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Health news weekly: exercise can slow Parkinson’s disease and animal-assisted therapy

January 27, 2023

We know it can be difficult and time-consuming to wade through all the news about healthcare (much of it doom and gloom) which is why we’re here to keep you up to date with all the latest news, discoveries and innovations in our weekly round-up:

Health news weekly LRH

Scott Hanley, 56, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2017, has seen a significant decrease in his symptoms since he started participating in CrossFit, a conditioning and strengthening program. According to Scott’s neurologist, his symptoms “had decreased significantly.” Research has shown that 2.5 hours of high intensity exercise a week slows the progression of Parkinson’s disease. The British Medical Journal states that exercise has reported benefits for controlling motor and non-motor symptoms alongside the use of pharmacological intervention.

People with type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to die from some cancers compared to the general population, according to a new study. Patients with the condition have an increased risk of dying from pancreatic, bowel or liver cancers, researchers found. Women with type 2 also face a higher risk of dying from endometrial cancer. Overall, people with the condition have an 18% increased risk of dying from cancer, according to the new study which has been published in the journal Diabetologia.

The UK government has rejected proposals to make menopause a “protected characteristic” under the Equality Act, due to concerns that such a move would discriminate against men. The cross-party women and equalities committee published a report last July which focused on menopause and the workplace and included a recommendation to make menopause a protected characteristic. Protected characteristics are a specific set of characteristics that it is illegal to discriminate against, and include age, disability, and race among others. However, in its official response to the report, published on Tuesday, the government rejected the proposal, warning of “unintended consequences which may inadvertently create new forms of discrimination, for example, discrimination risks towards men suffering from long-term medical conditions”.

Israeli psychotherapist Yoni Yehuda believes that caring for animals can help to heal people with mental health conditions. Yehuda has hundreds of animals, many of which were rescued and cannot be returned to the wild or re-homed. Yehuda has developed a therapeutic centre in the occupied West Bank that utilizes both domesticated and wild animals to aid in treatment. Yehuda’s centre has remained open during the pandemic and has been noted to have a positive impact on a range of disorders, including depression, schizophrenia, and addiction.