21 Feb 2019

Research suggests diabetes may affect brain atrophy earlier than thought

Prof Velandai Srikanth
by Anne Crawford

Studies by Monash University’s Peninsula Clinical School researchers have deepened knowledge about the link between type 2 diabetes and dementia, and suggest that the effect of diabetes on brain atrophy may begin in middle rather than old age.

The studies were conducted by researchers led by Professor of Medicine, Velandai Srikanth, who are considered international leaders in the field of diabetes and dementia.

Although it has been known for some years that having type 2 diabetes increases the risk of developing dementia, the mechanisms underlying that link have not been clear nor have many studies looked at changes in the brains of people with type 2 diabetes over time.

Studies point to need for better scrutiny of first ever seizures

Dr Emma Foster
by Anne Crawford

To PhD candidate Dr Emma Foster researching the human brain and its mysteries poses a fascinating intellectual challenge. To Dr Foster as a clinician, it means potentially seeing first-hand patients’ lives improved by new ways of managing devastating diseases.

Dr Foster, an Epilepsy Fellow working at the Department of Neurology, Alfred Hospital, is investigating ‘first ever’ seizures; unexpected and traumatic events that can lead to emotional and financial burden on those suffering them and their families.

Rise in gonorrhoea infection in women linked to overseas travel.

A recent study led by the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre has explored the unexplained increase in gonorrhoea cases among females in Australian major cities. In 2018, the Kirby Institute for infection and immunity in society reported that there was a 56% increase in women with the infection between 2013 and 2017. Analysis of 13,843 patient records attending the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre between January 2008 and March 2015 highlighted a four-fold increase, similar to the rise in
gonorrhoea that has been reported among the MSM (Men who have Sex with Men) population in Australia.

In the multivariable analysis, there was no link between gonorrhoea positivity and age, country of birth, number of male partners, condomless sex, or drug use behaviours, suggesting another cause for the increase.

CCS Recent Publications: 12th - 25th January

Throughout February we will be posting two backdated weeks of publications at a time, until we catch up from the Summer break.

Recent publications for Central Clinical School feature affiliated authors in the following departments:
  • Neuroscience
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Peninsula Clinical School
  • Immunology and Pathology
  • Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
  • Diabetes
  • Australian Centre for Blood Diseases
  • National Trauma Research Institute
  • Surgery
  • MAPrc

18 Feb 2019

MS Research Australia grant for new drug

Dr Petratos in the lab

Backdated congratulations go to Dr Steven Petratos, whose grant from MS Research Australia was announced whilst the CCS Communications team was still settling in after the Summer break.

Dr Petratos works within the Department of Immunology and Pathology, and his research has explored ways to prevent nerve damage. Myelin is an insulating layer or sheath that forms around nerve fibres in the brain and spine, providing protection and longevity. His team has developed a drug called DITPA, which mimics the activity of a protein called MCT8, vital in the production of myelin.
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