May 24th, 2012
06:31 PM ET
Imagine the incessant, grating sound of buzzing in your ears - or constant beeping, whistling, dripping, or clicking. Imagine the chatter of crickets or birds resonating in your head all day long.
Then realize that there are no actual birds or crickets. No dripping faucet. No clicking or whistling happening in the vicinity.
That is a small glimpse of life with tinnitus: The perception of sound, that doesn't exist, manufactured by the brain.
"I hear tree frogs and crickets and bugs, and really loud noise on top of that," said Ginny Morrell, 60, who has suffered with tinnitus for two years. "It started one day and never went away. It never wavers, 24 hours a day."
April 17th, 2012
02:44 PM ET
How does a parent know if their child or teen is experiencing normal adolescent sadness or moodiness or - a more serious form of depression? The answer may one day lie in a simple blood test, if the results of a new early study are confirmed in larger populations.
The results are published in Translational Psychiatry.
Early-onset major depressive disorder is a mental illness that affects people under 25. While about 2 to 4% of cases are diagnosed before adolescence, the numbers skyrocket to 10-25% with adolescence, explains lead researcher Eva Redei, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
April 17th, 2012
12:01 AM ET
There's a fascinating new parenting study out that caught our eye at The Chart. It involves the sleep habits of babies and toddlers.
Research suggests if mom is depressed, she's more likely to wake her baby up in the middle of the night, even if the baby is fine. Experts say if that happens occasionally, it's not a problem.
But if it happens often, it can lead to developmental issues.
In the study, published in the journal Child Development, researchers at Pennsylvania State University observed 45 families over the course of a week. The children ranged in age from 1 month to 2 years. Moms were asked questions about a variety of issues from how they were doing emotionally to the baby's sleep patterns.
April 10th, 2012
08:29 AM ET
Since his death at age 93 Saturday, much has been written about hard-edged ex-"60 Minutes" reporter Mike Wallace's epic verbal battles with world leaders, swindlers and alleged crime bosses.
But in 2005, Wallace made news of his own when he acknowledged his longtime war with depression - a fight that nearly caused him to take his own life.
"I came perilously close to committing suicide," Wallace wrote in his memoir "Between You and Me."
February 27th, 2012
06:30 PM ET
Remember the myth of Oedipus, where the king of Ancient Thebes stabbed his own eyes after he realized he'd killed his own father and married his mother?
As gory as it sounds, intentionally blinding oneself isn't entirely mythical. Although rare, there have been cases of people seriously injuring their own eyes, and sometimes completely removing them. There's even a technical term, self-enucleation, for the behavior of taking out your eyeballs.
February 27th, 2012
03:46 PM ET
Aloha. The state with the highest score for “well-being” is Hawaii, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, a poll that surveys the physical, mental and emotional health of Americans.
With its fair weather and scenic views, Hawaii led in overall well-being as its residents were most likely to report that they had smiled and/or laughed the day before and had the lowest rates of stress and depression.
They also tended to report better eating and exercise habits, and lower smoking rates. FULL POST
February 14th, 2012
07:14 AM ET
Anthony Youn, M.D., is a plastic surgeon in Metro Detroit. He is the author of “In Stitches,” a humorous memoir about growing up Asian American and becoming a doctor.
Confession: I hate Valentine’s Day.
But I bet I’m not alone.
For the first 26 years of my life I dreaded Valentine’s Day. Every February 14 served as a reminder that no one wanted to date me.
I couldn’t stand going to restaurants and seeing all the lovey-dovey couples lost in romantic bliss. Valentine’s Day may be great if you’re in a relationship, but it can be depressing if you aren’t.
February 13th, 2012
11:50 AM ET
Older people who consume a diet very high in calories may be increasing their risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), the memory loss and mental-function problems that sometimes precede Alzheimer's disease.
In a new study of more than 1,200 people in their 70s and 80s, Mayo Clinic researchers found that men and women who consumed at least 2,143 calories per day had more than double the odds of having MCI, compared with those who consumed 1,526 calories per day or less.
Preliminary findings from the study are slated to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in April. Unlike research published in medical journals, the study has not yet been thoroughly vetted by other experts in the field.
February 8th, 2012
11:03 AM ET
The death of "Soul Train" founder Don Cornelius was ruled a suicide on Tuesday. His death at age 75 raises an issue often overlooked by the public: Suicide among older adults.
Cornelius died last week of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to a statement from the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office. His autopsy was conducted on Friday.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. While the perception is that suicides occur most commonly among young adults, statistics show that suicides are more likely to occur as people age. Elderly adults - defined as those over the age of 65 - are much more likely to die by suicide than teenagers.
February 4th, 2012
10:34 AM ET
When 12 students at a high school in New York suddenly developed strange symptoms like stuttering, uncontrollable twitching movements and verbal outbursts, the community was concerned. Was there something in the environment? Was it a virus of some sort spreading dangerously? Three students and one adult have since also exhibited the same symptoms. Doctors at DENT Neurologic Institute have now diagnosed some of the girls with "conversion disorder," leaving people even more confused.
What is conversion disorder?
A person with conversion disorder has neurological symptoms that aren't related to any known neurological condition, according to the American Psychiatric Association. The symptoms could appear as uncontrolled motions or verbal outbursts, like the students in New York, or as anything from weakness or paralysis to a loss of vision or hearing.
In diagnosing conversion disorder, doctors must first rule out other neurological diseases and determine that the symptoms are not being intentionally faked. Often the symptoms are inconsistent with typical signs of a neurological disease – either physical signs or those that might show up on a diagnostic test. 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.