27 January 2020
A local GP who is just as comfortable in front of a radio microphone as he is talking to his patients has taken on an important role in healthy ageing research at USC’s Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience – Thompson Institute.
Dr Sam Manger is a familiar face to patients on the Sunshine Coast hinterland as a GP servicing the region, as well as a familiar voice to many medical professionals the world over as the host of ‘The GP Show’ podcast.
This podcast often considers lifestyle medicine – anything that is not supplements, medications or surgery, but which includes nutrition, exercise, sleep intervention, cognitive training and mindfulness.
As a vocational medical officer in mental health at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and president of the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine, Dr Manger is keen to implement lifestyle interventions that can be used as therapy to improve health outcomes.
His expertise in lifestyle medicine has led him to join the Thompson Institute as a Clinical Research Fellow.
“In Australia we have a growing reliance on the medical system due to chronic disease, and the statistics we’re currently seeing are cause for increasing concern,” Dr Manger said.
“There’s a constant increase of chronic disease such as obesity and diabetes, and approximately 40 percent of people over the age of 65 are on five or more medications.
“We know that 80 percent of all chronic disease is preventable with lifestyle changes and I’m committed to assisting other medical professionals make lifestyle medicine a component of their care.”
Dr Manger said his work with USC’s Thompson Institute involved investigating how to reduce the risk of dementia through lifestyle intervention programs, and researching the causes of cognitive decline in ageing and dementia.
“We know that around 30 to 50 percent of the risk for developing dementia is modifiable, which means we can change it through things like physical activity and social engagement,” he said.
“I really enjoy my work with the Thompson Institute. Working as a GP can sometimes be a lonely job, so it’s great to be able to collaborate with such an incredibly motivated team.”
Thompson Institute Director Professor Jim Lagopoulos said Dr Manger’s expertise was a real asset for the institute.
“Sam’s research capabilities and professional specialities have great synergy with the research we are doing at the Thompson Institute,” Professor Lagopoulos said.
“It’s another great example of the high calibre of people our research is attracting.”