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Physicians Divided on Medical Marijuana

Monday April 23, 2001

By Sherry Kahn

LOS ANGELES (Reuters Health) - Using marijuana for treating serious medical conditions continues to be a topic of national debate. While eight states have passed laws allowing physicians to prescribe marijuana and the US Supreme Court is considering a major California case on the issue, little is known about doctors' willingness to prescribe it.

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Brain Images Help Diagnose Alzheimer's Disease

Monday April 23 8:27 PM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Two brain imaging methods appear to be able to help doctors distinguish Alzheimer's disease from other kinds of dementia, which might lead to better diagnosis of the memory-robbing illness.

It is difficult to tell the difference between Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, especially early in the course of the disease, according to Dr. Nick Fox and associates from The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London.

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Test May Detect Alzheimer's in Early Stages

Tuesday April 24 1:56 PM ET

By Stephen Pincock

LONDON (Reuters Health) - A new memory test developed at Cambridge University can detect early stages of Alzheimer's disease in as little as 10 minutes, researchers report.

Using images flashed up on a computer screen, the test probes episodic memory, which is lost in the early stages of the degenerative brain disorder.

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Nitrates May Up Bladder Cancer Risk in Women

Tuesday April 24, 2002

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The limit set for a cancer-causing compound found in tap water may be too high, putting women at increased risk for bladder cancer, results of a study suggest.

According to the report, women who drank tap water that contained levels of nitrates below the maximum level of 10 milligrams (mg) per liter set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were still nearly three times more likely to develop bladder cancer compared with women who consumed much lower levels of the contaminate.

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Mammograms Saves Twice As Many Lives As Thought

Tuesday April 24 1:57 PM ET

By Andrew Holtz

DANA POINT (Reuters Health) - Screening mammography reduces breast cancer deaths by 63%, double the effect usually cited, according to a study presented here Monday at the American Cancer Society Science Writers Seminar.

The new figures strengthen the case for comprehensive mammography screening, according to Dr. Robert Smith, of the American Cancer Society.

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Psychological Stress May Hasten Heart Deaths

Mon Mar 25, 2002

By Jacqueline Stenson

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Studies have suggested that stress can be harmful for people with heart disease, but a new report finds that it may actually triple their risk of death.

The researchers said their study is the largest to date to investigate the relationship between stress response and mortality in heart patients. Other studies have found that stress can contribute to heart attacks.

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Childhood Food Allergy Rarely Causes Death: Study

Mon Mar 25, 2002

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Many parents will be relieved to learn that food allergy-related deaths in children are much more rare than they might have thought, according to the results of a study.

While fears of peanut allergies have garnered much attention in the media, the study conducted in the UK found that no young children died as a result of a peanut allergy between 1990 and 2000. However, peanut-related deaths did occur in two older children in that country--one 13-year-old and one 15-year-old.

US Alternative Medicine Report Spurs Controversy

Mon Mar 25, 2002

By Alicia Ault

WASHINGTON (Reuters Health) - The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Monday released the final report of the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy without fanfare, simply posting the recommendations on the Commission's website.

Doctors Say Insurance Influences Treatment

Mon Mar 25, 2002

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Most physicians believe health insurance coverage--more than race, income or other factors--determines the type of care a patient receives, a new Kaiser Family Foundation survey reveals.

Seventy-two percent of doctors surveyed agreed that the US healthcare system treats people unfairly "very often" or "somewhat often" based on whether or not they have insurance coverage.

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