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research-and-clinical-trials

U of M, St. Jude Medical partner to tackle Parkinson’s disease, depression

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on Inquiry.

University of Minnesota researchers and St. Jude Medical are collaborating to treat some of the most challenging and debilitating movement and neuropsychiatric disorders using deep brain stimulation (DBS), a treatment which uses electrical current to directly stimulate parts of the brain. The project is part of MnDRIVE (Minnesota’s Discovery, Research and InnoVation Economy), a $36 million biennial investment by the state that aims to solve grand challenges in areas that align with Minnesota’s industries, including discoveries and treatments for brain conditions.

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in-the-news

Mandated decrease in work hours may not be advantageous for neurosurgical residents

In an effort to decrease the amount of medical errors due to fatigue, in 2003 the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) imposed a mandatory maximum 80-hour work-week restriction on medical residents.

Before this mandate, residents often worked more than 100 hours per week and some neurosurgery residents in particular worked in excess of 120 hours per week. A University of Minnesota study recently  published in the Journal of Neurosurgery now finds the mandate could be leaving neurosurgery residents underprepared.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Can this drug for Tylenol overdose make inroads with Type 1 diabetes?

A low-cost Tylenol overdose drug already available for cystic fibrosis use will soon enter clinical trials aimed at discovering whether it can aid in treating an additional condition: Type 1 diabetes.

The drug, a natural supplement, is thought to have potential use in the treatment of hypoglycemia, a condition in which too little blood sugar is present in the body.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: Unmatched insights into deep brain stimulation through MRI

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a procedure that is used to treat movement disorders including Parkinson’s disease, tremor and dystonia. To improve symptoms, a DBS lead (insulated wire) is surgically inserted deep within the brain in sites known to control movement.

Electrical impulses are sent from the neurostimulator, also known as a brain pacemaker, to the lead implanted in the brain. The stimulation changes the pattern of electrical activity in the brain into a more normal pattern, thereby improving symptoms and returning more normal movement to patients.

Choosing the target location for the lead is of critical importance. Standard protocol among physicians around the world is to use a brain atlas developed from two French women who donated their brains to science many years ago. From there physicians superimpose the patient’s own brain MRI images and calculate a plan to implant the electrodes in the brain.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: MRI helps find cancer needle in a haystack

In previous posts, Health Talk took you inside the broad capabilities and applications of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in research efforts at the U of M’s Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR).

According to Curtis Corum, Ph.D., assistant professor of radiology in CMRR, finding small tumors can be like finding needles in a haystack. Because catching cancer early – when tumors are at their smallest – can be essential to treatment success, finding those needles is important work. So what if the task could be made less challenging? What if there was a way to remove the haystack so that only needles remained?

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: U of M study could improve treatment for atrial fibrillation patients

A recent University of Minnesota study found that cognitive decline in people with atrial fibrillation (abnormal heartbeat) is mediated by subclinical cerebral infarcts, otherwise known as silent strokes.

The paper, titled Atrial Fibrillation and Cognitive Decline — The Role of Subclinical Cerebral Infarcts, was published last month in StrokeLin Yee Chen, M.D., M.S., a University of Minnesota cardiologist, led the study.

The paper, titled Atrial Fibrillation and Cognitive Decline — The Role of Subclinical Cerebral Infarcts, was published last month in StrokeLin Yee Chen, M.D., M.S., a University of Minnesota cardiologist, led the study.

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