Review Category : Health

Amputee Moves ‘Fingers’ Thanks to Innovative Prosthesis

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — In a first-of-its-kind surgery, North Carolina doctors have provided a higher level of dexterity to an amputee through an innovative operation giving more fine motor skills and dexterity through a prosthesis.

Hand surgeons from OrthoCarolina in Charlotte reported they were the first to complete the surgery that will allow this amputee to have individual finger control on a prosthesis.

“The severity of this patient’s injury was so great that replanting the lost fingers was not possible, so we collaborated on a new surgery that would allow him to have individual digital control,” Dr. Glenn Gaston, a hand surgeon and co-creator of the prosthetic said in a statement.

Gaston, a hand surgeon, and Dr. Bryan Loeffler, an orthopedic surgeon, wanted to help patients who have lost their hands to find a way to re-gain their fine dexterity.

“Patients who have sustained full or partial hand amputations obviously have significant morbidity and limited function, which is a challenge,” Gaston added. “Because of the limited number of muscles available after a hand amputation, prostheses have previously allowed only control of the thumb and fingers as a group and single finger control was never possible.”

Gaston and Loeffler examined whether moving muscles from fingers of a partial hand amputee, who had a few but not all of his fingers, could help. They were able to move the muscles into the man’s wrist so he could have more control over the prosthesis.

Now, the prosthesis can detect the right signals for each individual finger and therefore move the individual fingers.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Anna Kaiser’s Top Workout Secrets for Keeping Off the Weight

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Trying to lose weight is often difficult, and it can be frustrating when you hit a slump.

Enter Anna Kaiser, fitness trainer to the stars, who appeared on ABC News’ Good Morning America Wednesday to share important tips for jump-starting, maintaining and accelerating weight loss.

Kaiser, whose client list includes Sofia Vergara, Kelly Ripa and Sarah Jessica Parker, answered viewers’ questions and outlined the following three strategies:

Tip 1

Do more cardio using a heart rate monitor.

“Make sure you get your heart rate up, elevated and keep it elevated for an extended period of time,” Kaiser said. “Thirty minutes is great, if you can do that on a daily basis. Forty-five minutes is extra work. You can add more weights to make it harder, but use a heart rate monitor that is the best way…to know how hard you’re working and to make sure your heart rate is actually elevated.”

Tip 2

Lift more weights.

Lifting heavier weights helps build lean muscle mass to increase your metabolism, Kaiser said. “You should life a weight that then gets your heart rate elevated,” she said.

Tip 3

Do moderate, extended workouts. Kaiser also said people should take a recovery day.

“We have 168 hours every week,” Kaiser said. “We’re only active three of them. That leaves a lot of hours behind a desk or sleeping … take the stairs instead of the elevators, stay active and make it efficient. If you only have 30 minutes, get your heart rate up. You can do that with cardio, with weights, with flexibility and yoga. Really try to do something every single day.”

She added: “Think about what you’re eating and how you’re eating as well. Small meals all throughout the day. Eat healthy, live foods. Try and cut out anything processed, sugars, from a box and that will help rev up your metabolism.”

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Your Body: Depression in Teens

iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Depression is more common among teenagers than you might think — and it may not just be a phase.

When it comes to treatment, many of them are resistant to the idea of anti-depressant medication, despite evidence showing the benefits of this class of drugs. But new research suggests that for these teens, talk therapy can still offer some benefits, regardless of whether or not anti-depressants are used.

So how can you help your teen?

Start by asking their pediatrician to recommend a good adolescent psychiatrist or psychotherapist — they’re usually a great resource and specialize in treating teenagers.

Understand that sometimes new disorders in teens are a reaction to an undiagnosed learning disability, so an education assessment might be helpful.

And let your teen know that you’re always there for them and that they can always come and talk to you and you will listen.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Government Sets New Recommended Salt Levels for Foods

Purestock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Top U.S. health officials have announced a new set of recommendations to help Americans cut the salt — setting new target sodium levels for foods in more than 100 different categories, ABC News has learned.

The guidelines set two- and 10-year goals and officials stress that many companies have already met or were working toward the two-year goals.

The officials say that the new guidelines would help cut more than 1,000 mg of sodium a day from the American diet.

The recommended daily intake of salt is 2,300 mg, but most Americans consume 50 percent more than that.

“A lot of it comes in your prepared and processed foods,” Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell told ABC News. “So most folks don’t actually know that you are getting it. Whether it is your bread, your salad dressing or when you are out a restaurant you are getting quite a bit then.”

The guidelines place foods in 150 categories, outlining new target sodium reductions in everything from bacon and fries to pasta sauces, soups and salads with toppings. For instance, breakfast bakery products would have to reduce sodium by 65 percent over 10 years and frozen soups by 42 percent over the same time period.

According to HHS, 75 percent of sodium intake comes from processed and prepared foods, not the salt shaker, and 50 percent of every dollar spent on food is consumed outside the home.

“In terms what we are doing is creating a situation where the consumer is in control,” Burwell explained. “If that consumer wants to add more sodium they are going to be able to do it. What the consumer can’t do now is take it out of the product and have real knowledge about it.”

Some major food companies have already announced their own moves to reduce salt.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, which sued the federal government when it failed to respond to a petition seeking more regulation of salt, applauded Wednesday’s move.

“Americans need to reduce their sodium intake to reduce their risk of heart attack or stroke,” said CSPI president Michael F. Jacobson. “If companies achieved the FDA’s proposed targets, it would have a huge benefit for the public’s health. If companies don’t achieve these voluntary targets, it would be clear that mandatory limits will be necessary to reach safe sodium levels.”

But not everyone is expected to welcome the changes. The Salt Institute wrote a letter in April to HHS and the Department of Agriculture asking them to stop going forward with salt reduction guidelines.

“The federal government pushing for reformulation of almost every food product made in the U.S. is unprecedented in its audacity. Every citizen will feel the effect of this overreach,” the group’s president, Lori Roman, wrote.

Burwell explains, however, that making these changes gradually would help consumers adjust their taste for salt and could also save hundreds of thousands of lives and billions of dollars in health care costs over the next decade.

“We know that there is a relationship between sodium consumption, high blood pressure and therefore those diseases (heart disease and stroke),” she said. “And so we are hopeful is that by having a gradual decline in the amount of sodium in america’s diets that we will be healthier and it will be less expensive.”

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Beauty Sleep: Products That Help Improve Your Looks Overnight

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The demands of work, children, errands and a host of other activities leave precious little time for people to indulge in lengthy beauty routines — but that doesn’t mean you still can’t take care of your skin.

magazine’s Sophia Panych appeared on Good Morning America on Wednesday to share the beauty treatments that she says you can apply before bed and they’ll work their revitalizing magic while you sleep.

The Products

For wrinkles: Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh Deep Wrinkle Night Cream. Panych said the paraben-free moisturizer soaks into the skin in two minutes and is thick enough to tackle parched skin without leaving it feeling greasy.

For under-eye circles: Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye cream. Panych said the cream moisturizes and brightens under-eye circles, reduces puffiness and fights fine lines. The cream also contains lavender, “the perfect soothing scent to fall asleep to,” she said.

For an overnight tan: James Read’s Sleep Mask Tan. According to Panych, “this silky aloe-and-hyaluronic-acid-spiked gel delivers a super subtle golden tint that’s incredibly natural,” adding, “it soaks in quickly, so the only thing it tans is you — not your sheets.”

For luminous skin: Garnier Skin Renew Clinical Dark Spot Overnight Peel. Panych said the product’s gel formula “uses propylene glycol and glycerin to moisturize and soothe skin, so you wake up with a dewier, glowier, more even complexion.”

For more hydrated hands and feet: Panych called Jo Malone Vitamin E Nourishing Hand Treatment “a skin-softening superhero.” She recommended Soap & Glory Heel Genius Amazing Foot Cream, saying “This blue, floral-scented cream helps remove dead skin cells. Massage it onto your feet and put on a pair of socks before bed to get the full effect.”

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World Health Organization Declares End of Ebola Virus in Guinea

iStock/Thinkstock(GENEVA) — The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Republic of Guinea Ebola-free Tuesday.

“Forty-two days have passed since the last person confirmed to have Ebola virus disease tested negative for the second time,” WHO said in a statement. “Guinea now enters a 90-day period of heightened surveillance to ensure that any new cases are identified quickly before they can spread to other people.

This would be the second such declaration from the country at the epicenter of the world’s worst outbreak of the disease.

The WHO had previously announced Guinea was free of transmission in December, after 42 days had passed without a positive test.

In the most recent outbreak, seven confirmed and three possible cases of the virus surfaced between March 17 and April 6 in the West African country, according to the organization.

“The flare-up seems to have occurred after a person came into contact with infected body fluid from an Ebola survivor,” that statement said. “Since the virus can remain active in certain body fluids for months, the WHO cautions the risk of outbreaks remain.”

Officials believe Guinea to be ground zero of the outbreak. The original chain of transmission of the virus began in December 2013 and spanned across neighboring countries including Sierra Leone and Liberia, killing more than 11,000 people.

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Baby Born with Microcephaly in US to Woman Who Contracted Zika Elsewhere

iStock/Thinkstock(HACKENSACK, N.J.) — A woman visiting the U.S. has given birth to a baby with microcephaly after contracting Zika elsewhere, officials said.

The woman gave birth to the baby at the Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital in Hackensack, New Jersey on Tuesday, according to Hackensack University Medical Center.

The mother is receiving “exceptional” care, according to the hospital. Microcephaly is a condition where a baby is born with an abnormally small head and brain.

This is the first baby born with microcephaly from Zika in the continental U.S. In January, a baby in Hawaii was born with microcephaly related to the virus.

The 31-year-old woman is from Honduras, according to a source briefed on the case. The mother learned of the baby’s diagnosis recently, while she was still pregnant, according to the source.

The baby is also suffering from intestinal and visual issues, according to ABC-owned station WABC-TV.

This is a developing story. Please check back in for updates

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Concussions in Children May Be Vastly Underreported, Study Finds

iStock/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) — Children who have suffered a concussion are more likely to be diagnosed in their pediatrician’s office than the emergency room, according to a new study that suggests current concussion statistics may be vastly underreported, since only children diagnosed in the ER are included in counts by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the study, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, researchers from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the CDC used CHOP’s regional pediatric network to figure out when and where children were diagnosed with a concussion.

They found approximately 82 percent had their first concussion visit at a primary care site like a pediatrician’s office, 12 percent were diagnosed in an emergency department, 5 percent were diagnosed from a specialist, such as a sports medicine doctor or neurologist, and 1 percent were directly admitted to the hospital.

The findings may have far-reaching implications for what we know about the number of concussions in the U.S., the authors said, noting that this study suggests that the condition is extremely underreported if the vast majority of concussions are diagnosed outside the emergency department.

“We need surveillance that better captures concussions that occur in children and adolescents,” Dr. Debra Houry, director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, said in a statement Tuesday. “Better estimates of the number, causes, and outcomes of concussion will allow us to more effectively prevent and treat them, which is a priority area for CDC’s Injury Center.”

Additionally, one-third of those injured were under age 12, showing that not just high school athletes are at high risk, the study found.

“We learned two really important things about pediatric concussion healthcare practices,” Kristy Arbogast, lead author and Co-Scientific Director of CHOP’s Center for Injury Research and Prevention, said in a statement Tuesday. “First, four in five of this diverse group of children were diagnosed at a primary care practice — not the emergency department. Second, one-third were under age 12, and therefore represent an important part of the concussion population that is missed by existing surveillance systems that focus on high school athletes.”

Though the finds are significant, it may be hard to generalize the data for a wider population since just a single hospital network was studied.

Alex Diamond, a pediatric sports medicine specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and director of the injury prevention program, told ABC News that these findings are important to help health officials understand how prevalent concussions really are.

“Anytime we can get a better sense of what the true numbers are, it allows us to provide better care and focus research and attention on where it needs,” said Diamond, who was not involved in the study.

Pediatricians are very effective at diagnosing and treating concussions, Diamond said, noting it is probably better for children to be seen by a doctor who knows them and can see if they are showing symptoms of a concussion.

“That’s why it’s great for a pediatrician to deal with this,” Diamond said. “They know the kid at baseline and they know the family.”

Concerns over concussions and the potential long-term impacts have been helpful in getting more kids treated, Diamond said, noting that parents should “trust their intuition” about whether to seek treatment for a potential concussion. Additionally, parents should seek medical help if the child lost consciousness, had a seizure or had “headache plus,” he said.

“Headache plus vomiting or sick to their stomach or balance problems,” Diamond said. “Those would be really good things to get evaluated for.”

He also recommended unless it’s an emergency, parents should try to make an appointment with their pediatrician since they are familiar with the child.

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Woman Bitten by Shark Faces Long Recovery, Doctors Say

Orange Country Global Medical Center and Maria Korcsmaros(NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.) — A Canadian woman who suffered a vicious shark bite at a California beach on Sunday will have a long road toward recovery, doctors treating her wounds said Tuesday.

The shark, believed to be a great white, bit Maria Korcsmaros from her shoulder all the way down to her pelvis, causing “significant” open wounds to the arm, upper body and pelvis, doctors at Orange County Global Medical Center said in a press conference.

“She had extensive lacerations to her right arm, and multiple lacerations from her upper torso with open chest wounds extending down to her pelvis,” said Dr. Roberto Sauri, adding she suffered an abdominal wall disruption.

“Remarkably, her nerves are all functioning,” Dr. Phillip Rotter added, admitting he had never seen such a trauma before. “You can see individual marks from individual teeth. It’s a serious wound and is at risk of infection. I’m amazed that her nerves are still functioning.”

Even so, doctors warn it is too early to tell if Korcsmaros will recover enough to have function of her seriously wounded arm.

The caretakers said Korcsmaros’ physical fitness certainly played a role in her survival. She is a personal trainer and aerobics instructor, according to her Facebook page.

“She was able to tread the water and hold her own until help arrived,” Rotter said.

Sauri said they will continue to monitor her condition, noting, “She seems like a very strong lady. She is remarkably calm,” and “doing remarkably well at this point.”

Corona Del Mar State Beach — where the attack happened — will reopen Wednesday morning after a final helicopter and boat survey of the waters, Lifeguard Battalion Chief Brent Jacobsen told ABC News Tuesday.

Jacobsen said the attack was a rare occurrence and advises beachgoers to take precaution, use good judgment and not venture too far out into the ocean.

A shark attack was also reported in Florida over the Memorial Day weekend.

As the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission notes, Florida’s diverse shark population does not “see humans as a food source. Experts believe that most shark attacks are cases of mistaken identity, which explains why nearly all shark attacks that occur in Florida waters are of a bite-and-release nature.”

There were 59 shark attacks in the United States in 2015, 30 of them in Florida alone, according to a report by the International Shark Attack File. Only one attack in the U.S. was fatal.

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Woman’s Physical Condition May Have Saved Her During Shark Attack

iStock/Thinkstock(NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.) — A woman’s physical condition may have saved her during a Memorial Day weekend shark attack.

In Newport Beach, California, on Sunday, Maria Korcsmaros was bitten by a shark while she was training for a half-Iron Man competition.

Humberto Sauri, medical director of trauma at Orange County Global Medical Center, said the 52-year-old fitness instructor was able to survive the attack and fight the shark because of her physical fitness.

While officials first reported Korcsmaros’ injuries as “possible animal bite wounds,” Sauri confirmed that the mother of three’s injuries formed a semi-circle pattern consistent with a shark bite.

A 13-year-old boy was also bitten by a shark over the weekend in waist-high water at Neptune Beach, Florida. He suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

In 2015, the U.S. saw a record 98 shark attacks, which included six deaths. Experts are predicting there will be another hike in shark attacks this summer as well.

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