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Low blood sugar makes couples more aggressive
Study participants were asked to stick pins in a voodoo doll that represented their spouse to measure aggression.
April 14th, 2014
03:02 PM ET

Low blood sugar makes couples more aggressive

You've heard the term "hangry," right? People who are hungry often report being unreasonably angry until they're fed.

"Hangry" is a relatively new buzz word, but science is backing it up. A new study published in the journal PNAS suggests married couples are more aggressive when they have low blood sugar levels.

Background

Everyone gets upset at their spouse or significant other sometimes. But self-control hopefully prevents you from taking that anger out on them in a physical manner.
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CNN Health Facebook chat: Chronic illness
Those living with chronic illness submitted photos of family members, nature and pets to show what hope means to them.
September 20th, 2012
09:32 AM ET

CNN Health Facebook chat: Chronic illness

Our story on talking to someone with a chronic illness received a tremendous, and positive, response from readers last week.

Many of you wanted to share your own stories of living with chronic illness and weigh in on how some well-meaning comments can be misinterpreted, as well as offer tips of your own.

The article's author, Lisa Copen, founded Rest Ministries to encourage others who live with chronic illness or pain. Copen has agreed to host a live chat on the CNN Health Facebook page on Friday from 12 to 1 p.m. ET. She'll be joined by others who live with chronic and sometimes invisible illnesses, as well as members of the CNN.com Health team.

So many of you have stressed the need to raise awareness of those living with chronic illness and their sometimes-daily struggle. This chat is an effort to continue that conversation with our readers. Please join us.

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Filed under: Conditions • Mind and body • Pain

July 11th, 2012
06:27 PM ET

Rare genetic mutation protects against Alzheimer's

With more than 5 million Americans suffering from Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, the race is on to surface clues about causes and prevention.

An important breakthrough for the research field comes in the journal Nature this week. Researchers say they found a rare genetic mutation in Iceland that appears to protect against Alzheimer's disease.

The mutation appears to slow the production of the beta-amyloid protein, long considered to be a cause of Alzheimer's. This mechanism helps validate the theory that beta-amyloid plaques - an accumulation of the protein - cause this form of dementia for which no cure has been found. The research team was led by Dr. Kari Stefansson, chief executive of the Icelandic company DeCode Genetics. They studied data from the genomes of nearly 1,800 Icelandic people.

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Sleepy brains drawn to junk food
June 10th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

Sleepy brains drawn to junk food

As any college student or shift worker will tell you, staying up all night or even just skimping on sleep can lead a person to seek out satisfying, calorie-packed foods.

An emerging body of research suggests that sleep-related hunger and food cravings, which may contribute to weight gain, are fueled in part by certain gut hormones involved in appetite. But our brain, and not just our belly, may play a role as well.

According to two small studies presented today at a meeting of sleep researchers in Boston, sleep deprivation appears to increase activity in areas of the brain that seek out pleasure - including that provided by junk food. To make matters worse, sleepiness also may dampen activity in other brain regions that usually serve as a brake on this type of craving.
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April 17th, 2012
05:43 AM ET

The beat goes on for music producer diagnosed with multiple sclerosis

Editor's noteIn the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship – they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed. This week Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta introduces us to Noah “40” Shebib, a music producer who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in his early 20s.

Q: What was it like to receive that diagnosis as such a young man?

A: It started with sensory issues. I woke up one day and all the temperature in my body was distorted. My sense of hot and cold and what that meant to my brain was very confusing.  Any time something like that happens to your body - which is very difficult to explain when you have MS - is that your brain is tricked, so your nerves are telling you something that's not true.  Any time your brain is telling you something that's not true, there's a little bit of trauma for your body in general to understand what's going on, so you're a little bit in shock.

I went to the hospital very quickly after that and was diagnosed within a couple of weeks. It continued to escalate to a much worse place in a month, and I spent the next two years of my life getting back on my feet.
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Cops more forgetful after chases or altercations
March 20th, 2012
02:30 PM ET

Cops more forgetful after chases or altercations

Police officers who engage in at least 60 seconds of intense physical energy while involved in a combative encounter may suffer memory loss, according to a newly published study in the journal Psychological Science.

Researchers found that officers chasing down a suspect or engaging in a physical altercation with someone can often forget details of the incident, including being unable to identify the suspect from a lineup.

The study's lead author, Dr. Lorraine Hope, University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom, said the study's findings are a "warning" to officers, police chiefs and even the court system.

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Memory slips may be due to menopause
March 14th, 2012
05:10 PM ET

Memory slips may be due to menopause

You're standing in the grocery store aisle staring at the rows of canned soup. The recipe called for three cups of soup, but you can't for the life of you remember what kind of soup or how many ounces there are in three cups.

You joke with your husband, "My memory's slipping again - must be the menopause."

Turns out, you may be right.

A study published Wednesday in the North American Menopause Society's journal Menopause analyzed the memory performance of 75 middle-aged women who were transitioning into menopause.
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Why some patients take out their own eyes
February 27th, 2012
06:30 PM ET

Why some patients take out their own eyes

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.

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February 4th, 2012
10:34 AM ET

Taking the 'mystery' out of conversion disorder

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


Sleeping through the holidays
December 20th, 2011
12:27 PM ET

Sleeping through the holidays

Last year around this time, my friend Sue called worried about her college-age son Charlie because he seemed to be sleeping away his whole Christmas vacation.

“At first, I thought, OK, he is just catching up because he was up many nights studying for finals. But now two weeks have gone by and he is still sleeping the day away.”

There are a number of reasons that college kids or teens could be sleeping all day. As my friend suspected, we do indeed try to “catch up” on sleep. It seems to work to a certain extent, but we can’t make up for the full amount of sleep lost. FULL POST

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Filed under: Mind and body • Sleep • Stress

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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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