Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics, Social Issues / 13.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Regina Triplett, M.D., M.S. Developmental Neuroscience Post-Doctoral Research Scholar Department of Neurology Washington University in St. Louis, MO  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?  Response: This is an ongoing, longitudinal, prospective study of 399 pairs of mothers studied throughout pregnancy and their infants, designed to investigate exposure to early life adversity (prenatal poverty and stress) on infant brain development and behavior in early childhood. We examined measures of maternal socioeconomic status including neighborhood factors and stress/mental health during pregnancy in relation to data from infant brain MRI scans conducted in the first weeks after birth. We found that poverty during pregnancy is associated with reduced size and folding of infant brains. We found these associations across the whole brain and not specific to one region. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Pediatrics, Toxin Research / 07.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jeanette Stingone PhD Assistant Professor, Epidemiology Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: Lead is a well-established neurotoxin, particularly when exposure occurs early in life and in childhood. Associations between elevated blood lead levels and lower scores on tests of neurodevelopment and cognition are seen consistently across studies, even when examining lower levels of exposure. While reducing exposure to lead is the primary intervention to prevent these adverse outcomes, there aren’t many interventions designed to support the neurodevelopment of children who have been exposed to lead. Some municipalities consider elevated blood lead levels as a criteria for inclusion in Early Intervention programs. Early Intervention programs are mandated under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and provide services for children younger than 3 years old with disabilities or developmental delays. The objective of this study was to compare 3rd grade standardized test scores among children who had elevated blood lead levels early in life to see if children who had received Early Intervention services performed better on these tests than those who did not receive services. Using matching methods and an existing administrative data linkage of children who were born and attended public school in New York City, we observed that children exposed to lead who received Early Intervention services scored higher on standardized tests in both math and English Language arts than children exposed to lead who did not receive services.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Insomnia, Pediatrics / 17.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Julio Fernandez-Mendoza, PhD, CBSM, DBSM Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Health Sleep Research & Treatment Center Director, Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Is insomnia familial? Response: Consistent research has shown that about 25% of school-age children have insomnia symptoms consisting of difficulties initiating or maintaining sleep. However, what has remained unknown is to what extent those insomnia symptoms persist all the way into adulthood, or whether they developmentally remit (go away with age) as the child grows into adolescence or young adulthood. This is the question that our study focused on. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, OBGYNE, STD / 16.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Irene A. Stafford, M.S., M.D. Associate Professor Associate Program Director Maternal - Fetal Medicine Fellowship Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study? Response: We have observed disproportionately high-rates syphilis in the US over the last several years, and here in Texas. As this is now leading to health alerts in our cities, it is key we bring attention to this infection regarding risks to the pregnant patient and her fetus. Syphilis carries a nearly 40% neonatal mortality rate, so testing and treating is key in preventing this devastating neonatal infection. We need to encourage and offer testing at intake to pregnancy care, and any time a patient desires to be tested for STI.   (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 16.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Izzuddin M Aris, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School Division of Chronic Disease Research Across the Lifecourse Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute Boston, MA MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Puberty is a key stage during child development. Previous research indicates that children in the United States are entering puberty at younger ages. These children may be in danger of developing certain diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, later in life. A better understanding of how early life factors affect puberty development is important for combating earlier puberty onset. . (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 04.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anders Hviid M.Sc.,Dr.Med.Sci. Head of Department (acting), Professor of Pharmacoepidemiology, Department of Epidemiology Research Statens Serum Institut MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: An unusually low number of extremely preterm births have been observed in some countries during the initial covid-19 lockdowns. We speculated that this could be because of fewer infections, reduced activity levels, less stress etc. These are also factors that change with the seasons, and we hypothesized that extremely preterm birth might be associated with seasonality. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, Pediatrics / 07.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Daniel Myran, MD, MPH, CCFP, FRCPC Family and Public Health and Preventive Medicine Physician CIHR Fellow, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute Department of Family Medicine Innovation Fellow University of Ottawa MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Canada legalized recreational, or non-medical, cannabis in October 2018. Canada took phased approach to legalization initially only allowing flower-based cannabis products and oils and after one year permitting the sale of commercial cannabis edibles (e.g. THC containing candies, baked goods, and drinks). In this study we took advantage of this phased roll out of legal cannabis to understand the impact of legalization on cannabis exposures or poisonings in children aged 0-9 years and the contribution of different types of cannabis products to these events. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Pediatrics / 06.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dani Dumitriu, MD, PhD Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (in Psychiatry) The Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology Columbia University, New York MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: A lot of research has focused on the effects of COVID-19 in various vulnerable populations, such as elderly individuals, immunocompromised patients, and individuals with severe comorbidities. However, one vulnerable population that has remained relatively understudied are the infants exposed to maternal COVID-19 disease during pregnancy. While early on in the pandemic we and other groups showed reassuring data on low risk of vertical transmission, meaning the passing of the virus from mother-to-infant is rare, this does not necessarily mean that these infants wouldn't experience long-term consequences related to the maternal infection through other means. We know from other viral illness that maternal illness, most commonly through the activation of her immune system, can lead to a cascade of events that affect fetal development. This is why a large number of physicians and researchers at Columbia University spearheaded the COVID-19 Mother Baby Outcomes (COMBO) Initiative -- to look at potential long-term health effects on both infants and mothers. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Neurology, Pediatrics / 15.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rayyan Raja Zafar BSc. MSc. MRSB. Medical Research Council Doctoral Training Partnership (MRC DTP) PhD Candidate Centre for Psychedelic research & Neuropsychopharmacology Division of Psychiatry Department of Brain Sciences, Faculty of Medicine Professor David Nutt DM, FRCP, FRCPsych, FSB, FMedSci Faculty of Medicine, Department of Brain Sciences The Edmond J Safra Chair in Neuropsychopharmacology Imperial College London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Since 2018 medical cannabis prescription has become legal in the UK for patients to access. In spite of this legal change less than 3 NHS prescriptions have been made available and access to whole-plant medical cannabis products has been restricted largely to private prescriptions with very few clinicians prescribing such products. There has been a lot of anecdotal and real world evidence of the value of whole-plant medical cannabis in children suffering with treatment resistant epilepsy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dental Research, JAMA, Pediatrics, USPSTF / 10.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Cabana, M.D., M.A., M.P.H Professor of Pediatrics Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Physician-in-chief , Children's Hospital at Montefiore Chair of the Department of Pediatrics Albert Einstein College of Medicine Member, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study and recommendation statement?  Response: Dental caries, also known as cavities or tooth decay, is the most common chronic disease in children in the United States and can develop in any child whose teeth have come in. Many young children under five years old do not visit a dentist, so the Task Force reviewed the latest evidence on how primary care clinicians can help prevent tooth decay in young children. The Task Force’s research led to two important findings: all young children whose teeth have come in should have fluoride varnish applied by their clinician, and all children six months and older whose water supply doesn’t contain enough fluoride should receive fluoride supplements. Both approaches can help prevent cavities in kids. The Task Force also determined that there is not enough evidence to recommend for or against screening for tooth decay in the primary care setting for children under five. This is consistent with the Task Force’s 2014 recommendation on dental caries. (more…)
Author Interviews, HPV, Vaccine Studies / 01.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Holly Frost, MD Assistant Professor Pediatrics University of Colorado Anschutz School of Medicine Thersia Sebastian, MD Pediatrics, Denver Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Among children with acute otitis media (AOM) S.pneumoniae, H.influenzae, and M.catarrhalis are the predominant bacterial otopathogens. Historically, the gold standard for diagnosing otopathogens has been through middle ear fluid (MEF) culture. The challenge with MEF culture is that it is time-consuming and requires expert training often only done by specialists, thereby limiting its diagnostic utility to guide routine clinical care. Recent studies have shown that there is a high correlation between nasopharyngeal (NP) and MEF organisms during AOM. It is easier to collect NP swabs and less training is required. Thus, NP samples could serve as a surrogate for detection of otopathogens, potentially making identification of otopathogens practical and feasible in a typical practice environment compared to a MEF collection. Identification of otopathogens could be critical in treatment management of AOM, especially in the era of antimicrobial stewardship efforts to overall reduce unnecessary antibiotic use. Our goal was to compare the sensitivity and specificity of NP PCR to NP culture for common bacteria that cause ear infections.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 28.09.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jonathan Baktari, MD CEO of e7health.com Dr. Baktari, CEO discusses Pfizer’s recent announcement that their vaccine trial for children ages 5-11 has been safe and effective, marking a major milestone in the fight against COVID-19.   MedicalResearch.com: What risks should parents weigh? Response: Pfizer has already said that based on their studies the lower dose two shot COVID vaccine for children is safe, meaning that their data shows minimal side effects. If that data is correct, then we should expect the same minor symptoms we see with teenagers to the COVID vaccine  (more…)
Author Interviews, CMAJ, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Pediatrics / 27.09.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shaun K. Morris MD, MPH, FRCPC, FAAP, DTM&H Divisions of General Pediatrics Clinician-Scientist, Division of Infectious Diseases Division of Infectious Diseases at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) for the Canadian Paediatric Surveillance Program COVID-19 Study Team MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The SARS-CoV-2 virus can cause the disease we now call COVID-19. In early 2020, when the SARS-CoV-2 virus first spread outside of China, it quickly became apparent that cases may be seen in Canada. It was not known at the time how infection with the virus would affect children and youth. Because more severe disease from other respiratory viruses often disproportionally affect the very young, we expected that a similar pattern may be seen with SARS-CoV-2. We also did not know if children and youth with certain underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for more severe disease. Ultimately, this study was designed to get a better understanding of how often children and youth in Canada are hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 infection, how often severe disease happens, and which children or youth may be at higher risk for severe disease.      (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, Emergency Care, JAMA, Pediatrics, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Yale / 17.09.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Destiny Tolliver, MD National Clinician Scholars Program Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, CT 06510-8088 Katherine Nash MD, MHS Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Columbia University Irving Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study was motivated by work from our colleagues in the adult Emergency Medicine world. Earlier this year Dr. Ambrose Wong and colleagues published work describing racial disparities in the physical restraint of adults in the ED. This prompted our group to consider whether these disparities were also present for children. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 28.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Emily Oken MD MPH Professor, Harvard Medical School Professor in the Department of Population Medicine Associate Director and Advisor, Oliver Wendell Holmes Society. Professor, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In this study of over 11,000 mothers and children, we found that a mothers with higher weight in late pregnancy had children with poorer performance on tests of cognition and behavior in childhood and adolescence. The findings are consistent with results from studies in other populations around the world, as well as animal experiments.  This research suggests that maternal nutrition is important for child health over the long-term, and specifically provides support for mothers to try to achieve healthy weight and nutritional status during pregnancy. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 28.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gary A. Smith, MD, DrPH Director, Center for Injury Research and Policy Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus, OH MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Furniture and TV tip-overs are an important source of injury, especially for children younger than 6 years old. Our study found that an estimated 560,200 children younger than 18 years old were treated in U.S. emergency departments for furniture or TV tip-over injuries from 1990 through 2019. In 2019, there were 11,521 injured children, which is an average of one child every 46 minutes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Electronic Records, JAMA, Pediatrics, Primary Care / 09.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lisa Rotenstein, MD, MBA Assistant Medical Director Population Health and Faculty Wellbeing Department of Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our previous work in JAMA Internal Medicine demonstrated significant differences in time spent on the electronic health record (EHR) by specialty, and specifically showed that primary care clinicians spent significantly more total and after-hours time on the EHR than surgical and medical specialty counterparts. Primary care clinicians spent twice as long as surgical colleagues on notes, and received more than twice as many messages from team-mates, five times as many patient messages, and fifteen times as many prescription messages each day. Given these findings, the heavy administrative burden placed on primary care clinicians, and previous data about burnout among primary care clinicians, we wanted to better understand differences in time spent on the EHR among the different types of primary care clinicians. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Pediatrics / 19.06.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lisa Forbes, Ph.D, LPC, NCC Clinical Assistant Professor Counseling Program University of Colorado Denver MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The most common mode of learning in tertiary education is lecture-based learning despite the knowledge that more active, engaged, and flexible approaches to teaching may better support the learning process. This study aimed to understand graduate students’ experiences with a playful pedagogy as an alternative approach to learning. (more…)
Author Interviews, ENT, Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh / 13.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alejandro Hoberman, M.D. Vice Chair of Clinical Research, Division Director, General Academic Pediatrics, and Professor of Pediatrics and Clinical and Translational Science Jack L. Paradise, MD Endowed Professor of Pediatric Research, UPMC Children's Hospital of PittsburghPresident, UPMC Children's Community Pediatrics MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Acute otitis media (AOM) is the most frequently diagnosed illness in children in the United States for which antibiotics are prescribed. Recurrent AOM is the principal indication for tympanostomy-tube placement, the most frequently performed operation in children after the newborn period. Supporting the performance of tympanostomy-tube placement for recurrent acute otitis media has been the commonplace observation, after surgery, of acute otitis media–free periods of varying duration. Counterbalancing this view have been the cost of tympanostomy-tube placement; risks and possible late sequelae of anesthesia in young children; the possible occurrence of refractory tube otorrhea, tube blockage, premature extrusion, or dislocation of the tube into the middle-ear cavity; various structural tympanic membrane sequelae; and the possible development of mild conductive hearing loss. Tempering support for surgery is the progressive reduction in the incidence of acute otitis media that usually accompanies a child’s increasing age. Previous trials of tympanostomy-tube placement for recurrent acute otitis media, all conducted before the introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, have given mixed results and were limited, variously, by small sample size, uncertain validity of diagnoses of acute otitis media determining trial eligibility, short periods of follow-up, and substantial attrition of participants. Official recommendations regarding tympanostomy-tube placement for children with recurrent acute otitis media differ — an otolaryngologic guideline recommends the procedure for children with recurrent acute otitis media, provided that middle-ear effusion is present in at least one ear; a contemporaneous pediatric guideline discusses tympanostomy-tube placement as an “option [that] clinicians may offer.” Given these uncertainties, we undertook the present trial involving children 6 to 35 months of age who had a history of recurrent acute otitis media to determine whether tympanostomy-tube placement, as compared with medical management (comprising episodic antimicrobial treatment, with the option of tympanostomy-tube placement in the event of treatment failure), would result in a greater reduction in the children’s rate of recurrence of acute otitis media during the ensuing 2-year period. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Education, Pediatrics / 16.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jared Bullard MD FRCPC Associate Professor, Departments of Pediatrics & Child Health and Medical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases Max Rady College of Medicine Rady Faculty of Health Sciences Cadham Provincial Laboratory Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Children are well known to transmit epidemic/endemic respiratory viruses like influenza. Initial public health policy was based on that children were likely to transmit SARS-CoV-2 effectively within a community and subsequently in-person school and extracurricular activities were suspended. Initial research did not show a clear association with children driving transmission. The purpose of our study was to take respiratory samples from both children and adults with COVID-19 (all had SARS-CoV-2 detected by RT-PCR) and compare those samples by their ability to grow in cell culture and amount of virus in samples. We took 175 samples from children (97 younger than 10 years of age and 78 between 11-17 years) and compared them to 130 adult samples from the same communities in Manitoba experiencing outbreaks of COVID-19.  (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Brain Cancer - Brain Tumors, Cancer Research, Pediatrics / 10.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gregory K. Friedman, MD Associate Professor Director, Developmental Therapeutics Associate Scientist, O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB Neuro-Oncology Program Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology University of Alabama at Birmingham MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This was a first-in-children trial to test the safety of an immunotherapy using an altered cold-sore virus (herpes virus or HSV-1), G207, infused directly via catheters into progressive or recurrent malignant brain tumors. Due to modifications in G207, the virus does not harm normal cells but can infect and directly kill tumor cells while also stimulating the patient’s own immune system to attack the tumor. We tested G207 at two dose levels alone and when combined with a single low dose of radiation, which was used to increase virus replication and spread throughout the tumor. The research is important because outcomes are very poor for children with progressive malignant brain tumors, and the toxicities caused by current standard therapies are unacceptably high. Therefore, we greatly need effective and less-toxic targeted therapies for children. (more…)