Virtual Medical
Issue 114 | Tuesday 24 January 2012

Message from the VMC Medical Spokesperson

Dr Joe Kosterich



Dr Joe

Welcome to this edition of Health eNews!

Of all the aspects of medicine, neurology (that part which deals with the brain and nerves) remains the least understood. It is said that whilst we have learnt a huge amount about the brain, we have just scraped the surface. There continue to be great advances in our understanding of how the brain works and how neurological health affects many aspects of our overall wellbeing.

Read on to learn more about this fascinating area of medicine.

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Yours in good health,

Dr Joe Kosterich

New research on multiple sclerosis

article image Hopes for reversing nerve damage in MS patients
As we get older, our bodies' ability to regenerate decreases. This is not only true for our skin (which is evident in the wrinkles that develop as we age) but also true for other tissues in the body, including the regenerative processes in the brain....
Read complete article

Chronic pain prevention

article image Opioids erase memory traces of pain, prevent chronic pain
A new study shows that opioids not only temporarily relieve pain, but at the right dose can also erase memory traces of pain in the spinal cord and therefore eliminate a key cause of chronic pain....
Read complete article

Effects of excessive gaming

article image Excessive gamers more depressed
Researchers are conducting a global study comparing academic results, relationships and physical and mental health in excessive gamers who spent on average more than 33 hours a week playing video games with more balanced players....
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New HIV drug approved

article image New weapon for treating HIV in children
The FDA approved raltegravir for use with other antiretroviral drugs for the treatment of HIV infection in children and adolescents ages 2 to 18 years on December 21. Approved for use in adults in 2007, raltegravir is part of a class of medications....
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New treatment for Angelman syndrome?

article image Discovery could lead to a treatment for Angelman syndrome
Known as Angelman syndrome, or AS, its most characteristic feature is the absence or near absence of speech throughout the person's life. Occurring in one in 15,000 live births, other AS characteristics include intellectual and developmental delay, severe....
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Sport and alcohol in Australia

article image Athletes prone to alcohol-related violence
New research has found that rates of alcohol-related aggression and antisocial behaviours are particularly high in young Australian athletes, compared to their non-sporting peers....
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Keep your children safe!

article image Cars, heat and children a deadly mix warns professor
Victorian paramedics have reported 1500 children rescued from cars in the state in the last 12 months. During November and December 2011 nine children were found locked cars, with four such cases in the last four days....
Read complete article

HPV vaccine also recommended for boys

article image HPV vaccine recommended for young men
On Dec 16 the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) announced a recommended extension of the National Immunisation Program for Human papillomavirus (HPV) in boys which will be provided to the Australian Government for approval....
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Virtual Medical Centre Interactive


VIDEO: Why we get headaches and how to treat them
Watch the video

3D animation ANIMATION: Stroke
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Tool TOOL: Dementia benchmark checklist
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Disease search on VMC ENCYCLOPAEDIA: Popular health topics
View the most popular topics on Virtual Medical Centre.

The support of the following commercial entities is gratefully acknowledged:

Ferring Pharmaceuticals
PharmaCare Laboratories
Specialised Therapeutics


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Today's Survey

What do you think would most improve the lives of people following a neurological event?

Further clinical research
More rehabilitation services (inc. rural areas)
Greater community awareness and acceptance
Greater support for carers
Other (please comment)
View Results



Nut crusted salmon

This recipe for delicious, easy to prepare salmon steaks makes an impressive main at a dinner party or an easy meal after work.

Makes 1 serve


  • 5 pecan nuts
  • 5 unsalted pistachio nuts
  • 1 slice stale wholegrain bread
  • 1 tsp pesto
  • 120 g salmon steak


1. Preheat oven to 180˚C.

2. Place nuts and stale bread in a food processor and process until they resemble fine breadcrumbs.

3. Combine bread mix with pesto. Coat the salmon with this paste.

4. Place salmon on baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 610 minutes, depending on how pink you like your salmon.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Difficulty rating: Easy

View more healthy recipes.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

There was only one cure for Rick's problem - a brain transplant.

Having decided to have the operation privately he was given the choice of what sort of brain he should receive.

"The brain of a top-notch mathematician will cost you $10,000. That of a world-renowned astro-physicist will set you back $20,000. But if you want the brain of a politician it will cost $40,000!"

"Why on earth does the brain of a politician cost so much more than those of people who are clearly much cleverer?" Rick asked, very much surprised.

"Ah well, you see, the politician's brain has hardly ever been used."

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