22 Oct 2020

Autoimmune encephalitis: When your body attacks your brain, and people think you’re going mad

Antibodies attacking neuron.

It’s described as feeling like your brain is on fire. People with autoimmune encephalitis (AE) are often misdiagnosed as suffering from a psychiatric illness, delirium or dementia. The condition can mimic many other diseases, and hence there can be delays in diagnosis resulting in brain damage and a largely poor prognosis. The patients can be young or old, and the burden of misdiagnosed, late diagnosed or wrongly diagnosed disease can be high.

How to keep COVID waves small

Local businesses have to give explicit instructions on
wearing masks to cover your mouth and nose.
A Monash study reveals Stage 4 started too late to control COVID-19 community transmission, and recommends an early warning system and national mandatory mask wearing.

Associate Professor Lei Zhang, Head of the Artificial Intelligence and Modelling in Epidemiology Program at Monash University’s Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, studied Victoria’s first and second waves of COVID-19 infections and found the Stage 3 restrictions and mandatory mask wearing were introduced too late and led to the prolonged Stage 4 lockdowns.

New drug hope for migraine sufferers

A recent study by Monash University neuroscientists has shown the effectiveness of a migraine drug called Erenumab (Aimovig) for chronic sufferers, which sadly remains unaffordable for most patients.

Involving 170 patients living with frequent, severe migraine attacks (chronic migraine) across three specialist headache centres in Australia, findings revealed that after being prescribed Erenumab, after three months 58.8 per cent had at least halved the number of ‘migraine attack’ days each month. This result was maintained at six months, with 50 per cent experiencing half the number of days with migraine that they had at baseline.

21 Oct 2020

13-19 Oct 2020 Central Clinical School publications

Case report on two patients with donor 
derived AML. Image: Wikipedia
Recent publications featuring research as notified by PubMed during 13-19 October 2020 from Central Clinical School affiliated researchers in the following departments. The below is not a comprehensive list:

  • Australian Centre for Blood Diseases
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Medicine - Alfred & Peninsula
  • Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
  • Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry

20 Oct 2020

Early Career Research Award for Dr Gemma Sharp

Congratulations to Dr Gemma Sharp, who has been awarded the Australian Psychological Society's (APS) Early Career Researcher award for 2020! See all APS winners here.

Dr Sharp is a Senior Research Fellow at the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (MAPrc), Monash University. She leads the Body Image Research Group at MAPrc and holds a prestigious NHMRC Early Career Fellowship. She is known for her pioneering research in body image, particularly genital self-image. She is also involved in the design of novel body image interventions using digital technologies, which is supported by a number of competitive grants (e.g., AMP Tomorrow Maker Grant).

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