medicine

James Gathany / CDC/ National Climate Assessment

State public health officials keeping an eye on the Zika virus say they now have the ability to test for it in-state. 

Lori Mack / WNPR

Alexion Pharmaceuticals said it will have 1,000 workers at its new headquarters building in New Haven by the end of this month. Connecticut’s most successful homegrown bioscience company, Alexion showed off its global headquarters Monday. 

Tom / Creative Commons

This hour -- from the outbreak of Zika virus to the spread of Lyme disease -- doctors and epidemiologists take our questions on some of the biggest public health stories to hit the news. We find out what we know, what we don’t know, and what the real risks are to Connecticut. 

The United States has the most advanced health care in the world. There are gleaming medical centers across the country where doctors cure cancers, transplant organs and bring people back from near death.

In a study powered by the labor of medical students, my colleagues and I found that two-thirds of clinical trials led by scientists at our finest academic institutions didn't share their results publicly within two years of the study's completion.

Moreover, none of these research institutions has a good record of sharing results. Many are much worse than the average.

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Since its discovery in 1900, adrenaline and pop-culture have gone hand-in-hand. From extreme sports, to the latest energy drinks, to pulse pounding Hollywood blockbusters, the rush of this hormone is portrayed in countless ways.

But these portrayals seldom tell the whole story. So what exactly is adrenaline, and why does our society seem so keen on celebrating it?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

A memo from congressional investigators sheds new light on the inner workings of Martin Shkreli's Turing Pharmaceuticals after the company jacked up the prices of a decades-old drug used to treat AIDS patients.

The House Committee on Oversight and Investigations is looking into Turing and other drug companies' price increases. This memo, released Tuesday, includes excerpts from the company's internal documents and emails.

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.

Bayer HealthCare

When Alyson Hannan, 44, decided she was done having children, she chose Essure, a non-surgical permanent birth control option approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The day the tiny metal coils were inserted into her fallopian tubes in her doctor’s office is one that she can’t forget, said Hannan, regional sales director for Met Life who underwent the procedure on September 11, 2014. “I will never forget that date. None of us will.”

Keoni Cabral / Creative Commons

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission announced it will hold hearings to see whether discrimination played a role in the handling of Flint’s water crisis. The decision came early last week, amid allegations of environmental racism against the city’s largely black community.

This hour -- from Flint, Michigan to New Haven, Connecticut -- we learn about the environmental justice issues affecting America's low-income communities of color. 

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President Barack Obama will personally bestow the nation’s highest honor on eight of America’s leading innovators, including doctors Jonathan Rothberg and Cato Laurencin. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

With rising concern about the spread of the Zika virus, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal is calling for more federal funding for research into a vaccine, and said avoiding travel to affected regions isn't enough.

A human study of Zika virus vaccine could begin as early as this year, U.S. health officials told reporters Thursday.

But the officials cautioned that it could be years before the vaccine is available for wide use.

The news came as the Zika virus continues to spread through the Americas. Still, a large outbreak is seen as unlikely in the U.S.

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On any day, thousands of Connecticut children need to be given medication while in child care centers, but many providers don’t know how to properly administer the medications, studies show.

iStock / Thinkstock

Speaking in his final State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama announced an ambitious challenge last week -- a call to cure cancer, as he put it, "once and for all."

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A new report on Connecticut's civic health was released Tuesday. This hour, we discuss its findings with Secretary of the State Denise Merrill. 

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Federal efforts to make U.S. health research more diverse aren't going far enough, according to a new study examining nearly 30 years of data from the National Institutes of Health. 

Valentin Ottone / Creative Commons

People who are uninsured or on Medicaid are more than twice as likely to smoke tobacco compared to those covered by other insurance, according to a national study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

UW Health / Creative Commons

Like all pediatricians, Dr. Lori Smith keep tabs on many aspects of her patients’ health, but until recently the Westport-based doctor didn’t always consider whether the children she sees might be going hungry.

Courtesy of Flickr CC by themohers

Nationwide, eight percent of children under 18 have asthma. In Hartford, that rate is more like 29 percent. There's now an effort in the city to diagnose and treat asthma better. 

One day after he was arrested on fraud charges, controversial drug executive Martin Shkreli has resigned his post as the leader of Turing Pharmaceuticals. Shkreli is currently free on bail.

Turing announced the change Friday, naming Ron Tilles, its current board chairman, as the interim chief executive officer.

"We wish to thank Martin for helping us build Turing Pharmaceuticals into the dynamic research focused company it is today, and wish him the best in his future endeavors," Tilles said in a statement about the move.

Martin Shkreli, the drug executive who was widely criticized for sharply raising the price of a drug used by HIV patients, was arrested Thursday by federal agents on charges that he misused funds at the company he founded.

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