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Health notes for April 17, 2018

A vaccine for opioids?

A Minnesota research team is working to develop a vaccine to fight the opioid crisis.

The vaccine, which would use the body's immune system to produce molecules that target, bind and prevent opioids from reaching the brain, is being developed by scientists from the University of Minnesota Medical School and Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation at Hennepin Healthcare, according to the university's news service.

Early findings, published in three scientific journals, have been encouraging, according to the news release. Vaccination would not prevent use of currently approved addiction treatments such as methadone, buprenorphine and naloxone, the researchers reported.

"But the road from the laboratory to the clinic is still long," said Marco Pravetoni, the principal investigator.

Specialty services in Sandstone

Sleepless in Sandstone?

More than 20 patients have taken advantage of a sleep medicine lab there since Essentia Health-Sandstone began offering it last August, according to an Essentia news release.

During an overnight stay, specialists can monitor brain waves, breathing, oxygen levels, cardiac levels and body movement, the news release explained.

Learn more about the sleep lab by calling (218) 786-4692.

In the same building as the Essentia hospital, infertility and specialized gynecological services are being offered one day a month at the Gateway Clinic by Dr. Michael LaBerge.

Autism Walk is Sunday

This year's Autism Walk Northland will take place on Sunday at the Hermantown High School indoor track.

The walk is 2.5K or 5K, but walkers are not required to cover the full distance to participate, organizers say. All money goes to provide free autism programs in the area. Last year's walk raised more than $20,500.

Registration and free activities for kids will begin at 9 a.m. and the walk will begin at 10 a.m. Preregistration is open at Preregistration is not required, but it allows team to accept online donations.

For more information, visit

Native American health accented

Zoongide'ewin, an exhibition of Native American health and resilience in the Great Lakes region, will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. April 26 at the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum, 902 E. First St.

The event will feature gallery floor discussions led by local experts on the history and challenges surrounding Native American culture and rural health, according to a news release from the University of Minnesota Medical School's Duluth campus.

The medical school is hosting the event along with the Center of American Indian and Minority Health and Karpeles. It's free, and free parking is available in the lower parking ramp of the St. Luke's Pavilion Building.

Blog addresses Medicare questions

A regional nonprofit has initiated a blog to help consumers with questions about Medicare.

The Medicare Consumer Blog is being offered weekly, according to MN Citizens Federation NE, which is providing it.

New posts appear each Monday. To read it, go to the Citizens Federation's website,, and click on the "Medicare Consumer Blog" button in the top-right corner.

A healthy Saturday in Superior

The Superior Douglas County Family YMCA will host its annual Healthy Kids Day on Saturday.

The free event, open to everyone, features carnival games, bouncy houses, fitness challenge, arts and crafts, healthy snacks and recreational swimming, according to a YMCA news release.

The event takes place from 9 a.m. until noon at the Superior Y, 21st Street and Hill Avenue. For more information, visit

Living with diabetes

A Living Well with Diabetes workshop will begin on May 8 in Duluth.

The class will take place from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through June 12 at the Woodland Community Center-YMCA, 3211 Allendale Ave., according to the Arrowhead Area Agency on Aging, which is the sponsor. An optional information session will take place from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. today, also at the Woodland Y.

A donation of $5 per session is suggested, but no one is turned away based on inability to pay.

To register, visit or contact Katey Fornear at (218) 529-7531 or