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Daily news update: Thursday 13th June

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A roundup of today’s big news stories from around the world

Number of over 65s with type 1 diabetes has almost tripled in 30 years

The number of people aged 65 and older with type 1 diabetes increased from 1.3 million in 1990 to 3.7 million in 2019, while death rates fell 25 per cent from 4.7 per 100,000 population in 1990 to 3.5 in 2019, finds an analysis of data from over 200 countries and regions in The BMJ today.

Overall, the results show that more people with type 1 diabetes are living longer.

However, death rates fell 13 times faster in high income countries compared with low and middle income countries, indicating that substantial global inequalities still exist in diabetes care.

Research reveals brain regions that bias the brain’s response to pleasure in bipolar disorder

Momentary shifts in mood, even those lasting just a matter of seconds, profoundly alter the brain’s response to pleasurable experiences in people with bipolar disorder, finds a new study by UCL researchers.

For the new study, the researchers investigated what happens in the brains of people with bipolar disorder while playing a computerised Roulette game in which they experienced good and bad outcomes.

The team observed heightened neural activity in the anterior insula, an area of the brain linked to transient mood states, during periods of upward momentum in both control participants and participants diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

However, only participants with bipolar disorder exhibited a more pronounced influence of this momentum on their perception of subsequent wins and losses, as the researchers observed heightened activation in their striatum, a brain region that responds to pleasurable experiences.

Depressive symptoms in young adults linked to thinking, memory problems in midlife

People who experience prolonged depressive symptoms starting in young adulthood may have worse thinking and memory skills in middle age, according to a study published in the June 12, 2024, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The study also found that depressive symptoms were experienced more often by Black adults than white adults.

“The processes that lead to dementia begin long before signs of the disease become apparent, and previous research has shown that Black adults have a higher risk of dementia than white adults,” said study author Leslie Grasset, PhD, of University of Bordeaux in France.

“Our study found that prolonged exposure to elevated depressive symptoms in young adulthood has a negative effect on thinking and memory in middle age, especially for Black adults.”

Does having a child with low birth weight increase a person’s risk of dementia?

People who give birth to infants less than 5.5 pounds may be more likely to have memory and thinking problems later in life than people who give birth to infants who do not have a low birth weight, according to a study published in the June 12, 2024, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology

The effect on memory and thinking skills was equivalent to one to two years of aging for those with low-birth-weight deliveries.

The study does not prove that delivery of a low-birth-weight infant causes memory and thinking problems. It only shows an association.

Major new global partnership aims to transform the lives of students with disabilities

A new partnership between education experts in Indonesia and the UK could transform lives by changing perceptions of disability.

Researchers in both countries have joined together to explore how attitudes impact on disabled students’ access to support and their time in higher education. They hope this will lead to improved support being available.

As part of the study students with disabilities and those who teach and support them will be able to share their experiences.

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