Author Interviews, End of Life Care, HIV, Pediatrics, Pediatrics / 03.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maureen E. Lyon PhD Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, Center for Translational Science/Children’s Research Institute, Children’s National The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences Washington, District of Columbia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Despite policy recommendations to include adolescents with chronic and life-limiting conditions in decision-making about their own end-of-life care, barriers continue in clinical practice, including fear of distressing vulnerable adolescents and providers’ beliefs that these conversations are potentially harmful. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 03.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Daniela Posa, MD Department of Paediatric Pneumology & Immunology Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin Berlin, Germany MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Allergy to house dust mites contributes to chronic rhinitis and asthma in hundreds million children and adults worldwide, causing tremendous health and economic burden in high- and middle-income countries. The disease is caused by antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE), it starts in childhood and can be controlled with drugs and allergen avoidance. However, there is no cure, hence primary and secondary prevention of mite allergy is a global research priority. We wanted to discover how allergy to mites starts and evolves and why some children develop more severe sensitization and symptoms than others. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 02.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Malini B. DeSilva, MD, MPH Clinician Investigator HealthPartners Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This is a retrospective study of more than 324,000 live births at seven Vaccine Safety Datalink sites between 2007 and 2013 which showed that the Tdap vaccine in pregnant mothers was not associated with increased risk for microcephaly or other major birth defects in their offspring. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 01.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jennifer Howse, Ph.D. President of the March of Dimes Foundation MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card was created in 2007 to raise awareness of the unfair burden of preterm birth in certain communities and geographic areas in the United States. We also want to monitor progress, or lack of it, towards our goal to lower the national preterm birth rate to 8.1 percent by 2020 and to 5.5 percent by 2030. This year’s Report Card finds that, for the first time in eight years, the nation’s preterm birth rate did not decline – it worsened from 9.57 percent of all live births in 2014 to 9.63 percent in 2015, earning the nation a “C” grade. Seven states -- Arkansas, Connecticut, Idaho, Nebraska, New Mexico, Utah, and Wisconsin – received worse grades this year than last year on the Report Card. The March of Dimes strives for a world where every baby has a fair chance for a full-term pregnancy and a healthy birth, yet this is not the reality for many mothers and babies. The 2016 Report Card shows that babies in this country have different chances of surviving and thriving simply based on the circumstances of their birth. (more…)
ADHD, Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Pediatrics / 01.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Josephine Elia, M.D. Neuroscience Center Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Nemours/Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Glutamate neurotransmission may play an important role in ADHD and other neuropsychiatric disorders. The purpose of this study is to determine the frequency of genetic mutations involving specific genes (GRM network genes) which influence glutamatergic neurotransmission. A total of 23 study sites across the USA enrolled 1,013 children, aged 6-17 years who had been previously diagnosed with ADHD. Saliva samples were submitted to The Center for Applied Genomics (CAG) at CHOP for analysis of mutations of interest. Information on medical history, including other neuropsychiatric diagnoses and family history as well as areas of academic and social concern were also collected. Overall, the mutation frequency was 22%, with a higher prevalence of 25% observed in patients aged 6-12. When compared to mutation negative ADHD patients, the patients with the mutations of interest were more likely to have concerns about anger control and disruptive behaviors. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics, Sleep Disorders, Technology / 01.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Ben Carter PhD Senior Lecturer in Medical Statistics Statistics Editor for the Cochrane Skin Group (Honorary Associate Professor, Nottingham University) Institute of Primary Care and Public Health Cardiff University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study leads from the growing use of mobile and media device use in children. We report the impact of devices leads to poorer sleep outcomes. MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? Response: Using or even merely access to your mobile and media device should be restricted 90 minutes prior to bedtime. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Opiods, Pediatrics / 30.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Julie R Gaither, PhD, MPH, RN Postdoctoral Fellow in Biostatistics Yale School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In light of the prescription opioid epidemic that has affected the adult US population in recent years, our objective with this study was to examine how hospitalization rates for prescription opioid poisonings have changed over time in the pediatric population. In addition, because prescription opioids are thought to be a precursor to illicit opioid use, we examined in older adolescents hospitalization rates for heroin overdose. In all children, we determined whether the poisoning was of an accidental nature or could be attributed to suicidal intent. To address these questions, we used the Kids’ Inpatient Database, a nationally representatives sample of pediatric hospital records released every three years, starting in 1997. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Pediatrics / 26.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rachel H. Farr, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Psychology University of Kentucky MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Controversy continues to surround parenting by lesbian and gay (LG) adults and outcomes for their children. As sexual minority parents increasingly adopt children, longitudinal research about child development, parenting, and family relationships is crucial for informing such debates. This longitudinal study compared outcomes for children, parents, couples, and the overall family system among nearly 100 (N = 96) adoptive families with lesbian, gay, and heterosexual parents at two time points: when children were preschool-age, and approximately 5 years later, when children were in middle childhood. Child outcomes were assessed via parent- and teacher-reported behavior problems, while parent outcomes were assessed via self-reports of parenting stress levels. Couple and family outcomes were evaluated by parent reports of couple adjustment and overall family functioning. (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, Education, Lancet, Pediatrics / 26.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Tony Charman Chair in Clinical Child Psychology King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) Department of Psychology PO77, Henry Wellcome Building De Crespigny Park Denmark Hill London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The study is a follow-up of a treatment trial on which we have previous reported. In the original Preschool Autism Communication Trial (PACT), 152 children aged 2-4 with autism were randomised to receive the 12 month early intervention or treatment as usual. The type of early intervention used in this study focuses specifically on working with parents. Through watching videos of themselves interacting with their child and receiving feedback from therapists, parents are able to enhance their awareness and response to their child’s unusual patterns of communication; they become better able to understand their child and communicate back appropriately in a focused way. Parents take part in 12 therapy sessions over 6 months, followed by monthly support sessions for the next 6 months. In addition, parents agree to do 20-30 minutes per day of planned communication and play activities with the child. The study published today is the follow-up analysis of the same children approximately 6 years after the end of treatment. The main findings are that children who had received the PACT intervention aged 2-4 had less severe overall symptoms six years later, compared to children who only received ’treatment as usual’ (TAU) with improved social communication and reduced repetitive behaviours, although no changes were seen in other areas such as language or anxiety. These findings on an international recognised and blind rated observational measure of autism symptoms were accompanied by improvements in children’s communication with their parents for the intervention group, but no differences in the language scores of children. Additionally, parents in the intervention group reported improvements in peer relationships, social communication and repetitive behaviours. However, there was no significant difference between the two groups on measures of child anxiety, challenging behaviours (eg, conduct/oppositional disorder) or depression. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Primary Care, Yale / 26.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ann Kurth, Ph.D., C.N.M., R.N. USPSTF Task Force member Dean of the Yale School of Nursing MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Breastfeeding is beneficial for both mothers and their babies, with the evidence showing that babies who are breastfed are less likely to get infections such as ear infections, or to develop chronic conditions such as asthma, obesity, and diabetes. For mothers, breastfeeding is associated with a lower risk for breast and ovarian cancer and type 2 diabetes. While breastfeeding rates have been rising in recent decades—with 80 percent of women starting to breastfeed and just over half still doing so at six months—they are still lower than the Healthy People 2020 targets and the Task Force wanted to review the latest evidence around how clinicians can best support breastfeeding.” After balancing the potential benefits and harms, the Task Force found sufficient evidence to continue to recommend interventions during pregnancy and after birth to support breastfeeding. This recommendation includes the same types of interventions the Task Force recommended in 2008, such as education about the benefits of breastfeeding, guidance and encouragement, and practical help for how to breastfeed. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Emergency Care, Pediatrics / 26.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yunru Huang Ph.D. Candidate in epidemiology Department of Pediatrics University of California Davis, Sacramento, CA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Each year, more than 27 million children seek care in emergency departments (EDs) in the United States. Many EDs, however, are not fully equipped with the recommended pediatric supplies and may not have access to the pediatric specialists and resources needed to provide definitive care. As a result, many children receiving treatment in EDs of hospitals with limited pediatric resources are transferred to another hospital’s ED or inpatient unit for admission. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) requires hospitals to make decisions on patient transfer and admission independent of insurance status. That is, the decision to transfer a patient to another hospital for admission should only depend upon clinical factors or the need for specialty services. However, patterns observed in the medical literatures have suggested that a child’s insurance status could be associated with transfer and admission decisions. These studies have been limited to single institutions and/or have been limited to specific conditions._ENREF_14 Whether or not transfer decisions among pediatric patients are related to insurance status has yet to be studied on a national level and across a variety of diagnoses. We used Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project 2012 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample data and sought to investigate the relationships between insurance status and odds of transfer relative to local admission among pediatric patients receiving care in the ED. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, JAMA, Pediatrics / 24.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Roger Zemek, MD, FRCPC Associate Professor, Dept of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, Clinical Research Chair in Pediatric Concussion University of Ottawa Director, Clinical Research Unit Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Ottawa, ON MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Concussion remains a major public health concern in children. Approximately 30% of affected children experience persistent post-concussive symptoms (PPCS) for at least one month post-injury. These symptoms may negatively impact their health related quality of life. Examples may include cognition, memory and attention affecting school attendance and performance, mood and social engagement, as well as physical performance. Prior to this study, there was little evidence that examined the relationship between PPCS and quality of life following concussion. This was important to better understand in order to provide appropriate interventions, expectation management and ultimately a better standard of care to affected patients and their families. (more…)
Author Interviews, Bipolar Disorder, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics, Schizophrenia / 21.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Merete Nordentoft DrMSc Professor, chief Psychiatrist University of Copenhagen Mental Health Centre Copenhagen MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We knew that children born to parents with mental illness had an increased risk for developing a mental disorder them selves, either the same disorder as their parent or another menal disorder. We also knew that some of these children would have pootrt motor function and other difficulties in functioning. However previous studies were smaller, they were not based on a representative sample, and children were at different age. That is the background for The Danish High Risk and Resilience Study-VIA 7, in which a large group of 522 children and their families were thoroughly assessed. The children were seven year old, and 202 had a parent who had schizophrenia, 120 had a parent with bipolar disorder and 200 had parent with neither of these disorders. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Social Issues / 14.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anita P. Barbee, MSSW, Ph.D. Professor and Distinguished University Scholar President-Elect, International Association for Relationship Research Kent School of Social Work University of Louisville Louisville, KY 40292 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In 2010, our team at the University of Louisville with colleagues from Spalding University, were awarded a Tier 2 grant from the Office of Adolescent Health to study innovative teen pregnancy prevention interventions. We assembled a fantastic team of staff, students, community members and twenty three community based organizations to work together collaboratively to recruit and retain close to 1450 youth from the most distressed areas of our metropolitan area in order to conduct a randomized controlled trial. We tested the efficacy of two interventions compared to a control condition. Our reason for this was to see how a new type of teen pregnancy intervention would perform compared to a more typical comprehensive sex education program, Reducing the Risk, which was already on the OAH list of evidence based interventions as well as to a control condition, which focused on community building but had no content on personal self esteem building, healthy relationships, dating violence or sexuality. The new program that was tested was Love Notes. Love Notes is a healthy relationship curriculum that addresses the context of sexual exploration as well as key points in preventing problematic outcomes of sexual activity such as the spread of disease, pregnancy and emotional heartache. The groups of youth that continue to have high rates of pregnancy tend to be disconnected from society through poverty and discrimination (minority and poor youth) or from family as a result of leaving home countries (refugees and immigrants), being removed from their homes due to child abuse or neglect (foster youth) or being rejected from families due to their LGBTQ orientations. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 14.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Chung-Yi Li Department of Public Health College of Medicine National Cheng Kung University Tainan Taiwan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Congenital heart disease is the leading congenital malformation that causes perinatal and infant deaths. However, little information is available about the risk factors, especially modifiable environmental and behavioral factors that may have posed adverse effects on fetal cardiac development. We conducted a nationwide population-based study in Taiwan to further evaluate the potential role of maternal chronic diseases in the risk of developing congenital heart disease in offspring. We found that children of women with several kinds of chronic disease were at elevated risk for congenital heart disease; these diseases included type 1 and type 2 diabetes, hypertension, congenital heart defects, anemia, connective tissue disorders, epilepsy, and mood disorders. (more…)
Author Interviews, Ophthalmology, Pediatrics / 14.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Gail Maconachie PhD and Researcher and Professor Irene Gottlob Professor of Ophthalmology Dept. of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour The University of Leicester Ulverscroft Eye Unit Leicester Royal Infirmary Leicester UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Lazy eye (Amblyopia) affects 3-5% of the population. Treatment usually involves wearing glasses alone for around 18 weeks followed by occlusion of the good eye, usually a patch. Recent studies have shown, using monitors, that children often struggle with patching and patch only about half of what is prescribed. To date, no study has observed how well children with lazy eyes comply with glasses wearing. Glasses wearing is becoming increasingly important in lazy eye treatment as it has been shown to improve vision without other treatments. Therefore observing compliance may help to understand why some children do better with glasses treatment than others. We found in our subjects that adherence to glasses wearing, in children aged 3 to 11 years who are undergoing treatment for a lazy eye, very variable and often poor. We also found that during treatment when only glasses wearing were given, adherence to glasses wearing, along with age and cause of the lazy eye, significantly predicted visual outcomes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Pediatrics / 14.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tuure Kinnunen, MD, PhD Academy Research Fellow School of Medicine, University of Eastern Finland Kuopio, Finland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the immune system destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. It typically manifests in childhood and early adolescence. Diabetes-associated autoantibodies are highly predictive of type 1 diabetes risk and they can be typically detected in the blood of patients even years before the onset of the disease. Follicular helper T cells are a recently described type of immune cells that have a central role in activating B cells, which in turn are responsible for producing antibodies. Since the emergence of autoantibodies is a common feature of type 1 diabetes development, it is plausible that follicular T helper cells have a role in the disease process. This notion is also supported by evidence recently generated in the murine models of type 1 diabetes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, JAMA, Mental Health Research, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 13.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alan S. Brown, M.D., M.P.H. Professor of Psychiatry and Epidemiology Columbia University Medical Center Director, Program in Birth Cohort Studies, Division of Epidemiology New York State Psychiatric Institute  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Maternal use of antidepressants during pregnancy has been increasing.  A previous study from a team that I led in a national birth cohort in Finland showed that mother’s use of a serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant is related to an increased risk of depression in offspring.  We sought to evaluate whether these medications also increased risk of speech/language, scholastic, and motor outcomes in offspring.  We found an increased risk (37% higher risk) of speech/language disorders in offspring of mothers exposed to SSRIs in pregnancy compared to mothers who were depressed during pregnancy but did not take an SSRI during pregnancy. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, CDC, Pediatrics / 12.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Steven A. Sumner, MD, MSc Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention Atlanta GA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In 2014, CDC was invited to Wilmington, Delaware, to conduct a study because the city had been experiencing a high level of homicides and shootings. Our investigation looked at multiple risk factors for youth violence involvement across a wide variety of areas of young people’s lives. For example, youth who had previously experienced a gunshot wound injury were 11 times more likely to later commit a gun crime than youth who had not been similarly injured. Study investigators looked at histories of violence victimization, educational problems, unemployment histories, child welfare experiences, and prior criminal involvement. The more adverse life experiences a young person had, the more likely they were to commit firearm violence. (more…)
Addiction, Alcohol, Pediatrics, Tobacco Research / 12.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Rebecca Lacey, PhD Research Associate Epidemiology & Public Health Institute of Epidemiology & Health Faculty of Pop Health Sciences University College London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We know from previous research that children who experience parental absence, whether due to death, divorce or some other reason, are more likely, on average, to have poorer health in later life. This includes being more likely to smoke and drink as an adult. However, what we didn’t know before we conducted our study was whether children who experienced parental absence were more likely to engage in the early uptake of risky health behaviours in childhood. This is what we looked at in our study. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA, Pediatrics / 12.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Soren Gantt MD, PhD, MPH Investigator, BC Children's Hospital Associate Professor, Department of Infectious and Immunological Diseases (Pediatrics) Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common virus that is usually transmitted through bodily fluids such as saliva, urine, blood, and breast milk, but it can also cause congenital infection (from a pregnant woman to her fetus). While it doesn’t usually cause problems for most children or adults, congenital CMV often causes serious problems. Congenital CMV causes 25 per cent of all childhood hearing loss and it’s the second most common cause of intellectual disability. Without screening, most infected newborns are not diagnosed in time to treat them with antivirals or provide other care that can make a big difference to improving their life-long outcomes. Our study showed that screening programs for congenital CMV infection are cost-effective. We found that the cost of identifying one case of congenital CMV ranges from US$2000 to US$10,000 through universal screening, or US$566 to $2833 through a targeted screening approach. Our model showed that screening programs resulted in a net savings for the health care system of approximately USD$21 to $32 per newborn for universal screening or USD$11-$27 per newborn for targeted screening by reducing lifetime costs for therapies and lost productivity due to CMV-related health problems. This finding addresses a major barrier to implementing CMV screening programs, as costs have often been viewed as an issue. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Cognitive Issues, Depression, Pediatrics / 12.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elizabeth Osuch, M.D. Associate Professor; Rea Chair Department of Psychiatry FEMAP--London Health Sciences Centre London, ON    MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: As a researcher and psychiatrist doing clinical work in youth aged 16-25 with mood and anxiety disorders I often see patients who are depressed and believe that using marijuana (MJ) improves their mood.  Yet they remain depressed.  This was the clinical inspiration for this brain imaging study, where we investigated emerging adults with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).  Subject groups included patients with MDD who did and did not use MJ frequently.  Our results showed that the MDD+MJ group did not have significantly less depression than the MDD alone group, and the brain abnormalities found in MDD were not corrected by MJ use in the MDD+MJ group.  In fact, some of the brain differences were worse with the addition of MJ, while others were just different. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 09.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ameae M. Walker Vice Provost for Academic Personnel Distinguished Teaching Professor Biomedical Sciences School of Medicine University of California, Riverside MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There has previously been some evidence that immune cells in breast milk could pass through the wall of the immature gut, but if active they, like antibodies in milk, were considered likely a form of passive immunity. We now show that in addition to some maternal cells being active in the newborn (i.e. that they do contribute to passive cellular immunity), there are, more importantly, others that go to the thymus where they participate in selection of the neonate’s T cells. In this fashion, the neonate develops cells that recognize antigens against which the mother has been vaccinated – a process we have dubbed maternal educational immunity. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, NYU, Pediatrics, Tobacco, Tobacco Research / 08.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Michael Weitzman MD New York University's College of Global Public Health and The Departments of Pediatrics and Population Health New York University School of Medicine NYU Langone Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is a marked and rapidly increasing epidemic of hookah (waterpipe) use in the US. Hookah use appears to be as, or even more, dangerous than cigarette use. There are data suggesting that one hookah session is comparable to smoking 5 packs of cigarettes in terms of exposure to toxins. The CDC and WHO both have issued warnings that hookah pipe use may eradicate much or all of the progress of the past 50 years of tobacco control efforts. (more…)
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, JAMA, Pediatrics / 07.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Lars W. Andersen MD MPH Department of Emergency Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Boston, Massachusetts Department of Anesthesiology and Research Center for Emergency Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Pediatric in-hospital cardiac arrest continues to carry a very high mortality. Thanks to companies such as AEDLeader, professional healthcare staff are able to obtain relevant equipment to help people in need. The health of patients is the priority of any paramedic or doctor. Given the relative rarity of these events at most centers and the acuity and complexity of cardiac arrest, few randomized trials exist. Moreover, few observational studies have addressed the effectiveness of intra-cardiac arrest interventions, including the use of medications and advanced airway management. This is further highlighted in the current American and international guidelines, which provide limited guidance to providers in regards to advanced airway management during pediatric in-hospital cardiac arrest. The primary objective of our study was to establish whether there is an association between tracheal intubation during in-hospital pediatric cardiac arrest and outcomes. As respiratory failure and hypoxia are common prior to cardiac arrest in children, there is a good rational for early advanced airway management in this population. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics / 06.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Laurie Miller Brotman, PhD Bezos Family Foundation Professor of Early Childhood Development Director, Center for Early Childhood Health and Development Department of Population Health NYU Langone Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Children attending high-poverty schools are often exposed to an accumulation of stressors and adverse childhood experiences that can interfere with optimal mental health and learning. This study examines mental health and academic outcomes through second grade in nearly 800 Black and Latino children who participated in a randomized controlled trial of ParentCorps--a family-centered, school-based intervention in pre-kindergarten. In the original trial, elementary schools with pre-k programs serving primarily Black and Latino children from low-income families were randomized to receive ParentCorps or standard pre-k programming. ParentCorps includes professional development for pre-k and kindergarten teachers on family engagement, social-emotional learning, and behavioral regulation, and a program for families and pre-k students provided over four months at the school by specially trained pre-k teachers and mental health professionals. ParentCorps creates a space for families to come together, reflect on their cultural values and beliefs, and set goals for their children. Parents learn a set of evidence-based strategies and choose which ones fit for their families—such as helping children solve problems and manage strong feelings, reinforcing positive behavior, setting clear rules and expectations, and providing effective consequences for misbehavior. Teachers and parents help children learn social, emotional and behavioral regulation skills such as identifying feeling sad, mad, or scared, calming bodies during stressful situations, paying attention, and solving problems together. This three year follow-up study finds that ParentCorps as an enhancement to pre-k programming in high-poverty schools results in fewer mental health problems (behavioral and emotional problems) and better academic performance through second grade. (more…)
Author Interviews, Bone Density, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Mineral Metabolism, Pediatrics / 06.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alexis Jamie Feuer MD Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics Weill Cornell Medical College MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Osteoporosis is a debilitating disorder characterized by low bone density and increased risk of fractures. Adolescence and young adulthood are critically important times for accruing peak bone density and failure to obtain adequate bone mass by early adulthood may result in future osteoporosis. In children, the use of certain medications can lead to a decrement in the acquisition of bone mass. Past studies have shown that stimulant medications, such as those used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), may slow the rate of linear growth in children. To date, little research has been done to see what effects stimulant use may have on bone density and bone accrual in children. Stimulants exert their effects via activation of the sympathetic nervous system, and as there is mounting evidence that indicates the sympathetic nervous system plays a critical role in the acquisition of bone density, we sought to determine if there is any association between stimulant medication use and bone mass in the pediatric population. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cognitive Issues, Education, Lancet, Leukemia, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics / 04.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yin Ting Cheung, PhD Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Control and Noah D Sabin, MD Department of Diagnostic Imaging St Jude Children's Research Hospital Memphis, TN MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Long-term survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) who are treated with high-dose intravenous methotrexate or intrathecal chemotherapy are at risk for neurocognitive impairment, particularly in cognitive processes such as processing speed, attention and executive function. However, many children who receive these therapies do not experience significant impairments, suggesting the need for biomarkers to identify patients at greatest risk. Prior research from our team demonstrated that, during chemotherapy, patients were at risk for white matter changes in the brain, also known as leukoencephalopathy. No studies documented the persistence or impact of brain leukoencephalopathy in long-term survivors of childhood ALL treated on contemporary chemotherapy-only protocols. In this study, we included prospective neuroimaging from active therapy to long-term follow-up, and comprehensive assessment of brain structural and functional outcomes in long-term survivors of ALL treated with contemporary risk-adapted chemotherapy. We demonstrated that survivors who developed leukoencephalopathy during therapy displayed more neurobehavioral problems at more than 5 years post-diagnosis. Moreover, these survivors also had reduced white matter integrity at long-term follow-up, and these structural abnormalities were concurrently associated with the neurobehavioral problems. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Heart Disease, JACC, Pediatrics / 03.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. James McKinney MD MSc FRCP(C) Division of Cardiology University of British Columbia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is the leading medical cause of death in young athletes. Sporting activity may predispose athletes with underlying cardiovascular conditions to develop life threatening ventricular arrhythmias during physical exercise. Despite being a relatively rare event, the death of a young healthy person is a tragic event that is difficult to comprehend. The prevalence of an underlying cardiovascular disorder in young athletes that predisposes to SCD is approximately 0.3%. Sudden cardiac death is often the first clinical manifestation of an underlying cardiovascular condition; up to 80% of athletes are previously asymptomatic. Pre-participation screening is the systematic practice of medically evaluating athletes for the purpose of identifying (or raising suspicion of) abnormalities that could provoke sudden death. There is agreement amongst sporting and medical bodies that athletes should undergo some form of pre-participation screening. An Achilles’ heel of screening is the significant number of false-positive screens that require subsequent costly secondary testing to rule out disease. Prevention of sudden cardiac death among athletes is a common goal, however the optimal strategy for its achievement is uncertain. (more…)