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November 14th, 2011
06:46 PM ET

In and out: An addiction journey

Tracey Helton Mitchell lives outside San Francisco where she and her husband are raising three children. Tracey is an addiction specialist who helps people dealing with dependency and mental health issues find meaningful employment. In her free time, she enjoys writing and exploring the Bay Area. Tracey hopes by telling her story, she can give hope to others dealing with addiction.

From the very beginning, I always felt like there was something about different about me. There was a space inside my consciousness that was restless.

Everything about my birth and my childhood implied a happy future. I was born of two parents into a family that wanted me. I lived in a comfortable house in a small, close-knit community. While I was found to be extremely “gifted” at an early age, I found that to be a burden. I could never stop judging myself, every detail. I was the kid always in search of attention from the teacher, not the fellow students. I was confident in my abilities but there was a dissonance. No matter what I did, what I said, where I went - I was never comfortable with the shell I carried called myself.

High IQ, drug use linked

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Common chemical linked to Parkinson's
November 14th, 2011
06:45 PM ET

Common chemical linked to Parkinson's

Exposure to a man-made chemical known as trichloroethylene, or TCE, is associated with a sixfold increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to a new study published Monday in the Annals of Neurology. TCE is a common organic contaminant that pollutes groundwater, soil, and air.

The study also found that exposure to another man-made chemical similar to TCE, known as perchloroethylene or tetrachloroethylene, or PERC, is associated with a tenfold increased risk of Parkinson's. Both chemicals are found in metal degreasers, metal cleaners, paint, spot removers, and carpet-cleaning fluids.

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High IQ linked to drug use
November 14th, 2011
06:30 PM ET

High IQ linked to drug use

The "Just Say No" generation was often told by parents and teachers that intelligent people didn't use drugs.   Turns out, the adults may have been wrong.

A new British study finds children with high IQs are more likely to use drugs as adults than people who score low on IQ tests as children.  The data come from the 1970 British Cohort Study, which has been following thousands of people over decades.  The kids' IQs were tested at the ages of 5, 10 and 16.  The study also asked about drug use and looked at education and other socioeconomic factors.  Then when participants turned 30, they were asked whether they had used drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and heroin in the past year.
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Hearing loss affects 1 in 5 Americans, study finds
November 14th, 2011
06:07 PM ET

Hearing loss affects 1 in 5 Americans, study finds

If you think hearing loss is just an inevitable part of aging, think again.

More than 48 million Americans over age 12 have trouble hearing in one or both ears, according to a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. And the way we listen to music is partly to blame.

“Aging and genetics do sometimes play a role, but what we know now is that environmental exposures - like listening to music too loudly - can contribute to long term hearing damage over time,” says Dr. Frank R. Lin, lead study author and assistant professor of otolaryngology-head  and neck surgery and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. “It’s a growing concern.”

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Heart-implant shocks can make sex frightening
November 14th, 2011
04:41 PM ET

Heart-implant shocks can make sex frightening

Getting kicked in the chest by a horse - that's how cardiologist Steven Cook, M.D., describes what it feels like when an implanted defibrillator shocks the heart.

And fear of that shock is making it difficult for many patients with these devices to enjoy sex, according to new research Cook presented Monday at a meeting of the American Heart Association.

It's a legitimate fear, since roughly one-quarter of patients with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator will suffer from an inappropriate shock over a five-year period, says Cook, director of the center for adult congenital heart disease at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
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Filed under: Health.com • Heart • Sex

Sugary drinks expand women's waists
November 14th, 2011
07:53 AM ET

Sugary drinks expand women's waists

Doctors have warned people for years that too many sodas or sugary drinks can cause weight gain. But now a new study finds two or more sugary beverages a day can expand a woman's waistline, even if she doesn't  gain weight. And that can be dangerous to a woman's health.

Studies show weight carried around the middle can increase a person's risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Researchers looked at five years of data on more than 4,000 people, middle-aged and older, and compared those who drank two or more sugar-sweetened beverages a day with those who drank one or less. They assessed risk factors in follow-up exams, monitoring the participants' weight gain, increase in waist size, their HDL (good) and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, sugar levels, triglycerides and their possible development of diabetes. FULL POST

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Filed under: Heart • Nutrition • Obesity

'Glee' star tapped to join Obama's committee
November 14th, 2011
07:21 AM ET

'Glee' star tapped to join Obama's committee

She’s known for her zippy one-lines and her unyielding loyalty to Coach Sue Sylvester on “Glee.”

Now actress Lauren Potter, 21, may have another major role.

President Obama announced his intent to appoint Potter and Julie Ann Petty, a project trainer who focuses on educating people with intellectual disabilities, as members of the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. 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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