11 Mar 2016

Video of the week: Communicating science - big words don't work

Senior researchers aren't necessarily the best communicators of their work.  Monash University received significant global media attention in the recent story about the discovery of gravitational waves - and not because they were the most senior scientists involved in the collaborative project (in fact, they weren't!).  

The Monash University researchers simply best communicated the science.  Watch this short video from The Project.
  • See CCSMonash youtube channel for our own videos

Forthcoming CCS events: Seminars, public events, general notices

Kevin Huynh
Central Clinical School has regular seminar series and postgraduate presentations. All event notices are maintained on the CCS Events calendar.

CCS staff & students can see details of both public and local events (including professional development courses, trade fairs and Graduate Research Student calendars) and deadlines, at the Intranet's Announcements page.

Various departments have their own calendars. See CCS seminar index: www.med.monash.edu.au/cecs/events/seminars.html

What's on for this coming week: 14-18 Mar 2016

Tue 15-Mar 11:00 PhD Mid-Candidature Seminar : Dr Eileen Grace Merriman
15-Mar 12:00 Graduate Research student orientation
15-Mar 14:00 CCS staff photos: Booking link
15-Mar 15:30 PhD Confirmation review seminar : Mr Kevin Huynh
Thu 17-Mar 12:00 Cutting Edge Journal Club - Qian Gao

8 Mar 2016

Is previous trauma adequately documented for female psychiatric inpatients?

By Dr Jodie Abramovitch 

Traumatic events can lead to long-lasting psychological changes in an affected person. Patients presenting with serious mental health issues are more likely to have experienced emotional or physical trauma in the past than healthy individuals.

Professor Jayashri Kulkarni - Director of MAPrc
and senior author of this study
Researchers from the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (MAPrc) aimed to investigate the extent to which clinicians record previous trauma events. They then analysed this information to identify if it was incorporated into diagnosis and treatment of female psychiatric inpatients.

One hundred inpatients were selected for the study, with psychotic illnesses being the most prevalent primary diagnosis. For just over half these participants, there was no record of whether or not there was a history of trauma. Of the 49 patients asked about trauma history, 84% (41 patients) responded positively though only 3% of these documented cases had a specific description of the trauma. For 34 (of the 41 with trauma history) subjects, no mention was made of potentially trauma-associated psychiatric symptoms such as flashbacks or emotional numbing. This study also found that current drug use and/or a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder were associated with a higher likelihood of documented trauma.

As such, this study concluded that clinicians dealing with patients with mental illnesses need to be more proactive about documenting a comprehensive history of trauma to better inform patient management.

Reference: Xiao CLGavrilidis ELee SKulkarni JDo mental health clinicians elicit a history of previous trauma in female psychiatric inpatients? J Ment Health. 2016 Feb (online)


Recent publications

Recent publications with Central Clinical School affiliated authors:

Burgell RE, Gibson PR. The Lactulose Breath Test in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Is It All Hot Air? Dig Dis Sci. 2016 Mar: 61;655-7.
doi: 10.1007/s10620-015-3956-6. 

Participants sought: Investigating the link between mental illness and endocrine function

Females aged 18-65 years with no diagnosis of mental illness are invited to participate as a healthy control group for our study investigating the link between mental illness and endocrine function. Identifying and understanding why different medical disorders co-occur provides important opportunities for prevention and potential treatment in the future. Participating in this study enables you to contribute to research aimed at improving treatment options for people with mental illness, which will translate directly to everyday benefits for these individuals. This will be a once-off, 2-hour visit. You will complete questionnaires and undergo a simple, standard physical examination and blood test. Participation will occur at the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (Level 4, 607 St Kilda Road).


Miss Raelene Tan
Email: raelene.tan@monash.edu
Contact phone number: (03) 9076 5031
Ethics Committee Project Number: 204/14

Participants sought: A novel drug for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Women and men who are 18-65 years old, have been diagnosed with BPD, and are stabilised on current therapy (if on any) for at least 3 weeks, are invited to take part in an 8-week study that is underway in Melbourne. BPD is a prevalent and complex mental illness. Medications currently used for BPD have only modest and inconsistent effects. We are testing a novel medication, which we know from previous research to be safe and well-tolerated, for its efficacy in improving BPD symptoms.

7 Mar 2016

Participants sought : Zonulin study to measure gut 'leakiness'

Mary Ajamian running a Zonulin assay
Zonulin is a protein involved in gut leakiness. It is measured in different groups with gastrointestinal dysfunction (e.g. NCGS, CD, IBD) as well as in normal healthy individuals. 

50 normal healthy participants are needed for the analysis. We need to collect 2 tubes of blood (approx. 17.5 mL) after refraining from eating gluten for at least 3 hours. It would be ideal to collect blood under fasting conditions (i.e. overnight fast, collection upon arrival at work), though a morning coffee or tea should be fine.

Selection criteria:

1. You are in a good state of health with no pre-existing diagnoses of gastrointestinal disease or abnormalities, liver disease, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders.
2. You do not have evidence of ongoing, active infection and your immune system is healthy.
3. You are between the ages of 18 and 65.
4. You do not believe that you have a sensitivity to gluten and are not on a gluten-free diet.
5. You are capable of refraining from the consumption of gluten for three hours prior to a blood test.


Ms Mary Ajamian
Email: mary.ajamian@monash.edu

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