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tv   Sanjay Gupta MD  CNN  November 6, 2011 4:30am-5:00am PST

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linked to cancer. but 250 are x-ray scanners. these are the ones that are causing concern. >> this is inizing radiation which we know damages dna and increases the risk of cancer. the national academy of sciences has looked at this -- has looked at the issue of low levels of ionizing radiation and said there's no low level at which the risk -- the risk of cancer is zero. >> something else to keep an eye on. i'll be back at the top of the hour. cnn sunday morning continues. hello and welcome to the program, i'm dr. sanjay gupta. this morning i'm with the pioneer of natural health, dr. andrew weils, friend of mine. here to talk about something that might surprise you -- his only struggle with depression. he's also got help for the rest of us. also a young entrepreneur. you might know his web sites. he suddenly faces a deadly diagnosis. he and his friends are using
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their creativity to try and find a solution. we'll explain. first, this week the u.s. supreme court began to review just how accurate eyewitness testimony is. they're doing this for the first time since the 1970s. now science shows our memories and our powers of perception are far less reliable than we believe. there's a whole host of factors that influence what we see from stress to time, even suggestability. scientists have been able to recreate what the impact of distance is. for example, if you were standing about 50 feet away from me, this is what i would look like. at 100 feet, though, i would look something like this. at 200 feet, like this. you get the idea here. 400 feet, i'm pretty much unidentifiable. but even when we're up close, our minds aren't always as perceptive as we think they are. we set up our own experiment with my good friend and colleague elizabeth cohen who was getting ready to tape a story in the food court. as elizabeth is in the middle of her segment, there's an interruption.
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and we asked bystander whs what they noticed. surprised us what we saw. >> the woman, she looked upset. >> she had like a -- a red colored looking dress. >> no. she was wearing a two-piece suit. >> i think it was brown or blue maybe. i'm not sure. not sure. >> now the perpetrator is actually my producer trisha. and if you were paying attention, you would have noticed her goofy glasses, but that she was wearing a black dress and a purple sweater. all fascinating. joining me to talk about this and more is david eagleman, author of "inning to ne ing t"it lies of the brain." good to have you. >> good to be here, sanjay. >> what but think of the scenario? there was an interruption as elizabeth was doing her piece. people had a hard time identifying some specifics. what did you make of that? >> well, this is very typical.
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this is always what happens with eyewitness testimony. if you have a crowd and something happens, people's perceptions are not terribly reliable. and more importantly, their memory of what they just saw tends to quickly drift around. and so this has been a problem. there are probably 2,000 papers in the cognitive science literature on this nowadays it the unreliability of eyewitness testimony. >> in fact, you've said that it's some of the worst technology that's in use in courtrooms. because, you know, you think of eyewitness testimony, you think if you have an eyewitness that's going to pretty much seal the deal. you say not so fast. >> well, yeah. that's the interesting part is that it does seal the deal. for jurors it is extraordinarily swaying for someone to say, look, about all that stuff but i know what i saw. and i saw this with my own eyes. that has an incredible amount of sway on jurors. the reason i say it's the worst technology in the courtroom is because when you compare it to the other sorts of techniques
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that are allowed to be introduced into courts, those all go through very strict verification processes. and there's debate about whether they should be allowed in the courtroom. for example, neuroimaging evidence. but when it comes to eyewitness testimony, that sort of gets a free pass, where everybody assumes that it's probably pretty good. and it's not. >> you -- you look at something with your eyes, your brain is processing it, but you're sort of seeing with your mind per se. but your brain is making decisions on what is necessary to see. i mean, how does the brain make that -- even with elizabeth and trisha there, how is the brain deciding to focus on one thing and ignore something else really obvious? what factors come into play there? >> well, really all we ever see is our internal models of what we think is out there. so if you think, oh, there's a person and there's some interference, part of it is the data that's coming in through those two holmes in your skull,
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but a lot is what you believe you're seeing. of course, this is how magic trick work. is that it's very easy to have your attention pulled in one place or another, and you believe you've seen something even though it happened right in front of your face as something else. >> you know, it's something because this is obviously coming before the supreme court. and this is your area. if you were giving advice or testifying, is there a way to quantify how reliable eyewitness testimony is or how -- how well somebody remembered something in terms of how correct it was? >> in the legal system, the only way that we can estimate this is by looking at, for example, the number of exonerations that have happened based on dna evidence. and then look at how many of those people were actually convicted based in whole or in part on eyewitness testimony. and what you find is that the vast majority of them had eyewitnesses in the cases that said, i know that's the guy. i'm 100% sure that's the guy who did it. and that's the one i saw.
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but in fact, we find out later they were exonerated. so the numbers are 190 out of 250 exonerated cases relied in large part on eyewitness testimony. >> it's absolutely amazing. and you and i are both interested in the neurosciences, but the tricks that can be played on our brains and minds -- i know you delve into this stuff. it's something to speak with you. by the way, leather jacket, blue shirt, ring on your left finger, and a mic on your lapel, right? got it. >> that's right. >> i think you wore that jacket the last time we spoke, as well. but that could be my mind playing tricks on me, as well. i don't know. david, thank you very much -- >> that's right, the same jacket, different shirt. >> there you go. >> thank you, sanjay. >> hope to have you back again soon. want to introduce you to ashley smith. she's a young woman, and she suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. it's a mental illness that we don't talk about enough, and it is misunderstood often, as well.
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but ashley is determined to not let her troubles get in the way of carrying out her dreams. >> i heard voices. i saw images of people following me that scared me. >> aly smith knows what it's like to nearly lose it all. >> i thought my life was in danger. i felt like my family members and strangers on the street were against me. >> when she was in college, her sanity started slipping away. >> i thought everyone was against me. >> overwhelmed, ashley blamed it on stress. >> i would pray a lot about it. and i thought that if i just continued to cope with it the best way i knew how that i would get through it. >> but she didn't. [ siren ] >> ashley stole a military truck and led police on a high speed chase. she ended up in jail. two months went by before ashley received a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. along with treatment. the national alliance on mental
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illness says more than two million americans have schizophrenia. but in the african-american community, mental illness is often misunderstood and is not often discussed. but ashley did something remarkable. she decided to be open about her diagnosis with the goal of helping others. >> do i look like a person with skit friend -- schizophrenia? >> today she helps train law enforcement officers. she learn to see sign of mental illness to help intervene in a crisis. ashrawi -- ashley also started embracing my mind which helps loche peop-- low-income people get help. >> it's a long-term process to overcome schizophrenia. i do it through my support team, peers and family. >> she hopes sharing her story
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will reduce stigma. >> for those diagnosed or still suffering or struggling with this illness, i'll say there are going to be ups and downs. but it is very manageable, and that you can succeed. >> schizophrenia, in case you're wondering, typically appears in someone's 20s or 30s. still ahead on sgmd," you'll meet another gupta. no relation to me, but he needs our help. i've done my part. i'm hoping you'll do yours, as well. progresso. it fits! fantastic! [ man ] pro-gresso they fit! okay-y... okay??? i've been eating progresso and now my favorite old okay is there a woman i can talk to? [ male announcer ] progresso. 40 soups 100 calories or less.
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leukemia is a word no one wants to hear. the young man i'm about to introduce is diagnosed with a type of cancer that starts inside your bone merriarrow. amyth gupta has it, and his survival is 30% to 35%. a bone marrow match would double his survival. people are severely underreported in the donor pool including other minorities. finding a perfect match are about one in 20,000. and we're joined from woodbridge, connecticut.
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first of all, i should point out we have the same last name, we're not related. but i've been hearing so much about on you on social media, tweets and facebook. let me ask, how are you doing? you just finished chemo two days ago, right? >> a couple weeks ago. i'm doing well. i start my next round in about a week. this is about the best i'll feel for the next six months or so. >> when you're going through it or immediately after, how tough is it for you? >> toward the end, it gets kind of rough. there's a lot of kind of -- mouth symptoms and just fatigue and -- it gets tough. >> you're barely 30 years old. you know, before all this, you were -- you were perfectly healthy, right? you never had a problem or any health problems to speak of. >> yeah. not really. >> so what happened? i mean, when did you first notice that you weren't feeling well and it was serious? >>. >> i think early in september i just -- i started feeling tired a lot.
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and other than that, i had a couple of other things -- i spiked a fever one weekend. and i -- bright lights started looking really bright. random things. and i went in to see my doctor and one thing led to another. he told me i had leukemia. >> again, this is a tough question to ask -- you're a young guy, you hear news like this. what goes through your mind? >> it just felt so unfair. honestly, i think i cried more in that first week than i have in my entire life. i spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself which isn't something to be proud of. but it was a hard week. >> i think anybody would completely understand that. myself included. i mean, so you're an entrepreneur, you're someone who's had success in this world. at some point, do you say, okay, let me try using my skills to try and do something for myself and for people -- for people
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like me? >> there's lots of other ways. we haven't used other types besides social media so far. and we went from having, you know, two drives -- one planned for my friends in new york, and another in san francisco to having 30, 40, 50 dries acroves the united states, some in australia, canada. the national marrow donor program told us that they've had higher traffic to their site in the last two weeks than they've ever had in the past. we actually brought the site down the first day that we started to talk about this. >> is that right? so the registry site for bone marrow donors went down because this. so -- what we're talking about here is drives to try and register people to become bone marrow donors. what is -- does that mean? can you explain what the process is for someone to do that. >> sure. it's pretty easy. basically they don't -- it's much more difficult than a blood match test. so they need to get people in the registry in case you end up matching someone someday. and the way they do it is they give you a couple swabs.
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they look like q-tips. and you just rub the inside of your mouth gently with the q-tip. and then they do a dna typing to see if you're going to be a match for someone. >> and to be clear, i'm in the bone marrow registry. i did exactly what you described. i used the swab. i'm in the registry. you know, one thing that strikes me, as well, when i talk to people about this, they worry that if they become a -- an apprehension. they say if they're a donor it's going to involve a painful procedure to get bone marrow to transplant. and that causes some anxiety. do you know or can you explain what the process is? if someone -- say you and i were a match and i was called and said you're a match for him, what would that be asking of me. >> so basically what they do is they do like a thorough health test. there's no cost to you for this. they do a thorough health test to make sure that you're healthy and able to donate. and then a few days before my transplant's supposed to happen, they would give you some medications so that you were --
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you would overproduce your bone marrow cells basically. and they would spill over into your blood. then the process of harvesting the bone marrow cells is similar to giving blood. they basically hook you up to a line in one arm and a line in the other and are able to filter the bone marrow cells without any needle or invasive procedure. >> it's -- i think that's important for people to hear. it's like giving blood in the end. to try and provide bone marrow to someone. lots of other people out there. look, i wish you the best of luck. i hope this helps. i hope people who are watching hear your story and want to help you. it's really not that hard and for a lot of people out there, as well. thanks for joining us. we'll keep in touch, keep tabs. keep checking in with us. >> thank you very much. >> if you want to help, check out the web site at amit good
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we'll keep tabs on him and post a link at good luck, buddy. next, dr. andrew weil on beating depression. something surprising it him. and finding happiness. something we can all learn. you're not going to want to miss this. of potato.s ♪ what's that? big piece of potato. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. if you have painful, swollen joints, i've been in your shoes. one day i'm on p of the world... the next i'm saying... i have this thing called psoriatic arthritis. i had some intense pain. it progressively got worse. my rheumatologist told me about enbrel. i'm surprised how quickly my symptoms have been managed. [ male announcer ] because enbrel suppresses your immune system,
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. the world health organization predicts that in less than 20 years depression will be the second-most widespread illness in the world behind only hiv/aids. even now, in any given year, 1 in 10 americans suffers from a mood disorder. it makes you wonder exactly what's happening here and who can help us understand this better than dr. andrew weil. he's written a new book called "spontaneous happiness" which offers a few ideas. thanks for joining us again. you and i have gotten to know each other over the years. when i started reading this book some of this surprised me, just about you because this is something you haven't shared your own struggles with depression. first of all, you're doing well now. >> this was actually in my 20s,
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30s and 40s mostly. and i've gotten older it has receded. i think some of that may have to do with getting older but i think a lot of it is from lifestyle changes that i've made and i wanted to share that information. i never had major depression. >> what was it like for you? >> there were many days, periods where more days than not i would wake up feeling just in a blue mood. i often didn't feel like getting out of bed and doing things. i would go ruminate about feeflgs wor feelings of worthlessness and i also found i withheld from social interaction when in that state. scientific research indicates social interaction is strongly protective of social interaction. >> what did you do at that time years ago for your own depression? >> i tried various forms ever psychotherapy which i didn't think did much for me. at one point i filled a prescription for zoloft and took
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it for a few days but i stopped because it made me feel terrible. then i decided maybe this is just something i had to live with. i also had a sort of feeling that somehow my creativity was linked to these periods. i talked about that in the book. it was a striking correlation between creativity, artistic success, literary success and depression. there's a very interesting new idea of depression that comes out of evolutionary psychology, suggesting that we may be programmed to be depressed because it's a state of inward focus and rumination may be the way we solve problems. so there may be a value in experiencing depression as long as it is not overpowering. at any rate, i made a lot of changes if my life in mid life. one of them was becoming more physically active. another was taking regular doses of fish oil and eating oily fish. getting my vitamin d levels to the right level zblch i do some of these things because of you
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myself. >> good, good, good. then also i became very interested in meditation and some of the techniques of eastern psychology for managing thoughts, because i think for most of us, thoughts are usually the source of sadness, anxiety, fear. and it is a real challenge to know how to do that. one way is by improving attention and doing meditative practice. >> were you doing this to try to stave off your depression or something you were learning about small tane simultaneously? >> i think it was both. over that years that practice has been very valuable to me. i rarely experience depression today. and even when bad things happen to me or i have to deal with bad situations, i think i bounce back from them pretty quickly. and that kind of resilience i think is something that can be cultivated. >> you have been productive your whole life seemingly. but this idea you're more creative in these periods where you're blue or -- >> not necessarily in the periods but coming out of them
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it seems like i dip into some well and get ideas and thoughts. i just had the sense that that was so. >> then you came out with some burst of productivity. >> exactly. >> medication. your views on a lot of medications are pretty well known but for people out there who are listening who have a serious depression here -- >> severe depression is a severe illness and it needs to be managed professional and that management might include the use of medication. certainly for bipolar disorder i think medication is krcritical d i would never tell anybody to stop that. but there is a growing body of scientific evidence that the ssris, the most popular antidepressants are not that good. a lot of data shows that for more cases they work no better than placebos. certainly in mild to moderate depression. and they're not benign. they have toxic effects. the most interesting problem that's recently been cited is that they create their own need. that when you increase serotonin at neuro junctions the body responds very logically by
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making less serotonin and dropping serotonin reaccept tors. it then becomes very hard to get off. the lingering depression caused by the drugs. so i think if people want to use these, it might be good idea to use them for a limited period and then figure out other things you can do and get off them. >> that's just always fascinating to speak with you. i'm glad you're well. >> thanks. >> congratulations on the book. take care of yourself. don't tour too much. >> we'll be right back with a good laugh. i promise. stay with us. was really important to me. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. chantix reduced my urge to smoke -- and personally that's what i knew i needed. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these, stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems,
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wear a suit an everything but then i thought if you


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