News & Media

  • subbanner


Migraines in childhood and adolescence: more than just a headache

Article by Dr Michael Vagg


Headaches are uncommon in toddlers. But between the ages of three and seven, around 5% to 50% of children experience headaches of some type. From seven to fifteen years, headache prevalence peaks at up to 75%. The vast majority of headaches experienced are tension-type headaches that don't need specific treatment. But a...

Health Check: What Causes Headaches?

Article by Dr Michael Vagg


We all get headaches from time to time. In fact, nearly every second person in the world had a headache at least once in the past year. But these can feel very different, depending on which of the nearly 200 types of headache you have.

More than half (52%) of people will have a tension-type headache at some point in...

How badly do we want to solve this $32bn dollar persistent pain problem?

Article by Dr Michael Vagg


This week is National Pain Week so it's only fitting that I should climb onto the soapbox again in support of people with persistent pain, their employers, workmates, friends, and families. The economic burden of persistent pain in our country is enormous, and the arguments in favour of a coordinated national response are...

When business trumps evidence, dangerous things happen

Article br Dr Michael Vagg


Ketamine is a drug which was originally used in anaesthesia, but which is now more often used in managing pain. It acts upon a range of different neurotransmitter systems in the body and it's not a drug you would expect an average primary care doctor to be very familiar with.

I am therefore heartened at the news that...

Opioids may not be the most harmful pain drugs after all…

Article by Dr Michael Vagg


We have seen plenty of media reporting of the harm done by "overprescribing" of opioid drugs for chronic pain (I use the quotation marks because I challenge anyone to identify what the "right" level of opioid prescribing is) but perhaps this hype is misleading. A new paper from a Melbourne research group suggests we may be...

Hope in a bottle: Use of natural medicine on the rise despite unproven alternative therapies

Article by Mandy Squires (Geelong Advertiser)


Featuring Dr Michael Vagg


As a Deakin University researcher, Dr Mel Thomson is well placed to sort science from snake oil.

Twenty years of academia has given the mum of two the ability to find, read and understand complex scientific papers and quickly assess the legitimacy of...

Got chronic pain? Just un-learn to live with it…

Article by Dr Michael Vagg


At the recent conference of the Australian Pain Society, I was delighted to see what had come of a very interesting research thread that I had been introduced to a few years ago. It concerns the role of learning circuits in the brain and their contribution to maintaining persistent pain.

Prof Herta Flor is a German...

Pain Matrix patients first in southern hemisphere to trial revolutionary pain relief

Article by Mandy Squires (Geelong Advertiser)


Four Geelong patients are the first in the southern hemisphere to be treated with a cutting-edge pain management device. Of the four patients to be treated with the promising percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (PENS) device at Geelong Private Hospital on Wednesday, two suffered from chronic...

Time to stop abusing the NHMRC for ideological purposes

Article by Dr Michael Vagg


The release today of the long-awaited NHMRC Statement and Advice on Homeopathy is just the latest in a series of pointless and ideologically motivated exercises that this peak scientific body has been tasked to undertake.

We have seen this group of professional scientists sent on wild goose chases after Wind Turbine...

Is the Medical Marijuana debate even worth having?

Article by Dr Michael Vagg


Given the recent thawing in political attitudes in New South Wales and Victoria towards so-called medical marijuana, one could be forgiven for assuming that the medical care of certain individuals is being disadvantaged by the lack of access to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) products.

One of the most frequently cited...

Drug regulator must put patient safety ahead of Big Pharma profits

Article br Dr Michael Vagg


One of the much-heralded platforms of the Abbott government is its promise to business to reduce red tape and burdensome regulatory obligations. Pharmaceuticals are a multi-billion dollar global industry, so it's not surprising the national drug and device regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), is a key...

Make your New Year's health resolution about prevention. That's where the big gains are

Article by Dr Michael Vagg


At a time of year when we are flooded with advertisements for detox and weight loss products, I've been doing some detoxing of my own. Specifically, a day of fasting and bowel preparation for my colonoscopy tomorrow. At the risk of over sharing, I think it's fair to say I can regard myself as pretty well cleansed right at the...

Good riddance to the GP tax, but what lies ahead for medical research funding?

Article by Dr Michael Vagg


If the news coming out of Canberra tonight is accurate, the Federal Government has finally realised that their GP co-payment (really a tax given the way they intended to implement it) is actually what Rampaging Roy Slaven would call 'a cup of hot fat with a hair in it' as far as the electorate is concerned. It's an...

‘I feel your pain’: measuring the unmeasurable

Article by Dr Michael Vagg


Humans seem to experience pain, whether acute or persistent, in a unique way. As a species, we have evolved from having very simple damage-sensing mechanisms (which we share in many details with molluscs) to develop early warning systems that react not only to the threat of physical harm but to social and emotional harm.


Acupuncture, zombie fish and Humpty Dumpty

Article by Dr Michael Vagg

"When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'

'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.

'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master — that's all."


[12  >>