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Tired and hungry: how lack of sleep hurts your diet

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Early morning meetings sometimes mean a doughnut from the coffee cart as you start up the computer, just as a late night out usually translates into a quick stop at the sub shop or pizza parlor. Turns out, these not-so-great food choices are a pretty universal response to lack of sleep.

New research out of New York City's St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center shows a link between a lack of sleep and craving unhealthy foods like sugars, fats and high-carb options.

Doctors surveyed 16 healthy young adults and found brain regions associated with reward and motivation were highly activated when participants hadn't slept well.

Michael Howell, M.D., a sleep medicine physician and associate professor in the University of Minnesota's Medical School, isn't surprised by the results.

"In all spheres of our lives, judgment is impaired when sleep-deprived," says Howell. "Without enough sleep, you're less able to avoid temptation."

There are a lot of other ways a lack of quality sleep can impact our waistlines, according to Howell.

Drug-induced psychosis doesn't need to be deadly

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BLOGb - CrystalMeth.jpg(Photo of crystal meth, courtesy Radspunk via creative commons license.)

A naked man, apparently high on drugs, was killed this week in Miami while attacking another man on the street. Police believe the suspect, Rudy Eugene, 31, had been high on "bath salts," a synthetic drug similar to LSD. When confronted by officers, Eugene growled at their intrusion and seemed to be unaffected by the shots fired into his body until officers were able to kill him.

Psychosis induced by drugs, particularly chemical-based drugs, is a common response to overdosing. Emergency room physicians and psychiatric care centers handle psychotic episodes on a regular basis.

"There are a number of drugs, illicit or prescription, which can lead to a psychotic episode," says S. Charles Schulz, M.D., professor and head of the University of Minnesota's Department of Psychiatry. Drugs most commonly associated with it are LSD, methamphetamine and Adderall.

While the attack in Miami is not a common expression of these induced psychotic episodes, there are a variety of symptoms that can indicate psychosis. Paranoia, frenzy and other erratic behavior can all indicate a person is heading toward significant psychosis.

So what's happening inside the body? According to Schulz, it depends on the drug ingested by the patient. Amphetamine-based drugs, like meth, stimulate the dopamine receptors in the brain, which increases paranoia and takes away the capacity for self-control. These patients can usually be treated with anti-psychotic medication. LSD, however, stimulates the serotonin in the brain, and results in patients generally needing a calm and safe place to come down from the high.

Physicians are pushing to understand the "ramping up" phase of a psychotic episode. In theory, catching someone during this building time could help stop a patient from hurting himself or others.

The University of Minnesota is focused on caring for people experiencing a psychotic episode. Check out their website to learn more about the First Episode Psychosis Program, a program dedicated to comprehensive assessment and treatment of psychotic illness.

U of M professor awarded grants for children's brain research

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Dr. Bernadette Gillick was recently awarded a variety of grants to fund her upcoming study on the use of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Pediatric Hemiparesis, a form of non-invasive brain stimulation for children that can help combat damage to the brain's nerve endings caused by stroke. bernadette.jpg

Dr. Gillick joined the UMN faculty as a tenure-track assistant professor in October 2011. The New Faculty MMF Grant, CTSI Pre-K Grant and CTSI BDAC award recipient has spent the past three years working to improve current rehabilitation techniques.

"Our future studies will incorporate rehabilitation therapy techniques with the use of non-invasive brain stimulation," explains Gillick. "The overarching goal is to improve hand function for children who have hemiparesis, or weakness on one side of their body."

The new form of rehabilitation that Dr. Gillick will explore is an example of research at the University of Minnesota's Medical facilities.

Series of workshops can help with stress on farm

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Image: AHC LogoA new U of M online workshop looks to help ag producers and their families cope better with stress. Katherine Slama, Medical School, explains that agricultural work and rural living can be very stressful for everyone and that the 11 new workshops can help everyone deal with the stress.

Read on Minnesota Farm Guide

Life Transitions May Trigger Eating Disorders

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Image: US News and World Report LogoA lack of support following traumatic life events such as relationship problems, the loss of a loved one, abuse and sexual assault can trigger eating disorders. Jerica Berge, Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians, discusses the findings of her study.

Read on US News & World Report

Dr. Jon Hallberg: New ideas on migraine research

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Image: MPR LogoOn his weekly segment Jon Hallberg, Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians, talks about the mysterious world of migraines and why women are more than three-times more likely to suffer from migraines than men.

Listen on MPR

U of M Expert Perspective: Patients shouldn't fear dental X-rays

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Chances are, if you've been to the dentist recently you've undergone an X-ray.dental-x-ray_B.jpg

The tool helps dentists diagnose current problems and plan treatment for existing ones.

But could dental X-rays increase your risk of developing brain tumors? New research suggests that they could...but many dental experts and the American Dental Association (ADA) aren't so sure.

In a new study published in the latest issue of Cancer, researchers report patients exposed to yearly bitewing examinations (a common form of dental X-ray) may be at a greater risk of developing an intracranial meningioma, a common form of brain tumor.

But while the news can be scary at face value, even the researchers caution that their research isn't condemning dental X-rays. Instead, they're advocating for more moderate X-ray exposure.

According to Mansur Ahmad, Ph.D., associate professor of oral medicine and diagnosis within the University of Minnesota's School of Dentistry, the question isn't whether or not radiation causes cancer - we know that it does. The question is which type of cancer radiation can cause.

"Patients shouldn't be scared of dental X-rays, but patients and their doctor can work to cut down on radiation exposure," said Ahmad. "Doctors can also use lead aprons and have strict rules for which patients need X-rays and which do not."

Ahmad recommends dentists look at benefit versus risk when it comes to radiation. X-rays can be useful for some clinical examinations or to help with treatment.

"As dentists we need to ensure we're working with our patients to determine when and why an X-ray may be needed," he said. "We should never be issuing X-rays just because a patient comes in for a visit."

Dr. Hallberg: Cancer, sleep disorders and spring allergies

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Image: MPR LogoOn his weekly segment Jon Hallberg, Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians, talks about correlations between obesity and cancer, as well as a connection between depression and sleep disorders.

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Two studies aim to slow the onset of Parkinson's disease

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University of Minnesota researchers have recently published updates to two distinct efforts aimed at combatting Parkinson's disease (PD) by tackling the basic science behind the disease.

The end goal of the two studies is to advance understanding of the mechanism's behind the condition's neurodegeneration in hopes of developing a drug that will provide effective therapy for PD patients, treating the underlying causes of the disease and other related disorders.

Parkinson's disease is a disease of the central nervous system, and 60,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with the condition each year. The most obvious symptom of the disease is uncontrolled body movements when resting. Once the disease progresses further a patient can experience changes in their mood, dementia, problems with their senses and sleep difficulties.

Read more about these two distinct studies.

U of M Researchers Study Parkinson's Disease, Treatment

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Image: KSTP LogoUniversity of Minnesota Medical School researchers are attempting to slow the onset of Parkinson's disease and understand more about how it affects people. They hope to develop a drug that will treat the underlying causes of the disease.

Read on KSTP

The brain of a PTSD victim

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Image: MPR LogoWhile we know that post-traumatic stress disorder impacts its victims, we're just starting to understand its effects on the brain. Apostolos Georgopoulos, Medical School, discusses the effects of PSTD and some of the findings researchers at the U of M have discovered.

Read on MPR

Jason Russell Brief Reactive Psychosis: What Is The Kony 2012 Filmmaker Going Through?

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Image: AHC LogoJason Russell, the creater of the viral video Kony 2012, was diagnosed with brief reactive psychosis. Charles Schulz, Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians, explains that brief reactive psychosis may go away quickly but seeking treatment is the best course.

Read on International Business Times

Researchers Pinpoint α-Synuclein Oligomers, Link Them to Cell Stress

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Image: AHC LogoMichael Lee, Medical School, had a pair of research papers published. The papers address two problems faced by patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and the findings may have therapeutic implications for this diseases and others related to the same area of the brain.

Read on Alzheimer's Research News

All about brains: stress, hive mind, jumping genes

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Image: MPR LogoA recent study shows stress is affecting our health even more drastically than once imagined. Apostolos Georgopoulos, Medical School, explains that we now know that the brain is constantly changing in size and that a smaller brain may not actually be a bad thing.

Listen on MPR

Mayo Clinic and partners to explore new ways to predict and control seizures

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Image: AHC LogoThe U of M College of Veterinary Medicine and College of Pharmacy, Mayo Clinic, University of Pennsylvania and others are teaming up to study new ways to predict and control epileptic seizures in dogs and people.

Read on Hometown Source

Development of new memory T cells causes subsequent demise of old ones

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Image: News Medical LogoMemory "killer" T cells are specialized cells that develop in response to specific infections and launch an attack if the specific pathogen returns. Kris Hogquist, Medical School and Masonic Cancer Center, discusses viruses that trigger the activation of memory T cells.

Read on News Medical

Scientists study how our brains age

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Image: MPR LogoA first of its kind study aims to answer the questions what makes us age and how aging affects the brain. Apostolos Georgopoulos, Medical School, talks about studying healthy brains with a MEG, which takes an undistorted, highly detailed image of brain activity.

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University of Minnesota Researches In-Utero Stroke Treatment

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Image: FOX 9 LogoStrokes are normally a condition associated with the elderly, but they can happen to in children - even the unborn. Andy Grande, Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians, discusses research that could potentially help babies that suffered an in-utero stroke.

Watch on FOX 9

Screening by Primary-Care Doctors May Spot Dementia

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Image: AHC LogoRoutine screening at primary care clinics led large increases in diagnoses of brain-function impairments such as dementia in older veterans. J. Riley McCarten, Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians, discusses the results of his study.

Read on US News and World Report, Star Tribune, Doctors Lounge, Third Age and Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Dr. Karen Ashe: Stalking Alzheimer's

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Image: Star Tribune LogoFor 20 years, Karen Ashe, Medical School, has been quietly unraveling the mysteries of Alzheimer's from her lab at the University of Minnesota. At 57, she's won almost every major award in her field short of the Nobel Prize.

Read on Star Tribune

Doctor: 'Sleep texting' is a growing problem

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Image: KARE 11 LogoDoctors are seeing a surprising increase in the number of patients talking about texting while asleep. Michael Howell, Medical School, talks about the causes of sleep texting and the age group he sees it in most often.

Watch on KARE 11

How to Battle Shopping Addiction

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Image: AHC LogoAbout 5 percent of Americans suffer from compulsive shopping. Jon Grant, Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians, explains the addiction is not about the acquisition of the item itself, it's about the experience of acquiring it.

Read on Chicago Tribune

A Wildlife Vet, a Pigeon, a Groundbreaking Discovery

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Image: AHC LogoThe College of Veterinary Medicine's Diagnostic Lab recently made a revolutionary discovery. Arno Wunschmann, College of Veterinary Medicine, discusses the discovery of a parasite in a pigeon, Sarcocystis calchasi, which is the first time in the United States it has been identified.

Read on Scientific American

The high value of short-lived worms

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Image: AHC LogoA University of Texas researcher has mutant worms that may help find better drugs for Parkinson's disease. Karen Mesce, Medical School, discusses how works with medicinal leeches to figure out more about how different dopamine levels change the fluidity of motion in animals.

Read on University of Texas News

Ask Dr. Hallberg: Healthy living and memory retention

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Image: MPR LogoOn his weekly segment Jon Hallberg, Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians, discusses how the brain ages and the links between healthy living and memory retention.

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Wallin Discovery Fund fuels U research projects

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Image: Star Tribune LogoFueled by $500,000 a year from the fund, U brain researchers are hoping to turn nano ideas into mega results. David Redish, Kenneth Baker, Marilyn Carroll, Gulin Oz, Medical School, and Yasushi Nakagawa, Medical School and Stem Cell Institute, talk about their projects.

Read on Star Tribune

University of Minnesota Debuts Early Intervention Program

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Image: FOX 9 LogoA new program at the U of M may be able to help by providing resources to parents on how to counsel your kids and keep them out of rehab. Ken Winters, Medical School, explains the use of 'motivational interviewing' and how many kids don't get the help they need.

Watch on FOX 9

How to Battle Shopping Addiction

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Image: US News and World Report LogoAbout 5 percent of Americans suffer from compulsive shopping. Jon Grant, Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians, discusses ways to help someone you know break his or her shopping addiction.

Read on U.S. News and World Report

For some teens, even sleep doesn't interfere with texting

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Image: AHC LogoSleep disorder experts are seeing a small but growing number of teens sending text messages on their cellphones while still asleep. Conrad Iber, Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians, explains how these messages can cause problems later for the teens.

Read on MLive

Why is smoking more harmful for women?

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Image: AHC LogoA recent study, conducted by Rachel Huxley, School of Public Health, revealed that even though women tend to smoke fewer cigarettes than their male counterparts, they are at a 25% greater risk of smoking related health conditions.

Read on Times of India

Hey u wassup?? Let's zzzzz ...

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Image: Star Tribune LogoSleep-texting is the latest twist on sleepwalking or talking in one's sleep. Conrad Iber, Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians, explains it concerns doctors for two reasons. It's yet another way that technology is disrupting needed sleep and it's more public than sleep talking or walking.

Read on Star Tribune

Men: Sex, food, sleep -- in that order

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Image: AHC LogoYoung men's sexual thoughts are nearly equaled by their food drives, according to a new study. Eli Coleman, Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians, explains that these three thoughts are fundamental drives toward sustaining life and basic appetitive drives.

Read on Star Tribune, Vancouver Sun and Sacramento Bee

New stroke therapy shows promise on kids

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Image: Star Tribune LogoUsing non-invasive electronic stimulation, coupled with occupational therapy, researchers are hoping kids can increase hand function after a stroke. Bernadette Gillick, Medical School, discusses the significant gains researchers have made using this therapy.

Read on Star Tribune

Reversing Cocaine's Effects with Light

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Image: AHC LogoResearchers in Switzerland have not only established the first causal link between cocaine-induced changes to brain cells and altered physical behavior, they have also reversed these changes. Mark Thomas, Medical School, talks about the potential impact of these findings.

Read on The Scientist

Ask Dr. Hallberg: Obesity coverage, baked fish and Lipitor

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Image: MPR LogoOn his weekly segment Jon Hallberg, Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians, discusses a study concluding that eating baked fish can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's and the new generic form of Lipitor, used to lower high cholesterol.

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U of M neuroscience researchers awarded with $500,000 worth of grants

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Image: Star Tribune LogoThe Wallin family has created the Discovery Fund and four U of M neuroscience researchers Kenneth Baker, Gulin Oz, David Reish, Medical School, and Yasushi Nakagawa, Medical School and Stem Cell Institute, have been awarded the round of awards.

Read on Star Tribune

Man's best friend: Key to brain cancer cure?

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Image: AHC LogoLiz Pluhar, College of Veterinary Science, John Ohlfest, Medical School, Masonic Cancer Center and Stem Cell Institute, and Chris Moertel, Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians, talk about testing vaccine for a deadly form of brain cancer on dogs.

Watch on CBS News

What's Behind A Temper Tantrum? Scientists Deconstruct The Screams

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Image: AHC LogoUntil recently, children's temper tantrums had not been considered a legitimate subject for science. Michael Potegal, Medical School and University of Minnesota, explains that his recent study is the most quantitative theory of tantrums that has ever been developed.

Listen on NPR and KOSU Radio

Read on ABC News and TIME

Seasonal Affective Disorder

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Image: WCCO LogoSeasonal Affective Disorder can affect up to 10 percent of people in our part of the world. Scott Crow, Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians, discusses the symptoms and some of the remedies.

Listen on WCCO Radio

Could too much iron be a bad thing for babies?

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Image: Reuters LogoIn a new study, infants who had high levels of hemoglobin proteins in their blood ended up with lower scores on tests. Michael Georgieff, Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians, gives other explanations for high hemoglobin levels and explains the next step for the research.

Read on Reuters, Yahoo! and International News Network

Brain scientists dream up international research partnership

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Image: MPR LogoThe U of M will be bringing together brain researchers for the "Brain Science: The Next Frontier" conference, in an effort to move their field forward. Aviva Abosch, Medical School and University of Minnesota Physicians, discusses her current brain research.

Read on MPR

Recent Veterans in College Engage in Riskier Health Behaviors

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Image: AHC LogoCollege students who have served in the U.S. conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are more likely to use tobacco, drink in excess and engage in other behaviors that endanger their health and safety. Rachel Widome, Medical School, explains more findings from their study.

Read on Health Behavior News Service

Cigarettes Are Enlisted to Test Ways of Quitting

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Image: AHC LogoA new type of cigarette, which is altered tobacco to lower the nicotine content, is being tested to find ways to regulate the addictiveness of cigarettes. Dorothy Hatsukami, Medical School and Masonic Cancer Center, discusses her study with the new cigarettes.

Read on New York Times, American Council on Science and Health and Taiwan News

Unbearable itch may no longer be a pain in anaesthesia

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Image: AHC LogoThe link between itch and pain has been teased apart for the first time - a development that could lead to powerful anaesthetics without any of that intolerable itching. Glenn Geisler, Medical School, discusses what this mean for the future of anaesthetics.

Read on New Scientist

Alzheimer's Breakthrough Act may be one way to keep health care costs down

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Image: Post Bulletin LogoClose to 5.5 million Americans, including nearly 100,000 Minnesotans, are currently living with this degenerative brain disease. The work of Karen Hsiao Ashe, Medical School, is considered the "gold standard" for Alzheimer's research.

Read on Rochester Post-Bulletin

Take aim at brain illnesses

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Image: AHC LogoClose to 5.5 million Americans, including nearly 100,000 Minnesotans, are currently living with this degenerative brain disease. Research from Karen Hsiao Ashe, Medical School, helps to explain the causes of Alzheimer's disease.

Read on In Forum

Bulimia changes the brain

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Image: AHC LogoMany people with bulimia talk about the addictive nature of the disease. Patricia Faris, Medical School, explains how bulimia can lead to long-term changes in the brain.

Read on Philadelphia Examiner

Amplatz Children's Receives Grant For Cancer Research

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Image: WCCO LogoThe University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital received a nice grant on Thursday morning in the form of $100,000. The money will be used to study how cancer treatments affect children's brains and also track their academic progress.

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Sound, the Way the Brain and the Ear Prefer to Hear It

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Image: New York Times LogoPsychoacoustics is the study of sound perception by the human auditory system. Andrew Oxenham, Medical School, explains why psychoacoustics are so important when determining how sound relates to human perception.

Read on New York Times

New technology helps research, cure epilepsy

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Image: KSTP LogoU of M Medical School researchers used 7 Tesla MRI technology to get extremely detailed images of patients' brains, in turn curing eight patients of epileptic symptoms.

Read on KSTP

Summit Produces 'A Call to Action' on Concussions in Hockey

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Image: CNBC LogoTop scientists, trainers, coaches, officials from around the world gathered to discuss concussion-related issues; the science of concussions, impact on children, and prevention.

Read on CNBC

Grapes may prevent, delay Alzheimer's

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Image: UPI LogoGrape seed polyphenols -- an antioxidant -- may help prevent the development or delay the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

Read on United Press International