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In The News

Home grown cannabis to be legal in the ACT. Now what?

October 02, 2019

The Australian Capital Territory took the next step towards regulation of the illicit drug market yesterday with new legislation passing through parliament.
The legislation, which won’t come into effect until January 31, 2020, allows cultivation and possession of small amounts of cannabis for personal use for anyone over 18 years.
However, the …

Migraine sufferers needlessly enduring agonising pain

September 25, 2019

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Roughly 15 per cent of the population suffer from migraines, but as well as being one of the most common neurological conditions it’s also one of the most underdiagnosed and misdiagnosed.
These are the results of a new study published in SN Comprehensive Clinical Medicine, conducted by researchers at …

An increasing number of countries are banning e-cigarettes – here’s why

The White House recently announced plans to ban flavoured e-cigarettes – except for tobacco-flavoured products – because of a rise in the number of middle and high school students using these products.
A few days later, India’s cabinet approved an emergency order banning the production, import and sale of e-cigarettes.
To date, …

Antidepressants work, just not how scientists thought they worked

Most clinical trials of antidepressants were done decades ago in people with severe depression recruited from specialist mental health services. Yet most people who take these drugs have mild to moderate depression. We wanted to know whether a common antidepressant called sertraline works for this group. We found that, indeed, …

Researchers to develop handheld device to diagnose skin cancer

September 18, 2019

Positively identifying skin cancer generally involves taking tissue samples, followed by lab-based testing using slow, bulky and expensive laser-based imaging tools.
A new technique developed by researchers at the Stevens Institute of Technology could achieve more accurate results in instants with a device similar to a mobile phone.
Using millimeter-wave radiation, the …

Sudden hearing loss is a medical emergency, but doctors can miss the signs

‘Sudden sensorineural hearing loss’ (SSNHL), or sudden deafness requires near-immediate treatment to ensure a patient doesn’t lose their hearing permanently.
Unfortunately, many cases are still being missed, dismissed or otherwise not addressed by GPs, according to a recent ABC News report.
The uncommon condition causes the loss of hearing in one (or …

Taking paracetamol during pregnancy may affect the child’s behaviour in early years

In the early 1960s, thousands of babies were born with malformed limbs as a result of their mother taking thalidomide – a drug used to treat morning sickness. The tragedy rocked the medical establishment and made doctors wonder what other drugs might have foetus-harming effects.
Several studies were launched to try …

‘Smart breast’ could empower cancer survivors

September 11, 2019

Cancer survivor and applied cybernetics student Kathy Reid has turned her knowledge and her lived experience into a prosthesis with a difference.
Dubbed the ‘Sense Breast’, the wearable device monitors movement, temperature and pressure to improve the physiotherapy treatment many breast cancer survivors undergo when recovering from surgery.
An ANU masters student, …

Commonly used antibiotics may lead to heart problems

Although favoured by many medical professionals for their broad spectrum of antibacterial activity and high oral absorption, new research has found that one of the most commonly prescribed classes of antibiotics may more than double the risk of two potentially serious heart conditions.
The study, led by researchers at the University …

An opioid success story: Efforts to minimize painkillers after surgery appear to be working

The opioid epidemic has been wreaking misery and death across the nation for years. In 2017 alone, opioid overdoses killed more than 47,000 people – 10,000 more deaths than were caused by traffic accidents that year.
For many people who abuse opioids, the problem begins with opioid prescriptions from their doctors …

Teens with concussions three times more likely to be depressed

September 04, 2019

The health benefits of team sport for young people may have to be weighed up against mental health concerns where concussion is a possibility, according to medical researchers from the University of the Sunshine Coast.
In a recent perspective paper published in The Medical Journal of Australia, the researchers indicated that …

Flu shot may lower death risk in people with hypertension

We know that getting a flu shot early each year dramatically reduces risk of infection. But given the flu’s impact on the immune and other systems, what might the flow-on effects of vaccination be for other, more serious conditions?
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark recently completed a study to …