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Postgrad course on exercise as medicine is ... Dear prospective applicant, A proposal for a postgrad ... (19 Aug 2017)
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A viral infection in a pregnant woman not only affects her subsequent ability to provide maternal care but can also trigger depression in her offspring, which can then even extend into the next generation as a result of changes to genetic mechanisms in the brain. This is the central finding of a transgenerational study conducted at MedUni Vienna in collaboration with the Division of Neurophysiology and Neuropharmacology (Daniela Pollak) and the Division of Neonatology and Paediatric Critical Care (Angelika Berger), which has now been published in the leading journal "Brain, Behaviour and Immunity".

Published in Medical News

New study busts the myth that contraceptives curb desire – other factors like age and length of relationship are more important
Taking the pill doesn’t lower your sexual desire, contrary to popular belief, according to research published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. The authors of the research, from the University of Kentucky and Indiana University in the US, say the evidence explaining what affects women’s sexual desire is mixed and more research is needed.

Published in Medical News

A glass of alcohol a day does not keep AFib away

Often people who binge drink experience an irregular heartbeat or a heart “flutter,” sometimes referred to as “holiday heart syndrome.” However, people who drink smaller amounts of alcohol on a regular basis are also at higher risk of irregular heartbeat, according to a review published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Irregular heartbeat, also known as atrial fibrillation, not only directly affects the heart itself, but is a leading cause of stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.

Published in Medical News

Mozart may enhance a man's performance in board games - while AC/DC may hinder their chances, according to new research.
The scientists behind the study, from Imperial College London and the Royal College of Music, say classical music may be the best option for men when concentrating on a task.
Music was found to have no effect on women's performance, though they generally performed better than men at the game involved in the study.

Published in Medical News

Research has shown that when children watch too much television, their risk of obesity increases. However, more and more screen time is coming from other devices, like tablets and smartphones, and the impact of these devices has not been researched as much. In a new study scheduled for publication in The Journal of Pediatrics, researchers found that children who reported spending more time on screen devices and watching television engaged in behaviors that can lead to obesity.

Published in Medical News

A new study published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]) suggests that a ‘Sit Less’ intervention - breaking sitting with standing and light-intensity walking - may be an alternative to structured exercise to promote blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes, giving improved 24-hour glucose levels and improved insulin sensitivity.

Published in Medical News
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Highlights

  • Postgrad course on exercise as medicine is being proposed

    Dear prospective applicant,

    A proposal for a postgrad course on physical activity (PA) as a therapy for non-communicable diseases is currently being evaluated. Hereunder, a two-question survey is being forwarded for your attention in order to assess whether the idea sounds appealable or not.

    Proposed award

    M.Sc in Therapeutic Physical Activity (TPA), with postgrad certificate (PgC) and postgrad diploma (PgD) exit routes

    Proposed specialisation titles[1]

    Holders of PgC, TPA can claim the title of: ‘Clinical exercise prescriber’.

    Holders of PgD, TPA can claim the titles of: ‘Advanced exercise prescriber’ or ‘Clinical and public health exercise prescriber’.

    Holders of M.Sc, TPA can claim the title of: ‘Physical activity - health specialist’.

    Are you sure you know why physical activity is so important?

    Everyone is aware that physical inactivity is a major health concern but, do you know that through the right type of exercise you can prevent or treat at least 35 chronic conditions? In 2007 the American College of Sports Medicine officially declared an important statement: ‘Exercise is medicine’. Moreover, health-enhancing physical activity (HEPA) is important in today’s world not only in view of improving health and wellbeing but also for its economic values. For example, a lifestyle intervention involving 150 minutes of weekly PA was scientifically shown to be significantly more effective than the administration of metformin.

    Possibilities of further career development in exercise prescription

    Exercise prescription, that is, being qualified to professionally recommend the right type of exercise for health does not stop on a one-to-one basis. Do you think you are qualified to: (a) conduct research on PA interventions, and (b) develop, implement and evaluate community or population programmes involving PA strategies? Unfortunately, many wide-scale programmes that are implemented undergo no evaluation to determine how they have worked or what their effects may be. Have you ever imagined the possibility of attending a tertiary course which would be designed to: (a) give you the ability to design a project for the generation of new knowledge and be able to publish it internationally, or (b) train you on how to evaluate wide-scale interventions and how to apply strategies to sustain their continuities?


    A glimpse of the proposed programme of studies

    Intended for:

    The programme of studies is aimed at a wide and diverse cohort of students wishing to pursue any careers in HEPA sectors mainly: exercise prescription; health promotion (policies and practice); general health and fitness industry; and to further their studies (e.g. PhD). It can also serve as an adjunct to enrich one’s knowledge of his / her established profession or career. Examples include: medical practitioners; pharmacists; nurses; physiotherapists; nutritionists; public health specialists; sport medicine specialists; sport psychologists; teachers of physical education (PE); coaches; gym instructors; and personal trainers. Fitness and sport enthusiasts are also encouraged to apply.

    Duration:

    Three years part-time leading to an M.Sc in PA as an effective therapy, with postgrad certificate and postgrad diploma exit routes after the first and second years respectively.

    Mode of delivery:

    Seventy per cent will be delivered online and the rest of the thought units will be offered on a once weekly two-hour evening basis starting at 18.00hrs.

    Admission criteria:

    You should provide evidence of higher educational qualification(s) - normally, a diploma or a degree related to health and / or PA / sport. An award in PE is also ideal. Mature students without these basic qualifications would be required to present evidence of experience related to PA and health.

    Mode of assessment:

    Units will be assessed through the submission of coursework. These will vary from short assessments to long essays. If you would like to progress at Masters’ level, a traditional dissertation or paper in the format for journal publication and a final presentation (in the form of slides or poster) of your research findings will have to be undertaken.

    Round-up

    Unlike other under- and postgrad courses which only cover a fraction from the whole science of HEPA, this comprehensive programme of studies would lead to a specialization specifically on TPA. For careers in promotion, prescription and research of PA, the proposed programme of studies is a must.

    Important notice

    All the above information is subject to change and would eventually have to be approved by the Programme Validation Committee of the University of Malta. Needless to say, your feedback in the next two questions is extremely important.

    Yours in health & exercise,

    Charles Micallef B.Pharm (Hons), M.Sc PAPH (Staff)                                                8th August 2017

    The two questions hereunder.

    1. In view of the above information, would you be interested in applying for this particular postgrad course leading to a specialisation in physical activity with respect to health, that is, a qualification that gives you the right to prescribe exercise for health, even at population levels?

    Yes or No: 

    1. What would you change from or suggest to what is being proposed?

    Please state your name & surname:

    Your current job / profession:

    Please save your changes and forward your reply to Charles Micallef on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.


    [1] In order to professionally recommend exercise for health, you may need to be registered in the appropriate regulatory board and be in possession of a warrant to operate with the respective titles.

    University of Malta

    Written on August 19, 2017
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