26 Aug 2022

Why depression in women is so misunderstood

Identifying and treating menopausal depression is needed,
Professor Jayashri Kulkarni argues in her Nature Outlook essay

Professor Jayashri Kulkarni has published an essay in Nature Outlook, asking why depression in women is so misunderstood. The focus in this essay is on menopausal depression. She says it takes a huge toll, but is not widely recognised or adequately funded and is under-researched.

Professor Kulkarni writes, "Improving outcomes for people with menopause-related depression requires some significant changes. 

"Most importantly, psychiatrists and other mental-health practitioners who treat women in their 40s and 50s need to enquire about menopause at the outset of treatment, and be willing to prescribe hormone therapies. 

"In addition, clinicians and health-care students alike need to be better educated about this phase of women’s lives. A big part of clinicians’ reluctance to prescribe HRT for menopausal depression is the lack of knowledge about menopause — particularly how it affects the brain."

Read the essay: www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-02213-w

Cognitive impairment in mental illness associated with faster cellular ageing

Cognitive impairment is associated with shorter telomere in people
with bipolar-schizophrenia spectrum disorders: Study

by Anne Crawford

Telomeres, the protective cap-like structures that stop the ends of our chromosomes from becoming frayed or tangled, are of increasing interest globally as markers of cellular ageing. Now a study led by Monash University Alfred Psychiatry research centre (MAPrc) researchers has revealed a link between telomere length and cognitive impairment in people with bipolar-schizophrenia spectrum disorders.

24 Aug 2022

16-22 Aug 2022 Central Clinical School recent publications

What was the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with
HIV? Study shows mental health was negatively affected.
Image: Unitaid

Recent publications featuring research as notified by PubMed during 16-22 August 2022 from Central Clinical School affiliated researchers in the following departments.

The most recent validated publications for the school and departments can be seen on their publications pages, linked to from the headings below. Otherwise, read down the entry for recent notifications. The below is not a comprehensive list.

22 Aug 2022

Club Melbourne Fellowship award to Dr Gemma Sharp

Dr Gemma Sharp receiving her Club Melbourne Fellowship award
Congratulations to NHMRC Early Career Senior Research Fellow, Dr Gemma Sharp, who was awarded a Club Melbourne Fellowship (one of two in Victoria) on 18 August at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. 

Dr Sharp will use this fellowship to attend the International Society for Research on Internet Interventions 11th Scientific Meeting in Pittsburgh US in September 2022 where she will present an evaluation of the world's first positive body image chatbot - a project she has led since 2020. Owing to the success of the chatbot within Australia (over 20,000 users in its first year), the chatbot will be disseminated internationally in late 2022/early 2023.

Dr Sharp said, "It's a real honour to be awarded this fellowship, particularly with Central Clinical School having such a strong history of success in this fellowship program. It will be a thrill to present this research in-person at the ISRII conference and know that the chatbot will be available in the US shortly after!" 

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