October 15th, 2013
11:01 AM ET
What are you thinking about? You wouldn’t always want the answer to that question available to others, but science may be heading in that direction.
For now, researchers are far from being able to tap into your thoughts. But a new study shows how, just by looking at brain activity, it may be possible to see whether or not you're thinking about numbers.
"The patient doesn’t need to talk to you. They can think about numbers and you can see that red mark (corresponding with activity in a particular brain region) go up," said Dr. Josef Parvizi, associate professor of neurology at the Stanford University Medical Center and senior author of the study. The study is published in the journal Nature Communications.
October 11th, 2013
12:58 PM ET
Here's a roundup of five medical studies published recently that might give you new insights into your health, mind and body. Remember, correlation is not causation – so if a study finds a connection between two things, it doesn't mean that one causes the other.
Athlete endorsements may be detrimental to kids' health
Could sports superstars be encouraging bad eating habits in children? A new study takes a hard look at the products that professional athletes endorse, and the news isn't good.
"Seventy-nine percent of the 62 food products in athlete-endorsed advertisements were energy-dense and nutrient-poor, and 93.4% of the 46 advertised beverages had 100% of calories from added sugar," study authors wrote.
The awards for most endorsements for energy-dense, nutrient-poor products goes to football player Peyton Manning and basketball player LeBron James. Bleacher Report has more on this study.
Scientists have brain breakthrough in mice
Researchers have discovered the first chemical compound that stops brain tissue from dying in a neurodegenerative disease, TIME.com reports.
This drug could be instrumental in fighting brain conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, scientists say. But so far, the research has only been done in mice; further investigation is necessary to see if it would work in humans.
October 4th, 2013
01:45 PM ET
Here's a roundup of five medical studies published this week that might give you new insights into your health, mind and body. Remember, correlation is not causation – so if a study finds a connection between two things, it doesn't mean that one causes the other.
ICU puts patients at risk of cognitive impairment
A new study finds an alarming trend: Thinking and memory problems can last at least a year in patients discharged from the intensive care unit.
Adults who have been in the ICU because of respiratory failure or shock were evaluated three and 12 months after discharge. Of the 821 participants, 74% had developed delirium, characterized by confused thinking, while in the hospital.
Researchers found signs of persistent cognitive impairment in both older and younger patients.
September 25th, 2013
05:04 PM ET
If there were a food or dietary supplement guaranteed to help preserve our thinking skills, memory and verbal fluency later in life, we'd all take it. Unfortunately, we don't have such a miracle pill.
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish and nuts, have been touted as potential brain-boosters in aging. In some studies they were shown to be associated with a lower risk of dementia.
A new study in the journal Neurology is a knock against that theory, but more research needs to be done to confirm, as it does not prove or disprove a cause-and-effect relationship.
September 13th, 2013
06:15 PM ET
Here's a roundup of five medical studies published this week that might give you new insights into your health, mind and body. Remember, correlation is not causation - so if a study finds a connection between two things, it doesn't mean that one causes the other.
Verbal development linked to drinking
Researchers found that, in twin pairs, the twin who began speaking earlier in life had a higher likelihood of more frequent drinking than his or her same-aged sibling at some point in adolescence. The twin who learned to read first had a higher probability of drinking or intoxication in young adulthood.
September 4th, 2013
05:42 PM ET
Zoom! Move that car! Get those road signs!
A specially designed video game, called NeuroRacer, isn't just for fun, although scientists believe that's one of its key ingredients.
Researchers say this game may help enhance certain cognitive abilities in older adults, such as multitasking and attention span. Results from a study on the game's effects were published today in the journal Nature.
August 21st, 2013
04:00 PM ET
Antipsychotics have already been linked to type II diabetes in adults. Now a new study shows a connection between these medications and the chronic medical condition in kids as well.
Researchers report in the journal JAMA Psychiatry that children taking antipsychotics have three times the risk of developing type II diabetes, compared to children taking other psychotropic medications (drugs prescribed to treat mental disorders).
The study authors were surprised by the magnitude of the results. But the findings make sense, given that the side effects of antipsychotics include weight gain and insulin resistance, said Wayne A. Ray, study co-author and researcher in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. However, the study shows an association, not a cause-effect relationship.
It's not uncommon for an adult taking antipsychotic medications to gain 20 to 40 pounds in a relatively short period of time, Ray said. Similar weight gain effects have been observed in children, proportionate to their body sizes.
June 25th, 2013
01:20 PM ET
Minority children are far less likely than their white counterparts to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a new study in this week's journal Pediatrics.
In fact, authors found that African-American children were 69% less likely to be diagnosed, while Hispanic children were 45% less likely to have an ADHD diagnosis.
More than 5 million children in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In fact, it's the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorder in U.S. children. A diagnosis can help kids get the proper treatment and medication they need, and early intervention can be key in helping a child learn.
May 27th, 2013
02:44 PM ET
More than 2 million children have been affected by the military deployment of at least one parent within the past decade, and thousands have had to cope with a parent's death or traumatic injury, experts say.
Therefore, it's imperative that pediatricians and other health care providers address the mental health and well-being of children from U.S. military families, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
"This is guidance (for the providers), but it is the first of its kind," said co-author Dr. Beth Ellen Davis, a pediatrician and retired U.S. Army colonel. "I could think of no better way to honor our service members than to help providers take care of their children."
May 20th, 2013
11:48 AM ET
Boys with ADHD may be at risk for obesity later in life, according to a new study - which, if confirmed in larger studies, may have implications for the more than 4 million kids in the United States living with the disorder.
Researchers at NYU's Langone Medical Center have been following more than 200 kids for four decades. They found those who had ADHD in their early years were twice as likely to be obese at age 41. FULL POST
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.