All posts by priyamvora

Creative. Energetic. Talkative. Narcoleptic?

By Priyam Vora

“It was what everybody jokes about when somebody falls asleep somewhere in a chair at a holiday party like you know ‘Oh you must be narcoleptic,” said Regis Watson, Annie’s mother. “I mean it was always a joke.”

Annie was diagnosed with narcolepsy when she was 6 years old, a long painful year after Annie started showing symptoms when she was 5.

“It took us some time before we knew Annie had narcolepsy because she was just so bright,” said Regis Watson, Annie’s mother. “She is fabulously smart.”

Video reporting by Priyam Vora/Medill; videography by Ronak Vora

Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that impacts 1 in 2,000 people in the U.S., according to Narcolepsy Network. The disorder is characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and an overwhelming sense of tiredness and fatigue throughout the day. Continue reading

Boys suffer from eating disorders too

By Priyam Vora

“The first time I made myself throw up was at age 14.

It was a Sunday night and my family was in the living room watching television. I sat in my room with a carton of sugar-free chocolate ice cream and a spoon, shoveling every drip of the quickly melting ice cream down my throat.

Eating in my room had become a daily habit over the years, especially after I started dieting around age 10. That particular week I was on a quick-fix diet that my stepmother had given me. The new diet was supposed to help me lose 10 pounds in one week. I was on day three and starving. I had lost four pounds already.

I ran to the bathroom to throw up that ice-cream. That would be a lot of calories, I thought to myself.”

– Zac Stafford, 26, survivor of anorexia. He is now a counselor helping boys in Chicago recover from eating disorders.

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Roll up your sleeve: Adults may need a measles vaccine too

By Priyam Vora

While the focus surrounding the current measles outbreak is on children, adults may need a measles vaccination too.

Measles made national headlines after a recent outbreak among visitors to Disneyland in California. Out of the 99 cases reported in California (not all were related to Disneyland), more than 60 percent occurred in people over the age of 20, according to California health officials. The first measles case confirmed in Illinois on Jan. 27 was also contracted by an adult, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

While measles is perceived to be a children’s disease, health experts emphasize that adults can catch the highly contagious disease and  need protection.

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Smartphones can cut your kid’s sleep, layer on the pounds

By Priyam Vora

Sleepy kids may have a hard time hitting the basketball court or focusing on their homework. And the source of their problems may radiate from the digital world of their smartphones!

Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston recently reported that the “blue light” glow from using smartphones and other electronic devices too close to bedtime can make it difficult to fall asleep.  But the same study shows that this lack of sleep in kids can result in increasing risks of obesity during  adolescence. Continue reading

Why the flu vaccines are less effective this winter

By Priyam Vora

The flu has claimed the lives of 54 children in U.S. so far in one of the worst flu seasons on record, experts say. A major reason for the severity of the 2014-2015 season is because the vaccine has become only 23 percent effective, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Compared to last year, the 2013-2014 flu season claimed the lives of 20 children through mid-January, according to CDC data reported by CBS News last year.

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