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How hope works with modern medicine
March 16th, 2011
05:51 PM ET

How hope works with modern medicine

Dr. Charles Raison, CNNHealth's Mental Health expert and an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, writes regularly on the mind-body connection for better health.

My mom, whom I’ve mentioned before, is 82 and struggles to walk. But she goes to great lengths each week to attend a church in which she finds comfort, one that teaches that reality can be changed to reflect our desires if our hopeful expectations are strong enough. This idea has been popularized in a widely read book called “The Secret,”which espouses a “law of attraction” such that the universe must respond to the way you think. Thus, positive and negative thinking must always bring about positive and negative physical results in the real world.

My professional life is rooted in scientific endeavors, so you won’t be surprised to learn that I think that idea is wrong. What amazes me, though, is that it is so nearly right. Although the universe does not appear to be obligated to deliver 100% of our fondest hopes and dreams, it turns out that thinking positively really can lead to positive medical outcomes.

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Bill would strengthen youth helmet standards
March 16th, 2011
04:17 PM ET

Bill would strengthen youth helmet standards

Congressional leaders marked March 16, Brain Injury Awareness Day, by introducing legislation designed to protect young athletes from the dangers of sports-related head injuries.

The new bill, called the Children's Sports Athletic Equipment Safety Act, would make sure that new and reconditioned sports helmets for high school and younger players would meet higher safety standards.

"Helmet standards haven't been changed in 30 years," said U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-New Jersey, one of the co-sponsors of the legislation. "It is very important our students are protected with the best head gear possible."

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March 16th, 2011
02:43 PM ET

Experts: U.S. won't feel health effects from Japan

The situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan, which has suffered numerous fires, explosions and subsequent radiation leaks since Friday's earthquake, could get worse, and just how much worse is unknown.

But health and nuclear safety experts agree that even if radiation levels around the plant reach Chernobyl-like levels, Japan's disaster will not pose a health hazard to the United States.

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March 16th, 2011
10:30 AM ET

What should I expect after COPD diagnosis?

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

Question asked by Pamela of Nashville, Tennessee:

I just learned that I have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema. Can you tell me about it and what the prognosis is? I also have coronary artery disease and have had stents placed.

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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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