The Health News – 12 September 2016

Overview:
•  A University of Tasmania study is now offering monthly $50 gift vouchers to expectant mothers to stop smoking. Dr Mai Frandsen is a research fellow with the Cancer Council of Tasmania and the University of Tasmania, and her passion was to try and reduce the rates of smoking in pregnancy.

• A man in Britain had the vision in one of his eyes restored after surgeons used a robot to operate inside a patient’s eye for the first time. Twelve patients will undergo surgical procedures using the surgical robot, which was developed by Dutch company Preceyes, in a trial funded by the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre.

The University of Alabama study asked students to complete a challenging exam, then either exercise or rest for 15 minutes. Researchers then treated the students to an all-you-can-eat pizza lunch. Researchers say the lactate — one of the brain’s energy sources — that is produced during strenuous activity might have been enough to replenish the students’ brain energy needs after the exam, reducing their need to overeat.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  12th of September 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-11/study-uses-incentives-for-women-who-quit-smoking-during-pregnan/7831562

A Launceston-based study is using vouchers from a department store as an incentive for women to quit smoking during pregnancy.

Tasmania has the second highest rate in the nation of women smoking while they are pregnant.

About one in six Tasmanian women smoke while pregnant, and for women under 25 the figure rises to one in three.

A University of Tasmania study is now offering monthly $50 gift vouchers to expectant mothers to stop smoking.

Each participant receives the voucher for a department store after they have taken a simple test to determine if they have remained smoke-free for that period.

Dr Mai Frandsen is a research fellow with the Cancer Council of Tasmania and the University of Tasmania, and she said the premise of the research raised tricky questions.

“It’s a health psychology question,” Dr Frandsen said.

“We all know that we should exercise, we all know that we shouldn’t have too many beers, we all know that sitting in front of the television for too long is bad for us, but information isn’t enough.”

Dr Frandesn’s brief and passion was to try and reduce the rates of smoking in pregnancy, and she said the first step in wanting to quit is quite often already present in pregnant women.

Dr Fransden said midwives and general practitioners who often have contact with pregnant women do the best they can to convey the dangers of smoking while pregnant, but they are often racing the clock.

Dr Frandsen said she been criticised in the past over the fact the study pays women to quit smoking, a view that she said was a “naive” way of looking at it.

The vouchers used in the study were paid for through a grant to the University of Tasmania.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-10/robot-operates-inside-eye-in-world-first-surgery/7832968

A man in Britain had the vision in one of his eyes restored after surgeons used a robot to operate inside a patient’s eye for the first time.

The robot, which filters out hand tremors, allowing delicate procedures to be carried out with greater precision, was used to peel back a membrane a hundredth of a millimetre thick on patient Bill Beaver’s retina.

Mr Beaver said he was amazed by the “fairy tale” procedure.

“It’s quite remarkable, I mean, it’s almost the world of fairy tales, but it’s true,” he said.

Surgeon Robert MacLaren led the procedure.

“Operating at the back of the eye needs great precision, and the challenge has been to get a robot system to do that through a tiny hole in the wall of the eye without causing damage as it moves around,” he told the BBC.

“Most robots in theatre are big, with big engineering whereas this is tiny — everything had to be shrunk down.”

During the procedure, Professor MacLaren used a joystick and touchscreen to guide a needle inside Mr Beaver’s eye.

Twelve patients will undergo surgical procedures using the surgical robot, which was developed by Dutch company Preceyes, in a trial funded by the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre.

Robotic surgery is commonplace, but has never before been used inside the eye.

Professor MacLaren told the BBC he hoped robotics would take eye surgery to another level.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/health/exercise-may-help-control-hunger-after-mentally-taxing-work/7830402?section=health

If you find brain-draining activity turns you into an eating machine, exercise could help curb your hunger, a new study has found.

The University of Alabama study asked students to complete a challenging exam, then either exercise or rest for 15 minutes. Researchers then treated the students to an all-you-can-eat pizza lunch.

In a separate session, the students also rested and then ate pizza to allow the researchers to get a baseline for the students’ appetite.

You might have thought the exercisers would be hungrier, but the opposite was true: those who had relaxed after the exam ate about 400 kilojoules more than their baseline.

In contrast, those who exercised ate about 100 kilojoules less than their baseline, plus they burned kilojoules during their 15 minutes of high-intensity interval training, reducing their overall energy intake even further.

Researchers say the lactate — one of the brain’s energy sources — that is produced during strenuous activity might have been enough to replenish the students’ brain energy needs after the exam, reducing their need to overeat.

The study has clear implications for the workforce and students, lead author William Neumeier said.

 

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