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Mexican immigrants to U.S. at risk for mental-health problems
April 4th, 2011
06:21 PM ET

Mexican immigrants to U.S. at risk for mental-health problems

Moving can be hard. You have to figure out your way around a new town and get to know new people. For immigrants, it can be especially difficult. Often, you have to learn a new language. The food is different. It can be lonely being far from family and friends. You hunger for something familiar.

That seems to be especially true for people who move from Mexico to the United States. A new study finds Mexicans who migrate are far more likely to experience significant depression and anxiety than people who stay in Mexico.

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Mind-body: The surprising power of the placebo
April 4th, 2011
02:28 PM ET

Mind-body: The surprising power of the placebo

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.

The Germans are happier than we are. The average German also enjoys better health and lives longer than the average American, all of which raise the possibility that their medical system is better than ours. One has to keep this in mind when evaluating a recent move by the German Medical Association that will sound insane—or worse—to many Americans. Based on study published in early March, this venerable body advised German doctors to prescribe more placebos to their patients.

If this doesn’t sound earth shattering to you, would it be more compelling if I said, “German doctors are being told to give their patients fake medications that do not contain any active ingredients.” And to make matters worse, they are being advised not to tell their patients that they are receiving a fake treatment (most placebos are made of sugar, flour or dust), only that they are receiving a “unique” remedy. The fact that the German Medical Association recommends placebo treatments only for conditions with a psychological, or subjective, component, such as chronic pain asthma, inflammatory diseases and depression, softens the blow a little (the group suggests avoiding placebos for things like broken bones), but only a little.

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Radiation safety: What you should know
April 4th, 2011
12:15 PM ET

Radiation safety: What you should know

You might be a little freaked out about 11,500 tons of radioactive water being dumped into the Pacific Ocean in Japan, where workers are still scrambling to stabilize an earthquake-crippled nuclear power plant called Fukushima Daiichi. In fact, the words "radiation" and "nuclear" give many people the creeps.

And that's partly because these are concepts that you aren't too familiar with; take a minute to learn the basics here. When you get down to the actual risks involved in the Japan nuclear disaster, things aren't so bad for the general public.

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Most meds don't help autism, studies show
April 4th, 2011
11:31 AM ET

Most meds don't help autism, studies show

Better studies that show which therapies work  best for which children with autism spectrum disorders are needed, because most of the current research used to weigh treatment options today is lacking, according to new research published Monday.

When 1 in 110 children are affected by the same disorder where there's no definitively known cause or effective cure and in many parts of the country insufficient treatment options, determining how to best treat your child can be a huge challenge.

This is what parents of young and older children with autism face every day.  People who have this neurological disorder can have multiple symptoms that affect their ability to communicate, impair their social behavior and display repetitive behavior.  Many therapies and medications are offered to help patients with this disorder which affects patients for as long as they live, but there's not necessarily a consensus on what works at all or works well.

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April 4th, 2011
08:40 AM ET

Can I store an allergy auto-injector in my car?

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

Question asked by Samantha of Indiana:

My daughter has a severe food allergy. I keep epinephrine with me at all times and have left injectors in her day care classroom but am worried about not having one if she needs it. Can I keep one in the car for emergencies?

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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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