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July 18, 2013 - Image 3

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Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2013-07-18
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Thursday, July 18, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, July 18, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com


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the Daily

'U' researchers see fall in
depression among elderly

'U' startup
investments to
bring returns

Website to receive
design upgrades

Ten-year study
shows improvement,
despite need for
further observation
Daily Staff Reporter
New research from the
University indicates that old-
age may not be as depressing as
demonstrated in the past.
Kara Zivin, assistant professor
of psychiatry, and her team used
a Health and Retirement Survey
of subjects age 55 and older and
found depressive symptoms to be
in a general decline.
Results, which were collected
over a 10-year period between
1998 and 2008 with 16,184 sub-
jects, were determined using the
Center for Epidemiologic Studies
Depression Scale, which includes
eight symptoms of depression.
Subjects answered the survey

based on the number of symp-
toms they experienced in the
week before taking the survey.
Zivin said the number of
subjects with four or more
symptoms, the minimum number
to indicate significant depression,
decreased over the course of the
study. The results also indicated
that the number of people with
zero symptoms increased from
40.9 percent to 47.4 percent and
there were no significant changes
in severe symptoms for those 60
or older.
However, within the 55- to
59-year-old age group, the number
showing severe symptoms - six
or more - increased from 5.8
percent to 6.8 percent. Zivin
said while not enough research
has been done to explain the
variances between age groups, it
is important to understand that
not all older adults are treated the
same way.
"Things that may be affect-
ing mental health in a 50-year-old
may be very different than mental

health in an 80- year-old," she said.
The study came in the context
of a larger "program project
grant" that primarily included
faculty from the University and
Harvard University. Within the
project are five studies in various
areas of the healthcare field with
the overall goal of assessing the
cost and quality of health care
treatment in the U.S.
Sandeep Vijan, associate
professor of internal medicine and
a co-author of the study, said while
it's too early to give any definitive
statements the results' impact on
mental health care, there are signs
that care could be improving.
"The fact that these changes
hold up in the face of all those
other things at least suggest that
it could be due to better diagnosis
and treatment," Vijan said.
While the researchers consid-
ered factors such as race, gender
and net worth, Vijan said there are
many external factors that were
not included in the study, such as
the Great Recession, that will need


to be assessed in future studies.
Zivin said she plans to use
Medicare data for the next study
so depression symptom analysis
can be compared with standard
treatment and hopes to further
analyze why some subjects
remain depressed while some
improve with time.
"The analysis that we did was
just looking at basic population
prevalence, what proportion of
people have depression," Zivin
said. "Which is a different question
than, 'Does an individual person
stay depressed for a long period of
time or do they get better?"'
Vijan said the full process of
locating specific benefits and
weaknesses of mental health care
in America will take a while and
called it an "interim process."
"We should still try to make
sure those people are getting
what they need in terms of treat-
ment or in terms of other sup-
port," Zivin said. "So, there's
good news but we can't just say,
'Okay, everything is fine.' "
From Page 3
Building upon this research,
secondary analysis used test
drives of the design ideas and
responsive platform technology.
Fitzgerald said scores were given
to assess navigation aspects
within computers and mobile
devices. After receiving 'high
scores on user compatibility, the
team is now in its final stages of
In addition to the website
itself, Michigan Creative has
recently redesigned the block
"M" and University logos.
Fitzgerald said elements will
refresh the visual brand of the
University and create consis-
tency across all parts of the Uni-
Fitzgerald said the final web-
site will launch early this fall.
Folowthis story and more at

Program has given
up to $500,000 to
seven medical and
science companies
Daily StaffReporter
Innovative faculty are not the
only ones who stand to benefit
from Michigan Investment
in New Technology Startups,
a University program which
invests in faculty startups. By
investing in these companies,
MINTs could bolster the
University's endowment.
Seven faculty startups that
have met the requirements
already received funds, of up to
$500,000, from the 18-month-
old MINTS program. Five of
these are in the healthcare
sector and the others are related
to development in the field of
physical sciences.
The University will also invest
$1 million of endowment funds
in. an individual startup over a
10-year span.
University President Mary
Sue Coleman, when announcing
the program nearly two years
ago, said past faculty startups
have returned impressive profits.
The Michigan Daily previously
reported that if the University
invested funds in future startups,
it could strengthen University
coffers as well as the state's
Rafael Castilla,theUniversity's
investment risk management
director, said one startup could
be sold within the next two
years, but it's more likely that the
University will have to hold on to
the investments for a decade or
"We have generally a very
long-term horizon," he said. "We
hope there's going to be a return,
but we're in no rush to sell as
soon as possible."
Associate Engineering Prof.

Wei Lu, co-founder of the
computer hardware startup
Crossbar Inc., said hardware
industry generally had returns
in the long term. Crossbar's
products, which consist of
new architecture for computer
memory, will not reach the
market for years and the profit
margin for these types of
products are typically slimmer
than software and social media
startups. Funding such startups
prove more difficult.
innovation revolutionizes
computer technology, and
'Crossbar's breed of memristor
chips could do just that.
. "It can be potentially very
important and change the
semiconductor landscape, but it
has not been fully proven yet," Lu
While faculty startup
investment programs are
uncommon, they are gaining
interest. Investments Manager
Felicia David-Visser said she's
fielded questions from other
colleges for information on how
MINTS works.
"There are numerous other
institutions that are looking at
it or considering it or going to
watch it and see how it works out
for us," Castilla said.
Castilla added that
implementing an investment
program assumes a university is
producing significant amounts of
research that may be patented and
commercialized. In the case of
MINTS, all funded startups must
be based in technology patented
through the University, a Board of
Regents document stated.
firm Atterocor has close ties with
the University beyond its MINTS
funding, Atterocor President and
CEO Julia Owens said. Its clinical
trials for adrenal cancer treatment
will take place at the University's
center for the rare but aggressive
disease, Owens said.
"We felt we had a compelling
See STARTUP, Page 7

Michigan Creative
works to create
ihone adjustments
Daily StaffReporter
The University's website,
which has over half a million
visitors a year, is getting a
After over two years of
research toward the redesign,
a team at Michigan Creative, a
division of the Communications
department, has developed a
"responsive" system that easily

adjusts the website to any device.
"If you're accessing from a
desktop or an iPhone, it will
recognize the device and
rescale accordingly," University
spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald
said. "There's no longer a need
for a separate iPhone app or
different interface. The website
simply recalibrates so it fits on
your cell phone."
Fitzgerald said the goal of the
redesign is to make the website
as clear and accessible as possible
in all formats. With the gradual
change in technology over time,
the Michigan Creative team
developed this platform in order
to keep pace with how customers

access the information.
"The website is the front door
of the University of Michigan on
the Internet," Fitzgerald said. "We
refer to it as the gateway because
it's how we envision it: the gateway
to learning about the University of
Michigan on the web. It's through
that website that you can unlock
the door to a world of knowledge
about the University of Michigan."
To improve website functioning,
primary research began in
2011 when the University
teamed up with marketing and
communications firm Lipman
Hearne in order to analyze how
people were navigating the website.
See UPGRADES, Page 10

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