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Larry King Hosts 25 Years of Health News

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WW: For me, I think it was our coverage of the earthquake in Haiti, with Sanjay Gupta there discussing what he was doing to help the children. The doctors were leaving the hospital, and he was there by himself. His stories were just amazing. Another difficult night was the night Tim Russert died; it happened so quickly and was so shocking. But we did a good show that night with Larry’s doctor, Dr. P.K. Shah, about heart attack prevention.

WebMD: Are there any medical issues you haven’t covered that you wish you had time for?

LK: Concussions and brain injuries. This is so much in the news now with the NFL, and it’s a huge issue. Why was a famous baseball player kicked in the head and has now decided to retire because of all the concussions he’s had? [St. Louis Cardinals catcher Jason LaRue announced his retirement in mid-September, after a kick in the head during an August brawl, saying that the cumulative effects of that concussion and some 20 others he’d suffered since his high school football days had left him debilitated, unable to drive or cook for himself.] When your kid gets hit in the head in a ball game, how much do you have to worry now?

WebMD: If you could wave a magic wand and jump-start progress against any disease, which would it be?

LK: Diabetes. I’ve done a lot with the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

WebMD: So much has changed in medicine during the 25 years your show has been on the air. Look into your crystal ball -- what do you think will be the biggest changes when we’re looking back in another 25 years?

LK: I think stem cells may help provide the answer to so many things. That’s the issue of the future. I really think paralysis will be cured in our kids’ lifetimes thanks to stem cells. Someone like Christopher Reeve really put that on the map. The sad part is, he really thought he was going to beat it. I remember the night he moved his finger on our show. We moved the camera in real close, and it was just heart-rending.

And as we learn more about the brain, I think we can eliminate Alzheimer’s. You know, I still remember the headline: “Polio Cured.” I can still see the newspaper that day. You don’t see headlines these days about cures. There are “advances.” But whether it’s cures or advances, I hope that the shows after mine keep on focusing on these issues.

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Reviewed on November 14, 2010

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