Exploring dementia through art and science

  • 17 May 2018
  • From the section Health
Music for Life
Image caption Music for Life visit care homes and play to and with residents with advanced dementia

It is like watching an awakening. Baton in hand, an elderly resident of a care home in north London is "conducting" a trio of professional musicians, a broad smile on his face.

Like the other residents in the room, he has advanced dementia.

Next to me, one of the carers has a tear on her cheek - she explains that in all her time of looking after these men and women, she has never seen them so engaged and responsive.

There is no doubt about the potential for music to unlock memories, give enjoyment and reveal something of the individual that has been lost through the damage caused to the brain by dementia.

Music for Life is an interactive outreach programme for people with dementia, by Wigmore Hall in London.

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Guernsey to vote on assisted dying

  • 14 May 2018
  • From the section Health
Image caption Could Guernsey become the first place in the British Isles to introduce assisted dying?

Guernsey's parliament is to debate whether to introduce assisted dying. The island's chief minister, Gavin St Pier, is proposing a bill that would allow terminally ill people to end their lives with the help of a doctor.

It would be the only place in the British Isles to legalise assisted dying.

Read full article Guernsey to vote on assisted dying

Noel Conway right to die case back at Appeal Court

  • 30 April 2018
  • From the section Health
Carol and Noel Image copyright Fergus Walsh/BBC
Image caption Carol and Noel Conway at home in Shropshire

A terminally ill man who is challenging the law on assisted suicide has asked judges to acknowledge his "basic right to die" and to envisage themselves in his position.

Noel Conway, 68, was speaking before his case is heard at the Court of Appeal. He has motor neurone disease (MND), an incurable, progressive, muscle-wasting condition.

Read full article Noel Conway right to die case back at Appeal Court

'Wake-up call' over liver disease risks due to weight

  • 13 April 2018
  • From the section Health
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Media captionFrances Carroll before and after her weight loss

One in eight middle-aged adults in the UK could have a potentially serious form of liver disease - because they are overweight.

Scans of nearly 3,000 individuals from the UK Biobank research project showed that 12% had inflamed, fatty livers.

Read full article 'Wake-up call' over liver disease risks due to weight

The wearable brain scanner you can move around in

  • 21 March 2018
  • From the section Health
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Media captionThe brain scanner you can move in

Scientists in Nottingham have invented a new type of brain scanner that can be worn on the head, allowing patients to move while being scanned.

The device records the tiny magnetic fields generated by the brain.

Read full article The wearable brain scanner you can move around in

Stem cell transplant 'game changer' for MS patients

  • 18 March 2018
  • From the section Health
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Media caption"I'd given up hope": Louise Willetts says she is completely well following her treatment

Doctors say a stem cell transplant could be a "game changer" for many patients with multiple sclerosis.

Results from an international trial show that it was able to stop the disease and improve symptoms.

Read full article Stem cell transplant 'game changer' for MS patients

How exercise in old age prevents the immune system from declining

  • 8 March 2018
  • From the section Health
lab testing with Norman Lazarus
Image caption Professor Norman Lazarus, aged 82, has the immune system of a 20 year old

Doing lots of exercise in older age can prevent the immune system from declining and protect people against infections, scientists say.

They followed 125 long-distance cyclists, some now in their 80s, and found they had the immune systems of 20-year-olds.

Read full article How exercise in old age prevents the immune system from declining

Cancer drugs could treat rare blood-vessel disorder

  • 20 February 2018
  • From the section Health
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Media captionNikki is one of the first patients to try the treatment

Researchers have found the genetic cause of a blood-vessel disorder that can cause deadly bleeds and stroke.

Scientists at University College London Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) who led the study, called it an "enormous step" towards understanding and treating arteriovenous malformation (AVM).

Read full article Cancer drugs could treat rare blood-vessel disorder

Woman receives bionic hand with sense of touch

  • 3 January 2018
  • From the section Health
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Media captionAlmerina Mascarello who lost her hand in an accident nearly 25 years ago said she now 'feels complete'

Scientists in Rome have unveiled the first bionic hand with a sense of touch that can be worn outside a laboratory.

The recipient, Almerina Mascarello, who lost her left hand in an accident nearly a quarter of a century ago, said "it's almost like it's back again".

Read full article Woman receives bionic hand with sense of touch

How long could we live?

  • 20 December 2017
  • From the section Health
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Media captionPeople over the age of 80 give their views on how to age the right way

How long do you want to live - to 85, 90, 100 or beyond? More important than how long we live is the state of our health in old age.

The oldest verified person to date was Jeanne Calment of France, who died in 1997 aged 122.

Read full article How long could we live?