Health

2:41am

Mon March 11, 2013
Shots - Health News

New Voices For The Voiceless: Synthetic Speech Gets An Upgrade

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 11:23 am

Samantha Grimaldo was born with a rare disorder, Perisylvian syndrome, and has never been able to speak.
Ellen Webber for NPR

Ever since she was a small child, Samantha Grimaldo has had to carry her voice with her.

Grimaldo was born with a rare disorder, Perisylvian syndrome, which means that though she's physically capable in many ways, she's never been able to speak. Instead, she's used a device to speak. She types in what she wants to say, and the device says those words out loud. Her mother, Ruane Grimaldo, says that when Samantha was very young, the voice she used came in a heavy gray box.

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2:40am

Mon March 11, 2013
Shots - Health News

Depression And Anxiety Could Be Fukushima's Lasting Legacy

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 5:23 am

A road leading back to the Togawas' old home in the seaside village of Namie is closed due to radioactive contamination.
Geoff Brumfiel NPR

Two years ago today, an earthquake and tsunami triggered a meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan. Hundreds of thousands of people living near the plant were forced to flee. The World Health Organization recently predicted a very small rise in cancer risk from radioactive material that was released. For the nuclear refugees, though, anxiety and depression could be the more persistent hazard. Correspondent Geoff Brumfiel traveled to Fukushima prefecture and met victims of the accident to see how they are coping.

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2:34am

Mon March 11, 2013
Shots - Health News

Aspirin Vs. Melanoma: Study Suggests Headache Pill Prevents Deadly Skin Cancer

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 8:22 am

A doctor checks for signs of skin cancer at a free cancer screening day in New York City.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

It's not the first study that finds the lowly aspirin may protect against the deadliest kind of skin cancer, but it is one of the largest.

And it adds to a mounting pile of studies suggesting that cheap, common aspirin lowers the risk of many cancers — of the colon, breast, esophagus, stomach, prostate, bladder and ovary.

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2:04pm

Fri March 8, 2013
Shots - Health News

Flu Risk And Weather: It's Not The Heat, It's The Humidity

A woman fends off the last blast of winter and the flu season in Philadelphia this month.
Matt Rourke AP

As winter wanes into spring, flu season wanes, too. But while people get the flu when it's cold in the United States, in Senegal they're getting sick when it's hot.

It's a puzzle that's baffled scientists for decades. Now, they think they might be have an explanation, though it's not a straightforward one.

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10:53am

Fri March 8, 2013
Shots - Health News

Could A 'Brain Pacemaker' Someday Treat Severe Anorexia?

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 8:23 am

Kim Rollins of Ontario, Canada, struggled with anorexia for more than 20 years. After starting deep brain stimulation 14 months ago, the 36-year-old says she's in recovery.
Courtesy of Krembil Neuroscience Centre

Many people who get anorexia recover after therapy and counseling. But in about 20 to 30 percent of cases, the disease becomes a chronic condition that gets tougher and tougher to treat.

Right now, doctors have few options for helping these patients, mostly women, whose disease can be crippling or fatal.

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