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research-and-clinical-trials

U of M study: U.S. rates of uninsured kids on the decline

A new report compiled by the University of Minnesota’s State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) shows the percentage of U.S. children who lack health insurance fell to 7.5 percent in 2012, the most recent year of data available. The percentage of uninsured children nationwide dropped from 9.7 percent in 2008.

The report also shows significant gains in coverage among children who historically have been most likely to be uninsured —including non-white and Hispanic children and kids in low-income families.

The report was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and appears on the SHADAC site.

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research-and-clinical-trials

CMRR’s 10.5 Tesla imaging magnet project moves forward

Last December we took you inside the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research’s (CMRR) latest research project – an effort that will utilize the world’s largest imaging magnet to conduct groundbreaking brain research and human body imaging.

In case you missed it, in late 2013 the 110-ton 10.5 Tesla magnet made a spectacular month-long journey by boat across the Atlantic Ocean from England, through the Great Lakes, and finally made its way from Duluth, MN, to the University of Minnesota campus.

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research-and-clinical-trials

U of M researchers study “freezing of gait” in people with Parkinson’s disease

U of M researchers monitor gait initiation via high-speed cameras and electronic sensors.

As part of April’s Parkinson’s Awareness Month, Health Talk is taking a closer look at some current University of Minnesota research projects that will help better understand the disease and what new research can do for future treatment and intervention.

Within the U of M’s Movement Disorders Laboratory, Colum MacKinnon, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Medical School’s Department of Neurology is examining “freezing of gait” – an issue seen in roughly half of all patients with Parkinson’s disease. MacKinnon and fellow researchers are hopeful new research could advance understanding of the issue.

The aforementioned “freezing of gait” is characterized by the episodic or spontaneous inability to start or maintain forward progress during walking.

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research-and-clinical-trials

U of M, Harvard partner in search for answers to diabetic kidney disease

Last October, Health Talk told you about a new University of Minnesota and Harvard University partnership involving a clinical trial called Preventing Early Renal Loss in Diabetes (PERL) that will help researchers gain a better understanding around improving the health of people with diabetes and kidney complications.

As part of National Kidney Month, which wraps up at the end of March, Health Talk wanted to revisit the PERL study in an effort to raise awareness on the prevalence and public health concerns that kidney disease in type 1 diabetes causes on the American public and its health system.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Are you at risk for type 2 diabetes? Take the test and find out

Today is American Diabetes Association Alert Day, a one-day “wake-up call” asking Americans to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

According to the ADA, 79 million Americans, or one in three adults, have prediabetes, putting adults at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Oftentimes a diabetes diagnosis comes up to 7-10 years after disease onset causing major medical complications and even death. That’s why early diagnosis is vital to successfully treat and possibly delay or prevent type 2 diabetes complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke and death.

The Diabetes Risk Test is simple and you only have to answer questions like weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

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expert-perspectives

Make the most out of Daylight Saving Time

Photo: Paradigm via Flickr

This weekend, we spring ahead and lose an hour of sleep as part of Daylight Saving Time. For many people, this may create some problems only because they forgot to set their clock ahead before going to bed.

For those who tend to be night owls, shift workers, or who have sleep disorders, it can be more problematic. The additional loss of precious sleep can be a more substantial problem. When we are sleepy, we often don’t perform as well at work and are more likely to make mistakes and have car accidents.

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