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Nevada Law Would Make ‘Pot for Pets’ Legal

Nevada Law Would Make ‘Pot for Pets’ Legal

iStock/Thinkstock(CARSON CITY, Nev.) -- A new bill introduced in the Nevada state legislature earlier this week would allow owners to give their ailing pets medical marijuana.

Many owners across the country said it’s about time, and that “pot for pets” should be legal everywhere.Becky Flowers, a California ranch owner, said she gave her mare Phoenix regular doses of medical marijuana for several years to help ease the pain of a degenerative joint condition. The horse could barely walk due to extreme swelling in her front legs that traditional and herbal medications didn’t seem to help, Flowers said.“She would lay there for days and she wouldn’t eat or drink,” Flowers told ABC News.Flowers said she considered having the animal euthanized but decided as a last ditch effort to give her some of marijuana legally prescribed to her husband who is a paraplegic. In less than an hour, the horse was up and moving, Flowers said.Flowers began giving Phoenix about a tablespoon of medical marijuana in oil every day, she said, noting that the horse lived largely pain-free for two more years before dying in her late 20s. Since then, Flowers has given marijuana to some of her other horses and has recommended it to other horse owners as well.Medical marijuana does show some promise for easing the pain and suffering in animals, but veterinarians and owners should proceed with caution, said Dr. Robert Silver, president of the veterinary botanical medical association.“There needs to be a lot more research and education taking place before we introduce this to pets,” said Silver, who is a veterinarian in Colorado, a state where both medical and recreational marijuana are legal for people.Studies show that dogs in particular react differently than humans to THC, one of marijuana’s active ingredients, Silver said. Because they have a high concentration of THC receptors in the back of their brains, they are susceptible to severe neurologic effects and toxic reactions, he added. States where medical or recreational use is legal have seen an increase in canine emergency room admissions associated with the drug, Silver said.The American Veterinary Medical Association does not have an official stance on the use of medical marijuana with pets but suggests that vets make treatment decisions based on sound clinical judgment that stay in compliance with the law. They note that even in states where medical marijuana is legal, it is still a Class I narcotic under federal law which means vets are not legally allowed to prescribe it to their patients.If passed, the Nevada law would allow animal owners to get marijuana for their pet if a veterinarian certifies the animal has an illness that might be helped by the drug. The proposal is in its earliest stages and faces numerous legislative hurdles before it could become law. It’s part of a larger bill that would refine the state’s existing medical marijuana law by clarifying penalties for drivers under the influence and allowing the resale of marijuana dispensaries.

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Sam Smith Weight-Loss Guru Amelia Freer Explains Her Approach

Sam Smith Weight-Loss Guru Amelia Freer Explains Her Approach

ABC/Lou Rocco(NEW YORK) — Sam Smith is the British pop star who took home awards in four big categories at the Grammy Awards last month. But Smith is also losing big, revealing Tuesday on Instagram he shed 14 pounds in two weeks.Smith, 22, said his relationship with food has been “completely transformed” and the secret to his weight-loss success is the book Eat. Nourish. Glow. by Amelia Freer, a British nutritionist to the stars.In an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America, Freer said she doesn’t “advocate diets.”Instead, she proposes 10 principles by which to live, including tips such as cutting out processed foods and sugar, stocking the refrigerator with fresh produce and lean proteins and creating one healthy habit at a time to avoid failure.“So for me the key is about it being real, getting back in the kitchen, cooking from scratch, making sure they are not relying on junk processed convenience food,” Freer said.Smith has been vocal about his struggle to lose weight in the past. He posted on Instagram a photo of chubby younger self from elementary school and joked that he was the “vision of health.”And during one of the “Stay With Me” singer’s acceptance speeches, he said: “Before I made this record I was doing everything to try and get my music heard, I tried to lose weight and I was making awful music.”Now, Smith is restarting his diet. He’s posting photos of his healthy meals and workout, and sharing the steps he took to lose the weight in a short time.“It's not even about weight loss it's about feeling happy in yourself,” he posted in Instagram.His transformation has some people wondering whether his approach is safe.“Fourteen pounds in two weeks is not alarming unless a person losing that weight has any pre-existing medical problems,” ABC News medical contributor Dr. Jennifer Ashton said. “When you talk about eating properly, people who do have weight to lose will see dramatic results.”Freer's book, Eat. Nourish. Glow., is available now in the U.K. The nutritionist also shares recipes, videos and tips on her website, Ameliafreer.com.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

These Terrifying Parasites Turn Shrimp into Zombies That Eat Their Young

These Terrifying Parasites Turn Shrimp into Zombies That Eat Their Young

DeAgostini/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — A tiny parasite invades a species of Irish shrimp, turning them into zombies who voraciously eat their own babies, a new British research study found.Millions of pleistophora mulleri parasites flood into the muscles of the gammarus duebeni celticus shrimp, turning their skin milky white and giving them an insatiable appetite for their young, according to the paper published in the latest issue of the journal, Royal Society Open Science.On their best day, the shrimp are not entirely innocent of cannibalism, the researchers noted. Even uninfected shrimp routinely feast on their own offspring. But infected shrimp are some scary scampi, scarfing down twice the number of juveniles and much more quickly than individuals who escape the parasitic invasion, the authors wrote.The shrimps' awful parenting skills seem to be driven by muscle damage and a demand by the parasite for more food. Snacking on their own provides an easy meal for the shrimp and satisfies the parasite’s cravings, the researchers speculated.“Nature is filled with parasitic horror stories,” noted Clive Shiff, a molecular microbiologist with Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute, who was not associated with the study.For example, Shiff described one species of flatworm that annexes a particular species of snail, commandeering its tentacles and blinding it so it no longer tries to hide. Now easy prey, birds swoop down, biting off the mollusks’ heads. This allows the worm to develop into the adult stage inside the bird, Shiff explained.Another parasite, known as a hairworm, targets grasshoppers, Shiff said, with the larva taking over control of the insect’s brain and nervous system. When the worm reaches adulthood it instructs the grasshopper to commit suicide by jumping into water and drowning itself. There the worm emerges to search for a mate.The British authors stressed that their research does not suggest any link between the crustacean devastation they describe in their paper and human cannibalism -- though they do point out that over 300 species practice cannibalism, including humans.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scientists Working on Hangover-Free Wine

Scientists Working on Hangover-Free Wine

Hemera/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — A glass of good wine might not be enough to give anyone a hangover although several glasses of the grape might leave you with a pounding headache the next day. Which begs the question: wouldn’t it be great to enjoy wine without worrying about a hangover?University of Illinois researchers are working on trying to figure out how to make a wine that won’t leave people feeling lousy after a little overindulgence.Basically, they’ve come up with something called a “genome knife” to genetically alter yeast.  This would potentially allow scientists to eventually make healthier versions of wine as well as decrease the toxins that leave drinkers with hangovers.But don’t get too excited. This ideal wine is probably years away from being perfected and on top of that, researchers can’t say for sure that just by removing toxins, they can guarantee a 100 percent hangover-free experience.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

It Pays to Pamper Yourself with a Pet

It Pays to Pamper Yourself with a Pet

iStock/Thinkstock(COLUMBIA, Mo.) — For all you do, this dog’s for you.There’s nothing like coming home to a mutt that’s happy to see you after a long day at the office.  If it was only possible to get that same kind of unconditional affection at work when times get stressful.Well, Dr. Paul Rosch, who heads the non-profit American Institute of Stress, says it might be the release people need since “chronic job strain can put both your physical and emotional health at risk.”New research out of the University of Missouri-Columbia says hormonal changes for the better occur when humans come in contact with dogs.This, in turn, seems to help people deal with some stress-related disorders and even depression.What’s more, and this is what the boss likes to hear, it improves productivity of workers.So what are employers waiting for? Possibly programs that deliver pets to their door such as the one initiated by the Humane Society of Broward County, Florida, that asks for a $150 minimum donation to fill the office with cats and dogs for 90 minutes.In this way, companies do a double-good deed since the fee goes to benefit homeless animals in the county.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Why You Should Care About Your Office Coffee Mug

Why You Should Care About Your Office Coffee Mug

iStock/Thinkstock(TUCSON, Ariz.) — Nothing like starting your workday off with a nice, hot, heaping cup of germs.Coffee drinkers who bring in their own mugs to work may or may not want to hear the findings of University of Arizona microbiologist Chuck Gerba, who has earned the nickname of “Dr. Germ” because of his field of concentration.He tested a batch of workplace coffee mugs and the bad news is that 90 percent of them were tainted with various germs.The worse news is that Gerba also found fecal bacteria on about 20 percent of the mugs.And the worst of the worse news is that the fecal bacteria was more common on mugs used by people that were higher up the corporate ladder.Without trying to explain this phenomenon, Dr. Germ has some recommendations to reduce the chances of your cup turning into a petri dish. For one thing, he advised people not to leave their mugs exposed on the desk where they can turns into magnets for germs and viruses. If you’re lucky enough to have a kitchen, wash mugs with soap and hot water, minus a sponge, and dry off with a paper towel.Even better, Gerba suggests people bring their mugs home each night to be scrubbed, preferably with a thorough wash and dry in the dishwasher.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Breastfeeding Duration Linked to Better Performance on Intelligence Tests Later in Life

Breastfeeding Duration Linked to Better Performance on Intelligence Tests Later in Life

IT Stock Free/Polka Dot/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Researchers found a link between the length of time a child is breastfed with their performance on intelligence tests 30 years later, and perhaps with their income and educational attainment later in life.According to a study, published in The Lancet Global Health, researchers launched a study involving more than 5,000 neonatal patients in Brazil. Thirty years later, information regarding the IQ and breastfeeding duration was available for 3,493 patients. Researchers say that the durations of both total breastfeeding and predominant breastfeeding -- the period of time when breastfeeding is the main form of nutrition -- were positively associated with IQ, educational attainment and income. Those patients who had been breastfed for 12 months or more had higher IQ scores, more years of education and higher monthly incomes than those who were breastfed for under one month.The study does note that the higher IQ was, at least in part, responsible for the higher levels of income.

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Early Imaging May Not Be Beneficial for Older Patients Suffering from Back Pain

Early Imaging May Not Be Beneficial for Older Patients Suffering from Back Pain

Catherine Yeulet/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A new study indicates early imaging may not be beneficial for older patients suffering from back pain.Researchers followed more than 5,000 patients over the age of 65 who had an initial primary care visit for back pain between 2011 and 2013. Of those patients, 1,174 had early radiographs, while 349 had early MRI or CT scans. Researchers say that as a result of those early scans, the patients were no better off one year later than the control groups who did not receive imaging.What researchers say they did find was an increase in cost of care for those who underwent early imaging.

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At Least 27 People Test Positive for TB at Kansas High School

At Least 27 People Test Positive for TB at Kansas High School

iStock/Thinkstock(OLATHE, Kansas) -- Health officials reported that eight percent of the students and staff at a Kansas high school have tested positive for a tuberculosis infection.At least 27 people out of 300 tested at Olathe Northwest High School in Olathe, Kansas, tested positive for the infection, according to a statement from the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment.The testing started after an active case of tuberculosis was reported on March 5, according to the local health department.“The number of individuals with TB infection does not exceed what we would anticipate in this setting,” Lougene Marsh, director of the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment, said in a statement. “Of course, we had hoped we wouldn’t find any additional TB cases, but we knew this was a possibility.”The 27 infected do not have active tuberculosis, meaning they are not contagious. They do not feel sick and do not have tuberculosis symptoms, according to Marsh. Not everyone with a latent tuberculosis infection will get an active infection, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Students and staff will also have a second round of testing in May, since it can take eight weeks for TB bacteria to show up in testing.Tuberculosis is caused by a bacteria called mycobacterium tuberculosis, which normally attacks the lungs but can also attack the kidneys, spine and brain, according to the CDC. It's normally spread when a person with an active infection coughs or sneezes in the air and the bacteria particles are breathed in by someone nearby.While a latent TB infection is usually treated with antibiotics, those with an active infection can face six to nine months of medication, according to the CDC.Calls to Olathe Northwest High School were not immediately returned.

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DEA Issues Nationwide Warning About Dangers of Fentanyl

DEA Issues Nationwide Warning About Dangers of Fentanyl

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency issued a nationwide alert on Wednesday regarding the dangers of fentanyl and similar compounds, which are commonly laced in heroin and have caused significant problems around the country as heroin abuse has increased."Drug incidents and overdoses related to fentanyl are occurring at an alarming rate throughout the United States and represent a significant threat to public health and safety," said DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart in a press release. "Often laced in heroin, fentanyl and fentanyl analogues produced in illicit clandestine labs are up to 100 times more powerful than morphine and 30-50 times more powerful than heroin."In 2014, the National Forensic Laboratory Information System says state and local labs reported 3,344 fentanyl submissions -- up from 942 in 2013. The DEA statement calls fentanyl "the most potent opioid available for use in medical treatment" and says that it is "potentially lethal, even at very low levels."The agency has issued warnings to law enforcement because fentanyl can be absorbed through the skin, as well as through inhalation of airborne fentanyl powder.

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‘Love Hormone’ Makes Dogs Man’s Best Friend, Study Says

‘Love Hormone’ Makes Dogs Man’s Best Friend, Study Says

iStock/Thinkstock(MELBOURNE, Australia) -- Turns out that dogs could have evolved into man's best friend thanks to the "love hormone" oxytocin, according to a new study.Dogs given extra doses of oxytocin -- the same hormone linked to pair-bonding in humans -- were better at performing simple tasks, indicating they were better at "reading" their owners, according to a small new study published in the journal Animal Cognition.Researchers from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, studied 75 dogs over 12 months and gave them a nasal spray of oxytocin to see if the hormone had any affect on the dogs' ability to complete simple tasks.The hormone oxytocin is produced by all mammals and is linked to bonding.The dogs given oxytocin were better able to complete simple tasks than those given a simple saline spray, the researchers found. The dogs' response to the hormone could offer important clues about how dogs evolved to become "man's best friend," researchers said."So my hypothesis is that over the course of domestication, something happened within the dog's brain that allowed them to understand human social cues," lead researcher Jessica Oliva told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.Dogs are better able to complete certain tasks than their ancestor, the grey wolf, even when the wolf is brought up in a domesticated setting, Oliva and other study authors said.Researchers theorized that since both humans and dogs usually produce more oxytocin as they interact, the presence of the hormone indicates that dogs evolved into being the perfect human companion because that chemical bond allowed them to better "read" human commands.The drug, which occurs naturally in the body, has been found to foster connection between humans, in addition to lowering blood pressure and other indications of physiological stress.Paul Zak, a neuro-economist and professor of neurology at Loma Linda University in California, has studied how human oxytocin levels are impacted by dogs and said that the more people interact with dogs the more oxytocin they produce when greeting a new canine."I think first that dogs may be the best example of human beings being God," said Zak, who was not involved in the Australian study. "We created this almost perfect other social creature. They understand us and will always love us. Dogs are very empathetic and they have greater empathy."Zak said the study was an interesting step but hoped that the researchers would look at receptors in the dogs' brain next time and measure the actual oxytocin levels in their system.Oxytocin "is one of the many signals in the brain that motivates social behaviors," he said. "The brain is much more complicated than one chemical."Zak theorized it's likely dogs also had a high number of receptors because they were so empathetic and socialized, similar to humans.

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Devon Still’s Daughter Hits Happy Milestone in Cancer Fight

Devon Still’s Daughter Hits Happy Milestone in Cancer Fight

Oleg Nikishin/Kommersant Photo via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Leah Still, the 4-year-old daughter of Cincinnati Bengals player Devon Still, got some great news Tuesday from doctors."We got Leah's MIBG Scans back tonight and the doctors told us they didn't see any active disease in her body!!!," her dad wrote on Instagram."We still have to wait for her MRI and bone biopsy results later this week. But the doctors feel very optimistic about them because of the results from today. So for now we celebrate!!" he wrote.

 

A photo posted by Devon Still (@man_of_still75) on Mar 17, 2015 at 4:44pm PDT

 

Leah had been diagnosed with a stage 4 neuroblastoma, ESPN reported, and was undergoing treatment. The cancer develops from immature nerve cells and most commonly affects children younger than 5, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Still had earlier announced on his Instagram account that Leah's battle with cancer was not yet over. But this is certainly a step in the right direction.Still, 25, a defensive tackle, had originally been cut from the Bengals roster, but once the team learned his daughter had cancer, they reassigned him to their practice squad. He has since been placed on the active roster.

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Michigan Couple Gets a Surprise When They Meet Their New Baby

Michigan Couple Gets a Surprise When They Meet Their New Baby

Kyle Williams(NEW YORK) -- A Michigan couple who were told they were having a girl got the shock of their life when surprise...it was a boy!“I had been up for 24 hours and I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me,” Kyle Williams, the proud, but confused father, told ABC News.Danielle Williams had a sonogram back in October 2014, 20 weeks into her pregnancy, her husband told ABC News. The technician informed them they would be adding a second daughter to their family and they were thrilled.Twenty weeks later, on March 2, 2015, after the mother was in labor for more than 20 hours, she was finally given a C-section. Once he could see the baby was clearly not a girl, Kyle Williams said he kept his mouth shut until the doctor confirmed the facts.“When the doctor poked his head up and finally announced it was a boy, she thought it was a joke,” he said.In her 35 years as a practicing Ob/Gyn, she has never seen a mistake like this with one of her patients, said Dr. Laura Corio, a gynecologist with Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York.“The technology is so good nowadays you can really see the baby -- especially if it’s a boy” she said.Studies confirm this. Two separate studies of ultrasounds and sex determination in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology found that between 11 and 14 weeks, the test was already between 80 and 97 percent accurate in its prediction. By 13 weeks none of the subjects in either study had their fetus’ sex incorrectly identified.While such an error is unusual, ABC News Medical contributor and practicing Ob/Gyn Dr. Jennifer Ashton said she’d never determine the sex of a baby based on ultrasound alone.“The point of the sonogram at about 20 weeks is to check for the important stuff like brain development and the chambers of the heart,” she said. “Sex is impossible to confirm without a test like an amniocentesis that looks at chromosomes.”Once the Williams recovered from their shock they decided to have some fun with it. They asked the grandmother to change the child’s diaper and then captured her reaction on video.“The video pretty much says it all,” Kyle Williams said, adding that the grandmother said her split second thought before she realized the joke was that she hoped the new parents weren’t confused or hadn’t accidentally been given the wrong child.Their 2-year-old daughter Peyton was also excited to meet her new brother, Bentley, and claim the unused girl name Charlee for her doll. The Williams’ firstborn is one of only 800 known cases in North America to be diagnosed with Diamond Blackfan Anemia, a rare blood disorder.The family’s non-profit foundation, Peyton's Pals, raises awareness and money for research.

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Surprising, Effective Beauty Remedies Hiding in Your Kitchen

Surprising, Effective Beauty Remedies Hiding in Your Kitchen

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- You don’t have to spend a lot of money on store-bought beauty remedies. You can go right to your kitchen. Food can be used in hundreds of all-natural, at-home beauty remedies.As part of the new Yahoo Your Day series -- a collaboration between ABC’s Good Morning America and experts from Yahoo -- makeup guru Bobbi Brown appeared on GMA to whip up some of those homemade beauty recipes.Coconut Oil:  Brown, the editor-in-chief of Yahoo Beauty, said her favorite pantry secret is coconut oil.“I put it in smoothies and I cook with it, but it also works great as a skin cream,” she said.Brown added that coconut oil works well as a facial moisturizer and as body moisturizer for someone just out of the shower.“It's really good for your hair. You can put it on your hair, and then wash it out, and you'll have nice hydration to your hair...It really is one of my favorites. It takes off all your makeup,” she said.Brown Sugar:  Brown said brown sugar and honey together make the perfect lip scrub.“A real yummy lip scrub,” she said, adding: “You want to have something that exfoliates, so feel the sugar.”Brown sugar may also be mixed with a little bit of olive oil.“It's like a body scrub,” she said. “And just feel it. So, you do it before you go in the shower. You just take it, you scrub…then you just rinse it off when you're in the shower, and you don't have to put moisturizer on afterwards, because your skin is nice and hydrated.”Yogurt:  Yogurt can be used to make a facial mask.“You could put in yogurt. You could put in oatmeal, and you could put in some honey,” Brown said.She added: “The yogurt will moisturize your skin, because it's a full fat yogurt. It'll add moisture to your skin. The oatmeal will act as almost like an exfoliant, so, it's a very gentle scrub.”Lemon:  A little lemon goes a long way.Lemon “is a great astringent for oily skin,” Brown said. “If your skin is oily, lemon is great. Lemon also will add highlights to your hair in the summer, if you're dark haired.”And for those who have spots on their face, “if you apply lemon every day, it'll lighten the spot,” Brown said.Apple Cider Vinegar:  Mixed with a little bit of water, apple cider vinegar is good for digestion, but, used as a hair rinse in the shower, it will also give hair shine, Brown said.Avocado:  “Avocado has so much incredible omega oil in it, it's excellent for your hair. Good for your hair. You could use it on your skin,” Brown said.It could also be mashed and applied to hair.Coconut Milk:  “Another great remedy that I actually tried myself, full fat coconut milk. Full fat coconut milk is so rich, it's incredible," Brown said. "I was once on a business trip in China and my skin was so dry, nothing worked. I opened up a can a coconut milk and I applied it to my skin. The next morning I woke up, the redness was gone."

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Experts: NFL Player’s Early Exit Doesn’t Mean Avoiding Brain Damage

Experts: NFL Player’s Early Exit Doesn’t Mean Avoiding Brain Damage

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Chris Borland's retirement, announced earlier this week, means the San Francisco 49ers rookie linebacker might be walking away from millions of dollars in potential earnings. But he could also be walking away from the long-term effects of repeated traumatic brain injuries. Borland, 24, told ESPN earlier this week that he made his decision after consulting with those close to him and studying what is known about the relationship between football and neurodegenerative disease. His fears could be well-founded, according to the latest research. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease, has been linked to repeated head trauma experienced by National Football League players and other professional athletes who report a high rate of concussions and sustain repeated blows to the head. Depression, mood swings and memory loss, as well as early onset dementia, Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease are just a few of the symptoms associated with the condition, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Currently, the only reliable diagnosis for CTE comes after death. The most up-to-date autopsy statistics assessing the rate of CTE ranges from 50 to 97 percent of the former NFL players who have donated their brains to research, according to a review of studies by the University of California at San Francisco published last week in the journal Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience. But even as Borland walks away from a pro career, he told ESPN that he had already sustained two significant concussions while playing sports in high school and college. And lasting damage to the brain likely occurs long before an athlete signs on with the pro leagues, explained Dr. Alison Cenich, the director of the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research. "The problem is we don't know much about who gets CTE or why certain people get it and other people don't," Cenich said. While it seems clear that multiple head injuries increase risk of CTE, it's less certain how many hits to the head it might take to send someone's brain over the edge, Cenich said. Nor is it clear if timing of the injuries matters. Borland did not immediately respond to requests from ABC News seeking additional comment. Harvard neurologist Dr. Marie Pasinski said she believed that brain trauma almost certainly begins in the years before an athlete enters the professional arena. She views CTE as a kind of overuse syndrome, the result of repeated damage that accumulates over time rather than one catastrophic event. "We are starting to realize problems occur much earlier than we initially thought," Pasinski said. "Even with one mild traumatic brain injury we can now see changes to the brain on MRI." Harm from mild, "subclinical" head traumas adds up, Pasinski noted. Shots to the head that don't necessarily cause obvious symptoms lead coaches and trainers to assume -- mistakenly -- that a player is fine to get back in the game, she said, and sometimes athletes keep quiet about this type of injury because they want to keep playing. "There is still a pervasive belief that only a concussion serious enough to knock the athlete out will do damage, but that's not the case," Pasinski said. "Any blow to the head that leaves a person slightly dazed or not quite right may cause harm to the brain." Cenich said there is no reliable way to tell who will experience the long-term problems. Researchers look for markers such as changes to certain brain proteins and locations where these proteins accumulate but there is not yet enough evidence to determine if damage that occurs early on will lead to symptoms later in life. The NFL issued a statement saying the league respects Borland's decision and wishing him all the best. "By any measure, football has never been safer and we continue to make progress with rule changes. ... We continue to make significant investments in independent research to advance the science and understanding of these issues," the statement read. "We know that not everyone who plays football has CTE or will get CTE," Cenich said. "Everyone has to evaluate their own situation and decide how much of a risk they're willing to take."

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Diet Sodas Linked to Bigger Guts, Increased Risk of Heart Disease

Diet Sodas Linked to Bigger Guts, Increased Risk of Heart Disease

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN ANTONIO) — There've been plenty of warnings about the dangers of sugary beverages, particularly soda which is loaded with the sweet stuff.Not so much has been said about diet drinks but a new study out of the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio may give people pause before they refresh themselves.Researchers looked at the 10-year health records of 750 adults with an average of age of 65 when the study began. Over that time, the waist circumferences of daily diet soda drinkers grew three times as much as seniors who eschewed diet drinks.The problem, according to researchers, is that bigger guts pointed to a condition called metabolic syndrome, which can result in hypertension, abnormal cholesterol levels and high blood-glucose level. Together, these increase the risk of heart disease.Researchers believe that the artificial sweeteners aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose interact with the gut's microbial cells, which can cause metabolic syndrome.Naturally, they recommend water, the best non-calorie beverage of all, as a substitute for diet sodas.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tablet Use Can Lead to Neck Strain

Tablet Use Can Lead to Neck Strain

iStock/Thinkstock(PULLMAN, Wash.) — Using a tablet can be a literal pain in the neck.Researchers at Washington State University conducted a study of 33 students and staff members reading and typing on a tablet in a variety of positions that lasted two-to-five minutes.They discovered that the strain on the participants' neck muscles was three-to-five times greater than when people sat with their head in a neutral, straight-ahead position.Obviously, the higher the tablet was propped, the less strain was put on neck muscles.Lead author Anita Vasavada said the goal now is to develop "ergonomics guidelines for tablet computer use."It's estimated that over half of Americans ages 35-49 are regular tablet users while more than four in ten youngsters 17 and under own a tablet.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Overindulgence Is Not a Vice in Lafayette, Louisiana

Overindulgence Is Not a Vice in Lafayette, Louisiana

Monkey Business/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Ah, the sweet smell of excess.It's the aroma that wafts through the streets of Lafayette, Louisiana, deemed the number one metro area in the country for overindulgence by badcredit.org.The website, which bills itself as an authority on bad credit, used four metrics to determine America's 20 overindulgent cities: percentage of citizens considered “obese;” percentage of citizens considered “heavy drinkers;" percentage of citizens who smoke every day; and average debt per consumer.That's not to say that nobody does anything in these cities but have a good time, but there's a good chunk of the citizenry that appears not to have heard the expression "everything in moderation."In Lafayette, for instance, about 30 percent of the population is considered obese, 20 percent smoke daily and nine percent claim to be heavy drinkers. Here are the top 20 most overindulgent cities in the U.S.A.:

1. Lafayette, Louisiana2. Great Falls, Montana3. Mobile, Alabama4. Scranton, Pennsylvania5. Bismarck, North Dakota6. Baton Rouge, Louisiana7. Montgomery, Alabama8. Shreveport, Louisiana9. Salisbury, Maryland10. New Orleans, Louisiana11. Jacksonville, Florida12. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania13. Dayton, Ohio14. Sioux City, Iowa15. Rapid City, South Dakota16. Youngstown, Ohio17. Toledo, Ohio18. Charleston, South Carolina19. Little Rock, Arkansas20. Spokane, Washington

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Geckos Know How to Keep It Clean

Geckos Know How to Keep It Clean

iStock/Thinkstock(BRISBANE, Australia) — That little gecko mascot from a certain auto insurance commercial seems to stay spotless no matter what his company has him doing.In reality, James Cook University professor Lin Schwarzkopf says geckos are very clean creatures, even in the dusty desert plains of Australia.What's their secret to staying immaculate? Schwarzkopf explains that it has to do with tiny water droplets, such as from the early morning dew, coming into contact with miniscule hair-like spines covering gecko's bodies.The reaction is that the water droplets both roll over and pop off the skin of geckos, which keeps them clean as a whistle even in the driest of climates.As for practical applications, Schwarzkopf suggests the process could be used for clothing that would neither become wet nor dirty and therefore, might never have to see the inside of a washing machine.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Kraft Recalls Mac & Cheese Over Possible Metal Fragments

Kraft Recalls Mac & Cheese Over Possible Metal Fragments

Photo illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) --  Kraft Foods Group said Tuesday it is voluntarily recalling 242,000 cases -- more than six million boxes -- of its Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner because some boxes may contain small pieces of metal."The recalled product is limited to the 7.25-oz. size of the Original flavor of boxed dinner with the 'Best When Used By' dates of September 18, 2015 through October 11, 2015, with the code 'C2' directly below the date on each individual box. The 'C2' refers to a specific production line on which the affected product was made," the company said in a statement.The recalled boxes were shipped to customers in the U.S. and several other countries. The affected dates of this product were sold in only these four configurations, the company said:• 7.25 oz. box, Original flavor • 3-pack box of those 7.25 oz. boxes, Original flavor • 4-pack shrink-wrap of those 7.25 oz. boxes, Original flavor • 5-pack shrink-wrap of those 7.25 oz. boxes, Original flavorKraft did not say if any injuries were reported. The boxes can be returned to stores for a refund or exchange.

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