Statins for people at low risk

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Statins are the UK’s most commonly prescribed drugs and are among the most widely prescribed drugs globally. Though their use in people at high risk of stroke and heart disease is uncontroversial, recent recommendations to treat much larger numbers of people at low risk have caused a storm of controversy. Most hotly debated are the nature and frequency of side effects of statins and whether arguably small gains in life expectancy are worth the risk.

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Healthcare scientists revolutionise stroke rehabilitation

Healthcare scientists and clinicians at the Royal Berkshire Hospital are using gaming technology to revolutionise the rehabilitation of stroke patients in Reading. A new NHS Confederation presentation exploring how commissioners can support innovation, published on Friday, explains how.

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Working with Microsoft Kinect, the developers of the Xbox games console, healthcare scientists at the Royal Berkshire are writing programmes to address stoke patients specific needs and are seeing significant improvement in patients’ clinical outcomes.

Using the latest developments in medical physics, the initiative has also reported increased uptake and enthusiasm from patients and their families, reduced levels of depression and enabled patients to continue their rehabilitation at home without the need of NHS staff.

HRT increases risk of blood clots and stroke, finds new analysis

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Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) offers women no protection against having or dying from a myocardial infarction while increasing the risk of blood clots and stroke, a new analysis published by the Cochrane Collaboration has shown.

But, complicating the message, a subgroup analysis of women who were given HRT below the age of 60 or within 10 years of the menopause did show a reduction in the risk of myocardial infarction and death from any cause while also showing an increased risk of blood clots and possibly stroke

News from Health Technology Assessments

NHS patients will benefit from £20 million investment into surgical research

Patients will benefit from £20 million funding into research on new cutting-edge surgical techniques, the President of the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) has said. Ten of these projects have been funded by the NIHR HTA Programme. These include a project looking at total ankle replacement versus ankle arthrodesis and bypass versus angioplasty in severe ischaemia of the leg. [more…]

Intraoperative Radiation for Breast Cancer Study in The Lancet

The five year results of an NIHR HTA-funded study, on targeted intraoperative radiotherapy (TARGIT) for patients with breast cancer, have been published in The Lancet. [more…]

NIHR launches “Focus on Stroke” as ground-breaking stroke trial opens in the UK

EuroHYP-1, the largest worldwide clinical trial of a new revolutionary stroke treatment called Therapeutic Hypothermia, is due to open in the UK. The study is just one of those featured on “Focus on Stroke”, a new online resource from the NIHR aimed at raising public awareness of the exciting developments happening in stroke research. [more…]

BMJ Learning: Stroke – differential diagnosis

Take a look at this module available online from BMJ

Scenario:
You review a 53 year old woman because earlier in the day she had an episode where she experienced zigzag lines at the periphery of her vision. Her husband witnessed the event and reports that, at the time, she was “talking nonsense”. This lasted several minutes, and then she noticed pins and needles in her left arm. What is the most likely diagnosis? And what would you do? Not sure? — then complete the module below.

Stroke: differential diagnoses