<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - Health News]]>Copyright 2017https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/health http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida https://www.nbcmiami.comen-usSun, 19 Nov 2017 19:33:18 -0500Sun, 19 Nov 2017 19:33:18 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[CTE Turned Ex-NFL Star From Top Lawyer to ‘Other Person']]> Sun, 19 Nov 2017 18:54:12 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-822512332.jpg

After completing an NFL career that included two Super Bowls, Fred McNeill got an advanced law degree and practiced law. But within just a few years, he began to fall apart, losing his temper, losing his memory and losing job after job, NBC News reported.

“Here is this person who was so kind, so intelligent, so special, so loving, so easygoing. He made things look easy. And then he flipped to be this other person,” Tia McNeill, Fred McNeill’s widow, said in an interview.

McNeill died in 2015. He was bankrupt, unable to eat or care for himself. A positron emission tomography (PET) brain scan done in 2012 showed he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE — the degenerative brain disease being linked increasingly to professional football and to head injuries sustained in combat.

The confirmation comes too late to help McNeill. But if the findings hold up in other patients with similar symptoms, such a scan may be able to diagnose CTE in time to give patients hope for recourse while they are still alive and, perhaps, eventual treatment.



Photo Credit: Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer/MCT]]>
<![CDATA[No Correlation Between Mental Health, Mass Shooting: Experts]]> Sat, 18 Nov 2017 23:03:20 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-874617738.jpg

Kevin Neal’s family knew he was mentally ill, but they never thought he would kill five people and attack an elementary school in rural northern California. But Neal committed both those acts on Tuesday, and it has left his family asking some very difficult questions, NBC News reported.

Sheridan Orr, Neal’s sister, said her brother made threats for nearly 20 years. Though they continued to pressure him to receive help for his mental health, he seemed unwilling to pursue treatment.

Experts say it is difficult to know what to do in those situations, but Dr. James Fox, an expert on gun violence and author of “Extreme Killing: Understanding Serial and Mass Murder,” said it's dangerous to assume that the mentally ill tend to commit these shootings.

"There’s not really a correlation," said Fox, who maintains a database on mass shootings. "We like to think that these people are different from the rest of us. We want a simple explanation and if we just say they’re mentally ill, case closed. Because of how fearful dangerous and deadly their actions are, we really want to distance ourselves from it and relegate it to illness."



Photo Credit: Randall Benton/Sacramento Bee/TNS via Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Owning a Dog May Help You Live Longer: Swedish Scientists]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 12:26:59 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/215*120/Screen+Shot+2017-11-17+at+8.59.02+AM.png

According to a new study in Sweden, owning a dog could help you live longer. Scientists followed more than 3 million adults for 12 years.

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<![CDATA[CTE Found in Living Ex-NFL Player for 1st Time: Study]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 09:52:15 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP_764021564440-Fred-McNeill-NFL-Player.jpg

The "unique pattern" of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the debilitating brain disease known as CTE, has been found for the first time in a patient before he died, NBC News reported.

It was detected in a brain scan of former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Fred McNeill, according to the doctors behind a study published in the journal Neurosurgery last week. The scan could lead to the development of treatments for the incurable disease.

CTE is caused by repeated blows to the head, and has been found in many dead NFL players' brains, including former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez, who killed himself in April before a murder conviction against him was cleared.

So far, the only way to definitively diagnose CTE is by looking at the brain after death, but a 2012 scan of McNeill's brain that seemed to show protein deposits characteristic of CTE was confirmed in an autopsy after McNeill died last year.



Photo Credit: AP Photo, File]]>
<![CDATA[Congress' Delay Risks Millions of Kids' Health Insurance]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 07:09:02 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/pll_20171118_chip_russo_10_fc7316e06197590903fff4b9d54d55a9.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000.jpg

The Children's Health Insurance Program covers annual check-ups and more medical procedures for nearly 9 million kids in low-income families, but congressional bickering is putting it at risk, NBC News reported.

The program has enjoyed bipartisan support since it was created in 1997, but legislators have let this year's reauthorization deadline pass in the debate over repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. Now funding in 11 states will run out by the end of the year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, and 21 more states by March.

CHIP gives health insurance to children and pregnant mothers who don't qualify for Medicaid but can't afford private insurance, and Census data shows the rate of uninsured children has dropped from 14 to about 4.5 percent in the past 20 years, experts say.

It's helped Roland Williams, 11, a St. Louis boy with an extremely rare form of lung cancer whose mother was told last year that "he would make it to see his 10th birthday."



Photo Credit: Eva Russo / for NBC News]]>
<![CDATA[American Scientists Try 1st Gene Editing in the Body]]> Thu, 16 Nov 2017 08:19:28 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/US-Zinc-Fingers-Protein-CR_1200x675_1097272387645.jpg

Scientists for the first time have tried editing a gene inside the body, a bold attempt to permanently change a person's DNA to try to cure a disease. The experiment was done on Monday in California on a patient with an inherited metabolic disorder.

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<![CDATA['Obamacare' Enrollment Is Up Over Same Period in 2016]]> Thu, 16 Nov 2017 08:03:12 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/NC_budgetbattle0927_1500x845.jpg

The government has rolled back the amount of time to select a health care plan under the Affordable Care Act this year, but enrollment is already up over the same period last year. NBC's Tracie Potts reports.

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<![CDATA[CVS Blames Pharmacy Outages on 'Internal Network' Problems]]> Thu, 16 Nov 2017 07:21:18 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/CVS_1200x675.jpg

After major system outages Tuesday CVS Health pharmacies reported there was  an internal network problem, CNBC reported. 

The cause is unknown according to the CVS spokesperson.

CVS non-executive Chairman David Dorman told CNBC Wednesday that top management notified him about the network issue after customers complained about not being able to refill their medications.

Customers took to social media to speak out about their complaints and express their dissatisfaction. 



Photo Credit: Getty ImagesJoe Raedle]]>
<![CDATA[How Law Enforcement Uses Narcan to Combat the Opioid Crisis]]> Tue, 14 Nov 2017 14:03:57 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/DIT+NARCAN+EXPLAINER+THUMB2.jpg

As the American opioid crisis reaches near epidemic levels, law enforcement agencies across the country are training their officers how to use Narcan to revive people who have overdosed. The LA County Sheriff’s Department has deployed over 600 deputies with Narcan and is changing the way law enforcement approaches the opioid crisis.

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<![CDATA[Why Men Force Women to Watch Them Masturbate: Experts]]> Sat, 11 Nov 2017 23:24:54 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/ckckck.jpg

Power, control, and a pathological desire to elicit fear all play into why a man might engage in exhibitionism, sex therapists say, in the wake of bombshell revelations against comedian Louis C.K. Experts told NBC News masturbating in front of women without their permission is typically about exerting control, not an attempt at seduction.

"The shock on a woman's face that he's torturing is where the arousal lies. It's in her humiliation, said sex therapist Dr. Alexandra Katehakis, clinical director of the Center for Healthy Sex in Los Angeles, who has not treated Louis C.K.

Two female comedians told the New York Times that Louis C.K. masturbated in front of them in 2002. Three other women told the Times about other instances of sexual misconduct by the creator of the FX series "Louie."

"These stories are true," Louis C.K. said in a statement on Friday. "At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly."



Photo Credit: Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[How Sexual Harassment Damages a Person’s Health: Experts]]> Sat, 11 Nov 2017 00:15:42 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP_110507143342.jpg

Sexual harassment not only have negative mental effects on victims and survivors, it can also have physical effects as well, experts tell NBC News Better.

Dr. Colleen Cullen, a licensed clinical psychologist, notes that for victims of sexual harassment, the most common diagnoses are depression, anxiety, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

When the mental effects become too overwhelming, experts call it somatizing, "a long state can turn into physical symptoms," says Dr. Nekeshia Hammond, a licensed psychologist.

These physical symptoms can run the gamut, manifesting as muscle aches, headaches, or even chronic physical health problems such as high blood pressure and problems with blood sugar.



Photo Credit: AP Photo/Josh Reynolds]]>
<![CDATA[Narcan Explained: What Is It and How Do You Use It?]]> Fri, 10 Nov 2017 13:34:04 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/DIT+NARCAN+EXPLAINER+THUMB3.jpg

Ninety-one people in the U.S. die every day from opioid-related overdoses, but there’s a tool that can reverse the effects of an overdose that more and more law enforcement agencies and paramedics are now carrying with them as part of their standing operating protocol. It’s called Narcan, and here is what you need to know about what it is, how it works and how to use it.

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<![CDATA[Frozen Green Beans Recalled in 12 States Over Listeria Risk]]> Wed, 08 Nov 2017 17:05:55 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/frozen-green-beans.jpg

Nature's Touch Frozen Foods has issued a voluntary recall of its Organic Fine Whole Green Beans because of possible contamination with a bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes, which can cause infections.

The product was distributed in stores in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.

“At Nature’s Touch, our passion is finding the highest-quality frozen foods for our consumers and we are deeply committed to food safety at every production stage,” Nature’s Touch said in a press release. “This voluntary recall reflects our dedication to ensuring the safety of our consumers while enjoying our products.” 

Nature’s Touch Frozen Foods issued the recall after a routine sampling program in Connecticut found one positive result of the bacteria in one bag of green beans, the company said in the press release. The company says it has stopped production and distribution of the products and is working with the Food and Drug Administration on the recall. 

All affected retailers have been contacted to make sure the product is removed from store shelves and no other products were affected, the company says. The product that is the subject of the recall is the 10-ounce size, with "best before" dates of June 4, 2017 to June 21, 2019.

Listeria is a serious infection most likely to affect pregnant women and newborns, elderly adults, and individuals with weakened immune systems, according to the Centers for Disease Control. 

No illnesses associated with the green beans have been reported. 

All affected retailers have been contacted
to ensure that the recalled product is removed from store shelves. Other products of Nature’s Touch
Frozen Foods LLC. are not affected. 

Consumers who have bought Nature’s Touch Frozen Organic Fine Whole Green Beans are advised to throw them out or return them for a full refund.

The company’s Consumer Service Team is available to answer questions at 1-877-850-2664 or by email at: info@naturestouch.ca.



Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of Nature's Touch Frozen Foods]]>
<![CDATA[Democrats Win Big With Obamacare's Medicaid Expansion]]> Wed, 08 Nov 2017 16:18:11 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Barack+Obama+Ralph+Northam+GettyImages-863220768.jpg

Barack Obama may not be running for anything these days, but his signature health care law was a big winner in Tuesday’s elections, as voters rebelled against Republican lawmakers who have blocked Obamacare's Medicaid expansion.

Democrats are hopeful their victories are a harbinger of further gains as they look to capitalize on the law's rising popularity in polls — and repeal legislation's deep unpopularity — with more ballot initiatives, legislative efforts and campaign messages.

In Maine, voters passed a ballot initiative that would expand Medicaid to an estimated 70,000 residents by a margin of 18 points, 59-to-41, doing an end run around Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican who has vetoed five bills to do so.

LePage is already threatening to block the measure unless legislators can find a way to finance it without raising taxes, saying in a statement that "this fiscally irresponsible Medicaid expansion will be ruinous to Maine’s budget."



Photo Credit: Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[1 Reason Flu Vaccines Are So Lousy: They're Grown in Eggs]]> Tue, 07 Nov 2017 13:31:06 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/flu-shot.jpg

Last year's influenza vaccine reduced the number of flu-related visits to the doctor by 42 percent, and the vaccine reduced a specific strain of flu virus by even less, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

One important reason flu shots don't usually work very well is because they're grown in chicken eggs, a slow and tricky process that can go wrong easily, researchers told NBC News.

"We need to get away from the antiquated production model, which the egg is," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

He thinks that vaccines made using insect cells could be better at protecting people from the flu.



Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA['Unusually Severe' Plague Sickens 1,800 in Madagascar]]> Fri, 03 Nov 2017 11:43:01 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/plague-cdc.jpg

More than 1,800 people in Madagascar have contracted plague in what the World Health Organization deemed an "unusually severe" outbreak, but it's unlikely to spread beyond the island, NBC News reported.

The infection is easily treated with antibiotics if caught early enough and is now rare in developed countries, but it's an ongoing problem in Madagascar, where 187 people have died in the latest outbreak.

"Based on available information and response measures implemented to date, WHO estimates the risk of potential further spread of the plague outbreak at national level remains high," according to a WHO report.

Screening for the disease has been stepped up at airports, the agency said, which will help stop people from bringing the infection beyond the island's shores.



Photo Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases]]>
<![CDATA[Dark Chocolate Sold in 23 States Recalled for Undeclared Milk]]> Tue, 31 Oct 2017 09:55:54 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-56960813.jpg

A New York-based company is recalling a bunch of chocolate products, most of which were sold at Wegmans stores in nearly two dozen states, because they contain milk not declared on the list of ingredients, which could be extremely dangerous, even life-threatening, to people allergic to it. 

First Source announced the voluntary recall Monday. Both packaged chocolate, coffee beans and almonds and items sold in self-service bins are affected by the recall. 

The following 10 packaged items are affected:

  • Wegmans Dark Chocolate Almonds 23oz tub
  • Wegmans Dark Chocolate Almonds 11.5oz tub
  • Wegmans Dark Chocolate Almonds with Sea Salt and Turbinado Sugar 12oz tub
  • Wegmans Dark Chocolate Cherry-Infused Cranberries 12oz tub
  • Wegmans Dark Chocolate Strawberries 13.5oz tub
  • Alpine Valley Dark Chocolate Almonds 11.5oz tub
  • Circle K Favorites Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds 3.25oz bag
  • Tops Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds 11.5oz tub
  • Tops Dark Chocolate Coffee Beans 12oz tub
  • 7 Select Dark Chocolate Turbinado Almonds with Sea Salt 2.25oz bag 

Those were sold in 23 states including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Texas, Vermont and Virginia from Jan. 1, 2016, to the present. 

The following products sold in bulk self-service bins at grocery stores between Jan. 1, 2016, and Oct. 30, 2017, are also affected: 

  • 15 LBS Dark Chocolate Peanuts distributed to Wegmans Food Markets, Dryden Food Market, New Brighton Food Land, Punxsutawney Country Market, and Trumansburg Shur Save,
  • 20 LBS Dark Chocolate Almonds to Wegmans Food Markets, Giant Food Store, Martin’s Food Market, and Stop N Shop
  • 25 LBS Dark Chocolate Coffee Beans Giant Food Store, Giant Food Mart, Martin’s Food Market, Wegmans Food Market, Dryden Food Market, Orchard Fresh, Stop N Shop, and Punxsutawney Country Market 

Those products were distributed in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. 

No illnesses or reactions have been reported, and First Source says it is issuing the recall out of an abundance of caution. It found out about the issue after a supplier issued its own recall because of the milk allergen. Anyone with questions can call First Source at 1-716-389-0200.



Photo Credit: File-Stephen Chernin/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Synthetic Opioids Rising as Deadly Overdoses Top 60K: CDC]]> Fri, 27 Oct 2017 10:51:31 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/fentanyl+painkiler.jpg

More than 60,000 Americans died of drug overdoses last year, and synthetic opioids played a larger role than ever, CNBC reported.

Deaths from those extremely strong drugs, like fentanyl, increased fivefold, and some analogs of fentanyl, like the large animal tranquilizer carfentanil, are increasinly being implicated in opioid deaths, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The increased mixing or co-use of fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, and varying fentanyl analogs might contribute to increased risk for overdose because persons misusing opioids and other drugs are exposed to drug products with substantially varied potency," the report's authors wrote.

Fifty to 100 times more powerful than morphine, fentanyl was introduced into the market in 2013. That year it was implicated in just over 3,000 overdose deaths; in 2016, it was involved in 20,000, according to the report, which the CDC said was the first to use "toxicologic and scene evidence from multiple states to characterize opioid overdose deaths."



Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[President Trump Declares Opioid Epidemic a Public Health Emergency]]> Mon, 30 Oct 2017 11:07:58 -0500 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/DIT+TRUMP+OPIOID+SPEECH+THUMB.jpg

President Trump outlined the White House’s plans to curb the opioid epidemic, which he declared a nationwide public health emergency. Trump shared a personal anecdote about his late older brother, who told him to never start drinking.

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