(CBS News) A promising new male contraceptive gel may be an alternative method of birth control for couples, researchers announced this week.
"Up until now, the responsibility for contraception has traditionally always been with the female," study researcher Dr. Christina Wang, a lead investigator at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at UCLA Medical Center, said in a press release. "With these new contraceptive methods for males, the responsibility will be shared. While this gel has great potential and minimal side effects, it does warrant further study as a male contraceptive."Continue »
The authors of the study are hopeful the new medicine could serve as an alternative to some existing HIV treatment regimens that require patients to take multiple pills several times per day.
"Patient adherence to medication is vital, especially for patients with HIV, where missed doses can quickly lead to the virus becoming resistant to medication," study author Dr. Paul Sax, a professor of infectious diseases at Harvard Medical School and a physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, said in a press release. "Studies have shown that single pill treatments improve both adherence and patient satisfaction, and help prevent prescription errors, thereby reducing the likelihood of treatment failure and drug resistance."Continue »
(CBS News) Reports of mosquitoes with West Nile virus are popping up all over the country, with several people already confirmed to be infected by the potentially dangerous disease.
West Nile virus is spread from the bite of an infected mosquito, which gets the disease when they feed off infected birds. The mosquitoes then transmit the disease to other animals or humans.
Symptoms can range in severity: Milder symptoms may last from a couple days to several weeks and may include fever, headache, muscle aches, rash, nausea and vomiting. Severe symptoms may affect one in 150 people with the disease, and include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, vision loss, paralysis and other neurological effects that may last several weeks or become permanent. Up to 80 percent of people infected with West Nile won't show any symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
(CBS News) The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld most of President Barack Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), including the controversial individual mandate that requires most Americans to get health insurance.
The law was designed to extend health coverage to the 50 million Americans who don't have insurance.
(CBS News) A rare sleep disorder in which people violently kick, punch or thrash in their sleep may be more common in smokers and people heavily exposed to pesticides, new research suggests.
The sleep-kicking disorder is actually called "REM sleep behavior disorder." According to WebMD, people typically lose muscle tone (paralysis) during the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep - but that doesn't occur in people with the disorder, causing them movements (sometimes violent) that can seriously harm the individual or their sleep partner. It is estimated to affect only 0.5 percent of adults.Continue »
(CBS News) Trying to quit smoking? It's tough - studies suggest 70 to 80 percent of people who try to quit smoke within six months.
That's because nicotine is so addictive, says Dr. Ronald G. Crystal, chairman and professor of Genetic Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. Crystal's team has announced they've successfully tested a new vaccine that may treat nicotine addiction.
Crystal told HealthPop that many stop-smoking campaigns try to attack the source of smoking, cigarettes, but what his team wanted to do was find a way to block the sensation nicotine provides in the brain that makes smoking so addictive.Continue »
(CBS News) The obesity pill Belviq (lorcaserin) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to be used in conjunction with diet and exercise as a weight management treatment option. It's the first new long-term weight loss drug to hit the U.S. market in over a decade.
The FDA announced Wednesday that the drug is approved for adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or over - which indicates obesity - or with a BMI of 27 or greater (overweight) who have at least one weight-related health problem such as high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol. It is manufactured by Switzerland-based Arena Pharmaceuticals.
"Obesity threatens the overall well being of patients and is a major public health concern," Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a written statement. "The approval of this drug, used responsibly in combination with a healthy diet and lifestyle, provides a treatment option for Americans who are obese or are overweight and have at least one weight-related comorbid condition."Continue »
(CBS News) Today is National HIV Testing Day, a day to raise awareness to let Americans know how and how often to get an HIV Test. In the U.S. about 1.2 million people are living with HIV - but only about one in five of them don't know they're infected.
That's why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages everyone ages 13-64 get tested for HIV at least once. The agency also urges high-risk individuals - including gay and bisexual men, injection drug users or people with multiple sex partners - to get tested once a year.Continue »
(CBS News) A new study suggests that the widely used medical test called an electroencephalogram (EEG) may be able to diagnose children as young as 2 with autism.
An EEG is a test that records the brain's electrical activity by attaching sensors to a person's head that print out the data to a computer. According to WebMD, the test is used to diagnosed epilepsy, sleep disorders, measure brain activity in patients in a coma or to distinguish if a person has a physical problem in the brain or nervous system or a mental health problem.Continue »
Jesse Michener wrote on her blog on June 20 that two of her three daughters, 9-year-old Zoe and 11-year-old Violet, came home badly burned from a field day at Point Defiance Elementary School in Tacoma, Wash. The mother told HealthPop that she received a call from Zoe telling her that she felt sick with dizziness, headache and sunburn.
Even worse, the principal told Michener that the school couldn't apply sunblock on the fair-skinned children because of a policy that prevents the use of medication -- even sunscreen -- without a physician's consent.
"Yesterday's Field Day at my kids' school went horribly wrong," Michener began her post. "Two of my three children experienced significant sunburns. Like, hurts-to-look-at burns."Continue »
(CBS News) Dole Fresh Vegetables is voluntarily recalling 1,077 cases of its bagged salads due to possible contamination from Listeria monocytogenes, the bacteria that causes Listeria infection.
The products included in the recall all have a "Use-by date" of June 19, and are Kroger Fresh Selections Greener Supreme, Kroger Fresh Selections Leafy Romaine and Wal-Mart Marketside Leafy Romaine. The bagged salads were sold at Kroger and Wal-Mart stores in six states: Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.Continue »
(CBS News) The 2009 H1N1 pandemic that swept through several continents took the lives of 18,500 people from April of that year through August 2010 - or so health officials said at the time.
A new study reveals that the actual death count from the pandemic caused by the so-called "swine flu" strain could be more than fifteen times higher.
"The study underscores the significant human toll of an influenza pandemic," study author Dr. Fatimah S. Dawood, an epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a news release. "We hope that this work can be used not only to improve influenza disease burden modeling globally, but to improve the public health response during future pandemics in parts of the world that suffer more deaths, and to increase the public's awareness of the importance of influenza prevention".Continue »
(CBS News) The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is expected to propose new nutrition standards for what can be sold at school vending machines, with sugar widely expected to be a target, according to a report from USA Today.
The upcoming rule changes have caused the cranberry industry to go on the offensive because its sugar-sweetened cranberry cocktails could be considered unhealthy under the new rules.Continue »
(CBS News) Aimee Copeland continues to make progress as she battles back from the flesh-eating infection necrotizing fasciitis, according to an update from her father Andy on Monday.
The 24-year-old Ga. graduate student, who developed the infection following a May 1 zipline accident, was able to "roll out" of her hospital room and outside for the first time in 49 days.
Andy has been updating a blog featured on the University of West Georgia psychology department's student website to inform the public of his daughter's progress.
"In your mind's eye, you probably are picturing Aimee grabbing a wheelchair and scooting into it by herself and then rolling herself through doorways and down hallways like some superhuman quad amputee," Andy wrote. "Dispel such notions."Continue »
(CBS News) Most young children with known food allergies still experience potentially life-threatening allergic reactions, according to a new study. The study also found most kids experiencing these severe reactions may not be getting the necessary emergency treatment.
Even more troubling: a portion of these kids are being given the food they're allergic to on purpose to see how they'll react.
The worrisome findings suggest parents and caregivers need to better educate themselves about risks and treatments for kids' food allergies.Continue »