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July 18th, 2010
07:01 PM ET

Can Ecstasy help ease post-traumatic stress?


The drug MDMA—better known by its street name, Ecstasy—may be illegal, but a new study suggests that it’s also a promising treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

The study, which appears in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, included 20 people with PTSD stemming from traumas such as sexual assault and combat stress. On two separate occasions, 12 of the people took a dose of MDMA and then spoke for several hours with a pair of trained therapists. The others took a placebo but received the same therapy. (All of the participants received additional therapy sessions that did not involve the drug.)

Two months later, 10 of the 12 people who took MDMA had improved to the point where they no longer met the diagnostic criteria for PTSD, and three participants whose condition had prevented them from holding down a job were able to return to work.

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Filed under: Brain • PTSD

July 18th, 2010
04:52 PM ET

CNN triathletes cross finish line

CNN Fit Nation team (white caps) takes off from the swim start barge in the Nautica New York City Triathlon

Dr. Sanjay Guptasix CNN viewers from across the nation, and seven other CNN employees finished the Nautica New York City Triathlon on Sunday in front of thousands of race spectators in Central Park.

The culmination of CNN’s Fit Nation Challenge, the race started with a one-mile swim  in the Hudson River, a 25-mile bike ride along the West Side Highway, and a six-mile run in the park.

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July 18th, 2010
03:33 PM ET

Economic woes put HIV-AIDS advances at risk

The global economic downturn is affecting how much governments around the world are giving to fight the the spread and early treatment of HIV-AIDS and will be a key concern at the 18th International AIDS Conference this week in Vienna.

The conference  brings together the HIV-AIDS research and advocacy communities every two years to draw attention to the disease, which makes headlines less often than 10 or 20 years ago but today affects more than 33 million people worldwide.

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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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