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October 20th, 2010
04:32 PM ET

National ALS registry launched

A division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is launching a voluntary national registry to better understand the characteristics of people who suffer from ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease.

ALS or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, affects an estimated 30,000 people in the United States- primarily older adults. The neurodegenerative disorder causes nerve cells to stop functioning and die. Consequences are dire: muscle weakness, paralysis and eventually death. What causes ALS  has not yet been identified.

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NFL head injuries prompt fines, brain concerns
October 20th, 2010
12:51 PM ET

NFL head injuries prompt fines, brain concerns

The National Football League has fined three players $50,000 to $75,000 for violent helmet-to-helmet hits - which have been known to be devastating for players.

The league has been criticized for being too lax with head blows and the league's new medical committee members earlier this year  vowed to change that culture.

After several players were injured Sunday in what some fans and observers perceived as a particularly violent weekend of football, the NFL pledged on Tuesday to be more vigilant about ejecting and/or suspending players who have made flagrant hits.

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October 20th, 2010
12:23 PM ET

Do children in the U.S. have to get more shots?

Today on CNNHealth, we take a look at the anxieties and doubts some U.S. parents have about the frequency and quality of vaccines administered to children. The reluctance to vaccinate has been theorized to be one of the reasons behind a whooping cough outbreak in California, which  claimed its 10th child victim today.

A Centers for Disease Control and Preventions committee on immunization practices is expected to meet next week. This committee makes recommendations for the routine vaccines for children and adults.

Some parents who've moved to this country from abroad say it feels as if the United States requires significantly more immunizations compared with other countries. Judging by the list below of scheduled immunizations, that's true for some countries, but not all. Here's a look at vaccine schedules around the world, based on information from the World Health Organization. To look up other countries, check out WHO's webpage. FULL POST


October 20th, 2010
11:46 AM ET

Births to teens vary by region, highest in South

Teenage birth rates in the United States differ by geographic area, but rates are highest in the South a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) found. The report, based on data from 2008, found rates were lowest in the Northeast and Midwest.

Rates have fallen steadily over the last 20 years, but disparities exist state to state. Between 2007 and 2008, the teen birth rate fell nationally to about 4.2 percent of all births.  The rate slipped in 14 states, but rates are still significantly higher here in the United States than in other Western countries, according to the statistics. Population plays a role in these numbers.

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Dalai Lama: Larger than life, profoundly human
October 20th, 2010
10:04 AM ET

Dalai Lama: Larger than life, profoundly human

I try to make it a practice not to name drop, but on Monday I spent a half-hour talking to the Dalai Lama. It wasn’t exactly a private affair—2,000 people more or less were in the audience listening, but one of the remarkable things about big meetings with the Dalai Lama is that once you start talking with him you get this eerie feeling that he and his translator are the only people in the auditorium.

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October 20th, 2010
09:43 AM ET

Are my symptoms from gallbladder problems, or something else?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Wednesday, it's Dr. Otis Brawley, a chief medical officer.

Last week, Dr. Brawley answered a question about whether Jessie from North Carolina has symptoms that could indicate gallbladder problems. This week, he offers another theory for what could be causing her pain.

Question asked by Jessie, North Carolina

My mom, grandma and older sister have all had their gallbladders removed. For the past month, I have been getting nauseated and/or experiencing pain in my upper belly after many meals. It seems as though I can tolerate little of any type of fat. The only thing that makes my discomfort manageable is Mylanta and Zantac. Are my symptoms and family history indicative of gallbladder problems? My doctor didn't immediately think so.

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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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