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Health Watch: January 16th

A look at the top stories affecting your health.
An Oxford study finds people who survive a traumatic brain injury are three times more likely to die before the age of 56. Researchers followed people who suffered a blow to the head that led to a skull fracture, internal bleeding or unconsciousness for more than an hour. Many later committed suicide or died from a fatal injury during a car accident or fall. Scientists suggest parts of the brain responsible for decision-making and risk-taking may be damaged in some brain injury patients. 

Regular drinking may damage memory. Doctors at the University of London found men who average two and a half drinks per day performed poorly on memory tests. However, moderate drinkers, men who had less than two drinks a day, did just as well on the tests as non-drinkers. 

Two new experimental pills are showing promise against Hepatitis C, an infection in the liver that can be hard to treat. Doctors at Johns Hopkins gave the drugs to 200 patients and almost all of them saw the virus disappear. Researchers say if the drug combination receives FDA approval, it could replace current treatments that can require 18 pills a day and a weekly injection. 
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