Anna Altman: Life With Migraines

Headaches are one of the most common symptoms that patients report to their doctors, but their causes and manifestations vary so much that a diagnosis does little to help.

From the Greek hemi (“half”) and kranion (“skull”), migraine is associated with severe, throbbing, unilateral pain; an aversion to light and sound; and nausea and vomiting, all of which is aggravated by movement. But migraine may include or trigger many other symptoms. An attack may be announced by sudden exhaustion, food cravings, a foul mood, or what is called an aura, a neurological phenomenon that disrupts a migraineur’s vision with silvery squiggles and zigzags.

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Virgin Care Wins £700m Contract To Run 200 NHS And Social Care Services

Sir Richard Branson’s health firm, Virgin Care, has won a £700m contract to deliver 200 types of NHS and social care services to more than 200,000 people in Bath and north-east Somerset.

The contract, which was approved on Thursday, has sparked new fears about private health firms expanding their role in the provision of publicly funded health services.

Virgin Care has been handed the contract by both Bath and North East Somerset NHS clinical commissioning group and Conservative-led Bath and North East Somerset council. It is worth £70m a year for seven years and the contract includes an option to extend it by another three years at the same price.

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Junior Doctors To Stage ‘Masked March’ In Protest Over Contract

Organisers expecting morew than 3,000 people including Dame Vivienne Westwood and Vanessa Redgrave to march in London on Saturday afternoon

Dame Vivienne Westwood and Vanessa Redgrave are expected to join thousands of junior doctors and their supporters on Saturday as they stage a “masked march” protest over pay and conditions.

The demonstration comes ahead of a 24-hour walkout due to begin on Wednesday, when junior doctors across the country will provide emergency care only from 8am.

It will be the third time junior doctors have taken to the streets in protest at the government’s proposals, which it says aims to improve care over weekends.

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French Drug Trial Leaves One Brain Dead And Five Critically Ill

French health minister travels to clinic in Rennes, where all trials of the drug have been suspended.

One person is brain dead and five others are seriously ill after taking part in a medical drug trial for an unnamed pharmaceutical firm at a clinic in north-west France.

The French health ministry said the six patients had been in good health until taking the oral medication. The ministry did not say what the new medicine was intended to be used for, but a source close to the case told AFP that the drug was a painkiller containing cannabinoids, an active ingredient found in cannabis plants.

The health minister, Marisol Touraine, said the six had been taking part in a “trial of an oral medication being developed by a European laboratory” in Rennes, Brittany.

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MRSA Superbug Found In Supermarket Pork Raises Alarm Over Farming Risks

The discovery on UK shelves of pork contaminated with a livestock strain of MRSA prompts calls to curb misuse of antibiotics in intensive farming

Pork sold by several leading British supermarkets has been found to be contaminated with a strain of the superbug MRSA that is linked to the overuse of powerful antibiotics on factory farms, a Guardian investigation has revealed.
Livestock-associated MRSA CC398, which originates in animals, has been found in pork products sold in Sainsbury’s, Asda, the Co-operative and Tesco. Of the 100 packets of pork chops, bacon and gammon tested by the Guardian, nine – eight Danish and one Irish – were found to have been infected with CC398.

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