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research-and-clinical-trials

U of M expert: U.S. still has work to do to reduce hospital readmissions post stroke

There have been numerous advances in acute stroke care and in preventive therapies after stroke. Yet despite these improvements, a recent University of Minnesota study found there is still room for improvement in reducing the rate of stroke patients re-admitted to the hospital.

In fact, the study discovered that one year after a stroke, an astounding 49 percent of patients end up back in the hospital with an acute illness. Worse, 24 percent of stroke patients pass away within a year of their stroke. The statistics paint a portrait of a nation that can, and should, do better.

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expert-perspectives

How do I get my baby to sleep through the night?

The answer to the question, “How do I get my baby to sleep through the night?” has been the proverbial unicorn or Bigfoot for many parents, probably for many centuries: easy to imagine but much harder to find.

And while parents search for the magic formula to get their little bundles of joy to finally sleep through the night, Health Talk is here to offer five tips and suggestions from our resident sleep expert, Michael Howell, M.D.

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research-and-clinical-trials

U of M: Research networks vital to stroke care, research and management

Last December, the University of Minnesota was named one of 25 institutions that will participate in a nationwide network of regional stroke centers. The NIH-driven project, StrokeNet, is an effort to reduce the impact of stroke across the United States.

Using shared resources and expertise from hospitals, clinics and universities from across the U.S., StrokeNet builds upon the significant strides made in stroke care, research and management to develop best practices moving forward.

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research-and-clinical-trials

U of M researchers study “freezing of gait” in people with Parkinson’s disease

As part of April’s Parkinson’s Awareness Month, Health Talk is taking a closer look at some current University of Minnesota research projects that will help better understand the disease and what new research can do for future treatment and intervention.

Within the U of M’s Movement Disorders Laboratory, Colum MacKinnon, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Medical School’s Department of Neurology is examining “freezing of gait” – an issue seen in roughly half of all patients with Parkinson’s disease. MacKinnon and fellow researchers are hopeful new research could advance understanding of the issue.

The aforementioned “freezing of gait” is characterized by the episodic or spontaneous inability to start or maintain forward progress during walking.

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expert-perspectives

Sleep key component to athletic performance

The world’s best athletes are descending upon Sochi, Russia for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Every elite athlete looks for an edge against their competitors to improve their athletic performance but what if the answer was as simple as getting more sleep?

According to Michael Howell, M.D., a sleep expert within the Department of Neurology, that’s precisely what elite athletes excel at.

“The best athletes I’ve ever met are extremely good sleepers,” said Howell. “Although you may not think your brain is doing much during sleep, your brain is putting connections together and it is amplifying circuits that are important.”

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: Endovascular gene therapy is a viable drug delivery approach for Hurler’s syndrome

New research from the Department of Neurology at the University of Minnesota may help bolster new treatment approaches for Hurler’s syndrome.

In a recent study, U of M researchers compared the efficacy of endovascular vs. intracerebral ventricular delivery of a viral gene therapy vector in an animal model and found that endovascular gene therapy is a viable drug delivery approach for many brain diseases, including Hurler’s syndrome.

The latest research was led by Christopher Janson, M.D., a resident in the Department of Neurology at the University of Minnesota, and was recently published in the journal Neurosurgery.

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