Woman suffering from possible depression

When it comes to depression, serotonin deficiency may not be to blame

For the past several decades, those suffering from depression have been told that by boosting serotonin levels, brain chemicals will re-balance and mood will improve.  It’s no surprise then that more than one in 10 Americans age 12 and older take some form of antidepressant medication designed to increase serotonin levels, offsetting the chemical imbalance.

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Doctor checking female patient

Q&A: Why doctors, insurers and patients grapple over cancer screenings

Dealing with medical tests can be tricky, especially when doctors and insurers recommend different courses of action. We sat down with A. Nelson Avery, M.D., director of the General Preventive Medicine Residency Program at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, to find out why patients sometimes can’t get screening tests their doctors recommend, and how patients can ensure they’re getting the care that will be best for their health.

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Discussing end-of-life care with physician.

Advance care planning: A new normal in health care?

Medicare – the country’s largest health insurer with 50 million beneficiaries, most over the age of 65 – announced plans this week to reimburse physicians for conversations with patients about end-of-life treatment options.

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Woman opening bathroom door

You Asked: How do you manage overactive bladder?

“It’s normal to use the restroom a few times an hour. I must just drink a lot of water. Doesn’t everyone?” Sound familiar? If so, you may be one of the nearly 30 percent of men and 40 percent of women in the United States living with overactive bladder (OAB). An embarrassing phrase to even voice aloud, OAB – while imposing - is actually quite common.

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A close up of the words

Taking charge: How to start the dialogue about managing your chronic illness

By nature, physicians are trained to cure, so a conversation letting a patient know their final days are nearing isn't always easy. But it's vital. That's why many medical schools, including the Texas A&M College of Medicine, are including palliative care within their curriculum.

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Guy with pictures of himself.

Emotional highs and lows: There’s a gene for that

Can DNA actually influence personality and emotional reactions? A Texas A&M Health Science Center expert says genetics could be responsible for fluctuating emotional highs and lows, and how we perceive our quality of life.

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Woman walking

You Asked: What is the difference (or lack thereof) between oral and genital herpes?

For a long time, the medical world made the distinction between oral herpes (HSV-1) and genital herpes (HSV-2), because it was thought that HSV-2 led to types of genital and oral cancers. Now we know that the human papilloma virus is the leading culprit for causing cancers specifically focused around the genitals and mouth, not herpes. However, HSV-1 and HSV-2 aren’t mutually exclusive; there is about a 20 percent crossover between the two types.

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Tuna sandwich sitting on a plate, with chopped vegetables in the background

Q&A: Fads, frauds, and the true secrets of dieting success

Every popular diet has a theory about why it works, but what diets actually do work? Dr. Kory Gill speaks about popular fad diets, what the data actually says, and what all workable weight loss strategies have in common.

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Piece of paper with a closeup on the words

Training tomorrow’s doctors: How to help when the healing stops

The College of Medicine has been instructing students on palliative, or “end-of-life” care, the care patients receive for terminal conditions where the goal is to comfort and ease pain rather than to cure, for years. But with the help of students, the college now offers the chance to practice the doctor’s challenging role in such care: Delivering devastating news to patients and their loved ones, and telling patients what comes next when there is no curative path forward.

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