Archives for category: Health

People’s willingness to use a Zika vaccine when it’s available will be influenced by how they weigh the risks associated with the disease and the vaccine, but also by their misconceptions about other vaccines, a new study has found.

While a Zika vaccine is in development, the study by researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) of the University of Pennsylvania examined factors that will affect the eventual acceptance or rejection of such a vaccine.

The study, published in the Journal of Public Health, found that people’s erroneous beliefs about an association between the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism were a predictor of people’s lessened intention to get a Zika vaccine. The study also found that people’s perceptions of the severity of the Zika virus as well as their general belief in the power of science to solve problems increased their intention to get the vaccine.

“When a new disease arises, people who lack understanding of the new threat may extrapolate from their knowledge of other diseases,” said Yotam Ophir, a Ph.D. candidate at Penn’s Annenberg School for Communication who co-authored the study with APPC Director Kathleen Hall Jamieson. “We found that the misbelief about the MMR vaccine’s association with autism was more influential on the decision of whether to get vaccinated for Zika than even perceptions of Zika itself, which is worrisome, especially in light of the persistence of that misinformation.”


Source: False beliefs about MMR vaccine found to influence acceptance of Zika vaccine: Study finds spillover effect from misbeliefs about MMR vaccine and autism : Science Daily

Zika Virus


The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has breached freedom of information laws by refusing to explain how its new universal credit system of working-age benefits will affect disabled people.

Campaigners have been warning that the introduction of universal credit will see tens or even hundreds of thousands of disabled people with high support needs lose out on thousands of pounds a year because the new system will scrap the disability premiums that exist in the current system.

Both severe (£62.45 per week) and enhanced disability premiums (£15.90 per week) are currently added to some means-tested disability benefits to help with the costs of disability.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been insisting since 2012 that “transitional protection” would ensure that no-one moving onto universal credit would see their benefits cut in cash terms.

But campaigners have remained sceptical, while also pointing out that the transitional protections will not apply if there are any changes in the disabled person’s personal circumstances – for example if they move to a new home, or their relationship status changes – and will not apply to new claimants.

And last month, a terminally-ill man, TP, won permission for a judicial review of the financial impact of the introduction of universal credit on disabled people with high support needs, through the loss of the two premiums.

According to his lawyers, the removal of the premiums has seen TP lose £178 each month after he moved back to London to receive treatment and had to claim universal credit (UC) for the first time.


Source: DWP ignores freedom of information laws in bid to hide universal credit impact | DisabledGo News and Blog

Some time ago I was sitting in the Sunday school room of a local church, with posters made by kids depicting the teachings of Jesus curling at the corners on the walls. I was there to do my advice surgery in my role as a local councillor.

A man came in to ask for help getting his family moved to a bigger house. His daughter had two children who had been removed from her care but were allowed to live with her on condition that she live with her parents and they acted as guardians. I diligently took down the names and ages of the children to assess the size of house they needed.


Source: How many Telfords before we get serious about child grooming? | The Guardian – Jess Phillips

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The government has failed to set up a single committee involving experts from outside the two departments examining the future of working-age social care, nearly four months after the programme of work was announced.

On 16 November, Damian Green, at the time the work and pensions secretary, announced that the government would publish a new green paper on older people’s social care by the end of July.

He also announced a “parallel programme of work” on working-age adults with care needs, which would be aligned with the green paper and would be led by the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

But nearly four months later, and less than five months before the deadline Green set for the parallel green paper to be published, DHSC has told Disability News Service (DNS) that it has yet to set up a single committee or working group involving stakeholders from outside the two departments.

The admission came in a response to a DNS freedom of information request, which asked for the names of people from outside the departments who had joined any committees or working groups set up as part of the work stream.

DHSC said in its response to the request: “DHSC does not hold the information you requested, as no such committees or working groups have yet been established to support the programme of work on working age adults with care needs.


Source: ‘Extraordinary’ government response to question over social care progress | DisabledGo News and Blog

A new study shows that healthy people who take attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs experience a surge in the neurotransmitter glutamate in key parts of the brain. And that increase in glutamate is associated with subsequent changes in positive emotion.

The findings, published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, not only provide clues about how these drugs affect healthy brains, they also hint at a previously undiscovered link between glutamate and mood.

“This is the first time that an increase in brain glutamate in response to psychostimulant drugs has been demonstrated in humans,” said Tara White, an assistant professor in the Brown University School of Public Health and lead author of the new study. “That’s important since glutamate is the major neurotransmitter responsible for excitation in the brain, and affects learning and memory.”


Source: ADHD drugs increase brain glutamate, predict positive emotion in healthy people : Science Daily

Dear Friends,

But us Brits still chuck away 2.5 billion plastic-lined coffee cups every year — and hardly any get recycled!

We have a chance to stop this. The government is asking the public whether we’d support them charging a 25p ‘latte levy’ for takeaway coffee cups.


New research led by the State University of New York at Buffalo suggests that an anti-cancer drug may be able to reverse social impairments associated with autism.

In a paper now published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, the investigators report how low doses of romidepsin — a drug approved in the United States for the treatment of lymphoma — “restored gene expression and reversed social deficits” in a mouse model of autism.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which is a developmental condition, affects behavior, social interaction, and communication.

Statistics that were compiled in the U.S. suggest that 1 in 68 children have ASD and that it is around four to five times more common in boys than in girls.

Source: Autism: Anti-cancer drug may improve social behavior : Medical News Today

Where is the ‘Duty of Care’, pending Safeguarding issues and many other aspects, we now see the true values of this Tory Government and persons with disabilities are now no longer valued.

Same Difference

Life began at 40 for severely learning-disabled Colleen say her sisters, when she moved into her own home.

She is living happily in her Coventry house, 11 years after leaving unsuitable residential care, thanks to a carefully-crafted network of 24-hour care and a range of state benefits.

But due to the impending removal of the housing part of her support, known as Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI), that security has been mired in uncertainty and anxiety.

Colleen is one of 124,000 households in England who receive this particular benefit.

It helps them repay the interest on their mortgages and nearly half the recipients are pensioners.

However, within weeks the benefit will be axed and a loan offered instead.

Those who have not signed up to the new government scheme face losing their mortgage support.

Though small, the current funding arrangement makes enough difference to enable Colleen to live on…

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Govt Newspeak

Price of austerity: Local cuts falling particularly harshly on special needs children
Price of austerity: Local cuts falling particularly harshly on special needs children

When Hackney council announced they’d be cutting funding for children with special needs last year, they probably didn’t bank on getting much of a response.

After all, amid the torrent of funding cuts since 2010, this area of funding – which includes not just physical disabilities but conditions such as autism and attention deficit disorder – has gone largely unnoticed.

Library closures, Sure Start cuts and the adult care crisis had all gradually worked their way onto newspaper front pages, but cuts to services for children with special education needs and disabilities (SEND) seemed to pass without comment.

Indeed, Hackney council halved its SEND inclusion team last year, slashing the number of specialist teachers helping support special needs children in mainstream settings. The move sparked little reaction.

So when the budget-setting for 2018/19 came round, the cash-strapped council…

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Unfortunately this Governments attitude and policy is taking the Thatcher directive to bring back ‘Victorian values‘, but are they values to be applauded, for were there not child labour, poor and workhouses, debtors prisons and many others.

Are the progressions of the 20th Century and the start of the 21st to be abandoned. Will we bring back poor and workhouses, debtors prisons and may be even child labour, will there still be free education for all children and the disabled and poor left to their own devices, while the rich elite gain all the benefits of life.

We have the Equality Act 2010, the Care Act 2014 and others but are these just bits of legal jargon, which when they come to be tested are not worth the papers they have produced.

Are they just bits of paper with no real significance, but giving all the non-elite a belief of a caring Government.

Are we now seeing the real true colour ‘Blue’, when previously there could have been a tinge of ‘Red’ now what does that produce, could it be purple, now what party does that create and do they still exist. Something with UK in their terminology, perhaps.

Is this what our recent forebears fought for in the wars of the 20th Century.

If so, is life really worth living for, are we not just producing for the wealthy elite, while fighting and working for a pittance.

Govt Newspeak

Minister suggests ‘realities of the world’ mean government will not halt attack on rights. The justice minister responsible for human rights appears to have dismissed calls for the government to do more to protect the social and economic rights of disabled people and other groups.

Dr Phillip Lee, a junior justice minister whose responsibilities include human rights, was speaking at the launch of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) new report detailing Britain’s progress in implementing the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

In a speech at the launch, he appeared to suggest that “the realities of the world” – including population growth, an ageing society, and mass migration – and “finite resources” meant the government could not afford to meet the report’s call for action on the rights laid out in the covenant. The covenant includes the rights to work, including safe and healthy working…

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