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Nasal spray could help drive down suicide rates among U.S. veterans

“Here’s a window into a tragedy within the American military,” New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff wrote in an April column. “For every soldier killed on the battlefield this year, about 25 veterans are dying by their own hands.” The alarming epidemic of suicide amongst our veterans, often linked to traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, and all the adverse emotional and physical complications that accompany them, have compelled military and civilian researchers to find better ways of diagnosing and treating brain injuries, which can lead to myriad cognitive, motor, and emotional problems. Among those problems, depression and suicide loom ... Read More

Drug company ‘check lists’ influence patient choice

How ethical is it for pharmaceutical companies to target consumers with advertising for their prescription drugs? Consider this: The United States is one of only four countries that allow direct-to-consumer advertising. (The others are New Zealand, Bangladesh, and South Korea.) What the public is more apt to see or read about a drug is not breaking news or scientific studies, but rather advertiser-crafted sound bites or celebrity endorsements of medications heavily advertised on television and magazines. Rather than relying on the guidance of a health care professional to determine the best drug for a patient, patients now enter doctor’s offices ... Read More

Forum raises awareness about bladder cancer risks, treatment options

Bladder cancer affects approximately 70,000 Americans each year, yet few people know much about this life-changing disease, according to the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN). Thus, the advocacy group is holding a forum to enhance the public’s understanding of the risks and signs of bladder cancer, the importance of early detection, and treatment options. The forum, titled “Understanding Bladder Cancer,” will pull together a panel of bladder cancer specialists who will provide a complete overview of the disease, treatments available, and recent advances. Bladder cancer is the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, and is generally eclipsed ... Read More

Loved ones may recognize TBI symptoms in veterans before doctors

Traumatic brain injury is one of the most common types of injuries for American soldiers returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, but the symptoms of TBI aren’t always obvious or easily recognizable. Sometimes called the “silent injury,” TBI often evades state-of-the-art medical imaging and diagnosis simply because it can be present even when there are no visible signs of damage to the brain. Moreover, given the vast complexities of the brain, TBI symptoms are not always the same in every person. So how do you know if the veteran in your life has TBI? Behavioral changes are the biggest ... Read More

3 commercial trucks involved in fiery Illinois interstate pileup

A massive five-vehicle pileup occurred on a stretch of westbound Interstate 64 near the southwestern Illinois city of New Baden Friday, critically injuring one man. Reports say that the fiery, chain-reaction crash involved a pickup pulling a trailer, a U-Haul box truck pulling a trailer, a tractor-trailer, an SUV, and a flatbed semi truck. The crash remains under investigation, but authorities suspect that slowed traffic near an interstate construction zone was a factor. According to state police, both the U-Haul truck and the pick-up truck were slowing or stopped in traffic before a construction zone. A tractor trailer apparently failed ... Read More

Massive salmonella outbreak linked to 47 Illinois Subway restaurants

Public health officials investigating the outbreak of an uncommon strain of salmonella that swept through Illinois from May to June announced they have linked the bacteria to 47 Subway franchise stores in the state. Illinois Department of Health officials say they have confirmed 97 cases of Salmonella Hvittingfoss infection across 28 Illinois counties. Health officials say the salmonella outbreak began on May 11, with the last reported case occurring on June 5. The ages of people with confirmed cases of the unusual bacteria ranged to 2 to 79. No deaths have been confirmed. Salmonella is usually a debilitating sickness that ... Read More

Why boycotting your local BP station won’t hurt BP

People in the U.S. and around the world are angry at BP for creating a disastrously massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Horrified by images of innocent creatures struggling to breathe under the weight of a toxic sludge coating their bodies, people naturally want to lash out. But is boycotting and protesting your local BP station helpful to the situation in the Gulf and along its coastline? According to a report by CNN, boycotting your local BP station will only hurt station owners and their employees while barely making an impact on the oil giant itself. That’s because ... Read More

March is brain injury awareness month, concussions take spotlight

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and this year the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) is calling attention to concussions, which are often overlooked, ignored, or not taken seriously. To help boost awareness of concussions and the threats they pose, especially to children and adolescents, the BIAA is launching a year-long education and advocacy campaign called under the banner “A concussion is a brain injury. Get the facts.” The campaign, which launches this month, will be coordinated through the BIAA’s 44 chartered state affiliate groups. The organization plans a spectrum of public service announcements and awareness proclamations, which will ... Read More