February 9, 2007
Rett Syndrome Reversed in Mice
Rett syndrome, a severe autism spectrum disorder that affects 1 in 10,000 girls, has been successfully reversed in mice. However, researchers are still a long way off from duplicating the results in humans.
“The thing that keeps your feet on the ground with this study is it shows the principle of reversibility, but doesn’t give you any clue about how to accomplish that,” cautioned lead researcher Dr. Adrian Bird, a geneticist at Scotland’s Edinburgh University.
Black Women Have Higher Rates of Premature Birth
New research published in the latest issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics has found that black women are more likely to give birth to premature babies than white women.
The researchers found that black women were three times more likely than their white counterparts to give birth at 20 to 34 weeks of pregnancy, rather than full-term (from 37 to 41 weeks) ... The researchers controlled for socioeconomic factors, such as maternal age and economic status, Muglia said.
Children Who Sleep More Weigh Less
A new study published in the journal Child Development has found that children who get more sleep are less likely to be overweight than kids who skimp on shuteye.
"Our study adds to the growing literature about the connection between sleep and weight," said Emily Snell, the study's lead author and a doctoral student in Northwestern's department of human development and social policy. "Other studies have found that sleep and weight are related in adults and kids, but it's not clear if sleep affects weight, or vice versa. We accounted for that by factoring in how much the kids already weighed," Snell said.
Fertility Treatments Increase Risk of Birth Defects
A new study out of Canada has found that babies conceived with the help of fertility treatments have an elevated risk of birth defects.
Nearly 3 percent of ART babies had a birth defect versus just under 2 percent for babies conceived naturally. That translated to a 58 percent greater risk. The chances of a defect rose as the complexity of reproductive help did _ they were highest for IVF and lowest for simply giving medications to spur a woman's ovaries to make more eggs.
1 in 150 Children in United States Has Autism
New research reveals the shocking statistic that 1 in 150 children in the United States has autism or a related disorder. Researchers still do not know what is causing so many cases.
... the sheer number of children apparently affected -- 560,000 nationwide if the new statistics are extrapolated to all 50 states -- makes autism an "urgent public health issue" and a "major public health concern," said Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, chief of the developmental disabilities branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which conducted the survey.
February 7, 2007
Child Suicide Rates Rising
Child suicide rates are rising and government experts say it may be because antidepressant use in kids on the decline. Ironically, antidepressants have been found to increase suicide risk in children and teens. So which is correct?
"It's something that we want to look a little bit closer into," Crosby said. "It's probably too early to say" if declining use of antidepressants had anything to do with it, he said.
I would like to see what the suicide rates among children were like 50 years ago compared to today.
February 1, 2007
Nine Children Die of Flu in Alabama
Health officials are concerned after reports that nine children have died of flu in Alabama. This is an unusually high number. The children were infected with regular seasonal flu but their symptoms were severe.
"These kids are presenting with an ARDS-like syndrome," he said. Acute respiratory distress syndrome usually only occurs with severe infections, and is not normally a symptom of influenza.
January 26, 2007
Children Living Near Freeways Risk Poor Lung Development
According to a report in the latest online edition of the Lancet, children who grow up near freeways and a large amount of car and truck exhaust not only have higher rates of asthma, but they may also suffer from underdeveloped lungs.
"Exposure from tailpipe emissions from motor vehicles potentially carries chronic health risks to children's lung development," said lead researcher W. James Gauderman, an assistant professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. "We found that kids who live closer to freeways had significantly less lung capacity, compared with kids who lived further from freeways."