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research-and-clinical-trials

Fulbright-Saastamoinen Foundation Grant helps speed up research on Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and deep brain stimulation

A six-month Fulbright-Saastamoinen Foundation Grant provided a collaboration boost between Shalom Michaeli, Ph.D., professor at the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) at the University of Minnesota and Olli Gröhn, Ph.D., professor and director of the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) unit and vice director of the A.I. Virtanen Institute for Molecular Science at Kuopio Campus at the University of Eastern Finland.

“During my time in Finland, we made significant progress in establishing MRI biomarkers for Parkinson’s disease (PD) and multiple sclerosis (MS),” said Michaeli. “Noninvasive MRI rotating frame relaxation contrasts developed at the CMRR in close collaboration with the Kuopio team are highly sensitive to slow motion, and could probe critically important processes, such as demyelination, and could serve as noninvasive biomarkers for PD and MS.”

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in-the-news

In The News: UMN Psychiatry, MnDRIVE researchers provide non-invasive brain stimulation for treatment-resistant depression

For nearly 20-30 percent of people who suffer from depression, antidepressants and psychotherapy will not be effective. The depression can be endless and debilitating. Many patients may try multiple medications and therapies with no symptom improvement. They may turn to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) as a last-resort, which involves inducing seizures to stimulate the brain.

UMN researchers with MnDRIVE are offering a new option which could eliminate the need for ECT for many depression patients, and would provide considerable improvement in their symptoms.

The non-invasive brain therapy is called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). It uses a magnetic coil within a helmet-like device to stimulate the brain with electric currents.

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expert-perspectives

Use Of E-Cigarettes Triples Among U.S. Teens

A new national survey confirmed indications e-cigarettes are now more popular among teenage students than traditional cigarettes and other forms of tobacco.

The study was conducted by the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Youth Tobacco survey. Findings included the use of e-cigarettes has increased from 1.1 percent in 2013 to 3.9 percent in 2014 among middle school Children. The survey found the use among high school students almost tripled, from 4.5 percent to 13.4 percent. The numbers equivocate to 450,000 middle school users and 2 million high school stu

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in-the-news

In the news: No link between MMR vaccine and autism, even for children at risk for autism

In a new study published in JAMA, researchers yet again found no link between the MMR vaccine and autism, even for kids who are at risk for developing autism.

According to Forbes, “the likelihood of developing autism was actually lower for those at-risk children if they received the vaccine, though that finding was not statistically significant and no one would suggest that vaccination reduces autism risk. What vaccination reduces is disease, the kinds that can disable and kill children and the kind that is even more likely to cause serious complications in children with neurological conditions.”

The study’s findings were not surprising to infectious disease experts, including Mark Schleiss, M.D., a pediatric infectious disease physician at the University of Minnesota.

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research-and-clinical-trials

New research shows no advantage to shorter-storage red blood cell transfusions for cardiac surgery patients

New evidence shows red blood cell units stored 21 to 42 days have similar clinical effects in cardiac surgery patients compared to units stored up to 10 days.

The findings of the study, called the Red Cell Storage duration Study (RECESS), are published in New England Journal of Medicine.

The FDA allows red blood cell (RBC) units to be stored for up to 42 days after blood donation.  At most hospitals, standard transfusion practice is to utilize RBC units that are closest to 42 days old, so that the donated units will not reach their expiration date and be wasted. RECESS sought to compare clinical outcomes in cardiac surgery patients who received RBC units stored up to 10 days and patients who received RBC units stored 21 to 42 days.

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in-the-news

In the News: University of Minnesota doctor discusses America’s sleep problems

Oftentimes when people think of the consequences of poor sleep they think crabbiness and irritability. While those are two outcomes of poor sleep, there are many more serious consequences that can occur.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 41,000 Americans are injured or killed in car crashes caused by drowsy drivers. The amount is second to alcohol-related accidents. As stated in the same report, roughly 62 percent of Americans report having trouble falling asleep more than a few nights per week.

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