Academic Health Center
Stay Connected
research-and-clinical-trials

UMN expert: More global mental health and substance abuse research needed

Photo: CC, fo.ol, https://flic.kr/p/52YMKE

In a recent review published in Nature, Mustafa al’Absi, Ph.D., director of the Duluth Medical Research Institute at the Medical School, Duluth campus, and other authors, outlined recommendations to shape the global mental health agenda.

“Mental health and substance abuse disorders have profound effects on overall health,” al’Absi said. “They are becoming a pressing global and local burden.”

Read more
research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: Why are obstetric units in rural hospitals closing their doors?

New research from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health shows obstetric units in rural hospitals are closing their doors, due to difficulty in staffing, low birth volume, and financial burdens. As the annual birth volume decreases, additional rural hospitals will be vulnerable to obstetric unit closure in the future.

The study findings were published in the Health Services Research. Doctoral student and lead author, Peiyin Hung M.S.P.H., and her colleagues gathered hospital discharge data as well as conducted interviews to identify factors associated with unit closures between 2010 and 2014. The analysis found 7.2 percent of rural hospitals in the study closed their obstetric units. These units were typically small in size and located in communities with fewer resources including lower family income, fewer obstetricians and fewer family physicians.

Read more
research-and-clinical-trials

Research snapshot: UMN study identifies mechanism in drug target that helps block HIV’s ability to spread

Photo: NIAID via Flickr CC (flickr.com/photos/niaid/6813314147)

University of Minnesota researchers have identified the mechanism of a potential HIV drug target, which could be more cost-effective than currently used HIV drugs.

The study expanded upon previous UMN research, which identified that the nucleoside 5-azacytidine (5-aza-C) blocked HIV’s ability to spread. 5-aza-C triggers lethal mutagenesis, a process in which HIV mutations speed up to a point that the HIV essentially wears itself out.

Read more
research-and-clinical-trials

Research snapshot: New tools could help prevent relapse behavior in opioid addiction

Photo: CC, David Goehring, https://flic.kr/p/8wkedp

Opioid addiction is a crippling problem in society, with an estimated 9 percent of Americans abusing opiates at some point in their life. In Minnesota, opiate overdose deaths have more than tripled since 2000.

Overcoming addiction is extremely challenging, and the risk of relapse persists. A new study from the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Neuroscience identified a potential target for preventing morphine relapse in mice, which brings researchers closer to providing a way for recovering addicts to stay drug-free.

Read more
research-and-clinical-trials

Research snapshot: Indoor tanning, a driver in melanoma trends among young women and men

Photo: Flickr user, Gregg Scott, CC, https://flic.kr/p/CZFhb

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing to ban indoor tanning for minors as physicians have seen an increase in melanoma cases among young adults in recent decades.

In a study released today in a Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA Dermatology), researchers from the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health examined age- and sex-specific associations between indoor tanning and melanoma to determine whether the tanning trend is driving the increase in cases, especially among younger women.

Read more
research-and-clinical-trials

Research snapshot: Race simulation testing recommended for runners with recurrent heat stroke

It’s no surprise that athletes are at risk for heat stroke during the blazing summer months; however, a recent case study from the University of Minnesota demonstrates that exertional heat stroke (EHS), a form of heat-induced illness, could still be life-threatening to athletes in cooler temperatures.

The research investigated a 30-year-old distance runner with a history of recurrent heat strokes while racing. A unique circumstance in relatively cool weather triggered a more extensive examination for cause, says William Roberts, M.D., author of the study from the Department of Family Medicine & Community Health in the University of Minnesota Medical School. The runner suffered from EHS despite the cooler temperature, highlighting the importance of race simulation testing for return-to-activity among athletes with a history of EHS.

Read more