Online depression treatment
PEOPLE with depression who supplement telephone counselling with online therapy programs have a significant and immediate drop in their symptoms compared with people who use telephone counselling services alone, according to new research from the Australian National University. People who used the online programs also had reduced depressive symptoms for at least 6 months after the intervention finished. The research was reported by ABC News.

Disabled people struggling
QUALITY of life for people with disabilities in Australia is the worst in the developed world, according to the Disability expectations report by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The report found that 45% of people with a disability live in or near poverty in Australia, which ranks poorly among other OECD countries on provision of jobs to the disabled. The analysis was reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.

Autism and head growth
RESEARCHERS examining the association between brain enlargement in early childhood and autism onset have found that brain enlargement is most common in boys with regressive autism. The research, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found head circumference in boys with regressive autism is normal at birth but diverged from other groups around 4–6 months of age, suggesting rapid head growth may be a risk factor for regressive autism. The research was reported by ABC Science.

Heading risks brain injury
PEOPLE who frequently head a soccer ball have brain abnormalities similar to those found in traumatic brain injury patients, according to new research by the Radiological Society of North America. Using diffusion tension imaging, the researchers showed that players who headed the ball at least 1000-1500 times a year had detectable white matter injury. The research was reported by BBC News.

Climate health threat
A NEW report from the Climate Commission warns that climate change will lead to more injuries, disease and death in decades to come. Several prominent health professionals and health organisations, including the AMA, have thrown their support behind the report. The paper was reported by Sky News.

Posted 5 December 2011

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