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Do soccer players show enhanced thinking abilities?
April 4th, 2012
05:02 PM ET

Do soccer players show enhanced thinking abilities?

Hey soccer fans, here's something to think about at the next game: The best players may be quicker thinkers than you.

A study led by Swedish researchers suggests that elite soccer players outperform players in lower divisions in tests of certain cognitive abilities, and both groups bested the general public. The results were published recently in the journal PLoS ONE.

Specifically, the study focused on executive function, which is involved in working memory. Whenever you bring forth a memory that you need to solve a task, such as make a phone call or tie your shoe, that's working memory in action. Executive function is also involved in creativity, multi-tasking and inhibition.
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April 4th, 2012
05:01 PM ET

Clues to creating an effective HIV vaccine

A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine this week reveals clues for understanding the human immune response to the HIV virus.

“This analysis has produced some intriguing hints about what types of human immune responses a preventive HIV vaccine may need to induce,” said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“With further exploration, this new knowledge may bring us a step closer to developing a broadly protective HIV vaccine.”

The findings created a buzz when they were originally presented at the annual AIDS Vaccine conference in Bangkok, Thailand in September 2011.

For more, check out CNN's previous report on the study.

Washington has whooping cough 'epidemic'
April 4th, 2012
02:03 PM ET

Washington has whooping cough 'epidemic'

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, has reached "epidemic levels" in the state of Washington, health officials say.

As of March 31, the state had 640 cases compared to 94 cases at the same time last year. This could put Washington “on-pace to have the highest number of reported cases in decades,” according to the health department's press release.

There have not been any reported  deaths, said a spokesman for the health department. The state had two whooping cough deaths in 2010 and two in 2011.
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April 4th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

5 medical tests you often don't need

Forty-five tests and procedures routinely performed on patients are often unnecessary, according to a report released Wednesday by nine physician groups, the Consumers Union, and the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation.

“Many of the things that are routinely done are things that patients have come to expect and doctors have routinely ordered,” said Dr. Christine Cassel, president and CEO of the ABIM Foundation. “These are not things that should never be done, but they are things that are often overused.”

It's more ammunition to ask your doctor whether your tests and treatments are necessary, especially given that patients request many of them.
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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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