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Therapy shows promise for halting Alzheimer's brain decline
July 17th, 2012
03:38 PM ET

Therapy shows promise for halting Alzheimer's brain decline

Finding drugs that can halt or reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s disease is one of the holy grails in pharmaceutical research.

While the already-approved Aricept and Namenda medications have shown promise for temporarily easing symptoms, what’s desperately needed are treatments that will reverse or prevent the brain decline produced by Alzheimer’s.

Researchers are seeing promising results of the first long-term clinical trial that measured stabilization of Alzheimer’s symptoms, including thinking, memory, daily functioning and mood. The early stage results were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, this week.
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FDA approves Truvada for prevention of HIV/AIDS
July 16th, 2012
03:30 PM ET

FDA approves Truvada for prevention of HIV/AIDS

Adults who do not have HIV but are at risk of getting the disease will now be able to take a drug to reduce their chance of getting infected. For the first time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a drug for this use on Monday.

The drug is Truvada, an antiretroviral medication made by Gilead Sciences, Inc., which was already approved by the FDA in 2004 to help control HIV infection. 

Truvada is a combination of two HIV medications - emtricitabine (Emtriva) and tenofovir (Viread) - into one pill that is taken once a day.  As a treatment for HIV, it is always used in combination with other HIV drugs.

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When should I be screened for stomach cancer?
July 16th, 2012
02:42 PM ET

When should I be screened for stomach cancer?

Stomach cancer is rare in the United States, but that's not how it used to be. The American Cancer Society estimates about 21,320 cases of stomach cancer will be diagnosed in 2012 and about 10,540 people will die from the disease in the U. S. this year.

"Interestingly, it was a leading cause of cancer death in U.S. 100 years ago," says Otis Brawley, chief medical and scientific officer of the ACS and CNN's conditions expert. "Declines are due to refrigeration and less reliance on salted and cured foods."

Unfortunately, the same isn't true for the rest of the world.  Stomach cancer is among the top 5 diseases that cause the majority of cancer deaths worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.  It is most common in Eastern Asia, including Korea, Japan and China.
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Team sports help teens stay fit
July 16th, 2012
11:10 AM ET

Team sports help teens stay fit

Active teens are healthy teens, but some kinds of activities may be better than others.

New research published Monday in the journal Pediatrics suggests that team sports may be better at keeping kids' weight down than biking or walking to school.

Study authors from Dartmouth College looked at the influence sports, physical education and commuting to school had on adolescents and their weight.

Investigators surveyed more than 1,700 high school students by phone and asked them how much they participated in team sports, what other forms of physical activity they were involved in and their height and weight.
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Strength training key in preventing Alzheimer's
July 16th, 2012
07:45 AM ET

Strength training key in preventing Alzheimer's

It’s well-known that exercising to maintain a healthy heart also helps create a healthy mind.  But several new studies suggest that when it comes to preventing dementia, not all forms of exercise are created equal.

Studies presented at this year’s Alzheimer’s Association International Conference found that resistance training was particularly beneficial for improving the cognitive abilities of older adults.

While the studies were small, all including 150 participants or less, they did seemed to indicate that resistance training – such as weight lifting or using resistance bands – could possibly be an intervention for dementia in older adults.
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Dental fillings linked to kids' behavior problems
July 16th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

Dental fillings linked to kids' behavior problems

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in the U.S. for kids. In fact, more than half of elementary school students will have cavities by the time they're in second grade, according to the National Institutes of Health. 

Since the 1970s, dentists have been using tooth-colored fillings that contain derivatives of the controversial chemical bisphenol A (BPA), in favor of the metal amalgam fillings.

Now a new analysis on dental fillings in children suggests these non-metal fillings may contribute to behavioral problems.  The study authors caution that their results only point to an association; they say their analysis does not prove that BPA causes any behavior changes.
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What the Yuck: A stabbing pain... down there
July 15th, 2012
08:01 AM ET

What the Yuck: A stabbing pain... down there

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

Q: I sometimes feel a stabbing pain down there. What could be causing it?

Remember when Charlotte's vagina was "depressed" on "Sex and the City?" She had this problem - specifically, chronic vulvar pain, also known as vulvodynia.

It's characterized by soreness, burning, or itching in the vulva, and symptoms can appear or disappear without any apparent trigger (though you may feel them during sex or even long bouts of sitting).

Not much is known about the causes, but there are several treatment options: antidepressants (which can affect your perception of pain), biofeedback (to help relax the pelvic muscles), topical creams, or, in some cases, surgery (to remove tissue involved with the condition).


Three simple weight-loss strategies that work
July 13th, 2012
07:30 AM ET

Three simple weight-loss strategies that work

Cutting back on calories is the cornerstone of any successful weight-loss plan, but as dieters can attest, that's easier said than done.

So it's encouraging to learn that three simple strategies can provide a boost: Eat regular meals, write down everything you eat, and avoid restaurants and takeout at lunchtime.

These three habits were each linked to greater weight loss in a new study of 123 overweight and obese middle-aged women, all of whom managed to shed at least a few pounds over a one-year period.
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Diabetes and cosmetics: A connection?
July 13th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

Diabetes and cosmetics: A connection?

Hidden in perfumes, scented lotions, food packaging and even synthetic leathers are a type of chemical called phthalates. Most people in the United States are exposed to phthalates, and levels tend to be higher in women than men.

A new study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives examines whether there is a connection between phthalates and diabetes in women. Researchers did find an association but did not prove that the chemicals cause diabetes.

Researchers found that the risk of having diabetes was twice as high in women with the highest levels of certain phthalates, compared with women with the lowest levels. Looking at the data a different way, there would be about 40 extra diabetes cases per 1,000 women when women with high levels are compared to women with low levels.

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Sexonomics: Putting your 'erotic capital' to work
Madonna performs during a concert as part of her MDNA world tour on July 4, 2012.
July 12th, 2012
07:30 AM ET

Sexonomics: Putting your 'erotic capital' to work

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex weekly on The Chart. Read more from him on his website, GoodInBed.

Madonna’s got it. So do George Clooney, Tina Turner and Robert Redford.

These celebrities are certainly good-looking, but they also possess what sociologist Catherine Hakim has dubbed “erotic capital” - a term that describes a certain je ne sais quoi that includes, but isn’t limited to, sexual attractiveness.

Harness your erotic capital, Hakim boldly suggests in her recent book by the same name and you’ve got the potential to not only land a mate, but to get ahead at work and in society as a whole.
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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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