April 27th, 2016
Weekly Chatter
Medical marijuana for pediatric seizures remains hazy
Researchers continue to assess the efficacy of cannabinoids in treating seizues, although seizures are a relatively rare reason for medial marijuana use. At Children's Hospital in Colorado, a state in which 349 pediatric patients are permitted to use medical marijuana, providers still do not recommend use of cannabinoids for treatment of epilepsy outside of a clinical trial; and a 2014 review concluded that that "no reliable conclusions can be drawn at present regarding the efficacy of cannabinoids as a treatment for epilepsy." 

Nevertheless, the American Epilepsy Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Medical Association recommend additional research.

For more information on child/adolescent marijuana, view the following ACPeds resources and consider sharing them on your practice page and/or social media pagesMarijuana Use: Detrimental to Youth (position statement), The Health Effects of Marijuana Use (position statement), Report Confirms Marijuana is Dangerous (press release), Marijuana: science, not hype, will clear the haze (article authored by ACPeds president Dr. Michelle Cretella)
Autism Update: Latest research and trends
According to a recent CDC report, about 1 in 68 children in the US has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Parents of children with ASD consistently report greater stress levels, caregiving burden and depression than parents of typically developing children. This chronic stress is associated with poorer physical health including more pain, more disruptions from physical-health problems and lower overall health-related quality of life. 

The findings of a recent study show that whether formal (provided by health or social services professionals) or informal (provided by significant others, friends and family, social support can significantly reduce stress, improve the child's outcome, and help maintain an optimal family environment in the long runArguably, the most powerful tool  available right now to make a difference in the lives of children with ASD is early identification but many children may not be getting identified as early as they could be. Research suggests targeted strategies are needed to identify and address barriers in order to lower the age at which specifically black and Hispanic children are evaluated, diagnosed, and connected to the services they need because black and Hispanic children typically receive developmental evaluations later than white children.

How do Genes and Environment cause Autism? and Interaction of genes and nutritional factors in the etiology of autism and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders are two journal articles published by ACPeds Board member Dr. Scott Field. These articles can be accessed from the Publications by College Members and Affiliates page in the Member Hub of the ACPeds website, for which you will need a username and password to log on. Contact the office for details.

Good nutrition, connected parenting, structure and disciple are paramount to child mental and physical health especially in the case of children with ASD. Consider sharing the following ACPeds resources on your practice website and/or social media pages: Healthy Eating and Meeting the Challenges of Parenting.
Keep Record #WeeklyBlogPost
As much as we'd like to think we'll always remember precious moments with family and friends, our memories are sometimes far from perfect. Recording these moments in a journal is a way to leave a legacy for our posterity and allows us to remember and relive experiences that have shaped our families.  

To read more about the benefits of journaling, click here and leave a comment. We love to hear from you! A new blog article is published each Monday at ACPeds.org/Blog. Click here to subscribe. 

Also, please consider sharing the blog to your social media pages each week. The more people we reach, the more people we can help.
Don't hesitate to contact us with your questions and comments. We look forward to hearing from you.