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Adoption May Affect IQ Scores for the Better

iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — Chil­dren who are adopted may have an advan­tage over other kids that sci­en­tists have never pre­vi­ously considered.

Based on find­ings of a new study, young­sters who were adopted fared bet­ter in IQ tests than their broth­ers or sis­ters who stayed with their bio­log­i­cal parents.

Study co-author Eric Turkheimer, a pro­fes­sor of clin­i­cal psy­chol­ogy at the Uni­ver­sity of Vir­ginia in Char­lottesville, says the dif­fer­ence was about four points higher based on an analy­sis of 400 sets of full male broth­ers from Swe­den who were given IQ tests that are part of manda­tory mil­i­tary service.

Turkheimer acknowl­edges that the research can’t say defin­i­tively whether adop­tion is respon­si­ble for a higher IQ of four points, the equiv­a­lent to mov­ing up ten per­cent in cog­ni­tive abil­ity, com­pared to the gen­eral population.

How­ever, the find­ings do seem to sug­gest that even when genetic fac­tors are con­sid­ered, “the more edu­cated the adop­tive par­ents are, the big­ger the advan­tage for the child.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Study Finds Concussions Affect Baseball Players' Hitting

Moodboard/Thinkstock(ROCHESTER, N.Y.) — It takes a while for Major League Base­ball hit­ters to bounce back from a con­cus­sion, a new study has found.

After exam­in­ing the records of 66 posi­tion play­ers who suf­fered head injuries between 2007 and 2013, the study pub­lished in the Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Sports Med­i­cine reports that their bat­ting aver­age, on base per­cent­age and slug­ging aver­age all dipped notice­ably in the two weeks after com­ing back from their con­cus­sion, as com­pared to what they were hit­ting before get­ting hurt.

As of now, Major League Base­ball has a seven-day dis­abled list to allow play­ers to recover from con­cus­sions, but there is actu­ally no time limit as to how long they need to stay off the field. If they pass a pro­to­col involv­ing tests of phys­i­cal and men­tal func­tion­ing, they can resume playing.

Although study author Dr. Jef­frey Bazar­ian of the Uni­ver­sity of Rochester says that a recov­ery rate of 90 per­cent is prob­a­bly good enough to return to most pro­fes­sions, he argues that base­ball play­ers should be fully recov­ered before step­ping up to the plate where fast­balls often exceed 95 mph.

How­ever, Dr. Gary Green, baseball’s med­ical direc­tor who ques­tioned the study’s method­ol­ogy, main­tains that “the player asso­ci­a­tion and MLB make the deci­sion on return. If there’s any dis­crep­ancy, we have an inde­pen­dent neu­rol­o­gist give his opinion.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
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How Many Minutes Should Kids Really Spend Doing Homework?

iStock/Thinkstock(OVIEDO, Spain) — Sev­enty min­utes of home­work a day doesn’t seem like a lot but a Span­ish study sug­gests that it might be the per­fect amount of time to improve grades, par­tic­u­larly in math and science.

Researchers from the Uni­ver­sity of Oviedo in Spain ana­lyzed the per­for­mance of about 7,700 boys and girls with a mean age of about 13. A cou­ple of things were dis­cov­ered right off the bat: kids did bet­ter in stan­dard­ized tests when assigned home­work and when they did it with­out any assistance.

How­ever, the time spent doing home­work was cru­cial when it came to math and sci­ence scores, which declined a bit when stu­dents were given between 90 and 100 min­utes of home­work. Fur­ther­more, the improve­ment in scores when 70 to 90 min­utes of home­work was assigned was negligible.

There­fore, 70 min­utes of home­work for ado­les­cents is preferable.

Co-lead authors Javier Suarez-Alvarez and Ruben Fernandez-Alonso con­cluded, “It is not nec­es­sary to assign huge quan­ti­ties of home­work, but it is impor­tant that assign­ment is sys­tem­atic and reg­u­lar, with the aim of instill­ing work habits and pro­mot­ing autonomous, self-regulated learning.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Stents Intended to Prevent Strokes May Actually Increase Their Likelihood

mironos/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — One Amer­i­can dies from a stroke every four min­utes on aver­age, accord­ing to the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Prevention.

Doc­tors often place what is known as a stent in the nar­rowed arter­ies in the brain to prop them open, with the idea that they will help pre­vent repeat strokes.

How­ever, a new study by researchers from Wis­con­sin pub­lished in JAMA shows that plac­ing stents in patients with strokes may actu­ally increase the risk of future strokes.

The researchers com­pared out­comes of stroke patients who either received only blood-thinning med­ica­tions or a stent plus blood-thinning medications.

The study had to be stopped early, as 24.1 per­cent of the stent group suf­fered a repeat stroke, and 8.6 per­cent of the stent group suf­fered a brain bleed within 30 days, accord­ing to researchers.

The authors sug­gest that for now, med­ical ther­apy using blood-thinning med­ica­tions seems like a rel­a­tively safer choice in man­ag­ing patients with strokes.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


More Than Half of Patients with Alzheimer’s Never Told Diagnosis

Beau Lark/Fuse/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Alzheimer’s dis­ease, which is esti­mated to affect nearly 5 mil­lion Amer­i­cans, is not a nor­mal part of aging.

Now, a new report pub­lished Tues­day sug­gests that more than half of patients with Alzheimer’s dis­ease may not even have been told their diag­no­sis by their doctors.

Accord­ing to the newly released 2015 Alzheimer’s Dis­ease Facts and Fig­ures report, physi­cians fre­quently report that they are afraid of caus­ing patients emo­tional dis­tress by reveal­ing the diag­no­sis of Alzheimer’s.

Other find­ings from the 88-page report include the grow­ing rate of Alzheimer’s, the enor­mous eco­nomic bur­den, such as health care costs of $226 bil­lion, and the increas­ing death rate from Alzheimer’s, which pre­dicts 700,000 Amer­i­cans will die in 2015.

Although there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s dis­ease, researchers say active med­ical care can improve the qual­ity of life for indi­vid­u­als liv­ing with Alzheimer’s dis­ease and their caregivers.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


When the Pain, Torment of Cyberbullying Lingers Years Later

OcusFocus/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — In the age of the Inter­net, bul­lies can do more dam­age faster than ever before, and as more cyber­bul­ly­ing vic­tims share their sto­ries of harass­ment, there is one woman who con­sid­ers her­self an advo­cate for the cause: Mon­ica Lewinsky.

Lewinsky’s infa­mous affair 17 years ago with for­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton not only played out in the media, it was one of the first scan­dals to play out online. Now, Lewin­sky is deter­mined not to tip­toe around her past.

I was patient zero of los­ing a per­sonal rep­u­ta­tion on a global scale almost instan­ta­neously,” Lewin­sky, 41, said in a TED Talk speech last week.

In the past year, Lewin­sky has joined a star-studded list of celebri­ties cham­pi­oning change to end pub­lic online sham­ing, from singer Demi Lovato to the Jen­ner sis­ters, who are the faces of the “Delete Dig­i­tal Drama” cam­paign. The issue of cyber­bul­ly­ing even came up on Mon­day night’s episode of ABC’s Danc­ing With the Stars, when Orlando model Char­lotte McK­in­ney shared a few of the nasty tweets she has received while being on the show.

Ally Del Monte, 16, says she has been a vic­tim of cyber­bul­ly­ing for years, and the ridicule started on the play­ground when she was 8.

I was really over­weight,” she said. “My friends thought it was funny and would exclude me from the play­ground. They would make fun of me.”

But as she got older, Ally said, the bul­ly­ing quickly moved online.

I would get mes­sages every week that no one cares about me, that I’m not worth any­thing,” she said. “One night was really bad. I had 172 mes­sages on there telling me to kill myself.…And I said ‘OK.’ I tried to take a bunch of pills that night and I almost died because of it.”

Her mother, Wendy, decided the only solu­tion was to sep­a­rate Ally phys­i­cally from her tor­men­tors, so she pulled Ally out of school and now home-schools her.

Bul­ly­ing is so bad and the school can­not keep up with it,” Wendy said.

But Ally said the cyber­bul­ly­ing prob­lem still con­tin­ues, even in the safety of her own home.

I still get mes­sages on Insta­gram, Twit­ter, Face­book,” she said. “I learned how to men­tally pre­pare myself for those kinds of things. I have to be able to take some of that crit­i­cism. There are nasty peo­ple out there. Don’t encour­age them.”

It’s a prob­lem so many kids face. Nearly half of U.S. teens say they have been vic­tims of cyber­bul­ly­ing, accord­ing to the National Crime Pre­ven­tion Council.

It’s very pub­lic, it’s very humil­i­at­ing and it’s 24/7,” New York-based psy­chother­a­pist Robi Lud­wig said. “It’s not like you can go home, close the door and pre­tend it’s not hap­pen­ing because it fol­lows these kids every­where and that’s what makes it so dam­ag­ing so for a young kid that can’t really see that dif­fi­cult times will pass.”

Kelsey Kan­gos knows this all too well her­self. Now 26, she said she was liv­ing Ally’s story when she was in the sev­enth grade.

This was the time of AOL Instant Mes­sen­ger, in like 1999, 2000,” Kelsey said. “They would make these anony­mous screen names…the sec­ond I blocked one, another one would pop up and it was sort of this con­stant bom­bard­ment. There was no way to know who it was.”

Kelsey said it wasn’t just on Instant Mes­sen­ger. Her tor­men­tors cre­ated a web­site about her.

It had my pic­ture, my school pic­ture of the year­book, kind of copied on top of a gorilla body,” she said. “They would fake jour­nal entries that I had writ­ten, so like, ‘Oh, today I thought about shav­ing my arms’ or ‘Today I thought about how many bananas I could eat at one time,’ or ‘Today I thought about bring­ing a gun to school, because nobody likes me.’”

She said she brought the web­site to her mom, and after her step­fa­ther found out about it, she said, he took action.

He was like, ‘Who do you think is behind this?’ He made that num­ber of copies and drove to each of the par­ents’ houses,” Kelsey said.

And even though she says the site was taken down, things became worse.

It actu­ally didn’t stop until I left that school, until I grad­u­ated eighth grade,” she said. “Once high school started, it was like a totally dif­fer­ent sce­nario. It just like stopped altogether.”

Thirty-four states have laws that specif­i­cally tar­get cyberbullying.

In the mean­time, Kelsey has some advice for Ally:

There is so much ahead of you that at 15 your social life is every­thing and I get that,” she said. “So while it feels like this is it, this is my whole life, it’s not. Oh, my gosh, it’s not. You have your whole life ahead of you.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


NHL Star Darren Helm's Girlfriend Delivers Baby in Back Seat of Car

Hans Nyberg/iStock/Thinkstock(DETROIT) — Dar­ren Helm is known as one of the fastest play­ers in the NHL, but when it came to get­ting his girl­friend to the hos­pi­tal when she went into labor, the Detroit Red Wings cen­ter wasn’t fast enough.

Helm’s girl­friend Devon Englot deliv­ered the couple’s sec­ond child in the back seat of their car early Mon­day morn­ing as he drove on I-96, on his way to the Prov­i­dence Park Hospital.

I was try­ing to get to the hos­pi­tal as quick as I could,” Helm said Tues­day after the team’s workout.

He was sleep­ing at around 11 p.m. Sun­day when Devon woke him and “said things were hap­pen­ing really fast,” he said.

It came on so quick, we thought we’d have some time to get to the hos­pi­tal, and things just took a turn,” he said. “The baby was ready to come out and say hello, and that’s what she did.”

The new baby girl, Rylee Klaire, and her mother were both doing fine, he said.

I’m extremely proud of what [Devon] did, the courage, the pain she had to endure, it’s amaz­ing,” Helm said.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Women Facing Same Choice as Angelina Jolie Talk Life-Changing Decision

Sean Gallup/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — In a per­sonal essay for the New York Times, Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie recounted the painful and life-changing choice to remove her ovaries and fal­lop­ian tubes in an effort to sig­nif­i­cantly lower her can­cer risk.

It’s a choice many women at high risk for devel­op­ing breast or ovar­ian can­cer have faced out of the spot­light, and in some cases women decide that imme­di­ate surgery is not right for them.

Lind­say Avner was just 22 when she tested pos­i­tive for the same genetic muta­tion on the BRCA1 gene that Angelina Jolie has. The gene muta­tion alone indi­cates a 55– to 65-percent chance of devel­op­ing breast can­cer and a 39-percent chance of devel­op­ing ovar­ian can­cer, accord­ing to the National Can­cer Insti­tute. When com­bined with a fam­ily his­tory of the dis­ease, the chances are even greater.

I had con­vinced that I [would have] tested neg­a­tive,” Avner said. “I felt like I had my father’s side…I was like I’m not going to have to deal with it. It was totally shock­ing and totally jarring.”

While nation­ally just 1.3 per­cent of women will be diag­nosed with ovar­ian can­cer and 1 in 8 women will have breast can­cer, women with the BRCA gene muta­tion have a 45– to 65-percent chance of devel­op­ing breast can­cer and an 11– to 40-percent chance of devel­op­ing ovar­ian can­cer, depend­ing on if it’s a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation.

Avner said in 2006 she was faced with one clear option to pro­tect her­self. She could have her breasts and ovaries removed to nearly elim­i­nate her related can­cer risk.

Here I am at 22 years old and I feel like there’s a cloud of can­cer fol­low­ing me,” said Avner.

At 23, Avner had a dou­ble mas­tec­tomy, but did not have the sec­ond surgery to remove her ovaries and fal­lop­ian tubes, which would throw her into menopause. Avner said she and her doc­tors decided to wait until she was 35 to have the sec­ond surgery so she could have a chance to have children.

Avner said she tried to crowd out this med­ical time­line in her twen­ties but some­times it was hard to ignore.

In the back of your mind [there’s a] lurch­ing feel­ing, ‘Hurry up get mar­ried, have chil­dren, get your ovaries out at 35,’” Avner, now 32, recalled. “That pres­sure it was undeniable.”

Even­tu­ally Avner froze her eggs to take the pres­sure off her rela­tion­ships. Now 32, Avner is engaged and plans to start a fam­ily as soon as she’s mar­ried later this year.

Yes, you want life to unfold [nat­u­rally],” said Avner. But, “You have infor­ma­tion you can’t ignore.”

Avner founded the Bright Pink non-profit orga­ni­za­tion that aims to edu­cate young women at risk for breast and ovar­ian can­cer so they can be proac­tive. Avner said she wants to help other young women fac­ing the same sit­u­a­tion she did.

Angela Smith, one woman whom Avner worked with, said it took seven years for her to decide to go ahead with both the dou­ble mas­tec­tomy and removal of her ovaries. Smith was 30, with a 7-year-old son, when she first tested pos­i­tive for the BRCA1 gene in 2007.

After the test Smith said she didn’t feel ready to have surg­eries and instead opted for high level of med­ical screen­ings. Last year, after a biopsy led to an MRI and addi­tional worry, Smith decided to go ahead with the operations.

I kind of thought…‘what I am gain­ing keep­ing these body parts?’ It seemed like the nat­ural deci­sion at that point,” she said.

After the surg­eries Smith said she felt a weight lifted off her shoulders.

I didn’t real­ize how heavy it was,” she said. “I remem­ber wak­ing up and being under anes­the­sia [think­ing], ‘They did it, I’m going to be OK and I’m going to be here to see my son grow up.’”

Both Smith and Avner hope that Jolie’s essay will encour­age women to be proac­tive about reduc­ing can­cer risks, and Avner thinks the essay could save hun­dreds to thou­sands of lives. Avner said women, like her­self, who are at a high risk for can­cers need to edu­cate them­selves so they can grap­ple with tough ques­tions about their future.

Ninety per­cent of the time I feel strong and empow­ered and 10 per­cent I feel, ‘My gosh, isn’t this a lot?’” said Avner.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
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