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Rangers' Boogaard suffered from degenerative brain disease before his death
December 6th, 2011
07:34 PM ET

Rangers' Boogaard suffered from degenerative brain disease before his death

Derek Boogaard, one of the National Hockey League's most aggressive players, suffered from  Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE, a degenerative brain disease that results from repetitive trauma to the head, an autopsy of his brain has revealed. 

Boogaard's death in May was ruled accidental after he consumed alcohol and the powerful painkiller oxycodone.

Dr. Ann McKee, co-director of the VA CSTE Brain Bank - a collaboration between Boston University, the Department of Veterans Administration, and the Sports Legacy Institute - made the discovery.  She has diagnosed more than 50 athlete brains with CTE.

Individuals affected by CTE can exhibit Alzheimer’s like symptoms, but CTE can only be diagnosed postmortem.  It’s most commonly found in athletes who suffered repeated head trauma, such as football players, boxers and hockey players.
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FDA says HCG weight-loss products are illegal
December 6th, 2011
03:11 PM ET

FDA says HCG weight-loss products are illegal

Over-the-counter HCG products being sold for weight loss are illegal and claims that the drugs work are unsubstantiated, the Food and Drug Administration warned consumers Tuesday.

HGC products are sold online and in stores as pellets, sprays or oral drops. These products are considered by the FDA to be unapproved new drugs.

Last week, the FDA, along with the Federal Trade Commission sent warning letters to seven companies manufacturing human chorionic gonadotropin, or HCG, products labeled "homeopathic." The products in question are "hCG Diet Drops Weight Loss Formula," "hCG Diet Pellets Weight Loss Formula," "Alcohol Free hCG Weight Loss Formula,""HCG Fusion 30," "HCG Fusion 43," "Homeopathic Original HCG," Homeopathic HCG," "HCG Platinum X-30," "HCG Platinum X-14" "HCG Diet Homeopathic Drops," and "HCG Extra Weight Loss Homeopathic Drops."
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December 6th, 2011
08:59 AM ET

Human Factor: College athlete battles mitochondrial disease

In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship –- they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn’t know they possessed. This week we meet a young man who has battled a metabolic disease since childhood, but fights to not let it interfere with his dreams.

I am a 20-year-old student athlete at the Georgia Institute of Technology. I play college baseball and am challenged every day by mitochondrial disease. 

Mitochondrial disease is an energy production problem. Almost all cells in the body have mitochondria, which are tiny “power plants” that produce the body’s essential energy. 

When the mitochondria don’t function properly, the body has a power failure and can experience brownouts (intense mental and/or physical fatigue, prolonged sicknesses, aka mitochondrial crashes) or even potentially fatal blackouts.
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Teeth-grinding could signal sleep problems
December 6th, 2011
07:53 AM ET

Teeth-grinding could signal sleep problems

Lisa Shives, M.D., is the founder of Northshore Sleep Medicine in Evanston, Illinois. She blogs regularly on The Chart. Read more from her at Dr. Lisa Shives’ Sleep Better Blog.

Zach was a life-long teeth grinder.

“It seemed that as soon as his teeth came in, he started grinding," his mother told me.

It was so loud and frequent that Zach was given his own room because his little brother couldn't get any sleep when they shared. For years he had slept at the end of the hall far from his parents’ and his brother’s room, so one suspected that the grinding was getting worse.

When a dentist noticed a progressive worsening of wear on his patient's teeth, he discussed his concerns about a possible underlying sleep disorder with both Zach and his mother. They then came to me.
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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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