15 Sept 2020

World's first major study shows delayed MS onset due to pregnancy

Prof Helmut Butzkueven (left) & Dr Vilija Jokubaitis (right),
lead authors on the MS and pregnancy study. Vilija is presenting
on the research Monday 22 Sept 12:30 PM. See more & Zoom link
  • First major study to look at delayed MS onset due to pregnancy
  • The comprehensive study confirms that pregnancy can slow MS onset
  • Study uses an Australian led global data base of more than 70,000 people with MS
  • Findings suggest that delayed and reduced rates of pregnancy globally likely associate with increased incidence of MS amongst women of childbearing age
A comprehensive international study, led by Monash researchers, has definitively found that pregnancy can delay the onset of multiple sclerosis (MS) by more than 3 years.

14 Sept 2020

Long-term health consequences of COVID-19 becoming clearer: ABC 7:30 Report

Dr Robb Wesselingh in the lab. 7:30 report
Medical researchers are investigating the impact of COVID-19 on vital organs such as the lungs, heart, kidneys and the brain. Even if only a small percentage of patients suffer long-term effects, millions of people around the world will be left with potentially debilitating conditions.

Dr Robb Wesselingh explains some of the potential complications: "We are still learning a lot about this virus but we are particularly worried that the virus, when it does affect the brain, whether it is potentially causing permanent neuron damage, nerve damage, and we know from other neurological diseases that nerve damage doesn't repair very well at all."

See full report at: www.abc.net.au/7.30/long-term-health-consequences-of-covid-19-becoming/12675810

Schizophrenia outcomes may be improved by repurposed drug

A clinical trial is recruiting women with schizophrenia
A study by Monash University researchers has found that a drug used in the treatment of osteoporosis may help improve symptoms of schizophrenia. 
Professor Jayashri Kulkarni, Monash University, Central Clinical School, pioneered the use of estrogens in the treatment of schizophrenia and has conducted ground-breaking research in this area for the past 25 years. She and colleague Professor Suresh Sundram at the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, are leading an ongoing clinical trial of a new type of ‘brain estrogen’ called a Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM). 
Bazedoxifene is the new SERM being trialled and early results show improvement in schizophrenia symptoms.

Opening eyes to a frontier in vision restoration

Internal electronics of the Gennaris implant for bionic vision.
Image: BDI
  • A world-first device to restore vision to the blind is being prepared for human clinical trials in Melbourne.
  • Additional funding can help researchers establish an implantable device manufacturing facility to support the commencement of this clinical trial.
  • It will also support further life-saving research into brain-controlled prosthetics.
  • This project, more than 10 years in the making, will boost local manufacturing and may help treat other conditions, such as limb paralysis.
  • A revolutionary cortical vision device, developed by Monash University researchers that could one day help restore vision to the blind, is being prepared for world-first human clinical trials in Melbourne.

Medical teaching innovation yields results for infants at risk of cerebral palsy

Arrabella King. Image: Stuart Wilson
Medical student Arrabella King and infants at risk of cerebral palsy have mutually benefited from Monash University's recent innovation of a Scholarly Intensive Placement (SIP) as part of medical training in the final year of the medical MD degree.

Arrabella is based at Central Clinical School, but her SIP was supervised by School of Clinical Sciences Senior Lecturer, Dr Atul Malhotra, a consultant neonatologist at Monash Newborn, Monash Children's Hospital.

Managing patients with lung disease at home

On-line rehabilitation for home-based patients works well
One of the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic is the need to manage very sick people (non-COVID and COVID patients both) while they remain in home isolation. This is particularly important for people who suffer respiratory illness and can no longer attend hospitals for their regular appointments.

A program developed by Monash researcher, Professor Anne Holland, has seen a 20-fold increase in its use globally with a major spike in traffic to the site following promotion by the American Thoracic Society.

8-14 Sept 2020 Central Clinical School publications

Mary Ajamian is first author on a study investigating whether gluten
affected IBS patients with self-reported non-coeliac gluten
In brief, gluten didn't but FODMAPs did affect symptoms.
Recent publications featuring research as notified by PubMed during 8-14 Sep 2020 from Central Clinical School affiliated researchers in the following departments. The below is not a comprehensive list:
  • Allergy, Immunology & Respiratory Medicine
  • Australian Centre for Blood Diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Gastroenterology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Medicine - Alfred
  • MSHC
  • Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry

World-first Tau tracer imaging by Alfred-Monash facility

Alfred Research Alliance-Monash Biomedical Imaging (ARA-MBI) PET/CT imaging capabilities are increasing.

The PET imaging team at ARA-MBI has conducted a world-first, using a novel, ‘hot off the press’, Tau tracer to examine the expression of the Tau protein in a rat model of stroke. 

Dean's Excellence Awards presentation 12 noon Thurs 17 Sep 2020 - all welcome

Prof Rob Medcalf is a winner of the Dean's Excellence 
Award for Honours Supervision. See video
You are encouraged to tune in to the Dean’s Awards for Excellence virtual town hall, 12 noon - 1.00 pm, Thursday 17 Sep. The event will include a Faculty update from the Dean, Professor Christina Mitchell, followed by the awards presentation.
Register here

The Dean’s Awards for Excellence each year celebrate and recognise the impact of the exceptional work undertaken by the talented and dedicated staff in our Faculty. This year, the Dean's award for Excellence in Research (Excellence in Education - Honours Supervision) is going to the well-liked and respected academic in the Central Clinical School, Professor Rob Medcalf. Congratulations Rob!

Drop in via Zoom at midday on Thursday and find out who has won this year's awards in a variety of categories.
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