving a silver bullet will have very little impact. It is
like asking someone to stop smoking when they have had four heart
attacks. It is not going to make a great deal of difference."
The study, called Epad, has been launched in Paris this week and will
ultimately be boosted by similar research programmes in Canada, the
United States and Australia.
With a number of experts in the field coming together to work in
Scotland, Professor Ritchie said: "Scotland is becoming a leading force
in dementia prevention. In the next 10 to 15 years we are going to be
recognised as the vanguard or forefront of this global effort."
Those recruited to the study in Scotland are expected to come from
existing research programmes including Generation Scotland and the UK
Biobank which have collected samples and health information from
hundreds of thousands of people to aid medical research.
Henry Simmons, chief executive of Alzheimer Scotland, said: "We are
delighted to see Scotland taking a lead on this Europe-wide approach to
Alzheimer's disease research. We also welcome the recent appointment of
Professor Craig Ritchie to the Chair of Old Age Psychiatry in Edinburgh
as a significant progression in the capacity for Scotland to deliver
world-leading research in dementia."