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Alzheimer's and college basketball's top coach
April 18th, 2012
04:20 PM ET

Alzheimer's and college basketball's top coach

Pat Summitt, the winningest coach in college basketball, is giving up her duties on the court, just months after announcing her battle with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Summitt, 61, announced Wednesday she was stepping down from her post at the University of Tennessee after 38 seasons and 1,039 victories.

It was just last August that the coach first publicly acknowledged the disease, a specific type of Alzheimer's diagnosed before age 65, affecting about 200,000 Americans.

The condition causes significant difficulties in memory and thinking, and there is no cure.

The general form of Alzheimer's affects more than 5 million Americans.

Summitt had told the Washington Post last year that she hoped to coach at least three more years. The newspaper said Summit had started losing her keys more often and forgetting team meetings - signs of memory problems.
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Scientists making strides to define crippling brain disease
April 18th, 2012
04:15 PM ET

Scientists making strides to define crippling brain disease

Years ago, a mysterious disease process – characterized by viscous tangles lodged in parts of the brain responsible for decision-making and mood – was an undefined phenomenon occurring among professional football players, and others exposed to repetitive brain trauma. 

What scientists could piece together: Something in the brain was causing profound memory problems, and self-destructive, even suicidal, behavior among them.  Since then, posthumous brain studies have shed light on that something - Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE - but little is known about when or how CTE begins.

However, data from the first year of a longitudinal study, called the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study, released Wednesday, suggests a possible starting point for problems with cognition and memory - both hallmarks of CTE. FULL POST


Are mean people born that way?
April 18th, 2012
09:27 AM ET

Are mean people born that way?

Let's face it - everyone isn't nice. In fact, being nice is more difficult for some people than others. But is it possible that "niceness" is predetermined by our genes?

A new study in the journal Psychological Science suggests this: If you think the world is full of threatening people, you're not going feel compelled to be generous by doing things like volunteering and donating to charity. But if you have certain gene variants, you're more likely to be nice anyway.

Now hold on a minute - this doesn't give your mean neighbor an excuse to blame his DNA for not letting kids on the block play on his lawn.

It's a little more complicated than that.
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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