Here’s a sampling of health news articles in Texas and beyond:
- We now know that Robin Williams was in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease when he committed suicide on Monday. The Washington Post reports that the two conditions often go hand in hand. The Post also notes that the actor and comedian’s tragic death is sparking a broad conversation about depression and mental illness.
- There’s the battle to combat Ebola. And then there’s the battle against the fear of Ebola. Sometimes it can be hard to tell which one is more challenging. On Thursday, the Worth Health Organization “swiftly sought to quell fears that international air travel could become a conduit for spreading the deadly Ebola virus from Africa around the globe, emphasizing that such a risk was low,” reports The New York Times. And Reuters today reports that the epidemic has created a “wartime” situation that includes the threat of food shortages. It could be six months before it’s under control, according to the story.
- The third human West Nile case of the 2014 season in Dallas County was confirmed this week, The Dallas Morning News reports.
- Could family photo albums help predict future genetic diseases? University of Oxford researchers “have developed software that can detect the risk for genetic disorders in children, such as Down and Treacher Collins syndromes, just by scanning old photographs of their family members,” a Newsweek report said.
- Too much salt consumption is a worldwide problem, including a global average of nearly double what the World Health Organization recommends, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. NPR reports on the study.
- The Atlantic takes a look at where the viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge came from. It has raised more than $2.3 million for the national ALS Association since July 29, USA Today reports.
- Dallas City Council member Dwaine Caraway says he is the heaviest he has ever been. He launched a personal fitness program this week and he said he hopes others will follow his lead, according to The News. Statistics indicate there are plenty of city employees who ought to consider joining Caraway on his path to better health. Eighty percent of the workers on the city’s health plan are overweight or obese, The News reports.