Health

Eating disorders can mask autism in girls

Girls and women on the autism spectrum are at higher risk of anorexia nervosa than males, research suggests. Caitlin Fitzsimmons The Age But girls are also more likely than boys to have undiagnosed autism and their symptoms could be mistaken for an eating disorder. An article in Current Psychiatry Reports by researchers from Kings College London reports between 4 and 52.5 per cent of anorexia patients meet a clinical diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, depending on the study. In the general population ... Read More »

Melbourne’s Indigenous people in grips of mental health crisis

It’s a wet Wednesday morning in Thomastown and all the patients Dr Peter Walsh has seen so far have severe mental health problems. One is suicidal, another is experiencing drug-induced psychosis. Miki Perkins The Age It’s not unusual for most – sometimes all – of the patients in a day at this new Aboriginal health service to be in the midst of a full-blown, severe mental health crisis. The clinic’s Melbourne-based patients experience trauma and mental health conditions more often ... Read More »

Elder abuse increasing, without increased awareness

About 16% of older adults are victims of some form of mistreatment and the number of reported cases of elder abuse is steadily increasing. Authors: The Conversation Because of poor record-keeping, however, those of us who study elder abuse don’t know if the trend reflects an actual increase, an increase because of growing numbers of older adults, or only an… Elder abuse involves intentional or unintentional acts that result in physical, emotional or financial harm to an individual who is ... Read More »

Children with autism may use memory differently. Understanding this could help us teach them

Around one in every 70 Australians are on the autism spectrum. The proportion of children with autism is higher – more than 80% of all Australians on the autism spectrum are aged under 25. John Munro The Conversation Autism is most prevalent among school-aged children between 5 and 14. Many of these children have social, learning, communication and intellectual difficulties. The high proportion of children on the autism spectrum presents an obvious challenge to teachers and the learning environment. One ... Read More »

Chilling documentary exposes the grim truth behind China’s one-child policy

A horrific legacy of forced sterilisation, child abandonment and state-sponsored kidnappings has been exposed in a haunting new doco. Ben Graham News.Com.Au It wasn’t until acclaimed documentary-maker Nanfu Wang moved to the US and had a child of her own that she began to look at her upbringing in China in a whole new light. In a harrowing and deeply personal new documentary — One Child Nation — that’s screening at this year’s Sydney Film Festival, she describes the rush ... Read More »

‘They will eventually get me’: Surgeon Charlie Teo threatens to quit

Celebrity brain surgeon Charlie Teo has launched an extraordinary attack on the medical establishment, describing its governing bodies as “the enemy” and accusing the… Eryk Bagshaw The Sydney Morning Herald In comments that will spark controversy at the very top of Australian medicine, Dr Teo said he will quit if concerns raised by other surgeons and regulators about his fees and methods continue. The neurosurgeon has been embroiled in a spat with surgical colleagues, the College of Surgeons and the Australian ... Read More »

The gene therapy revolution is here. Medicine is scrambling to keep pace

Gene therapy – for so long something that belonged to the future – has just hit the streets. Elizabeth Finkel The Conversation A couple of weeks back, you might have picked up a headline alerting us to the most expensive drug in history – a one off gene therapy cure for spinal muscular atrophy. Novartis have priced the drug Zolgensma at A$3 million (US$2.1 million). Traditionally a parent of a baby with spinal muscular atrophy was told: take your baby ... Read More »

One in six women in Australia are physically or sexually abused before they turn 15

A new report has shed light on statistics surrounding family, domestic and sexual violence – showing one in six women and one in nine men experienced physical or sexual abuse before the age of 15. Dubravka Voloder SBS Sydney woman Cynthia Huynh was still at primary school when she first experienced violence. “I spent my childhood immersed in abuse,” she told SBS News. What started out as discipline, she said, ended up as an excuse for being hit. “The violence, ... Read More »

Semenya given huge boost as Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland suspends IAAF regulations

Caster Semenya has been cleared to compete without taking medication to lower her testosterone levels while her appeal is pending after a court in Switzerland ordered an… Liam Morgan Inside The Games The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland has demanded the implementation of rules forcing athletes with differences in sexual development (DSD) to take drugs to medically reduce their… The decision is a major boost for the two-times Olympic and triple world 800m champion as she continues to challenge the ... Read More »

Breast cancer gene test scrutinises need for chemotherapy

Oncotype test reveals hormone therapy alone sufficient treatment for many women Hundreds of Irish women with breast cancer are being provided with free access to a gene test that can show whether or not they will need to be treated with invasive chemotherapy. Paul Cullen The Irish Times The Oncotype test has already been made available to almost 700 women with early-stage breast cancer in Ireland, and has shown that 70 per cent in this group do not need chemotherapy. ... Read More »

Why Autism Goes Unseen in Girls – And How You Can Spot It

Autism is under-recognised in girls and many mask the condition to fit in, feel safe and gain acceptance – but it takes a heavy toll, says Sarah-Jane Critchley… TeachWire When you look at Beth, autism is not the first thing that you would think of. She is bright, open, smiley, makes great eye contact and comes alive when you start talking about Harry Potter. Before long, you start to realise that your entire lesson could be hijacked by her in ... Read More »

New Zealand ‘wellbeing’ budget promises billions to care for most vulnerable

Widespread praise for ‘world-first’ budget tackling mental illness, family violence and child poverty Eleanor Ainge Roy The Guardian After more than a year of curiosity and speculation, New Zealand’s Labour coalition government has unveiled its “world-first” wellbeing budget, to widespread praise from social agencies charged with looking after the… The finance minister, Grant Robertson, unveiled billions for mental health services and child poverty as well as record investment in measures to tackle family violence. “Success is making New Zealand both a ... Read More »

Malaysia to send plastic waste back to Australia and other developed nations

Malaysia will send back some 3,000 tonnes of non-recyclable plastic waste to countries such as Australia, the US, the UK and Canada to avoid becoming a dumping ground for rich nations. ABC Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin said Malaysia and many developing countries had become new targets after China banned the import of plastic waste last year, disrupting the flow of more than 7 million tonnes of plastic scrap a… Last week, the Philippines announced it would ship back dozens of ... Read More »

Child migrants around the world are being denied their human rights

At 3am we were forced to leave the bus station. We were caught by the police. They asked if we had passports. We said no, we are from Afghanistan, please help us – the police drove away. Afghani refugee, 15, on meeting police in Paris Authors: The Conversation Abed – not his real name – had been in Paris after a treacherous overland journey from Afghanistan. He is one of many youngsters whose families fear the situation in their own ... Read More »

Aboriginal mothers are incarcerated at alarming rates – and their mental and physical health suffers

Aboriginal women are the fastest growing prison population in Australia. They comprise around one-third of female prisoners in New South Wales, despite making up just 3% of the population. Authors: The Conversation The majority of Aboriginal women in prison (more than 80%) are mothers. Our research team interviewed 43 Aboriginal mothers in six prisons across NSW about their physical and mental health and well-being. We found they were overwhelmingly unable to access culturally appropriate treatments for their mental health, well-being ... Read More »

Venezuela’s Collapse Is the Worst Outside of War in Decades, Economists Say

Butchers have stopped selling meat cuts in favor of offal, fat shavings and cow hooves, the only animal protein many of their customers can afford. Anatoly Kurmanaev The New York Times MARACAIBO, Venezuela — Zimbabwe’s collapse under Robert Mugabe. The fall of the Soviet Union. Cuba’s disastrous unraveling in the 1990s. The crumbling of Venezuela’s economy has now outpaced them all. Venezuela’s fall is the single largest economic collapse outside of war in at least 45 years, economists say. “It’s ... Read More »