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Researchers investigating a form of adult-onset diabetes that shares features with the two better-known types of diabetes have discovered genetic influences that may offer clues to more accurate diagnosis and treatment. Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) is informally called "type 1.5 diabetes" because like type 1 diabetes (T1D), LADA is marked by circulating autoantibodies, an indicator that an overactive immune system is damaging the body's insulin-producing beta cells. But LADA also shares clinical features with type 2 diabetes (T2D), which tends to appear in adulthood. Also, as in T2D, LADA patients do not require insulin treatments when first diagnosed. A study published April 25 in BMC Medicine uses genetic analysis to show that LADA is closer to T1D than to T2D. "Correctly diagnosing subtypes of diabetes is important, because it affects how physicians manage a patient's disease," said co-study leader Struan F.A. Grant, PhD, a genomics researcher at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). "If patients are misdiagnosed with the wrong type of diabetes, they may not receive the most effective medication." Grant collaborated with European scientists, led by Richard David Leslie of the University of London, U.K.; and Bernhard O. Boehm, of Ulm University Medical Center, Germany and the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, a joint medical school of Imperial College London and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Occurring when patients cannot produce their own insulin or are unable to properly process the insulin they do produce, diabetes is usually classified into two major types. T1D, formerly called juvenile diabetes, generally presents in childhood, but may also appear first in adults. T2D, formerly called non-insulin-dependent diabetes, typically appears in adults, but has been increasing over the past several decades in children and teens. Some 90 percent or more of all patients with diabetes are diagnosed with T2D. Grant and many other researchers have discovered dozens of genetic regions that increase diabetes risk, usually with different sets of variants associated with T1D compared to T2D. The current study, the largest-ever genetic study of LADA, sought to determine how established T1D- or T2D-associated variants operate in the context of LADA. The study team compared DNA from 978 LADA patients, all adults from the U.K. and Germany, to a control group of 1,057 children without diabetes. Another set of control samples came from 2,820 healthy adults in the U.K. All samples were from individuals of European ancestry. The researchers calculated genetic risk scores to measure whether LADA patients had genetic profiles more similar to those of T1D or T2D patients. They found several T1D genetic regions associated with LADA, while relatively few T2D gene regions added to the risk of LADA. The genetic risk in LADA from T1D risk alleles was lower than in childhood-onset T1D, possibly accounting for the fact that LADA appears later in life. One variant, located in TCF7L2, which Grant and colleagues showed in 2006 to be among the strongest genetic risk factors for T2D reported to date, had no role in LADA. "Our finding that LADA is genetically closer to T1D than to T2D suggests that some proportion of patients diagnosed as adults with type 2 diabetes may actually have late-onset type 1 diabetes," said Grant. Grant said that larger studies are needed to further uncover genetic influences in the complex biology of diabetes, adding, "As we continue to integrate genetic findings with clinical characteristics, we may be able to more accurately classify diabetes subtypes to match patients with more effective treatments." Grant received support for this research from the National Institutes of Health (grant R01 DK085212) and the Daniel B. Burke Endowed Chair for Diabetes Research. "Relative Contribution of type 1 and type 2 diabetes loci to the genetic etiology of adult-onset, non-insulin-requiring autoimmune diabetes" BMC Medicine, published online April 25, 2017. http://doi. About Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals, and pioneering major research initiatives, Children's Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 546-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visit http://www.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Voalte, the leader in healthcare communication technology, today announced that Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has selected Voalte Platform™ for enterprise care team communication and alarm and alert notification. Ranked one of the top pediatric hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has 575 licensed beds spanning three hospitals, plus 27 neighborhood locations throughout metro Atlanta. The Voalte Platform project includes Voalte One™ for nurses using shared smartphones at the point of care, Voalte Me™ for physicians and others using personal smartphones outside the hospital, and Voalte Messenger™ for unit coordinators and other desk-based staff. All users will be included in a powerful, role-based visual directory that makes it easy to find the right person at the right time. The multi-phase project will connect thousands of caregivers across all locations with Zebra MC40-HC™ devices and Voalte Me licenses. In addition to secure text messaging and voice over IP calling, Voalte Platform also integrates with the hospital’s middleware to route nurse calls from Rauland Responder 5 directly to the appropriate caregiver’s smartphone. “Efficient communication and quick response times are vitally important when it comes to helping children heal and reassuring concerned parents,” said Adam McMullin, Voalte Chairman and CEO. “When a leading pediatric hospital like Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta chooses Voalte Platform, they understand that we are dedicated to helping them provide the highest quality of care and keeping the smallest patients safe.” About Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has been 100 percent dedicated to kids for more than 100 years. A not-for-profit organization, Children’s is dedicated to making kids better today and healthier tomorrow. Our specialized care helps children get better faster and live healthier lives. Managing more than 870,000 patient visits annually at three hospitals and 27 neighborhood locations, Children’s is the largest healthcare provider for children in Georgia and one of the largest pediatric clinical care providers in the country. Children’s offers access to more than 60 pediatric specialties and programs and is ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report. With generous philanthropic and volunteer support since 1915, Children’s has impacted the lives of children in Georgia, the United States and throughout the world. Visit http://www.choa.org for more information. About Voalte Voalte develops smartphone solutions that simplify caregiver communication. As the only company to offer a comprehensive Mobile Communication Strategy, Voalte enables care teams inside and outside the hospital to access and exchange information securely. Voalte customers benefit from a solid smartphone infrastructure that supports their existing systems and expands to accommodate future technologies. Founded in 2008, Voalte is a privately held company based in Sarasota, Florida. Voalte solutions are now available to more than 132,000 caregivers throughout the United States. For more information, visit voalte.com or follow @Voalte on Twitter.


News Article | December 3, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Researchers are reporting the highest and most sustained levels to date of the essential blood-clotting factor IX in patients with the inherited bleeding disorder hemophilia B. After receiving a single dose of an experimental gene therapy in a clinical trial, patients with hemophilia produced near-normal levels of clotting factor IX, allowing them to stop clotting factor infusions and to pursue normal activities of daily life without disabling bleeding episodes. Lindsey A. George, MD, a hematologist at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is the lead investigator of the phase 1/2 clinical trial sponsored by Spark Therapeutics, Inc. and Pfizer, Inc. The American Society of Hematology (ASH) today highlighted updated findings from that trial in a press conference during its annual meeting in San Diego. George will present those study results tomorrow at an ASH plenary scientific session. Katherine High, MD, a senior author of the study and Spark Therapeutics's president and chief scientific officer, described the updated interim trial data at today's press conference. The clinical trial of nine adult hemophilia B patients, aged 18 to 52 years, used a single dose of a gene therapy product engineered to enter patients' liver cells and direct the production of the blood clotting factor that they lack. George notes, "Our goal in this trial was to evaluate the safety of the gene therapy product and secondarily, to determine if we could achieve levels of factor IX that could decrease bleeding events in patients." She added, "These patients have a severe or moderate level of hemophilia, with baseline clotting factor level less than or equal to 2 percent of levels in healthy people. In current treatment, patients with hemophilia give themselves intravenous doses of factor IX up to a couple times a week. While generally effective, factor levels fluctuate, and patients may suffer painful, disabling joint bleeds when their clotting factor levels drop. Such a regimen requires significant planning of daily activities." In the current trial, said George, the patients maintained factor levels of approximately 30 percent, enough to lift them out of the severe category. "At these new levels, hemophilia patients do not typically need to self-treat with factor to avoid bleeding events," she said, adding, "This represents a potential dramatic improvement in their quality of life and a shift in the way we think about treating hemophilia." A factor level of 30 percent is near-normal, she added, and patients would be expected to experience bleeding only in the event of major trauma or surgery. One subject self-infused two days after receiving the gene therapy vector. Beyond this, no patients had any bleeding events or required factor for any reason. With significant reduction in bleeding events and factor use, six of the first seven patients reported increased physical activity and all reported improved quality of life. Two additional patients received the gene therapy product too recently to determine quality-of-life measures. Previous hemophilia gene therapy trials have been frustrated by an immune response to the gene therapy product that limited the success of the therapy. In the current trial, two patients experienced an immune response to the gene therapy that did not result in safety concerns, and were treated with steroids. The patients are still undergoing treatment but have maintained factor IX activity without bleeding. George reported that she is cautiously optimistic, acknowledging that this trial is a small study, with a short follow-up period as yet. However, as the researchers continue to monitor patients in the current trial, next steps will be to discuss with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the outlines of a larger, phase 3 clinical trial. No gene therapies for any genetic diseases have yet been approved for clinical use in the U.S. Formerly a research leader at CHOP, High pursued groundbreaking preclinical investigations in hemophilia B gene therapy and provided scientific expertise to previous gene therapy trials in hemophilia and other genetic disorders at CHOP before moving to Spark Therapeutics, which was spun off from CHOP in 2013. CHOP maintains a financial interest in the company. About Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals, and pioneering major research initiatives, Children's Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 535-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visit http://www.


News Article | December 19, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

CHOP researchers: Using echo imaging may allow surgeons to correct residual holes near heart wall during repair of other conditions Using cardiac imaging during heart surgery can detect serious residual holes in the heart that may occur when surgeons repair a child's heart defect, and offers surgeons the opportunity to close those holes during the same operation. Pediatric cardiology experts say using this tool, called transesophageal echocardiography (TEE), during surgery may improve outcomes for children with congenital heart disease. "We focused on intramural ventricular septal defects, which are holes between two chambers of the heart," said Meryl S. Cohen, MD, senior author and pediatric cardiologist at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). She and co-authors previously published a paper in Circulation that recognized these defects as being distinct from other types of residual holes. "These defects, which can occur after initial surgery for another defect, can increase the risk of complications and mortality in children with heart disease, so using imaging tools to quickly identify these defects can improve our care of these children," she added. The study's first author, Jyoti K. Patel, MD, was a former cardiac fellow in the Cardiac Center at CHOP, and conducted the research during her fellowship. The study team published the research in the September 2016 issue of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. The scientists reported on the use of intraoperative TEE to identify intramural ventricular septal defects (VSDs)--holes in the wall between two heart chambers. They performed a retrospective study of 337 children, mostly infants, who underwent surgery at CHOP for conotruncal defects from 2006 to 2013. Conotruncal defects are abnormalities in the heart's outflow tracts--the pathways that carry blood from the heart to its connected arteries. The resulting abnormal blood circulation may lead to a variety of health problems. Cardiac surgeons repair some conotruncal defects by sewing a patch from the ventricle to one of the outflows, but a residual hole around the patch may allow blood to flow into the right ventricle. Although this complication is rare, it is potentially life-threatening. The current study was the first to assess the accuracy of TEE in identifying intramural VSDs. The study team compared intraoperative TEE, which was performed during surgery, to another imaging tool, transthoracic echocardiography (TTE), done after surgery. Of the 337 surgical patients, 34 had intramural VSDs. Of those 34, both TTE and TEE identified 19 VSDs, while 15 were identified by TTE only. That data showed that TEE had modest sensitivity (56 percent), but high specificity (100 percent) in identifying intramural VSDs. The authors note that "the modest sensitivity suggests that many intramural defects are not detected in the operating room." However, they add, intraoperative TEE was able to identify most of the intramural defects requiring reintervention (e.g., further surgery). "We hope that this research will increase clinicians' awareness of these intramural defects as an important distinct entity related to surgical complications," said Patel. "If a greater awareness enhances the use of TEE in the operating room, surgeons may better develop strategies to both help prevent these lesions and to consider revising their operations before the patient leaves the operating room if an intramural VSD exists." The National Institutes of Health (grant HL007915) supported this research. Jyoti K Patel et al, "Accuracy of transesophageal echocardiography in the identification of postoperative intramural ventricular septal defects, Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Sept. 2016. http://doi. About Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals, and pioneering major research initiatives, Children's Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 535-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visit http://www.


News Article | December 16, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Nationally, the highest rates of asthma-related deaths and hospitalizations are among low-income minority adults, but most existing research doesn't focus on these patients. In particular, studies may not investigate patients where they live, in complicated, difficult circumstances. Many adult asthma patients have multiple diseases and exposure to tobacco smoke, but much research reflects the convenience of recruiting patients in clinics and on the relative simplicity of studying patients who do not have accompanying diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. A new study analyzes patients at ground level, drawing on reports from community health workers who visit asthma patients at home, where extreme living conditions such as poor housing, neighborhood violence, and lack of social support impose steep barriers to public health care, as well as to high-quality research. The research team argues that home visits offer a fuller understanding of how the social environment of asthma patients impacts their overall health. Researchers from the Community Asthma Prevention Program (CAPP) at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania describe those challenges in a study in the December 2016 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The authors focused on 301 adults living in low-income Philadelphia neighborhoods who were prescribed an inhaled corticosteroid for asthma and required oral steroids for an exacerbation and/or had an emergency or inpatient visit within the last six months. Community health workers visited patients in their homes and found 71 percent rented, with many living in one-room apartments or overcrowded spaces with multiple family members. Many patients also live in typical Philadelphia rowhomes, which were built in the late 19th century and are difficult to maintain on a limited income. These patients are routinely exposed to common indoor asthma triggers, such as rodents, roaches, and mold. Only 25 percent of people who participated in the study were currently employed either part or full-time. Community health workers reported their impressions of these stark, and sometimes bleak, living conditions: "Many of these patients start to feel a sense of hopelessness, especially the very sick," says Tyra Bryant-Stephens, MD, corresponding author and medical director of CAPP at CHOP. "They feel there is very little possibility of changing their current living situation, which includes poor housing, exposure to violent crime, and limited access to transportation. Some of these living conditions make it difficult or impossible for patients to get to their medical visits, which results in a further decline of their health." Living in a high-stress environment encourages many patients to continue smoking, despite knowing it contributes to their asthma symptoms. Twenty-eight percent of those surveyed admitted they currently smoke. Other issues community health workers encountered were low education rates, limited access to healthy foods, and poor general health; 58 percent of patients had hypertension and 32 percent had diabetes. "Medical personnel no longer make house calls, so this research gives us a view of how poverty, unfavorable home conditions, and lack of social resources limit patients' ability to access healthcare," says Andrea J. Apter, MD, MSc, MA, principal investigator of the study and Chief of the Section of Allergy & Immunology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. "Without the knowledge of these barriers, health providers do not have the information needed to create a tailored and empathetic approach to asthma management." Bryant-Stephens adds, "As long as there is poor housing, health disparities will continue to exist, despite medical advancements being made in the fight against asthma. The issue is not limited to Philadelphia and needs to be addressed on a national scale. Without addressing poor housing, we will never be able to truly eliminate disparities in outcomes among adult asthma patients." Tyra Bryant-Stephens, Shakira Reed-Wells, Maryori Canales, Luzmercy Perez, A. Russell Localio, Andrea J. Apter. "Home Visits are Needed to Address Asthma Health Disparities in Adults," Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Published December 2016. http://dx. About Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals, and pioneering major research initiatives, Children's Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 535-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visit http://www.


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

KANSAS CITY, MO -- February 21, 2017 -- Children's Mercy Kansas City today announced it has been named a recipient of Microsoft Corp.'s 2017 Health Innovation Awards. The awards, which were announced at the 2017 HIMSS Annual Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, Florida, recognize health organizations and their technology solution partners for using Microsoft devices and services in innovative ways that help engage patients, empower care teams, optimize clinical and operational effectiveness, and transform the care continuum. The 2017 winners are transforming the industry by creating breakthrough solutions that empower health and life sciences organizations, while meeting global, local and industry-specific compliance and security standards. Children's Mercy received the Health Innovation Award for its Cardiac High Acuity Monitoring Program (CHAMP). Nearly 2,000 babies are born each year with congenital heart disease consisting of a single ventricle. CHAMP combines traditional single-ventricle home monitoring, a service where nurse coordinators provide triage at home for highly fragile infants, with an innovative new app developed by the Ward Family Heart Center team at Children's Mercy. CHAMP consists of a Microsoft Surface 3 tablet with the Windows 10 operating system, connected to a database that sits in the Microsoft Cloud. Parents enter patient information into CHAMP, which transfers home monitoring data and videos in near real-time to the CHAMP home monitoring care team. Once entered into the CHAMP web portal, the data is evaluated through algorithms and can trigger instant alerts to the team for further evaluation of each single-ventricle child. Before the app and tablet were introduced, parents would check various vital signs at home, such as heartrate, weight and oxygen saturation, that are important indicators of cardiac health, and then it was up to them to provide that information to the hospital each week over the phone. Otherwise nurses would try to track down the parents to find out if they were concerned about anything. Nationally, around 1 in 5 babies with single-ventricle heart disease, such as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, will not survive the time period at home between the first surgery and second surgeries, known as the interstage period. Since Children's Mercy started using the CHAMP app in March 2014, none of its 62 single-ventricle patients have died during that interstage period. Today, 55 U.S. sites, representing nearly 80 percent of all centers that perform single-ventricle heart surgery on infants, and eight international sites have expressed interest in using CHAMP. "We're extremely honored to have Microsoft and HIMSS celebrate CHAMP's early success in 8 states, and this Health Innovation Award reinforces our goal to build a system that will evolve and become more intelligent over time," said Dr. Girish Shirali, co-director of the Ward Family Heart Center at Children's Mercy. "With more sophisticated analytics, we hope to find ways to help us treat babies quicker and even avoid hospitalization altogether." The Ward Family Heart Center at Children's Mercy Kansas City, one of the top pediatric cardiology and heart surgery programs in the nation, performs nearly 450 cardiac surgical procedures, provides 15,700 outpatient visits and 18,000 echocardiograms, and performs catheterization and electrophysiology procedures on more than 500 patients annually. The Heart Center's outcomes regularly outperform the combined averages of the 114 North American children's hospitals contributing to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons National Congenital Heart Surgery Database. Through innovative research, the Ward Family Heart Center is at the forefront of improving care and quality of life for children with congenital and acquired heart disease. "The health industry is undergoing a seismic shift in which intelligent technologies are helping organizations, communities and individuals improve care by helping them better understand and share information," said Laura Wallace, vice president, Health & Life Sciences, Microsoft. "This year's Microsoft Health Innovation Award recipients are advancing the goals of improved patient engagement and care coordination through their pioneering use of Microsoft devices, platforms and cloud services." Nominations were submitted by health providers, payers, pharmaceutical and life science organizations, and public and private health institutions across the world for applying Microsoft technology to create transformative and highly-effective innovations. An esteemed panel of industry experts selected this year's winners based on how their innovation represents a forward-thinking development or implementation of a solution that is delivering groundbreaking results and producing better health outcomes for more people. Recipients will be highlighted on the Microsoft website at http://www. and on the Microsoft in Health blog at https:/ . Founded in 1897, Children's Mercy is one of the nation's top pediatric medical centers. With not-for-profit hospitals in Missouri and Kansas, and numerous specialty clinics in both states, Children's Mercy provides the highest level of care for children from birth through the age of 21. U.S. News & World Report has repeatedly ranked Children's Mercy as one of "America's Best Children's Hospitals." For the fourth time in a row, Children's Mercy has achieved Magnet nursing designation, awarded to fewer than seven percent of all hospitals nationally, for excellence in quality care. Its faculty of more than 700 pediatric subspecialists and researchers across more than 40 subspecialties are actively involved in clinical care, pediatric research, and educating the next generation of pediatric subspecialists. Thanks to generous philanthropic and volunteer support, Children's Mercy provides medical care to every child who passes through its doors, regardless of a family's ability to pay. For more information about Children's Mercy and its research, visit childrensmercy.org. For breaking news and videos, follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. For more information, press only: Contact Jake Jacobson, Director of Public Relations at Children's Mercy Kansas City at 913.406.2060 or jajacobson@cmh.edu, or visit the online newsroom at news.childrensmercy.org. Product or service names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

A study published today in the journal Nature is the first to show that it is possible to predict within the first year of life, whether some infants will go on to develop autism. The ability to identify autism risk during infancy could set the stage for developing very early preventive treatments when the brain is most malleable. Earlier detection also provides opportunities for early treatment--and earlier intervention is known to be associated with better long term outcomes. Researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology to capture brain images of infants who are considered at high risk for developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by virtue of having an older sibling with ASD. The research team took different measurements of the child's brain at 6 and 12 months of age, including overall volume, surface area and thickness of the cerebral cortex in particular regions. A computer-generated algorithm was used to combine these measurements and was able to predict which babies would develop autism by age two with more than 90 percent accuracy. The Center for Autism Research (CAR) at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) was a major study site in the multicenter research project. The study's lead site was based at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. "The results of this study are a real breakthrough for early diagnosis of autism," said Robert T. Schultz, PhD, who directs the Center for Autism Research and led the CHOP study site. "While we have known for some time that autism emerges in subtle, gradual ways over the first few years of life, this study offers the first firm evidence before a child's first birthday predicting whether certain high-risk children are likely to be diagnosed with autism." Despite extensive research, it has been impossible until now to identify these children before the second year of life, when behaviors typical of autism emerge. "Our study shows that early brain development biomarkers could be very useful in identifying babies at the highest risk for autism before behavioral symptoms emerge," said the study's senior author, Joseph Piven, MD, of the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD) at the University of North Carolina. Autism Spectrum Disorder (or ASD) is a complex developmental disability characterized by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors or interests. Behavioral symptoms usually become evident between ages two and four, and research has shown that children who receive the earliest treatment tend to reap the most benefits. It is estimated that one in 68 school-aged children are diagnosed with autism. In infants who have older siblings with autism, the risk of developing ASD may be as high as 20 out of every 100 births. There are about 3 million people with autism in the United States and tens of millions around the world. For this Nature study, Piven, Schultz, and researchers from across North America conducted MRI scans of 106 high-risk infants and 42 low-risk infants at six, 12, and 24 months of age. They found that the babies who developed autism experienced much more rapid growth of the brain's surface area from six to 12 months than babies who did not show evidence of autism at 24 months of age. The study team also found a link between increased growth rate of surface area in the first year of life and an increased growth rate of overall brain volume in the second year of life. Extensive prior research has identified enlarged brain size as a risk factor for autism. This most recent study shows this pattern of rapid growth originates in specific brain regions long before brain size itself shows significant enlargement. In addition, brain overgrowth correlated with the severity of social deficits that emerged by age two. The researchers made measurements of cortical surface areas and cortical thickness at 6 and 12 months of age and studied the rate of growth between 6 and 12 months of age. These measurements, combined with brain volume and sex of the infants predicted with a high degree of accuracy who would develop autism by age 24 months. To generate these predictive results, the team drew on machine learning, a statistical approach that uses pattern recognition to make very detailed predictions. The brain differences at 6 and 12 months of age in infants with older siblings with autism correctly predicted eight out of ten infants who would later meet criteria for autism at 24 months of age in comparison to those infants with older ASD siblings who did not meet criteria for autism at 24 months. This analytic approach was also almost perfect in predicting which high-risk babies would not develop autism by age 2 years. The authors emphasize that the effectiveness of the algorithm needs to be reproduced in future studies in order to be ready for clinical use. "If we are able to replicate these results in further studies, these findings promise to change how we approach infant and toddler screening for autism, making it possible to identify infants who will later develop autism before the behavioral symptoms of autism become apparent," Schultz said. For example, if parents have a child with autism and then have a second child, such a test might be clinically useful in identifying infants at highest risk for developing this condition. The idea would be to then intervene 'pre-symptomatically' before the defining symptoms of autism emerge. The study also has implications for developing new autism treatments, said Schultz, a pediatric neuropsychologist. "Using brain imaging, we were able to pinpoint areas of the brain where atypical development contributes to autism. Understanding these neural mechanisms may guide us in developing opportunities for early treatment--possibly, before the symptoms of autism become outwardly visible." The same collaborators published a related study last month using functional MRI scans to identify brain networks involved in a key social behavior called initiation of joint attention. In this behavior--often impaired in ASD--a baby focuses on an object and draws another person's attention to that object. This study is the earliest known description of how functional brain systems underlie an important social behavior. In addition to adding to the neurobiology of how social behavior develops, those findings may inform efforts to design new treatments. "Putting this into the larger context of neuroscience research and treatment, there is currently a big push within the field to be able to detect the biomarkers of these conditions before patients are diagnosed, at a time when preventive efforts are possible," Piven added. "In Parkinson's, for instance, we know that once a person is diagnosed, they've already lost a substantial portion of the dopamine receptors in their brain, making treatment less effective." Piven said the idea with autism is similar; once autism is diagnosed at age two to three years, the brain has already begun to change substantially. "We haven't had a way to detect the biomarkers of autism before the condition sets in and symptoms develop," he said. "Now we have very promising leads that suggest this may in fact be possible." The National Institutes of Health (grants HD055741, EB005149, HD003110 and MH093510) funded this study. This research was led by researchers at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD) at the University of North Carolina, which is directed by the study's senior author, Joseph Piven, MD, the Thomas E. Castelloe Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Other clinical sites included Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the University of Washington, and Washington University in St. Louis. Other key collaborators are McGill University, the University of Alberta, the College of Charleston, and New York University. Heather Cody Hazlett, et al "Early Brain Development in Infants at High Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder" Nature, in print Feb. 16, 2017. http://doi. About Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals, and pioneering major research initiatives, Children's Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 535-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visit http://www.


News Article | February 22, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

In a study led by Barbara Driscoll, PhD, of The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles, researchers demonstrate, for the first time that inhaled resveratrol treatments slow aging-related degenerative changes in mouse lung. Lung aging, characterized by airspace enlargement and decreasing lung function, is a significant risk factor for chronic human lung diseases. The study is published online in the journal Thorax. "We believe that ours is the first study to demonstrate a beneficial effect of lung-directed resveratrol treatments on aging lung function," said Driscoll. Resveratrol (RSL), a chemical found in red wine, is an antimicrobial chemical substance produced by plants to protect against infection and stress-related changes. It has previously been shown to support muscle metabolism when delivered orally. RSL prophylaxis by inhalation was a novel measure taken by the research team as a potential approach for slowing age-related deterioration of lung function and structure by preserving alveolar epithelial type 2 cells (AEC2) which line alveoli (the tiny air sacs in the lungs through which the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place) and produce surfactant which is vital for efficient breathing. In healthy young adults, breathing is an essential, efficient process, but natural aging of the lung occurs at a steady and irreversible rate, as measured by a decline in lung function. This natural deterioration leads to a significantly reduced quality of life, over a time frame dependent on genetic and environmental factors. Although some available therapies can ameliorate symptoms, aging-related lung failure is generally irreversible and is accompanied by high rates of morbidity and mortality due to increased disease risk, including development of COPD, with accompanying emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Using a rapidly aging mouse model, the research team investigated whether the accumulation of age-related degenerative changes in the lung could be slowed by inhaled RSL. Treatment cohorts received either RSL or vehicle by intratracheal (IT) instillation monthly for three months. One month following the final treatment, whole lung function and injury-related gene expression in AEC2 were assessed. The research team found that inhaled, prophylactic resveratrol treatments can slow the rate of lung function decline, alveolar enlargement and alveolar epithelial type 2 cell DNA damage that occurs in the early stages of lung aging. They concluded that administration of resveratrol directly to the lungs may be an effective intervention for lung aging, which is a significant risk factor for development of chronic lung disease. "While the natural deterioration of the human lung generally occurs over decades, the injury to lung cells is analogous to the lung cell damage that occurs in premature infants who experience respiratory distress before their lungs have fully developed," added Driscoll. "Identifying a way to protect and strengthen young lungs before significant damage occurs is the goal of our research." Other contributors to the study include Sonia Navarro, Raghava Reddy, Jooeun Lee, and David Warburton, OBE, DSc, MD, of the Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine research program of The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles. The research was supported by NIH/NHLBI R01 HL65352, the Pasadena Guild Endowment, the Garland Fund, and NIH/NIDCR T90 training grant DE021982. Children's Hospital Los Angeles has been named the best children's hospital in California and among the top 10 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. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn, or visit our blog at http://researchlablog. .


News Article | October 28, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

Florida based Children of America, LLC welcomes State Senator Bob Mensch, 24th District of PA to its Lansdale PA facility Thursday, October 20th. The event advances Children of America’s commitment for all Pennsylvania children to have access to high-quality early learning opportunities. “It’s prudent to further our commitment to this issue.” says Children of America, CEO Jim Perretty, "As a company we see PRE-K FOR PA as a partner, giving families access to the very best in quality childhood education.” "Our goals mesh. We’re committed to quality programming and preparing young children for advanced education and PRE-K FOR PA is committed to the accessibility of these services " Perretty added. PRE-K FOR PA’s goal is by 2022, every at-risk child will have access to a high-quality pre-kindergarten program and middle-income families will more easily afford these services for their children. Children of America is the product of years of development and research expanding its programming to include a proprietary book series written for children, a staffed nutritionist for school meal planning, private nutrition consultations and family recipes and tips and our daily reporting tools for parents, updating the daily progress of each child. Children of America’s commitment to the family and child is paramount to the company philosophy. About Children of America Children of America operates facilities throughout Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. The company plans to open 50 new facilities across the country over the next five years. COA offers the highest level of care for children ages six weeks to twelve years of age. The premier programs include infant care, toddler care, nationally renowned preschool and pre-kindergarten programs, before-and-after school care, and summer camp. An industry pioneer, Children of America is a subsidiary of World Wide Child Care Corp. Visit childrenofamerica.com for more information or interact with COA on Twitter and Facebook.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Children of America, the #1 preschool in America, announced the launch of its newest childcare facility in Bowie, MD. “We wanted to bring our particular brand of programming to the families of Bowie,” said Jim Perretty, Children of America CEO. “Currently, COA has three other schools in Maryland, so the expansion into Bowie fits nicely with our strategy for sustainable growth.” Perretty adds, “Our childcare programming is second to none. COA Mind & Body Matters, integrates four essential disciplines for maximum child development including curriculum modules, dynamic reading products, and a nutrition and fitness program. Our nutrition and fitness element helps children to develop an understanding of healthy food choices and supports family life with nutritional tips and recipes.” Perretty went on to say, “We will continue to bring cutting-edge learning techniques to the children we serve along with vigorous training for staff members. This keeps us on the forefront and give our families what they deserve, the very best in daycare services.” COA childcare, will serve infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-aged children for families in Prince George's county. A Grand Opening Event is scheduled at Children of America, 15514 Annapolis Rd. Bowie, MD 20715, Saturday, Feb. 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the school opens for business Monday Feb. 13, 2017. The event will feature games and refreshments for the whole family with special enrollment offers. Tours will be available during the event. About Children of America Children of America operates facilities throughout Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. The company plans to open 50 new facilities across the country over the next five years. COA offers the highest level of care for children ages six weeks to twelve years of age. The premier programs include infant care, toddler care, nationally renowned preschool and pre-kindergarten programs, before-and-after school care, and summer camp. An industry pioneer, Children of America is a subsidiary of World Wide Child Care Corp. Visit childrenofamerica.com for more information or interact with COA on Twitter and Facebook.

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