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November 17th, 2010
05:10 PM ET

What causes new blockages to form so quickly?

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

Question asked by Angi Garton of Chariton, Iowa:

My mother had triple bypass surgery one year ago. She was having chest pain again and hospitalized. There are more blockages, one right below a bypass and 70 percent blockage through a bypass. Also one bypass has failed. Her cholesterol and blood pressure are in good ranges and under control. What would have caused the new blockages so quickly from a year ago?

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November 17th, 2010
12:08 PM ET

Doctor's voice: The engine of cancer screening rolls on

Recently, I heard the expression “cancer screening engine.”  It was used in the context of cancer screening being very powerfully focused, with a momentum that—for better or for worse—is hard to alter. The public fracas over the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force's guidelines for mammograms a year ago this month is an example of the depth of resistance.

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On the Brain: When numbers have color: Synesthesia
November 17th, 2010
11:49 AM ET

On the Brain: When numbers have color: Synesthesia

For a special 2 percent of the population, the world seems a little more surreal.

In a condition called synesthesia, there are extra connections among parts of the brain related to individual senses. The actual experience varies, but some say that numbers, letters, sounds or even faces appear to have colors associated with them that most people don't see. For some, it's just an association; others actually do think they see those colors. Here's how color vision works, by the way.

Now, scientists have new clues about how the brains of people with synesthesia give rise to these bizarre-seeming perceptions. Synesthesia expert V.S. Ramachandran of the University of California, San Diego, presented the findings this week in a  press conference at Neuroscience 2010, the Society for Neuroscience meeting.

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November 17th, 2010
09:01 AM ET

New drug promising against cholesterol

People who can’t control cholesterol with diet, exercise and statin drugs could soon have a new option.

According to a new study, a medication, ancetrapib, appears to simultaneously raise the level of HDL – sometimes called “good” cholesterol- and to lower the level of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol.

HDL cholesterol is not fully understood, but essentially sucks cholesterol out of cells, to be flushed from the body through the liver.

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U.S. earns 'D' for premature births
November 17th, 2010
12:02 AM ET

U.S. earns 'D' for premature births

The United States is getting a "D" grade for its preterm birth rate, even though it is improving in most states, according to the March of Dimes. The organization released its 2010 report card on Wednesday, the eighth annual Prematurity Awareness Day.

The March of Dimes compared the U.S. and each state with the target set in "Healthy People 2010." That report is issued every decade by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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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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