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Health News

Cause of Mysterious, Fatal Brain Disease Linked to Mad Cow Disease-Like Proteins

Raphael Gaillarde/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO, Cali.) -- Researchers believe they have found the cause of a mysterious and fatal brain disease that leaves patients with symptom's similar to Parkinson's disease, including rigid muscles, tremors and low blood pressure.Called Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), the disease is rare but devastating, affecting three out of every 100,000 people over the age of 50. Researchers have now uncovered that the disease is likely caused by infectious proteins similar

California High School Football Teammates Suffer Mysterious Brain Injuries

iStock/Thinkstock(EL DORADO, Calif.) — A high school football player in California is hospitalized in critical condition, one of two teammates who suffered brain injuries during a Friday game.Authorities say they are investigating whether drug use among players — particularly the prescription drug Adderall, used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD — may have played a role. The investigation includes a review of game footage and other matters, authorities

New Heart 'Calculator' Lets You Find Out How Old Your Heart Really Is

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — Putting a new spin on looking “good for your age,” researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have figured out a way to determine if your cardiovascular system is actually aging faster than the rest of you.In a new study, CDC researchers found the hearts of U.S. adults are often much “older” than their chronological age.Using data from the large and well-established Framingham Heart Study, researchers looked at in

Your Body: Talking to Your Kids About Their Weight

iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical ContributorTalking to kids about their weight is no easy task and you don’t want to hurt their feelings. But it’s such an important conversation to have in order to help your children take control of their health as soon as possible.Here are some tips on how to talk to them:Tell your children that their health is at stake and you want to help them get better so they can live a healthy life. Never, ever, criticize your c

New Jersey Couple Stuck in Portugal for Three Months After Premature Birth

Courtesy of Kim and Fred Spratt(NEW YORK) — A New Jersey couple is stranded in Portugal after giving birth to their first child, caught between medical regulations, insurance costs and visa stipulations.Doctors cleared Kim and Fred Spratt to travel in May, when Kim was six months pregnant with twins.But one week into the vacation, Kim went into labor. The couple’s newborn son, Hudson, did not survive. Their daughter, Hayden, weighed 1 pound, 8 ounces at birth.More than three months l

US Adult Smoking Rates Drops Below 17 Percent

Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Cigarette smoking among Americans has hit a historic low, according to preliminary data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.Through the first three months of 2015, the CDC estimates that 15.2 percent of American adults over the age of 18 are current smokers. For the purposes of the survey, current smokers were considered adults who had reported smoking more than 100 cigarettes in their

Your Body: Dealing with Adult Nightmares

iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical ContributorAre you still having nightmares? For about 10 percent of adults, they are a serious problem.Studies in the field of sleep medicine have shown that having negative attitudes towards ourselves, being exhausted or fatigued, using sleeping pills and frequent heavy use of alcohol are all associated with nightmares. If you’re experiencing frequent nightmares, talk to your doctor. If it’s from medication, you may be

False Positives Common in Lyme Disease Lab Tests

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Some patients relying on commercially available laboratory testing may be getting false indications that they may have contracted Lyme disease.Lyme disease, a bacterial infection transmitted by tick bites in the northeastern U.S., often can mimic other diseases and can be an elusive diagnosis. A study in CMAJ evaluated the accuracy of lab tests administered to Canadians who sent their blood to American labs and questions whether these tests may be causing more harm

Teen Athlete Dies After Contracting Brain-Eating Amoeba

KTRK-TV(HOUSTON) -- The family of a 14-year-old athlete has confirmed that he died after being infected with a deadly amoeba that attacks the brain.Michael Riley is believed to have contracted the amoeba during a swim in a fresh water lake, and his family posted a message on a Facebook page dedicated to supporting his health battle."Michael fought a courageous fight over the past week, allowing him to move on to be with the Lord for future heavenly tasks, a beautiful set of wings, and a pair of

Minimal Sleep May Put You at Higher Risk of Catching a Cold

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Catch some winks, or catch a cold.New research published in the journal SLEEP suggests that a good night’s sleep, while not likely the cure for the common cold, might just help you avoid one. Researchers studied at a group of 164 people, assessing how many hours of sleep they got each night. They then exposed the study volunteers to rhinovirus, the bug known to cause the common cold. Those sleeping fewer than five hours a night had a greater chance of develop

Social Media Defending Mother Who Left Baby in Shopping Cart

iStock/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) -- A mother of four is at the center of a blistering social media movement dubbed #IStandWithCherish.Cherish Peterson is under fire for leaving behind her 2-month-old son, Huxton, outside an Arizona supermarket Aug. 24. A photo snapped by a bystander shows the baby strapped into a carrier inside a shopping cart. In an interview with station KPHO-TV in Phoenix, Peterson shares her side of the story. “I got into my car and normally I put my cart away, but I didn&rs

Health Officials Investigating Legionnaires' Outbreak at San Quentin Prison

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN QUENTIN, Calif.) — The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, along with local and state health officials are investigating an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at San Quentin State Prison.As of Sunday, officials confirmed there are six cases of the disease, which is a severe form of pneumonia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Five of the affected inmates are currently being treated at outside hospitals. Another 51 i

Acting as Surrogate, North Dakota Woman Gives Birth to Her Granddaughter

ABC News(NEW YORK) — A 51-year-old mother with multiple sclerosis gave birth to her own granddaughter in North Dakota, acting as a surrogate for her daughter.The pregnancy came with an unexpected and welcome side effect.Mandy Stephens and her husband Jamie couldn’t wait to get pregnant after marrying in 2013, but they had trouble conceiving and opted for in vitro fertilization.Stephens became pregnant, and the 20-week ultrasound looked perfect. But she subsequently went into early la

Ice Cream that's Better for You... and Doesn't Melt?!

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Reduced-fat ice cream that doesn't melt? That's what British scientists are said to be working on. A team of scientists from the University of Edinburgh and the University of Dundee said in a written statement that they have discovered a type of protein which could be used to create ice cream that is more resistant to melting. "The protein binds together the air, fat and water in ice cream, creating a super-smooth consistency," the scientists said in the statement, e

Pediatricians Urge Parents to Talk to Teens Early About Alcohol

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It may be better to talk to your teens about alcohol earlier rather than later.The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement Monday telling parents to talk to their teens about alcohol, and specifically address the dangers and health effects of binge drinking.And the message may not come a moment too soon.Past research cited by the group shows that over three-quarters of U.S. teens will eventually experiment with alcohol. These teens are more likely to enga

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