Conditions & treatments

Nominations open for Stroke Awards

The Stroke Foundation is on the hunt for people making life better for stroke survivors, with nominations for the 2018 Stroke Awards now open. 

The awards are an opportunity to celebrate survivors and commend carers, volunteers, health professionals and researchers who work tirelessly to improve the lives of those affected by stroke.

Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan said the awards recognised the outstanding Australians dedicated to treating, supporting and advocating for stroke survivors and the broader stroke community.

Advanced cancer patients thrown lifeline

Oncology patients in the advanced stages of cancer will be given greater access to clinical trials under an ambitious new national anti-cancer initiative that could save lives.

At a time when only five per cent of adult cancer patients are involved in trials compared to 80 per cent of children, the Eliminate Cancer Initiative (ECI) targets the difficulties that stand in the way of anyone wanting to participate in a trial.

Breast cancer linked to chronic disease later in life

Women who receive hormonal therapy for breast cancer are at increased risk of developing chronic conditions later in life, according to new research published in the Medical Journal of Australia this month.

Researchers from Flinders University and the University of South Australia found that rates of depression, osteoporosis, diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, chronic pain and gastric disorders were higher among breast cancer survivors who had received hormonal cancer treatment than among those without breast cancer.

Dementia Australia launched

A unified, national peak body for people of all ages living with all forms of dementia, their families and carers has been launched.

Dementia Australia is the new voice of what was previously Alzheimer's Australia.

Announcing the change, the organisation said that while Alzheimer’s disease was the most common form, there were more than 100 types of dementia and, for this reason, its message needed to be inclusive of all.  

The organisation said that awareness and understanding about dementia was still alarmingly low, but the prevalence of dementia was growing.

Give the gift of life in 2018

Australians are being asked to begin the year by discussing their organ and tissue donation wishes with family and friends and joining the Australian Organ Donor Register.

Federal Minister responsible for organ and tissue donation, Ken Wyatt AM, said almost anyone could become a registered donor, including people aged in their 70s and 80s.

“I’m calling on all Australians to make this a priority for 2018,” Mr Wyatt, who is also Minister for Ageing, said.

Alzheimer's setback as promising drug shows no benefit in clinical trials

The quest to develop drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease has experienced a new setback, with a promising medication failing to show benefits in the latest series of clinical trials in the UK.

The Guardian website has reported earlier trials had suggested that the drug idalopirdine, from the Danish international pharmaceutical company Lundbeck, might improve cognition in those with Alzheimer’s disease when taken alongside existing drugs – known as cholinesterase inhibitors – acting to improve symptoms rather than stopping the disease from developing.

Gym workouts could help head off dementia

Early results from a new Australian study shows people in their 60s and early 70s could lower their risk of dementia if they went to the gym to retain muscle mass.

Australian National University’s Dr Marnie Shaw said about one in 10 Australians aged 65 years and older will get dementia.

“As our population ages, the number of people with dementia will increase, but an active lifestyle offers real opportunities for reducing dementia risk,” Dr Shaw said.

Is your dentist away?

Whether it’s a broken tooth or a nagging ache that won’t go away, dental problems often crop up when the local dentist is on leave.

The Australian Dental Association (ADA) wants to reassure people if they have any dental emergencies over the Christmas-New Year period and their local dentist is not available, there will be other dentists ready to address any problems.

Services will be limited to relief of pain or trauma and the provision of antibiotics where required, the ADA said.

Wheat a kick in the guts for fighting diseases

Australian scientists have helped develop a new type of wheat with 10 times the amount of fibre than normal wheat, helping to improve gut health and fight bowel cancer and Type 2 diabetes.

The new wheat strain, created by an international team including Australia’s CSIRO, is high in the resistant starch amylose and could provide millions of people with a lot more fibre without having to change their eating habits, the CSIRO’s Dr Ahmed Regina said.

Seeking views on Specialist Dementia Care Units

The Federal Government is seeking community input on how to best implement planned new Specialist Dementia Care Units (SDCUs) for people living with severe behaviours associated with advanced dementia.

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said an estimated 350,000 Australians are already living with dementia and the SDCU feedback would help shape the initiative, including funding and administrative options.

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