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In The News

‘Safety signals’ may help slow down anxiety

December 10, 2019

A novel form of treatment has been identified for one of the most common mental health issues globally, anxiety.
Roughly one in three people will suffer from the condition at some point in their lives, experiencing irrational fear brought on by stressors ranging from spiders to public speaking.
Current treatment options are …

Western Australia looks set to legalise voluntary assisted dying. Here’s what’s likely to happen from next week

Western Australia is on the brink of becoming the second state in Australia to legalise voluntary assisted dying, with its upper house last night passing the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2019 (WA).
A total of 55 amendments to the initial version of the bill were passed. The bill will return to …

Human BPA levels may have been underestimated

Exposure to common industrial chemical and endocrine disruptor bisphenol A (BPA) has been linked to a range of health impacts, from reproductive disorders to heart disease. Although widespread, the level of exposure of most people to BPA was thought to be low enough that the potential for harm was minimal, …

Reversing antibiotic resistance? Here’s how Sweden is doing it

December 04, 2019

The antibiotic resistance threat is real. In the years to come, we will no longer be able to treat and cure many infections we once could.
We’ve had no new classes of antibiotics in decades, and the development pipeline is largely dry. Each time we use antibiotics, the bacteria in our …

Researchers find clue to preventing addiction relapse

It takes a supreme effort of will to overcome an addiction, but even more so to avoid relapse. The effect of relapse can hugely effect quality of life or even prove fatal.
To help give recovering addicts a fighting chance, researchers at University of Washington have been studying whether changing the …

Concussion recovery not clear cut for children

Most children will recover fully from concussion, but one in ten has persistent symptoms.
University of Queensland researchers have just completed a study between these symptoms and long-term disability risk, and the results are striking.
Poor sleep post-concussion in particular was linked to reduced brain function and decreased grey matter, with fatigue …

The evidence shows pharmacist prescribing is nothing to fear

November 27, 2019

Prominent GP and former member of parliament Kerryn Phelps has entered the turf war between doctors and pharmacists over who gets to prescribe.
Pharmacy groups have long called for changes to allow pharmacists to prescribe specified medications, such as the oral contraceptive pill and antibiotics for urinary tract infections.
But Phelps argues …

The dementia ‘tsunami’ is coming – but two potential medications offer hope

As our population continues to age, the number of people with dementia is set to skyrocket, a situation that geriatric medicine researcher A/Prof Michael Woodward has likened to a ‘tsunami that’s sadly almost bearing down on us’.
Dementia already affects more than 400,000 Australians and is the second-biggest cause of death, …

HIV: Overwhelming the enemy from the start

Great strides have been made in terms of public health campaigns to reduce the spread of HIV, and the development of antiretrovirals to stop people living with the condition from developing AIDS. However, medical interventions to cure or vaccinate against the condition have so far proved elusive.
Researchers from the Montreal …

Hear this: Healthful diet tied to lower risk of hearing loss

November 19, 2019

It’s just natural that as people age, their hearing gets worse, right?
Not according to researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who have recently published their prospective study of eating habits and hearing threshold decline in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Gathering data on on pure-tone hearing thresholds from participants across 19 sites …

‘Bad cholesterol’ is only as unhealthy as its composition

Low-density lipoproteins (LDL), the kind of cholseterol found in fast food, processed meats and desserts, has come to be known as ‘bad’ cholesterol due to it’s association with heart attacks and coronary disease.
Despite this, 75% of heart attacks occur in patients whose cholesterol levels don’t indicate they’re at high risk, …

New research on countering superbugs

Antibiotic resistance is by no means a new problem, but the latest CDC report into the phenomenon does outline some novel approaches to treating bacterial infection.
The advice for slowing infections generally and resistance in particular will be familiar: vaccination, strict hygiene for medical facilities and personnel, and using antibiotics only …