Stroke of insight • 2012

Category: Health
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Brain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor studied her own stroke as it happened -- and has become a powerful voice for brain recovery.

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Monitor Me

Dr Kevin Fong explores a medical revolution that promises to help us live longer, healthier lives. Inspired by the boom in health-related apps and gadgets, it's all about novel ways we can monitor ourselves around the clock. How we exercise, how we sleep, even how we sit. Some doctors are now prescribing apps the way they once prescribed pills. Kevin meets the pioneers of this revolution. From the England Rugby 7s team, whose coach knows more about his players' health than a doctor would, to the most monitored man in the world who diagnosed a life threatening disease from his own data, without going to the doctor.

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Slimming Down

Obesity is one of America's biggest public health concerns. Two thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. The pressure to lose weight is intense and many are turning to surgical means to achieve results.

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The Truth About Personality

Michael Mosley explores the latest science about how our personalities are created - and whether they can be changed. Despite appearances, Mosley is a pessimist who constantly frets about the future. He wants to worry less and become more of an optimist. He tries out two techniques to change this aspect of his personality - with surprising results. And he travels to the frontiers of genetics and neuroscience to find out about the forces that shape all our personalities.

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How sugar affects the brain

When you eat something loaded with sugar, your taste buds, your gut and your brain all take notice. This activation of your reward system is not unlike how bodies process addictive substances such as alcohol or nicotine -- an overload of sugar spikes dopamine levels and leaves you craving more. Nicole Avena explains why sweets and treats should be enjoyed in moderation.

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The Allergy Fix

If you’ve been to a children’s birthday party lately, chances are at least one of the little guests had a portable needle loaded with epinephrine. Its standard equipment for a growing generation of highly allergic kids: more than three times as many children have food allergies now than twenty years ago. And one out of every three children is now allergic to foods, animals, or plants. Something puzzling, and frightening, is going on with our immune systems. The Allergy Fix travels across Canada and to the US, the UK and Germany to investigate why allergies are on the rise – and what’s being done about it.

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Gums, Germs and Healing

Periodontal disease affects more people worldwide than any other illness, according to the Guinness World Records. It destroys gum and bone, eventually causing teeth to fall out. Periodontal disease may also be linked to life-threatening illnesses, such as pneumonia and diabetes. One drawback of standard treatments is that it's difficult to restore damaged tissue. But a drug developed in Japan regenerates gum and bone, and saves teeth. We'll also look at ways to maintain good oral hygiene, even when disaster strikes.

Medical Frontiers • 2018 • Health