The Health News – 14 July 2015

Overview:
• Scientists believe that Drosophila Melanogaster a vinegar fly, a type of fruit fly that could help the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. According to Dr. Ian Musgrave Researchers at the University of Adelaide they have finished breeding Drosophila Melanogaster that can carry the neurodegenerative condition.

• The Hospital at Fiona Stanley was partially shut down over the weekend after the second flooding incident in three months, Western Australian’s Acting Health Minister John Day defended Kim Hame’s decision to take leave while major technical issues are resolved.

• The data from Diabetes New South Wales indicates that more than two thousand people in cities have diabetes, in Blacktown, in Sydney’s west tops the list, followed by Port Macquarie and then Dubbo.

Health News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 14th July 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-13/vinegar-fly-research-treatment-for-alzheimer-disease/6614492

Scientists believe the vinegar fly, a type of fruit fly, could help find a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers at the University of Adelaide have just finished breeding Drosophila Melanogaster to carry the neurodegenerative condition.
Molecular pharmacologist and toxicologist, Dr Ian Musgrave, said the aim was to test drugs and other treatment methods for Alzheimer’s disease on the insects.

Vinegar flies are used in genetic research in science labs across the world.

“Alzheimer’s disease is a major issue in Australia for elderly Australians,” Dr Musgrave said.

“As people get older, the incidents of this neurodegenerative disease increase exponentially, and as Australians and the population age it means the incidents of this disease will increase over time.

“The big problem is we have no effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. We have some symptomatic treatments, but we’re not able to threat the cause of the disease as yet.

“What we have been doing is looking at the possibility of natural products that are able to prevent the toxic protein that forms in Alzheimer’s disease from misfolding and causing damage.”

Dr Musgrave said vinegar fruit flies made for excellent test subjects, as it was quicker and easier to observe the impact of different treatment methods on them.

“Fruit flies are very well established models of genetic modification and we also have very well established models of behaviour and memory in fruit fly.

“We have good genetic backgrounds and good ways to be able to study whether or not the fruit fly nervous system is affected.

Dr Musgrave said that, before he could test the effect of different treatment methods, he first needed to give the insects the disease.

Dr Musgrave said fruit flies were used to help understand a range of human diseases.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-13/hames-defended-by-john-day-ahead-of-fiona-stanley-hospital-talks/6615682

Western Australian’s Acting Health Minister John Day has defended Kim Hames’ decision to take leave while major technical issues at Fiona Stanley Hospital are resolved.

The hospital was partially shut down over the weekend after the second flooding incident in three months.

Some surgeries were cancelled and the hot water and central heating systems were turned off for 17 hours while maintenance work was carried out.

Dr Hames was criticised by the State Opposition for taking three weeks of leave while the cause of the problem was assessed and liability determined.

But Dr Hames’ decision was appropriate, Mr Day said.

“His leave has been planned for quite some time,” the Acting Minister said.

“Government doesn’t stop because ministers go on leave – if there’s any ministerial involvement needed in relation to Fiona Stanley Hospital or anything else, I’m here, around and will be involved.”

Mr Day said a meeting between the Health Department and the hospital’s builder Brookfield Multiplex on Wednesday would not require his attendance.

Mr Day said the Government would likely pursue compensation from whoever is found to be responsible for the problem.

The data from Diabetes New South Wales indicates that more than two thousand people in the city have diabetes.

Blacktown, in Sydney’s west tops the list for the most people with diabetes, followed by Port Macquarie and then Dubbo.

The CEO Sturt Eastwood said the rate is much higher in Dubbo, due to a large indigenous population.

“We do have health literacy issues as we move west in New South Wales” he said.

“We also have a large indigenous population, unfortunately Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are three times more likely to develop type two diabetes.”
Mr Eastwood said diabetes can be prevented.

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