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expert-perspectives

Love macaroni and cheese? You may want to read this

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expert-perspectives

Research snapshot: Genetic links to resilience in PTSD patients

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects roughly 20% of all veterans from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. The disorder’s unfortunate prominence among those who’ve served prompted Lisa James, Ph.D., and Apostolos Georgopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., to investigate a genetic predisposition for PTSD.  James and Georgopoulos are researchers at the Brain Sciences Center, an interdisciplinary center between the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Neuroscience and the Veterans Affairs Health Care System.

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expert-perspectives

Almost two decades later, doctor reflects on using embryo selection to save young girl’s life

Molly Nash was not expected to live to the age of 10. But her parents, and John Wagner, M.D., professor with the Department of Pediatrics in the Medical School, refused to let the genetics of her disease have the final word.

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Fighting hydrocephalus

Stephen Haines, M.D., UMN Department of Neurosurgery with hydrocephalus patient Pete Bigalk. Photo credit Tom Dunn.

“Here at the University of Minnesota, hydrocephalus is the most common condition we treat in pediatric neurosurgery,” explained Daniel Guillaume, M.D., M.S., associate professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Minnesota Medical School, “and as such we are constantly searching for better treatments.”

Hydrocephalus is a serious condition with many causes, which in some cases are not fully understood. The primary characteristic is the buildup of too much cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain and spinal cord. That causes potentially harmful pressure on brain tissue. Without treatment, the outcome can result in severe disability and even death.

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expert-perspectives

Man flu or myth? Why we study mice of different genders to understand illness

The term man flu is typically used in jest; perhaps in conversation between two women joking about how their husbands react to illness. For others, the phrase may be completely new. However, recently it has risen to the surface enough in mainstream media and water cooler discussions to draw interest from researchers.

Researchers at the University of Ottawa recently set out to essentially answer the question, do identical infections actually make males more miserable than females? The study involved injecting lab mice with molecules from bacteria. They found at the onset of infection the male mice’s body temperature fell more than females’ did. An article in Stat extrapolated this fit with the idea of the man flu.

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expert-perspectives

Death by caffeine? Dangers of caffeine dissected after teen’s death

Death by caffeine: an eye-catching headline when a coroner recently declared a South Carolina teen died from excessive caffeine consumption. In the span of two hours, according to reports, the 16 year-old drank a large Diet Mountain Dew, a cafe latte from McDonald’s and an energy drink, causing a “caffeine-induced cardiac event” leading to a probable arrhythmia.

The news surprised many experts in the medical community, including Joseph Garry, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

“Deaths from caffeine ingestion are actually quite rare,” Garry explained. “However, this is entirely preventable and as such, any preventable death is tragic.”

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