Review Category : Health

Michael J. Fox Reveals $10 Lottery to Win “Back to the Future Part 2” Nike Mags

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Michael J. Fox made movie history wearing “really space age” shoes as Marty McFly in Back to the Future Part 2. Now fans of the movie have another chance to win the self-lacing Nike Mag shoes while supporting a cause near and dear to Fox.

Fox’s The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research has teamed up again with Nike to offer fans a $10 chance to win a pair of Mags. All proceeds from the lottery will benefit Fox’s foundation.

“People who love sneakers and people who love Back to the Future, it’s like a perfect storm,” Fox, 55, said Tuesday on Good Morning America. “In 2011, Nike put up 1,500 pairs for auction and it raised $10 million for the foundation.”

He added, “There was a big demand for the shoes so now there’s a lottery.”

The Back to the Future and Family Ties star was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease in 1991. Seven years later, he revealed to the world that he was battling the disease, a chronic and progressive movement disorder of the nervous system that has no known cure.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research has funded over $650 million in Parkinson’s disease research since 2000.

Fox said he realized there was a “a huge knot to untie” when he first started the foundation, but now research is quickly advancing.

“We threw chum out into the water, all different areas of research … and now the big fish are starting to come up,” he said. “Big drug companies are starting to follow our lead on compounds we’ve targeted and we’ve had follow-on funding.”

Fox said much of the progress is focused on wearable technology to help personalize each patient’s treatment.

“You’re getting a much more complete picture about the life of a person with Parkinson’s,” Fox said about technology like watches and devices that allow the disease to be tracked 24-7. “The thing about Parkinson’s is everyone has their own version of it so what we’re doing with research is trying to attack whatever issue you may have.”

You can enter the lottery to win a pair of Nike Mags by donating $10 to the Michael J. Fox Foundation (HERE). The lottery, which will be awarding less than 100 pairs of the sneakers, runs through Oct. 11, 2016.

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Philadelphia Man Exonerated After 25 Years in Prison Says Meditation, Family, Faith Helped Him Behind Bars

Meagan Redman/ABC(PHILADELPHIA) — When Tony Wright walked out of the prison where he had spent 25 years of his life for a brutal crime he didn’t commit, he raised his hands in a sign of victory, grateful to be free.

“God is good, God is good, God is good,” he said, surrounded by his family and his lawyers.

This past August, a Philadelphia jury acquitted Wright of the 1991 rape and murder of a 77-year-old woman.

He had been just 20 years old when he was arrested — a father with a young son and a full-time construction job. When he found himself in handcuffs, Wright said he felt “numb” and couldn’t stop crying.

“My whole body shut down,” he said.

He said Philadelphia police questioned him about the crime and a detective came in with papers for him to sign.

“I wanted to look at the papers and see what I was signing,” Wright said. “They said, ‘Just sign the paper and you’ll go home.’ … everything they told me to do, I did.”

The papers contained a detailed confession, written in longhand by the detective. It even noted the clothing he had allegedly worn to the crime scene, with great detail: the “black sweatshirt with Chicago Bulls” logo and a “pair of blue jeans with suede on them,” that detectives say they later found in Wright’s apartment.

Wright was tried and convicted, sentenced to life in prison. It was years later that DNA evidence would tell a different story.

A team of lawyers, including Peter Neufeld and Nina Morrison with Innocence Project, fought for years just to get permission to conduct DNA tests on the rape kit and clothing that had been entered into evidence at Wright’s first trial.

When the DNA evidence came back supporting that Wright had not committed the rape, he said it was one of the happiest days of his life.

“I wanted my family to know that I was innocent,” he said. “I wanted [the victim’s] family to know that Anthony Wright didn’t commit a heinous crime against their loved one.”

But even with DNA evidence supporting Wright’s claim of innocence, his fight wasn’t over.

“The prosecutor decided, ‘I don’t care. I’m going to take it to trial. I’m going to invent a whole new theory of guilt, even if I have no evidence to support it,’” Neufeld said. “That’s so offensive, it’s so immoral. Cost Tony a lot more years.”

Wright’s case went to trial a second time. Six weeks ago, a second jury found Wright not guilty after deliberating for less than an hour.

“I almost passed out,” Wright said, recalling how he felt when he heard the verdict. “I think I let out the loudest scream in the courtroom. I think my son let out the second loudest one.”

Jurors embraced him after his retrial. The jury forewoman said at a news conference afterward that they found the evidence so compelling that “there really could have been no other verdict.”

In statements to ABC News, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office stood by the evidence and witness statements collected by detectives and said, “Prosecutors could not blithely have dropped the matter without even going to trial, not in the face of the still-compelling evidence of guilt. This was a murder … The verdict only shows that the jury did not find that (Anthony Wright’s) guilt was proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Nationally, nearly two-thirds of all the people exonerated through DNA evidence are African-American, according to Innocence Project.

“It’s hardly unreasonable to conclude that there is some racial bias at work,” said Innocence Project senior staff attorney Nina Morrison. “Whether that’s in who gets targeted, who gets prosecuted, why cases don’t get dismissed earlier in the process, bias on the part of the judges or juries that end up convicting these individuals — we don’t know, but certainly there are questions that need to be answered about why Tony was wrongfully prosecuted in the first place.”

Since his exoneration, Wright has been trying to get a toehold in a new life. His freedom comes with something he hasn’t had in a quarter century: choice, in everything from what to eat to which eyeglasses to pick. He’s also been learning how to use a cellphone for the first time. The cost of these things have been mostly paid by Innocence Project.

“Cell phones didn’t exist 25 years ago. All this is new to me,” he said, holding one in his hand.

But even after spending more than two decades behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit, Wright seems happy just to be out, not angry.

“If you angry, you’re angry all the time,” he said. “It’ll ruin you.”

“I always try to find the good out of every situation,” he continued. “For every person that points the finger at me, it’s two persons that give me the thumbs up. That’s what I focus on… They locked my body, but my mind was always free.”

Wright said he drew strength from his faith and family visits. He also practices yoga and meditation, something he said he learned behind bars.

A few weeks after his release, Wright learned that one of his lawyers helped him land a job at a federal courthouse.

“Every day, suit and tie, every day,” he said, excitedly.

Wright is looking forward to his first day on the job, and has been savoring every moment of his new freedom. He refers to his time in prison as the “inside,” and even just taking his shoes off to stand barefoot in the grass is something he cherishes.

“Inside, you couldn’t do this,” he said. “You go take a shower with your boots on. And to be outside with your shoes off, it’s unbelievable, man.”

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Take a Snooze in Washington’s First Nap Studio

JANET WEINSTEIN/ABC NEWS(WASHINGTON) — Raise your hand if you are in desperate need of some shut-eye.

Recharj, based in Washington, D.C., has the answer for you. (Hint: it includes a giant bean bag bed, a face mask, soothing music and a giant flannel blanket).

Washingtonians can now book a catnap between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. in the studio’s small but cozy space. Up to 13 people can doze at a time, separated by gauzy curtains for privacy. The company also offers meditation sessions.

A 20-minute snooze costs $15, but studio manager Christine Marcella says the cost of admission is worth it.

“We are on a mission to bring mindfulness back to Washington, D.C.,” Marcella said.

This may be the first studio of its kind in the U.S. but power-napping has been popular in other countries for years. In Japan, companies urge their exhausted workers to get a little rest during the day to recharge their batteries.

ABC News’ Karen Travers took a tour of the serene studio and had a chance to catch some Z’s in the process.

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Everything You Need to Know About Flu Shots

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — In addition to dropping temperatures and changing leaves, the start of fall also signals the beginning of flu season in the U.S.

Seasonal influenza may be thought of as a common nuisance, but the disease can be dangerous. Last flu season, 970,000 people were hospitalized due to the illness and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated there were 40 million flu cases in total.

There is a simple way to diminish the chance of getting the flu or suffering the worst complications from the disease: Get a flu shot.

Who Should Get a Flu Shot?

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that virtually “everyone” 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine “every season.”

Dr. Amy Edwards, a doctor of Pediatric Infectious Disease at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, told ABC News that “young kids” and “adults over 65” especially should make sure they get a flu shot this year.

In addition, “people with chronic medical problems, such as asthma, diabetes and heart diseases, that put them at a higher risk for complications,” when infected with the flu should make sure to get vaccinated, according to Edwards. People who are going to be exposed to those with a higher risk for complication should also make sure to get a flu shot, Edwards added.

“They’re at an increased risk for having bad outcomes, including pneumonia and cardiac events, because it puts a lot of strain on the heart. People who have had cardiac events in the last year should really get the flu shot,” Edwards added.

Edwards also said that “anybody that doesn’t want to take two weeks off for a bad case of the flu” should get vaccinated.

When Should You Get a Flu Shot?

While most health experts advise that earlier is better, the seasonal flu season doesn’t pick up until October in the U.S., according to the CDC.

“The CDC recommends October because we never quite know when transmission is going to start,” Edwards said.

“I always advocate as soon as possible. In my mind, it is just not worth taking that risk,” the doctor added.

Effectiveness of Nasal Spray Flu Vaccines Questioned

In previous years, some doctors recommended getting a nasal spray vaccine as opposed to the traditional flu shot.

The nasal spray is currently not recommended for use by the CDC because it appears it may not be as effective as preventing the flu as the shot, according to recent studies.

Edwards said she understood the disappointment of many parents with children who do not like getting the shots, but added that “maybe with a little more research if they can make that vaccine a little stronger they can bring it back in a few years.”

Of the variety of flu shots available, Edwards recommended talking to your doctor to figure out which vaccine would be most appropriate for your specific lifestyle and medical history.

“For the vast majority of the population, the regular trivalent should be just fine,” she said.

Older people over the age 65 can get flu shots or “high-dose vaccines” specifically aimed at protecting seniors. These vaccinations have a higher amount of antigen, which helps the immune system to develop antibodies.

How Effective Is the Flu Shot?

The effectiveness of a flu shot at preventing the virus “varies by year,” according to Edwards.

“Every year the experts look at what strains have been circulating in the U.S. and what strains have been circulating in other parts of the world,” when making the vaccine, Edwards said.

“There are some years where the vaccine is much better at preventing the flu than other years, but you are always getting some protection,” Edwards added.

What Happens If You Contract the Flu?

The flu shot is not a perfect vaccine and people may contract the virus even if they have received the vaccine. In these cases, experts advise that at-risk patients get antiviral medication to shorten the duration of influenza symptoms.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said anyone with underlying complications such as heart or breathing problems or above the age of 65 should go to their physician immediately if they show symptoms of the flu.

“Flu is tricky because you can feel mildly ill in the beginning and all of a sudden you crash,” said Schaffner. Antiviral medication “can ameliorate the severity of the illness, it will make you feel better soon [and] it will make it less likely you spread disease to others.”

Can You Get the Flu from the Flu Shot?


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CDC Investigating Rise of Paralysis-Causing Syndrome

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — A dangerous health condition that can cause temporary or sometimes permanent paralysis appears to be on the rise in the U.S., according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC reported Monday that there have been 50 cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) since the start of this year compared to just 21 cases in all of 2015.

AFM is a syndrome where the nervous system is affected and damaged, causing temporary or permanent paralysis in severe cases. The syndrome can be caused by a variety of conditions, including the polio virus.

Symptoms include facial droop or weakness, droopy eyelids, difficulty swallowing or slurred speech. The CDC is looking at the enterovirus D68 virus as a possible cause.

The enterovirus D68 virus spread rapidly in 2014 and infected many children. Some of the children subsequently developed AFM, but the CDC has not “consistently detected a pathogen” in the spinal fluid of infected patients, making the source difficult to pinpoint.

While Guillain-Barre syndrome can also cause temporary paralysis, that condition is often triggered after an acute infection and causes the body to attack the nervous system.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said parents should be aware of symptoms of enterovirus D68 in case the virus ends up being definitively linked to the mysterious syndrome.

“We’re tracking disease and urging everyone to wash their hands and if there is any early illness to get in touch with a health care provider,” said Schaffner. He said early symptoms are fever, rash and sometimes severe respiratory distress.

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Your Body: Can Carbs Help You Lose Weight?

iStock/ThinkstockDR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

If you’re trying to lose weight, you don’t have to cut out all carbs. The key is watching your portion sizes.

According to a recent study, eating pasta may even lower your body mass index.

Now, this doesn’t mean you should eat four cups of pasta with alfredo sauce every week. What it does mean is that a typical Mediterranean diet appears to be associated with a lower BMI and less obesity. It’s also associated with a decreased risk of stroke, heart attack and brain aging.

Here’s what I suggest: Pile on the veggies and lean protein, and don’t forget it’s not just about what you eat but how you move — fitness matters.

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Doctors Encourage Patients to Move for Speedier Recovery

DigitalVision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — When Marni Halasa, a professional ice skater and coach in New York, underwent hip replacement surgery at age 49, she was surprised that just three hours after her surgery, her doctors had her up and moving.

Within 24 hours of her surgery, Halasa said, she was back home at her apartment.

“I was taking these little baby steps and then I was walking up stairs and they said, ‘It’s time for you to go home,’” Halasa told ABC News.

Halasa is an example of the latest recovery strategy for people with surgeries like hip replacements and knee replacements to get moving.

“In the past, there was more bed rest prescribed to make sure that patients didn’t damage anything related to surgery,” said Sharlynn Tuohy, the senior director of Acute Care Rehab Services at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

“What we’ve come to learn is that patients don’t do as well when they’re on bed rest,” she said. “So being horizontal is not a good position for us to be in.”

Halasa said getting quickly on her feet again also gave her a psychological boost in her recovery process.

“It definitely gave me more confidence to be moving really quickly,” she said. “That in itself sort of allays any fears that, you know, I’m not going to recover soon.”

ABC’s Good Morning America co-anchor Lara Spencer had a similar experience when she underwent a hip replacement surgery at The Hospital for Special Surgery in August.

Spencer said she was walking 24 hours after having her right hip replaced and began physical therapy just days later.

Tuohy said the benefits of moving soon after surgery are multiple.

“It improves your cardiopulmonary system. It improves your musculoskeletal system functioning. It addresses your immune system,” she said. “So things like blood clots or pneumonia or atrophy for your muscles are all targeted with mobility as an intervention.”

Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News’ chief women’s health correspondent, said that how quickly and how often a patient moves post-surgery depends on their preoperative condition.

The idea that moving helps recovery is the “mantra now for almost all of surgery in general,” Ashton added.

“People recover faster if they’re out of bed moving sooner,” she said, “rather than later.”

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91-Year-Old Who Inspired Thousands with End-of-Life Road Trip Dies

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A 91-year-old woman who chose to hit the road over spending her days undergoing chemotherapy treatments and inspired hundreds of thousands in the process, has died.

Norma Bauerschmidt, the inspiration behind the Facebook page Driving Miss Norma,” was diagnosed with uterine cancer just two days after her husband of 67 years had passed. Upon hearing the diagnosis, she told doctors, “I’m 90-years-old, I’m hitting the road.”

And hit the road she did. Joining her son Tim and daughter-in-law Ramie in their RV, the trio — plus their poodle Ringo — traveled 13,000 miles and visited 75 locations in 32 states in one year. Their journey began on Aug. 24, 2015.

A year later, the family’s travels were addressed in a Facebook post.

“Miss Norma has experienced more ‘firsts’ than we can count. Big things, like riding in a hot air balloon or on a horse, to little things like getting a pedicure or having her first taste of key lime pie, oysters and fried green tomatoes. She has had her hair done by ten different stylists and has crossed the time zones 9 times (I think.) Over these past 12 months, all of us have learned so much about living, caring, loving and embracing the present moment. No matter where we are, when asked where her favorite spot has been on this trip, Norma now says, ‘Right here!’ We have also learned so much about the human spirit and the beauty of people from all over the world.”

Bauerschmidt and her family celebrated their year on the road with cake and beer.

But last month Bauerschmidt’s health had begun to deteriorate. The RV was parked in the “most ideal place we could imagine”: San Juan Island in the Pacific Northwest.

On Sept. 30, the Driving Miss Norma Facebook page read: “Life is a balance between holding on and letting go. Today we are letting go.”

Ramie, Norma’s daughter-in-law, told ABC News earlier this year they hoped the adventure would help other families have conversations about end-of-life plans.

“Everyone has different ideas about how they want the end of their life to work,” Ramie said. “As a planet, we need to have this conversation.”

Bauerschmidt’s celebration of life will take place in Friday Harbor, Washington, on Oct. 7. When Bauerschmidt was asked how she wanted people to pay their respects, she simply said: “Wouldn’t it be nice if others could just spread joy in the world.”

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Infant Born with Rare Birth Defect Returns Home After Heart Transplant

Ron and Mindy Seay(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) — One family has never been so happy to bring their baby home from the hospital.

Lincoln Seay of Anchorage, Alaska, has spent much of his young life in a hospital after being born with heterotaxy syndrome, a rare birth defect that abnormally arranges internal organs. Born last summer at Seattle Children’s Hospital, Lincoln underwent multiple surgeries for the condition but ultimately needed a heart transplant when he was just 7 months old. Lincoln had gone into cardiac arrest multiple times before the operation, including as he was being prepped for the transplant.

“He’s been pretty sick and getting sicker,” Dr. Michael McMullen, surgical director of heart transplantation at Seattle Children’s Hospital, told ABC News in an earlier interview. “I think he was about to die on us. Right before he fell off the edge, a heart became available.”

The team was able to get him on a heart bypass machine, saving his life just before the transplant.

“It was a whole roller coaster thing,” Lincoln’s mother, Mindy Seay, told ABC News in an earlier interview. “I was shocked, I was elated, I was sad for the other family. I had every emotion you could think of.”

Now 14 months old, Lincoln has finally recovered enough to return to Anchorage with his parents. In September, Mindy Seay said Lincoln’s doctors had finally given him the all clear to go to Anchorage as long as the family returned every month to be monitored by doctors.

“I cannot tell you how many emotions collided in my chest all at once when it finally struck me,” Seay wrote on Facebook on Sept. 14. “We are finally going home. HOME. Home to our kids, our family, our community, our house that we’ve never actually got to live in.”

Mindy and Rob Seay have been updating family and friends over the last two weeks with posts on Lincoln.

“I think its safe to say somebody likes church!” Seay wrote on Facebook.

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Physicians’ Political Views Might Affect How They Treat Patients, Study Says

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Whether your doctor is a Democrat or Republican could affect the kind of care you receive, especially when it comes to politically charged issues, according to a new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers at Yale University linked the records of primary care physicians in 29 states to a voter registration database and then surveyed them on how they would address hypothetical patient scenarios, some of which focused on politicized health issues like marijuana, abortion, and firearm storage.

They found significant differences in how seriously Democratic versus Republican doctors viewed these issues, but not apolitical ones like obesity and cigarette use.

They also found that physicians would counsel patients differently — Republican doctors being more likely to urge patients to stop using marijuana and discourage future abortions, and Democratic doctors being more likely to urge patients not to store firearms in the home.

The study has several notable limitations, including the fact that researchers surveyed only primary care physicians (no specialists) and had a relatively low survey response rate (only 20 percent of surveyed doctors responded). The study also only focused on hypothetical scenarios and did not observe what doctors would actually do in these situations.

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