Health

 

“Theories that diseases are caused by mental states and can be cured by will power are always an index of how much is not understood about a disease.”
— Susan Sontag

When strep triggers attack on brain, kids see ‘terrifying’ symptoms
About two years ago, Laura Murdock noticed a sudden change in her son's behavior. Almost overnight, her 8-year-old became anxious, obsessive-compulsive, and in some instances, irrationally angry. What she didn’t know at the time, and didn’t find out until October 2018, was that a strep infection was causing her son's strange symptoms. And she's not alone.

Health, wealth, housing: 2019 report ranks healthiest communities in DC area
The annual County Health Rankings provides a snapshot of the health of nearly every county in the country’s 50 states, including D.C. And this year’s report gives special attention to the link between health and housing.

Warning signs of Alzheimer’s — and what to do when you notice them
Every 65 seconds, someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s disease. While there is no cure, experts say early detection and diagnosis is important for a number of reasons.

Sharing struggles, breaking stigmas: Live storytelling shines spotlight on mental health
In the U.S., one in five adults live with a mental illness. Yet, despite the statistics, there is still a stigma when it comes to talking about mental health. One Northern Virginia resident is hoping to break that — and she's doing it with live storytelling.

A complicated connection between sleep and Alzheimer’s risk
It’s known that sleep deprivation may increase one’s risk for Alzheimer’s disease. The latest research, however, shows that medications designed to help troubled sleepers catch up on those necessary ZZZs may also increase dementia risk.

DC docs, nurses fly to fix hearts — just in time for the holidays
For patients living in low-income countries with limited access to care, it’s not uncommon for strep throat to go undiagnosed. And when it does, it can lead to serious problems, including a type of heart disease that’s responsible for more than 300,000 deaths each year. But a local team of medical professionals is working to change that.

Study: Healthy lifestyle may reduce risk for dementia, despite genetic risk factors
Exercising regularly, maintaining a nutritious diet and other factors associated with a healthy lifestyle may reduce one’s risk for developing dementia, even if genetic risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are at play.

Dangers of childbirth: DC works to save dying mothers
In the U.S., new and expecting moms die at a rate that's higher than other developed countries, and cases of close calls are on the rise. D.C. is among a handful of states with the highest maternal mortality rates. In our three-part special report, Dangers of Childbirth, WTOP’s Rachel Nania looks into why.