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Common dementia drug found to improve Parkinson’s symptoms

Credit: John Stillwell/PA

Scientists in Bristol have discovered that a commonly prescribed dementia drug could hold the key to helping prevent debilitating falls for people with Parkinson’s disease.

The research, shows people with Parkinson’s who were given the oral drug rivastigmine were 45% less likely to fall and were considerably steadier when walking, compared to those on the placebo.

127,000
people with Parkinson’s in the UK
70%
of people with Parkinson’s will fall at least once a year

Dr Emily Henderson, the principal researcher on the study says the discovery takes us a step closer to improving the quality of life and finding better treatments for people with Parkinson’s.

We already know rivastigmine works to treat dementia by preventing the breakdown of acetylcholine. However, our study shows for the first time that it can also improve regularity of walking, speed, and balance. This is a real breakthrough in reducing the risk of falls for people with Parkinson’s.

– Dr Emily Henderson

The figures: 400+ operations & appointments cancelled after walk out

Thousands of junior doctors have walked out across the West over disputes over new contracts. Credit: PA

More than 400 non emergency operations and appointments have been cancelled today after a walk out by the West's junior doctors.

Here are the figures ITV News have compiled of all the operations and appointments affected across the region.

WESTON

29
elective operations cancelled
130
outpatient appointments cancelled

MUSGROVE PARK

9
inpatient operations postponed
51
outpatient appointments postponed

ROYAL UNITED HOSPITAL

4
operations postponed
165
outpatient appointments postponed

SOUTHMEAD

32
non-urgent procedures rescheduled

UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS BRISTOL

14
inpatient postponed
20
daycase procedures postponed

YEOVIL

4
operations postponed
21
appointments postponed

The Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust and Great Western Hospitals Trust did not provide the figures for the number of operations and appointments disrupted by the junior doctors industrial action today (12 January).

Junior doctors say they're striking against the imposed changes in pay for unsocial hours, claiming it devalues the work doctors do on evenings and weekends.

The next planned strike action will be on 26 January, when again only A&E will be covered.

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'The right thing to do is not to strike' says Jeremy Hunt

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is calling for junior doctors to end their strike action today (12 January).

The latest figs from NHS England say that nearly 40% of junior doctors across the country did report for work despite many others choosing to strike.

1279 inpatient and 2175 outpatient 'elective procedures' have been cancelled as a result of the industrial action.

Jeremy Hunt says striking isn't the right thing to do.

Striking a chord on the junior doctors strike

A picket line in Bristol took a slightly unusual twist this morning as junior doctors sang for onlookers.

Singing to the tune of Jessie J's Price Tag, the group cleverly changed the lyrics to support their cause, as they went on strike outside St Michael's Hospital.

You can listen below:

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34 procedures postponed at University Hospitals Bristol

University Hospitals Bristol has confirmed they postponed 34 procedures as a result of the strike action by junior doctors.

However hospital chiefs say they their "plan is working" and they're "running all services as intended":

“As a result of our planning, we postponed 14 inpatient and 20 day case procedures. On a normal day in the middle of the week we would expect to do approximately 60 inpatient and 230 day cases.

A number of our junior doctors have exercised their right to take industrial action. However, because of our joint planning and the support from senior doctors we have been able to ensure that we have good medical cover across all our hospitals.”

– Deborah Lee, Chief Operating Officer
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