Weekly health roundup February 27

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International health news

A new experimental treatment can ‘freeze’ the effects of multiple sclerosis. A study by Imperial College London found that 46% of subjects benefited from the treatment, which kills off cells in the bone marrow and replaces them with stem cells, ‘rebooting’ the immune system. The treatment is risky, but can significantly improve the lives of people affected by the incurable illness.

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that an experimental malaria vaccine can protect against various strains of the disease. The development is particularly significant as different strains are often present at once.

Research shows that diabetes could be reversed with a new treatment that regenerates insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. The results were demonstrated in mice and scientists are now calling for funding for human trials.

Country updates

At a global migrant health conference in Sri Lanka last week, countries highlighted the importance of international cooperation to tackle the health needs of migrants. The Colombo Statement, named after the country’s capital, stressed the need for equal access to health services, and the availability of the highest standard of care.

A study found that rates of teen suicide attempts fell in US states following the legalization of same-sex marriage. Researchers analyzed data from 1999 to 2015 and found a 14% decrease in sexual minority students. Lead author of the study Julia Raifman said that laws that benefit gay adults leave teens more hopeful for the future.

Norway has pledged an increase in $10 million in international health funding to counter the effects of Donald Trump’s global gag rule. The country follows the Netherlands, who created the fundraising initiative ‘She Decides’, which has attracted support from many countries.

Health advice

Many common behaviours can be changed to improve heart health. Exercising regularly, watching your diet, quitting smoking and avoiding stress are some of the main things research shows to be effective.

Excessive consumption of sugar can lead to Alzheimer’s disease. A University of Bath study says high glucose weakens the enzyme MIF, which plays a great role in contrasting Alzheimer’s in the early stages.

About Laura Gagliardi

Laura is a recent graduate from Italy who currently lives in Madrid, after four years spent studying in the United Kingdom. She loves to travel and spends her free time reading and writing.