TASER International

A lot of scientific research has focused on what police Tasers physically do to the body, but little has looked at how they impact the way people think. Now, results from a new study out of Arizona State University suggest police officers should look more carefully at how quickly they question a suspect after a Taser deployment. 

Erik Drost / Creative Commons

As another season of high school football gets underway on Friday night across the state, a new law takes effect that gives coaches, parents, and student athletes a comprehensive guide on how to identify and manage concussions. 

There's never a shortage of questions about Medicare, the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older and some who are disabled. Here are answers to two about respite care and the so-called doughnut hole that limits payments for drugs in Medicare Part D.

Ever heard of a diabetic patient who ate a large muffin before having a blood glucose test, was scolded for giving in to temptation, and then told to just say no to carbs?

How about a cardiac patient who has a worrisome stress test and is shown the door when she admits to eating a few Big Macs?

That kind of response is all too familiar for patients whose brains have been altered by heroin or other opiates.

Vermont will get $4 million during the next four years from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent overdose deaths caused by prescription opiate drugs.

Young people who use e-cigarettes are very likely to move on to smoking real tobacco products. That’s the conclusion of a new study co-authored by researchers from Dartmouth’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Violet Thomas came out as a transgender woman three months before high school graduation in 2013. She found some respite in her guidance counselor’s office, but things went from bad to worse at home.

So Thomas left, and began moving from couch to couch among friends. But she stayed nowhere very long.

Edward / Creative Commons

As homicide rates in Hartford and other cities across the country spike, some are asking whether one high-profile shooting can breed another. 

Geoffrey Fairchild / Creative Commons

Violent crime in America has been dropping for years, reaching a point in 2012 that was roughly half of what it was in 1993. But that may be changing.

The New York Times reported last week that violent crime was rising sharply in cities like Milwaukee and St. Louis. In Hartford, homicides jumped to 25 so far this year, up from 19 in 2014.

R0Ng / Creative Commons

Stringent gun permit laws may contribute to a drop in the gun suicide rate, according to a new study by the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. The study contrasted the gun policies and gun suicide rates in Connecticut and Missouri.

How to Get the Best Medical Care

Sep 3, 2015
Dr.Farouk/flickr creative commons

Navigating our healthcare system is frustrating and time-consuming enough when you're healthy. But what if you get a serious diagnosis? You'll probably have to deal with multiple doctors' offices and their front-desk staffs, a hospital or clinic that may not be familiar, and a sudden deluge of paperwork, phone calls, and appointments. The chances for confusion and miscommunication multiply all along the chain -- and this can lead to problems ranging from annoying clerical mistakes to serious medical errors.

A new report from Yale Law School looks at solitary confinement in the U.S. 

As a member of the Navajo tribe, Rochelle Jake has received free care through the Indian Health Service her entire life. The IHS clinics took care of her asthma, allergies and eczema — chronic problems, nothing urgent.

Recently, though, she felt sharp pains in her side. Her doctor recommended an MRI and other tests she couldn't get through IHS. To pay for them, he urged her to sign up for private insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey says the state has reached a first-in-the-nation agreement with the maker of an opioid overdose reversal drug.

More adults across the country are strapping on helmets and hopping on bikes to get to work. That's good news for people's hearts and waistlines, but it also means more visits to the emergency room.

Hospital admissions because of bike injuries more than doubled between 1998 and 2013, doctors reported Tuesday in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association. And the rise was the biggest with bikers ages 45 and over.

David Edwards / Creative Commons

A new report is out that scores doctors based on their rates of complications for elective procedures. But some physicians and critics say the effort, while helpful, is limited by the data that it uses. 

Libert Schmidt / flickr creative commons

For some time, I've been interested in the thoughtful and caring work of psychologist Dr. Anthony Puliafico, who sees clients in Westchester, New York, especially children who experience anxiety and OCD.

A flood of migrants, including refugees from Syria and Afghanistan, were stranded in Budapest after the Hungarian government closed down the city's main train terminal.

Authorities had been allowing migrants to travel to Western Europe without checking passports, but on Tuesday, the station was closed and migrants began protesting.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

In the wake of the on-air shooting death earlier this week of Alison Parker and Adam Ward, two television journalists from WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy is calling on Congress to act “in any way, shape or form” to reduce gun violence in America. 

Connecticut VA Healthcare System

The federal government has declared Connecticut the first state in the country to end chronic homelessness among veterans. 

The Jackson Laboratory

The Jackson Laboratory is partnering with UConn to found a new center that will focus on what’s called single cell genomics. 

If you've ever had surgery, you may have been given an analgesic named fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a favored painkiller because it acts fast. But it's also 80 to 100 times more potent than morphine. The powerful drug has made its way to the streets and increasingly is being used to cut heroin — resulting in a deadly combination.


All but one of Connecticut’s acute-care hospitals will lose Medicare reimbursement in 2015-16 as a penalty for high readmissions of discharged patients, new federal data show.

The blue-green algae blooms invading Lake Champlain this summer can cause nasty stomach problems and skin irritation  and even liver damage in people who accidentally swallow the water. But researchers say there might be longer-term health consequences for people who come into contact with the blooms. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

For nearly three decades across the U.S., toxic polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, were widely used in school construction and renovation work. A WNPR investigation has found that two-thirds of schools in Connecticut could be contaminated.

Despite a 1979 ban on PCBs -- a synthetic chemical -- and their classification as a known human carcinogen by the World Health Organization, there’s no state or federal law that requires testing for the presence of PCBs in schools.

FrankieLeon / Creative Commons

Opioid overuse is America’s “silent epidemic,” affecting far too many of the roughly eight million people on opioid painkillers.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of the CDC says overprescribing is to blame.  "Every single day, 46 Americans die from an overdose of prescription opioid painkillers like Vicodin, Oxycontin or Methadone," he said. "These drugs are commonly prescribed in every community, and a surge in prescriptions has been the main force of this epidemic."

Eight months after homelessness hit a record in New York City, you can still see the need of the city's most vulnerable in Tompkins Square Park.

"Good morning! Two pieces?" asks Mario Cornejo, as he places slices of frosted banana bread on paper towels for a long line of hungry people.

"It used to be just a small pot before," explains Cornejo, a volunteer with a New York group called Food for Life since 2008. "Now it's a big pot and bigger salad containers, more trays of cake."

Chion Wolf/ / WNPR

Last month brought big news from major health insurers in the United States.

In early July, Aetna announced it will acquire Humana in a $37 billion deal. Just three weeks later, Anthem and Cigna announced their intention to merge in a $48 billion deal. This effectively reduces the big players in the health insurance market from five down to three.

Lee Morley / Creative Commons

Bartlomiej Palosz, 15, committed suicide in 2013, on the first day of his sophomore year in high school. Now his parents are suing the town of Greenwich and its school board, claiming that not enough was done to address the years of bullying that their son endured. 

The Complex and Fascinating Sense of Touch

Aug 17, 2015
Stefano Mortellaro/flickr creative commons

Deprive a newborn baby of loving touch and the consequences are dramatic. In fact, touch deprivation can lead to a broad range of developmental problems that, if left uncorrected, will most likely carryover into adulthood. Neuroscientist David Linden tells us touch is not optional for human development.