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'Real Detective Work' Leads to Theory on Goya's Mystery Illness

The Spanish painter was profoundly ill for months but went on to live a long life

(Newser) - In 1793, when acclaimed Spanish painter Francisco Goya was 46, he was bedridden for months with a mysterious illness that brought on headaches, dizziness, hallucinations, and even vision and hearing problems. He eventually recovered and went on to live just past his 82nd birthday, but the illness took his hearing... More »

Grandma Knows Best, Even When Spotting Autism

Grandmothers tend to notice signs of autism before parents, study finds

(Newser) - Parents, it turns out, aren't necessarily the first to spot signs of autism in their children. Close friends and grandparents—and especially grandmothers—are consistently helpful in getting earlier diagnoses, researchers report in the journal Autism . After surveying nearly 500 parents of children with autism, and then following that... More »

Erin Andrews Hid Cancer Diagnosis for 5 Months

She underwent surgeries for cervical cancer in late 2016

(Newser) - Erin Andrews was in the operating room of a Los Angeles hospital on Oct. 11, about to undergo surgery for cervical cancer that had been discovered only a few weeks earlier during a routine checkup, when she told her oncologist, "I'm not missing the Super Bowl." Days... More »

Fruits, Veggies May Help Slow ALS

Antioxidant nutrients and carotenoids are key

(Newser) - "It appears that nutrition plays a role both in triggering the disease and why it progresses." So says the lead researcher of a study out of Columbia University that per a press release is "among the first" to look at the interplay between diet and ALS near... More »

Study: You Will Suffer 'One Meaningful Diagnostic Error'

Data on diagnostic errors is scarce, but they're a serious problem: report

(Newser) - Virtually all Americans will at some point receive a wrong diagnosis or a delayed one, a new report from the National Academy of Medicine finds. "Everyone will experience one meaningful diagnostic error in their lifetime," the chairman of the committee that wrote the report tells NBC News . The... More »

Why Autism Rates Have Soared

Study: Most of the uptick is because of better diagnosis, not environmental factors

(Newser) - The rate at which autism is diagnosed around the world has increased dramatically in just a generation, and researchers studying a comprehensive tracking system in Denmark say they can explain the majority of the uptick: new and improved diagnosis. In the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics, they argue that the huge... More »

Doctors Misdiagnose 1 in 20 Patients They See

And the number might actually be higher

(Newser) - American doctors misdiagnose roughly one out of every 20 adult patients they see in an outpatient setting, or about 12 million of us a year—and about half of those mistakes could cause serious harm, according to a new research report . A team led by Dr. Hardeep Singh—who recently... More »

Your Breath Can Reveal ... Stomach Cancer?

Scientists develop new diagnostic test

(Newser) - Scientists have developed a test that can detect stomach cancer with 90% accuracy—based on a patient's breath, the BBC reports. This test sounds monumentally less unpleasant than the current method for diagnosing stomach cancer, which involves a probe and a camera being passed through the mouth and down... More »

Coming Soon: Disease Breathalyzer?

New test proves promising in mice

(Newser) - What if you could diagnose a disease as easily as you could tell whether someone were driving drunk? That possibility is on the table thanks to work from a group of researchers from the University of Vermont, who are working on a breathalyzer test that can detect forms of bacteria,... More »

Next-Gen Diagnostic Tool: Your Breath

High-tech tests can detect growing number of illnesses

(Newser) - Doctors since ancient times have been able to detect ailments from the smell of a patient's breath, and the practice is now getting a boost from 21st-century technology, the Wall Street Journal finds. Researchers are identifying thousands of compounds that leave traces in exhaled breath and developing tools that... More »

Induced Labor Lets Dying Dad See Baby

Texas man with colon cancer wept holding child

(Newser) - A Texas man with only a few days left to live held his newborn baby daughter for the first time—because his wife had her labor induced two weeks early, the AP reports. Holding tiny Savannah in a hospital bed, Mark Aulger "cried, and he just looked very sad,... More »

Sleuths Unravel Darwin's Illnesses

One factor: He picked up a bug on his Beagle voyage

(Newser) - Charles Darwin's voyage on the HMS Beagle brought him evolutionary insights, fame, and a nasty parasite that probably contributed to his death. Medical sleuths examining his symptoms say he likely contracted Chagas disease from a bug bite in 1835, reports the Wall Street Journal . The illness can lie dormant... More »

Millions on Antidepressants ... Without Right Diagnosis

Patients may face side effects without benefits: researchers

(Newser) - More than a quarter of Americans on antidepressants haven’t been diagnosed with depression, anxiety order, or any other condition that the drugs are intended to treat, a study finds. That means millions could face side effects without getting the drugs’ benefits, a researcher tells Reuters . In surveys of more... More »

My 'Best' Summer...With Cancer

Author recounts her melanoma diagnosis last week

(Newser) - It took nothing more than a bump on the head to grind Mary Elizabeth Williams' "best summer of my life" to a halt last week, she writes for Salon. "I hypochondriacally Googled 'infected cuts,' " she writes, never dreaming her search term should have been "cancer"... More »

New Test Predicts Alzheimer’s

Three markers in spinal fluid may help in development of treatment

(Newser) - The presence of certain biomarkers in spinal fluid can predict the development of Alzheimer's disease, even in patients who display no symptoms, according to breakthrough research being published tomorrow. "This is what everyone is looking for, the bull’s eye of perfect predictive accuracy," a doctor not connected... More »

Ovarian Cancer Breakthrough Raises Hopes

New use for old test: early diagnosis of deadly disease

(Newser) - Combining an existing blood test for ovarian cancer with a new screening protocol may lead to a reliable way to diagnose the deadly disease in its early stages, a new study says. "This is an important step forward," the lead researcher tells the Houston Chronicle . " This may... More »

Libyans Paid for Lockerbie Bomber's Terminal Diagnosis

Pressed docs to find that al-Megrahi had just 3 months to live

(Newser) - Libya footed the bill for medical evidence that suggested the Lockerbie bomber had just 3 months to live, the Sunday Telegraph reports. The Libyan government pushed doctors to make the prognosis, required in Scotland for the release of prisoners on grounds of compassion. “The figure of three months was... More »

Food Allergies? 75% Are Bogus

Inaccurate testing results in huge number of misdiagnoses, experts say

(Newser) - Food allergies are on the rise, but faulty tests are behind much of that increase, the Los Angeles Times reports. Eating controlled amounts of a certain food under medical supervision is the only way of knowing whether you’re allergic to it, but primary-care doctors are more likely to employ... More »

Eggbeater Helps Scientists Whip Disease

Harvard researchers fashion a household item into a diagnostic device

(Newser) - Centrifuges separate blood from plasma—but at considerable expense, in a bulky package. That leaves them beyond the reach of underfunded medical facilities that could use the help in diagnosing blood-borne ailments, such as hepatitis and other diseases. The solution, Discover reports, could be as close as the nearest kitchen.... More »

Kennedy Diagnosis Still in Works

Explanation could come today as senator remains in Boston hospital

(Newser) - Sen. Ted Kennedy remains in a Boston hospital today, four days after a seizure whose cause remains undiagnosed, the Herald reports. Results of medical tests done on the 76-year-old Democrat are expected today; Kennedy is likely to stay at Massachusetts General for a few more days before returning to his... More »

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