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Thu, 09 Apr 2020
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Concerns grow about war veterans' misdiagnoses. Brain injuries can defy easy detection

As the medical community learns more about the brain impairments afflicting troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, concern is growing back home that these battle-weary soldiers may be facing yet another obstacle: misdiagnosis.

Traumatic brain injury has become a high-profile condition, thrust into the national spotlight now that thousands of troops who have left the war zone continue to struggle with the consequences of combat. Better known as TBI, the ailment is a physical wound caused by the head-rattling shockwaves associated with bomb explosions that tear brain cells apart.

But TBI shares many of the same symptoms with a common battlefield psychological condition known as post-traumatic stress disorder. Both are often marked by depression, mood swings, irritability, problems concentrating, and memory dysfunction. The similarities can cause healthcare professionals to overlook mild traumatic brain injuries, especially when a patient lacks visible wounds, according to doctors and veterans advocates familiar with the issue.

Light Saber

Cannabis compound reduces skin allergies in mice

Cannabis can reduce allergic skin reactions, a new study suggests. The findings may lead to new drugs based on tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in the plant, to treat allergy and autoimmune disorders.

Andreas Zimmer at the University of Bonn in Germany, and colleagues created a group of mice that lack the receptor for endocannabinoids - forms of THC produced naturally in the body. The team noticed that the mice soon developed a severe skin allergy to the nickel in the metal tags the researchers had fastened to their ears.

Zimmer set up a series of experiments to test the anti-allergy effect of natural and synthetic THC compounds.

Health

NHS swamped by an epidemic of allergies

The NHS is failing to keep up with the growing number of allergy sufferers, with new figures today showing that only a handful of specialist doctors across the country are running clinics for them.

One in three people in Britain can expect to suffer from some form of allergy during their lifetime - including 2 million people in the UK thought to have some allergy to food - but there has been barely any increase in NHS services to cope with this. Experts will warn this week that demand for care is outstripping the NHS's ability to cope, and many patients go to private clinics or dietitians that may offer unconventional diets.

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California co. expands beef recall due to E. coli

Southern California meatpacker United Food Group LLC expanded a recall to include 5.7 million pounds of fresh and frozen beef that may be contaminated with the potentially deadly E. coli bacteria, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Saturday.

Fourteen people in six Western states have fallen ill after eating the beef but all have recovered, the department said.

Ambulance

Muscle cream caused NYC teen's death

A medical examiner blamed a 17-year-old track star's death on the use of too much muscle cream, the kind used to soothe aching legs after exercise.

Health

The sunshine superstar: study reveals Vitamin D as 'wonder vitamin'

Twenty minutes' lying in the sun this weekend could provide your best chance of avoiding colds and flu, according to new research which demonstrates that vitamin D, not vitamin C, provides the most efficient protection against cold viruses.

The exceptional spring weather, which is forecast to continue into next week with a high of 24C today, will offer the best opportunity so far this year to top up D-levels that have become depleted over the winter, scientists say.

Vitamin D is created by the action of sunlight on the skin and levels in all UK residents are at their lowest at this time of year, after the long winter. Short days and cloudy skies mean 60 per cent of the British population are deficient by the start of spring.

Health

Sweeping cancer edict: take vitamin D daily; supplement slashes risk of disease by as much as 60 per cent

The Canadian Cancer Society plans to announce Friday that all adults should start taking vitamin D, coinciding with the release of a groundbreaking U.S. study indicating the supplement cuts the risk of cancer by an astounding 60 per cent.

Question

UK:Pregnancy warning over faulty tests

Women who were given a negative pregnancy test result on the NHS this spring were last night urged to contact their doctor after a faulty batch of pregnancy testing kits was identified. Dozens of women could be months into a pregnancy without knowing it, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) warned.

Light Saber

Alarm over gender-bending chemical

An unusual mix of public health advocates, environmentalists and laundry workers joined yesterday in a petition demanding that federal authorities ban a chemical additive found in some household detergents and other cleaning agents.

The petition, which was submitted to the federal Environmental Protection Agency, also called for studies of human risks related to the dirt-lifting agents called nonylphenol ethoxylates, or NPEs.

Bomb

Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (Xdr-Tb): The Facts

What is XDR-TB?

TB can usually be treated with a course of four standard, or first-line, anti-TB drugs. If these are misused or mismanaged, multidrugresistant TB (MDR-TB) can develop. MDR-TB takes longer to treat with second-line drugs, which are more expensive and have more side-effects. If these drugs are also misused or mismanaged, extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) can develop. Because XDR-TB is resistant to first- and second-line drugs, treatment options are seriously limited and so are the chances of cure.