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Quiz: Top Health Stories of 2014

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"Vape," the Oxford Dictionaries’ 2014 "Word of the Year," refers to:

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"Vape," the Oxford Dictionaries’ 2014 "Word of the Year," refers to:

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  • Correct Answer:

Not only is “vape” shorthand for electronic cigarettes, it’s also slang for what you do with them -- inhale and exhale the vapor they produce. Judging from ongoing debate, though, even where there’s not smoke, there’s ire. Those in favor of vaping claim it’s less harmful than smoking. Those opposed argue it’s a gateway to addiction for teens and non-smokers.

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The growth of legalized marijuana across the U.S. -- whether it’s for medical or recreational purposes -- has led to:

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The growth of legalized marijuana across the U.S. -- whether it’s for medical or recreational purposes -- has led to:

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The feds need growers to harvest pot for research, hence the National Institutes of Health ad. A close contender for “Word of the Year” was “budtender,” a person who serves patrons in a cannabis shop. And the Colorado Symphony performed fund-raising “Classically Cannabis” concerts in “The High Note” series in 2014.

This disease prompted "the largest international response in the history of the CDC":

This disease prompted "the largest international response in the history of the CDC":

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President Barack Obama called the Ebola epidemic, the largest in history, a threat to global security. Some promising treatments are based on the theory that blood from someone who survives the virus may be the best medicine for others who get infected. The World Health Organization is in favor of experimenting, as is multi-billionaire Bill Gates, who has donated millions to the cause.

We now have a cure for hepatitis C.

We now have a cure for hepatitis C.

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Most people with this serious liver disease can be cured with one tablet, taken once a day for 8, 12, or 24 weeks. The pill, a combination of the drugs sofosbuvir and ledipasvir, is called Harvoni. Its high price tag, about $1,000 per tablet, may make it a hard pill to swallow for whoever pays the bill. Doctors will screen candidates to make sure they give up alcohol and promise to take the medicine exactly as prescribed.

Summer’s chilly social media challenge raised knowledge about:

Summer’s chilly social media challenge raised knowledge about:

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The “Ice Bucket Challenge” also raised more than $115 million to fight ALS. Better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS destroys nerve cells in the brain, which shuts off signals that make muscles move. This can lead to total paralysis and death within 5 years. Scientists think proteins in the brain hold the key to helping people with ALS live longer.

This health screening test is now a thing of the past:

This health screening test is now a thing of the past:

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New guidelines say only women with symptoms need a pelvic exam. This doesn’t mean you can skip your Pap smear to screen for cervical cancer, though -- you’ll need that every 3 years now, as long as the test result is normal. Paps aren’t recommended annually anymore.

A 2014 study proved the “eat breakfast/lose weight” connection once and for all.

A 2014 study proved the “eat breakfast/lose weight” connection once and for all.

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One new study this year said it doesn’t matter whether you eat or skip breakfast if your goal is shedding pounds. But there’s still plenty of research that says breakfast eaters are more likely to lose weight and keep it off.

Doctors linked lifestyle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Doctors linked lifestyle with Alzheimer’s disease.

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It turns out the same things that are good for your heart can also help lower the risk of Alzheimer’s. To start, exercise regularly, don’t smoke, and stay at a healthy weight  The heart-healthy Mediterranean diet, rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, fish, olive oil, and other health fats, also preserves brain power.

The late Robin Williams had this condition, according to a pathology report.

The late Robin Williams had this condition, according to a pathology report.

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The beloved actor and comedian’s autopsy revealed “diffuse Lewy body dementia” (LBD). Lewy bodies are clumps of abnormal proteins in the brain. They're also found in people with Parkinson’s disease, which Williams also had. Both conditions cause problems with movement and balance, stiff muscles, and stooped posture. Add symptoms like confusion, hallucinations, delusions, and acting out dreams, sometimes violently, and LBD is the more likely diagnosis.

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