Women and Neurological Diseases

Women and Neurological Diseases

Overview

Neurological diseases are among the leading causes of mortality and disabilities in the elderly population. Parkinsonism, strokes and Dementia come under the umbrella term of Neurological diseases. These neurological diseases have a detrimental effect on not only the patient but their family and caregivers. They are also known to show substantial co-occurrence, therefore an individual with Dementia has an increased risk of stroke.

The study 

My name is Lucy Field and I am research Scientist at Future Genetics. I have recently read an article which was published by University medical centre in Rotterdam which focuses on Neurological diseases. They conducted a study; the objective of this study was to ‘quantify the burden of common neurological disease in older adults in terms of lifetime risks such as co-occurrence and preventive potential. In this study the health of 12,102 people was monitored over a 26-year period in the years 1990 to 2016. The long duration of the study allows clear identification of co-occurrence of a disease and allows a large sample size giving more reliable data and conclusions

Study conclusion 

The  overall conclusion of this research study was that one in two women and one in three men will develop a Neurological disease in their lifetime. This shows it is more common in women than men, throughout the study data on women was compared with men. The study mainly focuses on age, as all of the individuals involved were above the age of 45. There was evidence to show women are more likely to develop a neurological disease. Not only as a female but a female scientist I believe it is important to raise awareness. Through this article I hope to educate more women about the risk of these common disease allowing us to further educate more women.

 Study Findings

In the study Dementia was seen to be the most common disease with a total of 1489 individual’s being diagnosed, then 1,285 suffered from a stroke. Ischemic strokes were more common at 64.7% and 9.8% had a hemorrhagic stroke. Parkinsonism was the least common neurological disease with 263 individuals’ being diagnosed. A lot of individual’s are only diagnosed with one of the diseases in their lifespan. However, at the age of 45 there was a substantial risk of being diagnosed with multiple diseases. A total of 438 individuals were diagnosed with multiple diseases. Following the trend of more women being affected by one neurological disease, more women were diagnosed with multiple diseases a total of 4% Versus 3% of men. Women were also almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with both stroke and dementia. These high figures show the importance of the need for better prevention strategies.

Neurological disease versus Other common diseases

Neurological diseases get under investigated in comparison to common diseases such as cancer and heart disease. This is because Cancer and Heart disease commonly affect middle aged individual and and neurological diseases normally have a later onset. According to this study, this should not be the case as the lifetime risk of developing Breast cancer in 1 in 8 compared to 1 in 2 developing a neurological disease. The same principle applies for heart disease which affects 1 in 4 people. Those who had been diagnosed with one of the neurological diseases had a higher prevalence of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and an abnormal heart rhythm.

Importance of Preventative interventions

These findings clearly display the importance of preventative interventions which will delay the onset. It has been estimated that if the onset of the diseases is delayed by 1 to 3 years, the remaining risk of developing would be reduced by 20% in 45-year olds and 50% in those older than 85. This huge reduction in both age categories, this demonstrates the importance of the development of a treatment to delay the onset and to maintain a healthy brain. This is one of Future genetics aims.

Licher SDarweesh SKLWolters FJ, et al
Lifetime risk of common neurological diseases in the elderly population

NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme – The Healthier You

NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme – The Healthier You

Introduction 

Hi, my name is Penny, and I am a research scientist at Future Genetics.

I attended the annual National Association of Primary Care Conference that was held at the NEC earlier this month.

It was a great event which encouraged discussion and debate around management of patients in a primary care setting.

In this article, I am going to summarise one of the presentations that particularly stood out for me. I think its message is well-aligned to the ethos and principle of Future Genetics, and this is EMPOWERMENT. One of the ways for people and individuals to become empowered is to understand the drivers and risk factors associated with diseases such as Diabetes.

Dr Chirag Bakhai gave a presentation titled NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme – The Healthier You. This succulently highlighted the alarming statistics associated with disease.

In my article, I have summarised the key points, and hope this will EMPOWER the listener or reader to be proactive and take actions to avoid poor outcomes.

Diabetes – Background Information

Type 2 diabetes more likely develops in males, people over 40, certain ethnicities, those with high blood pressure and sedentary lifestyles. However, 80% of cases are linked to obesity. Type 2 diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney disease, amputations, heart disease, strokes and early death.

Prevalence of diabetes has doubled in the last 10 years, costing the NHS billions. The Healthier You programme was created to prevent diabetes development from prediabetes; a state of hyperglycaemia. Prediabetes implies inevitability of development; however, lifestyle intervention can slow or even halt the progression.

The Healthier You Programme 

The programme is available to most except children, pregnant women or diabetics. It is a free, 16 session treatment plan which takes 9-12 months to complete, it’s tailored to the individual involving psychological training to make lasting behaviour changes to increase levels of physical activities, improve nutrition and maintain a healthy weight.

It’s available throughout the whole of the UK and they’re on target to have 100k participants by 2020 as 54% of referrals attend the meetings. 45% are under 65, allowing for early assessment and intervention but more attend if they’re past working age. There are 44% male participants, a higher proportion than in commercial weight loss programmes and those who attend more than 60% sessions, lose on average 3.3kg, exceeding to predicted 2.5kg weight loss.

Limitations

The need for face-to-face interaction at meetings is a restriction for people with modern-day busy schedules and so digital meetings may be offered instead, but these have been found to be less effective. To broaden their client capacity, more funding is required, however the programme is predicted to save the NHS money in the long run.

The Battle Continues…

As beneficial as this programme is, more is required to tackle type 2 diabetes, by public health working with the food industry to minimise processed foods, refined carbs, excessive calories and portion sizes. Tackling obesity in schools will also significantly reduce the risk of prediabetes developing in the first place.

At Future Genetics, we are committed to trying to make a real difference to people and patients with respect to health outcomes. One of our principle research programmes is around diabetes and finding genetic markers that can meaningfully improve health outcomes for people.

Thank you or watching and for some of you, reading.

Pictured: Penny Codd (Future Genetics Research Scientist) at the NAPC Annual Conference 2018 

Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), Genomics and Clinical Diagnostics in Healthcare

The Genomics Revolution has begun – lets be sure that you’re not left behind.

A key presentation on genomics will be delivered by the CEO of Future Genetics who will be attending the Oxford Global event being held at Covent Garden, London.

Dr Kamran is an invited speaker on the topic of “Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), Genomics And Clinical Diagnostics In Healthcare“.

He was happy to accept the invitation because this is an area of medicine that he is passionate about. During the presentation he will talk about the opportunity that the NHS has in revolutionising the management and treatment of patients with the promise of NGS based personalised care and medicine.

Areas covered in the presentation will highlight some of the current challenges related to tackling breast cancer, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, dementia,  Alzheimers disease, and the opportunity that NGS presents.

Dr Kamran will be placing particular emphasis on the importance of the NHS commitment to reducing healthcare inequalities.

He will highlight why it is imperative that the general public become more aware of the absolute need for all communities and ethnicities in the UK to get involved in this emerging genomics revolution.

Lets share the message that the NHS belongs to and is there to serve all of us. In order for that to be a reality then we all need to step-up and contribute.

The details of the presentation are listed below:

Tuesday 22 May.  13.30-14.00. Conference Room 1 (Cornwall Suite).

The session will be chaired by Dr Axel Vater who is the Chief Scientific Officer of Aptarion Biotech (Germany).

Title:

NGS, Genomics And Clinical Diagnostics In Healthcare

Content:
  • The Importance of Beginning with the End in mind
  • Gaining buy-in from the Principle Stakeholder: challenges around consent and data sharing
  • The promise of NGS and the (significant) barriers associated to that delivery
  • Delivering the Promise

Future Genetics hopes that some of the readers can attend the conference, but appreciate that this is not going to be possible for everyone.

The session will be recorded, so please revisit the site to watch.

Dr Kamran has been invited to Chair a panel discussion at the event titled “Accelerating the Genomics Revolution“:

The panel discussion will not be recorded unfortunately due to copyright issues, but there will be a summary report of the discussion made available at this website.

https://www.biotechinvestment-showcase.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Biotech-Investment-Showcase-Full-Agenda.pdf

For those interested in attending in person, the event is being held in Covent Garden London:

De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms

http://www.thedelegatewranglers.com/de-vere-grand-connaught-rooms/

61-65 Great Queen St
London
WC2B 5DA
Tel: 020 7405 7811
www.phcompany.com/de-vere/grand-connaught-rooms 

The event has been organised by Oxford Global. 

https://www.biotechinvestment-showcase.com/

 

In addition to Dr Kamran, speakers from leading companies have been invited to speak at this event.

 

The two-day conference consists of an educational programme that includes over 60 presentations, postulating topics on scientific, technological and investment growth in the industry. The  2018 Biotech Investment showcase is the UK and Europe’s most focused and leading-edge funding, investment and partnering forum in the biotech sector, hosting over 200 attendees. 

Please view the full agenda by clicking the below link:

https://www.biotechinvestment-showcase.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Biotech-Investment-Showcase-Full-Agenda.pdf

 

The event is being sponsored by:

 

For more Information about the event contact Oxford Global at: www.biotechinvestment-showcase.com

 

Accelerating the Genomics Revolution

The focus on genomics continues:

London is hosting another key conference exploring the opportunities and advances in the biotechnology sector. The event has been organised by Oxford Global – and Future Genetics have been asked to chair the main-stage panel discussion on genomics.

Key speakers from leading companies have been invited to speak at this event.

The CEO and Medical Director of Future Genetics has been invited to chair an specialist panel discussion titled “Accelerating the Genomics Revolution“.

Dr Kamran will moderate this highly anticipated session, where the panel will comprise of Ms Sowmiya Moorthie who is a Senior Policy Analyst at the PHG Foundation,  Tommi Lehtonen (CEO, Blueprint Genetics) and Mr Ali Mortazavi (CEO, Silence Therapeutics).

The areas covered in the discussion will be:

  • Adoption of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)
  • Moving to single-cell biology
  • Clinical Diagnostics
  • cell-free DNA
  • Microfluidics

 

The event is being held in Covent Garden London:

De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms

grand-connaught-rooms

61-65 Great Queen St
London
WC2B 5DA
Tel: 020 7405 7811
www.phcompany.com/de-vere/grand-connaught-rooms 

The two-day conference consists of an educational programme that includes over 60 presentations, postulating topics on scientific, technological and investment growth in the industry.The  2018 Biotech Investment showcase is the UK and Europe’s most focused and leading-edge funding, investment and partnering forum in the biotech sector, hosting over 200 attendees. 

Please view the full agenda by clicking the below link:

https://www.biotechinvestment-showcase.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Biotech-Investment-Showcase-Full-Agenda.pdf

Leading Venture Capitalists, funds, investors, hedge funds, emerging successful biotech spinoffs, early stage biotech discovery and clinical companies and KOLs in the sector will be attending this one of a kind showcase event on the 22nd & 23rd May 2018 in London.

It is anticipated that the event will help to identify the key technological and scientific investment areas.

The event is being sponsored by:

 

For more Information about the event contact Oxford Globat at: www.biotechinvestment-showcase.com

 

Collaborating to improve NHS patient outcomes

Collaborate and Thrive – how to improve NHS patient outcomes by delivering better medical technologies 

The Challenge 

The NHS continues to take great strides in making a significant contribution to improving the wellness of a population that (at the same time) continues to increase in size and complexity. This introduces challenges to both public and private sector organisations and systems to meet the patient needs and demands. 

 

The challenges on the healthcare system can be addressed in a number of ways. This includes strategies that further improve on preventing disease, with a focus on bridging differences in health inequalities. Another key approach is the need to understand gaps and differences in the care, and quality of different patient populations.

The Opportunity

A key strategy that could add to the armamentarium of healthcare professionals would be to utilise new technology that could facilitate improving health outcomes in the UK population in the form of earlier diagnosis, better health as we age, and improved recovery from illnesses and medical interventions.

 

Clinical technologies need to be developed and appropriately tested for their effectiveness in delivering on their given promise in a timely manner. The process of research and development (R&D) can be a long one. As a matter of fact the vast majority of R&D companies striving to develop new medical technologies are indeed Small to Medium sized companies.

 

Transitioning from concept, research programmes, and testing can be daunting and a challenge. This has been realised by the UK Government and there has been significant investment to support Research companies to deliver on new and exciting medical technology that can lead to better healthcare for all.

 

Representing Future Genetics, I attended the launch event of the Medical Devices Testing and Evaluation Centre (MD-TEC). It was chaired by the former UK Home Secretary for the Labour Government, Jacqui Smith, who is now the Chair of the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.

  The Right Honourable Jacqui Smith (Chair University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust) and Dr Mohammed Kamran (CEO, Future Genetics)

Pictured: The Right Honourable Jacqui Smith (Chair University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust) and Dr Mohammed Kamran (CEO, Future Genetics)

 

There is a need to have an infrastructure in place to accelerate and bring to market technologies. The function of this newly purpose-built MD-TEC site is to help expedite the transition of clinically innovative technologies from the research bench through to medical utility. This would facilitate streamlining delivery for the benefit of NHS patients and the wider UK population.

 

Many research organisations do not have the full gamut of resources to deliver on goals. Therefore, multi-disciplinary collaboration by Research companies with NHS sites and other research and specialist organisations such as MD-TEC is critical.

 

The MD-TEC site provides state-of-the art facilities for Research companies. During a tour of the facility I was able to see the “pre-patient” set-up that allowed for testing of novel medical technologies and devices. This included a functioning operating theatre, A&E, and ICU facility to test technologies and devices on highly sophisticated “dummies”. Thus any unnecessary human trials or studies can be avoided. In addition, this would also facilitate the design of even better downstream clinical studies.

 

Future Genetics improving NHS patient outcomes

A functioning surgical theatre with a responsive dummy to test the robustness of medical technologies before the start of any human studies (NHS patient outcomes).

 

Future Genetics

Hospital bed with monitoring technologies to help validate novel medical devices and technologies (NHS patient outcomes)

The Solution

The concerted effort by government bodies; organisations such as Innovate UK, SBRI, and the NIHR i4i; charities including Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation; different Academic Science Networks across the country (with the WMAHSN being the closest to me); and different NHS Trusts to support innovative research and inter-disciplinary collaboration can only be good for NHS patients and the wider UK population.

 

Dr Mohammed Kamran

Future Genetics.

 

Diabetes – The Time is Right for the Revolution

future genetics, NHS, patients, clinical outcomes, morbidity, mortality, diabetes, type 2 diabetes, t2d, healthcare, genetics, glucose, glucose monitoring, ethics, Diabetes Professional Care, HbA1c, opportunistic test, Quality Outcomes Framework, QOF, Clinical Inertia, Department of Health, Diabetes Burnout, asymptomatic type-2 diabetes, diabetics

Diabetes:

As the CEO and Medical Director of Future Genetics, I have attended (so far) 7 healthcare and scientific conferences/ symposia this autumn:

NHS Expo 2017 (Manchester Central)

UK Health Show (Olympia)

Data Science – Basis of Precision Medicine (Imperial College)

Best Practice National Association of Primary Care (NEC)

Better Science through Better Data (Springer Nature) (Wellcome Collection)

Ethics of research involving children (Manchester)

Diabetes Professional Care (Olympia)

 

Each attendance has highlighted a common message, which is also aligned to my deep-rooted focus to contribute to the delivery of personalised medicine and care for individuals, which is the cornerstone of Future Genetics.

 

The common message is illustrated using my latest experience at the Diabetes Professional Care (DPC) conference and the key learnings that I have gleaned from Day 1.

Dr Mohammed Kamran @ Diabetes Professional Care (DPC)

 

Diabetes Learning No.1. Treating the Disease or the Patient? A question of perspective… and I daresay outcomes

There was a great presentation by Dr Kevin Fernando on blood glucose management, which was energetic and enthusiastically forward looking – congratulations Kevin on a fab delivery.  I am of the view that he saved the best and most fundamentally important message till last (see below).

  

Dr Kevin Fernando quoting Sir William Osler “The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease”. Sir Osler has been described as the “Father of Modern Medicine” and one of the “greatest diagnosticians ever to wield a stethoscope”

 

Diabetes Learning No.2. T2D Patients identified by “Opportunistic testing”. Consider this: Had they not been tested then their disease could have progressed unchecked to a more advanced stage.

 

With five lecture theatres and so many great sessions running simultaneously, difficult choices had to be made. I sat in on a session looking at Type 2 diabetes (T2D) in general practice, where Prof Sir Denis Pereira-Gray pointed out that 95% and 85% of T2D patients were diagnosed and managed in primary care respectively. This was followed by a presentation by Dr Kate Sidaway, PhD. She reported on findings that use of the HbA1c diagnostic test showed that the majority of “opportunistically tested” patients who were positive for T2D were asymptomatic. This demonstrated that there was an opportunity for early management of these patients, which for me opens up a key issue on what should be the basis of testing asymptomatic people?

 

Like all the sessions that I attended, the “T2D in General Practice” session was full to capacity. Featuring Kashiff Arfan

 

Diabetes Learning No.3. There is an unacceptably high proportion of patients who slip through the net, so do not receive the care and management they need

The talk on Clinical Inertia by Dr Suzy Hope was great as it highlighted the challenges faced in delivering the best possible healthcare to diabetic patients. A key statistic from the Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF) data shows that 49% of diabetic patients did not undergo the full spectrum of BASIC tests (please refer to the below slide for this and other figures).

Clinical Inertia Talk: Department of Health 2012-13 Report on management of adult diabetic services
  1. Only 20% achieve recommended levels of blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol
  2. 24,000 premature deaths per year due to ineffective management
  3. 80% of diabetes costs due to avoidable complications
  4. Less than half (49%) of patients do not receive all the basic tests (QOF)
  5. Absence of the simple tests increase risk of developing complications.

 

Diabetes Learning No.4. Similar to learning No.3, there is an unacceptably high proportion of patients who slip through the net, so do not receive the required personalised support to overcome BurnOut

I then went to listen to a presentation by Debbie Hicks on Diabetes Burnout which can be described as the development of a complete disregard for the management of blood sugar levels by diabetics. The speaker quoted a figure of 44% of diabetics being affected by this phenomenon, which has clear implications for the safety and wellbeing of these individuals.

 

Diabetes Burnout – Debbie Hicks (Co-Chair of TREND-UK)

 

Diabetes Learning No.5. “Money Can’t Solve Our Problems…   ”

 

Keith Vaz, MP had given a Key-note presentation around the theme of prevention being better than cure. He eloquently shared an insightful and humorous anecdote, which unfortunately I cannot fully capture here in a few words. However, the key point from my perspective was that around 10 years ago the Member of Parliament had attended an opening ceremony of a diabetes centre and gave a blood sample for the cameras (yep, the things politicians do for cameras). He was later informed that the blood had been analysed and he was an asymptomatic type-2 diabetic, which ties into the earlier talk by Dr Kate Sidaway. So, this story again emphasises the problem of not identifying patients who should ideally be managed at the earliest possible stage.

 

Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP and Dr Mohammed Kamran

Keith Vaz informed the audience that the government invests £10 billion per annum for diabetes management, although diabetes.co.uk estimates the figure at £14 billion per year. Either way, it’s a lot of money. Whilst I like to think that the money spend is focused and hopefully wisely spent, it is clear that there are cracks that need mending with respect to helping those patients that are currently being missed by the system. Therefore, a meaningful re-think at some level is needed if we are to avoid falling foul to Einstein’s view of insanity (repeatedly doing the same thing and somehow expecting a different outcome).

 

Future Genetics is mapping out clinical studies that address the health inequalities that exist in the UK

 

Let us know your thoughts on this article, and please feel free to share any experiences you have had.