An Approach to Mental Health, Wellbeing, and Addiction: Distinguishing Symptoms from Disorder

Posted by on November 21, 2017 at 11:02 am

An Approach to Mental Health, Wellbeing, and Addiction: Distinguishing Symptoms from Disorder

Prof Philip Morris

November 2017


To distinguish symptoms from syndromes and to identify disorders from distress – with relation to dementia, depressive disorders, and alcohol and ICE addictions

To identify and manage suicide risk

To provide a general guide to promoting mental health wellbeing

At the end of the presentation participants will be able to answer the following four questions –

How is clinical depression distinguished from sad mood?

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Medication treatment of ICE use disorders – an update

Posted by on September 25, 2017 at 12:41 pm

Treatment of ICE Use Disorders 

ICE = crystal methamphetamine

Crystal chunks or ice or glass looking substance derived from pseudoephedrine

Most commonly used illicit drug after cannabis

Smoked, snorted or IV use

Gives euphoria, ‘rush’, confidence, loss of inhibitions – risk taking behaviour

Adverse effects – paranoid thinking, anxiety, depressed mood, insomnia, hyperthermia, teeth disease, arrhythmias, stroke, Parkinson’s disease risk

Both abuse and dependence syndromes 


Behavioural and psychological approaches – contingency management, cognitive behavioural therapy, motivational enhancement strategies

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Clinical drug trials for Alzheimer’s disease on Gold Coast

Posted by on August 20, 2017 at 1:53 pm

New Approaches to Drug Treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

Symptomatic drugs

 A few new symptomatic drugs are being developed – mainly 5HT6 receptor antagonists – none yet available 

New approaches – disease modifying agents

Amyloid beta depleting methods – vaccines and passive immunisation – monoclonal antibodies [mAB] (eg. aducamumab, solanezumab, bapineuzumab, crenezumab), and eluting agents

Agents that prevent amyloid beta accumulation (beta-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme inhibitor – BACE inhibitors), or the amyloid beta oligomer’s toxic action on synapses (eg. CT1812 CogRx)

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Vanuatu Medical Conference 21-23 September 2017

Posted by on August 14, 2017 at 2:34 pm

Are you looking for an Exceptional 2017 International Medical Conference?

In an Exceptional country?

With an Exceptional program?

At an Exceptional venue?

Meeting with Exceptional colleagues?

At an Exceptional holiday destination?

Well, look no further!

The Gold Coast Medical Association (GCMA) and the Vanuatu Medical and Dental Association (VMDA) bring you our joint medical conference at the Warwick Le Lagon Resort, Port Vila from Thursday 21 to Saturday 23 September 2017.

Port Vila is the capital of Vanuatu – a Pacific island nation with a rich and dramatic history dating back over 3,000 years. The indigenous NiVan traditions have absorbed British and French influences to produce a vibrant Melanesian culture and a sovereign country since independence in 1980.

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Nine steps that will halt suicide in Australian Defence Force members and ex-ADF members

Posted by on November 20, 2016 at 1:17 pm

Nine steps that will halt suicide in Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and ex-ADF members

Prof Philip Morris MB BS, BSc med, PhD, FRANZCP, FAChAM (RACP)

Executive Director, Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association

Foundation Director of the National Central for War-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (now Phoenix Australia – Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health)

Psychiatric Advisor Department of Veterans’ Affairs 2001-2015

  1. Publish annual suicide and attempted suicide statistics for Australian Defence Force members and suicide statistics for ex-ADF members

Before changes can be made to influence the rate of suicide in serving members of the ADF or ex-serving members of the ADF it is essential to know what the extent of the problem is. Who would consider making interventions to reduce the Australian road toll without knowing what the road toll is and how it is changing? The same applies to suicide in current and ex-ADF personnel. Annual statistics of suicide for ex-ADF personnel and both suicide and attempted suicide (as attempted suicide is a powerful predictor of completed suicide) for current ADF personnel must be made public. The data should be stratified by state and territory, age band, gender, service type (Army, Navy Air force), and deployment history. These data should be readily available for current ADF personnel. The information will be harder to obtain for ex-ADF personnel but all coroners and other officials dealing with suicide should be asked to note if the individual has a service history. Trends in the raw numbers and standardised rates of suicide and attempted suicide in ADF and ex-ADF personnel should be made available over 5 and 10-year periods. This information can then be used to assess the impact of interventions to reduce suicide in these populations. I am aware that the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has produced a report on completed suicides over the past decade in the ADF and among veterans. This is a good start but ongoing surveillance of suicide statistics will need to continue.

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New Drug Treatments for Alzheimer’s disease 2016

Posted by on November 15, 2016 at 12:56 pm

New Drug Treatments for Alzheimer’s disease 2016


For the past 20 years there has been little new in treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.  However, knowledge of the neuropathology of this disease has increased significantly.  Now we are on the cusp of an explosion of new drug treatment approaches to this condition.  Currently a large number of worldwide clinical trails testing new drugs for Alzheimer’s disease are underway.  In three year’s time the treatment landscape will have changed dramatically.  This presentation provides an update on recent pathological understandings of Alzheimer’s disease and the role of biomarkers that inform new drug interventions directed to modifying disease processes.  Examples will be provided of promising new drugs undergoing larger clinical trails.

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What Is Love?

Posted by on November 15, 2016 at 12:36 pm


How would you answer this question?

Dictionary definition – Oxford Dictionary – difficult to define – ‘A strong feeling of affection’

Ancient Greek origins – five forms or concepts of love

  1. Eros – passionate erotic love – ‘love of the body’
  2. Agape – pure or ideal or selfless or unconditional love – ‘love of the soul or the spirit’
  3. Philia – loyalty to family, friends, community ‘brotherly love’ – ‘love of the mind’
  4. Storge – natural affection – like parents feel for their children
  5. Xenia – hospitality – friendship between a host and a guest – mutual obligations

Contemporary understandings

Love usually refers to the experience one person feels for another – much stronger than ‘liking’ another person

The idea of romantic love developed in Europe from the Middle Ages

Biological approach – lust (few weeks or months!), attraction, attachment

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Revalidation of Australian physicians – a critical review

Posted by on August 31, 2016 at 11:22 am

A critical review of the Medical Board of Australia’s proposals for revalidation.

For these remarks I have reviewed comments about revalidation from the Medical Observer and from the Medical Board of Australia’s press releases and information on its website.

It seems if you are male, or ‘old’, or in solo practice, or from ‘some’ overseas countries you will be targeted for being ‘at-risk’.  Who decides who will be targeted?  Will medical colleges refer or notify certain of their members to the medical board police?  On what basis?  Population screening to find ‘cases’ (i.e. bad doctors) only works effectively if the base rate of ‘abnormality’ is reasonably high.  We are not told what the base rate of ‘bad’ doctors is in Australia.  If it is very small (which I suspect) the screening of whole populations of targeted doctors will be a waste of resources and will just be a bureaucratic assault on the profession.

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New developments in Alzheimer’s disease research

Posted by on March 30, 2016 at 1:06 pm

The following article is from my senior colleague, A/Prof Michael Woodward, geriatrician at the Austin Medical Centre, Heidelberg Victoria.  I wish to thank Michael for allowing me to post it on my website.

Springfield Advances in Alzheimer’s Treatment conference

Athens, March 2016

Conference report- Associate Professor Michael Woodward AM

As is both expected and delivered, this “first blush of spring” on the Alzheimer’s disease “A” list conference circuit delivered quite a punch. Some 600 delegates, including nearly all of the high-profile well-recognized stars (Winblad, Schneider, Morris, McKeith, Dubois, Masters, Villemagne, Nordberg, Sperling, Ashe, Duff, Gauthier, Hock, Jagust, Mandelkow, Trojanowski- I could go on), assembled in this most significant city to do what Athenians have been doing for about 2,500 years- contemplate the field, stretch the boundaries, define the future and worry little about the financial consequences.

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New financial transparency arrangements between doctors and drug companies

Posted by on November 1, 2015 at 1:46 pm

Greater transparency for financial arrangements between pharmaceutical companies and doctors

In early 2015 the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) authorized a new Code of Conduct for Medicines Australia (representing the larger drug companies in Australia but not generic makers). This 18th Code Edition now includes making public all payments to doctors who speak at drug company events, payments for work on company advisory boards, and the monetary equivalent of gifts from companies to doctors for overseas and local travel, accommodation, conference registration fees and other forms of hospitality.

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