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Walking speed may predict survival in seniors
January 4th, 2011
04:00 PM ET

Walking speed may predict survival in seniors

Walking is probably an activity you take for granted, but scientists say it could have something to say about the survival of older people.

A large study in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that walking speed may be a good predictor of the life expectancy of senior citizens. Slowing down, it seems, may actually mean the end is nearer.

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CDC: Adult seat belt use at all-time high
January 4th, 2011
01:50 PM ET

CDC: Adult seat belt use at all-time high

Most Americans - 85% of adults - say they use seat belts regularly - an all-time high,  according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And while this is strong improvement compared with  only 11% wearing seat belts in 1982, more can be done, says the CDC's director, Dr. Thomas Frieden.

"Not wearing seat belts is costing us lives and money," Frieden told reporters Tuesday. According to the agency's newest report on seat belt use and nonfatal car accidents among adults, auto crashes are the leading cause of death in the United States for people ages 5 to 34.
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Get Some Sleep: ADHD, sleep disorders often entwined
January 4th, 2011
11:25 AM ET

Get Some Sleep: ADHD, sleep disorders often entwined

The young mother looked tired and sad, and when she started to speak, her voice quivered with frustration:  “I don’t know what we’re doing here.  Jimmy sleeps fine.  It’s the other 14 hours of the day that’s the problem.”

The reason she was there in my sleep center was because her 6-year-old son, Jimmy, was being evaluated for ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).  Her astute pediatrician was up on the latest research that shows an association between sleep disorders in school-age children and behavior disorders such as ADHD.  The sleep disorder that has been studied the most in this regard is obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. FULL POST

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Filed under: ADHD • Children's Health • Sleep

January 4th, 2011
10:29 AM ET

How can I get mental health services?

Question asked by Daniel Peterson of Pueblo, Colorado

How can I get acceptable mental health services? I am 31, living off of Supplemental Security Income and have Medicaid. I cannot get assistance to have all basic essentials met. I am limited to what can be done alone without money or being able to walk or go too many places at once. I just need to know what to do.

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January 4th, 2011
09:47 AM ET

Human Factor: Faces never familiar to famed doctor

In the Human Factor, Dr. Sanjay Gupta introduces you to survivors who have overcome tremendous odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship – they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn’t know they possessed. Be inspired by their successes, as we have been. Today, renowned neurologist and author Oliver Sacks explains how he has coped with the rare but real disorder known as face blindness.

I have had difficulty recognizing faces for as long as I can remember. My inability to recognize schoolmates would cause embarrassment and sometimes offense— it did not occur to them (or to me, for that matter) that I had a perceptual problem. I recognized close friends without much problem, but this was partly because I identified particular features: Eric had heavy eyebrows and thick spectacles, and Jonathan was tall and gangly, with a mop of red hair.

I had no trouble recognizing my parents or my brothers, though I was less adept with my huge extended family and completely lost trying to identify them in family photos.

But I still sometimes fail to recognize my assistant, who has worked with me for  27  years. I have what neurologists call prosopagnosia—an inability to recognize individual faces as most people can.

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Filed under: Brain • Human Factor

January 4th, 2011
09:21 AM ET

How we decide what studies to cover

One of the questions we are often asked in CNN's health, wellness and medical unit is how do we go about deciding what studies we are going report on. We call experts, look at past studies and ask many critical questions.  There are many studies that we decide aren't relevant to our readers and viewers.  It's our job to make sure we give you as much perspective as possible, to explain what other science is out there and how much the current research is likely to really affect anyone's life.

This week,  HLN's Richelle Cary invited me on to explain.


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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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