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Synthetic cannabinoid research from local university gets national recognition

Peoria, Ill. - A local university is hitting main stream media for their cutting-edge findings linked to synthetic cannabinoids. 

Synthetic cannabinoids, otherwise knows as "Spice," "K2," or "fake weed" sent hundreds of Central Illinois people to emergency rooms across the region. 

Five months since that outbreak, doctors and medical residents from the University of Illinois College of Medicine of Peoria were able to publish their work in a prestigious medial publication, The New England Journal of Medicine.

"It's a little surreal actually," said Dr. Jonathan Roberts, Bleeding and Clotting Disorders Institute Associate Medical Director and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UICOMP. "It's quite humbling that our work would get this much attention. 

Dr. Michael Tarantino, medical director of BCDI, was also an author. 

More than 150 people reportedly sought out treatment for symptoms across Central Illinois. 

Four people died. 

The school studied 34 patients that checked into OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center, and how Vitamin K was the key to recovery. 

"Really, the reason that we wrote this publication is we wanted to raise awareness and describe, you know, what our experience was and how these patients were treated so that we could help out other people across the country," said Dr. Roberts.

Those involved in the study say it's an honor to have their cutting edge findings published, especially since Central Illinois gets some of the credit.

"It really highlights the hard work and tenacity of the training program that we have here and it's really an honor to contribute to that," said Dr. Roberts.

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