HEALTH NOTES: New drug to dissolve blood clots in your legs for people with deep vein thrombosis

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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Scientists are developing a new way of dissolving blood clots in people with deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

The painful condition occurs when a clot forms in a vein, usually in the leg. It can become dangerous – and potentially life-threatening – if part breaks off and blocks the blood supply to the lungs.

While traditionally treated with blood-thinning medicines to decrease the blood’s ability to clot, German pharma firm Bayer is trialling a new type of drug, called anti-alpha 2 antiplasmin antibody, which can dissolve clots.

It’s hoped the drug will help regulate how blood clots are broken down so this can be done safely.

The drug could dissolve clots in the legs of people with the painful condition deep vein thrombosis (DVT) (file photo used)

Your amazing body 

Natural blondes are hairier. As light-coloured hairs are finer than dark ones, it means blonde heads can have up to 20 per cent more follicles.

A typical blonde has 120,000 to 140,000 hairs on their head, while a brunette averages 100,000 to 110,000 and redheads have only 80,000 to 90,000.

Hair colour comes from melanin, which is also responsible for skin and eye colour. Less melanin means thinner strands but more hair.

Just two per cent of the world’s population is naturally blonde, with the hair colour being due to a genetic trait.

How obese women ‘pay more for IVF’

British women could be paying more for fertility treatment (stock image)

British women could be paying more for fertility treatment (stock image) 

British women could be paying over the odds for fertility treatment because of their weight.

A study of 32 fertility clinics found that their BMI cut-offs for treatment to go ahead ranged between 20.9 – a healthy weight – and 40 – extremely obese.

Private centres, however, had higher limits than the NHS clinics – forcing many larger women to foot more expensive bills for their fertility treatment. Some 44 per cent of women of child-bearing age in the UK are obese, with a BMI of 30 or above.

Dr Lynae Brayboy of Ovom Care – the fertility clinic that ran the study – says: ‘The discrepancy in BMI cut-offs for private and NHS-funded patients is distressing.’

Stroke survivors are using a specially developed phone app to help them communicate better.

The speech-impeding condition aphasia affects a third of stroke sufferers and can also limit victims’ reading and listening abilities.

But using the iTalkBetter app, developed by researchers at University College London, for 90 minutes a day over six weeks boosted 27 testers’ ability to name common items by 13 per cent through games and feedback. It will soon be available to download.

Strokes hit about 100,000 people in the UK every year. They most often occur when the blood supply to the brain gets cut off by clots.

They can cause devastating speech problems and paralysis on one side of the body – symptoms that may take a long time to recover from.

A dose of cowpox… from your pet cat

'Anyone else's cat ever come home with a strange message on their collar?' she asked (stock)

‘Anyone else’s cat ever come home with a strange message on their collar?’ she asked (stock)

A British woman almost lost her sight due to cowpox – a rare viral infection she caught from her pet cat.

According to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine, the woman, 28, had suffered discharge from her right eye for five days. Her symptoms worsened despite antibiotics and antiviral drugs, and doctors worried she would lose her vision.

By chance she said her cat had sores on its paws and head, leading doctors to test for orthopoxvirus, a family of viruses that includes smallpox, which can infect cows, cats, rodents and, on rare occasions, humans.

The patient required a long course of anti-viral medicine as well as surgery to remove dead tissue from around her eye, but after six months she had fully recovered.


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