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research-and-clinical-trials

Could interactions between brain regions cause Schizophrenia?

Scientists don’t know exactly what causes schizophrenia, but a new project led by University of Minnesota Medical School researcher Scott Sponheim, Ph.D., will study the interaction between the visual cortex and the prefrontal cortex, hoping to uncover why visual hallucinations occur, what causes the disease and how to better treat the disease.

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research-and-clinical-trials

UMN researchers will map, study new areas of the brain through improved fMRI technology

New grants through President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative will allow University of Minnesota researchers to dive deeper into the brain, developing new imaging technology with the potential to map and study neural activity to much greater detail.

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expert-perspectives

Expert perspective: New sleep guidelines for children announced

Sleep is critical to the overall growth and development of infants, children and teens. But how much sleep is enough? The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recently released a set of guidelines that outlines how much sleep children should be receiving at different ages.

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research-and-clinical-trials

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

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.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Shining a light on the brain: optogenetics and epilepsy

An estimated 3 million Americans have epilepsy, but most of the fundamental questions about the condition have yet to be answered. In fact, up to 40 percent of epilepsy patients don’t achieve seizure control with traditional treatment using medication.

UMN expert Esther Krook-Magnuson, Ph.D., has taken a targeted approach to studying epilepsy. She uses a technique called optogenetics, which uses light to alter brain activity, and could be used to stop seizures.

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expert-perspectives

Boo! How the body reacts to fear

“Fear initiates our fight-or-flight response,” says William Engeland, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Neuroscience in the University of Minnesota Medical School. “When you’re exposed to a new and potentially frightening situation, our brain perceives it as a threat, and activates an automatic physical response.”

So what is the response? How does the body react to fear?

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