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Preventing Colon Cancer in African Americans with Earlier Screening

UMN researchers survey fair goers at the 2014 Minnesota State Fair

In observance of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, HealthTalk is featuring a University of Minnesota researcher working to reduce the harm caused by colon cancer in the African American community.

Colon cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer-related death for men and women in the United States, but African Americans bear the greatest burden. This is why one University of Minnesota researcher is calling for lowering the age at which African Americans have a routine colonoscopy.

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Research snapshot: New neuroimaging method to research the aging brain

Testing for age-related metabolic decline and loss of cognitive function could soon be seeing improvements.

By developing new ultrahigh field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) technologies, researchers at the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) at the University of Minnesota, recently investigated whether new developments could aid in better understanding aging and metabolic disorder in human brains.

Following the establishment of an in vivo assay of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) – a test that works well for human brain application – U of M researchers have developed a new testing technique.

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Research Snapshot: Blood biomarkers can predict successful intensification of glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes

Photo courtesy Flickr user sriram bala

When treating patients with diabetes, it is important to bring blood sugars down to a normal level. However, in doing so, patients can become hypoglycemic – meaning their blood sugar has dropped below the normal level. As hypoglycemia is often dangerous and scary, fear of hypoglycemia frequently limits the ability to lower blood sugars even to normal levels.

In a recent study from the University of Minnesota, certain blood biomarkers have been found that might predict whether lowering blood sugars to near-normal levels might be associated with severe hypoglycemia, hypoglycemia requiring treatment in patients with type 2 diabetes.

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In the News: Bruce Jenner’s Gender Transition

Photo courtesy Flickr user Mike Mozart

Bruce Jenner has been in the media lately regarding his gender transition. Jenner’s decision has sparked a national conversation regarding the treatment of those identifying as transgender.

Earlier this month, Eli Coleman, Ph.D., director of the Program in Human Sexuality and professor and Chair in Sexual Health spoke with Esme Murphy on WCCO Radio to discuss gender transition and the stigma people face when coming out as transgender.

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In the News: More Americans using integrative therapies

Photo: CC, Seattle Yoga News,

More Americans are practicing mind-body therapies, a recent survey from the  National Institutes of Health (NIH) revealed.

The survey compared data on integrative therapy use in the U.S., compiled from surveys taken in 2002, 2007 and 2012. By 2012, the number of adults practicing yoga, tai chi or qigong doubled, reaching 10 percent of the American adult population. Use of massage therapy and meditation grew, too.

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In the News: Ebola vaccine needs fast track

Photo: from CDC Global via Flickr

According to a recent Star Tribune article, “More than 23,000 people suffered suspected infections and more than 14,000 died in the current Ebola outbreak, but the number of new cases has slowed in recent weeks.” Although Ebola may be slowing down in the headlines, the epidemic is far from over. Experts suggest health officials shouldn’t be drawing back on testing and creating vaccines for this highly deadly virus.

Michael Osterholm, Ph.D., M.P.H., an infectious disease expert and director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), told the Star Tribune that “waiting for another global scare to ramp up vaccine efforts won’t work.” Osterholm, joined by 25 other international leaders in infectious disease, also known as “Team B,” are advocating for a pace of vaccine development that would be considered the fastest in human history.

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