Monthly Archives: September 2018

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The dementia cases that can be prevented

In retrospect, the signs made sense. Doug Youngloved cars, so much so that he spent his weekends restoring them.

Fixing up a car might take Doug a couple of weekends, but he had been working onthe latest car for several years without any progress. He was also coming home with dings on the family car, unusual for a man who cared meticulouslyfor his vehicles.

Then, in 2011, Doug was diagnosed with dementia. He became one of more than410,000 Australians with the disease, which has become the country’s second leading cause of death.

At first, Doug’s decline was gradual and the typical “Aussie bloke” who was proud, and used to doing things himself and caring for his family, became frustrated as he became less able.

A “heartbreaking” decline: Doug with Nick Young. Photo: Supplied

Then, in 2011, Doug was diagnosed with dementia. He became one of more than410,000 Australians with the disease, which has become the country’s second leading cause of death.

At first, Doug’s decline was gradual and the typical “Aussie bloke” who was proud, and used to doing things himself and caring for his family, became frustrated as he became less able.

Riders before the 2016 Ride to Remember. Photo: Supplied

“He lost the ability to drive, he lost his licence – that was a huge turning point -and then over the last few years it’s been a steady decline,” 36-year-old son, Nick explains.

Doug, 74, still remembers nursery rhymes which he sings with Nick’s 4-year-old daughter Isabelle.”Otherwise there’s no awareness of where he is or recollection of his family,” Nick says. “It’s reached the point where we are now looking for permanent care.”

Nick’s mother, who has spent the last 15 years caring first for her own mother, who also had dementia, and now her husband, is “at the end of her tether emotionally, physically and mentally”.

While themajority of dementia is not inherited, Nick fears his own fate.

“I fear, I truly fear that my wife will be doing the same thing for me. I’ll forget someone’s name or I’ll forget that I had to do something and straight away, I can’t not think maybe this is the start.”

Anew paperpublished inThe Lancethas found that one in three cases of dementia can potentially be prevented and we need to start thinking about it early.

Dementia may be considered a disease of the elderly, and it is true that it usually occurs in people aged over 65 years, but what we do when we are much younger can affect our likelihood of getting it.

The Lancetrecommendations for improvingbrain health and minimisingthe risk ofdementiaare: increasing education (past the age of 15), physical activity and social engagement while reducing smoking and obesity, treating blood pressure, depression, diabetes, and hearing impairment.

Until a cure is found for dementia, Nick Young wants to raise awareness and money for Alzheimer’s Australia. Last September he and friend Pierre, whose mother has dementia, began a155 kilometre annual cycle, theBondi2Berry Ride to Remember.

People they had been cycling with for years signed up for the ride, revealing they also had a parent or grandparent with dementia.

“These were close friends we’d known for years and years and years,” Nick says. “At no point would we know that they had been affected by dementia, or likewise my dad or Pierre’s mum.

“That emphasised it even more to us – people everywhere are affected and noone talks about it… I wasn’t going to blurt out my dad’s got dementia and he doesn’t remember me.”

It is heartbreaking to watch, Nick says, and heartbreaking that others also have to see their loved ones go through the same thing.

“It shouldn’t be happening and it shouldn’t be happening to anyone.”

START EARLY”We should think about prevention in childhood and consider education and lay the grounds for a brain healthy lifestyle,” says lead author Professor Gill Livingston of University College London.

“The number of people with dementia is increasing due to the ageing population with the welcome reduction in premature morbidity. This is happening in all countries.

“However the rates per 1000 older people is reducing in some high income countries and this is in the more highly educated. This is probably because education confers some physical brain resilience and makes people more likely to change their behaviour in a healthy way.”

OBESITY, DIABETES AND BLOOD PRESSUREAddressing cognitive function through education makes sense, but how do factors like obesity, diabetes or blood pressure play a part?

“We think weight and other such factors work mainly by decreasing blood flow to the brain and increasing insulin resistance so the brain is bathed in excess sugar,” Livingston explains.

HEARING LOSSThe researchers are unsure about why hearing loss, which has not previously been considered a risk factor, might result in cognitive decline but say multiple studies have found “even mild levels of hearing loss increase the long-term risk of cognitive decline and dementia”.

“Hearing loss might either add to the cognitive load of a vulnerable brain leading to changes in the brain, or lead to social disengagement or depression and accelerated atrophy, all of which could contribute to accelerated cognitive decline,” they suggest.

EXERCISE”No randomised trials are available to show that exercise prevents cognitive decline or dementia, but observational studies have found an inverse relation between exercise and risk of dementia,” the authors say, adding that its benefits include improved balance, reducing the risk of falling, improving mood, function and lifespan.

SMOKING”The association with cognitive impairment might be due to the link between smoking and cardiovascular pathology, but cigarette smoke also contains neurotoxins, which heighten the risk,” the authors explain.

DEPRESSIONThere is debate about whether depression contributes to the risk of dementia or is a symptom of dementia (it is believed that more than 20 per cent of those diagnosed have depression). While research findings vary, the authors suggest there is reason to believe it may be a possible cause.

“It is biologically plausible that depression increases dementia risk because it affects stress hormones, neuronal growth factors, and hippocampal volume,” they say. “Antidepressant prescriptions have increased in the past three decades and this increase is hypothesised to affect dementia incidence since animal data suggest that some antidepressants, including citalopram, decrease amyloid production.”

SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT”Evidence is growing that social isolation is a risk factor for dementia and it increases the risk of hypertension, coronary heart disease, and depression,” the authors explain. “Social isolation might also result in cognitive inactivity, which is linked to faster cognitive decline and low mood. All these are risk factors for dementia themselves, which highlights the importance of considering the social engagement of older people and not only their physical and mental health.”

ABOUT DEMENTIADementia (derived from the Latin words de (out of) and mens (mind)) is characterised by a decline in cognitive level that affects activities of daily living or social functioning. Itaffects about 47 million people worldwide and this number is projected to triple by 2050.

Dementia is usually preceded by mild cognitive (where complex tasks can still be completed) impairment and the boundary between the two is grey.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, but there are many different kinds.

Healthier lifestyles are associated with declining prevalence of cognitive impairment and dementia.While there is no cure, there is “good potential for prevention”.

To find out more about the Bondi2Berry Ride to Remember on September 9 or make a tax deductable donation,please visitbondi2berry南京夜网/donate

Strongest back-to-back full-time jobs growth in 29 years

Australia has achieved its ninth straight month of job gains, with 14,000 new jobs added to the economy in June.

Full-time employment grew by 62,000 jobs, while part-time employment decreased by 48,000. Full-time jobs have now increased by 115,400 positions in the past two months – the strongest streak of full-time job gains in 29 years, according to CommSec.

Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statisticson Thursday show the unemployment rate has held steady at 5.6 per cent, which remains near its lowest level in four years after May’s figures were revised up.

The more reliable figure of trend participation for 15-64 year olds, which controls for the effects of an ageing population, increased by 0.1 percentage points to 77.3 per cent in June.

NSW and Victoria did the heavy lifting in trend terms, adding 11,600 and 7300 jobs respectively.

NSW and Victoria did the heavy lifting in trend terms, adding 11,600 and 7300 jobs respectively. Photo: Gabriele Charotte

Australia remains within touching distance of the floor of the so-called “natural rate of unemployment”, according to abulletin released by the Reserve Bankin June.

“Full-time employment has increased by around 187,000 persons since September 2016, with particular strength over the past five months, averaging around 30,000 persons per month,” said the Bureau’s chief economist Bruce Hockman. “Full-time employment now accounts for about 68 per cent of employment.”

In a nod to the growth of the part-time economy, Mr Hockman said full-time employment was down from about 72 per cent a decade ago.

The strong figures are likely to be latched onto as further evidence that the rebound in the labour market is beyond doubt.

CommSec economist Craig James said analysts had been fretting about the lack of full-time jobs.

“In the space of a couple of months, those concerns have been knocked on their heads,” he said.

“Over the past two months, 115,400 full-time jobs have been created, the biggest back-to-back job gain in 29 years [since January 1988].”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull welcomed the figures in Melbourne on Thursday but warned sustained economic growth was not guaranteed.

“Tomorrow’s prosperity can only be delivered by today’s reforms,” he said.

“So when we consider how we change the world in which we live, we can’t hide under the doona,” he said, acknowledging the future challenges of technology and automation to employment.

Economist Kate Hickie from Capital Economics said the surge in full-time jobs was likely to fuel expectations the Reserve Bank would begin to raise interest rates by the first half of 2018.

“But despite this latest improvement, there is still plenty of excess capacity in the labour market, which will keep a lid on wage growth,” she said.

“As such, we expect that rates will remain on hold until 2019.”

‘Watched boyfriend die’: Family convinced missing woman is alive

The family of the Melbourne woman missing in the Canadian wilderness believe she may still be alive, and are calling for the Australian government to provide extra resources to find her.

Sophie Dowsley, 34, has been missing since taking a hiking trip around Statlu Lake on July 8 with her Canadian boyfriend Greg Tiffin, 44.

The lake is in the Rocky Mountains, about three hours drive from Vancouver.

Mr Tiffin’s body was pulled from the lake by a dive team on July 18.

The lake’s waterfall is notoriously hard to see from the hiking path, forcing sightseers to climb dangerously close to the edge of a sheer cliff to see it, 200 metres below.

Several tourists have slipped and fallen to their deaths trying to get a better view, locals say, and it is feared Mr Tiffin has became the latest of them.

Jamie Dowsley, Sophie’s brother, told Fairfax Media there was no evidence to suggest she had also fallen in.

“We’re 12 days into the search, and still there is no evidence that Sophie has fallen into the waterfall. We’re hoping the fact Sophie wasn’t found in the water, as authorities expected they would, this will give a renewed focus on the search.

“It was only two days ago when there were two consecutive days where there was no search on the ground, which is pretty hard to comprehend.”

Because Sophie’s body was not found in the water, searchers now suspect she did not fall in, and may have instead tried to find a way to access the water by land after Mr Tiffin fell. The weather in the region has been warm, Mr Dowsley said.

Helicopters and swift-water search teams have now been deployed, and an elite group of rescuers are preparing to abseil down the cliff-face to continue the search.

Mr Dowsley is calling for the Australian government to pressure its Canadian counterpart to provide extra resources to the search.

“There is no evidence to suggest she’s fallen, which means she could still be alive,” he said.

“Can you imagine what she’s going through out there?

“She’s injured, she’s starving. She’s seen her boyfriend fall to his death.”

The police began their search on July 12 after the couple, who live in Vancouver, were reported missing.

“All search resources remain engaged as we continue to look for the missing woman,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokesman Corporal Mike Rail told Fairfax Media.

“RCMP remain in close contact with the victim’s and missing woman’s families.”

Kent Harrison Search and Rescue’s Neil Brewer told CBC News British Columbia the waterfall had a history of fatalities.

“It’s not an easy place to get into,” he said.

“And I can’t emphasise this enough: it has some extremely dangerous spots, with a very dramatic and very dangerous waterfall that exits from Statlu Lake.”

Mr Brewer said he knows of three fatalities that have happened on this same area of rock.

‘I seen my skin hanging off’: Woman testifies in fire pit fall case

Benjamin O’Brien leaving Wollongong courthouse on Thursday. Picture: Syvlia LiberA South Coastwoman burned on the legs and buttocks after falling into a fire pit at a friend’s house party has described how a drunk man grabbed her around the arms in a “bear hug” movemoments before the pair of them toppled over into the flames.

Carly Crane, 22, said she saw Benjamin Ian O’Brien moving towards her from her right only a split-second before he wrapped his arms around her as she stood in the backyard of the Gwynneville home on the night of June 25 last year.

“I noticed out of the corner of my eye Benjamin coming from the right,” she told Wollongong Local Court on Thursday.

“His arms were open, about shoulder width apart.

“He wrapped his arms around me….he bear-hugged me a tipped me back a little. I felt my weight lift off my feet…[I was] being lifted slightly in the air.

“All I can remember then is falling back into the fire with him on top of me.”

Ms Crane said she felt like O’Brien remained on top of her “for a long time”.

“I knew I’d been burned but it wasn’t too painful, then I seen (sic) my skin hanging off, that’s when I went into shock,” she said.

Accused: Benjamin O’Brien leaves Wollongong courthouse on Thursday.

“I remember my friends taking me out to the car and driving me straight to hospital.”

Police charged O’Brien with reckless grievous bodily harm, alleging the 26-year-old’s actionin grabbing Ms Cranein the bear hug-stylemanoeuvre in close proximity to the fire wasreckless.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charge, claiming he simply stumbled into Ms Crane and they fell over together.

Ms Crane told the court O’Brien was intoxicated at the time, saying she’d seen him“sculling” straight Vodka and drinking beer prior to the incident.

She said he’d become “loud and a bit obnoxious” while sitting next to her twice, causing her to move on both occasions –the second time, to stand by the fire.

“He was singingloudly and swaying…bear hugging and tackling [other] people,” she said.

“I got up and went and stood beside my friend [in front of the fire].”

Several more people who attended the party are expected to be called to give evidence when the case continues on Friday.

Both O’Brien and Ms Crane weresupported in court by their respective families.

Illawarra Mercury

‘They are liable’: Spirits protection behind win over mining giant

Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation director Stanley Warrie reacts to the judgment. Photo: ABC News: Kendall O’ConnorNative title holders in the Pilbara will seek compensation after winning their long-running battle with iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group.

In a judgment on Thursday, the Federal Court awarded the Yindjibarndipeople exclusive rights over a section of Pilbara land where Fortescue operates the Solomon mine.

In his decision, Justice Steven Rares pointed to the presence of theYindjibarndiin the area well before European settlement and the fact there were important cultural sites near the Fortescue mine.

“I have found that the Yindjibarndi are entitled to exclusive native title rights and interests over all of the unallocated Crown land in the claimed area and the Yandeeyara Reserve, except for a small area occupied by the Tom Price railway,” he said.

“This includes the unallocated Crown land occupied by FMG’s Solomon Hub mine.”

Justice Rares said this stemmed from the fact that the Yindjibarndi hadestablished that under their customs a “manjangu” (stranger) still had to get permission from an elder before entering or carrying out activity on the land.

Under that local custom, the judgment says, the granting of permission would offer “protection from any spiritual dangers that they, and the other Aboriginal peoples in the Pilbara, believe will harm a stranger who enters or carries out activities … without permission”.

He also said:”The traditional Yindjibarndi laws and customs give them the right, and they owe a duty to the spirits, to consider whether the stranger should be allowed to enter the particular place and carry out any proposed activity.”

Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals said the decision had no impact on the current and future operations or mining tenure at the Solomon Hub. Photo: Andrew Meares

Justice Rares said this finding was consistent with an earlier Federal Court decision that had granted non-exclusive native title to the area.

He added that the law allowed for an alteration of that non-exclusive native title under certain conditions.

He also said: “I have also found that, apart from the licence for the Tom Price railway, none of the exploration licences issued to the various mining companies operated to derogate from the Yindjibarndi’s native title which is preserved, unaffected by those licences.”

Justice Rares said the Solomon Hub mine was “near a sacred site and fresh water spring that the Yindjibarndicall Bangkangarra and that FMG has named ‘Satellite Spring”.

Shares in Fortescue, the nation’s third biggest iron ore producer, closed on Thursday down 19 cents, or 1.65 per cent,to $5.19.

The Solomon Hub, which includes two iron ore mines, is a key part of Fortescue’s operations. The Solomon Hub produces about 70 million tonnes of iron ore a year. Overall, Fortescue produces about 165million tonnes of iron ore a year.

But in a statement to the ASX, Fortescue expressed no concern about the judgment.

“The court’s decision has no impact on the current and future operations or mining tenure at the Solomon Hub. We have no commercial concerns and do not anticipate any material financial impact following the court’s determination,” the company said.

“Fortescue will continue its approach of providing training, employment and business development opportunities for Aboriginal people to ensure the strength of its business benefits the communities in which it operates.”

Western Australia’s Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Ben Wyatt, said he “warmly congratulated”the Yindjibarndi people.

“The Yindjibarndi have proven themselves to be determined and committed advocates in their pursuit of exclusive possession and have won today in the face of not insignificant obstacles over many years,” he said.

Mr Wyatt also said that like other native title cases, this litigation had been long running and caused “fractures” in the community.

“However, today’s result is a tremendous victory for the Yindjibarndi people and I hope they are able to unite and work together to ensure that they are able to utilise their now recognised native title rights to benefit all members of the Yindjibarndi community,” he said.

with AAP