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September 7th, 2010
06:31 PM ET

Can memory lapses be a sign of a identity disorder?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Tuesdays, it's Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, and an expert in the mind-body connection for health.

Question asked by Lina Rayne of Michigan: If a person has had a traumatizing year and is finding himself having lapsing memories, is this a sign that he or she has developed dissociative identity disorder?

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September 7th, 2010
05:21 PM ET

More patients turning to ER for acute care

Where would you go if you had stomach pain? What about a really bad cough? Or a fever? More and more people are heading to the emergency room instead of a general practitioner, according to a new study.

"Primary care is completely overwhelmed," says Dr. Stephen Pitts, lead author of the report: Where Americans Get Acute Care. "Patients have observed the fact that primary care physicians just don’t have time for unscheduled visits, and sometimes the emergency room is the only option."

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September 7th, 2010
04:35 PM ET

Secondhand smoke exposure 'striking' in the U.S.

More than half of U.S. children between ages 3 and 11 show signs in their blood of exposure to secondhand smoke, according to a report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which examined blood samples from more than 1,300 children.

These children are more prone to pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma, and decreased lung function, according to the CDC report.  It also finds that 40 percent of nonsmoking adults have cotinine in their blood, a chemical that indicates exposure to secondhand smoke. For the most part, children are exposed to secondhand smoke in their own homes, the CDC said.

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Dental sealants expose kids to small amounts of BPA, study says
September 7th, 2010
12:02 AM ET

Dental sealants expose kids to small amounts of BPA, study says

Dental sealants expose tens of millions of American children to the controversial chemical BPA, according to a new paper in the journal Pediatrics. It says that sealants contain derivatives of BPA, which metabolize to actual BPA when exposed to saliva. The exposure lasts up to three hours after the sealant is applied.

Sealants came into widespread use in the 1990s. The American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend them as an important way to prevent tooth and gum decay.  A host of health problems are associated with decay. Dr. Philip Landrigan, one of the paper’s authors, agrees that those benefits outweigh the risk from BPA, but warns that doesn’t mean the chemical is safe.

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Teens self-mutilate, embed objects in skin
September 7th, 2010
12:01 AM ET

Teens self-mutilate, embed objects in skin

Metal. Plastic. Crayon. These are just some of the materials that teenagers have used to injure themselves by puncturing their skin with objects, or putting objects into the wound after cutting. This is called self-embedding behavior, and some teens do it as a way of coping with tough times.

A new study in the journal Radiology found that 11 patients aged 14 to 18 engaged in this behavior out of 600 patients who had received treatment for removing foreign objects embedded in soft tissue.

There were a total of 76 foreign objects among the 11 patients. They had embedded objects in their arms, ankles, feet, hands or neck; some had objects in multiple body parts. The image above shows the objects removed from one patient.

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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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