Health Highlights: Jan. 5, 2010

Jan. 6, 2010 -- Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Head Blows Don't Cause Brain Damage: Ex-NFL Doctor

Despite tough questioning by members of Congress, the former head of the NFL's concussion committee insisted Monday there is no proven link between football head injuries and brain disease.

"There is not enough valid, reliable or objective scientific evidence at present to determine whether or not repeat head impacts in professional football result in long-term brain damage," New York City neurologist Dr. Ira Casson said in prepared testimony delivered to the House Judiciary Committee, CBS News and the Associated Press reported.

Casson, who resigned as co-chair of the NFL's committee on mild brain injuries in November, said it was wrong to suggest that the committee had ignored the problem of head injuries among football players.

His stance drew scorn from House Judiciary Committee members.

"I find it really ridiculous that he's saying that concussions don't cause long-term cognitive problems," said Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., CBS/AP reported. "I think most people you ask on the street would figure that repeated blows to the head aren't good for you."


FDR Killed by Melanoma, Authors Say

Melanoma may have contributed to the sudden death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in April 1945, suggests a new book written by neurologist Dr. Steven Lomazow and journalist Eric Fettmann.

While it's certain that Roosevelt died of a cerebral hemorrhage at age 63, it isn't clear what actually caused the stroke, The New York Times reported.

Photos show that in the first two terms of his 12-year presidency, Roosevelt had a dark spot over his left eyebrow that seemed to grow larger over time. But the spot disappeared around 1940 and was replaced by a small scar.

The authors of the book "F.D.R.'s Deadly Secret" claim the spot was melanoma, which can cause a stroke from bleeding when it spreads to the brain, The Times reported.

The melanoma "metastasized to his brain, causing the growing tumor that would take Roosevelt's life a mere six weeks later," the authors wrote.


Women With Partners Gain More Weight: Study

Women who live with a partner put on more weight than those who don't live with a mate, says a new study.

For 10 years, researchers followed more than 6,000 Australian women who were ages 18-23 at the start of the study. After adjusting for a number of variables, the researchers found that the 10-year weight gain for an average 140-pound woman was 20 pounds for a woman with a baby and partner, 15 pounds for a woman with a partner but no baby, and 11 pounds for a childless woman with no partner, The New York Times reported.

The findings appear in the January issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

A more active social life may help explain why women with partners gain more weight than those without partners, said Maureen A. Murtaugh, an expert in women's weight gain and associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Utah.

"Think of going to a restaurant," Murtaugh told the Times. "They serve a 6-foot man the same amount as they serve me, even though I'm 5 feet, 5 inches and 60 pounds lighter."


Octuplets Doctor Accused of Negligence

The doctor of the American woman who gave birth to octuplets in January 2009 has been accused of negligence by the California medical board.

In a complaint filed in December, the board accused Beverly Hills obstetrician/gynecologist Dr. Michael Kamrava of gross negligence and repeated negligent acts in the treatment of a patient identified only by the initials N.S., CNN reported.

In interviews, octuplets mother Nadya Suleman has identified Kamrava as her doctor. Her octuplets and six other children were all conceived through in-vitro fertilization.

In the complaint, the California medical board says that during in-vitro treatment of his patient, Kamrava transferred a number of embryos that was "far in excess of [American Society for Reproductive Medicine] recommendations and beyond the reasonable judgment of any treating physician," CNN reported.

In addition, Kamrava should have referred his patient to a mental health expert after she continued to return for additional in-vitro treatments shortly after each of her pregnancies, the board said.

No date for a hearing has been set, CNN reported.