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Sexual activity and STD rate up among seniors
February 2nd, 2012
06:30 PM ET

Sexual activity and STD rate up among seniors

New research published Thursday by the British Medical Journal shows that 80% of 50 to 90 years olds are sexually active.  And with that, cases of sexually transmitted diseases have more than doubled in this age group over the past 10 years.

“You never have to retire from sex,” says clinical psychologist Judy Kuriansky. “But you should always behave as the 20-30 year-olds do. You need to be cautious about it.”

Numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that incidences of syphilis and chlamydia in adults aged 45 to 64 have nearly tripled over the past decade. Cases of Gonorrhea are up as well.

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Keeping brains active may help fight Alzheimer's plaque
January 24th, 2012
10:08 AM ET

Keeping brains active may help fight Alzheimer's plaque

People who keep their brains active throughout life - performing brain-stimulating activities like reading, writing, and playing games - appear to have lower levels of the protein that forms brain clogging amyloid plaque. Amyloid plaque is used by doctors and researchers to characterize Alzheimer’s Disease.

While numerous studies have found associations between being physically and mentally active and having lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers in a study published in the JAMA Archives of Neurology produced brain scan images to show that lifelong mental activities are associated with lower levels of amyloid deposits in the brain. The study was supported by grants from the Alzheimer's Association and the National Institutes of Health.
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January 18th, 2012
11:27 AM ET

Study: Challenging seniors' brains can also change their personality

We’ve all heard the adage “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks." But new research reveals that you CAN teach an older adult how to improve their brain skills, with the added effect of changing a personality trait, making them more open to new experiences.

Using subjects from a study designed to improve brain skills of older people, the researchers hypothesized that improving cognitive skills might also increase participants openness - a personality trait that allows a person to be receptive to new experiences or being engaged by novel ideas such as an intellectual challenge.

Lead researcher Elizabeth Stine-Morrow of the University of Illinois explains, “It also makes sense that, reciprocally, if you engage in cognitive abilities that you enjoy and that are rewarding, that will also make you open to experience. And that’s what we found.”
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October 19th, 2011
11:42 AM ET

Can Avastin use in macular degenration cause blindness?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Wednesdays, it's Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society.

Asked by Rosamond, from Philadelphia

I have wet macular degeneration that is being "successfully" treated with Avastin. Please comment on reports of blindness related to this treatment. Many thanks!

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Mall walkers lose weight, get healthy
September 14th, 2011
06:38 AM ET

Mall walkers lose weight, get healthy

Editor's note: September 19 begins "Every Body Walk Week," when the medical community is teaming up with local organizations to encourage people to simply walk more. Walking just 15 minutes a day can increase your life expectancy by 3 years.

I’m passionate about walking. I know that may sound odd to some but I’ve never really enjoyed running long distances or the crazy dance routines they make you do at health clubs.

I walk because it makes me feel alive, energized and ready to take on the day, regardless of what the day has in store for me. I have a group of friends that share my passion for walking, and we call ourselves the Iverson Mall Walkers.
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Filed under: Exercise • Fitness • Senior Health

Older breast cancer patients not getting radiation
June 27th, 2011
02:02 PM ET

Older breast cancer patients not getting radiation

Of women age 65 and older who undergo a mastectomy to treat advanced breast cancer, nearly half may not be receiving the optimal treatment, a new study finds. The oversight puts these women at greater risk of having the cancer return and increases their risk of dying from the disease.

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Public Citizen: Bed handles dangerous for elderly
May 4th, 2011
04:22 PM ET

Public Citizen: Bed handles dangerous for elderly

They are suppose to help elderly or sick patients maneuver in and out of bed, but the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen says some bed rail handles can be dangerous and have caused several deaths. The group says the handles can trap a patient causing strangulation or suffocation.

In a petition sent to the Food and Drug Administration Wednesday, Public Citizen urged the agency to order Bed Handles, Inc. to immediately recall Bedside Assistant bed handles, to ban marketing of the product and to investigate other bed handles manufactured by other companies to see if they pose a similar risk.

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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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