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In Depth Articles

The male pill is coming – but don’t hold your breath

May 23, 2018

ON THE PILL: In this seven-part series we explore the history, myths, side-effects and alternatives of the pill, and why it’s the most popular form of contraception in Australia.

The female contraceptive pill has helped millions of women take control of their fertility and reproductive health since it became available in …

Wealth a winner in preventing dementia

In what will be seen as a blow to cryptic crossword compilers the world over, it appears wealth is a better determinant of whether you keep your marbles than education.
In a UK prospective study of over 6000 adults aged over 65 years, researchers found those people in the lowest quintile …

Checking for Markers of Bone Turnover

May 16, 2018

Markers of bone turnover, measured in blood or urine, correlate with changes in the metabolic activity of bone.
The rate of bone remodelling is important. With ageing, the quantum of bone removed/ resorbed and the amount replaced/ formed becomes increasingly imbalanced. Consequently, the more bone remodelling units that are active at …

Get Depressed Patients to Lift Weights

Resistance exercise training significantly reduces depressive symptoms, a new meta-analysis has found.
According to international researchers who looked at over 30 randomised clinical trials on the subject, resistance exercise training including activities such as weight lifting reduced depressive symptoms by an average of a third. In fact, the meta-analysis findings suggested …

New Virus Putting Babies in Hospital

May 09, 2018

In the last few months of 2017, over 200 Australian infants were hospitalised due to infection with the little known human parechovirus, say Australian public health experts in the latest issue of the MJA.
The infected infants were admitted with conditions such as severe sepsis and meningoencephalitis. Less common presentations included …

Health Experts Respond to the 2018 Budget

The winners of this year’s health budget are aged care, rural health and medical research.
The government has announced A$1.6 billion over four years to allow 14,000 more older Australians to remain in their home for longer through more high-level home care places. For those in aged care, an additional A$82.5 …

Not so simple Herpes Simplex

May 02, 2018

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) 1 and 2 are closely related to each other and more distantly related to Varicella Zoster virus (VZV), which causes Varicella (chicken pox) and Herpes Zoster (shingles). Traditionally HSV1 causes most oral herpes and HSV2 causes most genital herpes. But this is no longer so and …

Managing Sexual Dysfunction in Depression

Based on an interview with Dr Jon-Paul Khoo, psychiatrist, co-owner and director at the Toowong Specialist Clinic, Brisbane held at the Annual Women and Children’s Health Update, Melbourne, March 2018
Modern antidepressant medication is efficacious and effective for sufferers of major depressive disorder.
However, residual symptoms, even in those who appear to …

Ketamine to prevent suicide?

April 24, 2018

Ketamine’s controversial role in treating depression has been boosted by a new randomised controlled trial showing it significantly and rapidly reduces suicidal ideation.
Among a group of 80 severely depressed individuals already on pharmacotherapy, the US researchers found that a single, subanaesthetic infusion of ketamine was associated with a greater reduction …

Can My Genes Be Making Me Overweight?

Based on an interview with endocrinologist and obesity expert, Professor Joseph Proietto at the Annual Women and Children’s Health Update, Melbourne, March 2018
There are many reasons proposed for our society becoming more overweight than ever before.
The commonest explanation is that people are overeating because they have more refined, energy dense …

Avoid AF, Eat Nuts

April 18, 2018

Eating nuts at least three times a week reduces the risk of developing atrial fibrillation, Swedish researchers report.
For the first time it has been shown that nut consumption has a linear, dose-response association with atrial fibrillation. The findings of this long-term, prospective study of over 60,000 adults, showed people who …

The ultimate ELIXER of Sport

In 1889, Dr Charles-Édouard Brown-Séquard, a world-renowned physiologist and neurologist, whom first described a syndrome which bears his name, published in The Lancet, a paper based on a series of lectures.
He described a number of experiments done on animals and humans (including himself) which involved injecting an ELIXER derived from …

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