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MS drug with unusual history shows promise
If it gains FDA approval, dimethyl fumarate, or BG-12 could be another option to treat one form of MS.
September 19th, 2012
05:38 PM ET

MS drug with unusual history shows promise

Here's one:

A chemical that can be used as a food additive, caused serious skin infections after people sat on sofas treated with it and was approved as a psoriasis treatment in Germany 15 years ago, may prove to be a viable treatment option for people with the relapsing-remitting form of multiple sclerosis (MS).

It's true.

Dimethyl fumarate - also known so far as BG-12 - could be another weapon in a neurologist's arsenal to treat the disease, if the drug is approved. Based on the results of two large studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine, experts believe this is likely.

More than 2 million people around the world live with MS, a disease where the body's immune system attacks the patient's central nervous system and destroys the myelin, or sheath, protecting nerve cells. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and more women than men are affected, according to the National MS Society.  As the disease progresses, it can become quite debilitating, leading to numbness and difficulty walking and seeing among many other symptoms. FULL POST


September 19th, 2012
05:14 PM ET

Finally, quiet for man who could hear workings of his own body

A 44-year-old man in Dartmouth, Massachusetts can finally hear normally after a decade of being tormented by the sounds of his own body.

For 10 years, Manny Pavao was afflicted with superior canal dehiscence syndrome, caused by a tiny hole in the bone that separates the inner ear from the brain.

All day, Pavao would hear everything from the beating of his own heart to the movement of his eyes, which he describes to CNN affiliate WCVB as a grating sound, like "rubbing sandpaper on a piece of wood back and forth." FULL POST


Report: 'Worrisome' levels of arsenic in rice
September 19th, 2012
03:37 PM ET

Report: 'Worrisome' levels of arsenic in rice

Eating rice once a day can increase arsenic levels in the body by at least 44%, according to a new study from Consumer Reports.

The study surveyed more than 60 different rice products ranging from infant cereals to rice pasta and rice drinks and found “worrisome” levels of inorganic arsenic in most of the products. Others suggest, however, the levels are not cause for concern.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, inorganic arsenic has been linked to liver, bladder, and lung cancer.

Urvashi Rangan, Consumer Reports lead scientist on the study, said the study isn’t meant to scare people from eating rice, rather “our investigation of arsenic in rice is supposed to inform consumers.” FULL POST


Report: Kids should only eat tuna once a month
September 19th, 2012
01:33 PM ET

Report: Kids should only eat tuna once a month

Parents, take note: A new report from the Mercury Policy Project says kids should only eat light tuna once or twice a month to keep their mercury intake at a safe level.

Report author Dr. Edward Groth analyzed 59 tuna samples from around the country, including a few school districts.  He recommends kids who weigh less than 55 pounds eat light tuna only once a month; kids more than 55 pounds can eat tuna twice a month.

Children should avoid eating white albacore tuna all together, the group says, as it was found to have triple the amount of mercury as light tuna. The brand of tuna doesn't seem to matter, as Groth found varying levels of mercury in each can he tested.

Mercury has been linked to cognitive decline in infants. There have been no epidemiological studies on the effects of mercury in children in the United States, according to Groth, but scientists suspect that the chemical harms developing kids the same way it's been shown to harm fetuses.

Although there are still a lot of uncertainties, "We think people need advice now," Groth said.

Read the full report

Video: Mercury levels in tuna


Overheard: Whose fault is obesity?
September 19th, 2012
12:35 PM ET

Overheard: Whose fault is obesity?

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Obesity is a huge problem in the United States, and it’s linked to serious illnesses such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease and certain cancers.

A new report suggests that by 2030 nearly half of all Americans will be obese, and these expanding waistlines will translate into billions of dollars of health care costs. The study authors advocate for nationwide interventions to get children and adults to be more physically active and eat healthier.

More than 400 readers commented on the story. The most popular reader comment came from Joe Skinner, who says:

This is something I've been saying forever, the problem isn't "Romneycare" or "Obamacare," it's fat Americans who are the problem and they are more willing to blame politicians for health care cost problems than to say the 300-pound reading on the scale might have something to do with it.

FULL POST


I am a triathlete! Isn't that absurd?
Jeff Dauler crosses the finish line at the 2012 Nautica Malibu Triathlon in California.
September 19th, 2012
07:29 AM ET

I am a triathlete! Isn't that absurd?

Editors' note: Jeff Dauler, a radio host from Atlanta, Georgia, is one of seven CNN viewers who was selected to be a part of the Fit Nation Triathlon program. All of the "Lucky 7" crossed the finish line in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon on Sunday. 

A gun, some cheers, and then scores of red caps dash off into the Pacific. I watch the pro and elite triathletes swim toward the first turn buoy as I walk to the starting area with my team. In five minutes I'll be in that ocean. I am calm, peaceful, happy. Confident. Excited.

I separate from my team and walk to the very back of the corral, and all the way to the left. I want to be the last one in the water, and I want to be far left so I could use the current as much as possible.

Announcement: “Three minutes until second wave start!”

Next to me, I see one racer tap the woman in front of her on the shoulder. There was a problem with her wetsuit collar and he wanted to fix it for her. Kindness in the heat of battle. FULL POST


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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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