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How cholera in Haiti began
January 9th, 2012
05:00 PM ET

How cholera in Haiti began

Two years after an earthquake shook Haiti, the small country grappled with the death, the destruction and the debris.

After the earthquake on January 12, another health crisis struck about 10 months later: cholera.

The bacterial disease brings about a painful death, as quickly as within two to three hours, because of the amount of fluid and electrolytes that are lost.  Symptoms are watery diarrhea, dehydration, nausea and vomiting.   FULL POST


Could a nicotine patch slow dementia?
January 9th, 2012
04:00 PM ET

Could a nicotine patch slow dementia?

It's hard to escape the warnings of the dangers of smoking, but one component of cigarettes - nicotine - might actually have a therapeutic use, preliminary research suggests.

A small study, published Monday in the journal Neurology, finds that using a nicotine patch may help symptoms of mild cognitive impairment, a condition characterized by a noticeable memory problem.  Many, but not all, patients with mild cognitive impairment will go on to develop Alzheimer's disease; scientists are still working on predicting who is most at risk.

A nicotine patch releases nicotine slowly over a number of hours. It gets into the blood stream, travels to the brain and interacts with receptors on nerve cells. In particular, it seems to activate receptors on nerve cells important for a circuit involved in attention, learning and memory.

FULL POST


Study: Nicotine gums, patches only help with withdrawal
January 9th, 2012
03:19 PM ET

Study: Nicotine gums, patches only help with withdrawal

Smokers trying to quit with the help of nicotine replacement therapies – nicotine patches, gums and lozenges - are just as likely to relapse after an initial six-month period as those who go cold turkey, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Tobacco Control.

Past studies have proven that nicotine medications are effective in helping smokers get past the physical withdrawal period when most relapse, something the study authors do not dispute. Some describe nicotine replacement therapies as rockets, launching former smokers beyond withdrawal and into orbit, where they have the same chances of kicking the habit as any other former smoker.

In fact a previous study estimates an approximately 50 to 70% greater success rate overall of quitting with a nicotine replacement than when relying on willpower alone.
FULL POST


Tri Challenge: Yesterday is history
January 9th, 2012
02:23 PM ET

Tri Challenge: Yesterday is history

Every day this week, CNN will introduce you to one member of the 2012 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge team. Today, meet Rick Morris, a web developer and volunteer firefighter who hopes to kick his smoking habit and improve his odds for living a long life.

It was the week before Christmas when I got a call from the CNN Fit Nation team. I happened to be finishing up a vehicle fire call with my department when it came in. After a 10 or 15 minute interview, I felt I would be hearing from them again.

A few days later, CNN Medical news producer Matt Sloane asked if I would meet with him on Skype to go over a few things. I agreed and we connected the next day - December 22, 2011.
FULL POST


Why doctors shouldn't treat family members
January 9th, 2012
09:55 AM ET

Why doctors shouldn't treat family members

Anthony Youn, M.D., is a plastic surgeon in Detroit. He is the author of “In Stitches,” a humorous memoir about growing up Asian American and becoming a doctor.

Imagine you are a highly skilled surgeon. Then imagine that your grandson gets into a terrible car accident and suffers serious internal injuries.

The injuries are so severe that he needs a physician to operate on him immediately. Even though a qualified surgeon is ready, willing and able to perform his surgery, do you ask that surgeon to step aside and operate on your grandson yourself?

This was a dilemma that a colleague of mine encountered several years ago. At this moment of crisis, he faced the choice that physicians face all the time: Do you give medical care to your family members or leave it up to other doctors?

Not wanting to put Joey’s life into another surgeon’s hands, Dr. Sanders decided to operate on his grandson himself.
FULL POST


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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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