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Missing 3-year-old found dead at Walt Disney World

<p>The body of a young boy has been found after he went missing from a resort near Walt Disney World in Florida on Thursday.</p> <p>Rakim Akbari, 3, was reported missing from the Sheraton Vistana Resort Villas at Lake Buena Vista earlier that day, after he had wandered away from the resort that morning. </p> <p>Authorities also said that Rakim had autism. </p> <p>The Orange County Sheriff sent out a missing child alert for the young boy before deputies located his body in the water at the resort on Thursday afternoon. </p> <p>“It is with heavy hearts that we must share that our deputies have found Rakim Akbari deceased in a body of water at the resort where he was reported missing this morning. Our detectives are still looking into how this tragedy occurred,” they shared on X. </p> <p>“We are grieving his loss, and our prayers are with his family,” they added. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">It is with heavy hearts that we must share that our deputies have found Rakim Akbari deceased in a body of water at the resort where he was reported missing this morning. Our detectives are still looking into how this tragedy occurred.</p> <p>We are grieving his loss, and our prayers… <a href="https://t.co/3huAOOo0u4">pic.twitter.com/3huAOOo0u4</a></p> <p>— Orange County Sheriff's Office (@OrangeCoSheriff) <a href="https://twitter.com/OrangeCoSheriff/status/1814027480782761996?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 18, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>They didn't provide further details, but the boy reportedly went missing while wearing pyjama pants and a shirt with no socks or shoes. </p> <p>People on X have also shared their condolences to the boy's family.</p> <p>"Deepest condolences to the family of this beautiful little boy. Prayers for the law enforcement that found him, it's hard for them to process as well," one said. </p> <p>"Heartbreaking. Prayers to his family and all who loved him," added another. </p> <p>"God bless his family. Rest in Peace," added another. </p> <p>"My heart goes out to the family," wrote a third. </p> <p><em>Image: X</em></p>

Caring

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Six people found dead in luxury hotel

<p>A disturbing theory has emerged after six people were found dead in a luxury hotel room in central Bangkok. </p> <p>According to Bangkok’s Metropolitan Police commissioner Thiti Saengsawang, hotel staff at the Grand Hyatt Erawan discovered the bodies of six people in a fifth-floor room after they missed check out time by more than 24 hours.</p> <p>After concluding that the incident did not appear to be a robbery and none of the bodies showed any signs of physical violence, Thai Police are exploring the possibility that the people were poisoned.</p> <p>Police shared that they "needed to find out the motives", and that the deaths were the result of a "killing", not a suicide.</p> <p>Authorities conformed they are investigating the potential poisoning after Thiti said cups with traces of a white powder were located in the room, along with untouched food that had been ordered earlier.</p> <p>As police continue their investigation into the shocking deaths, they are currently searching for a seventh person who was part of the hotel booking and is now a possible suspect.</p> <p>Two of the dead were US citizens of Vietnamese background, while the other four were Vietnamese nationals.</p> <p>Thiti said police believe one member of the group had tried to reach the door to escape but fell and died before they could get there.</p> <p>The Thai government issued a statement after the killings, with Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin saying, "There were no signs of a struggle," adding, "We need to conduct an autopsy."</p> <p>He also "ordered all agencies to urgently take action to avoid impact on tourism,” given that the luxury hotel is situated in a popular tourist area.</p> <p><em>Image credits: BBC / Royal Thai Police </em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Mummified body of missing climber found after 22 years

<p>Twenty-two years ago, William Stampfl and two of his friends went missing when an avalanche buried them as they made their way up one of the highest peaks in the Andes mountains in Peru. </p> <p>William's family had little hope of finding him alive, or even retrieving his corpse from thick layers of snow, but in June his daughter got an unexpected call. </p> <p>A stranger said he had come across the climber's frozen, but mostly intact body as he made his own way up the Huascaran peak. </p> <p>"It's been a shock" Jennifer Stampfl said. </p> <p>The 53-year-old added: "When you get that phone call that he's been found your heart just sinks. You don't know how exactly to feel at first."</p> <p>A group of policemen and mountain guides retrieved his body on Tuesday, putting it on a stretcher and slowly taking it down the icy mountain. </p> <p>His body was found at an altitude of 5200m, around a nine-hour hike from one of the camps where climbers stop when they are climbing the summit. </p> <p>William's body and clothing were preserved by the ice and freezing temperatures, with the driver's licence in his hip pouch used to identify him. </p> <p>Lenin Alvardo, one of the police officers who participated in the recovery operation, added that the hip pouch also contained a pair of sunglasses, a camera, a voice recorder and two decomposing $20 bills.</p> <p>William still had a gold wedding ring on his left hand.</p> <p>"I've never seen anything like that," Alvarado said.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="es"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/%C3%81ncash?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Áncash</a>🚨| ¡Rescatan cadáver en glaciar!<br />Agentes del Departamento de Alta Montaña, tras una intensa búsqueda ubicaron el cuerpo momificado y deshidratado de una persona NN en el nevado de <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Huascar%C3%A1n?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Huascarán</a>. Sus restos fueron internados a la morgue de <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Yungay?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Yungay</a> para su identificación. <a href="https://t.co/WJGklwUwbp">pic.twitter.com/WJGklwUwbp</a></p> <p>— Policía Nacional del Perú (@PoliciaPeru) <a href="https://twitter.com/PoliciaPeru/status/1809394543512416721?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 6, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>The climber who found his body then called William's relatives, who then got in touch with local mountain guides. </p> <p>His daughter said that the family plans to move the body to a funeral home in Lima, where it can be cremated. </p> <p>"For 22 years, we just kind of put in our mind: 'This is the way it is. Dad's part of the mountain, and he's never coming home,'" she said.</p> <p>William was trying to climb Peru's highest peak with his friends Matthew Richardson and Steve Erskine in 2002. </p> <p>Erskine's body was found shortly after the avalanche, but Richardson's corpse is still missing.</p> <p>William's daughter said that a plaque in memory of the three friends was placed at the summit of Mount Baldy in Southern California, where the trio trained for their expeditions. </p> <p>She hopes to return to the site with her father's remains. </p> <p><em>Image: Peruvian National Police/ X </em></p>

Travel Trouble

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‘I keep away from people’ – combined vision and hearing loss is isolating more and more older Australians

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/moira-dunsmore-295190">Moira Dunsmore</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/annmaree-watharow-1540942">Annmaree Watharow</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/emily-kecman-429210">Emily Kecman</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Our <a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/ageing-and-health">ageing population</a> brings a growing crisis: people over 65 are at greater risk of dual sensory impairment (also known as “deafblindness” or combined vision and hearing loss).</p> <p>Some 66% of people over 60 have hearing loss and 33% of older Australians have low vision. Estimates suggest more than a quarter of Australians over 80 are <a href="https://www.senseswa.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/a-clear-view---senses-australia.pdf">living with dual sensory impairment</a>.</p> <p>Combined vision and hearing loss <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/0264619613490519">describes</a> any degree of sight and hearing loss, so neither sense can compensate for the other. Dual sensory impairment can occur at any point in life but is <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annepidem.2012.02.004">increasingly common</a> as people get older.</p> <p>The experience can make older people feel isolated and unable to participate in important conversations, including about their health.</p> <h2>Causes and conditions</h2> <p>Conditions related to hearing and vision impairment often <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-we-lose-our-hearing-and-vision-as-we-age-67930">increase as we age</a> – but many of these changes are subtle.</p> <p>Hearing loss can start <a href="https://www.who.int/teams/noncommunicable-diseases/sensory-functions-disability-and-rehabilitation/highlighting-priorities-for-ear-and-hearing-care">as early as our 50s</a> and often accompany other age-related visual changes, such as <a href="https://www.mdfoundation.com.au/">age-related macular degeneration</a>.</p> <p>Other age-related conditions are frequently prioritised by patients, doctors or carers, such as <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-data/health-conditions-disability-deaths/chronic-disease/overview">diabetes or heart disease</a>. Vision and hearing changes can be easy to overlook or accept as a normal aspect of ageing. As an older person we interviewed for our <a href="https://hdl.handle.net/2123/29262">research</a> told us</p> <blockquote> <p>I don’t see too good or hear too well. It’s just part of old age.</p> </blockquote> <h2>An invisible disability</h2> <p>Dual sensory impairment has a significant and negative impact in all aspects of a person’s life. It reduces access to information, mobility and orientation, impacts <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/09638280210129162">social activities and communication</a>, making it difficult for older adults to manage.</p> <p>It is underdiagnosed, underrecognised and sometimes misattributed (for example, to <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbz043">cognitive impairment or decline</a>). However, there is also growing evidence of links between <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/dad2.12054">dementia and dual sensory loss</a>. If left untreated or without appropriate support, dual sensory impairment diminishes the capacity of older people to live independently, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/dad2.12054">feel happy and be safe</a>.</p> <p>A dearth of specific resources to educate and support older Australians with their dual sensory impairment means when older people do raise the issue, their GP or health professional may not understand its significance or where to refer them. One older person told us:</p> <blockquote> <p>There’s another thing too about the GP, the sort of mentality ‘well what do you expect? You’re 95.’ Hearing and vision loss in old age is not seen as a disability, it’s seen as something else.</p> </blockquote> <h2>Isolated yet more dependent on others</h2> <p>Global trends show a worrying conundrum. Older people with dual sensory impairment become <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/dad2.12054">more socially isolated</a>, which impacts their mental health and wellbeing. At the same time they can become increasingly dependent on other people to help them navigate and manage day-to-day activities with limited sight and hearing.</p> <p>One aspect of this is how effectively they can <a href="https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.25522">comprehend and communicate in a health-care setting</a>. Recent research shows <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12080852">doctors and nurses in hospitals</a> aren’t making themselves understood to most of their patients with dual sensory impairment. Good communication in the health context is about more than just “knowing what is going on”, <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2227-9032/12/8/852">researchers note</a>. It facilitates:</p> <ul> <li>shorter hospital stays</li> <li>fewer re-admissions</li> <li>reduced emergency room visits</li> <li>better treatment adherence and medical follow up</li> <li>less unnecessary diagnostic testing</li> <li>improved health-care outcomes.</li> </ul> <h2>‘Too hard’</h2> <p>Globally, there is a better understanding of how important it is to <a href="https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240030749">maintain active social lives</a> as people age. But this is difficult for older adults with dual sensory loss. One person told us</p> <blockquote> <p>I don’t particularly want to mix with people. Too hard, because they can’t understand. I can no longer now walk into that room, see nothing, find my seat and not recognise [or hear] people.</p> </blockquote> <p>Again, these experiences increase reliance on family. But caring in this context is tough and largely <a href="https://doi.org/10.3389/feduc.2020.572201">hidden</a>. Family members describe being the “eyes and ears” for their loved one. It’s a 24/7 role which can bring <a href="https://doi.org/10.1159/000507856">frustration, social isolation and depression</a> for carers too. One spouse told us:</p> <blockquote> <p>He doesn’t talk anymore much, because he doesn’t know whether [people are] talking to him, unless they use his name, he’s unaware they’re speaking to him, so he might ignore people and so on. And in the end, I noticed people weren’t even bothering him to talk, so now I refuse to go. Because I don’t think it’s fair.</p> </blockquote> <p>So, what can we do?</p> <p>Dual sensory impairment is a growing problem with potentially devastating impacts.</p> <p>It should be considered a unique and distinct disability in all relevant protections and policies. This includes the right to dedicated diagnosis and support, accessibility provisions and specialised skill development for health and social professionals and carers.</p> <p>We need to develop resources to help people with dual sensory impairment and their families and carers understand the condition, what it means and how everyone can be supported. This could include communication adaptation, such as social haptics (communicating using touch) and specialised support for older adults to <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09649069.2019.1627088">navigate health care</a>.</p> <p>Increasing awareness and understanding of dual sensory impairment will also help those impacted with everyday engagement with the world around them – rather than the isolation many feel now.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/232142/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/moira-dunsmore-295190">Moira Dunsmore</a>, Senior Lecturer, Sydney Nursing School, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/annmaree-watharow-1540942">Annmaree Watharow</a>, Lived Experience Research Fellow, Centre for Disability Research and Policy, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/emily-kecman-429210">Emily Kecman</a>, Postdoctoral research fellow, Department of Linguistics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/i-keep-away-from-people-combined-vision-and-hearing-loss-is-isolating-more-and-more-older-australians-232142">original article</a>.</em></p>

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We finally know why some people got COVID while others didn’t

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/marko-nikolic-1543289">Marko Nikolic</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/ucl-1885">UCL</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kaylee-worlock-1543639">Kaylee Worlock</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/ucl-1885">UCL</a></em></p> <p>Throughout the pandemic, one of the key questions on everyone’s mind was why some people avoided getting COVID, while others caught the virus multiple times.</p> <p>Through a collaboration between University College London, the Wellcome Sanger Institute and Imperial College London in the UK, we set out to answer this question using the world’s first controlled <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-022-01780-9">“challenge trial” for COVID</a> – where volunteers were deliberately exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID, so that it could be studied in great detail.</p> <p>Unvaccinated healthy volunteers with no prior history of COVID were exposed – via a nasal spray – to an extremely low dose of the original strain of SARS-CoV-2. The volunteers were then closely monitored in a quarantine unit, with regular tests and samples taken to study their response to the virus in a highly controlled and safe environment.</p> <p>For our <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-024-07575-x">recent study</a>, published in Nature, we collected samples from tissue located midway between the nose and the throat as well as blood samples from 16 volunteers. These samples were taken before the participants were exposed to the virus, to give us a baseline measurement, and afterwards at regular intervals.</p> <p>The samples were then processed and analysed using single-cell sequencing technology, which allowed us to extract and sequence the genetic material of individual cells. Using this cutting-edge technology, we could track the evolution of the disease in unprecedented detail, from pre-infection to recovery.</p> <p>To our surprise, we found that, despite all the volunteers being carefully exposed to the exact same dose of the virus in the same manner, not everyone ended up testing positive for COVID.</p> <p>In fact, we were able to divide the volunteers into three distinct infection groups (see illustration). Six out of the 16 volunteers developed typical mild COVID, testing positive for several days with cold-like symptoms. We referred to this group as the “sustained infection group”.</p> <p>Out of the ten volunteers who did not develop a sustained infection, suggesting that they were able to fight off the virus early on, three went on to develop an “intermediate” infection with intermittent single positive viral tests and limited symptoms. We called them the “transient infection group”.</p> <p>The final seven volunteers remained negative on testing and did not develop any symptoms. This was the “abortive infection group”. This is the first confirmation of abortive infections, which were previously <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-04186-8">unproven</a>. Despite differences in infection outcomes, participants in all groups shared some specific novel immune responses, including in those whose immune systems prevented the infection.</p> <p>When we compared the timings of the cellular response between the three infection groups, we saw distinct patterns. For example, in the transiently infected volunteers where the virus was only briefly detected, we saw a strong and immediate accumulation of immune cells in the nose one day after infection.</p> <p>This contrasted with the sustained infection group, where a more delayed response was seen, starting five days after infection and potentially enabling the virus to take hold in these volunteers.</p> <p>In these people, we were able to identify cells stimulated by a key antiviral defence response in both the nose and the blood. This response, called the “interferon” response, is one of the ways our bodies signal to our immune system to help fight off viruses and other infections. We were surprised to find that this response was detected in the blood before it was detected in the nose, suggesting that the immune response spreads from the nose very quickly.</p> <h2>Protective gene</h2> <p>Lastly, we identified a specific gene called HLA-DQA2, which was expressed (activated to produce a protein) at a much higher level in the volunteers who did not go on to develop a sustained infection and could hence be used as a marker of protection. Therefore, we might be able to use this information and identify those who are probably going to be protected from severe COVID.</p> <p>These findings help us fill in some gaps in our knowledge, painting a much more detailed picture regarding how our bodies react to a new virus, particularly in the first couple of days of an infection, which is crucial.</p> <p>We can use this information to compare our data to other data we are currently generating, specifically where we are “challenging” volunteers to other viruses and more recent strains of COVID. In contrast to our current study, these will mostly include volunteers who have been vaccinated or naturally infected – that is, people who already have immunity.</p> <p>Our study has significant implications for future treatments and vaccine development. By comparing our data to volunteers who have never been exposed to the virus with those who already have immunity, we may be able to identify new ways of inducing protection, while also helping the development of more effective vaccines for future pandemics. In essence, our research is a step towards better preparedness for the next pandemic.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/233063/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/marko-nikolic-1543289">Marko Nikolic</a>, Principal Research Fellow/Honorary consultant Respiratory Medicine, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/ucl-1885">UCL</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kaylee-worlock-1543639">Kaylee Worlock</a>, Postdoc Research Fellow, Molecular and Cellular Biology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/ucl-1885">UCL</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/we-finally-know-why-some-people-got-covid-while-others-didnt-233063">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Do you have a mental illness? Why some people answer ‘yes’, even if they haven’t been diagnosed

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jesse-tse-1429151">Jesse Tse</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nick-haslam-10182">Nick Haslam</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722"><em>The University of Melbourne</em></a></em></p> <p>Mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety disorders have become more prevalent, especially among <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/mental-health/overview/prevalence-and-impact-of-mental-illness#changeovertime">young people</a>. Demand for treatment is surging and prescriptions of some <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35176912/">psychiatric medications</a> have climbed.</p> <p>These upswinging prevalence trends are paralleled by rising public attention to mental illness. Mental health messages saturate traditional and social media. Organisations and governments are developing awareness, prevention and treatment initiatives with growing urgency.</p> <p>The mounting cultural focus on mental health has obvious benefits. It increases awareness, reduces stigma and promotes help-seeking.</p> <p>However, it may also have costs. Critics worry <a href="https://www.bacp.co.uk/bacp-journals/therapy-today/2023/april-2023/the-big-issue/">social media</a> sites are incubating mental illness and that ordinary unhappiness is being pathologised by the overuse of diagnostic concepts and “<a href="https://www.bustle.com/wellness/is-therapy-speak-making-us-selfish">therapy speak</a>”.</p> <p>British psychologist <a href="https://www.psych.ox.ac.uk/team/lucy-foulkes">Lucy Foulkes</a> argues the trends for rising attention and prevalence are linked. Her “<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0732118X2300003X">prevalence inflation hypothesis</a>” proposes that increasing awareness of mental illness may lead some people to diagnose themselves inaccurately when they are experiencing relatively mild or transient problems.</p> <p>Foulkes’ hypothesis implies that some people develop overly broad concepts of mental illness. Our research supports this view. In a new study, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666560324000318?via%3Dihub">we show</a> that concepts of mental illness have broadened in recent years – a phenomenon we call “<a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1047840X.2016.1082418">concept creep</a>” – and that <a href="https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12888-023-05152-6">people differ</a> in the breadth of their concepts of mental illness.</p> <h2>Why do people self-diagnose mental illnesses?</h2> <p>In our new <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssmmh.2024.100326">study</a>, we examined whether people with broad concepts of mental illness are, in fact, more likely to self-diagnose.</p> <p>We defined self-diagnosis as a person’s belief they have an illness, whether or not they have received the diagnosis from a professional. We assessed people as having a “broad concept of mental illness” if they judged a wide variety of experiences and behaviours to be disorders, including relatively mild conditions.</p> <p>We asked a nationally representative sample of 474 American adults if they believed they had a mental disorder and if they had received a diagnosis from a health professional. We also asked about other possible contributing factors and demographics.</p> <p>Mental illness was common in our sample: 42% reported they had a current self-diagnosed condition, a majority of whom had received it from a health professional.</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, the strongest predictor of reporting a diagnosis was experiencing relatively severe distress.</p> <p>The second most important factor after distress was having a broad concept of mental illness. When their levels of distress were the same, people with broad concepts were substantially more likely to report a current diagnosis.</p> <p>The graph below illustrates this effect. It divides the sample by levels of distress and shows the proportion of people at each level who report a current diagnosis. People with broad concepts of mental illness (the highest quarter of the sample) are represented by the dark blue line. People with narrow concepts of mental illness (the lowest quarter of the sample) are represented by the light blue line. People with broad concepts were much more likely to report having a mental illness, especially when their distress was relatively high.</p> <p>People with greater mental health literacy and less stigmatising attitudes were also more likely to report a diagnosis.</p> <p>Two interesting further findings emerged from our study. People who self-diagnosed but had not received a professional diagnosis tended to have broader illness concepts than those who had.</p> <p>In addition, younger and politically progressive people were more likely to report a diagnosis, consistent with some <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666560321000438">previous research</a>, and held broader concepts of mental illness. Their tendency to hold these more expansive concepts partially explained their higher rates of diagnosis.</p> <h2>Why does it matter?</h2> <p>Our findings support the idea that expansive concepts of mental illness promote self-diagnosis and may thereby increase the apparent prevalence of mental ill health. People who have a lower threshold for defining distress as a disorder are more likely to identify themselves as having a mental illness.</p> <p>Our findings do not directly show that people with broad concepts over-diagnose or those with narrow concepts under-diagnose. Nor do they prove that having broad concepts <em>causes</em> self-diagnosis or results in <em>actual</em> increases in mental illness. Nevertheless, the findings raise important concerns.</p> <p>First, they suggest that rising mental health awareness may <a href="https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg25934573-900-why-being-more-open-about-mental-health-could-be-making-us-feel-worse/">come at a cost</a>. In addition to boosting mental health literacy it may increase the likelihood of people incorrectly identifying their problems as pathologies.</p> <p>Inappropriate self-diagnosis can have adverse effects. Diagnostic labels may become identity-defining and self-limiting, as people come to believe their problems are enduring, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0165032724002489?via%3Dihub">hard-to-control</a> aspects of who they are.</p> <p>Second, unwarranted self-diagnosis may lead people experiencing relatively mild levels of distress to seek help that is unnecessary, inappropriate and ineffective. Recent <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37844607/">Australian research</a> found people with relatively mild distress who received psychotherapy worsened more often than they improved.</p> <p>Third, these effects may be particularly problematic for young people. They are most liable to hold broad concepts of mental illness, in part due to <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0010440X22000682?via%3Dihub">social media</a> <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10810730.2023.2235563">consumption</a>, and they experience mental ill health at relatively high and rising rates. Whether expansive concepts of illness play a role in the youth mental health crisis remains to be seen.</p> <p>Ongoing cultural shifts are fostering increasingly expansive definitions of mental illness. These shifts are likely to have mixed blessings. By normalising mental illness they may help to remove its stigma. However, by pathologising some forms of everyday distress, they may have an unintended downside.</p> <p>As we wrestle with the mental health crisis, it is crucial we find ways to increase awareness of mental ill health without inadvertently inflating it.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/231687/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jesse-tse-1429151">Jesse Tse</a>, PhD Candidate at Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nick-haslam-10182">Nick Haslam</a>, Professor of Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/do-you-have-a-mental-illness-why-some-people-answer-yes-even-if-they-havent-been-diagnosed-231687">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Mind

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"No trace": Desperate search continues for Dr Michael Mosley

<p>The search for Dr Michael Mosley has ramped up after he disappeared while on holiday in the Greek islands. </p> <p>The British health expert, known for popularising intermittent fasting for weight loss, was on holiday with his family on the island of Symi when he seemingly vanished without a trace on Wednesday. </p> <p>Mosley, 67, set off on a hike along St Nicholas Beach on the island in the early afternoon but failed to return and was reported missing by his wife Dr Clare Bailey.</p> <p>The search for the doctor has now expanded, as Channel 7 reporter Mylee Hogan explained on <em>Sunrise</em> on Friday. </p> <p>“This morning the search has now expanded — they have called in crews from other islands to help,” Hogan said. “Those crews have come in on helicopter, they have drones, and dogs as well, to try to locate him."</p> <p>Authorities believe he may have been affected by the heat during his walk, as Hogan said, “They are working on the theory he may have been impacted by the heat and fallen.” </p> <p>“The area they’re searching where he was walking is only a 3km distance, but it is quite rugged, so they are trying to focus on that area (the walking track).”</p> <p>According to a report in the <em><a href="https://metro.co.uk/2024/06/06/tv-dr-michael-mosley-goes-missing-symi-greece-search-launched-20984105/?ico=top-stories_home_top" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-link-type="article-inline">UK’s Metro</a></em> news outlet, a resident claimed it was “impossible” to get lost on the island.</p> <p>Symi  Mayor Eleftherios Papakalodoukas reinforced the sentiment, telling <em>BBC News</em>, “It is a very small, controlled area, full of people. So if something happened to him there, we would have found him by now.”</p> <p>Senior police spokesperson Constantina Dimoglidou previously told the <em><a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13499989/Mail-columnist-Michael-Mosley-missing-Greece-Symi.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-link-type="article-inline">Daily Mail</a></em> that ongoing searches had so far been unsuccessful.</p> <p>“We have now asked the fire brigade to assist in the operation in case he may have slipped, tripped, fallen, or even bitten by a snake, remaining injured somewhere,” he said.</p> <p>“There is just no trace of him. None whatsoever and that means that for us at least, every potential scenario is being investigated.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock Editorial </em></p>

News

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Millions of older people don’t get enough nutrients – how to spot it and what to do about it

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/miriam-clegg-997096">Miriam Clegg</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-college-cork-1321">University College Cork</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rachel-smith-1505111">Rachel Smith</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-reading-902">University of Reading</a></em></p> <p>By 2050, approximately a quarter of the UK population is <a href="https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationestimates/articles/overviewoftheukpopulation/january2021">expected to be over the age of 65</a>. With this in mind, the World Health Organization (WHO) has put “<a href="https://cdn.who.int/media/docs/default-source/decade-of-healthy-ageing/decade-proposal-final-apr2020-en.pdf?sfvrsn=b4b75ebc_28">healthy ageing</a>” on its agenda. This means finding ways to maintain health, wellbeing and functional ability in order to have a good quality of life and enjoy the later years.</p> <p>Everyone ages at a different rate – but there are some things that can influence how well we age, such as by making changes to the types of activity we do and the foods we eat.</p> <p>Older adults are <a href="https://www.ageuk.org.uk/globalassets/age-uk/documents/reports-and-publications/research-report-2019--one-step-at-a-time.pdf">generally less physically active</a> than they were when they were younger and because of this, their energy intake requirement may decrease. However, there is a difference between energy requirements and nutrient requirements, and nutrient requirements actually remain the same, if not increase, as we get older.</p> <p>This means we need to get more nutrients into less energy which can be tricky as <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4589891/#:%7E:text=The%20physiological%20changes%20that%20occur,can%20contribute%20to%20declining%20appetite.">older adults often have lower appetites</a>. This is why <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6971894/">scientists suggest</a> that it may be necessary to enrich the food of older people to maintain the nutrient intake.</p> <h2>How to spot when someone isn’t eating enough?</h2> <p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8399049/">Several studies have shown</a> that undernutrition affects one in ten older people living independently at home. However, it affects five in ten older people living in nursing homes, and seven in ten older people in hospital.</p> <p>Being overweight, even obese, <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40520-023-02650-1">does not protect</a> against undernutrition. And when older adults lose weight, they lose muscle, meaning that they are more likely to lose their <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2022.892675/full?&amp;utm_source=Email_to_authors_&amp;utm_medium=Email&amp;utm_content=T1_11.5e1_author&amp;utm_campaign=Email_publication&amp;field=&amp;journalName=Frontiers_in_Nutrition&amp;id=892675">abilities to do daily tasks</a>.</p> <p>Weight loss in older adults is a key sign of malnutrition that needs to be addressed – but it can be easily missed, especially when many older adults associate the idea of thinness <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195666319307603?casa_token=iU5UIdNwGDgAAAAA:I81EKDJ2T0oBsOsZunpPBk6uI-TcgiCr-5gPJE1tz4-Tq3w8pK4Yi_mv22AhVHHpRpiv1Bvz0RI">with good health</a>. But clothing that’s too loose or a watchstrap that floats on the wrist are all warning signs of undernourishment.</p> <p>Similarly, if someone you care for has started to say things like, “Oh, I don’t want much food today, I’m not hungry”, “I’m not hungry, it’s natural, I’m getting older”, or “I’d rather just have a biscuit to be honest,” then these could be warning signs. An effective way to keep on top of this is regular weighing at least once per month which enables a quick response to potential indicators of malnutrition.</p> <h2>Getting more nutrients into less food</h2> <p>If people are eating small amounts of food, it is important to think about how to add more nutrients into it. A very effective technique, “fortification” is commonly done with pre-made products such as breakfast cereals, plant-based milk and bread in the UK.</p> <p>Fortification (adding foods, ingredients or nutrients into to existing foods or meals) is easy to do at home as well and can provide a flexible approach for older adults as it allows them to continue eating the foods that they most enjoy.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kNu8auu3fuU?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>For older adults in particular, protein is a very important nutrient, because of muscle loss (<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4066461/#:%7E:text=Sarcopenia%20has%20been%20defined%20as,decade%20of%20life%20%5B1%5D.">sarcopenia)</a> which is a natural part of ageing. This could be slowed down or even reversed by <a href="https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/could-a-higher-protein-intake-lead-to-healthier-eating">eating enough protein</a> at regular intervals throughout the day. A few ways to increase protein include:</p> <p>• Adding dairy ingredients such as milk, high-protein yoghurt, Quark (soft cheese), milk powders, eggs and cheese into meals – even into simple foods like mashed potato.</p> <p>• Nuts are a great source of protein, try adding ground almonds to savoury or sweet meals (beware of nut allergies).</p> <p>• Soy protein can be a convenient and cost-effective option, either for vegetarians or to further fortify minced-meat meals.</p> <p>• Look in the sports section of supermarkets to find <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/whey-powder#:%7E:text=Whey%20powders%20are%20characterized%20as,of%20products%20obtained%20from%20milk.">whey protein</a> powders. These are marketed to gym enthusiasts, but actually whey is one of the <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/15/15/3424">best proteins to stimulate muscle growth</a>. This versatile ingredient can be mixed into porridge before cooking or used it as a substitute for other powdered ingredients in baking.</p> <h2>Importance of physical activity and strength exercises</h2> <p>Physical activity and nutrition go hand-in-hand – both are equally important. As we age, being physically active becomes <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12603-021-1665-8?fbclid=IwAR3dJkeHjgcSrR9Xq5kBfN-HLrbpli8WcAnz7AeY5Nu9XcGCHEB07Sd2z1w">even more essential</a> as it helps to prevent disease, maintains independence, decreases risk of falls, improves cognitive function, mental health and sleep.</p> <p>Exercise can also <a href="https://academic.oup.com/ageing/article/48/4/476/5423796?login=false">combat isolation and loneliness</a> which has also been <a href="https://www.bda.uk.com/resource/loneliness-and-malnutrition.html">linked to decreased appetite</a> in older adults. Often strength training gets ignored when we think of being active but to keep independence and prevent falls, older adults should do varied physical activity that emphasises balance and strength training at moderate or greater intensity on three or more days a week.</p> <p>Ultimately, it’s essential to contact a doctor or dietician with any worries or concerns about malnutrition or unintentional weight loss. There are, however, <a href="https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/ageing-well-nutrition-and-exercise-for-older-adults">some excellent resources</a> to learn more about ageing healthily and maintaining a good quality of life in later years.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/221380/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/miriam-clegg-997096">Miriam Clegg</a>, Senior Lecturer in Human Nutrition, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-college-cork-1321">University College Cork</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rachel-smith-1505111">Rachel Smith</a>, Sensory and Consumer Scientist, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-reading-902">University of Reading</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/millions-of-older-people-dont-get-enough-nutrients-how-to-spot-it-and-what-to-do-about-it-221380">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Body

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Former missing person found dead at age 40

<p>A former missing girl has been found dead in Queensland, 24 years after she disappeared as a teenager. </p> <p>The body of Natasha Ryan, who was at the centre of one of Australia's most bizarre disappearances, was found on the Rockhampton Golf Course on Sunday, with police saying the circumstances of her death were not suspicious.</p> <p>The RACQ CapRescue chopper service had been searching for a reported missing person for several hours on Sunday when Ms Ryan's body was found, as statement from Queensland Police said emergency crews confirmed her death. </p> <p>“Police will prepare a report for the coroner following the sudden and non-suspicious death of a woman in Rockhampton,” it said.</p> <p>Ms Ryan first made headlines in 1998 when she was 14 years old, when she ran away from home to be with her 21-year-old boyfriend Scott Black. </p> <p>The teenager was presumed to have been murdered by serial killer and rapist Leonard John Fraser after the investigation into her disappearance turned up no leads. </p> <p>However, five years later after a tip off to police, she was found hiding in a cupboard at the home of Mr Black in central Queensland in 2003.</p> <p>She then became known nationwide as 'the girl in the cupboard'.</p> <p>In 2005, the pair stood trial on charges of falsely causing a police investigation, where Mr Black pleaded guilty to perjury for telling police he didn’t know where Ms Ryan was, and was jailed for 12 months. </p> <p>Ms Ryan was also found guilty of causing a false police investigation and fined $1,000.</p> <p>The couple later married and had four children. </p> <p><em>Image credits: 9News / 60 Minutes</em></p>

Caring

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New study reveals people who do this daily make more money over their lifetimes

<p>You’ve heard that regular exercise can help you live richly. Frequent movement, even in short bursts throughout the day, has been linked to lower all-cause mortality rates and reduced risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes and other age-related conditions, helping you age healthfully and stay independent.</p> <p>Now, new research suggests frequent exercise might help you live well in another meaningful way; in terms of income. In a recent study published in the journal Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, doctors from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), which is part of the National Institute of Health (NIH), investigated whether individuals who stayed active would earn more money as a result of their active lifestyle.</p> <p>The researchers’ findings revealed that staying active not only resulted in higher present earnings, but also predicted increased future income throughout one’s life. In essence, the science was clear: Getting more exercise could make you wealthier.</p> <h2>How exercise predicted future earnings</h2> <p>The researchers set out to explore three key correlations: How mobility affected income, how mobility influenced income over time, and whether exercise could help people maintain their mobility as they aged.</p> <p>The team analysed data from the US-federally-supported Health and Retirement Study (HRS), the largest study tracking changes over time in Americans aged 50 and above. This comprehensive study takes into account various life aspects, including work, socio-economic status, health, psychology and family matters, as individuals age.</p> <p>To assess the impact of current mobility on income, the researchers examined data from over 19,000 respondents to determine how well they could perform simple tasks, such as walking several blocks, climbing multiple flights of stairs, or moving around a room. Each person received a numerical score, with 5 indicating full mobility and 0 indicating difficulties with these tasks.</p> <h2>What earnings over time revealed</h2> <p>The researchers found that for each decrease in the mobility category, individuals lost out on an average of US$3000 in annual income compared to their peers. Those who were active were also significantly more likely to remain working for longer than the other group. It appeared that engaging in exercise enabled individuals to maintain mobility and engage in professional life for a longer period of time than those who were less active.</p> <p>Looking at earnings over time revealed even more substantial benefits for those who remained active throughout their lives. Active individuals showed an overall income level that was US$6500 higher, along with higher rates of employment.</p> <p>For the third part of the study, it’s not surprising that those who engaged in exercise continued to maintain their mobility after the age of 55 and had higher employment rates. Even exercising just one day a week showed improvements in mobility outcomes.</p> <h2>Moving more benefits more than just health</h2> <p>While this study doesn’t definitively prove that leading a healthy lifestyle directly leads to higher earnings, it strongly suggests that staying healthy and mobile brings benefits beyond just lower levels of disease (which is a type of wealth in and of itself). NIAMS Director Lindsey A. Criswell, M.D., M.P.H., underscores this point: “We have long understood that greater mobility is an important indicator of good health … The notion that mobility can have economic rewards further extends the evidence for the benefits of exercise and maintaining an active lifestyle.”</p> <p>If this science inspires you to make a healthy lifestyle change, speak with a licensed healthcare provider to determine the right exercise programme for you.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/money/new-study-reveals-people-who-do-this-daily-make-more-money-over-their-lifetimes" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>.</em> </p>

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People with dementia aren’t currently eligible for voluntary assisted dying. Should they be?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ben-white-15387">Ben White</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/casey-haining-1486290">Casey Haining</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lindy-willmott-15386">Lindy Willmott</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rachel-feeney-140352">Rachel Feeney</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a></em></p> <p>Dementia is the <a href="https://www.dementia.org.au/about-dementia">second leading cause of death</a> for Australians aged over 65. More than 421,000 Australians <a href="https://www.dementia.org.au/about-dementia">currently live with dementia</a> and this figure is expected to almost double in the next 30 years.</p> <p>There is ongoing public <a href="https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2024/220/9/should-voluntary-assisted-dying-victoria-be-extended-encompass-people-dementia">discussion</a> about whether dementia should be a qualifying illness under Australian voluntary assisted dying laws. Voluntary assisted dying is <a href="https://www.unswlawjournal.unsw.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/Issue-464-10-Waller-et-al.pdf">now lawful in all six states</a>, but is not available for a person living with dementia.</p> <p>The Australian Capital Territory has <a href="https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/8631104/marisa-paterson-to-consult-on-voluntary-assisted-dying-amendments/?cs=14329">begun debating</a> its voluntary assisted dying bill in parliament but the government has <a href="https://www.legislation.act.gov.au/DownloadFile/es/db_68610/current/PDF/db_68610.PDF">ruled out</a> access for dementia. Its view is that a person should retain decision-making capacity throughout the process. But the bill includes a requirement to <a href="https://www.legislation.act.gov.au/b/db_68609/">revisit the issue</a> in three years.</p> <p>The Northern Territory is also considering reform and <a href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au/subscribe/news/1/?sourceCode=TAWEB_WRE170_a_GGL&amp;dest=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theaustralian.com.au%2Fnation%2Fpolitics%2Fconcerning-territory-nt-surveys-public-support-on-euthanasia-for-mentally-ill%2Fnews-story%2F4e45111bb293af4cf32ac3c6df058869&amp;memtype=anonymous&amp;mode=premium&amp;v21=GROUPA-Segment-2-NOSCORE&amp;V21spcbehaviour=append">has invited views</a> on access to voluntary assisted dying for dementia.</p> <p>Several public figures have also entered the debate. Most recently, former Australian Chief Scientist, Ian Chubb, <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/listen/programs/melbourne-drive/voluntary-assisted-dying-dementia-victoria/103467864">called for the law to be widened</a> to allow access.</p> <p>Others <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/voluntary-assisted-dying-should-not-be-available-to-dementia-patients-20230607-p5deqo.html">argue</a> permitting voluntary assisted dying for dementia would present unacceptable risks to this vulnerable group.</p> <h2>Australian laws exclude access for dementia</h2> <p>Current Australian voluntary assisted dying laws <a href="https://www.unswlawjournal.unsw.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/Issue-464-10-Waller-et-al.pdf">exclude access</a> for people who seek to qualify because they have dementia.</p> <p>In New South Wales, the <a href="https://legislation.nsw.gov.au/view/html/inforce/current/act-2022-017">law specifically states</a> this.</p> <p>In the other states, this occurs through a <a href="https://www.unswlawjournal.unsw.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Issue-451-White-et-al.pdf">combination of the eligibility criteria</a>: a person whose dementia is so advanced that they are likely to die within the 12 month timeframe would be highly unlikely to retain the necessary decision-making capacity to request voluntary assisted dying.</p> <p>This does not mean people who have dementia cannot access voluntary assisted dying if they also have a terminal illness. For example, a person who retains decision-making capacity in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease with terminal cancer may access voluntary assisted dying.</p> <h2>What happens internationally?</h2> <p>Voluntary assisted dying laws in some other countries allow access for people living with dementia.</p> <p>One mechanism, used in the Netherlands, is through <a href="https://agsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jgs.16692">advance directives or advance requests</a>. This means a person can specify in advance the conditions under which they would want to have voluntary assisted dying when they no longer have decision-making capacity. This approach depends on the person’s family identifying when those conditions have been satisfied, generally in consultation with the person’s doctor.</p> <p>Another approach to accessing voluntary assisted dying is to allow a person with dementia to choose to access it while they still have capacity. This involves regularly assessing capacity so that just before the person is predicted to lose the ability to make a decision about voluntary assisted dying, they can seek assistance to die. In Canada, this has been referred to as the “<a href="https://www.unswlawjournal.unsw.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Issue-451-White-et-al.pdf">ten minutes to midnight</a>” approach.</p> <h2>But these approaches have challenges</h2> <p>International experience reveals these approaches have limitations. For advance directives, it can be difficult to specify the conditions for activating the advance directive accurately. It also requires a family member to initiate this with the doctor. Evidence also shows doctors are <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/1472-6939-16-7">reluctant</a> to act on advance directives.</p> <p>Particularly challenging are <a href="https://bmcmedethics.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12910-019-0401-y">scenarios</a> where a person with dementia who requested voluntary assisted dying in an advance directive later appears happy and content, or no longer expresses a desire to access voluntary assisted dying.</p> <p>Allowing access for people with dementia who retain decision-making capacity also has practical problems. Despite regular assessments, a person may lose capacity in between them, meaning they miss the window before midnight to choose voluntary assisted dying. These capacity assessments can also be very complex.</p> <p>Also, under this approach, a person is required to make such a decision at an early stage in their illness and may lose years of otherwise enjoyable life.</p> <p>Some also argue that regardless of the approach taken, allowing access to voluntary assisted dying would involve unacceptable risks to a vulnerable group.</p> <h2>More thought is needed before changing our laws</h2> <p>There is <a href="https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/Documents/TableOffice/TabledPapers/2020/5620T490.pdf">public demand</a> to allow access to voluntary assisted dying for dementia in Australia. The mandatory reviews of voluntary assisted dying legislation <a href="https://www.publish.csiro.au/ah/pdf/AH23005">present an opportunity</a> to consider such reform. These reviews generally happen after three to five years, and in some states they will occur regularly.</p> <p>The scope of these reviews can vary and sometimes governments may not wish to consider changes to the legislation. But the Queensland review “<a href="https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/pdf/asmade/act-2021-017">must include a review of the eligibility criteria</a>”. And the ACT bill requires the review to <a href="https://www.legislation.act.gov.au/b/db_68609/">consider</a> “advanced care planning”.</p> <p>Both reviews would require consideration of who is able to access voluntary assisted dying, which opens the door for people living with dementia. This is particularly so for the ACT review, as advance care planning means allowing people to request voluntary assisted dying in the future when they have lost capacity.</p> <p>This is a complex issue, and more thinking is needed about whether this public desire for voluntary assisted dying for dementia should be implemented. And, if so, how the practice could occur safely, and in a way that is acceptable to the health professionals who will be asked to provide it.</p> <p>This will require a careful review of existing international models and their practical implementation as well as what would be feasible and appropriate in Australia.</p> <p>Any future law reform should be <a href="https://www.publish.csiro.au/AH/AH19201">evidence-based</a> and draw on the views of people living with dementia, their family caregivers, and the health professionals who would be relied on to support these decisions.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/224075/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ben-white-15387"><em>Ben White</em></a><em>, Professor of End-of-Life Law and Regulation, Australian Centre for Health Law Research, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/casey-haining-1486290">Casey Haining</a>, Research Fellow, Australian Centre for Health Law Research, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lindy-willmott-15386">Lindy Willmott</a>, Professor of Law, Australian Centre for Health Law Research, Queensland University of Technology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rachel-feeney-140352">Rachel Feeney</a>, Postdoctoral research fellow, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/people-with-dementia-arent-currently-eligible-for-voluntary-assisted-dying-should-they-be-224075">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Caring

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Miss World Australia attacked outside shopping centre

<p>Miss World Australia has taken aim at the lack of police response after she called Triple Zero for urgent assistance when she was attacked. </p> <p>Jasmine Stringer was running a workshop with a group of aspiring young pageant contestants at a Gold Coast shopping centre on Friday night, when a woman lunged towards the group in a random attack.</p> <p>"This person was hurling abuse at the young girls and then charged at me from across the road and punched me straight in the face," Jasmine told <a href="https://9now.nine.com.au/today/miss-world-australia-and-children-attacked-during-gold-coast-shopping-centre-event/cf15799c-99e7-45ee-b143-519bcff1114f" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Today</em></a>.</p> <p>"I fended her off and then she turned her sights to a 14-year-old girl."</p> <p>While doing her best to protect herself and the young girls, Jasmine called Triple Zero for assistance.</p> <p>As the young girls fled from the scene, Jasmine waited for police - or members of the public - to help, and was met with no response.</p> <p>"I guess the most concerning part of this whole story for me is that I called Triple Zero, we are in the Southport CBD of the Gold Coast, less than three kilometres from the police station and in a 15-minute time frame when women and children are being assaulted, there was no one turning up to help," the 27-year-old said.</p> <p>"I stayed there for 20 minutes on the call with the dispatcher and I was starting to get stressed, this woman was still physically attacking these children as they're trying to get into cars and taxis and it was escalating and I asked 'is someone coming?' and they were quite dismissive to me."</p> <p>As part of her Miss World Australia advocacy work, Jasmine has devoted a lot of time and effort into preventing violence against women, and says this attack is the second time within a month that she's called for help from police after witnessing a violent incident and there's been nobody there to help.</p> <p>'I'm going to go to the police station today just make sure that the report is made and hopefully have the person who attacked us charged," she said.</p> <p>"But at this point in time, I've received no follow up from the police and it's been a really distressing situation."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Today </em></p>

Legal

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“These are people’s lives”: Calls for gambling reform after fatal cruise ship plunge

<p>The shocking death of a 50-year-old father who went overboard on a P&O Cruise has caused widespread outrage, with many questioning who is to blame for his untimely passing. </p> <p>Shane Dixon had racked up $5,000 of gambling debt while onboard the Elvis-themed voyage, which his mother, who was also travelling with him, helped him to repay. </p> <p>The next day, Dixon went back to the cruise ship's casino where he racked up another $4,000 in debt, before he plunged to his death while the vessel was on its way into Sydney Harbour. </p> <p>While questions have arisen about the circumstances surrounding his death, the CEO of the Alliance for Gambling Reform Carol Bennett said the cruise ship operator had failed to provide Shane with an adequate duty of care, and encouraged him to keep gambling. </p> <p>"It's really concerning that when a ship sails 12 nautical miles off the coast it can then allow anything and everything to happen," she told <em><a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13414919/Anti-gambling-Shane-Dixon-cruise-ship-casino.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Daily Mail Australia</a></em>.  </p> <p>"The rules that might apply on land no longer seem to apply and yet you would expect this cruise line would have some kind of duty of care to ensure that people are not plied with inducements, promotions and advertisements that are pushing them to gamble to extremely harmful levels."</p> <p>"It is just beyond belief that there is not an expectation that when a cruise ship leaves a dock that the rules of that jurisdiction apply."</p> <p>"But clearly that's not the case and we leave it all in the hands of the cruise line operator who may or may not apply the responsible service of gambling."</p> <p>Ms Bennett said it was "fundamental" that gamblers were able to set spend limits, self-exclude themselves and be in an environment free of inducements: all of which are required by law when it comes to casinos on Australian soil. </p> <p>"This is just basic harm reduction that any provider or organisation that is providing gambling services should be complying with," she said. </p> <p>"And if they're not, we need to really seriously think about what governments need to do to address this problem because you do wonder how widespread this is. This could be just the tip of the iceberg."</p> <p>Ms Bennett said Australia loses an estimated $25billion on legal forms of gambling each year, with the consequences spreading far beyond the impact on the economy. </p> <p>"It leads to everything from domestic and family violence to health and mental health issues, anxiety, depression, financial distress, right through to suicide," she said. </p> <p>"It is a huge and to some degree hidden problem in Australia, which is why we need stronger enforcement of safeguards and guardrails around gambling that don't see people led into a situation where they see no other way out but suicide."</p> <p>"These are peoples lives. For every person who gambles, there are six people around them who are going to be directly impacted."</p> <p>Labor backbencher Graham Perrett said the British cruise line most likely operated under the UK's gambling laws.</p> <p>"My understanding is that the UK gambling laws are not dissimilar to ours in terms of marketing and advertising," he said. </p> <p>"It's not just a gambling free-for-all, even if they are outside our territorial seas they still have to follow the laws of the UK."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook / Shutterstock</em></p>

Cruising

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Technology is alienating people – and it’s not just those who are older

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/carolyn-wilson-nash-1255329">Carolyn Wilson-Nash</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-stirling-1697">University of Stirling</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/julie-tinson-277507">Julie Tinson</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-stirling-1697">University of Stirling</a></em></p> <p>We take it for granted that technology brings people closer together and improves our access to essential products and services. If you can’t imagine life without your smartphone, it’s easy to forget that people who can’t or don’t want to engage with the latest technology are being left behind.</p> <p>For example, there have recently been reports that <a href="https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/cars/1618497/parking-poll-results-cashless-car-parks-card-smartphone-app-only-elderly-drivers-spt">cashless payment systems</a> for car parking in the UK are seeing older drivers unfairly hit with fines. This has led to calls for the <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10851103/Esther-Rantzen-tells-ministers-pensioners-not-use-apps-pay-parking.html">government to intervene</a>.</p> <p>Age is one of the biggest predictors of <a href="https://ageing-better.org.uk/sites/default/files/2020-08/landscape-covid-19-digital.pdf">digital exclusion</a>. Only 47% of those aged <a href="https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/itandinternetindustry/bulletins/internetusers/2019">75 and over</a> use the internet regularly. And out of the 4 million who have never used the internet in the UK, only 300,000 people are <a href="https://ageing-better.org.uk/sites/default/files/2020-08/landscape-covid-19-digital.pdf">under 55</a>.</p> <p>But older people are not the only ones who feel shut out by new technology. For example, research shows vulnerable people, such as those with disabilities, are also disengaging with e-services and being <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0267257X.2012.691526">“locked out” of society</a>.</p> <h2>The digital transition</h2> <p>From train tickets to vaccine passports, there is a growing expectation that consumers should embrace technology to participate in everyday life. This is a global phenomenon. Out in front, Sweden predicts its economy will be <a href="https://sweden.se/life/society/a-cashless-society">fully cashless</a> by March 2023.</p> <p>Shops increasingly use QR codes, virtual reality window displays and self-service checkouts. Many of these systems require a smart device, and momentum is building for QR codes to be integrated into <a href="https://www.thegrocer.co.uk/technology-and-supply-chain/the-time-has-finally-arrived-for-electronic-shelf-labels-heres-why/661068.article">digital price tags</a> as they can give customers extra information such as nutritional content of food. Changing paper labels is a labour intensive process.</p> <p>Technology pervades all aspects of consumer life. Going on holiday, enjoying the cinema or theatre, and joining sport and social clubs all make people feel part of society. But many popular artists now use online queues to sell tickets to their shows. Social groups use WhatsApp and Facebook to keep their members updated.</p> <p>When it comes to booking a holiday, there is a <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/919811/number-of-travel-agents-united-kingdom-uk/#:%7E:text=Overall%2C%20there%20were%203%2C710%20retail,as%20TUI%20and%20Hays%20Travel.">decreasing number</a> of in-person travel agents. This limits the social support to make the best choice, which is particularly important for those with specific needs such as people with health issues. And once travelling, aircrew expect flight boarding passes and COVID passports to be available on smartphones.</p> <p>Essential services such as healthcare, which can already <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0267257X.2022.2078861">be difficult</a> for older and other people to navigate, are also moving online. Patients are increasingly expected to use the GP website or email to request to see a doctor. Ordering prescriptions online is encouraged.</p> <h2>Not just older people</h2> <p><a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/digital-lifeline-a-qualitative-evaluation/digital-lifeline-a-qualitative-evaluation">Not everyone can afford</a> an internet connection or smart technology. Some regions, particularly rural ones, struggle for phone signal. The UK phone network’s plans for a <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-shropshire-61377944">digital switchover</a> by 2025, which would render traditional landlines redundant, could cut off people who rely on their landlines.</p> <p>Concerns about privacy can also stop people using technology. Data collection and security breaches impact people’s confidence in organisations. A 2020 survey into <a href="https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/risk-and-resilience/our-insights/the-consumer-data-opportunity-and-the-privacy-imperative">consumers’ trust</a> in businesses showed no industry reached a trust rating of 50% for data protection. The majority of respondents (87%) said they would not do business with a company if they had concerns about its security practices.</p> <p>Some people view “forced” digitisation as a symbol of consumer culture and will limit their technology use. Followers of the <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228310981_The_Voluntary_Simplicity_Movement_Reimagining_the_Good_Life_Beyond_Consumer_Culture">simple living movement</a>, which gained momentum in the 1980s, try to minimise their use of technology. Many people take a “less is more” <a href="https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/JCM-04-2020-3749/full/html">approach to technology</a> simply because they feel it offers a more meaningful existence.</p> <p>One of the most common reasons for digital exclusion, however, <a href="https://www.iriss.org.uk/resources/esss-outlines/digital-inclusion-exclusion-and-participation">is poverty</a>. When the <a href="https://www.local.gov.uk/parliament/briefings-and-responses/tackling-digital-divide-house-commons-4-november-2021">pandemic hit in March 2020</a>, 51% of households earning between £6,000 to £10,000 had home internet access, compared with 99% of households with an income over £40,000.</p> <p>Limited access to tablets, smartphones and laptops can result in feelings of isolation. Many older consumers have developed strategies to manage and overcome the <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0267257X.2021.1945662">digital challenges</a> presented by these devices. But those unable to <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-older-people-are-mastering-technology-to-stay-connected-after-lockdown-165562">engage with technology</a> remain excluded if their family and friends don’t live close by.</p> <h2>Smart change</h2> <p>The solution is not simply to give devices to those without smart technology. While there is a need to provide affordable internet access and technology, and offer support in learning new skills, we need to recognise diversity in society.</p> <p>Services should provide non-digital options that embrace equality. For example, cash systems should not be abolished. There might be a demand for services to become digital, but service providers need to be aware of the people who will be isolated by this transition.</p> <p>Retailers, local councils, health providers and businesses in tourism, entertainment and leisure should try to understand more about the diversity of their consumers. They need to develop services that cater for the needs of all people, especially those without access to technology.</p> <p>We live in a diverse world and diverse consumers need choice. After all, access to and inclusion in society is a human right.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/184095/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/carolyn-wilson-nash-1255329">Carolyn Wilson-Nash</a>, Lecturer, Marketing and Retail, Stirling Management School, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-stirling-1697">University of Stirling</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/julie-tinson-277507">Julie Tinson</a>, Professor of Marketing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-stirling-1697">University of Stirling</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/technology-is-alienating-people-and-its-not-just-those-who-are-older-184095">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Technology

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Are young people smarter than older adults? My research shows cognitive differences between generations are diminishing

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/stephen-badham-1531316">Stephen Badham</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/nottingham-trent-university-1338">Nottingham Trent University</a></em></p> <p>We often assume young people are smarter, or at least quicker, than older people. For example, we’ve all heard that scientists, and even more so mathematicians, <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2014/08/07/who-says-scientists-peak-by-age-50/">carry out their most important work</a> when they’re comparatively young.</p> <p>But my new research, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S027322972400008X#:%7E:text=Highlights&amp;text=Three%20review%20studies%20measure%20secular,%2C%20education%2C%20and%20overall%20health.">published in Developmental Review</a>, suggests that cognitive differences between the old and young are tapering off over time. This is hugely important as stereotypes about the intelligence of people in their sixties or older may be holding them back – in the workplace and beyond.</p> <p>Cognitive ageing is often measured by comparing young adults, aged 18-30, to older adults, aged 65 and over. There are a variety of tasks that older adults do not perform well on compared to young adults, such as memory, spatial ability and speed of processing, which often form the basis of <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-iq-test-wars-why-screening-for-intelligence-is-still-so-controversial-81428">IQ tests</a>. That said, there are a few tasks that older people do better at than younger people, such as reading comprehension and vocabulary.</p> <p>Declines in cognition are driven by a process called <a href="https://www.nature.com/collections/cbjacdabdf">cognitive ageing</a>, which happens to everyone. Surprisingly, age-related cognitive deficits start very early in adulthood, and declines in cognition have been measured as dropping in adults as young as just 25.</p> <p>Often, it is only when people reach older age that these effects add up to a noticeable amount. Common complaints consist of walking into a room and forgetting why you entered, as well as difficulty remembering names and struggling to drive in the dark.</p> <h2>The trouble with comparison</h2> <p>Sometimes, comparing young adults to older adults can be misleading though. The two generations were brought up in different times, with different levels of education, healthcare and nutrition. They also lead different daily lives, with some older people having lived though a world war while the youngest generation is growing up with the internet.</p> <p>Most of these factors favour the younger generation, and this can explain a proportion of their advantage in cognitive tasks.</p> <p>Indeed, much existing research shows that <a href="https://theconversation.com/iq-tests-are-humans-getting-smarter-158837">IQ has been improving</a> globally throughout the 20th century. This means that later-born generations are more cognitively able than those born earlier. This is even found when both generations are tested in the same way at the same age.</p> <p>Currently, there is growing evidence that <a href="https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.1718793115">increases in IQ are levelling off,</a> such that, in the most recent couple of decades, young adults are no more cognitively able than young adults born shortly beforehand.</p> <p>Together, these factors may underlie the current result, namely that cognitive differences between young and older adults are diminishing over time.</p> <h2>New results</h2> <p>My research began when my team started getting strange results in our lab. We found that often the age differences we were getting between young and older adults was smaller or absent, compared to prior research from early 2000s.</p> <p>This prompted me to start looking at trends in age differences across the psychological literature in this area. I uncovered a variety of data that compared young and older adults from the 1960s up to the current day. I plotted this data against year of publication, and found that age deficits have been getting smaller over the last six decades.</p> <p>Next, I assessed if the average increases in cognitive ability over time seen across all individuals was a result that also applied to older adults specifically. Many large databases exist where groups of individuals are recruited every few years to take part in the same tests. I analysed studies using these data sets to look at older adults.</p> <p>I found that, just like younger people, older adults were indeed becoming more cognitively able with each cohort. But if differences are disappearing, does that mean younger people’s improvements in cognitive ability have slowed down or that older people’s have increased?</p> <p>I analysed data from my own laboratory that I had gathered over a seven-year period to find out. Here, I was able to dissociate the performance of the young from the performance of the older. I found that each cohort of young adults was performing to a similar extent across this seven-year period, but that older adults were showing improvements in both processing speed and vocabulary scores.</p> <figure class="align-center "><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/591482/original/file-20240501-24-esxcic.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/591482/original/file-20240501-24-esxcic.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=333&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/591482/original/file-20240501-24-esxcic.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=333&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/591482/original/file-20240501-24-esxcic.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=333&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/591482/original/file-20240501-24-esxcic.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=418&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/591482/original/file-20240501-24-esxcic.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=418&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/591482/original/file-20240501-24-esxcic.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=418&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="The figure shows data for a speed-based task where higher scores represent better performance." /><figcaption><span class="caption">The figure shows data for a speed-based task where higher scores represent better performance.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/">CC BY-SA</a></span></figcaption></figure> <p>I believe the older adults of today are benefiting from many of the factors previously most applicable to young adults. For example, the number of children who went to school <a href="https://education-uk.org/history/chapter12.html">increased significantly</a> in the 1960s – with the system being more similar to what it is today than what it was at the start of the 20th century.</p> <p>This is being reflected in that cohort’s increased scores today, now they are older adults. At the same time, young adults have hit a ceiling and are no longer improving as much with each cohort.</p> <p>It is not entirely clear why the young generations have stopped improving so much. Some research has <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intell.2016.10.002">explored maternal age, mental health and even evolutionary trends</a>. I favour the opinion that there is just a natural ceiling – a limit to how much factors such as education, nutrition and health can improve cognitive performance.</p> <p>These data have important implications for research into dementia. For example, it is possible that a modern older adult in the early stages of dementia might pass a dementia test that was designed 20 or 30 years ago for the general population at that time.</p> <p>Therefore, as older adults are performing better in general than previous generations, it may be necessary to revise definitions of dementia that depend on an individuals’ expected level of ability.</p> <p>Ultimately, we need to rethink what it means to become older. And there’s finally some good news. Ultimately, we can expect to be more cognitively able than our grandparents were when we reach their age.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/229132/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/stephen-badham-1531316">Stephen Badham</a>, Professor of Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/nottingham-trent-university-1338">Nottingham Trent University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/are-young-people-smarter-than-older-adults-my-research-shows-cognitive-differences-between-generations-are-diminishing-229132">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Tragic new details emerge over Aussie brothers missing in Mexico

<p>Authorities have recovered three bodies <span style="background-color: #ffffff; color: #202223; font-family: Montserrat, Helvetica, arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px;">in the Baja California region of Mexico, </span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">believed to be those of brothers Callum and Jake Robinson and their American friend who went missing while on a surfing trip. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">The Perth siblings and their American friend </span>Jack Carter Rhoad went missing last week after they failed to show up at their planned accommodations. </p> <p>Mexican Authorities believe that the brothers were attacked in a robbery gone wrong, and fought back, prompting gunfire from the alleged thieves. </p> <p>The three bodies had gunshots to the head, execution-style, and were found 10 metres down a well outside Santo Tomás about 2km away from what is believed to be the men's campsite.</p> <p>While officials are waiting for DNA results, they believe that there is a "very high probability that it is them". </p> <p>"They were in a state of decomposition. That is why we have to run the genetic tests," Baja California Attorney General Maria Elena Andrade Ramírez told <em>9News</em>.</p> <p>Police have also said that shell casings were found at the scene. </p> <p><a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/arrests-made-over-aussie-surfers-missing-in-mexico" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Two men and one woman</a> have been arrested in connection with the attempted robbery, after they were found in possession of methamphetamines and one of the missing men's phones.</p> <p>Ramírez also said evidence found along with the abandoned tents was linked to the three people being questioned about the missing foreigners.</p> <p> Local TV network Milenio reported that the suspects appeared to have stolen the surfers’ truck and some of its parts were found in another truck belonging to one of the suspects.</p> <p>"A working team (of investigators) is at the site where they were last seen, where tents and other evidence was found that could be linked to these three people we have under investigation," Ramírez said on Thursday.</p> <p>"There is a lot of important information that we can't make public."</p> <p>A fourth body was also found deeper down the well, but Ramirez confirmed that it had no connection to the investigation. </p> <p><em>Image: Nine</em></p>

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Arrests made over Aussie surfers missing in Mexico

<p>Police in Mexico have arrested two men and one woman in connection to the disappearance of two Aussie brothers who went missing while on a surfing trip. </p> <p>Jake and Callum Robinson, originally from Perth, were travelling with an American friend in Baja California in Mexico's north-west, near the city of Tijuana when they were last seen. </p> <p>The trio failed to check into their accommodation <span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, Segoe UI, Roboto, Helvetica Neue, Arial, sans-serif;">in the city of Rosarito, as their mother put sounded the alarm on social media to help find her boys. </span></p> <p class="paragraph_paragraph___QITb" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1rem; font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif;">"They have not contacted us since April 27 … they are travelling with another friend; an American citizen," she wrote on a local Baja Facebook group.</p> <p class="paragraph_paragraph___QITb" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1rem; font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif;">"Callum is a Type 1 diabetic so there is also a medical concern. Please contact me if you have seen them or know their whereabouts."</p> <p class="paragraph_paragraph___QITb" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1rem; font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif;">In the days after news of their disappearance broke, Baja California Attorney-General María Elena Andrade Ramírez has confirmed that three people have been arrested in connection to the case.</p> <p class="paragraph_paragraph___QITb" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1rem; font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif;">A 23-year-old woman was arrested along with two men, as one of the brother's mobile phones was found in the woman's possession. </p> <p class="paragraph_paragraph___QITb" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1rem; font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif;">"That is actually how [the three people] were found," local journalist Oliver Quintero told <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-05-03/missing-surfers-jake-callum-robinson-mexico/103799272" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>ABC Radio Perth</em></a>.</p> <p class="paragraph_paragraph___QITb" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1rem; font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif;">"The police were able to track the GPS on one of the phones and that's how they got the lady – she was the one who had the phone and was with the other two gentlemen."</p> <p class="paragraph_paragraph___QITb" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1rem; font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif;">The car the trio had been travelling in was also found burnt out on a ranch south of the city of Ensenada, where they had been camping out close to a popular surfing spot. </p> <p class="paragraph_paragraph___QITb" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1rem; font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif;">Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he was hopeful a local search would result in a positive outcome.</p> <p class="paragraph_paragraph___QITb" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1rem; font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif;">"We certainly hope these brothers are found safely but there is real concern about the fact that they've gone missing," he said.</p> <p class="paragraph_paragraph___QITb" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1rem; font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif;">While Baja California is one of the most dangerous areas of Mexico due to organised crime and rampant presence of drug cartels, there is no evidence that the brothers' disappearance is linked to organised crime.</p> <p class="paragraph_paragraph___QITb" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1rem; font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif;"><em>Image credits: Facebook </em></p>

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Huge reward to help solve cold case of missing mum

<p>Police are offering a $500,000 reward for information to help solve a cold case that suspect was a murder. </p> <p>Tammy Lisa Dyson, also known as Tamela Menzies, was 23 when went missing from the Currumbin area in 1995. </p> <p>The mother of two was picked up from a drug rehab clinic by a woman claiming to be her sister on July 20, 1995 and has not been seen since. </p> <p>Dyson was born and raised in Victoria before moving to Brisbane in 1988, where she worked in the adult entertainment industry under the nickname "Pebbles". </p> <p>Police believe she began mixing with criminals and using drugs while working in strip clubs on the Gold Coast.</p> <p>In early 1995 Dyson arranged for her young sons, Jyles and Rainey, to stay with their grandmother in Victoria temporarily.</p> <p>A few months later she made a distressed call to her sister Olivia, who said she had been assaulted. </p> <p>Olivia and her partner then dropped Dyson off to a drug rehabilitation centre at Currumbin on the Gold Coast, and on July 20, 1995 she was picked up by someone claiming to be her sister. </p> <p>The following day, Tammy completed a statutory declaration signed by a Justice of the Peace in Tweed Heads, giving custody of her children and her possessions to her mother.</p> <p>She also called her sister one last time, with Olivia recalling that Tammy "didn't sound like herself" and she had mentioned underworld figures. </p> <p>Police have received a number of reported sightings of Tammy since 1995 but all proof of life inquiries have  been proven negative.</p> <p>In 2012, the Queensland coroner said that they believed Tammy was deceased and indicated that she may have been a victim of violence, although a certain date, time and cause of death have not been determined. </p> <p>Police are now offering the huge reward for new information and immunity from prosecution for any accomplice who comes forward.</p> <p>"Tammy associated with criminals that were known to police and vanished without a trace after giving custody of her children and possessions to her mother; we believe the circumstances of her disappearance is suspicious," Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell said.</p> <p>On Wednesday, her sons, who were only three and one when their mother disappeared, made an emotional appeal for public help to find her. </p> <p>"Growing up without mum and not knowing what happened to her has been very hard," Jyles Lebler said through tears during a media conference. </p> <p>"Whoever has picked her up, I'm not saying they have done something but they must know something bad has happened."</p> <p>"We hope we find out what to mum to give grandma some closure before it's too late," Rainey added.</p> <p><em>Images: Queensland Police</em></p>

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"I miss her hugs": British acting legend shares heartbreaking loss

<p>Actor Warwick Davis has shared the heartbreaking news of his wife's death. </p> <p>The actor, known for his roles in <em>Harry Potter</em> and <em>Star Wars</em>, took to social media to share the news of his wife Samantha's death, who passed away at the age of 53. </p> <p>“Her passing has left a huge hole in our lives as a family. I miss her hugs”, Warwick, 54, said.</p> <p>He added, “She was a unique character, always seeing the sunny side of life she had a wicked sense of humour and always laughed at my bad jokes.</p> <p>“Without Sammy, there would have been no Tenable quiz show, no Willow series. No Idiot Abroad Series 3.”</p> <p>Warwick said Samantha was his “most trusted confidant and an ardent supporter of everything I did in my career”.</p> <p>The couple’s children, Harrison and Annabelle, added, “Mum is our best friend and we’re honoured to have received a love like hers</p> <p>“Her love and happiness carried us through our whole lives”.</p> <p>Warwick and Samantha met on the set of the movie Willow in 1988 and got married three years later. </p> <p>Samantha had achondroplasia, a bone growth disorder that causes disproportionate dwarfism.</p> <p>Warwick has previously opened up about his wife’s health after she was rushed to hospital with sepsis in 2018, and had to undergo several different surgeries to stabilise her condition. </p> <p>Warwick, co-founder of charity Little People UK, has often spoken out about the health battles related to his condition, as well his wife’s.</p> <p>He was born with Spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita (SED), an extremely rare genetic form of dwarfism, which has been inherited by both their daughter Annabelle and son Harrison.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

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