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Leah Still’s Cancer in Remission, NFL Player Dad Says

Leah Still’s Cancer in Remission, NFL Player Dad Says

Oleg Nikishin/Kommersant Photo via Getty Images(CINCINNATI) -- The cancer-stricken 4-year-old daughter of Cincinnati Bengals player Devon Still is in remission, the football player announced on Wednesday.Doctors diagnosed Leah Still with stage 4 neuroblastoma on June 2, but they told Devon Still on Wednesday that Leah was in remission, he said on his Instragram account, adding that it was the best day of his life."After 296 days of day dreaming about what it would feel like to hear the doctors say my daughter is in remission, I finally know the feeling," he wrote. "Funny thing is there is really no way of describing it because I never knew this feeling existed. When I look at my daughter all I can do is smile and hug her."

 

A photo posted by Devon Still (@man_of_still75) on Mar 25, 2015 at 1:29pm PDT

 

Still, 25, a defensive tackle, had originally been cut from the Bengals roster, but once the team learned his daughter had stage 4 cancer, they re-signed him to their practice squad. He has since been placed on the active roster.

Fans have rallied around Leah, who was part of a ceremony in December in which the Bengals presented the Cincinnati Children's Hospital with a check for more than $1 million to go toward pediatric cancer research. She also walked the runway at the New York Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in February.

Still said on Wednesday that he's proud of how hard Leah fought and "kicked cancer's butt." He thanked her doctors at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the Bengals and everyone who supported Leah and sent her letters of encouragement over the last year.

Leah isn't done with treatment yet, but Still said he knows his "little warrior" will power through."She has made an impact on me and on the world, at the age of four, that I can only wish to make in a lifetime," he wrote.

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Brittany Maynard’s Family Releases Video in Support of Right-to-Die Legislation

Brittany Maynard’s Family Releases Video in Support of Right-to-Die Legislation

Compassion & Choices/YouTube(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- Nearly four months after Brittany Maynard's death, her family has released a video of her testimony for a right-to-die bill in California. She recorded it before her death, and it was presented Wednesday to the California legislature ahead of a Senate committee vote.Maynard, a 29-year-old newlywed from California, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in early 2014, but had to move to Oregon for the legal right to end her own life. Oregon is one of five states that gives patients the right to obtain a prescription to die in their sleep. California and New York are considering adopting similar laws."I am heartbroken that I had to leave behind my home, my community, and my friends in California, but I am dying and I refuse to lose my dignity," she says into the camera in the video filmed weeks before her Nov. 1 death. "I refuse to subject myself and my family to purposeless, prolonged pain and suffering at the hands of an incurable disease."She died at home surrounded by family after spending 11 months completing her bucket list. Toward the end of her life, she said in one of the videos that she could feel herself getting sicker. One day, she had two seizures and couldn't say her husband's name, she said.In her legislative testimony, she said some people suggested that she do palliative or terminal sedation instead, in which a person is placed in a drug-induced coma and deprived of nutrients and water until death comes on its own. But she feared she would linger and be minimally conscious and in pain."Achieving some control over my passing is very important to me. Knowing that I can leave this life with dignity allows me to focus on living," she said. "It has provided me enormous peace of mind."California is considering the End of Life Option Act, which would allow terminally ill adults who are mentally competent to request medication that would allow them to die in their sleep, according to the nonprofit group Compassion and Choices, which advocates for death with dignity.

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Optimism May Be Key to Better Heart Health

Optimism May Be Key to Better Heart Health

iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — If you're one of those Gloomy Gus-types with a perpetual dark cloud hanging over your head, knock it off or all those cheery, come-what-may kind of folks will outlive you.A University of Illinois study suggests people who maintain positive attitudes are destined for better heart health.Lead author Rosalba Hernandez and other researchers surveyed 5,100 participants ages 45-to-84 regarding their physical health, mental health and levels of optimism. The study found that people with the sunniest outlook on life were twice as likely to have better cardiovascular health than their pessimistic counterparts.On top of that, the most optimistic of the optimists were 76 percent more likely to have total health scores in what's considered the ideal range.Whether optimism predicates better health or vice versa, these people also exercised more, were less likely to smoke and also have healthier body mass indexes than those with deep cynicism about life.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Indiana Gov. Will Declare ‘Public Health’ Emergency in County After HIV Spike

Indiana Gov. Will Declare ‘Public Health’ Emergency in County After HIV Spike

iStock/Thinkstock(INDIANAPOLIS) -- The governor of Indiana will declare a “public health disaster emergency” after a spike of HIV cases in southern Indiana has alarmed health officials.

 

I will declare a public health emergency for Scott County in the next 24 hours pic.twitter.com/WJFN2nKL0G

— Governor Mike Pence (@GovPenceIN) March 25, 2015

Gov. Mike Pence's planned declaration comes after Scott County has seen 71 confirmed and seven preliminary positive cases of HIV. While nationwide HIV is primarily spread through sexual intercourse, this outbreak has been fueled by intravenous drug use, according to the Indiana Health Department."I am deeply troubled by this outbreak, and stopping it is a top priority for our department," State Health Commissioner Dr. Jerome Adams said in a statement last week. "We are engaging local, state, and national partners to determine where we can most effectively focus our efforts. Extra care is being taken to invest resources in getting people off drugs and into treatment, since drug abuse is the clear driving force behind this outbreak."On Wednesday, Pence traveled to Scott County to talk to local health officials about the increase in cases and what can be done about it.

 

 

Meeting w/ Scott Co. local officials & community members regarding the HIV outbreak pic.twitter.com/Sqx9HSuEMt

— Governor Mike Pence (@GovPenceIN) March 25, 2015

A team from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been dispatched to the region to help local and state health officials. The team, including two medical doctors and an epidemiologist, will work with state and local health officials to try and combat the rising HIV cases.A public awareness campaign to alert residents about the increase in HIV cases has started in the region.According to the state health department the outbreak is mainly related to the intravenous drug use of a prescription opioid painkiller called Opana, although some people reported that unprotected sex also led to infection."Until now, everybody thought they could just do that at will and there was no consequence to it. Now we see so many people with HIV that never knew they had it," Scott County Sheriff Dan McClain told ABC News affiliate WHAS-TV in Louisville, Kentucky, about the outbreak that started in mid-December.HIV experts say they hope that the state will consider allowing a needle exchange program to help combat the growing spread of HIV infections.Anthony Hayes, managing director of public affairs and policy at Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York, said that New York’s needle exchange program has helped to significantly reduce HIV infections through intravenous drug use."Research has shown over and over again that syringe exchange reduces risky behavior," said Hayes. "What needs to happen is a compassionate reaction to what is a clearly a public health problem."According to the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the National Institute of Health found that HIV rates dropped by 30 percent in areas with safe needle exchanges."If you clamp down too hard in an uncompassionate way...then what you end up doing is [driving] people who are using injection drugs underground," he said. "Which will only increase this behavior."

 

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Simple Rice Cooking Method May Drastically Cut Calorie Count, Scientists Say

Simple Rice Cooking Method May Drastically Cut Calorie Count, Scientists Say

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A simple method for cooking rice could someday reduce its calorie count by as much as 60 percent, the authors of a new research study say.The technique involves boiling the rice with a small amount of coconut oil, placing it in the fridge for several hours to cool it down and then microwaving it briefly."The hypothesis is that we turn more of the starch into an indigestible form of starch, which reduces the amount of calories the body will absorb," Dr. Pushparajah Thavarajva, the researcher from the College of Chemical Sciences in Sri Lanka who supervised the study, told ABC News.The scientists looked at 38 varieties of Sri Lankan rice and chose to test the one with the lowest amount of naturally occurring starch resistant to digestion, explained Sudhair James, the graduate student who presented the preliminary research earlier this week at the National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society in Denver. After trying out a variety of cooking approaches, they found adding oil during cooking and cooling the rice down worked best, he said.“The beautiful piece is there was a fifteen-fold increase in the amount of resistant starch after using this method,” James said in a news conference Wednesday. “This led to a 10- to 15-percent calorie reduction.”Starch molecules are shaped like doughnuts, explained Thavarajva. The added oil seeps into the holes of the molecules during cooking to help block digestive enzymes. Cooling the rice then allows the rice molecules to rearrange and pack together more tightly to increase their resistance to digestion, he explained.The technique shows such promise, James said, that one day it might be used in commercial preparations and could be a low-cost way to help fight obesity and type 2 diabetes.“We as scientists believe that if we are going to do this process on the best varieties and if this method is going to work this could be a massive breakthrough,” James said. “We could lower the calories in rice by 50 to 60 percent.”But Thavarajva was quick to point out that the cooking technique will not be effective with all varieties of rice. He said that they are not clear why it works with some types but not others and that the team needed to do more research to find out how well their experiment translated into the real world.“We know that it will increase the amount of resistant starch and reduce calorie count, that’s true. But it might not lead to any real calorie reduction benefits depending upon how the starch is used by the gut bacteria,” he said.There is precedence for this theory, Thavarajva added. Work done on potatoes at Harvard University and studies at Indian Universities using legumes and cereals noted similar starch-and-calorie reductions using similar preparations, he said.“Could we do it with other starches like bread?” he asked. “That’s the real question.”

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Why Legendary Bodybuilder Who Died with Almost Zero Body Fat Lives On

Why Legendary Bodybuilder Who Died with Almost Zero Body Fat Lives On

sportnahrung-engel.de(NEW YORK) -- Austrian bodybuilder Andreas Munzer, who died 19 years ago this month, remains both the gold standard and a cautionary tale for men striving for the ripped, lean look the sport demands.Although it could not be confirmed, he appears to have died from multiple organ failure, the likely result of years of alleged anabolic steroid abuse. He was 31, and easily recognizable from the images that have gone viral in recent days.Munzer’s autopsy revealed he had almost 0 percent body fat, the legend goes. Such a small amount of body fat could have hastened his demise, experts say.“You need body fat for cellular function, energy use and to pad the joints and organs,” said Carol Garber, professor of movement sciences at Columbia University in New York City. “Having too little can lead to nutritional deficiencies, electrolyte imbalances and malfunction of the heart, kidney and other organs.”Men require at least 3 percent body fat and women at least 12 percent in order for the body to function properly, Garber said. Below that is where you start to see serious health problems. Sometimes it leads to organ failure and death, she added.But despite the risks, Munzer’s pictures and profile frequently go viral on bodybuilding forums all these years later because of the sports’ perpetual obsession with stripping every last ounce of adipose tissue from their body, according to Brian Washington, commissioner of the United States Bodybuilding Federation.“Percentage of body fat is a major issue with bodybuilders,” Washington said. “They devote a lot of their efforts and money on products to go as low as they can possibly go.”Others agree.

“There are still some bodybuilders obsessed about their numbers who take their body fat percentage readings on a regular basis readers,” said Louis Zwick, the producer of Musclemania, a bodybuilding and fitness competition production company, adding that even those who don’t care about an exact percentage do care about getting as ripped as possible for competition.Zwick, who said he was part of the film crew that taped Münzer’s last competition before his death 10 days later, said the Austrian was very lean but doubts his body was completely absent of fat.“I’ve never really seen anyone who really had zero body fat,” he said. “You just can’t be. You wouldn’t survive.”But it is possible to get down to so little body fat it becomes unmeasurable by standard methods, Columbia’s Garber said. Pinching the skin to measure the thickness of fat just below the surface is the most common way of measuring body fat percentage, she said. It wouldn’t be precise enough to estimate the degree of accuracy needed to make such a claim, she said.The average bodybuilder is probably between 3 and 5 percent body fat, at least during competition season, Musclemania producer Zwick estimated. Some cycle up in weight during the off-season but as the sport has moved toward a more natural look in the past decade, many strive to stay in shape all year long, he said.Munzer, Zwick said, was leaner than most. He was always muscled up and stripped of fat.“That’s why he’s still a legend today,” he said.

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Amy’s Kitchen Recall: What to Know About Spinach Listeria Outbreak

Amy’s Kitchen Recall: What to Know About Spinach Listeria Outbreak

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Amy's Kitchen and at least three other organic food companies have recalled products this week because of listeria found in organic spinach, which may cause you to think twice before you reach for foods containing Popeye the Sailor Man's favorite ingredient.Here's what you need to know:What was recalled?Amy's Kitchen, which makes organic products, recalled nearly 74,000 cases of them because of the listeria scare this week. For a full list of which products and what dates were on them, click here.Three other companies -- Rising Moon Organics, Superior Foods, Inc., and Twin City Foods, Inc. -- also recalled products because of contaminated spinach from an organic supplier. Twin City Foods said its products were sold at Wegmans Supermarkets, Inc., which also issued a separate recall because the spinach was sold under the Wegmans brand name.Who supplied the greens?The Food and Drug Administration said its policy is not to name the supplier or comment on whether it is investigating, but Coastal Green LLC in Oxnard, California, told ABC News it supplied leafy greens to all three companies.Coastal Green said it notified the Food and Drug Administration as soon as it detected listeria during routine testing and realized some of its shipped product may have been contaminated, said spokesman Paul Fanelli. Coastal Green processes organic and conventional vegetables and is working with the FDA to resolve the listeria problem, he said."We're in the middle of an investigation here as to what the root cause was of the listeria," Fanelli said. "Once we determine what that is, we'll change our policies and our procedures accordingly."Who got sick?There have been no reported listeria illnesses tied to any of these products, but Wegmans and Twin City Foods said they issued recalls to be cautious.Amy's Kitchen, Rising Moon Organics, and Superior Foods did not immediately respond to requests for comment.What is listeria monocytogenes?Listeria is a bacterium that lives in animals' digestive tracts but can cause an illness called listeriosis when consumed by humans. This happens when fruit and vegetable crops are contaminated by animal waste. That can happen because of tainted irrigation or wash water, or because animals got into the field."It's very difficult to wash them so completely and disinfect them so completely that they become completely clean and sterile," said Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, explaining that this is one of the reasons it is recommended to give vegetables an additional wash at home before consuming them.What are the symptoms?Listeria usually results in a fever, muscle aches and gastrointestinal symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It's especially harmful to older adults, newborns and pregnant women, but healthy people may consume the bacteria without getting sick, according to the CDC.Listeriosis can prompt dehydration from vomiting and diarrhea and can be especially harmful to people with underlying health conditions, Schaffner said. The bacterium can also get into the bloodstream, he said.Laboratory tests can confirm diagnosis, and doctors will usually treat with antibiotics and fluids, he said.How serious is listeriosis?The deadly bacteria sickens about 1,600 people each year and kills about 260 people, according to the CDC. But healthy people who consume it don't always become ill.Why is listeria problematic?If food hasn't been heated thoroughly, listeria can live on even after it's been cooked, Schaffner said. And unlike other bacteria, listeria can continue reproducing in cold temperatures such as a refrigerator and doesn't die in a freezer, he said."This is a rascal," he said. "It may create an infectious dose even though you've kept the food in the fridge."What does the outbreak show us?Food safety lawyer Bill Marler said the listeria outbreak illustrates how complex the food system has become, but that routine testing is effective."Products like frozen spinach travel all over the country and make it into multiple brands," he said. "It does make doing a recall a challenge, and if an outbreak [occurs, it can be] difficult to pinpoint the cause.""On the plus side of the recall, it shows that testing of products [for harmful bacteria] works and being transparent with that information, as required by the FDA, will save lives," Marler added.

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Ultrasound Study Reveals How Some Fetuses React to Smoking Moms

Ultrasound Study Reveals How Some Fetuses React to Smoking Moms

Dr Nadja Reissland, Durham University(DURHAM, England) — Smoking has long been known to cause complications in pregnancy but a new study aims to show how the unborn baby of a smoking mother reacts differently.A small pilot study published earlier this week in Acta Paediatrica found that fetuses of smoking moms touch their face and mouth much more than fetuses of nonsmoking mothers.Using high-definition, 4-D ultrasounds, researchers, led by Dr. Nadja Reissland of Durham University in the United Kingdom, investigated minute mouth and hand movements of the fetuses in both the smoking and nonsmoking mothers.Four out of the 20 pregnancies studied involved mothers who smoked. Each woman had scans at four intervals between their 24th and 36th weeks of pregnancy.Reissland said fetuses of the smoking mothers had a 58 percent increase of mouth movement and a 69 percent increase in self-touch, where the fetuses touched their face or head, compared to the unborn babies of women who didn't smoke.Reissland said previous studies have shown that mothers with high levels of stress are connected to a high level of fetal movements, also causing stress in the unborn baby."Fetal facial movement patterns differ significantly between fetuses of mothers who smoked compared to those of mothers who didn’t smoke," Reissland said, adding that a bigger study is needed to confirm the findings."These results point to the fact that nicotine exposure per se has an effect on fetal development over and above the effects of stress and depression."The extra-movements made by the fetuses of smoking pregnancies could indicate that nicotine or other toxins from the smoke are having an effect on a fetus' development. Traditionally, Reissland said, the fetus' movement starts to lessen as they develop to full-term pregnancy."The brain...matures indicates certain movements for the fetus that the fetus can make, it’s a proxy for brain development," said Reissland. "As they grow older, they integrate the movement [and] they make fewer but more complex movements."All infants in the study were born at a healthy weight and size with no obvious health issues.“Technology means we can now see what was previously hidden, revealing how smoking affects the development of the fetus in ways we did not realize," study co-author Professor Brian Francis of Lancaster University said. "This is yet further evidence of the negative effects of smoking in pregnancy.”Reissland says she hopes to follow up with the infants of smoking mothers to see whether they show any new signs of health effects or developmental delays related to their exposure to nicotine in the womb.Dr. Marjorie Greenfield, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at University Hospitals Case Western Reserve School of Medicine in Clevelend, said the study was interesting but she wanted to see more evidence connecting the extra movement in the fetuses to any health effects after birth.“I think the study is interesting in that it gives us the window to look at the effects of looking at the window on a baby,” Greenfield said. “I think it’s kind of dramatic in that, look, we can see this behavior that’s already different.”Greenfield said the dramatic images could potentially help discourage other women from smoking during pregnancy, but said she finds the patients who continue to smoke usually have other stressors in their life or other issues that keep them from quitting smoking.“There isn’t any mom who wants to hurt their kids,” she said. “They feel like they can’t manage without the cigarettes.”According to the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 10 percent of women reported smoking during the last three months of pregnancy. Smoking during pregnancy has been connected a number of complications, including low birth weight, miscarriage, or premature birth.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Adoption May Affect IQ Scores for the Better

Adoption May Affect IQ Scores for the Better

iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — Children who are adopted may have an advantage over other kids that scientists have never previously considered.Based on findings of a new study, youngsters who were adopted fared better in IQ tests than their brothers or sisters who stayed with their biological parents.Study co-author Eric Turkheimer, a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, says the difference was about four points higher based on an analysis of 400 sets of full male brothers from Sweden who were given IQ tests that are part of mandatory military service.Turkheimer acknowledges that the research can’t say definitively whether adoption is responsible for a higher IQ of four points, the equivalent to moving up ten percent in cognitive ability, compared to the general population.However, the findings do seem to suggest that even when genetic factors are considered, “the more educated the adoptive parents are, the bigger the advantage for the child.”Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Study Finds Concussions Affect Baseball Players’ Hitting

Study Finds Concussions Affect Baseball Players’ Hitting

Moodboard/Thinkstock(ROCHESTER, N.Y.) — It takes a while for Major League Baseball hitters to bounce back from a concussion, a new study has found.After examining the records of 66 position players who suffered head injuries between 2007 and 2013, the study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine reports that their batting average, on base percentage and slugging average all dipped noticeably in the two weeks after coming back from their concussion, as compared to what they were hitting before getting hurt.As of now, Major League Baseball has a seven-day disabled list to allow players to recover from concussions, but there is actually no time limit as to how long they need to stay off the field. If they pass a protocol involving tests of physical and mental functioning, they can resume playing.Although study author Dr. Jeffrey Bazarian of the University of Rochester says that a recovery rate of 90 percent is probably good enough to return to most professions, he argues that baseball players should be fully recovered before stepping up to the plate where fastballs often exceed 95 mph.However, Dr. Gary Green, baseball’s medical director who questioned the study’s methodology, maintains that “the player association and MLB make the decision on return. If there’s any discrepancy, we have an independent neurologist give his opinion.”Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

How Many Minutes Should Kids Really Spend Doing Homework?

How Many Minutes Should Kids Really Spend Doing Homework?

iStock/Thinkstock(OVIEDO, Spain) — Seventy minutes of homework a day doesn't seem like a lot but a Spanish study suggests that it might be the perfect amount of time to improve grades, particularly in math and science.Researchers from the University of Oviedo in Spain analyzed the performance of about 7,700 boys and girls with a mean age of about 13. A couple of things were discovered right off the bat: kids did better in standardized tests when assigned homework and when they did it without any assistance.However, the time spent doing homework was crucial when it came to math and science scores, which declined a bit when students were given between 90 and 100 minutes of homework. Furthermore, the improvement in scores when 70 to 90 minutes of homework was assigned was negligible.Therefore, 70 minutes of homework for adolescents is preferable.Co-lead authors Javier Suarez-Alvarez and Ruben Fernandez-Alonso concluded, “It is not necessary to assign huge quantities of homework, but it is important that assignment is systematic and regular, with the aim of instilling work habits and promoting autonomous, self-regulated learning.”Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Stents Intended to Prevent Strokes May Actually Increase Their Likelihood

Stents Intended to Prevent Strokes May Actually Increase Their Likelihood

mironos/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- One American dies from a stroke every four minutes on average, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Doctors often place what is known as a stent in the narrowed arteries in the brain to prop them open, with the idea that they will help prevent repeat strokes. However, a new study by researchers from Wisconsin published in JAMA shows that placing stents in patients with strokes may actually increase the risk of future strokes. The researchers compared outcomes of stroke patients who either received only blood-thinning medications or a stent plus blood-thinning medications. The study had to be stopped early, as 24.1 percent of the stent group suffered a repeat stroke, and 8.6 percent of the stent group suffered a brain bleed within 30 days, according to researchers. The authors suggest that for now, medical therapy using blood-thinning medications seems like a relatively safer choice in managing patients with strokes.

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More Than Half of Patients with Alzheimer’s Never Told Diagnosis

More Than Half of Patients with Alzheimer’s Never Told Diagnosis

Beau Lark/Fuse/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Alzheimer’s disease, which is estimated to affect nearly 5 million Americans, is not a normal part of aging. Now, a new report published Tuesday suggests that more than half of patients with Alzheimer’s disease may not even have been told their diagnosis by their doctors.According to the newly released 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, physicians frequently report that they are afraid of causing patients emotional distress by revealing the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Other findings from the 88-page report include the growing rate of Alzheimer’s, the enormous economic burden, such as health care costs of $226 billion, and the increasing death rate from Alzheimer’s, which predicts 700,000 Americans will die in 2015.Although there is no known cure for Alzheimer's disease, researchers say active medical care can improve the quality of life for individuals living with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers.

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When the Pain, Torment of Cyberbullying Lingers Years Later

When the Pain, Torment of Cyberbullying Lingers Years Later

OcusFocus/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In the age of the Internet, bullies can do more damage faster than ever before, and as more cyberbullying victims share their stories of harassment, there is one woman who considers herself an advocate for the cause: Monica Lewinsky. Lewinsky’s infamous affair 17 years ago with former President Bill Clinton not only played out in the media, it was one of the first scandals to play out online. Now, Lewinsky is determined not to tiptoe around her past. “I was patient zero of losing a personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously,” Lewinsky, 41, said in a TED Talk speech last week. In the past year, Lewinsky has joined a star-studded list of celebrities championing change to end public online shaming, from singer Demi Lovato to the Jenner sisters, who are the faces of the “Delete Digital Drama” campaign. The issue of cyberbullying even came up on Monday night’s episode of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, when Orlando model Charlotte McKinney shared a few of the nasty tweets she has received while being on the show. Ally Del Monte, 16, says she has been a victim of cyberbullying for years, and the ridicule started on the playground when she was 8. “I was really overweight,” she said. “My friends thought it was funny and would exclude me from the playground. They would make fun of me.” But as she got older, Ally said, the bullying quickly moved online. “I would get messages every week that no one cares about me, that I’m not worth anything,” she said. “One night was really bad. I had 172 messages on there telling me to kill myself....And I said ‘OK.’ I tried to take a bunch of pills that night and I almost died because of it.” Her mother, Wendy, decided the only solution was to separate Ally physically from her tormentors, so she pulled Ally out of school and now home-schools her. “Bullying is so bad and the school cannot keep up with it,” Wendy said. But Ally said the cyberbullying problem still continues, even in the safety of her own home. “I still get messages on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook,” she said. “I learned how to mentally prepare myself for those kinds of things. I have to be able to take some of that criticism. There are nasty people out there. Don’t encourage them.” It’s a problem so many kids face. Nearly half of U.S. teens say they have been victims of cyberbullying, according to the National Crime Prevention Council. “It’s very public, it’s very humiliating and it’s 24/7,” New York-based psychotherapist Robi Ludwig said. “It’s not like you can go home, close the door and pretend it’s not happening because it follows these kids everywhere and that’s what makes it so damaging so for a young kid that can’t really see that difficult times will pass.” Kelsey Kangos knows this all too well herself. Now 26, she said she was living Ally’s story when she was in the seventh grade. “This was the time of AOL Instant Messenger, in like 1999, 2000,” Kelsey said. “They would make these anonymous screen names…the second I blocked one, another one would pop up and it was sort of this constant bombardment. There was no way to know who it was.” Kelsey said it wasn’t just on Instant Messenger. Her tormentors created a website about her. “It had my picture, my school picture of the yearbook, kind of copied on top of a gorilla body,” she said. “They would fake journal entries that I had written, so like, ‘Oh, today I thought about shaving my arms’ or ‘Today I thought about how many bananas I could eat at one time,’ or ‘Today I thought about bringing a gun to school, because nobody likes me.’” She said she brought the website to her mom, and after her stepfather found out about it, she said, he took action. “He was like, ‘Who do you think is behind this?’ He made that number of copies and drove to each of the parents’ houses,” Kelsey said. And even though she says the site was taken down, things became worse. “It actually didn’t stop until I left that school, until I graduated eighth grade,” she said. “Once high school started, it was like a totally different scenario. It just like stopped altogether.” Thirty-four states have laws that specifically target cyberbullying. In the meantime, Kelsey has some advice for Ally: “There is so much ahead of you that at 15 your social life is everything and I get that,” she said. “So while it feels like this is it, this is my whole life, it’s not. Oh, my gosh, it’s not. You have your whole life ahead of you.”

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NHL Star Darren Helm’s Girlfriend Delivers Baby in Back Seat of Car

NHL Star Darren Helm’s Girlfriend Delivers Baby in Back Seat of Car

Hans Nyberg/iStock/Thinkstock(DETROIT) -- Darren Helm is known as one of the fastest players in the NHL, but when it came to getting his girlfriend to the hospital when she went into labor, the Detroit Red Wings center wasn't fast enough. Helm's girlfriend Devon Englot delivered the couple's second child in the back seat of their car early Monday morning as he drove on I-96, on his way to the Providence Park Hospital. "I was trying to get to the hospital as quick as I could," Helm said Tuesday after the team's workout. He was sleeping at around 11 p.m. Sunday when Devon woke him and "said things were happening really fast," he said. "It came on so quick, we thought we'd have some time to get to the hospital, and things just took a turn," he said. "The baby was ready to come out and say hello, and that's what she did." The new baby girl, Rylee Klaire, and her mother were both doing fine, he said. "I'm extremely proud of what [Devon] did, the courage, the pain she had to endure, it's amazing," Helm said.

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Women Facing Same Choice as Angelina Jolie Talk Life-Changing Decision

Women Facing Same Choice as Angelina Jolie Talk Life-Changing Decision

Sean Gallup/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In a personal essay for the New York Times, Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie recounted the painful and life-changing choice to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes in an effort to significantly lower her cancer risk. It’s a choice many women at high risk for developing breast or ovarian cancer have faced out of the spotlight, and in some cases women decide that immediate surgery is not right for them. Lindsay Avner was just 22 when she tested positive for the same genetic mutation on the BRCA1 gene that Angelina Jolie has. The gene mutation alone indicates a 55- to 65-percent chance of developing breast cancer and a 39-percent chance of developing ovarian cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. When combined with a family history of the disease, the chances are even greater. “I had convinced that I [would have] tested negative,” Avner said. “I felt like I had my father’s side…I was like I’m not going to have to deal with it. It was totally shocking and totally jarring.” While nationally just 1.3 percent of women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 1 in 8 women will have breast cancer, women with the BRCA gene mutation have a 45- to 65-percent chance of developing breast cancer and an 11- to 40-percent chance of developing ovarian cancer, depending on if it’s a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. Avner said in 2006 she was faced with one clear option to protect herself. She could have her breasts and ovaries removed to nearly eliminate her related cancer risk. “Here I am at 22 years old and I feel like there’s a cloud of cancer following me,” said Avner. At 23, Avner had a double mastectomy, but did not have the second surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes, which would throw her into menopause. Avner said she and her doctors decided to wait until she was 35 to have the second surgery so she could have a chance to have children. Avner said she tried to crowd out this medical timeline in her twenties but sometimes it was hard to ignore. “In the back of your mind [there’s a] lurching feeling, ‘Hurry up get married, have children, get your ovaries out at 35,’” Avner, now 32, recalled. “That pressure it was undeniable.” Eventually Avner froze her eggs to take the pressure off her relationships. Now 32, Avner is engaged and plans to start a family as soon as she’s married later this year. “Yes, you want life to unfold [naturally],” said Avner. But, “You have information you can’t ignore.” Avner founded the Bright Pink non-profit organization that aims to educate young women at risk for breast and ovarian cancer so they can be proactive. Avner said she wants to help other young women facing the same situation she did. Angela Smith, one woman whom Avner worked with, said it took seven years for her to decide to go ahead with both the double mastectomy and removal of her ovaries. Smith was 30, with a 7-year-old son, when she first tested positive for the BRCA1 gene in 2007. After the test Smith said she didn’t feel ready to have surgeries and instead opted for high level of medical screenings. Last year, after a biopsy led to an MRI and additional worry, Smith decided to go ahead with the operations. “I kind of thought…‘what I am gaining keeping these body parts?’ It seemed like the natural decision at that point,” she said. After the surgeries Smith said she felt a weight lifted off her shoulders. "I didn’t realize how heavy it was,” she said. “I remember waking up and being under anesthesia [thinking], 'They did it, I’m going to be OK and I’m going to be here to see my son grow up.'" Both Smith and Avner hope that Jolie’s essay will encourage women to be proactive about reducing cancer risks, and Avner thinks the essay could save hundreds to thousands of lives. Avner said women, like herself, who are at a high risk for cancers need to educate themselves so they can grapple with tough questions about their future. “Ninety percent of the time I feel strong and empowered and 10 percent I feel, ‘My gosh, isn’t this a lot?’” said Avner.

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What You Should Know About Angelina Jolie’s Surgery

What You Should Know About Angelina Jolie’s Surgery

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In a moving and personal op-ed piece, Angelina Jolie announced on Tuesday that she has undergone surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes as a preventative measure to lower her risk of cancer.The actress had planned to have the surgery, but went ahead with it earlier than expected after a test indicated she could be at risk for a tumor.“I went through what I imagine thousands of other women have felt,” she wrote in Tuesday’s New York Times. “I told myself to stay calm, to be strong, and that I had no reason to think I wouldn’t live to see my children grow up and to meet my grandchildren.”The surgery called, laparoscopic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, meant removing her ovaries and Fallopian tubes as a preventative measure, which effectively put the actress into early menopause.Experts say they appreciate how the actress and humanitarian has shined a light on the choice that thousands of women are forced to decide in their lifetime whether to go through a life-changing surgery or live with the risk.

ABC News talked to a number of experts to look at the surgery Jolie underwent and its effects:Who Should Consider Surgery?

After undergoing a bilateral mastectomy two years ago, Jolie wrote in a previous op-ed in the New York Times that she had tested positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation that had left her at a higher risk for both breast and ovarian cancer. Combined with her family history, Jolie said in her op-ed on Tuesday, that her doctors recommended she have the surgery to remove her ovaries early, in order to significantly lower her risk of ovarian cancer.Experts say each woman who tests positive for the BRCA gene mutation (either BRCA1 or BRCA2) or who has a family history of either breast or ovarian cancer should have a discussion with their doctor about preventative measures, including possibly surgery.Dr. Robert DeBernardo, a gynecologic oncologist in the Department of Gynecologic Oncology at Cleveland Clinic Ob/Gyn & Women’s Health Institute, said women with a BRCA mutation have about a 20 to 40 percent chance of developing the cancer, depending on whether they have the BRCA1 or BRCA 2 mutation, compared with a 1.3 percent chance for all women, according to the National Cancer Institute.“This is a cancer we can’t detect until it’s advanced,” DeBernardo said. “Once my patients understand the risks, they [often] opt to have the surgery.”The overall five-year survival rate for ovarian cancer is just 45 percent, according to the American Cancer Society.Women who have a family history are told to have surgery about 10 years before the cancer first appeared in their family. In Jolie’s case, she had the surgery at 39 because her mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 49, according to her op-ed.What Does the Surgery Entail?The surgery is generally safe and can be done laparoscopically through the bellybutton, DeBernardo said. The ovaries and Fallopian tubes are usually removed, although the uterus can also be removed.“It will take 30 minutes and people go home the same day,” DeBernardo added.Can You Screen for Ovarian Cancer?Unlike breast cancer, experts say there is no good screening or test for ovarian cancer that can help doctors find the disease in its early stages.There’s no “accepted screening test for ovarian cancer; we use things like CA-125 blood test and ultrasounds,” ABC News medical contributor Dr. Jennifer Ashton said. “[They’re] not great screening methods, but it’s all we have.”What Are the Effects of the Surgery?

By removing the ovaries in the operation, women will end up going into early menopause. Side effects of early menopause can initially include hot flashes, mood swings and sleep problems.While hormone-replacement therapy can help, going into early menopause can increase risks for a number of other conditions including osteoporosis and heart disease, according to Dr. Laura Corio, an obstetrician-gynecologist and clinical professor at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City.“There’s risk factors about going through menopause; you have to worry about bones and heart,” Corio said, adding that early menopause can also raise the risk of colon cancer.Are There Other Options Besides Surgery?Experts stress there are other options for women at high risk of ovarian cancer besides surgery. Women can take birth control, breast-feed their children or just have their fallopian tubes removed to reduce their risk of ovarian cancer.Young women who have a family history but have not had children can be closely monitored by their doctors until they’ve finished with family planning and then decide to have the surgery.

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Donors Rally to Save Cat Found Bound in Tape

Donors Rally to Save Cat Found Bound in Tape

Regina Humane Society / Facebook(SASKATCHEWAN, Canada) -- The story of an abused cat dubbed "Bruce Almighty" has led hundreds of people to donate more than $16,000 in hopes the animal can be saved.The black-and-white cat had its legs and paws bound by electrical tape that cut off blood flow and led to tissue loss, according to the Facebook page of the Regina Humane Society in Saskatchewan, Canada.The injured animal "collapsed into the arms" of officers after he was rescued last Wednesday, and then "purred" as they extracted the tape from the cat's injured legs, the society said on Facebook."The pain and suffering he has endured is unimaginable," Senior Animal Protection Officer B. Lerat said in a statement. "He is fortunate that a caring member of the public alerted us to his whereabouts. The public really is our eyes and ears when it comes to reporting cases of neglect and abuse involving animals."Lisa Koch, executive director of the Regina Humane Society, said the rescue officers were amazed that the cat was able to survive with his injuries.“[The officer] said it was almost like he knew he could quit fighting because he knew we were going to fight for him,” Koch said of Bruce during his rescue.Koch said she was amazed that an online fundraising page for Bruce has been able to raise more than $16,000.Unfortunately, Bruce had to have most of his toes removed because of necrotic tissue, but the vets at the Regina Humane Society are hoping the animal will be able to keep all of his legs."In the coming days, the focus will remain on wound care to reduce the likelihood of infection and ensuring he is comfortable as he works to heal," read a statement from the Regina Humane Society. "On behalf of Bruce Almighty we’d like to share our thanks for the incredible outpouring of support."Anyone who knows anything about the case is encouraged to called the Humane Society’s Animal Protection Services at 306-777-7700.

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A Good Nap Can Jog Your Memory

A Good Nap Can Jog Your Memory

iStock/Thinkstock(SAARBRÜCKEN, Germany) — People who have a hard time remembering facts, figures or even what they had for breakfast should remember this: a nap might help.Researchers from Saarland University in Germany say short snoozes during the day can assist in memory recall, such as school work or other important information.Scientists conducted an experiment in which participants were told to memorize 90 words and 120 phrases that had no connection between the first and second word.Half the group then took a 45-minute nap while the other participants spent that time watching a DVD.When they were tested again, the nappers remembered as much as five times the words and phrases as those who stayed awake.What seems to help is that short bursts of activity called sleep spindles, which can be viewed in brain scans, apparently transform short-term memories into ones that last longer.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Today’s Marijuana Is Not Your Father’s Marijuana

Today’s Marijuana Is Not Your Father’s Marijuana

iStock/Thinkstock(DENVER) — It's possible that marijuana smokers from the 1960s and 70s might not be able to handle the potency of the drug that is now legally available in Colorado. In short, it's much, much stronger than what Baby Boomers may have puffed back during their heyday.The Denver-based testing firm Charas Scientific says that the concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, in marijuana sold in Colorado dispensaries is two to three times greater than what was found in grass from several decades ago. THC is what gets people high.Charas Scientific president Andy LaFrate says the main drawback of more potent pot is that its effect is intensified when cooked into food, taking some users by surprise.Another potential problem is that people who use pot for medicinal purposes should avoid recreational marijuana because it doesn't contain cannabidiol, or CBD, the component that provides benefits to those suffering from nausea from cancer chemotherapy, glaucoma or other serious conditions.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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