NPR Health

Walter Mischel, a revolutionary psychologist with a specialty in personality theory, died of pancreatic cancer on Sept. 12. He was 88.

Young people around the country are among those joining the debate over Christine Blasey Ford's accusation of sexual assault against Judge Brett Kavanaugh in 1982, when both were teenagers.

What are teens learning from all this? And how should adults be handling this conversation?

One night during the summer of 2017, a teenager named Francesca in Virginia was assaulted by a classmate: "I was pinned down and he fondled my breasts and sexually assaulted me." We're only using her first name because she's 15 years old.

Children registering for school in Florida this year were asked to reveal some history about their mental health.

The new requirement is part of a law rushed through the state legislature after the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Carmen Lugo has lived in Puerto Rico her whole life, and her whole life she has feared the water that comes out of her tap.

"When I was a child, we used filters," she says, leaning on the doorjamb with her 11-year-old in front of her and two teenage sons sleepy-eyed behind her on a morning in July.

"The water here," she says, pausing as she purses her lips in a tight smile. She chooses her words carefully. "We want to be in good health," she finally says. "My husband, he buys water from the Supermax," referring to a local grocery store.

Scientists say they have taken a potentially important — and possibly controversial — step toward creating human eggs in a lab dish.

A team of Japanese scientists turned human blood cells into stem cells, which they then transformed into very immature human eggs.

The eggs are far too immature to be fertilized or make a baby. And much more research would be needed to create eggs that could be useful — and safe — for human reproduction.

Experiments with two gambling monkeys have revealed a small area in the brain that plays a big role in risky decisions.

When researchers inactivated this region in the prefrontal cortex, the rhesus monkeys became less inclined to choose a long shot over a sure thing, the team reported Thursday in the journal Current Biology.

The psychoactive drug known as ecstasy can make people feel extra loving toward others, and a study published Thursday suggests it has the same effect on octopuses.

Nearly a third of households in the United States have struggled to pay their energy bills, the Energy Information Administration said in a report released Wednesday. The differences were minor in terms of geography, but Hispanics and racial minorities were hit hardest.

If you look at the sugar content of some yogurts in the supermarket, you might mistakenly think you're in the dessert aisle. Yogurt is marketed as a healthy food, but a study published this week in the British Medical Journal is the latest reminder that not all yogurt is created equal.

Have you heard the theory that low air pressure during a hurricane can cause a surge in births?

Supposedly a steep drop in barometric pressure makes it easier for a baby to pop out.

As Hurricane Florence ripped through the Carolinas, we wondered if that was really true.

"It's one of those old wives' tales," said Dr. Hal Lawrence, executive vice president and CEO of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

When patients come to Dr. Molly Quinn for infertility treatments, they usually aren't too interested in hearing about the possible downsides, she says. They just want to get pregnant.

Let's figure out how to end hunger forever. And do it fast.

That's the lofty goal of the World Food Programme's Innovation Accelerator, a 2-year-old venture inspired by the startup scene. It's gathering an arsenal of ideas to fight hunger — both by brainstorming internally and supporting outside entrepreneurs — to test out in the real world as quickly as possible.

DeVonte Jones began to show signs of schizophrenia as a teenager. His first public episode was nine years ago at a ballgame at Wavering Park, in Quincy, Ill.

"He snapped out and just went around and started kicking people," says Jones' mother, Linda Colon, who now lives in a Chicago suburb.

The police were called. Jones was arrested, charged with aggravated battery and placed in Adams County Jail. Colon says Jones had no recollection of what happened.

Floodwaters keep rising in the Carolinas as post-Tropical Storm Florence continues to dump rain on the region. The dangerous storm has already left more than 30 dead and displaced thousands of others, leaving them without electricity or shelter.

In the aftermath of Florence, North and South Carolina officials are encouraging people to volunteer or donate if they can. Here's a guide to how to help.

Why give cash

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

When Linda Kay Klein was 13, she joined an evangelical church that prized sexual "purity" and taught that men and boys were sexually weak.

According to Klein's faith, girls and women were responsible for keeping male sexual desire in check by wearing modest clothing, maintaining a sexless mind and body and taking a "purity pledge," in which they promised to remain virgins until marriage.

Today, JAMA publishes two major studies on a hot topic: physician burnout. Burnout is a buzzword that's been in the news, but what is it? How does it affect doctors and their patients?

It turns out, nobody really knows. The first study, a systematic review, summarizes the research to date on physician burnout. Study authors found that researchers do not use a consistent definition of burnout, and estimates of how common it is vary widely.

A visit to your primary care physician may focus on your headaches or that achy back. But if your body mass index is over 30, a panel of national experts says, it should also include a referral to an intensive weight-loss program.

When a relationship ends but love remains, it can be both frustrating and embarrassing.

Dessa, a well-known rapper, singer and writer from Minneapolis, knows the feeling well. She'd spent years trying to get over an ex-boyfriend, but she was still stuck on him.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A big, new study found the risks of taking a low-dose aspirin every day outweighs the benefits. This is for otherwise healthy older people. What about the rest of us? NPR health correspondent Rob Stein joins us now to talk about it. Welcome to the studio, Rob.

Two years ago, Shivam Sharma rushed to a Mumbai hospital at 2:30 a.m. He'd had sex earlier that night with a man who was HIV positive. They'd used protection, but Sharma just wanted to be sure he was safe.

So he went straight to the emergency room and asked a junior doctor for a preventative dose of antiretroviral medicines, or PEP — post-exposure prophylaxis.

Hospital staff "were absolutely clueless," Sharma, 28, recalls. No one had ever asked for a PEP before, staff told him.

When researchers first discovered a link in the late 1990s between childhood adversity and chronic health problems later in life, the real revelation was how common those experiences were across all socioeconomic groups.

Shirley Avedon, 90,­­ had never been a cannabis user. But carpal tunnel syndrome, which sends shooting pains into both of her hands, and an aversion to conventional steroid and surgical treatments are prompting her to consider some new options.

"It's very painful; sometimes I can't even open my hand," Avedon says.

So for the second time in two months, she has climbed aboard a bus that provides seniors at the Laguna Woods Village retirement community in Orange County, Calif., with a free shuttle to a nearby marijuana dispensary.

Watching an infant propel herself across the floor on wheels in a saucer-shape baby walker may be as entertaining as a comedy episode. But because hospital emergency rooms treat more than 2,000 babies a year for injuries sustained while using these walkers, American pediatricians are repeating their decades-old call for a ban.

Many healthy Americans take a baby aspirin every day to reduce their risk of having a heart attack, getting cancer and even possibly dementia. But is it really a good idea?

Results released Sunday from a major study of low-dose aspirin contain a disappointing answer for older, otherwise healthy people.

Fake Bike Helmets: Cheap But Dangerous

Sep 16, 2018

Forget the fake Rolex watches sold on street corners. These days, most counterfeits are sold over the Internet, right into your home. And some of them could seriously hurt you.

Take bicycle helmets. If you don't use one, you probably have a child or relative who does. Bike helmets are meant to protect us if we ever have a serious fall.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

When Kate Sieloff's husband, Karl, began acting strange, she didn't know where to turn. Her hard-working, affectionate spouse was suddenly having fits of anger and aggression. He stopped paying the bills. Karl, 56 at the time, was an engineer at General Motors, where he'd worked for more than 40 years. But some days he didn't even show up for work, finding it too hard to get out of bed.

Editor's note: Given the subject this story explores, the discussion includes some explicit language.

Two sisters from a remote pastoral village in Puntland State, Somalia, died on Sept. 11 of complications from a female genital mutilation (FGM) procedure.

An "inexperienced self-proclaimed traditional circumciser" performed the procedure the day before, according to Dr. Mohamed Hussein Aden, director of the University Teaching Hospital in Galkayo, Somalia, who sent an email with his comments to NPR.

Pages