‘Why are so many children being diagnosed with autism now compared with 20 years ago? Are we missing something?’ Photograph: iStock

A child development professional believes some children are being misdiagnosed

Choose snacks that are healthy and low in calories.

A new free cookbook, Healthy Eating for Cancer Survivors, is a collection of healthy recipes for meals and snacks suitable for all(...)

Séamus and Hazel Hughes with their daughter, Saorla, on the beach near their home in Barna, Co Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

‘We estimate 40 or 50 people were involved in saving our daughter’s life ’

A report, on behalf of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland and published this year, highlights how important it is for people with dementia to feel connected to their local community. File photograph: Getty Images

While social supports for this illness has improved, they still fall short of what is needed

“Many eating disorders start as a healthy eating regime. Nobody goes on a diet when they are feeling good about themselves, and eating disorders prey on vulnerable people who feel overwhelmed.” Photograph: iStock

Social media gives people easy access to diet information, but also pro-anorexia websites

'Our children have no memories of the many hours their Grandad spent rocking them as babies.'

Dad was taken to a psychiatric unit because he had dementia and died six weeks later

Dr Karena Meehan, head of the Later Life Psychiatry team at University Hospital Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Medical experts say additional respite services and home-help hours are vital to help sufferers and their families

Many people with vertigo go undiagnosed for years, incorrectly believing their only choice is to live in this debilitating state. Photograph: iStock

Vertigo is a symptom, not a diagnosis, says vestibular physiotherapist Sheila Barrett

Misha French Molloy is suffering from an invisible disease and, like an iceberg, her health problems lurk below the surface

Misha Ffrench Molloy’s condition results in painful and restricting symptoms

The painful reality: some 880 children were waiting to see a paediatric rheumatology consultant in December 2017. Photograph: iStock

Arthritis Ireland calls for ‘long overdue’ investment in rheumatology services

Jenny Groves, founder of Battle Scars, a Leeds-based self-harm support group.

‘Reaching out for help was the right thing to do, but just stopping was not a good idea’

Some studies suggest that as many as four out of five people under 25 who die by suicide have self-harmed. Photograph: iStock

Conference aims to help people understand the reasons behind self-harm

Myopia now affects  up to 90 per cent of teenagers and young adults in Asia

The condition now affects around half of young adults in the US and Europe

 Chartered physiotherapist Aoife Ni Eochaidh with Helen Devaney from Foxford, Co Mayo, in the consultants’ clinic at the Bons Secours Hospital, Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Helen had tried a number of electrotherapy devices, some of which she found very invasive, before she started treatment on the Pel(...)

Chartered Physiotherapist Aoife Ni Eochaidh with Helen Devaney from Foxford, Co Mayo, in the consultant’s clinic at the Bons Secours Hospital, Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Patients advised to try more conservative therapies before rushing into surgery for incontinence and prolapse

Alison O’Shea, researcher at the SFI Research Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research (INFANT) works on seizure detection in the EEG signals of newborns. Photograph: Clare Keogh

Researchers in Cork are now using Artificial Intelligence to detect seizures as they occur

Mark Nother  was diagnosed with New Daily Persistent Headache, a relatively rare chronic pain condition for which there is no known cause, no effective treatment and currently no real relief

Mark Nother was hit with a severe headache in 2008 – and he’s had it ever since

Given a choice of sugar or cocaine, the vast majority of rats opted for sugar, a famous 2008 Princeton study found

While the jury is still out on whether sugar is addictive – cutting down has huge benefits

Don Stiffe

Singer Don Stiffe knew he was adopted but not who his mother was. In his 40s, he went looking for her

Part of the St Patrick’s Mental Health Services’s anti-stigma campaign  called #StillJustMe, which aims toshine a spotlight on some of the most poorly understood and stigmatised mental health problems, including eating disorders, depression, schizophrenia and psychosis, and addiction

St Patrick’s Mental Health Services is trying to lift the stigma around addiction

Vincent Byrne (51) is a stroke survivor who was fortunate enough to be able to avail of thrombectomy at Beaumont after he suffered a stroke five years ago. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

While 10,000 Irish people will have a stroke-related event this year, Irish researchers are leading the world in delivering ‘innov(...)

There are currently 2,419 children and young people with mental health disorders on the waiting list for the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service

But many should not be on the list at all for this ‘catch-all service’, say senior practitioners

Cathal Joyce had just finished his warm-up  at Cusack Park, in Mullingar, when  he collapsed at the side of the pitch – the 25-year-old had suffered a cardiac arrest

GAA player Cathal Joyce woke up at the sideline, surrounded by paramedics, and was so weak he couldn’t lift his arms and didn’t kn(...)

“Nobody is helping our child who is literally screaming out for help. I know I’m not alone – there are others in the same boat out there.” Photograph: iStockphoto

For the parents of suicidal teenagers, the State’s mental health services are woeful

There are now more generics being sold in Ireland than branded medicines

A number of medicines that should be available to seriously ill patients are currently stuck in the system awaiting reimbursement,(...)

A record 666,000 people are currently waiting for treatment on hospital waiting lists. Photograph: iStock

Technology will play a pivotal role in the healthcare systems of the future

James O’Connor from Tullamore, Co Offaly. “I regret what I did that day and I am sorry to all the people my actions affected. If I could change it I would. I was only 19 and to me the world had ended. Photograph: James Flynn/APX

See Change’s Green Ribbons aim to assure people that help is available

Health Innovation Hub in Cork

McKinsey report predicts we are ‘at cusp of healthcare revolution that will eclipse achievements of past centuries’

Stephen Brennan, of Centuri Analytics, who developed the new A&E system, with Geraldine McMahon, senior emergency department consultant, beside the new screens that give patient information. Photograph: Alan Betson

A smart touchscreen in St James' Hospital tells staff what is happening all patients at all times

More and more, health technologies originally viewed as futuristic  have become reality. Photograph: Carmen Murillo/Getty Images/iStockphoto

By 2019, all Irish maternity hospitals will be using advanced newborn-monitoring tech

All life insurance policies contain an exclusion for death ‘at your own hand’

People are advised to find out what’s not covered by their life insurance or mortgage protection policy, ie exclusions, before sig(...)

Louise O’Neill and son Calum (6),  in Blarney, Co Cork, with her parents Marie and Pat O’Neill. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Genetic illness and its impact on a family

While low mood and anxiety are actually quite normal during pregnancy due to the increase in stress hormones and the enormity of what is happening, Prof O’Keane advises women who are feeling depressed or very anxious to seek help from their midwife or doctor.

Anxiety and pressure can prove too much, with many unaware of antenatal depression

“We are born in a positive frame of mind.”  Illustration: Illustration Works/Getty

There’s no such thing as a ‘born worrier’, says clinical hypnotherapist Fiona Brennan, who runs an online course aimed at changing(...)

It’s time  for men to switch on to their health.

How to be a Man: It's easy to tell the doctor about an injury or illness. But not other stuff

*Sarah’s fourth positive pregnancy result held and the pregnancy progressed, though it was fraught with problems. She had multiple bleeds during the first 24 weeks, and it was a very anxious time. Photograph: iStockphoto

After my first round of IVF, my consultant said ‘you’ll never get pregnant with those eggs’

Cork woman Maria O’Sullivan (41) is the mother of two children conceived through a sperm donor, Zavier (5) and Aurora (20 months). Her eldest daughter, Freya (all pictured), who was conceived naturally, had just turned nine when she decided to look into sperm donation. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

There are no sperm donation facilities in Ireland, so most Irish fertility clinics use sperm banks in Denmark

While physical activity reduces the risk of a range of ailments such as heart disease, dementia, some cancers and type 2 diabetes,  it does not promote weight loss, according to the research. Photograph: iStockphoto

Eat like our grandparents ... and cut out bread for optimal weight loss, says Pat Divilly

Manuela Riedo’s parents, Arlette and Hans-Pieter, in Salthill, Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

What happened to Manuela Riedo touched everybody in Galway because it was such a horrific event

Annette Costello was diagnosed with limb girdle muscular dystrophy in her mid-30s: ‘The disability sector and youth facilities are two areas that have been impacted by cuts and that the new Government really need to address.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

One woman was waiting 12 months for her wheelchair to be fixed, finds MD research

Annette Costello, at Grand Canal Square, Dublin: ‘I don’t travel very far because a lot of the paths in the area I live in Rathfarnham are not wheelchair friendly, which is a big disadvantage.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

After a bad asthma attack, Annette was diagnosed with MD in her 30s

There are a variety of ways of using animals in rehabilitation or social care of humans, from feeding livestock and petting animals to equine-assisted therapy, pet therapy and dolphin therapy. Photograph: iStockphoto

Nature-based interventions have been shown to increase general mental wellbeing

Woodland walks: The Woodlands for Health project in Co Wicklow was set up in 2012. It has offered 12 weekly walks in nature to people using Wicklow mental-health services. Photograph: iStockphoto

Nature-based interventions for mental health involve gardens, animal therapy and more

By having some time to pursue their own activities and interests, carers could reduce their stress levels. Photograph: iStockphoto

Carers need to look after themselves, particularly their stress levels

Depression research has entered a new era with many different personalised treatment being tested around the world. Photograph: iStockphoto

Irish researchers to fore in seeking answers to severe, treatment-resistant depression

 Michelle McDonagh  with her son, Jake, when he was just eight months old,  in Blarney, Cork. Photograph:  Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

The black beast of depression has stalked me all my life, following me no matter how far I try to run

One in seven children and teenagers is waiting over a year for mental health treatment, according to the Children’s Mental Health Coalition.Photograph: iStockphoto

Life has its ups and downs so we need to teach our children ways to cope with anxiety

Illustration by Paul Scott

Incidents of the disease is on the rise in Ireland, but newly published research casts doubts on how prepared Ireland is to deal w(...)

Michael Drohan and the Waterford COPD Support Group, which he helped to set up in 2011.

Michael Drohan knew nothing about COPD, but soon learned that with this disease, his lungs are irreparably damaged

One of the biggest problems is that teenagers think that engaging in deliberate non-fatal self-harm such as cutting is ‘not serious’. Photograph: Thinkstock

The risk of somebody dying by suicide in the year after a self-harming episode is about 100 times greater than that of somebody in(...)

Ireland rugby player Hannah Tyrrell: ‘The biggest thing in overcoming my illness was to acknowledge it, acknowledge that I needed help and also that the want and desire had to come from me.’

‘I had to learn to believe that I deserved to be happy and to lead a successful life’

Shingles is characterised by a painful rash, usually on one side of the body and most often on the trunk or torso. Photograph: Thinkstock

The condition is caused by the reactivation of the chicken pox virus within your body

Traffic medicine guidelines relate to drivers of all ages. Photograph: iStockphoto

Guidelines on fitness to drive make the way clearer for GPs and motorists

The new research highlights that in Ireland, heart failure remains “the Cinderella of cardiovascular diseases”, receiving proportionally less consideration than the management of acute coronary syndromes and arrhythmia.

The ‘Cinderella of cardiovascular diseases’ is causing more deaths than breast and bowel cancer

Michelle McDonagh: ‘The shock of that diagnosis and the way in which it was delivered meant that for the pitiably short time she had left, my mother was never the same person again. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Describing her diagnosis as 'a bit abrupt', Michelle McDonagh's mother tried to shield her family from the trauma of hearing she h(...)

Healthcare professionals should sit next to a patient, not across a desk, and should invite the patient to call them with any questions. Photograph: Thinkstock

Healthcare professionals need training and support in delivering a poor diagnosis to patients, say experts

Prof Geraldine Boylan, who is based in UCC, conducts research into the neonatal brain.

The pioneering treatment, lasting up to 96 hours, can also prevent permanent damage

Paula Dillon with her daughter Elisha: ‘Elisha’s arthritis affects the whole family.’  Photograph: Tomas Tyner, UCC

Elisha Dillon (10) has suffered from juvenile arthritis since she was a year old

Colm O’Boyle, bariatric surgeon at the Bon Secours Hospital, Cork. Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/ Provision

Colm O’Boyle is a consultant bariatric surgeon and laparoscopic general surgeon at Bon Secours Hospital in Cork, and senior clinic(...)

Ger O’Brien  of FirstLight, a charity that helps parents who have experienced the death of a child. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Ger O’Brien is head of bereavement for the FirstLight charity, which offers support, comfort and advice to parents who, like her, (...)

Prof Colette Cowan: ‘I loved nursing on the frontline, and patients, but my director of nursing at the time put me into an acting role and I loved it from the day I started.’ Photograph: Liam Burke/Press 22

Prof Colette Cowan is chief executive of the University of Limerick hospital group

Dr Mark Cahill at the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital,  Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Mark Cahill is a consultant eye surgeon at the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital and the Beacon Hospital

Dr Rhona Mahony in Tanzania  with the healthworkers she helped train. Photograph: Robert Ngumbo

Voluntary Service Overseas has cut the neonatal death rate in Mtwara by 30 per cent, but the high level of neonatal and maternal d(...)

Living with addiction can put family members under enormous stress. Photograph: Thinkstock

St Patrick’s has programmes that train family members living with addiction to influence their loved ones while also looking after(...)

 Dr Gillian Murphy, consultant dermatologist and director of the national photobiology unit at Beaumont Hospital, with specialist nurse Fidelma O’Dowd. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Dr Gillian Murphy is a consultant dermatologist and director of the national photobiology unit at Beaumont Hospital and the Mater (...)

Niamh Flynn, sports psychologist, certified hypnotherapy instructor and author, runs a migraine clinic in Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Niamh Flynn works with hypnosis to help bring relief to migraine sufferers

Psychologist Paul Gilligan’s book tries to alleviate parental guilt with tips on turning daily tasks into quality time

Ann Marie Brazel with twins Max and Will, from Raheny in Dublin.

The toddler years are crucial in a child’s development, so it is essential they get the right nutrients

 Dr Derek Power, consultant medical oncologist, Mercy University Hospital, Cork and Cork University Hospital. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/ Provision

Derek Power is a consultant oncologist, at Mercy University Hospital Cork and Cork University Hospital

Dr Andrea Holmes, consultant in genitourinary medicine and infectious diseases, at the Bon Secours Hospital in Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Andrea Holmes is a consultant in infectious diseases and genitourinary medicine, and medical director of a sexual assault treatmen(...)

  Big-Top training: Zoe O’Callaghan. Photograph: Reg Gordon

Circus training helps children and teenagers improve their balance and coordination, while boosting their confidence

The Advanced Southern Simulation Education and Training (Asset) Centre, University College Cork. Photograph: Tomas Tyner, UCC

Medical interns at UCC are trained in emergency situations in highly realistic simulation scenarios

Between 20g and 28g of olive oil a day will reduce the chance of depression

‘Mediterranean’ and ‘moderation’ were the buzz words at a recent conference on nutrition, which was told that a diet rich in both (...)

Gerry Hussey: ‘I work with athletes on all the human things that impact their performance such as stress, anxiety, depression, self-doubt, relationship breakdown, sickness, injury and bereavement.’ Photograph: Daragh Sheridan

A Week in My . . . high-performance psychology consultancy In conversation with Michelle McDonagh Gerry Hussey is a psychologist a(...)

The Little Vista app gives parents updates about food intake, allergies, medicine given, temperatures, any sickness and other relevant markers.

Software that enables parents to follow their children’s activities is helping to rebuild trust with creches

Cliodhna Ní Laoghaire, who trains guide dogs at the headquarters and training centre of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind on the Model Farm Road in Cork, with guide dogs in training, Nico and Kili. Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Cliodhna Ní Laoghaire is a guide-dog mobility instructor with Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind in Cork

Aoife Weller, who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, near her home in Mullingar. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Many people fear discrimination if they tell their boss, but honesty and trust can help

Louise Kelly: “The nurses and other patients on the ward were surprised at how young I was.” Photograph: Paul Sharp/Sharppix

Louise Kelly had her first varicose vein surgery when she was 16, leaving her black and blue for weeks

Louise Kelly: ‘The nurses and other patients on the ward were surprised at how young I was.’Photograph: Paul Sharp/Sharppix

Louise Kelly had her first varicose vein surgery when she was 16, leavingher black and blue for weeks

Neonatal nurse Margaret O’Driscoll  at work in  Cork University Maternity Hospital. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Margaret O’Driscoll is a midwife in the neonatal unit at Cork University Maternity Hospital, which contains the three maternity un(...)

The effect of a benzodiazepine is calming without too much sedation, although they usually cause tiredness. The drug works by increasing the power of the brain’s natural calmer, the neurotransmitter GABA. Photograph: Stockbyte

Healthcare professionals in pharmacy will debate the Irish relationship with anti-anxiety medication

Eileen Forrestal, who works as an anaesthetist in Sligo Regional Hospital and also produces the Get Up And Go Diary. Photograph: James Connolly

Eileen Forrestal: ‘My work is all about paying attention at all times to everything’

Michael Hoban with his wife, Rita, in their home in Aughrim, Co Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Having lost most of my large and small intestines, I cannot digest and must be fed all of my food intravenously

From left, Dr Aoife Ryan, lecturer in nutritional sciences, UCC, Dr Derek Power, consultant medical oncologist, Cork and Mercy University Hospitals, Ann O’Connor, lecturer in culinary arts, Cork Institute of Technology, and Éadaoin Ní Bhuachalla, research dietitian, UCC. Photograph: Neil  Hurley

Family favourite recipes have been enhanced to maximise their calorie intake

Prof Fergal Malone, chairman of the RCSI department of obstetrics and gynaecology at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin.

New tests are noninvasive, and results are available within 10 days

Patrick Mullane and Dr John Waterstone with baby Bridget. Photograph: Micheal McSweeney/Provision

Genetic testing of an embryo prior to implantation gives people with genetic diseases the chance to become parents without passing(...)

Escape: Michael Gibbons was the only survivor when the helicopter he was in hit trees in thick fog

Michael Gibbons was the only survivor of a helicopter crash in 2005. Despite injuries to his spine and brain, he has rebuilt his l(...)

Regina Cunnane: “Our niche is really in high quality product with quirky, interesting clothes”

Small Business: Inside Track Q&ARegina Cunnane, Design House Barna, Co Galway

 Ann and Paul with their daughters, Sophia and Grace. Sophia was born at 25 weeks and four days.

Despite being a young area of medicine, neonatology is proving very dynamic

Eating foods that are high in fat and refined sugars activate the pleasure and reward centres of the brain, causing an increase in the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Photograph: Thinkstock

US study suggests cravings for fatty, sugary foods can be satisfied with healthy grub through special programme

Dr Louise Kenny, professor of obstetrics at University College Cork and a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, says she would never try to talk a woman or couple out of trying to conceive just because she is over 40.

Despite a woman’s fertility falling after the age of 36, more than a quarter of all births are to women over 35

A male Wakatobi Flowerpecker. Photographs: David Kelly and Nicola Marples

Research by a Phd student on a unique bird species may form part of international conservation planning

Mark Pollock at the Fail Better exhibition in Trinity’s Science Gallery. Photograph: Alan Betson

Blind and paralysed athlete Mark Pollock is racing to find a cure for spinal injury, with help from a global network

Photograph: Thinkstock

A new obesity study brings cautious optimism, but the researchers say the current level is unacceptable

‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams is the top requested song on Upbeat radio.

Having people with experience involved in the delivery of recovery courses and seminars is important

Róisín and Mark Molloy: Their son, Mark, died 22 minutes after he was born. Photograph: Eric Luke

The death of Mark Molloy just after birth has led to an investigation of care and safety in maternity hospitals

Geraldine Looney, with her coach, Kieran Reilly, and her guide dog, Irv.

Geraldine Looney is putting years of cycling aside as she prepares to run the Cork Mini Marathon, in aid of the Irish Guide Dogs

One-third of most cancers can be prevented by factors that we can control through healthy diet, exercise and maintaining a healthy weight. Photograph: Thinkstock

More than 60 per cent of people in Ireland survive for five years or longer after a cancer diagnosis and go on to live a normal an(...)

Guest DJs Alison Canavan, Alan Shortt and Theresa Lowe of Upbeat On Air, which will be broadcast live from St Patrick hospital, Dublin, from October 6th to 10th. Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan

St Patrick’s hospital will host Ireland’s first pop-up radio station to promote positive attitudes to mental health

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