health

Researchers have identified a substance in muscles that helps explain the connection between a fit body and a sharp mind.

When muscles work, they release a protein that appears to generate new cells and connections in a part of the brain that is critical to memory, a team reports Thursday in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Virginia Mason hospital in Seattle.
Flickr Photo/Rob Ketcherside (CC-BY-NC-ND) http://bit.ly/28QrplE

It’s been a rough week for Seattle-area hospitals. First, Virginia Mason’s accreditation is on the line. Meanwhile, a Skagit hospital lost a court fight related to abortion. And Northwest Hospital is facing a class action suit over charity care. 

Here's a breakdown of what's happening at each hospital.

When Zika started spreading through Latin America earlier this year, a number of governments issued advisories recommending that women put off getting pregnant because the virus can cause severe birth defects. At the same time these countries kept in place strict laws that would prevent a woman from getting an abortion if she were already pregnant.

Kim Malcolm talks with Dr. Leah Concannon about how concussions affect kids differently than adults and why so many concussions in kids go undiagnosed and unreported to health care providers. Concannon is a sports and spine physician at UW Medicine.

Bridgton, Maine, is the kind of place people like to go to get away. It's got a small main street with shops and restaurants, a pair of scenic lakes, a ski resort and plenty of hiking trails.

But about 10 years ago, Bridgton, a town of just 5,000 residents, began showing signs of a serious drug problem.

Politics Makes Abortion Training In Texas Difficult

Jun 21, 2016

Every year, more than 100 new obstetrician-gynecologists graduate from a Texas residency program and enter the medical workforce. Theoretically, all have had the opportunity during their four years of residency to learn about what's called "induced abortion" — named that to distinguish it from a miscarriage. But the closure of abortion clinics in Texas — more than 20 since 2013 — has made that training increasingly difficult.

By now we know that Zika is dangerous for pregnant women and their future babies. The virus can cause devastating birth defects.

But what about for infections after babies are born? Or in older children? Is Zika a danger for them?

So far, all the evidence suggests probably not. But there are a few caveats.

Let's start with what we know.

This is what a concussion sounds like

Jun 20, 2016
Despite missing much of her freshman year of high school because of a concussion, Daisy Emminger will be attending the New School in New York this fall.
KUOW Photo/Conor Gormally

A school assembly on the first day at Garfield High School sounds like this:

But to Daisy Emminger, a Seattle freshman suffering from a concussion, it sounded like this:

"It was just overwhelming," Emminger said. "And painful." 


Vermont Insurers Must Now Cover Vasectomies

Jun 19, 2016

Vermont has become one of several states working to make sure vasectomies are among the birth control options couples can afford.

Gov. Peter Shumlin last month signed into law a bill that adds vasectomies to the list of procedures that most health insurance coverage in Vermont must pay for.

We had kids later in life, knowing little about children and with no parents to guide us. I depended upon Sofiya, our stern Russian day care provider, for child-rearing advice. She reminded me of my Lithuanian grandmother who took care of me as a child.

When the children caught colds, my husband took their temperature and carefully measured out a draught of flavored Tylenol. Then the children would demand Sofiya's special treatment — Vicks VapoRub on the soles of their feet.

Virginia Mason Medical Center is warning hundreds of patients to get tested for hepatitis-B, after a lapse in screening practices. Friday, the hospital announced it has notified 650 patients that they could have been exposed.

Jess Thom says the word "biscuit" about 16,000 times every day. Her brother-in-law counted once.

That's just one of the tics that Thom, a London-based performance artist, has to manage as part of her life with Tourette's syndrome, a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary vocal or motor tics. Specialists say the condition affects as many as 300,000 children in the United States, though many are undiagnosed.

Thom has had tics since childhood, but she wasn't diagnosed until her 20s.

When McDonald's came to the Soviet Union in 1990, the company insisted that workers smile. That didn't come easy. But customers grew to like it — and workers did, too. What happens when you change a norm?

Not a single school district has told the state of Oregon how it plans to test for radon gas. Every district in the state is required to do so by September 1.

Philadelphia has approved a tax on soda — and it's the first major U.S. city to do so. Now, a legal fight is brewing between the city and the soda industry.

The bill passed Philadelphia's City Council by a vote of 13-4.

Mayor Jim Kenney supported the tax. After the law passed, he called it "a historic investment in our neighborhoods and our education system."

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