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Obama says he’ll act without Congress to ‘fix’ immigration

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Barack Obama said Monday he’s convinced that House Republicans will not take action to reform the U.S. immigration system this year and that he plans to use his executive authority to “fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress.”

Researchers grapple for Alzheimer’s cure as it threatens to overwhelm health care system

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gasps were audible as the images flashed before a gathering of scientists at a recent UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center pathology conference. On the screen before them were photos of a brain severely wasted with age, with what looked like silver rivers of atrophy cutting deeply through the tissue. Even for the experts, it can be shocking to see the damage that Alzheimer’s disease inflicts on the aging brain.

Lost sense of smell often invisible, untreatable problem

CHICAGO — Mimi Koberlein woke up one morning unable to smell the bacon her husband was frying for breakfast. Confused, she ran to the shower, grabbed her shampoo and inhaled deeply. Nothing. Two years later, Koberlein, 47, still can’t smell lemons, freshly cut grass, her three boys or any other fragrances of life. Diagnosed with anosmia, or smell loss, she has tried decongestants, nasal irrigation, oral steroids and acupuncture. But nothing has worked.

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Bill to overhaul mental health care draws praise and criticism

PHILADELPHIA — A Pittsburgh congressman who is also a clinical psychologist is pushing an ambitious overhaul of the country’s mental health care that is winning praise for its breadth — but also criticism from patient advocates who fear it would erode the rights of the mentally ill.