Top stories in health and medicine, January 8, 2013

This series is brought to you by MedPage Today.

1. Flu Season Gains Momentum. The influenza season, which started about a month earlier than usual, is picking up in intensity, according to the CDC’s latest FluView report.

2. Retired Athletes at Higher Risk of Brain Deficits. Retired football players appear to be at increased risk for experiencing cognitive deficits and depression as they grow older, and for developing abnormalities in brain white matter and blood flow.

3. Rx Ads, Promos to Docs Still Work. When patients ask for a brand-name drug, many physicians give in rather than prescribe a generic, according to a nationwide survey, and in-office promotions to doctors increase the likelihood.

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