Health

Saving the Aging Brain

Think of all the products and promises for sale claiming to improve brain health. Mental-​fitness games offer a gymnasium for the brain while one-​a-​day pills pledge a mental fountain of youth.

Making a Splash

More than a century ago, scientists figured out how to deploy sound waves to locate the position and distance of enemy submarines. This discovery would also lay the groundwork for using high-​frequency sound waves to peer inside the human body and usher in the age of ultrasound.

Take as Prescribed, with Care

Medications prescribed to treat illness do unintended harm to an alarming number of patients in the United States each year.

Why We Don’t Take Our Meds: The Conclusion

“If you torture data long enough, it will confess anything.” –Nobel Laureate Ronald Coase

How Many Heart Beats Do You Want?

So there I was, at the end of April 2015, off all my prescription meds. (I still took a baby aspirin and a multivitamin, don’t ask me why.) I was feeling great and knew I needed to exercise, but knowing and doing are two very different things.

The Powder of Death

Marley Fisher walked away from several overdoses during her six years of opioid addiction. The batch that finally killed her left her unable to even stumble out of the Point State Park bathroom stall into which she ducked to shoot up.

On a Pedestal: Magee-​Womens Research Institute

Many Pittsburghers have a somewhat vague idea that the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC successfully attract federal dollars to support their varied research activities. But the extent of that success in recent years is almost shocking when you look at the numbers and the rankings.

Up in Smoke

Dan Ward is 27 and lives in Pittsburgh’s Garfield neighborhood. He is mostly vegan, rides his bike to work and walks in the park as often as he can. He also vaped for several years, using an electronic cigarette to satisfy a need to “have one vice to balance my…

A New Way to Fight Overdose

When Dave Lozier campaigned to be the district attorney of Beaver County, one topic dominated conversation at every meet-​and-​greet and campaign stop.

Pittsburgh’s Hardest Working Angel

Enter the warehouse and, if you aren’t bewildered by the seeming randomness of it all, you get a sense of the urgency. Mobile hospital beds. Crutches. Respirators. IV poles guarding bedpans. Hundreds of boxes of pharmaceuticals. Medical equipment bound for Nigeria, Uganda, Guyana. And for some reason, dozens of suitcases,…

New Age Nuances

Spring. A time for renewal and rejuvenation, especially if you’re feeling tense. A great place to start your revival is with your body. The best defense against burnout is a peaceful, relaxed offense. There are several companies in the area that can help you reach nirvana naturally.

Hard to Swallow

It started with a cough and the need to clear her throat whenever she ate. Eventually, swallowing became more difficult — and even dangerous — for Patricia Grimm, 63, of the North Side. “I’d be at Red Lobster eating a salad or in the car eating a hamburger and I’d start choking,” she says.…

Helping Children Heal and Thrive

When Pamela Schanwald was pregnant, doctors relayed a terrifying image from an ultrasound: extra skin on the back of her son’s neck indicated possible Down syndrome. She immediately began searching for day care options in the Pittsburgh area for children with special needs. She couldn’t find any.

The Trouble with Sugar

As a liver specialist for more than 25 years, Dr. Michael Babich has seen a seismic shift in his practice. No longer are viruses or chronic alcoholism destroying the livers of most of his patients at Allegheny Health Network. Now, it’s the overconsumption of fructose — an industrialized form of sugar that…

Sepsis Alert

By the time Nancy Schollaert Nichol arrived to see her family doctor after experiencing abdominal pain for five days, the visit didn’t last long. She was immediately sent to the UPMC Northwest emergency department in Cranberry where she found out she’d need emergency gallbladder surgery.
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