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By Lauran Neergaard The Associated Press

Mother uncovers lasting impact of baby son’s organ donation

WASHINGTON — An ultrasound showed one of Sarah Gray’s unborn twins was missing part of his brain, a fatal birth defect. His brother was born healthy but Thomas lived just six days. Latching onto hope for something positive to come from heartache, Gray donated some of Thomas’ tissue for scientific research his eyes, his liver, his umbilical cord blood.

Studies shine light on mysterious placenta, how it goes awry

WASHINGTON — Scientists carefully probe a placenta donated after birth, bluish umbilical cord still attached. This is the body’s most mysterious organ, and inside lie clues about how it gives life and how it can go awry, leading to stillbirth, preterm birth, even infections like the Zika virus, that somehow sneak past its protective barrier.

Watch for behaviour changes for clues of dementia onset

WASHINGTON — Memory loss may not always be the first warning sign that dementia is brewing changes in behaviour or personality might be an early clue.

Researchers on Sunday outlined a syndrome called “mild behavioural impairment” that may be a harbinger of Alzheimer’s or other dementias, and proposed a checklist of symptoms to alert doctors and families.

Loneliness hurts: Senior health about more than disease

WASHINGTON — Grandma’s cholesterol is OK, but maybe the doctor should be asking about her social life, too.

Think about health during the senior years, and a list of common ailments pops to mind. But that’s not the whole story. New research suggests factors such as loneliness and whether they’ve broken any bones since middle age also play a role in the well-being of older adults.

US officials: The more we know about Zika, the scarier it is

WASHINGTON — The more researchers learn about the Zika virus, the scarier it appears, federal health officials say, as they urge more money for mosquito control and development of vaccines and treatments.

Scientists increasingly believe the Zika virus sweeping through Latin America and the Caribbean causes devastating defects in fetal brains if women become infected during pregnancy.