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07 February 2023

King's in the News – February 2023

As the global King’s community is often at the forefront of research and society – we round-up a few articles featuring King’s alumni, staff and research.

780 KITN

New test could detect Alzheimer's disease 3.5 years before clinical diagnosis

New research from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London has established a blood-based test that could be used to predict the risk of Alzheimer’s disease up to 3.5 years before clinical diagnosis.

The study, published in the journal Brain, supports the idea that components in the human blood can modulate the formation of new brain cells, a process termed neurogenesis. Neurogenesis occurs in an important part of the brain called the hippocampus that is involved in learning and memory.

Take a look at the study here.

Feb KITN 1

How much of a boost do “booster” COVID-19 jabs give?

Scientists have found the “booster” COVID-19 vaccine programme led to a large boost in the antibodies that help protect against coronavirus. High levels of antibodies is associated with lower risk of severe infection.

The study, which is part of the National Core Study for Longitudinal Health and Wellbeing, is published today in the scientific journal eLife. Researchers from King’s College London, Bristol University, UCL and several other institutions around the UK teamed up to work on the project.

Take a look at the study here.

Feb KITN 2

Seeing the same midwives improves birthing experience for high-risk mothers

Seeing the same midwives throughout the perinatal period makes a substantial difference to a women’s feelings of calm and confidence during pregnancy and birth, a study has found.

The study, published recently in Women and Birth by researchers from King’s, highlight the improvements in a woman’s experience of care under the continuity of care model.

This is the first study which looks at women’s experience of care when they are at a higher risk of pre-term birth.

The model of continuity of care is designed to provide mothers with a dedicated team of midwives who are on call 24/7 to provide support, including answering questions, provide antenatal and postanal appointments and be there for them when they go into labour.

Read more on the study here.

Feb KITN 3

Researchers to use AI to understand how cost-of-living crisis impacts on children's health

Researchers at King’s will use artificial intelligence to understand the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on public health. The project is part of a programme of rapid research projects to examine how to ease winter pressures faced by the NHS.

16 projects have been launched by Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) with funding from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). They cover a range of data-driven approaches to pin-point pressures in the health care system, understand their causes and develop ways to overcome or avoid them. They apply lessons from the pandemic on how to drive rapid-response research that generates results fast and have a direct impact on health policy and clinical care.

The project run by Dr Martin Chapman, Lecturer in Health Informatics from King’s, will use AI to understand how preventative interventions can improve the health of children and young people in the UK.

Read more here.

Feb KITN 4

New approach to social media algorithms could counteract destructive polarisation

A new model for algorithms which promote positive interactions on social media could be used to increase trust between users and reduce destructive conflict online.

After exploring how content that increases mutual understanding between users can be incentivised by the algorithms that influence what we see on social media, researchers from King’s College London and Harvard University have created a framework for understanding the structure of algorithmic attention-allocators.

In a paper published last week, Thorburn and Ovadya offer an alternative approach to the current model. They propose a ‘bridging’-based ranking, which would see content that fosters positive debate, deliberation or cooperation prioritised on platforms.

Take a look at the paper here.

Feb KITN 5

Post-pandemic landscape provides 'once-only' chance to overhaul child safeguarding

An urgent overhaul of the UK’s safeguarding processes for vulnerable children is needed to future-proof the system in a post-pandemic climate and protect those most at-risk, says major report by King's researchers.

Following the national review into the deaths of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and Star Hobson, and Independent Review of Children’s Social Care, both published last year, new evidence from King’s College London reveals how vulnerable children became less visible during the pandemic because they were hidden from the professional gaze and waited longer for identification of and referral for child protection concerns.

Learn more on our website.

Feb KITN 6

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