Inside Health

BBC Radio 4


Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, separating fact from fiction and bringing clarity to conflicting health advice, with the help of regular contributor GP Margaret McCartney


Braintraining and dementia; Cluster headaches; Cancer rehab; #hellomynameis

July 26th, 2016

Episode 316 of 345 episodes

Every three minutes somebody in the UK develops dementia, so when it's claimed that tailored computer brain training can reduce cases of dementia and cognitive decline by a third over a decade, people sit up and take notice. The research claiming the 33% reduction for the group of people whose "processing function" was targeted for brain training, hasn't yet been published - so isn't peer-reviewed - but the preliminary data by a US team was presented to the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Toronto this week. Dr Doug Brown, Director of R&D at the UK's Alzheimer's Society speaks from the Canadian conference to Dr Mark Porter and says there's widespread excitement about the potential of brain training to protect against dementia. Dr Margaret McCartney urges caution, warning it's too early to make claims before the full data is available. James is a young man with a high pressure sales job, but every year in the summer months he is crippled by agonising headaches. He's one of the 100,000 people in the UK who suffers from cluster headaches, so called because they come in disabling bouts, lasting for 4-6 weeks at a time. Inside Health visits a new one-stop multidisciplinary rapid-access headache clinic at St Thomas's Hospital in London, where James is getting treatment. Dr Giorgio Lambru, who heads the new service, tells Mark why it's so vital that patients with cluster headaches have to be seen, diagnosed and treated quickly. Years after cardiac rehabilitation became a standard part of therapy for heart attacks, the same post-treatment care still isn't routinely available for people who've had cancer, despite decade-old guidance from NICE suggesting that it should be. The UK's first clinical trial to measure holistic cancer care is hoping to provide the evidence that will demonstrate the type of support and rehabilitation that really works. Professor of Nursing Annie Young from Warwick Medical School and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust tells Mark that after treatment, patients can feel abandoned and vulnerable. #hellomynameis is a hugely successful social media campaign which highlights the importance of healthcare staff introducing themselves to patients. It was launched by Dr Kate Granger after her experience of being in hospital. Kate died at the weekend from cancer, aged just 34. Dr Margaret McCartney describes the enormous impact of Kate's campaign throughout the NHS.

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