Magnetic piercing lets paralyzed drive wheelchairs
WASHINGTON -- An experimental device is letting paralyzed people drive wheelchairs simply by flicking their tongue in the right direction. The key to this wireless system: Users get their tongue pierced with a magnetic stud that resembles jewelry and acts like a joystick, in hopes of offering them more mobility and independence...
Fertility doctors look to lower rate of twin births
BOSTON -- In the five years since the "Octomom" case, big multiple births have gone way down but the twin rate has barely budged. Now fertility experts are pushing a new goal: One. A growing number of couples are attempting pregnancy with just a single embryo, helped by new ways to pick the ones most likely to succeed. New guidelines urge doctors to stress this approach...
Health beat: International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Around the world, people with disabilities face physical, social, economic and attitudinal barriers that exclude them from participating fully and effectively as equal members of society. Today is International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This year's theme is "break barriers, open doors: for an inclusive society for all." The commemoration of this year's International Day of Persons with Disabilities provides an opportunity to further raise awareness of disability and accessibility as a cross cutting development issue. ...
Study ties nuts to lower cancer, heart death risk
DALLAS -- Help yourself to some nuts this holiday season: Regular nut eaters were less likely to die of cancer or heart disease -- in fact, were less likely to die of any cause -- during a 30-year Harvard study. Nuts have long been called heart-healthy, and the study is the largest ever done on whether eating them affects mortality...
Health beat: Epilepsy often comes with other health issues
Epilepsy affects about 2 million adults in the United States. New research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that adults with epilepsy often have other health conditions that also need to be managed. Some of the health conditions that are more common in adults with epilepsy include high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, obesity and history of stroke. ...
Study: Kids are less fit than their parents were
DALLAS -- Today's children can't keep up with their parents. An analysis of studies on millions of children around the world finds they don't run as fast or as far as their parents did when they were young. On average, it takes children 90 seconds longer to run a mile than their counterparts did 30 years ago. Heart-related fitness has declined 5 percent per decade since 1975 for children ages 9 to 17...
Cape orthopedist performs ankle replacement
Heartened by the success of Southeast Missouri's first ankle replacement surgery of the modern era, a Cape Girardeau orthopedic surgeon plans three more such procedures by year end. Dr. August Ritter was visited Nov. 12 by Silva, Mo., farmer Bill Hollida and his wife Shirley, who reported that results of the Aug. 28 surgery at SoutheastHEALTH were encouraging...
Health beat: Lead hazards in some holiday toys
The holiday season is here, and that means many children will be given toys as gifts. While new toys are a holiday tradition, parents should be aware of potential lead hazards associated with toys, including toy jewelry. Review these important facts to keep children safe this holiday season...
Boys a bit more likely than girls to be born early
WASHINGTON -- Boys are slightly more likely to be born premature than girls, and they tend to fare worse, too, says a new report on the health of the world's newborns. "This is a double whammy for boys," said Dr. Joy Lawn of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who led the team of researchers. "It's a pattern that happens all over the world."...
Health beat: Diabetes awareness
Diabetes: If you don't live with it yourself, then it's likely you have a family member or friend who does. This November during National Diabetes Month, ask yourself if you're at risk of type 2 diabetes and take steps to prevent it. Diabetes affects 26 million Americans, with 19 million people diagnosed and 7 million undiagnosed. And an estimated 79 million American adults aged 20 years or older have prediabetes, which puts them at high risk for developing the disease...
New rule demands parity for mental health coverage
WASHINGTON -- It's final: Health insurance companies must cover mental illness and substance abuse just as they cover physical diseases. The Obama administration issued new regulations Friday that spell out how a 5-year-old mental health parity law will be administered...
Bad seed or little angel? Book says babies both
NEW YORK -- Are we naturally good or naturally evil? Cognitive scientist Paul Bloom argues in a new book that we're both. In "Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil" (Crown), the developmental psychologist and Yale professor takes on the nature of morality and vast research spanning evolutionary biology to philosophy, drawing on everyone from Sigmund Freud to Louis C.K...
Minding the 'thigh gap': Social media fuel dangerous weight-loss goal
BALLWIN, Mo. -- Experts in eating disorders are concerned about an Internet-fueled trend in which teenage girls and young women pursue an elusive and possibly dangerous weight-loss goal: to become so slender that their thighs don't touch even when their feet are together...
Health beat: Lung cancer awareness
Each year, about 200,000 people in the United States are told they have lung cancer and more than 150,000 people die from this disease. Deaths from lung cancer represent about one out of every six deaths from cancer in the U.S. Risk factors Research has found several causes and risk factors for lung cancer. A risk factor is anything that changes the chance of getting a disease. Lung cancer risk factors include:...
New experiment found suppressant for HIV-like virus
NEW YORK -- Doctors may one day be able to control a patient's HIV infection in a new way: injecting swarms of germ-fighting antibodies, two new studies suggest. In monkeys, that strategy sharply reduced blood levels of a cousin of HIV. The results also gave tantalizing hints that someday the tactic might help destroy the AIDS virus in its hiding places in the body, something current drugs cannot do...
Strep scorecard might help tell if you need a doctor
WASHINGTON -- Debating whether to seek a strep test for that sore throat? One day there could be an app for that: Researchers are developing a home scorecard that aims to prevent thousands of unnecessary trips to the doctor for this common complaint...
Area pharmacies, health department say they're ready for flu season
Local pharmacies say they have enough vaccines to battle the annual flu season as the days grow shorter and the weather turns colder. Employees at Broadway Prescription Shop, 710 Broadway; Walgreens Pharmacy, 1 S. Kingshighway; and the Cape Girardeau County Health Clinic, 1121 Linden St., said they are not experiencing a shortage in flu vaccines, such as MediCenter Pharmacy, 200 W. Washington St. in Jackson. An employee at the pharmacy said its flu vaccines will be restocked Friday...
Docs to parents: Limit texts, tweets, time online
CHICAGO -- Doctors 2 parents: Limit kids' tweeting, texting and keep smartphones, laptops out of bedrooms. #goodluckwiththat. The recommendations are bound to prompt eye-rolling and LOLs from many teens, but an influential pediatricians group says parents need to know that unrestricted media use can have serious consequences...
World Stroke Day: Taking steps to prevent stroke
Anyone can have a stroke, but certain behaviors and medical conditions can increase your risk for stroke. Today is World Stroke Day, a great day to remember that you can prevent the life-threatening consequences of stroke. Know the signs and symptoms of stroke...
Social responses to breast cancer vary
Being diagnosed with breast cancer can mean battling a lot of physical trials, but sometimes the social impacts can be just as difficult. After discovering a friend or loved one has been diagnosed, many people may have questions about the best way to respond. Is it best to shower them with love and support at every opportunity? Or would it be better to avoid the subject completely?...
St. Louis hospital adds dedicated air ambulance at Cape airport
Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center of St. Louis has added a dedicated pediatric air ambulance at its Cape Girardeau transport base. According to a news release from Cardinal Glennon, the pediatric ambulance will be staffed by a transport team comprised of registered nurses and respiratory therapists with advanced training in stabilization, treatment and transport of small infants and injured children. ...
Health Beat: Community changes address common health threat
It's common knowledge that smokers have greater health risks because of their tobacco use, but nonsmokers also are at risk when exposed to tobacco smoke, also referred to as secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, hundreds of which are toxic, and at least 69 that can cause cancer. Adult nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke also are at increased risk for heart disease and lung cancer...
Bacteria found in breast milk sold on Internet
CHICAGO -- Human breast milk is sold for babies on several online sites for a few dollars an ounce, but a new study says buyer beware: Testing showed it can contain potentially dangerous bacteria including salmonella. The warning comes from researchers who bought and tested 101 breast milk samples sold by women on one popular site. Three-fourths of the samples contained high amounts of bacteria that could potentially sicken babies, the researchers found. They did not identify the website...
Study finds donor egg pregnancies are on the rise
CHICAGO -- U.S. women are increasingly using donated eggs to get pregnant, with often good results, although the ideal outcome -- a single baby born on time at a healthy weight -- is still uncommon, a study found. That ideal result occurred in about 1 out of 4 donor egg pregnancies in 2010, up from 19 percent a decade earlier, the study found...
Health Beat: Combating childhood obesity
Recent scientific studies are beginning to show progress against the childhood obesity epidemic, but the numbers of young people affected by obesity remain high. Research has shown that declines in school-based physical activity programs and increased consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages are just some of the causes of the increase in childhood obesity in the United States...
Medical professionals listserv
Sign up to take part in our health stories
If you're a medical professional in the Southeast Missouri area, you can sign up for a mailing list and we'll notify you when we're working on health-related stories you might be able to provide information about. Click here
to find out more and sign up.
Events: Health and community