The Health News – 7 September 2016

Overview:
•  The new Perth Children’s Hospital was supposed to open in 2015 but has been repeatedly pushed back amid continued construction problems, such as faulty water pipingand the presence of asbestos in roof panels. Both the Government and contractor John Holland are still unable to explain the latest issue, the discovery of high levels of lead detected in water at the facility.

• Dr Ben Isbel from the Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience Thompson Institute at the University of the Sunshine Coast is overseeing the world-first study. looking at whether brain training computer programs and mindfulness strategies can improve cognitive function and even prevent dementia.

• The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) had received almost 90 reports of psychiatric events in children and adolescents treated with Singulair’s active ingredient, a drug called Montelukast. The TGA acknowledged that suicidal thoughts, depression and anxiety are possible side effects of Montelukast.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  7th of September 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-06/mounting-doubt-about-new-perth-childrens-hospital-opening-date/7820352

There is mounting doubt that the new Perth Children’s Hospital will open in 2016, with major construction issues continuing to plague the $1.2 billion facility.

State Health Minister John Day has refused to guarantee the already delayed facility would open in 2016, saying only he was “hopeful some activities would commence before the end of the year”.

The hospital was supposed to open in 2015 but has been repeatedly pushed back amid continued construction problems, such as faulty water pipingand the presence of asbestos in roof panels.

Both the Government and contractor John Holland are still unable to explain the latest issue, the discovery of high levels of lead detected in water at the facility.

Asked in Parliament if he could guarantee the hospital would still open in 2016, which was the Government’s most recent completion date, Mr Day gave the strongest indication yet that it was far from certain to begin operations this year.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-06/dementia-prevention-study-underway-as-researchers-study-link/7819688

A study is underway on the Sunshine Coast looking at whether brain training computer programs and mindfulness strategies can improve cognitive function and even prevent dementia.

Dr Ben Isbel, from the Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience Thompson Institute at the University of the Sunshine Coast, is overseeing the world-first study.

Dr Isbel said the study assessed whether attention training programs improved cognitive function, such as attention and memory — specifically in healthy, older adults.

“There have been quite a few studies using the kind of technology we are using but realistically, they’ve all been done on a younger population,” he said.

“There’s probably only a handful of studies worldwide that’ve been done on an older population and especially those at risk of dementia, so these are really world-first studies that we’re doing here.”

Over eight weeks, selected participants engaged in either a computer-based attention training program or a mindfulness program, both involving daily practice at home.

Throughout, a participant’s neural activity was measured to the millisecond via a cap placed on the head with carefully positioned colour-coded electrodes.

Dr Isbel said while attention and memory naturally slowed as part of the ageing process, researchers were interested in whether the exercises could reduce or halt that decline all together.

If so, he said there was scope to extend it to the wider population.

More older volunteers are being accepted into the study so if you are interested in taking part, please email: [email protected] or by telephone on: 07 5430 1133.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-06/more-stories-emerge-of-psychiatric-side-effects-of-singulair/7818670

… the Therapeut0ic Goods Administration (TGA) had received almost 90 reports of psychiatric events in children and adolescents treated with Singulair’s active ingredient, a drug called Montelukast.

Arna Opperman’s daughter Sophia started taking the cherry-flavoured chewable Singulair tablet when she was two years old.

“She started having these fits of rage basically,” …

“I’d just given birth to our second child at the time and she would to attack this child with any hard toy she could find until she bled.” [Ms Opperman said.]

After consultation with pharmacists, Ms Opperman took her daughter off Singulair and her symptoms ceased. She said she wanted the drug taken off the shelf.

“I know too many children that have had serious adverse effects so I personally would like to see the drug banned in Australia,” she said.

Two families told 7.30 that their four and six-year-old children had suicidal thoughts while on Singulair.

Since then four more families have emailed the ABC saying that their children had suicidal thoughts, while others experienced depression, violent rages or fear.

The TGA acknowledged that suicidal thoughts, depression and anxiety are possible side effects of Montelukast.

That information is available on the TGA’s website but some families have called for warnings to be clearly displayed on or in boxes of the medication.