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First World Suicide Report released on World Suicide Prevention Day at University of Minnesota

Jared Keener/CC 2.0/https://flic.kr/p/fPfxTY

For the first time, the World Health Organization (WHO) has created the World Suicide Report in collaboration with nations around the world. It is being released today in the USA in recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day by SAVE, IASP and the University of Minnesota.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 800,000 people die by suicide each year, one person every 40 seconds, and suicide is the second leading cause of death for people 15-29 years old.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: Unmatched insights into deep brain stimulation through MRI

U of M researchers are developing three-dimensional patient-specific anatomical models of the brain that allows physicians to identify and pinpoint an exact target location for deep brain stimulation.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a procedure that is used to treat movement disorders including Parkinson’s disease, tremor and dystonia. To improve symptoms, a DBS lead (insulated wire) is surgically inserted deep within the brain in sites known to control movement.

Electrical impulses are sent from the neurostimulator, also known as a brain pacemaker, to the lead implanted in the brain. The stimulation changes the pattern of electrical activity in the brain into a more normal pattern, thereby improving symptoms and returning more normal movement to patients.

Choosing the target location for the lead is of critical importance. Standard protocol among physicians around the world is to use a brain atlas developed from two French women who donated their brains to science many years ago. From there physicians superimpose the patient’s own brain MRI images and calculate a plan to implant the electrodes in the brain.

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in-the-news

U of M study reveals kids exposed to more fat shaming comments on TV than adults

Photo courtesy Flickr user Michael Cramer

In a general sense, children’s television has a reputation for being politically correct, however, a new study reveals television aimed at kids contains just as many, if not more, weight-stigmatizing, or fat shaming, conversations.

The study led by Marla Eisenberg Sc.D., M.P.H., an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health, was recently published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders. Eisenberg analyzed the content of more than 30 episodes of popular kid shows and identified the number of weight-stigmatizing incidents.

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beyond-minnesota

U of M researcher works to prevent disease transmission in pumas

Photo: Puma via Flickr user fPat Murray/CC 2.0/flic.kr/p/64Dri6

Minnesota may not seem like the obvious place for researching disease transmission and prevention among America’s large wild felids. But through collaborations with Colorado State University, the University of Tasmania, and state and federal agencies, the University of Minnesota will soon begin work studying six wild puma populations in California and Colorado, in addition to Florida’s endangered panther.

The work to study pathogens in puma populations is made possible through a new $2.14 million grant shared among the three institutions from the National Science Foundation.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: Modeling how the flu moves through pig farms

Photo: Bertconcepts via Flickr CC 2.0/flic.kr/p/5ZF1LF

Humans aren’t the only ones who can contract the flu.

Influenza A viruses can also affect pigs and their piglets, which is why, just like in human populations, pig populations are commonly vaccinated against the flu.

Last week, University of Minnesota researchers published a new model addressing how swine producers approach vaccinating their pigs.

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expert-perspectives

Are ”safer” playgrounds better?

Photo courtesy Flickr user Phalinn Ooi

Parents and experts are always looking for ways to keep kids safe, but many agree the movement may have gone too far when it comes to playgrounds.

According to the New York Times, critics of new safer playgrounds say they may stunt emotional development, leaving children with anxieties and fears.

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