Health

Politics & Government
11:20 am
Wed April 15, 2015

As ballot efforts surface, legislator clarifies medical marijuana bill

Rep. Mike Callton (R-Nashville)
Credit http://gophouse.org/representatives/southwest/callton/

For years now, Michigan has struggled with how to implement its medical marijuana law. Voters approved legalized pot in 2008, but applying the law has been fraught with complications. Patients, caregivers, physicians, law enforcement, local and state governments and the courts all have had different concerns. The challenge boils down to how to regulate the drug and how to get it safely and responsibly to the people who are entitled to it. In recent years, Republican State Rep. Mike Callton has been in the middle of the state legislature’s effort to move forward.

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Health
11:10 am
Mon April 13, 2015

Michigan office prepares for health impacts of climate change

Aaron Ferguson (right), with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Since 2009, Michigan officials have been ramping up an effort to address the health consequences of climate change. For example, health experts anticipate greater respiratory challenges like asthma as warmer temperatures intensify smog and fuel more wildfires that emit soot. The Michigan Climate & Health Adaptation Program, MI-CHAP, is participating in a joint effort with the national Centers for Disease Control to create what it calls "climate-ready states and cities."

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Health
12:57 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Proposed MI law would increase nurses’ authority

Cynthia McCurren
Credit www.gvsu.edu/kcon

Millions of people have signed up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Will there be enough doctors for the influx of new patients? One solution to a potential doctor shortage is to give nurses with advanced training more autonomy. That’s what a bill currently in the State Senate would do. It would allow advanced practice registered nurses, or APRN's, to prescribe medication and play a more prominent role in health care.

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Health
11:39 am
Fri March 27, 2015

UM study: fast food may be addictive

Dr. Ashley Gearhardt
Credit www.lsa.umich.edu/psych

A new study from the University of Michigan indicates that there may be something to those fast food cravings you get. The findings indicate that highly processed foods heavy in fat, salt, and sugar are among the most addictive foods out there.

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Health
11:37 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Report: Almost 2m in Michigan struggle to find healthy food

Credit Flickr-Masahiro Ihara

When you need to stock up on milk or fresh fruits and vegetables for the week, you probably just drive a couple miles to the nearest Kroger or Meijer. Or maybe you take a trip to your local farmers market and load up your trunk with groceries. But for 1.8-million Michiganders, it isn’t quite so easy to find healthy food. That’s the number of people living in so called “food deserts”, according to a new report from the Philadelphia based organization The Food Trust.

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Health
11:26 am
Thu March 26, 2015

MSU grad student authors personal account of sexual assault and PTSD

Apryl Pooley will talk about her book 'Shadow Brain' at 7 p.m. tonight at Everybody Reads in Lansing.

A Michigan State University doctoral student in neuroscience has written a book about sexual assault and how post traumatic stress disorder affects women. Apryl Pooley is the author of “Shadow Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Journey Through PTSD and Womanhood”.

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Health
12:13 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Lansing health professionals share decades-long perspectives on fighting cancer

Credit Flickr/surroundsound5000

Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns is back with his latest production. “Cancer:  The Emperor of All Maladies” is described as the most comprehensive documentary ever made about a single disease. It airs in three installments on WKAR-TV next Monday through Wednesday nights. This Thursday evening, WKAR is hosting an abbreviated look at the film. The gathering will also include presentations from local health professionals who’ll offer various perspectives on the disease.

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Health
11:47 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Two rural Michigan counties make progress on suicide prevention

In Michigan, there are 191 areas designated as having a mental health care health professional shortage. Only and Texas and California have higher numbers of shortages, and that has devastating consequences. New research from the Child Health Institute found that young people in rural areas are twice as likely to commit suicide than their urban peers. In two northern Michigan counties, state and local officials are trying to hard to improve mental health care access for its rural residents.

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Health
12:00 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

MSU chemist patents potential Alzheimer’s treatment

Dr. Muraleedharan Nair is a natural products chemist at MSU. He's working with a botanical compound called withanamides, which are showing promise as a potential treatment for Alzheimer's Disease.
Credit Courtesy - MSU Department of Horticulture

The first documented case of Alzheimer’s disease was recorded in 1906. Since then, scientists have struggled to understand the cause of this neurological disorder that robs the mind of normal behavior. A Michigan State University chemist believes a natural compound from a well-known medicinal plant may one day be used to treat Alzheimer’s. He’s patented that compound in the hopes of starting human clinical trials.

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Health
10:46 am
Wed March 18, 2015

NFL rookie’s retirement renews concussion debate

This week, NFL rookie Chris Borland retired from the San Francisco 49ers over head injury concerns.
Credit Flickr - torbakhopper

Earlier this week, Chris Borland, a top rookie in the National Football League last season and a San Francisco 49ers linebacker, made a rather surprising decision. After one year in the pros, he decided to step away from the sport and call it quits. His explanation was concern about the long-term effects of trauma to the head and the reality of concussions.

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Health
10:41 am
Wed March 18, 2015

UM, Cancer Society exhibit promotes colorectal cancer awareness

Visitors can walk through this 14-foot high giant replica of the colon at Briarwood Mall between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Credit Courtesy University of Michigan Health System

March is colorectal cancer awareness month. Health professionals will tell you that kind of cancer can be treated quite successfully, but first it has to be detected. And to be detected, people have to know to get screened for it. That’s why this Saturday you may notice a giant inflatable colon at Briarwood Mall in Ann Arbor.

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Health
11:29 am
Tue March 17, 2015

Ingham health official on potential impact of SCOTUS ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.
Credit rosebennet/flickr

Once again, the future of Obamacare is in the hands of the United States Supreme Court. This summer, the court’s interpretation of four words in the Affordable Care Act will have a significant impact on the future of the law. Many Americans are counting on millions of dollars of Obamacare federal tax credits to pay for health insurance coverage. The high court’s ruling will determine whether those credits will be offered or withdrawn to residents of 34 states, including Michigan.

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Health
12:03 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

New Lansing program seeks greener, healthier homes

Hector Moreno (center) instructs Lansing-area assessors on the types of environmental and health hazards they may encounter in their work in the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative. Moreno is an environmental assessor with the national GHHI office in Baltimore, Maryland.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Anyone who’s ever bought or lived in an older home knows there is always something to fix. In an ideal situation, it’s a patch here, some paint there, but older homes are sometimes plagued with environmental problems that can threaten the health of their occupants. These issues run the gamut from lead paint chips to mold to leaky stoves and furnaces. A new program in Lansing is now training assessors to not only document those defects, but to help improve residents’ health.

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Health
12:52 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

MSU studies home treatment for blood clots

Credit Flickr/La Melodie

Blood clots have been in the news lately, as Michigan Governor Rick Snyder recovers from one in his leg. The governor was hospitalized for treatment, but what if clots were better treated at home? A new MSU study will look at home versus hospital care. 

Current State’s Melissa Benmark speaks with Dr. Paul Stein, a professor of osteopathic medical specialties in MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine, who is one of the study’s leaders.

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Health
11:48 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Health experts push higher measles vaccination rate

Linda Vail (center) and Dr. Dean Sienko, with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

After the disease was declared ‘eliminated’ in the United States in 2000, measles is back. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control say there were 644 diagnosed cases of the disease in 2014.  That's more than in any year since 2000. So far this year, the number is at least 107, after five infants at a Chicago area day care center were diagnosed late last week.

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Health
11:19 am
Wed February 4, 2015

Abortion rights advocates say MI doing poorly on women's health

Merissa Kovach of MI Lead (right), with Current State guest host Melissa Benmark.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

A new report from reproductive rights advocates says Michigan is doing poorly when it comes to protecting the health of women and children in the state. The study compared outcomes for women and children against abortion restrictions in every state. And they say that the states with the most abortion restrictions tend to score the lowest on health and well-being.

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Health
11:22 am
Tue February 3, 2015

The 40 year legacy of PBB in Michigan

Dr. Michele Marcus has researched the lingering effects of the 1973 PBB disaster in Michigan.
Credit http://www.pedsresearch.org/

In 1973, a chemical plant in the small town of St. Louis, Michigan made a catastrophic mistake. Batches of polybrominated biphenyl, or PBB, were mis-labeled as a nutritional supplement. The chemical was then shipped to farms around the state to be mixed into animal feed. When the mix up was discovered a year later, hundreds of farms were quarantined. Thousands of animals were slaughtered.

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Health
11:48 am
Fri January 23, 2015

UM expert on Gordie Howe's stroke recovery, stem cell potential

'Mr. Hockey', Gordie Howe, is honored with this statue at the home of the Detroit Red Wings, Joe Louis Arena. Howe has reportedly made great progress since a stroke last year.
Credit Flickr - Kevin Ward

Last October, hockey legend Gordie Howe suffered a severe stroke. His family feared for the worst and assumed they only had a couple of months left with him. But after a trip to Mexico for an injection of stem cells into his spine, Howe has made a remarkable recovery. His son Murray told M-Live that the 86-year-old is now playing driveway hockey with his great grandkids again.

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Health
11:20 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Chilling out through guided imagery

Peggy Crum (center) and Lisa Laughman (right), with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Last week, Current State host Mark Bashore had a chance to witness and participate in a very interesting group exercise. It was his first encounter with guided imagery, a technique that tries to direct and focus the imagination using rich, descriptive sound cues.

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Health
12:10 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

U-M researcher looks to Brazil for breast milk bank ideas

Dr. Lisa Hammer
Credit http://www.mottchildren.org/

You’ve heard of blood banks, tissue banks and organ donation, But are you aware of breast milk banks? Likely not, because they are not widespread in the U.S.

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Health
11:36 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Ahead of stricter waivers, MI experts discuss vaccination trends

'The Modern American Vaccine Debate' author Mark Largent.
Credit http://jmc.msu.edu/

Before you register your kid in a public school, you have to show proof they’ve been vaccinated against diseases like measles and whooping cough. But parents can get vaccination waivers for medical, religious, or philosophical reasons, and an increasing number of Michigan parents are doing just that. Public health officials say that means preventable, but highly contagious, diseases are making a comeback.

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Health
11:06 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Better stroke outcomes goal of MSU research

Matthew Reeves
Credit http://www.epi.msu.edu/

The medical challenges associated with stroke have been in the news lately with hockey great Gordie Howe suffering both strong and mild strokes over the past few months. A new MSU study aims to improve the recovery of stroke victims.

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Health
12:14 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

MI advocates work for "AIDS-free generation"

A Red AIDS awareness ribbon decorated the North Portico of the White House in honor of World AIDS Day last year.
Credit Flickr - Ted Eytan

It’s been 30 years since scientists discovered HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. At the height of the American AIDS epidemic in the 1980's and early 1990's, an HIV positive diagnosis was essentially a death sentence. Today, advances in treatment have greatly improved outcomes for people living with HIV, but the pandemic is far from over. We still have around 800 new infections every year in Michigan alone.

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Health
12:13 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

MSU researcher examines health impact of changing African diets

Dr. Dave Tschirley is part of a group of researchers at MSU with the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

From pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes to eggnog and Christmas cookies, the holiday season is filled with delicious food, but it isn’t exactly great for our waistlines. The holiday excess might already have you thinking about that New Year’s diet. Dr. Dave Tschirley thinks about diets all the time, but not for himself. He’s with the Food Security Group in MSU's Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics. They’re studying how the diets of people in Africa are changing dramatically as the continent becomes more urbanized.

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Health
11:30 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Obamacare provision sheds light on payments to docs, hospitals

Dr. Kenneth Elmassian
Credit http://www.drkennethelmassian.com/

Important data recently shed light on the financial relationships between key members of Michigan’s medical community. Sunshine provisions contained in the Affordable Care Act require disclosure of the money paid to physicians and teaching  hospitals by drug and medical device manufacturers.

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Health
1:18 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Enroll America assists ACA signups

Credit Flickr - Adrian Clark

Open enrollment for health insurance offered through the Affordable Care Act has begun again. Michiganders without health coverage can enroll in plans offered by 16 different insurance carriers. The enrollment period runs through February 15, but anyone wanting coverage by the beginning of the year needs to enroll by December 15.

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Health
11:50 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Local East Africans face unwarranted Ebola profiling

Yesterday, the last patient known to have Ebola in the United States was released from a New York City hospital. Dr. Craig Spencer was infected with the virus while working in Guinea with the group Doctors Without Borders. His case contrasts with that of Kacie Hickox, the nurse from Maine who recently fought legal efforts to have her movements restricted following a stint in West Africa treating ebola patients.

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Health
11:50 am
Fri October 24, 2014

MSU study links energy and cancer research

Christoph Benning
Credit https://bmb.natsci.msu.edu

You probably wouldn’t think there’s much overlap between the scientists studying biofuel and those studying cancer. But new research from a Michigan State University professor could have important implications for both fields.

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Health
11:59 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Local families, courts confront rise in heroin use

Wes (left) and Aaron Emerson of Mason. Aaron is a former heroin user who is back in school and writing.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Unintentional drug overdoses in Michigan have quadrupled in the past decade. Much of that has been driven by an increase in opiate usage, including heroin. Many addicts start out hooked on prescription medication, but move to heroin because it is cheaper and more readily available. The problem touches an untold number of victims and their families.  Earlier this week, area leaders gathered at Michigan State University to address the growing problem.

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Health
11:55 am
Thu October 23, 2014

MSU study links vitamin D deficiency and suicide

Dr. Lena Brundin
Credit http://neuroscience.msu.edu

An MSU researcher is part of a team that’s been looking at a possible link between Vitamin D deficiency and suicide attempts. The research was published this fall in the journal “Psychoneuroendocrinology.”

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