An Australian study suggests that children who are sexually abused, especially if it involves penetration, appear to be at higher risk for developing schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Previous studies have established that abused children are more likely to develop depression, anxiety, substance abuse, borderline personality disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder and suicidal behavior, according to background information in the article. “The possibility of a link between childhood sexual abuse and later psychotic disorders, however, remains unresolved despite the claims of some that a causal link has been established to schizophrenia,” the authors write
Margaret C. Cutajar, D.Psych., M.A.P.S., of Monash University, Victoria, Australia, and colleagues linked data from police and medical examinations of sexual abuse cases to a statewide register of psychiatric cases. Rates of psychiatric disorders among 2,759 individuals who had been sexually abused when younger than age 16 were compared with those among 4,938 individuals in a comparison group drawn from electoral records.
Over a 30-year period, individuals who had experienced childhood sexual abuse had significantly higher rates than those in the comparison group of psychosis overall (2.8 percent vs. 1.4 percent) and schizophrenia disorders (1.9 percent vs. 0.7 percent).
A five-week old infant most likely contracted a vaccine strain of yellow fever virus through breastfeeding, according to a case report published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) (pre-embargo link only)
“Until recently, avoidance of vaccination of breastfeeding women with yellow fever vaccine had been based on theoretical grounds only,” writes Dr. Susan Kuhn, with coauthors. “We report the probable transmission of vaccine strain of yellow fever virus from a mother to her infant through breastfeeding,” which supports current recommendations for breastfeeding mothers to avoid the vaccine.
The yellow fever vaccine is a live-virus vaccine that has been used since the 1940s.
Today, more children than ever survive serious chronic illness. Many thrive as young adults, but a large new study finds that for some, early illness can lead to fewer years of education, more joblessness and lower pay.
The good news is that when they grow up, these kids are just as likely to blossom socially, enjoy romantic relationships and get married as healthy kids, finds the study in the Journal of Adolescent Health online.
Researchers led by Gary Maslow, M.D., looked at two sets of interview data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The more than 13,000 respondents were middle or high school students during the 1994-1995 school year.
Research from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine provides new clues for the compulsive behavior and cognitive defects associated with a rare childhood neurological disease called Lesch-Nyhan Disease (LND). Two pathways found to be defective in LND are known to be associated with other neurodegenerative disease, such as Alzheimer’s and Parknson’s diseases, suggesting common causes of cognitive and behavioral defects in these neurological disorders.
The research is published on-line today in the PLoS ONE.
“This study is important because it opens completely new and unexpected areas of research into the genetic cause of compulsive and self-injurious behavior in Lesch-Nyhan disease,” said principal investigator Theodore Friedmann, MD, professor of pediatrics at UCSD’s Center for Neural Circuit and Behavior and Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, a research and teaching affiliate of the UCSD School of Medicine.
A new Johns Hopkins Children’s Center study challenges the widespread practice of treating premature babies with nitric oxide gas to prevent lung problems, neurological damage and death. The research, based on analysis of 22 major studies of the effect of nitric oxide in babies born before 34 weeks of age, found no evidence of benefit in most infants.
Overall, the Hopkins review found that babies who received nitric oxide in the neonatal intensive care unit didn’t fare any better than those who didn’t. The babies who received the treatment were no less likely to die, develop chronic lung disease of prematurity, suffer cerebral palsy or have neurological or cognitive impairments, the researchers found.
The findings, to appear in the February issue of the journal Pediatrics, point against the routine use of inhaled nitric oxide in all premature babies and call for careful, case-by-case evaluation of each baby’s degree of brain and lung maturation to determine if nitric oxide would help, hurt or do nothing for a patient, the researchers say.
Mayo Clinic researchers studied more than 200 children with epilepsy and found that even if the cause of focal-onset seizures cannot be identified and they do not fit into a known epilepsy syndrome, long-term prognosis is still excellent. This study was presented at the American Epilepsy Society’s (http://www.aesnet.org/) annual meeting in San Antonio on Dec. 4.
Epilepsy (http://www.mayoclinic.org/epilepsy/) is a disorder characterized by the occurrence of two or more seizures. It affects almost 3 million Americans, and approximately 45,000 children under age 15 develop epilepsy each year in the U.S.
“This study is important because even if we cannot identify a cause of focal seizures in children and they do not fit into a known epilepsy syndrome, most of the children outgrow the seizures, and very few have seizures that are unable to be controlled by medication,” says Elaine Wirrell, M.D., (http://www.mayoclinic.org/bio/14986779.html) a Mayo Clinic epileptologist and an author of this study.
From the Lempert Report: Moms already have a ton of responsibilities, and now results from a recent WomenTALK online survey found that most women underestimate their role in preventing obesity in their children.
The survey found that while 87 percent of women believe a parent’s weight affects a child’s risk of becoming obese, a little over a quarter of women actually assign that responsibility to themselves. Research has demonstrated that moms have a greater effect than dads on a child’s weight - yet another responsibility to give mom.
The results released earlier this month by Healthy Women, an independent online health information source for women, surveyed over 1,000 women. The results found that only 11 percent knew that a child’s risk of becoming obese more than doubled if the mother is obese during her first trimester of pregnancy.
Dysthymia is a mood disorder which is less severe than depression. Children diagnosed with dysthymia can be treated using medications, therapy, or both approaches together.
Dysthymia is considered a chronic mood disorder which falls under the category of depression. Like adults, children also suffer from this type of mood disorder. While chronic depression is a very serious condition, dysthymia in children is treatable. Treatments which are considered to be effective include medications and non-medicated therapy such as psychotherapeutic approaches. The main goals for treating this condition include decreasing symptoms of depression, decreasing risk of the development of other mood disorders, and reinforcement of psychosocial functioning.
Households in developing countries that regularly burn wood, straw, dung and other natural materials are more likely to also contain children with anemia, a new report finds.
Families in 29 countries who burned so-called “biofuels” for cooking or heating were 7 percent more likely to include a child with mild anemia.
When the researchers from McMaster University in Canada compared national-level data, they found that the countries with more residents burning biofuels were also home to more children with moderate or severe anemia.
Exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MFs)—emitted by anything from power lines to appliances or improperly grounded wiring—is not likely to increase children’s risk of developing brain tumors, the authors of a new analysis conclude.
Researchers have been investigating the health risks of these magnetic fields since 1979, Dr. Leeka Kheifets of the University of California, Los Angeles, and her colleagues note in the American Journal of Epidemiology. There is some evidence that exposure at certain levels may be related to childhood leukemia, they add.
Evidence for a link between ELF-MF exposure and childhood brain tumors is weaker, according to Kheifets and her team, but to date a pooled analysis investigating the association has not been performed. Pooled analyses involve taking data from several different studies of the same topic and analyzing them as a whole, using a variety of statistical techniques to take as many differences between the studies into account as possible.
School children who consume foods purchased in vending machines are more likely to develop poor diet quality – and that may be associated with being overweight, obese or at risk for chronic health problems such as diabetes and coronary artery disease, according to research from the University of Michigan Medical School.
The study also looked at foods sold in school stores, snack bars and other related sales that compete with USDA lunch program offerings and found that these pose the same health and diet risks in school-aged children.
“The foods that children are exposed to early on in life influence the pattern for their eating habits as adults,” says lead study author Madhuri Kakarala, M.D., Ph.D., clinical lecturer of internal medicine at the U-M Medical School.
New evidence linking the use of acetaminophen to development of asthma and eczema suggests that even monthly use of the drug in adolescents may more than double risk of asthma in adolescents compared to those who used none at all; yearly use was associated with a 50 percent increase in the risk of asthma.
The research results will be published online on the American Thoracic Society’s Web site ahead of the print edition of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
“This study has identified that the reported use of acetaminophen in 13- and 14 year old adolescent children was associated with an exposure-dependent increased risk of asthma symptoms,” said study first author Richard Beasley, M.D., professor of medicine, at the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand on behalf of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC).
First Lady Michelle Obama is calling on the Congress to pass legislation to improve nutritional standards and help fight childhood obesity in American schools.
“We owe it to the children who aren’t reaching their potential because they’re not getting the nutrition they need during the day,” she wrote in the Monday edition of the Washington Post.
“And we owe it to our country - because our prosperity depends on the health and vitality of the next generation.”
A 10-year study of nine boys born without the ability to ward off germs has found that gene therapy is an effective long-term treatment, but it carries a price: four of them developed leukemia.
The technique is designed to help boys with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency disease, or SCID, a rare mutation that prevents the body from making mature T cells or natural killer cells, which are vital tools for fighting infections.
Without a bone marrow transplant, which works best with a matching donor, such “bubble babies” have to live in germ-free environments and usually die within a year. Doctors hope gene therapy will work when no donor is available.
It is a time most families look forward to every year – summertime. For parents, the warm summer months are often filled with family vacations and cookouts. For kids, it is a chance to play outdoors and enjoy a few months without homework. However, doctors at Nationwide Children’s Hospital have recently noticed a trend in injuries that occur in children during the summer months that are both predictable and preventable.
With the long school days in the past, most kids become more active during the summer and often have more free time. Kathy Nuss, MD, associate medical director of Trauma Services at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and a team of doctors, have narrowed down a list of the most common mechanisms of injuries that cause children to end up in hospitals during the summer months.
• Falls – Falls are constantly topping the list of summer injuries. While objects such as trampolines have proven to be dangerous, many injuries arise from things that parents may assume are much safer.