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…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Women's Heart Health / 30.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Melissa C. Bartick, M.D. Assistant Professor of Medicine Department of Medicine, Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge Harvard Medical School, Boston Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There has never been a study that combined maternal and pediatric health outcomes and costs into a single model. My colleague Arnold Reinhold and I had published a pediatric study in 2010, which was widely publicized but needed to be updated. My colleagues and I published a maternal study in 2013. But the two studies had different methodologies, and so the total costs could not be simply added together. Here, we wanted to get a picture of the impact of breastfeeding in the US public health as whole, by creating a single model that combined maternal and pediatric outcomes. That had never been done before. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Lancet, Pediatrics, Surgical Research / 30.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Marjo Renko MD PEDEGO Research Unit University of Oulu Oulu, Finland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: For over a decade there has been suture materials containing antiseptic agent in the market. Trials in adults have shown some possible benefits from these sutures as in some studies they have reduced occurrence of surgical site infections. Only one small study had so far been published in children and thus we decided to carry out a large trial comparing sutures containing triclosan with ordinary ones. Our trial included over 1500 children who came to Oulu University Hospital for surgery. Surgical site infections were carefully monitored. Surgical site infections occurred in 2.6 % of the children who received absorbing sutures containing triclosan while that occurred in 5,4 % of the children who received ordinary sutures. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 29.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Harvey Kaufman MD Quest Diagnostics Madison, New Jersey MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Quest Diagnostics is the leading provider of diagnostic information services, meaning we provide information and insights from our laboratory test services. This includes analyzing results of our laboratory test data in order to provide insights into health, wellness and disease to help providers, patients and health plans make better healthcare decisions. A Quest Diagnostics Health Trends™ study published in the Pediatrics evaluated 276,949 de-identified test results from children ages infant through 9 years over an 11-year period to determine trends in laboratory rotavirus detection and the impact of the rotavirus vaccine on rotavirus detection. Vaccination is recommended for infants. In the study, two patients groups were evaluated for rotavirus vaccine – likely vaccinated (children who were infants after vaccine availability) and unlikely vaccinated (children who were infants prior to vaccine availability). (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 28.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Sarah El-Heis MBBS, MRCP (London) Clinical Research Fellow MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit University of Southampton Southampton General Hospital Southampton MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Atopic eczema is a common, multifactorial and potentially distressing skin condition. Evidence that it partly originates in utero is increasing with some studies suggesting links with aspects of maternal diet during pregnancy. Nicotinamide is a naturally occurring nutrient that is maintained through the dietary intakes of vitamin B3 and tryptophan. As a topical treatment it has been used in the management of some skin conditions including atopic eczema, and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, to stabilise mast cells and to alter lipids in the outer layers of the skin. The objective of our study was to examine the link between maternal serum concentrations of nicotinamide and related tryptophan metabolites to the risk of atopic eczema in the offspring. We found that maternal late pregnancy concentrations of nicotinamide and related metabolite concentrations were not associated with offspring atopic eczema at age 6 months. Higher maternal serum concentrations of nicotinamide and anthranilic acid were, however, associated with a 30% lower risk of eczema at age 12 months. (more…)
Author Interviews, HIV, Pediatrics, PLoS / 28.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kenneth K. Mugwanya MBChB, MS Department of Epidemiology andDepartment of Global Health University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA Division of Disease Control, School of Public Health Makerere University Kampala, Uganda MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Women living in regions with high HIV prevalence are at high risk of HIV acquisition in pregnancy and postpartum because they infrequently use condoms, do not know their partner's HIV status, and have biologic changes or changes in their partner's sexual partnerships that increase susceptibility. Moreover, acute HIV infection during pregnancy or breastfeeding period is associated with high rates of mother-to child HIV transmission because of high circulating level of HIV virus in blood. Oral antiretroviral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a powerful HIV prevention strategy recommended by both the World Health organization and US Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention. PrEP is an attractive prevention strategy for women as it can be used discreetly and independent of sexual partners. However, there is limited research about the safety of PrEP in HIV-uninfected pregnant or breastfeeding mothers and their infants. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 27.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Erik Berg, MD Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care University of Bergen Bergen, Norway MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Parents regularly express concern about long term health outcomes for children born with oral cleft. In this study we used population-based long-term follow-up data from multiple national registries to focus on the future health outcomes of cleft cases without additional chronic medical conditions or congenital anomalies. The study cohort consisted of all individuals born in Norway between 1967 and 1992. All patients treated for clefts in Norway during the study period were invited to participate. 2 337 cases with isolated clefts and 1 413 819 unaffected individuals were followed until 2010. The main outcome variables were conditions diagnosed in childhood or early adulthood, need for social security benefits, and risk of death. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Depression, JAMA, Pediatrics / 21.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Laura P. Richardson, MD, MPH Interim Chief | Division of Adolescent Medicine Director | UW Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) Program Professor | UW Department of Pediatrics Seattle Children's | University of Washington MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Adolescent depression is one of the most common mental health conditions during adolescence. Up to one in five adolescents experience an episode of major depression by age 18. Depressed youth are at greater risk of suicide, dropping out of school and poor long-term health. Treatments, including medications and psychotherapy, have been proven to be effective but most depressed teens don’t receive any treatment. Two years ago, we showed that the Reaching Out to Adolescents in Distress (ROAD) collaborative care model (a.k.a. Reach Out 4 Teens) designed to increase support and the delivery of evidence-based treatments in primary care was effective in treating depression in teens, significantly improving outcomes. We ran a randomized clinical trial at nine of Group Health’s primary care clinics and reported effectiveness results in JAMA. The current paper represents the next step in this work, examining the cost-effectiveness of collaborative care for adolescent depression in our intervention sample of 101 adolescents with depression, ages 13-17 years. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 21.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Robert Boyle Senior lecturer in paediatric allergy honorary consultant, Paediatric allergist Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?   Editors' note: Please discuss food introduction with your child's pediatrician before embarking on any new foods. Response: Food allergy is a common problem which may be getting more common. We have known for over 100 years that feeding egg to animals such as guinea pigs can prevent egg allergy. However randomised trials of allergenic food introduction for preventing food allergy in human infants have not been done until the past 5 years, and have so far yielded mixed results. One trial for peanut allergy was positive, with less peanut allergy in infants who were fed the food from early in life compared with infants who avoided it for 5 years. Other trials have yielded null findings, but may have been too small to yield a conclusive result. We used a technique called meta-analysis to combine the results of all previous trials of timing of allergenic food introduction and risk of food allergy. We also evaluated other allergic and autoimmune diseases. Our analysis yielded conclusive results for both egg and peanut – that early introduction of these foods into an infant’s diet might reduce their risk of egg and peanut allergy by around 40-70%. We were surprised to see null findings in our meta-analysis of timing of gluten or wheat introduction and risk of coeliac disease (gluten intolerance) which is a different type of allergy to egg and peanut allergy. This suggests that early introduction of allergenic foods does not reduce risk of all types of food allergy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, Biomarkers, JAMA, NIH, Pediatrics / 21.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Yong Cheng, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow NIH MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a group of neurodevelopmental disorders which affect about 1 in 68 children in the United States, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is an important moderator in neurodevelopment and neuroplasticity, and studies have suggested the involvement of BDNF in ASD. Although some clinical studies show abnormal expression of BDNF in children with ASD, findings have been inconsistent. Therefore, we undertook a systematic review of the scientific literature, using a meta-analysis to quantitatively summarize clinical data on blood BDNF levels in children with ASD, compared with healthy peers. (more…)
Author Interviews, JCEM, Microbiome, Pediatrics, Weight Research, Yale / 21.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nicola Santoro, MD, PhD Associate Research Scientist in Pediatrics (Endocrinology) Yale University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The study start from previous observations showing an association between the gut microbiota and obesity. Similarly to what previously described in adults and in children, we found an association between the gut microbiota and obesity. We took a step further and also observed that the gut flora is associated to body fat partitioning (amount of fat in the abdomen). Moreover, we observed that the effect of microbiota could be mediated by the short chain fatty acids a product of gut flora. (more…)
Author Interviews, Mayo Clinic, Nutrition, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 17.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David R. Jacobs, Jr., PhD Mayo Professor of Public Health Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health University of Minnesota Minneapolis MN 55454-1075 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Project EAT (Eating and Activity in Teens and Young Adults) is on ongoing longitudinal study which began by screening middle and secondary school students in the Minneapolis and St Paul Metropolitan are. Students were the 11-18 years old (average age 15), then followed up at average ages 20 and 25. We had devised an eating pattern in about 2006, which a) predicts a lot of things in several different studies (including total mortality in the Iowa Women's Health Study) and b) looks a great deal like the recently released 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). We call our diet pattern A Priori Diet Quality Score (APDQS) and think of it as close to or in the style of a Mediterranean/prudent/healthy diet. We hypothesized that this pattern would be associated with lower weight (in general with better long term health, but the focus in Project EAT was weight and BMI), probably least so at age 15. The minimal hypothesized effect in adolescence relates to the very large energy expenditure in adolescent growth years; we thought that diet composition would be less important for body weight at that time than energy intake (and APDQS is about diet composition). (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Social Issues, Toxin Research / 17.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Katherine Ahrens PhD Office of Population Affairs Rockville, MD 20852 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Lead exposure among children is linked to many adverse effects on health and cognitive development, which can be irreversible. The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) has linked 1999 to 2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data to administrative data for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) largest rental assistance programs (1999 through 2014), and these linked data allow calculation of the first-ever national blood lead level estimates among children living in HUD-assisted housing. Here we compare blood lead levels among children 1 to 5 years of age in 2005 to 2012 who received housing assistance during 1999 to 2014 with levels among children who did not receive housing assistance during that period. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, PLoS / 16.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joseph Leigh Simpson, MD FACOG, FACMG President at International Federation of Fertility Societies March of Dimes Foundation White Plains, NY MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Preterm birth (PTB) is the most common single cause of perinatal and infant mortality, affecting 15 million infants worldwide each year with global rates increasing. A total of 1.1 million infants die each year. Preterm births and their complications are the leading cause of deaths in children under age 5. The biological basis of preterm birth remains poorly understood, and for that reason, preventive interventions are often empiric and have only limited benefit. Large differences exist in preterm birth rates across high income countries: 5.5 percent in Sweden and at present 9.6 percent in the U.S. The International Federation of Gynecologists and Obstetricians (FIGO)/March of Dimes Working Group on Preterm Birth Prevention hypothesized that identifying the risk factors underlying these wide variations could lead to interventions that reduce preterm birth in countries having high rates. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA, Pediatrics / 14.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Johanna M. Uitti, MD Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine Turku University Hospital Turku, Finland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: According to several national guidelines, close follow-up is required if initial observation without antimicrobial agents is chosen for the management of acute otitis media (AOM) in children. The aim of this study was to examine whether close follow-up with reexamination is needed for children with AOM initially managed without antimicrobial agents who have symptomatic improvement during the first week after diagnosis, as assessed by their parents. Of the 104 children with symptomatic improvement, 3 (2.9%) developed worse signs or perforation of the tympanic membrane as seen on otoscopy. In contrast, of the 54 children with symptomatic failure, 16 (29.6%) developed worse signs or perforation of the tympanic membrane as seen on otoscopy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer, Cancer Research, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 14.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pooja Rao, MD, MSCE Assistant Professor Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Penn State College of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Although many chemotherapy drugs can cause birth defects, no standardized guidelines exist for pregnancy screening in adolescent female patients with cancer. Additionally, little is known about how often they are screened prior to receiving treatment. Our study found that adolescent girls are not adequately screened for pregnancy prior to receiving chemotherapy or CT scans that could potentially harm a developing fetus. Adolescents with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common childhood cancer, had the lowest pregnancy screening rates of the patients studied. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Pediatrics, Technology / 14.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jesus Pujol, MD Director of the MRI Research Unit. Department of Radiology. Hospital del Mar Barcelona MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The pros and cons of video gaming in children have been extensively debated. There are relevant amounts of data indicating both the positive and negative effects of video games. Nevertheless, a key question for many parents remains unanswered: How long should children play? To provide some clarity, we have investigated the relationship between weekly video game use and certain cognitive abilities and conduct-related problems. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics, Social Issues, UCSF / 12.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Laura M. Gottlieb, MD, MPH Department of Family and Community Medicine, 2Center for Health and Community University of California, San Francisco MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Numerous studies have demonstrated that childhood exposures to social adversities, like family financial insecurity, food insecurity, and housing instability, lead to poorer health outcomes across the life course. These social adversities disproportionately affect low-income and racial minority populations. In response to this evidence there have been calls to address social needs in pediatric clinical care settings. For example, recently the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Task Force on Childhood Poverty endorsed the promotion of evidenced-based strategies to reduce the negative health effects of poverty on low-income children, including by increasing the availability of clinic-based interventions addressing social risks. In response to these calls to action, a growing number of pediatric health care organizations are screening for and address families’ social needs. There is a critical need for more evidence on the effectiveness of these types of interventions. Many of the studies conducted so far have focused primarily on assessing program process outcomes or impacts on families’ social needs, but have not evaluated actual health outcomes resulting from program participation. To our knowledge, this study was the first randomized clinical trial evaluating the impacts of a pediatric social needs navigation program on child health. The reported number of social needs identified at baseline ranged from 0 to 11 out of 14 possible items, with a mean [SD] of 2.7[2.2] needs identified by participating families. Family participation in the navigation program intervention significantly decreased families’ reports of social needs by a mean (SE) of .39(0.13) vs. an increase of a mean (SE) of .22(0.13) in the active control arm. Participation in the navigation program also significantly improved parent-reported overall child health, with a mean (SE) change of -.036(0.05), compared to the active control arm with a mean (SE) change of -0.12(0.05). At 4 months post enrollment, the number of social needs reported by those that participated in the navigation program decreased by a mean (SE) of .39(0.13). (more…)
Asthma, Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Pediatrics / 08.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Olga Gorlanova Wissenschaftliche Assistenzärztin Paediatric Pneumology Research Group Universitäts-Kinderspital beider Base MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Previous research has investigated how childhood asthma and early wheeze can develop as the result of a complex interaction between environmental exposures, such as tobacco exposure, older siblings and an individual’s genetic profile. Genes associated with childhood asthma risk are located on chromosome 17, called 17q21. Our study asked the question: could the effect of 17q21 on respiratory symptoms in infants be modified by breastfeeding? (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 07.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bryan L. Love, PharmD, BCPS-AQ ID Associate Professor Department of Clinical Pharmacy & Outcomes Sciences South Carolina College of Pharmacy University of South Carolina Columbia, South Carolina 29208-0001 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the US, food allergy has become one of the more common childhood medical conditions diagnosed in young children. Antibiotics are frequently prescribed in young children, and research continues to reveal that as many as 30% of antibiotic prescriptions are not appropriate.* We sought to examine if there was an association between antibiotic prescription and food allergy diagnosis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Infections, Pediatrics / 07.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: William Ryan B.V.Sc. Ryan Mitchell Associates LLC Westfield, NJ and Bernard Cohen, MD Professor Dermatology and Ellen Koch, MD Division of Pediatric Dermatology Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: As a group we were concerned about the misinformation that continues to be promulgated on the internet and through other sites. Importantly, the group consisted of experts with specific experience in the management of head louse infestations, from pediatric dermatology, pediatrics, school nursing and head louse research fields. Even information sources that we would have expected to be credible are outdated, unreliable or both, often continuing myths about head louse infestations and how they can be controlled.  We wanted to provide a balanced and informed perspective that would help physicians and parents recognize that head louse infestations do not present a serious problem, and can be well managed with an informed approach to treatment. The main findings are that over the counder products (permethrin/pyrethrins) are unlikely to be effective, and that that there are safe and effective products that are available by prescription. Interestingly, head lice do affect Indian and African children in their home countries, but virtually nonexistent in African Americans in North America. There has been speculation about hair grooming regimen or structure of African American hair but the cause is unknown.  In a study we performed assessing resistance to over the counter pediculicide components over a decade ago in Baltimore, we were not able to find a single African American child with head lice. We were not able to recruit any patients from the Baltimore City Schools. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Infections, Pediatrics / 07.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Alan Irvine DSc Consultant Dermatologist Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Associate Professor of Dermatology Trinity College Dublin MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The background is that atopic dermatitis (AD) has a close relationship with staphylococcus aureus (SA) colonisation, and this is known to drive flares or exacerbations of AD but before our report it was not known which came first-AD colonisation or atopic dermatitis? By following a cohort pf patients very carefully over a 1 year period and regularly sampling their skin microbiome we were able to show that SA colonisation did not precede development of AD and in fact that several non SA species of staphylococcus actually appeared to be protective for developing atopic dermatitis. This is an important new finding in the complex relationship between the microbiome and skin inflammation, suggesting that some commensal bacterial are anti-inflammatory or protective. (more…)