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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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Sen. Jeremy Miller impressed with U and MnDRIVE Neuromodulation research

Sen. Miller stands with President Eric Kaler during his recent visit to U of M.

In late June, the U of M hosted Minnesota Senator Jeremy Miller for an educational visit to learn more about the exciting neuromodulation research and technology taking place as part of the MnDRIVE brain conditions initiative.

During his visit Sen. Miller had the opportunity to tour the campus, meet and welcome new Minnesota men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino and hear from students and faculty about their research.

“I believe it’s extremely important for legislators, especially those on the higher education committee, to see and understand what our higher education institutions are doing,” Miller said.

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U of M research: Implications of expanding indications for drug treatment to prevent fracture in older men

Photo: Joan Sorolla via Flickr

A new University of Minnesota-led study of osteoporosis in men recently published in the British Medical Journal found the proportion of older men labeled as abnormal and warranting drug treatment ranged from 2 percent to 25 percent depending on the definition of osteoporosis and absolute fracture risk intervention thresholds applied to the population.

Older men experience 29 percent of all bone fractures among United States adults 50 years of age or older. However, the best strategy to identify men who are candidates for drug treatment is not yet known. The uncertainty exists, in part, because osteoporosis is not as well defined for men as it is for women. In addition, drug treatment in women with osteoporosis reduces risk of bone fractures, but the effect of treatment on fracture risk has not been evaluated in men.

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Chronic stress, depressive symptoms, and hostility associated with increased risk of stroke

Photo courtesy Flickr user hapal

A new study from the University of Minnesota links negative emotions with significantly increased risk of stroke or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs, or mini strokes) in middle-aged and older adults.

The results are published in the latest edition of the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

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New compound shows promise in treating chronic pain

Photo: Geraint Rowland/Flickr CC 3.0/

A new compound in development at the University of Minnesota shows promise as a breakthrough drug for treating chronic pain.

The new compound, developed by Philip Portoghese, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota’s College of Pharmacy, appears to be the first of its kind. A patent has been applied for, and the University’s Center for Translational Medicine has been conducting proof-of-concept studies. As a potential medication, the compound offers benefits lacked by current medications: It does not induce the body to develop tolerance or dependence, as opioid painkillers do. It is more potent than other opioid pain medications. It reduces and inhibits neuropathic pain, post-operative pain, burn pain, spinal injury pain and inflammation.

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Advanced imaging technology aiding in prostate cancer screenings

The 7T magnet provides a higher picture resolution and more clearly visible detail.

According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men after skin cancer. Despite the grim reality of a positive cancer diagnosis, prostate cancer can often be treated effectively if discovered early.

At the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) at the University of Minnesota, researchers are utilizing robust magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology to better diagnose and follow patients with prostate cancer.

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