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August 2011 Archives

Clayton and Susan Kaufman (Submitted photo)

Clayton Kaufman knows a high-impact story when he hears it. His judgment is forged by a broadcasting career that spanned more than four decades. That’s one reason he’s keeping tabs on advances in stem cell science—and why he’s supporting the research through current and planned gifts to the University of Minnesota, his alma mater. “The importance of stem cell research cannot be overemphasized,” he says, mentioning its potential impact on a myriad of diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, and Parkinson’s disease. That’s another reason Kaufman is interested in the research: he has Parkinson’s.

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Diabetes has quickly become a global epidemic and the leading cause of cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney failure, neuropathy, and amputations. The World Health Organization estimates that 220 million people have diabetes and that related deaths will double by 2030. To combat this threat, scientists from the University’s Schulze Diabetes Institute (SDI) are leading the way in developing a cure for type 1 diabetes and expanding the availability of the most promising treatments.

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The FDA has approved deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery to treat Parkinson's disease and essential tremor, and it has also granted humanitarian device exemptions for treating dystonia and obsessive compulsive disorder. But University experts believe DBS can do more for more people.


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