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Why our understanding of obesity and diabetes may be wrong: A Q&A with surgeon Peter Attia

TED Blog

Surgeon Peter Attia sees a disconcerting paradox at work when it comes to our health: while people are talking about eating healthily and exercising perhaps more than ever, we’re seeing no reduction in the rates of obesity and diabetes. As it stands, more than 8% of Americans are diabetic and an additional 26% are pre-diabetic — which represents a 400% increase since 1970. The answer to this riddle is not simply that people are lazy or unable to follow through on what they know is best for them. Attia wonders if, perhaps, our medical understanding of the relationship between obesity and diabetes may be wrong.

[ted_talkteaser id=1774]In today’s powerful and personal talk, given at TEDMED 2013, Attia shares why he thinks the relationship may not be as simple as being overweight leads to increased risk of diabetes. To explain, he tells a story of a night in 2006…

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Kidney Cancer: New Technologies, New Treatments

Fletcher Allen - Health Care Blog


In our new and ever-evolving medical realm, patients undergo more imaging to determine the cause for their complaints, and doctors are presented with more findings that need be analyzed and discussed. This happens with kidney cancer. Today, most patients will undergo an ultrasound and CT or MRI scans for varied symptoms. The scan shows what is felt to be an incidental finding of a small (<4 cm) mass in the kidney. This allows for the earlier diagnosis of these tumors.

While most of these masses are simple fluid-filled cysts, not uncommonly they are solid tumors, the majority of which are, in fact, kidney cancer. What is important to understand is that we are increasingly more knowledgeable at defining the risks for patients developing these tumors as well as the correct approach to decisions regarding their treatment.

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Big data for Lou Gehrig’s disease, MS, HIV, fibromyalgia — from patients themselves: Fellows Friday with Paul Wicks

TED Blog


TED Fellow Paul Wicks is changing the way patients with chronic health conditions connect with one another, and how they participate in research. Trained as a neuropsychologist — and specializing in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson’s disease — Paul began using the internet in 2002 to bring together communities of patients with life-changing illnesses. He tells us about how he came to run research and development at PatientsLikeMe, an online network that helps patients learn about their disease, track their health, connect with others and contribute data to science.

Can you tell me more about ALS?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — which is also known as motor neurone disease and Lou Gehrig’s disease — is a rare neurological condition that affects between one and three people out of every hundred thousand. The neurons in the brain and spinal cord wither and die, leading to weakness, muscle wasting and stiffness…

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