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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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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Suspect stroke? Think fast
The signs of stroke could be any one or combination of the following: weakness or numbness, or paralysis – in the face, arm or leg; difficulty speaking or understanding; dizziness; sudden loss of vision; sudden and severe headache; difficulty swallowing. These signs may last only a few minutes or may last for several hours (called a transient ischaemic attack – TIA). They are often a warning of an impending stroke and must never be ignored.

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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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Cold sores – not so cool
To most people cold sores might seem to be a comparatively trivial condition; but if you are one of the thousands of people who suffer with cold sores you no doubt find them annoying beyond belief.

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Finding out more about our grey matter
The human brain is one of the least understood, but most studied, organs of our body. At just 2% of our body weight it punches way above its weight and consumes 20% of our oxygen intake.

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Preventing falls and brain injury
The terms ‘head injury’, ‘ABI’, or ‘acquired brain damage’ (ABD), are widely used to describe all types of brain damage which occur after birth (with the exception of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder – FASD).

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