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Mental Health
3:53 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Hypervigilance And Crowds Complicate Holidays And Life Back Home For Veterans

Flickr Photo/United States Air Forces - Iraq

Steve Scher gets tips from licensed mental health counselor and suicidologist Randi Jensen on how to help combat war veterans get through the holiday season and beyond.

Health Care
3:35 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

ACA Coverage Starts Tomorrow: Are Insurance Companies Ready?

Flickr Photo/Curtis Cronn

Steve Scher checks in with Premera Blue Cross spokesman Eric Earling on how Washington state insurance companies have prepared for the full rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

Bubbles
11:15 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Does Champagne Actually Get You Drunk Faster?

Each bottle of Champagne contains around 50 million bubbles. But will any of them accelerate the inebriation process?
Victor Bezrukov Flickr.com

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 12:39 pm

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Neuroscience
3:32 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Blindsight Is Never 20/20

Flickr Photo/Giulia Forsythe

Steve Scher talks with Dr. Christof Koch,  chief scientific officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, about a rare brain condition that causes some people to only see in black and white.

Health Care
11:42 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Harborview Considers Closing Some Clinics For Poor

Harborview staff say they were told that several clinics could be closed later next year. Among Harborview's clinics for are the women's clinic, the pediatric clinic and the international clinic.
Credit uwmedicine.org

“Abruptly and brutally.”

That’s how Dr. Abe Bergman described the announcement by administrators to close some of the clinics at Harborview Medical Center. He said staff members were told that some of the primary care clinics housed at the hospital would close in July.

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Health
12:22 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Can A Fruit Fly Help Explain Autism?

A newly discovered neural circuit in the brain of the common fruit fly seems to serve as a sort of "volume control," turning up and down the perception of sound and light.
Nicholas Monu iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:54 am

For President Obama, 2013 wasn't just the year of Obamacare. It was also the year of the brain.

In April, Obama announced his Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative — an effort to unlock "the mystery of the three pounds of matter that sits between our ears."

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Health
10:45 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Common Knee Surgery May Help No More Than A Fake Operation

Knee pain is common, but surgery isn't necessarily the answer, researchers say.
Inna Jacquemin iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 5:09 am

Go to the doctor with knee pain, and they might say you've got a meniscus tear and need surgery to fix it. But surgery for this common problem might not be any better at relieving pain than having no surgery at all, according to researchers who went to the trouble of performing fake surgery to find out.

The gold standard for medical research is a randomized controlled trial, but it's hard to sign people up if they might undergo pretend surgery.

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Prisons
8:01 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Recruiting Prison Health Care Workers Could Get Harder Under Affordable Care Act

Eric Larsen is an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner for the Washington Department of Corrections.
Eric Hernandez Washington Dept. of Corrections

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 9:21 am

It’s no easy task to find doctors, nurses and other health care professionals to take a job in a prison. The stigma alone is a major barrier. Not to mention concerns about personal safety.

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Health Exchange
3:06 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Monday Is Deadline To Sign Up For Health Insurance

Flickr Photo/cursedthing

Steve Scher talks with Richard Onizuka, CEO of Washington Health Benefit Exchange, ahead of the deadline to sign up for health insurance to receive coverage starting in the new year.

Postscripts
12:14 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Living With A Loud, Busy Bar In Your Head

Jon Buckland collects sea corals. It's a hobby that keeps him busy. Watching the sea creatures relaxes him.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Medication has helped Jon Buckland’s symptoms, but the voices in his head never go away.

By his description, it’s like being in a loud, busy bar. “It’s like throwing that whole bar, and what you can’t control, into one moment inside your brain during that time that you’re still trying to hold on to conversation normally outside your head,” Buckland said.

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Health
10:58 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Seattle Children’s Studies Fecal Transplants As Cure For Bowel Disease

Fecal transplant: It may sound gross, but in Dr. David Suskind's view, it offers hope for one of the biggest public health challenges in the world.

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Myth Buster
7:32 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Why George Bailey's Suicide Attempt Is A Statistical Outlier

George Bailey, played by Jimmy Stewart, rethinks a plan to kill himself in “It’s A Wonderful Life.”
National Telefilm Associates

Originally published on Sat December 21, 2013 9:38 am

Portland and Spokane have been trying to prevent people from jumping off the cities' iconic bridges. In the last few weeks, police in both cities have responded to suicides or attempted suicides.

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Health News
12:46 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Screening Newborns For Disease Can Leave Families In Limbo

Vera Wojtesta was one of 300 babies flagged by New York's newborn screening program as at risk of having life-threatening Krabbe disease.
Ben Shutts Courtesy of the Wojtesta family

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 1:24 pm

For Matthew and Brianne Wojtesta, it all started about a week after the birth of their daughter Vera. Matthew was picking up his son from kindergarten when he got a phone call.

It was their pediatrician, with some shocking news. Vera had been flagged by New York's newborn screening program as possibly having a potentially deadly disease, and would need to go see a neurologist the next day.

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