Health Desk

TED Radio Hour
8:13 am
Fri April 17, 2015

Why Do We Need Sleep?

Circadian neuroscientist Russell Foster says it's time for us to take sleep seriously.
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Maslow's Human Needs

About Russell Foster's TED Talk

What do we know about one of our most basic needs: sleep? Not a lot, says circadian neuroscientist Russell Foster. We know we need to do it to stay alive, but much about it remains a mystery.

About Russell Foster

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TED Radio Hour
8:13 am
Fri April 17, 2015

How Did Abraham Maslow Change Psychology?

Psychologist Abraham Maslow was a pioneer in positive psychology, envisioning what was right with his clients, rather than what was wrong.
© Corbis

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Maslow's Human Needs

Brandeis Psychology professor Margie Lachman works in the same office where Abraham Maslow developed his hierarchy of needs. She describes his lasting influence on psychology.

About Margie Lachman

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Children's Health
4:09 am
Fri April 17, 2015

E-Cigarettes Grow In Popularity Among Teen Students, Survey Says

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 6:35 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Goats and Soda
2:43 am
Fri April 17, 2015

When The World Bank Does More Harm Than Good

In the 1950s, the World Bank funded the creation of the world's largest man-made dam, the Kariba Dam, which sits on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia. The construction of such dams can have dire consequences for poor people living near a river, an investigation found.
Jekesai Njikizana AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 7:17 am

The World Bank's goal is to end extreme poverty and to grow income for the poorest people on the planet.

The bank does this by lending money and giving grants to governments and private corporations in some of the least developed places on the planet. For example, money goes to preserving land, building dams and creating health care systems.

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Shots - Health News
5:19 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Use Of E-Cigarettes Triples Among U.S. Teens

Nicotine exposure at a young age "may cause lasting harm to brain development," warns Dr. Tom Frieden, chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 7:13 pm

A national survey confirms earlier indications that e-cigarettes are now more popular among teenage students than traditional cigarettes and other forms of tobacco, federal health officials reported Thursday.

The findings prompted strong warnings from Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about the effects of any form of nicotine on young people.

"We want parents to know that nicotine is dangerous for kids at any age," Frieden said.

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Goats and Soda
5:19 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

'Mad Cow' Disease In Texas Man Has Mysterious Origin

Colored brain scan of a 17-year-old boy with mad cow disease. The bright yellow spots are a sign that the thalamus is damaged by diseased proteins.
Simon Fraser Science Source

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 10:49 am

It began with anxiety and depression. A few months later, hallucinations appeared.

Then the Texas man, in his 40s, couldn't feel the left side of his face.

He thought the symptoms were because of a recent car accident. But the psychiatric problems got worse. And some doctors thought the man might have bipolar disorder.

Eventually, he couldn't walk or speak. He was hospitalized. And about 18 months after symptoms began, the man died.

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Health
3:39 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Congress Repeals Medicare 'Doc Fix' Law, Ending Annual Scramble

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 6:40 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Health
3:39 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Some Patients Lack Contraceptive Coverage Under Health Law, Study Finds

Originally published on Sun April 26, 2015 10:57 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Shots - Health News
1:56 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Scientists Probe Puppy Love

A direct, friendly gaze seems to help cement the bond of affection between people and their pooches.
Dan Perez/Flickr

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 4:28 pm

It's a question that bedevils dog owners the world over: "Is she staring at me because she loves me? Or because she wants another biscuit?"

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Shots - Health News
12:38 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Study: Insurers Fail To Cover All Prescribed Contraceptives

Will the health plan pay for the contraceptives the doctor prescribes?
MediaforMedical/Emmanuel Rogue/Getty Images

Some women may be paying hefty fees for birth control pills, vaginal rings and emergency contraception, despite a federal requirement that insurers pay their full cost. And some women only have coverage for a less effective type of emergency contraception, according to a report released Thursday by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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Shots - Health News
12:05 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Men Strive To Give More To Charity When The Fundraiser Is Cute

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 4:28 pm

We donate to charities for lots of reasons: because we're generally magnanimous people, because we care deeply about certain issues or because it's the only way to get Meg to stop talking about the plight of the endangered proboscis monkey.

And for men, there may be another force at play: a subconscious desire to impress the ladies.

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Goats and Soda
10:17 am
Thu April 16, 2015

'To My Brave Sisters': Malala Speaks To Missing Nigerian Girls

At her home in the U.K., Malala Yousafzai reads her letter to the missing Nigerian schoolgirls.
Courtesy of Malala Fund

"One day your tragic ordeal will end, you will be reunited with your families and friends, and you will have the chance to finish the education you courageously sought," Malala Yousafzai said Monday to the girls in Nigeria who have been missing for a year.

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Shots - Health News
9:57 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Letters About Dense Breasts Can Lead To More Questions Than Answers

Catharine Becker of Fullerton, Calif., was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer at 43 despite having a clean mammogram. The mother of three didn't know she had dense breast tissue until after she was diagnosed.
Heidi de Marco/Kaiser Health News

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 3:18 pm

Earlier this year, Caryn Hoadley received an unexpected letter after a routine mammogram.

The letter said her mammogram was clean but that she has dense breast tissue, which has been linked to higher rates of breast cancer and could make her mammogram harder to read.

"I honestly don't know what to think about the letter," said Hoadley, 45, who lives in Alameda, Calif. "What do I do with that information?"

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Shots - Health News
2:49 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Tylenol Might Dull Emotional Pain, Too

Paul Taylor Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 26, 2015 11:17 pm

A common pain medication might make you go from "so cute!" to "so what?" when you look at a photo of a kitten. And it might make you less sensitive to horrifying things, too. It's acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. Researchers say the drug might be taking the edge off emotions — not just pain.

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The Salt
6:14 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Nut So Fast, Kind Bars: FDA Smacks Snacks On Health Claims

According to the Food and Drug Administration, there were four flavors of Kind bar that were misbranded when the agency reviewed them in August 2014.
Ryan Kellman NPR

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 3:30 pm

If you're deciding between a candy bar and a fruit-and-nut bar, and health is top of mind, the best choice seems obvious.

But when it comes to companies actually labeling their products "healthy," the Food and Drug Administration is showing it won't pull any punches. In a letter dated March 17 that was released this week, the agency called out the snack food company Kind for violating labeling rules by putting the word "healthy" on the packaging for some of its bars.

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The Salt
5:17 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Street Food No More: Bug Snacks Move To Store Shelves In Thailand

The new line of HiSo edible insects. The fried crickets are on the top row, in order: original flavor, cheese, barbecue, seaweed. The fried silkworm pupae snacks are seen on the bottom row, in the same order of flavors.
Michael Sullivan for NPR

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 6:37 pm

C'mon, who doesn't like bugs in a bag? Crunchy little critters that are good and good for you? Panitan Tongsiri is hoping the answer is: no one.

The 29-year-old Thai entrepreneur is trying to change the way Thais eat insects — OK, the way some Thais eat insects — one bag at a time.

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Shots - Health News
4:04 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Why Knuckles Crack

NPR intern Poncie Rutsch takes a crack at making a big sound.
Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 8:39 pm

Scientists think they may have solved an old question about the cracking of knuckles: Why does it make that sound?

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Animals
3:19 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Chicago-Area Dog Flu Outbreak Rises To Over 1,000 Cases

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 5:52 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Pet owners in the Chicago area are hearing messages like this when they check in with their veterinarians.

(SOUNDBITE OF AUTOMATED MESSAGE)

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Shots - Health News
2:21 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Personalizing Cancer Treatment With Genetic Tests Can Be Tricky

Sequencing the genes of a cancer cell turns up lots of genetic mutations — but some of them are harmless. The goal is to figure out which mutations are the troublemakers.
Kevin Curtis Science Source

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 5:52 pm

It's becoming routine for cancer doctors to order a detailed genetic test of a patient's tumor to help guide treatment, but often those results are ambiguous. Researchers writing in Science Translational Medicine Wednesday say there's a way to make these expensive tests more useful.

Here's the issue: These genomic tests scan hundreds or even thousands of genes looking for mutations that cause or promote cancer growth. In the process, they uncover many mutations that scientists simply don't know how to interpret — some may be harmless.

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Shots - Health News
11:21 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Some Doctors Still Dismiss Parents' Concerns About Autism

Some doctors aren't up to date on how to assess autism symptoms in very young children.
iStockphoto

Most children with autism get diagnosed around age 5, when they start school. But signs of the developmental disorder may be seen as early as 1 year old.

Yet even if a parent notices problems making eye contact or other early signs of autism, some doctors still dismiss those concerns, a study finds, saying the child will "grow out of it." That can delay diagnosis and a child's access to therapy.

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Health Desk
9:22 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Beech-Nut Baby Food Recalled

Credit beech-nut.com

Beech-Nut Nutrition is recalling approximately  baby food products that may be contaminated with small pieces of glass,

The following product is subject to recall

  • 4-oz. glass jars containing “Stage 2 Beech-Nut CLASSICS sweet potato & chicken”

The product subject to recall bears the establishment number “P-68A” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The affected product expires in “DEC 2016” and includes product numbers “12395750815” through “12395750821”. These items were shipped to retail locations nationwide.                        

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Shots - Health News
9:08 am
Wed April 15, 2015

When Keeping A Secret Trumps The Need For Care

Will adult children seek care if their parents can find out about it?
Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 10:46 am

Dana Lam was insured under her parent's health plan until the end of 2014, thanks to a provision of the Affordable Care Act that allows young adults to stay on family health insurance until they turn 26.

The arrangement worked out well until she needed treatment for depression. Lam knew that if she used her parents' health plan to see a psychotherapist or psychiatrist, her visit would show up on their insurance statements.

She wasn't ready to talk to them about her mental health issues. "I was just so afraid of having that conversation with them," she says.

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Shots - Health News
2:40 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Marathon Bombing Survivors Face A World That Still Feels Out Of Control

Martha and Alvaro Galvis used to travel from New Hampshire to Boston to watch the marathon every year. Both were hurt in the bombing two years ago.
Jesse Costa/WBUR

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 7:10 pm

It's just the crumb of a muffin, but Martha Galvis must pick it up. Lips clenched, eyes narrowed, she pushes it back and forth across a slick table, then in circles.

"I struggle and struggle until," Galvis pauses, concentrating all her attention on the thumb and middle finger of her left hand. She can't get them to close around the crumb.

"I try as much as I can, and if I do it, I'm so happy — so happy," she says, giggling.

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Parallels
2:34 am
Wed April 15, 2015

The All-Work, No-Play Culture Of South Korean Education

Students take the annual College Scholastic Ability Test, or college entrance exam, at a high school in Seoul last November. Students face enormous pressure to do well on the test and get into a top university. Airplanes are grounded on the day of the test so they won't disturb the students.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 2:39 pm

In South Korea, grim stories of teen suicide come at a regular clip. Recently, two 16-year-old girls in the city of Daejeon jumped to their deaths, leaving a note saying, "We hate school."

It's just one tragedy in a country where suicide is the leading cause of death among teens, and 11- to 15-year-olds report the highest amount of stress out of 30 developed nations.

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The Two-Way
11:41 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Congress Approves Longer-Term Fix For Medicare Reimbursements

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 6:49 pm

The Senate gave final passage Tuesday night to a lasting fix for a long-running problem with Medicare reimbursements for doctors, NPR's Giles Snyder reports. Doctors faced a 21 percent reduction in the fees.

Eight senators, all Republicans, voted against the bill because funding has not been fully allocated for its $214 billion cost. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill will add $141 billion to the federal budget deficit in the next decade.

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Goats and Soda
4:28 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Thousands Of Young Women In U.S. Forced Into Marriage

A year ago, Lina says her parents took her to Yemen because her grandmother was gravely ill. But when the family arrived, Lina's father announced that she would be getting married to a local man.
Renee Deschamps Getty Images/Vetta

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 7:37 am

Lina describes herself as strong and independent. Born in Yemen and brought to the U.S. as a toddler, the 22-year-old now works retail at a mall to pay her way through college.

"I was raised very, very Americanized. I did sports, I did community service, I worked," Lina says. (NPR is not using her full name because she fears retribution from her family.)

When people hear her story, she says they tell her, "I never thought that this would ever happen to you."

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Shots - Health News
3:21 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

No Rest For Your Sleeping Brain

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 3:28 pm

There's new evidence that the brain's activity during sleep isn't random. And the findings could help explain why the brain consumes so much energy even when it appears to be resting.

"There is something that's going on in a very structured manner during rest and during sleep," says Stanford neurologist Dr. Josef Parvizi, "and that will, of course, require energy consumption."

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U.S.
3:21 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Advocates Fight To Keep Sheltered Workshops For Workers With Disabilities

Most employees at Production Unlimited say they're happy at this sheltered workshop in Watertown, N.Y. But disability advocates say they'd get paid minimum wage, enjoy socializing with nondisabled people and no longer be segregated if they get jobs in community settings.
David Sommerstein North Country Public Radio

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 10:14 pm

It's a hectic day at Production Unlimited in Watertown, N.Y. Everyone has to drop his regular work — making plastic binders, safety equipment, office supplies — for a huge order.

Beth Carpenter punches hole after hole into colored plastic tags. She and her co-workers are paid based on how fast they work, usually well below minimum wage. Carpenter has done all different kinds of tasks here for more than 15 years.

"And I like working here every day," she says. "I work here five days a week. That's why I'd like to make sure we fight to keep this place open."

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The Salt
2:42 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Why The FDA Has Never Looked At Some Of The Additives In Our Food

Food on display at a Miami supermarket. Advocacy groups say they're concerned that Americans are consuming foods with added flavors, preservatives and other ingredients that have never been reviewed by regulators for immediate dangers or long-term health effects.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 2:38 pm

This piece comes from the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news organization.

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Shots - Health News
11:31 am
Tue April 14, 2015

Is That Corporate Wellness Program Doing Your Heart Any Good?

The "My Life Check" calculator gives a personalized readout on heart-healthy behaviors.
via American Heart Association

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 1:13 pm

Odds are your employer has a wellness program that prods you to exercise and eat healthy. But that program may not be doing all that much for your health, according to the American Heart Association, and attempts to measure the benefits of wellness programs often fail.

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