Author Interviews, Depression, Eating Disorders, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics / 13.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_41117" align="alignleft" width="174"]Tracy Vaillancourt, Ph.D. Full Professor and Canada Research Chair Children’s Mental Health and Violence Prevention Counselling Psychology, Faculty of Education  School of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences  University of Ottawa Dr. Vaillancourt[/caption] Tracy Vaillancourt, Ph.D. Full Professor and Canada Research Chair Children’s Mental Health and Violence Prevention Counselling Psychology, Faculty of Education School of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences University of Ottawa MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Although there have been a few studies that have looked at the relation between being bullied and disordered eating, most studies have looked at it from the perspective of does being bullied lead to disordered eating and does depressive symptoms mediate (i.e., explain) the link. We wanted to look more closely at how bullying, disordered eating, and depression were related over time among teenagers by examining all possible pathways. Another novel aspect of our study was the focus on disordered eating behaviour only (e.g., vomiting, using diet pills, binge eating). Most previous work has examined behaviour and thoughts together, but because disordered eating thoughts are so common (termed normative discontent; e.g., fear of fat, dissatisfaction with body shape or size), particularly among girls and women, we wanted to focus on behaviour, which is more problematic in terms of physical and psychiatric health.
Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 11.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_41081" align="alignleft" width="133"]Jiook Cha, PhD Assistant Professor Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry  Columbia University Medical Center  New York, NY 10032 Dr. Jiook Cha[/caption] Jiook Cha, PhD Assistant Professor Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Columbia University Medical Center New York, NY 10032 MedicalResearch.com: What did we already know about the connection between maternal SSRI use during pregnancy and infant brain development, and how do the current study findings add to our understanding? What’s new/surprising here and why does it matter for mothers and babies? Response: Prior studies have shown mixed results in terms of the associations between maternal SRI use during pregnancy and offspring’s brain and cognitive development. Neurobiological studies with animal models suggest that SSRI use perturbs serotonin signaling and that this has important effects on cognitive development (a study conducted an author of this paper, Jay Gingrich, MD, PhD: Ansorge et al., 2004, Science). The human literature has been more mixed in terms of the associations of prenatal exposure to SSRI with brain and cognitive development. In our study, we used neonatal brain imaging because this is a direct, non-invasive method to test associations between SSRI use and brain development at an early developmental stage, limiting the effects of the post-natal environment. In our study, we had two different control groups, that is, a non-depressed SSRI-free group (healthy controls), and depressed but SSRI-free (SSRI controls) group. Also, in our study we used rigorous imaging analytics that significantly improve the quantitative nature of MR-derived signals from the brain structure using two of the nation’s fastest supercomputers (Argonne National Laboratory and Texas Advanced Computing Center) and allows robust reconstruction of brain’s grey and white matter structure in the infants’ brains. We report a significant association of prenatal exposure to SSRI with a volume increases within many brain areas, including the amygdala and insula cortex, and an increase in white matter connection strength between the amygdala and insular cortex. We were surprised by the magnitude of the effects (or the statistical effect size), compared with other brain imaging studies in psychiatry with children or adults’ brains. Importantly, it should be noted that our estimates of brain structure are still experimental and for research-purpose only. This means that our data need to be replicated and rigorously tested against confounders in order to make a firm conclusion. While our study suggests a “potential” association between prenatal exposure to SSRI and a change in fetal or infant brain development, we still need more research.  tracts_in_the_brain
Author Interviews, Global Health, Infections, Pediatrics / 10.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_41113" align="alignleft" width="200"]Howard Burditt / Reuters The rats have been used to to detect land mines in Africa. Howard Burditt / Reuters
The rats have been used to to detect land mines in Africa.[/caption] Georgies Mgode PhD Sokoine University of Agriculture Pest Management Centre African Centre of Excellence for Innovative Rodent Pest Management and Biosensor Technology Development Morogoro, Tanzania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The background of this study is the APOPO and Sokoine University of Agriculture together with NIMR and NTLP interest to explore a cheap, reliable and sustainable means of addressing TB problem in high-burden countries with limited access to advanced sensitive tests. This refers to countries where to-date TB diagnosis is mainly by microscopy that is less sensitive leaving majority of patients undetected. We were driven to explore how these rats can contribute to diagnosis of TB in children that is known to be difficult and rats are known to have a better and advanced sense of smell. According to WHO " an estimated 1 million children became ill with TB and 250 000 children died of TB in 2016 and the actual burden of TB in children is likely higher given the challenge in diagnosing childhood TB. 
Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 09.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_41072" align="alignleft" width="200"]Claudia I. Lugo-Candelas, PhD Postdoctoral Research Fellow Columbia University Medical Center/ New York State Psychiatric Institute Dr. Lugo-Candelas[/caption] Claudia I. Lugo-Candelas, PhD Postdoctoral Research Fellow Columbia University Medical Center/ New York State Psychiatric Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We have seen, in the last decade, an increase in the amount of mothers being prescribed SSRIs during pregnancy. While we know that untreated prenatal maternal depression has adverse consequences for both the mother and child, it’s not really clear what, if any, are the consequences of prenatal SSRI exposure on infant’s brain development. There have been some studies finding increased depression and anxiety in children prenatally exposed to SSRIs, but not all studies find these associations. We thus looked at 2-4 week old infants’ brains, using neuroimaging.  We found increased gray matter volume within the amygdala and insula, and increased white matter connectivity between these two structures in infants prenatally exposed to SSRIs. Of note, the statistical significance and the size of the effects we detected are quite large, even greater than the brain changes that we usually observe in our studies of children and adults with psychiatric disorders. Further, because these structures are involved in emotion processing, and alterations in volume and connectivity are sometimes seen in clinical populations, or in people at risk for anxiety, it important to learn more about what these volume and connectivity differences could mean for these infants.
Author Interviews, Diabetes, NEJM, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 05.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_40992" align="alignleft" width="166"]Lise Geisler Bjerregaard PhD Dr. Geisler Bjerregaard[/caption] Lise Geisler Bjerregaard PhD Postdoc, PhD, M.Sc. Public Health Center for Klinisk Forskning og Sygdomsforebyggelse/ Center for Clinical Research and Disease Prevention Sektion for Klinisk Epidemiologi Frederiksberg Hospital, Frederiksberg MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Being overweight in childhood and early adulthood is associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in adulthood. We wanted to know whether or not remission of overweight before early adulthood can reduce the risks of type 2 diabetes later in life. We studied the associations between different combinations of weight status in childhood, adolescence and early adulthood, and later development of type 2 diabetes. We found that men who had been overweight at 7 years of age but normalised weight by age 13 years and were normal weight as young men had similar risks of type 2 diabetes as men who were never overweight. Men who normalised weight between age 13 years and early adulthood had increased risks of type 2 diabetes, but lower risks than men who were overweight at all ages. 
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 03.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_40962" align="alignleft" width="348"]Julie Mansfield straps a doll into a car seat. Rear-facing car seats are known to protect children in front and side impact crashes, but are rarely discussed in terms of rear-impact collisions. In a new study, researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center explored the effectiveness of rear-facing car seats in rear-impact accidents by conducting crash tests with different car seat types and features. Julie Mansfield straps a doll into a car seat. Rear-facing car seats are known to protect children in front and side impact crashes, but are rarely discussed in terms of rear-impact collisions. In a new study, researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center explored the effectiveness of rear-facing car seats in rear-impact accidents by conducting crash tests with different car seat types and features . It is important to make sure what the impact would be if someone was in a car accident. Accidents do, unfortunately, happen. If the seat you're isn't up to the right standards then you could be putting your child at greater risk! Regardless whether you're in your car or in an Uber, if you find yourself needing help in the case your child seat gives way in the event of an incident with Uber then looking into a uber accident attorney is the next step. Like wise, if you're on your own in you car, you are going to want to contact the manufacturer of the seat for further information and see if you're entitle to compensation. Which is why it is a good idea to make sure that you have the right sort of car insurance for you and your car. You can compare car insurance here if you are unsure about what you can get. [/caption] Julie Mansfield, Lead author Research engineer Injury Biomechanics Research Center Ohio State College of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Parents and caregivers often understand that a rear-facing car seat will support the head, neck, and spine during frontal impacts. In frontal impacts, the child will simply be cradled and supported by the shell of the car seat as crash forces “pull” the child toward the front of the vehicle. However, caregivers often ask how a rear-facing car seat would work if the vehicle is struck from behind. In that case, crash forces might “pull” the occupant toward the rear of the vehicle. In this case, they wonder whether the head and neck of the rear-facing child would be supported. Injuries to children in rear impact crashes are fairly rare. However, we wanted to run some crash tests so we could see exactly what was happening in these scenarios. With these data, we can better explain to caregivers how rear-facing car seats work in this type of crash. We exposed four different models of rear-facing car seats to a moderate severity rear-impact crash pulse. All were installed on a recent model year vehicle seat. We used crash test dummies representing a one-year-old child and a three-year-old child. We found that the rear-facing car seats protected the crash test dummy well when exposed to a typical rear impact. The car seats supported the child throughout the crash and still did their job to keep the head, neck, and spine aligned. A lot of the crash energy was absorbed through the car seat interacting with the vehicle seat, so that reduced the amount of energy transferred into the occupant. This is important in preventing injuries.
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Pediatrics, Sexual Health / 02.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_40905" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr. Xiangming Fang, PhD Associate professor of Health Management and Policy School of Public Health Georgia State University Dr. Xiangming Fang[/caption] Dr. Xiangming Fang, PhD Associate professor of Health Management and Policy School of Public Health Georgia State University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Child sexual abuse is a serious public health problem in the United States. The estimated prevalence rates of exposure to child sexual abuse by 18 years old are 26.6 percent for U.S. girls and 5.1 percent for U.S. boys. The effects of child sexual abuse include increased risk for development of severe mental, physical and behavioral health disorders; sexually transmitted diseases; self-inflicted injury, substance abuse and violence; and subsequent victimization and criminal offending.
Author Interviews, Dental Research, Pediatrics, Sugar / 29.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Caries” by COM SALUD Agencia de comunicación is licensed under CC BY 2.0Teresa A. Marshall, PhD Professor in the Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry University of Iowa College of Dentistry Iowa City MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Dental caries is a process during which oral bacteria ferment carbohydrates to produce acid. The acid demineralizes enamel and/or dentin at the tooth surface leading to white spots and eventually cavitation in the tooth. Added sugars – those not naturally present in foods or beverages, but rather added during processing – are the primary type of carbohydrate associated with caries. Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs; beverages with added sugars) are the food/beverage category most associated with dental caries. Historically, fluoride has protected against caries through remineralization of the enamel. However, there has been some question as to whether fluoride’s ability to protect against caries is overwhelmed by the quantity of added sugars currently consumed. Oral hygiene behaviors – brushing and flossing – are thought protect against caries by disrupting the oral bacteria on the tooth. Most studies have investigated dietary factors and caries during early childhood, with less attention paid to caries during adolescence. Our objective was to identify associations between longitudinal beverage intakes and adolescent caries experience, while also considering fluoride intake and tooth brushing behaviors. We followed a group of children from birth through age 17 years; during this time period, we looked at their beverage intakes, fluoride intakes and brushing behaviors every 3-6 months. We calculated their average milk, 100% juice, SSB, water/water-based beverage and fluoride intakes from 6 months through 17 years, and daily tooth brushing from 1 through 17 years.
Author Interviews, Opiods, Pediatrics / 28.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: http://www.phc4.org/reports/researchbriefs/neonatal/17/ Joe Martin Executive Director PA Health Care Cost Containment Council Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Harrisburg, PA 17101 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Several years ago, our agency noted that while mortality data for opioid addition was being reported, it did not include hospitalizations where death did not occur.  We believed our agency could make a valuable contribution to the data by beginning to report that.  We began with adults hospitalized in PA for opioid addiction, and supplemented that over time with reporting about maternity cases and newborns. Today’s report covers babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome.
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Pediatrics, Toxin Research / 26.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_40792" align="alignleft" width="125"]Dr. Hernan F. Gomez MD Department of Emergency Medicine, Hurley Medical Center, Flint, MI Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI  Dr. Gomez[/caption] Dr. Hernan F. Gomez MD Department of Emergency Medicine, Hurley Medical Center Flint, MI Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI  MedicalResearch.com: Why did you decide to do this study? Response: Although the Flint water crisis drew recent, national attention to childhood lead exposure, environmental lead exposure has been a longtime, widespread problem in the United States. I have recollections of far higher blood lead levels in children during my training as a young pediatrician in an economically challenged city with roughly the same population as Flint. As a medical toxicologist I have not seen any children with lead levels requiring medical treatment in years. The last time a child required inpatient chelation treatment for elevated lead levels in Flint was during the 1980s.
Author Interviews, Global Health, JAMA, Pediatrics / 26.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_40654" align="alignleft" width="133"]Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite, PhD Dr. Braithwaite is founding director of the Australian Institute of Health Innovation at Macquarie University and Chief Investigator of the just-published CareTrack Kids Study the largest study of the quality of care to children ever undertaken. Prof. Braithwaite[/caption] Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite, PhD Dr. Braithwaite is founding director of the Australian Institute of Health Innovation at Macquarie University and Chief Investigator of the just-published CareTrack Kids Study the largest study of the quality of care to children ever undertaken. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: While seeking to improve health outcomes for patients, there has been substantial investment in developing clinical practice guidelines, to support the delivery of evidence-based healthcare. Prior to the CareTrack Kids study, little was known about the level of adherence to clinical practice guidelines for the care of Australian children. Our study examined care provided to children under 16 years of age treated for 17 important clinical conditions, such as asthma or fever, to assess adherence to these guidelines. We surveyed over 6500 medical records in four clinical settings (general practices; paediatricians offices; hospital emergency departments; and hospital inpatient wards) in South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland, and assessed visits during 2012 and 2013. 
Abuse and Neglect, Accidents & Violence, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Pediatrics, PLoS / 21.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_40688" align="alignleft" width="145"]Neha Bairoliya, Ph.D. Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies Cambridge, MA 02138 Dr. Bairoliya[/caption] Neha Bairoliya, Ph.D. Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies Cambridge, MA 02138 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: While the high prevalence of preterm births and its impact on infant mortality in the US have been widely acknowledged, recent data suggest that even full-term births in the US face substantially higher mortality risks compared to European countries with low infant mortality rates. In this paper, we use the most recent birth records in the US to more closely analyze the primary causes underlying mortality rates among full-term births. We show that infants born full-term in the US face 50%-200% higher risks of infant mortality compared to leading European countries. The two main drivers of these high relative risks are increased risk of mortality due to congenital malformations, which patients cannot really do much about other than ensuring adequate screening during pregnancy, and high risk of sudden unexpected deaths in infancy, which should largely be preventable through appropriate sleeping arrangements. While we do not have data on actual sleeping arrangements from our study, other data sources suggest that a substantial number of babies continue to sleep on their tummy; we also found a shockingly large number of babies dying from suffocation, which suggests that parents either use covers that are not safe, or let children sleep in their own beds.
ADHD, Author Interviews, Brain Injury, JAMA, Pediatrics / 20.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Megan E. Narad, PhD Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center | CCHMC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous research has shown that children with a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI) demonstrate difficulties with attention following injury; however, most studies only follow children 2-3 years after injury. Our study followed a group of children with a history of TBI 7-10 years after injury. The main finding is that those with severe TBI were at greater risk for developing secondary attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (SADHD) than those with orthopedic injury; however, it should also be noted that kids with less severe injuries were also at risk of developing SADHD. In addition to injury severity, environmental factors (maternal education and family functioning) also played a role in SADHD development. It should also be noted that a number of kids developed SADHD >3.5 years after injury suggesting that these difficulties may not surface until many years after injury.
Author Interviews, Orthopedics, Pediatrics / 19.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_40632" align="alignleft" width="200"]Baron  Lonner, MD Professor of Orthopaedics Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Dr. Lonner[/caption] Baron  Lonner, MD Professor of Orthopaedics Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: 2-3% of adolescents have idiopathic scoliosis and 1 in 10 of these individuals will require surgery to correct severe scoliosis which if left untreated can lead to back pain and disability as well as pulmonary (breathing) problems later in life. For the adolescent with curvatures that require surgical treatment, body image and self esteem are big issues as they are for all adolescents going through their developmental stages. Scoliosis has an impact on body shape, which is seen by the affected individual looking in the mirror as well as by their peers and those around them. This can lead to self esteem and body image disturbance issues. We set out to explore the body shape distortions that occur with scoliosis, that are not depicted by x-rays that are standardly used to assess curvatures of the spine, and the improvements in parameters of body shape that occur with corrective surgery. We can assess body shape directly through surface topography imaging, that is light-based, thus, not involving x-ray exposure. This technology (Diers Formetrics) uses the same scientific methodology that is used to create modern topographical maps through satellite imagery. We found dramatic improvements in body shape asymmetry with surgery that correlated with some improvements in quality of life for the adolescent in this cohort of 23 patients as well as with the improvements in curvatures evaluated by x-rays. 
Allergies, Author Interviews, Dermatology, Inflammation, Pediatrics / 07.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: elstarNidhi Malhotra PhD Boston Children's Hospital Division of Allergy and Immunology Senior Scientist at Elstar Therapeutics Inc. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Allergies such as Atopic Dermatitis (AD) are rampant in the industrialized nations. Why are we more predisposed to developing hypersensitive reactions to innocuous proteins (allergens) is not well understood. To gain better understanding and to develop better therapies, we need to first delve deeper into how our immune system regulates homeostasis in tissues such as skin. The main cell types that thwart inflammatory reactions are known as regulatory T cells. These cells are generated in thymus and reside in secondary lymphoid tissues but they are also prominent at tissue sites such as in dermal layer of skin. In this study, I focused on understanding how Tregs resident in skin are distinct from the Tregs in secondary lymphoid organs such as lymph nodes (LNs). I uncovered that functioning of Tregs in skin is underpinned by a distinct set of genes. One main gene that I found to be highly expressed in skin Tregs but not in LN Tregs is Rora, which encodes for the transcription factor ROR alpha (RORa). This observation was intriguing as previous studies had elucidated the requirement of RORa in the development of inflammatory type-2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) and it has been considered the antagonizing RORa functioning would curb allergic responses. However, I observed that Tregs require RORa to suppress allergic responses. In particular, RORa regulates the expression of a TNF receptor family member DR3, which binds to the cytokine TL1A. TL1A has a role in enhancing suppressive activity of Tregs while also enhancing type-2 cytokine production from ILC2s. Hence, in the absence of DR3 in Tregs, we believe more TL1A is available to ILC2s resulting in unrestrained allergic responses. 
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, JAMA, Pediatrics / 26.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_40257" align="alignleft" width="149"]Sabrina Twilhaar, MS, PhD candidate Child Study Group, sectie Klinische Neuropsychologie Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Sabrina Twilhaar[/caption] Sabrina Twilhaar, MS, PhD candidate Child Study Group, sectie Klinische Neuropsychologie Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: It is well-known that preterm birth has negative consequences for cognitive development. During the early 1990s important progress in neonatal health care resulted in a considerable increase in the survival of preterm infants. Earlier meta-analyses showed large differences in intelligence between very preterm and full-term born children. However, these meta-analyses included mostly studies on children born before 1990. Because of the advances in neonatal health care since that time, it was important to update our knowledge on the outcomes of more recently born preterm infants. We combined the results of 71 studies, together including 7752 very preterm and 5155 full-term born children, and found a difference in intelligence between very preterm and full-term children that was still large. Interestingly, despite advancing neonatal health care, we also found no indication of improvement in the cognitive outcomes of very preterm born children during the period from 1990 to 2008. In addition, we searched for factors that increase the risk for poor cognitive outcomes in these children and we found that children with a chronic lung disease that is amongst others caused by mechanical ventilation of the immature lungs are even more at risk for poor cognitive outcomes.
Author Interviews, Education, Kidney Disease, Pediatrics / 25.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_40249" align="alignleft" width="300"]L-R: Kerry Chen, Anita van Zwieten, Madeleine Didsbury, Germaine Wong L-R: Kerry Chen, Anita van Zwieten, Madeleine Didsbury, Germaine Wong[/caption] Dr. Kerry Chen Centre for Kidney Research, The Kids Research Institute The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney School of Public Health, The University of Sydney Sydney, New South Wales, Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Chronic kidney disease is a major public health issue, with end-stage disease often requiring a combination of complex medication regimens, dialysis and/or transplant surgery. In children, the major causes of CKD are genetic and congenital. The consequences of CKD in children can be long-term and debilitating especially as they transition into adulthood, affecting their physical, intellectual and emotional well-being. To better understand these changes, the Kids Health and Wealth Study (KCAD) is the largest longitudinal cohort study of children and adolescents with CKD in Australia and New Zealand. Spread across 5 paediatric nephrology centres so far, the KCAD Study takes a life-course approach to collecting and analysing data pertaining to the interactions between reduced renal function and associated clinical, socio-economic, quality of life, psychological, cognitive and educational outcomes in children, especially as they progress in CKD stage and also as they transition into adulthood.
Author Interviews, Education, Infections, Pediatrics / 23.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_40224" align="alignleft" width="153"]Ole Köhler-Forsberg, PhD Student Department of Clinical Medicine - Psychosis Research Unit Aarhus University Ole Köhler-Forsberg[/caption] Ole Köhler-Forsberg, PhD Student Department of Clinical Medicine - Psychosis Research Unit Aarhus University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Prior studies have demonstrated that serious illnesses, for example severe infections such as measles, rubella or meningitis, which we vaccinate against, affect the brain and thereby the child's ability to learn. From this we know that illnesses and in particular infections to some degree have an influence on our brains. In this study, we decided to look at how children perform following the less severe infections that many of them frequently experience during their childhood. After all, this is the largest group of children, but this has not been studied previously in such a large population. Basically, we found that among 598,553 Danes born 1987-1997, the less severe infections treated with anti-infective agents during childhood did not affect the child´s ability to perform well in school, nonetheless whether 5, 10 or 15 prescriptions had been prescribed. On the other hand, we found that children who had been admitted to hospital as a result of severe infections had a lower chance of completing 9th grade. The decisive factor is therefore the severity of the disease, but not necessarily the number of sick days.  
Author Interviews, Infections, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 23.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_40153" align="alignleft" width="309"]This illustration provides a 3D graphical representation of a number of Rotavirus virions set against a black background. Note the organism’s characteristic wheel-like appearance, which is visible when viewed under the electron microscope. It’s this morphology that gives the Rotavirus its name, which is derived from the Latin rota, meaning "wheel". Rotaviruses are nonenveloped, double-shelled viruses, making them quite stable in the environment. CDC- PHIL collection: Illustrator: Alissa Eckert, MS This illustration provides a 3D graphical representation of a number of Rotavirus virions set against a black background. Note the organism’s characteristic wheel-like appearance, which is visible when viewed under the electron microscope. It’s this morphology that gives the Rotavirus its name, which is derived from the Latin rota, meaning "wheel". Rotaviruses are nonenveloped, double-shelled viruses, making them quite stable in the environment.
CDC- PHIL collection: Illustrator: Alissa Eckert[/caption] Professor Julie Bines Inaugural Victor and Loti Smorgon Professor of Paediatrics and Deputy Head of Department of Paediatrics University of Melbourne. Murdoch Childrens Research Institute  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain the significance of Rotavirus infections? Diarrhoea is one of the leading causes of child illness and death, and rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhoea. Globally rotaviruses cause approximately 215,000 deaths in children under five years. This disease doesn’t discriminate – it infects children worldwide under the age of five – irrespective of what environment you live in. The rotavirus vaccines that are currently available work very well in places like Australia, the US and Europe but they don’t seem to work as well in low income settings in Africa and Asia where severe gastroenteritis is common and many children die. In a world-first clinical trial conducted in Indonesia, the oral RV3-BB vaccine was administered to babies within their first five days of life. Current rotavirus vaccines can only be administered to children older than six weeks, which leaves newborn babies particularly vulnerable to rotavirus infection. In lower resource settings, birth is often the best contact between mother, baby and health services. The oral RV3-BB vaccine was developed from the human neonatal rotavirus strain RV3 identified in the stool of healthy newborn babies. It does not naturally cause diarrhoea like other rotaviruses. The RV3-BB vaccine program aims to take advantage of the characteristics of this novel strain to target a birth dose vaccination strategy. 
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Columbia, Pediatrics / 22.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “medical marijuana : strains and varieties” by torbakhopper is licensed under CC BY 2.0Professor Deborah Hasin PhD Department of Epidemiology in Psychiatry Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We began to think about this study after we published an earlier report (Hasin et al., The Lancet Psychiatry 2015) showing that after state medical marijuana laws (MML) were passed, U.S. teen marijuana use did not increase compared to the period before the laws were passed and to overall national trends. However, people continued to question whether MML led to teen increases in marijuana use. Therefore, in the present study, we combined findings from 11 large-scale national studies of teens to provide a more definite answer. The findings were clear that teen marijuana use did not increase after passage of medical marijuana laws. Medical marijuana is widely available from stores like kush guys, yet despite this prevalence, there is no conclusive evidence of abuse. Rather the benefits are plain to see.
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 20.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Guoqing Hu, PhD Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics Xiangya School of Public Health Central South University Changsha, Hunan, China    On behalf of the authors MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We've known for some time that suffocation is a leading cause of death for American infants - in fact, it is the cause of over 3/4 of the injury deaths to babies under 12 months of age. We've also known that there are strategies, such as "safe sleeping", that can greatly reduce the risk of a baby suffocating to death. The surprise in our study is that the suffocation rate for infants under 12 months of age appears to be increasing in the United States over the past 15 years. More babies are dying from suffocation today than in the 1990s, and that is a significant public health concern. Think about the implications of each one of those deaths to the infant's parents and loved ones. There are few things more devastating than losing a baby to an unintentional, or "accidental" death. There are ways we can prevent unintentional suffocations, and we need to work together to inform parents and ensure babies are kept safe to reduce those deaths, especially as rates in the US appear to be increasing.
Author Interviews, BMC, Pediatrics, Tobacco / 17.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Summer Sherburne Hawkins, PhD, MS Associate Professor School of Social Work Boston College Summer Sherburne Hawkins, PhD, MS Associate Professor School of Social Work Boston College MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Increasing cigarette taxes has been a major policy driver to decrease smoking, including adolescent smoking, while taxes on other tobacco products have received less attention. Taxes on cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and cigars are all fiscal policies, but they are not all equal. While state taxes on cigarettes have increased substantially over the past decade, there has been little change in policies governing alternative tobacco products. Realsitcally, everyone wants to pay as little tax as they can, which is why Tax software deals are so great for helping people pay the right amount. The aim of our study was to evaluate the impact of chewing tobacco and cigar taxes, cigarette taxes, and the enactment of smoke-free legislation on adolescent male and female use of smokeless tobacco and cigars.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Education, Nutrition, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 13.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Lt. Governor Brown Visits Hamilton Elem_Mid School to Highlight Summer Meals Program” by Maryland GovPics is licensed under CC BY 2.0Peymané Adab, MD University of Birmingham in England MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Childhood obesity is an increasing problem worldwide. In the UK, the proportion of children who are very overweight doubles during the primary school years. Furthermore during this period inequalities emerge. At school entry there is little difference in the likelihood of being overweight between groups. However on leaving primary school, children from minority ethnic groups and those from more deprived, compared to more affluent backgrounds are more likely to be overweight. Excess weight in children is linked with multiple health, emotional and social problems.  As children spend a lot of time at school, it seems intuitive that they are an ideal setting for prevention interventions. Although a number of studies have investigated the evidence for school obesity prevention programmes, the results have been mixed and methodological weaknesses have prevented recommendations being made. As a result we undertook a major high quality trial to evaluate an intervention that had been developed in consultation with parents, teachers and the relevant community. The 12 month programme  had four components. Teachers at participating schools were trained to provide opportunities for regular bursts of physical activity for children, building up to an additional 30 minutes each school day. There was also a workshop each term, where parents came in to cook a healthy meal (breakfast, lunch of dinner) with their children. In conjunction with a local football club, Aston Villa, children participated in a six-week healthy eating and physical activity programme. Finally, parents were provided with information about local family physical activity opportunities. We involved around 1500 year 1 children (aged 5-6 years) from 54 state run primary schools in the West Midlands. At the start of the study, we measured their height and weight and other measures of body fat, asked the children to complete a questionnaire about their wellbeing, to note everything they ate for 24 hours, and to wear an activity monitor that recorded how active they were. After this, the schools were randomised to either receive the programme or not. We then repeated the measures 15 and 30 months later.
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Herpes Viruses, Pediatrics / 12.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_39993" align="alignleft" width="300"]Depicted here, is a close-up of a maculopapular rash that was diagnosed as a crop of chickenpox lesions. Depicted here, is a close-up of a maculopapular rash that was diagnosed as a crop of chickenpox lesions.
"Dew-drop on a rose petal pattern" CDC image[/caption]

Hannah Song, BA Medical studen Harvard Medical School and Jennifer T. Huang, MD Division of Immunology, Dermatology Program Boston Children's Hospital Boston, MA

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Infection with the varicella-zoster virus leads to chickenpox, or primary varicella. The virus then lies dormant and can later reactivate as shingles, or herpes zoster.  Varicella-zoster vaccine is made of an attenuated live virus that prevents most people from getting chicken pox, but rarely can reactivate and cause shingles. There were several pediatric patients who presented to our clinics with shingles/herpes zoster that was localized to one extremity. My hunch was that the extremity where the patients had shingles could be the same limb where they had received vaccination. We called the patient’s pediatricians because pediatricians typically document the extremity where the vaccination is given, and confirmed the theory that shingles in vaccinated children may be more likely to occur at the site of vaccination. Importantly, vaccination may modify the classic appearance of shingles, and you might see pink and red papules and pseudovesicles, rather than classic grouped fluid-filled vesicles on a red base. 
Author Interviews, Hearing Loss, Pediatrics, Technology / 05.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_39835" align="alignleft" width="300"]BruceBlaus - Own work An illustration of a cochlear implant. An illustration of a cochlear implant: Wikipedia image[/caption] Niki Katerina Vavatzanidis MSc Department of Neuropsychology Max Planck Institute for Human and Cognitive Brain Science Leipzig, Germany Technische Universität Dresden, Germany      MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Cochlear implants (CIs) are a way of providing hearing to sensorineural deaf individuals. The implant works by first picking up sounds from the environment and transforming them into an electric signal. Via an array of electrodes the implant then transmits the signal directly to the auditory nerve, which then leads to auditory sensations in the brain. In our study, we were interested to see how language acquisition is affected when language immersion occurs at an untypically late age. Children with cochlear implants that grow up in exclusively or predominantly hearing environments will have their first language encounter at the time of implantation, which nowadays is roughly between the age of one and three. Besides the later starting point in language acquisition, children with CIs are facing a compromised input quality compared to typical hearing. We know from typically hearing children that it is around the age of 14 months that their vocabulary becomes robust enough to react to name violations. That is, when a picture is labelled incorrectly, their brain waves will display with the so-called N400 effect. In our study we were interested whether children with CIs would also show the N400 effect and if so, how many months of hearing experience are necessary. We measured the brain activity of children implanted between the age of one and four at three time points: 12, 18, and 24 months after implant activation. To our surprise, congenitally deaf children whose only language input had been via the cochlear implant already displayed the N400 effect after 12 months of language immersion, i.e. earlier than seen in typically hearing children.  
Author Interviews, Education, JAMA, Pediatrics / 30.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “preschool joy” by kristin :: prairie daze is licensed under CC BY 2.0Arthur J. Reynolds, PhD Institute of Child Development University of Minnesota, Minneapolis  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Educational attainment is the leading social determinant of health. Higher attainment measured by years of education or postsecondary attainment is linked to lower cardiovascular disease risk; lower rates of smoking, diabetes, and hypertension; and higher economic well-being. Evidence on the long-term effects of early childhood programs on educational attainment is mixed. Some studies show impacts on high school graduation but not college attainment, the reverse pattern, or no measurement into adulthood. No studies of large-scale public programs have assessed impacts beyond young adulthood. Whether duration of participation over ages 3 to 9 is linked to mid 30s attainment also has not been investigated.
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Pediatrics, Toxin Research / 26.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Toys” by Holger Zscheyge is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr Andrew Turner Reader in Environmental Science (Biogeochemistry and Toxicology) School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences University of Plymouth, UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The study arose through a larger investigation into hazardous substances in consumer plastics, both old and new. The main finding of the present research was the widespread occurrence of restricted elements in old plastic toys, and in particular cadmium, lead and bromine (the latter an indicator of the presence of flame retardants); in many cases, these elements could migrate from the plastic under conditions simulating the human digestive system.
Author Interviews, CDC, Education, Pediatrics, Sleep Disorders / 26.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “He isn't sleeping, he is mad. When we don't get our way pouting always works (okay.. It's worth a try at least!) #kids #dad #father #family #funny #like #parenting #photooftheday #instaphoto #instacute” by dadblunders is licensed under CC BY 2.0Anne G. Wheaton, Ph.D. Epidemiologist Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division of Population Health Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch Atlanta, GA  30341-3717 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Insufficient sleep among children and adolescents is associated with an increased risk for obesity, diabetes, injuries, poor mental health, and attention and behavior problems. In previous reports, CDC had found that, nationwide, approximately two thirds of U.S. high school students report sleeping <8 hours per night on school nights. CDC conducted this study to provide state-level estimates of short sleep duration on school nights among middle school and high school students using age-specific recommendations from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). AASM has recommended that children aged 6–12 years should regularly sleep 9–12 hours per 24 hours and teenagers aged 13–18 years should sleep 8–10 hours per 24 hours for optimal health.
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Sleep Disorders, Technology / 24.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “social media” by Jessie James is licensed under CC BY 2.0Jean-Philippe Chaput, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Ottawa Research Scientist, Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute Ontario, Canada    MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: No studies to date have examined the association between social media use (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and sleep duration in a representative sample of middle and high school students, who are a vulnerable age group that has reported high levels of social media use and insufficient sleep. Our findings suggest an important association between the use of social media and short sleep duration among student aged 11-20 years. Using social media for at least one hour per day was associated with short sleep duration in a dose-response manner.