The Health News Australia February 27 2018

  • Australian research suggests that eating enough foods high in protein such as chicken, tuna, lentils and peanuts may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.  Researchers at Edith Cowan University’s school of medical and health sciences examined the diets of 541 Australians and measured the levels of amyloid beta (Ab) in their brain, pieces of protein which clump together in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease. Protein is found in animal products such as beef, pork, lamb, eggs, fish and poultry, as well as plant-based foods such as legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
  • New research has revealed that patients with an acute mental illness have been forced to wait days in busy and overcrowded emergency departments before being admitted to hospital to receive specialist care. A snapshot of 65 emergency departments across Australia by the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine conducted in December 2017 found nearly one third of mental health patients waited more than 8 hours over the past year.
  • Claims that medical cannabis use has reduced opioid overdose deaths in the United States have been challenged by a University of Queensland drug abuse expert. Professor Wayne Hall from UQ’s Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research said there was weak evidence to support the claims. An Australian study found that chronic pain patients who used cannabis did not use lower doses of opioids or report less pain than those who did not.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 27th of February 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.thesenior.com.au/health/protein-intake-lowers-alzheimers-risk/

Australian research suggests that eating enough foods high in protein such as chicken, tuna, lentils and peanuts may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.  Researchers at Edith Cowan University’s school of medical and health sciences examined the diets of five hundred forty one Australians and measured the levels of amyloid beta (Ab) in their brain, pieces of protein which clump together in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease.

The study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, found participants with higher levels of protein in their diet were less likely to have high levels of Ab in their brain. Those with the highest consumption, about one hundred eighteen grams a day, were twelve times less likely to have high levels of Ab than those in the lowest consumption group, who ate only fifty four grams of protein a day.

The mechanism driving the association between high protein intake and low Ab is not known.
Lead researcher Doctor Binosha Fernando said one theory was adequate protein intake reduced blood pressure, a risk factor for Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease.

Protein is found in animal products such as beef, pork, lamb, eggs, fish and poultry, as well as plant-based foods such as legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds. According to Dementia Australia, the number of Australians to be diagnosed with dementia including Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, is expected to increase to five hundred thirty six thousand one hundred sixty four by two thousand twenty five and almost one point one million by two thousand fifty six.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/mentally-ill-waiting-too-long-in-emergency

New research has revealed that patients with an acute mental illness have been forced to wait days in busy and overcrowded emergency departments before being admitted to hospital to receive specialist care. A snapshot of sixty five emergency departments across Australia by the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine conducted in December two thousand seventeen found nearly one third of mental health patients waited more than eight hours over the past year.

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The survey found that the maximum length of stay for an emergency department patient with a mental health presentation was one hundred forty five hours, or six days. ACEM President Doctor Simon Judkins said that despite mental health patients making up only four percent of total emergency department presentations they are being forced to stay disproportionately long periods of time compared to other patients.
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Doctor Judkins told AAP up until now they had only anecdotal information of mental health patients waiting too long in emergency departments. He says ACEM will use this new research to lobby for better care to support patients presenting with mental health or behavioural needs.
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The ACEM is also calling for mandatory reporting of cases involving extreme waiting times for specialised care and increased funding to community-based and inpatient mental health and alcohol and other drug services.

http://health.uq.edu.au/article/2018/02/warning-over-claims-medical-cannabis-cuts-opioid-use

Claims that medical cannabis use has reduced opioid overdose deaths in the United States have been challenged by a University of Queensland drug abuse expert. Professor Wayne Hall from UQ’s Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research said there was weak evidence to support the claims. Professor Hall said: “The statements that legalising medical marijuana reduces opioid overdose deaths by offering a less risky method of pain management are based on studies with results that have not been confirmed through more rigorous scientific methods.”
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Professor Hall stated there were more plausible reasons for the reduction in opioid deaths that should be investigated. He added: “Politically conservative American states are less likely to pass medical cannabis laws, less likely to provide treatment programs for opioid dependence, and more likely to use imprisonment instead.”
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Professor Hall also urged caution of the premature acceptance of research claiming the pain relief qualities of medical cannabis.
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An Australian study found that chronic pain patients who used cannabis did not use lower doses of opioids or report less pain than those who did not. Professor Hall also said:“The rush to prematurely draw conclusions about the effects of medical cannabis risk is detracting attention from proven methods of reducing opioid overdose deaths.”

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