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Pharmacists Charged with Murder in 2012 Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

iStock/Thinkstock(FRAMINGHAM, Mass.) -- A Massachusetts pharmacy owner has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in connection with the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak tied to tainted steroid injections.

The outbreak killed 64 people and sickened 687 others who received the injections across 20 states. Prosecutors said the pharmacists' actions displayed "extreme and appalling disregard for human life.”

Barry Cadden, who owns the New England Compounding Center, and supervising pharmacist Glenn Chin were charged with second-degree murder in the deaths of 25 victims in six states who received tainted vials of methylprednisolone acetate.

Cadden and Chin were "acting in wanton and willful disregard of the likelihood that the natural tendency of their actions would cause death or great bodily harm," according to the indictment announced on Wednesday.

"The investigation uncovered widespread sustained and systematic unlawful conduct at NECC that was not only condoned but was expressly directed by management and senior partners," Acting Associate Attorney General Stuart Delery said during a news conference Wednesday morning announcing the culmination of a two-year investigation involving state and federal officials.

In addition to Cadden and Chin, 14 people associated with NECC were indicted on a laundry list of charges including racketeering, conspiracy and mail fraud. The indictment details how cleaning logs were falsified, expired ingredients were used with fictitious labels, and drugs weren't recalled when microbes were found.

"Production and profit were prioritized over safety," said U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz for the District of Massachusetts, adding that the clean room where drugs were compounded "failed to comply with the most basic health standards."

Eleven people, including Cadden and Chin, were arrested Wednesday morning, Delery said. Three others were not arrested but were named in the indictment.

"Every patient who receives medical treatment deserves peace of mind and know that the medicine they're receiving is safe," Delery said.

For victims such as Michigan mother Jona Angst, 46, news of the indictment and arrests was emotional. Angst received two tainted spinal injections in 2012 and developed a spinal abscess that forced her to spend two weeks in the hospital, she told ABC News at the time.

There, doctors administered intravenous antifungal treatments, which gave her powerful hallucinations and made her skin burn. Since then, Angst has undergone two back surgeries and has been diagnosed with PTSD in relation to the experience, she said.

"I am on cloud nine today," she told ABC News, adding that the first thing she did was thank God. "I have done nothing but cry all day. It's the best Christmas present that anybody could have given me."

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Pup Tries Out New 3-D-Printed Paws

Stephanie Portanova/Facebook(NEW YORK) -- One lucky dog is getting his stride back after being fitted with custom 3-D printed paws and legs.

Derby, a mutt believed to be mostly husky, was born without fully formed front legs. Instead, the dog had small “elbows” that left him pitched forwards as he tried to run and play with other dogs.

“He was scooting around on these nubs and chest,” said Melissa Hannon, who rescued Derby through her organization, Peace and Paws.

After taking in Derby from his original owners in Alabama, Hannon placed the pup with a foster owner, Tara Anderson, a director of product management at a company focused on developing 3-D products called 3-D systems.

From the first day that Hannon matched Derby with Anderson, she hoped they could figure out a way to get Derby fully on his feet.

“I think it was a vision,” Hannon said of the plan to create 3-D printed prosthetic legs for Derby. “No one knew if it would work or if it would take.”

As Anderson cared for Derby, she also started to work with people at her company to design prosthetics for Derby.

“We start him off very low so it wouldn’t be too drastic,” Anderson said of Derby’s first model on the 3D Systems website.

This summer, Derby was matched with his permanent owners, Sherry and Dom Portanova in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The couple said Derby could get around using a wheeled cart, but because it replaced his front legs it was hard for him to move around or interact with other dogs.

When Derby was given his first prosthetic caps, they were little more than “caps” to cover and protect his “elbows” as he scooted around.

“He took to those immediately,” Sherry Portanova told ABC News. “They have cushion inside. That meant he could go run on driveway and concrete.”

Anderson kept working with engineers at 3D Systems to fine tune the prosthetic limbs. One model looked like “peg legs” according to Portanova, and didn’t quite work when Derby tried to run around.

However the next model, Anderson designed -- a long looping prosthetic -- seemed to be just right for the energetic Derby.

As soon as Derby tried them on, Portanova said the dog just took off.

“The first time he was put on them and he took off running, he was so happy,” she said in a video for 3D Systems. “I was absolutely amazed at how well he did.”

Now, the dog runs every day with the couple, Portanova told ABC News. She hopes Derby's story encourages owners to adopt disabled pets.

"He’s such a good dog and he lives a full life," she said. "He’s very special. Everybody who sees him just loves him."

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Why You're Doing the Paleo Diet All Wrong

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Proponents of the so-called paleo diet believe that humans who probably went by names like Grok, Thog and Dorn knew more about nutrition than we do today. But a new analysis by two anthropology professors suggests otherwise.

Short for Paleolithic, the popular paleo diet goes heavy on meat, fish and vegetables while shunning grain products and processed food. It’s supposedly patterned after the way our ancestors dined between 10,000 and 2.5 million years ago before the advent of agriculture, fast-food or Cronuts.

Ken Sayers, an anthropologist at Georgia State University in Atlanta and one of the lead authors of the just-released Quarterly Review of Biology paper, said there is very little evidence to suggest early humans subsisted on a specialized diet or considered any one food group especially important.

“Whatever angle you chose to look at the diets of our early ancestors, it’s hard to pinpoint any one particular feeding strategy,” Sayers said.

The study examined anthological, biological and chemical clues that suggest hominids lived in a wide range of environments. They were probably not the best hunters and their large, flat teeth would have made it difficult to chew many common plants, Sayers explained. Their diet can be more accurately described as an opportunistic buffet than meat-lovers menu, he said.

And even if one assumes early humans had access to some of the foods still around today, they wouldn’t be the same, Sayers pointed out. For example, langur monkeys whose eating habits closely resemble our Paleolithic brethren won’t touch the wild strawberries that grow high in the mountains near Nepal. While attractive, they are very bitter. They taste nothing like the plump, juicy supermarket strawberries that have been selectively bred for sweetness, Sayers said.

Caine Credicott, the founder and editor in chief of Paleo Magazine, said he can’t speak to this latest study but he can say that the paleo lifestyle is “about nourishing our bodies with real food that is grown and raised as nature intended, not manufactured in a sterile facility.”

And, he insisted, it goes beyond what’s on the plate.

“Paleo encourages other aspects such as getting more sleep, reducing time in front of blue screens, consuming locally grown foods, supporting local farmers that follow sustainable farming practices, reducing stress, playing outside, and getting out in the sun,” Credicott said.

Perhaps there’s some truth to that, Georgia State anthropologist Sayers said. There is certainly nothing silly about someone trying to eat a healthier diet, he reasoned. But why bother emulating a civilization where the average lifespan was only about 18 years?

“They lived short, tough lives that were focused on survival and reproduction,” Sayers said. “Most people on diets today are generally affluent and not worried about going hungry.”

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Parents Unsure Whether Older Teens Can Make Good Medical Decisions

iStock/Thinkstock(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) — Old enough to vote. Old enough to join the military. Not old enough to pick out a doctor?

Although seven in 10 parents believe that by the time a child reaches 18 they should move to an adult-focused primary care provider, just 30 percent say their kids are no longer being seen by their pediatrician.

Researchers at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital made this discovery in their national poll of parents with children ages 13 to 30.

The problem seems to be a lack of faith in a child’s ability to handle their own health care responsibilities.

For instance, many parents with kids’ between the ages of 16-19 didn’t think these teens were capable enough to make a doctor’s appointment or refill a prescription.

Of those with children 18-19, half of parents were unsure whether their kids could fill out a medical questionnaire while less than 30 percent were confident in their youngsters’ understanding of what their insurance covers.

The bottom line, according to study author Emily Fredericks, is for parents to teach their children to be self-sufficient by getting them involved in making appointments, refilling prescriptions and asking questions about their insurance and health care providers.

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Trying to Save on Gas Money May Lead to More Motorcycle Accidents

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Gasoline prices continue to fall with no bottom in sight, which puts more money in people’s pockets but could also hurt the economy in the long run if the supply of oil far exceeds demand.

However, when gasoline prices were way over three dollars a gallon, as they were for a number of years, it may have resulted in more people driving motorcycles and subsequently, more deaths and injuries from bike crashes.

A study in the journal Injury Prevention doesn’t provide a definitive cause-and-effect link. Yet, an analysis of California motorcycle registrations between 2002 and 2011 suggests that higher gas prices can be correlated to an increase in deaths and injuries as more inexperienced drivers took to the roads on bikes.

Most accidents occurred during the afternoon in urban areas. In 93 percent of the crashes, the cyclists were men with more than two-thirds white and almost half middle-aged.

Another big problem: 20 percent of those hurt in motorcycle crashes were uninsured.

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Repeating Algebra Can Make Things Worse

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Algebra has been the bane of many high school students going back in time. And yet, it appears that making some youngsters take algebra again because they didn't do well enough the first time seems to do more harm than good, according to a new California study.

Anthony B. Fong, the lead researcher for the study conducted for the U.S. Department of Education, says that about half the students who received at least a "C" and passed California's algebra assessment test actually saw their grades and tests scores decline when they repeated the course.

Fong's study didn't look into the reasons why this happened but he guesses that many of these students felt embarrassed about having to take algebra again and just did the minimum amount of work to get by.

He also questioned teachers' motivations for making students repeat algebra. His conclusion is, "If you have a kid who’s on the borderline of repeating algebra or moving on, if you’re in doubt, it seems like it’s better to move on."

In other cases, when a student flunked the course, repeating algebra tended to get their grade up to a "D" but there was really no indication that they mastered the material.

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More Deaths in Animated Children's Films than Dramatic Films for Adults

Flying Colours Ltd/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Animated films meant for children feature more on-screen deaths than ever before, a new study found.

In a study published in the British Medical Journal, researchers analyzed the 45 animated films with the highest gross revenue from 1937 to 2013. Ranging from Snow White to Frozen, researchers compared, year-to-year, the films to the two highest-grossing non-children films.

Researchers then adjusted for run time and years since release, and found that children's animated films feature 2.5 times as many deaths as the non-children films.

Researchers also suggest that parents may want to watch movies with their children, "in the event that the children need emotional support after witnessing the inevitable horrors that will unfold."

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'Low Glycemic' Diets May Not Provide Significant Health Advantage

ASIFE/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Diets that focus on low impact on blood sugar may not have a significant impact on risk of heart disease or diabetes.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston looked at data from 163 healthy adults who were either overweight or obese at five-week intervals. Each participant ate either a "low glycemic diet" which focuses on foods that have low impact on blood sugar, or a "high glycemic diet."

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that those participants who ate a diet with low glycemic indexes did not have significant improvement in their cardiovascular risk factors and often had increased levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol and decreased sensitivity to insulin.

The study was done over a short period of time, so researchers did not analyze medical outcomes, such as the development of diabetes or the rate of occurrence of heart attacks, but rather studied the risk factors associated with those outcomes.

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What Finally Cured a Woman's 18-Year Stuffy Nose

Nadia Campbell (NEW YORK) -- For more than 18 years, Nadia Campbell had no sense of taste or smell and lived with terrible sinus pain. Even after seeing five specialists and undergoing three surgeries, the 38-year-old said she was still left with a perpetually runny nose that kept her up all night.

“Every day there was a problem,” said Campbell, of Oaklawn, Illinois. “I had a dry mouth from breathing through my mouth and constant headaches.”

That all changed after doctors at Loyola University Health in Maywood, Illinois, diagnosed her with Samter’s triad, a newly recognized medical condition involving a combination of nasal polyps, asthma and a sensitivity to aspirin.

“My patients typically come in carrying a thick folder of medical records because they have tried for a long time to find a cure for their illness,” said Dr. Monica Patadia, the board-certified head and neck surgeon who treated Campbell at Loyola.

More than 37 million Americans have at least one sinus problem a year, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, making it one of the most common medical conditions the average person experiences.

Samter’s triad, also known as aspirin exacerbated respiratory disease, or AERD, affects an estimated 10 percent of people with asthma. About 40 percent of people with both asthma and nasal polyps and who are also sensitive to aspirin may have Samter’s, studies suggest.

The cause of the condition is not completely understood, though researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston believe it may be triggered in part by high levels of cells called eosinophils in the blood and sinuses, which leads to chronic inflammation of the airways. Patients often show elevated levels of another type of cell known as leukocytes, particularly after taking aspirin.

Once the problem was diagnosed, Campbell said the treatment itself was simple and painless. First Dr. Patadia performed outpatient surgery to remove the polyps and open up her sinus cavities. Next, she placed temporary spacers in Campbell’s nasal passages that were removed once the healing process was far enough along.

After surgery, Campbell spent several days undergoing a process to desensitize her to aspirin. This has enabled doctors to wean her off the strong steroid medications she took for almost two decades.

Patadia said the surgery was a success.

“When the sinuses light up like a pumpkin or jack o’ lantern you know the sinuses are wide open and that is a good thing,” she said of looking at Campbell’s sinuses with an endoscope.

Campbell said despite a few lingering allergies, she is thrilled with the results. When she first experienced the feeling of breathing freely again, she said she cried with relief.

“I now sleep through the night and I can taste food again,” she said. “No one can really understand what it’s like when you can’t do those things.”

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Movo Wave Aims to Shake Up Crowded Fitness Tracker Market

Movo Wave(NEW YORK) -- There's a new entry in the crowded fitness tracker market, and it's aiming low.

The Movo Wave is a bare bones tracker that stands out most for its price: $29.99.

The technology is smart but stripped down, meaning you won't get the extra features you may find on rival devices. There's no sleep quality tracking and customized alerts to get the user moving, which can be found on the Jawbone and Fitbit wearables, among a slew of other features.

The Movo Wave focuses on three metrics: Steps, distance traveled and calories burned, the three areas the company deems the most important to understanding your daily habits.

Putting the Movo Wave on, it feels like a hair tie. Weighing less than ounce, it's easy to forget you're wearing the bracelet.

Data can be synced to an app by plugging the device into the headphone jack of the user's smartphone.

One nice touch: Users also have the option of pairing their activity to photos of moments in their daily lives, creating what the company calls a "life log."

The device is water resistant, though it's not recommended users wear it while swimming or showering. It also boasts two weeks of operation on one charge and comes in a range of sizes so it won't fall off your wrist.

People who want to commit to a fitness wearable full time may be better served spending a little extra money to get the other features. One option: The $49.99 Misfit Flash, which takes all of your basic metrics, also measures sleep, and works off of a battery.

But the bottom line is that if you're curious about fitness trackers and don't want any extra bells and whistles, the Movo Wave is a great cost-effective buy to explore the world of wearables.

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Why Jahi McMath's Mom Is Sure Her Daughter Isn't Brain Dead

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Nailah Winkfield said she will never forget giving her teenage daughter permission to die as she lay motionless and on a ventilator.

Months earlier, Jahi McMath, then 13, had been declared brain dead and become a household name as a legal battle to take her off life support was splashed across headlines nationwide. Winkfield and her family won the battle and moved McMath from California to a long-term care facility in New Jersey, but on this particular day, Winkfield didn't think her daughter wanted to hold on any longer, she said.

"You have my permission to go. I don't want you here if you're suffering," Winkfield recalled telling McMath, her voice breaking. "If you can hear me and you want to live, move your right hand."

To Winkfield's shock, McMath obeyed, she said. So Winkfield asked her to move her left hand. She did that, too, Winkfield said.

"That was the first time I knew that she could hear me," Winkfield said. "It took me to cry for her to move."

Doctors at Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland, California, declared McMath brain dead after what was supposed to be a routine tonsil surgery led to cardiac arrest on Dec. 9, 2013. But Winkfield said she and her family didn't believe it. Attorney Christopher Dolan took on the case and helped them fight to keep her on a ventilator until she could be moved to New Jersey, where state law allows religious objection to brain death.

UCLA pediatric neurology professor Dr. Alan Shewmon wrote an official declaration this fall that although he hadn't personally examined McMath, the videos and what he understands from others who examined her "leave no doubt that Jahi is conscious, and can not only hear but can even understand simple verbal requests...and make appropriate motor responses."

He said the nursing records, her MRI brain scan results and other records indicate that she is "not currently brain dead," though he doesn't blame the doctors last winter for misdiagnosing her as such.

"She is an extremely disabled but very much alive teenage girl," Shewmon wrote in an Oct. 3 court document.

Shewmon has published studies examining and questioning brain death for more than a decade. In his declaration, he referenced speaking to two other experts who witnessed McMath's motor functions: Cuban neurologist Dr. Calixto Machado and Philip Defina, CEO of the International Brain Research Foundation, Inc.

Winkfield left her job in California and moved from across the country in the middle of winter last year with nothing but a knapsack, Dolan said. She even spent some time homeless.

Doctors had told Winkfield that McMath's brain would liquefy and she would start to look different as her body shut down, but none of that has happened, Winkfield said.

McMath has been out of the long-term care facility since August, and she has been moved to Winkfield's new New Jersey home, where she gets 24-hour nursing care.

But Winkfield said she makes sure to be the person who gives McMath a bath, talks to her, reads to her and plays her favorite music to her. Every two weeks, she does McMath hair. Every week, she gives her a manicure. This week it's a purple French manicure.

"I talk to her like I would talk to anybody," Winkfield said, adding that McMath can now respond by giving a thumbs up.

Winkfield said she's reached puberty over the last year, and has had two menstrual cycles -- something Dolan said can only happen to someone with a functioning brain.

The next step will be getting McMath's California death certificate reversed so she can move back home and get disability benefits in California, Dolan said. Experts have already testified on her behalf, he said.

The family has posted YouTube videos of McMath moving her hand and foot seemingly on command.

Dr. Wei Xiong, a neurologist at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Ohio who has not treated McMath, said it's not clear from the videos whether McMath is responding to instructions or whether she is "posturing" -- which happens to brain dead patients when their spinal cords prompt limb movement after their brains have relinquished control. He said the hand movement was especially interesting because it was a "complex" motion.

"That would make it somewhat unusual in someone who is brain dead," he said. However, a complex movement in someone who is brain dead is "not completely out of the question," he noted.

For Christmas, Winkfield won't be able to be with her husband or other children because she needs to stay where she is and can't afford to fly them across the country. But she said she'll still cook and buy McMath presents like a new night gown, lip gloss and some socks.

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Sharon Stone Opens Up About Enduring a 'Massive Brain Hemorrhage'

Kevin Tachman/Getty Images for amfAR(LOS ANGELES) — Sharon Stone has been considered one of Hollywood's sexiest women for all of her more than 30 years in front of the camera.  And she doesn't fear growing older -- especially after suffering what she describes as a "massive brain hemorrhage" in 2001.

The 56-year-old actress recounts in an essay published in the Hollywood Reporter that because of the health scare, "I don't choose to make growing older a negative. I choose to get older. Growing older is my goal."

"I spent two years learning to walk and talk again. I came home from that stroke stuttering, couldn't read for two years," she recounts. "I don't need someone to make me feel bad about growing older. I'll tell you what makes you feel bad: when you think you might not."

Stone said she's now doing well, which she credits to her hard work and determination to thrive. She tries to hit the gym four or five times a week and eats cleanly, because "people don't want to see a fat Sharon Stone."

Ultimately, Stone says, "The key to looking good as you get older is, it all comes from the inside. You have to do what you like to do. If you hate to go to the gym, don't put yourself on a gym regimen. Do what you like to do, but do it every day. I love to dance, and I dance hard. When I started thinking about aging, I thought, 'Who do I want to look like as I age?' And the answer was dancers."

Now, the actress is looking and feeling her best -- and others are noticing too, both personally and professionally. Not only is she unafraid to audition for roles that aren't originally meant for actresses her age, but also, she says younger men hit on her all the time.

"I believe there can be a movie plot where the leading hot guy who's 43 falls for me instead of the 25-year-old girl," she writes. "Every time I go into a Starbucks, some 20-year-old guy throws himself at me! Although it might be because he knows there's a meal at the end of it. But these young guys know the sex would be better."

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NHL's Mumps Outbreak Might Not Be Over Yet

Mark Kegans/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — More than a dozen NHL players and referees have contracted mumps in recent weeks, with additional players tested amid fears that the disease could spread.

Players with the Anaheim Ducks, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Minnesota Wild and Pittsburgh Penguins have been affected so far.

The viral infection can cause swelling of the salivary glands, fever, headache, fatigue and loss of appetite.

Mumps can be spread by sneezing and coughing, and it can spread quickly in close quarters, with hockey’s physicality and locker room culture aiding in the outbreak.

Because mumps has an incubation period of up to three weeks, doctors say, it will take some time to know when the league’s outbreak is over.

Penguins forward Beau Bennett, who was tested Monday, is the latest player to be screened for mumps.

Days earlier, Bennett’s teammate Sidney Crosby appeared in the locker room with a swollen face, a tell-tale sign of the disease. Crosby is past the infectious stage and could return to the team as early as Tuesday, Penguins officials said.

Bennett was tested four days after he and other Penguins players visited the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh to spread Christmas cheer.

In a statement to ABC News, the hospital said it plans to isolate patients and families who visited with Bennett and who had not received their age-appropriate doses of mumps vaccine, and will be monitoring them.

Children with immune problems are at a greater risk to have severe infections from the mumps.

Mumps was nearly eradicated in 1967, but made a re-emergence in 2000. A notable outbreak occurred in the Midwest in 2006, when thousands of college students were infected.

Americans are vaccinated against the mumps as part of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, the first dose of which is given to babies between 12 and 15 months old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The second dose is given at 4 to 6 years old.

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Retired Detective Says 'Toxic Stress' May Have Contributed to His Cancer

Benny Andujar(NEW YORK) — When 54-year old Benny Andujar went in for a routine checkup shortly after retiring from the New York City police force a few years ago, doctors found abnormalities in the cells close to his stomach, a condition called Barrett’s esophagus. Several months later he was diagnosed with cancer.

Andujar said he didn’t realize how much of a toll all the years he’d spent investigating some of city’s most notorious gangs and drug cartels had taken on his body. But he’s convinced all the pressure he was under for so long contributed to his illness.

[Toxic Stress Tweet Chat Today at 1 P.M., ET]

“You go to work in the morning and you don’t know if you’re coming home in the evening,” Andujar said.

What Andujar experienced goes so far beyond the normal day-to-day hassle, doctors refer to it as “toxic stress.” This is the type of stress that is so sustained and unrelenting it can cause long-term depression and anxiety and an increased chance of developing chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

“This happens when stress is especially severe or long-lasting, and it exceeds support or coping mechanisms," said Dr. Amit Sood, Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic.

Sood said that toxic stress puts your body at war by revving up the activity in the glands that secrete stress hormones. These glands can tolerate short periods of high activity well but don’t hold up during long periods of extreme wear and tear. If stress and anxiety levels continue unabated, blood pressure elevates and immunity plummets, leaving the body vulnerable to physical and mental disorders, Sood explained.

People in dangerous or high stress jobs such as Andujar are candidates for toxic stress. So are victims of domestic abuse. It can be especially dangerous for children.

The Adverse Childhood Experiences studies performed in the late 1990’s established a strong link between toxic stress in childhood and the risk of obesity, depression, alcoholism, smoking and other risk factors in adulthood. Additionally, children who have high stress levels due to poverty, neglect, abuse, or severe maternal depression have been shown to have a weakened architecture of the developing brain leading to long-term consequences for learning, behavior, and overall health.

According to Dr. Robert Block, a former president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, toxic stress is so insidious, it affects individuals at the cellular level.

“It can actually affect the way individual genes function, potentially turning on genes that increase risk of disease,” he noted.

But Toxic stress doesn’t have to be a done deal, Sood said.

“There are ways to decrease and even reverse the damage done,” he said.

Simple lifestyle changes such as physical exercise, a healthy diet and adequate sleep can help, Sood pointed out. Contemplative practices such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, and even prayer can also help to manage stress in the moment and reverse some of its negative health consequences.

“All of these lifestyle changes have been shown to reduce stress,” Sood said, adding that he also recommended “timeless virtues” such as gratitude and working to forgive old grudges.

Fortunately for Andujar, his cancer was found in time. He’s now cancer-free, and extremely grateful. He said he’s made changes in his life that ensure stress can no longer overtake him. And the one positive remnant of his cancer battle is a new perspective on life.

“I think it makes you a better person when you see the gates opening,” he said. “I now enjoy life, I stay in the moment. I won’t wait for tomorrow to do what I can today. I don’t have time for anger, hatred. Life is too short.”

ABC News Health invites anyone who feels overtaken by stress to join us for a one hour tweet chat Tuesday at 1 p.m., ET. Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News chief health and medical editor, will be leading a discussion on how stress impacts your life and what you can do about it.

We’ll be joined by experts from the Mayo Clinic as well as doctors, experts and advocates from other organizations. Joining in is easy. Here’s how.

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Skip the Booze to Get to Sleep

iStock/Thinkstock(COLUMBIA, Mo.) — A bottle of beer, a glass of wine or a shot of whiskey is not going to help you sleep better in the long run.

Mahesh Thakkar at the University of Missouri School of Medicine says about 20 percent of Americans have tried this method in an effort to get some shuteye.

While it might put them to sleep faster, Thakkar says many will also find their sleep interrupted at some point and that makes it even more difficult to doze off.

The study author explains the problem is that alcohol interferes with "sleep homeostasis -- the brain's built-in mechanism that regulates your sleepiness and wakefulness."

The other downside to using alcohol is that it also acts a diuretic, meaning, more trips to the bathroom at night.

While it's tempting, Thakkar recommend people skip the booze and if problems persist, talk to a health professional about what's keeping you awake, which can be addressed with individualized treatments.

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