<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Health Connection]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/health http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.png NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth http://www.nbcdfw.comen-usThu, 19 Oct 2017 13:48:02 -0500Thu, 19 Oct 2017 13:48:02 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Light the Night 2017]]> Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:49:10 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/LSS+LTN+2017+web.jpg

NBC 5 and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society invite you to join a Light The Night Walk in a city near you. This unique fundraiser is an exciting and moving way to bring the community together to celebrate, honor or remember those touched by cancer. Funds raised by Light The Night participants will help advance breakthrough cancer therapies, find cures, ensure access to treatments and improve the quality of life for blood cancer patients.    

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light The Night Walk funds treatments that are saving the lives of patients today. LLS is making cures happen by providing patient support services, advocating for lifesaving treatments and pioneering the most promising cancer research anywhere. And it's all happening now. Not someday, but today. Each year friends, families and coworkers form teams to raise money in support of our mission.

Light The Night Walks will feature music, entertainment, children’s activities and camaraderie among friends, family and co-workers who are gathering to celebrate fundraising success. Don’t miss out on these inspiring moments!

Join an existing team, create a team or fundraise on your own at www.lightthenight.org/register.

Light the Night Walks

Fort Worth
Sunday, November 5
Panther Island Pavilion
4:00 p.m.
395 Purcey Street
Fort Worth, TX 76102

Dallas
Saturday, November 11
4:00 p.m.
Trinity Groves
3011 Gulden Lane
Dallas, TX 75212

Frisco
Sunday, November 12
4:00 p.m.
Frisco Square
8874 Coleman Blvd.
Frisco, TX 75034

Register Today: www.lightthenight.org/north-texas

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<![CDATA[Football Team Tracks Players' Sleep for Peak Performance]]> Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:45:01 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/vlcsnap-2017-10-18-17h44m36s172.jpg

Football coaches at the Oklahoma State University are tracking and monitoring the sleep of their players in an effort to maximize their potential on the field.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[UTSW May Have Found a Cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy]]> Tue, 17 Oct 2017 22:44:22 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Ben+Dupree.jpg

A breakthrough in gene research that could lead to a cure for one of the most devasting diseases that affects children.

Scientists in Dallas have found a way to fix the gene that causes Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a terminal disease that affects about one in 40,000 males.

Patient zero in the trial is Ben Dupree, a 24-year-old man from Highland Park who's hoping the science will save his life and the lives of others.

"I think it’s just a matter of time before something is out there and will benefit someone. It may or may not be me, but I could hope," said Dupree.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy, or DMD, is an inherited disease that affects the X chromosome of boys.

A gene mutation in his DNA prohibits his muscles from producing the dystrophin protein.

Without dystrophin, his muscles will continue to degernate and will eventually affect his heart and breathing muscles.

"I remember one summer, he was 7 and a half and I took the kids to Michigan.  I noticed that he was struggling to go up the stairs, using his arms to kind of compensate for the lack of leg strengh.  I mentioned that to the occupational therapist and she said you need to go back to the nuerologist," said Ben's mother, Debbie.

Two years later, she said he received the devastatating prognosis that accompanies a DMD diagnosis.

"The doctors were telling me that he wasn't going to make it to his 19th birthday. I just couldn't see this 9-year old being gone in 10 years," said Debbie.

Ben, however, has lived beyond expections, as his decline hasn't progressed quickly.

He's lost the ability to move his legs, but with daily stretching and medications, is able to stay active for as long as possible.

He uses a modified vehicle to drive to work and to school.

He graduated from Southern Methodist Univeristy with a degree in biochemistry and plans to attend graduate school for genetic counseling.

"I've noticed over the years, I've become weaker and it's harder to do things. I have less energy and have had to come to terms with it. I've kind of just try to focus more on what I can do and not what I can't do," said Ben.

The progression of the disease is inevitable, unless a team at UT Southwestern succeeds in finding a cure for DMD.

Ben is the first person to give a sample of his genes to Dr. Eric Olson, researcher at the Molecular Biology, Hamon Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine at UT Southwestern.

He has used what's called CRISPR genome editing to correct the DNA sequence in the dystrophin gene.

"You can think about DNA as billions of letters of DNA in every cell in the body. What CRISPR gene editing can do is it can find a typo, one single letter, that is erroneous and it can fix it," said Olson. 

Images show Duchenne muscular dystrophy cells barely contain dystrophin, but after the genetic treatment, almost all of the cells produce dystrophin again.

Olson has fixed Ben cells, in a dish, and has successfully stopped the disease in mice.

"There's no question as to whether this can work.  It can work.  There's no question about how it works. We know exactly how it works.  So now, we just have to see, can we scale it up efficiently and safely so that we can apply it to patients?" said Olson.

The technique is so promising, Olson receives emails and letters from families all over the world hopeful his research can help their loved ones.

"It has redoubled our eforts to try and work as fast as we can knowing how many patients could potentially benefit from this technology," said Olson.

He said ensuring the technology is safe to be used on humans could happen within a few years, but will it be perfected in time to save Ben?

"Yes, I do believe CRISPR will be a cure, or at least a treatment, if not a total cure. How long will it take? I dont know. Whether Ben will be able to receive a treatment? I don't know, but we have hope everyday," said Debbie.

If anything, Ben said the research has given purpose to his life.

"It gives me a sense that I have a place, that there's something greater that I'm helping to achieve," he said.

The gene editing technique can't restore muscle function but it can stop the disease in its tracks.

Olson believes children will be able to be cured at the onset of symptoms, once they've finalized the treatment.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Health Headlines for Tuesday October 17, 2017]]> Tue, 17 Oct 2017 17:44:57 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ER+FUNDING.jpg

NBC 5 Health Reporter Bianca Castro has a look at the health headlines for Tuesday October 17, 2017.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Absorbable Stents Right For Some, According to Doctors]]> Tue, 17 Oct 2017 16:39:01 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Absorbable_Stent_4p_101717.jpg

Cardiologists' excitement over an absorbable, dissolvable stent that hit the market last year is fading a bit. A study by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration shows that patients with the stent have higher rates of heart attack and thrombosis.

A doctor in Los Angeles is standing by the new technology when it's used by the right practitioners in the right patients.

Sixty-three-year-old Charles Tasso was at his dialysis center when his heart went into atrial fibrillation.

"I mean, I thought it was an elephant sitting on my chest. That's the first time I had experienced any pain," Tasso explained.

Dr. Michael Chan, an interventional cardiologist at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif., used the Absorb stent for Tasso, who already has traditional metal stents. It's made of polylactide, which is similar to what's in dissolvable stitches. The stent dissolves in three years, so the artery is flexible again.

"It allows us to theoretically have less inflammation. Because of that, it also reduces the risk of clot formation that can form late on stents because of that metal exposure," Chan said.

But an FDA review showed an 11-percent rate of cardiac problems like heart attack and a 1.9-percent rate of blood clots after two years with the Absorb stent. This compares with 7.9 percent and 0.8 percent with a metal stent.

Abbott labs, which produces the stent, and Chan, say the right implantation technique and the right patients minimize risk.

"I think that if it's not used in the proper setting, then the risks are higher. We've seen that in smaller vessels that the heart attack risk as you mentioned, and risks of clotting are higher," Chan said.

Nineteen percent of people in the study had arteries that are too small for the device under usage guidelines. Removing their results equalizes findings.

"As technology evolves, there are many in our field that feel like this will be the next generation," Chan said.

Chan said he will keep using the Absorb stent on patients who fit the stricter criteria, while the FDA completes more study.

In May, Abbott laboratories restricted use of the Absorb stent to clinical use at select sites while it monitors implantation techniques and training. Some cardiac care facilities in the U.S. have stopped using the stent until more study is done. Chan has no financial interest in the stent or Abbott labs.

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<![CDATA[Health Headlines for Monday October 16, 2017]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 18:06:54 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/HPV_Vaccination.jpg

NBC 5 Health Reporter Bianca Castro has a look at the health headlines for Monday, October 16, 2017.

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<![CDATA[New Attention for Form of Weight Loss Surgery]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 17:28:49 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Weight_Loss_Surgery_4p_101617.jpg

Almost 200,000 people underwent some sort of bariatric surgery two years ago. Now doctors say the least common bariatric surgery is getting a lot of new attention thanks to new methods.

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<![CDATA[New Treatment Regimen for Prostate Cancer]]> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 17:51:33 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Prostate+Cancer+Treatment.jpg

This year, more than 162,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Cancer treatment, while life-saving, can cause incontinence and erectile dysfunction, but a new outpatient procedure can protect men from the unwanted side effects caused by radiation.

John Schroeder officiates track and cross country meets for kids in his hometown. At 66 years old, the former high school athlete places a premium on staying active and healthy. Several years ago, a routine PSA test indicated his levels were higher than normal, and doctors confirmed he had prostate cancer.

"And they kept saying, 'You're a young guy, you should have surgery.' And I kept thinking, 'I'm a young guy, why do I want to buy Depends the rest of my life? Why do I want to have erectile dysfunction?'" Schroeder said.

He also struggled with ulcerative colitis, which could be aggravated by radiation treatments. That's when he learned about a new FDA- approved hydrogel to protect delicate tissue. It's a called SpaceOAR, which stands for "organ at risk."

Radiation oncologists mix the liquid gel with an accelerant. In an office or outpatient setting, doctors inject the gel near the prostate. It solidifies in the body and creates a space between the prostate and delicate tissue.

"Having the gel move the rectum away from the prostate significantly lowers the dose of radiation that the rectal tissues get," explained Dr. Edward Soffen, chairman for the Department of Radiation Oncology at CentraState Medical Center.

That means a reduction in side effects like bleeding, pain and incontinence. The gel stays in place in the body for three months, and then dissolves and is excreted naturally. For Schroeder, the SpaceOAR kept him on his feet and free of side effects during radiation, and after.

Right now, the SpaceOAR hydrogel is covered by Medicare on a case-by-case basis. Soffen says he is hoping insurance carriers will expand coverage of the procedure.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Del Frisco’s 5K Run for CitySquare 2017]]> Sat, 14 Oct 2017 10:37:17 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/CitySquare+Del+Frisco+2017.jpg

Join NBC 5’s Kristin Dickerson and Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group at the 4th Annual Del Frisco’s 5K Walk and Run on Saturday, October 21. The race will start and finish at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House in Uptown Dallas.

Runners and walkers of all ages are encouraged to move along the Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House in Uptown. Benefits from the 5K will go to CitySquare, a non-profit organization that fights poverty through service, advocacy and friendship with 17 unique programs that address hunger, health, housing, and hope.

Following the race, there will be a VIP Patio Race Brunch party at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House on the ground floor of the curvaceous McKinney & Olive tower. VIP’s will enjoy bottomless Mimosas & Bloody Marys and a brunch menu including Red Velvet Waffles & Smoked Brisket Chilaquiles. VIP tickets are limited.

To register and learn more, visit www.citysquare.org/DF5K/.

Del Frisco’s 5K

Benefiting CitySquare
Saturday, October 21
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House
2323 Olive Street
Dallas, TX 75201
www.citysquare.org/DF5K



Photo Credit: CitySquare]]>
<![CDATA[New App Geared to Help Recovering Addicts]]> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 17:11:26 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NC_webcn11f10132017_1920x1080.jpg

For addicts, each day can be a struggle but a new social media app can make it easier to find support and stay on track. One young women said that an app changed her life.



Photo Credit: NBC News]]>
<![CDATA[America's Obesity Epidemic Reaches Record High: Report]]> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 00:23:56 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP_668885564479.jpg

Almost 40 percent of American adults are obese, the highest rate ever recorded for the United States, according to a report released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nearly 20 percent of adolescents are obese, also a record high, NBC News reported. That comes out to one in five adolescents aged 12-19. Meanwhile, one in five kids aged 6-11 and one in 10 preschoolers aged 2-5 are obese.

"It's difficult to be optimistic at this point," said Dr. Frank Hu, chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. "The trend of obesity has been steadily increasing in both children and adults."

Obesity is medically defined as having a body-mass index of more than 30. Overweight and obese children have a higher risk to stay obese and childhood obesity is linked to a higher chance of early death in adulthood.



Photo Credit: AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File]]>
<![CDATA[Prosthetic Breasts Help Cancer Survivors Reclaim Confidence]]> Thu, 12 Oct 2017 22:40:27 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/breast+prosthesis.jpg

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and a boutique in Denton is helping women with mastectomies reclaim their confidence.

Patricia Pearse, a breast cancer survivor, was diagnosed in 1990.

"I found the lump," Pearse said.

Six days later, she had her left breast removed.

"I wanted to go out into the public looking as normal as I could," she said.

Prosthetic breasts helped her regain her figure. She's been wearing one for the past 27 years.

James Garner, owner of Rose's Women's Care Boutique, says more survivors are doing the same.

"Back in the old days when they just started, there were just two or three choices. They weren't much more than just a lump of silicone," Garner said.

He says shapes, sizes and silicon used to make prosthetic breasts have advanced in the past five years.

They now slip into specially-made bras, tank tops and even bathing suits, allowing women to simulate breasts after mastectomies.

The cost for a prosthetic breast ranges from about $300 to $500, and most insurance plans cover them.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Overweight Children to Outnumber Those Underweight By 2022]]> Thu, 12 Oct 2017 20:40:46 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Obesity_Kids_5p_101217.jpg

New studies suggest more children will be overweight than underweight by the year 2022. The question is how to change this course of action.

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<![CDATA[Service Dog Helps Boy Walk Again]]> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 10:39:10 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NC_therapydoga1011_1920x1080.jpg

A middle school boy from Alfred, Maine has re-learned to walk -- twice -- thanks to his service dog, Wendy. Hunter VanBrocklin has cerebral palsy and got Wendy about four years ago through the Service Dog Project. After a year of training, Hunter could take Wendy to school with him.
 



Photo Credit: WCSH-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Experts Say Trump Order Could Upend Health Care System]]> Thu, 12 Oct 2017 15:02:10 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP_17285593800516.jpg

With Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare stalled, President Donald Trump issued a new executive order on Thursday that could undermine the law without Congress.

Experts say it has the potential to upend the current health care system for small businesses and individuals by opening up cheaper options for some customers, while spiking costs for others and encouraging more insurers to flee Obamacare’s exchanges.

Healthier customers, especially those making too much to qualify for subsidies, could abandon the exchanges for skimpier association plans, prompting insurers to hike premiums for the remaining sicker pool of customers.

Insurers and their customers won’t know the full effect of the executive order any time soon. It will likely take months, perhaps even a year or more, for agencies to examine the issues, propose new rules and then finalize them.



Photo Credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci]]>
<![CDATA[Health Headlines for Wednesday October 11, 2017]]> Wed, 11 Oct 2017 18:13:45 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/Often-Undiscovered_Hole_in_the_Heart_Can_Lead_to_Stroke.jpg

NBC 5 Health Reporter Bianca Castro has a look at the health headlines for Wednesday October 11, 2017.

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<![CDATA[Experimental Treatment Targets Alzheimer's]]> Wed, 11 Oct 2017 17:49:40 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NC_alzheimers1010_1920x1080.jpg

Doctors at Houston Methodist hospital are treating healthy patients at higher risk for Alzheimer's before it can develop.



Photo Credit: KPRC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Puerto Rico Resident Survives Hurricane, Suffers Stroke]]> Wed, 11 Oct 2017 17:02:40 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Grisel+Crespo.jpg

Officials in Puerto Rico say the health care situation is dire after Hurricane Maria.

It's been three weeks since the hurricane struck, and in addition to food, water and electricity, many residents are in need of medical supplies and care.

All of that adds to the gratitude felt by one of the island's residents, who evacuated to North Texas days before she suffered a stroke.

"I suffered a stroke on the 25th of September. I've been in the hospital ever since," said 68-year-old Grisel Crespo.

She says her husband and children stayed on the island, while she evacuated to Texas, where she's been trying to establish a new home.

She had only been back in Puerto Rico a few weeks, when the hurricane made landfall.

"We lost everything we had there, except family," Crespo said.

Much of the island's healthcare infrastructure has yet to recover.

Officials there report only about half of Puerto Rico's medical employees have returned to work, and hospitals are running low on medicine and low on power from diesel-run generators.

Last week, North Texas Congressman Michael C. Burgess, a medical doctor and chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, toured hospitals and met with key health officials to assess the status of Puerto Rico's medical infrastructure following recent hurricanes.

"I am deeply concerned about the medical system in Puerto Rico as it recovers from the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria. On Monday, I heard from physicians, nurses and hospital administrators about their concerns for Puerto Rico's medical infrastructure. As the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, I want to ensure the subcommittee will do its job to help our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico," Burgess said in a statement.

"My country is suffering," said Crespo's husband, Carlos Morey, who arrived my his wife's side as soon as he could.

They wonder what would have happened if Crespo suffered her stroke while still in Puerto Rico, but as fate would have it, she ended up in the care of Dr. Neha Shah, at Medical City Fort Worth.

"Her swallowing is improving, her speech is improving, so we are very hopeful that we are going to be able to get her home soon," Shah said.

The couple's home will soon be Bedford, where Crespo says she'll take full advantage of what fate has given her.

"I'll do the same to help others and make them feel better," she said.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Doctors Find Disturbing Trend in Childhood Cancer Survivors]]> Wed, 11 Oct 2017 10:40:05 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cancer-kids.jpg

More children than ever are now beating cancer and living well into adulthood, but doctors have come across a disturbing trend.

Childhood cancer survivors are facing new medical issues in their 20s and 30s that typically affect people in their 60s or 70s.

Dr. Daniel Bowers, pediatric neuro-oncologist at Children's Health and associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center, is part of the team looking for answers to what he calls a "premature aging phenomenon."

"Eighty-percent of all children diagnosed will be long-term survivors, and that's terrific, and that's amazing," he said.

However, his study found that nearly 170 cancer survivors had 190 different types of meningiomas — non-cancerous tumors that typically develop in much older adults.

These young survivors also developed conditions usually detected among people in theirs 60s, 70s and 80s.

"Early heart disease, including early-onset breast cancer, dementia, premature menopause," Bowers listed.

He believes that being exposed to the cancer-fighting therapies, such as chemo and cranial radiation, at a young age can accelerate the body's aging process.

"We are developing strategies for screening these young adults who are cancer survivors for meningioma so we can identify them when they're smaller, when they're easier to manage," Bowers said.

He will also use his findings to help children beat cancer without the harmful affects of cranial radiation so that these tiny fighters live their longest, healthiest lives possible.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[K2 Drug Problem Spreading In Dallas]]> Wed, 11 Oct 2017 07:48:31 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/K2+synthetic+marijuana1.jpg

The drug K2 has hit downtown Dallas hard, and it is quickly making its way into communities across southern Dallas.

According to recent reports from the Dallas City Council, in 2017, overdose cases have gone up. In the last 10 months there have been 228 arrests associated with K2.

There have been three major undercover busts in 2017 related to K2. The hardest hit areas downtown are near homeless shelters, or the West End train station.

Now, the problem is pushing south.

Caught in between the drugs are families in the Kessler Heights neighborhood.

“We see young men passed out. Some of them look dead,” said Pat Ford, president of the Kessler Heights Neighborhood Association. “The children in this community have to see this as they are walking to and from school. I don’t want this to be the norm for them, because this is not OK. This is not how life should be,” said Ford.

The synthetic drug can cause users to behave like zombies or become agitated and aggressive. K2 can lead to heart attacks. The City of Dallas, Dallas Police Department, and Dallas Fire-Rescue have an action plan to help combat the epidemic.

“I’m zero tolerance,” said Councilman Dwaine Caraway, who represents District 4. “People elected me to make a difference and to make a change. Therefore I have to do things out of the box. That will make some people mad, but I have to complete my mission by keeping people safe, happy, vibrant, and able to raise families."

Caraway has proposed to track smoke shops in the area, create education drug abuse programs and track down people who are importing chemicals in large supply that are used to make the drug K2.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Kids Who Beat Cancer Now Facing Other Health Issues]]> Tue, 10 Oct 2017 17:45:27 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cancer-kids.jpg

A higher number of children than ever before are beating cancer, but doctors say the same kids are now facing new medical issues in their 20s & 30s that typically affect people in their 60s or 70s. NBC 5 Health Reporter Bianca Castro has the story.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Bathroom Germs Can Spread to Cell Phones]]> Tue, 10 Oct 2017 17:26:24 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/vlcsnap-2017-10-10-17h25m27s86.jpg

You may want to stop taking your phone with you to the bathroom. It can lead to a pile up of germs on your phone and eventually your face. British scientists analyzed 27 cell phones belonging to teenagers. They found up to 20 types of bacteria on all of the phones. Most of the pathogens were not harmful, but some can cause urinary tract infections and intestinal illness. Experts say just one toilet flush can spread these germs to your phone and then to your hands and face.



Photo Credit: NBCNC]]>
<![CDATA[Girl On a Mission to Save Others With Blood Disease]]> Tue, 10 Oct 2017 19:34:31 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Hailee1.jpg

A North Texas girl is on a big mission to find a cure for a rare blood disease. She's not just trying to save her own life but also the lives of other children.

Hallie Bernard is often the center of attention and sure can captivate an audience.

"What do you call a bear with no teeth?" she asks. "A gummy bear!"

The 9-year-old is a pint-sized junior officer with the Fort Worth Police Department on a mission to help save lives.

"I know that God is up there. He's always watching over me, and I know that it is fate. This is what I was supposed to do," Hallie said.

She is living with Diamond-Blackfan anemia.

"Less than 800 people have it," Hallie said.

The disease reduces the number of red blood cells a person's body produces, and finding a cure is Hallie's ultimate goal.

"It makes me feel like I'm really doing something good for the world," she said.

Hallie's Heroes was created to inspire people to become bone marrow donors. They swab cheeks at events across North Texas.

"I save lives everyday. Like, we just found out my dad's a match for somebody," Hallie said.

She has seen the results, even though she's still waiting for hers.

"One day I'm just going to come downstairs, and my mom's going to take me in a room and tell me we found your match," she said.

She's a courageous kid who sure knows how to make people smile.

"I'm still waiting for chief to issue me a Taser," she joked.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Mental Health Support Leads to Gains in Productivity: WHO]]> Tue, 10 Oct 2017 17:59:57 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/state+of+mind+brand.jpg

The World Health Organization says employers who promote mental health and support to their employees see gains in employee health and productivity.

Whereas, a negative working environment can do the opposite.

An unhealthy workplace can cause a decline in your productivity and even lead to alcohol and substance abuse.

Depression and anxiety are the most common mental conditions that can impact your work.

If you are struggling, it's important to realize you aren't alone. #WorldMentalHealthDay is trending Tuesday on Twitter and Facebook with countless personal stories and words of encouragement.

MORE: Mental health resources here in North Texas



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Health Headlines for Monday October 9, 2017]]> Mon, 09 Oct 2017 17:58:10 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/web_organ_donor.jpg

NBC 5 Health Reporter Bianca Castro has a look at the health headlines making news on Tuesday October 9, including an effort to track down living organ donors.

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<![CDATA[Whole Foods Recalls Its Raisin Bran for Undeclared Peanuts]]> Mon, 09 Oct 2017 12:32:05 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/whole-foods-recall.jpg

Whole Foods Market has recalled some of its 365 Everyday Value Organic Raisin Bran across the country because the cereal contains undeclared peanuts, the Food and Drug Administration and grocery chain said. 

Boxes of the cereal contained Peanut Butter Cocoa Balls, the recall announcement said. Peanuts can cause a serious and sometimes life-threatening reaction for people who are allergic to the nuts. 

Whole Foods' voluntary recall is for 15 oz. boxes labeled "365 Everyday Value Organic Raisin Bran" with UPC code 9948243903 and a best-by date of June 4, 2018. The items were sold across the United States and online through Amazon.com. No reactions have been reported, Whole Foods and the FDA said on Friday. 

Customers can receive a full refund at stores with a valid receipt. Those with questions may call 1-844-936-8255 from 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. CST on weekdays, or between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekends.

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<![CDATA[14 Desperate Days: Anatomy of an Opioid Overdose Outbreak]]> Mon, 09 Oct 2017 09:34:00 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/fentanyl+10-09.PNG

An alert Georgia emergency room doctor who saw three strange overdose cases apparently related to the drug Percocet sounded the alarm to the Georgia Poison Center this June, NBC News reported, likely saving lives in an epidemic that began when a man arrived in Macon with a batch of little yellow pills.

Over two weeks, health officials dealt with 40 more cases like the first woman's, who took four hours to be revived after Narcan was administered. Six resulted in deaths.

When that first patient came to, she ripped a breathing tube out of her throat. "In the slightest of a whisper, she said she took a Percocet," Dr. Gregory Whatley said.

But after Whatley scrambled the poison center, which alerted local and federal investigators, toxicology tests determined that the pills weren't the opioid Percocet, but a new type of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that can be 50 times stronger than heroin.



Photo Credit: NBC 7, File]]>
<![CDATA['BoobieQue' to Raise Money for Breast Cancer Care Services]]> Fri, 06 Oct 2017 19:48:34 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/boobieque.jpg

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and numerous events in North Texas will raise funds for research and to help cancer patients, as well as encourage women to get mammograms.

One such even in Fort Worth, called BoobieQue 2, came out of a doctor's own personal experience.

"I am a plastic surgeon, and a routine part of my practice is breast reconstruction. When I was the one on that side of the fence, when the doctor becomes the patient, reality has a way of opening your eyes to many things that could be done differently," wrote Dr. Emily B. MacLaughlin. "I pledged when I came through surgery that I would do whatever it takes to make a difference for all patients facing this diagnosis. BoobieQue was born from that desire to make a difference."

MacLaughlin and friends pulled together the first BoobieQue event in six weeks. The inaugural event in 2016 raised $85,000 for two nonprofits.

BoobieQue 2 is set for Oct. 29 and will support Cancer Care Services, a 70-year-old nonprofit in Fort Worth that helps patients.

The $75 admission fee includes food from Heim Barbecue and beer from Rahr &Sons. The BoobieQue website says, "beer, barbecue and boobs - the trifecta for a perfect afternoon."

Texas Health Wellness for Life will have its mobile mammogram unit on site, offering free mammograms for those who qualify and schedule an appointment in advance.

BoobieQue 2
October 29, noon - 4 p.m.
Rahr & Sons Brewery
http://www.boobieque.org

Texas Health Wellness for Life
Call 1-855-318-7696 to make an appointment for a mammogram.

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<![CDATA[FDA: Drug Shortages Possible Due to Puerto Rico Power Outage]]> Fri, 06 Oct 2017 18:45:08 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/PRmedicine_1200x675.jpg

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday warned that U.S. drug shortages are possible because power outages in Puerto Rico have stopped or limited production at many medicine factories there.

Nearly 10 percent of the medicines used by Americans, plus numerous medical devices, are made in Puerto Rico, which lost most electricity when it was hit hard by Hurricane Maria about two weeks ago.

FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a statement that the agency is working to prevent shortages of about 40 crucial medicines. He has declined to identify those medicines but said Friday that the FDA would disclose any shortages if they occur; drug shortages are routinely listed on the FDA's website.

"We're keeping a close watch on the most critical medical products," Gottlieb said.

The FDA is working with drugmakers and device manufacturers, who are trying to restore partial operations with backup generators, according to the statement. In the most urgent cases, the FDA is helping companies get fuel to keep their generators running and ship finished products.

At a news conference Thursday, Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rossello said power has been restored to 9 percent of customers. The government hopes to have the power back on for a quarter of the island within a month, and for the entire territory of 3.4 million people by March.

Gottlieb said the power disruptions could cause new medicine shortages and exacerbate shortages that existed before Hurricane Maria, and Irma before that, slammed the island.

At least for now, drugmakers say they should be able to prevent shortages by moving around inventory and, in some cases, increasing production at factories in other locations already making those products.

Medicines made in Puerto Rico include AstraZeneca's cholesterol drug Crestor, antibiotics and drugs for inflammation from Pfizer and Roche's Accu-Chek blood sugar test strips for diabetics. Eli Lilly makes the active ingredient for its diabetes medicines on the island. And Amgen, a huge biotech drugmaker, produces most of its medicines there, including widely used rheumatoid drug Enbrel, a number of cancer drugs, heart failure drug Corlanor and osteoporosis drugs Prolia and Xgeva.

Hurricane Maria didn't cause major damage to the roughly 80 medicine and device factories but many have needed cleanup and some repairs, according to several companies contacted by The Associated Press. The companies said operations were also hampered because workers couldn't get to factories and they were dealing with damage to their homes.

The medical products industry, which set up a large base in Puerto Rico decades ago to take advantage of since-expired tax advantages, is key to the financial health of the debt-laden territory. The FDA said medicines and medical devices account for about 30 percent of Puerto Rico's gross domestic product, and about 80 percent of those products are used by residents of Puerto Rico and the 50 states.




Photo Credit: AP/Ramon Espinosa, File]]>
<![CDATA[Health Headlines: Dog Virus and This Year's Flu Shot]]> Fri, 06 Oct 2017 17:52:07 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Health_Headlines_2017_10_06_17_00_11.jpg

A big concern about the spread of a virus that goes from dogs to people; plus, new information about this year's flu shot vaccine.

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<![CDATA[Trump Administration Allows Opt-Out of No-Cost Birth Control]]> Fri, 06 Oct 2017 17:21:28 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Birth_Control_App_Classified_as_Medical_Device_in_EU.jpg

President Donald Trump's administration is allowing more employers to opt out of no-cost birth control for workers.

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<![CDATA[Researchers Testing New Drug for Acute Myeloid Leukemia]]> Fri, 06 Oct 2017 16:49:00 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Leukemia_2017_10_06_16_07_47.jpg

Most patients diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, or AML, face weeks of intense, brutal chemotherapy and maybe a stem-cell transplant. Even then, the American Cancer Society says only about 27 percent will live another five years.

Now, a Salt Lake City company is testing a targeted therapy that is showing promising early results.

Lila Javan was 39 years old when she was diagnosed with AML the first time.

"Thirty-six hours later, I was in UCLA hospital on IV chemo, 24/7. And I didn't leave that hospital for two months," Javan said.

After months of chemo and a stem-cell transplant, Javan was back home with her cat, O'Malley. But four years later, the cancer came back.

"There were times when I thought I wasn't going to make it," she said.

Tolero Pharmaceuticals, is testing a drug called Alvocidib, which targets a protein called CDK9.

"It affects a particular protein that those AML cells like to express. It's a survival protein. It's a protein that helps them not die," said David Bearss, Ph.D., of Tolero Pharmaceuticals.

CDK9 allows cancer cells to ignore signals to die. Alvocidib lets the chemotherapy in to kill the cancer. Trials show it is improving remission rates. Bearss says 25 percent of AML patients have something in them that allows Alvocidib to work. They're tested for that before getting into the trial.

"It asks the question, 'What is the mechanism the cell is using to live?' And if it's using this particular protein, then we know the drug will work," Bearss said.

Javan is in remission again, but she's still excited about Alvocidib's potential.

"It's amazing. You know, like I said, it would be a total game changer and so many people would be helped," she said.

The Alvocidib trial has enrolled 400 patients and is being run at nine sites in the U.S. and Canada. It's open only to people who have positive responses to the test. But, Tolero expects to run a bigger randomized study soon and will have a better idea of how long Alvocidib can extend people's lives.

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<![CDATA[How Accurate Are Fitness Trackers During Sleep?]]> Thu, 05 Oct 2017 19:11:31 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NC_sleeptracking1004_1920x1080.jpg

Using your fitness tracker to keep up on the amount you sleep can help you get better rest, but some say the devices aren't foolproof.



Photo Credit: WDIV-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Health Headlines: Talking Mental Health, Distracted Driving]]> Thu, 05 Oct 2017 17:55:49 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dashboard_Devices_Causing_More_Distracted_Driving__AAA.jpg

In health headlines, NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith is making a big push for people to start talking about mental health. And people are still taking big risks when it comes to distracted driving.

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