It always seems strange to me that when they play the national anthem, almost everyone holds their hand over their heart, off to the side of their chest. But wait a minute! That's not where our heart is at all. Our heart is in the exact center of our chest...
Hearing voices that other people can’t is a meaningful experience. Like dreams, they can usually be understood in terms of one’s life experiences.
It often begins as an easily dismissed tingle in the thumb or an ache in the wrist. Building slowly but persistently to a searing, tearing pain from the wrist to the fingers.
Knock knees, also known as genu valgum, is a type of knee alignment seen when a child (or adult) stands up straight with their knees together, but their feet and ankles stay apart.
Vice President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel has released 10 recommendations to accelerate a new national effort “to end cancer as we know it.”
Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, is a growing problem worldwide. There are 350,000 people with dementia in Australia and this is set to rise to 900,000 by 2050. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
Humans may live longer and longer, but eventually we all grow old and die. This leads to a simple question: is there an intrinsic maximum limit to human lifespan or not?
If you mention autism to most people they will think about children, but it is a lifelong diagnosis. Children with autism grow up to be adults with autism. Little is known about how the symptoms change with age.
Older adults who participate in training designed to improve cognitive ability are more likely to continue driving over the next 10 years than those who don’t, research shows.
Although the causes of Alzheimer’s disease remain a mystery, genetic research is now providing clues about how the disease develops.
Conjunctivitis is an eye disease that has been described since antiquity. Ancient Roman oculists, the eye physicians of the time, prescribed remedies such as vinegar lotions and copper oxide for its treatment.
Two powerful tools for early Alzheimer’s detection may fit in the palm of your hand. In fact, one of those tools is your hand.
New research suggests a noninvasive blood test could vastly improve early detection rates of severe liver disease—before irreversible damage is done.
Spring is a favourite time of year for many – as the earth rejuvenates, lawns become green and trees blossom. But for the 15% of Australians who get hay fever, it can be a struggle to get through the season.
I often get the question how I manage to find the time to do so many things, and my answer is always the same: I have learnt to give myself time. In order to not get overwhelmed, or waste my inner energy, I had to learn how to structure my life in such a way that there was plenty of relaxation time...
E Street lead guitarist Steve Van Zandt once said Bruce Springsteen never took drugs because he was afraid he might reprise his father’s depression
Breast cancer could be detected using a blood test, according to reports out today. Scientists at the Australian National University (ANU) are working with counterparts in France to make this form of cancer detection, that is far less invasive and expensive than other tests such as biopsies, a reality.
I wanted to know precisely why I felt like a zombie. Was I stressed out of my mind, overloaded with information that was jamming my gray matter and making myself so crazy-busy that I was running on empty? Had I become a poster child for Prozac, or was I...
A baby boy, the first child to be born using a new technique that incorporates DNA from three people, is now five months old.
Synthetic cannabis, of which Spice is an example, is linked to serious health issues ranging from difficulties breathing to psychotic episodes.
Nearly one-third of Australians aged 55 or over (or around 1.5 million people) have an untreated cataract. In 2013-14, there were 229,693 hospital admissions for cataract surgeries, making cataracts one of the most prevalent conditions among Australians.
Chances are, this question "Why do I feel so tired?" has crossed your mind more than once... You felt the wave of fatigue come crashing over your body, and the question hit you like a ton of bricks. But having neither the energy to figure out why nor the time to let yourself be tired, you grabbed another cup of coffee...
Relying on clinical symptoms of memory loss to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease may miss other forms of dementia caused by Alzheimer’s that don’t initially affect memory, a new study suggests.
Quitting smoking improves health and lowers odds of developing lung cancer. And even among smokers with a genetic predisposition to smoking heavily and developing lung cancer at a young age, the benefits of quitting are significant.
There is growing evidence that inflammation – already known to be a cause of many whole-body diseases – is also involved in diseases of the brain, including psychiatric conditions like depression.
Stories of meningococcal outbreaks tell us it’s that season again. But what is meningococcal meningitis, why does it occur in seasons, and why does it strike fear into the hearts of so many?
Despite a growing epidemic, many medical providers fail to diagnose obesity in their patients—missing an opportunity to identify an important component of long-term health.
There has been substantial publicity about the MINDACT trial, which could lead to changes in breast cancer treatment. The study’s results suggest that women with a certain genetic profile would have a good chance of survival and cure regardless of chemotherapy.
A few years ago, I was in the audience for a live radio show, when the renowned American country singer Glen Campbell took to the stage.
A set of biomarkers found in blood samples seem to predict with about 85 percent accuracy whether or not a person will develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Head knocks in childhood are by no means uncommon, yet they may have lasting negative effects. New research has found a link between concussion in childhood and adverse medical and social outcomes as an adult.
The hormone melatonin appears to suppress the growth of breast cancer tumors, say researchers.
About 100 million Americans—one in three people—suffer from ongoing pain that impacts their daily lives. Chronic pain has fueled a pain treatment crisis resulting in the overprescribing of risky opioids. The tragic deaths of celebrities such as Prince have brought the issue to public awareness in a way that statistics can't.
Lower back pain is the greatest source of global disability, ahead of nearly 300 other conditions, leading to huge levels of healthcare costs and suffering. And the effects go far beyond pain, weakness and stiffness – they also have a huge impact the social and family lives of sufferers.
Just over 50 years ago, a highly contagious but seemingly harmless virus swept through the United States, infecting as many as 12.5 million people. In both adults and children, the virus presented as a mild illness, but caused birth defects in some babies born to women who were infected while pregnant.
For people in northern countries enjoying summer sun, I hate to put a dampener on things but winter’s coming. The cold months can seem to go on forever, yet scientists are uncovering a new reason to be grateful for them.
Researchers are testing a non-invasive way to determine if treatments for Parkinson’s slow or stop the progression of the disease.
We used to think of “addiction”, or what we now call dependence, as a moral failing. This had the result of blaming the person who was addicted – it was a matter of willpower and they just weren’t trying hard enough. So the obvious solution was shaming and scolding until they did.
People who have both hepatitis B and HIV may have a greater chance of developing liver cancer at a young age, according to our new study.
Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. While we usually think of hepatitis A to E viruses, anything that causes inflammation or damage to the liver can be considered as a form of hepatitis.
It is well recognised that increasing rates of type 2 diabetes are mainly driven by obesity and lifestyle factors. But that’s not the whole story. Genetics and epigenetics – changes in gene expression – also play an important role.
It’s well-known that those with autism spectrum disorders including Asperger’s syndrome develop difficulties with social communication and show stereotyped patterns of behaviour.
Essential organs tasked with keeping us alive and reproducing – such as the heart, brain or uterus – may have evolved better protection against cancer than larger and paired organs, we have proposed.
The most common question I get asked is “Will my child get Alzheimer’s disease?” In my experience, this concern is one of the biggest worries for sufferers, and given the devastating effects of the disease, it is not hard to see why it is a difficult thought to contemplate.
Specific aspects of the Amish environment are associated with changes to immune cells that appear to protect children from developing asthma, report researchers.
Most Eastern styles of medicine pay just as much attention to the patient’s state of mind as to the state of his or her tissues and organs. This insight and acknowledgment of the whole person rather than reducing us to our individual body parts is based on healing methods centuries old that survive because they work.
In late July, an international team of researchers announced that they had identified evidence of cancer in the fossilized remains of a biological relative of human beings who lived about 1.7 million years ago.
Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928 and revolutionised the treatment of bacterial infections. Ever since then we have been searching for new antibiotics to address the myriad of infections humans encounter and the growing risk of resistance to them.
A new breast cancer study shows that tumors can mutate in response to treatments that reduce estrogen levels in the body.
Recent calls for the introduction of a vaccine against chickenpox (varicella-zoster virus infection) following a severe case of the disease in Cambridge, England may surprise many parents who consider the disease to be a mild illness that “everyone gets”.
Type 2 diabetes has reached epidemic proportions, with an estimated 29 million people in the U.S. having the disease and another 86 million considered prediabetic. With an estimated cost of US$245 billion, prevention becomes critically important to stem the tide of increasing diabetes prevalence.
A recent report by the Mental Health Network, found that 19% of adults had been diagnosed with depression at some point in their lives, while as many as one in four people experience a mental health problem in any given year.
Anger can be very quick, powerful, reactive, and can make us do things we typically wouldn’t do. There is nothing inherently wrong with anger as an emotion, but nowhere is anger less helpful, more common, and potentially more dangerous than when we are behind the wheel of a car.
Antiretroviral therapy has revolutionised the lives of people living with HIV. In many countries, the life expectancy for someone living with the virus is now almost the same as someone who isn’t infected.
A new analysis of the medical records of more than 5.5 million older adults admitted to nursing homes between 2011 and 2014 shows that those with delirium face an increased risk of death. They’re also more likely to be readmitted to the hospital.
Raising a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be difficult. Some days feel long and the respite of a peaceful night, so rejuvenating for many, may not come at all
The prevalence of gout is increasing worldwide. It has become the most common cause of inflammatory arthritis in men, and its prevalence in postmenopausal women continues to rise. This increase is due to changes in diet and lifestyle, increased use of certain diuretics and increasing obesity.
Admitting a loved one to a nursing home is a difficult decision and is usually only arrived at once the person’s care needs cannot be met by the family and community-based services. Dementia has profound consequences for the quality of life for those with the condition, their family and friends.
Researchers are testing a non-drug pain treatment for people who are trying to overcome addiction.
Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition with no known cure. It impacts people of all ages through episodic constrictions of the airways, which may be even worse than it sounds.
Scientists have identified an inner ear deficiency in children with autism that may affect their ability to recognize speech. The finding suggests that a hearing test could one day be used identify children at risk for the disorder at an early age.
The United States Preventive Services Task Force has released a report saying there isn’t enough evidence to recommend that clinicians perform visual screening for melanomas for patients with no known risk for the skin cancer.
Manipulating the brain has been a tool used in the treatment of mental illness for centuries, and treatments have often been controversial.
When a child is diagnosed with asthma, parents usually have a number of questions. How serious is asthma? Will the child grow out of it?
The number of new cases of metastatic prostate cancer climbed 72 percent from 2004 to 2013, but it’s unclear whether the rise is due to a recent trend of fewer screenings, the disease becoming more aggressive, or both.
If you take prescription opioids, you may have experienced withdrawal symptoms at some point—perhaps when you forgot to take a scheduled dose of medication. Opioid withdrawal is highly unpleasant. If you experience withdrawal symptoms, this does not meant that you cannot get off opioids...
Over the last century, myopia (short-sightedness) has risen to epidemic proportions. In South-East Asia nearly 90% of school leavers are now affected. In the West the figures are not as dramatic, but it appears to be similarly increasing.
The most exciting recent development in human genetics research has been the ability to perform large-scale systematic studies of genetic variation in thousands of people.
My mother-in-law called me yesterday. She doesn’t quite know what I do for a job but has a vague idea I work with a group seeking to understand and ultimately prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
What you say when a doctor asks how you feel is as good—or perhaps even better—than any test to predict long-term illness or death.
Being overweight and not getting enough exercise are considered major contributors to insulin resistance and, ultimately, type 2 diabetes. But new research suggests specific imbalances in gut bacteria play a role, too
Organ transplantation saves lives. People with end-stage kidney disease who receive a transplant tend to live much longer than those who undergo dialysis. A kidney from a living donor will last from 12 to 20 years, on average, compared to eight to 12 years for a kidney from a deceased donor.
Head trauma is a major public health concern in the United States, with indirect and direct health-care costs approaching nearly US$1 billion annually. Worse, head trauma also can cause short- and long-term health problems and, in children, problems with academics, headaches and behavioral health issues.
You have forgotten where you put your car keys, or you can’t seem to remember the name of your colleague you saw in the grocery store the other day. You fear the worst, that maybe these are signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
Something as simple as picking up a cup of tea requires an awful lot of action from your body. Your arm muscles fire to move your arm towards the cup. Your finger muscles fire to open your hand then bend your fingers around the handle.
Chronic fatigue syndrome, a condition where normal exertion leads to debilitating fatigue that isn’t alleviated by rest, has long mystified scientists. There are no known triggers, and diagnosis requires lengthy tests.
The estimated annual health care costs related to obesity are over $210 billion, or nearly 21 percent of annual medical spending in the United States.
On any ranked list of nasty diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks and fleas in the Western world, Borrelia burgdorferi, would have to lie near the top. These bacteria cause Lyme disease, which was first recognised in the US in the early 1970s among patients in Lyme, Connecticut.
For thousands of years humans have defended themselves from harm by others. But many have proceeded to regularly harm themselves. They have actively searched for substances to ingest, inhale, inject and apply which may give them some immediate relief but damage or destroy their lives over time.
The World Health Organisation’s cancer arm made two announcements this week: one welcome and one not so welcome.
The “common cold” is common. Most of us will have at least one or two per year. Children get sick more often and very young children often get more than five colds per year.
Scientists have uncovered a link between emotional stress and diabetes, with roots in the brain’s ability to control anxiety.
A recent study by the National Institutes of Health found that more than one in three people in the United States have experienced pain of some sort in the previous three months. Of these, approximately 50 million suffer from chronic or severe pain.
Everyone knows that Britain’s conclusive victory over Napoleon was at Waterloo. The story of that day – the squares of infantry repulsing cavalry charges, the Imperial Guard retreating under murderous musket fire delivered by a red line of soliders, the just-in-time arrival of Field Marshal Blücher’s Prussian army – is one of excitement, horror and heroism.
The near panic caused by the rapid spread of the Zika virus has brought new urgency to the question of how best to control mosquitoes that transmit human diseases. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes bite people across the globe, spreading three viral diseases: dengue, chikungunya and Zika.
Marisa Fisher's research suggests people with Williams syndrome can learn to say no to strangers, refuting past studies that indicated sociability may be hard-wired in individuals with Williams syndrome.
Alcohol: why do we drink it? People have been consuming alcohol for at least 10,000 years. And when drinking water was rather risky, alcohol seemed a much safer bet. Amaldus of Villanova, a 14th-century monk, even wrote that alcohol “prolongs life, clears away ill humors, revives the heart and maintains youth”.
"As doctors, we throw things like antihistamines, ointments, and lotions at patients who suffer chronic itching, but if there is something profoundly abnormal about the immune system—as it appears there is—then we can't solve the itching until we address those underlying causes," says Brian S. Kim.
“I have something to say. I want to share it with you.” By tapping a few keys in a specific sequence, I have made a code emerge on the screen. When you see these words, the language area of your brain (usually the left side) converts the sequence into meaning. If I have selected well, this meaning will match the message I wanted to convey.
Traditionally, someone who suffered from hypertension – or high blood pressure – would only receive treatment when his or her blood pressure was measured and the reading was found be higher than normal. But this meant that the condition was often picked up only when the person had a stroke or a heart attack – and in many instances this was too late.
Osteoarthritis affects about eight million people in the UK, and rheumatoid arthritis a further half a million. Unfortunately, there is no cure. The most advanced treatments available today offer only limited relief from joint pain and swelling.
"A shift of attention is needed from disease-focused management, such as medications for hypertension or high cholesterol, to overall well-being across many areas," says William Dale.
The opioid abuse epidemic is a full-fledged item in the 2016 campaign, and with it questions about how to combat the problem and treat people who are addicted.
"If older adults are more likely to have these pain messages sent through the spinal cord to the brain, and the nervous system is being adapted to go through these changes, they may become more pain prone," says Joseph Riley.
Children in Canada, their parents, health professionals and government ministers will welcome the news that there has been a decline in overweight and obese children over the past ten years. The reduction in the proportion of children in Canada who are overweight or obese is a rare achievement.
From believing that clouds are alien spaceships to thinking that MI6 agents are following you in unmarked cars, delusions are the hallmark of severe mental illness.
Conversation about how often you have to get up at night for a piddle is probably not the most scintillating discourse. But there’s a much bigger reason men don’t like to talk about prostate conditions.
Although breast cancer is usually seen as a woman’s disease, around 145 Australian men were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, and around 25 died from it. A little under 1% of all breast cancers occur in men, so it is more common than most people think.
How long you live depends in part on the genes you inherit. For example, those suffering from Werner’s syndrome have inherited two defective copies of a gene coding for an enzyme that is involved in DNA replication and repair.
Beginning in infancy, people who have autism spectrum disorder observe and interpret images and social cues differently than others do. Researchers now have new insight into just how this occurs, which eventually may help doctors diagnose, and more effectively treat, the various forms of the disorder.