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expert-perspectives

Fighting hydrocephalus

“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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research-and-clinical-trials

UMN doctor researches new way to treat spinal cord injuries

In today’s medical technology world, there are no effective therapies for spinal cord injuries.

Ann Parr, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the Medical School, is working with Michael McAlpine, Ph.D., and being assisted by James Dutton, Ph.D. at the Stem Cell Institute, to lead a new research project using 3D printing to create a scaffold, which can then be used to treat spinal cord injuries.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research snapshot: Evidence based medicine applications can be applied to well-established interventions

In science and medicine, doctors utilize many kinds of evidence when making health care decisions. Known within the medical community as evidence based medicine (EBM), one of the primary goals is to improve overall decisions by the individual physicians and care team. In a previous study published in the British Medical Journal, researchers argued that some things are so obvious that they do not require ongoing research and even ridiculed the practice of evidence-based medicine.

The example they provided was not needing to judge the effectiveness of a parachute when jumping out of an airplane.

And while that may seem logical because everyone “knows” a parachute helps to improve your chances of survival when jumping from an airplane, EBM can more accurately prove this to be true.

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research-and-clinical-trials

U of M study: Reduction in neurosurgical resident hours appears to have no significant positive effect on patient outcomes

A reduction in neurosurgeon resident duty hours appears to result in no significant changes in patient outcomes, according to new research from the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Minnesota. The reduction in resident duty hours was mandated in 2003 by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) when it imposed a mandatory maximum 80-hour work-week restriction on medical residents. Prior to this mandate, residents often worked in excess of 100 hours per week.

Findings were published today in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

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expert-perspectives

U of M expert: Know the signs and symptoms of stroke, what to do

When precious seconds count, do you know the signs and symptoms of stroke? Moreover, do you know what to do to get the stroke sufferer the medical care they need?

The American Stroke Association has an easy-to-remember acronym, F.A.S.T., which stands for:

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: Stem cells’ role in reprogramming the brain after a stroke

Continuing with Health Talk’s coverage of May Stroke Awareness Month, today we’ll take a closer look at an ongoing study that uses stems cells to reprogram the brain after a stroke.

In the wake of a stroke, neurons within the brain are damaged. Using stems cells and stem cell technology, researchers in the Val, V. Richard Zarling, Earl Grande Stroke and Stem Cell Laboratory, within the Department of Neurosurgery and the University of Minnesota Stem Cell Institute, are exploring ways to replace and regenerate damaged neurons in the brain that will ultimately lead to functional improvement of those neurons.

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