Can't count sheep? There's a name for that

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Friday, 28 August 2015 06:36

If counting sheep is an abstract concept, you could have aphantasia — a newly defined condition to describe people who are born without a “mind’s eye."

Some people report a significant impact on their lives from being unable to visualize memories of their partners or departed relatives. Others say that descriptive writing is meaningless to them and careers such as architecture or design are closed to them, as they would not be able to visualize an end product.

In Minnesota, medical marijuana is now legal but not easy to get for some

Written by KYLE POTTER,
Associated Press
Tuesday, 21 July 2015 08:49

It’s a 400-mile, seven-hour, $100 or more journey from Maria Botker’s home in tiny Clinton, Minnesota, to the nearest clinic where she can buy medical marijuana — the only drug that does the trick for her daughter’s rare and aggressive seizure disorder.

In addition to the medicine’s high cost, the short list of qualifying conditions and the difficulty in getting a doctor’s approval to sign up, there’s one more thing making the program difficult for Minnesota patients. Some have to come an awfully long way to get it, with only two of eight dispensaries opening since the July 1 launch.

Research: 48.5 percent of deaths from 12 cancers attributable to smoking

Written by WiG reports Tuesday, 16 June 2015 09:09

Researchers estimate that 48.5 percent of the nearly 346,000 deaths from 12 cancers among adults 35 and older in 2011 were attributable to cigarette smoking, according to an article published online by the JAMA Internal Medicine.

Researcher Rebecca L. Siegel of the American Cancer Society and coauthors provided an updated estimate because they note smoking patterns and the magnitude of the association between smoking and cancer death have changed in the past decade.

Study: Vitamin B3 might help against skin cancer

Written by From AP
and WiG reports
Friday, 15 May 2015 12:10

For the first time, a large study suggests that a vitamin might modestly lower the risk of the most common types of skin cancer in people with a history of these relatively harmless yet troublesome growths.

In a study in Australia, people who took a specific type of vitamin B3 for a year had a 23 percent lower rate of new skin cancers compared to others who took dummy pills. In absolute terms, it meant that vitamin takers developed fewer than two of these cancers on average versus roughly 2.5 cancers for the others.

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‘Blue Zone’ communities boost longevity, productivity through lifestyle changes

Written by Alice Culp,
South Bend Tribune
Sunday, 23 August 2015 08:35

People in Nicoya, Costa Rica, are twice as likely as Americans to reach a healthy age 90.

U.S. senators urge easier regs for medical marijuana research

Written by WiG Wednesday, 15 July 2015 10:36

U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey are urging federal regulators to make it easier for researchers to investigate the medicinal use of marijuana.

Study: 23 percent of US adults with health coverage underinsured

Written by From AP reports Monday, 25 May 2015 09:31

Nearly a quarter of U.S. adults who were insured all last year lacked adequate protection from big medical bills based on their income, according to Commonwealth Fund research.

The nonprofit foundation estimates that about 31 million people between the ages of 19 and 64 were underinsured due in part to the out-of-pocket expenses they have to pay for care. That includes deductibles, or payments a patient has to make before most coverage begins.

Walking with my mother in her heart-breaking decline

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 08 May 2015 18:37

All life cycles have watershed moments, times when another bridge has been irrevocably crossed. In the life of a child, that moment is often a joyful one. But for an elderly parent, life proceeds in reverse, leading often to sorrowful conclusions. My mother Liz, who is 93 years old, reached one of those watershed moments one night three years ago. 

2016 hopefuls struggle to stay fit on the campaign trail

Written by Catherine Lucey,
AP writer
Wednesday, 19 August 2015 03:58

Democratic candidate Martin O'Malley's commitment to fitness was visible when he participated in a fundraising Polar Bear plunge. But can he and other candidates maintain their physical health on the campaign trail? They say it's a challenge.

With long travel days and a fresh slab of cherry pie never far away, the campaign trail is notoriously unhealthy. But many 2016 presidential candidates are striving to make smart lifestyle choices as they tour the small town diners and pizza places of the early voting states.

FDA tells food makers to phase out trans fat

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 16 June 2015 10:58

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has determined that artificial trans fat is no longer generally recognized as safe for use in food.

Healthy food advocates hailed the decision, which could result in a decreased incidence of heart disease.

CDC study of Indiana HIV cases shows most are same strain

Written by The AP Tuesday, 19 May 2015 14:52

A genetic analysis of HIV samples taken from about half the people infected in the largest HIV outbreak in Indiana history shows nearly all of them have the same strain of the virus, a finding one health expert says is a sobering reminder of how rapidly HIV can spread among intravenous drug users.

Indiana’s state epidemiologist, Pam Pontones, cautioned that the findings by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are “very preliminary.” But she said they suggest that the HIV strain detected in southeastern Indiana’s outbreak was introduced there during the past six to 12 months.

What do you know about the sperm bank industry?

Written by The AP Thursday, 23 April 2015 06:39

Sperm banking is a huge industry that has been around for decades but one that is relatively loosely regulated in the U.S.

Here are some things to know about the industry: