Hurricane Sandy churns off the Atlantic coast on Oct. 29. NOAA officials are forecasting seven to 11 hurricanes, compared with about six in a typical season. NASA/Getty Images hide caption

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Despite significant advances in neurology and imaging, researchers still don't have simple lab tests for diagnosing patients with mental disorders. Diagnoses are still mostly based on a patient's signs and symptoms. BSIP/UIG via Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

Although a flying pig doesn't exist in the real world, our brains use what we know about pigs and birds — and superheroes — to create one in our mind's eye when we hear or read those words. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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Bates experienced migraines as a child. She made this painting to depict how they felt to her. Courtesy of Emily Bates hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Emily Bates

In this Jan. 18 photo provided by the NYU Langone Medical Center, a technician examines mice to determine their health at the hospital's complex in New York. New York University/AP hide caption

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Scientists hope a new genetically modified rat will help them find Alzheimer's drugs that work on humans. Ryumin Alexander/ITAR-TASS/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Ryumin Alexander/ITAR-TASS/Landov

Composer Richard Einhorn lost most of his hearing several years ago, but that hasn't held him back, thanks to state-of-the-art digital hearing aids. Kevin Rivoli/AP hide caption

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A colored 3-D MRI scan of the brain's white matter pathways traces connections between cells in the cerebrum and the brainstem. Tom Barrick, Chris Clark, SGHMS /Science Source hide caption

itoggle caption Tom Barrick, Chris Clark, SGHMS /Science Source

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds no link between the number of vaccinations a young child receives and the risk of developing autism spectrum disorders. Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images hide caption

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People who are socially isolated may be at a greater risk of dying sooner, a British study suggests. But do Facebook friends count? How about texting? iStockphoto.com hide caption

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George McCann has been diagnosed with a subtype of bipolar disorder called the "fear of harm" profile, and finds that a prescribed dose of ketamine every few days alleviates his symptoms. Michael Rubenstein for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Michael Rubenstein for NPR

Social worker Nuria Casulleres shows a portrait of Audrey Hepburn to elderly men during a memory activity at the Cuidem La Memoria elderly home in Barcelona, Spain, last August. The home specializes in Alzheimer's patients. David Ramos/Getty Images hide caption

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