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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-and-clinical-trials

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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research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: Creating internet-based health interventions

Photo: jfcherry via Flickr

One goal of Healthy People 2020 is to “use health communication strategies and health information technology (IT) to improve population health outcomes and health care quality, and to achieve health equity.” In order to help reach this goal, internet-based health interventions are being researched and implemented at the University of Minnesota.

study was recently published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research providing practical guidance for practitioners and public health researchers who wish to develop and implement internet-based health interventions (systems that allow practitioners to provide treatment and prevention programs with the use of websites, mobile texting, apps, etc.).

 

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research-and-clinical-trials

UMN research finds room for improvement in Latin American & Caribbean food safety safeguards

Photo: Maize harvest/Neil Palmer CIAT/CC 2.0/ flic.kr/p/8ZqebH

Food safety standards can be shaky at best in developing Caribbean and Latin American regions. In 2002, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated at least one-third of individuals in developing countries likely contract a foodborne illness each year. And with Latin America and the Caribbean forecasted to play a growing role in global food production and exports in the coming years, that high rate of foodborne illness is one worth paying attention to.

University of Minnesota food safety risk analyst and assistant professor, Fernando Sampedro Parra, Ph.D., has focused his sights on the problem and recently conducted first-of-its-kind research for the region.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Adolescents who eat regular family meals less likely to engage in eating disorder behaviors finds University of Minnesota study

Photo: Inf-Lite Teacher via Flickr CC/www.flickr.com/photos/87328375@N06/9769150651

As a kid, rushing home from a friend’s house to make it to dinner on time may not have been your favorite thing to do. But, it turns out that family meal time may have been worth it after all.

According to a recent study, adolescents, especially girls, who eat more family meals are less likely to engage in harmful eating disorder behaviors. Furthermore, this protection against disordered eating behaviors was found to exist in the majority of families studied, even for adolescents whose families struggled with communication or other challenges.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: A better understanding of t-cell leukemia virus

Photo: CC, https://flic.kr/p/hn5TJc

The particles of the human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1), a human retrovirus closely related to HIV, are known to be non-infectious. They don’t cause much damage alone. But when those particles invade other cells, the virus becomes highly infectious, and can cause leukemia. About 5 percent of people with HTLV-1 will develop adult t-cell leukemia.

University of Minnesota researchers recently captured 3-D images of HTLV-1 through advanced electron imaging, a technology that enabled them to study the virus particles in more detail than ever before. Their finding, recently published in The Journal of Virology, could provide insight into why some particles are more infectious than others.

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