health and science

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Mobile wellness devices such as the Fitbit and Apple or Garmin watches are ubiquitous these days. Many of us wear them to hold ourselves accountable for our physical fitness. But they’re also becoming a tool that employers are using with a separate, but related goal to have healthy employees and controlling healthcare costs.

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Chemotherapy is - in some ways - a medical miracle. It’s proven to kill cancer and every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans are helped by these drugs.

But there are also many known side effects to the drugs used in chemotherapy. Perhaps the most noticeable is hair loss, but different kinds of chemotherapy can lead to a variety of life-altering consequences.

Infertility, nerve damage, and anemia are just a few of the many side effects that can come from chemo. Yet another symptom of chemotherapy is the subject of a growing body of research. 

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At UW-Milwaukee, one unusual class being offered in during the spring semester is called “The Art of Being Still” - a course that many of us could use.

The course is being taught by Erin Maris, who owns the E2 fitness facility in Mequon and who teaches a variety of mind-body classes.

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There’s a lot that we can learn from our DNA. Some of it is information that’s important - like whether we’re predisposed to develop a disease. But that doesn't mean we can do something about it.  There is, however, a lot of information that we can use, such as learning how our bodies respond to different kinds of foods.

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In the last few decades autism rates have skyrocketed in the United States. There are theories as to why, but many point to increased awareness and thus diagnosis, as at least partly responsible for the uptick.

Forty years ago, the condition was still relatively unknown to the general public and a diagnosis of autism could mean a lifetime of abuse and discrimination. 

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday announced what the agency calls a "historic action" — the first approval of a cell-based gene therapy in the United States.

The FDA approved Kymriah, which scientists refer to as a "living drug" because it involves using genetically modified immune cells from patients to attack their cancer.

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Doctors define the “perinatal period” as running from before conception, through a woman’s pregnancy, all the way to a year post-partum.  It’s a time when women go through many changes physically - and mentally. But for women who struggle with mental health or substance abuse issues - these changes not only can affect the mother, but the child as well.

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Despite the increased attention autism has received, gaps in therapy remain. UW-Milwaukee researchers are helping to fill some of those gaps for children and teens struggling with physical challenges connected to their nonverbal learning disabilities. 

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It’s not too often that a physician will completely change specialties.  But local doctor Philip Troiano, or Dr. Flip as he’s known to his patients, did an about face after more than 27 years as an emergency room physician.

"Over my time in the emergency room I found that we were fixing less and less problems and seeing more chronic situations where we weren't changing things," Troiano says.

Winter is the time of year people in Wisconsin talk about needing to get their vitamin D. The sun is at a lower angle, the clouds loom overhead, and many think it's a given that we're D-deficient. 

But the sun isn't the only way we get vitamin D, a point Dr. Alexander Arnold is making as the featured February speaking for UW-Milwaukee's Science Bag series. Arnold is an associated professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UW-Milwaukee, and will be taking on the science of vitamin D for the series. 

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Obesity is an issue that drives many resolutions each year. And while some who deal with it have underlying medical conditions that are to blame, for many more of us, it’s the way we eat. And for many of us, resolutions, diet and exercise may well only represent a temporary change.

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The old saying goes that nothing is certain but death and taxes. We can add another certainty to that list: our muscles will weaken and even atrophy as we age, unless we take care of them by strength building and exercise. In other words, you really do need to move it, or you will lose it.

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For some of us, it may be hard to be a functional human being without our morning cup of coffee. But in a society that consumes what can be considered the most widely used drug on the planet so often – you have to wonder: is it actually good for us?

Coffee and the caffeine that’s in it have been linked to dehydration, stomach problems, effects on your metabolism, and insomnia, and other conditions – but what does the science say?

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There are a variety of treatments for people who suffer from the brain disorder known as OCD, or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.  Treatments such as cognitive behavior therapy have been effective in helping many patients who deal with the disorder, which can cause severe and often crippling anxiety.

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The model most of us think of when we think of psychiatry involves a psychiatrist, a patient, a couch and often - prescriptions. And that is not too far from reality. But there are some in the field who are looking to change the paradigm and add alternative or complementary treatments.

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