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Health

Rusty Clark/flickr creative commons

Does what we eat control our thoughts and feelings? After many studies, a neuroscientist says it's true.

JeffreyTurner, Creative Commons

The housing crisis that has cost millions of Americans their homes.  In fact, banks have foreclosed on more than 4 million homes since the crisis began in 2007. Almost 6 million are still in danger of foreclosure, and some analysts say 2012 could be the worst year yet.

Athletes over Fifty

Apr 3, 2012
Providenz

Today's show was the brainchild of producer Betsy Kaplan, but it seems like something I might have thought up, just to deal with some (de)pressing problems in my life. I'm 57. I have arthritis in both knees. One of the magazines I write for wants me to do, this fall, a Gran Fondo, a bike ride of more than 100 miles with a significant elevation change.

I'm literally not sure I can.

But all around me are examples of athletes over 50 doing remarkable things.

For the health policy world, the Supreme Court's tough questioning of the individual mandate last week was a seismic event.

But in Hartford, Conn., the city sometimes called the epicenter of the insurance industry, David Cordani isn't quaking.

Cordani is the CEO of Cigna, the nation's fourth-largest health insurer. He says the insurance industry started changing itself before the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010. And the changes will continue regardless of what happens at the high court.

Where We Live: Greg Tate Kicks Cancer's...

Apr 2, 2012
Chion Wolf

Greg Tate of the HartBeat Ensemble has been an important part of Hartford’s artistic community. They create original plays based on the place where they live...and work with school systems to create student theater works.

Tate has been diagnosed with lung cancer - and has been sharing intimate details of his treatment on a simple blog called “Greg Tate Updates.”

Losing Your Voice

Mar 28, 2012
thekeithhall, creativecommons

John Mayer, Adele and Keith Urban have all had to cancel shows in past months because of vocal problems.

But pop singers aren’t the only ones who find their careers in jeopardy because they’ve lost their voice.

Our NPR colleague Diane Rehm has struggled for years with a condition called “spasmodic dysphonia” - which causes spasms in the vocal cords.

It’s a condition very similar to the one that knocked me off the air for nearly a year in the late 1990s.

Traumatic brain injury or TBI has been called the signature injury of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Defense Department data indicates more than 233,000 veterans have been diagnosed with at least a mild brain injury. But the number is even higher because not all veterans seek help. A non-profit and the VA have partnered to offer support to these servicemembers in Connecticut.

Could 'Contagion' Strike Connecticut?

Mar 22, 2012
Flickr Creative Commons, blmurch

Which is a worse way to die: the Spanish influenza that nearly killed off Elizabeth McGovern in Downton Abbey, or the respiratory virus that took out Gwyneth Paltrow in the movie Contagion?

Flickr Creative Commons, EssjayNZ

If I tell you that today's show looks into the near future and sees a wave of new drugs and other therapies that can enhance moral behavior, maybe you'll tell me: enough with the science fiction. But in some ways, the drugs are already here.

Oxytocin, sometimes known as the love hormone, increases empathy and social bonding.  And oxytocin can already be taken -- for other reasons -- in nasal spray form.

miamism, creative commons

More people are buying local food, choosing more sustainably-produced food, and growing their own.

This trend is the topic of The Fifth Annual Global Environmental Sustainability Symposium at CCSU.

Today we talk to some of the panelists -- Bill Duesing - head of the Connecticut Chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association, which is involved in a lawsuit against Monsanto and is pushing for “Genetically Modified” labeling in Connecticut.

Connecticut, like every state trying to reduce health care spending, is looking closely at how it cares for people with chronic conditions.

Gov. Dannel Malloy has promised to move more than 5,000 poor and disabled patients out of nursing homes in five years.

Adult Ed For Teens

Mar 15, 2012
preetamrai, creative commons

Thousands of teens are leaving traditional high school in Connecticut and opting for adult education programs instead.

These programs have more flexible hours and fewer requirements for graduation, allowing students - in some cases - to finish school more quickly.

But there are complicated reasons why some teens are taking this opportunity.  One is that some low-performing students - or those with troubled pasts - are being “pushed out” of the traditional school system...and there aren’t always spaces in “alternative” schools.

Brunosan, Flickr Creative Commons

As the brain ages, it becomes harder to know when its time to move from one task to the next. That’s according to a new study by Yale University researchers, who say understanding how the brain ages may help an older workforce.

The study is called Lost in Transition. Mark Laubach, an associate professor at the Yale School of Medicine, came up with the title after waiting to buy a ticket at the Washington, DC train station. He was anxious to get back to Connecticut to see his son play in his first Little League game.  

For Women, Baldness Need Not Be Faced Alone

Mar 8, 2012
Flickr Creative Commons, midiman

Whether its Rogaine, HairClub or countless As Seen on TV cures, baldness is a problem often associated with men. But for women suffering with alopecia areata, baldness can be an embarrassing and often secret problem.

West Hartford native Thea Chassin is providing support for these women with a group she calls "Bald Girls Do Lunch."

TRANSCRIPT:

Thea Chassin says she used to have a lot of hair.

I had hair. I had really great hair. I loved my hair.

Patient Safety

Mar 6, 2012
isafmedia, creative commons

Patient safety is one of the nation's most pressing health care challenges.

Patient safety advocates say that thousands of people are put in harm’s way from preventable hospital-acquired infections and medical errors.

Connecticut alone reported more than 16-hundred “adverse hospital events” 2004 and 2011, including 157 cases in which patients died.

But reporting by the Connecticut Health Investigative Team shows that few of these cases are actually investigated by the state.

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