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expert-perspectives

Game Changer: Gabe Loor

April is National Donate Life Month, which urges Americans to become organ donors and potentially play a part in saving a life. Gabe Loor, a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon at University of Minnesota Medical School, is a key cog in improving the transplantation process by helping to develop more effective surgical methods.

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expert-perspectives

Health Talk Recommends: Assessing the ACA’s impact on pregnant inmates

Pregnancy can be hard in the best of circumstances. For a pregnant inmate, incarceration opens up a whole new set of challenges faced only by expectant mothers behind bars.

To coincide with the March issue of Health Affairs, which focuses on issues related to incarceration and health, University of Minnesota researchers Katy Kozhimannil, Ph.D. of the School of Public Health and Rebecca Shlafer, Ph.D. of the Medical School wrote about what the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will mean for the 6-10 percent of female prisoners who are pregnant during their incarceration.

“Currently, pregnant inmates have increased rates of complicated and preterm deliveries, and mothers and their babies have more risk factors and worse birth outcomes than similar women who are not incarcerated,” said Kozhimannil.

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news-and-notes

U of M psychiatry experts, Minnesota legislators align to advance first episode psychosis programs

Last weekend, Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar visited the University of Minnesota Psychiatry Clinic to host a roundtable discussion around first episode psychosis and to discuss options for improving the care and long-term prognosis for patients suffering psychiatric illness.

Recent federal legislation allocated more behavioral health funding to establish new first episode programs at the state level or bolster existing programs like the one found at the University of Minnesota.

According to Charles Schulz, M.D., chair of the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry, Senator Klobuchar has an active interest in mental health but shares the concerns of University providers around the average time it takes patients to receive treatment from the onset of their disease, a statistic that continues to hover around a year and a half.

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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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research-and-clinical-trials

U of M, Harvard partner in search for answers to diabetic kidney disease

Last October, Health Talk told you about a new University of Minnesota and Harvard University partnership involving a clinical trial called Preventing Early Renal Loss in Diabetes (PERL) that will help researchers gain a better understanding around improving the health of people with diabetes and kidney complications.

As part of National Kidney Month, which wraps up at the end of March, Health Talk wanted to revisit the PERL study in an effort to raise awareness on the prevalence and public health concerns that kidney disease in type 1 diabetes causes on the American public and its health system.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Are you at risk for type 2 diabetes? Take the test and find out

Today is American Diabetes Association Alert Day, a one-day “wake-up call” asking Americans to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

According to the ADA, 79 million Americans, or one in three adults, have prediabetes, putting adults at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Oftentimes a diabetes diagnosis comes up to 7-10 years after disease onset causing major medical complications and even death. That’s why early diagnosis is vital to successfully treat and possibly delay or prevent type 2 diabetes complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke and death.

The Diabetes Risk Test is simple and you only have to answer questions like weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

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