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August 19th, 2011
03:47 PM ET

TEDMED: Journey inside the world of viruses

The way that humans and animals have interrelated throughout history has influenced how viruses have been transmitted to our species, and how those viruses (such as HIV and SARS, to name just two) can reach pandemic levels in our increasingly interconnected world.

But interconnectedness can also help us identify patterns of illness - namely, through the Internet. Already, there are tools such as Google Flu Trends that make use of this unprecedented wealth of personal data to gauge the prevalence of disease. Google Flu Trends does it by analyzing people's searches, but there are many other ways that we can take advantage of digital connections to target affected populations.

Nathan Wolfe, director of the Global Viral Forecasting Initiative, takes us on a tour through how viruses get transmitted and what we can do about it. He gave this presentation at TEDMED in October. His organization's mission is to detect pandemics early, and to stop them before they spread.

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What the Yuck: Does acid cause brain damage?
August 19th, 2011
01:34 PM ET

What the Yuck: Does acid cause brain damage?

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.

Is it true that acid causes permanent brain damage? I'm worried because years ago I took it once!

I wouldn't worry. Some past LSD users experience occasional flashbacks - hallucinations or reliving of a "trip" - that last a few minutes and aren't permanent.
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ADHD diagnoses on the rise, CDC says
August 19th, 2011
12:06 PM ET

ADHD diagnoses on the rise, CDC says

More and more children are getting a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The percentage of children with the condition rose from 7% in 1998-2000 to 9% in 2007-2009, for both boys and girls. In some areas of the United States those figures are even higher. From 1998 to 2009, ADHD prevalence increased 10% in the Midwest and South.

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August 19th, 2011
11:48 AM ET

These changes will make you live longer, Tweets Dean Ornish

Dr. Dean Ornish, founder and president of Preventive Medicine Research Institute and a clinical professor of medicine and the University of California in San Francisco,  designed a program to reverse heart disease.  Rather than pills or surgery, he supports using lifestyle and diet modifications to undo damage related to cardiovascular health.

In a 45-minute chat hosted by CNNHealth, he answered a series of questions about diet, lifestyle and heart health from @cnnhealth's Twitter audience, using #LastHeartAttack. Here are some of the questions he answered.

satya33: Is it important to have Omega 3 + 6 everyday? How much & which food sources would you suggest?
DeanOrnishMD
: Omega-3 fatty acids are remarkable– they can reduce sudden cardiac death by up to 80%, reduce risk of cancer... even raise your baby's IQ! Take 3-4 grams/day of fish oil or plankton-based omega-3's, ones that take out bad stuff. FULL POST


'Heart attack proof' diet worked for me
August 19th, 2011
10:42 AM ET

'Heart attack proof' diet worked for me

I remember the day as if it were yesterday. I was lying in my hospital bed anxiously waiting for another unwanted heart catheterization. I was questioning how this could be happening to me again.

After all, I was only 41 years old. I was in pretty good shape. I didn’t smoke. I ate pretty well. Bad luck, bad genes, what was causing me to need a fifth heart procedure? It was easy to start feeling sorry for myself.

Then I thought about the book that I just finished reading for the second time since my last heart procedure that was sadly and inexplicably preformed just five months prior. It inspired me to pick up my iPad and search for the book’s author Dr. Esselstyn.

Esselstyn's  'heart attack proof' diet
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August 19th, 2011
08:40 AM ET

How good is coconut oil for you?

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

Question asked by Ashutosh of Minneapolis

How good is coconut oil for you? Nowadays in gym and in vitamin shops, they mention to have some coconut oil in our diet. Is it supposed to be good for you? If yes, in what ways, and what are some good tips to use it in our diet?
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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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