Medical Mysteries: Off balance

Robert Carter for The Washington Post

Her constant motion sickness and deafening heartbeat were related, but it took five years to diagnose.

Latest headlines

Quadruple amputee undergoes arms transplants, thanks hospital and donor’s family

After Will Lautzenheiser lost all four limbs, he never thought he’d hold anyone in his arms again -- until an anonymous donation gave him the gift of two new arms

Ebola patient isolation goals look like a stretch

Ebola patient isolation goals look like a stretch

Only 40 percent of Ebola patients isolated in Sierra Leone, and 23 percent in Liberia, new report says.

Constipated? Try pressing your perineum

Constipated? Try pressing your perineum

A new study compares conventional treatments for constipation versus self-administered acupressure.

A half million people signed up during HealthCare.gov’s first week

A half million people signed up during HealthCare.gov’s first week

Half of those choosing health plans are new to the federal insurance marketplace, officials say.

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to check on grandma’s health

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to check on grandma’s health

Thanksgiving is a good time to take stock of the cognitive health of elderly relatives.

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Why you feel so lousy after a huge holiday meal

Why you feel so lousy after a huge holiday meal

Research has proved what we already know: Our brains can easily override our bodies’ signals to stop eating, even when we know the consequences will be unpleasant. We’re not even talking about obesity, heart disease, diabetes or effects of longterm, habitual overeating. This is about the short-term awfulness that can follow a high-fat, high-calorie holiday free-for-all.

Obama preparing tighter ozone restrictions, setting up clash with GOP

Obama preparing tighter ozone restrictions, setting up clash with GOP

The new regulations face opposition from industry groups who said air quality is already improving.

10 foods to avoid on Thanksgiving if you have high blood pressure

10 foods to avoid on Thanksgiving if you have high blood pressure

High blood pressure is a key predictor of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in America. Here’s a list of foods to avoid on Thanksgiving that exacerbate high blood pressure.

EPA plans tightening of rules on smog-causing ozone

EPA plans tightening of rules on smog-causing ozone

The White House plans to propose tougher restrictions on the pollutant, setting up a clash with Republicans.

Digital art detective uses X-rays to authenticate paintings

Digital art detective uses X-rays to authenticate paintings

A Cornell professor analyzes hand-loomed canvas under the paint for museums and other parties.

Better pay attention to workplace open enrollment

Better pay attention to workplace open enrollment

Many employers are changing health plans for 2015, reflecting rising costs and new ideas about insurance.

A former ballerina’s recipe for ‘aging backward’

A former ballerina’s recipe for ‘aging backward’

A new book focuses on stretches that improve posture, loosen joints and generally do a body good.

‘It’s gluten-free’

‘It’s gluten-free’

The Mayo Clinic offers a guide to the dietary fad with digestion facts and even recipes.

Old Blu-ray disks could help make better solar panels

Old Blu-ray disks could help make better solar panels

According to a new study in Nature Communications, the patterns etched onto Blu-ray disks could be harnessed in the engineering of solar panels.

Taking statins in middle age can lower risks for decades after

Taking statins in middle age can lower risks for decades after

‘It might be a lifetime effect,’ study author says, of those who take the cholestrol lowering drug for 5 years.

Jobs that make you think a lot may help memory in old age

Jobs that make you think a lot may help memory in old age

A study finds that jobs that involve dealing with people, data and things made the most difference.

Personalized vaccines, next frontier in cancer treatment, to begin clinical trial

Personalized vaccines, next frontier in cancer treatment, to begin clinical trial

Individually-tailored treatment for cancer is here, with new clinical trial using personalized vaccine for aggressive brain cancer.

How vultures evolved to live on rotting, feces-covered meat (and what we can learn from them)

How vultures evolved to live on rotting, feces-covered meat (and what we can learn from them)

A new study reveals vultures as lean, mean, bacteria killing machines.

Pac-Man: Better than an eye-patch for some vision-impaired

Pac-Man: Better than an eye-patch for some vision-impaired

An Ohio State University researcher has found playing a Pac-Man-style video game can help train people with lazy eye back to 20/20 vision.

Is there a cancer risk with antibacterial soap?

Is there a cancer risk with antibacterial soap?

A study finds long-term exposure to an antibacterial ingredient causes liver cancer in mice.

The number of calories in those burger and fries soon won’t be a mystery

The number of calories in those burger and fries soon won’t be a mystery

Rule applies to array of operations, including chain restaurants, movie theaters and vending machines.

Keep jogging, baby boomers, because you may walk like a 20-year-old again if you do

Keep jogging, baby boomers, because you may walk like a 20-year-old again if you do

A study finds older adults who regularly pursue aerobic activity such as jogging are less likely to suffer physical decline in walking than those who simply walk for exercise.

For obese people, an increased risk of ‘silent’ heart damage, study says

For obese people, an increased risk of ‘silent’ heart damage, study says

A new study uses an ultrasensitive blood test to detect heart damage in obese people who have no symptoms.

Donate your body to science? What were you thinking?

Donate your body to science? What were you thinking?

Psychiatrist initially thinks his wife’s gesture would be unwise, but he changes his mind as he learns more.

Iron deficiency, even mild anemia, can be good for health

Iron deficiency, even mild anemia, can be good for health

It can offer protection from malaria and tuberculosis and even help in combat some cancers.

Medical Mysteries: Off balance

Medical Mysteries: Off balance

Her constant motion sickness and deafening heartbeat were related, but it took five years to diagnose.

Remastered image shows the icy surface of Jupiter’s moon in living color

Remastered image shows the icy surface of Jupiter’s moon in living color

New image-processing techniques give us a more realistic picture of a very important moon.

When the dinosaurs died and other mass extinctions

When the dinosaurs died and other mass extinctions

A television documentary looks at asteroids and volcanoes that changed the world.

‘Imitation Game’ tells the story of Alan Turing and Enigma

‘Imitation Game’ tells the story of Alan Turing and Enigma

Brilliant World War II cryptologist broke Naze code and helped create an early computer.

FDA warns anew that uterine surgical procedure can spread cancer

FDA warns anew that uterine surgical procedure can spread cancer

The Food and Drug Administration strengthened its warnings against the use of a controversial uterine surgical technique that spreads cancers.

Mammal fossil found of ancestral rhino-horse

Mammal fossil found of ancestral rhino-horse

The discovery may be a “missing link” between animals in Madagascar and those that evolved in India.

Start the day with smart choices about yogurt and cereal

Start the day with smart choices about yogurt and cereal

People who eat breakfast have a lower risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Hummingbirds actually fly more like insects

Hummingbirds actually fly more like insects

Researchers have created the most detailed 3-D simulation of a hummingbird in flight to date.

Ancient Egptian ‘Handbook of Ritual Power’ is deciphered

Ancient Egptian ‘Handbook of Ritual Power’ is deciphered

About 1,300 years old, it describes love spells, exorcisms and treatments for “black jaundice.”

Scientists link virus to decimation of Pacific starfish

Scientists link virus to decimation of Pacific starfish

Experts says the continuing epidemic may be tied to environmental factors or a mutation of the virus.

Are healthy girls affected physically by their mothers’ depression?

Are healthy girls affected physically by their mothers’ depression?

Researchers are finding signs of premature cellular aging in young girls whose mothers have a history of depression.

Shoddy scientific journal accepts paper titled ‘Get me off Your F**king Mailing List’

An open-access journal offers to publish a “study” that’s actually just one profanity-laden sentence over and over. Plus a flow chart.

No, turkey doesn’t make you sleepy: the science of Thanksgiving feasts

Americans are preparing to knuckle down and stuff their faces, come what may. But what does this delicious debauchery do to your body?

Brain-stimulating device may aid recovery of stroke victims

Brain-stimulating device may aid recovery of stroke victims

Transcranial Magentic Stimulation (TMS) has been found to be beneficial for stroke victims prior to physical therapy.

Biodegradable drone is grown from mushrooms and covered in wasp spit

Biodegradable drone is grown from mushrooms and covered in wasp spit

A group of college students has created an unmanned aerial vehicle that would disappear after crashing.