August 27th, 2010
01:46 PM ET

Teens and texting: What you told us

This week's Empowered Patient column took a look at the lingo some teens may use in chat rooms and instant messages, and how understanding those messages can be an important tool for parents in alcohol and drug abuse prevention. What a response!

Hundreds of commenters weighed in. Many who said they were teenagers found the examples to be “outdated” or “so 1990s,” to say the least.


August 27th, 2010
12:45 PM ET

YouTube used to push tobacco, study says

Pro-tobacco videos have a significant presence on YouTube, a study published Thursday in the journal Tobacco Control found.

Researchers in New Zealand searched on the popular video site for the five leading, non-Chinese tobacco brands in the world: Marlboro, L&M, Benson and Hedges, Winston and Mild Seven, on YouTube. From the results, they selected the "most viewed" videos and analyzed the English language videos for content on how it seemed to frame tobacco (positive, negative, complex, unclear or neutral light).

According to the study, 71.2 percent of the 163 videos analyzed had pro-tobacco content, using themes like celebrities and movies, sports, music or archival footages (such as an ad using the Flintstones smoking Winston cigarettes). Of these videos, 71.2 percent contained the brand name of the tobacco product in the title. FULL POST

August 27th, 2010
11:30 AM ET

Afraid of being laughed at?

It's a funny name for a concept about laughter: gelotophobia is the fear of being laughed at. "Gelo" means laughter and "phobia" means fear in Greek.

But the concept is not a mere amusement for researchers, who are developing tools to study a fear that, in extreme form, can lead to real social isolation. A new study in the European Review of Applied Psychology looked at the French version of short questionnaire for identifying gelotophobes, finding it a useful and reliable tool for finding people who fear the laughter of others.


August 27th, 2010
10:00 AM ET

BPA raising testosterone in men?

Bisphenol A or BPA, the controversial chemical widely found in plastic products, can increase testosterone in men, a new study says.

The research, published in the Environmental Health Perspectives, analyzed data from an Italian study of 715 adults between the ages of 20 and 74 years. They measured the amount of BPA excreted in daily urine samples. On average the daily BPA exposure level was more than 5 micrograms a day. Similar researchers said, to exposures seen in the general adult U.S. population.


August 27th, 2010
08:12 AM ET

How can I get rid of 'man boobs'?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Fridays, it's physician nutrition specialist Dr. Melina Jampolis.

Question asked by Michael, Michigan: I have a question regarding for lack of a better word, "man boobs." I've been trying to get rid of them for quite some time. They've been a problem since I was in high school. The rest of my body was not extremely overweight– 175 pounds and 6 feet tall. FULL POST

August 26th, 2010
04:55 PM ET

New therapy promising against metastatic melanoma

Approximately 60,000  new cases of melanoma, will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2010. The disease, which is the most serious type of skin cancer, accounts for about 10,000  deaths each year. That's according to the American Cancer Society. And although melanoma is treatable when caught early, after it spreads to other parts of the body, a patient is usually given a grim diagnosis of less than a year to live.

Now a  study in the New England Journal of Medicine reports a new drug treatment may help some of these patients live longer.


August 26th, 2010
04:47 PM ET

Flu deaths 'a moving target,' CDC says

When it comes to estimating how many people will die annually from the flu, the Centers for Disease Control says averages just don't explain the full picture.

"Flu is really unpredictable," explains Dr. David Shay, a medical officer with the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "Flu deaths are a moving target."


August 26th, 2010
11:53 AM ET

TEDMED: Donna Karan designs for healing

You may recognize Donna Karan from her fashion lines, but she's also got a project going that aims to redesign patient care.

Karan founded the Urban Zen Foundation, an organization that aims to promote patient advocacy and well-being in health care, integrating alternative approaches such as yoga.


August 26th, 2010
08:45 AM ET

Docs' beliefs affect end-of-life care

If you think your beliefs are the only ones that affect your health care, pay attention to this: A doctor's own religious practice can become quite relevant to patient care, especially when end-of-life issues come into play.

A new study finds that doctors who are not religious are more likely to take steps to help end a very sick patient's life, and to discuss these kinds of decisions, than doctors who are very religious.

The study, published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, surveyed more than 8,500 doctors in the United Kingdom across a wide range of specialties such as neurology, palliative care, and general practice.


August 26th, 2010
08:31 AM ET

Are hallucinations an Alzheimer's symptom?

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

Question asked by Tina of Sacramento, California

Is hearing things that aren't there a symptom of Alzheimer's? Is Alzheimer's treatable?


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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.