What does a stroke look like?
Heart and blood vessel disease, known medically as cardiovascular disease, remains Australia’s number one killer. It affects nearly 2.5 million Australians. Together, heart attack and stroke (maybe we should call it “brain attack”) account for around a third of all deaths in Australia. This year Australians will suffer more than 60,000 new and recurrent strokes – that’s one stroke every 10 minutes. Statistics indicate that one in five people having a first ever stroke will die within a month and one in three die within a year.

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Getting older - keeping well
Of course, old age doesn’t have to mean ill health. A study in the USA has shown that on average elderly people are growing healthier, happier and more independent; and according to a report in New Scientist magazine, the diseases of old age are actually affecting fewer people and, when they do strike, it is much later in life. Whatever our age or physical condition, there is no doubt that we benefit most when we personally take control of our health as much as possible. This includes making informed decisions – decisions based on the answers to questions we should ask doctors, pharmacists, nurses and other health providers.

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Dealing with dementia
Dementia is a condition that directly affects more than 250,000 Australians – a number which is expected to climb to nearly a million within 40 years. As yet there is no cure for dementia; and indeed the way our brain and nervous system works is not yet fully understood. All the more remarkable then, that it was the German neurologist, Alois Alzheimer, born nearly 150 years ago who first identified and gave his name to a condition that has now become so common in the developed world.

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Good health gift ideas
For many people, Christmas has deep religious significance; for others, it’s simply a time to relax and enjoy a few days off work. But for almost everyone, this time of year has traditionally become one of celebration. Throughout many societies it is commonplace to exchange gifts or simply ‘season’s greetings’, and to express sentiments of peace and goodwill. Wishes of good health usually accompany greetings at this time of year; so, perhaps some healthy gift ideas could be worth a thought as well.

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Celebration of ageing
Living longer is a great thing, but we also need to remain healthy to enjoy our longer lives to their fullest. Unfortunately, debilitating conditions such as heart and kidney disease, diabetes, and some types of arthritis are more common in older people.

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Dealing with D words
For people with diabetes, having one chronic medical condition is usually quite enough of a challenge. When they’re told they are also more likely to develop another potentially serious disease, maintaining a reasonably bright outlook on life could become even more of a struggle.

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Living with Parkinson\'s disease
Parkinson\'s disease is a disorder of the central nervous system (CNS), and it is one of many neurological conditions. Its cause is a loss of nerve cells in the brain, from a variety of reasons including age, hormones, and injury. Individuals with Parkinson\'s disease have insufficient levels of the chemical dopamine. Without dopamine people cannot perform many of their normal daily activities at an expected speed – their movements become slower and it takes longer to perform any task.

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