The millions of Americans who make New Year's resolutions to lose weight often have pictures in mind.
They're pictures that have been repeatedly supplied by the health and beauty magazines at supermarket checkout lines. They feature skinny models in bikinis, or toned guys with six-pack abs, and captions about how you could look like this by summer.
Some people go so far as to tape these pictures onto their refrigerators and cupboards. When they're tempted to reach for a cookie, they reason, the sight of that toned model might dissuade them from breaking their resolutions.
For scientists who study a dangerous form of bird flu, 2012 is ending as it began — with uncertainty about what the future holds for their research, but a hope that some contentious issues will soon be resolved.
It's well-known that chemotherapy often comes with side effects like fatigue, hair loss and extreme nausea. What's less well-known is how the cancer treatment affects crucial brain functions, like speech and cognition.
For Yolanda Hunter, a 41-year-old hospice nurse, mother of three and breast cancer patient, these cognitive side effects of chemotherapy were hard to miss.
"I could think of words I wanted to say," Hunter says. "I knew what I wanted to say. ... There was a disconnect from my brain to my mouth."
About a month ago, Declan Procaccini's 10-year-old son woke him early in the morning in a fright.
"He came into my bedroom and said, 'Dad, I had a horrible, horrible dream!' " Procaccini says. "He was really shaken up. I said, 'Tell me about it,' and he told me he'd had a dream that a teenager came into his classroom at his school and shot all the kids in front of him."
Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 5:43 pm
The Consumer Products Safety Commission is fed up with the Nap Nanny.
Three models of the infant recliners — Nap Nanny Generations One and Two, and the Chill — are being recalled voluntarily by some of the nation's biggest retailers, including Amazon.com and Buy Buy Baby. Consumers can get refunds or credit toward another purchase.
The consumer agency says the recliners "contain defects in the design, warnings and instructions, which pose a substantial risk of injury and death to infants."
The McDonald's at the Truman Medical Centers' main campus in Kansas City, Mo., has closed, ending an epic, two-decade stint inside the hospital and making it the fifth health facility in the past few years to give the Big Mac the boot.
Katie Alonzo was stunned when doctors told her they couldn't get a drug her 10-year-old daughter, Abby, was taking to fight lymphoma.
"When a doctor says, 'This is what you need to take.' And then all of a sudden somebody tells you, 'Well, that is what you need to take but this isn't available so we're going to try this instead,' it's very scary," say Alonzo, who lives in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
It's been a mixed year for Alzheimer's research. Some promising drugs failed to stop or even slow the disease. But researchers also found reasons to think that treatments can work if they just start sooner.
Scientists who study Alzheimer's say they aren't discouraged by the drug failures. "I actually think it was a phenomenal year for research," says Bill Rebeck, a brain scientist at Georgetown University.