News Article | March 14, 2017
Being bullied during childhood should not be taken lightly as it may have long-term health effects. The stress may ride into adulthood and develop into health risks including heart disease and diabetes. The undesirable health effects of chronic stress highlight the bad effects of bullying and there is a need for tackling it with due seriousness, according to Susannah J. Tye of the Mayo Clinic and colleagues. "Once dismissed as an innocuous experience of childhood, bullying is now recognized as having significant psychological effects, particularly with chronic exposure," wrote Tye and team. The research has been published in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry. Bullying is a chronic social stress factor with significant consequences for health, and needs to be addressed early, Tye said, and added that child health professionals need to assess the mental and physical effects of bullying in detail. Bullying has been noted for its linkage with psychiatric disorders, although many are disputing such a linkage. According to Tye, the physical symptoms expressed by bullied children are vital warning signs of bullying. Studies on exposure to chronic stress have reckoned bullying as a "classic form of chronic social stress" impacting physical health. The strain may be coming from physical or mental stress and augmenting "wear and tear" of the body. These strains are called allostatic load reflecting the cumulative impact of biological responses like fighting the stress or evading it by flight response. Tye explained that exposure to short periods of stress is easy to recover and normalcy will be gained gradually. But acute stress will make the allostatic load an overload that becomes too hard to shoulder. This triggers physiological processes inimical to health and affects overall well-being. Inflammatory, metabolic and hormonal responses will flow from chronic stress. In due course, the stress takes a worse turn with physiological changes causing heart disease, diabetes, and depression with many other psychiatric disorders in tow. When the physiological systems are damaged from the pressure of early-life stress, it is natural that epigenetic changes such as variations in gene functioning become inevitable. It has been observed that chronic stress also inhibits the development of psychological skills that sustain resilience and ability to cope with future stress. Tye and colleagues are recommending that bullying and victimization be treated as a "standard component" of clinical care and mental health care. However, the researchers have not established any cause-and-effect relationship in the study. But they are urging future research to study the matter through collaborations with clinical and basic science teams to unveil the relationship between childhood bullying and long-term health effects. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry also says almost half of all children face school bullying at some point, mainly at primary or secondary school. The estimate is that at least 10 percent of children are victims of regular bullying. The damage of child bullying is that child takes up a restricted view of relationships with other people. The process also injures their self-image and affects the whole life. Bullying hurts emotionally and socially. It also hits schoolwork. Cases of depression and suicidal thoughts have also been reported from childhood bullying. Bullying is essentially intimidation or domination on someone perceived weaker with a bid to establish superiority. Bullying ranges from physical domination to verbal and emotional acts. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
News Article | May 5, 2017
Donna A. Poplawski, MD Recognized as a Professional of the Year by Strathmore's Who's Who Worldwide Publication Fair Oaks, CA, May 05, 2017 --( About Donna A. Poplawski, MD Dr. Poplawski has over 40 years experience in the healthcare field. She is a Psychiatrist in Sacramento, California. She served with Kaiser Permanente from 1998 through 2015 and has been an independent physician contractor since 2015. Dr. Poplawski specializes in child and adolescent psychiatry. She is affiliated with the A.A.C.A.P. Born in Warsaw, Poland, Dr. Poplawski obtained a M.D. from Akademia Medyczna in Poland in 1973. She did her Internship and Residency at the University of Iowa in 1996, and a Fellowship at the University of California, Davis in 1998. She is Certified in Internal Medicine, Internal Care and Anesthesia in Poland. Dr. Poplawski is a Diplomate of the American Boards of Adult Psychiatry and Neurology, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Poplawski began her medical career in Poland and then spent 10 years under medical contract in Africa. She is extremely dedicated to working with and helping children and their families in the U.S. In her spare time she enjoys raising and showing Alpacas, reading, travel and theatre. Dr. Poplawki states “..live with dreams..”. About Strathmore’s Who’s Who Worldwide Strathmore’s Who’s Who Worldwide is an international advertising, networking and publishing company based in Farmingdale, New York. They are proud to be able to satisfy their clients and continue to have repeat clientele due to their longevity and pride in their products and services. The Owners strive to connect business professionals to enhance their contact base and networking capabilities so they can get the acknowledgment and publicity within their industries and beyond. The Strathmore family has been providing these valuable services for over two decades. They target executives and professionals in all industries to be featured in their publication and on-line directory. Industries include business, law, education, healthcare and medicine, fine arts, IT, government, science, real estate, entertainment and many more accomplished fields. Professional profiles are listed in an annual hardcover journal and in a detailed, searchable database on the website www.strww.com. Fair Oaks, CA, May 05, 2017 --( PR.com )-- Donna A. Poplawski, MD of Fair Oaks, California has been recognized as a Professional of the Year for 2017 by Strathmore’s Who’s Who Worldwide for her outstanding contributions and achievements for over 40 years in the field of healthcare.About Donna A. Poplawski, MDDr. Poplawski has over 40 years experience in the healthcare field. She is a Psychiatrist in Sacramento, California. She served with Kaiser Permanente from 1998 through 2015 and has been an independent physician contractor since 2015. Dr. Poplawski specializes in child and adolescent psychiatry. She is affiliated with the A.A.C.A.P.Born in Warsaw, Poland, Dr. Poplawski obtained a M.D. from Akademia Medyczna in Poland in 1973. She did her Internship and Residency at the University of Iowa in 1996, and a Fellowship at the University of California, Davis in 1998. She is Certified in Internal Medicine, Internal Care and Anesthesia in Poland. Dr. Poplawski is a Diplomate of the American Boards of Adult Psychiatry and Neurology, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Neurology.Dr. Poplawski began her medical career in Poland and then spent 10 years under medical contract in Africa. She is extremely dedicated to working with and helping children and their families in the U.S. In her spare time she enjoys raising and showing Alpacas, reading, travel and theatre.Dr. Poplawki states “..live with dreams..”.About Strathmore’s Who’s Who WorldwideStrathmore’s Who’s Who Worldwide is an international advertising, networking and publishing company based in Farmingdale, New York. They are proud to be able to satisfy their clients and continue to have repeat clientele due to their longevity and pride in their products and services. The Owners strive to connect business professionals to enhance their contact base and networking capabilities so they can get the acknowledgment and publicity within their industries and beyond. The Strathmore family has been providing these valuable services for over two decades. They target executives and professionals in all industries to be featured in their publication and on-line directory. Industries include business, law, education, healthcare and medicine, fine arts, IT, government, science, real estate, entertainment and many more accomplished fields. Professional profiles are listed in an annual hardcover journal and in a detailed, searchable database on the website www.strww.com. Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from Strathmore Worldwide
News Article | October 28, 2016
The International Association of HealthCare Professionals is pleased to welcome Martins A. Adeoye, MD, Psychiatrist, to their prestigious organization with his upcoming publication in The Leading Physicians of the World. He is a highly trained and qualified psychiatrist with a vast expertise in all facets of his work. Dr. Adeoye has been in practice for more than 24 years and is currently serving patients as a Psychiatrist at the Elemental Center For Personal Development. Furthermore, he is affiliated with the University of Illinois Hospital Medical Center, Edward Hospital, Advocate Christ Medical Center, the Little Company of Mary Hospital, and Linden Oaks Hospital. Dr. Adeoye gained his Medical Degree in 1992 from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. After moving to the United States, an internship was completed at the University of Illinois. Dr. Adeoye remained at this University to complete his residency in Psychiatry, where he served as Chief Resident, followed by his fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Adeoye holds dual board certification in both Psychiatry and in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and is recognized as an expert in the management and treatment of autism and mood disorders. He maintains professional memberships with the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists, and the Academy of Clinical and Applied Psychoanalysis. Dr. Adeoye attributes his success to being diligent and focused, with a desire to help people. When he is not working, he enjoys traveling and photography. Learn more about Dr. Adeoye by reading his upcoming publication in The Leading Physicians of the World. FindaTopDoc.com is a hub for all things medicine, featuring detailed descriptions of medical professionals across all areas of expertise, and information on thousands of healthcare topics. Each month, millions of patients use FindaTopDoc to find a doctor nearby and instantly book an appointment online or create a review. FindaTopDoc.com features each doctor’s full professional biography highlighting their achievements, experience, patient reviews and areas of expertise. A leading provider of valuable health information that helps empower patient and doctor alike, FindaTopDoc enables readers to live a happier and healthier life. For more information about FindaTopDoc, visit http://www.findatopdoc.com
News Article | October 26, 2016
Use of a novel approach to analyzing brain structure that focuses on the shape rather than the size of particular features may allow identification of individuals in early presymptomatic stages of Alzheimer's disease. A team of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators using advanced computational tools to analyze data from standard MRI scans report that individuals with Alzheimer's disease, including those diagnosed partway through a multi-year study, had greater levels of asymmetry - differences in shape between the left and right sides of the brain - of key brain structures. Their study has been published online in the journal Brain. "Our results show for the first time that asymmetry of the hippocampus and amygdala increases with disease severity, above and beyond age-associated effects," says Christian Wachinger, PhD, formerly with the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at MGH, the lead author of the report. "By studying the progression of asymmetry from mild cognitive impairment to dementia, we demonstrated that greater asymmetry in those and a few other structures can predict disease progression and could be a biomarker allowing early detection of dementia." Wachinger is part of a team led by Martin Reuter, PhD, of the Martinos Center, that developed BrainPrint, a computer-aided system for representing the whole brain based on the shapes rather than the size or volume of structures. Originally described in a 2015 article in NeuroImage, BrainPrint appears to be as accurate as a fingerprint in distinguishing among individuals. In a recent paper in the same journal, Wachinger and Reuter demonstrated the use of BrainPrint for automated diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. The current study used BrainPrint to analyze structural asymmetries in a series of MR images of almost 700 participants in the National Institute of Health-sponsored Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI). Participation in that study involves MR brain imaging taken upon enrollment and repeated every 6 to 12 months, along with cognitive and genetic testing; and the MGH study analyzed data from ADNI participants with at least three MRI scans. Participants were divided into four groups: those diagnosed with probable Alzheimer's when entering the study, healthy controls with no sign of dementia, individuals with mild cognitive impairment that remained stable over the two to three years for which scans were available, and those with mild cognitive impairment that progressed to Alzheimer's disease during the study. BrainPrint analysis of the data revealed that initial, between-hemisphere differences in the shapes of the hippocampus and amygdala - structures known to be sites of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease - were highest in individuals with dementia and lowest in healthy controls. Among those originally classified with mild cognitive impairment, baseline asymmetry was higher in those that progressed to Alzheimer's dementia and became even greater as symptoms developed. Increased asymmetry was also associated with poorer cognitive test scores and with increased cortical atrophy. The senior author of the Brain paper, Reuter explains, "Several studies have indicated that Alzheimer's has different effects in different sub-structures of the hippocampus and amygdala. Since the shape descriptors of BrainPrint are more sensitive to subtle changes within a structure than are standard volume-based measures, they are better suited to quantify early disease effects and predict future progression, which opens up new research directions into the mechanisms that cause these asymmetries. For example, in addition to asymmetric distribution of amyloid beta, which has been reported, the differences could reflect disease subtypes that affect hemispheres differently." Now a professor of Neurobiological Research in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics, and Psychotherapy at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Wachinger adds, "In collaboration with colleagues at the Martinos Center, we are planning further exploration of the relationship between shape asymmetries and established Alzheimer's disease biomarkers to better understand the underlying biological mechanisms. Differentiating between those with stable mild cognitive impairment and those who will progress to Alzheimer's is of great clinical relevance, as it could help select individuals appropriate for clinical trials of disease-modifying therapies." Reuter is an assistant professor of Radiology and of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and director of the Laboratory for Computational Longitudinal Neuroimaging at the Martinos Center. He also holds a research affiliation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Additional co-authors of the Brain paper are David Salat, PhD, Martinos Center, and Michael Weiner, MD, University of California, San Francisco. Support for the study includes National Institutes of Health grant 1K25CA181632, Massachusetts Alzheimer's Disease Research Center grant 5P50AG005134, and grants from the Humboldt Foundation, MGH Neurology Clinical Trials Unit, the Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center, and the Genentech Foundation. Massachusetts General Hospital, founded in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The MGH Research Institute conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the nation, with an annual research budget of more than $800 million and major research centers in HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular research, cancer, computational and integrative biology, cutaneous biology, human genetics, medical imaging, neurodegenerative disorders, regenerative medicine, reproductive biology, systems biology, photomedicine and transplantation biology. The MGH topped the 2015 Nature Index list of health care organizations publishing in leading scientific journals, earned the prestigious 2015 Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service. In August 2016 the MGH was once again named to the Honor Roll in the U.S. News & World Report list of "America's Best Hospitals."
News Article | March 1, 2017
TEL AVIV, Israel, March 01, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Alcobra Ltd. (NasdaqGM:ADHD), an emerging pharmaceutical company focused on the development of new medications to treat central nervous system and cognitive disorders, today announced that it will host an investor forum on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 from 8:00-9:30 a.m. EST in New York City. The forum will feature several experts in the field of prescription medication abuse and the treatment and management of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In addition, Alcobra’s executive management team will provide an evidence-based overview of the commercial potential for its proprietary Abuse-Deterrent, Amphetamine Immediate Release product candidate called ADAIR. At the forum, Dr. Timothy Wilens and Dr. Stephen Faraone will provide a general overview and answer questions regarding prescription medication abuse and the treatment and management of ADHD. Timothy Wilens, M.D. is chief, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and co-director Center for Addiction Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He is also associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School in Boston. His residency in child, adolescent, adult, and addiction psychiatry was completed at MGH under the auspices of Harvard Medical School. Dr. Wilens' research interests include the relationship among attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder and substance use disorders, and the pharmacotherapy of ADHD across the lifespan. Stephen Faraone, Ph.D., vice president of the World Federation of ADHD, studies the nature and causes of mental disorders in childhood. In 2014, 2015 and 2016 Thompson Reuters named Dr. Faraone one of the world’s most highly cited scholars in the fields of psychiatry and psychology. He is an author on over 800 journal articles, editorials, chapters and books, his research interests include genetics, biomarker development, psychopharmacology and research methodology. Dr. Faraone is editor for the journal Neuropsychiatric Genetics and also deputy editor for the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The event will be webcast live beginning at 8:00 a.m. EST. The webcast and accompanying presentation materials will be accessible live and archived on the Investor Relations section of Alcobra’s website at www.alcobra-pharma.com, the content of which is not incorporated herein by reference. To attend the event in person, please contact the company at firstname.lastname@example.org. About ADAIR Alcobra's Abuse-Deterrent Amphetamine Immediate-Release (ADAIR) product candidate is a proprietary, abuse-deterrent oral formulation of immediate-release (short-acting) dextroamphetamine that is currently under development for the treatment of ADHD. ADAIR is being specifically designed to limit abuse by snorting or injecting. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported recently that approximately five million people misuse or abuse prescription stimulants annually in the US, with studies reporting that 40 percent or more do so by snorting or injecting these products. The ADAIR formulation was developed in close collaboration with Capsugel, a global leader in delivering high-quality, innovative dosage forms and solutions. About Alcobra Alcobra Ltd. is an emerging pharmaceutical company primarily focused on the development and commercialization of medications to treat CNS and cognitive disorders. For more information, please visit the company's website, www.alcobra-pharma.com, the content of which is not incorporated herein by reference.
News Article | October 28, 2016
A novel approach to analyzing brain structure that focuses on the shape, rather than the size, of particular features may allow identification of individuals who are in the early, pre-symptomatic stages of Alzheimer’s disease. A team of Harvard Medical School investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital used advanced computational tools to analyze data from standard MRI scans. They found that people with Alzheimer’s disease, including those diagnosed partway through a multiyear study, had greater levels of asymmetry in key brain structures: differences in shape between the left and right sides of the brain. Their study has been published in the journal Brain. "Our results show for the first time that asymmetry of the hippocampus and amygdala increases with disease severity, above and beyond age-associated effects,” said Christian Wachinger, formerly an HMS research fellow in neurology at Mass General and lead author of the report. “By studying the progression of asymmetry from mild cognitive impairment to dementia, we demonstrated that greater asymmetry in those and a few other structures can predict disease progression and could be a biomarker allowing early detection of dementia.” Wachinger is part of a team led by Martin Reuter, HMS assistant professor of radiology at Mass General, that developed BrainPrint, a computer-aided system for representing the whole brain based on the shape, rather than the size or volume, of structures. Originally described in a 2015 article in NeuroImage, BrainPrint appears to be as accurate as a fingerprint in distinguishing among individuals. In a recent paper in the same journal, Wachinger and Reuter demonstrated the use of BrainPrint for automated diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. The current study used BrainPrint to analyze structural asymmetries in a series of MR images of almost 700 participants in the National Institutes of Health-sponsored Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. Participation in that study involves MR brain imaging taken upon enrollment and repeated every 6 to 12 months, along with cognitive and genetic testing. The Mass General study analyzed data from participants who had had at least three MRI scans. Participants were divided into four groups: those diagnosed with probable Alzheimer’s when entering the study, healthy controls with no sign of dementia, individuals with mild cognitive impairment that remained stable over the two to three years for which scans were available, and those with mild cognitive impairment that progressed to Alzheimer’s disease during the study. BrainPrint analysis of the data revealed that initial, between-hemisphere differences in the shapes of the hippocampus and amygdala—structures known to be sites of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease—were highest in individuals with dementia and lowest in healthy controls. Among those originally classified with mild cognitive impairment, baseline asymmetry was higher in those that progressed to Alzheimer’s dementia and became even greater as symptoms developed. Increased asymmetry was also associated with poorer cognitive test scores and with increased cortical atrophy. Several studies have indicated that Alzheimer’s has different effects in different substructures of the hippocampus and amygdala, said Reuter, the senior author of the Brain paper, explained. “Since the shape descriptors of BrainPrint are more sensitive to subtle changes within a structure than are standard volume-based measures, they are better suited to quantify early disease effects and predict future progression, which opens up new research directions into the mechanisms that cause these asymmetries,” Reuter said. “For example, in addition to asymmetric distribution of amyloid beta, which has been reported, the differences could reflect disease subtypes that affect hemispheres differently.” Now a professor of neurobiological research in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics, and Psychotherapy at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Wachinger said that in collaboration with colleagues at Mass General, he is planning to explore further the relationship between shape asymmetries and established Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers to better understand the underlying biological mechanisms. “Differentiating between those with stable mild cognitive impairment and those who will progress to Alzheimer’s is of great clinical relevance, as it could help select individuals appropriate for clinical trials of disease-modifying therapies,” Wachinger said. Reuter is director of the Laboratory for Computational Longitudinal Neuroimaging at the Martinos Center at Mass General. He also holds a research affiliation at MIT. Support for the study includes National Institutes of Health grant 1K25CA181632, Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center grant 5P50AG005134, and grants from the Humboldt Foundation, MGH Neurology Clinical Trials Unit, the Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center, and the Genentech Foundation.
News Article | December 14, 2016
Sierra Tucson, an internationally renowned leader in behavioral and mental health care, announced today the promotion of Michael V. Genovese, MD, JD, to chief medical advisor of the Acadia Healthcare Recovery Division. Acadia Healthcare is the parent company of Sierra Tucson. Previously, Dr. Genovese served as chief medical officer at Sierra Tucson since October 2014. In his new role, Dr. Genovese will provide his expertise and presence for not only Sierra Tucson, but for the broader recovery division of Acadia Healthcare as well. Through Dr. Genovese’s guidance, the Recovery Division and Sierra Tucson will continue to be an advocate, thought leader and innovator in the industry, across a myriad of sectors. During his tenure at Sierra Tucson, Dr. Genovese worked closely with internal and external teams to advance clinical and medical programming, and provided cutting-edge innovations to improve the outcomes of Sierra Tucson’s residents. He has assisted in building out Sierra Tucson’s medical team; has worked closely to provide enhanced safety for residents; and has helped provide greater ease of access to Sierra Tucson’s world-class treatment. “Through his dedication to being a key opinion leader in the field of behavioral health on a national and international stage, and through detailed, individualized customer service, Dr. Genovese has helped improve the overall brand and experience for referring professionals that entrust their clients to Sierra Tucson’s care,” said Bill Anderson, chief executive officer of Sierra Tucson. Prior to joining Sierra Tucson, Dr. Genovese co-founded Long Island Mind & Body (LIMB), a highly successful medical practice that brought state-of-the-art integrative treatments to a growing patient-base in metropolitan New York. He was a fellow at New York University/North Shore University Hospital Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Program, and he completed his residency training at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. About Sierra Tucson: For more than 32 years, Sierra Tucson’s longstanding legacy of clinical excellence and compassionate care has resulted in recovery for those struggling with substance use disorder, trauma-related issues, eating disorders, chronic pain and mood and anxiety disorders. Internationally renowned for its innovative approach to behavioral and mental health treatment, Sierra Tucson was the recipient of the 2016 Organizational Achievement Award by NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals. Sierra Tucson combines integrative and experiential therapies with evidence-based practices to provide a full range of treatment methods. Call 800-842-4487 or visit SierraTucson.com.
News Article | December 19, 2016
ST. JOSEPH, Missouri (Reuters) - On a sunny November afternoon in this historic city, birthplace of the Pony Express and death spot of Jesse James, Lauranda Mignery watched her son Kadin, 2, dig in their front yard. As he played, she scolded him for putting his fingers in his mouth. In explanation, she pointed to the peeling paint on her old house. Kadin, she said, has been diagnosed with lead poisoning. He has lots of company: Within 15 blocks of his house, at least 120 small children have been poisoned since 2010, making the neighborhood among the most toxic in Missouri, Reuters found as part of an analysis of childhood lead testing results across the country. In St. Joseph, even a local pediatrician’s children were poisoned. Last year, the city of Flint, Michigan, burst into the world spotlight after its children were exposed to lead in drinking water and some were poisoned. In the year after Flint switched to corrosive river water that leached lead from old pipes, 5 percent of the children screened there had high blood lead levels. Flint is no aberration. In fact, it doesn’t even rank among the most dangerous lead hotspots in America. In all, Reuters found nearly 3,000 areas with recently recorded lead poisoning rates at least double those in Flint during the peak of that city’s contamination crisis. And more than 1,100 of these communities had a rate of elevated blood tests at least four times higher. The poisoned places on this map stretch from Warren, Pennsylvania, a town on the Allegheny River where 36 percent of children tested had high lead levels, to a zip code on Goat Island, Texas, where a quarter of tests showed poisoning. In some pockets of Baltimore, Cleveland and Philadelphia, where lead poisoning has spanned generations, the rate of elevated tests over the last decade was 40-50 percent. Like Flint, many of these localities are plagued by legacy lead: crumbling paint, plumbing, or industrial waste left behind. Unlike Flint, many have received little attention or funding to combat poisoning. To identify these locations, Reuters examined neighborhood-level blood testing results, most of which have not been previously disclosed. The data, obtained from state health departments and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tracks poisoning rates among children tested in each location. The resulting portrait provides a granular look at places where decades-long U.S. efforts to stamp out lead poisoning have fallen short. “The disparities you’ve found between different areas have stark implications,” said Dr. Helen Egger, chair of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center’s Child Study Center. “Where lead poisoning remains common, many children will have developmental delays and start out behind all the rest.” In children up to age 6, the CDC threshold for an elevated blood lead level is 5 micrograms per deciliter. Any child who tests high warrants a public health response, the agency says; even a slight elevation can reduce IQ and stunt development. Nationwide, the CDC estimates that 2.5 percent of small children have elevated levels. In the communities identified by this analysis, a far higher rate of children who got tested had lead poisoning. In most cases, the local data covers a 5- or 10-year period through 2015. Reporters visited several of the trouble spots: a neighborhood with many rundown homes in South Bend, Indiana; a rural mining town in Missouri’s Lead Belt; the economically depressed North Side of Milwaukee. In each location, it was easy to find people whose lives have been impacted by lead exposure. While poverty remains a potent predictor of lead poisoning, the victims span the American spectrum – poor and rich, rural and urban, black and white. Most U.S. states disclose data on the percentage of child blood tests that show elevated levels of lead. Yet this data, often for statewide or county-wide populations, is too broad to identify neighborhoods where children face the greatest risk. Instead, Reuters sought testing data at the neighborhood level, in census tracts or zip code areas, submitting records requests to all 50 states. U.S. census tracts are small county subdivisions that average about 4,000 residents apiece. Zip codes have average populations of 7,500. In each area, a relatively small number of children are screened for lead poisoning each year. Reuters found 2,606 census tracts, and another 278 zip code areas, with a prevalence of lead poisoning at least twice Flint’s rate. The test results allow for local analysis, pinpointing neighborhoods whose lead poisoning problems may be obscured in broader surveys. For example: Across Maryland, 2 percent of childhood lead tests were high in recent years, just a small fraction of the rate in the worst-affected Baltimore tracts. In Flint, while 5 percent of children citywide tested with high blood lead levels, the highest rate was in the downtown zip code, where about 11 percent tested high. “I hope this data spurs questions from the public to community leaders who can make changes,” said epidemiologist Robert Walker, co-chair of the CDC’s Lead Content Work Group, which analyzes lead poisoning nationwide. “I would think that it would turn some heads.” The findings, Walker said, will help inform the public about risks in their own neighborhoods and allow health officials to seek lead abatement grants in the most dangerous spots. There isn’t much federal help available. Congress recently directed $170 million in aid to Flint. That’s 10 times the CDC’s budget for assisting states with lead poisoning this year. The nationwide map constructed through this analysis has empty spaces: The available data includes 21 states, home to around 61 percent of the U.S. population. Health departments in some states didn’t possess the data or respond to records requests. Others wouldn’t share it, saying they weren’t required to, or citing patient privacy laws. Even with these gaps, the data shows that despite broad national progress in curbing poisoning, lead hazards continue to imperil many communities. Since the heavy metal was phased out from paint and gasoline in the late 1970s, children’s average blood lead levels have dropped by more than 90 percent. That success story masks a sober reality in neighborhoods where risk abatement has failed. “The national mean doesn’t mean anything for a kid who lives in a place where the risks are much higher,” said Dr. Egger. St. Joseph, Missouri, is filled with old homes that for a century featured lead paint and plumbing. From 2010 to 2015, more than 15 percent of children tested in seven census tracts here had elevated lead levels – well beyond the Missouri average of 5 percent. Dr. Cynthia Brownfield’s family lives in a Victorian home on Museum Hill, overlooking City Hall. Built in the 1880s, it has restored tiger-stripe oak floors and an antique clawfoot bathtub. As a pediatrician, Brownfield treats lead-poisoned children. A decade ago, her children were among them. Soon after moving into the home in 2006, her two youngest daughters tested high. “It was dramatically shocking to get a call from the health department,” said Brownfield, who had sought to make her home safe. Inspectors found the home’s old windows released tiny plumes of lead dust. There was lead in the tiles near the fireplace, the original stenciled wallpaper and the bathtub. The family did extensive work to fix the hazards. Residents take pride in preserving old homes, said St. Joseph’s community development manager, Gerald McCush. But many aren’t aware children can be poisoned during renovations. Others ignore explicit warnings. McCush, a certified lead inspector, says his office told one family that sanding paint off their walls was poisoning their son. “The dad said we were full of baloney,” he said. “He wasn’t going to stop working.” When Mignery moved into an old, affordable home, the mother of four was aware of dangers like street crime. She didn’t know the neighborhood also had alarming rates of lead poisoning. Over the past five years, 20 percent of tested children in the census tract showed poisoning. At son Kadin’s one-year doctor visit, Mignery was told his lead levels were so high that, without quick intervention, he would need to be hospitalized. An inspector visited the home and found the culprit: old peeling lead paint. The family could only afford a partial fix. “It wasn’t easy having to repaint all the rooms downstairs,” she said. “We want to do the outside here, too.” Children in at least 4 million U.S. households are exposed to high levels of lead, the CDC says. ‘MESSED UP IN THE HEAD’ Lead continues to plague many industrial cities in the Midwest. In Milwaukee last year, 11.5 percent of children tested had elevated lead. In a half dozen depressed North Side census tracts, about a third of tests showed poisoning from 2010 to 2014. One in 10 was highly elevated, at 10 micrograms per deciliter or more. Childhood poisoning victim Brandon, now 20, lives with his mother DeeDee in an old two-story home. The family agreed to meet a reporter but asked that their last names not be published, citing the stigma attached to lead poisoning. Across the street is the old rental house where, as a baby, Brandon was exposed to peeling lead paint. Health records show that before age 2, his levels reached nearly 10 times the current CDC threshold. He was hospitalized and received chelation treatment. The drugs remove heavy metals from the body and help prevent further damage, but once a child is exposed, the impact can be irreversible. Brandon, who is easily excited, was at turns cheerful and mournful during an interview. He never finished high school and hasn’t held a job. He has cognitive impairment, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and outbursts of anger. He was recently arrested after a dispute with a convenience store clerk over soda pop, and is now on probation. “Ever since I caught the lead, I’ve been messed up in the head. I can’t control my anger or feelings,” Brandon said. “I could have been better than I am.” A mile away, in Milwaukee’s census tract 88, Isaiah Martin, 18 months old, recently ingested old paint in a family home and on the porch outside, where he loved to watch a neighbor’s dog. Isaiah’s initial lead test, in June, showed a level four times higher than the CDC threshold. “As a first-time mom, I freaked out,” said Isaiah’s mother, Shantrice, who moved her family to an apartment in another neighborhood. Milwaukee’s health department inspected Isaiah’s old home and has monitored his lead testing. The city’s poisoning rates remain high, but are improving as public health officials and outreach groups combat the problem. Federal law requires owners of homes built before 1978, when lead paint was banned, to disclose hazards to tenants or buyers. Pamphlets and warning statements, however, can’t make the dwellings safe. Laws that can require owners to remediate lead from properties vary across the country. Milwaukee frequently takes legal action against “slumlords” who rent dangerous properties, said Health Commissioner Bevan Baker. He also said childhood blood screening has more than doubled in the city since the late 1990s. The city still has 135,000 prewar dwellings with lead paint, and 70,000 with lead water service lines. Most of its poisoning occurs in a few zip codes, where Baker says $50 million has been spent to protect children. “We need to do more,” said Baker. On a recent evening, hundreds of people lined up in a cold drizzle at Kosciuszko Park on Milwaukee’s south side, where poisoning rates are also high. The Sixteenth Street Clinic, a non-profit, was giving away tap-water filters. Among them was Rebeca Velazquez, a mother of five. Her 5-year-old daughter was recently diagnosed with lead poisoning. “I don’t want to take a risk with her,” Velazquez said, motioning to her youngest child, age 4 months. Like Brandon, many children with lead poisoning fall into a vicious cycle: Cognitive deficits breed poor school performance, high dropout rates, few job opportunities, and brushes with the law. Last year, one man mired in that cycle met a notorious end. At 25, Baltimore resident Freddie Gray sustained a fatal spinal cord injury in a police van, setting off months of tension in the city and fueling the national debate over policing in black communities. In the 1990s, starting at age 2, Gray lived in a row house in Baltimore’s Sandtown-Winchester area tainted with old lead paint, according to a 2008 lawsuit filed by Gray and his siblings against the property’s landlord. He was exposed and suffered developmental problems, the legal filings say. The case was settled for an undisclosed amount. Gray’s former home sits in an area where children’s lead exposure has persisted at shocking levels, testing data shows. In several nearby census tracts, elevated lead levels were found in between 25 percent and 40 percent of children tested from 2005 to 2015. Cleveland has similar problems. In the city’s east side St. Clair-Superior area, nearly half of kids tested in the last decade had elevated lead. The state health department refused to provide census tract testing data; the news agency obtained the information from the CDC. “Cleveland is my home, so it’s deeply personal every time we see new numbers on lead exposure in our neighborhoods,” said U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio. Brown has pressed federal and state agencies to increase childhood blood testing rates and fund more lead abatement efforts. Pennsylvania has a dubious distinction. The state contains the most individual census tracts – 1,100 in all – where at least 10 percent of childhood lead tests were elevated over the last decade. In 49 different tracts, from inner city Philadelphia to capital Harrisburg, at least 40 percent of children tested had high lead. Those figures are disturbing – but not surprising – to health officials in the state. “I believe that,” said Dr. Loren Robinson, Pennsylvania’s deputy secretary for health promotion and disease prevention. “Beyond the history of industry, our state has some of the oldest homes in the country.” The state’s health department has partnered with schools, daycare centers and nonprofits to remove lead from properties, and is working on drafting new municipal codes to ensure rental properties are free of lead hazards, Robinson said. Even in some of the highest risk areas around the country, many small children go untested for lead, Reuters reported in June. The gaps make tracking poisoned children more daunting. In South Bend, Indiana, where health officials face a cash crunch, lead testing is in sharp decline even as existing data points to a serious problem. In one tract there, 31 percent of small children tested from 2005 to 2015 had high levels – more than six times Flint’s rate last year. The area, 1.5 miles southwest of the University of Notre Dame’s idyllic college campus, is home to about 250 children. Filled with old dwellings, it has one of the highest poverty rates in town. Dr. Luis Galup, a pathologist and the county health officer, said funds to tackle the problem in South Bend have dwindled. “We are the lowest of the low in terms of public health funding,” he said. Mayor Pete Buttigieg said the evidence that poisoning is widespread in parts of South Bend could cause public health administrators to seek more state funds or reallocate resources. “It’s an eye-opener,” he said of the Reuters study. “As a community with lots of low income residents and lots of old housing, we’re vulnerable ... The county health department does everything they can just to keep up with child immunizations and restaurant inspections.” The county, with around 265,000 residents, has two nurses and one environmental inspector tasked with lead poisoning prevention. Thinly spread, they conduct home inspections only when a child’s lead levels reach double the CDC’s elevated threshold. Finding those children is getting harder. Housing and Urban Development grants that paid for South Bend lead testing ended in May. For years, the local Women, Infants and Children program, or WIC, conducted hundreds of childhood blood lead tests annually. That testing, which has stopped, relied on outside funds from HUD and others. South Bend pediatricians and the local Head Start program still order screenings, but many children go untested. “I bet there are hardly any tests being done now,” said WIC program director Sue Taylor. “The funding dried up.” Edward Brown Jr., 2, was first tested last year. He’d been living with his mother, Victoria Marshall, in a central South Bend home. An inspector found lead paint inside and contaminated soil outside. Marshall says Edward’s blood lead reached 90 micrograms per deciliter. Levels that high can be life threatening, provoking seizures or coma. Edward’s blood levels have receded since he was hospitalized for a week. Now in a new home, Edward danced around and shared applesauce with his baby sister. He has met many of the typical developmental milestones for his age. Still, Marshall worries. “He’s got a lot of energy. Some people say he might have ADHD,” she said. One-in-five cases of ADHD may be linked to lead poisoning, a recent American Academy of Pediatrics report concluded. In Missouri, it’s a six hour drive southeast from St. Joseph to rural Viburnum in Iron County, situated in a mining district known as the Lead Belt. Viburnum’s tract had the sharpest rate of elevated childhood tests in the state, or 30 percent since 2010. “Really? I didn’t know about it,” said Viburnum Mayor Johnny Setzer. Mark Yingling, an executive in charge of health and safety at The Doe Run Company, which operates nearby mining and smelting works, said the high rates were “news to me.” Doe Run deploys safety measures, Yingling said, such as washing all of its trucks that may come into contact with lead, and containing tailings and emissions. Lead workers shower and change outfits at the end of their shifts, to avoid tracking toxins into their homes. Health officials haven’t recently informed Doe Run of any local children with lead poisoning, he said. Iron County’s health department said it isn’t required to provide such information, and never has. In fact, lead contamination in the community is pervasive. The Environmental Protection Agency has mandated so-called Superfund cleanups of two contaminated lead sites in and around Viburnum. And Doe Run and other mining firms are currently under federal orders to clean up lead contamination from 150 properties in the region and test the soil at 250 more. The order, issued by the EPA in June, says these activities should “prioritize” properties where children have had high lead tests. Among the spots the EPA ordered to be cleaned or tested: playgrounds, daycare yards or other places where small kids gather. For some locals, poisoning is a cost of living in this mining town. They use a colloquial term for the syndrome – getting leaded. “You can get very leaded,” said Antonin Bohac, a mechanic at the nearby Brushy Creek Mine. “But I make good money.” Bohac said he was nearly taken off the job a few years ago after he was poisoned himself, with a lead level four times higher than what federal officials consider healthy for adults.
News Article | November 23, 2016
Researchers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) have conducted the first study of its kind, using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to look at brain regions in both adults and children who stutter. Consistent with past functional MRI studies, their findings demonstrate neuro-metabolite alterations across the brain - linking stuttering to changes in brain circuits that control speech production and circuits that support attention and emotion. The study in now published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The research was led by Bradley S. Peterson, MD, Director of the Institute for the Developing Mind at CHLA, and Professor and Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. Developmental stuttering is a neuropsychiatric condition; its origins in the brain are only partly known. In order to measure an index of neural density related to stuttering in circuits and brain regions suspected to be affected, the scientists performed proton shift imaging of the brain in 47 children and 47 adults. The study included subjects both with and without stuttering. The research team found that affected brain regions included major nodes of the so-called Bohland speech-production network (associated with the regulation of motor activity); the default-mode network, (involved in the regulation of attention); and the emotional-memory network (responsible for regulating emotion.) "That stuttering is related to speech and language-based brain circuits seems clear," says Peterson. "Attention-regulating portions of the brain are related to control circuits that are important in governing behavior. People with changes here are more likely to stutter and have more severe stuttering. And emotions like anxiety and stress also tend to make stuttering worse, likely because this network interacts with language and attention control circuits." This initial, unique MRS study of stuttering confirmed that disturbances in neuronal or membrane metabolism contribute to the development of stuttering. Looking at a combination of children and adults in order to detect the effects of stuttering, independent of life-stage, revealed differences between children and adults within both the stuttering and control samples. This suggests different metabolic profiles in children versus adults who stutter. Few sex-specific effects of stuttering on brain metabolites were observed. Additional contributors to the study include Joseph O'Neill, PhD and Elena Pozzi, UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience; Zhengchao Dong, PhD, and Xuejun Hao, PhD, Columbia University; Iliyan Ivanov, MD, Mount Sinai Hospital; and Ravi Bansal, PhD, and Jay Desai, MD, CHLA and Keck School of Medicine, USC. This study was funded by grant K02 74677 from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Millhiser Family Trust, the Suzanne Crosby Murphy endowment at Columbia University, and Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Children's Hospital Los Angeles has been named the best children's hospital on the West Coast and among the top five in the nation for clinical excellence with its selection to the prestigious U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll. Children's Hospital is home to The Saban Research Institute, one of the largest and most productive pediatric research facilities in the United States. Children's Hospital is also one of America's premier teaching hospitals through its affiliation since 1932 with the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. For more information, visit CHLA.org or visit our blog at ResearCHLAblog.org.
News Article | February 15, 2017
Emotions are not innately programmed into our brains, but, in fact, are cognitive states resulting from the gathering of information, New York University Professor Joseph LeDoux and Richard Brown, a professor at the City University of New York, conclude in the latest issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "We argue that conscious experiences, regardless of their content, arise from one system in the brain," explains LeDoux, a professor in New York University's Center for Neural Science. "Specifically, the differences between emotional and non-emotional states are the kinds of inputs that are processed by a general cortical network of cognition, a network essential for conscious experiences." As a result, LeDoux and Brown observe, "the brain mechanisms that give rise to conscious emotional feelings are not fundamentally different from those that give rise to perceptual conscious experiences." Their paper--"A Higher-Order Theory of Emotional Consciousness"--addresses a notable gap in neuroscience theory. While emotions, or feelings, are the most significant events in our lives, there has been relatively little integration of theories of emotion and emerging theories of consciousness in cognitive science. Existing work posits that emotions are innately programmed in the brain's subcortical circuits. As a result, emotions are often treated as different from cognitive states of consciousness, such as those related to the perception of external stimuli. In other words, emotions aren't a response to what our brain takes in from our observations, but, rather, are intrinsic to our makeup. However, after taking into account existing scholarship on both cognition and emotion, LeDoux and Brown see a quite different architecture for emotions--one more centered on process than on composition. They conclude that emotions are "higher-order states" embedded in cortical circuits. Therefore, unlike present theories, they see emotional states as similar to other states of consciousness. LeDoux, the founder of the Emotional Brain Institute who also has an appointment in NYU's Department of Psychology, has worked on emotion and memory in the brain for more than 20 years. He is also a professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center. Brown is a professor of philosophy at the City University of New York's LaGuardia College.