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Health Highlights: Nov. 18, 2011
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Former NFL Players Taking Part in Brain Disease Study
Researchers have started testing retired professional football players in an attempt to learn how to diagnose a degenerative brain disease in former athletes while they are still alive.
Currently, the only way to confirm Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is by examining brains after death, the Associated Press reported.
The researchers at Boston University's Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy plan to compare 100 retired NFL players with 50 retired elite athletes from non-contact sports.
Participants undergo two days of examinations that includes brain scans, a spinal tap, neurological and cognitive tests, blood work and a psychiatric interview, the AP reported.
Until CTE can be diagnosed while athletes are still alive, it's impossible to develop treatments or learn how to prevent it, said center co-director Robert Stern.
Smucker's Peanut Butter Recalled
Possible salmonella contamination has led to the recall of some 16-ounce jars of Smucker's Natural Peanut Butter Chunky sold in nearly two dozen states.
Ohio-based J.M. Smucker Co. said the recalled jars have "Best if Used By" dates of Aug. 3 and Aug. 4, 2012, and carry the production codes 1307004 and 1308004, the Associated Press reported.
There have been no reports of illnesses associated with the peanut butter, according to the company.
The recalled product was distributed in: Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.
1 in 5 U.S. Adults Now Use Psychiatric Meds: Report
In 2010, more than 1 in 5 adults and more than 1 in 4 women in the United States took at least one drug for psychiatric and behavioral disorders, according to a report released Wednesday by pharmacy benefits manager Medco Health Solutions Inc.
The use of drugs to treat conditions such as depression and anxiety rose 22 percent since 2001, according to data from 2.5 million patients with 24 months of continuous prescription drug insurance and eligibility, the Associated Press reported.
Women aged 45 and older are most likely to be prescribed these drugs, but their use by men and younger adults has increased significantly.
Medco also said that the use of antipsychotic drugs and medicines for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among adults 20 to 44 has more than tripled, and the use of anti-anxiety drugs has risen 30 percent since 2001, the AP reported.
More women are now taking ADHD medications than men, a reversal of uptake of these drugs in children, where boys outnumber girls, according to MSNBC.com. The number of U.S. women aged 20 to 44 who took a drug for ADHD soared 250 percent between 2001 and 2010, the Medco report found.
Women are also twice as likely as men to use anxiety medications and are also more likely to take antipsychotic drugs, which treat conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
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