November 29th, 2011
12:01 AM ET
Heading the soccer ball too frequently may cause damage to the brain, according to new research.
In smaller numbers, there doesn’t seem to be a problem. It’s when the number of headers reaches about 1,300 per year that the brain may begin to suffer traumatic brain damage.
November 15th, 2011
05:20 PM ET
The Empowered Patient is a regular feature from CNN Senior Medical News Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen that helps put you in the driver's seat when it comes to health care.
Looking back over the past nine months, Gabrielle Giffords’ neurosurgeon remembers several high points in his patient’s recovery – and the most recent one involves his suit and tie.
“I usually wear scrubs to my appointment with her, but one day I wore a suit instead, and she looked at me and said, ‘Wow, you have a suit on today. What’s with the necktie?’” remembers Dr. Dong Kim.
“She really gave me grief with great fluidity,” he says, laughing. “It was such a great moment that we could interact at that level and hang out and talk.”
April 27th, 2011
01:02 PM ET
Dr. Sanjay Gupta details the extraordinary efforts to save the life of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in a CNN special documentary, "Saving Gabby." Sunday, May 8, 7 p.m. ET
The final preparations are under way for Friday's last-ever launch of the space shuttle Endeavour. This mission is extra special for Commander Mark Kelly. His wife, Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who has been recovering from a gunshot wound to the head since January 8, was medically cleared to travel and left Wednesday for Florida and the Kennedy Space Center, to watch the launch. CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta has been following Giffords' progress and takes us inside his operating room to show how the congresswoman's surgeons removed part of her skull in an effort to save her life.
March 11th, 2011
06:07 PM ET
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ personality “is really starting to shine through,” says Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who visited her friend and colleague at a Houston rehabilitation hospital last week.
“There’s been so much progress made in the month since I’ve seen her,” Wasserman Schultz said. “She’s so much more interactive and responsive.”
Doctors at The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research in Houston said Friday at a news conference that Giffords has been speaking in full sentences and is able to walk with assistance.
January 3rd, 2011
04:35 PM ET
U. S. soldiers who experienced post-traumatic stress disorder during combat in Iraq were more likely to experience longer-term health problems including depression, headaches, tinnitis, irritability and memory problems compared with soldiers who experienced only concussions without PTSD. The study concludes that screening for PTSD among troops is critical for identifying and treating long-term health problems. The findings are published in the JAMA Archives of General Psychiatry.
December 6th, 2010
04:40 PM ET
Calling its policy "better safe than sorry," a Canadian hockey league has instituted new rules that could keep players suspected of having a concussion off the ice for days, weeks, or even months. The new guidelines' most forceful statement: "A player suspected of a concussion must stop play immediately."
Hockey Nova Scotia's new policy is designed to eliminate rink-side guesswork, insisting that the diagnosis of a head injury happen among medical, rather than bench staff.
December 1st, 2010
12:06 PM ET
One of the vexing realities when it comes to concussion is that its impact on the brain is impossible to measure. There is no MRI, no X-ray, no test to describe how it might cause brain damage. That could change, according to a new, small study presented at the Radiological Society of North America annual meeting.
"It is an exciting, albeit very early, development for an injury that today is considered invisible," said lead author Alexander Lin, assistant professor of radiology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
November 5th, 2010
10:54 AM ET
It seems everytime an NFL or college football player is knocked out from a hard blow, it reignites the debate over how to protect athletes from concussions. This week, the American Academy of Neurology released its updated guidelines to help make diagnosing concussions at sporting events easier. This month, Sports Illustrated devoted a special issue to addressing the impact of concussions on football, its players and its fans. And CNN has done numerous reports on how teen brains are particularly at risk from concussions on the football field.
But what about the parents of those kids who must choose between supporting their child's passion and talent for the sport, and protecting him or her from the unknown?
Recently, CNN's Sarah Hoye spent time with a family in Sicklerville, New Jersey, whose son suffered a concussion last year at the high school state championship game. Today, Calvin Lowe - pictured above – still plays football, as his parents cheer him on from the sidelines. But his mother still struggles with the decision to let him return to football. "If I had my way, of course he'd be playing a much safer sport," she said.
November 1st, 2010
01:42 PM ET
It is hardly a comforting sight when an athlete's body lies splayed and twisted on the field after an injury. Doctors can splint a broken arm or X-ray a twisted knee. But when a concussion occurs, diagnosis is not so simple.
"The athletes don't appear injured," said Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, assistant professor at Michigan NeuroSport at the University of Michigan. "Concussion is an invisible injury in a lot of cases, therefore there is no awareness of the injury."
September 27th, 2010
05:59 PM ET
Injuries from Segways appear to be on the rise, according to one study based on data from a Washington, D.C., hospital.
The research article was released online Monday in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, shortly after police in England reported that James Heselden, the 62-year-old owner of the Segway company, had died - apparently in an accident involving one of his upright two-wheeled vehicles.
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.