NPR Health

Researchers are working to revive a radical treatment for Parkinson's disease.

The treatment involves transplanting healthy brain cells to replace cells killed off by the disease. It's an approach that was tried decades ago and then set aside after disappointing results.

Now, groups in Europe, the U.S. and Asia are preparing to try again, using cells they believe are safer and more effective.

What's Next For Health Care In The Senate?

Jun 13, 2017

News broke Monday evening that Senate Republicans were apparently working on a repeal to the Affordable Care Act without plans to share drafts of it with other lawmakers or the public. The bill is expected to be sent to the Congressional Budget Office for scoring soon, and a vote before July 4 has been promised.

The secrecy and fast-tracking has angered many Democrats, who want more say and sunlight in the process.

GUESTS

Drones could soon be dropping off packages at customers' doors. But researchers in Sweden have drones in mind for a different, potentially lifesaving delivery: automated external defibrillators.

Using drones to carry AEDs to people who are in cardiac arrest could reduce the time between when patients go into cardiac arrest and when they receive the first shock from an AED, the researchers say.

After losing a job, what's the best strategy for getting insurance? Are Republicans planning to change Medicare benefits as part of their changes to the federal health law? And will entrepreneurs be able to get insurance easily if that GOP overhaul goes forward? This week I answer these questions from readers.

South Korea in recent years has become the hot place for beauty product innovation, and it is often called the cosmetic surgery capital of the world.

Dog owners often say the best thing about dogs is their unconditional love.

But new research suggests there's another benefit, too. Dog owners walk more.

In a study published Monday in the journal BMC Public Health, dog owners on average walked 22 minutes more per day compared to people who didn't own a dog.

And they weren't just dawdling.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

For the second time this year, David, one very outspoken Russian dissident is calling for mass demonstrations.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Yeah. It's Alexei Navalny. He has organized what he calls anti-corruption protests.

Gerry Realin says he wishes he had never become a police officer.

Realin, 37, was part of the hazmat team that responded to the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando on June 12, 2016. He spent four hours taking care of the dead inside the club. Now, triggers like a Sharpie marker or a white sheet yank him out of the moment and back to the nightclub, where they used Sharpies to list the victims that night and white sheets to cover them.

When Maisha Watson heard about baby boxes, her first reaction was: "Why would I want to put my baby in a box?"

She was talking with Marcia Virgil — "Miss Marcia" to her clients — a family support worker with the Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative.

Zika may have fallen from headlines, especially with everything going on in politics these days, but the threat remains.

And recommendations for pregnant women haven't changed: Pregnant women — and those trying to get pregnant — should not travel to places where the Zika virus is circulating.

It's just too risky because Zika can cause birth defects.

But what about babies? Or kids? Is it safe to travel with them?

There's no doubt about it: Zika is on the retreat in the Americas.

In Brazil, cases are down by 95 percent from last year. Across the Caribbean, outbreaks have subsided. And in Florida, the virus seems to have gone into hiding. Health officials haven't investigated a new Zika case for more than 45 days in Miami-Dade County.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LAKSHMI SINGH, HOST:

Republicans in both the House and the Senate are considering big cuts to Medicaid. But those cuts endanger addiction treatment, which many people receive through the government health insurance program.

Note: Given the subject this story explores, the discussion includes some explicit language.

For years, people with addiction have wondered when the media would recognize our condition as a medical problem, not a moral one — when they would stop reducing us to mere "addicts" and speak of us in the more respectful and accurate "person first" language that has become common for people with other diseases and disorders.

I am a man of science. Okay, perhaps not of science, but certainly near it. As a science journalist, I'm science-adjacent. But I consider myself to be bound by logic and facts.

Which is why it was weird when I took my infant son in for his first vaccines and started peppering his pediatrician with questions. I inspected the boxes, telling myself that I was concerned about a recent bad batch of vaccines in Chiapas, Mexico, that made a bunch of kids sick. But really, I was looking for a label that read "not the autism kind of vaccine."

If you were worried you had cancer, who would you call for information? Chances are a federally-funded cancer helpline isn't the first place that pops into your mind.

But for 40 years, a helpline funded primarily by the National Cancer Institute has been answering people's questions about cancer.

John Minor of Manhattan Beach, Calif., epitomized the active Californian. The retired psychologist was a distance runner, a cyclist and an avid outdoorsman, says his daughter, Jackie Minor.

"He and my mom were both members of the Sierra Club," Jackie says. "They went on tons of backpacking trips, you know — climbing mountains and trekking through the desert. He was just a very active person."

Provocative new research suggests that fetuses have the ability to discern faces when they're still in the womb.

A study involving 34-week-old fetuses found they were more likely to focus on a pattern of lights that resembled a human face than on the same lights configured to look nothing like a face.

This week the podcast and show Invisibilia examines the nature of reality, with a Silicon Valley techie who created apps to randomize his life; a psychologist

This week the podcast and show Invisibilia examines the nature of reality, with a Silicon Valley techie who created apps to randomize his life; a wildlife biologist

Water stagnating at a construction site. A dwindling number of mangroves along the shore. Lakes choked with algae and hyacinth. Sewage pipes leaking into the sea.

These are common sights in India.

Until recently, the best people could do to try to draw attention to such problems was to tweet pictures to the government or write letters to the newspaper — hoping someone with the power to make changes would take note.

A team of European and Moroccan scientists has found the fossil remains of five individuals who they believe are the most ancient modern humans (Homo sapiens) ever found.

In a remote area of Morocco called Jebel Irhoud, in what was once a cave, the team found a skull, bones and teeth of five individuals who lived about 315,000 years ago. The scientists also found fairly sophisticated stone tools and charcoal, indicating the use of fire by this group.

In his high-stakes strategy to overhaul the federal health law, President Donald Trump is threatening to upend the individual health insurance market. But if the market actually breaks, could anyone put it back together again?

Ever heard of the freshman 15? Nowadays, some people who are unhappy with the current political environment are complaining of the "Trump 10."

We first heard this term from actress Jane Krakowski, who recently told late night TV host Stephen Colbert, "Now that I've put on my Trump 10, I've got to work out a little." When Colbert said he hadn't heard of the term, she replied, "You know — like the freshman 15," referring to the weight gain typical during the first year of college.

He was a world leader who was not a household name. But he definitely made an impact as an advocate for the sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls.

Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the U.N. Population Fund, died on Sunday night at his home.

For years, says Corinne Bobbie, shopping in Arizona for a health plan for her little girl went like this:

" 'Sorry, we're not covering that kid,' " Bobbie recalls insurers telling her. " 'She's a liability.' "

On the day I visit the family at their home in a suburb north of Phoenix, 8-year-old Sophia bounces on a trampoline in the backyard. It's difficult to tell she has a complex congenital heart condition and has undergone multiple surgeries.

Nursing homes and hospitals need to do more to protect their patients from catching Legionnaires' disease from contaminated water systems in their buildings, federal health officials warned Tuesday.

Each year, thousands of Americans miss their deadline to enroll in Medicare, and federal officials and consumer advocates worry that many of them mistakenly think they don't need to sign up because they have purchased insurance on the Affordable Care Act's marketplaces. That failure to enroll on time can leave them facing a lifetime of penalties.

Several decades ago, Evan Nodvin's life probably would have looked quite different.

Nodvin has his own apartment just outside Atlanta, in Sandy Springs, Ga., which he shares with a roommate, and a job at a local community fitness center. He also has Down syndrome.

"I give out towels, and put weights away, and make sure people are safe," the 38-year-old says.

To get to and from work, Nodvin relies on rides from people who are hired to help him. He also has a counselor to help him do daily chores like grocery shopping, cleaning and cooking.

Pages