• Health Highlights: Aug. 11, 2014

    Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
    Robin Williams, Comedian, Film Star, Dead at 63
    Robin Williams, a star comedian who could also move audiences deeply with the convincing power of his dramatic acting, died Monday of an apparent suicide.
    He was 63.
    The Academy Award-winning actor, who was found dead shortly after noon in his home near San Francisco, had been battling severe depression, according to his publicist. In July, Williams had returned to a 12-step treatment program that he said he needed after 18 months of nonstop work, the Associated Press reported. After suffering a relapse from drinking in 2006, he had also sought treatment, the wire service said.
    "This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken," Williams' wife, Susan Schneider, said in a statement. "On behalf of Robin's family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin's death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions."
    Although his manic, brilliant brand of comedy was his signature talent, Williams tackled many dramatic roles, including ones in "Awakenings," "Dead Poets Society" and "What Dreams May Come." He won an Academy Award for his role as a therapist in the film "Good Will Hunting," and captured three Golden Globes, for "Good Morning, Vietnam," "Mrs. Doubtfire" and "The Fisher King."
    Music Training Might Boost Kids' Reading, Language Skills
    New research suggests that when kids learn a musical instrument, they might get an added bonus: Enhanced reading and language skills.
    The study, presented at the recent annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, found that 9- and 10-year-old kids who were taught music had better reading scores versus those who didn't get the lessons.
    In the study, a team led by Dr. Nina Kraus of Northwestern University in Chicago tracked academic outcomes for children in lower-income neighborhoods in Chicago and Los Angeles.
    Kids who got music lessons five or more hours per week didn't experience any decline in reading test scores -- something typically expected for many children in poorer areas, the BBC reported.
    The researchers also tracked the children's brain activity and found that after two years of music training, children seemed better at distinguishing one sound from another, even when there was background noise.
    "While more-affluent students do better in school than children from lower-income backgrounds, we are finding that musical training can alter the nervous system to create a better learner and help offset this academic gap," Kraus told the BBC.
  • Join WellZones today.

    Make a Change For LifeLearn more

    Wellmont LiveWell is creating a new tradition of wellness in the mountains by providing individuals with tools and encouragement to live healthier lifestyles.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease early and prevent heart attacks with HeartSHAPE® - a painless, non-invasive test that takes pictures of your heart to scan for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.


  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.