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More Deaths in Animated Children's Films than Dramatic Films for Adults

Fly­ing Colours Ltd/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Ani­mated films meant for chil­dren fea­ture more on-screen deaths than ever before, a new study found.

In a study pub­lished in the British Med­ical Jour­nal, researchers ana­lyzed the 45 ani­mated films with the high­est gross rev­enue from 1937 to 2013. Rang­ing from Snow White to Frozen, researchers com­pared, year-to-year, the films to the two highest-grossing non-children films.

Researchers then adjusted for run time and years since release, and found that children’s ani­mated films fea­ture 2.5 times as many deaths as the non-children films.

Researchers also sug­gest that par­ents may want to watch movies with their chil­dren, “in the event that the chil­dren need emo­tional sup­port after wit­ness­ing the inevitable hor­rors that will unfold.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio

 

'Low Glycemic' Diets May Not Provide Significant Health Advantage

ASIFE/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Diets that focus on low impact on blood sugar may not have a sig­nif­i­cant impact on risk of heart dis­ease or diabetes.

Researchers from Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­sity and Brigham and Women’s Hos­pi­tal in Boston looked at data from 163 healthy adults who were either over­weight or obese at five-week inter­vals. Each par­tic­i­pant ate either a “low glycemic diet” which focuses on foods that have low impact on blood sugar, or a “high glycemic diet.”

The study, pub­lished in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Med­ical Asso­ci­a­tion, found that those par­tic­i­pants who ate a diet with low glycemic indexes did not have sig­nif­i­cant improve­ment in their car­dio­vas­cu­lar risk fac­tors and often had increased lev­els of “bad” LDL cho­les­terol and decreased sen­si­tiv­ity to insulin.

The study was done over a short period of time, so researchers did not ana­lyze med­ical out­comes, such as the devel­op­ment of dia­betes or the rate of occur­rence of heart attacks, but rather stud­ied the risk fac­tors asso­ci­ated with those outcomes.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio

 

What Finally Cured a Woman's 18-Year Stuffy Nose

Nadia Camp­bell (NEW YORK) — For more than 18 years, Nadia Camp­bell had no sense of taste or smell and lived with ter­ri­ble sinus pain. Even after see­ing five spe­cial­ists and under­go­ing three surg­eries, the 38-year-old said she was still left with a per­pet­u­ally runny nose that kept her up all night.

Every day there was a prob­lem,” said Camp­bell, of Oak­lawn, Illi­nois. “I had a dry mouth from breath­ing through my mouth and con­stant headaches.”

That all changed after doc­tors at Loy­ola Uni­ver­sity Health in May­wood, Illi­nois, diag­nosed her with Samter’s triad, a newly rec­og­nized med­ical con­di­tion involv­ing a com­bi­na­tion of nasal polyps, asthma and a sen­si­tiv­ity to aspirin.

My patients typ­i­cally come in car­ry­ing a thick folder of med­ical records because they have tried for a long time to find a cure for their ill­ness,” said Dr. Mon­ica Pata­dia, the board-certified head and neck sur­geon who treated Camp­bell at Loyola.

More than 37 mil­lion Amer­i­cans have at least one sinus prob­lem a year, accord­ing to the Amer­i­can Acad­emy of Oto­laryn­gol­ogy, mak­ing it one of the most com­mon med­ical con­di­tions the aver­age per­son experiences.

Samter’s triad, also known as aspirin exac­er­bated res­pi­ra­tory dis­ease, or AERD, affects an esti­mated 10 per­cent of peo­ple with asthma. About 40 per­cent of peo­ple with both asthma and nasal polyps and who are also sen­si­tive to aspirin may have Samter’s, stud­ies suggest.

The cause of the con­di­tion is not com­pletely under­stood, though researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hos­pi­tal in Boston believe it may be trig­gered in part by high lev­els of cells called eosinophils in the blood and sinuses, which leads to chronic inflam­ma­tion of the air­ways. Patients often show ele­vated lev­els of another type of cell known as leuko­cytes, par­tic­u­larly after tak­ing aspirin.

Once the prob­lem was diag­nosed, Camp­bell said the treat­ment itself was sim­ple and pain­less. First Dr. Pata­dia per­formed out­pa­tient surgery to remove the polyps and open up her sinus cav­i­ties. Next, she placed tem­po­rary spac­ers in Campbell’s nasal pas­sages that were removed once the heal­ing process was far enough along.

After surgery, Camp­bell spent sev­eral days under­go­ing a process to desen­si­tize her to aspirin. This has enabled doc­tors to wean her off the strong steroid med­ica­tions she took for almost two decades.

Pata­dia said the surgery was a success.

When the sinuses light up like a pump­kin or jack o’ lantern you know the sinuses are wide open and that is a good thing,” she said of look­ing at Campbell’s sinuses with an endoscope.

Camp­bell said despite a few lin­ger­ing aller­gies, she is thrilled with the results. When she first expe­ri­enced the feel­ing of breath­ing freely again, she said she cried with relief.

I now sleep through the night and I can taste food again,” she said. “No one can really under­stand what it’s like when you can’t do those things.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Movo Wave Aims to Shake Up Crowded Fitness Tracker Market

Movo Wave(NEW YORK) — There’s a new entry in the crowded fit­ness tracker mar­ket, and it’s aim­ing low.

The Movo Wave is a bare bones tracker that stands out most for its price: $29.99.

The tech­nol­ogy is smart but stripped down, mean­ing you won’t get the extra fea­tures you may find on rival devices. There’s no sleep qual­ity track­ing and cus­tomized alerts to get the user mov­ing, which can be found on the Jaw­bone and Fit­bit wear­ables, among a slew of other features.

The Movo Wave focuses on three met­rics: Steps, dis­tance trav­eled and calo­ries burned, the three areas the com­pany deems the most impor­tant to under­stand­ing your daily habits.

Putting the Movo Wave on, it feels like a hair tie. Weigh­ing less than ounce, it’s easy to for­get you’re wear­ing the bracelet.

Data can be synced to an app by plug­ging the device into the head­phone jack of the user’s smartphone.

One nice touch: Users also have the option of pair­ing their activ­ity to pho­tos of moments in their daily lives, cre­at­ing what the com­pany calls a “life log.”

The device is water resis­tant, though it’s not rec­om­mended users wear it while swim­ming or show­er­ing. It also boasts two weeks of oper­a­tion on one charge and comes in a range of sizes so it won’t fall off your wrist.

Peo­ple who want to com­mit to a fit­ness wear­able full time may be bet­ter served spend­ing a lit­tle extra money to get the other fea­tures. One option: The $49.99 Mis­fit Flash, which takes all of your basic met­rics, also mea­sures sleep, and works off of a battery.

But the bot­tom line is that if you’re curi­ous about fit­ness track­ers and don’t want any extra bells and whis­tles, the Movo Wave is a great cost-effective buy to explore the world of wearables.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Why Jahi McMath's Mom Is Sure Her Daughter Isn't Brain Dead

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Nailah Wink­field said she will never for­get giv­ing her teenage daugh­ter per­mis­sion to die as she lay motion­less and on a ventilator.

Months ear­lier, Jahi McMath, then 13, had been declared brain dead and become a house­hold name as a legal bat­tle to take her off life sup­port was splashed across head­lines nation­wide. Wink­field and her fam­ily won the bat­tle and moved McMath from Cal­i­for­nia to a long-term care facil­ity in New Jer­sey, but on this par­tic­u­lar day, Wink­field didn’t think her daugh­ter wanted to hold on any longer, she said.

You have my per­mis­sion to go. I don’t want you here if you’re suf­fer­ing,” Wink­field recalled telling McMath, her voice break­ing. “If you can hear me and you want to live, move your right hand.”

To Winkfield’s shock, McMath obeyed, she said. So Wink­field asked her to move her left hand. She did that, too, Wink­field said.

That was the first time I knew that she could hear me,” Wink­field said. “It took me to cry for her to move.”

Doc­tors at Benioff Children’s Hos­pi­tal in Oak­land, Cal­i­for­nia, declared McMath brain dead after what was sup­posed to be a rou­tine ton­sil surgery led to car­diac arrest on Dec. 9, 2013. But Wink­field said she and her fam­ily didn’t believe it. Attor­ney Christo­pher Dolan took on the case and helped them fight to keep her on a ven­ti­la­tor until she could be moved to New Jer­sey, where state law allows reli­gious objec­tion to brain death.

UCLA pedi­atric neu­rol­ogy pro­fes­sor Dr. Alan Shew­mon wrote an offi­cial dec­la­ra­tion this fall that although he hadn’t per­son­ally exam­ined McMath, the videos and what he under­stands from oth­ers who exam­ined her “leave no doubt that Jahi is con­scious, and can not only hear but can even under­stand sim­ple ver­bal requests…and make appro­pri­ate motor responses.”

He said the nurs­ing records, her MRI brain scan results and other records indi­cate that she is “not cur­rently brain dead,” though he doesn’t blame the doc­tors last win­ter for mis­di­ag­nos­ing her as such.

She is an extremely dis­abled but very much alive teenage girl,” Shew­mon wrote in an Oct. 3 court document.

Shew­mon has pub­lished stud­ies exam­in­ing and ques­tion­ing brain death for more than a decade. In his dec­la­ra­tion, he ref­er­enced speak­ing to two other experts who wit­nessed McMath’s motor func­tions: Cuban neu­rol­o­gist Dr. Cal­ixto Machado and Philip Defina, CEO of the Inter­na­tional Brain Research Foun­da­tion, Inc.

Wink­field left her job in Cal­i­for­nia and moved from across the coun­try in the mid­dle of win­ter last year with noth­ing but a knap­sack, Dolan said. She even spent some time homeless.

Doc­tors had told Wink­field that McMath’s brain would liq­uefy and she would start to look dif­fer­ent as her body shut down, but none of that has hap­pened, Wink­field said.

McMath has been out of the long-term care facil­ity since August, and she has been moved to Winkfield’s new New Jer­sey home, where she gets 24-hour nurs­ing care.

But Wink­field said she makes sure to be the per­son who gives McMath a bath, talks to her, reads to her and plays her favorite music to her. Every two weeks, she does McMath hair. Every week, she gives her a man­i­cure. This week it’s a pur­ple French manicure.

I talk to her like I would talk to any­body,” Wink­field said, adding that McMath can now respond by giv­ing a thumbs up.

Wink­field said she’s reached puberty over the last year, and has had two men­strual cycles — some­thing Dolan said can only hap­pen to some­one with a func­tion­ing brain.

The next step will be get­ting McMath’s Cal­i­for­nia death cer­tifi­cate reversed so she can move back home and get dis­abil­ity ben­e­fits in Cal­i­for­nia, Dolan said. Experts have already tes­ti­fied on her behalf, he said.

The fam­ily has posted YouTube videos of McMath mov­ing her hand and foot seem­ingly on command.

Dr. Wei Xiong, a neu­rol­o­gist at Uni­ver­sity Hos­pi­tals Case Med­ical Cen­ter in Ohio who has not treated McMath, said it’s not clear from the videos whether McMath is respond­ing to instruc­tions or whether she is “pos­tur­ing” — which hap­pens to brain dead patients when their spinal cords prompt limb move­ment after their brains have relin­quished con­trol. He said the hand move­ment was espe­cially inter­est­ing because it was a “com­plex” motion.

That would make it some­what unusual in some­one who is brain dead,” he said. How­ever, a com­plex move­ment in some­one who is brain dead is “not com­pletely out of the ques­tion,” he noted.

For Christ­mas, Wink­field won’t be able to be with her hus­band or other chil­dren because she needs to stay where she is and can’t afford to fly them across the coun­try. But she said she’ll still cook and buy McMath presents like a new night gown, lip gloss and some socks.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Sharon Stone Opens Up About Enduring a 'Massive Brain Hemorrhage'

Kevin Tachman/Getty Images for amfAR(LOS ANGELES) — Sharon Stone has been con­sid­ered one of Hollywood’s sex­i­est women for all of her more than 30 years in front of the cam­era.  And she doesn’t fear grow­ing older — espe­cially after suf­fer­ing what she describes as a “mas­sive brain hem­or­rhage” in 2001.

The 56-year-old actress recounts in an essay pub­lished in the Hol­ly­wood Reporter that because of the health scare, “I don’t choose to make grow­ing older a neg­a­tive. I choose to get older. Grow­ing older is my goal.”

I spent two years learn­ing to walk and talk again. I came home from that stroke stut­ter­ing, couldn’t read for two years,” she recounts. “I don’t need some­one to make me feel bad about grow­ing older. I’ll tell you what makes you feel bad: when you think you might not.”

Stone said she’s now doing well, which she cred­its to her hard work and deter­mi­na­tion to thrive. She tries to hit the gym four or five times a week and eats cleanly, because “peo­ple don’t want to see a fat Sharon Stone.”

Ulti­mately, Stone says, “The key to look­ing good as you get older is, it all comes from the inside. You have to do what you like to do. If you hate to go to the gym, don’t put your­self on a gym reg­i­men. Do what you like to do, but do it every day. I love to dance, and I dance hard. When I started think­ing about aging, I thought, ‘Who do I want to look like as I age?’ And the answer was dancers.”

Now, the actress is look­ing and feel­ing her best — and oth­ers are notic­ing too, both per­son­ally and pro­fes­sion­ally. Not only is she unafraid to audi­tion for roles that aren’t orig­i­nally meant for actresses her age, but also, she says younger men hit on her all the time.

I believe there can be a movie plot where the lead­ing hot guy who’s 43 falls for me instead of the 25-year-old girl,” she writes. “Every time I go into a Star­bucks, some 20-year-old guy throws him­self at me! Although it might be because he knows there’s a meal at the end of it. But these young guys know the sex would be better.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio

 

NHL's Mumps Outbreak Might Not Be Over Yet

Mark Kegans/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — More than a dozen NHL play­ers and ref­er­ees have con­tracted mumps in recent weeks, with addi­tional play­ers tested amid fears that the dis­ease could spread.

Play­ers with the Ana­heim Ducks, New Jer­sey Dev­ils, New York Rangers, Min­nesota Wild and Pitts­burgh Pen­guins have been affected so far.

The viral infec­tion can cause swelling of the sali­vary glands, fever, headache, fatigue and loss of appetite.

Mumps can be spread by sneez­ing and cough­ing, and it can spread quickly in close quar­ters, with hockey’s phys­i­cal­ity and locker room cul­ture aid­ing in the outbreak.

Because mumps has an incu­ba­tion period of up to three weeks, doc­tors say, it will take some time to know when the league’s out­break is over.

Pen­guins for­ward Beau Ben­nett, who was tested Mon­day, is the lat­est player to be screened for mumps.

Days ear­lier, Bennett’s team­mate Sid­ney Crosby appeared in the locker room with a swollen face, a tell-tale sign of the dis­ease. Crosby is past the infec­tious stage and could return to the team as early as Tues­day, Pen­guins offi­cials said.

Ben­nett was tested four days after he and other Pen­guins play­ers vis­ited the Children’s Hos­pi­tal of Pitts­burgh to spread Christ­mas cheer.

In a state­ment to ABC News, the hos­pi­tal said it plans to iso­late patients and fam­i­lies who vis­ited with Ben­nett and who had not received their age-appropriate doses of mumps vac­cine, and will be mon­i­tor­ing them.

Chil­dren with immune prob­lems are at a greater risk to have severe infec­tions from the mumps.

Mumps was nearly erad­i­cated in 1967, but made a re-emergence in 2000. A notable out­break occurred in the Mid­west in 2006, when thou­sands of col­lege stu­dents were infected.

Amer­i­cans are vac­ci­nated against the mumps as part of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vac­cine, the first dose of which is given to babies between 12 and 15 months old, accord­ing to the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion. The sec­ond dose is given at 4 to 6 years old.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Retired Detective Says 'Toxic Stress' May Have Contributed to His Cancer

Benny Andu­jar(NEW YORK) — When 54-year old Benny Andu­jar went in for a rou­tine checkup shortly after retir­ing from the New York City police force a few years ago, doc­tors found abnor­mal­i­ties in the cells close to his stom­ach, a con­di­tion called Barrett’s esoph­a­gus. Sev­eral months later he was diag­nosed with cancer.

Andu­jar said he didn’t real­ize how much of a toll all the years he’d spent inves­ti­gat­ing some of city’s most noto­ri­ous gangs and drug car­tels had taken on his body. But he’s con­vinced all the pres­sure he was under for so long con­tributed to his illness.

[Toxic Stress Tweet Chat Today at 1 P.M., ET]

You go to work in the morn­ing and you don’t know if you’re com­ing home in the evening,” Andu­jar said.

What Andu­jar expe­ri­enced goes so far beyond the nor­mal day-to-day has­sle, doc­tors refer to it as “toxic stress.” This is the type of stress that is so sus­tained and unre­lent­ing it can cause long-term depres­sion and anx­i­ety and an increased chance of devel­op­ing chronic ill­nesses such as dia­betes, can­cer and heart disease.

This hap­pens when stress is espe­cially severe or long-lasting, and it exceeds sup­port or cop­ing mech­a­nisms,” said Dr. Amit Sood, Pro­fes­sor of Med­i­cine at the Mayo Clinic.

Sood said that toxic stress puts your body at war by revving up the activ­ity in the glands that secrete stress hor­mones. These glands can tol­er­ate short peri­ods of high activ­ity well but don’t hold up dur­ing long peri­ods of extreme wear and tear. If stress and anx­i­ety lev­els con­tinue unabated, blood pres­sure ele­vates and immu­nity plum­mets, leav­ing the body vul­ner­a­ble to phys­i­cal and men­tal dis­or­ders, Sood explained.

Peo­ple in dan­ger­ous or high stress jobs such as Andu­jar are can­di­dates for toxic stress. So are vic­tims of domes­tic abuse. It can be espe­cially dan­ger­ous for children.

The Adverse Child­hood Expe­ri­ences stud­ies per­formed in the late 1990’s estab­lished a strong link between toxic stress in child­hood and the risk of obe­sity, depres­sion, alco­holism, smok­ing and other risk fac­tors in adult­hood. Addi­tion­ally, chil­dren who have high stress lev­els due to poverty, neglect, abuse, or severe mater­nal depres­sion have been shown to have a weak­ened archi­tec­ture of the devel­op­ing brain lead­ing to long-term con­se­quences for learn­ing, behav­ior, and over­all health.

Accord­ing to Dr. Robert Block, a for­mer pres­i­dent of the Amer­i­can Acad­emy of Pedi­atrics, toxic stress is so insid­i­ous, it affects indi­vid­u­als at the cel­lu­lar level.

It can actu­ally affect the way indi­vid­ual genes func­tion, poten­tially turn­ing on genes that increase risk of dis­ease,” he noted.

But Toxic stress doesn’t have to be a done deal, Sood said.

There are ways to decrease and even reverse the dam­age done,” he said.

Sim­ple lifestyle changes such as phys­i­cal exer­cise, a healthy diet and ade­quate sleep can help, Sood pointed out. Con­tem­pla­tive prac­tices such as med­i­ta­tion, yoga, tai chi, and even prayer can also help to man­age stress in the moment and reverse some of its neg­a­tive health consequences.

All of these lifestyle changes have been shown to reduce stress,” Sood said, adding that he also rec­om­mended “time­less virtues” such as grat­i­tude and work­ing to for­give old grudges.

For­tu­nately for Andu­jar, his can­cer was found in time. He’s now cancer-free, and extremely grate­ful. He said he’s made changes in his life that ensure stress can no longer over­take him. And the one pos­i­tive rem­nant of his can­cer bat­tle is a new per­spec­tive on life.

I think it makes you a bet­ter per­son when you see the gates open­ing,” he said. “I now enjoy life, I stay in the moment. I won’t wait for tomor­row to do what I can today. I don’t have time for anger, hatred. Life is too short.”

ABC News Health invites any­one who feels over­taken by stress to join us for a one hour tweet chat Tues­day at 1 p.m., ET. Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News chief health and med­ical edi­tor, will be lead­ing a dis­cus­sion on how stress impacts your life and what you can do about it.

We’ll be joined by experts from the Mayo Clinic as well as doc­tors, experts and advo­cates from other orga­ni­za­tions. Join­ing in is easy. Here’s how.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio