Leader coment: Acknowledge the millions who are doing good

Scientists at John Hopkins university in the United States have identified the protein that leads to memory loss in Alzheimer sufferers and reversed the loss of memory in mice.

Scientists at John Hopkins university in the United States have identified the protein that leads to memory loss in Alzheimer sufferers and reversed the loss of memory in mice.

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At times, it seems that the world is dominated by bad news. Last week, we watched in horror as a terrorist targeted Westminster, while there are people across the world fleeing war-torn countries and life threatening situations in one of the worst refugee crises in recent history.

Yet, we need to remember that, in many ways, the world is still today a significantly better place. In healthcare, at least, we have seen huge developments in recent years, revolutionising treatments for people suffering from a huge range of illnesses.

Last night, scientists revealed that they had made a major breakthrough when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease.

Although it has so far only proved to be effective on mice, researchers from Johns Hopkins University in the United States say that removing a protein called Ephexin5 from the brain prevents animals from developing the characteristic memory loss.

They say they are confident the treatement could eventually, hopefully, be used on humans as a major weapon against the tragic illness, which robs so many of their cognitive ability and dignity, particularly in later years.

Anyone who has watched a close relative go through acute memory loss, who has suffered the trauma of a loved one being unable to recognise them, will welcome any breakthrough in this field.

Yet what we need to remember is that these researchers are not alone. There are many people working to make the world a better place and making strides in their chosen fields.

Yesterday, we also saw the the University of Glasgow’s £32 million Imaging Centre of Excellence officially opening its doors, where clinical academics will be brought together with industry to improve patient care.

In a completely separate field, it has also been revealed this week that the number of wildlife crimes commited in Scotland has dropped by almost a third – due in part at least, to the campaigners, charities and policy makers who have worked tirelessly to make sure that our animals and birds are protected.

In the glittering world of the big screen, a new blockbuster set to be filmed in Edinburgh – the much-anticipated Avengers: Infinity War – is set to spark a £10 million boost for Scotland’s economy – more than is usually generated from a whole year’s worth of productions.

It is all too easy to feel, in a climate of 24-hour news and social media, that there are only bad things happening.

Yet we should make sure that we take time to remember that there are people who dedicate their lives to improving things – from scientists to Syria’s civil defence organisation the White Helmets, who endanger their own lives every day to save others, to activists and campaigners.

These are so many positive things going on that we do not give enough thought to every day.

Let’s make sure we take time to remember them.

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