Conditions & treatments

Seven lifestyle factors could lead to dementia

Half of all dementia cases in Australia could be attributed to seven modifiable lifestyle factors, new research has shown.

The factors were midlife hypertension, diabetes, low educational attainment, smoking, physical inactivity, mid-life obesity, and depression, according to Professor Kaarin Anstey, chief investigator with the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) and principal Research Fellow at Neuroscience Research Australia.

Shake it up on World Parkinson's Day

Events will be held throughout Australia and the world on 11 April for World Parkinson’s Day to raise awareness and research funds for treatments and a cure for the progressive degenerative condition.

Shake it Up Foundation Australia said that the disease affected 80,000 people with 32 people diagnosed every day. 

“Parkinson’s is a very individual condition, with each person experiencing different symptoms,” a Shake It Up spokesperson said. 

Half Australian adults intend to skip annual flu shot this year

More than one in two Australian adults have no plans to be vaccinated against flu this year.

Research by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia showed the virus killed an average of 3,000 people each year, most of them aged over 65.

The guild’s national president, George Tambassis, said 77 per cent of people surveyed were unaware the flu virus could remain active when airborne for 45 minutes or more and 57 per cent believed they were at low risk of catching the flu.

Laughter the best medicine

Most of us are aware that nutrition, exercise and social activities all play their part in overall brain health as we age. But did you know a good laugh can also work wonders?

According to experts, a hearty chuckle releases the same feel-good chemicals as a workout – endorphins, serotonin and dopamine – and can alleviate symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety and boost mental clarity.

Even “faking it until you make it” with a “ha ha, ho ho” brings about the same benefits as the real deal. 

GFC recession stress sent blood pressure up

The Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 10 years ago took a toll on the retirement incomes of many older Australians but in other countries, the economic downturn was a recession that has been blamed for a negative impact on people’s health.

A new study by Professor Teresa Seeman of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) examined how the recession of 2007-2009 raised blood pressure and blood sugar.

New online test for melanoma risk

Researchers have developed an online test for people aged 40 and over to predict their risk of developing melanoma over the next three and a half years.

Using data from nearly 42,000 people aged from 40 to 80, Professor David Whiteman and Dr Catherine Olsen from Queensland’s QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute developed the risk predictor that calculates results based on seven risk factors for melanoma.

These are age, sex, ability to tan, number of moles at age 21, number of skin lesions treated, hair colour and sunscreen use.

Dementia films and mobile app to support communities in need

A series of 15 new films in online and app format is aimed at cutting the devastating impact of dementia in Australia’s Chinese, Indian and Arab communities.

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said the $563,000 Moving Pictures project was seeking to raise awareness and prompt early diagnosis of dementia among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) groups.

“This is about supporting these growing communities to cut through communication and cultural challenges to help vulnerable people,” Mr Wyatt said.

Don't get caught napping: it's World Sleep Day tomorrow

Tomorrow is World Sleep Day, an annual event aimed at celebrating sleep and a call to action on important related issues, including medicine, education, social aspects and driving.

World Sleep Day is organised by the World Sleep Society. It aims to lessen the burden of sleep problems on society through better prevention and management of sleep disorders.

Music really does help you exercise for longer

Listening to music while exercising really does boost your endurance, a new study has shown.

People who listened to upbeat music through headphones could run for nearly a minute longer during a tough stress test on a treadmill, according to researchers from Texas Tech University in the United States.

They found music acted as a powerful motivator – improving mood and triggering feel-good and energy-boosting chemicals in the brain.

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