News Article | April 17, 2017
Toddlers are fiddling more with tablets and smartphones during the day, and it's robbing them of sleep at night, a new study from England suggests. In the study, children ages 6 months to 3 years who spent more time playing with touch-screen devices during the day got less sleep overall and took longer to fall asleep, compared with the youngsters who used touch screens less frequently, the researchers found. The findings also showed that compared with the kids who used touch screens less frequently, the babies and small children who used touch screens more often slept more during the day but less at night, according to the study, published today (April 13) in the journal Scientific Reports. [7 Ways to Short-Circuit Kids' Mobile Addiction] This is the first study to look at the link between toddlers' touch-screen use and sleep, said lead study author Tim Smith, a lecturer in cognitive psychology at Birkbeck, University of London. Although the use of smartphones and tablets is widespread, little was known about the extent to which infants and toddlers were using touch-screen devices in the U.K. before the researchers carried out their study, Smith said. Still, despite a dearth of studies on the subject, parents had been advised to limit their small children's screen time due to concerns about its possible negative effects on sleep, he noted. In the new study, the researchers asked more than 700 families in the U.K. to complete an online questionnaire. This survey asked parents how often their youngsters played with a smartphone or tablet on a typical day. The parents also provided information about how much time their child spent sleeping, how often the child woke up each night and how long it took for the child to fall asleep. Previous studies in children and teens have shown that there's a connection between increased screen time and both a later bedtime and less shut-eye each night. But scientists had a limited understanding of the effects of touch-screen use on sleep in young children. The study found that infants that were 6 to 11 months old used touch screens for about 8 minutes a day, on average. Kids ages 12 to 18 months used them for an average of 19 minutes a day, and kids ages 19 to 25 months used them for 25 minutes a day on average. The 2-year-olds (older than 25 months) in the study logged about 44 minutes a day, on average, on the devices. And as touch-screen time increased among younger children, it cut into their sleep, the researchers found. Every additional hour of touch-screen use by young children was associated with 15.6 minutes less total sleep, according to the study. Specifically, each additional hour spent using a touch screen was linked to 26 fewer minutes of sleep at night, on average, and 11 more minutes of sleep during the day, on average, for a total of 15 fewer minutes of sleep overall. [25 Scientific Tips for Raising Happy Kids] The researchers didn't look into why more use of tablets and smartphones interfered with sleep in young children. Other research, however, has suggested some possible ways that more screen time can affect sleep in older children and teens, and these factors may also affect younger children, the researchers noted. One explanation is that time spent using these devices cuts into the time available for older kids and teens to nod off, Smith told Live Science. In other words, instead of sleeping, adolescents are spending time on smartphones and tablets. In addition, using touch screens can stimulate a child mentally and physiologically, making it more difficult for them to fall asleep and preventing them from sleeping as well as they otherwise would, Smith said. Nor did the researchers look at whether the reduced amount of sleep in young children had a negative effect on their health, well-being or development, Smith said. But in future studies, the research team hopes to examine the long-term effects of touch-screen use on children's brains, development and cognitive abilities, he said. [11 Facts Every Parent Should Know About Their Baby's Brain] In the meantime, Smith said, the best guidelines for parents on electronic media use in children comes from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The AAP advises limiting a child's overall use of these devices coupled with carefully supervising the activities that children are doing on these devices, he noted. It's also a good idea for children to avoid using smartphones and tablets in the hour before bedtime, Smith added.
News Article | April 22, 2017
The Food and Drug Administration warned that cough and pain medications containing codeine or tramadol should not be given to children after reports that the drugs caused life-threatening breathing problems. The agency said that neither of the narcotics should be taken by children younger than 12, teens with a higher risk of breathing problems, or nursing mothers, who can pass unsafe levels of the drugs to their infants through breast milk. Codeine is commonly used to reduce pain and suppress coughing. It’s found in prescription pain drugs such as Tylenol with Codeine as well as prescription cough and cold drugs, including Fiorinal with Codeine, Prometh VC with Codeine, Triacin-C, and a long list of generics. In addition, about half of states allow pharmacists to dispense cough and cold medications containing codeine without a prescription to adults. Tramadol (ConZip, Ultracet, Ultram, and generic) is a prescription medication that is only approved for treating moderate-to-severe pain in adults, but according to the FDA, research shows that doctors sometimes prescribe it for pain in children—after surgery, for example. “We understand that there are limited options when it comes to treating pain or cough in children and that these changes may raise some questions for healthcare providers and parents,” says Douglas Throckmorton, M.D., deputy center director for regulatory programs at the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. However, he says that the agency’s decision was made “based on the latest evidence and with this goal in mind: keeping our kids safe.” Codeine and tramadol belong to the same family of medications as the opioids used in prescription pain relievers such as OxyContin and Vicodin, as well as the illegal drug heroin. They are less potent than other forms of opioids, though, and generally considered safer. The problem, according to Throckmorton, is that “some people metabolize, or break down, these medicines much faster than usual, causing dangerously high levels of active drug in their bodies.” That can cause serious side effects, including confusion, extreme sleepiness, and very slow or shallow breathing, or even cause breathing to stop altogether. “This is especially concerning in children under 12 years of age and adolescents who are obese or have conditions that may increase the risk of breathing problems, like obstructive sleep apnea or lung disease,” Throckmorton says. It’s also worrisome for nursing infants whose mothers take codeine or tramadol, according to Throckmorton. If a breast-feeding mother is among those whose bodies quickly break down the drugs into their active forms, their breast milk could wind up containing dangerously high levels of opioids. The FDA is requiring drugmakers to add new warnings to the official drug labels of prescription products containing codeine or tramadol. Those lengthy, technical documents usually don’t make it to consumers, though, so here’s a rundown of the advice: According to the FDA, labels for over-the-counter cough and cold medications containing codeine aren’t changing for now because that requires a different (and more lengthy) process. However, Throckmorton says that the same cautions apply. In states that allow sales of OTC products with codeine, they are typically kept behind the counter in the pharmacy, to be sold only under the supervision of a pharmacist. Still, the FDA advises parents to review the ingredients of any OTC cough or cold medicine to see whether it contains codeine. If you’re not sure, ask your pharmacist. All cough and cold medicines carry risks of side effects, regardless of whether they contain codeine. That’s why, as part of the Choosing Wisely initiative (of which Consumer Reports is a partner), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises against using any cough and cold medications in children younger than 4. “Even in older children, symptoms such as nasal congestion and cough are generally mild, don’t require medications, and usually last only a few days,” says Marvin M. Lipman, M.D., Consumer Reports’ chief medical adviser. So what’s a parent of a coughing, congested, and generally miserable kid to do? Lipman recommends the following tried-and-true home remedies, which are backed by some evidence that they help and are far safer than drug treatment.
News Article | April 17, 2017
Alondra Garcia will never forget the day that US immigration officers tore apart her family’s house in Ann Arbor, Michigan, looking for her stepfather’s passport. She was 11 years old. One of the intruders dangled his handcuffs in front of her face, saying, “If I feel like it, I can handcuff your mom right now and you’ll stay by yourself.” Garcia and her mother were undocumented immigrants from Mexico; her stepfather, a Honduran who was also in the United States illegally, was detained that day and later deported. For months, Garcia shivered every time she heard a knock at the door. Now, at 18, she worries about what would happen to her younger brother if the government sent her mother back to Mexico. US President Donald Trump has pledged to crack down on illegal immigration by deporting more people. As a result, Garcia says, “I’m scared of everywhere right now.” Her story is not uncommon. More than 2.7 million undocumented immigrants were deported during former president Barack Obama’s first seven years in office. But Trump’s plans to tighten US border controls have exacerbated the fear and uncertainty felt by many immigrants and their families. Researchers are only beginning to understand the long-term mental and physical damage wrought by such stress — especially for children. “Prolonged exposure to serious stress — known as toxic stress — can harm the developing brain and negatively impact short- and long-term health,” the American Academy of Pediatrics warned in January, after Trump signed an executive order directing the government to hire thousands of extra immigration and border-patrol agents and to deport more people who are undocumented. “The message these [immigrant] children received today from the highest levels of our federal government exacerbates that fear and anxiety,” the academy said. Some research suggests that children of immigrants begin to feel the harmful effects of stress even before they are born. In 2008, nearly 900 US immigration agents raided a meat-processing plant in Postville, Iowa, a small town with a large Latino population. They arrested almost 400 undocumented workers on charges of identity theft and fraud, and ultimately deported about 300 of them. When Nicole Novak, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and her colleagues examined the birth certificates of more than 52,000 Iowa children, they found1 that Latina mothers across the state were 24% more likely to give birth to undersized babies in the year after the raid than in the year before. The weight of non-Latino white babies stayed constant, suggesting that Latino populations were uniquely stressed by the incident. “These are women giving birth to US citizens, and this [stress] will impact their health and life chances,” says Kate Strully, a medical sociologist at the State University of New York at Albany. Low birth weight is associated with developmental delays, behavioural problems and an increased risk of chronic disease. And some studies suggest2 that extreme stress can alter a child’s DNA in ways that change gene expression and can be passed down to future generations. Strully and her colleagues are now examining millions of birth certificates nationwide to learn whether similar birth-weight patterns emerge when individual states enact laws targeting undocumented immigrants. Arizona, for instance, permits police officers to check the immigration status of people they stop, detain or arrest. For some researchers, the topic is personal. At the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, undocumented students are recording the emotional and mental challenges of immigrants in their own communities. “This is for undocumented students to give something back,” says Josue De Luna Navarro, a team leader who is studying engineering. Like his collaborators, he has a legal status known as deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA), which gives temporary residency to people who entered the United States illegally as kids. “We’re always in fight or flight mode,” De Luna Navarro says. “We never really get a moment to just breathe.” Beyond the fear of deportation, DACA students must cope with being ineligible for federal financial aid, loans and some jobs. Still, direct research on undocumented people remains difficult. For ethical reasons, most researchers do not ask study participants about their citizenship status, and many immigrants hesitate to seek medical care or register with the government, which limits relevant public data. But circumstances sometimes provide natural experiments. In 2013, US government immigration agents conducted raids in Washtenaw County, Michigan, where social scientist William Lopez was running a health study. The 151 people who answered the survey after the raids reported worse general health than the 325 who had already completed it, says Lopez, of the University of Michigan. Many said that after the raids, they were too afraid to leave their homes for food or medical care, and displayed symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder3. Some researchers worry that Trump’s crackdown could also disrupt long-running studies of immigrant health, such as one in central California run by the University of California, Berkeley. For 17 years, the programme has followed 600 children of farmworkers, most of whom are Mexican and many of whom are probably not legal residents, says study leader Brenda Eskenazi, a neuropsychologist at Berkeley. In the past year, the researchers have for the first time added questions about fear of deportation to their interviews. They have also begun distributing brochures that outline participants’ rights if federal agents come to the door. Says Eskenazi, “We’re really concerned about these people.”
News Article | April 27, 2017
House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., left, talks with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of La. as they arrive for a GOP caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on efforts in Congress to repeal the health care law and agree on a spending bill to keep the government open (all times local): Republicans controlling the House have unveiled a stopgap bill to keep the government open past a shutdown deadline of midnight Friday. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen says the one-week measure would buy time to wrap up talks on a $1 trillion-plus catchall spending bill that's the center of bipartisan talks on Capitol Hill. He says those negotiations are going well. The temporary bill is likely to come to a House vote Friday in the expectation the Senate would immediately send it to President Donald Trump for his signature. Talks on the larger spending bill have progressed in fits and starts, with the Trump White House backing away from demands that it include money to begin construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border — though other stumbling blocks remain. The White House has assured lawmakers it will continue making payments to insurers under Democrat Barack Obama's health care law. That's a reversal for President Donald Trump who had threatened to withhold the money. Both House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and a senior administration official confirmed the move, which could both provide stability to the individual insurance market and remove the issue as a stumbling block to bipartisan negotiations over a government-wide spending bill to keep agencies open. The current spending bill expires at midnight on Friday. The so-called cost-sharing payments help lower-income people with out-of-pocket medical expenses, but Trump had threatened to withhold them as leverage. That sparked a fierce backlash among Democrats such as Pelosi, who responded with a threat to bring down the spending bill if the threat were carried out. Pelosi and White House budget director Mick Mulvaney spared over the issue in back-and-forth statements on Wednesday. A leader of House Republican moderates is suggesting a proposal to revamp the mired GOP health care bill shows that conservatives are trying to shift blame for the legislation's problems to party centrists. Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Charlie Dent also says he believes that moderates who have opposed the Republican health overhaul haven't changed their minds, despite proposed changes. Dent is a leader of the moderate House Tuesday Group, which has about 50 members. Another head of that group is New Jersey GOP Rep. Tom MacArthur. He has negotiated a plan with a conservative leader, North Carolina GOP Rep. Mark Meadows, to let states get exemptions to insurance coverage requirements under President Barack Obama's health care law. Many conservatives are endorsing that proposal. Dent calls it "an exercise in blame-shifting." The top House Democrat is accusing the Trump administration of "cruelly threatening to raise health premiums" for millions as a disagreement about payments to insurers under the health care law jolted talks on a bill to keep the government open. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also said Wednesday that it was incumbent upon Republicans, who control the White House and Congress, to avert a shutdown. The current spending bill expires at midnight on Friday. Pelosi issued a statement a day after meeting with Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. Pelosi called the former congressman "the chief architect of the government shutdown in 2013," and highlighted his past votes against spending bills and raising the nation's borrowing authority. Pelosi and Republicans are wrestling over a Democratic demand that the must-pass spending bill keep money flowing under the health care law that helps low-earners pay out-of-pocket medical costs. Groups representing more than a half million clinicians are writing Congress opposing compromises to rescue the troubled GOP health care bill. Doctors say the recent compromises among Republican hardliners and party moderates would allow insurers to deny treatment to patients struggling with addiction and make health care more expensive for older adults. The compromise would let states opt out of requirements in the Obama-era health care law. Wednesday's letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California was signed by the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Physicians, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Osteopathic Association, and the American Psychiatric Association. The groups say Congress should work to improve the health system. The latest Republican health care proposal would exempt members of Congress and their staff if states opt out of providing basic services like maternity and newborn care, wellness visits and prescription drugs. The plan to revive the overall health care bill is a measure from Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., a leader of the moderate House Tuesday Group along with Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., head of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. It also has the backing of Vice President Mike Pence. Under the plan, states could get federal waivers to the current law's requirements that insurers charge seriously ill and healthy customers the same premiums, and that they cover specified services like maternity care. In a statement Wednesday, MacArthur's office says the congressman doesn't believe lawmakers should get special treatment and they are working on separate legislation to address it. The conservative House Freedom Caucus is backing the latest health care proposal as the White House tries to revive efforts to repeal Democrat Barack Obama's law. In a statement on Wednesday, the 40 or so hard-liner members who helped scuttle the earlier bill announced their support for the plan crafted by New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur, a moderate, and North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, head of the House Freedom Caucus. While the endorsement is a boost for the effort, some 50 moderate Republicans are still uncertain or oppose to the latest plan. The group said the new proposal will give states flexibility — and while it isn't a full repeal of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, they are prepared to support it. The proposed changes would let states get federal waivers to some coverage requirements Obama's law imposed on insurers, such as providing basic services such as maternity and newborn care, and preventive and wellness visits. The White House says Democrats are "holding the government hostage" by insisting that a government-wide spending bill include a guarantee that payments continue to flow under the Obama health care law to help low-income beneficiaries with out-of-pocket costs. Budget director Mick Mulvaney said in a statement that Democrats such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are the only ones "standing in the way of a landmark defense and border security bill." Pelosi is insisting that the cost-sharing payments be addressed in the legislation. President Donald Trump has threatened to cut them off as a negotiating chip and Mulvaney won't guarantee that they will continue to flow as the GOP-controlled Congress debates health care. Coal-state lawmakers say Congress is close to a deal to extend health benefits for more than 22,000 retired miners and widows whose medical coverage is set to expire Sunday. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said Wednesday that a "permanent" fix will be included in a Senate measure to keep the government open. The fix would cost $1.3 billion over 10 years. West Virginia Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito also was confident the Senate would approve the plan and noted that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky supports it. House Republican leaders have been pushing a 20-month health care extension, but Capito and Manchin said they were optimistic House Speaker Paul Ryan would agree to a long-term fix. The plan does not address pension benefits for unionized miners. Negotiations on a $1 trillion-plus catchall spending bill have hit a snag over former President Barack Obama's health care law. GOP Speaker Paul Ryan and top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi are at odds over a demand by Democrats to use the must-do measure to guarantee that payments continue to flow under the health care law to help low-income beneficiaries with out-of-pocket costs. Pelosi is insisting the those cost-sharing payments be addressed in the legislation, a demand she made after President Donald Trump threatened to cut them off as a negotiating chip. Aides said Pelosi and White House budget director Mick Mulvaney sparred over the payments in a Tuesday phone call. Pelosi wants the payments addressed in the catchall spending bill but Ryan told reporters Wednesday that "we're not doing that." House Speaker Paul Ryan says the latest Republican effort to scuttle the health care law is winning support, but he stopped short of promising a vote anytime soon. Ryan told reporters on Wednesday that a proposal that would allow states to get federal waivers to ignore certain coverage requirements, helps secure consensus. Republicans had been forced to pull their initial bill to repeal the law due to divisions among Republicans. Ryan said, "We'll vote on it when we get the votes." Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas said the House will vote on a spending bill to keep the government open, but not health care this week. Leading House conservatives are saying good things about a plan to revive the GOP health care bill. But an influential GOP House moderate is opposing the proposal, leaving party leaders to assess whether the idea could help one of President Donald Trump's premier but most problematic priorities spring back to life. Republican lawmakers were meeting Wednesday to consider how to rescue the GOP drive to repeal much of President Barack Obama's health care law. That salvage effort comes as bipartisan bargainers edge toward agreement on a separate $1 trillion budget bill that would prevent a partial federal shutdown this Saturday. While erasing Obama's statute is solidly opposed by Democrats, the budget measure will need support from both parties because GOP conservatives often oppose spending legislation.
News Article | May 3, 2017
Mercy Medical Center, PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (PNC), and Stevenson University have partnered to bring onesies -- an infant's one-piece close-fitting lightweight garment – emboldened with special health and educational messages for newborns at Mercy’s Family Childbirth & Children’s Center. Two Stevenson University students, Amelia Berninger (’17) and Samantha Smith (’18), who created the onesie design, presented samples to mothers and their newborns at Mercy’s Center on April 26th, on the 10th floor of The Mary Catherine Bunting Center, 345 St. Paul Place in downtown Baltimore City. A brief reception followed on the Mezzanine Level of the Bunting Center. In spring 2016, PNC provided funding to Stevenson University for two undergraduates to design an onesie suited for newborns, reflective of PNC’s “Grow Up Great” commitment to early childhood education and the public health issues of “safe sleep.” Mercy’s Family Childbirth & Children’s Center will receive more than 3,000 onesies. Launched in 2004, PNC Grow Up Great® helps children from birth through age five prepare for school by focusing on readiness in vocabulary development, math, science, financial education and the arts. Through distribution of more than $121 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, the program has impacted approximately 3 million children throughout 19 states and the District of Columbia. “More than 3,500 babies in the U.S. die every year while sleeping, often due to Sleep Related Deaths, formerly thought to be due to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or accidental deaths. For their first year, babies should lay on their backs for all sleep times. We know babies who sleep on their backs are far less likely to die of Sleep Related Deaths than those who sleep on their stomachs or sides. It’s important to educate new parents about this, and that’s part of the impetus behind this project,” said neonatologist Dr. Susan J. Dulkerian, Medical Director of Newborn Services in The Family Childbirth and Children’s Center at Mercy. “Growing up great means growing up healthy, and that starts from day one in every child’s life. The onesie project was a perfect fit with our Grow Up Great initiative, a fun and clever way to spread the word about the importance of infant care,” said Laura Gamble, PNC regional president for Greater Maryland. “We were very impressed with the efforts of the Stevenson University students and excited to have the support of Mercy’s Family Childbirth & Children’s Center.” In addition to the importance of infants sleeping “tummy-side up”, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)’s recently updated policy statement and technical report includes new evidence which supports skin-to-skin care for newborn infants. Coupled with the Grow Up Great words of instilling a love of reading and learning in children, all of these elements are incorporated in the writing developed by the Stevenson University students, and found on the new onesie. “This project, a collaboration between Amelia and Sammy, was a strong design challenge -- to create something with meaning that also impacts the community. The students worked diligently and developed ways to visualize the unique messages of their clients, PNC and Mercy. The resulting design merges both the health aspects and educational care infants need as they grow. The onesie project offered our students valuable professional practice and exposure to real design challenges, but it also allowed them to navigate avenues where students can motivate change by building strong ties within their community,” said Meghan Marx, Assistant Professor of Art and Visual Communication Design at Stevenson University. “Hold Me, Rock Me, Read to Me, Talk To Me, Love Me—Put Me to Sleep This Side Up—Comfort Me, Teach Me” appears on the front (stomach) side of the garment. Named The Best Place to Have a Baby by Baltimore’s City Paper, Mercy Medical Center provides a team of obstetricians and other clinical staff, as well as a variety of amenities, programs and education to help mothers, fathers and families prepare for pregnancy, birth and the transition to parenthood. Mercy is home to Center for Advanced Fetal Care providing ultrasound, genetic counseling and testing, comprehensive high-risk pregnancy care, diabetic education, amniocentesis and assessment of fetal well-being. Mercy’s NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) is a Level III-B intensive care facility offering private rooms and a full complement of specialists providing thorough diagnosis and treatment for a range of the most complex and high-risk conditions in newborn infants. The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (http://www.pnc.com), is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The PNC Foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. Through Grow Up Great, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a bilingual $350 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life. Stevenson University, known for its distinctive career focus, is the third-largest independent university in Maryland with more than 4,100 students pursuing bachelor’s, master’s, and adult bachelor’s programs at locations in Stevenson and Owings Mills. Mercy Medical Center (http://www.mdmercy.com) is a university-affiliated hospital founded in 1874 by the Sisters of Mercy, with a national reputation for women's health care. For more information, visit http://www.mdmercy.com, MDMercyMedia on FACEBOOK and TWITTER, or call 1-800-MD-MERCY.
News Article | April 18, 2017
ALISO VIEJO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ambry Genetics Corporation (Ambry) is calling on psychiatrists, psychologists and behavioral specialists to encourage their patients with autism, along with their family members, to sign up for a new study conducted through Ambry’s data sharing program, AmbryShare. With this program, Ambry is taking a step towards discovering possible associations between genes and autism, so clinicians can provide their patients with targeted treatments and therapies much earlier in life. “What’s unique about AmbryShare’s approach is that we collect genetic information from clinics and families from all over the world to answer questions that can’t be answered with just a handful of patients,” said Brigette Tippin Davis, PhD, Ambry’s Director of Emerging Genetic Medicine. “The great thing about Ambry partnerships is that we are building connections between research institutions and empowering them to develop new approaches to treating patients with autism based on genetic profiles.” So far, dozens of behavioral clinics and other medical offices have contributed to AmbryShare studies by encouraging participation from their patients. Ambry strives to enroll more than 10,000 patients from clinics nationally and internationally. “Genetic testing would allow us to personalize treatment from a genetic profile and optimize it together with our rich behavioral data,” said Dennis Dixon, PhD, Chief Strategy Officer at Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD). “I really value working with Ambry, knowing this data will have an impact on treatment for our patients and then will still be available for other researchers to access to answer additional research questions. As we each put more samples in, it increases the overall likelihood that we’re going to find something that really makes a difference.” One in 64 children in the United States is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which can impact social interaction, communication and behavior. Genetic testing can help identify an underlying cause in up to 40% of autism spectrum disorders. Some genetic causes include chromosome microdeletions/microduplications, fragile X syndrome, Angelman syndrome, and tuberous sclerosis. New gene discovery can allow clinicians to determine their patient’s course of treatment and the gene-disease relationship associated with their individual case of autism. Through the recruitment of a massive cohort, more data will be collected to discover more genes, develop medical management plans and enact preventive strategies. “The scientists need the data to be out there,” said Charles Dunlop, Ambry’s President and Chairman. “We need to know what these diseases are actually doing, what causes them, what gene mutations are associated with them so we can move forward as an industry and move onto the next phase where there is no disease of any kind. A phase where pharmaceutical researchers know exactly what to do, or exactly what problems they’re trying to solve at a minutiae level—that’s when the cures come.” In 2016, Mayo Clinic and University of Utah collaborated with Ambry on a new research study of more than 60,000 patients to help refine breast cancer risk estimates from predisposition genes that are either previously lacking data or have limited data. The study, “Breast cancer risks associated with mutations in cancer predisposition genes identified by clinical genetic testing of 60,000 breast cancer patients” represented the largest genetic study of women with hereditary breast cancer. The large amount of data was able to provide researchers with new information about genes that contributed to breast cancer risk. Ambry wants to provide researchers with the same capabilities for autism. Since 2001, Ambry has been dedicated to scientific research to help empower the scientific community and refine clinician management guidelines so patients may receive tailored medical management. AmbryShare’s initial launch in 2016 provided scientific researchers and clinicians with the largest open, de-identified database of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer cohorts with the goal of achieving a greater understanding of human disease. For more information and to enroll in the AmbryShare autism study, visit the AmbryShare portal here. Ambry Genetics is both College of American Pathologists (CAP)-accredited and Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified. Ambry leads in clinical genetic diagnostics and genetics software solutions, combining both to offer the most comprehensive testing menu in the industry. Ambry has established a reputation for sharing data while safeguarding patient privacy, unparalleled service, and responsibly applying new technologies to the clinical molecular diagnostics market. For more information about Ambry Genetics, visit www.ambrygen.com. About the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) CARD treats individuals of all ages who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at treatment centers around the globe. CARD was founded in 1990 by leading autism expert and clinical psychologist Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA-D. CARD treats individuals with ASD using the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA), which is empirically proven to be the most effective method for treating individuals with ASD and recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Surgeon General. CARD employs a dedicated team of over 3,000 individuals across the nation and internationally. For more information, visit www.centerforautism.com or call (855) 345-2273.
News Article | May 4, 2017
SAN FRANCISCO - New research being presented at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting suggests online health information can influence whether parents trust a diagnosis made by their child's doctor, potentially leading to delayed treatment. The study abstract, "Paging Dr. Google: The Effects of Online Health Information on Parental Trust in Pediatrician' Medical Diagnoses," will be presented at the Moscone West Convention Center in San Francisco. Using the Mechanical Turk online research platform, researchers recruited 1,374 parent participants who were presented with a vignette of a child who "has had a rash and worsening fever for 3 days." The participants, who averaged 34 years of age and had at least one child under age 18, were then divided into groups. In the first group, participants received screen shots of internet information describing some symptoms of scarlet fever, an infectious disease linked to Strep throat that causes rash and fever. Unless treated with antibiotics, scarlet fever can develop into rheumatic fever and, in some cases, lead to heart damage. The second group of participants received screen shots listing select symptoms of Kawasaki disease, a condition in which blood vessels throughout the body become inflamed. It also is accompanied by fever and rash. Prompt treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs is needed to help prevent life-threatening complications such as aneurisms. A third set of parents, the control group, received no internet screen shots. All participants then read that the doctor had diagnosed the child with scarlet fever. Compared to the control group, in which 81.0 percent of parents reported trusting the physician, 90.5 percent of parents who had received scarlet fever symptom screen shots reported trusting the physician. Furthermore, fewer parents in the scarlet fever cohort answered that they were likely to seek a second opinion (21.4 percent), compared to the control group (42.0 percent). Conversely, only 61.3 percent of participants who had viewed the screen shots listing rash and fever as symptoms of Kawasaki disease reported trusting the doctors' diagnosis, and 64.2 percent reported that they were likely to seek a second opinion. Lead author Ruth Milanaik, DO, FAAP, an associate professor at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, said that although there are many advantages of having easily accessible medical information available on the internet, the study's findings show that "internet-driven interpretation of symptoms" can compromise trust between a doctor and patient. "The internet is a powerful information tool, but it is limited by its inability to reason and think," Dr. Milanaik said. "Simply entering a collection of symptoms in a search engine may not reflect the actual medical situation at hand. These computer-generated diagnoses may mislead patients or parents and cause them to question their doctors' medical abilities and seek a second opinion, thereby delaying treatment." Pediatricians should encourage parents to share all concerns they have, Dr. Milanaik said, so they lead them through the differential diagnosis process, and why others diagnoses were ruled out. "Parents who still have doubts should absolutely seek a second opinion," she said. "But they shouldn't be afraid to discuss the result of internet information with the physician." Please note: only the abstract is being presented at the meeting. In some cases, the researcher may have more data available to share with media, or may be preparing a longer article for submission to a journal. Contact the researcher for more information. The Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Meeting brings together thousands of individuals united by a common mission: to improve child health and wellbeing worldwide. This international gathering includes pediatric researchers, leaders in academic pediatrics, experts in child health, and practitioners. The PAS Meeting is produced through a partnership of four organizations leading the advancement of pediatric research and child advocacy: Academic Pediatric Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Pediatric Society, and Society for Pediatric Research. For more information, visit the PAS Meeting online at http://www. , follow us on Twitter @PASMeeting and #pasm17, or like us on Facebook. TITLE: Paging Dr. Google: The effects of online health information on parental trust in pediatricians' medical diagnoses Background: In today's technology-laden world, parents are likely to seek health information online. Although online information may help parents make informed decisions about their child's healthcare, few studies have examined the impact this information has on the parent-pediatrician dyad. Objective: To examine how online information that either supports or contradicts a doctor's medical diagnosis (Dx) affects parental trust in the doctor's Dx and parents' likelihood of seeking a second opinion (SO). Design/Methods: The study was released on Amazon's Mechanical Turk to parents of at least one child Results: The sample included 1374 participants, (46.9% male, mean age 34.3 yrs). Overall, the three cohorts significantly differed in reported trust in the doctors' Dx (p Conclusion(s): After reading online search results, parents were more inclined to trust their doctors's Dx when online information supported their doctor's Dx and less inclined when information contradicted the doctor. Parents were also more likely to seek a SO if internet results contradicted the doctor's Dx. Although it is imperative that parents participate in the medical decision-making process, conflicting online information could in some cases delay necessary medical treatment. Physicians must be aware of the influence the internet may have on parents and ensure adequate parental education to address any possible concerns.
News Article | April 26, 2017
Thousands of researchers will gather in San Francisco May 6-9 to share latest findings in a wide range of fields that will help define health care for a new generation. SAN FRANCISCO - Leading experts will present thousands of original research abstracts in children's health at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting, the largest international meeting focused on research in child health. Among the research to be presented at PAS are abstracts that will highlight new findings in treating newborns who have been exposed to opioids, the impact of marijuana legalization on teens, the impact of digital media use on children's literacy, concussions in young athletes, lead exposure among children in poverty, the Zika virus, autism, adolescent depression, diet-related cardiovascular changes in children and the effects of losing health insurance on children's health. The conference takes place May 6-9 at the Moscone West Convention Center in San Francisco. Thousands of research scientists, health care providers and policy makers from around the world are expected to attend the meeting. Journalists will have access to scientists sharing original pediatric research, and thousands of scientific papers will be presented before they appear in medical journals. "The opportunity to share original research as it unfolds remains at the heart of the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting," said Clifford W. Bogue, MD, FAAP, PAS program committee chair and a professor of pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine. "But what's equally critical to keep pace with rapidly evolving child health issues is the chance to discuss with colleagues from around the globe how this research can be applied to actual clinical practice in pediatrics, as well as public policy and advocacy," he said. The 2017 meeting will include hundreds of research abstracts that will be presented in platform and poster sessions. Information sessions, workshops and plenary talks throughout the four-day meeting will explore a comprehensive array of issues affecting current and future approaches to pediatric health care. Atul Butte, MD, PhD, a pediatrician, computer scientist and biomedical infomatics pioneer will deliver the keynote address, exploring looking to "big data" for new, more targeted and effective cures for children. In his talk, "Translating Ten Trillion Points of Data into Therapies, Diagnostics, and New Insights into Disease," he will describe the emerging field of "precision medicine," which incorporates vast new knowledge of human genetics and other publicly available molecular data, along with its myriad social complexities. Dr. Butte is inaugural Director of the Institute for Computational Health Sciences, Professor of Pediatrics at UCSF, and Executive Director for Clinical Informatics, University of California Health Sciences and Services. Journalists should register in advance. Individuals who do not meet the criteria for media credentials will not be awarded a press badge on-site. To apply for media credentials, email Susan Martin (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Emily James (email@example.com) with the following information: For more information about the 2017 PAS Meeting, visit http://www. . The Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Meeting brings together thousands of individuals united by a common mission: to improve child health and wellbeing worldwide. This international gathering includes pediatric researchers, leaders in academic pediatrics, experts in child health, and practitioners. The PAS Meeting is produced through a partnership of four organizations leading the advancement of pediatric research and child advocacy: the Academic Pediatric Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Pediatric Society, and Society for Pediatric Research. For more information, visit the PAS Meeting online at http://www. , follow us on Twitter @PASMeeting and #pasm17, or like us on Facebook.
News Article | May 4, 2017
NEW HYDE PARK, NY- Parents choosing foods for their children are significantly more likely to purchase "health halo" products - branded to cause misleading assumptions of good nutritional value - when they only view package images and don't examine nutritional labels, according to novel new research by a Northwell Health pediatrician. The study, one of a trio led by senior supervising author Ruth Milanaik, DO, is scheduled for presentation at the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting being held in San Francisco from May 6-9. Dr. Milanaik, Director of the Neonatal Neurodevelopmental Follow Up Program at Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park, concentrated her studies on factors affecting children's food choices, including those parents made on their behalf and those depicted on popular children's television shows. Dr. Milanaik's research was very much a family affair: Her son, Jonathan Goldman, a student at Great Neck High School, was first author on two of the three studies, which all incorporated high school, college and medical student participation. Meanwhile, her 8-year-old son, who has diabetes, inspired a more critical eye toward factors affecting kids' food choices in both his brother and mother. Her study, "Defeating the Health Halo: Parental Food Choices for Grade-School Children," asked 1,013 parents to choose from pairs of food products in which one "health halo" item was matched with a more obviously unhealthy item with a similar nutritional label. These included pairings of Naked Smoothie vs. Coke; Oat Bites vs. Lucky Charms; and Cliff Bar vs. Peppermint Patty, among others. When given the package image and nutritional label of the same products side by side, nearly three-quarters of the parents started to question whether healthy food could be inferred from packaging alone. More than 77 percent indicated they should look at nutritional labels more carefully in the future. "Just because we believe from packaging and marketing that a product is healthy doesn't mean it really is," Dr. Milanaik said. "We have to look at nutritional labels and avoid products that have what we call the 'health halo' around them. It was a big wake-up for me as a parent of a diabetic, but also as a parent, period, to see some products I thought were intrinsically healthy not be any healthier than candy." In her two other studies, Dr. Milanaik and her team zeroed in on children's awareness of food choices. One study examined foods chosen by characters on popular children's TV shows. The other assessed how the types of food children notice on children's TV correlates with their body mass index. For the former study, "Food Consumption by Characters on Popular Children's Television Shows: Are Children Aware of Character Food Choices," the researchers analyzed 60 popular children's TV shows for depictions of characters eating food, when and why. They then asked parents of 1,800 children ages 3 through 10 about their favorite TV characters' food choices and why they seemed to be eating. Of 92 percent of shows containing food choices among characters, 59 percent of those foods were classified as "junk foods" encompassing fast food, dessert, candy and chips. Most food choices occurred while characters were "snacking not during meal times in a social setting." "On television channels aimed at children, there's been a lot of emphasis on decreasing violence, but I don't know whether they've really thought about what foods are being eaten by characters and whether they can promote a healthier eating style," Dr. Milanaik said. "Food should be something nutritious that you eat because your body is hungry. That's how we want children to view food, not as something you eat because you're bored or need something to do between meals." In the remaining study, "You Eat What You See: The Association between Foods on Popular Children's TV and Increased Body Mass Index," parents were asked to help their child recall a favorite TV character and the food he/she eats. BMI (body mass index) for each child was also calculated. While 43.5 percent of normal-weight children and nearly 43 percent of underweight children listed characters that ate unhealthy food, this proportion was higher among overweight children (54.5 percent) and obese children (49.8 percent). A closer look showed that nearly 22 percent of normal-weight children listed characters who ate dessert or treats, but this percentage rose significantly among underweight (28.4 percent), overweight (30.3 percent) and obese children (28.2 percent). Pediatricians should advise parents to limit children's TV viewing and discourage them from imitating unhealthy eating habits depicted, Dr. Milanaik said. "Physicians need to be able to take a few minutes and discuss with parents what's in a healthy diet and what should be avoided," she said. "It's very difficult - pediatricians have a lot to cover in a short visit. But I do think they should have a talk with parents about what their kids are eating, even if a child is weight-appropriate, since those choices will likely follow them into adulthood." Reporters interested in an interview with Dr. Milanaik can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Northwell Health's press office at 516-321-6701. The Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Meeting brings together thousands of individuals united by a common mission: to improve child health and wellbeing worldwide. This international gathering includes pediatric researchers, leaders in academic pediatrics, experts in child health, and practitioners. The PAS Meeting is produced through a partnership of four organizations leading the advancement of pediatric research and child advocacy: Academic Pediatric Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Pediatric Society, and Society for Pediatric Research. For more information, visit the PAS Meeting online at http://www. , follow us on Twitter @PASMeeting and #pasm17, or like us on Facebook. Northwell Health is New York State's largest health care provider and private employer, with 21 hospitals and over 550 outpatient practices. We care for more than two million people annually in the metro New York area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 61,000 employees - 15,000+ nurses and nearly 3,400 physicians, including nearly 2,700 members of Northwell Health Physician Partners -- are working to change health care for the better. We're making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine and the School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. And we offer health insurance through CareConnect. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit Northwell.edu.
Frintner M.P.,American Academy of Pediatrics |
Cull W.L.,American Academy of Pediatrics
Pediatrics | Year: 2012
OBJECTIVE: To examine trends in pediatric residents' training and job search experiences from 2003 through 2009. METHODS: Annual national random samples of 500 graduating pediatric residents from 2003 through 2005 and 1000 from 2006 through 2009 were surveyed. Responses were compared across years to identify trends. We examined resident demographics, training, satisfaction, career intentions, and job search experiences. Overall response rate was 61%. RESULTS: Between 2003 and 2009, there was an increase in the proportion of female graduating pediatric residents (69%-75%), residents from international medical schools (15%-23%), and levels of educational debt among the subgroup of residents with debt ($139 945 in 2003 to $166 972 in 2009). Residents consistently reported (>90% of residents) that they would choose pediatrics again if they had the choice. By 2009, the majority was very satisfied with the quality of their training in most areas, with ratings improving across years in caring for children with special health care needs, evidence-based medicine, and using information technology in practice. Although primary care remained the most common clinical practice goal, there was a modest decline in interest in primary care practice across survey years, whereas interest in subspecialty practice increased. Residents accepting both general pediatric practice and hospitalist positions reported less difficulty in their job search over time. CONCLUSIONS: Despite continually changing demographics of pediatric training programs, residents overall remain very satisfied with their decision to become pediatricians. Pediatricians continue to face difficult financial challenges associated with rising debt, but they also report increasing job search success. Copyright © 2012 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.