Norman swan

  • No easy fix for Alzheimer’s disease

    Maybe you can save yourself by changing your lifestyle.

    Hopes of a cure for Alzheimer’s disease being on the horizon took a blow when drug giant Pfizer announced in January ...

    May 8, 2018
  • No ‘PURE’ reason to dig into butter

    Findings upending guidelines on fat demand scrutiny.

    In the 1970s doctors declared that saturated fat, the sort found in butter and meat, was the villain behind the epide...

    March 12, 2018
  • Fears about antibiotic resistance have opened up a can of germs

    Whether patients prescribed antibiotics always need to complete the course.

    We’re frequently confronted with doom and gloom stories about the antibiotic crisis. As antimicrobial resistance grow...

    November 11, 2017
  • The cold truth about brown fat

    Is there really a link between warmth and gestational diabetes?

    It's lovely to snuggle up by the fire, but maybe we’re better off staying a little cool – especially during pregnancy...

    August 6, 2017
  • The mystery of meningitis

    Meningitis is a disease doctors expect to see only in children or young adults.

    It’s every paediatrician’s nightmare. A child arrives in the Emergency Department with a high fever, a rash whose spo...

    July 30, 2017
  • Translational medicine

    Two hot new trends in medicine overhyped – and overfunded.

    Credit: Dwight Eschliman / Getty Images The past couple of decades have seen a major emphasis on “translational medi...

    February 26, 2017
  • Take the pressure down – mostly

    Lowering blood pressure may not be right for everyone.

    Credit: Jeffrey Hamilton / Getty Images Apart from smoking, the biggest risk factor for heart attacks and strokes is...

    January 24, 2017
  • Let’s get physical – it’s easier than you think

    Extra exercise might offset the harmful effects of sitting too long.

    Credit: Kohei Hara / Getty Images Sitting has been accused of being as toxic as obesity and smoking. Those concerns ...

    November 24, 2016
  • Obesity surgery: should we cut the fat?

    The debate over obesity surgery – Norman Swan weighs in.

    Credit: ImagesBazaar / Getty Images So you’ve developed type 2 diabetes and are overweight? Some experts might want ...

    September 12, 2016
  • Finding new tricks for old drugs

    Off-patent drugs can be surprisingly useful.

    It costs up to a billion dollars and 20 years to develop a new drug. When it arrives, it’s barely affordable. The lat...

    August 8, 2016
  • It’s ignorant panic that is a health risk

    Scare stories need to be taken with a grain of salt.

    Radiation emitted from phones could be zapping our brains, but does the evidence back it up? Credit: VISUALS UNLIMITE...

    May 11, 2016
  • The appendix – Darwin’s mistake

    Our gut health is helped by this unfairly maligned small organ.

    The word says it all –  appendix, a take it or leave it add-on at the end of a book or, in the case of our intestines...

    February 5, 2016
  • Medicine without the theatre

    Prevention is often better than a dramatic intervention, writes Norman Swan.

    Jeffery Phillips In the old days – well, 40 or 50 years ago – when you got cancer or had a heart attack, yo...

    December 15, 2015
  • Gender imbalance in drug testing

    Women are often not included in drug trials, skewing the results, says Norman Swan.

    Most drug safety testing is done on males - potentially leaving females at risk. – Tom Merton / Getty Images ...

    November 16, 2015
  • Carbs earn their place at the table

    Bread and potatoes have been unfairly demonised.

    I’m disgusting to be with at a sandwich lunch. I peel apart the focaccia, pick at the filling for scraps of protein t...

    August 17, 2015
  • The truth about the risk of drinking milk

    A study now links milk drinking to premature death.

    Those who saw the headlines late last year while sipping their latte must have choked when they read that male and fe...

    May 18, 2015
  • Season of good cheer – and guilt

    Overeating at Christmas is de rigueur, but what should our diet look like when we get down to tho...

    ISTOCKPHOTO Christmas is the season for good cheer, family rows and lots of guilt – mainly about what you e...

    December 1, 2014
  • I, Robot – you, an unsuspecting patient

    In the consulting room or on the operating table, robots can be a mixed blessing, says Norman Swan.

    DIGITAL ART CORBIS Robots in healthcare can solve problems - but they can also create them.Take the surgica...

    October 27, 2014
  • An alimentary guide to microbes

    An important role in controlling metabolic diseases.

    Two facts about the human body often surprise people. One is that our bowels are outside our bodies and a second, rel...

    April 14, 2014

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