Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 17.06.2024

mom-child-playNavigating the world of sensory play can be both fun and educational for parents and children. Engaging children in simple tactile exercises not only supports their sensory experiences but also aids in their overall development. From the squishy delight of homemade slime to the soothing textures of sand art, these activities offer meaningful ways to develop the tactile system. Incorporating activities like these into your daily routine can be especially beneficial for children requiring additional sensory input. Occupational therapy fine motor activities, such as kneading playdough or molding clay, can significantly improve their fine motor skills while providing a therapeutic, sensory-rich experience. It's important to note that such activities are not only entertaining but also essential for strengthening fine motor control and sensory integration. By exploring various tactile exercises, parents can provide their children with valuable sensory experiences that foster growth and learning. Activities like filling a sandbox or creating DIY slime can be both enjoyable and foundational for their cognitive and physical development. These tactile activities can serve as excellent tools in a child's growth journey, combining playfulness with educational value. Please keep in mind that this is only an informative article and not medical advice; if you need further help, contact a medical expert.

Key Takeaways

  • Tactile exercises enhance sensory experience and overall development.
  • Occupational therapy fine motor activities improve fine motor skills and sensory integration.
  • Simple activities like sand art and DIY slime offer fun, beneficial playtime.
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Author Interviews, Autism, Nature, Pediatrics / 11.04.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Andrey Vyshedskiy, PhD Founder and CEO of ImagiRation LLC Neuroscientist, Boston University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The common intuitive belief is that language comprehension development follows a linear trajectory: children acquire one grammatical rule at a time. Over 20 years ago, Dr. A. Vyshedskiy, predicted that instead of linear development, language should unfold in three steps corresponding to three language comprehension mechanisms of increasing complexity. The study of 31845 autistic individuals, published today in the journal npj Mental Health Research, validates this prediction. The implications of this discovery are reaching far and wide. The traditional definition of language is highly ambiguous. For some philosophers, “language” is equivalent to a “communication system.” Others argue that “language” must be defined more narrowly, in a way that is unique to humans. The results of the new study streamline terminology for describing different language comprehension mechanisms. The ensuing discussion of which language comprehension mechanisms are unique to humans and which are shared with other apes is expected to be most interesting. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics, USPSTF / 26.03.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: James Stevermer, M.D., M.S.P.H. Vice chair for clinical affairs Professor of family and community medicine University of Missouri Medical director of MU Health Care Family Medicine–Callaway Physicians, Dr. Stevermer joined the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force in January 2021. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Child abuse and neglect is a serious problem that affects too many kids and teens across the United States. This type of maltreatment can have a profound effect on their health, development, and well-being, both when they are young and into adulthood. (more…)
Nursing, Pediatrics / 05.03.2024

Have you ever wondered how children with disabilities navigate their journey to empowerment? You're not alone. In today's world, where inclusivity and support are paramount, pediatric nurses play a pivotal role in uplifting these young individuals. We all imagine a world where every child, regardless of their capabilities, can flourish and achieve their maximum potential. Pediatric nurses are the guiding light in this journey, offering personalized care and unwavering support to each child they encounter. From tailored care plans to emotional encouragement, their role encompasses compassion and dedication to improving the lives of these remarkable individuals. pediatric-nursing-childrenThe importance of external support systems becomes even more crucial as the number of children with disabilities and other developmental disorders continues to surge. This trend is apparent in academic settings, where there is a rising number of students with disabilities. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly 7.3 million students with disabilities receive education from public K-12 schools in the U.S. In the midst of this growing trend, pediatric nurses play a vital role in empowering children with disabilities. In this blog, we'll explore the vital support these professionals offer to empower children with disabilities. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Genetic Research, Hearing Loss, Lancet, Pediatrics / 29.01.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Zheng-Yi Chen, D.Phil. Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surger Harvard Medical School Boston, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Would you briefly explain the process and indication Response: This clinical trial is to use gene therapy to treat a type of genetic hearing loss. Genetic hearing loss mainly affects children. One in 600 newborns can have genetic hearing loss. There is no drug treatment for any type of hearing loss except for cochlear implants, which have limitations. This study focuses on a type of genetic hearing loss, DFNB9, due to a missing gene called Otoferlin. Without Otoferlin,  children are born with complete hearing loss and without the capacity to speak. The goal of the trial is to study if gene therapy is safe and efficacious in treating children so they can regain hearing and the ability to speak. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hearing Loss, JAMA, Pediatrics, USPSTF / 28.01.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Li Li, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H Walter M. Seward Professor Chair of Family Medicine Director of population health University of Virginia School of Medicine Editor-in-chief of The BMJ Family Medicine Dr. Li joined the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in January 2021   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Speech and language delays and disorders can be challenging for children and their families and can lead to difficulties with reading and writing as children grow up. The Task Force looked at the evidence on screening for speech and language delays and, unfortunately, there is not enough evidence to tell us whether or not it is helpful to screen all children 5 years old and younger for speech and language delays and disorders. (more…)
Author Interviews, Neurological Disorders, NYU, Pediatrics / 09.01.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Laura Gould, MSc, MA, PT Research Scientist SUDC Registry and Research Collaborative Comprehensive Epilepsy Center Department of Neurology NYU Langone Grossman School of Medicine     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Sudden Unexplained death in childhood (SUDC) is the unexplained death of a child on or after their 1st birthday that remains unexplained after a comprehensive death investigation. About 400 SUDC occur annually between the ages of 1-18, but more than half occur in toddlers, aged 1-4 years. Since most deaths are sleep related and unwitnessed with unremarkable autopsies, mechanisms of deaths have eluded our understanding. Febrile seizures are common in young children; ~ 3% of US children 6 months to 5 years will experience one. SUDC however has been associated with a 10-fold increase in febrile seizures; our study is the first to implicate them at time of death. The SUDC Registry and Research Collaborative (www.sudcrrc.org) at NYU Langone Health has enrolled over 300 cases of unexplained child death; seven with audiovisual recordings from the child’s bedroom during their last sleep period. More than 80% of the cases enrolled in the registry were children 1-4 years at the time of death. The seven cases with videos were aged 13-27 months with normal development and no pathogenic disease-causing variants by whole exome sequencing. (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, JAMA, Pediatrics, Technology / 08.01.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Karen F. Heffler, MD Researcher, Autism Spectrum Disorder Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry Drexel University College of Medicine Philadelphia, PA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? children-watching-tv-pexels-photo-4740522 Response: Atypical sensory processing is common in neurodevelopmental disorders, affecting approximately 60% of children with ADHD and up to 90% of children with autism. Sensory symptoms are associated with hyperactivity, restricted/repetitive behavior, irritability, behavioral problems, and emotional dysregulation. Sensory-related meltdowns and symptoms can be very disruptive to family-life, interfere with family participation in community events and are associated with increased caregiver stress. Prior to this study there was little understanding of potential risk factors for atypical sensory processing. The researchers used data from the National Children’s Study to determine the association between early-life screen time and sensory processing outcomes among toddlers. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hematology, Pain Research, Pediatrics / 10.12.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David Brousseau, MD, MS Chair of Pediatrics Nemours Children’s Health, Delaware and the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited red blood cell disorder – the most common genetic disorder in the United States, affecting about 100,000 Americans (1 of every 365 Black births and 1 of every 16,3000 Hispanic-American births) (source: CDC). Pain is its most common symptom. Patients may experience acute or chronic pain or both. Acute episodes of pain, or pain crises, can vary in duration and severity. Many are treated at home; however when the pain is excruciating and cannot be treated at home, they lead to Emergency Department (ED) visits and even hospitalization. Reducing pain through prompt administration of pain medication in the ED is a core principle of national guidelines for SCD care. However, little data exists on how pain scores and changes in pain scores in the ED are associated with the patient’s disposition and the odds of a return visit. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Lancet, Pediatrics, Vitamin D / 05.12.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Ganmaa Davaasambuu MD PhD Associate Professor Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The crucial role of vitamin D in facilitating calcium absorption from the diet and promoting calcium deposition in bones (known as 'mineralization') has been a long-established understanding. Furthermore, some observational studies have reported an association between low vitamin D levels and a heightened risk of bone fractures in children. This raised the possibility that vitamin D supplements could potentially play a role in decreasing fracture risk in children with initially low baseline levels. However, clinical trials assessing the causal link between low vitamin D status and reduced fracture risk were necessary, and such trials had not been conducted before. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dental Research, Pediatrics, USPSTF / 13.11.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Li Li, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H. The Walter M. Seward Professor and Chair of Family Medicine University of Virginia (UVA) School of Medicine Director of Population Health at UVA Health Dr. Li joined the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in January 2021. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Oral health is an important part of everyone’s overall health and well-being. Recognizing this, the Task Force looked at whether primary care clinicians can play a role in complementing the work of dental professionals to prevent cavities and gum disease. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response:  Our review of the latest available evidence focused on the prevention of cavities for children who are 5 years old and older and do not have any signs or symptoms. After a thorough review, we found that there is not enough evidence to recommend for or against oral health screening and interventions for school-aged children in primary care settings. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Nature, Pediatrics / 01.11.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brenden Tervo-Clemmens, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain Scholar, Institute for Translational Neuroscience University of Minnesota MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:      Both contemporary and historical theories of neurobehavioral development suggest executive functions (EF) mature through adolescence. These are often used in various contexts to try to demarcate the developmental boundaries of the adolescent period. However, the specific maturational timing of executive function, and the independence of various potential executive function subcomponents remain unknown. Building from prior investigations with relatively small datasets or narrow subsets of executive function measures, this work using four independent datasets (N>10,000) and 17 distinct executive function assessments provides a precise charting, multi-assessment investigation, and replication of executive function development from adolescence to adulthood. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 01.11.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anna Rosemarie Yousaf MD CDC: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a rare but serious complication following SARS-CoV-2 infection or COVID-19 illness in children characterized by fever and multiple organ inflammation. This study looks at data from children with MIS-C reported to CDC’s national MIS-C surveillance system and compares the characteristics of children who died to children who survived. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Pediatrics / 26.10.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Neeraj Sood, PhD Verna and Peter Dauterive Hall University Park Campus University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We conducted this study to inform school COVID-19 policies. The main findings are that the median duration of infectivity after a positive COVID-19 test in children is 3 days. The median duration of infectivity does not vary with vaccination.  (more…)
Heart Disease, Pediatrics / 06.10.2023

If you’re a worried or concerned parent looking to learn more about vascular ring, the following guide has information you need. This includes:
  • Vascular ring definition
  • Causes and symptoms
  • How the treatment of vascular ring works
By the end, you’ll be feeling much calmer with your new knowledge.

What Is Vascular Ring?

Vascular ring is a heart defect that’s present from birth. A part of the body’s main artery forms a small ring around the trachea (windpipe) or esophagus (the pipe that connects the throat to the stomach). In some cases, the ring can occur around both the trachea and the esophagus, but this is less common. Compared with other congenital heart defects, vascular ring is one of the rare ones. As of today, vascular rings are incredibly rare and occur in less than 1% of babies. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Pediatrics, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 29.09.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Devon Payne-Sturges, DrPH, MPH, MEngr
Associate Professor
Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health
School of Public Health
University of Maryland, College Park

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

Response: My co-authors and I conducted this study to fill a knowledge gap and to inform the work of Project TENDR. No systematic or scoping review had examined both exposure disparities and the joint effects of combined exposures of environmental neurotoxicants and social disadvantage as they relate to disparities in neurodevelopmental outcomes specifically among children living in the U.S.

Our study is the first to summarize the evidence on 7 neurotoxicants that children in the U.S. are routinely exposed to and we examined both disparities in these exposures and disparities in the effects of those exposures on children’s brain development, cognition, and behavior by race, ethnicity, and economic status.

We reviewed over 200 independent studies spanning five decades from 1974 to 2022 on social disparities in exposure to 7 exemplar neurotoxic chemicals and pollutants, including chemical mixtures, and their relationship with disparities with neurodevelopmental outcomes among children in the U.S.

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Author Interviews, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 03.09.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Robert Eves Research Associate at Universität Bielefeld Honorary research fellow at the University of Warwick Guest researcher at DIW Berlin MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: When an infant is born their birthweight percentile is often calculated. This indicates how big the infant is relative to other infants born at the same gestational age (weeks of pregnancy). In long-term follow-up of at-risk infants, being born below the 10th percentile has been considered a risk factor for later cognitive development. However, we thought that this above or below the 10th percentile cut-off was unlikely to reflect the true association between birthweight percentiles and later cognitive development. First of all, we thought that it was unlikely that there would be a dramatic difference between someone born at the 9th vs. 11th percentile. Secondly, we wanted to determine if there was a point when birthweight percentiles could get too large (i.e is there a Goldilocks effect, maybe you should not be too small but not too big either) (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Infections, Inflammation, Pediatrics / 18.08.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Myrsini Kaforou, PhD Senior Lecturer in Bioinformatics Department of Infectious Disease Imperial College London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:  Children very often present to hospital and clinics with fever, but fever is a non-specific disease symptom. The identification of the cause of fever poses a great challenge for the clinical teams worldwide. The available diagnostic tests are neither quick or accurate enough to fully base decisions on, such as withholding or administering antibiotics. For example, cultures may take days or even weeks to provide a result. In our research group, we are working on novel approach; instead of trying to identify the causative pathogen, which is often inaccurate or impossible, we are studying the genes in the patient's blood that are "switched on" or "switched off" during the infection or the disease in general. Using computational/bioinformatics methods, we are able to identify out of thousands of genes, the combinations of genes, "the biosignatures" for each disease. In the past we had shown that this approach works to distinguish bacterial from viral infection, or tuberculosis disease from other conditions that mimic its symptoms. But with this work we have shown for the first time that a single set of genes, a "single gene panel" can be used to discriminate between 6 broad and/or 18 specific infectious or inflammatory conditions that cause fever in children. (more…)
Author Interviews, Microbiome, Pediatrics, PLoS / 13.08.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sebastian Hunter – M.Sc. student with Dr. Brett Finlay and Dr. Sara Mostafavi University of British Columbia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study started as an exploratory project to evaluate the effects of the early microbiota on infant brain development and emerging cognitive capacities. This arises from the increase research around the gut-brain-microbiome axis and its pursuit to uncover how the microbiome helps in the development of a healthy brain, as the microbiota colonization occurs before most neural systems are fully matured and have been linked to later brain health.. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, USPSTF / 09.08.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:x Wanda K. Nicholson, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A. Senior Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Professor of Prevention and Community Health Milken Institute School of Public Health George Washington University Vice chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Neural tube defects are when a baby’s spinal cord or brain don’t develop properly during pregnancy, which can cause serious complications including disability and death. The good news is that taking folic acid supplements before and during early pregnancy is proven to help prevent this from happening. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, JAMA, Pediatrics / 08.08.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tammy M. Brady, MD, PhD  (she/her/hers) Vice Chair for Clinical Research, Dept of Pediatrics Associate Director, Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Nephrology Medical Director, Pediatric Hypertension Program Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD 21287     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Accurate BP measurement is key to identification and treatment of hypertension which serves ultimately to prevent cardiovascular disease.  Our study describes substantial measurement error that can occur in a common office and home BP measurement scenario: use of a regular cuff size for all individuals regardless of arm size.  Many office triage measurements occur without individualized cuff selection and most home BP devices come with one cuff size – and our study shows that using a regular cuff size for people who have larger arms – those who require a large adult cuff or an extra-large adult cuff – can lead to blood pressure readings that are almost 5 and 20 mmHg greater than their actual BP, respectively.  Those require a small adult cuff can have BP readings that are almost 4 mmHg lower than their actual BP. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Lipids, Pediatrics, USPSTF / 26.07.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Li Li, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H Walter M. Seward Professor Chair of Family Medicine Director of population health University of Virginia School of Medicine Editor-in-chief of The BMJ Family Medicine Dr. Li joined the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in January 2021 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The Task Force reviewed the latest available evidence to evaluate whether screening all children and adolescents who are 20 years old or younger for high cholesterol improves their heart health into adulthood. At this time, there is not enough evidence to determine whether or not screening all kids is beneficial, so we are calling for additional research on the effectiveness of screening and treatment of high cholesterol in kids and teens. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Pediatrics / 21.07.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kazi Albab Hussain Graduate Student (PhD) Specialization: Water Resources Advisor: Professor  Yusong Li, PhD Associate Dean for Faculty and Inclusion MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Microplastics have been detected in various food items and beverages, including table salt, bottled water, fish, and mussels. The extensive use of plastic-based products in food preparation, storage, and handling has raised concerns about the direct release of microplastics. Interestingly, we often discuss microplastics but overlook nanoplastics in the conversation. Due to their smaller size, nanoplastics are harder to be detected. In our study, we wanted to see the release of both microplastics and nanoplastics, as nanoplastics may be even  more toxic than microplastics. Unfortunately, infants and toddlers are particularly vulnerable to the potential health impacts of micro- and nanoplastics. Studies have shown significant ingestion of these particles from polypropylene feeding bottles and silicone-rubber baby teats. We aimed to investigate the release of of micro- and nanoplastics, estimated their exposure for infants and toddlers, and evaluated their cytotoxicity to human embryonic kidney cells. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, JAMA, Pediatrics / 17.07.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Jonathan Davis, MD, Chief of Newborn Medicine Tufts Medical Center and   Jill Maron, MD, MPH Chief of Pediatrics Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The Genomic Medicine for Ill Neonates and Infants (GEMINI) trial was designed to be the first comparative study to explore the diagnostic yield, clinical utility and time to diagnosis between whole genomic sequencing (WGS) and a targeted genomic sequencing panel specifically designed to detect gene disorders that present in early life. GEMINI was a US based study that enrolled 400 hospitalized infants, along with their available parents, suspected of having an undiagnosed genetic diagnosis. Every participant underwent testing on each platform simultaneously, allowing us to better understand the limitations and advantages of each approach. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 26.06.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alex P. Miller, PhD TranSTAR T32 Postdoctoral Fellow Department of Psychiatry Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, MO   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Adolescent cannabis use is increasing in the United States. Prior research suggests that people who start using cannabis earlier are more likely to engage in problematic use and also experience greater mental health challenges and socioeconomic disadvantages overall. For example, children who begin using cannabis early are more likely to have behavioral problems and disorders and are more less likely to complete school. In our study, we used data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, which is following nearly 12,000 kids across the nation to track behavior and brain development as well as health from middle childhood to young adulthood. We looked at what factors are associated with the initiation of cannabis use by age 12-14. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 10.05.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Matthew Greenhawt, MD, MBA, MSc Professor of Pediatrics Section of Allergy and Immunology Director, Food Challenge and Research Unit Children’s Hospital Colorado University of Colorado School of Medicine Anschutz Medical Campus Aurora, CO 80045   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Is the incidence of peanut allergy in toddlers stabilizing with the earlier introduction of peanuts? Response: There exists an urgent unmet medical need for infants and toddlers living with peanut allergy. Peanut allergy affects approximately 2% of U.S. children and has been a growing public health problem over the past 20 years. In fact, the number of kids affected by peanut allergy has tripled in that time span. Peanut allergy is not likely to be naturally outgrown, and reactions can be severe. However, there is hope. There is growing evidence that the allergic immune system is more modifiable early in life. The EPITOPE study evaluated Viaskin Peanut in children ages 1 – 3 years of age. Viaskin Peanut is an investigational epicutaneous immunotherapy (EPIT) product, which uses the skin as a route to desensitize a patient to be less reactive to peanut. This is a daily therapy, worn between the shoulders on the back, which allows for non-oral peanut desensitization, which many parents find highly appealing. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Pediatrics / 19.04.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Larissa K. Samuelson, PhD Professor Developmental Dynamics Lab     School of Psychology; UK 14th for Research Quality Psychology, Psychiatry, and Neuroscience University of East Anglia, United KingdomLarissa K. Samuelson, PhD Professor Developmental Dynamics Lab School of Psychology; UK 14th for Research Quality Psychology, Psychiatry, and Neuroscience University of East Anglia, United Kingdom MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Words direct the attention of infants, children and adults to mentioned objects in the environment. When someone says “Can you find the candy,” you look to the candy sitting on the counter. This fact is the basis of many tests of infant cognition in laboratories. To find out if a child knows the word “bike” we put a picture of a bike and a truck on a TV screen, say the word “bike” and see if they look at the correct object. There is also evidence that words can direct attention even if you don’t know what they mean yet. For example, in studies of learning in the lab novel made up words like “modi” can direct children’s attention to specific features of objects. One particular example of this is the “shape bias”. If a two-year-old is shown a novel object and told a novel name, for example “This is my blicket,” and then asked, “Can you get your blicket” and shown one object that matches the named one in shape and another that is made from the same material, they will attend to the one that matches in shape. Researchers think the naming event “This is my…” cues children to look at things that are the same shape because they already know many names for things in sets that are similar in shape; cups are all cup-shaped, keys are all key-shaped, spoons are all spoon-shaped, etc. Prior research suggests there may be differences in the way children who struggle with language decide what a new word means. For example, children with Developmental Language Disorder do not pay attention to the same things when learning new words as children with typical language development. These children do not look to an object that matches a named exemplar in shape when asked to “get your blicket”. But you can’t diagnose children with DLD until they are 3 or 4. We want to see if we can identify these children earlier, so they can get early support. (more…)
ADHD, Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics, University of Michigan / 18.04.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sean Esteban McCabe, PhD Director, Center for the Study of Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking and Health Department of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences University of Michigan School of Nursing Ann Arbor, MI MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Prescription stimulant therapy for ADHD helps millions of people, including in my own family, and students, friends and colleagues. It's critical to balance the need for access to these medications while reducing the risk for misuse. This is more important than ever now because there have been recent increases in the prescribing of stimulant therapy for ADHD. There is a need to understand the prevalence of stimulant therapy for ADHD and prescription stimulant misuse in U.S. middle and high schools. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 08.03.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anna Roca PhD MRC Unit The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Fajara, The Gambia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Context specific interventions are needed to decrease the high burden of severe neonatal morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. Severe bacterial infections are a main cause of neonatal mortality in the continent. Oral intra-partum azithromycin is a cheap intervention easily scalable. Before embarking on this trial, we conducted a proof-of-concept trial that showed the intervention reduced maternal and neonatal bacterial carriage of the most prevalent bacteria causing neonatal sepsis in the continent. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Nature, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 28.02.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Jessica Miller, PhD Murdoch Children’s Researcher and Professor David Burgner, Murdoch Children’s Group Leader, Infection and Immunity Murdoch Children’s Research Institute Royal Children's Hospital Victoria Australia   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Early reports following the initial COVID-19 lockdowns showed huge variation in changes to preterm birth and stillbirth rates, deeming it difficult to understand the pattern worldwide. It was uncertain if the observed variations were due to differences in study design and methodology, immediate impacts of lockdowns or changes in health service utilization. Previous reports from single populations or facilities were unlikely to be representative of the population and could not be compared across populations. Lockdowns affected health, social and economic factors that could lead to reductions in preterm birth rates. Changes in hygiene practices and abruptions to traffic following lockdown led to alterations in non-COVID infections and air pollution, which are known to trigger inflammation and contribute to preterm birth. Given the uncertainty in the earlier reports, we aimed to conduct a rigorous, standardised analysis using high-quality, total-population data from across the world in order to summarize and compare rates across countries. Our large global study included 52 million births between 2015-2020 from 26 countries and represents one of the first large-scale analyses of birth outcomes during the early months of COVID-19. (more…)