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The relentless ripple effects of COVID – this week’s Friday Five

Rumours that the second peak could hit the NHS five times harder

Confidential forecasts produced by the NHS have been leaked suggesting that the COVID second peak could hit the NHS harder than expected, with increased admissions until the middle of next year. Without any additional measures put in place the models predicted that admissions could peak at five times the level seen in April.

Read the full story in the HSJ.

COVID vaccine clinical trial paused as participant falls ill

Final stages of a clinical trial for a COVID vaccination, being produced by Oxford University and Astra Zeneca has come to a halt due to a patient falling ill. Pausing of clinical trials is not uncommon and an independent investigation will now take place to understand any causal relationship between the vaccination and the illness.

Read the full story in the BBC.

Adverts banned for exploiting COVID related health anxieties

The Advertising Standards Authority has banned two adverts, which were seen to be ‘exploiting’ COVID related anxieties. The marketing campaigns of, Manchester-based clinic PCK SkinSpaceUK and The Chuckling Goat, a health shop based in Wales, promoted benefits of their products to be ‘immune boosting’ and therefore gave the impression to recipients the products were effective in helping to prevent or treat COVID.

Read the full story in The Independent.

Diabetes and high blood pressure impairs brain function, study suggests

A new study suggests that high blood pressure and diabetes can impair brain function and memory by causing structural changes in the grey and white matter.

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, said high blood pressure was associated with lower mental performance and more prominent in people aged 44 to 69 years, but had less of an impact in the over-70s. Changes in cognitive performance was small with processes only slowing down by a fraction of a second, but in comparison to the speed it takes for information to cross a synapse, this is still considered a decline in function.

Read the full story in The Guardian.


Quote of the week

More than 1,000 volunteer therapists have signed up to provide free mental health support to NHS workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

A group of therapists set up the website so doctors, nurses and other NHS staff can access counselling services online during the COVID lockdown.

In response to this, clinical supervisor and Frontline 19 co-founder, Ellen Waldren said,

“ This emotional support will be needed not only in the longer term but right now to keep the NHS functioning. Our volunteers all want to help that to happen. The goodwill from the therapists has been so moving and overwhelming.”

Read the full story in The Independent.

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