Police Response and the Mentally Ill: Police confrontations with mentally ill subjects can quickly turn tragic, as neither side may understand the other. Specially trained crisis intervention teams have spread around the country to prevent deaths, injuries, and unneccessary incarceration
Leprosy: Thanks in part to its Biblical past, the disfiguring disease leprosy carries more stigma than most diseases. We hear little about it today, but it still exists, and because it’s now treatable, often the stigma is worse than the disease.
Strep infection may prompt a severe reaction in some children, causing their own immune system to attack cells in the brain. What appear to be extreme psychological symptoms result from what is really a physical disorder. The disorder, known as PANDAS, is often misdiagnosed.
Some people who have a stroke in the brain stem suffer from a condition where they are fully conscious and aware, yet appear to be in a coma because they cannot move a muscle, except for sometimes the eyes. They may remain in this “locked-in” state for years. A stroke expert and a woman who recovered from this condition discuss it.
Synopsis: The Epi-Pen brand has become synonymous with epinephrine injectors, which can save the life of a person suffering a severe allergic reaction. Recently there’s been outcry over large price hikes for the devices, which have forced some people to seek other alternatives or go without. Experts discuss the economics involved and what patients can do to be protected without going broke.
Synopsis: What we now call “homesickness” used to be a medical diagnosis called “nostalgia,” and it was considered life-threatening. Today many people consider homesickness to be a childish emotion, but an expert says it’s nothing to be ashamed of. We all suffer from it sometime and need to know how to cope.
Synopsis: Scientists are learning that people who repeatedly drive drunk are not all the same in the personalities and brain chemistries that motivate their behavior. An expert discusses new research suggesting different ways to reduce recidivism in each of these personality types.
Synopsis: Most people regard gossip with disdain. While backbiting, vicious slander is usually disruptive, researchers have found that informational gossip has benefits for society by keeping people in line with societal norms. Experts discuss.