September 8, 2012
Former U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, who announced Aug. 28 that he was again battling cancer, was released Friday from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, his family said. Specter, 82, was expected to return to the hospital periodically for additional treatment of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a brief announcement said. Specter, who first was elected in 1980, has had repeated medical troubles, starting with a benign brain tumor diagnosed in 1993. He had radiation treatments in 1996 and a heart bypass operation in 1998.
September 6, 2012 |
A STUDY OF former NFL players finds they were unusually prone to dying from degenerative brain disease, the latest indication that repeated blows to the head may cause serious trouble later on. The death rate from Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Lou Gehrig's disease combined was about three times what one would predict from the general population, researchers reported. Prior research had suggested football players were unusually prone to those diseases, said lead researcher Everett Lehman of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which is part of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
September 4, 2012 |
WOODLAND PARK, N.J. - It was a good summer to be a tree in New Jersey. The most ravenous devourer of leaves - the gypsy moth - seems to have lost its appetite. Another pest - the Asian longhorned beetle - may have been wiped out. And as the season for tree diseases comes to a close, arborists are relieved to report that an outbreak of a tree fungus in Eastern Pennsylvania failed to make its way across the Delaware River. "I would say it was serendipity," Carl Schulze Jr., director of the state Department of Agriculture Division of Plant Industry, said.
August 23, 2012 |
RESEARCHERS have identified a mysterious new disease that has left scores of people in Asia and some in the United States with AIDS-like symptoms even though they are not infected with HIV. The patients' immune systems become damaged, leaving them unable to fend off germs, as healthy people do. What triggers this isn't known, but the disease does not seem to be contagious. This is another kind of acquired immune deficiency that is not inherited and occurs in adults, but doesn't spread the way AIDS does through a virus, said Dr. Sarah Browne, a scientist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
July 30, 2012
Judy Nicholson Asselin is a middle school teacher and sustainability coordinator at Westtown School My handsome, intelligent, and remarkable son, Nathaniel, took his own life last year at the age of 24. For 13 years before his death, Nathaniel had suffered from body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), a severe brain disorder that affects an astonishing three million to five million Americans, striking most in adolescence. The BDD suicide rate is 45 times the rate found in the general population, according to one study, and twice the rate of those with severe depression or eating disorders.
July 17, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved the first drug shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection, a milestone in the 30-year battle against the virus that causes AIDS. The agency approved Gilead Sciences' pill Truvada as a preventive measure for people who are at high risk of acquiring HIV through sexual activity, such as those who have HIV-infected partners. Public health advocates say the approval could help slow the spread of HIV, which has held steady at about 50,000 new infections a year for the last 15 years.
July 15, 2012 |
Five years ago, a passionate mother-turned-activist chatted up her tablemate at a conference for people with genetic diseases. Little did Vicki McCarrell, now of central Missouri, know that she was pitching new research to Francis Collins, director of the groundbreaking Human Genome Project and the future head of the National Institutes of Health. On Friday, at McCarrell's invitation, Collins was at the Sheraton Philadelphia serenading a room full of people affected by Moebius syndrome.
July 12, 2012 |
A MAJOR focus of Elgina Byrd's life was the fight against autism, the devastating developmental disease that strikes children. She joined in fundraising activities to fight the disorder, such as the annual Autism Walk. But for Elgina, the problem was also very personal. Her son, Shawn Gauthney Jr., is autistic. Shawn, now 12, got the full impact of Elgina's care and love. She took him to the many activities for autistic children offered by the Variety Club. She took him skating, bowling and on trips to Wildwood.
July 10, 2012 |
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - A virulent strain of hand, foot and mouth disease may be the mystery illness that has killed at least 52 children in Cambodia, according to a joint statement from the World Health Organization and the Cambodian Health Ministry. The virus, known as EV-71, can result in paralysis, brain swelling and death. Most of the Cambodian cases involved children younger than 3 who experienced fever, respiratory problems that led to rapid shutdown, and sometimes neurological symptoms.
July 9, 2012 |
DEAR ABBY: My mother's Alzheimer's became apparent after she was in a car accident. I should have noticed the signs earlier, but I didn't. Her body recovered, her mind did not. I built a new house with a separate suite for her. My wife and I tried to care for her for a year, but I'm disabled and Mom was afraid of my wife. There was never a moment's peace. Fearing for our collective health, I finally placed Mom into an assisted living facility. It was one of the hardest decisions of my life.