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In Depth Articles

What Causes Fibromyalgia?

September 19, 2018

Fibromyalgia is something of a mystery. It can’t be detected with scans or blood tests, yet it causes lifelong pain for millions of people.
The disease mainly affects women (about 75-90% of cases), causing pain all over the body. Because not all healthcare professionals are adept at identifying and diagnosing fibromyalgia, …

Fatty Acids of Value in Anxiety

The value of omega-3 fatty acids has come under fire lately. But now a new systematic review suggests they might have benefits beyond the previous therapeutic targets of depression, cardiac health, eye health and arthritis.
Researchers have found that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) might reduce the symptoms of clinical anxiety, …

Five Types of Food to Increase Your Psychological Well-Being

September 12, 2018

We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression …

Predicting and Preventing Dementia

Adolescent boys who struggle to understand how basic machines work and young girls who have difficulty remembering words are at increased risk of developing dementia when they’re older, new research has found.
According to the longitudinal study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, lower mechanical reasoning in adolescence …

Fetal Fraction – The Essential Factor in Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing

September 05, 2018

Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT), the cell-free DNA-based blood test that screens for fetal chromosomal abnormalities, is fast becoming a routine part of obstetric care.
NIPT at a glance
During pregnancy, maternal plasma contains fragments of DNA from the mother and from the placenta (fetal DNA).
The proportion of DNA fragments from particular chromosomes …

New Medicare-Funded BRCA Testing – Use With Caution

GPs may have to correct some patients’ misunderstanding following reports in the general media suggesting that testing for high risk cancer genes was now available to everyone free of charge.
Writing in the latest issue of the MJA, Australian genetics experts say that testing for specific high- risk genetic mutations, especially …

Health Check: How Long are You Contagious with Gastro?

August 29, 2018

There’s no way you’d want to go to work when you’ve got the telltale signs of gastro: nausea, abdominal cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea. But what about when you’re feeling a bit better? When is it safe to be around colleagues, or send your kids to school or daycare?
The health department …

Inpatient Rehab After Knee Surgery – a Rort?

August 28, 2018

Why are Australians having rehabilitation as an inpatient after their total knee replacements rather than as an outpatient at a rate higher than any other country in the world?
And why are our rates of inpatient rehabilitation as opposed to community or home-based rehab increasing?
That’s what researchers were investigating in a …

Detecting and treating Mycoplasma genitalium

August 22, 2018

Mycoplasma genitalium (M. genitalium), is thought to affect up to 400,000 Australians.
It causes urethritis in men, and in women it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, cervicitis and preterm labour. It is also a recognised cause of anorectal proctitis along with other infections including Chlamydia trachomatis (including the LGV strains), gonorrhoea, …

Managing the cardiovascular time bomb in patients on antipsychotics

The physical health of mentally ill patients is a “massive problem and we are doing very badly at it,” psychiatrist Dr Matthew Warden told doctors at a recent Healthed evening seminar in Sydney.
In particular, the prevalence of high cardiovascular risk among patients with a history of psychosis, means this population …

Pass the salt

August 15, 2018

Salt may have been unfairly targeted as a killer in the healthy heart stakes, according to newly published research.
The observational study of over 90000 people in 300 communities across 18 countries, found that sodium consumption was not associated with an increase in health risks unless the average daily consumption was …

Typhoid in the modern era

August 08, 2018

The microbiology laboratory has made great strides in introducing clinically useful diagnostics over the past couple of decades, particularly in recent years with the development of molecular assays that ‘narrow the gap’ and provide early diagnoses.
While introducing new tests, it has also been important to evaluate and discard old tests …

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