This section of the website is for UK healthcare professionals only. If you are not a healthcare professional, please click here.
This section of the website is for UK healthcare professionals only. If you are not a healthcare professional, please click here.
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: May 2020

PharmaTimes

Researchers have created a mobile phone application, dubbed “QUiPP v2”, that allows doctors to quickly calculate a woman's individual risk of preterm birth and identify women who need special treatments.

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: May 2020

Nicola Davis from The Guardian

Hopes of developing a new treatment for ulcerative colitis have been raised by research suggesting the condition may be linked to low levels of certain bacteria in the gut.

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: April 2020

Nicola Davis from The Guardian

An electronic device that “sniffs” breath may offer a new way to identify people with a condition that can lead to cancer of the oesophagus, researchers have revealed.

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: April 2020

Ian Sample Science editor from The Guardian

A powerful antibiotic that kills some of the most dangerous drug-resistant bacteria in the world has been discovered using artificial intelligence.

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: April 2020

Pa Media from The Guardian

A record number of people are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, increasing their chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke, the NHS has said. A “growing obesity crisis” has led to nearly 2 million people in England being exposed to the condition that causes the level of sugar in the blood to become too high.

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: April 2020

Hannah Devlin from The Guardian

Early signs of cancer can appear years or even decades before diagnosis, according to the most comprehensive investigation to date of the genetic mutations that cause healthy cells to turn malignant.

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: April 2020

Nicola Davis from The Guardian

Human livers from organ donors can now be preserved for a week, researchers have revealed, a dramatic improvement on previous techniques, which could only keep the organs usable for a matter of hours.

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: March 2020

Tony Aern Shaw from Huddersfield Daily Examiner

Advances in artificial intelligence could be the key to identifying people at risk of suicide.

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: March 2020

Agence France-Presse from The Guardian

Smokers can turn back time in their lungs by kicking the habit, with healthy cells emerging to replace some of their tobacco-damaged and cancer-prone ones, a study shows.

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: March 2020

Denis Campbell Health policy editor from The Guardian

People with glaucoma are going blind because NHS eyesight services have “inadequate capacity” to follow up such patients properly after diagnosis, an investigation has revealed.

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: March 2020

Executive Appointments Worldwide

More than 100,000 patients have had appointments with expert pharmacists in the last 10 weeks, relieving pressure on GPs and A&E departments.

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: February 2020

Lauren Donnelly Health Editor from The Telegraph

Cancer helplines are facing a surge in calls from patients because overstretched NHS doctors and nurses do not have time to care for them, a charity has warned.

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: February 2020

Pa Media from The Guardian

Healthy habits such as drinking in moderation, staying slim and exercising for at least 30 minutes a day could extend people’s disease-free life by up to a decade, research suggests.

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: January 2020

Jemma Crew, Pa Health, 6 November 2019

Mental health patients sent away from home for treatment have travelled the equivalent of 22 times around the world in a year.

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: January 2020

Liz Connor, Carmarthen Journal, 20 November 2019

Get into the habit of trying something new each week. It’s a scenario that many of us are familiar with.

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: January 2020

Jamie Harris, Press Association, 11 November 2019

A “smart needle” has been developed by scientists in the UK which could speed up cancer detection and diagnosis times.

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: December 2019

Rebecca Ratcliffe, The Guardian, 15 November 2019

Researchers have discovered a way to stop rabies from shutting down critical responses in the immune system.

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: November 2019

AFP Relax News, 4 November 2019

An at-home, non-invasive screening for cervical pre-cancer could increase compliance with recommended follow-up tests...

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: November 2019

Nina Massey, Press Association, 5 November 2019

A new wearable bike helmet-style brain scanner system could make scans easier and more reliable in children, researchers say.

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: November 2019

Denis Campbell, The Guardian, 15 October 2019

People could be offered cancer screenings in their lunch breaks in a bid to reverse the alarming fall in those attending appointments, under plans being considered by NHS bosses.

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: November 2019

M2 PressWIRE, 21 October 2019

All NHS doctors and dentists in England now have access to a comprehensive mental health service, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced today.

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: October 2019

PR Script Managers, Weston, Worle & Somerset Mercurcy, 3 October 2019

GPs across Weston are being encouraged to reduce their reliance on medications and consider prescribing lifestyle changes.

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: October 2019

AFP Relax News, 25 July 2019

According to a British study, women likely to develop diabetes during their pregnancy can reduce the risk by adopting a diet rich in nuts, fruit and olive oil…

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: August 2019

HIT Consultant, 19 June 2019

A lot of discussion about healthcare AI is vague and visionary in nature. Most of us know that these technologies have a very promising future, but until recently it hasn't been clear just when practical applications will emerge.

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: September 2019

Jemma Crew, Pa Health, 15 August 2019

A new NHS initiative will aim to ensure faster diagnosis for people with brain and nerve conditions...

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: September 2019

Harron Siddique, The Guardian, 11 August 2019

Thousands of people in England at risk of contracting type 2 diabetes will receive wearable tech to help monitor their exercise level, the NHS has said.

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: August 2019

Healthline, 3 July 2019

People under 35 years old are ignoring warnings about sun exposure and skin cancer because they believe tanning makes people more attractive.

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: August 2019

PharmaTimes, 6 June 2019

NHS England has announced that nearly three quarters of a million patients are set to benefit from new world-leading innovations on the...

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: December 2019

Simon Neville, Press Association, 7 July 2019

More than a dozen NHS Trusts are taking the Government to court to argue that they should have an 80% reduction in business rates – the same discount given to private hospitals and fee-paying...

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: August 2019

M2 PressWIRE, 1 July 2019

Screening programmes will be overhauled and diagnosis made faster and more accurate with...

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: August 2019

Letters, The Guardian, 16 July 2019

The NHS Confederation report Chairs and Non-Executive Directors in the NHS did not give a fair picture of what is actually going on in the health service today...

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: August 2019

CEO, Innovaccer Inc & Abhinav Shashank, HIT Consultant, 19 June 2019

The world of healthcare is changing and with it our approach to understanding the concept of patients and doctors, ways of delivering care and building a better relationship between those...

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: December 2019

Manas Mishra, Reuters, 28 June 2019

Family background can matter for the health of diabetic children, according to researchers in...

Read more
Image div
Rating

Published on MSD Connect: August 2019

Fulcoe, Cleveland Clinic, 13 July 2019

If your patients have diabetes, you know how easy it is for them to injure their feet — without even realising...

Read more
 

Ulcerative colitis bacteria findings raise hopes for new treatment

Nicola Davis from The Guardian

Published on MSD Connect: May 2020

Hopes of developing a new treatment for ulcerative colitis have been raised by research suggesting the condition may be linked to low levels of certain bacteria in the gut. Ulcerative colitis is a long-term condition in which the colon becomes inflamed. According to the NHS, it is thought to be an autoimmune disease and affects one in every 420 people in the UK. Sufferers need to empty their bowels frequently, develop ulcers in their colon and have recurring bouts of diarrhea with blood and pus in the faces.

Close up of 3B microscopic blue bacteria.

While a number of medicines can help manage the condition, ulcerative colitis can only be cured by removing the colon. However, about half of those who have this surgery go on to have inflammation in the area of the small intestine that is reconstructed into a pouch to serve as a rectum. Such inflammation is treated with antibiotics.

Now researchers say patients who have had this surgery for ulcerative colitis have lower levels of certain acids in their faeces, and fewer of the bacteria that produce them, than those who have had the surgery for other reasons. The team say the results shed light on why the latter have a far lower risk of inflammation in their pouch. They say it also offers insights into ulcerative colitis itself, with experiments in mice suggesting inflammatory bowel diseases could be treated by introducing these “missing” acids into the colon.

Dr Aida Habtezion, a co-author of the study from Stanford University, told the Guardian the findings suggest a new approach to treating ulcerative colitis could be developed, based on introducing microbes or the substances they produce.

Many patients find current treatments do not work or have side-effects. “I think it brings another mechanism, a natural way, in which we can reconstitute and hopefully treat our patients,” Habtezion said.

Writing in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, the team report how they studied two groups of patients who had had their colons removed and pouches created. For one group, of 17 patients, this surgery was to treat ulcerative colitis whereas for the other group, of seven patients, it was because of a different condition that does not involve inflammation.

Certain bacteria in the gut are known to convert bile acids, produced by the liver, into other substances, called secondary bile acids – these substances have recently been suggested to have an anti-inflammatory role.

The team analysed faeces from patients in each group, finding that patients treated for ulcerative colitis had far lower levels of certain secondary bile acids than the other group. Their faeces contained far less evidence of bacterial genes necessary for the production of these substances. They also had less diverse bacteria in their faeces that the other group, and more specifically, far lower levels of ruminococcaceae. Such bacteria are among those able to convert bile acids to secondary bile acids.

Experiments in mice with three different conditions comparable to ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease – another disease where parts of the digestive system becomes inflamed – offered further insights. They found that introducing these secondary bile acids reduced markers of the disease, such as inflammation.

Habtezion said the findings chime with other research that has suggested patients with inflammatory bowel disease have lower levels of secondary bile acids. However, she said it was still unclear if the shift in bacteria and depletion of secondary bile acids were a cause or an effect of such conditions.

The team is carrying out a clinical study to explore whether introducing secondary bile acids may help to treat patients who have had surgery for ulcerative colitis but who develop inflammation in their pouches.

Dr Gwo-tzer Ho, a consultant gastroenterologist and expert on ulcerative colitis at the University of Edinburgh, welcomed the study and the ongoing clinical trial. He said that, if successful, the approach could be particularly helpful for those who also had a condition called primary sclerosing cholangitis – a disease of the bile ducts. But he said it was important to investigate further whether a dearth of similar bacteria, and the secondary bile acids they produce, was seen in the colons of those with ulcerative colitis who had not had surgery.

“This [study] provides further clues [about] the roles of bacteria and bile acids, potentially in the development of ulcerative colitis,” he said.

This article was originally published by The Guardian, 25 February 2020.

This article was written by Nicola Davis from The Guardian and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Minor grammatical and translational editorial changes may have been made to this article by MSD, which has no impact on the content of the article. This is to ensure all articles remain as relevant as possible to UK Healthcare Professionals.

GB-NON-02493 | Date of Preparation: March 2020