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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

Research snapshot: Race simulation testing recommended for runners with recurrent heat stroke

It’s no surprise that athletes are at risk for heat stroke during the blazing summer months; however, a recent case study from the University of Minnesota demonstrates that exertional heat stroke (EHS), a form of heat-induced illness, could still be life-threatening to athletes in cooler temperatures.

The research investigated a 30-year-old distance runner with a history of recurrent heat strokes while racing. A unique circumstance in relatively cool weather triggered a more extensive examination for cause, says William Roberts, M.D., author of the study from the Department of Family Medicine & Community Health in the University of Minnesota Medical School. The runner suffered from EHS despite the cooler temperature, highlighting the importance of race simulation testing for return-to-activity among athletes with a history of EHS.

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in-the-news

In the News: University of Minnesota research drives home aspirin’s benefits

Despite its known benefits, new research from the University of Minnesota’s Medical School shows many older patients don’t talk to their doctors about the cardiovascular benefits of low-dose aspirin.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, looked at aspirin use of 26,000 Minnesotans ages 25 to 74. The study found aspirin use for primary prevention of heart attacks and stroke increased in men from 1 percent in 1980 to 21 percent in 2009, and in women from 1 percent to 12 percent.

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in-the-news

In the news: UMN group leads effort to develop new pediatric medical devices

Transforming a concept on paper to a tangible and functioning medical device requires a lot of time and research. And even more money.

It could take an estimated profit margin of $500 million or more before a tech company will move to invest in a new medical device, the Star Tribune estimates. Finding funding to reach that point is difficult to say the least. That’s why Gwen Fischer, M.D., assistant professor in the department of pediatrics of the University of Minnesota Medical School, teamed up with medical device colleagues to form the Pediatric Device Innovation Consortium (PDIC).

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research-and-clinical-trials

Intensive blood pressure lowering in patients with type 2 diabetes may have beneficial effect in preventing atrial fibrillation

The most common heart rhythm abnormality, atrial fibrillation, is categorized by a rapid or irregular heartbeat leading to poor blood flow. In patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM), there have been no proven strategies to prevent this condition, until recently.

In a new study from the University of Minnesota Cardiovascular Division, Department of Medicine, researchers found that as compared with standard blood pressure lowering, intensive blood pressure lowering in patients with T2DM was associated with a reduced incidence of atrial fibrillation and abnormal P-Wave indices (PWI).

 

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expert-perspectives

UMN experts: New cases of diabetes may be down but more work is needed

A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found new cases of diabetes dropped by roughly one-fifth from 2008-2014, from 1.7 million to 1.4 million. And while the investigators are unsure whether prevention efforts are working or if the disease peaked in the U.S., the findings were good news after decades of seeing numbers skyrocket.

According to a recent New York Times article, “there is growing evidence that eating habits, after decades of deterioration, have finally begun to improve. The amount of soda Americans drink has declined by about a quarter since the late 1990s, and the average number of daily calories children and adults consume also has fallen. Physical activity has started to rise, and once-surging rates of obesity, a major driver of type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, have flattened.”

Health Talk spoke with Mark Pereira, Ph.D., associate professor of epidemiology and community health in the School of Public Health and Elizabeth Seaquist, M.D., professor of medicine in the University of Minnesota Medical School to help understand the numbers.

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