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March 13th, 2012
12:35 PM ET

Outfielder: Transplant won't block my major league dreams

Editor's note: 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 introduce you to Kevin Jordan, a Wake Forest University baseball player who received a kidney from his coach after it was damaged by ANCA vasculitis, a rare auto immune disease that causes blood to leak into the urine.

Just before the winter of 2009-2010 I was on top of the world in almost every aspect that was important to me. I was seeing interest from numerous Major League Baseball teams, I was in the best physical shape and baseball shape possible, and along with success, I had my family and friends by my side.

Most importantly before I became sick, I felt that I had control of all these pieces of my life, but over the course of a couple of months most of my life was changed.

In the beginning, it was the multiple hospital visits, lack of control and lack of knowledge of what was going on.

By summertime I had struggled through a high school baseball season and to the Georgia state playoffs. It was around that time that we had figured out that ANCA vasculitis had damaged my kidneys and I would need dialysis to stay alive.

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March 13th, 2012
08:53 AM ET

What is traumatic brain injury?

A U.S. Army soldier is accused of killing 16 Afghan men, women and children in a house-to-house shooting rampage on Sunday. He could face the death penalty, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said.

The shooting has brought traumatic brain injury back into the news. Traumatic brain injury has become one of the signature injuries of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Filed under: Brain • Concussion

Avoiding dementia similar to heart disease – lifestyle changes important
March 13th, 2012
08:01 AM ET

Avoiding dementia similar to heart disease – lifestyle changes important

Late-life dementia has a lot in common with heart disease – and many of the same causes, according to an article published Tuesday in Nature Reviews Neurology.

Like heart disease, the cognitive impairment that accompanies aging is usually the result of a combination of lifestyle and other factors, the article says. Diabetes, obesity, untreated hypertension, sedentary lifestyle and stress are all linked to both heart disease and dementia.

Other factors linked to dementia: untreated obstructive sleep apnea, clinical depression, bipolar disorder, vitamin B12 deficiency, post traumatic stress disorder, head trauma, brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen, and the ApoE, or Alzheimer’s, gene.

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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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