The Health News Australia December 8 2017

  • Researchers at The University of Queensland are hoping a new form of immunotherapy could lead to better treatment of type one diabetes. The therapy aims to rebalance the immune system of children with type one diabetes, correcting the immune damage and therefore protecting the cells that make insulin. Type 1 diabetes affects more than 120,000 Australians and usually occurs in childhood.
  • Residents near Katherine have been warned not to eat fish and local produce, after investigations showed waterways and bores had been contaminated with toxic firefighting foam know as Pfas from the local air force base. The discovery has prompted concerns about the impact on tourism in Katherine and the town’s mayor, Fay Miller, is this week expecting to ask the federal government for marketing assistance to reassure visitors.
  • A coalition of women’s health groups want all teenagers to be taught about menstrual health in schools to raise awareness about the potentially debilitating condition endometriosis. The coalition is made up of patient groups such as EndoActive, the Pelvic Pain Foundation, as well as medical research groups such as the Hudson Institute of Medical Research and the Universities of Adelaide, Melbourne and NSW.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 8th of December 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://health.uq.edu.au/article/2017/12/research-under-way-new-type-1-diabetes-treatment

Researchers at The University of Queensland are hoping a new form of immunotherapy could lead to better treatment of type one diabetes. UQ Diamantina Institute researcher Professor Ranjeny Thomas said the therapy aims to rebalance the immune system of children with type one diabetes, correcting the immune damage and therefore protecting the cells that make insulin.

Professor Thomas said: “Currently there is no treatment, apart from insulin, for people suffering type one diabetes.” She added that the immunotherapy had been successful in controlling the disease in mice and the research team were now working toward clinical trials, to begin in about two years.
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Type one diabetes affects more than one hundred twenty thousand Australians and usually occurs in childhood. Professor Thomas said the researchers were working with a group of patients from the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital to determine appropriate candidates for clinical trials of immunotherapy. To support this work, UQ has been awarded a one point two million US dollar grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, to be administered by JDRF Australia. JDRF Head of Research Development Doctor Dorota Pawlak said she welcomed the grant. She added: “We are delighted to be able to facilitate the award of this grant and leverage our international presence to help bring funds to Australia.”

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/dec/05/katherine-fishing-ban-after-waterways-contaminated-with-toxic-firefighting-foam

Residents near Katherine have been warned not to eat fish and local produce, after investigations showed waterways and bores had been contaminated with toxic firefighting foam from the local air force base. The discovery has prompted concerns about the impact on tourism in Katherine and the town’s mayor, Fay Miller, is this week expecting to ask the federal government for marketing assistance to reassure visitors. The defence department on Monday informed the community about the findings of a detailed site investigation of contamination from its Royal Australian Air Force base in Tindal, where toxic firefighting foam was used between nineteen eighty eight and two thousand eleven.

According to US studies, the foam contained per and poly-fluoroalkyl substances or Pfas, which share a probable link with cancers and other adverse health impacts. Similar chemicals have caused contamination scandals in Oakey, Queensland, and Williamtown in New South Wales.
Both towns have launched class actions against the federal government, alleging defence has known of the dangers of Pfas for decades but failed to stop its use at military bases.

Residents were warned against drinking water from contaminated bores or water from the Katherine river downstream of the Stuart highway, and eating eggs from poultry watered by contaminated water.

There was also an elevated risk for children eating large amounts of fruit and vegetables that have been irrigated with contaminated water in the dry season. The Northern Territory health minister, Natasha Fyles, said signs would soon dot the Katherine river alerting people that fish consumption is off limits. Locals have been lobbying for free voluntary testing for more than twelve months and may become the fourth class action group to sue the defence department for compensation.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-05/health-groups-call-for-endometriosis-education-in-schools/9225592

A coalition of women’s health groups want all teenagers to be taught about menstrual health in schools to raise awareness about the potentially debilitating condition endometriosis. It can cause severe, debilitating pain and symptoms including fatigue, abnormal periods, infertility and nausea.
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About twenty percent of teenage girls in Australia miss school because of period pain, according to Doctor Susan Evans from the Pelvic Pain Foundation. She said: “Education is the way forward to avoid future generations of girls and women suffering as their mothers have.”
The coalition is made up of patient groups such as EndoActive, the Pelvic Pain Foundation, as well as medical research groups such as the Hudson Institute of Medical Research and the Universities of Adelaide, Melbourne and New South Wales.

The health groups want endometriosis to be designated as a national health priority area. They also want a public awareness campaign, school education and new clinical pathways for doctors to better diagnose and treat the condition. The Pelvic Pain Foundation is one of a number of health groups which form the Australian Coalition for Endometriosis. In August two thousand seventeen, it piloted a menstrual education program in ten South Australian schools.

The Australian Coalition for Endometriosis will meet Health Minister Greg Hunt to discuss endometriosis education to outline their priorities.

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