Health Highlights: Oct. 21, 201110/21/11
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
NFL Player's Brain Tumor Spotted During Trade Physical
NFL running back Jerome Harrison's life may have been saved by a
Doctors discovered a brain tumor while giving Harrison, 28, a
routine physical as part of the deal that would have sent him from
the Detroit Lions to the Philadelphia Eagles. The unexpected
diagnosis voided the trade but resulted in Harrison receiving
life-saving treatment, according to
ABC News reported.
While Harrison will likely miss the rest of this season, he's
expected to return to his football career after completing his
Earlier this year, doctors treating golfer Chris Logan after he
was hit in the head by a golf ball discovered that he had thyroid
ABC News reported.
Mercury Ban Would Affect Vaccines, Experts WAarn
Banning mercury would harm public health because the chemical is
needed in vaccines, according to vaccines experts.
A ban on mercury is one proposal that may be considered later
this month at a meeting of officials negotiating a global treaty on
the deadly chemical. The proposed ban might include thimerosal, a
mercury compound used to prevent contamination and extend the shelf
life of vaccines, the
Associated Press reported.
Currently, there is no real alternative to thimerosal, according
to David Wood, a vaccines expert at the World Health Organization.
Banning thimerosal would affect the supply chain and vaccination
campaigns in poor countries and likely lead to price hikes.
"Not being able to use mercury is not a viable option," Wood told the AP.
Specific Facial Features Linked to Autism: Study
Children with autism have different facial characteristics than
children without the disorder, a finding that may help improve
understanding of what causes autism, according to University of
They found that children with autism have a broader face with
wider eyes, a shorter middle region of the face including the
cheeks and nose, and a broader or wider mouth and philtrum, the
area between the nose and the top lip,
These differences can't be picked out in a crowd of children,
but can be identified mathematically, said the researchers, who
compared 64 boys with autism and 41 boys without the disorder. The
boys were ages 8 to 12.
The face begins to develop during the middle of the first
trimester of pregnancy and this finding may point researchers to
environmental or genetic factors that occur during pregnancy and
cause autism, according to the researchers,
Anti-HIV Vaginal Gel Also Protects Against Herpes
A vaginal gel originally developed to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa
is more effective against genital herpes, a new study says.
Genital herpes affects about 21 percent of sexually active women
in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention. The infection isn't fatal but causes painful
blisters that spoil sexual pleasure and can increase the risk of
more dangerous infections such as HIV and syphilis,
The New York Times reported.
The South African study found that the tenofovir gel reduced HIV
infections among women by 39 percent and reduced genital herpes by
51 percent. The findings were published online this week by the
Cell Host and Microbes.
The gel is not available in the United States but experts
believe it would be welcomed by many American women,
The Times reported.
Hip Resurfacing Safety and Effectiveness Unproven: Report
There's not enough evidence to prove that hip resurfacing is as
safe and effective as hip replacement, according to a report by the
California Technology Assessment Forum.
The statement is a reversal from a position the influential
group took just last year. The change of opinion is due to recent
findings that some resurfacing devices are failing prematurely and
concerns about the health effects of metal debris released as the
The New York Times reported.
Hip resurfacing preserves more of the thigh bone than
traditional hip replacement, enabling patients to remain active and
preserving more bone for future hip procedures.
"It is incumbent upon the hip resurfacing community to prove the efficacy and safety of hip resurfacing though clinical trials, said report author Dr. Judith Walsh of the University of California, San Francisco, The Times reported.
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