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Placebo Effect

HEALTH
April 4, 2011 | By Chris Woolston, Special to the Los Angeles Times
If you see professional athletes or weekend warriors with a crazy crosshatch of tape on their shoulders, knees or elbows, they probably aren't making a fashion statement. Chances are they're trying to tape over some pain. So-called kinesiology tapes — two prominent examples are Kinesio Tex Tape and KT Tape — gained worldwide attention during the 2008 Olympics, largely thanks to the heavily taped shoulder of American beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh. Unlike traditional tapes that wrap around joints to provide support and compression, kinesiology tape sticks directly to the sore spots like big Band-Aids.
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HEALTH
April 1, 2002 | DIANNE PARTIE LANGE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Botox is remarkably safe, especially considering it's a powerful toxin. Occasionally, a mild headache that lasts a few hours may occur after an injection in muscles of the forehead. Very rarely, though, that headache may become excruciating and can last as long as a month.
SCIENCE
December 20, 2007 | Karen Kaplan and Denise Gellene, Times Staff Writers
Forget sports doping. The next frontier is brain doping. As Major League Baseball struggles to rid itself of performance-enhancing drugs, people in a range of other fields are reaching for a variety of prescription pills to enhance what counts most in modern life.
HEALTH
November 3, 2008 | Chris Woolston, Woolston is a freelance writer.
As you may have noticed from the supermarket tabloids -- admit it, you've looked -- all sorts of celebrities are still battling cellulite, that unflattering skin condition that can ruin Hollywood reputations while making big money for beach-side paparazzi. Of course, celebrities aren't the only ones who worry about cellulite. The dimpled, "cottage cheese" patches of skin show up on women of every shape and body type.
HEALTH
February 11, 2008 | By Regina Nuzzo, Special to The Times
AS they seek to document and demystify one of life's great thrills, scientists have run across some real head-scratchers. How, for example, can they explain the fact that some men and women who are paralyzed and numb below the waist are able to have orgasms? How to explain the "orgasmic auras" that can descend at the onset of epileptic seizures -- sensations so pleasurable they prompt some patients to refuse antiseizure medication? And how on Earth to explain the case of the amputee who felt his orgasms centered in that missing foot?
HEALTH
July 22, 2002 | JANE E. ALLEN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
When a recent study found that a popular knee operation was only as good as a placebo for arthritis, some sufferers misconstrued the results, assuming that no surgery would help them. Doctors are now trying to reassure people this isn't the case.
HEALTH
June 19, 2006 | Jeannine Stein, Times Staff Writer
Can "super-oxygenated" water make people run faster? Yes -- if they think it can. The water, marketed under different brands, is touted as having more oxygen content than regular tap water and, thus, the ability to enhance athletic performance -- claims that have been debunked by scientists who consider it no more than nicely packaged snake oil.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 9, 2003 | From Staff and Wire Reports
Dr. Louis Lasagna, 80, who led a crusade calling for the clinical testing of drugs before their approval and rewrote the Hippocratic Oath recited by graduating doctors, died of lymphoma Thursday in a hospital in Newton, Mass. Lasagna, a native of Queens, N.Y., who served as dean of Tufts University's Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences for two decades, was best known for his work in clinical pharmacology.
HEALTH
September 17, 2007 | Susan Brink, Times Staff Writer
Regular exercise could help lift the cloud of major depression as effectively as an antidepressant, new research shows. "A lot of people know from their own experience that when they exercise, they feel better," says James A. Blumenthal, a professor of psychology at Duke University and lead author of the study. But such anecdotes and gut feelings don't amount to clinical proof.
HEALTH
November 8, 2010
If you want to eat to maximize your mood and brain power, here's what the experts recommend: ? Breakfast: Studies have provided good evidence that a healthy breakfast leads to better cognitive performance, especially in children. ? Enough calories: Few things make people grumpier than being calorie deprived. If you're hungry, anything with calories will help. ? Regular meals: Keeping your blood sugar even by eating regularly ? about every four hours ? will help keep your mood level all day. Conversely, skipping meals and eating erratically will lead to highs and lows.
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