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Some drugs may be off-label, but not off focus

Photo courtesy Flickr user Jamie

The advancement of medicine and technology have allowed doctors to find many uses for medications beyond the initially intended benefits. For example, a teenager’s alopecia was recently cured by an arthritis drug. This type of use is called “off-label drug use,” the common term for using a medication to treat or manage symptoms outside the approved uses.

Off-label drug use is more prominent than you may think. For example, aspirin helps reduce blood pressure and oral contraception can be used to treat acne or endometriosis. These are all examples of using a drug off-label.

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in-the-news

In The News: The burden of diabetes

By 2050, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one in three people in the U.S. could have diabetes. Each year, the number of people with type one and type two diabetes increases.

Elizabeth Seaquist, M.D.Medical School, recently spoke with KSTP-TV about diabetes research and how the disease’s prevalence can be decreased.

Seaquist also wrote an article for The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) titled, Addressing the Burden of Diabetes.

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expert-perspectives

U of M expert: The evidence is in (again). Vaccines are safe

Photo courtesy Flickr user Lou Bueno

In 1998, Andrew Wakefield published fraudulent evidence blaming the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccination as the cause of autism in young children, prompting parents around the world to stop vaccinating their children. Despite the fact the paper was retracted, the damage was done and the anti-vaccine movement is still prevalent today.

CNN recently addressed the issue of vaccination refusal, and stated once again that children should be vaccinated. Period.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Study of colleges identifies gaps in efforts to enforce alcohol laws

Photo courtesy Flickr user soursob

A new study from the University of Minnesota reveals campus security law enforcement officials are not likely to issue citations to students for alcohol-law violations.

The study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research asked directors of campus police and security from 343 colleges across the nation to complete a survey regarding their usual practices following serious, underage, and less-serious alcohol incidents on and off campus.

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expert-perspectives

What does broccoli sprout tea have to do with cancer?

From a young age, kids are taught to eat their vegetables for the healthy benefits they pose. Now research is suggesting cruciferous vegetables like broccoli sprouts could offer more gains — cancer prevention.

Stephen Hecht, Ph.D., a University of Minnesota professor of laboratory medicine and pathology, and member of the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, conducts research focusing on tobacco-related cancer prevention. He recently was part of a different kind of groundbreaking research finding the right diet has the ability to decrease risks of developing certain types of cancer.

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research-and-clinical-trials

U of M study finds health insurance coverage and racial disparities exist in receiving reconstruction after mastectomy

A University of Minnesota School of Public Health study found health insurance coverage and racial disparities exist in women who have undergone reconstruction after mastectomy. In 2013, more than 232,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States, and 37 percent of those women with breast cancer underwent a mastectomy, or the surgical removal of breast tissue. Of those, nearly one third undergo breast reconstruction to rebuild the shape of the removed breast. Breast reconstruction after mastectomy offers clinical, cosmetic and psychological benefits with low medical risk.

Study findings were recently published in Women’s Health Issues.

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