Singing Enhances Mother-Infant Bond Even When Mom Has PostPartum Depression

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Shannon K. de l’Etoile, Ph.D., MT-BC Associate Dean of Graduate Studies Professor, Music Therapy University of Miami Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music Coral Gables, FL

Dr. de l’Etoile

Shannon K. de l’Etoile, Ph.D., MT-BC
Associate Dean of Graduate Studies
Professor, Music Therapy
University of Miami
Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music
Coral Gables, FL

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Infant-directed (ID) singing allows infants to have emotionally-synchronized interactions with caregivers, during which they gain valuable experience in self-regulation. Maternal depression can disrupt mother-infant interaction, thus hindering infants’ efforts at self-regulation and possibly contributing to a depressed interaction style that can generalize to infant interaction with strangers. Additionally, maternal depression can alter the acoustic parameters of ID singing, such that mothers may not modify musical elements (i.e., tempo and key), to accommodate infant state.

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High Achieving Adolescents Less Likely To Smoke, But More Likely to Drink, Use Pot

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. James Williams
UCL Medical School
UCL
, London, UK

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Despite a downward trend over the last decade in the usage of particular substances amongst adolescents in the UK, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis remain prevalent behaviours in this demographic. These risky health behaviours present a large problem in terms of public health due to the immediate and long-term health problems they cause, as well as negative non-health outcomes such as poor educational attainment and reduced employment.

The role of academic ability in determining patterns of substance use is not clear and no study has evaluated academic ability at age 11 in relation to the onset and persistence of all three substances from early to late adolescence and into young adulthood. Our study sought to determine the association between academic ability and the onset and persistence of substance use in adolescence in a representative sample of English school pupils. This would answer for the first time whether ability was associated with ‘experimentation’ in early adolescence or if the association persists into late adolescence.

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Poor Kids More Likely To Have More Than One Chronic Health Condition

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Christian D. Pulcini, MD, MEd, MPH Pediatric Resident, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Chair, Section on Pediatric Trainees (SOPT) American Academy of Pediatrics

Dr. Christian Pulcini

Christian D. Pulcini, MD, MEd, MPH
Pediatric Resident
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
Chair, Section on Pediatric Trainees (SOPT)
American Academy of Pediatrics

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Poverty influences the well-being of children and adolescents in a negative way. Poor children are often exposed to toxic health stressors, including violence, environmental toxins, and inadequate nutrition. Children in poverty with chronic health conditions also are more likely to have higher rates of secondary disorders and worse outcomes. We studied children with asthma, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), to describe the how much disease and if the children had multiple (comorbid) conditons and how these vary by poverty status.

Parents reported through the National Survey of Children’s Health that asthma and ADHD rose 18% and 44% from 2003-2011/2012, respectively, whereas the lifetime prevalence of ASD rose 32% from 2007-2011/2012 in all income levels. For asthma, the rise was most among the poor at 25.8%. For ADHD, the percent change among the poor was similar, however the rise in autism spectrum disorder was associated with being non-poor. Publicly insured children with asthma, ADHD, and ASD also had a significant higher chance (1.9×, 1.6×, 3.0×, respectively) of having higher more than one chronic condition. In addition, kids who were poor with asthma and ADHD.
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State Same-Sex Marriage Policies Associated With Reduced Adolescent Suicide Attempts

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Julia R.G. Raifman, ScD

Post-doctoral fellow
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents between the ages of 15 and 24 years old in the United States. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents have elevated rates of suicide attempts. In our study, we found that 29% of gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents reported attempting suicide in the past year relative to 6% of heterosexual adolescents.

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Oxytocin Enhances Paternal Bonding With Their Children

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

James K. Rilling, PhD Professor, Anthropology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Science Emory University School of Medicine

Dr. James Rilling

James K. Rilling, PhD
Professor, Anthropology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Science
Emory University School of Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: It has been known for a long time that female mammals experience hormonal changes during pregnancy that prepare them to care for their offspring. More recently, it has been shown that some mammalian males, including humans, can also experience hormonal changes that prepare them to care for their offspring. For example, oxytocin levels can increase in human fathers and studies have shown that oxytocin facilitates paternal physical stimulation, play and emotional synchrony with their children. We examined the effects of intranasal oxytocin on brain function in human fathers. We found that intranasal oxytocin increased activation in brain areas involved with reward and empathy when human fathers viewed pictures of their children, but not unknown children.

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Air Pollution Linked To Millions of Preterm Births

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Chris Malley PhD The Stockholm Environment Institute University of York

Dr. Chris Malley

Chris Malley PhD
The Stockholm Environment Institute
University of York

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: When a baby is born preterm (at less than 37 weeks of gestation, an indicator of premature birth), there is an increased risk of infant death, or long-term physical and neurological disabilities. For example, 965,000 infant deaths in 2013 (35% of all neonatal deaths) have been estimated to be due to preterm birth complications. In 2010, an estimated 14.9 million births were preterm – about 4–5% of the total in some European countries, but up to 15–18% in some African and South Asian countries. The human and economic costs are enormous.

There are many risk factors for preterm birth – from the mother’s age, to illness, to poverty and other social factors. Recent research has suggested that exposure to air pollution could also be a risk factor. Our study quantifies for the first time the global impact of pregnant women’s exposure to outdoor fine particulate matter (PM2.5) by combining data about air pollution in different countries with knowledge about how exposure to different levels of air pollution is associated with preterm birth rates.

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Survival Rates Improving For Very Preterm Infants

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Carla M. Bann, Ph.D. Division of Statistical and Data Sciences RTI International Research Triangle Park, NC

Dr. Carla Bann

Carla M. Bann, Ph.D.
Division of Statistical and Data Sciences
RTI International
Research Triangle Park, NC

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Several medical advances have been made over the past two decades to improve the care and survival of infants born pre-term. However, approaches to care differ greatly among providers for infants born at the limits of viability (22 to 24 weeks gestation), far earlier than the 40 weeks generally expected for a pregnancy to reach full-term. Little is known about the outcomes of these infants, particularly whether those who survive experience significant neurodevelopmental impairments.

RTI served as the data coordinating center for this research that examined the survival and neurodevelopmental impairment at 18-22 months corrected age of over 4,000 infants born at 22 to 24 weeks gestation during 2000 to 2011 at medical centers participating in a national research network funded by the NIH. In this group of babies, infant survival improved over time from survival rates of 30 percent in 2000-2003 to 36 percent in 2008-2011. The proportion of infants who survived without a neurodevelopmental impairment also increased from 16 percent in 2000-2003 to 20 percent in 2008-2011.

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Strong Alcohol Policies Linked to Fewer Young Adults Dying In Car Crashes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Scott E. Hadland, MD, MPH, MS Assistant Professor of Pediatrics | Boston University School of Medicine Urban Health & Advocacy Track Director | Boston Combined Residency Program Boston, MA 02118

Dr. Scott Hadland

Scott E. Hadland, MD, MPH, MS
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Boston University School of Medicine
Urban Health & Advocacy Track Director | Boston Combined Residency Program
Boston, MA 02118

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Studies to date have shown that states’ alcohol laws can help prevent young people from dying in car crashes. However, studies to date have usually only looked at a single policy at once. We wanted to build on these previous studies by looking at the overall effect of multiple alcohol laws acting at once. We also wanted to look at laws not necessarily only targeting drinking and driving among young people, but also policies aimed primarily at adults over 21.

We studied deaths of young people under 21 who were killed in motor vehicle crashes across the United States between 2000 and 2013. We found that one-quarter of all young people died in a crash involving a driver who alcohol level was over the legal limit. One-half died in a crash in which the driver had any level of alcohol in their bloodstream above zero.

We also found that most young people died on evenings and weekends, which is when people are most likely to have been drinking. Importantly, almost half of all young people died in a crash in which they were the passenger, not the driver. In 80% of cases in which they were the passenger, it was actually an adult >21, not a young person, who was driving the vehicle.

We then looked at states’ alcohol laws, and found that the stronger the set of alcohol policies in a state, the lower the likelihood of young people dying in a crash that was alcohol-related. Policies included laws relating to alcohol taxes, alcohol availability and hours of sales, and graduated driver’s licensing for young people, among many others.

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Quadracel™ DTaP-IPV Vaccine Now Available in US

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. David Greenberg MD Vice President, Scientific & Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer Sanofi Pasteur U.S.

Dr. David Greenberg

Dr. David Greenberg MD
Vice President, Scientific & Medical Affairs
and Chief Medical Officer
Sanofi Pasteur U.S. 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the importance of improved vaccination rates in light of recent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases?

Response: It’s imperative. Too many children remain under-vaccinated against serious infectious diseases, and as the CDC reminds us – in addition to our country’s most credible medical associations – immunization is key in helping prevent both sporadic and outbreak-related cases of these diseases.1 In 2015, the CDC reported 6,448 new cases of pertussis in kids younger than 7 years of age, some of which could have potentially been avoided if vaccination completion was better. 2

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Moisturizers Reduce Severity of Eczema

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Esther van Zuuren

Dr. Esther van Zuuren

Esther van Zuuren MD
on behalf of the authors
Department of Dermatology
Leiden University Medical Center
Leiden, Netherlands

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In view of the high prevalence of eczema and the exponential increase in number of clinical trials over recent years, the NIHR designated this clinical topic, emollients and moisturisers for eczema, as a high priority. Widely prescribed as the basis of eczema management the treatment strategy is often supported by a mixed array of reviews and guidelines. Evidence for the effectiveness of emollients and moisturisers is also of variable quality.

Eczema is a chronic skin disorder, the main symptoms being dry skin and intense itching with a significant impact on quality of life. As dry skin is an important feature, moisturisers are a cornerstone of eczema treatment, but there was uncertainty about their efficacy and whether one moisturiser is preferable to another. The main finding of our review is that indeed moisturisers are effective.

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More Talking, Less Machine Noise Important To Infant Brain in NICUs

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Bobbi Pineda, PhD Assistant professor of occupational therapy and of pediatrics Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis

Dr. Bobbi Pineda

Bobbi Pineda, PhD
Assistant professor of occupational therapy and of pediatrics
Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: We published findings in 2014 from a study in which we investigated differences in outcome among preterm infants hospitalized in an open ward NICU compared to those hospitalized in a NICU private room.  In this study, we found that infants who were in the open ward had differences in brain structure by the time they were discharged from the hospital, and by age 2 years they had significantly better language outcomes than those in private rooms.  The study NICU is located in an urban area and cares for families who have a high risk of social challenges, resulting in rates of parent engagement that were not optimal.  However, such findings made us question if the sensory exposure, specifically auditory stimulation, may be significantly reduced in the private room and could explain our findings.

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Moderate Screen Time Didn’t Increase Behavioral Problems in Kids

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Christopher J. Ferguson PhD Professor of Psychology Stetson University

Dr. Christopher Ferguson

Dr. Christopher J. Ferguson PhD
Professor of Psychology
Stetson University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The degree to which screen time influences youth across a variety of behavioral outcomes has been a source of debate and contention for decades. For many years the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended to parents that they allow older children no more than 2 hours of screen time per day. However, this number was never clearly based on good data. And in 2014 one study (Przybylski, 2014 in Pediatrics) suggested that ties between screen time and behavioral outcomes were very weak, and only seen for the most extreme screen users. So I was curious to see if these results would replicate for a large sample of US youth.

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