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Back to school: Getting kids back on a normal sleep schedule

Editor’s note: This post was developed by Michael Howell, M.D., a University of Minnesota neurologist and sleep expert.

It’s that time of year again. From preschoolers to the one-year-to-go high school seniors, students across Minnesota need to adjust their schedules after a summer of flexible sleep times.

This is particularly challenging for teenagers whose body clocks are naturally inclined to run later and due to the long summer days of late sunlight exposure.  This combination creates a delay in a child’s circadian rhythm leading to anxious nights of being unable to sleep followed by impaired, groggy mornings.

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Breastfeeding at Work: Challenges and Opportunities for Minnesota’s Mothers

Photo: ECohen/CC 2.0/

Editor’s note: This post was developed by Alexis Russell, M.P.H., a 2015 graduate of the Public Health Administration and Policy Program, Division of Health Policy and Management, University of Minnesota School of Public Health and Katy Kozhimannil, Ph.D., M.P.A., associate professor, Division of Health Policy and Management, University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

August is National Breastfeeding Month. It’s also the “Back-to-school” time of year, when students and teachers prepare for the upcoming school year. It’s a time of great excitement, but, it’s also a particularly challenging time for teachers who also happen to be mothers who are breastfeeding.

In 2011, fewer than 1 in 4 Minnesota infants were breastfed to the recommended length of time. Employed mothers are one subgroup of women that struggle to meet recommendations for breastfeeding, due in part to barriers they experience as part of their day-to-day schedules and obligations at work.

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Why Are Some Cancers More Deadly Than Others?

Photo courtesy Flickr user Keith Allison

Minnesota Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders announced last week he has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment for what his doctors call a “very treatable and curable form of cancer,” and will continue to coach as he goes through treatment.

So, why are some cancers more deadly than others?


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Research snapshot: Effects of beta-blocker withdrawal in acute decompensated heart failure

Responsible for approximately 1 million hospitalizations each year, acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF), poses a challenge for health care professionals. To combat high mortality rates, patients with heart failure are often treated with beta-blockers, medications that can prevent further weakening of the heart.

A recent study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology-Heart Failure from the University of Minnesota Medical School found the discontinuation of beta-blockers in ADHF patients was associated with a significant increase in mortality and rehospitalization.

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Accreditation of dental therapy will set national standards

Photo: CC, G3ntle,

The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), the sole group tasked by the U.S. Department of Education with accrediting dental education and dental-related programs, voted to accredit dental therapy education in the U.S. (Background on dental therapy)

Currently, dental therapists are approved and licensed to practice in MaineMinnesota and Alaskan tribal communities, but their education programs are not accredited. Minnesota was the first state to license dental therapists (in 2011), and the University of Minnesota is the only dental school to educate dental therapists.

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Expert perspective: What we know about psoriasis

Photo: andpong, CC,

Psoriasis is a common autoimmune disease that affects 7.5 million Americans, yet little is spoken about the skin condition. It is commonly confused with eczema, which is a severe form of dry, sensitive skin.

The disease, most commonly appearing at ages 20-30 and 50-60, is a chronic condition that causes scaly and irritated skin. Normal cells grow every four weeks and flake off, but with psoriasis, cells grow every few days, causing the skin cells to build on top of eachother.

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