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'Revolution' in attitudes on organ donation needed

There needs to be a "revolution" in societal attitudes towards organ donation so more lives can be saved, the NHS Blood and Transplant (NHS BT) has said.

The proportion of families who agree to organ donation after the death of a family member remains "stubbornly low", NHS BT spokeswoman Sally Johnson said.

Doctor carries box with an organ for transplant.
Organ donations in the UK are at their highest level ever, the NHS BT has said. Credit: Soeren Stache/DPA/Press Association Images

Figures show that during 2013/14, more than four in 10 families approached about organ donation said no to donating a loved one's organs.

"Family refusal is our biggest problem and it's sad we lag so far behind some other countries in terms of consent/authorisation rates to donation," she added.

Organ donations in the UK 'at highest level ever'

More people are donating their organs in Britain than ever, according to health officials

The last financial year was a "record year" for organ donation and transplantation in the UK, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHS BT) has said.

File photo of an organ donor card.
In 2013/14 there were 4,655 transplants carried out - a 10% rise on the previous year. Credit: Clive Gee/PA Archive

In 2013/14 there were 4,655 transplants carried out - a 10% rise on the previous year, a spokeswoman said.

New figures, published by the authority to mark National Transplant Week, show that almost one in four of the transplants were organs from "living donors".

The remainder of organ donations came after a death.

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What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder, known in the past as manic depression, is a condition that affects people's moods, which can swing from one extreme to another.

People with bipolar disorder have periods of:

  • Depression - where they feel very low and lethargic
  • Mania - where they feel very high and overactive
  • Les severe mania is known as hypomania

The exact causes of bipolar disorder are unknown and it is relatively common - around one person in 100 is diagnosed with the condition.

Source: NHS Choices

Buzz associated with bipolar 'a double-edged sword'

Scientists investigating bipolar disorder invited participants to make safe or risky gambles as they spun the wheel in a game of roulette.

Brain activity was measured using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan that monitors blood flow in the brain.

Professor Wael el-Deredy, from the University of Manchester, said in the journal Brain:

The greater buzz that people with bipolar disorder get from reward is a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, it helps people strive towards their goals and ambitions ...

However, it comes at a cost; these same people may be swayed more by immediate rewards when making decisions and less by the long-term consequences of these actions.

Read: People with bipolar disorder 'are wired for risk'

Smallpox vials from 1950s discovered at US lab

Stray vials of the deadly smallpox virus from the 1950s have been discovered at a federal laboratory near Washington - the second time in a month a deadly pathogen has been found at a US government facility.

Workers discovered the six glass vials in a cardboard box on 1st July while clearing out an old lab on the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Maryland, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

The smallpox vials were found at a lab in the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Maryland.
The smallpox vials were found at a lab in the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Maryland. Credit: RTV

They contained freeze-dried smallpox virus and were sealed with melted glass. The vials appeared intact and there is no evidence that lab workers or the general public are at risk, spokesman Tom Skinner said.

Skinner said the CDC is working with the FBI to determine how and when the samples were prepared, and also how they came to be stored and forgotten in the lab.

People with bipolar disorder 'are wired for risk'

A roulette game played while undergoing a brain scan has shown that people with bipolar disorder are "wired for risk," scientists have claimed.

People with bipolar disorder appear to be dominated by the brain's "pleasure centre" that drives us to seek out and pursue rewards, a study suggests.

A roulette wheel.
Thestudy was conducted by scientists at the University of Manchester. Credit: John Walton/EMPICS Sport

The brain area, called the nucleus accumbens, was more strongly activated in people with bipolar disorder than other volunteers.

Bipolar disorder, previously known as "manic depression", is marked by unpredictable and extreme mood swings.

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Dengue fever cases 'on the rise' in England

The number of travellers returning to England with a nasty viral illness is on the rise, new figures show.

Between 2012 and 2013, officials saw a 58% increase in the number of holidaymakers suffering with Dengue fever on their return home.

The number of travellers returning to England with a nasty viral illness is on the rise, new figures show.

Last year there were 541 cases reported in people returning from dengue-affected countries - compared to 343 in 2012, Public Health England said.

Dengue is a viral infection spread by mosquitoes and symptoms include a severe flu-like illness, fever, headache, muscle ache, rash, nausea and vomiting.

A spokesman said that most cases were reported in travellers to India and Thailand.

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