CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 10, 2007 |
Dressed in a blue power suit, Elyn Saks addressed a gathering of psychologists here with the quiet demeanor of an intellectual sure of her academic resume: college valedictorian, Oxford scholar, Yale law student, USC legal professor. But her words were not serene. They evoked nightmares. Over 30 years, as she forged her career, she wrestled with uncouth visions, violent commands and suicidal impulses, Saks explained to her listeners.
July 2, 2007 |
The product: Unless your radio dial is stuck on NPR, you've probably heard a few pitches for SkinZinc, a "revolutionary" treatment for psoriasis. The radio ads -- featuring glowing testimonials from alleged customers -- have clearly made an effect. "Patients ask about SkinZinc very frequently," says Dr. Kenneth Gordon, assistant professor of dermatology at Northwestern University and a medical board member of the National Psoriasis Foundation.
February 20, 2005 |
Alone at his computer, drool sliding down his chin, Tom Hill searched the Internet for anything that could save him. His 55-year-old body was gradually shutting down. His muscles twitched uncontrollably. He could no longer talk, so he scribbled notes to communicate with his wife, Valerie. Seven months earlier, he had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease — an incurable deterioration of the nervous system that spares the cognitive parts of the brain, leaving its victims sharply aware as they slowly die. The doctors told him there was no way to reverse the disease — no drugs, no surgeries, no other therapies.
July 4, 2005 |
One of the more serious complications of diabetes is a disabling condition called diabetic neuropathy. Because people with diabetes have excessive levels of blood sugar, nerves can become damaged, causing sharp pain that disturbs sleep, numbness in the hands or feet, digestive problems, ulcerations that can lead to foot amputations, and even sudden death if the nerves to the heart are affected.
June 17, 2003 |
It is just a variation on fermented cabbage, garlic and chile peppers, but Asians are scooping up record amounts of kimchi, hoping Korea's national dish is really a wonder drug. Southeast Asians are stocking up on it. China has embraced it. And South Koreans, who already eat it with every meal, are buying even more than usual amid hope that word of its curative powers will boost national fame, culture and fortune overseas.
January 12, 2010 |
For children diagnosed with worsening myopia, bifocals might be a better choice than standard lenses for nearsightedness; researchers have found that the condition doesn't seem to progress as rapidly among bifocal-wearing children. Those findings, released Monday, raise the intriguing question of whether there is a better way to treat myopia early in its course, slowing its typical progression. The condition, in which near vision is clear but distance vision is blurry, is usually identified in childhood and worsens until late adolescence.
August 31, 1998 |
The analysis of St. John's wort commissioned by The Times examined whether retail products were as potent as they claimed to be. The analytical technique, called spectrophotometry, tested each product for a family of compounds known collectively as hypericin. Scientists say that hypericin is not the only, and probably not even the primary, ingredient with antidepressant activity in St. John's wort.
June 30, 1996 |
Fumie Suzuki was 21 when she was found to have leprosy. Her family locked her in a room and slid her food through the doorway. After a year, she was exiled to an isolated leprosarium. Alone, she made the journey to a colony to which no roads led, stumbling on her weak, nerve-damaged legs. Her mother's parting words were: "Never come back. And die quickly."
January 26, 2007 |
Smokers with injuries in a specific part of their brains kick their habits instantly -- without the intense cravings that can make it so hard to quit, a new study reports today. The researchers from USC and the University of Iowa linked a brain area called the insula to the powerful urges that cause people to continue smoking. Smokers with damaged insulas were 136 times more likely to have their addictions erased than smokers with damage in other parts of their brains, researchers said.
December 21, 2009 |
In a sense, the 2 million plus Americans with celiac disease are lucky. No other autoimmune disease has such a safe and effective treatment. Purging the diet of gluten -- the protein in wheat, rye and barley that triggers an immune reaction in the gut -- can reverse the disease and reduce intestinal inflammation. That's important, because studies now show that the consequences of untreated celiac disease are graver than previously thought, causing anemia, arthritis, osteoporosis, hepatitis, neurological problems and even malignancies, as well as increased general mortality.