Health

Strokes On The Rise Among Younger Adults

Feb 22, 2016

"I am what I like to call 'new stroke'," says Troy Hodge, a 43-year-old resident of Carroll County, Md. With a carefully trimmed beard and rectangular hipster glasses, Hodge looks spry. But two years ago, his brain stopped communicating for a time with the left half of his body.

TASER International

Should police immediately interrogate suspects who have been shocked with an electronic stun gun called a Taser? Or should they allow them time to recover? A new study says they should wait.

Despite gains in car safety, 2015 saw the largest percentage rise in motor vehicle deaths in the past 50 years, according to the National Safety Council. Cheaper gas and a stronger economy were likely key factors in the rise, the nonprofit group says.

CT Senate Democrats / Creative Commons

On Thursday, Governor Dannel Malloy said Connecticut has ended veteran homelessness in the state. 

Police Leaders Call To Curb Deadly Force

Feb 17, 2016

A consortium of police officers and researchers is promoting a plan to prevent so-called “lawful but awful” fatal shootings involving law enforcement. The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) has 30 recommendations for curtailing excessive force in the line of duty, from not shooting at vehicles to abandoning the “21-foot rule.”

The recommendations are contentious in many police departments. Denver Police Chief Robert White, a PERF board member, talks with Here & Now’s Robin Young about the recommendations and shifting police tactics.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Heart disease is still the biggest killer in the United States, even though fewer people die from from heart attack and cardiac arrest than ever before.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Families affected by the epidemic of opiate addiction got a chance to share their stories with the Director of National Drug Control Policy Tuesday, at a forum in New London.

It's no secret that stimulant medications such as Adderall that are prescribed to treat symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are sometimes used as "study drugs" aimed at boosting cognitive performance.

And emergency room visits linked to misuse of the drug are on the rise, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

In a cavernous auditorium in the state’s largest prison, a group of about a dozen men serving life or lengthy sentences for homicide or other violent crimes take their seats in a circle with a mother who has suffered the loss of two murdered sons. Some of the inmates seem nervous, shifting in their seats, staring down at the floor.

Connecticut Health I-Team

Officials at Yale-New Haven Hospital said a Bridgeport man received a new heart on Valentine's Day.

John Pesavento had been on the donor list for a year after being diagnosed with end-stage heart failure due to complications from a heart attack he'd suffered two decades ago. He has been using a device to pump blood from his heart to the rest of his body.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Residents who need help paying for child care can apply for state assistance but homeless families often don't meet the guidelines to be eligible for the program.

Tom via Flickr / Creative Commons

Connecticut officials have prepared a plan to respond to the Zika virus that includes in-state testing for the virus, monitoring mosquitoes, and public education on how to avoid infection.

A federal bill that provides money for addiction treatment and drug prevention has passed its first hurdle. Senators Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen co-sponsored the legislation. 

The bill calls for additional dollars for a number of areas including treatment for people battling addiction while in prison, drug prevention efforts in schools, and expanding access to the overdose reversal drug Narcan.

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee passed the measure by a unanimous vote. But how much of the bill’s $70 million would go to New Hampshire is unknown.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Hartford school officials have decided to tear down Clark Elementary School because of extensive PCB contamination. The district had planned on renovating the school, but after discovering the extent of the problem, that option has been taken off the table.

Connor Tarter / Creative Commons

More than 116,000 people signed up for private insurance through Obamacare in the program's third year of open enrollment. 

CT Senate Democrats

A report by the Connecticut Women's Education and Legal Fund shows victims are staying longer at the state's domestic violence shelters, creating a strain on shelters' resources and available space.

Wikimedia Commons

Could King Henry VIII have suffered from the same brain injuries affecting some modern-day football players? That's the question at the center of a new study looking at traumatic brain injury. 

Until very recently it was thought that just one bacterium was to blame for causing Lyme disease in humans. But it turns out that a second, related bug can cause it too.

In 2013, during routine testing of bacterial DNA floating around in the blood samples of people suspected of having Lyme disease, researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., realized they were looking at something different.

Paul Gionfriddo

For former state lawmaker Paul Gionfriddo, mental health isn’t just a matter of policy -- it's also personal. His son, now 30, has schizophrenia. 

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut said he’ll propose a bill that would pay to remove lead from homes and businesses.

Murphy says a tax credit would lower the chances of lead poisoning in Connecticut. In the northeast, lead was commonly used in for paint and pipes in houses built before 1950. The Connecticut Department of Public Health says about 15 percent of buildings in the state might still have lead in their paint or pipes.

Lori Mack / WNPR

Several people quarantined in Connecticut after returning from West Africa during the Ebola epidemic in 2014 have filed a class-action lawsuit against state health officials, saying they were essentially imprisoned based on politics and not any legal or scientific reason. 

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Hundreds of people gathered in downtown New London Thursday night in a vigil aimed at drawing attention to the recent epidemic of heroin overdoses. 

New advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aimed at preventing fetal alcohol syndrome has created quite a stir.

The CDC estimates that about 3 million women "are at risk of exposing their developing baby to alcohol because they are drinking, sexually active and not using birth control to prevent pregnancy."

Paul Gionfriddo

Paul Gionfriddo leads Mental Health America but he has deep roots in Connecticut. He’s a former state representative and mayor of Middletown who now advocates for people with mental illness. During his time in the legislature, he worked on laws and policies that contributed to the nation's current mental health crisis. His book Losing Tim explores his own son’s struggle with schizophrenia and the mental health system that failed him.

unWillington.com

The legislature's Public Health Committee heard from state officials about the various proposals on the table for a new state police firing range.

Lori Mack

 The race is on to develop a vaccine for the Zika virus, which has been linked to severe birth defects. Because the World Health Organization declared the virus a global health emergency it will open the door to more resources and funding. 

Thomas Hawk / Creative Commons

Connecticut's Department of Correction is changing the way it rewards prison inmates for good behavior.

In Flint, Mich., families are using bottled water to do everything — from cooking to bathing.

The tap water is still unsafe to drink after government officials allowed corroded lead pipes to poison the water.

People in Flint have lots of questions for those officials. Perhaps the biggest is the one Hattie Collins has.

"When are you gonna fix it? And I mean fix it right," she says.

The World Health Organization has declared the cluster of microcephaly associated with the spread of the Zika virus to be a public health emergency of international concern — a designation reserved for an"extraordinary event" that is "serious, unusual or unexpected."

Dr. Margaret Chan, the WHO's director-general, said during a press briefing Monday that an international coordinated response was needed to improve mosquito control as well as to expedite the development of tests that detect the Zika virus.

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