August 28th, 2013
07:09 PM ET
Some 37 million Americans suffer from migraines, those incredibly painful and often debilitating headaches. While they've been known to knock a person out, migraines weren't thought to permanently affect the brain - until now. A new study published Wednesday in the journal Neurology suggests migraines may indeed leave a mark.
"Our review and meta-analysis study suggests that the disorder may permanently alter brain structure in multiple ways," said study author Dr. Messoud Ashina, a neurologist at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.
A migraine is a common type of headache where throbbing pain is typically felt on just one side of the head. Sufferers experience sensitivity to light, nausea and vomiting. Women are three times more likely to be affected by migraines than men.
June 12th, 2013
06:01 PM ET
Treating intravenous drug users with antiviral drugs may reduce their chances of HIV infection, according to a new study published Wednesday in the British medical journal The Lancet.
The Bangkok Tenofovir Study was done in Bangkok, Thailand, from 2005-2013. It was run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in collaboration with the Thailand Ministry of Public Health.
Researchers recruited more than 24,000 people at 17 sites. Half took the pill tenofovir - an antiretroviral drug – daily, while the other half got a placebo. Participants were followed for about four years. Researchers found those taking the drug cut their chances of infection by 49% almost in half - approximately 49%.
May 28th, 2013
02:21 PM ET
The state of Colorado is seeing an increase in the number of children accidentally exposed to medical marijuana, according to a new study in Pediatric JAMA.
Doctors in Colorado evaluated about 1,400 patients aged 8 months to 12 years who came to the Children's Hospital Colorado emergency room from January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2011.
May 21st, 2013
04:52 PM ET
Having a schoolmate commit suicide significantly increases the chance that a teenager will consider or attempt suicide themselves, according to a new study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).
The study surveyed more than 22,000 Canadian children aged 12 to 17. They were asked if anyone in their school, or anyone they knew personally had died by suicide and if they had seriously considered attempting suicide themselves in the past year. The researchers found that the risk of suicide was magnified even if the child did not know the deceased student personally.
May 14th, 2013
02:28 PM ET
Reducing salt consumption below the currently recommended 2,300 milligrams – about 1 1/2 teaspoons– per day maybe unnecessary, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).
The news follows a decades-long push to get Americans to reduce the amount of salt in their diet because of strong links between high sodium consumption and hypertension, a known risk factor for heart disease.
The IOM, at the request of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reviewed recent studies published through 2012 that explored ties between salt consumption and direct health outcomes like cardiovascular disease and death. The organization describes itself as "an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public."
Researchers determined there wasn't enough evidence to say whether lowering salt consumption to levels between 1,500 and 2,300 mg per day could increase or decrease your risk of heart disease and mortality. But lowering sodium intake might adversely affect your health, the panel found.
May 6th, 2013
05:46 PM ET
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning pregnant women to stay away from migraine medicine containing valproate. The agency says the drug can lead to decreased IQ scores in children whose mothers took the medication during pregnancy.
Valproate sodium (Depacon), valproic acid (Depakene and Stavzor), and divalproex sodium (Depakote, Depakote CP and Depakote ER) are among the valproate products the FDA says pregnant women should never use. That includes their generic versions.
February 20th, 2013
05:04 PM ET
Drinking coffee and tea rich in antioxidants may not lower your risk of dementia or having a stroke, according to a new study published Wednesday in the online journal Neurology.
The study may call into question other research suggesting a diet high in antioxidants helps reduce the risk of dementia and stroke.
Researchers followed approximately 5,400 people aged 55 years and older for nearly 14 years. The participants had no signs of dementia when they began the study and most had never had a stroke. They were questioned about how often they ate 170 foods over the course of the past year and they were divided into three groups based on the levels of antioxidants in their diet - low, moderate or high.
January 30th, 2013
04:01 PM ET
Obese girls are at greater risk of developing multiple sclerosis or MS-like illness, according to a new study published Wednesday in the online journal Neurology.
Researchers looked at body mass index (BMI) data from more than 900,000 children from the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Children's health study. Seventy-five of those children and adolescents between the ages of 2 and 18 were diagnosed with pediatric MS. More than 50% of them were overweight or obese, and the majority were girls.
According to the study, the MS risk was more than one and a half times higher for overweight girls, almost two times higher in moderately obese girls and almost four times higher in extremely obese girls.
January 14th, 2013
04:26 PM ET
Teenagers and young children who eat fast food could be increasing their risk of developing asthma, eczema and hay fever, according to a study published Monday in the British Medical Journal's respiratory journal Thorax.
The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) study used written questionnaires completed by 319,196 13- and 14-year-olds from 51 countries and by the parents of 181,631 6- and 7-year-olds in 31 countries. They were asked if they had symptoms of the three conditions and about their weekly diet - including the types of foods they ate over the last year, and how often.
January 7th, 2013
07:17 PM ET
If you take drugs to lower your blood pressure, your medication may also lower your risk of dementia, according to a new study released Monday by the American Academy of Neurology.
According to the study, people taking beta blockers, a class of drugs used to treat a number of conditions including high blood pressure, glaucoma and migraines, were less likely to have less cognitive impairment than those that did not. Beta blockers cause the heart to beat slower and with less force, which reduces blood pressure. They also open up blood vessels to increase blood flow.
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.