A Medical Mystery Solved: ‘I Didn’t Know How To Convince Them This Is Not In My Head’
A chance meeting on a hiking trail leads to the restoration of a normal life for one woman who suffered from intense pain every time she ate. In other news, testosterone's bad rap might have a silver lining, patients' fitness levels come under scrutiny before surgery, scientists make strides toward identifying CTE in living victims and more.
The Washington Post:
Pain Kept This Young Woman From Eating For 5 Years, And Doctors Didn’t Know Why
The medical team encircled Mackenzie Hild’s bed, their somber expressions reflecting the gravity of the news they were about to impart to the Harvard sophomore and her mother, newly arrived from California. “We’ve done all these tests, and they’re all normal,” Hild recalls one doctor at the renowned Boston hospital telling them. To treat Hild’s life-threatening weight loss, which the 19-year-old claimed was the result of searing abdominal pain triggered by eating, doctors were sending her to an inpatient center specializing in eating disorders. (Boodman, 9/26)
Los Angeles Times:
In Addition To Fueling Aggression, Testosterone Can Also Make Men More Generous, Study Says
Testosterone, the big daddy (if you will) of male hormones, has gotten a bit of a bad reputation, what with it being linked to bluster, aggression, violent offending and a whole raft of behaviors at which men do seem to best women consistently. But in humans, new research suggests that’s not the whole picture. The testosterone findings that have shaped our common assumptions probably fail to take account of human society’s exquisite level of social evolution. (Healy, 9/26)
The Wall Street Journal:
Are You Fit For Surgery?
Are you healthy enough to have surgery? More hospitals are asking that question before patients undergo elective procedures such as hip and knee replacements. They are identifying those at higher risk of infections and other complications due to diabetes, heart disease and anemia—or simply being sedentary and out of shape. And they are steering them to “pre-habilitation” programs that include medical treatments, diets and exercise regimens to improve their chances of a successful surgery. (Landro, 9/26)
The New York Times:
Researchers Make Progress Toward Identifying C.T.E. In The Living
One of the frustrations of researchers who study chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head hits, is that it can be detected only in autopsies, and not in the living. Researchers, though, have been trying to solve this problem in two primary ways: by identifying biomarkers linked to the disease that show up on imaging tests in certain locations in the brain, and by trying to locate in the blood the protein that is the hallmark of the disease. (Belson, 9/26)
Doctors Encouraged To Use Medications To Treat Alcohol Abuse
Two often-overlooked medications might help millions of Americans who abuse alcohol to quit drinking or cut back. Public health officials, building on a push to treat people who abuse opioids with medications, want physicians to consider using medications to treat alcohol addiction. The drugs can be used in addition to or sometimes in place of peer-support programs, they say. (Yasinski, 9/26)
The Washington Post:
That Horrible Morning Sickness You’re Having? It’s Actually A Good Sign For The Baby.
The first three months of pregnancy, a time that parenting magazines and Hallmark cards often portray as magnificent and carefree, can actually be a wretched experience for many women. As many as 90 percent of mothers-to-be experience some degree of nausea and vomiting, and scientists have long speculated about what, from an evolutionary standpoint, the function of all that unpleasantness might be. The leading theory has to do with food. (Cha, 9/26)
Walk Now To Stay On Your Feet As You Grow Older
People who have reached their later years may think it's primarily a time to relax, not to increase their physical activity. Not so. Previous research has suggested that exercise can improve memory and reverse muscle loss in older adults, among other benefits. And a study out Monday finds that a regular program of physical activity reduces the time spent with mobility-limiting disability. (Hobson, 9/26)