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Heisman Trophy winner stricken with rare disorder
June 17th, 2011
11:29 AM ET

Heisman Trophy winner stricken with rare disorder

Danny Wuerffel, the 1996 Heisman Trophy winner who led the University of Florida to a college football national championship that season, has been diagnosed with a rare immune disorder that attacks the nervous system.

The Desire Street Ministry, where the former quarterback serves as an executive director, released a statement that Wuerffel was diagnosed with “Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS), which he recently contracted as a result of a stomach virus.”

In about 60% of cases the immune system reaction occurs after a lung or digestive tract infection, according to the Mayo Clinic.

After a viral infection, the body generates an immune response against the infection.  With Guillain Barre Syndrome, the immune response spills over to the peripheral nerves and starts attacking them, said Dr. Eric Logigian, professor of neurology at University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. It damages the nerves’ protective covering, called the myelin sheath, causing weakness. FULL POST


Adding folic acid to Latin American foods can help reduce birth defects
June 17th, 2011
10:37 AM ET

Adding folic acid to Latin American foods can help reduce birth defects

Alexandra Dixon was born with a hole in her lower back, exposing her spinal cord, a condition called spina bifida. Within 48 hours, she had two surgeries to begin correcting her birth defect: One to close the hole and another to insert a cerebral shunt – a tube moving excess fluid from her head to prevent excessive pressure on the brain.  In her 29 years, Dixon has had 18 surgeries to correct this birth defect – a type of neural tube defect (NTD), which can kill many infants and put others in wheelchairs for life.

Each year about 3,000 babies are born with neural tube defects in the United States, including the one Dixon had, and the highest rates are found among Hispanics compared to other racial or ethnic groups.

So the March of Dimes is calling on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow food producers to fortify corn masa flour with the B vitamin folic acid, which "could prevent more serious birth defects of the brain and spine in the Hispanic community," according to a March of Dimes commentary published in the American Journal of Public Health.

FULL POST


Fit Nation: No wipeouts, no rescues
June 17th, 2011
10:15 AM ET

Fit Nation: No wipeouts, no rescues

June 12th was the Naperville Women's Sprint Triatholon. This was going to be a warmup for the Nautica New York City Triathlon on August 7.

For the past four months, I've been training and learning all that goes into triathlon. Transitions, clip on shoes, changing tubes, fastest way to get in and out of a wetsuit, were all buzz words and now the time had come to actually execute!

The Sherox women's tri was a sprint distance and I was going to be doing the swim and bike portion of the race and Rosie from my run club, would be doing the run portion.
FULL POST


The pool safety hazard you don't know about
June 17th, 2011
09:43 AM ET

The pool safety hazard you don't know about

In June 2007, 6-year-old Abbey Taylor was swimming with her family at her local pool. But when her parents called out that it was time to go, they saw that she didn’t look quite right. Abbey stood up unsteadily from the kiddie pool, took a few steps sideways, and fell into the adult pool.

There was no blood, but Abbey complained that her stomach hurt. It was hours later, after surgery for what doctors thought was a rectal tear, that her parents got the devastating news: Abbey had been disemboweled, her small intestine ripped from her body, by the suction from an uncovered pool drain.

Although she fought for nine months through 16 surgeries, including a liver, small bowel and pancreas transplant, Abbey passed away on March 20, 2008.

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Filed under: Parenting

June 17th, 2011
07:51 AM ET

Should I avoid the 'Dirty Dozen'?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Friday, it's Dr. Melina Jampolis, a physician nutrition specialist.

Asked by Karen C. of San Francisco

What are your thoughts on the latest release of the 'dirty dozen' fruits and vegetables list, released this week by the Environmental Working Group?
FULL POST


What the Yuck: Does eating Mexican food really bring on labor?
June 17th, 2011
07:48 AM ET

What the Yuck: Does eating Mexican food really bring on labor?

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

Q: Does eating Mexican food around your due date truly bring on labor?

Although I have friends who swear this is true, there is no medical evidence to support their stories. By the time that due date finally arrives, most women are so uncomfortable and desperate to go into labor they'll try anything - even an urban myth like eating spicy Mexican food.
FULL POST


June 17th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

Cancer deaths down but disparities still exist

The overall cancer death rate declined between 1990 and 2007, according to the latest statistics by the American Cancer Society.  However, the report finds disparities still exist among socioeconomic and racial groups.

The statistics suggest an individual's education level plays a role. In 2007, premature cancer death rates among the least educated were more than double those of the most educated people. The authors suggest 37%, or 60,370 of these deaths (in people aged 25 to 64) could have been prevented.

"We need to apply what we know to avert unnecessary deaths from cancer," said Elizabeth Ward, National Vice President for Intramural Research at the American Cancer Society and co-author of the report.

"We need to make sure that all populations and communities have access to this life-saving information. At the same time, we need to continue to do research because we don't have all the answers yet."
FULL POST


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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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