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College News

With a $5 million federal grant renewal, the University of Oklahoma is expanding the efforts of the Oklahoma Dementia Care Network. The program, which involves partners across the state, aims to improve health outcomes for people living with dementia and their caregivers through statewide geriatric workforce development.

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Two University of Oklahoma researchers have been awarded more than $2 million in grants from the Hevolution Foundation to further their studies on age-related cognitive impairment, with an emphasis on improving “health span,” or the number of years a person remains healthy.

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A study published today by a University of Oklahoma researcher shows that financial incentives can make a big difference in helping smokers quit. The study found that when people with low socioeconomic staus are offered small financial incentives to stop smoking (in addition to receiving counseling and pharmacotherapy, primarily nicotine replacement therapy), they achieve higher quit rates, with some measures doubling the quit rates, when compared to study participants who received the same treatments without incentives. This finding is particularly important because adults with socioeconomic challanges are more likely to smoke, experience more difficulty quitting, and suffer from more tobacco-related health problems and deaths than the general population.

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Type 2 diabetes in young people ages 10 to19 has more than doubled in the past 20 years, yet it remains difficult for physicians to predict who will be diagnosed and who will improve with treatment. A newly published study from the University of Oklahoma shows that measuring the circulating abundance of microRNAs – which affect insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas – is likely as effective as measuring the level of sugar in the blood for determining how a young person with the condition will fare.

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Patients with diabetes face a host of potential health problems as they work to manage the chronic disease. Still, one concern that seems to weigh heavily is the risk of losing their sight through a condition known as diabetic retinopathy. Researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences and Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center are studying a new, revolutionary treatment for diabetic retinopathy that could change the prognosis for these patients.

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