Dr Paul Goldsmith, Specialist Registrar in Neurology based at Cambridge University, has completed a three-year project funded by Action Medical Research studying the mechanisms behind the degeneration of the retina.
Premature babies are at risk of brain damage due to too little oxygen reaching the brain. One reason for this is that normal blood pressure cannot be maintained. Two patterns of brain damage are haemorrhage and the formation of cysts.
The team found that low blood pressure is often due to the baby’s heart working less well than it should. They found that when less blood goes to the brain, it adapts by absorbing more oxygen from the blood.
Giorgia has severe neurological impairments and has little speech or voluntary movement. She is unable to communicate her pain effectively. Her mum, Rebecca has to decide what the pain is and what pain relief to give her. It can be a huge pressure to know what to do, as Giorgia needs a variety of treatments.
Rebecca and Giorgia have taken part in an Action Medical Research project, supported by a lottery grant from the Community Fund, that is helping to devise guidelines for assessing children’s pain in those who have limited means of communication.
Osteoporosis is also known as brittle bones and is typically thought of as being a condition that only affects women. But a staggering one in 12 men also suffer with osteoporosis. The disease can occur in men as young as those in their twenties or thirties.
It is a condition that can affect any bone in the body. Our bones are continuously being broken down and then rebuilt by the body but, as we age, the rate at which they are broken down is greater than the speed at which we can replace them. So our skeletons become lighter and weaker.
Rheumatoid arthritis causes the joints in the body to become inflamed, swollen and hot. The inflammation occurs in the membrane that lines the joint, the tubes that tendons move in, and the sacs of fluid that allow the muscles and tendons to move over one another.
It is predominantly a condition that affects older people but can occur in much younger people — even those in their thirties. In the UK there are around 600,000 sufferers, with women three times more likely to get it than men.
Recent research has shown that PD and these related conditions are associated with inflammation of affected brain areas, which in turn may lead to tissue damage and acceleration of the disease.
Thanks to £136,000 from Action Medical Research, a team of researchers at Imperial College School of Medicine, London, has been the first to measure the extent of this inflammation using a brain-imaging technique called positron emission tomography (PET).