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Riskier weight loss surgery gets results
February 21st, 2011
07:02 PM ET

Riskier weight loss surgery gets results

Gastric bypass surgery is more effective at helping severely obese patients lose weight and control diabetes than Lap-Band surgery, according to a new study.

"If you have severe obesity and diabetes the better procedure is gastric bypass," says the study's leader author, Dr. Guilherme Campos, a surgeon at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. "The results are not as good with the band."

Campos and his colleagues examined the two weight-loss surgeries in a group of 200 obese patients. Half underwent Lap-Band surgery and half had riskier, more complicated gastric bypass surgery. The gastric bypass patients lost 64% of their excess weight on average in one year, as compared with the Lap-Band patients, who lost 36% of their excess weight on average in the same period.

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February 21st, 2011
06:54 PM ET

Player's text: Send my brain to NFL research bank

The toll of repeated head blows and injuries loomed over football after the death last week of former NFL player, Dave Duerson.

Duerson, a former Chicago Bears safety who was a key member of the team's legendary defense,  was found dead Thursday in Florida.  He was 50.  Duerson shot himself in the chest, which kept his brain intact for examination for a debilitating brain injury called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, known as CTE.

His son, Tregg Duerson said, "There was a text message the night before that was a bizarre text message that he sent to my mother saying that he loved her and he loved my family and that to please get his brain to the NFL brain bank. My mother called me at work. We talked about it and it was bizarre text. You can't make sense of it."

They tried to reach him, but "no one could get in contact with him," Tregg Duerson said, with his voice trembling.

"When I'm getting up at 1:30 in the morning and I'm letting the police in, you know, the first thing on my mind is, 'I think they're about to tell me my father died.'"

It is unclear whether Duerson had the brain damage that can cause bizarre behavior and severe depression.  It is impossible to determine whether a person has CTE without examining his or her brain after death.

The NFL has been criticized for being too lax in dealing with the consequences of head blows. Last year, the league's new medical committee members  vowed to change that culture and step up efforts to prevent head injuries. FULL POST


February 21st, 2011
02:21 PM ET

Triathletes return home, make changes

It has been just over two weeks since the 6-pack returned to their home cities, and their training for the Nautica New York City Triathlon is officially under way. We asked each of them to share what it's been like getting "back to reality," and incorporating the things they learned in Atlanta.

Nina Lovel

I'm about as positive of a thinker as anyone I know, but I'm not gonna lie -my first full week as an official "6-packer" was rough!!! Not for reasons you might think, however; rather, because I came down with the flu on my second day home from the kickoff!

Eating habits – Now HERE I have experienced a revolution! Over the kickoff weekend, having Frances Largeman-Roth hang out and consult with us, I internalized more nutrition knowledge than I realized.

Suddenly, before anything goes in my mouth, it has to have a redeeming property: It must WORK for me! If it doesn't fuel my energy, restore my muscles and bones, hydrate me, balance my electrolytes, or otherwise support my training, it can't be mine.

Kas Seerla

The first week of training was not too bad. The second week got tougher as the duration and intensity picked up. Since my swimming is not efficient, I get tired faster.

One of the workouts that I had to do on my own was a brick (swim/run). After the swim, I was so dizzy that I couldn't get on the treadmill. I went home and contemplated what to do. I was exhausted and tired but willed myself to go back to the gym and completed my run workout.

Previously, if I felt tired, I would stop. Now, I push on even if I don't have any energy, I try to make sure I complete the workout because if I don't I am going to pay for it later. I know I will never get this time back.

Anastasia Cirricione

I wanted to start eating clean as much as possible so I went through my cupboards and cleaned out some of the unhealthy lurkers as to not be tempted. Goodbye, mac and cheese. Hello, fruits, veggies, natural peanut butter, homemade pasta and pizza sauces. I feel so much better when I eat clean and eat regularly (5-6 times a day).

My workouts have been strenuous. I had a private yoga session that kicked my butt! I couldn't lift my arms above my head for 2 days. It made getting dressed interesting. I powered through, though. Run, Swim, Bike, repeat.

My parents have even adjusted our weekly family meal to reflect some healthier options: Steamed broccoli instead of broccoli and cheese, lighter salad dressings, etc. My friends have been a hoot in this whole process. I had to pick up an order at lunch last week under the name "Triathlete Stasia." I must say that was pretty humiliating and humorous all at the same time.

Dr. Scott Zahn

It's been just over two weeks since the kickoff weekend, and I am getting back into "real life." It is hard to call it real life because it is so different from my previous real life. Workouts are now a regular part of my daily routine. I even feel a little weird when I have a day that I don't work out – like something is missing.

I was able to run 4.8 miles on the treadmill this past weekend. Well, I'll be honest I ran/walked, but did run about 3.75 miles of it. That is the farthest I have gone so far since training started and probably the farthest I have ever gone . . . so far!

Joaquin Brignoni

My first official weeks as a 6-pack member have been challenging yet uplifting in many ways.

Some of my biggest challenges are balancing my responsibilities, job search, family duties and new training schedule.

I love getting up at 6 a.m. and taking a run. I keep myself motivated by imagining that I am running through Central Park. It gives me energy, it is fun and I find that it helps me clear my mind for a productive day.

Swimming is my biggest challenge. I am focused on breathing with the proper technique for now but hope to look like Aquaman as I swim across the Hudson River six months from now.

I am eager to get on the road with a bike. I see myself flying down the Westside highway when in reality I am in my spin class at the Y.

So, as you can see, I use visualization to make the best out of the training and to focus on the goal when my calves are cramping and my thighs are about to explode.

Kendrick Henley

I came back from Atlanta all pumped up! I have started training five days a week. I am able to do the workouts and finding that I am getting stronger with each workout. The swim class that use to leaving me feeling so tired and drained for two days at a time no longer does that. In fact, I now swim multiple times a week.

One of the major takeaways from the kickoff besides the training was when Coach Laura Cozik, said, "triathlons are 50% nutrition."

This is very poetic because nutrition remains the most difficult part of this journey, and the most difficult change to make. I am eating healthier, but I find that I have days when I do not make the best food choices.  I know that nutrition remains my biggest obstacle, but I have to remember to take it one day at a time.


In-office tests may help OK driving after stroke
February 21st, 2011
02:16 PM ET

In-office tests may help OK driving after stroke

Giving stroke survivors three relatively simple tests during a doctor's visit may help physicians determine who is capable of getting back behind the wheel, according to research in the medical journal Neurology.

Half of those who suffer from stroke want to resume driving, but only about 1 in 10 gets any type of formal driving evaluation to confirm fitness to be on the road, say researchers.

"There are really no hard and fast rules on how to evaluate patients except to send them off to take driving tests. So here is a great way of helping to screen them {stroke patients} right from the office," explains Dr. Gene Sung, director of the Stroke Center at the University of Southern California, who was not affiliated with the study.

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Kids' brains may hold clues to future criminals
February 21st, 2011
11:15 AM ET

Kids' brains may hold clues to future criminals

Who is going to grow up to become a criminal or psychopath?

Current research in genetics and neuroscience may point towards answers to this question, opening up a whole host of ethical questions about culpability, justice and treatment.

"Is there truly freedom of will, as the law assumes? Freedom of will may not be as free as many of us may think," said Adrian Raine of the University of Pennsylvania.

Experiments by Raine have found that by looking at the brains of 3-year-old children, scientists could already see signs of potential trouble in the future. Raine discussed this research Monday at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Washington.

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February 21st, 2011
08:39 AM ET

What are those white lumps in my tonsils?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Mondays, it's pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Shu.

Asked by Christy, Iowa

I sometimes get little white lumps in my tonsils. What's the best way to get them out? FULL POST


Websites may encourage self-injury in teens, young adults
February 21st, 2011
12:01 AM ET

Websites may encourage self-injury in teens, young adults

Young adults and teens may believe that hurting themselves is normal and acceptable after watching videos and other media on Web-sharing sites like YouTube, new research indicates.

The findings, published in the journal Pediatrics,  warn professionals and parents to be aware of the availability and dangers of such material for at-risk teens and young adults.

FULL POST


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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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